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Project Spirits: Compilation of Elemental Spirit Info
After looking through my old Project Spirits thread (which has somehow found its way to ffxi wiki o.O), and having recently tested around with my spirits again, I decided to compile the info that was in the other Spirits thread onto this one here because the last one was so messy and kinda hard to read . note: I loved how Jer did his bp compilation in point form so I'll be doing a lot of this in point form too. Feel free to comment, feedback, point out errors or whatever.
The Summoner's elemental spirits have always been a mystery because they are both hard to control and their actions often do not seem to pay off for their MP cost and inflexibility. However, in the interest of playing the job to its fullest, many SMN have carried out extensive research on the spirits and have to some extent discovered the workings of these avatars. (If you would like to see some of the processes and information sources for this thread, it will be listed at the bottom of this post.)
Elemental Spirits Facts
The following points hold true for all elemental spirits.
- Elemental Spirits are a category of summons by themselves (like the Terrestrial and Celestial avatars). Their official category name by SE is 'elementals'.
- All elementals cost 10 MP to cast. They have a cast time of 1 second and a recast time of 10s.
- All elementals have the same perpetuation costs at given levels. Elementals perpetuation costs can be reduced by gear (inclusive of elemental staves). Their perpetuation cost can also be lowered by up to 5 points through merits.
- All elementals can only auto-attack and cast spells. They do NOT have any blood pact commands.
- All elementals follow the avatar instinct of automatically attacking mobs which have main hate on their Summoner.
- Elementals gain approximately 8% TP with each hit, but TP has absolutely no use for the Elementals.
- Summoners have no direct control over what spells they can cast.
- Elementals can be affected by all forms of status ailments. They are unable to cast spells while silenced.
- Elementals' spell do not require additional MP on the part of the Summoner to cast. They also do not cause mobs who detect spellcasting to aggro.
- Elementals cannot cast spells if they have not learnt any at their level. They learn new spells automatically once they hit certain levels.
- Elementals will stop auto-attacking or moving when they start casting spells.
- Elementals' spells can be interrupted by physical hits, but are not interrupted from the avatar moving.
- Using the "Assault" command when Elementals' start casting a spell gets them to follow the mob and auto-attack again, while still being able to fire off that spell.
- Elementals are affected by the Summoner merits enhancing physical and magic attack and accuracy.
- The time taken in between each spell cast for spirits is directly influenced by the summoner's Summoning Magic Skill as well as day and weather.
Elemental Spirit Casting Timer
This timer (usually called spirit timer in short), is the time in between each spell that your spirit casts. While not essentially 100% accurate, the formula derived by players is good enough to be applied all levels and stands correct.
- The specific duration of the spirit timer is from the time your elemental completes its first spell until the time it starts casting the next spell. Alternatively, if it is interrupted, from 1 second after it becomes interrupted.
- Before considering external factors or gear, the timer is 45s for Summoners with Summoning skill capped.
- For every 3 skill above or below cap, the timer decreases and increases by 1 second respectively.
- The current day can influence the timer by 3s. -3s if the day is of the same element as the spirit, +3s if it is of the element which the spirit is weak to.
- The timer reduces by 2s if the weather is the same element as the spirit. It increases by 2s if weather is of the element which the spirit is weak to. Weather from all other elements do not affect the timer. Dual weather effects have the same influence as single weather.
- The Summoner 2HR ability Astral Flow reduce 5s from the timer.
- The Summoner AF2 "Summoner's Spats" also reduce 5s from the timer.
- The spirit timer is dynamic and can change if any of the factors affecting it change at any time.
- All elementals when freshly summoned, have their spirit timer already counting down from half.
- The pet commands "Assault" and "Retreat" reset the spirit timer.
- Using "Assault" when your elemental starts casting a long spell starts its next timer prematurely, allowing it to cast its next spell sooner.
Elemental cycle spirits
- Elemental Cycle Spirits can only cast spells aligned to their own element.
- Elemental Cycle spirits learn new spells at the very same as level that which a BLM, RDM or WHM may get it, whichever comes earlier.
- Elemental Cycle spirits only have access to enfeebling and elemental magic skill-based spells. This is why Thunder Spirit cannot cast Stun.
- Elemental Cycle spirits cast their spells at random. However, this does not apply to tiered spells.
- Elemental Cycle spirits will always only cast the highest tier of the spells that come in a series.
- Elemental Cycle spirits can only cast offensive spells. They cannot cast enhancing spells of any kind.
