- “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 game. 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.
As a Dragoon by job, Absolute Virtue is able to use Dragoon-only Aern abilities. However, it also has access to multiple two-hour abilities which it will use repeatedly and in succession. In fact, it has access to all two-hour abilities for jobs released before Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan with the exception of Dragoon, for which it still uses the former two-hour Call Wyvern instead of Spirit Surge. The two-hour abilities can be sealed off by having players use the same ability immediately after it does.
In addition, 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 two-hour it has active and only has access to certain abilities during that time.
These patterns are listed as follows:
- 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 two-hour abilities in a specific successive combos. This means that sealing off the first two-hour 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.
- 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.
- Absolute Virtue is better known by its nickname "AV" by players across the globe.
- 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, Absolute Virtue would not be seen by players until 3 months after the NM system was introduced.
- Absolute Virtue was not always a 100% spawn upon the defeat of Jailer of Love.
- Absolute Virtue is notorious for being the longest running NM that remained undefeated by players through legitimate means. This added to the unpopularity of the development team at the time, because any method deemed unacceptable by them 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 3 years after the battle was introduced. However, the video was heavily criticized for being too vague and not providing adequate hints on how to defeat the monster.
- 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 reduced from an approximate 100,000 to around 66,000, and its stats were significantly lowered. A time limit of 2 hours was also imposed to prevent players from fighting it for too long.
- Absolute Virtue is one particular NM that has caused a number of changes in the game to take place. 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 4 sections by translucent walls. A feature in the walls once allowed players on one side of the wall to target enemies on the other 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 games 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.
- With the increase in level cap from 75 to its eventual 99, the battle against Absolute Virtue has seen its difficulty significantly reduced. However, defeating it is considered an achievement by many and its loot is still prized by most players.