Steps of Faith is the final trial in FFXIV, version 2.X. It came out in early 2015 and was obviously designed to be the Grand Finale for this part of the storyline. As such, it was hellishly hard, especially for those just wanting to finish the story so they could play the up coming expansion.
For the expansion – Heavensward – the Steps of Faith was nerfed. [Nerf=the weakening of a game element for some reason]. Nevertheless, the trial is still hard, and I will never, ever, EVER put up with this much pain for a game. I got through it, on the 3rd try, and I scored another commendation, but it was real skin-of-the-teeth stuff, and the stress was not at all pleasurable. The following are a few things Summoners won’t find in the guides, but they are critical:
a) Your pet is going to be next to useless – it dies with monotonous regularity,
b) You CANNOT use the cannons while your pet is out. The hotbar of the pet stops the hotbar of the cannons from displaying. You will not even see the cannon weapon skills much less use them. I don’t know if this is a glitch or what but it was extremely embarrassing to find out the hard way. Thanks, SE.
c) You will be doing very little damage as a Summoner
d) BUT – you can be vital to the group by manning the Dragonslayer harpoon up on the towers.
I cannot stress this enough. Use the mechanics. Brute force may work if it’s a very well geared group who all know what they’re doing, but Duty Finder will not give you that group. If you go through Duty Finder as I did, you will need the mechanics.
Our group of 8 comprised 3 n00bs, including me, and we wiped on our first attempt because yours truly couldn’t use the cannons [had my pet out] and the attack was generally disorganized.
We didn’t wipe on the second attempt, but we did fail. Vishap [the Boss] had something like 50% health left by the last barrier.
Why? Because no one was using the Dragonslayer harpoons, that’s why. Either everyone forgot about them, or thought they could just burn their way through by brute force. Wrong.
On the third attempt, I decided I was next to useless anyway so I might as well give the Dragonslayer harpoon a try. If I messed up we’d be no worse off. I didn’t bother with my pet, just cast all my debuffs on Vishap before running for the tower.
I don’t know whether I got the first harpoon off or not because one of the mini-bosses followed me up the tower and killed me just as I clicked the harpoon. I rezzed [came back to life] and ran back to the fight.
My timing was out with the second harpoon but I know I got the third one. It took a nice big chunk of life from Vishap and also made the difference between success and failure as we only took the Boss down at the very last possible moment. It was so close I thought we’d failed again. Without the harpoon damage, we would have failed for sure.
So let’s look at the mechanics. The graphic below shows the basic structure of the fight:
Apologies for the amateurish graphic but it gets the job done. As you can see, the trial is in 4 parts, each part separated by a glowing blue barrier [it represents a magic ward]. The first part contains:
- 2 pairs of cannon
- 1 tower with the Dragonslayer harpoon on top
The purpose of the cannon is to kill the adds so the group can dps the Boss without getting killed.
The purpose of the Dragonslayer harpoon is to take a big chunk of the Boss’ life. The harpoon looks like this:
The harpoon gun is to your right as you go up the stairs of the tower. Do NOT interact with it until the Boss is more or less over the big orange circle on the ground. The harpoon has no hotbar button. As soon as you click on it, the gun will fire. It hits just the one spot and cannot be aimed
In the remaining sections, you must not fire the harpoon gun until the Boss is in position AND the players on the cannons have triggered the snares.
The snares, [shown below] look a bit like orange crystals, or lamps. The cue to trigger the snares is when the Boss uses his big, rectangular AOE. Once triggered, the snares throw chains over the Boss so the harpoon can hit it. Without the chains, the Boss will dodge the harpoon.
Once the Boss destroys the last pair of cannons in a section, everyone, including healers, should be dpsing the Boss with everything they have. You won’t stop him destroying the barrier, but you can reduce his life quite a bit.
[Note: if you die, don’t wait to be rezzed. Go back to the beginning and use the shortcut portal to get back into the fight]
The final mechanic is the pile of explosive barrels. They are there as a last ditch boost to your group’s damage. But there is also one last harpoon gun available. You can see one of the snares circled in yellow in the screenshot below.
The players on the cannons have to stop the adds from destroying the barrels. Then, when the Boss gets there, they hit the remaining barrels with weapon skill 1 on the cannon hotbar.
I haven’t mentioned any of the mini-bosses that spawn because lots of guides talk about those, and you can find a good one here:
You can also find MrHappy’s walkthrough video guide here:
[Note: all screenshots are taken from MrHappy’s video guide]
Well, that’s it. The last game how-to. Now I can give Square Enix some more money to buy and play the expansion. It better be worth it because I haven’t had any fun doing this.