|This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.|
No non-minor changes should be made without consulting the author. Changes or questions should be discussed on the talk page.
For the most part, PLD is a great job, and very desirable in parties, until Aht Urhgan Areas become the prime leveling ground. Colibri have low defense, and most DD jobs start gearing their way into endgame gear by then, the result being that holding hate is an endurance trial for your patience. PLDs become useful again, briefly, when Imps become the mob of choice, because of the PLD's ability to hold hate and stay alive while under the effects of Amnesia or Silence (But not both at once) where even one of the two completely disables a ninja tank. But once Imps are done, parties go back to the birds. And when they go back to birds, they go back with a vengeance. Suddenly one mob in camp isn't enough. You need one mob in combat and then every other mob in the zone sleeping next to the party. And that means that the party can't wait for a PLD's MP to come up. Nor can the party wait for the healer's MP if the tank takes a bad hit from Pecking Flurry. Ninja tanks become the only way to go. And that's terrible. How do you ding 75? How do you build up a buffer? How do you merit, if you don't have another 75 yet?
Luckily, there is another way. A better way. Campaign. You fight mobs with a ton of HP, alongside NPCs with a ton of HP, and are rewarded with exp and excellent gear? Sign me the heck up! But how does it work? What do I do? The first step is detailed here in Egomzez's most excellent guide Campaign: Quickstart Guide. That'll tell you how to get started. But as a PLD, you are basically a brick with a thumbtack attached. Everyone else gets their notes by putting out a ton of damage, or spamming Avatar buffs. How can you compete? That's where this guide comes in.
It doesn't matter who you ally with, to be honest. You can buy gear from other nations just by visiting, and you can participate in their campaigns, too. The biggest issue is that to get teleported to an area via the Campaign Arbiters, you have to have zoned in at least once in the past. (This does not work for the other cities, or Castle Zvahl). As a PLD, I recommend joining the Knights of the Iron Ram, because that Iron Ram Hauberk Set is a must-have, and you get a discount on items from your own nation. But honestly, join who you want to. It's better to have fun than to feel shackled to a bunch of snooty elvaan, thinking they're talking fancy makes them better than the rest of us. Be warned, though, that you may have some trouble, either with your allied NPCs, or with your allied PCs, depending on your nation. Additionally, you may find you have a strong dislike of the specific beastmen you're facing. Don't be afraid to participate exclusively in a foreign nation's campaigns, or to exclusively avoid a certain nation's campaigns. Yagudo's Feathered Furore has stripped me of my shield and my TP more times than I care to admit. And as a paladin, Orcish Counterstance is painful, when you are forcing the mob to face you. Work on having fun and enjoying yourself. If you want to cap out merits in Chivalry, you're going to be doing this for a long time.
Honestly, Dancer sub is the way to go. I was skeptical for a while, but it works. However, I did campaign battle as Warrior sub for a long time. While you will die less as PLD/DNC, I tend to get more notes as PLD/WAR. If you can get a friend to come with you on a healing job (Or even a melee job with /DNC) you can do /WAR no problem. Even when solo you're okay. If you die, 99% of the time, someone will raise you!
To be perfectly honest, your normal PT gear is just fine for campaign. The primary goal is to hold hate and stay alive. However, anything you can do to increase your damage output without getting yourself killed will increase how many notes you get. Also remember: you want to be taking damage. Don't aim to wear a bunch of damage taken -%, and super-def gear, because if you aren't taking damage, you aren't getting full credit for tanking.
Chivalry. Get it. It allows you to turn 300 TP into a full MP bar. Even as /DNC, nothing replaces the ability to directly convert TP into MP instantly. Flash and Reprisal are things that you need to cast every time the recast comes up. You need Chivalry to keep up on it. Even if you can't cap it out, it should be the first PLD merit you get. Other good improvements include MP, HP, and Enmity+, but you don't need those. You need Chivalry. Additionally, if you can take your Sentinel recast down a minute or two, you'll feel a lot safer. But if you're not 75 yet, or if you just haven't got any merits yet, you'll be fine. Just get it when you can. Trust me. Would I lie to you?
