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Chocobo Racing  (Read 889 times)

Posted on 24 May 2015, 11:26:41
Outrack
Outrack was awarded 1 point/s for this post

Chocobo Racing was introduced in the 2.5.1 patch and unlike the FFVII incarnation, it's pretty awesome! You have full control over your chocobo during the races and can activate various Mario Kart-styled powerups to both help and hinder, and have extensive options when it comes to breeding the ultimate racebird.

While racing itself is pretty straight-forward, there are concepts that are a little tough to work out at first and so this guide aims to reduce the clutter as much as possible to get you on your way.

Want a preview to see what racing's like? Here's a compilation showing off the three courses!


Starting Out

To start racing, head to the Gold Saucer and speak to the Chocobo Registrar in the Chocobo Square at X:6 Y: 4 to initiate the So You Want to Be a Jockey quest. The chocobos you'll use for racing are different to the one you take out into the field, so you'll have to create a new one and pick a name using a pool of existing words - be creative, but don't give it too much thought as you'll end up with a few birds under your care in the end.

Next up, go through the training course! While the controls might come off as laggy and difficult to work with at first, this is intentional and you'll soon upgrade various stats to make things much easier to handle. One important thing about movement is that you should look at going left and right as switching between one of several lanes - you'll be moving on a pre-determined line connecting the start of the race to the finish, and remembering which items fall on which path will ensure you never miss one of them.

Once you've got the basics down, jump right in and try out the Sangolli Road course which has all the bare essentials without anything too complex. Chocobo Racing mixes in AI-controlled racers to make up for the lack of real ones available at any given time so you shouldn't have to wait any more than a minute to get started - AI players have their names in green, while real players are blue.

Ranking & Rating

As you participate in races, you chocobo will gain EXP which will go towards increasing its rank. The ranking system is basically the same as leveling, and with every increase in rank 5 points will be randomly allocated to various stats to enhance your steed's performance - distribution of the points it automatic, but you can make up for shortcomings or strengthen key areas through certain feed, which I've elaborated on in detail further on in this guide.

The current maximum rank for each chocobo is 50, and you'll earn a random ability at rank 10 which you can learn more about later on in the guide. At rank 40 you'll be able to retire your chocobo for breeding/covering purposes which also has its own section in the next post down.

Rating is a separate indicator of your chocobo's performance, and determines which class of races you'll be able to take on. The basic calculation that determines your rating is (Combined Max Base Stats/500) x (Rank+10) and not an overall average of your stats as some guides report - current stats and training/feed bonuses actually have no affect on this value at all, just your rank and pedigree. The highest rating you can achieve is currently 300, and you'll need 285 for the coveted "Chocobo Trainer" title which requires a P9 chocobo and a combined star rating of at least 17/20.

The higher your rating, the more EXP and MGP you'll gain by competing in higher class races, which also feature stronger opponents and more course obstacles.

Effects & Enfeeblements

On each course, you'll find several treasure chests scattered around with various goodies to help you gain the upper-hand over your rivals. Here's a list of the various items you'll find in these chests, together with a description of what they do - note that items that would ordinarily affect players ahead of you have no effect if you're already in first place.

Bacchus Water
Inflicts the Frenzy ailment on the player ahead of you for 15 seconds, causing them to accelerate out of control. Usefulness is situational, it's pointless when the player's already pushing but can deplete stamina reserves during the last stretch when conservation is an issue.
Brair Caltrop
Summons a Brair Patch around your chocobo, draining the stamina of all players caught in it. Arguably the most brutal skill outside of Meteor, this has a cumulative effect and can rob other racers of up to 20% of their stamina if they're unable to get away from you in time. When you see one being triggered next to you, immediately decelerate unless sure you can run fast enough to escape it.
Choco Aether
Allows you to use your Active ability again. This doesn't stack and has no effect if you haven't already used your ability, so time it well!
Choco Meteor
Causes a meteor strike on every chocobo in front of you, nailing them with the Lamed ailment for 6 seconds, a 20% stamina loss, and a lot of swearing. Game-changer when you're in any position other than first.
Choco Potion
Restores 9% of your overall stamina instantly. There's usually never a reason to avoid using, unless your stamina is over 91%
Graviball
Inflicts the Heavy ailment on the player in front of you for 5 seconds, slowing them down.
Hero Tonic
Temporarily increases all stats and grants immunity to ailments for 15 seconds.
Sprint Shoes
Grants your chocobo a burst of speed with no stamina drain for 3 seconds.
Stamina Tablet
This locks your stamina at its current amount for 10 seconds, causing no loss from either acceleration or stamina-draining attacks like the Brair Caltrop.

Something you should pay attention to is the indicator at the bottom-right of the screen  - aside from showing the imminent appearance of a chest, it'll also let you know which item to expect the following three your competitors will get. This is very useful for knowing when to cast Choco Reflect or Steal, or to start slowing down so you don't get caught up in a Brair patch.

