The ideal would be for a few quests in the Lv30 to Lv49 range to teach Dungeon Party (DP) tactics and strategy. This primer is written as a substitute for that missing in-game teaching. The target audience is Lv49 and below, 1st Job type beginner players and especially those who don't have the benefit of DP play with a more experienced party member willing to train you "on the job" so to speak.

See also


Dungeons are confined spaces so can be crowded with mobs as well as players. The corridors have many sharp turns to negotiate. The mobs are stronger and they roam the corridors. More dungeon mobs use magic attack than you will have experienced from mobs in the field. Those are the hazards!

The rewards are also plentiful. You can gain EXP and JP very quickly. Mobs in a dungeon drop more valuable items than mobs in the field. You definitely get a great adrenaline rush!

A successful DP:

  • forms quickly
  • has a difference of no greater than 15 between highest and lowest level members
  • has 1 Tank
  • 1 (or 2) Healers
  • at least 4 Damage Dealers (DD)

That's a total of 6 (or 7) members. The 8th can be an extra DD or a tank-capable DD but don't wait for a 7th and 8th member if you have the right make up from just the first 6 members. Kahunas also have useful buffs but they are not as essential at lower levels as they are as players advance to R3 DPs. There's a compromise between safety in numbers and sharing the EXP, JP and loot!

The sections that follow are a guide for parties composed of 1st Job types (ie. Lv49 and lower). As you reach the mid Lv40's you'll be disregarding many of the cautions in this guide. That is to be expected.

Roles & ResponsibilitiesEdit

The five key roles are explained in the next few sections. Color coding has been used in an effort to make a lengthy guide easier for each party member to read, focusing on just their one role.

  • Tank: Best are Holy Warriors and some high level Pets (if managed by a skilled summoner class). Many other warrior class character builds are also suitable for tanking.
  • Damage Dealer (DD): Any class can be a DD. Warrior classes and summoner's pets tend to be better than mage classes.
    • Puller: Any DD.
    • Chipper: Any DD.
  • Healer: Cleric is best and a Kahuna is able to cover as a secondary healer or whenever the Cleric goes AFK.

The job types recommended for each role above are a guide for beginners. At the forums you will read passionate debate about which Job type best suits which role. This primer focuses on roles and not on job types.

  • Any character (or pet) with high enough P.Def relative to the target mob's attack can be the Tank
    • More important is a tank's ability to steal aggro away from the Puller, Chipper and DDs.
  • Any character (or pet) with high enough P.Atk relative to the target mob's defense can be a DD (Damage Dealer)
  • Any character with high enough healing skills relative to the healing needs of party members can be a Healer
  • Any DD able to monitor party chat and scan the room to choose the next mob to attack can serve as the Puller
  • Any DD able to select the one (or two) mob(s) moving towards the party, quickly assess which one has partial damage already and then press a hot key ... can serve as the Chipper

After reading the following descriptions of party member roles apply your first hand knowledge of your character's skills to decide which role you think your character can best serve. When studying your skill tree try to memorize which skills fall into these categories:

Cycle of EventsEdit

The cycle of events in a typical dungeon party is described using a time line style chronological order. Some variations on this sequence will work fine. This guide is written as a dungeon party primer for beginner players Lv49 and below. As you gain DP experience you'll be taking whatever shortcuts your party can handle and your rate of killing mobs should increase.

  • The (one and only one) Puller selects the next mob for the party to slay.
  • The Puller uses a weak attack skill to attract mob#1 to the party. One arrow shot from a weak bow is an effective pull because it's weakness does not attract aggro from nearby mobs.
    • A good Puller knows (or asks!) which mobs are:
      • passive (e.g. the Worm Piranha is a passive mob)
      • aggressive (e.g. the Nimble Piranha is aggressive)
      • supportive (e.g. the Nimble Piranha will react to support/assist a nearby mob)
    • Always pull the supportive mobs in a room before pulling the aggressive mobs and finally the passive mobs.

