Solo ability - Honestly, they're an excellent solo class. Problem being, most people rely way too much on self set ups (fast 3) and mass healing (10 points into agi and mp, at level 60, with the rest in wp is seriously is not a worthy jump for the points to be in those two stats). I've actually had a white mage solo 27 monsters at BTs below the fallen cathedral, after everyone else in the 8 person party died in 2 rounds, at level 10. Also want to point out that this is why you don't freaking take level 4's and 5's to train on BTs, like everyone does.
With a build that has a goal, other than just 'lots of healing power', they can actually work wonders as a solo class, given that they have a speed buff, defense buff, speed debuff, element resistance, healing that's unrivaled, will have one of the three super spells, force field to further melee defense, a 3x3/5x5 for any grouped monsters, an element that is the least resisted in the game, and a decent enough attack to save mp against those piddly monsters you're leveled enough to kill with a sneeze. I'd say they're worth a 7/10
Parties - Anyways, half the problem is that a lot of white mages do just a little agility, and mostly will power. Or some mp, and mostly will power. A build that I've found to work nicely is a quarter to half into agility. Yes, that much. That way instead of having to fast3 just for turn speed, and ditching everyone else in the dust on first turn, you could fast2 and still get that quick turn, and help everyone else out AT THE SAME TIME! Miracles, I tell ya.
While your healing powers might not be top notch since you're not close to pure wp, it's not conversely needed, honestly. A lot of times there's a second wm, a blue mage, or a red mage. They could cure the one or two people that'll horribly close to death if someone drops low while you focus just on the big goal of sustaining everyone with a healstorm 1, or a healstorm 2 later on.
Also if the red mage or an unmorphed ranger that are still faster, please, let them do the life. They'll throw out a life 1, and the healstorm you would have done anyways would still cure the poor schmuck but also everyone else. Just be sure to keep it timed, like have other people take out the monsters that go between you two first, so there's no easy kill.
Really not a big need for me to say why they're useful in a party. Anyone that's ever partied with 5+ people probably got that figure. 10/10
Fun factor - A shitastic party, you'll be busy as hell, which in itself is kind of fun or you wouldn't be so focused on getting the job done, and a great party will blow through a lot of fights, so the level spam itself is great. They're not always the funnest, but I think that's more about the fights than the class itself. Couldn't go wrong with this class unless you're the type they more enjoys enter spam without thinking. I rather enjoy mages and all that comes with them, so to me they're a 9/10
The drive to massacre and annihilate, the compulsion to destroy your opponent... Such wrath is power for the soul! By eliminating your foe, you attain your first sublimation of that drive. It is this very sublimation that draws out the hidden powers within oneself! But, clinging to reason.. suppressing your wrath and desire, makes releasing your true power a dream within a dream for you. - Grahf
WMs can last for quite a while when built right. Points to vitality, HP or agility (especially agility) can be a great help in the long run, since even the strongest of curative powers won't be useful if you tend to take so much damage during a fight where you're left little choice but to utilize nonstop curing. Master Resist Elements cuts down significantly on the amount of magic damage most monsters will dish out, while Forcefield, Fast and/or Shield can provide a considerable buffer against physical damage.
However, on the offensive side of things WMs are a little below average. Harm/Lightstorm/White are rarely resisted, but on the other hand few monsters are vulnerable to them either. More to the point, if a monster IS resistant or immune to Harm/Lightstorm/White that leaves the WM in an awkward situation; their buffing magic doesn't actually increase physical damage, just accuracy. What this can mean is that a class normally on the low end of the physical damage spectrum has to flail away with their fists, a stick or a hammer and hope that they eventually kill their targets before their targets kill them.
Overall, I don't see WMs earning any more than a 6/10 due to having a decent amount of defensive options but severely limited offensive options.
The only way I can see a WM not being welcome to a party is if they're severely underlevelled or severely misplayed (will-heavy WM trying to bludgeon things, level 20-something WM at Mona, WM in a party light on healing who insists on buffing themselves before even thinking about healing others, etc). Healstorm, Restore and Cure are all valuable, as are Fast and even Shield. Harm, Lightstorm and White all share the same element, one that not that many monsters are resistant or immune to.
With that many perks and comparatively few drawbacks in a group setting, I give WMs a 9/10.
Personally, I see WMs being as fun as the company you keep. Fighting on your own gets boring fast since the vast majority of fights will boil down to dishing out harmful light in the general direction of the chaotics in order to win. With teammates though you get to be more versatile; you can heal, protect others, AND dish out harmful light. It's a special feeling knowing that when you play your cards right, only the most unfortunate of battles will ever end in complete failure. 9/10 to be sure.
Did you know, I was THE MOON once!
Yes! You see, one night it turned out the moon had been STOLEN!
The animal people asked ME to take its place as I am so WISE and BRILLIANT!!
I personally have trouble rating this class because few people (yes, that includes ToTE people) know how to effeciently use White Mages to their full potential.
Quite possibly one of the best soloers. No, I'm totally serious. Potentially excellent evasion rate thanks to Fast, potentially excellent defensive power thanks to Shield, practically an endless stream of healing power combined with Forcefield, and powerful weapons to boot. Takabby once told me that a Paladin White Mage, one of Pure Str, would actually do more damage than a grounded Dragoon or a Thief lacking Backstab. That's quite some damaging power.
And not only that, they also have a fairly excellent element, Harm, and to boot the second-most-powerful spell in the game: White.
Have you seen White on a Zombie Dragon?
Look me in the eye and say they can not nuke shit. Do it. I dare you.
The sad part about this is that, like the other two factors as you'll see, there are a rare few that can really use White Mages to their ultimate potential as any role. Their builds could perhaps be the most ambiguous of any class. Yes, even Red Mages
This is where things get troublesome. As mentioned before, the White Mages have a shitload of potential. They practically bleed it from every orifice and pore on their body, and orifices and pores that do not exist even.
But how many people truly know White Mages to their fullest potential? Furthermore, how many use a White Mage in such a way at ToTE? Not Vahumatt. Not Button. Not even, yes, I will say it, U. Dye. I only know two people that honestly, truly know how to build White Mages and use them on that build.
I'm sure most people here can guess one of them.
That said, when speaking of White Mages on a general note.. they are, really, still amazing. I can't imagine a single party where another White Mage would not be welcome: Even if it were a party of 7 White Mages, they are ambiguous enough to even be able to beat things to death with melee. An area attack, Lightstorm, even comes with it. Perhaps they can not Defonce and Dice, Fire or Lit, but any White Mage is a healthy addition to the party.
You bastards that think you are great at White Magics but don't really know how to do it make me claw my eyes out.
The largest problem with being a White Mage is that there are people who are ungrateful to the White Mage's job. I have been in parties where people constantly bitched at me to Life them. When I had no MP. And everyone else was dying.
Watching White Mages - 2/10 Being White Mages - 7/10
And it's so easy when you're evil, this is the life, you see, the devil tips his hat to me.