Friday, May 14, 2010

Sub-Routine: White Mage.

I should have probably gone back and revised the Ninja sub job post because apparently SE did explicitly state during Vana'fest that they would be keeping the Ninja and White Mage stances exclusive to their main jobs. This means that the information for Ninja might not be correct and that decreases the benefits of subbing Ninja by quite a bit. I thought about ranting about how the jobs that would sub Ninja actually need Yonin and Innin, but I think I am going to save that for a separate post. Also, I am going to include the White Mage "stances" because I think they should be included and available as a sub job, but I will get into the specifics for that below.

My general thought on White Mage is that it is still going to be a core subjob for all mage jobs. Now, you might think that I am retarded because I just made a post praising RDM as the new sub job that all mages are going to use. I still think that is the case for some mage jobs, like BLM and SCH because they either have access to the specific spells that /WHM brings to the table (SCH) or they don't give a fuck about those spells (BLM). The problem is that several mage and support jobs will still be called upon do perform the roll of a WHM main. For example, in Salvage many RDM are required to be able to fill the roll of a main healer also (and there is also the fact that a RDM can't sub RDM, LOL). This requires access to a full compliment of -na spells and Erase which are best available through /WHM. In the end, offensive mages are almost definitely going to want to use /RDM but healing mages are going to want to use /WHM, and support jobs are going to have to pick what they need on a case by case basis.

Afflatus Solace @40 (maybe?).
Of course people are going to say this is the reason that /WHM shouldn't get access to the WHM main stances, but are they really thinking about it that deeply? SE actually put this ability together pretty well when they made it, and that is why I am not really worried about it. The real benefit of Afflatus Solace is the "cureskin" effect, or the bonus Stoneskin that is given to the recipient of the Cure. This would be a problem if everyone was walking around with a full strength "cureskin" effect, but that is not the case. The cap on the amount of "cureskin" you can give is based on the level of your WHM, so subbing it will mean that you will have a lower cap. If the "cureskin" is too strong while subbed then SE may have to do some tweaking down either by decreasing the "cureskin" effect at lower levels, or by nerfing it while subbed. But if you consider the fact that SCH gives their healing and cast bonus at full effect, I don't see why WHM can't give out at least a nerfed "cureskin" to other mages.

"Cureskin" isn't the only benefit to Solace, but the other benefits either have limited use or can't be accessed. Here is a quick run down.
*Sacrifice - Higher than the 49 level-cap.
*Bar-Element Effect - Ok, this one might need to be nerfed a little bit. RDM is already able to hand out a decent Bar-Element but a good WHM is going to have a much higher -ra effect. It's not that big of an effect, but it's definitely something WHM need to do well and RDM don't really need. I would say that this shouldn't be available when subbed or it should only be +1 or +2 MDB at best.
*Holy - Only other job with access to this is PLD, and while they might be able to drop a big Holy because of this, I just don't see it as all that game breaking.

And that is about it. I still can't see why /WHM should get Afflatus Solace.

Afflatus Misery @40 (Maybe?)
If I think that /WHM should get Solace, there is no reason they shouldn't get Misery. Like Solace the amount of damage you can take to increase it's effect is limited by your level, so you would only be getting the subjob level of effect. Unlike Solace though, Misery doesn't really have a permanently beneficial effect, but it all spell specific, so lets look over those.

*Cura - Incredibly efficient but never really used because if you are a good WHM for the most part you aren't going to take much damage. /WHM is going to have access to this anyway, and the level correction on Misery is going to limit the additional potency.
*Esuna - Higher than the 49 level-cap.
*Auspice - Higher than the 49 level-cap.
*Banish - Like Holy this could be used to increase their damage, but again it is limited by the level correction on the damage absorbed effect. And really... who is going to be spamming Banish anyway?

I will say it again, there is no reason /WHM shouldn't get these abilities, there is nothing game breaking. A limited Solace effect is not really that much better than what you can get from /SCH, and come on, /WAR is going to give freaking Aggressor. It's time to throw /WHM a bone.

Now onto the spells. I am only going to go over the critical ones here, I don't think we really need to worry about every little random Bar-spell that /WHM is going to get.

Teleport-Altep and Yhoat @ 38 and Teleport-Vahzl @ 42.
These spells would have meant a whole lot more a couple of years ago, but today those Teleports just aren't that important because there isn't much reason to go to those places. Even if you are leveling in those areas, most parties are going to have at least one WHM main in it that can teleport then change jobs. Besides, there are tons of alternative ways to get around the game anyway, and that cuts into the relevance of these teleports most fundamentally.

