When I was leveling the Archer/Bard, I often looked at Thaumaturges and Black Mages and wished I were them. They always seem to do more damage, and they just have cooler spells with their fire and ice and whatnot. And even more importantly, they actually have a useful Limit Break. (I would not wear the silly Gandalf hats, though.)
Then I actually played a THM through level 15, and quickly changed my mind. It’s not often that I actively dislike a class, or find it so annoying to play that I actually wish harm upon the developers who created it. But THM was definitely one of those classes. It was very aggravating to solo with, because every time you move out of an enemy telegraph, you stop casting. And the casting times are really, really long, so by the time you’re ready to get another spell off, the enemy is forcing you to move again. Once I got to 15 I was glad to park that class. It will probably be the absolute last class I ever get to 50.
Then I started leveling a White Mage, and wanted that lovely Swiftcast spell. Oh, Swiftcast. Why did you have to be a THM spell? So began the arduous task of leveling THM from 15 to 26.
(Swiftcast, by the way, lets you cast the next spell instantly, which is incredibly handy for instant battle rezes.)
Thankfully, once you get to level 15 you can stick to dungeons and never go out soloing any more. Still, I find it a very aggravating class to play. Maybe I just don’t have a natural aptitude for it.
It feels like you’re constantly having to make judgment calls. Do you have enough mana for one more Fire spell or should you Transpose to Umbral Ice now? Should you cast another Blizzard and wait for the Transpose cooldown, or should you just start casting Fire early? (I think the answer to that one might always be yes, wait.) Does the enemy have enough health left to justify another spell cast or should you switch to another target? Is it worth the extra cast time to throw out the Thunder DoT or should you just skip it? And any time you get something wrong you end up wasting a really long spell cast. Oh, and you can’t move.
I’ll admit there is a certain challenge to getting everything right, but it doesn’t feel like it’s worth the extra effort. I mean if I knew that a BLM could achieve double the DPS of a BRD, I could see sticking with it. But I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet. In my highly scientific test of running one dungeon with a BRD, my DPS was about the same, according to one of those janky log parser thingys. Then again, I’m pretty terrible at THM so maybe a more skilled player actually could do twice the damage.
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