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Thoughts and Ruminations on being an Arcanist Follow

#1 Sep 01 2013 at 10:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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(Fair warning, this is Looong >.> If you desire to skip past the context, jump to The Impressions at the bottom where I talk about how I feel early ACN works. )

Firstly, I would offer that caveat that this is not meant to be a guide as such on how to be an Arcanist. This is merely my interpretations of my experiences with the class and some of the conclusions I’ve made up to this point (which can and probably will be subject to change). So if you feel the unwavering rage to reply to my post with your nubby rage digits, please remember and consult this paragraph first.

/cheer

The Beginning

Anyroad, so I came to the Arcanist class with the desire to be a Scholar. I think it’s a lingering desire to achieve the Scholar class from FFxi, which I never managed to pull off, and well, opportunities and second chances and such. I started out as a Conjurer, because I really didn’t want to have the hassle of starting Arcanist and then having to stop to relevel a secondary job. Conjurer >> Arcanist >> Scholar looked to be the most direct. And I like direct.

I think we all know how to get to 15 on our first job at this point, and I won’t bore you with details. Needless to say, Gridania was served well by me, and much healing and stoning was done.

OFF TO LIMSA LOMINSA!~

(Side note: I really do love it there.)

Leveling the second (or any subsequent job) is always more of a pain. The early game is streamlined to get you started, but the next time around, you have to have more initiative. Myself, I don’t mind the grind so much, and levels 1 -8 are pretty easy to get on any combat class. Blessed be the Hunting Logs. And Fates. Some folks don’t like ‘em so much, but I would run towards one whenever I saw it on the map. I find they add a sense of immediacy to the moment that killing 101 mandragoras just lacks.

And then I’m 15 again. Also, I am in love with K’lyhia. And she loves me too! She just doesn’t know it yet… *sigh*

The Adventure

And now its Miqo’te’s first instance (as an Arcanist). I healed once as a Conjurer, just to get a feel for the party system and to hopefully not nubsauce all over someone else’s serious Dungeoning. Here’s where the insights about the class come in, though I will be the first to say, this may only apply pre-20. I hear that instances scale up in complexity and it is not my place to speculate about that which I have not done.

And then I was at Sastasha. I struggled… oh it was embarrassing. I started out with TopCarbs, and I had been brought in as Healer, which was kind of nifty for me, because that’s kind of where I was aiming to get to with Scholar. I was like /score!

I will admit, I went in mostly blind. Arcanist is not Conjurer with a sparkle squirrel. I struggled with party targeting (I play on PS3) and keeping TopCarbs manageable. My first hint that half of Arcanist is pet management. I switched out to EmCarbs just so I wouldn’t have to worry about him, I had a hard enough time targeting the Tank for heals.

(Sidenote: if anyone has a macro that target’s the tanks or p1’s mobs, I would love to have it :D)

Survival occurred and one might even generously call it a success of sorts. I slinked away, hoping only to be forgotten of my less-than-stellar performance

Tam Tara. It was an… education in what an Arcanist can get away with. The second group was a MAR, LNC, me(!) and another ACN. So I had a safety net of sorts in that there was a second Physick to cover for me. I felt bad for the MAR, he was three levels under everyone (and I was synced to the instance at that). At first, knowing that TopCarbs is the glowing tank, I started out with EmCarbs. But our Tank just couldn’t hold hate from the two main DPS, who had clearly been running instances before and were geared to show it.

I pulled out TopCarbs to lend him a hand and inadvertently ended up tanking the instance. I would let the Tank charge off into the fight (because I am still new to the instances and have no clue where I’m going >.>; ). I set my Glowing Tank Machine to Guard and would then follow the Tank into the fight. After he would drop to about half health, I would Physick him back to full and let my pet run in front of me and just go at it. He’d take hate in good order, usually only in about 5 – 7 seconds. And from there, I would just heal my pet, occasionally keeping everyone else topped off. Just like that all the way through the Boss fight. And done.

Then the Copper Bell rang. I was 19 by this time (I was also secretly trying to retain a Retainer, so I could start crafting and making myself HQ gears >.>, so kind of ran around leveling, trying to find a quest to get my Retainer… just needed to follow the story quest. /facepalm)

And they want me to DPS~ I will be honest, healing as an Arcanist is way harder than Conjurer. So I was happy to maybe just back-up heal and focus on teaching the foul minions of Copper Bells Mines to fear my glowing squirrel. The Tank was better than the last two, but still under my level, and I actually pulled hate once just dropping DoTs and Ruin. But it only happened the once, and I think I targeted the wrong mob on that one, so there’s that. As a back up healer, it was easier to just jump in when things got a little dicey, because I knew EmCarbs would keep firing away, like the brilliant sentient DoT that he is. /hugs EmCarbs.
So that was a smooth run and all was well and good. Even got a stylish jacket out of the deal.

