Oftentimes when I go on the forums, any class forums really, I hear people crying that their class gets really sh*tty SP. Especially Conjurers, which is absolutely contrary to actual gameplay. As someone that has ranked up pretty high, as well as have other high ranked friends in my linkshell, I'll give you guys a few tips to not suck so much. I'll break it down into General tips first, and then Disciple of Magic specific tips second.
1) If you are higher than rank 14, you want to party. Before rank 14, you can easily farm Lost Ewes in Limsa followed by Puks / Thistletail marmots in gridania for TONS of shards/crystals. After rank 14, these things stop giving any SP, and it's better to start partying.
Partying is the absolute best way to get SP in this game. Whether you are a disciple of magic or a disciple of war, the way to get SP is by partying. That's really all there is to it. This is not a solo game. The only soloing you can do is guildleves, and rank 30 guildleves get hilariously low SP comparative to the amount you need to rank up (They give a **** of a lot of money though). Don't solo, this is not a solo game in the slightest. Also, use the party bonus. If you make a party, make sure all the members are +/-2 ranks of YOU. The people two ranks lower and higher will get the shaft, but who cares about them, right?
Oh yeah. Archers steal SP from other people. They do so much damage compared to other classes it's not fair. Try to limit the amount of archers you recruit. The amount of damage they do with warped arrows is insane.
2) Be smart in your partying. Different monsters are weak / strong vs. different things. Mages and Debuffers have innate advantages vs. High defense monsters such as Crabs, whereas pure damage have the advantage vs. low defense monsters such as Opo-opos. If you are in a crab party, try using moves that have debuffs. As a lancer, I spam Heavy Thrust, Trammel, Moonrise, (and obvious Feint) on crabs. My SP for damage hits for 50, and then my debuff will hit for 120 easily. Capping out with a good party in crabs is very common. On Opo-opos, I really only use Light Thrust, Moonrise, and Feint because I am trying to maximize my damage output on those.
3) Carry multiple weapons. This is really self explanatory. Your weapon will break at a rate of probably one every two hours, so the best way to maximize SP gains is to carry multiple weapons.
As you can see, I prefer to carry 4-5 weapons on me at all times. When I need to repair, I simply scout around the repair NPC or go to the respective guild, and throw down 5-10k gil for each repair. It gets things repaired quickly. If you need to, find a high rank crafter and whisper them personally in between synths. Repairsmen are very happy to repair your stuff. It gives them free money, extremely cheap SP, and actual human interaction (Something in general people like). Also, if you have something with rare/obscure repair components (Brass Squares, Beastkin Blood, Tortoiseshells, etc), have them on you and give them to the crafter. Seriously, nobody even carries that crap.
4) Use self buffs. Seriously. Ferocity, Profundity, Raging Strike, all of these give sh*t tons of SP if your attack connects. With profundity, unless you have Chainspell, use it on a spirit dart- the increased cast time is not worth it.
The 200 proc is from the profunditied spirit darts and the 50 proc after is from a regular spirit dart. Obviously it is somewhat higher than normal since I have profundity 2, but it's still very very worth it. Be careful though- self buffs draw a sh*t ton of emnity. Don't use it at a stupid time where you can wipe the group with it.
5) Softcap your VIT. Vit is the most important stat in the entire game. You're a fool if you don't softcap your vit. To do this, sit down and throw points in it until your HP doesn't go up anymore. Every time you rank up, throw another point or two into it.
1) Never nuke unless you have chainspell. It's simply not worth the casting time. If you are going to nuke anyways, nuke with the enemy's counter-element, not what you have on your bar. Fire > Ice > Wind > Fire, and Water > Earth > Lightning > Water. The element of the enemy is what it drops 6 shards of. If a star marmot is Earth element, chances are godly marmot of asskicking is also an earth element.
Use Spirit Darts and weapon skills for damage. Using nukes is just really, really not worth it.
2) You want your party to take as much damage as they possibly can. More damage = More SP gains for you. However, Dying = Less SP gains for you, and probably less friends as everyone will think you're a sh*tty healer.
Because of this, follow this dropdown chart
1) Can my team survive without stoneskin?
2) Can my team survive without shockspikes?
3) Can my team survive without rank 2 Cure spells?
4) Can my team survive without Protect?
5) Can my team survive without Shell?
The only thing better SP wise than killing Raptors, is killing Raptors without shell up. However, if your team dies without shell, then use it. Stoneskin is bad due to the long cast time, however it is sometimes a necessity (mostly on guildleves). Shock spikes robs the Disciples of War of their damage, however if the enemy is hitting way too hard, it may be needed. Rank 2 cure spells not only drain your mana quickly, but they also rob your allies AND YOU of SP. (For the record, healing spells grant SP based off of % used, NOT by amount healed. If you heal someone for 200 heal/200 max heal HP, you will get more SP than if you cured someone for 100 heal / 200 max heal HP. In this sense, by using Cure 1 twice will grant on average double the SP compared to one Cure 2). If your team can survive without protect, then don't use it. Same with shell.
For the record, usually 1, 2, and 3 are Yesses, 4 is sometimes a yes, and 5 is very situational.
3) Use Tranquility and Exaltation. See your max mana? Right when your MP bar goes to half that, use it. Running out of mana as a healer is a sign of a bad healer. Be careful though, it uses all of your stamina (which can be a problem if you need heals out), and it draws a sh*t ton of agro. If your thaumaturge and conjury skills are around the same rank, you can switch, use it, switch out. If they aren't the same rank, you're going to make all your spells fall off your bar.
4) Try to fight AoE mobs. AoE mobs give healers so much SP it's not even fair. You're looking at ranking up 50% faster than gladiators, and still faster than every other DPS class in the entire game by fighting AoE mobs. Make your party members eat the Cellar Puks backflip. Go kill skeletons at rank 20+. Go kill efts. Go kill things with AoE spells, your SP will love you so much.
That's all the tips. Just a note, Gladiators hold the title for the worst SP gains in the entire game. They have to level both shield and sword, effectively giving themselves surplus (and then they hit actual surplus, and it's even worse). Healers, contrary to your guys' beliefs, have the absolute BEST sp gain in the game.
I just love going to each class forums and seeing everyone ***** about their own SP gains.
Edited, Nov 11th 2010 5:33pm by Meowshi