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Final Fantasy XI: A Look at the Puppetmaster

Author: Herbie Grate Source:

Final Fantasy XI: A Look at the Puppetmaster Article By: Herbie Grate

"No Strings Attached" Started by Shamarhaan in Bastok Markets at (F-9)

The first step to actually playing Puppetmaster is naturally unlocking it. After speaking Shamarhaan you'll need to head directly to Iruki-Waraki at (K-9) in Aht Urghan Whitegate and then Ghatsad at (I-7) in Whitegate as well. This is where things get time consuming and sometimes tedious. From this point you'll need to retrieve an "Antique Automaton" from the Arrapago Reef, however, to get there, you'll need to dodge Imps which can see through invisible and hear through sneak. Take the ferry to Nashmau to get entry to Caedarva Mire.

Head Northeast for awhile and then Northwest, to reach the (I-6) entrance into Arrapago Reef. Assuming you reach this point by not attracting the attention of a by standing Imp, there is a group of Lamia and undead outside the cave entrance at (I-6). Assuming you get through unscathed, head towards the first boat at (I-10) and you should find an '???' where the Antique Automaton is located. After avoiding the Lamia on the boat and acquiring the Antique Automaton, return to Ghatsad. He will send you to Iruki-Waraki and follow the instructions from there to become a Puppetmaster!

There are several automaton frames and assorted automaton heads you can obtain as you progress. You start the job with a simple, unspectacular frame known as Harlequin, which is a fairly average enfeebler and will occasionally heal the master when you're hurt beyond a certain threshold. At level 10, you're able to unlock your first advanced frame, and you have three choices: Valoredge, Stormwaker, and Sharpshot. The Valoredge frame is the melee frame, which has extraordinary HP at higher levels, and as such can be a decent damage sponge. In terms of damage though, it's not comparable to Sharpshot. At lower levels, however, Valoredge is a magnificent tank when coupled with the Stoneskin attachment.

The Stormwaker frame is a magical automaton, capable of healing the master, nuking, enfeebling, and mediocre melee damage. In terms of damage, Stormwaker is adequate and can be something of a help in parties. The ranged frame is Sharpshot, and this frame is the supreme damage dealer of the pack in your average party. Capable of doing great ranged damage, excellent weapon skills and reasonable melee damage, this will be your frame of choice most of the time in a party.

At level 40 and 50, you'll be able to get two additional automaton heads designed for your Stormwaker frame, Soulsoother and Spiritreaver. The Soulsoother head allows your mage automaton to heal members of your party with cures, status effect removing spells, and spells like regen, as well as being able to cast reasonable enfeebling magic on enemies. Spiritreaver is the polar opposite, being a high-powered black mage head, it allows your mage automaton to cast powerful nukes on enemies, as well as aspir and drain. Each are very useful and can be obtained with the relevant items first at level 40. Personally I chose Soulsoother first.

The question rises inevitably however, "Is this a solo job?" In a word, no, Puppetmaster is not a replacement for the Beastmaster inclined who love soloing. Though it's capable of it in the early stages of the game, later on monsters get too powerful for you to handle on your own, and it gets much more difficult to gain experience on your own. Puppetmaster works best in parties, and work well it certainly does. Many unfortunate misconceptions exist about Puppetmaster, chief among them being that it's a weak job with no specific role. Well equipped and skilled Puppetmasters are essentially two people for the cost of one, being able to do damage on par with most other damage dealers, if not surpassing them.

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