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So You Think You Can Machinist: Hardcore Tunnel Vision Edition

05 August 2015 10:24 EDT under
Games

Sometimes I write goofy class guides for Final Fantasy XIV on the FFXIV subreddit. In the interest of getting anything up on this site, I've reposted the entire thing here.


About a month ago, I generously taught all of you how to Paladin. Well, you can go ahead and take your full-frontal cyber-mollusk and throw that shit in the full-frontal cyber-garbage (or back into the cyber-ocean, in the interest of being humane), because the day of the Paladin is over. We massively out-damage Warriors and Dark Knights while having at least 80% more HP than they do, massively out-heal White Mages, and our utility can't be beaten (Rage of Halone STR debuff OP). We're just not interesting anymore.

When Elysium got a world-first A3S clear with an eight-PLD team, I knew it was time to move on to a class that offers a little more challenge. A little more substance. A little more fire. Not Black Mage. A little more fire...arm? I dunno. A CLASS THAT SHOOTS GUNS, OKAY?

That's right, I'm talking about the Machinist (a.k.a. "MCH" on JP/EU servers, or "NRA" on NA servers). If you've ever thought, "good God this guy in /shout is so annoying; I wish I could shoot him point-blank in the face with a gun," you may need a psychiatrist. But if you've ever thought the same thing about innocent animals, the Machinist may be for you.

Let's dive in gauss-barrel-first, shall we? Actually, hang on real quick; there's a 1.5-second delay on diving in like that.

Why Machinist is the most challenging class in the game

How's about we review a few Machinist skills to see just what kind of nigh insurmountable obstacles we have to overcome?

[Trait, Level 1] Enhanced Tooltip Length: Your skills' tooltips are 800 to 1,000 times longer than those of other jobs'. In fact, there's a non-zero chance that one of them will get nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel; in this case, though the skill itself will remain usable, its tooltip will be off gallivanting at post-Hugo Awards parties and will not return until its hangover wears off the following day (Eorzean Time). This time can be reduced by feeding the tooltip greasy, heavy foods like Bacon Bread.

Most Machinists will tilt their monitors/TVs vertically and play in 1080 x 1920 or some other 9:16 resolution just to be able to comfortably fit tooltips on the screen. As the Machinist reaches ever higher levels, a doubly stacked, vertically oriented setup of 1080 x 3840 becomes necessary. At least the game has pretty skies.

[Ability, Level 4] Reload: You load five rounds into your gun that disappear if not fired within 30 seconds, because I guess that's how guns work.

Naturally the tooltip goes on for another hour or so; this is the "tl;dr" version. Once per minute, the Machinist can put ammo in his gun, and he can use skills to fire that ammo at either enemies or small animals. Combined with Quick Reload, a later Machinist ability, the Machinist can fire a staggering seven rounds of ammo per minute. His party simply needs to realize that once his ammo runs out, the best he can do is run around and pull his trigger going "pew pew pew bang bang plink plink." And yet, still, a talented Machinist can turn this crippling handicap into a sustained 3,400-plus-DPS rotation.

[Ability, Level 52] Gauss Barrel: Summons the ghost of German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss to your side to offer a tooltip-length explanation of how your gun works on aetheric magnetism instead of gunpowder. You are allowed one bathroom break halfway through the lecture, but only for going number one, and attendance is taken again when the lecture resumes, so don't even think about sneaking out. Also decreases the chance that Split Shot will proc an improved-potency Slug Shot by 90%.

It's hard to run 'n' gun while rooted to the ground by the sheer electricity of Gauss' lecture on aetheric magnetism, but the true benefit of this skill is the reduced chance for a Split Shot proc. The Machinist's rotation is so convoluted, such a Kafkaesque nightmare of unfathomable scope, that sometimes we just need to reduce our rotation to pressing "1" several hundred times in a row to recover. For a brief moment, we'll be just like that Black Mage you have in literally every dungeon roulette ever who is convinced that Blizzard I is the toppest of top-tier skills.

[Weaponskill, Level 30] Hot Shot: Using a pair of OXO Good Grips® tongs, you gingerly dip a round of ammunition in boiling water before loading it and firing it at your target. This makes the bullet nice and toasty.

An Earl Grey tea variety is coming soon; please look forward to it.


Why Machinist is the best class in the game

Well, for starters, and for only, you have a gun. So while Ninjas are stabbing things with daggers and Paladins are slashing things with swords and Astrologians are off stargazing and letting their party die yet again, we Machinists are living in the modern era and going full United-States-dentist-Walter-Palmer-blasting-Cecil-the-lion-into-oblivion on shit (oh my God, dude, too soon (do you think one day there will be a drink called the "Walter Palmer" that's half lemonade, half lion-blood (HOLY SHIT DUDE TOO SOON))).

