The Praetorium

The Praetorium

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 Praetorium

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.


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9 Responses to The Praetorium

  1. Anonymous says:

    I strongly advise against recommending “watch the cutscenes at the inn” like you are doing right now.

    DF PuGs MUST have as a priority the engagement of new players, who should be allowed to watch them as they please. If you are farming, then you should create a party in your server for this purpose – it’s actually an advantage, since you can pump DPS up by using only one Tank, and everyone there supposedly already knows the mechanics.

    If you go farming via DF alone or with an unfinished party, you should give the new players priority anyway. It’s not their fault, and they should not be penalized by experienced players.

    Went to a DF PuG and all of them intend to farm? Great, go and farm.

    • Ryahl says:

      While I understand, and somewhat share, your concern, the flip of your argument could easily be made. Indeed, the flip of your argument better reflects reality.

      If you are doing CM and Praet for the first time and want to enjoy the story, consider creating a party of people from your Free Company, Linkshell, or others similarly interested from your server.

      If you, instead, plan on queueing up Duty Finder, you should recognize that DF groups are largely going to be farming groups and that the DF groups will often get vocally upset if you stop and smell the roses.

      I’m not advocating this approach, I’m stating that this is what your fellow players are doing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since DF groups are potentially diverse in regard to objectives in the instance due to the relative randomness of whom it picks, it makes absolutely no sense that an individual interested in farming would not prefer to create a group dedicated to… farming.

        Along with it, there are probably preferences on smooth, quick runs, that requires a bit tighter group that are aware of what they are doing.

        It’s just the natural conclusion that DF should be story first, farm second, until it is improved in 2.1. Your way of thinking is reversed, and in a way that brings prejudice to new players, while endgame players have no equivalent handicap.

        I’m not contesting whether part of the endgame players are thinking your way, because they are, unfortunately.

        • Ryahl says:

          Again, I’m not stating this as a recommendation of how I’d like it to be. I’m stating it as a recommendation of how it is.

          You can argue that I’m thinking about it backwards, but it’s not me thinking this way, it’s a significant percentage of the player base.

          Letting people know that they can expect problems if they watch cut-scenes is simply prepping them for a realistic expectation.

          • Anonymous says:

            The problem is that the text isn’t exactly prepping them to expect issues with rude endgamers. I am totally OK with that part, and it is GOOD to warn people about that ongoing issue.

            The problem is that it’s also recommending them to just lower their head and give up on their last hours of story content because a “1337 pro” wants to juice those extra couple of minutes.

            That’s my point. They should not be encouraged to yield, since they are the priority.

          • Ryahl says:

            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!

            So last week, Aela ran a pickup run through CM. One new player watched the cut-scenes the entirety of the way through. I understand the want to do that and I would have preferred the cut-scenes be implemented in a way that enabled it.

            The remainder of the team simply started every single boss fight without the player. That player spent the entirety of the run either (a) looking at a cut-scene or (b) standing at a border watching a boss fight proceed without them.

            Your contention that this is simply “a “1337 pro” wants to juice those extra couple of minutes” is simply not in line with what I’m seeing in CM/Praet. While Aela’s recent experience is extreme, it’s extreme in the direction of what I’m accustomed to seeing when I run CM/Praet. The story-line people are decidedly in the minority on these runs. One leet pro isn’t going to survive triggering the boss fight if six other people aren’t there with him or her.

            The problem is also not simply “one leet pro,” it’s a game design decision that requires people to wait for others to finish a story cut-scene. It’s not a DF issue, it was a similar problem with the story-portions of the TOR dungeons. Story, particularly costly cut-scene pieces, really needs to be built for solo indulgence. It doesn’t scale well.

  2. john says:

    Just to give a heads up, the book in the inn don’t show all the cut scenes. I skipped them for the party and went to view them and they all weren’t there. Had to youtube the vids to see whole story.

    • Smacky Huggins says:

      The cutscenes for all the content in the dungeon are in a slightly different spot. At the top of the cutscene menu at the inn is a drop down menu, click it and scroll to Duty at the bottom. All dungeon CS’s are there. That itself was also bugged but was fixed in the last patch.

  3. Elisis says:

    I usually play as a tank, and when I see the message at the start stating that one of the players is new, I just ask who it is, and make sure, while progressing, to give tips and so on.
    If there’s no one new, and everyone agrees to speed run it, then I just go for it.
    I had my first time in all the dungeons, and fortunately, I always got a party that walked me through the tough spots. Now, I’m the one walking people through.
    So, I tend to agree with Anonymous. New players should be priority, let them watch the cut-scenes. If there’s no one new, then do as you like.

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