Besieged is a form of defensive battle that takes place when enemy forces breach the gates of Al Zahbi. The Imperial army declares martial law, and the city is enveloped in conflict.
After martial law is declared, anyone in the area who can use a weapon is required to join the Imperial Army in combat and take charge of Al Zahbi's defense. However, repeated beastman attacks have nearly destroyed the city's fortifications, transforming the majority of these defensive battles into aggressive clashes on the streets themselves.
Al Zahbi's enemies are after one thing--the “Astral Candescence” located in the Hall of Binding. The fate of Aht Urhgan and the beastmen ride on this single item, which allegedly draws upon the infinite energy of the Astral Plane.
Five “Serpent Generals” hold the keys to the Hall of Binding. They must be protected at all costs while driving the beastmen from the city. The safety of the townspeople and the future of Al Zahbi rest in the hands of the adventurers!
Stages of Besieged
/bmap displays the state of the enemy armies. Each of them has a strength level, "Enemy Forces".
- When this number is below 100, the enemy is "Training".
- During Training the force level rises slowly.
- The speed of Training depends on the number of Archaic Mirrors they have when their invasion window opens.
- Server maintenance will reset Besieged timers, causing the level to rise shortly after maintenance ends.
- The beastmen army will invade approximately 16-36 hours after their last invasion, and as early as 30 minutes after the Astral Candescence has been recovered from beastmen.
- The force level can be lowered by defeating monsters in the appropriate stronghold. However, once it is reduced to a certain point, the rate of the increase of that force will accelerate.
- Defeating a Notorious Monster inside that base will automatically reduce their force by 1.
- Their force level is increased by 1 when a player inside that stronghold is KO'ed.
- During Training the force level rises slowly.
- When the number is 100 or above, the enemy is "Preparing".
- Once the army starts Preparing, their force level cannot be lowered, and rises at a rate of 1 point per 1 to 3 minutes.
- Preparing ends when the military force reaches 100 + 10 * the target level, 100 (if it is the first attack for that beastman army), or 190/200 for level 8 (the beastmen forces work themselves from 1 to 8, and staying at level 8 until a beastmen army has captured the Astral Candescence). Note that there is both a level 1 for a military force of 100 and 110 and a level 8 for the forces of 180, 190, and 200. NM strength increases for each military force even if the level is the same. Illuyankas, Gere, and the Nemean Lion can only be summoned if the military force is 200.
- The target level is based on the number of consecutive successful defenses.
- The Preparing stage typically lasts between 5 minutes to 150 minutes.
- When the beastmen have completed preparations, the army leaves its stronghold and starts "Advancing". At this point, players in Aht Urhgan will receive a log message ordering them to intercept the approaching army. The amount of time before the beastmen reach Al Zahbi varies:
- The Mamool Ja Savages take about 31+ minutes to arrive and go through east Wajaom Woodlands starting from Mamook (E-12 or E/F-13).
- The Troll Mercenaries take about 24+ minutes to arrive and go through the Wajaom Woodlands starting from Halvung.
- The Undead Swarm takes about 15+ minutes to arrive and go through the Bhaflau Thickets starting from the Alzadaal Undersea Ruins. (Note: There are two advancing armies for the undead swarm that start at slightly different points and noticebly split at H-7; presumably, the western army is from Dvucca Isle and the eastern army is from Azouph.)
- Advancing armies do not auto-attack players in their path unless they have been attacked.
- Advancing armies will move at an increased speed if the first wave manages to reach Al Zahbi.
- Note that the time it takes for each army to arrive also varies for each level. This is because there are different amounts and types of monsters for each army. For example, Poroggo Charmers and War Wamouracampa greatly slow down their respective armies whenever they appear.
- If the army should reach Al Zahbi, they start "Attacking", and players in Aht Urhgan will receive another message "Defend Al Zahbi".
- If the army is successfully intercepted prior to reaching Al Zahbi, credit will be given for a successful defense.
- If the enemy forces should gain control of the Astral Candescence, the enemy status changes to "Defending."
