Tha MonkeyClan of the Angry Monkey (FFXI)
Ravenclaw's NM Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction to NM Hunting
Submitted by ravenclaw on Mon, 04/18/2005 - 21:25.

Before looking at strategies for specific NMs, let's talk about what general NM Hunting is all about.

What are NMs, and why do I want to hunt them?

NM stands for "Notorious Monster". A Notorious Monster is a rare monster which spawns only under certain circumstances in a given area. NMs will have a name that is different and unique with respect to the other enemies in an area. NMs will often look different from their non-NM counterparts, sometimes they will be much bigger, sometimes much smaller, sometimes with different armor, and sometimes with different coloring.

NMs typically drop special and rare items that cannot be obtained from other enemies. Sometimes these items can be sold, other times they will be Rare/EX and simply must be used or dropped. It is because of these special and rare items that most people hunt NMs.

Hunt versus Farm

When you farm enemies in this game, you typically chain multiple enemies from an area where they are common.

However, with NMs, because they are so uncommon, you wind up hunting them. This means that you camp them for a period of time, learn their behavior and what makes them spawn, and then use cunning and skill to obtain a kill. It is really more like real-world big game hunting.

Being a hunter now instead of a farmer, you will undoubtedly have competion. Other hunters will stalk your prey. The key is to be smarter and better than both your prey and your competition.

Accept Defeat Graciously, and Victory Humbly

No one likes a poor loser. And no one likes a gloating winner. When you lose your prey to another player, be gracious in your defeat. Perhaps even cheer them on. Then, the next time you claim a NM over them, perhaps they will treat you with similar respect.

It used to be that hunting NMs was a noble sport. You gained a certain comradre among your fellow hunters. While you knew they were your competition, there was little animosity.

Today it can be quite different. Many NMs are camped 24/7 by gil sellers and people tend to get rather rude (strangely enough, the normal players and not the gil sellers). Rise above it, and be the better person.

The key to claiming an NM: A discussion on jobs

Any job can be used to hunt NMs. For the highly camped NMs where competition is fierce, methods for claiming mobs quickly are most advisable. Your goal should be to claim the enemy as quickly as possible because, the longer you delay, the more likely it is someone else will come along and take your prey.

Because of this, you should not rely on spells or ranged attacks to claim the NM. Spells and ranged attacks may seem like a logical choice because they can claim a mob from fairly far away, but they have two huge drawbacks:

1) They are slow. Spells have timers, and ranged attacks have animation delays. Too much of a delay and someone with a faster attack will just claim your prey.

2) They can be interupted. When your heart is pounding and your blood racing as you run to claim your NM, it is far to easy to see the dreaded "You move and interupt your aim." Also, things like spells and ranged attacks can be delayed by nefarious competitors. They simply need to cast a spell on your to make your spell or range attack delay further. Sometimes gil sellers travel in pairs and have WHM companions that lurk around to do this very thing.

So what skills should you use? Let's take a look at the very best skills for quickly claiming a mob, and what jobs provide them.

  • Ability: Steal ---- Job: Thief ---- Level Obtained: 5

    Steal is an instant short distance way to claim an enemy. Because you are only using steal to engage the enemy, you are not actually expecting to succeed in stealing anything. Because you get Steal at THF 5, you can sub THF to get the ability as early as 10.

    • Instant claim
    • Ability obtainable at low level
    • May actually steal something
    • Short range
  • Ability: Provoke ---- Job: Warrior ---- Level Obtained: 5

    Provoke is a semi-instant short range way to claim an enemy. It is not instant like others here because there is a very small delay in animation. Practically speaking, however, provoke is close enough to instant that this delay shouldn't matter.

    • Semi-instant claim
    • Ability obtainable at low level
    • Short range
  • Ability: Chi Blast ---- Job: Monk ---- Level Obtained: 41

    Chi Blast is probably one of the best ways to claim an NM. It is instant, and has the longest range of any instant claiming methods. The big disadvantage to Chi Blast is that you have to have Monk past 41 to get it. This means you can't access it from a sub-job. Thus, you are rather limitted with what other abilities you get to stack on for hunting NMs.

    • Instant claim
    • Long distance
    • Will cause some damage
    • Monk must be 41+
    • Cannot be obtained from sub
    • Limits you to other subs for NM hunting
  • Ability: Charm ---- Job: Beastmaster ---- Level Obtained: 1

    Charm is an instant way to claim an enemy. Simply Charm the pet, if the charm fails you get aggro, if it doesn't take the pet someplace safe and release and attack. There is evidence that charm is the fastest way to claim a mob.

    • Instant claim
    • Medium distance
    • Beastmaster must be 35 for Release
    • Limits you to other subs for NM hunting

As you can see from this list, there really are four jobs that have ideal NM claiming abilities. THF and WAR are perhaps the easiest to obtain since the abilities come at very low levels, while BST and MNK are more difficult to obtain (one is an advanced job, but the abilities for both come at higher levels) but are actually better at claiming the mobs.

On Widescan

Depending on the NM you are hunting, widescan may or may not be vital. For certain enemies with a rather large spawn area (such as Valkurm Emperor) widescan is a godsend. For other enemies which are highly camped with smaller spawn areas (such as Mee Deegi) widescan is a detriment.

The two jobs in the game that provide you with the widescan ability are Ranger and Beastmaster. The Ranger widescan shows a considerably larger area than the Beastmaster one, but the Beastmaster has a better way to instantly claim a medium distance mob, so both have pros and cons when widescan is needed.

A note on Treasure Hunter

No one really knows for certain what role THF Treasure Hunter plays in NM drops (except for the developers, of course), however there is a lot of evidence that suggests Treasure Hunter does not affect NM drops.

That being said, because steal is such a great claiming tool, and because we can't really be sure whether Treasure Hunter helps or not, many people do advise at least subbing THF when you hunt NMs. The fact that THF also gets flee at 20 is a boon as well because it means you will be able to out-run non-THF competitors to the prey.

Any job will do

Honestly, just about any job combination will work for NM hunting. While certain jobs and combinations do tend to give you an advantage, it really is more about skill and cunning than any single ability.

That being said, I personally play as RNG/THF when I hunt NMs. The combination of widescan plus steal plus flee generally gives me the upper hand. I do know that Sam hunts as MNK/RNG or MNK/WAR (depending on if he needs widescan) and in those cases where he beats me to the mob (because flee isn't ready, or he simply spotted the NM first) his Chi Blast will always claim them before my steal can. I also know that there are several BST/THFs out there that tend to beat me with their Charm provided my flee isn't ready.

So, keep in mind that any jobs will work, but certain ones will make your life easier.

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