- Elemental Cycle spirits cannot cast any area of effect spells.
- Elemental Cycle spirits will not cast debuffs on a mob if the effect is already in place. Elemental enfeebling spells (Burn, Shock, etc) are an exception to this because their effect diminishes with time.
The following picture summarizes the spell repertoire of the 6 Elemental Cycle spirits. It also shows their elemental relationship.
Light Spirit's behavior is unique in that it can be divided into 3 different modes.
- Light Spirit will always only cast the highest tier of the spells that come in a series.
- This behavior is triggered if the Light Spirit commanded to Assault a mob. It is also triggered when the Light Spirit auto-attacks a mob who has main hate on the Summoner.
- In attacking mode, the behavior of Light Spirit is almost identical to the Elemental Cycle spirits, except that in place of elemental magic skill based spells, it casts divine magic skill-based spells instead.
- Light Spirit cannot cast any attacking area of effect spells.
- In addition to the spell repertoire for its offensive mode, the Light Spirit can still cast buffing mode spells while it is engaged.
- This behavior is triggered when members of your party or alliance have yellow or red HP.
- Light Spirit use either the highest Cure or Curaga spell depending on how many members in the party or alliance have low HP. However, it can still cast Curaga spells even when you are playing solo.
- Light Spirit can cast all its healing spells on any member of your alliance This feature is unique to the Light Spirit only.
- This is the default mode that the Light Spirit is in when it does not have a battle target.
- In Buffing Mode, Light Spirit's spirit timer is halved.
- There are only 4 types of spells Light Spirit can cast (i.e Protect, Shell, Regen and Haste). Light Spirit cannot cast -ra buffs, bar-spells or -na spells.
- Light Spirit will overwrite lower tiered Protect and Shell spells but will not overwrite Haste or Regen.
- Light Spirit does not cast buffs on players who are under the Invisible status.
- Light Spirit cannot cast buffs on itself.
- Light Spirit can only cast Regen I and not II or III
- Light Spirit can be encouraged to cast its buff spells on party members by having it face towards a party member.
Dark Spirit's behavior is also unique. However, due to its huge spell repertoire and randomness, it is hard to fully understand it. It also becomes kind of useless because it is the least able to be controlled.
- Dark Spirit can only cast Dark Magic skill-based spells.
- Dark Spirit will always cast Bio II instead of Bio once it acquires it. Only 1 person has claimed to see Bio III being cast by Dark Spirit but this has not been replicated by anyone else, so it is still unconfirmed.
- Dark Spirit will always cast Sleep II instead of Sleep once it acquires it.
- Dark Spirit can still cast Sleepga even after learning Sleepga II
- Dark Spirit probably does not cast Absorb-TP. (never seen it happen, but its repertoire is huge, so its hard to say)
- Dark Spirit does not cast Drain II.
- Dark Spirit will continue to attack mobs it casts Sleep on.
- Any hate gained from Dark Spirit's Sleepga is attributed to Dark Spirit only.
- Also not noted on the list at lv 1 Dark Spirit casts Blind.
Maximizing the use of Elemental Spirits
The following section is just food for thought.
There are two extreme possible directions to take when trying to maximize the use of elemental spirits, that being pushing for maximum Summoning skill for lowest spirit timer, or pushing for lowest perpetuation cost for cheapest spirit to keep it out longer. (seeing as how Summoning skill now affects the other avatars, both are also useful to your non-spirit using Summoner). To help give a clearer picture of the potential of Elemental Spirits, I will show 2 theoretical models for the elemental spirit at lv75.
Maximizing Summoning Magic Skill
- Capped Summoning Skill: 269
- Weapon: Bahamut's Staff (+5)
- Head: Marduk's Tiara (+7)
- Neck: Summoning Torque (+7)
- Ear: Summoning Earring (+3)
- Body: -
- Hands: Summoner's Bracers +1 (+12)
- Finger: Evoker's Ring (+10)
- Back: Astute Cape (+5)
- Waist: -
- Legs: Summoner's Spats*(because spats timer reduction is equivalent to 15 skill)
- Feet: Nashira Crackows (+5)
- Merits: +16
This brings maximum Summoning Magic skill to 339. That is 70 skill above cap. Based on the current known formula, this means your timer is 45-(70/3), which is approximately 22 s. With Summoner's Spats, this makes 17s. With day effect, 14s. With weather effect, 12s. With Astral Flow, 7s.