- Also of note, the orders (on /bmap) are changed to "Regain the orb".
- Once Al Zahbi regains the Astral Candescence, that enemy level returns to 0.
- Also of note, the orders (on /bmap) are changed to "Regain the orb".
- Beastmen forces will automatically retreat after one Earth hour if not defeated by the Empire or have captured the Astral Candescence.
Though Besieged is a group effort, it is often too chaotic to organize any true strategy, so most people attempt to help out, while maxing out their EXP/IS bonus. Some basic strategies are:
- Stay near one of Al Zahbi's Serpent Generals. If you are a damage dealer, /assist them and attack their target. If you are a healer help buff them, and keep them alive with cures when they get in trouble.
- Attack the Notorious Monsters. The beastmen will tend to retreat once all their notorious monsters are defeated.
- For melees, fight and stun as needed. Accuracy gear/food is highly recommended, as many players have trouble hitting Besieged mobs reliably, even at 75 with merits.
- For mages Cure and buff NPCs (especially the Serpent Generals) and anyone else around. Stun and Flash can be helpful. Dia II and Dia III also helps, as it does damage to the mob and lowers its defense for the melee that are attacking it (though, given the chaotic nature of Besieged, it will most likely be overwritten by Bio in a matter of seconds.) Status bolt effects rarely stick.
- Unless your PC can handle heavy amounts of lag, stay away from the initial waves, particularly in the Bastion, as these tend to have lag issues.
- Pet jobs should be careful with their pets around besieged mobs, especially those that are not engaged. Puppetmasters should take heed to this, as automatons in particular are prioritized by these roaming mobs. This can be used to draw away mobs from generals to areas currently relatively free of mobs, but more often this kind of attention is unwanted. (Automatons and wyverns will be killed in seconds after summoning within aggro range of an unclaimed mob)
- The leading NM of each army has something special in order to defeat them. Gurfurlur the Menacing cannot have any magic cast on him as it heals him. Medusa, in order to do any damage to her, you need to defeat Lamia No. 1-4 first.
Mercenaries are not alone in Besieged. Imperial soldiers and other reinforcements also lend their skills to drive out the beastman hordes. In addition, there are five Serpent Generals who have been personally charged by the Empress with the defense of Al Zahbi. They are each allowed a name that corresponds with the symbols of the Empire. The Imperial symbols consist of five serpents, each associated with an element--fire, water, earth, wind, and the heavens. Each general possesses a mirror used to open the Hall of Binding, so their protection in battle is crucial.
- A good strategy for Besieged is to find one of the Generals and stick with them. If you are a damage dealer, /assist them and attack their target. If you are a healer, buff them with Protect/Shell/Haste and help keep them alive if they get in trouble. Be sure to check before Besieged starts that the General you want to help hasn't already been captured.
For more information, see Besieged Allies.
Enemies in Besieged
There are three invading forces in Besieged.
In contrast to their name, the Mamool Ja Savages are actually a highly disciplined military force. A specific military role is automatically assigned to every Mamool Ja citizen based on social classification, and their discipline is a direct result of the intensive training they receive in order to carry out their duties.
The army is comprised of units that specialize in one particular field of battle. Supposedly, to prevent infighting amongst the different classes, the soldiers are given no opportunities to learn skills outside of their specialization. However, this also means that troops trained to undertake a certain task cannot be easily replaced should they fall--a fatal chink in the Mamool Ja's armor.
Emerging from the recesses of Mount Zhayolm and Halvung, the Troll Army is a decently organized fighting force. The Trolls' ancestors served as a mercenary unit in the Imperial Army, and were afterwards hired by the Moblins. The reasons for their move to Mount Zhayolm are debatable, but they were able to maintain autonomy over their mercenary lands (also known as Halvung Territory) by paying tribute to the Empire until the conflict for the Astral Candescence began. With the motivating force of recovering autonomy over their mercenary lands, the Troll Mercenaries are a highly determined fighting force. Their might and hostility towards Aht Urhgan make the Trolls the Imperial capital's greatest threat.