Lowest level mob to highest level mob is easier to remember but often the supportive mobs are a higher level than a passive mob so you end up pulling more than one mob if you don't follow the order suggested above. It would be a great service to newcomer pullers if a few experienced dungeon goers would create a list of passive/aggressive/reactive mobs in each of the dungeons!

  • Just as mob#1 comes within strike distance of the (one and only one) Tank the Chipper chips the mob.
    • The Chipper (and only the Chipper) is responsible for keeping the mob chipped until it is near death.
      • Adjust your timing so as to overlap your chipping by just a couple of seconds so as to not waste chips. Never let the mob go un-chipped, it will frustrate the heck out of your Tank and DDs if you do.
      • Often the last volley of attacks from your party will finish off mob#1 whether it is chipped or not. So use good judgment. This is especially true if DDs are saving their most powerful attack skills for late in the battle.

  • The Tank must be the first to strike mob#1 after the Puller's initial "invitation". This is vital so that the mob's aggro (aggression) is redirected away from the Puller (or Healer!) and toward the Tank and only the Tank!
    • If you are a DD then please hold off your attack until you see the Tank has taken aggro.
    • If you are a Healer then please hold off on your healing until you see the Tank has taken aggro. Your healing skills are seen as a threat by mob#1 and you do not want to accidentally steal aggro away from the Tank.
  • The Tank must keep mob#1 aggro until mob#1 dies.
    • If you (or your pet!) are the designated Tank then search your Skill Tree for active skills that increase your threat level: Provocation(HW,F); Shield Smash(HW); Creature Intimidate(Sorc) Use these if another member steals aggro away from you.
    • If you are not the designated Tank then adjust the level of your skills so that they do not steal aggro away from the Tank. Plain F1 style strikes from 3 or 4 DD's plus one Tank (and their pets) are usually sufficient to quickly defeat a properly chipped mob.
      • Healers: this means you too!
    • Do not run around when you have accidentally stolen aggro. Announce "add" in party chat and if you must move somewhere then simply move to where the Tank is fighting. Rely on the Tank using one of their provocation skills to steal aggro back. They cannot do this if you are running around the room!
    • It cannot be stressed enough that if you find the mob attacking you instead of the Tank then before you complain to the Tank for not doing their job, look at the level setting for each skill that you are using against the mob. Learn how to reduce a skill's level and thereby lower your character's threat level.
  • Tank, do not change your location to attack incoming mobs. If the Puller is not luring the mobs to your location then use Party Chat to remind the Puller to pull mobs to me, damn it!

  • The several Damage Dealers attack the mob in a barrage of strikes until it dies. Avoid using your most powerful attack skills too early on because you might accidentally steal aggro away from the Tank. By all means do use your most powerful attacks at their most powerful level but save them until you estimate the mob is about to die with the next volley of strikes from your party.
  • Damage Dealers must watch for Add (additional mob getting aggro at your party) and strike so as to steal aggro away from the Healer. It will usually be the healing spells that attract Add. So steal aggro from the Healer and draw the mob close to the other DDs and the Tank.

  • Party members should prioritize attacks as follows:

  • The Puller (who is usually a damage dealer and is preferably using a weak ranged strike weapon) is responsible for monitoring the health of mob#1. Some time before mob#1 dies the Puller selects the next mob for the party to slay and once again uses a weak strike to attract mob#2 to the party.
    • It is safer to be too late than to be too early but don't have your party standing idle for too long in between mobs.
    • Pullers: monitor the Party Chat window. If a party member cries out for a break then it is your responsibility to cause that break to happen before the next mob. This party chat could be:
      • a Healer needing time to recover MP
      • a Tank needing to go AFK
      • any member needing special attention from another member
  • Pullers, if you deliver the most damage with a bow or crossbow then by all means maximize the P.Atk of that weapon however purchase a weak bow or cross bow and assign both to adjacent hot keys so that you can pull with a weak bow and then switch quickly to your strong bow to deliver damage.
    • For this reason it is not wise to put Vit or Int soul stones on weapons that you may need to quickly swap in party play. You lose the MaxHP or MaxMP advantage as you switch weapons!

