Strategy 008: How to Improve in Ballista
Before I start, I realize that most of my audience consists of NA players who strongly believe that they’re almighty and possess some sort of unshakable skill in Ballista. However, in order to improve in anything, it’s necessary to admit self flaws and leave an open mind for new ideas. Seeing as most NA players struggle with acknowledging the fundamentals of the game due to a variety of reasons—ignorance, stubbornness, and closed-mindedness to name a few—I took the liberty to write a resourceful Ballista guide for those who may be experiencing troubles in terms of improving.
To begin with improvement of any sort, an individual must determine his goal. With a particular goal in mind, identifying appropriate measures and adjusting oneself in attaining that goal become much more evident. Consequently, results of improvement may become more noticeable, as reflecting on that goal. Try to set a goal that would benefit or even apply to a team environment. Goals like wanting to solo every single known Ballista player in a one on one duel will probably lead to a dead end and result in little to no improvement in terms of Ballista skill. A common goal shared between several well-respected Ballista players is to reach their fullest potential with a specific job, which is an excellent goal to strive towards. Having a similar goal to such would most likely put a player on the right path to improvement.
Since Ballista does revolve around fights between players, people could easily become upset or irritated with losses. As such, the players’ frustration could quickly proceed to vile-mouthed arguments, which should best be avoided. Essentially, it’s important to maintain composure and good sportsmanship. This leads to the topic of having the right mentality and attitude to improve in Ballista. If an individual were to improve in anything, he must first desire to improve and stay open to suggestions and new ideas. Most importantly, though, all false beliefs must be discarded. Indeed, some players show poor performance simply because they lack knowledge of the game, but having false knowledge, on the other hand, could very well be worse than having no knowledge at all. Most NA players have numerous misconceptions of the game, ideas that are just flat-out wrong, which can inevitably stunt their improvement, and thus, despite that they play a million games of Ballsita, they’ll still be at a low skill level. This is presumably due to the fact that most NA Ballista players learn how to play from the wrong sources, such as people from random public forums who know little about the game. Unfortunately, other than the content provided within this blog, there are no other reliable sources for Ballista in English anywhere on the internet. Thus, people are stuck with my LS in terms of a reliable source. There are, however, many trustworthy Japanese sources, but unless fluent in Japanese, most of those sources would be difficult to make sense of, even with using Google Translate.
It’s imperative that players understand where they stand amongst others. In order to have a reasonable gauge, Ballista experience is obviously required, but modesty and admitting weakness are perhaps even greater necessities. Without admitting weakness, a player will never have an accurate gauge of where he stands amongst others and therefore unable to distinguish the veterans from the novices. Once able to differentiate the skill levels of other players accurately, pay close attention to what the better players do because even the most subtle of actions can change the tide of the game. In a nutshell, it’s usually best to learn from the more experienced players. It would be a waste of time to learn years worth of Ballista strategies through self efforts when they could be learned from veteran players through simpler and more efficient means. Despite being able to identify the better players, one notable problem is how to learn from them—other than through observation. There are only two other ways: (1) ask them for advice or (2) fight them in a fixed team setting in Diorama. Otherwise, without direct contact, observation is the only method of learning from them, whether it be in-game or in videos. Honestly, many well-respected players have Ballista videos uploaded on their Youtube channels that are open to the public, and studying their games is highly productive in terms of improving.
Watching veterans play also poses another problem: people just have no idea of what to look for while watching. Since an average player typically lacks understanding of higher level play, he can only comprehend as much as his current knowledge allows him to, unable to notice the subtle actions that make veterans so skilled. As they perceive professional games no different than ordinary play, their interest in continuing to watch quickly diminishes. They can hardly understand the occurrences in their own games, so relating to games that are played at levels several magnitudes higher is impossible for them. Perhaps this is due to the meager number of games that they have played. In other words, the average player has not played enough games to have a strong grasp of the basic principles of Ballista, lacking the key mental framework.
When asking for advice, anyone would answer with some variation of the cliche ‘practice makes perfect’. Although it may sound cheesy, this saying holds undeniable truth. Playing more games, especially with veteran players, is absolutely one of the most effective methods of improving. It promotes pattern recognition and gradually develops a mental framework for Ballista in the subconscious.
Despite playing more games, though, a player will have a difficult time advancing to understanding veteran level play without reflection and discussion; there must be a balance between practice and theory. It’s true that a player would be able to recognize various patterns through playing several Ballista matches and become aware of which actions are effective. However, they may still have a gap in their understanding. Although they know what is right, they may not know why it’s right without reflection. Analyzing why certain strategies work is just as important as playing, as the blend between practice and theory allows players to escalate from ordinary to extraordinary.
It has been mentioned a few times that playing with stronger players is effective in terms of improving, but most people fail to realize its imperativeness. Playing with veterans validates whether or not a specific strategy will work. As previously stated, many NA players have serious misconceptions of the game because they tend to play with amateurs. They play against people who have practically no knowledge of the game, so—of course—even the lowest level of maneuvers or strategies will annihilate them. This evolves into a greater predicament: they believe that their ideas are correct, since they reinforce their beliefs by crushing clueless opponents. Because of this, most NA lack an accurate gauge on the strengths and weaknesses of various jobs, claiming that <job X> is stronger than <job Y>, but in actuality, the strength should be based more on the user. Moreover, allies should cover for each other’s job weaknesses in Ballista anyway, as it is a team game. If they were to deploy similar tactics against experienced players, they would hopefully realize that they don’t work and develop a new strategy that does.
Well, even though there’s a lot more to be said, I think I’ll end it here for now. I apologize if it’s a bit abrupt, but hopefully, I’ll be able to continue later on and delve deeper into strategies. Since I wrote this on a whim, I also apologize that my ideas are all over the place. Also, please, let me know if this was any help, and keep in mind that I’m open to any suggestions on other approaches I could take in writing the first legit Ballista handbook. Thing. In English.
• Set a goal
• Discard false beliefs
• Learn from trustworthy sources
• Learn from more experienced players
• Practice and reflect
• Play against stronger opponents
Next topics of discussion:
• Play every job
• Don’t cut corners
• Basic, advanced, and undiscovered strategies
Also, for those who are having trouble with equipment sets, Evv’s ffxiah item sets will provide a better idea of what you should be using, and check the Lv60 Sync page for guidelines of how equipment syncs to Lv60.
Anyway, it’s 3am again. 3 large blog posts in 3 consecutive days -_-. Time for bed. Good night.