Given this setup, we can factor in perpetuation cost for the rest of the slots... Starting with 18mp/tic. From the current gear already mentioned: -4. auto-refresh: -1. merit: -5. Summoner's Doublet on the elemental's day: -3, otherwise Penance Robe: -2. Conjurer's Ring (if u want to risk triggering it): -1.
Perp. cost becomes 4mp/tic or 6mp/tic without any condition, at the same time maintaining 339 Summoning Skill (this is in theory only). That makes Elementals scarily efficient if true. (it also raises the issue of how fast Elemental Cycle spirits can cast if you reset their spirit timer using Assault when casting Ancient Magic - AM cast time is 15s)
However, there is no proof to this being practically possible. It is not known whether SE has imposed a minimum timer on the Spirits themselves, or if the effect of Summoning Skill bonus taper off after a certain amount. This is, unless someone with Summoning Skill as high as this can test the elementals for us and come back with some results. In the meanwhile, lets look at what we're certain works.. lowering perp. cost.
Minimizing Perpetuation Cost
- Elemental perpetuation cost: 18mp/tic
- Weapon: Bahamut's Staff (-3) (hq staves work but don't have extra Summoning Skill)
- Head: Summoner's Horn *during weather* (-3)
- Neck: -
- Ear: -
- Body: Summoner's Doublet *during day* (-3) / Penance Robe (-2)
- Hands: Nashira Gages (-1)
- Finger: Evoker's Ring (-1)
- Finger: Conjurer's Ring *if triggered* (-1)
- Back: -
- Waist: -
- Legs: -
- Feet: Evoker's Pigaches +1 (-1)
- Merits: -5
- Auto:Refresh: -1
This brings lowest perpetuation to... 0 during day and weather (dont even need the ring trigger). However, if we're looking at unconditional perpetuation (no day, weather, latent trigger required), that brings it down to 4mp/tic.
Given the existing gear, that it also gives +15 Summoning Skill. If we fill up the rest of the slots with max smn skill gear, Summoning Torque, +7. Summoning Earring, +3. Astute Cape, +5. Merits, +16.
That brings it to 46 skill above cap. That makes the timer 45 - (46/3). That's approximately 30s. With Summoner's Spats, 25s. With day effect, 22s. With weather effect, 20s With Astral Flow, 15s.
If day and weather effect trigger for the spirit timer, they also trigger for AF2(SE calls it Relic) equipment, so that makes a 20s timer with a free Elemental Spirit. Otherwise, it becomes a 25s timer with 4mp/tic.
If we compare the maximums of each build without conditional effects, We get 17s timer for 6mp/tic on 1 hand, and 25s timer with 4mp/tic on the other.
In an period of 51 seconds, that makes... 3 spells fired off having consumed 102mp OR 2 spells fired off having consumed 68mp.
This would go to show that both methods of achieving an efficient spirit are pretty effective. However, we know for certain that perpetuation can be lowered this much but the spirit timer may cap out at some point. This also does not factor in the perpetuation ticking in when long spells are being cast. In addition to this, Refresh, Ballad or Evoker's roll can reduce the impact of perpetuation cost further. Regardless, it demonstrates the potential of Elemental Spirits and I think ideally the best equipment build to support the use of them is a balance between both extremes.
Hopefully, this thread will give people a clearer picture of Elemental Spirits. I'm not saying that Elementals are all that great but they're definitely not as useless as people may think - they just require some more effort to show better results. It can also be said that they're really not even as efficient as Celestials until you hit 75 because of all the benefits spirits can gain from merits.
If SE decides to make elemental spirits more usable then perhaps they'll become a more viable asset to the Summoner. In the meanwhile, I'm pretty sure some of us will continue to study the use of elemental spirits XD I think Hakk was busy figuring out if enmity affects AI of spirits and stuff.. so expect more to come too.
- Current Thread is at http://ffxi.killvoid.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=149159&n=last#bottom
- most data collated either by myself(Spira) or from the other great players who posted in the old Project Spirits thread. Do also check out Greenith's alla thread http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=15;mid=1137564500238123597;page=#114133755415825905 which was where i've taken the more accurate base timer from.
- Also, thanks to Elfiwolfe for putting up what I wrote in the previous spirits thread on ffxiclopedia. I am truly flattered.. but shoulda kinda told me so I could polish up that thread before u did so ;p I'm totally hopeless with editing a wiki too anyway.