FFXIV:Astrologian Needs Changes
I love the concept of Astrologian and playing it. However, I know already that the job is actually quite weak. Most of the problem comes from just how their numbers are tuned, but there are also conceptual design issues as well.
Astrologian trades off healing power in exchange for buffs, and the buffs just aren't worth it right now. Even Scholar has Selene which provides a consistent 3% haste buff to the entire party that ends up being better than the Astrologian's buffs over the entire fight, even if the Astrologian gets the cards they want.
The haste buff is one of the Astrologian's best cards, and even under optimal conditions (AoE Royal Road ready, Haste card drawn) it's only 5% haste for 15 seconds, compared to Selene's 3% for 30 seconds (far better). You could use Celestial Opposition to boost that to 20 seconds if you have the 2.5 minute cooldown to burn on it. Not only does the AoE Haste card take at least a minute to set up, the duration is lower, and the randomness means it will not happen consistently, unlike Selene. This is all ignoring the fact that both White Mage and Scholar also do more DPS with their spells than Astrologian, providing more damage on that front as well.
Most Astrologians just keep drawing and discarding cards over and over again. That's not a fault of them, but a fault of the job, because they did exactly what the job encourages you to do. Only a few of the cards are consistently worth using, and the rest are extremely situational and/or not even that great when the situation actually calls for them, so you end up just drawing cards over and over again until you get what you want. You could say "just use the cards", but no, that would be bad, because you will waste your Royal Road bonus for when the card you want actually DOES come up. The other cards need to be worth considering, but right now, they're just not in the majority of scenarios, mainly because they can't be better than damage and haste. On top of that, due to many fights in the game requiring periods of burst DPS, it becomes beneficial to just spend the entire fight setting up a damage or haste card in preparation for that moment. In the end, you just draw and discard until you get what you want and hold.
All of this doesn't even mention Nocturnal Sect, which is also in a very poor spot. It's just not worth using over the Diurnal Sect for many different reasons. For example, the Diurnal Sect's attack speed affects a lot more than the heal potency of Nocturnal (for example, Gravity/nukes). The regens of Helios and Benefic stack, and have a much larger total potency than the shields on both spells. Sure, it takes time to apply due to the healing over time nature of it, but the value is there, especially when stacked (it's not necessarily a bad thing that it sustains over time). The shields don't even offer the crit bonus of Scholar's Adloquium and are still weaker. Aspected Benefic is cheaper and instant cast compared to Adloquium, but the action value on it is just terrible, being far weaker than Benefic II and only slightly cheaper. It's in a funky middleground between Benefic and Benefic II, ultimately being worse on MP in exchange for a weak shield, poor value, and instant cast (woopie).
Astrologian could really benefit from changes. If Time Dilation actually affected all the target's buffs (except certain ones like Hallowed Ground), that wouldn't be overpowered and would be much more useful. Collective Unconsciousness needs a buff for Nocturnal Stance, because losing all ability to act in exchange for -10% damage taken on the party is terrible. Lightspeed needs changes because it hurts your spell potencies far too much in exchange for the cast time reduction that it's not even worth using; you just end up crippling yourself.
Remember, in the end, just because you CAN do some (or all) content on Astrologian, doesn't mean it's in a good spot or balanced. They have to push much harder than other healers right now to accomplish the same thing.
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