  • Should a Puller pull using a chip? If it works for you and your party then just do it! Just remember that chips are much more expensive later in the game. So while wasting a few seconds of chip debuff effect seems a small price to pay while Rank 2 chips are so easy to acquire (by trading lak); you are developing a habit that will seem wasteful and expensive when you are paying hard earned rupee for Rank 4 chips later on in the game.

  • Healers(it is perfectly OK for there to be two healers in a party!) pay attention now:
    • Your healing work starts from the moment the Tank takes aggro and your work stops the moment that the next pulled mob (Mob#2) comes within strike range of you.
    • If you are standing in close with the Tank and the DDs then you can keep casting healing spells right up until the moment when mob#2 is able to strike at you. Just realize that by this time your healing spells have probably stolen aggro from the Puller so don't complain or panic if you get the first strike from the mob.
      • If mob#1 has ranged attack (e.g. a red pixie) then a Healer should stop casting spells earlier because you might accidentally steal aggro from the Puller. You need to let the mobile Puller lure the ranged mob to your Tank so that Tank can steal aggro without changing location
    • Most Healers stand slightly apart from the party core. When you do this you need to be aware of mobs nearby that might be closer to you than to your party. Those mobs could react to the threat of your healing. It pays to have a ranged DD keep one eye on the Healer to steal mob aggro away from the Healer.
  • Healers should focus on keeping the Tank healed but not at completely full health. Healers should keep in mind the healing skills available to the Tank and assume that the tank is using their own healing self-buffs. It's a waste of healer's MP to heal a party member beyond a full bar of HP if that member has a self-healing active skill. This is especially true when you can see that the member's MP bar is well charged.
    • If their are two Healers in party then it is best that Primary Healer focus on the Tank and the secondary healer. While the Secondary Healer focuses on the DDs and the primary healer.
    • No member of your party is expendable however the priorities for healing are:
      • Primary Healer
      • Tank
      • Chipper
      • Secondary Healer
      • DDs (one of these is the Puller but the Puller has no special priority)
  • Healers do not attack the mob. If you've got no healing to do then sit down. Your MP recovery is double the rate when you are sitting.[1] No kidding - test it if you don't believe it!
    • OK, it becomes boring to be just a spectator and you've got this kick-butt mace so ... just let your party know what you are doing and be prepared for some chastisement if you let your healing duty falter.
  • The Primary Healer needs to talk to the Puller and give them feedback as to how much faster or slower they should be pulling the next mob.

  • DD's and the Tank use any break between mobs to:
    • self heal if necessary
    • recover MP
    • loot mob drops - but only do this every few minutes since the party's ownership of drops is preserved for about that long.
      • Now is when you appreciate the Puller and the Tank cooperating to keep the party over the one spot.
      • If you aren't getting a long enough break then use Party Chat to ask the puller to, "pull more slowly"

  • Pullers - a note regarding mobs having ranged attack. You don't want your party to move to attack a mob. So if the mob that you have just pulled has ranged attack then you should walk away from your party in a direction that draws the mob into the party before it stops to strike at you. That way the Tank can seamlessly transition from it's last blow to mob#1 and make it's first strike at mob#2.
    • One character (you the Puller) moves so that he rest of the party does not have to move. I hope this makes sense because it really sets a great puller apart from the good pullers.

  • Chippers - even with a ranged attack mob you stay put. Don't chip until the mob is a fraction of a second away from the Tank.

  • Pullers, if you notice that a second (or third!) mob has also moved toward you in response to your "invitation" then don't panic! Type something like pulled 2 in Party chat to communicate this important fact to the party. This puts your Chipper on alert to identify the weaker of two incoming mobs (mob#1a and mob#1b) and chip the lowest level mob first.
    • Chipper chip mob#1a a little earlier than you normally would so the Tank has time to spam Tab and locate which of two incoming mobs has the debuff icon from your chip casting.
      • Chipper, as mob#1a nears its final breath, select mob#1b and chip it. If you chip it too soon then you only waste some time on the debuff countdown timer.
  • Damage Dealers, your job should be easy when only one mob is pulled at a time. When two mobs are pulled, don't panic. Your Tank knows how to use certain active skills that raise the threat level and so take aggro from two or even three mobs at once. Of course the Healer sill has to cast heal spells to keep the Tank healthy so the Healer may attract aggro from one of the Adds. A Damage Dealer's job is to focus on the chipped mob and deliver damage while watching out for the Healer.
    • If your party has a second, tank-capable DD then that member might sometimes shift focus to an Add. If you do this then please resist the temptation to chip the Add yourself. Instead wait for the Chipper to decide when it is time for the entire party to shift focus to the Add that you are striking. Always be wary of the situation where multiple Adds respond to a high level of threat generated by your party and each mob has just one DD attacking it.

