It's time to play a game I liked to call 'Devil's Advocate'.
If mp is an issue you can slack up on hastes for your melees, but god help you keep it on your tank.
Okay, first up. Haste is a wonderful tool, but it's not
suddenly going to turn a bad tank into a good one. There's little point in shouting it's praises when all it does is speed up a handful of actions. In PLDs there's melee speed (lol) and there's the recast on Flash and cures. The recast on cures is negligible anyway
and while Flash is a very nice spell, it's mostly for spike hate and not long term enmity. If one Flash is the difference between you taking hate or not, there are bigger issues at hand than you not hasting them.
Never cure 4 at the beginning of a fight. Its never fun pulling hate off a whm, and I am sure you do not like being taken down to 200ish hp in a zone full of undead either. So don't do it.
If someone is going to die if I don't Cure IV them, you can bet your **** that's exactly what im going to do. Just because I play a White Mage doesn't mean im a total pushover. We have Stoneskin to reduce damage and unless we popped Divine Seal or something, it's unlikely we'll have hate for long. In fact, I dare to say there are too
many white mages who are so petrified of taking hate, even for a few seconds, that they don't cast Cure IV ever
. Sheesh, haven't they ever heard of emnity gear?
NEVER do anything above a curaga 2, EVER while a mob is still alive. I don't care what Hp the mob is at, you will pull hate with a curaga 3 or 4
...and speaking of enmity gear. I know this might be hard for you to understand, but sometimes it's necessary to dump big cures to make sure everyone stays healthy. If that means a fat-ass Curaga III, then by god im going to cast it. If that means a Curaga IV, or even the use of Divine Seal, then watch me tank it and just do your best to kill it quickly. As I've already mentioned, I don't care that I get smacked around by dumping big cures since all of my actions are reduced in enmity and it probably won't last long. For massive cures, I'll happily tank until the monster gets bored simply because it likely won't live long enough to kill me, and I can always cure myself if required. Now, I'll admit a lot more discretion is advised when fighting things like NMs, but for your average everyday experience party, nothing could be more ridiculous than to claim a Curaga III killed you unless your party sucked in the first place.
HAVE ALL OF YOUR SPELLS. Nothing is more annoying than pulling aggro and dying and asking for an r2 or 3 only to hear your whm say "its too expensive.
While I completely agree with the sentiment, there are some spells it's safe to do without for a short time. Deodorize is perhaps the singularly most useless spell in the game, worse still than the lowliest of Bard's exhaustive repetoire. The teleport spells, with the exception of Tele-Altep, can generally be held off on for a few levels since most people XP in the dungeons around Jeuno during those levels and travel by Chocobo instead.
ring 3 stacks of Echo drops just in case.
If you suck badly enough to get through 36 Echo Drops, even in the mire, you really need to learn to distance yourself from the monster. A single stack should be more than sufficient, and unless you're constantly stealing hate it's unlikely you'll run those down too far either. But at least we both agree on one thing -- mages should always
keep Echo Drops, no matter what type of spells you cast.
To be fair, a lot of these points seem rather moot in the cut-and-thrust game we play today. There is no "tank", just a lot of Samurais or <insert job here> wailing on a mob with very little regard as to who it's attacking, safe in the knowledge that its going to be dead very soon and none of that will matter anyway. And no, that's not just endgame merit parties, this ideology has permeated down to the lower 50's and even some level 38~ parties with their Colibri runs in East Ronfaure [S]. But it works
! And as long as something works, people will continue to do so. I don't really care one iota since it nets me faster XP (though I do miss skillchains, magic bursts and 'classic' XP zones), and im used to curing multiple players anyway.
White Mage is one job where the skill of the individual is greater than the gear they slap on (I'm of the opinion that Gear > Skill when it comes to most melee jobs since they pretty much just auto-attack and WS). There are a lot of things to concentrate on, and you need to time them well. You're bound to get a sucky WHM or two, but sometimes, especially when you get 7 in a row, you have to ask yourself: Is it really the white mages who suck, or the tank...?