Most of the stuff airspirint has posted, I had figured out on my own by just playing or having other RDMs or parties tell me. There is value to what he says. I don’t follow what is says 100% to the letter, but people should look into what he says and adapt it to there own playing style. I am only a RDM21, and haven’t been that level very long, so my insight may not count for much. I’ve never been kicked from a party nor had anyone complain about how I was doing something. I have had them suggest things, so I do consider my self to be a good RDM. I also have no problems finding a party ever. Even when I’m not looking and have made it clear that I’m not. I don’t like going anon.
I personally had not thought about switching weapons in battle to improve my stats while I’m casting Debuffs. This is something I’m going to experiment with and see if it helps me out on some of the higher-level monsters. Thank you airspirint.
Keeping all your main skills caped is a must. I’d like to add thought, don’t do this in a leveling party or you will get the party killed or you will keep them from chaining. RDMs are great solo characters, which is why I play one. Every few levels solo for a while and focus on your skill caps. This is also a good way to make money, as it is very expensive to be a RDM. I soloed from LVL20 to LVL21, took my Dagger skill from 10 to 60 (skill cap at lvl20), brought all my other primary skills up and made my level in about 8 playing hours, fighting “EM” with no problems out in the dunes. Unlike airspirint, I can kill a “T”, but the odds are not in my favor.
The one thing I would like to suggest that I’ve not seen in any RDM guide is an in-depth explanation of what your job in a party means. I guess most people think it is common since, but a good example is the very first time I was expected to be a primary healer, I of course was casting Cure II left and right and would have no MP after a fight. This is not a correct way to be a primary healer in any style of play. As a primary healer, I agree you should not be up in the fight, because if you die, who is going to heal the party. I do keep my sword out just in case the monster comes after me. In just about every other role, nuker, backup tank, debuffer, backup healer, at my level you should be up in the fighting using your sword or dagger. I have seen no reason not to be. RDM’s, should be taking very little damage and if you have keep your armor up, the amount of damage you take should be no different than the other tanks.
I also run into a lot of RDMs that want to play all their skills all the time and it is the biggest complaint I hear in parties about other RDM’s. The first thing you should ask when you join a party is what role they need you to play, as it will change based on what members are in the party. If you are in a party that already has everything, then you can play around with using all your skills, but the key is to remember, conserve your MP.
Debuffing should always be the RDMs job; no matter what role you are playing in the party. The key is if you are also acting as something else, you should limit the amount of debuffs you drop. The goal to being a good RDM is conserving your MP while getting the job done. Know your debuffs and monsters! If you are fighting something that has a high deference, you should use dia. This way your tanks can do more damage and hit more often. If the monsters hits hard you need bio, to drop how much they can hit the party for. Some times it’s a judgment call, as monsters will have both. In most cases I rely more on dia, as you want the fight to be over as quick as possible and on to the next chain.
If you have another RDM in your party, communication is absolute and it is important in any party. If you both are dropping the same debuffs or canceling each other out, you are doing nothing but wasting MP. At level 13, I was in a full party of nothing but RDM’s in the maze. It was actual very effective and chaining Maze Makers was great. We would get between 3 to 4 chains before the whole party had to rest. But we all knew what are job was in the party and we stuck to it.
The one place I very from airspirit is +1 Armor and Weapons. I always take a look at how much more dose it cost and what extra it gives me. If its only 2 or 3k more than sure why not. If their 10k more and only give me one extra def point, it’s just not worth it. This may change when I get to a higher level, but so far, this method has worked out great for me. Shop around! Check all the shops, all the Auction Houses, all the people bazaars you can find. I got my fine jerkin for the same price as a lizard jerkin from a bazaar in windy. Also anything that will give you INT, MND or MP is a must. A lot of guides will tell you to focus on just your MP or just your INT. Well doing so will lock you into one play style, even if you have a BLM sub, you are still expected to heal every now and then, so MND helps! Also plan ahead, buy stuff that your sub job will also be able to use as you are leveling it, this is why its nice to have your dagger skill up with your BLM as your sub.
You want all your debuff spells. Why diaga, its worth less. No it works great when you are farming solo. A lot of your low level spells you can get from monsters, check to see if something drops it before you spend money on it, or any spell for that matter. Also don’t get it until you know you are going to need it. You use them most when you are solo, I typically don’t use them in a party. So if you aren’t going to be fighting something solo, that can put you to sleep, you don’t need to have barsleep yet. I get all my elemental spells, as you will need them. They are a must if you are going to solo "EM" and "T" or if you are going to be the nuker in a party. Once again know your monsters, figure out what two spells inflect the most damage and switch between toughs two spells as fast as possible, but no more than is needed. No reason to cast a spell that is going to consume your MP and only do 8 points of damage, when you have another spell that costs the same MP and will do 20 points.
This is a personal thing and may not work for everyone. Don’t waste your macro space. I can in most cases (on PS2) use my controller to select cure or cure II and the person I need to cure faster than a person who has 6 different cure macros for everyone in the party. Macros are for when you need to chain several spells or commands together, such as your buffs and debuffs. The rest is just practice of kicking up the menu and learning to hit all the selections fast. Cute saying are funny, but not needed in the party. You should be using your /p messages to tell your party what you are doing when it is needed, such as casting dia to prevent your BLM from casting bio. Don’t add to the screen scroll. We need to see what the monster is preparing to do, so we know to start our next action, such as getting ready for curing when we see a gob is preparing to do a bomb toss. You can’t always tell due to lag, you need to see the text. Another down side to using macros is you are unable to adapt to a change until the macro ends, such as curing someone who all of a sudden got hit for a 150 points. You don’t need nuking macros; you can do this just as fast via the menu with some practice (or I can on the PS20).
Something that I think is a mistake for any RDM is power leveling or doing nothing but leveling in parties all the time. What will happen is certain skills will get up to cap, like healing, but some of your other very important skills like evasion will not, so you end up getting type casted into one job, or spending all kinds of very boring time getting your caps back up. This is why I think some higher levels RDM’s don’t get into the fight and just stand back. The RDM is a very slow job to level; because of the need for us to solo and keep are skill caps up and farming for money, and buying all the stuff we need. Most of my friends who started at the same time I did, who aren’t RDM’s are now several levels higher than me. It is very common for me while my friends are out leveling in parties and going up 2 levels in just a few hours, that I’m standing around a zone doing nothing but healing people and casting shell or protect, but at my level my cure and cure II still do as much as a WHM. I have seen RDM’s who are my level whose cure still is only doing 15 points, but all they do is play there RDM as a fighter or a Black mage and they will end up being casted as doing that and only that. If what you really want to be is a black mage who can cure its self, then play a BLM/WHM. The job of RDM isn’t for everyone.
I hope my lower level view has given some insight and help improve any further guides, and I will concede my view may not be right or may not be wrong, its just my view and my playing style. I am always also open to learning and trying other people’s methods.