The Impressions

So, I have this idea that a party of just Arcanists would probably blow through an instance, though I feel once that starts happening, the class is on the sparkling steps to a nerf.

That aside, Arcanists are clearly the all-in-one class. Carbs can tank/DPS, while the caster drops DoTs and either adds to the pain or just straight up heals their glowing meat shield. TopCarbs can clearly tank instances, IMO. He has just under twice as much HP as any of the (admittedly few) Tanks that I worked with. He’s just got an easier HP pool to keep afloat compared to a player. And for a class that really has to steal most of its skills from the actual Healer class, that’s probably the saving grace.

Can an Arcanist replace a Conjurer? That’s more situational. Depends on how much you like scrolling through party targets, constantly spot healing. Its also much more dependent on group dynamics. If the other DPS just tear hate off mobs, well, you’ll be doing a lot more varied healing than just the Tank.
We don’t get the group heal and we don’t get the dedicated MND stat to go with it. As Healers we can do just fine, but there is definitely more hands work to be done in a Healer’s role.

Of course, that’s just three instances before twenty, so I know there are others out there far more knowledgeable than I, but for those coming up the ranks of our Incalculable Class of Arcanists, this will hopefully provide plentiful ideas to ponder as it pertains to parties.

/flail waves and a kiss for K’lyhia (she ignores me so cruelly ;_; )


Edited, for clarity Sep 2nd 2013 7:52am by Jjnnyrr

Edited, Sep 2nd 2013 10:24pm by Jjnnyrr
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Vrrynn Moonshadow (Mi'qote / Ul'dah / Faerie )
SCH 50 (/*-*)/ WAR 50 (and the rest are works in progress)

Vrrelle Moondancer (Mi'qote / Limsa / Faerie)
PLD 50 (rawr~) MRD 29

Vrrllyrr (Mithra / San d'Oria / Seraph)
Drg 75 (I <3 Lumi!)

"The problem with black and white, is that is turns grey at all the points of contact."

"I feel its an insult to Mithra everywhere that rabbits can /check as 'Tough' instead of 'Lunch'"
#2 Sep 02 2013 at 2:45 AM Rating: Decent
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thanks for the post! i jist started acn and i find the 'context' section v helpful in preparing me for what is up and coming. although as a con and mrd in my 30s, i believe group cures are quite impt :( which acn doesnt have access to early in the game. hope you enjoy the class, cuz im not really loving it that much lol xD
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#3 Sep 02 2013 at 5:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nicely written!

And, just on your request for macro help, something like this is good, while you're targetting the mob (esp. useful for when you DPS/backup heal):

/ac "Physick" <mo>
/ac "Physick" <tt>
/ac "Physick" <me>

So, <mo> is mouse over. Hover over a target's namepane in the party list, or the player themselves, and they get the heal. <tt> is target of target. If you're on the mob, it will target the target of that mob i.e. the tank/Topaz Carby. The last one is self-explanatory - if there is no mob, and you're not hovering your cursor over anyone, you get the heal. Just make sure you turn off error messages in your chat log - else you spam yourself!.

I used this a lot in P3 as THM (replace Physick with Cure), where I would spot-heal the tank if the healer was under stress, or after big AoE damage (I'm looking at you, Ifrit!). Getting to know the various targetting commands inside the < > is the key to writing good macros - I believe there is a tutorial note on this somewhere in the early stages of the game (maybe first time you open the macro interface).
#4 Sep 02 2013 at 11:22 PM Rating: Good
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Ooh! Now that will be a big help. Thank you~ :D

And I'm glad you liked my little tale of travels and travails. :)

Edit - Sidenote!~ Could I conceivably target the tank and use:
/ac "insert combat spell here" <tt>

And use that to fire on what the Tank is attacking so I'm always focus firing on the main target and just use a regular macro for heals?

I can't tell if I'm being most extremely clever or that special kind of foolish.

Edited, Sep 2nd 2013 10:34pm by Jjnnyrr

Edited, Sep 2nd 2013 10:35pm by Jjnnyrr
____________________________
Vrrynn Moonshadow (Mi'qote / Ul'dah / Faerie )
SCH 50 (/*-*)/ WAR 50 (and the rest are works in progress)

Vrrelle Moondancer (Mi'qote / Limsa / Faerie)
PLD 50 (rawr~) MRD 29

Vrrllyrr (Mithra / San d'Oria / Seraph)
Drg 75 (I <3 Lumi!)

