I don't know about pointless... (I've seen far worse in the past few months on these forums... mainly from the lack of new information for a while)
If the battle gage started empty, it would be hard to begin the encounter with everyone casting their most powerful spells/abilities.
A few things to consider when you're contemplating the viability of "manaburns". (And for the record, I wasn't aiming to be snide with my XIV =/= XI comment, and you'll see why).
For starters, the new system vs. the old would be inconsequential in terms of alpha system = no manaburn, beta/retail = manaburn. The only difference is that under the alpha system, you would draw your weapon (which represented a delay) and then once you were "prepared" for battle, your ATB gauge would start charging. You didn't have to do anything beyond draw your weapon in order for it to charge so once you're set up, you're good to go. The purpose for the change was to get rid of that extra (and pointless) delay from, "Oooh! Something to poke with my stabber stick!" to "Ready to poke!"
Second, while there is talk of certain class abilities that will allow for the regeneration of mana in the field, the extent to which that will be effective is unknown. In the absence of that option, your only means of recovering mana in the field is to visit an aetheryte node, which would force manaburn "camps" to camp near those nodes. That means there would only be as many viable camps as there are nodes, and we don't know how many of those nodes there will be on a zone by zone basis. We know that when you complete a levequest, one appears in your general viscinity to return to the aetheryte where you started the quest but in terms of static nodes, it may or may not be viable but it is
a convenient segue to the next consideration:
We can assume that it will only be a brief time before even the most anti-change XI player will start to realize that forming a party to go off and pull mobs to a static camp somewhere is a sub-par alternative to levequests. I expect people to form medium/large groups for levequests and when they're out of levequests to do that day they'll either break off and go solo or roam around in small groups. The camping days of XI are not going to carry over to XIV. It's just really **** dull and as I said, it won't take long for people to realize that. And that means that the viability of manaburns will become a function of what guildleves are available to you. It's entirely possible that there will be all kinds of levequests that will be ideally suited to groups of casters only. It's just as possible that the group makeup will require a little more diversity.
So pause for a moment and, based on what we know, consider all of the things working against
manaburns as viable and compare them to the handful of subjective benefits. Parties consisting of all casters? Possibly. Manaburns? Probably not. Edited, Jun 16th 2010 10:32pm by Aurelius