So I’m looking at my calendar and the big “class changes” Live Letter is a little over two weeks away. I believe it’s planned for May 24th. My brother and I were going over our current plans leading up to that and I figured I would do a quick update.
I finished leveling White Mage recently and started working on Astrologian. Once at 70 I’ll have all the healers at the pre-expansion cap. I certainly feel, based on current experience, that I’m not a huge fan of White Mage. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its place, because I also do not agree that all the healers “play the same.” For healing and basic DPS, yeah, they have very similar toolkits.
They all have a couple of single-target heals, one or two group heals, some stuff not on the global cooldown, one or two nukes, and one or few DoTs. Independent of that, each one of the classes has a fairly unique mechanic or flow to it.
Scholar is a preventative healer that functions like a DPS pet for their healing pets, with their main heals, Adloqium and Succor, having built-in shields. Tends to be most useful in fights you know well enough to drop a timely shield to reduce the load on your co-healer. The shields don’t stack though, so double Scholar feels kinda pointless, like one of you is basically just a backup healer and off-brand dps.
White Mage is almost the opposite, though it does have a shield, it relies heavily on Regen and big heals to get through. It’s a little more reactive and if it gets away from you while you’re spamming Holy, you’re gonna have a bad time. Speaking of Holy, it’s a great AoE and has a nice little built-in stun. Of course, it drains MP really quick. Combine it with Thin Air (no MP cost), Cleric Stance (damage buff), and, uh, the one that makes you cast faster, and you can outrun the typical DPS class on packs of trash mobs. Until the tank dies anyway. It has very little in the way of MP control outside Thin Air and getting the lucky Freecure proc here and there.
Astrologian is now in the low 40s and I’m beginning to see the basic toolkit coming together. It technically has two stances that allow for either shielding or regen-based gameplay, but the shielding one is level 50 and I don’t have it. I think I would probably strongly dislike the class if I wasn’t already proficient and familiar with regen healing due to the other mechanics. It’s a little bit harder to use at my level because I have to stay on top of the tank and keep the heals moving. There have been several times where I looked at the health bars and my brother’s health was already under half and in the time it takes me to get on him and start casting heals I’m already in a hole I can’t dig myself out of.
The basic form of the card mechanic is very rewarding when it works. Nothing like a well timed group-wide haste or damage buff to make things happen. There are limits, of course, and micro-managing the card system would be very off-putting if I wasn’t already familiar with healing mechanics. Yeah, it only needs attention once every thirty seconds or so, but if a fight lasts that long it’s usually either almost over, or requiring a good deal of attention.
If I end up healing in Shadowbringers I’m considering doing it with Astro instead of Scholar. Of course, that could change in the next 25-ish levels too.
As for those ever-present inventory issues and the “true end game” that is the glamour system, I have a quote from a recent Polygon interview.
The amount you can store in the glamour dresser will be doubled from the original 200 to 400, and the number of glamour plates available will also be increased. These updates will come with the launch of Shadowbringers, but we will continue to update the glamour systems in the future as well! – Yoshida
Honestly the best part about this, to me, is more glamour plates, but it’s not like I’m using all the ones I have now. Still, it should be a well-received announcement. Even I have started retaining certain items for glam now that the dresser. Of course, that’s how you get a clogged toilet.
This is getting kinda long, I’ll leave it there and go on my way. Y’all take care, and remember, the French word for dresser appears to be “la commode.” This is how you end up with a glamour toilet instead of a glamour dresser.