BLM is an incredibly strong job, maybe only second to RDM in over all power. However, this is not because of BLM's damage dealing ability. It is true the a BLM has no chance to keep up with the dmg of a good melee in most group situations. That is not where BLM gets its power from. A few anecdotes, strong BLM's have solo'd ufo's in sea, solo'd the apollyon NW limbus run, solo'd the Brothers ENM which allows up to 18 people to enter, ODS, apollyon NE, and a blm/sch solo'd the bhaflau remnants run in salvage (that's right, solo'd an entire salvage run).
What a BLM is capable of doing solo isn't a very good representation of its overall power. Most of those situations you list above have case circumstances that you neglected to mention:
1) Yovra (aka UFOs) in sea are soloable by BLM, through the use of Manafont. This means you can kill one every two hours, which isn't entirely amazing. A SCH can kill Yovras without the use of Tabula Rasa since Helix spells are capable of defeating a Yovras high auto-regen trait.
2) Apollyon NE/NW have restore chests available immediately upon reaching a floor, which allows the BLM to use Manafont repeatedly through the course of the event, in addition to eliminating some measure of downtime by instantly recharging MP at the same time that Manafont is restored. A BLM looking to win these Limbus zones are required to kill quickly and with some degree of luck on getting the vortex to open quickly. A BLM can solo farm ABCs in Limbus without heavy reliance on restore chests, but to get the win they are going to have to use those chests to reduce downtime and increase kill speed.
3) The Bhaflau Remnants salvage run you speak of was performed by Kaeko, who was using /SCH for Parsimony with nukes and Sublimation for MP recovery. It also requires near perfect gear, an absolutely perfect performance in your kiting route and making the appropriate turns, use of "blink casting" to avoid casting animations that slow you down, and abuse of faulty AI. Any mistake on your part usually results in death.
4) Avesta's BLM solo of Brothers ENM required the use of Manafont and a death/unweaken/recover, whereas his RDM solo required the use of Chainspell with no deaths necessary. SCH could probably solo this easier and faster than either BLM or RDM using Helix DoT and opening with Tabula Rasa for quick, cheap, and powerful nukes.
5) Xenith was able to solo ODS as RDM/BLU using melee tactics. Just because this is possible doesn't make RDM melee any more welcome in an endgame scenario: it remains useful in specific situations. BLMs ability to solo ODS likewise doesn't necessarily reference their usefulness in certain endgame scenarios.
Just because a BLM can do these things in a solo effort doesn't mean that they should be completely overlooked as being perfectly up-to-date. Solo ventures give the comfort of being able to choose your own fights and go at your own pace. You can selectively target fights where you will have the downtime needed to be able to get your MP back, or fights where you are going to have use of Manafont numerous times.
In group efforts the pace is dictated by the group. A long time ago, fights were slower and took a lot more coordination. These days, fights are fast, frantic, and leave little room for downtime. In a fast-paced world, BLMs are entirely too slow to keep up.
@Kaetara - Thanks for the less ragefilled response with something to reply to other than "UR Retarded". The limiting factor on damage, BLM or SAM is enmity. That sam has to stop the damage or die, just like I do, Therefore SAM is not outdoing me in damage. In fact, because I have -enmity on some of my gear, I can probably do a bit more.
Not really. The SAM is perfectly capable of continuing to dish out damage and can remain alive for quite an extended period of time, long enough for tanks to re-establish hate. Therefore, the SAM is outdoing you in damage, because the SAM has greater survivability upon drawing hate than you do. Apart from that, your -enmity isn't going to help your MP stay high in a long-running fight, in which case while you are resting the SAM is still meleeing and still WSing.
The amount of melee damage you're using in your example is the stuff of legend, saved in screenshots after using 2 hours combined with bard 2 hours. Blms, on the other hand put out the hurt without 2 hours, or flukes. Either that or you and I are talking about a different level of mob.
Stuff of legend? It was the stuff of legend back in 2005. Melees have much stronger gear available to them now than they did back then.. higher accuracy, higher attack, more skill items, better haste gear, more double attack.. the list goes on and on. Despite all the gear that has been introduced for BLMs, Morrigan's in particular, they are still
limited by their MP pool. Melee classes don't have this restriction, and the more gear that comes out the better they are going to get. Can BLMs "double attack" a spell the same way a melee job can double attack a WS?
How about referencing Sea Gorgets and Obis? A BLM with the appropriate element Obi can get quite a significant boost to the potency of their nukes, but it requires the weather or day conditions to be correct, or for SCH support to force the weather effect. A melee with their Gorget gets the benefit of the Gorget regardless of outside conditions or other support.
And don't even get me started on relics. Back in 2005, relics didn't exist. Now, they are turning up more and more as the people who set their eyes on the prize back in 2005 are starting to realize their goals. A BLM with their relic (lolClaustrum) isn't going to even come close
in comparison to a SAM with Amanomurakumo (note: I use SAM in particular due to their incredibly fast TP build, excellent two-hander damage, and ability to instantly regain 100% TP or more immediately following a WS with Meditate). In fact, the question would be: "Why the hell is that BLM using Claustrum?"
SAMs with Amanomurakumo can save 200% TP (obtainable in 12 hits), use Sekkanoki, and immediately pop off Tachi: Kaiten to Tachi: Kaiten and solo their own Light skillchain. If they Meikyo Shisui after that, they can turn around and knock out three (3!!!) more Light skillchains back-to-back-to-back, which can result in the effective damage of 9 WSs in an extremely short timeframe. And in the world of relics, 1200 damage is hardly legendary. Hagun SAMs with good builds are capable of reaching those numbers already.
BLMs with Claustrum can effectively swap out their relic for the appropriate staff when casting a nuke, since Claustrum does absolutely nothing to enhance the potency of their nukes.
I'm sorry that you don't like AM2. I use it effectively a lot.
In the grand scheme of things, a Thunder IV can do everything a Burst II can do, better. Not factoring in Conserve MP on either spell, a BLM can use Thunder IV three times for less MP than a BLM using Burst II twice. Three Thunder IV is better than two Burst II.
Don't get me wrong. I acknowledge that BLMs are capable of doing some extraordinary things. However, if you look at the big picture, they are simply too slow to keep up with modern day events. Edited, May 7th 2009 2:26pm by Kaetara Edited, May 7th 2009 2:40pm by Kaetara