That post makes me laugh. All of my parties love it when I melee. First, it SAVES MP. If you're refreshing, debuffing, dispelling, and enhancing as you should (not to mention healing as needed) then you will never have a chance to rest. If you do then you are simply not doing your job. Further, as a 65 RDM, there is not a single spell in our ******* that can hit over 400 HP damage regardless of equipment, ES, or anything: Stone III is as good as it gets. Consider that Stone III costs a bit under 100 MP and that I hit for an average of 30+8 damage (nothing on but accuracy gear). Average hit for Stone III at this level with full mage gear as a Taru will hit for around 335 damage. Now it is time to do the math: if you're standing to cast you can either do melee damage or not ... there is nothing there that penalizes you outside of non-conic AOE attacks, so why not attack? Now, you could stand back and neglect some of your duties and nuke like **** and then rest the MP back up or you can get that same damage dealt for free from your sword. It doesn't take a mental giant to figure that out.
As for melee performance, I just point to the 70-75 RDMs that are soloing HNMs and avatars. While in party play it may wane again, at 65 and under it makes no sense not to melee.
As for AOEs, what's the biggie? There aren't many mobs that can do AOEs dangerous to us (that we should be fighting, at any rate) ... those that do minor damage AOEs are usually fixed through Curaga spells anyway not hurting the party at all. As far as our hitpoints go, I never have a problem with them ... but that is because I play smart.
As for bards, they just have to do their thing and leave us to ours. I never fight locked onto the mob, so if I see the BRD moving to the mages I head over as well. If he starts playing melee songs I back off. It isn't hard if you're not lazy. Good bards come to grips with this very easily when they realize the red mage is following their lead.
Now, I don't know what kind of crap equipment you're using, but I've never been outdamaged by a paladin. This isn't a big deal, since they do crap damage anyway, but I usually beat them by around a 50% margin. Telling me to back away is more insane then telling the PLD to put their weapon away.
As for controlling the rate of XP and MP you are 100% right, but have you considered how inefficient it is to count on elemental magic for damage as a red mage? You can drop 500 damage elemental spells, sure, but only at the cost of 130+ MP that should have been spent in other ways.
Edited, Wed May 19 17:09:45 2004 by airspirit