Final Fantasy XIV’s Blue Mage class was silly but ultimately limited in what it could do. Fans wanted an entire new job class that could fit into established groups. Instead, they got a bite-sized blast of goofy magic that could only team up with other Blue Mages. It was neat but ultimately a disappointment. Thankfully, a new update is expanding what Blue Mages can do, and the result is pretty chaotic.
When Blue Mages launched in January, they were a limited job class. It was a new designator meaning that players who chose to take on the Blue Mage role couldn’t queue up for dungeon content with other players. Yes, they had the ability to learn enemy abilities. Yes, they had the challenging “Masked Carnivale” to put those skills to the test in combat-puzzle encounters. But the initial excitement—which initially had Blue Mages scampering about the game world to battle monsters—faded quickly. Blue Mage was a burst of fun but soon became a joke. There was a desperate need to expand, and Final Fantasy XIV’s latest patch, which released this Tuesday, does just that.
First, the new patch raises the level cap from level 50 to level 60, meaning more growth and a smattering of new spells. There’s even a little more story content, outlining an ongoing plot by an evil businessman to steal valuable resources from the native tribe that originally developed blue magic before it became an international fad. The new spells come from even harder challenges. Specifically, groups of blue mages are able to team up to gain new abilities from “savage” difficult raids and even team up in massive 24-player raids. That’s a far cry from the four player dungeon crawls that came before. It’s not just about the abilities either; there’s a new reward system in place to encourage players to don their blue vestments and tackle difficult challenges using random spells. After all, who hasn’t wanted to battle giant time-traveling robots by burping up fish, conjuring magic barriers, and just shanking them with a damn knife? The joy of Blue Mage is the wide variety of skills. Now, there’s more chances to use them against the game’s toughest enemies
It’s all thanks to the addition of a new section in the Blue Mage Log, which tracks spells and other challenges. Here, players are able to choose from a variety of dungeons and boss fights and tackle them with a group made up entirely of Blue Mages. Completing these challenges gives rewards like money and special currencies to buy unique items. Each week, a new “prime target” is added. They are unique challenges that you can’t normally select from the log. Each prime target is a difficult boss that, should you complete it, gives even greater rewards. Instead of running out of things to do, Blue Mages can buckle up throughout the week.
More rewards, new skills to learn, and rotating challenges means parties full of Blue Mages are starting to tackle much more difficult content. Behold, for instance, this team of scrappy Blue Mages battling Bahamut Prime. Bahamut Prime is the final boss of Final Fantasy XIV’s first raid series. He’s not the hardest boss anymore but can challenge even properly organized groups in some cases. Blue Mages shouldn’t stand a chance, right? Wrong.
It’s hard to know how much this update will revitalize the class. Blue Mage still is, at the end of the day, not as complete an experience as other jobs. If you’re not already invested, it can be annoying to grind out levels and unlock abilities simply for the chance to organize a group to take on these challenges. That said, the update has breathed some fresh life into the job.
Running around in Final Fantasy XIV today, I saw plenty of gallant Blue Mages scampering off to unlock story quests and organize groups in the game’s party finder. Limited jobs like Blue Mage have not been received well by the community, but with a little love and care, they could still find their place in players’ weekly activity sprees.