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  1. #1
    Player
    HaroldSaxon's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    Character
    Harold Saxon
    World
    Odin
    Main Class
    Thaumaturge Lv 70

    My Analysis of BLM's issues and why it is currently the worst DPS class.

    Introduction

    A collation of my thoughts about BLM. I'm sure there's mistakes/other ideas and things I have missed. I also decided to post this in its own thread so it doesn't get lost in the noise of the main thread that is over 100 pages long.

    So, what's wrong with BLM?

    The issue with BLM is a complicated one. The major issue is the lack of raw dps - but there are issues with other classes/party comps as well as QoL issues that makes the class undesirable and the worst DPS class to bring.

    Lack of Raid DPS
    This can be solved in a number of ways - however, I feel that part of the buff should increase the power to umbral hearts as there are situations where using Blizzard 4 is a dps loss. At the end of the day, BLM needs to have enough DPS to justify it not having utility, and its not even close to achieving that. http://xivrdps.herokuapp.com/ (thanks to /u/blackcatchen) - this isn't 100% accurate, as it favors the damage dealing classes rather than the source of the utility (as you can read here: http://xivrdps.herokuapp.com/changelog). But even with this favoring classes like SAM/BLM rather than Raid DPS classes - we get absolutely smoked. Even if you compare it to SAM (which has more DPS and doesn't have the uptime issues BLM has) - its inferior. And SAM also deserves buffs (along with RDM, but that's a whole different debate in my opinion as it has something absolutely unique).

    Disembowel
    Until Disembowel gets reworked, its going to take a completely broken class to break the Bard/Machinist/Dragoon/Ninja combo. It would be interesting if the disembowel buff was changed to be a personal buff only - or perhaps allow Dragoon to tailor the buff to different damage types by having an option of 3 spells (although I suspect that may lead to other issues).

    Make dual Caster Comps viable
    Right now, dual caster comps aren't viable. Not only do you have to share gear (although its less of a problem nowadays), but also the fact that Melee dps are favored with their raw DPS output. Until that is changed, Casters will always be at a disadvantage. SMN's changes in 4.1 went a long way in fixing that. But running dual caster means you either lose out on a NIN (Trick attack/Aggro Tools) or the Strength buff - as well as losing out on Disembowel/Litany and having lower DPS.

    Synergy with Raid buffs
    BLM used to be reliant of stacking buffs in your raging strike burst windows to do good damage, and because those burst windows were every 3 minutes, it did suffer. However now, we don't even have that. Our burst windows are every 90 seconds with a fairly small haste buff, and every 3 minutes we get convert - which is a very weak 3 minute OGCD that gives you two extra F4's when used correctly. Now, compared to raid DPS buffs that affect BLM - Trick attack is every 60 seconds, Foe's is usually around every 60 seconds, Contagion (not meta) is every 60 seconds. Furthermore, if our UI phase is inside a trick timing, its pretty bad for us because we don't have any on demand burst (it would be nice if Foul fit that role) - best case scenario is, we get Foul/F4/F4/F4/F3 proc out during our second AF window. This would lead us into problems with our Umbral Ice phase, but that is explained later. But we can't reliably ensure we have our best burst during that point in time because of procs - sometimes we may be at the start of our AF rotation, sometimes the start of our second AF, or sometimes at Umbral Ice - procs can force us to be at the wrong stage of our rotation. One solution of this could be to move the passive for Enochian to Astral Fire 4, and to change Enochian that is an OGCD that gives 3 Stacks of AF4 and 3 Umbral Hearts. I would also reduce the cooldown of Ley Lines to 60 seconds (from 90), but nerf the duration to 20 seconds (from 30). BLM used to be reliant of stacking buffs in your raging strike burst windows to do good damage, and because those burst windows were every 3 minutes, it did suffer. However now, we don't even have that. Our burst windows are every 90 seconds with a fairly small haste buff, and every 3 minutes we get convert - which is a very weak 3 minute OGCD that gives you two extra F4's when used correctly. Now, compared to raid DPS buffs that affect BLM - Trick attack is every 60 seconds, Foe's is usually around every 60 seconds, Contagion (not meta) is every 60 seconds. Furthermore, if our UI phase is inside a trick timing, its pretty bad for us because we don't have any on demand burst (it would be nice if Foul fit that role) - best case scenario is, we get Foul/F4/F4/F4/F3 proc out during our second AF window. This would lead us into problems with our Umbral Ice phase, but that is explained later. But we can't reliably ensure we have our best burst during that point in time because of procs - sometimes we may be at the start of our AF rotation, sometimes the start of our second AF, or sometimes at Umbral Ice - procs can force us to be at the wrong stage of our rotation. One solution of this could be to move the passive for Enochian to Astral Fire 4, and to change Enochian that is an OGCD that gives 3 Stacks of AF4 and 3 Umbral Hearts. I would also reduce the cooldown of Ley Lines to 60 seconds (from 90), but nerf the duration to 20 seconds (from 30). Another solution could be to create some single target long duration raid buffs for other classes so that buffing a BLM is viable (rather than putting the single target buff onto a burst class)


