I never looked to Fencer as a major thing on its own, just one of those little baby steps, where if cumulatively built upon with other things like fixed T2s, better/readily available (hybrid) gear, and so on, help the overall picture. Steering past CDC "requirements" to enter the conversation, the drastic drop we face when going from /NIN or even one of the EX WS subs to sub-WHM/BLM/SCH certainly doesn't help since the most common scenarios are likely to leave us as one of those three anyway. Try to break the mold and suddenly you can get the stink eye, friends or not.
That said, if upping our "proficiency" simply means skill rating in Sword, okay. It's another one of those baby steps. There's also the more general evaluation of WS that we could be keeping an eye on, but the most pragmatic approach would probably be to hope we wind up with at least the EX Elemental WS... not that RLB or Seraph mean a whole lot, Abyssea procs aside. I couldn't give two **** about native staff skill, though some have gotten wet over the possibility of Cataclysm, even if it requires subbing WHM. Personally, I don't see AoE WS being all that commonly needed in future content.
My gripes about our Empyrean set, despite the benefit it certainly grants to both having more time on our hands as well as some MP savings over time, is that it is both a good number of levels too late in its arrival and is a purely gear dependent "fix" that hinges on any given person having the means to wrangle +2s in a timely fashion. The cape can at least be brewed from Yaanei if you're desperate enough. But really, I've said it before and I'll say it again, RDM melee shouldn't suddenly "begin" at endgame after acquiring all the various goodies, and even with said goodies, it's brushed off as a toy or hobby because nobody sane will want it near anything that really "matters" in the game. Prior to Composure, I'd been all about a tiered "Enhancing Mastery" trait that would've upped the duration of any buff we cast on anyone and left RDM an enticing sub for others who wish to buff (though certainly better served if said job carried its own buffs prior to the cap increases). One could argue we kinda sorta got for ourselves only, but more needed to happen than just clipping a body off the cycle ho-hum 2/3rds of the time.
As much as GG loves to be all up in my grill over how I must totally suck at the mage side of RDM and that my personal experience and observation of others commonly leaves the job as a WHM-wannabe is apparently bunk, I can't help but think back to my experience fighting Voidwrought (T4 ironclad Windy VWNM) the other night. For those who haven't fought it, it's a fun little mob capable of casting Dispelga and possessing fun little TP moves that inflict an AoE HP/MP down. Like other Ironclads, slow means jack since its normal attacks aren't really normal attacks. I'm sure we've all experienced this chasing down the RR atma. Anyway, I'm in the tank party, consisting of 2 PLDs, 2 WHMs, myself on RDM/SCH, and a floater DD. You can pretty much guess my duties here. Buff, buff, help erase, cure, buff, addle, maybe toss a spell to try and proc, buff, buff, cure, **** repeat for good 20m or so where eventually it starts to hate reset, bust out weakness/stripga, and so on. All deliciously mind-numbing "fun" in the end where all I got out of the 2 fights we did were some AHable junk. And if you haven't guessed, I hate Voidwatch if only for the **** loot system.
When you consider our +2 set, it pretty much solidifies we should be handling buffs we can cast over WHMs. We save them MP. They can focus more on cures. People get their buffs longer. I wouldn't call it "demi-god" status, but it's a sensible outlook. Fights like the above aren't really fun, though. Can also get types like Glavoid where, not only does it suck up your buffs AoE style, but between rebuffing people you've gotta Dispel. I have no delusions about how busy this job can get, but I don't think it's the good kind of busy. And our enfeebles mattering more is something I'll believe when it actually happens. God, I'd **** love if we could get some kind of dummy buff that absorbs all the dispels and **** that's getting thrown around since we're apparently too good for AoEs even with Accession.