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Previews: Disciples of the Hand

By Thomas Allegood on July 12, 2010

Disciples of the Hand

Once again, we delve into the world of Eorzea to find out more about the new crafting system. Unlike many MMORPGs where crafting and gathering are side jobs, Square-Enix has brought these jobs into the mainstream, by actually making them playable classes. Lets see what they have in store for us using this new and somewhat controversial system.

The Disciples of the Hand are your traditional crafters. Classes include Armorer, Woodworker, Goldsmith, Leatherworker, Alchemist, Weaver, Culinarian and Blacksmith. They provide your equipment, your furniture, your food, and probably many other required items needed to progress in Final Fantasy XIV. Unlike many other games where you learn a crafting skill from a NPC and begin to progress over time, you are thrown directly into the responsibility of providing your fellow adventurers with quality items they request. Information is a bit sketchy about some classes, but in the meantime let's take a look at each of these professions more in depth with what information has been provided.

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Blacksmith

Up first we have the trusty blacksmith. An artisan with steel and an anvil, these crafters will be in very high demand. This class primarily creates metallic weapons, such as swords and polearms, as well as tools needed for mining and harvesting. If you played Final Fantasy XI and became a blacksmith, you will see many similarities. Your primary function is to create the weapons and tools that players need to survive and thrive. You will of course be using Iron, Steel, Darksteel, and various other materials to build the weapons that are requested of you.

As for group use, blacksmiths will be taking care of repairs to people's weapons and tools, which will more than likely be their primary source of income. Blacksmiths have a nice skill that allows them to locate hard to find loot that could be easily overlooked as well as a skill that weakens Metallic enemies.

Culinarian

Meat, cheese, vegetables, and drinks are this class' bread-and-butter. In Final Fantasy XI, cooks provided many stat-enhancing foods to countless adventurers. In most cases, if you didn't have the right food, you were almost useless in a party. From what has been revealed, Final Fantasy XIV will have a similar system. Food and drink will provide stat buffs, HP and MP regen, and more. Very little information has been given about this class. Rest assured, this will probably be one of the most profitable disciplines out there. It is currently unknown what kind of buff skill this class will carry.

Weaver

Need a good tunic or some new pants? The weaver is your go-to guy. These artisans of clothing will be the life's blood of the caster classes, as they will provide most of the cloth equipment that they will need. Considering the capability for adventurers to switch jobs on the fly, and the high demand of caster classes, this trade will end up being very profitable for any who decide to take up the needle and thread. At this time, no information has been released on what skills this class will utilize.

Leatherworker

A ranged- or assassin-type class is never complete without a handy leather jerkin, and who better to turn to than the masters of leather? Leatherworkers can create all kinds of leather items, ranging from jerkins and gloves to belts and mantles. Due to the wide range of items that this class can create, more than likely everyone will at least need one piece of equipment from a leatherworker, meaning that there will never be a dull day for a devoted crafter of this profession. At this time, its unknown what this class will have in terms of buffs and enemy debuffs.

Alchemists

As battles wage on, fatigue will inevitably set in. Poisons will ravage the body, while the damage from your enemy's blows will surely drain you. Have no fear, your trusty alchemist is here! Need a potion to recover your HP, or an antidote to relieve you of that pesky poison effect? An alchemist can make those for you. As with all Final Fantasy games, potions are almost required for any expedition into the unknown. After all, who wants to be in the middle of the field, half way to your desired location, and fall over dead just because a funguar decided he was going to smack you with poison? More than likely, this profession will be very lucrative for those who devote the time needed to analyze the market and see what potions are selling the best. At this time it is unknown what buffs this class will have.

Many people I have spoken to have mixed feelings about this new system, due to the appearance of limitations on how your character can progress. After all, who wants to sit next to an anvil or stand in a field harvesting grain day in and day out? Due to the Armory system, there is a strong chance that you will be able to slip into more rugged equipment and slay your own monsters instead of relying entirely upon a group for your adventuring desires. We'll soon find out as launch is fast approaching.

Tune in next time where I examine more of the Disciples of the Hand, the Armorer, the Woodworker, and the Goldsmith.

Thomas Allegood / Ex-SWG Correspondent