The undead swarm is very simply organized, consisting only of manipulators and the manipulated. The Lamiae and Merrows themselves created the undead, but have no misgivings about expending them in order to survive or accomplish a goal.
The undead can only follow the simplest instructions, and thus present very little threat when alone. In battle, however, the undead are so numerous that losses are of no concern, and storm tactics tend to prevail over sophisticated strategies.
For more information, see Enemies in Besieged.
In every Besieged, you receive a number of temporary items used to assist you in the fight (up to 35). However, if certain NPCs are taken prisoner, you will not obtain a specific item. You can receive up to 35 items total. Here are the items, the function of each item, and the relative NPCs:
NPC Item Description Allard Max-Potion +3 Restores 700 HP (leaves you Medicated for 15 minutes) Allard Dusty Potion Recovers 300 HP Chayaya Remedy Removes paralysis, silence, blindness, poison, and disease effects Chayaya Vicar's Drink Instantly cures most status ailments Chayaya Shepherd's Drink Instantly restores 50% of a pet's HP Chayaya Gnostic's Drink Temporarily grants the effect of Pax (Lowers generation of Enmity) Chochoroon (Appraiser) Scroll of Instant Reraise Gives "Reraise" effect Chochoroon Champion's Drink Temporarily grants the effect of Potency (Critical hit rate is increased) Dabigo (Delivery Manager) Lethe Water +1 Erases all buffs that can be removed with Dispel/Magic Finale from a single mob Dabigo Fighter's Drink Temporarily increases accuracy Dahaaba (Chocobo NPC) Hermes Quencher Gives "Flee" effect, 30 second duration (leaves you Medicated for 15 minutes) Dahaaba Sprinter's Drink Temporarily Boosts Movement speed for 1 minute Dahaaba Spy's Drink Temporarily gives the user the effect of Haste Djinabaha (AH Manager) Hi-Elixir Restores 50% of your max HP and MP Djinabaha Dusty Elixir Effects Flameserpent General Gadalar Spiritual Incense Provides approximately 20 seconds of invulnerability to magic Flameserpent General Gadalar Fool's Drink Temporarily nullifies all magical damage Flameserpent General Gadalar Oracle's Drink Temporarily increases magic attack power Galeserpent General Najelith Revitalizer Instantly restores all Job Abilities, including two-hours Galeserpent General Najelith Soldier's Drink Temporarily increases all damage dealt to a target Kahah Hobichai Daedalus Wing Gives 100% TP Kahah Hobichai Dusty Wing Gives 300% TP Shihu-Danhu ("Warp Taru") Wizard's Drink Doubles Maximum MP, 15 minute duration Shihu-Danhu Assassin's Drink Temporarily increases magic accuracy Skyserpent General Rughadjeen Carnal Incense Provides approximately 20 seconds of invulnerability to physical attacks Skyserpent General Rughadjeen Fanatic's Drink Temporarily nullifies all physical damage Skyserpent General Rughadjeen Braver's Drink Temporarily increases all attributes by 15 points Stoneserpent General Zazarg Giant's Drink Doubles Maximum HP, 15 minute duration Stoneserpent General Zazarg Barbarian's Drink Temporarily increases attack power by 50% Suldiran Demoralizer +1 Heavily reduces a single mob's TP Suldiran Monarch's Drink Temporarily grants the effect of Regain (Regains 3 TP per tick for 3 minutes) Waterserpent General Mihli Aliapoh Megalixir Fully restores HP and MP Waterserpent General Mihli Aliapoh Cleric's Drink Temporarily cures most status aiments of all nearby companions Zafif Pro-Ether +3 Restores 350 MP (leaves you Medicated for 15 minutes) Zafif Dusty Ether Recovers 150 MP. Zafif Mana Powder Airborn powder that restores the MP of anyone within a certain radius
Every successful Besieged is awarded with experience points and Imperial Standing points (the Imperial Standing is the same as the experience gained).
Note: EXP/IS listed in the chart is the maximum reward without defeating any NM that rewards EXP and IS. (See below.)
