Ballista is one of the forms of Conflict in Final Fantasy XI. With the recent wave of patriotism sweeping Vana'diel, the decision was made to reintroduce Conflict as a form of friendly rivalry between the three nations. Ballista is based upon San d'Orian military training exercises that involve participants digging up small stones called Petras to toss into goals called Rooks scattered around the battlefield.
Ballista follows a set schedule according to the Vana'diel calendar. Matches alternate between areas, nations participation, and level cap according to the calendar on the right. The entry day for each match proceeds as follows:
- 12:00 (Initial Period): Entry period opens for adventurers of nations scheduled to fight who did not fight in the previous match.
- 16:00 (Guest Period): Entry period opens for adventurers of nations scheduled to fight who fought in the previous match.
- 18:00 (Open Entry): Entry period opens for anyone to fight. Adventurers are temporarily placed on the nation with the least number of players.
- 22:00: Entries are closed, except under special conditions.
- Northern San d'Oria - K-9
- Port Bastok - J-12
- Windurst Waters - J-9
- Ru'Lude Gardens - I-8
- Aht Urhgan Whitegate - G-11
Once at the match location, talk to the Herald to sign up for Ballista. A participation fee is required upon signing up; the fee varies according to the level cap of the match:
- Lv. 30: 500 gil
- Lv. 40: 1000 gil
- Lv. 50: 1500 gil
- Lv. 60: 2000 gil
- Uncapped: 3000 gil
At 22:00, the teams will be balanced based on players' jobs and all participating adventurers will line up facing each other. The Herald will then conduct the opening ceremony. Once the opening ceremony has concluded, all players will automatically gain the effects of sneak and invisible to allow for both teams to get into an appropriate position. At 0:00, the match will begin and Sneak/Invisible will wear off.
- See Battle Alterations for a list of changes to the battle system active during Ballista matches.
The main objective of Ballista is to /quarry for Petras in order to toss them into the Rooks scattered around the battlefield. Note that /quarry is not always successful at this: it may dig up a temporary item, a Petra, or nothing at all.
Petras may be found anywhere on the battlefield, but your chances of digging up one will increase the more distant from a Rook you are. /quarry's success rate is also affected by the current score; members of the winning team will have a lower probability of finding a Petra.
In order to score, you must first gain Gate Breach. Gate Breach can be accomplished by either defeating another player, or being in the immediate vicinity when a member of your party defeats another player.
- Gate Breach will only last for a limited amount of time. If you are on the leading team, Gate Breach status will last for 1.5 Vana'diel hours (~3.5 Earth minutes); if you are on the losing team, Gate Breach status will last for 3 Vana'diel hours (~7 Earth minutes).
Once you have gained Gate Breach, you must now find a Rook to toss the Petras in. The distance and direction of the nearest Rook can be found by using /scout. The act of scoring can be interrupted by any number of actions (both beneficial and hostile), so be sure to have a clear shot at a Rook. You may score up to five Petras at a time, with each Petra counting as one point. If a majority of the opposing team has left the battle area, however, all Rooks' gates will open, allowing anyone to score without gaining Gate Breach.
- When there is a large difference in the number of members on each team, two Rooks will appear on the battlefield.
If you have managed to successfully score for your team, Gate Breach status will be disengaged and you must regain it before being able to score again. The first petra you attempt to score will have an extra 3-5 second delay before throwing it into the rook. From there on, even if your shot is canceled, your throwing time will be shortened to ~5 seconds. This will be reset if you go back to camp or zone, but being revived will not reset this.
No experience points loss is incurred for being K.O.'d in Ballista. If you are defeated, you will be automatically revived after a certain amount of time (determined by the number of times you have been defeated since you last chose to return to camp). Each defeat carries a +5 second penalty to your next revival timer (with the timer initially set at 15 seconds); this revival timer has no maximum limit. Once you are revived, you will be at 100% HP, your current MP or 50% MP, whichever is greater, and your current TP or 50% TP, whichever is lesser. Additionally, you will be considered as "preparing for battle": invisible, unable to use items, job abilities, ballista commands, and unable to attack or be attacked.
