This thread makes me very tempted to rejoin just to make an LS that specifically caters to the "odd-jobs"... as a sort of "anti" cookie-cutter LS. I went through the "anti BST" stigma for years before abyssea, and despite my years of optimism and complete passion for the job, I had left swearing off the job should I ever return. So when I came back last time to it's wide acceptance in Abyssea, i was thrilled for the job, but had lost my "mojo" since the community as a whole had wore me down on it. I had been told many times by people over the years I was one of the best geared BST they had encountered - and almost all of it came from incredibly difficult & lucky solos, duos, or a handful of friends repaying favors in small groups for helping them out on BLM for them over the years. Even still, it was a job that didn't "fit" in most peoples eyes, for many reasons (mostly lack of understanding and a general "bad rap" from early developer mistakes).
It's important to understand (for everyone who plays!) that there are very few times where you "need" a bunch of black mages in an LS to succeed. Usually a couple BLM friends are useful to have around for Abyssea Time Extensions, or fights where physical immunity is a problem, but they are rarely required for more than that. There are other casters to fill that role today: RDM, SCH, BLU, and even PUP can get in the mix to achieve most of the same things you would have 'needed' a BLM for in the past.
I am all to familiar with your scenario though. For example, I played a BLM for many years... and got really burnt out. So just to allow myself to break away from the BLM ONRY stigma, I purposefully leveled RDM, BST, BLU, WAR, DNC, DRG, MNK, WHM, THF, DRK, SAM, and NIN to level cap at the time (I think it was 85 when I last played). I deleveled blm to 74. I STILL had people requesting that I level BLM to 85 and come as that if I wanted to join an LS. It's freaking unbelievable! A couple jobs worth of AF3+2 sets, wyrm god brew solo'd items, and a handful of the better atma's later, my friend and I were duoing as caster + melee of random combinations, and even doing things like war/whm + nin/war for some specific fights where we needed erase and haste but wanted ws procs... we were succeeding without much trouble at all and getting the atma and gear that we wanted, while being able to actually help out friends without hating every moment of it because of being forced into jobs we hated playing.
So yeah... it's very sad Today when we see VNM becoming the "go to" event and forcing old ideals back into the game - with posts like the original poster of this thread popping up after not seeing them for so long. The game had a good thing going and they basically threw it out the window in favor of something "new", that really isn't new... it's just old and re-branded.
Interestingly, when my best friend and I would go out as a couple of melee to screw around with NMs, Missions, Abyssea, or Campaign, or just to hang out and duo random stuff, other people in our linkshell would be bored and want to join and ask "what job they should come on". We'd repeatedly say things along the lines of "come as whatever you like, we're just having fun", and repeatedly they would come as whatever they thought the most convenient job was for the group's "maximum benefit", even though they would say they would like to come as something else. It was really like pulling teeth to get them to come as the job they "wanted" to play, simply because people in FFXI have been scarred and brainwashed by the cookie cutter nature of the game. Abyssea did a fantastic job of breaking away from the "old mold" (though admittedly, I believed they needed to beef some of the non-crit-ws weapon categories like GK to give them a slight leg-up and really make the playing field even across the board).
I acknowledge that there is a time you 'need' certain jobs, and there is no doubt that if you bring the right three job combinations (a common setup at the time I left I believe was blm/brd, war/nin, whm/rdm, for example) - you can really very thoroughly trigger procs and, in general "get things done". When it comes to higher level pops and top tier NM battles, the combos you bring are important and play a major role in your success. However, when there is a large scale fight with lots of people, or just some common pops to battle, it's really stupid and irritating to think even for a moment that the group requires a specific makeup to succeed. This game's strongest point over other MMOs is it's insane amount of variation and flexibility the job system allows... so to force half your team to go one job, and half to go another job, just for the sake of "ease" or "efficiency"... you've sort of defeated the purpose of the job system. That flexibility instead serves exactly the opposite purpose of it's design... it confines people to set paths and forces them into roles they wouldn't normally choose on their own. Its the age old adage of "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should".
Edited, Apr 5th 2012 3:49pm by FUJILIVES
Posting from just above the generator.