    QoL issues with the class

    Clipping
    BLM is the only caster that does not have a reliable way of using OGCD's on demand without clipping, compounded by the tight timings for AF and UI. If you clip in order to use LeyLines, depending on your latency you can lose a decent amount of the gain you get from it. If you need to use Apoc or Addle at specific points, you end up having to clip if you aren't lucky with procs. Outside of procs, the windows you have to use an OGCD without punishment is your your Sharp/Triple/Swiftcast phases, or at the start of your fire/ice rotation. Given this, it would be nice if BLM's could use OGCD's while casting.

    Punishment for too many Thundercloud Procs
    There are times where you can get punished for getting too many procs. You can work around it if you are in your Ley Lines or you are in your Sharpcast/Swiftcast/Triplecast window, but it is nevertheless frustrating outside of that. You have to choose between either using it and losing a F4, or holding onto it and using it in your second AF or your UI rotation - risking your proc being overwritten. You could fix this in a number of ways - either allow the procs to extend your AF/UI timer so you can use them instantly - or allow procs to stack similar to Bard so you can hold them on demand. You can even buff the duration so that procs priority is clear and it makes switching out a F4 for a proc always worth it (although I'd rather that be a last resort).

    Mana costs
    Because of the strict nature of your mana costs for your fire rotation, you will sometimes not have enough mana to cast Blizzard 4 at the start of your UI rotation. This happens when you don't end your UI rotation on a 0 cost spell and don't get a mana tick after your final cast, or if you skip Blizzard 4 and don't get a mana tick. This means that Foul's position (excluding procs) will be at the start of your UI rotation. You can't finish off with a Thunder 3 cast because you won't have enough mana for your fire rotation, meaning you have 0 flexibility in your umbral ice phase. Its Foul > Thunder 3 > Blizzard 4. Furthermore, you must make sure you use Mana shift BEFORE your last mana tick or you'll go into AF not being able to do 6 x F4. Making all mana costs (including mana shift) 0 mana in Umbral ice would mean your UI phase is flexible.

    Increasing the Power of Umbral Hearts/B4
    Currently, Blizzard 4 gives you 3 Umbral Hearts that reduce the mana cost of F4 by half. Without Umbral hearts, you can do a 2F4,F1,2F4 rotation. However, if you start AF with full mana (by finishing your previous UI with a Proc), you can actually do 5 F4's. The issue with it is you need to ensure you have a foul ready for your next AF because otherwise you are waiting on a mana tick afterwards. What this means is that for one GCD in UI, you get one extra F4 - which means that a new mechanic isn't getting used. From a personal standpoint, I don't like the mechanic anyway - I feel it should be interactive, but that isn't going to happen. You could increase the number of Umbral hearts, but that would require UI changes so I suspect SE won't go for anything like that. I'm honestly unsure what you can do with this. If you increase the mana reduction, you waste it because of our tight astral fire timing and increasing the AF timer just turns the rotation into F4 spam. I think either the trait needs to be reworked, or it needs to be removed.

