Let's try to spice up the forums with a little rating game. It'll go by week. Week 7 will be...the Black Mage!
White Mage: 8 Ranger: 7.8 Blackbelt: 6.81 Fighter: 6.61 Red Mage: 5.58 Thief: 3.72
Rate (out of 10) in:
Solo Ability Partying Fun Factor
Solo Ability - Well, in terms of training alone, they do quite well after getting Drain 1. They do even better after betting Drain 2. They further improve with Barrier 3. Magical damage is no problem for this class, and the spells they use are quite powerful with a lot of mp to back them up. That being said, they have it pretty bad for armor selection. Sure, they get the best accessory in the game, but it's not really enough. After Barrier 3 gets nerfed, this will become quite an interesting class. For the time being, they are pretty good at soloing. 8/10
Partying - Every likes black mages in the Cathedral. Everyone likes them in Death Mountain. They're not as useful in Ruoze, but then in the Ice Caves, everyone loves them again. Everyone loves them in ToTE. In every area except SS, they bring something special to the table; the ability to work to an enemy's weakness and/or 2 of the best buffs in the game, Barrier 3 and Boost 3. The only time I can see them not being welcome to a party is in SS or if they are under-leveled. 8/10
Fun Factor - You get to blow stuff up...with your hands! 10/10
Side note: Blackbelt beat out Fighter?
Joe Buck: Back to Foulke! Red Sox fans have longed to hear it - The Boston Red Sox are World Champions!
Leo Durocher: Baseball is like Church. Many attend, but few understand.
Cool Papa Bell: They used to say, 'If we find a good black player, we'll sign him.' They was lying.
Yogi Berra: I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don't understand is how he lost five.
Early on, Black Mages have a hard time of things when it comes to surviving. It's not until they learn Drain 1 and Barrier 1 that they can easily survive on their own due to the lowest HP pool and one of the lowest combined defense and evasion totals in the game. Forcefield helps a great deal as well; if luck allows and the BM is smart about things, they can have at least 30% resistance to every form of damage two rounds into every fight once they reach level 16. Once you get into Ranook and beyond, being able to reduce incoming melee damage by 65% after defense is applied can mean the difference between needing to use Drain 2 (Ruoze onwards) and only needing to use Drain 1.
Stop is a valuable tool as well, considering that not many monsters resist or are immune to it for the first half of the game. Confuse is the only spell that works as a better harvesting tool, pretty much. The various amounts of magic damage available to a BM also means that there are few situations where you'll be forced to flail with spindly arms, a dagger or a staff. The various areas of effect involved also help, increasing the number of situations where area damage can be more useful than casting the spell on a single target.
If there's one particular weak point with Black Mages, I'd say it would be any fight involving multiple undead. Undead enemies mean a BM can't use their sole source of healing magic, which can be troublesome if those undead also are realtively resistant to magic... and doubly troublesome if the BM finds themselves in an ambush where they're forced to fight a battle of attrition. Thankfully such situations are fairly rare and mostly restricted to the earlier sections of the game (underground Dainaria and Ranook).
-= Partying: 10/10 =-
What White Mages bring to the table in terms of defensive magic, Black Mages bring to the table in terms of offensive magic. Fire, lightning, ice, magic, death, gravity (until v8) and eventually nuclear element damage are all within a Black Mage's grasp, meaning that they'll tend to be able to deal increased damage to something in most every fight. Spells like Barrier and Boost are also invaluable, making it easier to survive and easier to destroy, respectively.
Pretty much the only way a BM would not fit into a party is if they are far lower in level than everyone else or if the player has no sense of teamwork whatsoever.
-= Fun Factor: 5/10 =-
In spite of all of their strong points, I just don't find myself having all that much fun playing as a BM. For all of the spells that you learn, the further into the game you get the less of them you tend to use. On top of this the general playing style is not one I'm fond of, one where all you do is use the same one or two spells over and over until you run low on MP or until you need to Drain 2 yourself back to full health.
Even if you do work on casting 'smart' (use a lower tier spell when it'd be enough to kill a monster), it's only for a round before it's back to the same old routine. With other classes like Fighter, when it gets tedious it's not quite as bad simply because you don't have many options. With a class like BM where roughly half of your spell list might as well no longer exist by the time you reach Geyzer, it's a cause for concern.
-= Overall: 8/10 =-
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2009 16:35:48 GMT -6 by Takahashi
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!!
im gonna rate this class based on my build... which is all wp.
solo ability- They're actually very good at soloing. With all of their defensive buffs... well forcefield and barrier 3 and drain 1+2, a BM has a lot of staying power. I remember back when i was a noob, I was in a party that was on its way to TotE and the whole party had ended up dying except the BM and was able to survive by constantly draining and osmosing the chaotics. They fall short in that their natural agility is only 2 which makes them incredibly slow unless you're really overleveled. like me. They are frail but they got their buffs so that doesn't really matter. 9/10.
party ability- They can be supportive with their offensive and defensive buffs. They have all 3 elements and can pick and choose from their, with atleast 1 of the elements dealing atleast normal damage. Stop, invaluable for harvesting. only problem again is their lack of agil. I remember when i was at a proper level at titans, and we were just getting demolished... all because i was too slow to cast that bar3. so again, if you're going to be a pure build, you gotta be overleveled inorder to keep up with chaotics.. especially during 32 monster ambushes.. >_< 9/10
fun factor - When I first saw subzer0 play a BM when i first started out on this game, I remade my character right there from a Knight to a Black mage. I had so much fun with that sucker. loved the text spam from casting Psychostorms to figuring out ways to use the least amount of MP possible during my grinds at TotE. To casting Nuke and being one of the few classes to constantly have a high damage output. Parties were especially gratifying when playing with smart people and you knew their playing styles, letting battles end in only 2-3 rounds. I would try to party with my other classes, and maybe i just suck with everyone else.. cause I always find myself going back to BM, even though it is insanely overleveled. 10/10