Variant and Criterion Dungeons

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See also: Dungeons, Trials, Raids, Deep Dungeon, Variant Dungeons, Criterion Dungeons

Variant Dungeon.png Variant and Criterion dungeons are a dungeon style first released on patch 6.25. After unlocking them, players can register using the V&C Dungeon Finder under "Duty" in the main menu.

Variant Dungeons

Entrance Map Marker

Variant dungeons are level 90 variable-difficulty dungeons intended for 1-4 players. They are normal (story mode) difficulty content. Enemy strength will be adjusted depending on the number of players, there are no role restrictions, and players can change jobs to any other Lv. 90 Disciple of War or Magic while the dungeon is in progress when out of combat. Note that changing jobs will result in a 30 second cooldown until the player can use actions. Players can register for Variant Dungeons solo, with a premade party, or use matchmaking. Matching is disabled by default. If the option is enabled, players will be matched to a party of four with no role restrictions.

The map has branching paths, and the progression route will change based on player actions or random events. Some boss mechanics will also vary depending on earlier player actions. The player(s) will be accompanied by an NPC who will provide dialogue and interact with the environment but not participate in combat.

Completing the dungeon in certain ways will add a lore entry to the V&C Dungeon Finder. These entries provide lore regarding the dungeon or hints to puzzles that can be completed to unlock additional entries or a secret boss. Completing all 12 entries in the dungeon will award the player with a mount.

Variant Actions and Attribute Adjustments

To allow for greater freedom of role choices, variant dungeons grant players the use of special variant actions. These actions mimic existing abilities such as Cure.png  Cure or Rampart.png  Rampart. Moreover, certain attributes will also be adjusted to compensate for the disparity of strength between certain roles, alleviating the need for dedicated tanks, DPS, or healers.

Variant actions can be selected from the V&C Dungeon Finder window. Players may have up to two variant actions at any given time, and are free to change them at any time, even after entering the dungeon.

  • Available variant actions will differ according to the player's role.
Action Acquired Level Type MP Casting Recast Range
Radius
Description
Variant Cure.png  Variant Cure Tank role.png Tank
Melee DPS role.png Melee DPS
Magic Ranged DPS role.png Magical Ranged DPS
Physical Ranged DPS role.png Physical Ranged DPS
90 Spell Instant 2.5s Range icon.png 30y
Single Target or AoE not yet specified 0y
Restore's target's HP
Cure Potency: 14,000
Additional Effect: Regen
Cure Potency: 4,200
Duration: 15s
Additional Effect: Cure potency is doubled when target is under the effect of Rehabilitation.
This action is not affected by attributes.
Variant Ultimatum.png  Variant Ultimatum Tank role.png Tank
Healer role.png Healer
Melee DPS role.png Melee DPS
Physical Ranged DPS role.png Physical Ranged DPS
Magic Ranged DPS role.png Magical Ranged DPS
90 Ability Instant 15s Range icon.png 0y
Point Blank Circle around the user 5y
Places yourself at the top of nearby enemies' enmity list and increases enmity generation.
Additional Effect: Stun
Duration: 4s
Additionally, significantly increases enmity generation.
Duration: 30s
Variant Raise.png  Variant Raise Tank role.png Tank
Melee DPS role.png Melee DPS
Magic Ranged DPS role.png Magical Ranged DPS
Physical Ranged DPS role.png Physical Ranged DPS
90 Spell 8s 30s Range icon.png 30y
Single Target or AoE not yet specified 0y
Resurrects target to a weakened state.
This action does not share a recast timer with any other actions. Furthermore, the recast timer cannot be affected by other actions.
Variant Spirit Dart.png  Variant Spirit Dart Tank role.png Tank
Healer role.png Healer
90 Ability Instant 2.5s Range icon.png 25y
Circle AoE around the action target 5y
Deals damage over time to target and all enemies nearby it.
Potency: 2,040
Duration: 30s
This action is not affected by attributes or enhancing effects.
Variant Rampart.png  Variant Rampart Healer role.png Healer
Melee DPS role.png Melee DPS
Physical Ranged DPS role.png Physical Ranged DPS
Magic Ranged DPS role.png Magical Ranged DPS
90 Ability Instant 15s Range icon.png 0y
Single Target or AoE not yet specified 0y
Reduces damage taken by 20%
Duration: 60s
Creates a barrier around self that absorbs damage equivalent to a heal of 21,000 potency.

