The release of FFXIV patch 4.5 laid the groundwork for a new Blue Mage job, but what how exactly does it work, and what’s a ‘limited class’?
If you weren’t paying attention at the Final Fantasy XIV fanfest this year, you may have missed some key details about the MMO’s new job. The addition is something of a surprise, launching before the Shadowbringers DLC, but all is not what it appears.
Blue Mage is a new concept for Final Fantasy XIV, in that it’s a ‘limited class.’ Unlike other disciples of war and magic, it has a level cap of 50 and is unable to perform multiplayer duties. That means no matchmaking for roulettes, squadron missions, PvP, deep dungeons, hall of novice, and more.
You also can’t use Blue Mage to progress in the story, access retainers, or unlock spells as you level. It’s all a little strange, but despite Final Fantasy XIV’s MMORPG status, Blue Mage isn’t designed for multiplayer. The idea is to offer an optional single player experience while introducing some fun and unique elements. The defining feature of the new job is the ability to steal spells from other creatures.
This is a new concept for those who switched from WoW, but it’s appeared elsewhere in the Final Fantasy franchise. Magic in the universe is split into different colors, each with their unique functions. Blue magic’s strength is its versatility and huge spellbook, but it just wouldn’t work in traditional multiplayer scenarios.
Blue Mages will have very different priorities to a regular player. The job features a boosted experience rate, so the focus will be getting your hands on those monster spells. Players have to see them cast for a small chance of an unlock, meaning it’s more of a collectible metagame. They can have up to 24 of these ‘active actions’ enabled at once and save them in ‘active sets.’
As well as all this, Blue Mage will get an exclusive duty, named the ‘Masked Carnivale.’ The solo challenge will put the player through 25 stages with differing opponents. They’ll have to build their action set to account for their strengths and weaknesses, with a score at the end. Bonuses are received for achieving a certain score, and weekly targets give further rewards.
To be clear, though, Blue Mages can still participate in duties with friends. Though you’re unable to matchmake for content, you’re able to get into instances with a pre-formed or undersized party just fine. Of course, you’ll still be level 50, so you’d need help in higher level content.
How to unlock the Blue Mage job
The Blue Mage will go live on Tuesday, January 15 to all players, regardless of their expansions. However, it does require a Disciple of War or Magic at level 50, and the completion of all 2.0 scenario quests, including “The Ultimate Weapon.”
You’ll then want to head the Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks, where an NPC named ‘Zealous Yellow Jacket’ (X:10.0 Y:11.0) will hold the starting quest. After completion of the quest line, the job will become available.
Blue Mage has a total of 49 PvE spells. Data miners have already discovered them all and exactly where to find them. This could spoil the experience somewhat, but the option is there if you don’t want to search for yourself.
It’s heavily implied that Final Fantasy XIV will receive additional limited jobs in the future, enabling experimentation with mechanics that would otherwise be impossible. There’s yet to be any announcements in that regard, but a similar collection-based gameplay loop would work well.