First, let's start by describing what the black Magus in Final fantasy XIV: ARR.
The role of the dark mage is based on ranged magic damage. It has instant spells, others that deal damage over time, and spells that require a small cast time.
Become a dark mage
If this is the first time you are creating a character, you will notice that races do not have the same starting stats. Don't bother with these differences, they are negligible.
There are two prerequisites to unlock the job: have Occultist at level 30 and Archer at level 15. When your levels are adequate, you can complete the quest "The voice of the merchant" which, when completed, will give you the Black Crystal. By equipping this crystal, you will become a Dark Mage!
Once a black mage, you have access to all your Occultist skills and you can choose 5 other Actions among some Archer or Arcanist and 5 actions specific to the job.
Principle of play
Finally, we are going to talk a bit about how the Occultist is played at the beginning and then the Dark Mage. We can dissect the gameplay in 2 phases: before level 34 and after level 34.
The gameplay is based on an alternation between Fire and Ice. Indeed, when you cast an ice spell, you receive an improvement which allows you to increase your MP gauge. If you cast your fire spell instead of ice, you are placed under the buff Astral fire, which allows you to do more damage with your fire spells but also consumes more MP. So you will have understood that it is necessary to alternate Fire for maximum damage, then Ice to recover MP!
When playing in a group, there is one important point to note: you have the spell Sleep which, as the name suggests, can put your targets to sleep. This is very handy for controlling groups of enemies, letting your team calmly fight enemies one by one.
Let's go back to the differences in playstyle before and after level 34:
- before Level 34: to have the effect of the buffs, you must cast your ice or fire spell twice except when you use the spell. Transposition which automatically switches you from umbrella ice to astral fire and vice versa. If you do not go through the Transposition, you will have to cast the spell of ice or fire twice to cancel the initial improvement and have the second. It will therefore only be from your third spell that you will be under the effect of Umbrella Ice II or Astral Fire II. It is therefore very important to use rotation wisely with your Transpose spell.
- After level 34: at this level, you unlock "Mega Feu" which, when used if you are under the Ombral Ice effect, automatically switches you to Astral Fire. So, no need for transposition to go from Umbrella Ice to Astral Fire! Conversely, you will have to use your Transposition up to level 38 where you will unlock "Mega Glace" which also allows the direct rotation of from Astral Fire to Ombral Ice. You can see that from level 34 and then 38, the rotation is greatly simplified.
Basic rotation example for the first levels
Here is a cycle to use when you are in a group to properly manage your MP:
- Fire spell until you have almost no more MP
- Transposition to switch to Umbrella Ice, there you use an ice spell then, to wait for the end of the Transposition reload, you place your lightning and Injury spell
- Return to fire with "Transposition" and so on.
Hope this article helps you understand a bit more about how to become a Dark Mage and how to use your Occultist in the early stages.
Note: the sheet detailing all the actions of the Dark Mage and other classes will be available soon!