Besieged Level Max Experience Points Max Imperial Standing Points Beastmen Level 1 300 EXP 300 IS Beastmen Level 2 400 EXP 400 IS Beastmen Level 3 500 EXP 500 IS Beastmen Level 4 600 EXP 600 IS Beastmen Level 5 700 EXP 700 IS Beastmen Level 6 1000 EXP 1000 IS Beastmen Level 7 1200 EXP 1200 IS Beastmen Level 8 2400 EXP 2400 IS
Unlike before, the limits are no longer static, but varies depending on how many NMs are defeated. The formula has been confirmed to be +80 XP if you defeat the mega boss and +200 EXP if you defeat the beastmen leader. NOTE: If the beastmen leader does not show up (defeated inside their respective Beastmen stronghold), you will be unable to get the +200 EXP gained from defeating them.
If the Astral Candescence is taken:
- Experience and Imperial Standing reward is cut in half.
- Runic Portal passes will not be given out. Passes purchased prior to the loss of the Astral Candescence may still be used.
- The city music stops playing in Al Zahbi only, as long as the AC is gone. The music stopping only applies when you exit the area and come back. If you stay in the area after the Besieged battle is over, the music is normal.
- Sanction's Imperial Standing bonus effects become unavailable and no EXP bonus is applied. However, players who applied Sanction bonuses (Refresh, Regen, and increased meal duration) prior to the loss will still experience the benefits.
- Beastmen within the stronghold of the forces that took the AC become stronger, and yield bonus Imperial Standing when defeated with the Sanction buff applied.
- The other forces numbers will drop.
- If another force is advancing they will retreat after the AC is taken.
There is little specific information yet on how the experience reward is calculated. Most players who melee get maximum experience points. Engaging an enemy by itself will not earn you any experience; but it does not seem to matter whether you're actually hitting the enemy or not. Healers need to do a lot of healing/raising to get maximum XP, but they don't need to do any damage themselves.
- Casting Shell 1 on an NPC seems to be worth 2 experience points. A Phantom Roll is worth 20 points. Casting Reraise is worth 24 points.
- The use of temporary items grants a moderate amount of experience points.
- The use of many job abilities grants a small amount of experience points.
- The use of a job's 2-hour ability seems to grant a larger amount of experience.
Although the precise amount of all the above experience rewards is unknown, a level 22 NIN/WAR in a level 2 Besieged received 400 points (the maximum reward) for using all temporary items and performing 2 Mijin Gakure for less than 100 damage each. Several late-arriving players have reported experience gains of several hundred points solely from preperatory buffs and the use of a few temporary items.
During Besieged, prisoners will occasionally be taken captive, and it is up to the adventurers to go and liberate them. Prisoners can be taken even if the beastmen are not victorious in capturing the Astral Candescence. The list of NPCs that can be captured is above, along with the temporary items corresponding to each NPC. Until they are rescued, their services (and possibly that of other NPCs) are unavailable. Although a beastmen base can hold up to 24 prisoners, beastmen may not capture more than 8 NPCs per besieged. If a Serpent General is defeated in Besieged, there is a 50% chance that general will be taken prisoner.
To liberate a captive, proceed to appropriate beastmen strongholds (Mamook, Halvung or Arrapago Reef) and locate the prison cells or hatches. Open the cell/hatch by picking the lock (by having Thief use Thief's Tools) or using the appropriate key (Mamook Blackscale Key, Halvung Brass Key or Lamian Bone Key respectively).
- After a Besieged, captive Serpent Generals should be the top priority in being liberated as Beastmen forces are more likely to win the next besieged if they only have to defeat 2 or 3 Serpent Generals to break the seal.
- Many players are reluctant to risk EXP going into the strongholds to rescue the NPCs.
After you liberate an NPC, speak to them when you arrive back in town. The NPC will reward you with 100 Imperial Standing points (500 if the NPC is a Serpent General) and a ??? Item. NPCs seem to give ??? Boxes more often than other ??? Items.