Every day, you earn one Campaign Op Credit. You can bank a larger number as you progress in medals, though you always only get one every 24 hours. Reasonably, you could do nothing but ops and get medals without ever seeing the battlefield more than a few times. Personally, I advise that you find an op that fits what you can do. Streetsweeper is an excellent op that I can recommend, if you can get it. It allows you to get notes and exp without leaving town! This is a great way to get notes for teleports right when you start, or if you just spent all your notes on a piece of equipment. If you're more financial-minded, try the low-level Stock and Awe ops. Grab a bunch of tools (which you can buy from a goblin in the past) and go out and harvest a whole bunch of materials. Then, once you have a few of every item he can ask for (check the wiki page!) just walk back and forth between the Campaign Ops Desk and the Quartermaster. If you run out of one material (if you have a large store of Op Credits, this is very possible) just walk back and cancel the op. Or run out to harvest it, if you don't have enough Op Credits to throw them away. When you're finished, you can put up a Bazaar for a small premium while you wait for campaign battles, and then throw them on the Auction House when you get back to the present. Sometimes you can get some items in the past that are hard to locate in the present, and fetch a high price.
Campaign Ops hold no special significance to a PLD. Just do what you need to do to get some notes for transportation, and some notes when you're having trouble with your evaluations. Streetsweeper has been a lifesaver for me, because it is quick, easy, and doesn't require any teleportation or tools. With a full bank of 7 ops, I got all the notes I needed to get to keep my medal instead of losing it. And if you're getting close to your final days of a rank, it could get you the notes you need for promotion.
There are four primary ways a PLD gets exp in Campaign. Two of them are incidental. The other two are two 'modes' you need to pursue.
Damage and Killing Blows
Damage is incidental. And you shouldn't worry about it at all as a PLD. Basically, get your auto-attack out, and remember to weapon skill when you can. If you're /DNC, hold TP unless you're fine for MP to cure with, and if you're running low on MP, hold TP to 300 for Chivalry, if your recast is coming up on it. If you can, learn what Weapon Skills of yours close skillchains with other major Weapon Skills. For example, Tachi: Gekko > Swift Blade is Darkness (Skillchain) if I'm not mistaken. Look around you and stay alert. If you close a skillchain, you get bonus points. But don't stress. This isn't how you get points.
Buffs, Debuffs, and Job Abilities
These are also incidental. Casting Protect and Shell on yourself gives you points. Casting Flash on mobs gives you points. Using Provoke, Shield Bash, Sentinel, Rampart, Quick Step, Animated Flourish, and all the other job abilities you've got gives you points. Don't go spamming job abilities you don't need, though. And don't go wasting points casting Protect and Shell when you've already got it. But PLD has a larger arsenal here than most other jobs do. Just be aware that every time you use Provoke, even if there's a better geared PLD tanking, or an endgame-geared DD putting out more damage than you can compensate for, it'll give you some exp just from using it. Be aware, and pay attention. Your best tools are your eyes. Use them.
This is the way you can out-do any other job for exp and Allied Notes in Campaign. Every time you take damage, you get points. No job can mitigate damage while still taking it like a PLD can. The best part is that if you're 75 party geared, (Some Adaman, some AF, and reasonable gear in other slots) you can basically stand toe-to-toe with any non-boss mob on the field and keep it busy. Basically, stay out of the way of mobs when they come to the tower, and then wait for them to start beating on fortifications, or the NPCs. Find one that is unclaimed, and hit it with Flash, and drag it away from the others. This is the best way to ensure that you only end up with one mob, and you get the time to build up enough enmity that you'll hold the mob for a while. Be careful, and avoid links, and try not to get caught somewhere where no one will raise you if you die. If you can, bring friends who can cure you, and DD to help kill it before it kills you. You can't count on NPCs, or the DDs who come out already, because who knows what they're going to do. But practice, and be aware of yourself like you are in a party, and you'll be great. Learn which TP moves to Shield Bash, and use Sentinel like a mini-invincible instead of just a hate-grab. Cure yourself as much as you can. If you're /WAR, you don't need Defender if your gear is fairly nice. If you're /DNC, you don't need to keep Sambas up if you're handy enough on your cures. You don't need to be the best. You just need to keep yourself alive. While as many people as a typical party (if not more) will die if you fail to hold hate, they don't take it personally if you get them killed; no exp loss from death is a nice perk. Don't be afraid to ask for cures in /Say if you start to die. Just be polite, and use the auto-translate function. Also, start asking early. In big crowds, it may be tough for a potential cure to find you.
