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Thoughts on summoner?


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So, I've been waiting for summoner to be released for... for a long time. Even back in 1.0, I was always holding my breath waiting for my class to be released. I had an amazing time with it in Final Fantasy 11, and there was no question that the two games are heavily influenced by each other, so I feel like it's no stretch to expect something along the same lines of 11, if not remotely similar.


We've finally got a release on the class, and a fair amount of people who've leveled far enough into it to actually have an opinion one way or the other. So, feel free to share your thoughts on the class.


So, for myself, as I'm sitting on a level 39 Summoner... I'm really disappointed. I'm having a hard time really wrapping my head around any kind of depth to the class. I mean, the rest of the classes can pretty much be played in two ways: there's the easy mode, where you can get through just fine, but doesn't really require to know the particulars of the class. And then there's ... well informed, where your strategies and knowing the class really lets you excel at what you're doing. Summoner doesn't really seem to have any advanced strategies to it other than sometimes swapping out summoners that are really sub par at best. I mean, I don't know. Am I missing something here?


The great thing about summoner from ff11 was that it was so much more than just a DPS class. Your summons had buffs that could help out the party, you as the summoner could do pretty well at healing, and the damage output from each summon was varied enough to actually use them in different situations rather than... close range, long range, and tank. The element of the summon REALLY mattered for the fight. Now I feel like I'm being forced into this DPS role that gives the illusion of having a lot of options, but really... there are none, plus just playing "what Pokemon do you want to play with today?"


Along with that, the abilities for the summoners don't even cater too much to specific summon. Tank carbuncle and Titan almost have the same. Exact. Abilities. I can't say much for Garuda, because I haven't unlocked it yet, but I feel pretty comfortable in assuming that DPS Carby and Garuda are going to have pretty similar abilities as well.


At the end of this, I actually found out that I love Scholar. I wasn't expecting it at all, but I figured out the class gimmick and how to really make it shine: It's essentially healer chess. Which is great! But, positioning and stuff for summoner matters so little that it's hard to even be bothered to play the same way.


Bleh. I don't know. I'm honestly feeling a little bit defeated about it, because as I've said, I've been waiting for this to happen for years. And I'm sure I'll get a few "Go back to FF11 if you loved it so much!". I'd love to, but the combat is way too old for me to play at this point. So, I'm left yearning. I don't plan on changing my character concept, though! Just.. probably not touching the class as much as I thought I would.

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Summoners play pretty much exactly like Warlocks in WoW. When I saw the abilities list leaked I knew that's how it was going to be so I was pretty prepared.


That being said, Summoner (and Arcanist) have some issues.


One of my guildies has a damage parser and was saying it looks like your summons do about 40% of your damage... as an Arcanist. It's probably more as a Summoner. I feel like that's too high. In WoW I played a Hunter, as a Beastmaster spec (The spec that makes your pet do more damage) and my pet did, at most, 15% of my damage. I think so much reliance on your pet is dangerous.


The fact it's a DoT class makes it somewhat weak against trash mobs (Expected, though Bane helps a lot) - just like Warlock, so you rely on your pet to do all the damage in that scenario while you keep your DoTs up and cast your weak as hell Ruin. The Aetherflow thing is a good gimmick (I just got Fester and it's a neat little spell) and having to decide between Fester and Bane for fights can be a tough decision.


Overall I like the class, since I also enjoyed Warlock, but I think it needs some work. Especially the Damage output of you vs your pet. Summoner feels weaker then other classes as well, though we do pretty well on boss fights. I would really like to see a Summoner fully parsed against other DPS classes in the best available gear to really see their damage output - as right now I think it's lacking. BUT I'm 37, the job could just have an awkward growth pattern.

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