Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Yo, Chia! Wanna party, baby? (FFXI)

I almost forgot that I was going to post a bit about how to make your own party in FFXI. I'm a little (a lot) distracted by work, but hopefully I won't miss anything big.

Anyone else who happens to read this, feel free to leave comments with ideas, corrections, or whatever.

First: What do you want in your party?

* In general, you want no more than three levels of difference in the party. 15-17? Cool! 11-13? Rocking! 21-24? Not so good. The closer in levels everyone is, the better.
* You need to cover three basic roles: 1) You need a tank (at low levels it could be a WAR, PLD, or NIN). 2) You need a healer (WHM is best, but a SMN could work or a SMN and a RDM or two RDMs). 3) You need a puller. (Anyone who can use a ranged weapon.)

(Oops, I better add that at later levels the roles get more complex and parties need more to do well. Things like a refresher (RDM or BRD who can restore MP) and various kinds of mages. Since you're lower level, we can keep things simple.)

Second: Where do you want to go?
I could say "At level X go to Y, and at level Z go to..." but who will remember all that? There's an easy "cheat" to find out common places to go. The /search command.

If I'm level 22 and want to see where level 22 folks are XPing, I do a "/sea all 22". Names in yellow are party leaders, names in blue are party members. (Later, when you're higher level, you can do this to see if a zone is too full to go XPing in.)

Third: Making the party.
So you know what roles you need and about what levels you want. Now you need to look for people! The /search command is your friend. In this example, let's pretend that you're level 15.

To see who is searching within range of you, you can do:

/sea all 13-17 inv
(search) (everywhere) (level range) (inv = looking for a party, short for 'invite' I guess)

"But wait! You said the party should be within three levels of each other! Search for '13-17'? You suck at math!"

Why yes, I do suck at math, but not in this case. Your three levels could be 13-15 or 15-17, so for now just look at the whole range.

NOTE: This is where people differ.
For me, I will only try to start a party if I can get both a tank and a healer.
Some other people will start a party and grab only a tank or a healer and try to hold everyone until the missing role starts seeking. Personally I don't like wasting people's time and I HATE having this done to me. It's not uncommon though, so... :/

To invite people to your party, you know you never want to blind invite them. At the bare minimum:

/tell Name {Party}? (Make sure you use the autotranslator, it will let people know you have at least minimal clue even if they're NA players.)

I like to make my requests more than that. If I know I'm asking a NA person (a little "E" next to their names in search) I'll do:

/tell Name {Hello!} {Experience points} {party} {Do you need it?}

If I know I'm asking a JP player (only a "J" next to their names) I handle the request totally different:

/tell {Excuse me...} {Party} {(Location)} {Do you need it?} (list of jobs already in the party. Use the translator! JPs may know "MNK", "DRK", etc, but they may not. They shorten job names their own way. In Japanese, a Dark Knight is shortened to "Souleater", not "DRK" because "Souleater" is the first (um, letter, kana? little squiggly thingie) of "Dark Knight" for them.)

As you probably know, Japanese customs are pretty different than ours. A while back I read a guide about how best to phrase things like party invites and such, so I try to do it right to make them more likely to accept.

Oh, how about an added bonus?

A search comment is a great way to increase your chances of being invited into a good party. Higher level folks almost always use them, so if you use one at a lower level it will make you appear more clueful.

You'll want to include some basic information in your comment. The most important is your @ or your tnl ("to next level", the amount of XP until you level). That should go on the very first line. Another good thing to include is something like "JP/NA {party} ok!" -- at least if it is okay with you. (It's harder to be part of a JP party, but the translator makes it doable. And not always, but often the XP is better.) Including facts like you use food (if you do, which you should!) or that you're willing to go to X area is also helpful. But at the very least, put your @ in there.

By the way, @ is JP and "tnl" is NA, but at low levels NA (or JP I guess) folks are often confused and don't know they mean the same thing, so I put both. "@(whatever number) tnl".

I don't have the game in front of me, so this part might not be totally right. (You'd think after doing this for years I'd have it memorized...) To set it, I think it's main menu -> search -> set comment -> experience (?) -> seek a party? And from there you'll get a three line window you can type in.

Let me know if you have any questions or if anything's confusing!
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