Thursday, November 06, 2008


A lot of people worked very hard to design FFXI.

There was like 12 guys.


One of the main roles of this group was to create and design each job class to be viable and distinct.

Paladins were meant to be tanks.

Dragoons were meant to be damage dealers.

Black Mages were meant to blow shit up.

Ka boom and shit.

They did this job very well. They took time to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each job class to ensure a varied and interesting selection.

And yet... Players don't seem to understand that.

A White Mage is a White Mage. They are dedicated healers and...

Well... They're healers.

They heal things.

A Summoner is not a White Mage.

Sure, a Summoner usually subs White Mage to act as a back up healer in emergency situations. It's possibly the only universally accepted subjob.

That doesn't make them a White Mage.

I actually put off leveling Summoner for a long time.

A very long time.

Most of my job choices revolved around hurting things. I was always the guy who was stabbing the thing, or setting the thing on fire, or stabbing the thing...

I'm a big fan of the stabbing.

But there were other factors.

Pretty much every Summoner I talked to told me that I'd spend most of my time acting as a second rate healer.

I didn't really want to be a healer. If I wanted to be a healer, I'd have leveled White Mage.

See, I'm not retarded.

This made Summoner a less than compelling choice.

Oh, did I mention my main character is Elvaan?

For those of you unfamiliar with the specific strengths of each of the races and job classes, let me break it down:

Summoners need mp.

Elvaans have terrible mp.

Any questions?

That's strike two.

Or three.


Still, as most of my jobs grew higher and higher in level, I decided to give Summoner a chance.

Do you know what's fun? Spending twenty levels summoning a radioactive squirrel.

I gave it a shot. You know, try and see what newer players without access to higher jobs have to put up with.

Yeah... F&%@ that.

After 5 levels, I decided to go unlock all the avatars. If I had to look at that squirrel thing again, I'd probably have shot someone.

So, after a relatively short hiatus, I was back to Summoner with a wide array of summonable creatures to do my nefarious bidding.

Oh, is the monster weak to fire? Let me summon an avatar made of fire.

I was like a Swiss Army knife.

Okay... A Swiss Army knife capable of calling forth beasts composed of magic.

I literally have an avatar for every situation. Each of them has specific strengths and elemental alignments meaning I'm ready for any enemy.

Do you know what avatar I summon the most?

Neither do I.

I spend most of my time healing morons who can't find a White Mage.

I can summon a giant sea monster, a woman made of ice, a wolf composed of darkness, or even a demon born from a nightmare.

Unfortunately, I can't afford to summon those guys because that costs mp that I have to conserve to save idiots who draw hate.

You can imagine how frustrating that might be.

Answer: very.

Do you know what I'm going to do tomorrow? I'm going to play as a White Mage.

Then I'm going to sub Summoner.

Then, I'm not going to heal ANYBODY. I'm going to spend every party summoning Carbuncle and letting him melee the enemy.

And anyone who complains gets fed to Jormy.


I friggin' hate people.


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

One of us. One of us. One of us.

I am a career Summoner, and boy are you preaching to the choir.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger GreatMno said...

That seems a bit sad that summoners don't get to use some of the coolest atacks in the game. I think I would rather kill myself than make a summoner do that.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Vagu'Stae said...

Isn't it sad that, in the dunes as a SMN/WHM, you only have Cure 1 and you can't do jack to keep that crazy-ass Taru BLM in the white?

And when there's a RDM in the pt, you (as SMN/WHM) end up getting kicked for not main healing?
; ;

At 8:30 PM, Blogger R_Mc said...

That is why my Summoner is stuck at 29, I hate being main heal.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Dyamalos said...

one reason I haven't taken SMN beyond 30.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger William said...

*raises a class* A toast to all the SMNs who've had to go through this, and something to numb the pain for all those who never made it past this point.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger William said...

Umm... class = glass... I can't type tonight...

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Urthdigger said...

Well, it's just one of those balance issues. Other jobs earn xp, and SMN just... makes shoes or something.

At 12:36 AM, Blogger Tarage said...


Sadly, I have lost my manhood and Main Healed my way to 75. Occasionally I do get to practice the art I love so much... but not often.

Also, try subbing SCH. It's viable now.

At 1:53 AM, Blogger Husband said...

SMN75, so totally understand, I dont think I got to summon properly til 70+ and even then I was still main heal a lot. Put up with it though as 75 is great :)

At 3:13 AM, Blogger The Anaconda said...

believe it or not, but I played in a party once that had a summoner as main healer... and they were summoning too. and they did a really great job of both, was one of the fastest parties I've ever had

At 3:24 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

75 Smn here as well. Main healing is a pain, but it's such a versitile job at 75, it very much worth all the pain of lower lvl's ^^.

At 4:27 AM, Blogger Rubieus said...

F* yeah Dave, F* friggin yeah!

Summoners are awsome >.o and people are morons. However, if say your wife had a whm or something you could build a party around her, just get a paladin (ninjas are not tanks in my opinion)and fill the party up with Damage dealers and youa re set to go.

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

You hit it right on the money, [GM]Dave. I think we all sort of refuse to level Summoner for the same reason every once in a while. The only reason people pick Summoner for main healer is because Summoner has Auto-Refresh and newly-added Elemental Siphon- two abilities that restore MP. White Mage and Black Mage are still the only two mage jobs without that ability (even Paladin has it!!!) and that's why Red Mages, Scholars, and Summoners have to fill their roles until Square decides to balance the game that way.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Meilin said...