"The problem with black and white, is that is turns grey at all the points of contact."

"I feel its an insult to Mithra everywhere that rabbits can /check as 'Tough' instead of 'Lunch'"
#5 Sep 03 2013 at 12:47 AM Rating: Good
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I liked your write up. I finally ran my first dungeon as a Arcanist running EmCarby and healing. I usually main Conjurer.

I found the lack of Medica made me anxious when an AoE went off or the mages started pulling adds.

Otherwise I felt it was more fun when I wasn't healing (Maisma/Bio/Ruin + VIrus instead of Stone/Aero).
#6 Sep 03 2013 at 7:51 PM Rating: Good
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Arcanist is a fairly straightforward class, although it appears to be a hybrid of several classes. Similar to BST in FFXI you basically live and die by your familiarization of your pet abilities, armor, hi-pots, and food attributes. What and when to cast a certain spell means life and death when fighting mobs 5-6 levels higher than you.

I believe that arcanist is a pretty effective heal class in its on rights. Arcanist is not a whm and I don’t believe it was ever intended to be. It’s not about spamming heal spells, it is a careful balance of debuffs, drains, and heals that saves your tnk when he/or she hp is low. FFXIV is different from FFXI in that characters can add ability’s, for instance a tnk with heal (Pld) can use it help mitigate hate.

Arcanists in FFXIV really resemble rdm’s, and we know how kickass rdm’s were in FFXI. They are equipped with bio, virus, drain, and disease (DOT). Not to mention it also has a highly effective mobile tank.

Pet classes are unique and offer a distinct challenge, learning how to control agro and when the fight is a lost cause (flight or fight). Having played FFXI as an smn/whm and bst/nin you learn how to get yourself out of sticky situations.

Healing is no different; I like to develop a pattern of healing and debuffing. I guess first and foremost is not to allowing your tnk to fall below 60 percent. I say that because you now have to constantly cast a heal spell which, according to murphy’s law, pulls agro, mage classes are not built for punishment.

I simply state this; develop a style of play, level to 50. Wait for the additions to follow later on down the road for arcanist. Right now it’s to early, but I still love the pet classes. There is nothing like not having to wait on grp for several hours to get xp, although fates, leve quests, and guilde heists can ease the pain.


Edited, Sep 3rd 2013 10:09pm by jwilbur
#7 Sep 04 2013 at 11:03 AM Rating: Decent
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T.Carb is an amazing tank, but he has his limitations - as does ACN's healing ability. I was recently plopped into Brayflox's Longstop via the duty finder with a BRD and a SCH. The tank had bailed. The dungeon was already 3/5 done (for which I received credit btw). T. Carb tanked the trash mobs and the toad boss. The final boss, however, was another story. It took both the SCH and I pretty much spamming Physick to keep him healed. Physick simply does not heal HP to keep T.Carb alive on the final boss with just one person casting it (plus Sustain). I know this because I got dumped into a 3/5 run a second time, again without a tank, this time with a WHM who somehow could not target T.Carb.

Gear matters, buffs matter, and T. Carb gets no gear and pretty much just self-buffs. While awesome, T.Carb's tanking ability *is* limited, as is ACN's healing ability.

The other problem with pet tanking in a party situation is that if your pet-tank goes down, it is unlikely to get hate back if there has been a DD on the mob during the time your T.Carb (or Titan) was tanking. If that happens, hope your DD is adept and kiting, your actual healer good at keeping them alive, and switch to a DD pet to get the mob down as quickly as possible.
#8 Sep 06 2013 at 4:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Good post and reflects alot of my sentiments. I actually wish I found parties that were as open-minded (or maybe ignorant?) as yours. My parties have always told me to "DPS because you're DPS". And while 'i'm ok with that, I want to use Arcanist in every way it's been equipped. i got yelled at the other day when I pulled out Topaz to help the tank with some crowd control in a room where 10+ mobs spawned at once. The healer gave me grief cuz he said it made his job harder -.- Even though I told him he dind't need to worry about Topaz.

I feel that the population in general needs to recognize what all Arcanist is capable of doing. Until then, they usually get relinquished to straight DPS. For this reason, I'm going to be switching over to THM --> BLM for now. IF I'm going to be doing DPS all the time, I'd rather be a true-blue DPS class.

would love to run an all ACN instance sometime. I've shouted the offer a couple times, but no one ever seems adventurous enough to try.
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