Thursday, March 26, 2015

Final Fantasy XIV: Low Level Magic

I played to level 15 with all three magic classes.  Later, these classes evolve and split off into more than three jobs once they reach the job stage at level 30, but all Discipline of Magic jobs stem from these three classes.

Level 15 is a key point in Final Fantasy XIV because it's the point at which you can use the Duty Finder to automatically find groups and run dungeons.  It's when the game really picks up and becomes much more fun.

Dungeons are one of my favorite parts of the game and they also give great loot and experience.  I would much rather level via dungeons than via grinding out Leve Quests.  And that's what I've had to do while getting these classes up to 15.  Lots of Leve Quests.

Actually, under level 10 isn't too bad if you do your class quests and your class hunting log.  It'll generally get you to level 10 without too much grinding.  But leveling from 10 to 15 is a slog.  That's where Leve Quests come in.  Unfortunately, Leve Quests don't add much variety.  Any one Leve Quest vendor will give you the same four or five quests over and over.  The quests scale to be the optimal difficultly and experience... but going through the motions of the quests is exactly the same every time.  It's an efficient way to level, but it's not a very interesting one.

Right now I hate levels 10-15.

That's my basic methodology... do class quests, do hunting log, then do Leve Quests.  I got all three of these classes up to 15 even though it took awhile.  One of the benefits is that I can now start getting rid of low level gear in my inventory.  More importantly, I'm excited to start running dungeons as these classes.

But what have I thought about the actual classes up to this point?


Arcanist has been my favorite of the three magic based classes.  I thought I would like the Scholar job and this is the class that leads to it.  It has a mixture of damage over time (DoT) skills and healing abilities.  It also has a sweet summonable pet.  Arcanist is the class that leads to the Summoner job, so that makes sense, but it's cool seeing that the Scholar gets summons too!  This is the class that I'm most excited to level up beyond level 15.


I went into Conjurer expecting to not like it.  It seemed like the boring start to the White Mage job.  I was wrong.  Conjurer is actually really fun.  It's a combination of elemental attacks, healing, and damage mitigation.  The damage mitigation really sets it apart from Arcanist in an interesting way.  I liked my time leveling this class to 15 and now I'm intrigued to see how it plays with groups in dungeons.


I like DPS classes a lot.  I always have.  My main job is a Bard, which is a ranged DPS, and I love playing as it.  This is a ranged DPS caster and I thought it would be a great fit for me.  It is not.  I can't seem to get my head around the correct spell rotation or how the class abilities work together.  I feel like I must be doing it wrong.  This class leads to the Black Mage job, which is one of the most powerful DPS classes in the game.  I hung in there and got Thaumaturge to 15 but I wouldn't go back to this class without doing a lot of research first.  I feel like there's some key aspect about the spell rotation that requires more explanation than I've been given in the game.

And that's all of them.

I had a lot of fun with these casters and now I'm super excited to take my two healing classes into dungeons.  I anticipate running dungeons as a healer will be a completely new experience.  I look forward to it!


  1. Black Mage's rotation is an odd duck until level 38, really, where it smooths out a lot with having both Fire 3 and Blizzard 3 able to instantly swap you from 3 stacks fire buff to 3 stacks ice buff, without needing to hit Transpose in between and then cast Fire 1 or blizzard 1 to build up from 1.

    Of course then you level up some more and pick up the proc traits and that throws the rotation out of sync a little, but it's actually considered to be the "easiest" rotation among all the various dps classes.

    Summoner is the one that gets me. Apply 30 second dot, apply 24 second dot, apply 2nd 24 second dot, apply 18 second dot, spam ruin until the 18 second dot finishes, so reapply it, then by the time it's there you need to refresh both the 24 second dots, then refresh the 30 second dot, hit Ruin, time to refresh the 18-second dot again, hit ruin 2 or 3 times, avoid an ae from the boss, apply the 24 second dots again, try to cast ruin ,have to move again, hit ruin... wait, where'd my 30 second dot go? And why is my pet dying? And did I mention that the mage pet can be used to double the dot length remaining once per minute, which makes the refresh timers even weirder?

    OTOH, I *love* SCH and WHM. WHM does surprisingly good damage while solo too, though I'll admit to mostly leveling it up by healing dungeons in the duty roulette for the bonus xp. SCH is pretty cool becuz your fairy pet will always cast its main heal spell even when on Obey mode, so there's always a baseline of healing happening that doesn't even cost you any mana to cast. In the lower level dungeons especially it's complete ez-mode -- you can often spend most of your time in Cleric Stance doing damage while the fairy handles nearly all of the healing. It's quite impressive.

    1. Thanks for all the info!

      Now you have me really excited to level these up some more and play around in dungeons. Summoner hadn't been on my radar before, but I think DoT classes are really interesting to play so I might end up picking it up now. Thanks for your higher level explanations!

    2. Thanks for all the info!

      Now you have me really excited to level these up some more and play around in dungeons. Summoner hadn't been on my radar before, but I think DoT classes are really interesting to play so I might end up picking it up now. Thanks for your higher level explanations!

    3. I also left out the whole Aetherflow mechanic for the summoner too -- do you case Fester for more damage? Or do you cast Energy Drain to help with your mana pool? There's that to mix in too.

      OTOH, if you use the melee dps pet (which I'm told actually does more damage than the mage pet anyway and also is even more excellent in raids since it takes advantage of the debuffs that dragoons and monks put on the mobs) you at least don't have to worry about the dot-length skill throwing everything off.

      And hey, if that's what trips your trigger, then go for it! It doesn't do it for me, but if you like it, more power to you!

      From my own recent post about my SMN experience:

      I have decided that while I like the Summoner when soloing with a tank pet, I’m not really fond of it in a group situation. But I finished the Relic quest, so I’ve got my i90 book for it. And Scholar’s now to the point where I need to kill Hydra and then the 3 primal hard modes to get the book for that job. WHM already has an i110 weapon off the market board, so I’m not sure I’ll bother running the quest again since the reward is i90 after spending the additional 450 soldiery tomes, and I still need to upgrade my pants and belt to i100, so I’d rather save up the 1200 tomes for that, ya know?

  2. I have more luck fate grinding than levequests, but I really dislike levequests so there's that.

    1. I tried to do a mixture of both, but they both get repetitive quickly.

    2. Fate grinding in Coerthas can be kinda fun since the fates there are fairly varied and spread out across the zone, so they don't feel as grindy as they might.

      I find that I have a fairly high tolerance for the repetitiveness of the leve quests. In Mor Dhona after level 45 I find I can grab 4-5 regular leves plus 6 GC leves and then go knock them all out in less than half an hour and it was a thrid of a level, so it actually goes pretty quickly and due to it having been 10 or 11 different quests, it doesn't feel too grindy to me.

      OTOH, as a WHM I went from 48-50 in a "DD 1st room" group and it took less than an hour to get the 2 levels. Becuz it went so fast, it didn't feel like a grind at all. Full details on it here:

  3. My main is a White Mage, and I love it, but I fell in love with the Conjurer so much more. I really want to get my BRD or BLM up next so I can have a good DPS class because even though I have a mid-30s ACN/SMN/SCH, I just don't like that class. I think it's gonna stay low forever now.

    I'm excited for Astrologian, though. Card-based healing? Yes, please!

    1. I'm really interested to see what they do with the Astrologian. It could be a fun class!