At lassst the time has come... The ssscattered fragments of my thoughtsss once again mine. Long forgotten memoriesss filling me once more...Absolute Virtue
Absolute Virtue is an Aern High Notorious Monster in Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia and also one of the most infamous monsters in the Final Fantasy series. Fought in Al'Taieu, Absolute Virtue is the ultimate confrontation in the NM system surrounding Lumoria, and only appears immediately after players have defeated Jailer of Love.
The battle with Absolute Virtue, along with the entire Lumoria NM System, was released in the July 19, 2005 Version Update. It is notorious for being the longest running NM that remained undefeated by players through "legitimate" means, as any method deemed "unacceptable" by the developers would be removed from the game.
As a Dragoon by job, Absolute Virtue uses Dragoon-only Aern abilities. It also has access to multiple special job abilities, which it will use repeatedly and in succession. It has access to all special job abilities for jobs released before Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan with the exception of Dragoon, for which it still uses the former special job ability Call Wyvern instead of Spirit Surge. The special job abilities can be sealed off by having players use the same ability immediately after it does.
Absolute Virtue also has tremendous Auto Regen at approximately 500 HP per tic. This can be reduced by having players kill many of Jailer of Love's pets, as well as by targeting Absolute Virtue with magical attacks in order of tier (ex. Stone > Stone II > Stone III > Stone IV) corresponding to the current day. Both methods serve to reduce its Regen by up to 50% each.
Absolute Virtue's behavior varies according to which special job ability it has active and only has access to certain abilities during that time.
The pattern is:
- When Mighty Strikes, Hundred Fists or Blood Weapon is active, it will not use any special abilities.
- When Manafont is active, it will cast Meteor or Comet. It only casts Meteor with Manafont active.
- When Chainspell is active, it will cast Aero V, Aeroga IV and Tornado II repeatedly.
- When Perfect Dodge and Invincible are active, it will cast and use special abilities as per normal.
- When Soul Voice is active, it will use Maiden's Virelai repeatedly.
- When Meikyo Shisui is active, it will use special abilities repeatedly but not cast spells. Explosive Impulse is only used when this is active.
- When Call Wyvern is used, 3 Aern's Wynav are summoned. It will only use Familiar and Astral Flow when Wynavs are present.
Absolute Virtue's AI is scripted to change and perform certain actions at set percentages as well. As an example, it will typically use Meteor when it reaches 79% HP. Absolute Virtue also tends to use special job abilities in a specific successive combos. This means that sealing off the first special job ability is typically sufficient to block all three from being used.
The combos are as follows:
- Call Wyvern → Familiar → Astral Flow
- Invincible → Benediction → Mijin Gakure
- Meikyo Shisui → Eagle Eye Shot x 3
- Chainspell → Soul Voice
One crucial point to note is that Absolute Virtue is also able to use Benediction and can do so multiple times. This is one of the most important abilities to seal off for players wishing to defeat it by traditional means, or else they risk wasting their time and effort up to that point in battle.
At 59%, Absolute Virtue enters into "bracelets mode", in which its stats are increased. During this mode, 6 Wynavs will be summoned instead of 3 when Call Wyvern is used.
Absolute Virtue will despawn if it is not defeated within 2 hours of Jailer of Love spawning.
Absolute Virtue appears as a boss in the public dungeon The Baldesion Arsenal at The Forbidden Land of Eureka, Hydatos. When he first spawns, he has a buff which will cause any of his attacks to immediately KO anyone he hits unless weakened by completing the FATE "The Baldesion Arsenal: The Expedition."
Behind the scenes
The battle with Absolute Virtue, along with the entire Lumoria NM System, was released in the July 19, 2005 Version Update. The level cap then was 75. Due to the tediousness of Chain of Promathia missions, the ease of access to Lumoria, the difficulty of Lumoria NMs and the punishing drop rate for triggers, players would not see Absolute Virtue until three months after the NM system was introduced.
The first linkshell to defeat Absolute Virtue was Eden Linkshell from Fairy Server in 2006.
Absolute Virtue is notorious for being the longest running NM that remained undefeated through legitimate means. This added to the development team's unpopularity at the time, because any method they deemed unacceptable would be removed from the game. The methods to curb Absolute Virtue's difficulty were officially revealed when the development team released a video with hints on how to defeat it in 2008, nearly three years after the battle was introduced. The video was heavily criticized for being too vague, and said method posted was quickly patched. Absolute Virtue had, on several occasions, been fought and held by linkshells for over 30 hours trying to defeat it, to no avail.
In response to a wave of bad press surrounding another HNM, Pandemonium Warden, Square Enix reduced the difficulty of Absolute Virtue in late 2008. Its HP total was dropped from an approximate 100,000 to around 66,000, and its stats were significantly lowered. A time limit of two hours was also imposed.
With the increase in level cap from 75 to its eventual 99, the battle against Absolute Virtue has become much easier. However, defeating it is considered an achievement and its loot is still prized by most players.
Absolute Virtue is one particular NM that has caused a number of changes in the game. This has come as a result of players adopting unique strategies to try and defeat it. They are as follows:
- Wall of Justice: The zone Al'Taieu is separated into four sections by translucent walls. A feature in the walls once allowed players on one side to target enemies on the other side with no risk or danger of retaliation. This method was successful, but players who used it faced ban warnings from GMs for terrain exploits.
- Dark Knight Zerg: After Absolute Virtue's difficulty was reduced, it became possible for an alliance of Dark Knights using multi-hit weapons (such as the expensive Kraken Club) together with Blood Weapon and Soul Eater to deal immense damage to it in less than a minute. This successful strategy sparked a wave of "revenge kills" as many linkshells banded together to kill it for its loot. This was quickly removed when Absolute Virtue was patched to gradually resist Soul Eater damage.
- Synchronized Modus Veritas: An oversight in the game's limitation allowed an alliance of Scholars to exponentially increase the damage of Helix spells by simultaneously using the ability Modus Veritas. While this proved effective on smaller targets, it was never successfully replicated on Absolute Virtue. Modus Veritas was subsequently removed shortly after.
- Perfect Defense Zerg: Currently the most popular method used to defeat Absolute Virtue. A trio of Summoners use Alexander's Perfect Defense to buff the alliance on top of a typical Soul Voice Zerg to prevent them from taking too much damage. This allows them to consistently deal damage to Absolute Virtue without risk of themselves dying too quickly.
Absolute Virtue's design and attack pattern were reused for the Warder of Courage in Escha-Ru'Aun.