But that's not all. Like true gun enthusiasts, we follow an expanded version of the Lays Potato Chip Lemma: given a desirable, tasty, or useful object X and a subject Y, subject Y will not be able to respectively possess, eat, or use only one of object X. Holding true to this, the Machinist has the following arsenal:

How can a class using a shaft of wood as a weapon even attempt to compare to one so loaded down with firearms that they literally always have the Heavy status on them? I'll let the following class-comparison table do the talking here:

JobWhat they doWhat Machinists do
PLDHide behind their shieldShoot things in the face with a gun
WARLose huge amounts of HP very rapidlyShoot things in the face with a gun
DRKLook coolShoot things in the face with a gun
WHMHeal people, throw rocksShoot things in the face with a gun
SCHHeal people, throw fairiesShoot things in the face with a gun
AST"Heal people," play cardsShoot things in the face with a gun
NINBe that guy who always picks Nova/Zeratul but sucks at themShoot things in the face with a gun
DRGDieShoot things in the face with a gun
MNKRepeatedly require reconstructive hand surgeryShoot things in the face with a gun
SMNPlay with the dogs or whateverShoot things in the face with a gun
BLMAdjust enemies' internal thermostatsShoot things in the face with a gun
BRDPoorly imitate MCHShoot things in the face with a gun

In short: there's no comparison here.


How Machinists Machinist and how their allies can suck less

Look, when you have the best class in the game in your party, you're gonna have to pull a little extra weight, or you're gonna look like embarrassingly primitive heaps of garbage by comparison. So here's a bunch of important Machinist-specific mechanics and how a Machinist's party can help him deal with them.

Post-Wildfire self-aggrandizement (PWSA). The number one way a Machinist contributes to his party is by completely ceasing all action when Wildfire is about to drop off of his target so he can look for how much damage it does and go "oh shit, bro, Wildfire just did so much damage." This is PWSA (pronounced "POO-suh," in the Lominsan style), the most crucial part of the MCH's rotation, and it must not be interrupted for any reason. The two most common interruptions to our PWSA are:

  1. Mob death/phase changes. I'd like to quote a famous Machinist for you: "wow, great work guys, DPS was so solid that my Wildfire didn't even go off before that phase change!" Would you like to know who that famous Machinist is? So would I. He doesn't exist, because I made him up, because no Machinist ever, ever, has ever said or will ever say something so stupidly idiotic. If you notice Wildfire up on a mob, and you also notice that the mob's health is decreasing at such a rate that the mob will die or trigger a phase change before Wildfire ends, you should immediately stop DPS on that mob. Don't fuck things up for us just because you think your paltry contribution to group DPS matters, okay? Situations like these are the perfect time to practice your own PWSA strat by doing nothing for when you inevitably switch to Machinist.

  2. Fight mechanics. Cover these for us, okay? I'm not gonna miss my Wildfire's floaty text just because you want me to not stand in a giant orange circle, or because you want me to soak orbs or lasers or whatever to keep a healer alive. A good Machinist will have an eight- to fifteen-line macro that announces his impending PWSA, preferably cycling through as many sound effects as possible. If you notice this, help us. Cover an extra mechanic, get ready to heal us, maybe toss out a Stoneskin, whatever. This is your chance to contribute even marginally as much to your group as your Machinist is.

Tunnel Vision. Tunnel Vision is a level 1 passive Machinist trait that's not listed in the Traits panel. It causes the Machinist to focus so intensely on his hotbars that all his situational awareness goes out the window. If the room has no windows, then it goes down either a grate in the floor or through the crack under the door.

Between boiling water for Hot Shot, loading rounds of ammunition one-at-a-time, listening to lectures by dead old physicists, checking to make sure our gun's safety is off when Lalafell are present, and getting ready to be all kinds of self-masturbatory about Wildfire, the Machinist has way too much going on to waste his time paying attention to his target's actions. If you're grouped with a Machinist, help us. Cover an extra mechanic, get ready to heal us, maybe toss out a Stoneskin, whatever. This is your chance to contribute even marginally as much to your group as your Machinist is.

Prayer Hour. When both Reload and Quick Reload are on cooldown, the Machinist will drop to his knees, fold his hands in supplication, and pray to Our Good Lord RNGesus to bestow upon the next execution of his Split Shot a heavenly proc allowing our rotation to evolve past the repeated use of a single skill. Split Shot has a 50% chance to proc, which, going by the FFXIV Law of Large Numbers, means that, over time, it will proc once for every one thousand, four hundred forty uses of Split shot, or once every hour (assuming a 2.5-second global cooldown). If Split Shot procs, this process begins anew with Slug Shot.

Legends tell of a powerful Machinist who once was able to use an increased-potency Clean Shot while both Reload and Quick Reload were on cooldown, but it cost him several decades of his life. All Machinists who have tried to achieve this feat since have been found as nothing more than withered skeletons with the "1" key on their keyboards completely ground away to powder.

The Machinist's team needs to be aware that Prayer Hour contributes heavily to Tunnel Vision. Help us. Cover an extra mechanic, get ready to heal us, maybe toss out a Stoneskin, whatever. This is your chance to contribute even marginally as much to your group as your Machinist is.


tfl;dr


Click here for the original post on reddit.