With the September update having come and gone, and with some time to settle into the new world SE has created for us, it's time for me to start putting it all together.
We've got new gear, new zones, new skills, new spells, new all kinds of shit, but the most important change with this update was not something SE had any say over and that's the Obsidain Linkshell. Before the update we were seeing a drop in attendance for Dynamis and it was becoming clear to us that people were losing interest (interest has been declining for some time, but recently it's turned into an avalanche), hell I was losing interest. Fact is Dynamis is a big commitment, twice a week, 7 hours of playing time minimum and there is so much new content and stuff to do from the last two updates, most folks are opting to go with the new and say to hell with the old. This is understandable, especially since much of the gear just got bitchslapped by the Empyrean Armor (I'll get into that another day), the only motivation for most people to do Dynamis is to hang out with friends.
So with that in mind, about two weeks ago we had a sackholder summit and laid out the direction Obsidian would be going forward with. The biggest change is a massive one, our focus is switching from Dynamis to Abyssea. For those of you unfamiliar with Obsidian this may not seem like a big deal, but Obsidian has been a Dynamis shell for almost 6 years (some knowledge for you courtesy of Qtipus and Kaeko: Obsidian's Origin and Old School Dynamis), and that's a lot of history to walk way from. We'll still do Dynamis, but we're scaling it back to once a week and only focusing on Xarcabard and the CoP zones. Even with this shift in focus, the sign-ups for the CoP zones are disconcerting, 20 for Qufim, 20 for Valkrum and 9 (yes, fucking NINE!) for Buburimu. Hey, I know we're all level 85 and shit, but those bosses don't kill themselves... At any rate, there is so much to do in Abyssea, that we had to adapt or watch the shell die.
It also doesn't stop with Abyssea, we also still have Einherjar, VNMs, Sky and Dynamis in our event schedules and we're doing so much stuff all the time, I've given up and just use Obsidian as my social shell also.
So it turns out I was way offbase with Yurin and Myoshu, both of them are essentially Subtle Blow as opposed to the Silence and Defense Down spells I was hoping for. Yurin is a debuff that "Inhibits TP" gain for a mob, while Myoshu is a buff that is "Subtle Blow Plus", and both are very nice for soloing. The thing to note here is that Yurin is easily the more useful of the two tools for a group event, especially when fighting an NM. The reason for this is Yurin helps the group as a whole, it's inflicted on the mob, Myoshu on the other hand is only on the caster, it's solo only and even then, if you are near the Subtle Blow cap (it's 50), it may not be helpful at all. So not total fail, in fact Yurin is something I can cast with Aisha that gives me two debuffs only a NIN can use to help the cause.
The damage increase for elemental ninjutsu has been disappointing, it appears Ichi got roughly a 25% increase and San got around a 10% increase, however, as near as anyone can tell, Ni spells seem to have LOST about 10% of their damage. I can't personally verify these numbers, but I can say the numbers are marginal at best, there was no significant increase.
The one thing I can say about the Skillchain Bonus is it's real, and it seems to generate enmity. I've actually got to test this one quite a bit with Atma farming when I've self skillchained Blade: To > Blade: Chi (creates Impaction) and I've been pulling hate with that. Now anyone who knows much about Katana Weapon Skills can tell you, they don't do much damage, in fact a single two-hand weapon skill will out-damage both the weapon skills and scillchain combined, so to be pulling hate from doing this seems odd to me (especially with Innin up). It might be my imagination, or the fact I'm piling in multiple hits and the game mechanics dictate more hate generation, or the way we are fighting the mobs, I simply don't know.
Dual Wield V, say what? My initial thoughts on this were, no, SE would have put that in the update notes, but now I'm not so sure. Many jobs are reporting tier increases in their job traits and SE was mum about those also. Is it noticeable? I haven't been able to tell, I hit so damn fast already so it's hard to say. Plus, I'm not one of those people that understands how to test and confirm it, so all I have is rumor.
As I stated in a previous post, BLM didn't get much in this update except new spells, it seems most people still feel BLM didn't get much. Break is probably the one that has most folks irritated. On the surface it's a great spell, lasts about 30 seconds and stops the mob cold. That is, if it lands. For some dumb ass reason, SE decided to make this a spell that relies on Enfeebling Magic, which BLM has a C+ rating in. This means a typical BLM has to put a ton of work in just to get decent Enfeebling Skill, and even then, against high level mobs there a good chance it will get resisted. It also has a 4 second cast, which is middle ground casting, but if you are hoping to get this off like Stun and give yourself time to run away, then you better hope the mob doesn't interrupt you. I can live with the casting time, but why Break isn't Dark Magic is beyond me, would be tons more useful if it was.
The -ja spells, as it turns out, are indeed like Cura, going up 5% in damage after each successful cast, however, there seems to be a time limit for casting so it's not a permanent increase. They are also AoE spells, so they seem to be the next tier of -ga spells as well. However, like Stone V and Water V before them, most BLMs don't have merits in either element so the interest in them has been marginal.
BLM also got two new traits, one we knew about, the other we found out about. The first is Occult Acumen, this grants TP applicable to a spell's MP cost (elemental and dark magic only) and was first introduced for DRK and SCH in the last update, now it's BLM's turn. On the surface this seems rather intriguing, the return is 2.5% of the MP cost (I have no idea if Conserve MP or Clear Mind affect this, btw), so if you cast Thunder IV, you'll get 4.275 TP, Burst II will give you 7.175 TP. Seems cool, but then...when does BLM ever melee that they need TP?! It's almost exclusively a solo thing, so meh, it has its uses, but most of the time no one will give a shit. The other trait is Magic Attack Bonus V, like Dual Wield V above, SE didn't mention BLM was getting this and in fact no one was expecting it until level 90, but it's been confirmed that BLM does in fact have MAB V at level 81.
That should be enough for today, there's a lot more stuff to cover, gear, AF3, Abyssea, etc., but that's for another day...