    Other Notes
    I'd like to see Convert being made useful - either reduce its cooldown down to 60 seconds, or increase its power drastically. I'd also like to see Freeze give One Umbral heart, and Fire 2 getting a small buff so they are both useful in an AOE rotation. I'd also like to see Foul changed so that stacks up for each spell cast to reward players that can keep pumping out spells.

    No Raise on BLM. Stop peddling this
    I absolutely do not want to see BLM get raise. There's already enough classes with that utility. If you must give BLM some unique utility, then I would suggest reworking Manaward (perhaps so it is AOE?), or perhaps another skill that gives us unique defensive utility like many other classes have. But this could be problematic and lead to power creep from other classes and is not essential to make BLM meta. It would be interesting if we had personal limit breaks for a mega ability like this.

    What do I expect from Square Enix?

    Ultimately, i'd like SE to read this and realize that they did some good work with SMN (other than the Ruin 4 issue), and that it should also be applied to BLM. They need to ensure that they take into account raidwide DPS buffs that are stacked with eachother (aswell as high tank and healer dps). I hope that they read the views of people that main the class and don't just slap on some potency buffs or homogenize the classes to play the same.

    Thank you for reading this.
    (27)
    Last edited by HaroldSaxon; 01-19-2018 at 04:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Player
    ManuelBravo's Avatar
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    Character
    Manuel Bravo
    World
    Balmung
    Main Class
    Dragoon Lv 70
    So in some other words the perception and reality of the job elude some players. Simple answer, rotations and how you manage your spells has a huge impact. BLM is not that far behind in terms of DPS. It's more of how people rotate and how fast they can adjust to a situation. While BLM is a stationary character to cast it must stand and be able to avoid aoes. BLM in my personal experience it seems pretty well in par as long as you know your rations, proper geared, and positioning ( how often you get interrupted ). By the way there are several threads that have touched on your analysis already. Overall player experience varies.
    (1)
    Last edited by ManuelBravo; 01-03-2018 at 02:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Player
    HaroldSaxon's Avatar
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    Harold Saxon
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    Odin
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    Thaumaturge Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by ManuelBravo View Post
    So in some other words the perception and reality of the job elude some players. Simple answer, rotations and how you manage your spells has a huge impact. BLM is not that far behind in terms of DPS. It's more of how people rotate and how fast they can adjust to a situation. While BLM is a stationary character to cast it must stand and be able to avoid aoes. BLM in my personal experience it seems pretty well in par as long as you know your rations, proper geared, and positioning ( how often you get interrupted ). By the way there are several threads that have touched on your analysis already. Overall player experience varies.
    You are absolutely incorrect. Experience End game players and statistics all prove this.

    I suggest you try playing BLM more at Savage/Ultimate level content.
    (13)

  4. #4
    Player
    Raldo's Avatar
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    Raldo Volca
    World
    Coeurl
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    Marauder Lv 70
    As someone who only dabbles in BLM, I like your well thought out and organized ideas.

    ...but the real reason why I'm writing a response is for a minor correction. The word you are looking for is "dual" (consisting of two parts), not "duel" (a fight between two people). The realist in me says that these sorts of suggestions never actually make it to the dev team, but on the off chance somebody jams it into Google Translate, a word mix-up like that is going to confuse the reader.
    (1)

  5. #5
    Player
    HaroldSaxon's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    Character
    Harold Saxon
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    Odin
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    Thaumaturge Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by Raldo View Post
    As someone who only dabbles in BLM, I like your well thought out and organized ideas.

