I still don’t have all of the spells yet, but we’ve maybe done enough to talk about Blue Mage now regardless.
So this is my first time writing using the new WordPress format, and I’m not sure if I’m quite a fan. I’ll hold out my opinion of that after a few entries and see just how much it destroys my usual style. Regardless, onto Blue Mage!
Blue Mage is the first Limited Job in Final Fantasy XIV. Limited Jobs are, in one way or another, jobs that won’t be able to mesh well with the established balance of instanced content in the game. Some believe that this is because they’re going to be too powerful, but it honestly doesn’t feel that way with BLU.
Sure, you’re a monster capable of some insane amount of destruction. Especially at lower levels if you’ve acquired Thousand Needles, which is your go-to spell for leveling up early on. 1,000 flat damage spread evenly among all targets within a short range is crazy powerful compared to everything else you’ll use until 50, basically. However, I wouldn’t consider BLU to be game-breakingly strong.
In the case of BLU being a Limited Job, I’d like to put the attention more onto Yoshida’s other reasoning: spell acquisition. Anyone can queue into the current dungeon system as long as they’ve met level and item level restrictions. Yet, it’s entirely possible to meet these on BLU but also be missing spells which may be crucial towards performance and success. As a result, it’s been set as a Limited Job so that players could enjoy it in other ways. Though, I do feel those ways are much more limited than I’d like them to be.
Leveling up in general was actually really fun. Nikki and I both enjoy “the newbie experience” to MMORPGs and BLU provided that quite thoroughly. Experiencing any element of danger was fine enough, but getting to explore the nooks and crannies of areas we rarely visit anymore was a real treat. Sure, we could do that any time–but now we had a reason and a purpose to dig and explore. And for the most part, we were rewarded with some exciting vistas and some comfortable memories of our first adventures here in Eorzea.
Thanks Blue Mage, I’m glad that Nikki and I had those experiences together again.
Gathering your spells can be an absolute nightmare sometimes. During the initial height of Blue Mage’s release, there were plenty of people trolling those interested in the job. Either by dragging over much more fierce enemies, or one-shotting creatures before they could use their spells. Or more frustratingly still: persistently interrupting them somehow. This was made even worse with the people who couldn’t quite grasp the plainly stated methods for spell acquisition who’d also join them in preventing the monsters from using their spells. Oi.
For most spells we lucked out, and got them early. Mind Blast was particularly rough, and with that being one necessary for a quest it drove us both crazy. We even managed to pull a 1/1 on Shiva’s spell, which is surprisingly a lot more weak than I was hoping for. I don’t know if I’m exactly looking forward to entering more instance fights for spells though. For a job designed supposedly for solo play, you’ll always benefit with more BLUs around–and you need to enter those instances with help.
I think if getting spells were a bit easier, either through increasing BLU’s power or by increasing learning rate, things might not be too bad. Between the two, I’d like Blue Mage to be stronger in general. If we can’t queue up for dungeons, then let us destroy them.
I only did a bit of Masked Carnival, and overall it was very nice. Getting to decide your gameplan by exploiting enemy weaknesses and using your spells appropriately made it a bigger challenge than just mastering a job’s rotation. Of course, most of these encounters can be cheesed quite easily–and I’d probably recommend that for a few of them.
Masked Carnival was a decent source of Poetics to secure the rest of my i130 gear for Blue Mage. After getting those in though, I’m not sure if I’d go beyond and do it just for fun. Unlike a few folk I follow on Twitter, BLU isn’t something I’ve been dying to play for ages on end–so maybe this content is more for the diehard fans. Certainly nothing wrong with that!
Overall, I liked Blue Mage. It certainly needs a lot of work, especially if they want to continue this “solo play” concept at all. I look forward to what other jobs they could bring to the table under the Limited Job system.