So now that the Fan Fest Live Letter officially dropped info on the new Blue Mage job coming in patch 4.5… let’s talk about it and what it means to be a “Limited”Job.
When I saw the phrase “First Limited Job” in the keynote announcement, I wondered what in the world that was all about. Apparently, this was a very relevant question to ask with very important implementations.
Traditionally, Blue Mage (BLU) is a casting class that learns new abilities by battling monsters and observing their special attack skills. The standard example given was: You fight a cactuar, and during this fight, you see it use 1000 needles. As a BLU, you’d have the ability to learn this skill and use it in battle against other monsters. It has been confirmed during the Live Letter that you only need to SEE the skill and not actually get HIT by it for a chance to learn it, thankfully.
Due to this unique playstyle, BLU doesn’t learn skills the traditional way, and they were apparently seen as too difficult to balance around MMO party systems. So, until now, BLU was not in the cards for FFXIV.
I say until now because… introducing the “Limited” Job concept.
What does it mean to be a Limited Job?
Basically, BLU was designed for solo play. You CAN play it in a party, but it’s limited in how it interacts with duty finders and matchmaking systems… that is… to say… it can’t use any of them.
So if you can’t roulette to level or even use a Deep Dungeon… what can you do?
Yes. So… the whole concept of BLU is to create a job that repopulates the overworld zones, to be perfectly honest. And if this is the FIRST limited job… there may be others on down the line.
Oh, and there’s this whole Masked Carnival arena that is solo level 50 BLU only. It really reminds me a bit of like a Pokemon arena where you’re put up against monsters and you have to figure out what their weaknesses are and use (or go out and find) the skills you’ve earned to defeat them.
Also, it’s been hinted that actually earning these skills won’t be an easy thing to do. You probably won’t learn the skill the first time you fight a monster, so be ready to work for your abilities.
How Do I Feel About BLU?
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m cautiously optimistic about it. I know that this is not the BLU that people expected. And there’s cries of “solo job in a MMO” and “No FATE grind” etc.
But, you know, I’ve said for years it’s a huge shame that FFXIV has this huge beautiful world that no one populates once they’ve passed through for MSQ. There’s all these FATEs sitting out there, virtually untouched, especially in the Heavensward and Stormblood areas. And while I respect that some folks don’t like running around in the overworld, and prefer to spend their time grinding dungeons instead, that’s never been my cup of tea.
This is an interesting experiment that I’m curious to see play out. It feels like a mini-game rolled up into a job. BLU is not going to be your standard leveling job by any means. It’s going to be a job that takes time to develop… introduced in an age of MMOs where people want the fastest runs and the lowest downtime on everything.
I don’t think BLU will be for everyone. But I think that’s okay. I just hope that there will be enough support for it and that it will be fun enough to warrant other jobs to follow it (Puppetmaster and Beastmaster were hinted).
The more play options we have, the better, IMHO. And we’ll be getting OTHER new jobs at the drop of 5.0 if BLU isn’t what someone wants. Not to mention all the jobs we have now will be getting a level cap increase and new skills.
I’m going to try BLU out. I’m looking forward to messing around with something different, something that gets people out of the dungeons. I think I’ll have fun with it. And if it’s not my thing, then that’s fine. I always have Red Mage and Bard, which remain my favorites for now.