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     Rainstorm's levels 
Rainstorm was level 6 at the time of the Albrook Massacre, and that was before he'd done any crafting at all. Later, he gains three more levels from Vincent gunning down Behemoths. He's currently (as of Chapter 50, anyway) a level 14 character. So far, so good.

Assuming that his first two levels are from being level one at his class and job, that's seven levels from combat experience. But as it turns out, Rainstorm only has three levels as a swordsman, the other eleven are blacksmith levels.

  • It only counts levels levels as levels. Job levels and class levels aren't that, so his level level is 14. His class level and job level are irrelevant for his level of 14, and as those generally have nothing to do with the story outside of the moment where they are used or otherwise relevant, it's generally not mentioned when he gains them.

     Rainstorm's 'edge' 
Rainstorm apparently is the only person to properly sync with the game interface's speed, so he doesn't suffer from input lag or buffer bloat the way everybody else does, so he reacts faster. It's claimed that this is a large part of his success in his PVP victories. Cloud goes on to say, however, that this doesn't help him against the NPCs.

Huh? If he reacts faster than other players, that would mean that anything balanced against a normal player's reaction is going to be, relatively speaking, slower than intended for Cloud, giving him an advantage.

  • The Non Player Characters are already using the same trick, so to say, due to being part of the system, and possibly they are set to only do it when the player they are fighting does it. Thus, his trick either makes it so that they don't have the advantage against him, or it does nothing at all. Admittedly, in the first case it is still something, but it's not as much of an advantage as you'd think, especially not when against the monsters raw stats matter whereas against players a critical hit can make it a one-hit-kill.
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