Unlock

Main article: Variant Dungeons Quests

To unlock variant dungeons, complete Main Scenario QuestEndwalker followed by the quasi-quest Feature QuestAn Odd Job from Osmon in Old Sharlayan (X:11.9, Y:13.3). This will unlock additional quests (see table below) for each of the three variant dungeons. Each individual variant dungeon questline is independent and the dungeons may be completed in any order.

Available Variant Dungeons

Dungeon Level IL Req IL Sync Escort NPC Tomestones Unlock
The Sil'dihn Subterrane 90 575 635 Nanamo Ul Namo Allagan Tomestone of Causality 40 Allagan Tomestone of Comedy 15 Feature QuestA Key to the Past
Mount Rokkon 90 605 665 Hancock Allagan Tomestone of Causality 40 Allagan Tomestone of Comedy 15 Feature QuestMononoke Aware
Aloalo Island 90 605 665 Matsya Allagan Tomestone of Causality 40 Allagan Tomestone of Comedy 25 Feature QuestStranger from Paradise

Criterion Dungeons

Criterion dungeons are visually similar to variant dungeons, but are of a difficulty comparable to extreme trials or savage raids. They require a 4-player party composed of a tank, a healer, and 2 DPS. The map layout is fixed, and no NPCs accompany the players. Normal resurrection actions are disabled, but players are allowed to revive other party members with Variant Raise II.png  Variant Raise II, which is the only Variant Action available for this difficulty. Each party member may only use this action once, but it will be replenished upon completing an objective for the dungeon or if the party wipes.

Players can register for criterion dungeons with a fully premade party or use matchmaking. Players who enable this option will be matched into a party consisting of 1 tank, 1 healer, 1 melee DPS, and 1 physical ranged or magical ranged DPS. Additional matchmaking options (e.g., Practice vs. Duty Completion) exist and function similarly to Raid Finder matching settings. Note that in North American and European data centers, most players will use Party Finder to form groups for Criterion dungeons, similar to other high-end content. Matchmaking is only likely to be used when a dungeon is brand new.

Regular enemies in criterion dungeons deal significantly more damage and require more strategic ways of engaging them than those in other dungeons. Bosses are similar in mechanical difficulty to extreme trials or savage raids but are shorter (5-6 minutes vs. 10-14 minutes). Similar to other high-difficulty content, each boss must be defeated in a certain time limit, or it will wipe the party with an enrage ability.

Completing a criterion dungeon rewards four dungeon-specific coins to each player when the treasure coffer at the end is opened. These can be exchanged for various combat materia, the orchestrion roll of the dungeon's background music, and an exclusive mount (requires 100 coins). The mount also has a low chance to drop directly from the treasure coffer. Note that the mount can be sold on the Market Board.

Action Acquired Level Type MP Casting Recast Range
Radius
Description
Variant Raise II.png  Variant Raise II Any class frame icon.png ANY 90 Spell 1.3s 2.5s Range icon.png 30y
Single Target or AoE not yet specified 0y
Resurrects target to a weakened state. Resurrection restrictions do not apply.

Party Composition Bonus

Upon entering a criterion dungeon, party members will gain a bonus to damage dealt according to the composition of their party. The bonus increases with the number of jobs in your party that rely on actions that affect the entire party.

This bonus system is intended to compensate for the proportional decrease in utility of such actions as party size decreases.

  • The effectiveness of the damage bonus will differ between roles.
  • This bonus will only be applied to jobs and has no effect on classes.