Alternatively, you may choose to return to camp and reset the revival timer while spawning at 100% HP and MP. In either case, you will lose all accumulated Petras; the only way to retain Petras after K.O. is to be Raised and suffer its associated Weakened state.
- If you are K.O.'ed, lose connection, and reconnect after the match has concluded, the "Return to Camp" option will change to "Return to Home Point"; no experience loss is incurred if you Home Point as a result of dying during a Ballista match.
- When there are less than 41 players participating, the position of the camps will be located closer to the centre of the Ballista battlefield.
At 0:00, the match will conclude, all players HP and MP will be restored to the maximum allowed, and the team who has scored the most Petras will be declared the winner.
Best of Three
Matches played in Meriphataud Mountains are divided into three 7-hour (Vana'diel time) matches, each with a 90-minute interval between them. Winning a match earns the victors one match point. The nation with the most points at the end of the series is declared the champion.
All adventurers who have actively participated in Ballista are awarded the appropriate amount of experience points corresponding to their level during Ballista.
- Level 30-39: 300 EXP
- Level 40-49: 350 EXP
- Level 50-59: 400 EXP
- Level 60-74: 450 EXP
- Level 75: 500 EXP
The gil reward for the winning team is equal to double the participation fee. If the match is a draw, both teams will have their entry fee refunded. The losing team gets nothing. Also, if the winning team has fewer members than the other there is a slight gil increase for winning.
Ballista Points are awarded after each match, based on your participation (earning match points, defeating opponents, or helping other members of your team). These points are used to reserve access to the Dioramas, purchase item vouchers, and teleport to upcoming Ballista matches.
- You may only posess a total of 2000 Ballista points.
The Ballista Points Ranking system ranks players from the last 10 matches, based on the number of Ballista points gained during a single match. Ranking information is separate for each Ballista location.
Players can sign up for Ballista Ranking by talking to the Marshal in the area after a match.
- Players who have not registered will not be considered in the ranking.
- After a match, players have 4 Vana’diel hours (~10 minutes Earth time) to register their results.
- The ranking list cannot be viewed during the registration period.
- After the registration period has ended, you must view the ranking list within 4 Vana’diel days (~4 hours Earth time) at the match site to receive your final assessment and any rewards you have earned.
You can view Ballista Rankings for all locations by speaking to the Marshal in Ru'Lude Gardens. However, as this Marshal may not have the most current data, players wishing to see the latest rankings are advised to talk to the Marshals stationed in each Ballista area.
Chevrons are awarded to the top scorer for each job, and the top scorers overall. A player can check the number of chevrons accumulated to date by talking to a Marshal. Also, /checking other players during a match will reveal the total number of chevrons they have received.
Chevrons have the following caveats:
- Chevrons are only valid for one week Earth time. After that, the player must return the chevron in order to participate in future Ballista matches.
- Players may only wear one chevron at a time. If a player qualifies for more than one chevron, a decision must be made as to which chevron to receive. A player may, however, refuse to receive a chevron.
- Regardless of which you choose, the fact that you earned both will still be recorded in your character's Ballista statistics.
The title granted according to the chevron awarded varies:
|1st||Gold Ballista Chevron||Gold Balli☆☆☆☆star|
|2nd||Mythril Ballista Chevron||Mythril Balli☆☆☆star|
|3rd||Silver Ballista Chevron||Silver Balli☆☆star|
|4 - 10th||Bronze Ballista Chevron||Bronze Balli☆star|
|Warrior||Bloody Ballista Chevron||Searing★Star|
|Monk||Orange Ballista Chevron||Striking★Star|
|White Mage||White Ballista Chevron||Soothing★Star|
|Black Mage||Black Ballista Chevron||Sable★Star|
|Red Mage||Red Ballista Chevron||Scarlet★Star|
|Thief||Green Ballista Chevron||Sonic★Star|
|Paladin||Sparking Ballista Chevron||Saintly★Star|
|Dark Knight||Ebon Ballista Chevron||Shadowy★Star|
|Beastmaster||Furry Ballista Chevron||Savage★Star|
|Bard||Brown Ballista Chevron||Singing★Star|
|Ranger||Ochre Ballista Chevron||Sniping★Star|
|Samurai||Jade Ballista Chevron||Slicing★Star|
|Ninja||Transparent Ballista Chevron||Sneaking★Star|
|Dragoon||Purple Ballista Chevron||Spearing★Star|
|Summoner||Rainbow Ballista Chevron||Summoning★Star|
|Puppetmaster||Silk Ballista Chevron||Swaying★Star|
|Corsair||Coral Ballista Chevron||Surging★Star|
|Blue Mage||Sapphire Ballista Chevron||Sapphire★Star|
|Dancer||Sequined Ballista Chevron||Sprightly★Star|
|Scholar||Velvet Ballista Chevron||Sagacious★Star|
- XBOX 360 users: Being in possession of a Gold Ballista Chevron and talking to a title bard will grant you the option of unlocking an achievement. You must have the chevron in your Key Items for the option to appear.
