I've found it to pick up in dungeons and party play. You crowd control with sleep and you also sweep trash mobs with AOE's like fire 2 and Bliz 2. Case in point: the first boss of copper bell.
Thundercloud is based on the thunder DPS, that's an added element to your rotation. I find when Thundercloud procs and your target is nearly dead, the best thing to do is swap out to the next mob with tab; get the free thunder II or III off, shift& tab back to your original target and scathe to land a killing blow on a mob. This will ensure your tanks target is dead, the new target has your thunder debuff and you are all set to proc again. So far the best tanks I've had PUGs with mark their kill order as the battle begins so you know which mob is next; thus facilitating the dark arts
. So, there is some depth and technique; I can see a foundation for them to develop on.
I am interested to see how black mage's abilities, ancient magic, and 3 or more stacks of umbral and astral buffs will complicate things. It's obvious that more complex stuff comes with more levels.
I can only really compare my experiences here to BLM in ffxi, and Shadow Priest in WoW.
In ffxi, before WoTG, while grinding, you really just rotated your 3 highest level spells on a mob; stunning when you could and draining/aspir when you needed to. You could try and magic burst, but, no one really WSchained in regular grinding, so you wouldn't get the chance. It believe it was looked upon as counter productive to maxing damage. People randomly shot off weapon skills when they broke the 100 tp cap and a higher level WS didn't always mean more damage (thus it really didn't facilitate WSC and MB). One would see it more so in merit parties, but I believe it was mostly to produce a LIGHT or DARK WSC which did tons of damage on their own; unfortunately you really didn't have any options as to dark and light spells... unless you wanted to MB dia or drain. The point is also moot as most BLM Solo'd on duo'd on puddings for merit points. MB ancient magic and AM2 never happened ; ;. As compared to FFXIV, however, I don't think it's any less fulfilling. I do like one thing about ffxiv as compared to ffxi: there is more going on than 6 guys beating up one monster on some random corner of the globe. This is aside from endgame content like SKY / SEA / Dynamis / Salvage ect [and even so, you aren't fighting Kirin errday anyhows].
As a Shadow Priest, during the ICC days, your rotation was fairly simple: be in shadow form, debuffs, mindblast, mind flay, PWK, and shadow fiend when oom, and repeat. Or at least some variant of the that. You very rarely used fear in party play and dungeon grinding as you could ***** yourself over with adds.
It become much more complex in PVP however. You had to use all your abilities depending on what you faced. From mass dispels (there was no greater joy than popping a paladin bubble to me), manaburns, to interrupts and fear, to fading to cancel snares. I found it very fulfilling cause of the depth there.
That being said I don't find THM here on FFXIV in terms of leveling, questing, and group play to be any less fulfilling as compared to WoW. I can say this though: I am excited about some real ffxiv pvp... FFXI was so lacking there.
THM has some depth in higher levels. BLM should obviously expand on things. It's just as interesting to me as ffxi and WoW counterparts at similar levels.
Just to be clear I don't mean to say that ffxiv is like the games i'm comparing it to, or that it should be like them or shouldn't be like them. I'm just offering my opinions as to if I found THM play, with the current ffxiv mechanics, to be fulfilling and enjoyable as I did with the other titles. Edited, Jul 8th 2013 12:03am by pulazka