After hearing news of Machinist coming to FFXIV's expansion Heavensward, I wanted to test the waters of playing a ranger job, and took BRD from 35-50 over the winter break.
Machinist, a DPS job that utilizes guns and robots, resembles FFXI's Puppetmaster in more ways than one. There's no doubt Strawberry will get her hands deep into pools of oil and buckets of gears come patch 3.0, but until then, it's time to hone those shooting skills with Bard!
Bard is a lot more fun than I imagined. I have come across so many bad Bards throughout my XIV career, I really wanted to find out if it was because the job was difficult, or they were just, well, bad. It turns out the reason is sadly the latter.
The entire questline from 30-50 teaches you how the power of support can make of break a battle. Through music, Bards can replenish a party's MP, TP, debuff monsters and even increase player's movement speed outside of battle, all while doing some incredible damage of their own. It comes packed with AOE abilities, dots, and some fantastic traits that trigger further damage if you notice them in time!
To me, the half-support, half-DPS aspect of the job is incredibly appealing. The kind of "I've got your back!" attitude - much like White Mage - is something that really drew me in. I wonder if Machinist will be the same...!
The gear, too, is incredibly nice to look at! Syrcus Tower's Amon set, the Divine Light set, and even the original Choral Attire which I am a huge fan of, feel great to see in motion as Strawberry dances across the battlefield.
Currently, my Bard rocketed to ilvl108 thanks to all my item hoarding, putting it on par with Summoner! It was the first job to obtain a fully-upgraded Diamond weapon from Shiva, and every piece of Syrcus Tower gear.
Bard is an absolute pleasure to play. Even if Machinist turns out to play completely differently come patch day, I have no regrets as it has been one heck of a fun and lively journey to 50 and beyond!