So we’ve had quite a few days to gnaw on the neck of the last Live Letter and suck out all of the infojuices from it. Translations of Japanese tooltips have been made, videos created, and threads on Reddit springing like horny flowers in early Spring.
So, in the interest of said information, as well as to close out the dummy’s blogs for Stormblood Squee Week Extra, I wanted to cobble together my impressions of the new Samurai (SAM) and Red Mage (RDM) Jobs arriving with the expansion.
Now I should preface all of this by saying that I’m forming initial impressions based on footage in the Job Actions trailer as well as a translation from Reddit of skills that were on-screen during the Live Letter 36. So, to that point, nothing here is really finally final. Also, these are third-hand accounts of what I’ve seen and read. So, grains of salt, items subject to change, terms and conditions, yadda yadda yadda.
That all said, I’ll get the pretty easy one (for me) out of the way first: SAM.
I’ll admit to a bit of curiosity when the SAM was first confirmed to be arriving, but nothing about the job particularly seemed fascinating to me. From a roleplay standpoint, my character doesn’t really fit the mold of an elegant and composed swordmaster, and from a gameplay standpoint I don’t care about katanas enough to be beside myself with excitement. And after seeing information that’s out there now, the latter is definitely reinforcing the former.
SAMs build up two different meters: a Kenki gauge that fills with certain attacks and is spent on other abilities, and three Sen symbols that unlock when certain abilities combo into each other, which can then be burned on more powerful attacks. Basically, it appears to work quite a bit like the Mudra combos that Ninjas in the game use to perform Ninjutsu attacks.
Which is a long way of saying that I really don’t care about any of this type of gameplay. It’s just not for me.
Here are a couple of my problems with the mechanics of the SAM. For one, it probably isn’t going to be too much different from Ninjas in terms of damage output considering a lot of their mechanics appear to parallel. Two – and I know I’m repeating myself – but I really don’t revere the katana. I just don’t. I mean, as a weapon it’s beautiful, but I don’t find myself incapacitated by awe by the mere thought of the thing.
There’s also been some question raised about what sort of utility or “value” the SAM will bring to raid groups, which annoys me that people immediately wonder about that. That’s a failing of the endgame gear grind MMORPG than the fault of the class, though. Still, if enough people care about that, it means you might be hosed out of top-end raids simply because you think katanas are neat. Which sucks.
That all said, I’ll likely glean enjoyment out of watching a SAM operate much like I do watching a Ninja do their thing.
The RDM is a lot more interesting to me here. Not from a character standpoint, but most definitely from a mechanics and gameplay one. It appears to be just a bit more engaging and, very possibly, more satisfying for players.
It all starts off at range, where the RDM casts various spells to charge up black and white mana. After some presumed threshold, the RDM lunges into melee range to unload a whole bunch of fencer-style sword attacks that spend the stored mana before flipping backward to a distance and casting spells again.
Essentially, it sounds quite a bit like playing a Black Mage that idolizes The Three Musketeers a little too hard.
This Job I might actually pick up for the sheer laughs merely because I wanna know how it feels, but I know for a fact that my husband will be playing one at launch and so will be most curious to know his impressions. Still, at least from a gameplay and style perspective, the RDM hits so many buttons for me.
Once more, there’s a question of “raid utility”, but I assume that there’s perhaps some support or other benefits that the RDM will have sprinkled in to make it appealing for endgame activities. Frankly, I’m just looking forward to seeing these dapper bastards springing around in a fight.
With all of that said, I still am a lot more focused on the Jobs that I have available to me now and what they’re bringing to the game. Everyone’s getting a little bit of something it seems, and I couldn’t be more squee-cited.
Unfortunately for me, I’m gonna have to sit on that squee until early access. Mercifully for you guys, that means a break in the posts on the topic until at least after regular launch on June 20th. That said, I thank you once again for indulging me in making giddy and over-analytical posts about one game. ❤