Posted on 24 May 2015, 11:27:15
Outrack

Covering (Breeding)

The breeding mechanic isn't too complicated, but there are a couple of things worth noting before delving in. Once your chocobo reaches rank 40 you'll have the option of retiring it and breeding a new steed, with the intention of creating one of a higher pedigree with inherited and upgraded skills. While stats aren't passed down, attaining offspring of a higher pedigree raises the caps so your new fledgling should be more powerful at the same level as the parent/s with the right planning.

You can only increase your Pedigree level by one point for each breeding, so don't bother trying to pair off P9 chocobos with P1's as the result will be a P2 regardless. As for caps, the method of determining them is 40 * (Pedigree Level + Star Rating) - 20 and your ultimate aim is to reach the maximum cap of 500 with a P9 chocobo and all 4 star ratings.

Max Speed
Acceleration
Endurance
Stamina
Cunning
______________________
Affects the overall top speed of your chocobo.
Determines how quickly you get to your maximum speed.
How long it takes for you to enter the Lathered state.
Your maximum amount of stamina.
Affects slowdown while traversing rough terrain.
As for which stats to prioritize, I'd personally favor speed, cunning and acceleration at the order you're most comfortable with. Speed and cunning are essential for making it through the course in the fastest amount of time, but acceleration is key when having to slow down and avoid the Lathered state - endurance and/or stamina both reduce dependency on this and good stamina use is determined by player input, so just plan ahead and go with which you feel is best.

Feeding

Each time you rank up, you'll gain one training session which can be used to feed your Chocobo a variety of food to enhance its performance. The feed you'll acquire is divided into three grades with each offering an increase in base stat percentage equivalent to that of the grade - for instance, Grade 3 feed will increase a stat by 3%. While this obviously this makes G3 feed the best option, it's wasteful to purchase it for anything you'll end up retiring as stats don't carry over via breeding - so stick with G1/G2 for your first few Chocobos, and switch to G3 for your final one/s.

Training sessions will stack, so don't worry about missing them if you'd like to save up and dump American-sized portions onto your Chocobo all at once.

Grade 1 Feed
A simple blend of cereals and leafy greens believed to slightly improve a race chocobo's acceleration, balance, endurance, speed or stamina.
Feather Trader
Bentbranch Meadows (20-22)
1,500 gil
Grade 2 Feed
A complex blend of cereals and leafy greens believed to improve a race chocobo's acceleration, balance, endurance, speed or stamina.
CUL 50★★
Click here for recipes
Tradeable
Grade 2 Feed - Special Blend
A secret blend of cereals and leafy greens believed to improve a race chocobo's acceleration, balance, endurance, speed or stamina.
Tack & Feed Trader
Chocobo Square (6-4)
1,100 MGP
Grade 3 Feed - Special Blend
A secret blend of cereals and leafy greens believed to significantly improve a race chocobo's maximum acceleration, balance, endurance, speed or stamina..
Tack & Feed Trader
Chocobo Square (6-4)
2,750 MGP
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
While you can also craft all G1 feed with just a level 30 Culinarian, I'd strongly advise against it as the ingredients aren't easy to get and buying them off the MB will set you back a lot more than the 1,500 gil needed for one. As far as I know, there's no difference in stat enhancement between the two types of G2 feed so it just comes down to whether you'd rather spend gil or MGP - I'd personally go with crafting as your MGP would be better saved for G3 feed, which can only be bought off the T&F Trader.

If you need a two-star CUL or one-star BTN/MIN for the mats, either post a message in this thread or send me a PM and I'll try to help you out.

Currently, it's impossible to completely max out all stats as the percentage-based increase from feed on a P9/all-4 star chocobo due to scaling - using just G1 feed, you'll attain max stats at rank 76, G2 at rank 65, and G3 at rank 57. With the cap being at 50, you're going to come up short so make sure you plan accordingly and prioritize the stats you really want and balance out the rest.

As you reach the maximum level of your end-game chocobos, you'll also want to plan out your feed carefully as points allocated to a stat that's already been filled will just go to waste. Don't go further than around 80% of your stat until the end, and know exactly how much feed would be required to cap off key stats at level 50 using banked up sessions - this just requires attention and a bit of number-crunching, and due to RNG's influence you'll need to pay close attention at each rank.


Abilities

As mentioned, from rank 10 your chocobo will learn a random ability that you can use once in each race. Your chocobo can carry a maximum of two abilities - one learned, and one hereditary passed down from the parent. You'll be able to pick one of the two when retiring the chocobo for covering, which it'll have a 50% chance of passing on to its offspring.

If you get stuck with a bum skill, you can erase it by using Lethe Water (800MGP) from the Track & Feed Trader, and then either gain a new random ability at the next rank increase or purchase a specific ability using Training Manuals sold by the same NPC.