A number of adjustments have been made to keep Conflict (and by extension, Ballista) play reasonably balanced.
The following job abilities are altered:
- Provoke prevents the victim from targeting anyone except the provoker. Provoke also effectively prevents the victim from casting self-targeting spells, such as Utsusemi. Please note that during any form of Conflict, Provoke can miss a target.
- Steal and Mug steal Petras (if there are any) from the target.
- Charm, Gauge, and Tame have no effect whatsoever.
- Flee duration is extended.
- Maximum melee range is increased to allow for hitting opponents who are running away.
- Weapon Skill damage is reduced.
- Players gradually build a resistance to most enfeebling magic, as well as Lullaby.
- Sleep is limited to a 45-second duration.
- Magic damage is reduced.
The following commands are only available during Ballista:
- /quarry: Dig for Petras or temporary items. /quarry's behavior varies according to which Ballista Key Items you have in your possession.
- /targetopp: targets closest member of opposing nation within range.
- /sprint: Grants Flee-like speed for a set amount of time. You cannot use /sprint if you are holding a Petra.
- /scout: Reveals the location of the nearest Rook. You cannot use /scout if you are not carrying any Petras.
- <petra>: reveals how many Petras you are holding
- <gatebreach>: reveals if you are affected by Gate Breach status or not.
The following commands are altered during Ballista:
- /linkshell: sends a message to all members on your team.
- /check: checks a player, revealing the number of Petras they hold, whether or not they have Gate Breach status, and Chevrons they have obtained. Checking players often in ballista is good strategy.
The following actions are prohibited while participating in a Ballista match:
- Chocobo interaction
- Using bazaars (or trading) between non-participants or the opposing team
- NPC interaction, other than the Ballista NPCs
Additionally, all non-participants and monsters will become invisible during the match; however, /say, /shout, and /tell are unrestricted.
- Resist traits are greatly enhanced.
- AoE magic and weapon skills will only hit those within the same party or alliance as the target.
- Wide Scan can be used by any job to find everyone on your nation's team.
- Equipment changing is discouraged. Penalty is automatically inflicted for a couple of seconds when you change any piece of equipment. Penalty effectively acts as a combination of Bind and Stun. You may still /quarry while Penalized.
- Swapping ammo is allowed, unequipping ammo is penalized.
- Ballista Band - Gives the option of keeping or discarding the first Petra dug up.
- Ballista Earring - Gives information about upcoming matches once per Vana'diel day when the wearer zones into an area where a Pursuivant is present. Also gives hints and tips during the match.
- Ballista Instaport - Teleports you to an upcoming match after speaking to a Pursuivant.
- Ballista Instawarp - Transports you to your Home Point after speaking to a Pursuivant.
- Petra Shovel - All temporary items dug up are automatically put into your inventory without any prompt. If your temporary item inventory is full, the item dug up will be automatically discarded.
All players can carry 10 temporary items (15 in Pashhow Marshlands and Jugner Forest matches, where normal item use is restricted). Players may buy items from a Marshal by trading Ballista points for tickets that can be redeemed for items. Note that some items can only be obtained under certain conditions.
When participating in Pashhow Marshlands, you will be provided with several random temporary items at the start of the match.
The following items can only be obtained through /quarry: