The end of the FFXIV relaunch story
The Praetorium is a level 50, 8-person instance. This is the story instance that sets up the final conflict for FFXIV launch content. Additionally, this instance rewards 100 Tomes of Philosophy upon completion, making it reasonably frequently travelled by higher-geared level 50’s. This instance is entered through the Duty Finder and becomes available after completing Castrum Meridianum and its followup story quests.
The Duty Finder will build a balanced team of 2-tanks, 2-healers, and 4-dps for this instance. However, the instance is very doable with imbalanced teams. We typically run the instance with one tank at least two healers and whomever else is available.
Fights in the Praetorium are movement intensive, but not horribly so. The instance can be completed in about 45-minutes with a reasonably new group of level 50’s. It can be speed run with times dropping as low as 20-minutes.
The primary source of player conflict in the Praetorium involves the cut-scenes. This zone is cut-scene intensive and includes a few situations where lengthy cut-scenes happen in-between (and even during) battles. Because of this, it is highly advised that players simply skip the cutscenes. Remember, you can always watch them anew in your Inn room!
Mark II Magitek Colossus
The first mini-boss of the Praetorium is a very straight forwards fight. The tank should pickup the Colossus and position him facing away from the party. The Colossus has a cleave attack and will also periodically knock back the tank.
Throughout the fight, the Colossus will periodically turn and perform a targeted ground effect on other party members. Avoid these attacks and you will soon have the Colossus dispatched.
Nero Tol Scaeva
Nero Tol Scaeva is the second boss in the Praetorium and begins what we refer to as “the Never-Ending Boss fight.” Once you start the fight with Nero, you simply move from boss to boss for the remainder of the instance.
Nero has a frontal cone attack and a knockback. Additionally, early in the fight, Nero activates an electric field in the outer ring of the fight. Landing in this field causes minor electric damage and a snare – not enough to be deadly, but enough that you don’t want to stand in it.
Throughout the fight, Magitek Death Claw drones will come in to assist Nero. These will target a member of the party, the target is indicated by a red beam running from the Drone to its target. The target should move to the far side of the field, giving time for your DPS to dispatch the drone.
Gaius Van Baelsar
The first of the two “big bad’s” that you face in the Praetorium is the Gaerlean leader, Gaius Van Baelsar. This fight takes place on an elevator platform descending towards the Ultimate Weapon.
Gaius features two primary mechanics. The first mechanic is his large blue field that persists after casting. This field places a dot effect on anyone in it. The damage over time is minimal and the effect can be cleansed.
Gaius will stand in this field and shoot his projectile weapon periodically. Eventually he does teleport out and engage the tank.
The second, and more dangerous, attack from Gaius is his charged beam attack. This attack forms up as a blue ball around Gaius with a bright blue X in the direction he is facing. When Gaius finishes charging up the attack, the X turns into a beam that fires forwards, damaging anyone in its path. There is no red effect on the ground serving as a warning, you simply have to get out of the path of the X as it forms. Failing to do so can be deadly to lesser geared players.
Ultima Weapon, Round 1
Assuming this is your first run through Praetorium, the last time you saw the Ultima Weapon was when Gaius charged it up. During that engagement, the Weapon defeated and consumed Ifrit, Garuda and Titan. In this fight, you must defeat the Primal infused Ultima weapon. The fight features elements of the story-mode fights form each of the Primals.
During the initial moments of the fight, the Weapon is invulnerable. Attacks do no more than 1 point of damage and the tank is not building effective enmity. Because of this, we have the DPS simply sit out of this stage and let the tank beat on the Ultima Weapon. Healers can cure as needed, but should detaunt afterwards.
The Ultimate Weapon will use a green column attack during this stage and throughout the remainder of the fight. Simply move out of the ground effect to eliminate damage. After a bit of time passes, the crystal Hydalene will intervene and take out the Ultima Weapon’s invulnerability. At this point, the tank should move the weapon to the side of the arena and DPS can fully engage.
For the remainder of the fight, you have a number of movement mechanics. These mechanics are themed along each of the three Primals (Titan first, then Garuda, followed by Ifrit). Through Titan and Garuda’s stages its a simple matter of shifting out of the ground targeted warning to avoid damage.
Additionally, during each stage the Primal itself will appear in the center of the arena this is simply a heavy healing step and ranged combatants should stack on the healer.
During the Ifrit stage, near the end of the fight, you also get a series of plumes to avoid. These cover much of the inner area of the arena. Move out of the effects as they appear. The plumes shift a bit, so when you move out, move in such a way to preserve another safe movement.
Continue avoiding ground effects and the Ultima Weapon will soon be defeated… at least this time.
Ultima Weapon, Round 2
The boss so fun you get to fight it twice! Having defeated both Gaius and the Ultima Weapon, you would think you have won. You are wrong. Lahabrea now activates hidden powers in the Ultima Weapon, letting you fight him all over a second time.
During this fight, the Ultima Weapon has none of his Primal attacks and instead counters with an entirely new range of mechanics. Your tank will want to attack and turn the Ultima Weapon where it stands. From this point, there are several mechanics to avoid or counteract.
The green column attack from the last encounter persists and again, players should avoid this attack.
Magitek Bits will spawn periodically. These are stationary objects that project blue laser beams – these should be highly reminiscent of the final boss fight in the Sunken Temple of Qarn. There are progressively more Bits each time they spawn. Make sure you quickly dispatch them while also avoiding the pale blue beams of death!
Periodically, spacecraft will smash into the battle arena. The warning for this is a red pulsing ground effect. Once it starts, all players – including the tank – should immediately move to the farthest side of the arena possible. Even at maximum range, the crash does a fair amount of damage that must be healed through. Standing too close to the explosion is certain doom!
A green orb will also periodically spawn and chase a random party member. That person should keep moving to avoid the orb (which explodes eventuallY) and should try not to track the orb across other teammates.
The final 10% of this fight is actually a DPS race. The Ultima Weapon teleports to the center of the ring and begins a self-destruct sequence. You have seconds to beat it down at this point, or you lose! Save your limit break and use it at this point to finish off the Ultima Weapon.
As this fight wraps up, remind your team to STAND ABSOLUTELY STILL in the ensuing cut-scene. The next boss fight happens in the same arena with potentially no setup time if the party starts fidgeting around.
The final boss of the FFXIV:ARR relaunch story is against the Lahabrea-possessed Thancred. This fight is a bit anticlimactic following the two Ultima Weapon engagements and you should have no problem quickly dispatching Lahabrea and saving Thancred.
Lahabrea has two major mechanics. The first are his void puddles. These are circular fields that do persistent, high damage, to anyone standing in them. We have our ranged players stack atop a healer so that all the puddles land in one place. As they spawn, simply rotate clockwise to avoid the puddle and preserve a large safe area for future movement.
The other mechanic is a knockback. This is a point-blank attack hititng everyone around Lahabrea. It can easily knock melee into a black puddle. The only real risk is landing in a puddle after a knockback. Simply make sure you are always standing in a place with a safe knockback position and this attack is easily ignored.