Change job to WHM and go melee. Then scream to people about bizzaro world because SMN is WHM, WHM must mean WAR now!

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Willow said...

I'm a career White Mage. In fact it's my only level 75 job after 3 years of playing this game. I was always subbing black mage for the mp conservation(pre SCH that is) until the Assault system was released. Once Golden Salvage became a viable option for WHM/SMN to solo(yay for easy assault points), I had little choice left but to level my SMN. So, like anyone that has leveled WHM to 75, I solo'd my SMN to 37. I mean seriously, if I wanted to main heal, I'd be on my WHM.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger RurouniZanza said...

Ugh, that brings back memories. And they aren't of the pleasant kind.

Well, get this... I'm on my PLD75 in a party killing Gcoli's and the RDM is pulling.

See now, that makes sense since it is the easiest way to setup XP chains besides BRDs.

So The RDM had to leave and suddenly the party says: "OK, The PLD will pull now"

... WTF... Did I forget to mention that we had a RNG and a BRD in the pty as well?

So these morons wants me to Pull Gcoli's instead of having the BRD sleep some birds or something.

PLD being my first job to 75, I wasn't what you'd call an expert puller. So I pulled a link and they killed me with only me being killed... great.

They revive me and I ask "Dude, PLDs aren't pullers... you sure you want me to?"

They said yeah, and I said fuck that... these idiots deserve to die. I'm still weakened and I pull 3 GColi's to the party and let them have their fun with the morons.

The next was part was beautiful! Amongst the panicking screams and curses, the whole party wiped... And I was happy once more.

They even called me a n00b... El-Oh-El.

Guys... Every job has a role, SMN's summon, WHM heal, and PLD's tank.

It's simple really.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Leanne said...

My main is a 75WHM. I love dispensing joy and love in the form of cures and buffs. I leveled SMN to about 15 and just gave up. I have a WHM. I don't want to heal as SMN. I want to SUMMON. Why do people expect a 15SMN to be able to main heal a party?
My in-game husband has a 75SMN (before you ask, yes, I AM a woman) and for about 30 levels of it he was kind of dead inside. Now he gleefully makes things die.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Aen said...

"Radioactive squirrel."

I snorted coffee out of my nose this morning, I feet I thought was mythology until now.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger jonnysgirl1703 said...

Oh I feel your pain. If I get one more offer to party and end up as main healer I am just going to "accidently" dc and not come back

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Tristan Kain said...


Summoners are supposed to be mystical DDs, not second-rate healers. A friend of mine has a novel solution to this problem - /BLM. He's managed to get into the 50s that way and never main heals (or asks other smn to main heal). He still heals people - with Bloodpacts.

I did my main heal sufferance both as whm and as rdm - I will wholeheartedly support your efforts to be a main-heal-free summoner. Go Dave!

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Goji said...

If you think main-healing SMN is bad, I once got a party invite while I was soloing BLM, to main heal. I've had to leave parties before because they expected me, as BLM, to main heal.

BLM's job is literally the opposite of healing. Expecting SMN or BLM to main heal just because they've got MP and /WHM is completely ridiculous.

At 1:56 AM, Blogger Joyeuse said...

My girlfriend is a SMN.
She is also a WHM.

When she gets on SMN, we make sure we have a real healer. She hasn't main healed yet in a single party we've had. She summons. And does a kick ass job.

She still cures people..

Except she cures them with Leviathan.

No BRD seeking? Enemy has high evasion? Fenrir is there to up your accuracy.

You know who could Phalanxga, Dispelga, Slowga, and Hastega before SCH?


When she gets on WHM, she wants to heal. If theres a PL, she wants to kill someone.

People that we invite into OUR party who bitch at her about not main healing, when we have a RDM or a SCH, get booted. OUR party. HER job. No one yells at me to cure people, and I'm a BRD.

There are ways around it. Keep that staff skill up and sub DNC. I know. It sounds stupid. But with the new EP and DC update, you'll level faster than you would in some of these horrible low level places.

At 5:02 AM, Blogger Jakk Frost said...

I've seen it from both sides, levelled SMN to 37 mostly as main healer, though I too would sub blm at times, or rdm, so I could backup heal, since bloodpacts are once a minute (and this was before they split them into offensive and defensive).

And on the other side, when I built a party, whenever I got a SMN I would try to get a main healer as well, and let the SMN be a SMN. I've even made some SMN's days by putting them in the main skillchain. Think qufim and kazham, when it's not always possible to get DD's who SC well together, or being able to open distortion whenever the THF is ready for sata VB and not waiting on tp.

On the other hand, sometimes xp is xp. I was in a PT in Yhoator in my thf, and we had a blm/whm who was only healing and was more than happy to do it since we were getting 5k/hour. Now remember, 4 years ago, long before the 5 new jobs, 5k/hour in a 28-30 party was considered insane xp. Like I said, the blm was happy to be healer for that kind of xp.

That being said, just remember, if you want a non-whm to be your heal-bitch, better make it worth their while xp wise. And for the love of god, ASK them if they mind main-healing before they make the trek to the friggin camp.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger llwang said...

I totally second you on this. Summoners are NOT supposed to be healers. I've soloed my summoner to lv30, just to avoid being a main healer in a party. And I really like your idea of summoning carby to melee as a whm/smn and not healing anyone and feed whoever complains to Jormy.


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