SCH solo really isn't too bad (from my limited experience of borrowing someone else's SCH character), it's just a little different. By the way, the early 40s levels is one of the worst leveling stretches for a BLM pet soloist, and it most likely is the same thing for any other job. Hang in there~
For the rest of the grind there are several key differences from BLM to keep in mind:
- No AMs is probably the biggest difference right off the bat. In the 50s and possibly the early 60s if you're good, BLMs can snipe mobs with one spell and get pretty damned good EXP for the effort required (considering the fact that unless you get a resist you are pretty much never in danger). That will not be available to a SCH, sadly.
- If you're subbing /NIN you're not going to have any MAB traits. BLM has their MAB traits no matter what. That's not to say you'll always want to use /NIN, but it is a prevalent sub for several BLM pet camps and I don't see that really being any different with SCH... one key example being Vunkerl tiger camps. Sometimes you can't really kite, meaning Gravity is mostly pointless, and a lot of the pets are bats, meaning Sleep (without ES) is mostly pointless. Sometimes having shadows is really your best bet.
- No Sorc Ring for you either, obviously. BLMs don't typically use this until after 60 though and by that point going for the 1-shot with AM isn't as prevalent (or easily doable) anymore so it's not a huge factor, but it does make the MAB gap bigger; you will notice it on your standard nukes, even if you use Ebullience and assuming equalish INT on both jobs.
- If you ever aggro/link the BST you are most likely @#%^ed. BLM can pull off a save with ES (to help Sleepga land) and Manafont (to help Sleepga fire). Fortunately SCH packs innate Reraise whereas BLM usually has to use enchantments for RR, but it is something to keep in mind nonetheless.
3. What SCH solo might lack in raw nuking power, it makes up for in MP efficiency.
Overall this is true, mainly because AMs and -ga spells (on single targets), while very useful in getting the pet killed in 1 or 2 shots, are still horribly MP-inefficient. SCH kinda forces you to use your more MP-efficient nukes >_>
Because of this, I have found that despite the fact Parsimony gives you better dmg/MP overall, MP efficiency might not even be that much of a factor as SCH (unless you get resists on a lot of your casts), and you may want to use Ebullience instead if it will enable you to defeat the mob in one less nuke. Edited, Jun 4th 2009 4:34pm by Fynlar