This Friday I find myself celebrating a great announcement by Square-Enix regarding a new expansion to the fantastic Final Fantasy 14 titled Stormblood:
RED MAGE IS BACK
When I think of previous FF games and stuff that makes me smile, the flexible Red Mage comes to mind! Back in FF11 the red mage, when combined with the Ninja job, could be one of the most formidable and enjoyable solo classes in the whole game! A well skilled and well equipped RDM could wear down some of the toughest monsters that would often take a whole party of people to bring down. I say ‘wear down’ because it wasn’t easy and often took a lot of time and patience.
Red mages are the “jack of all trade” job class in the FF world. Often masters of debilitating magicks such as Blind, Poison, Bio and Hold, and enhancing magicks such as Haste and ‘En’ spells (En-Fire, En-Aero, etc) they are capable of using low to mid level white and black magicks as well, allowing them to act as both a healer or a damage dealer in a pinch. In addition they were capable of equipping swords and heavier armor than both white and black mages, meaning they could contribute to physical melee damage as well!
Their signature trait, however, is their Chainspell ability, which allows them to cast magicks in rapid succession. FF11 saw RDM’s given 30 seconds to cast spells one right after another, provided they had enough magick energy, with absolutely no recast time in between. Older versions of the game simply allowed them to cast more than one spell per turn, which was still extremely useful.
The official uniform of the red mage is the dashing scarlet red long-tailed coat with matching pantaloons and gloves, accompanied by shiny red or black boots. The most well known feature of the RDM however are the unmistakable white feathered cap and their signature weapon, the rapier. What I wouldn’t do to own such a fine piece of headgear and such a spectacularly deadly weapon.
Where the last few patch upgrades seemed to be themed around Final Fantasy’s 3 and 6, this new expansion seems to be themed around FF5, in which the RDM first appeared. This is evidenced by a number of in-game items one receives when pre-ordering the expansion, but the biggest give away is the inclusion of a RDM rapier weapon known as the “chicken knife”. This weapon appeared in FF5 and is also wielded by Gilgamesh (who also first appeared in FF5) in Final Fantasy Dissidia [duodecim]. However, the FF14 incarnation of the red mage seems to be quite a bit different in functionality than previous versions. Though previous versions have been able to wield a number of different weapons depending on your damage goal (ie: staves for magick, swords for melee) the FF14 version carries a rapier and a crystal. Through means yet unknown the RDM will be able to wield their sword in one hand while the crystal hovers in the other during a ‘melee mode’, while switching to ‘magick mode’ sees them placing their crystal on the hilt of the weapon and holding it like a staff.
Though the red mage excels at few things, their ability to dabble in many makes the indispensable in a party. Their addition to FF14 in Stormblood will no doubt only increase their legend.
This is the only time you will ever see me type the words “I tip my feathered hat to you, good mage.”.