Here's the biggest thing to remember, though: These are hardcore mobs. You will die. Just make sure you get more out of the time spent tanking mobs straight for half the campaign battle than you would get by doing it unweakened and half-assed the entire time. Also, keep in mind that you don't lose exp! Be Stupidly Corageous! Bite off more than you can chew! Push your boundaries! Get shot down in a blaze of glory! I can tank Conqueror Bakgodek for about 2 minutes with Invincible, Chivalry, and at least 100 TP to start the fight, and then I spend 3 minutes weakened with a grin. I get more out of that five minutes - in notes and in entertainment - that I would get out of five minutes standing behind him auto-attacking while someone more qualified takes care of the tanking. Remember: This is a game. Have fun. If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.
Don't forget to say <Thank you.> or /bow when someone raises you!
This is an important job, and someone's got to do it. People will die out there, and they will need Raise. Because there's no exp loss, they don't need Raise III from a WHM. They just need to stand back up. Give them that hand, and get points in the process. You also get points for Cures. So keep an eye on who has hate on a mob, and, if you get a spare second, sweep around with a /ma "Cure III" <stpc> macro to find people in need of HP. Even if you aren't tanking, and even if you're tanking a different mob than they're attacking, it'll be worth it to you for the points, and it'll be worth it to them to keep them alive. This wouldn't be a big part of PLD campaign, except that you can do it while Weakened. Carry enough +MP gear so that you can cast Raise while weakened. MP merits can help with this. Walahra Turban is also immensely useful. Don't be afraid to put on parts of your level 30 RSE if it gives MP. Additionally, dying loses you points. If you're going to be casting cure on people who are fighting something, you may end up with hate if everyone fighting it dies. Be prepared to run (Err, I mean kite) if you have to.
The third major tactical support you're capable is professional kiting. Every beastman unit has a powerful NM leader, and they are all really scary, especially in the Northlands. Sometimes, someone will get its attention, and then die somewhere unfortunate, like where all the Weakened people are resting. Similarly, one may end up in the middle of all of the mages in the zone, or standing on top of the Allied Tag NPC. You don't get points for dropping Flash and Provoke and running for your life around the tower. But if it keeps people alive, and if you're a good person, it may be worthwhile to your self-esteem. Sometimes you don't even need to kite that far. I was once in Xarcabard (S), and we had several freelancers, including Rongo-Nango and his menagerie, but they were all standing in front of the tower, while the Shadowsoul Battalion was attacking from behind it, and obliterating the PCs back there. I flashed one of the dragons, and pulled it out in front of the tower. The NPCs fell on that lone dragon like wolves. After eviscerating it, they all rushed over to the mob behind the tower and joined the fray. While I only wasted 15 seconds and 25 MP, I turned the tide of that bloodbath. It didn't give me points. And as far as I know, no one actually noticed that I did it, but it was a large help in that fight to the people taking on Shadowsoul himself. I also can't count the number of times a battle has been saved by some brave soul grabbing the biggest mob in the zone and running around in circles. Especially nasty boss NMs like Moo Ouzi the Swiftblade or Shadowclaw. Kiting is not something you'll get points for. But it is something that can save the day, if the situation calls for it. Sometimes that can be enough of a motivation.
Have fun. Do your job. And remember: Campaign Battle is not about personal glory. It's about contributing to something greater than yourself. And what is best for helping out a bunch of half-asleep, step-spamming DD/DNCs facing off against mobs with ten times the HP of normal exp mobs, that hit like a truck and have enhanced TP moves?
A brick with a thumbtack attached, of course. ~Inept of Cerberus.