FFXIV Stormblood: Falling in Love

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that despite the technical issues that cropped up with Stormblood, I’m far more optimistic about FFXIV than I probably have been in years. This, simply put, is because I think I’ve finally found a job that I love: Red Mage.

Rough Times

All throughout Heavensward, I had a tough time dealing with raids, end game content, and the frustration/exhaustion I felt at the whole thing. Part of it was because the game had become a repetition of Expert Roulettes and Alliance Raids, neither that I was particularly enjoying.

But I started to understand as time went on that part of the reason I didn’t enjoy the content was because I never found a job that really suited me. Therefore, I spent most of Heavensward end game being terribly frustrated no matter how hard I tried.

Bard had been my main job in ARR. I hated the changes that came with Heavensward that transformed them into a bowmage with nerfed damage (until a more recent patch). In fact, I put leveling on hold and spent about a year struggling to find a replacement DPS job.


The closest I came to this was playing Dragoon, which I ended up leveling to 60 twice between my main and my alt. However, Dragoon is a very active job, and gets exhausting for me to maintain good DPS, especially with the whole Blood of the Dragon timer counting down all the time. I was alright at it, and sometimes it was fun, but in more high-end content, it wiped me out.


For the same reasons, Monk and Ninja weren’t for me. I could never wrap my head around Summoner or Machinist, and Black Mage just got frustrating after level 50.

So… really… that left me with leveling Bard, swallowing the changes, and trying to do my best on Dragoon. But neither of these were sparking a feeling of “WOW! This is SO fun and I really want to play this and try it out in all sorts of content!”

Well… all that has changed.

Along Comes Stormblood

Stormblood ushered in some huge class changes, especially for Bard. I appreciate what I’ve seen of it, especially in making songs into actual songs that are something that improves the Bard themselves, not just those around the Bard. There’s a bit of support there, which is nice, but now Bard can stand on its own and buff itself as well.

I haven’t really spent that much time learning Bard, however, because Red Mage has consumed me. I honestly want to play nothing else right now.


It’s been a long time since I’ve felt a draw to a job in an MMO the way I am feeling towards Red Mage. I was hesitant to be too hyped for it at first because I didn’t know how the job was going to feel. But I’ve always loved the idea behind a hybrid caster who uses a cool fencing sword and has an awesome hat.

For the short time I did play FFXI back in the day, Red Mage was my main job. My dream, which was never realized, was to earn the Red Mage artifact armor in that game. It feels like coming full circle here — FFXIV just handed me the AF armor as soon as I unlocked the job!

As of last night, I’ve leveled halfway through 57, and I’m pushing hard to make it surpass my Bard’s level so I can pick it up as my main job.

Why I Love Red Mage

I’ve had people ask me outright what I think of Red Mage, and when I respond with optimism, they ask me what I like about it. It’s really hard to put into words. It’s more than just hype and flair, though I love the visual aspect and aesthetic feel of it.

The biggest thing is that I understand how it works. I know that sounds weird, but I can’t say that for every job I’ve played. I’d watched a few videos from the media release that described the “rotation.” So, when I sat down and set up my bars for the first time, I already had a basic grasp on what I needed to do. I’ve made a few discoveries as I’ve leveled, but overall, the way the job works makes sense to me.


The job doesn’t stress me out, which is huge. I feel like my damage output is strong, I can hold my own solo, and in a group, I contribute well. There’s some thinking to do, however, and a lot of flexibility (especially when you start unlocking Cures and eventually Rezzes).

I prefer a gauge that you’re building up, rather than one that’s constantly counting down. Red Mage’s gauge remains full as long as you don’t zone or use the energy on melee releases. I like that. I think I may be done playing Dragoon, because I can’t bother being stressed by losing BotD buffs for another expansion.

It’s just plain fun to play. This makes me want to do content, rather than struggle through content with a job that isn’t as fun.

Red Mage is about balance. And, for me, balance is a concept that’s super important in RL. In my fantasy writing, things often go wrong without balance. Or… my characters are often seeking to learn to balance something in order to master it. So, a job that focuses on finding a balance really appeals to me, and opens up some Role Play desire.

I’ve already earned commendations with the job, which is more than I tend to get from running Bard or Dragoon. Last night, I was in PotD for leveling with another Red Mage and two Samurai. I think I surprised them when I actually used Cure to keep the party’s health up — I am more than just DPS, and I love it! Though the Cure is never going to rival a real healer, it’s cool to have a dual cast double Cure.

About the only thing I find Red Mage weak in is running Frontlines PvP. Oh, ooops… Running PvP???? ME?

Hahah… yeah, that’s an article for tomorrow. 😉



  1. I only unlocked Samurai right now which I found very fun, so much that I am seriously considering making it my new main job. But I heard people saying similar things for Red Mage and I am considering unlocking it too and testing it out before deciding on anything. 🙂

    1. I haven’t tried Samurai yet because I’ve been so smitten with Red Mage. But most people who do try it like it. I’ve heard it compared to Dragoon a bit. What did you think?

      1. I haven’t played Dragoon much (mine is still level 30ish) but I could see some similarities. Both are melee, don’t have many complicated combos and have one ability to strike from range. I think Dragoon gets an AOE abilities too? Samurai have 3 AOE abilities which you can use in a combo.

        Another disclaimer is that I haven’t unlocked the second samurai gauge (that one that looks like a katana) but the one I have right now is all about building it up through combos and it stays there until you change areas or use it up. So you will probably like that.

        Depending on which Sen you have built up it will change the type and effect of the special attack. For example, if you built up… I think it was Setsu and Ka it becomes an AOE cone attack. If you built up all three the special attack is a single-target one that is pretty powerful. The gauge makes it pretty easy to see what you built up so you don’t have to worry about remembering their names. Also the color of the abilities icons are the same as the type of Sen you build up so not too hard to figure out which ones build what.

        Overall, it feels like a pretty powerful class for me, with some flexibility thrown in. Oh, and I love their animations. 🙂

        Keep in mind that the Job I have the most experience with is Monk (currently at 55). Everything else is 30ish or lower so I am probably not the best person to give a comparison against other jobs.

        1. No worries! I appreciate your explanations — I’ve heard it was a strong job to play. It might be more appealing to me than Dragoon, mostly because (again) it sounds like this job builds up gauges rather than worries about one that’s always counting down (like Dragoon). I’ll probably give it a shot sometime, if I can ever pull myself away from Red Mage. 🙂

  2. Your comments about Heavensward Bard are pretty similar to my thoughts.. it really took away most of the fun of the game. Looking back now, I realize I barely even played Heavensward when compared to ARR, and that’s probably why.

    Glad you’re enjoying Red Mage! I didn’t realize it had a heal, that’s nice. I always liked playing the Arcanist at low level because I could throw out some heals too.

    1. I like the changes that Bard gets with Stormblood. There’s some complexity there because certain songs activate certain things, and eventually other skills change songs into other things… I don’t really have that all sorted out yet, though.

      I will say that Bard feels good from what I’ve played of it (level 61 right now), and I plan to level it and use it for PvP if nothing else. If I had to choose a second fall-back class, it would be Bard right now.

  3. I also hit Red Mage hard. In many ways it reminds me of the ARR Black Mage, which I just loved, so…. I’m about level 66.5 now and going strong! Can’t wait to get my last 2 abilities!

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