Killing God Kefka
Well, this is unexpected. Just a couple of weeks after making a start, my static has cleared God Kefka, bringing the curtain down on the most difficult content in FFXIV’s latest patch. I recently wrote about the raids leading up to the final encounter and said I’d revisit the topic when we cleared the fight, but I didn’t anticipate it’d happen quite so soon. Still, it did — and I couldn’t be happier.
I didn’t play FFVI, so I can’t speak for how faithful a recreation of Kefka this is, but from my perspective, the final stage of Omega: Sigmascape Savage is a memorable fight that demands your full attention. From the moment the transition ends, God Kefka is a hell of a ride that brings together some of the toughest moments from the predecessor fight while constantly testing your positioning and ability to think on your feet.
Each phase is marked by a major mechanic called Forsaken, which changes throughout the fight. Every role has something different to do as part of each Forsaken that’s cast, on top of their standard duties, ranging from safely kiting tethered ‘skulls’ that explode on contact to facing multiple clones of the boss in the same direction to stop him cleaving everyone. There’s no carrying people here: Everyone has a part to play, and Kefka isn’t too shy to test how well you know yours. That’s without mentioning the mechanics that come in between each major assault.
You can see our clear from our Ninja’s perspective below. (Be warned that there’s some expletive-laden celebration when the boss actually goes down). Of course, I’m the only one who died, thanks to taking an especially hard knock from a raid-wide AoE. Such is life as a Dragoon:
Oddly, we didn’t die to enrage once, though I suspect that’s a consequence of being pretty well-geared at this point. Instead, we took Kefka down on our first clean run, after a series of pulls where made silly slip-ups like wiping to skulls on the final Forsaken. I think this caught everyone by surprise — perhaps it’s mechanics or just having more equips, but the enrage on O7S felt harder to surmount by comparison. It’s also the case that because the final Forsaken repeats twice, the last stretch doesn’t feel too difficult, though it’s a shame that there wasn’t some final weirdness to get through.
I’ve said it before: I like this fight much more than Neo Exdeath. Perhaps this is down to the fact I’m a DPS main, but everything feels much more fluid and intuitive. I did not enjoy Grand Cross Omega — Starstrafe comes close in terms of visual clutter, but it’s much easier to learn and get consistent than GCO — and Grand Cross Alpha and Delta, the mechanics which precede it, aren’t that exciting either. Working through Kefka, by contrast, was much more enjoyable.
Now we’ve cleared everything, I’ll double down on my prior assessment that this really is a great set of raids, at least for a static like ours. We were never going to clear things in week one, but taking eight weeks to clear the tier feels just right. It’ll still be a considerable period of time before we’re done farming it, but I’m more than happy with spending extra time there. I can’t speak for the hardcore part of our community, nor those having trouble surmounting O7S or any earlier fight, but for my part I think Sigmascape has been a riot.
My only lingering complaint is how many RNG-centric mechanics ran riot this tier — the first fight’s ghosts and the stone puddles in O6S in particular — and how anti-knockback abilities negated a huge number of mechanics. Arm’s Length, Surecast, and anything else that prevents pushbacks are all extremely effective this tier, placing a considerable burden on jobs that don’t have similar tools. Honestly, if most players have an ability that enables you to all but ignore a mechanic, what’s the purpose of it being there in the first place?
In lighter news, Hatching-tide, Eorzea’s love letter to Easter, has landed. What’s in it for you? A minion, a wall scroll, and a new minigame for the toy box. You can pick up the quest in Gridania (next to the Mih Khetto’s Amphitheatre aetheryte), but get it done soon: the event ends a week from now, on April 2nd.