For example, jobs such as Bard frame icon.png bard rely on increasing the damage dealt by their allies. In a light party of four players, their party buffs will only be half as effective in terms of overall party damage increase compared to a full 8-player party. To compensate, a damage increase will be applied to all other party members if a bard (or other jobs with party buffs) is in the party.

See External Links below for a spreadsheet with a full explanation.

Unlock

To unlock criterion dungeons, complete the corresponding variant dungeon and its associated quest, then speak with Osmon in Old Sharlayan (X:11.9 Y:13.3) as a level 90 Disciple of War or Magic.

Available Criterion Dungeons

Criterion Dungeons (Savage)

Savage criterion dungeons are of a difficulty comparable to some ultimate raids. They have additional rules to make them harder: Revive abilities are disabled completely and no variant actions may be used. If the party wipes, all enemies will respawn and players must restart from the beginning. Players who disconnect from the game will be incapacitated upon reconnecting to the dungeon. Matchmaking is unavailable for Savage Criterion dungeons. Players must have a premade party of four people to enter them.

Boss mechanics are identical to those in criterion dungeons, but all enemies have higher health and deal more damage (especially non-bosses). Many AoE indicators from non-boss enemies that were present in easier difficulties are removed or significantly shortened, and being hit by these avoidable attacks will usually deal lethal damage.

Upon engaging the first enemy, a timer will begin, which can be seen next to the duty objectives. If the party does not complete the dungeon before the timer finishes, all enemies will receive the Sewer-dwelller icon1.png Sewer-dweller or Powerful buff, greatly increasing their damage dealt while reducing their damage taken, which is essentially a dungeon-wide enrage. This timer will reset if the party wipes. Because of this global enrage, the party will need to budget their cooldowns considering the length of the dungeon. The duration of the dungeon and the degree of punishment for mistakes, make savage criterion dungeons closer to ultimate-difficulty.

The party composition bonus from criterion dungeons is applicable to the savage difficulty and functions identically.

Completing a savage criterion player rewards one manuscript item, which can be traded for various combat materia and unique glamour or furniture items, in addition to rewarding exclusive titles. In response to the poor material rewards of the first two dungeons, the Aloalo manuscript icon1.png  Aloalo Manuscripts obtained from the third dungeon can be traded for Elevated ester icon1.png  Elevated Esters that themselves are exchanged with a corresponding Augmented Credendum Weapon or Gentlemages umbrella icon1.png  Gentlemage's Umbrella to give an Exquisite Weapon with the same item stats as the current savage raid weapons and unique graphical effects when unsheathed. These serve a similar purpose as weapons rewarded from ultimate raids (without the third materia slot and a more subdued visual design).

Note: The savage-difficulty dungeon does not reward the coins that can be obtained from the "normal" criterion version.

Unlock

To unlock savage criterion dungeons, complete the corresponding criterion dungeon, then speak with Osmon in Old Sharlayan (X:11.9 Y:13.3) as a level 90 Disciple of War or Magic.

Available Criterion Dungeons (Savage)

Tips

Because essentially no player deaths are allowed, savage criterion dungeons are an enormous check for consistency, comparable or surpassing some ultimate raids. However, unlike ultimate raids, players have the opportunity to practice any mechanics in the "normal" criterion difficulty, as they are virtually identical to the savage difficulty encounter mechanics. For example, players can hold their DPS to practice a boss mechanic in "normal" difficulty that may otherwise be skipped, but cannot be skipped in savage difficulty due to higher boss HP. After practicing the mechanic once, the party may opt to wipe and restart the boss for another repetition of the mechanic to achieve consistency.

Images

Trivia

  • Criterion dungeons are the first high-end 4-player content introduced in the game (excluding Trial The Great Hunt (Extreme)). Their development may have, in part, been a response to longstanding player requests for challenging 4-player content. Similarly, variant dungeons may have been developed in response to requests for less linear dungeons.

External Links