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Fantasy Hybrids: The Support Class

Victor Barreiro Jr. Posted:
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I’ve recently been on a run of watching MMO-themed anime, and I found it interesting that in the show Log Horizon, the main character is essentially a magical support class who debuffs enemies, buffs party members, and strategizes the heck out of battles to secure victory.

While the game aspect of Log Horizon isn’t exactly the focus of the show, I always wanted to see how support classes might translate into a game that is squarely “holy trinity” based – requiring a tank, damage dealers, and healers to complete.

I’ve been waiting for a free week to see if I could delve into what I call a fantasy topic – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn introducing quirky Support classes. The next few quiet weeks leading up to the Las Vegas Fan Festival and to the launch of 2.4 provides me with a chance to talk about this improbable scenario.

As such, allow me to introduce a base class and two jobs today that aim to fulfill the DPS or Healer roles of a party, allowing these classes and jobs to fill appropriate roles in a pinch as needed.

The Starting Class: Chemist

I got the inspiration for the Chemist class from a three-week old MrHappy video detailing his top 5 fantasy classes, but I honestly thought it was worth exploring as a form of support.

Final Fantasy lore has it such that chemists mix and match inventory items and throw them to characters or enemies to buff and heal or debuff and damage the appropriate target. Such a mechanic isn’t going to bode well for an MMO, so MrHappy’s reasoning was to make it such that Chemists function like support ninjas who can press multiple attacks, store them up, and then select a “throw” button to lob the combined effects at a friend or foe.

The main reason I wanted to see something like a chemist get into A Realm Reborn is because we could use more healing classes, and I think that this could serve as a hybrid DPS or Healer class that can turn into one of two jobs, much like the Arcanist, upon hitting the right milestones.

30 Chemist + 15 Arcanist: The Calculator/Arithmetician Job

As it stands, Arcanists lorewise seem to have the very foundation for being the most strategic fellows in the game. I thought, why not run with that idea and combine it with the fantasy class for a bit of awesomeness.

Calculators or Arithmeticians would fulfill the DPS role in a party, providing damage by having a longer string of combined effects and damage potential available to thrown items, as well as having their own special book that summons a different sort of battle pet: a mimic.

The mimics – the treasure chest monsters in fantasy games – can be summoned like the arcanist carbuncles, but only having DPS or mild healing capabilities. Their main purpose, however, is to be like the bag of holding for a calculator: keeping them alive enhances the effectiveness of calculator attacks.

What does the calculator name have to do with calculation as in previous games? Not much really, other than longer strings of attacks multiplying damage by a set amount that scales accordingly to level.  Sadly, this isn’t a game where we can pinpoint damage to multiples of 3 or 5, so having calculators and mimics amplify individual damage seems to best fit how my imagined class would work.

30 Chemist + 15 Thaumaturge: The Enchanter Job

This isn’t a Final Fantasy staple, but more of a mild reasoning to justify using the Log Horizon Enchanter name in my mind. Basically, take everything you know about a Black Mage or Thaumaturge and throw it out the window, because the Enchanter will be more akin to a healer that coincidentally does damage while healing.

The Enchanter subverts the trope of the thaumaturge via the chemist function. Instead of throwing full heals, however, the Enchanter specializes in area of effect healing over time through the use of area or targeted enchantments.

It can still do the chaining of attacks for damage like the supposed ninja mudras or my imagined Chemist specifications, but are instead made of shorter attack combinations that change the area of effect for the damage and healing provided by the enchantment being thrown.

Depending on available information two weeks from now, you can expect to either see a follow-up to this focusing on a hybrid class that can become a tank or DPS, or some other crazy idea. Either that, or I’ll be focusing on the latest news for FFXIV: ARR instead. Till then, enjoy Eorzea. It’s gonna be a fun couple of weeks. Cheers!



Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.