Choco Cure
Restores a portion of your stamina, increasing in effectiveness by 3% per tier.
Tier 1: 6% Stamina Recovery                Tier 2: 9% Stamina Recovery                Tier 3: 12% Stamina Recovery
Choco Calm
Removes the Frenzy ailment and restores a portion of your stamina. Only works when afflicted with the ailment.
Tier 1: 100 Stamina Recovery               Tier 2: 150 Stamina Recovery               Tier 3: 200 Stamina Recovery
Choco Dash
Allows your chocobo a burst of speed with no stamina drain, lasting for 1 additional second per tier
Tier 1: 1 Second Duration                     Tier 2: 2 Second Duration                     Tier 3: 3 Second Duration
Choco Ease
Removes the Heavy ailment and restores a portion of your stamina. Only works when afflicted with the ailment.
Tier 1: 100 Stamina Recovery               Tier 2: 150 Stamina Recovery               Tier 3: 200 Stamina Recovery
Choco Esuna
Removes status ailments with a greater chance of success per tier. Doesn't work on Silence, as it blocks active abilities outright.
Tier 1: 75% Success Rate                       Tier 2: 90% Success Rate                       Tier 3: 100% Success Rate
Choco Reflect
Returns any non-AoE ailment back to the caster, afflicting them with the status.
Tier 1: 10 Second Duration                    Tier 2: 15 Second Duration                    Tier 3: 20 Second Duration
Choco Shock
Creates an blue aura that causes players to be Distracted for a set amount of time, blocking all item use.
Tier 1: 15 Second Duration                    Tier 2: 25 Second Duration                    Tier 3: 35 Second Duration
Choco Silence
Summons a gold aura that afflict players caught in the surrounding area with the Silence ailment.
Tier 1: 35 Second Duration                    Tier 2: 40 Second Duration                    Tier 3: 45 Second Duration
Choco Silence
Attempts to rob the player in front of you of their item, with a better chance of success at higher tiers.
Tier 1: 50% Success Rate                       Tier 2: 70% Success Rate                       Tier 3: 90% Success Rate

Progression, Tips & Tricks

So, now that you've got all that down, it's time to start working towards your ultimate chocobo! Your long-term goal is to get a P9 chocobo at rank 50 with four stars in all stats, with as many of them maxed as possible.

This part of the guide's going to be a work-in-progress for a while as I'm only on my second chocobo and have yet to determine the most efficient method of progressing through each one. However, here's some tips I can share that may help you on your way:

  • Race during off-peak periods to pair yourself against full AI teams as you can (usually) outsmart them and take the lead. Leveling is a lot more fun if you do it with friends at around the same level, but if you want to be totally mercenary playing against the AI is preferable as the competition is less fierce.
  • As a general rule, you'll want to enter the highest possible rank for maximum EXP/MGP yields - however, getting first place in a R-40 class may bring you better results than third or fourth in R-60 so pace yourself properly. A neat trick that might help is that you can min/max your ranks using feed to keep your rank down, so if you're struggling and have either the gil or MGP to burn pump your speed stat without granting bonuses to any of the others.
  • Always retire at 40. There's no point in getting your Chocobo any higher as your stats won't carry forward, and the only Chocobo you should ever level to 50 is your ultimate one when maxing all caps.
  • There's collision detection between the chocobos! It's subtle and sometimes written off as lag, but it's definitely present so try to run a clear path - especially when activating speed buffs that would cause you to run up another's racer's butt.
  • Take note of the completion percentage of the track on your quest list and budget your stamina use accordingly. For example, if you're only 40% through the race and your stamina bar's already at half, make sure you slow it down and avoid Lathered as you don't want to hit 0% during the final stretch.

Posted on 25 May 2015, 03:26:54
Mathô
Amazing guide as always Outrack!

Don't really have the time to focus on chocobo racing, but I'll definitely keep this guide in mind!

Posted on 25 May 2015, 11:32:20
Lein
Lein was awarded 1 point/s for this post
This is quite the interesting guide, pointing out a few interesting stuff I didnt know about!

Thanks for the hardwork!!!

I would like to add that Lag does behave a liiiitle different in comparison to the rest of the game's lag.

Positional lag is a terrible thing that happens more often than not in this game, or at least is much more aparent than in any FPS I've played so far (or mmo in general). Racings is even more heavy for this.

The normal relation of position for the game is
Client -> Server -> Client.

As in, you are in position 10,5. Your client sends this info to the server, which then relays this position to the clients that can see you in 10,5. Correcting your location.

However, for racing the relation is Server -> Client, since the chocobos never really stop, they are moving at a pace determined by the server. So if you see your chocobo stopping and then appearing very ahead, dont worry, you are just precensing your normal lag in a more easy to see manner.

The race is basicly on tracks, where you can place your chocobo in a certain number of lanes. This relation, along with jumping, sprinting and the use of skills its still Client -> Server -> Client. So try to time up when you need to be in which lane beforehand in order to beat your oponents.

If your ping is anywhere below 200 you most likely wont have any real troubles, but above that mark you'll start precensing it a lot. Specially on the 400+. But since Server is still commanding your advancement, your chances of winning arent null.

A random tip: I've noticed that if you start sprinting and swing left and right, your chocobo might find it difficult to reach its maximum speed, or at least thats how it feels.
Nick -> Lein
Leinzan -> Average Rogue!
Aiot -> Monkey Assassin!
Citlalicue -> Cursing Crescentia of the Vengenful Stigma!
Arkenne -> Squishy Tanky Monk

 

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