    ...but the real reason why I'm writing a response is for a minor correction. The word you are looking for is "dual" (consisting of two parts), not "duel" (a fight between two people). The realist in me says that these sorts of suggestions never actually make it to the dev team, but on the off chance somebody jams it into Google Translate, a word mix-up like that is going to confuse the reader.
    Thanks for the correction!
    (0)

  6. #6
    Player
    Cynfael's Avatar
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    Character
    Testament De'anris
    World
    Faerie
    Main Class
    Astrologian Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by ManuelBravo View Post
    So in some other words the perception and reality of the job elude some players. Simple answer, rotations and how you manage your spells has a huge impact. BLM is not that far behind in terms of DPS. It's more of how people rotate and how fast they can adjust to a situation. While BLM is a stationary character to cast it must stand and be able to avoid aoes. BLM in my personal experience it seems pretty well in par as long as you know your rations, proper geared, and positioning ( how often you get interrupted ). By the way there are several threads that have touched on your analysis already. Overall player experience varies.
    All of that is BLM 101. The gist of recent discussions is that you can play extremely well as BLM in top-tier content and still not be on par with your DPS peers.
    (9)

  7. #7
    Player
    Maku's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    728
    Character
    Maku Haikasu
    World
    Mateus
    Main Class
    Black Mage Lv 70
    The main issue is Disembowel. All things being equal I'm usually at the top of pars in the content I do on my BLM, but generally the other people in the content I do are not top tier or really caring so much about going all out like I do.

    The issues lies in synergy.

    Let's pretend that BLM is top DPS in all content by straight up numbers. But bring in the synergy that BRD/MCH/NIN/DRG have and they all buff each others damage beyond what 4 BLMs performing at the same level could do even though their personal DPS numbers might be the highest.

    I don't want to see that synergy removed to make BLM more viable, I would like BLM to be boosted to compensate.

    All in all I agree with everything you said.
    (5)
    可愛い悪魔

  8. #8
    Player
    ManuelBravo's Avatar
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    Manuel Bravo
    World
    Balmung
    Main Class
    Dragoon Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by HaroldSaxon View Post
    You are absolutely incorrect. Experience End game players and statistics all prove this.

    I suggest you try playing BLM more at Savage/Ultimate level content.
    There is a reason I don't play BLM for higher tier content. One of them being too many interruptions to play and be effective. Playing Savage/Ultimate does make sense and BLM is only suitable for battles that don't require too much moving around. There is no need to prove anything it makes common sense that would be the situation. While it may seem unfair that higher content may be unsuitable for certain classes the basics still apply. Again all of these has been covered in old BLM threads.
    (0)
    Last edited by ManuelBravo; 01-03-2018 at 04:25 AM.

  9. #9
    Player
    ManuelBravo's Avatar
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    Manuel Bravo
    World
    Balmung
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    Dragoon Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by Cynfael View Post
    All of that is BLM 101. The gist of recent discussions is that you can play extremely well as BLM in top-tier content and still not be on par with your DPS peers.
    The needs to BLM DPS involve as little interruptions as possible to be effective. It would make sense that DPS would not be on par with others in a situation where interruptions will constantly be happening. It's common sense hence back to the basics which are the fundamentals to everything. Again all of these has been covered in old BLM threads.
    (0)

  10. #10
    Player
    Kabooa's Avatar
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    Jace Ossura
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    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Goldsmith Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by ManuelBravo View Post
    The needs to BLM DPS involve as little interruptions as possible to be effective. It would make sense that DPS would not be on par with others in a situation where interruptions will constantly be happening.
    You are blatantly wrong in your assessment. A black mage at near perfect play is at best 3rd to 4th on personal damage, and easily drops down to 7-9th once you factor in the Raid DPS contributions the other jobs bring.

    About the only jobs they bring more damage total than is Red Mage (Who brings unparalleled recovery options) and Bard (Who is only slightly under all things considered, but brings MP song and defensive party options)

    Savage Omega 1-4 is currently around 97-99% uptime for Black Mage, with minimal if no use of Scathe, so the capability to deal even more damage there is minimal. Even in Unbinding Coil, the few bits of data we have on them shows Black Mage at an effective 95-96% if we use machinist / Bard (Jobs that will always be capable of hitting the bosses) rate of 77-79% compared to black mage at 74-76.
    (6)

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