Aug 26, 13 2:15pm
Me and my loyal Chocobo steed
Phase 3 for FFXIV:ARR has at last ended after 5 weeks, and it was easily the most anticipated for testers because it finally opened up two major areas of the world and introduced three new classes to complement the Lancer, Archer and Conjurer: the "offtank" Marauder, fist-fighting Pugilist and "DPS mage" Thaumaturge.
For more details about FFXIV:ARR itself, be sure to hit up bluexy's preview if you haven't done so already. He had the stones to roll with a Roegaydn that looks like Ganon with a toothbrush moustache, you know!
Yours truly decided to roll with the Thaumaturge (THM), because I wanted to try my hand at the "black mage" with command of FF staple spells like Blizzard, Fire and Thunder. Though categorized as a "DPS" class even by the game's "Duty Finder" feature (the FFXIV:ARR equivalent of World of Warcraft's Dungeon Finder), I never felt I was hitting anywhere near as hard or as fast as the Lancer, Archer or Pugilist by sheer virtue of the casting times for all spells. Indeed, I felt more like a "support" DPS whenever I ended up partying with others or just joining into the thick of random scraps on the field; whittling down health of mobs with constant attack spells and DoTs.
To be sure, big and loud AoE spells are also the THM's calling, but these can often work against you and/or your party by drawing in enmity from too many foes at the wrong time; best to use these in moderation when you know you can wipe out groups of enemies fast enough before they have a chance to return the favor (usually twice as hard, as I've found to my dismay on certain occassions!). Party members will likely appreciate the THM more for crowd control, with early access to Sleep to cut down on the number of mobs players will draw when they aggro in dungeons and let tanks and other, more dedicated DPS take out the rest bit by bit.
A "Full Party" of 8 players; the more members, the more powerful the Limit Break one member can execute
The abilty to "cross class" abilities allowed my THM to function as a healer by casting the Conjurer's Cure spell when needed; indeed, in many of my early dungeon runs with random players, I found myself shoehorned as the ONLY healer in the party, a job that really should go to the Conjurer! Good thing the THM has a very cool mechanic to regenerate MP by gaining "auras" of Umbral Ice whenever they use the Blizzard spells.
Fire spells will similarly grant you an aura of Astral Fire which increases the potency of your Fire magic (your workhorse attack spell) but steadily increases their MP cost before they get so expensive you have to either: wait for the Fire aura to wear off or (even better) "transform" it into an aura of Umbral Ice via the Transpose ability. You can see the synergy: cast Fire spells which steadily become more powerful (and costly MP-wise) thanks to Astral Fire, then Transpose into Umbral Ice to gain the MP back.
Etrian Odyssey's FOE track seems appropriate here. Also we seem to have attracted a most curious onlooker
My typical "rotation" as THM was to apply DoTs with Thunder, keep casting Fire to build up Astral Fire stacks and enhance their power, then when I run out of MP, Transpose into Umbral Ice, maybe cast a Blizzard to ensure the Ice aura sticks while I reapply the DoTs, then Transpose that aura back into Astral Fire and begin launching Fire spells again. It keeps the fingers busy, and the mind sharp as you need to keep an eye on the cooldown on Transpose. :)
Some FATEs get downright busy, which can make it hard to decide what to target and what is the best way to help others out
Which is great you have the chance to use all of these in big bad encounters where you don't have to worry about healing the tank (letting any actual Conjurers on hand to do their thing while you can do yours as THM). In truth, in many FATEs I was simply outgunned by the other DPS classes who would demolish any mob I happed to be targeting before I could even get far enough into a "rotation"; at best I would be able to apply the Thunder DoTs on trash mobs before they get hopelessly slaughtered by everyone else, not necessarily a bad thing but kind of downer because you're so tied down by spell casting times.
Many FATEs pit you against powerful foes like this Golem; I like to call them the FFXIV:ARR equivalent of Super Badasses, but they're really the replacement for NMs from FFXIV 1.0
So it's a bit of love/hate I have with the THM as it stands. It's a fun and very unique spellcaster class I've learned to appreciate when I was able to get in the zone with it, but sometimes I couldn't help but think I should've focused on levelling Conjurer instead given all the heals and Raises I saw myself doing in dungeons and in FATEs.
To be sure, FFXIV:ARR's Armory system allows you to be whatever class you want at any time simply by equipping a weapon used by that class. Indeed, that's the only way to learn abilities from other classes that you can then "import" into others (there are restrictions of course; the THM cannot use the Conjurer's group healing spells for example, and the Conjurer cannot use the THM's Fire and Ice spells). The only challenge is that the levels are separate for all your different classes, meaning you need to grind them up individually.
Well that's a wrap for beta phase 3 and my time as a THM! If the Arcanist really does make it into Phase 4 (the open beta rumored to be ready early August), I will want to try my hand at that because you get to start in the scenic Limsa Lominsa as that class! :) If not, I will probably focus on levelling Conjurer instead because I so love to cure what ails ye TEEHEE. :suikiasmile: But seriously, I want to at least try my hand at summoning Carbuncle cuz I WANNA BE THE VERY BES-*message terminated*.
My THM's final moments before everyone got wiped at the end of P3. I hope she served the Immortal Flames with pride
- Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Joined Dec 14, 2000
- 33 years young
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