Recovering the Astral Candescence
If the beastmen are successful during the besieged event they will capture the Astral Candescence. Adventurers will have to attack the beastmen to recover it and regain its benefits. To recover the Astral Candescence, head to the region that has possession of the Astral Candescence. Note that runic portals will be unavailable.
Two temporary key items will be required to enter the BCNM. Only 6 members are allowed to enter the BCNM fight at a time and all 6 members must possess both key items. The fight is uncapped with a 30 minute time limit.
The beastmen will not recover HP or respawn should the party wipe. Recovery will require multiple parties to enter the BCNM and gradually defeat the beastmen.
- For more information on recovery see: Astral Candescence.
When Besieged starts, a cutscene will play that varies depending on which Serpent Generals are in Al Zahbi, which beastman army is attacking, and whether or not a beastmen leader is present:
Rughadjeen : Fellow combatants!
Rughadjeen : The future of the Empire rests on your shoulders!
Rughadjeen : May we be victorious and bring glory to the Empress this day!
Zazarg : Gahahaha!
Zazarg : So our enemies think they've already won, do they?
Zazarg : I'll teach them a lesson!
Mihli Aliapoh : This is all you've got?
Mihli Aliapoh : Defenders of the Empire
Mihli Aliapoh : Shrrred our foes into meat jerky!
Gadalar : Will the Empire thrive, or fall into ruin?
Gadalar : Well? Fight and see!
Gadalar : War and perish, minions!
Feed all of your fury and desperation into the fray!
Najelith : Everyone, lend me your courage.
Najelith : If only we put our trust in each other...
Najelith : We can triumph over this threat!
With the Immortals (No Serpent Generals):
Mutarid : The Serpent Generals have been captured, and the fate of the Empire is now in your hands!
If we shall perish, we perish together!
For the Empress!
With Gulool Ja Ja:
Gulool Ja Ja (Fighter Head) : Grrrrrr!
Surrender to us, you shall!
Gulool Ja Ja (Mage Head) : Gahahahaha...
It matters not, where you run.
A safe place, there is not...
With Gurfurlur the Menacing:
Gurfurlur : (Who dares fight me?)
Megomak : Gurfurlor asks, "Is there no one strong enough to fight me?"
Megomak : Gurfurlor is mighty!
Megomak : If you can defeat him, maybe I'll use his salary to employ you instead!
Gurfurlur : Raaaaaawr...!
Medusa : Well, well...
Medusa : Look at all these adorable two-legs...
Medusa : Come, dance with me mortals!
Rughadjeen : Excellent work, fellow combatants!
Rughadjeen : Bask in the victory of the Imperial Army!
Rughadjeen : Let us raise a triumphant cheer for Her Magnificence the Empress!
Zazarg : Gahahaha!
Zazarg : It's time to rejoice!
Zazarg : The beastmen got a taste of our army ran off with their tails between their legs! Rich!
Mihli Aliapoh : Phew...We...we finally won...
Mihli Aliapoh : My brrrave defenders...
Mihli Aliapoh : You have earned your rrrest...
Gadalar : Damn, they retreated...
Gadalar : Well, what are you waiting for? After them!
Gadalar : And don't stop until the beastmen have no safe place to turn to!
Najelith : Everyone, rejoice!
Najelith : We have defeated the beastmen!
Najelith : Let us celebrate our victory!
With the Immortals (No Serpent Generals):
Syaid : Our enemies have retreated behind the Balrah Line.
The Imperial Army is victorious! I am sure the Empress is most pleased.
Which Serpent General appears in the opening and closing events vary for each participating mercenary, but the general must be present in Al Zahbi in order to appear. Originally, there was a "dominance" of which general appeared, and whichever general that is the "dominant" in the order compared to other present generals was shown. The order was: Rughadjeen > Zazarg> Mihli > Gadalar > Najelith > Syaid. Also, the cutscenes for each of the Serpent Generals was shorter and there were no extra scenes for Gulool Ja Ja, Gurfurlur, or Medusa.