Never allow multiple mobs to divide and conquer your party!

Disaster recoveryEdit

In case you missed it earlier, the #1 reason that parties fail is because mistakes or panic allows multiple mobs to divide and conquer the attacks from party members. Once you have allowed this to happen your beginner's party is on a slippery slope to disaster. It is not impossible to recover from this but it does take some discipline:

  • All party members except the Tank should refrain from using skills that raise their threat level. (i.e. stick to plain F1 style strikes for a while.)
  • A good Tank will use their special threat raising skill(s) to draw aggro away from all other party members.

  • A good Puller will recognize this situation and stop pulling mobs.

  • A good Chipper will use Party Chat to point out that two mobs have been chipped and remind the party to focus their attacks on the weaker of the two chipped mobs.

  • A good DD will focus on the chipped mob or the one the Chipper tells them to focus on if there are two chipped mobs.

  • A good Healer will focus on keeping the Tank alive and the DD's buffed.

The stronger and more experienced your party members are the easier you can handle multiple mobs. Around the mid Lv40's your party may be routinely slaughtering two or three dungeon mobs at once. The above is a guide primarily aimed at beginner parties who haven't had the benefit of an experienced player training them on the job.

Protocol for Stun AttacksEdit

It was mentioned earlier so here is a suggested protocol for delivering stun attacks to the chipped mob.

Stun attacks are those which decrease a target's AtkSpd, CastSpd, Evasion, M.Res. They apply a debuff to the mob which leaves the mob either immobile or drastically slowed. The debuff effect expires after a period of time.

Attacks that deliver either one-time damage or DOT (Damage Over Time) and attacks that lower a mobs defense ability or strike ability can be stacked and the effects are additive. Unlike these stackable strikes it does not make good sense to simultaneously deliver stun attacks from multiple party members because stacking stun effects is wasteful - the stun effect countdown timers run in parallel not in series. Said differently:

Immobilizing an already immobilized mob is just a waste of MP.

The ideal delivery is when each new stun attack is delivered a split second before the stun effect from the prior attack expires. This chained delivery is a more efficient use of the party's collective MP than a stacked delivery.

Discuss your available stun strikes and their cool time with your party before you start out. The best protocol is when each member knows when it is their turn to deliver a stun attack.

Agree ahead of time as to the sequence these should be delivered. There is no time in the heat of battle to be typing "I'm out" or "skip me" etc. and even if you did so, there is a very good chance that it will be read by the wrong person at the wrong time and chaos will ensue.

Now memorize the debuff icons of the prior two or three party member's stun attacks. Watch for these appearing under the mob's health gauge. This way each member can take turns to deliver their stun attack just a split second before the prior stun effect expires.

It is crucial to this protocol that you are paying attention and don't miss your queue.

If one second passes after a stun effect expires then you must assume that the next member in sequence has delivered their stun attack but that it failed to stun the mob. So if you are next in the sequence then you must immediately deliver yours - don't hesitate!

Remember that many stun attacks have just a probability of stunning the target and not a certainty.

If one second passes and you are not able to deliver your stun strike (maybe you are still waiting for a cool-down timer) then just keep delivering damage. You are depending on the next member in the sequence to follow protocol and deliver their stun attack within a split second.

This protocol requires a little trial and error but it does not require communication in the heat of battle. All the discussion of sequence is agreed to before your party gets started.


  1. Re: Stats and their effects. AlizarinHQ. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.