Monday, May 10, 2010

Sub-Routine: Red Mage

I begrudgingly review Red Mage next not because I don't think that it will be a bad subjob, it will indeed be awesome, but because it is too obviously awesome. I wanted to hit on a couple of the more interesting potential sub jobs before I went too far into the obvious ones. The problem is that I think that most mages really want to know what is coming from RDM and what they are going to expect. And I also think they don't want to hear about another melee sub job. I think that there are actually some other interesting sub jobs for mages, but I do think that RDM is going to be the "go to" sub jobs for a whole lot of jobs once the level cap increases. I will say this, if you have a main mage job and you don't have RDM leveled then you are going to want to do that before anything else. Like right now... why are you still sitting there? Go! NOW!

Convert @ 40.
The quintessential RDM ability... and before Composure was added, the only non-two-hour ability that RDM had. Get an entirely new MP pool for your HP every 10 minutes. It's one of those abilities that had SE claiming they could never raise the level cap for over 5 years, and then one day SE drops the bomb says it's one of the great things about raising the level cap. Of course RDMs the world over are going to whine and complain about losing their signature JA, but that is because after BRD, RDM is the number 1 prima donna job. News flash, everyone else is losing their signature JA's too. And lets get another thing straight, while Convert is a powerful JA, it's not god-like. It's a full MP once every ten minutes. This is probably most beneficial for WHM in the end, because most other jobs have other limitations on how they can use the MP. SMN still have to wait on Bloodpacts, BLM get a few more nukes but nothing game breaking, SCH get to do more of their... well they do everything already. It just isn't that broken to give this to other jobs.

Magic Attack Bonus II @ 40.
I can only think of one job that is going to care about this because any job that it would really matter to already has something like this available. The one job that is going to care is SCH. SCH has no innate Magic Attack Bonus and has to get them from their sub job. While SCH can get MAB II from BLM already most SCH would still prefer to use RDM as a sub because it gives them access to a wider and far more utilitarian selection of spells. Getting MAB II from RDM as a sub job pretty much eliminates any reason to consider using BLM as a subjob altogether (as is MAB II was a reason to use BLM in the first place).

Magic Defense Bonus II @ 45.
While pretty bland at first this might be a nice little bonus for tanking jobs that already like to sub RDM for dealing with more magic damage intensive fights. PLD already sub RDM for fights like JoL because they can pull a lot of hate and don't need to worry about shadows at all. The problem is that Magic Defense Bonus II only provides +2 MDB over MDB I, while MDB I provides +10 MDB, so the upgrade is comparatively very small. It is an added bonus for those that would be subbing RDM anyway, but it definitely isn't enough to justify switching if you weren't going to do so already.

I am not going to go over every possible spell that RDM is going to get as a sub but I will go over the notable ones.

Raise @ 38.
While this is available for those mage jobs that generally sub WHM, this is a nice added boost to BLM that may need to raise a fallen comrade or if someone forgets to put up Reraise. This is nowhere as good Reraise, but it is something that may make life a little easier for people that want to sub RDM anyway.

Refresh @ 41.
This is the great grand-pappy of all the new things that we will be getting through subjobs as the level cap increases. This one is more game changing than anything else, including Convert. Almost all jobs are going to sub RDM because of this spell, as a constant 3MP per tick is just that good. While there will again be complaints from RDM about the loss of the main reason they are being brought to events (if any RDM thinks the only reason they are brought to events is because of Refresh then they must not know how to Enfeeble at all), SE has already hinted that they will be giving RDM a new Refresh II replacement to keep them in the refresh game. My guess is that it will be better than Refresh and it won't stack with Refresh, so all the prima donnas don't go crying home to mommy.

Sleep II @ 46.
While definitely not unique to the RDM sub job, it is just another added benefit when you are going to be subbing RDM anyway for those other bonuses. It gives mages a bit more real crowd control options if they have the enfeebling skill to use it properly.

Protect III @ 47.
Another little perk for those BLM out there that are going to be loving /RDM for other reasons. Take a little more of a physical beating before you die a horrible death because all of your crowd control got resisted.

Cure IV @ 48.
Another spell that you are going to get through a different sub job and much earlier too, but again, you are going to want to be subbing RDM for other reasons and having Cure IV now means that you are basically capable of doing what a RDM does right now. That doesn't necessarily mean that you will be able to fill the roll that a RDM does right now because MP and HP pools will definitely be increasing as the level cap increases and Cure IV might not be as good an idea as it is now (more Cure IV casts, more hate gained, more MP spent).

Haste @ 48.
This might sound familiar: A spell you really want, that you could get through another sub job, but you will want more from RDM. Essentially this will give all mages the ability to cast haste at least on themselves, and it may help to relieve the burden that is places on RDM and WHM to cover all of the melees and tanks with Haste. This one is so good that it might even mean that melees start to consider using a mage job as a sub. At very least it will be a major boost to PLD/RDM soloing just about everything, and it could mean that PLD/RDM takes over the "Soloing God" position from RDM.

And that's about it. RDM will get a few other spells, but nothing to write home about. RDM is going to be a really important sub job, not just for mages, but for PLD and a few other jobs as well. This is one of those sub jobs that you should level now before the first increase in the level cap so you are ready to go once the update hits.


Drakus said...

I think you are going to be seeing a lot more NIN/RDM once people start to figure it all out also. The three spells that jump out at me are Refresh, Haste and Cure IV. With the first two, a NIN tank becomes much more self sufficient and with Cure IV NINs will get another big hate spike spell (this will make up for not having Stun from /DRK). I think of all the jobs PLD and NIN will end up getting the most mileage out of subbing RDM, at least as tanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting Refresh from /rdm will give 1/tick for 40 ticks, conveniently paying for itself and nothing more.

Also MAB2 makes /rdm still a great sub for COR.


Anonymous said...

If there's one job that's going to get even better in the solo department it's BLM. BLM is a big contender. Not as great as RDM but can still preform unique or similar ones at a different pace. Haste, Refresh, and Convert are only going to strengthen it.

dantpup said...

Honestly, I think you seriously underestimate the power that Convert brings to the game. It really is, as they say, all that and more. Yes it's only full MP once every 10 minutes, but let me rephrase that: It's a free MP pool with no down time every 10 minutes, the period it takes most mages to burn an MP pool sufficiently enough to warrant a Convert in end game situations.

Giving WHM convert almost nullifies the importance of an hMP setup. Obviously there will always be times when hMP is needed (when convert is down after a tank takes a mighty strikes hit or 8 to the face) but in a standard fight, it will limit the needed down time for any healing job, especially WHM.

SCH is on the brink of becoming completely unstoppable as a mage as well. In addition to getting it's full array of stratagems, they'll have the ability to AoE Haste/Refresh, and to top it off they'll have the highest MP efficiency in the game, even if convert is at a 2:1 ratio. Between Penury and Parsimony, along with the MP cost reduction from Arts, Conserve MP, and Sublimation (or Refresh), it will be hard to justify other mages for many situations.

Convert carries with it the power to seriously reduce the major mana issues for every mage job, something that really hasn't been seen since Refresh was introduced. Unless new the content that is released push mages' MPs much much harder than the current stuff, the entire game is going to be seriously impacted by this change =/