Stona @ 39.
This is the last -na spell that WHM had uniquely. Honestly, I am more concerned that SE is giving this up as a subjob spell than I am about the WHM stances. A good spell to have and it will let the WHM not have to worrying about exclusively covering this from now on. I do think that SE should give Amensiana (Amensna?, Amensina?) to WHM above the new sub job cap so WHM has that one last -na spell that no one else gets.

Haste @ 40.
Went over this when discussing RDM already, but man, this is going to be great of a lot of mage subs. BLM will love it (but will probably get it from /RDM), SCH will love it (but will probably get it from /RDM), SMN will love it (but don't they already have it from Garuda?). It will be exclusive to /WHM if the first level cap increase is only to level 80, but after that /RDM is going to have it too, and then it's not really going to matter. It's a good spell, necessary and it's probably time that other jobs get access to it even if it is through there sub job.

Cura @ 40.
See above under Afflatus Misery. Potentially interesting, but probably never going to be used.

Cure IV @ 41.
Finally, the non-RDM and non-SCH mages will get access to a decent cure, even if it is a hate-filled monster. No more Cure 3 spam. But again this is a much greater blow to WHM uniqueness than both of the Afflatus JA's combined. I think SE is going to need to give WHM a new even bigger Cure (Cure VI? I know totally original) to make up for this. If not, you might see WHM quickly pushed to the back burner because most jobs are going to be able to do the basic function of a WHM just by subbing the job. This had almost completely happened before with RDM, and while the Afflatus JA's fixed the situation, it was RDM's access to Cure IV and Haste that caused the situation to begin with.

Regen II @ 44.
I think this one is going to be play style dependent, but some people love their Regens. I don't think it will be much of a factor for most people though.

Flash @ 45.
This one is surprisingly unimportant, I think. While Flash can be nice to help out a tank, I don't know that it is a make or break spell for anyone that would want to sub WHM. That is unless NIN would want to sub WHM, and I am not really kidding here. NIN/WHM would get access to Haste, self-cures and Flash, that is potentially a whole lot of hate. NIN already largely subs DRK just for a couple of hate spells and three 5+ minute job abilities. /WHM has the potential to deliver more hate, more quickly outside of those JA's. I think it is at least worth looking into after the level cap hits 90+.

Protect III and Protectra III @ 47.
A nice additional spell for jobs that don't get access to it a convenient Protectra. Nothing to write home about, but I don't think people are going to be complaining either.

Repose @ 48.
A light-based sleep available to jobs like RDM, BLM and SCH? That is pretty powerful, and it will definitely cut into the utility of the remaining jobs that have exclusive access to light-based sleep. BLM, RDM and SCH are already known for their crowd control skills, getting Repose isn't going to overpower them, but I don't think they are going to be looking down their nose at it either.

Subbing WHM is going to offer some pretty powerful options and even if SE decides that no one else besides WHM should have access to the Afflatus "stances" it is still going to be a great sub job. So if you are a mage main, get out there and level your WHM! And if you are a NIN, at least give the /WHM some thought, because I think it might surprise you!

Two final things. First, that awesome WHM painting at the start of this article was blatantly stolen from Atua on the FFXI AH website. It's a great work! Second, this is my last post for a week as I am going on vacation. I won't be back until May 24th. Maybe if you are lucky and you wish really hard, Omoi might post something on the blog to keep you entertained while I am gone. :)


Anonymous said...

/RDM gets haste at 96/48. Until then, /WHM is the only option.

SCH gets stona and stonaga already at 50, so it's not unique, but /WHM will be the only sub to get it.

It's going to be a very powerful sub until the final level cap increase, but I think /DNC will still win for melee, and /RDM or /SCH for most mages. One /WHM in a party is probably enough.


Evilpaul said...

Repose is really only potentially useful to RDM (E skill), PLD (A...-?), and SCH (B+ w/ Light Arts)

Evilpaul said...

I think I'll definitely switch from NIN/DNC to NIN/WHM in Campaign for what that's worth. Haste and RR are really great for it. Some of the NMs will probably become soloable as NIN if you can self-Haste.

Maybe even go w/ a Dagger mainhand and spam Energy Steal.

Could be fun. ^.^