So I'm a mage again.
I know, you're shocked. By you, I mean the fictitious you that reads this blog on any form of regular basis.
In recent months I've been spending time leveling THF (acheiving 69), SAM (reaching 58), and farming for the eventual equipment that I will "need" for endgame. However, SCH has slowly but surely taken over more and more of my time. I can't help it, the job is fascinating to me.
I started leveling SCH pre-Level Sync as a healer for one of Bratia's melee jobs. I can't recall which, to be honest. I found the job to be more or less a gimped WHM. However, as time went on, I duo'd it with my wife's BLM, and solo'd it as well. I began to see the possibilities of the job.
This morning, I hit 55, and I am wishing this job was available 5 years ago when I started. For those unfamiliar with the job, it's similar to RDM in that it borrows the spells from White and Black Magic schools already in existance. Two places where it deviates are what makes the job so unique, and sometimes frustrating.
The first is that it lacks many of the standard debuffs and buffs. This means no Paralyze or Slow, no Haste or Refresh, and no AoE spells of either school. They do receive Protect/Shell up to tier 4, as well as status removals (more on that in a minute), but instead they receive unique buffs and debuffs.
You see, SCH is the answer for the cries of adding a Geomancer to the game. Geomancers, in previous incarnations, used the elements around them to cause damage and status effects. Since they did not want to replace WHM or RDM with unique debuffs replicating the effects of the standard spells, they instead gave SCHs Helixes and Storms.
Helixes are a DoT effect that weakens a mob to an element. Storms create a localized weather effect on a friendly player, activating any latent weather effect equipment they are wearing.
To be honest, I have not seen too much effect in relation to these abilities. I've yet to level into my first Helix, and the Storms don't do much for me yet, since I lack the Elemental Obis and since the spell to guarantee effectiveness of a storm, Klimaform, is not really that useful yet.
No, the power comes from the second difference: The reliance on the Grimoire of Magic.
That's the conceit of how SCH works. They use their book of magic to cast their spells. But, that's not all it does. The book can be used to enhance the spells they cast. Here's where SCH gets interesting. They can turn many single target spells into AoE spells, lower the cost of spells, reduce their cast and recast times, or increase the power of their spells.
These effects can also be stacked, as well as combined with other job abilities like Divine Seal and Elemental Seal.
Yea, it's pretty damned awesome. It's even more so when you add into that the ability of these effects to be applied to spells reserved for self-targetting (Stoneskin and Phalanx most notably).
It has honestly left me torn as to how to proceed with gearing up for endgame. Do I save for all the awesome melee gear I'll want for SAM & THF, or do I leave behind meleeing for now to refocus on mage gear once again? It will be a question to face as my small fortune slowly creeps near 1 million gil...