What's this? Another thread asking for help advising on a class choice for a first time playthrough? And asking questions about spellswords too?
So yeah, to cut through the chaff, I've been reading through countless damn-near identical threads over recent weeks to try and land on a MC class combo that offers a (frankly unlikely) amount of variety and playstyle options. While there are an obscene number of build options to choose from, I'm not sure I've found quite the right blend.
Inspiration for the sort of character I'm in search of is probably akin to Final Fantasy 14's Red Mage:
Good at slinging offensive spells - at range and close up
Clutch support options (heals, buffs, debuffs etc.)
Capable of diving into melee and holding their own if the need arises - ideally with some melee skills (not just auto-attack spam)
Good mobility (so decent stride, Escape etc.)
I am by no means a power-gamer; fun 100% comes first; and while a load of builds definitely look interesting, I do worry that some fall back into set patterns of gameplay - ie. X/wizard = buff up, summon Citzal's Lance, attack -- X/Soulblade = Start attacking, spam SA -- X/Chanter = spam paralysis for crit farming.
Now plenty of builds that I've seen tick some of these boxes - and I think these are probably the closest I've come to settling on.
Mobile and offer beastly melee and casting offences - but lack in support options, and Wizards in particular seem to rely heavily on blowing through spell casts to buff up to be capable in melee, obviously at the cost of spell-slinging potential. Fair observation, or am I being too greedy here?
Looks like it could offer more of the variety I'm looking for; my challenge with this (aside from coming to terms with the class fantasy) is that most builds I've seen seem to rely exclusively on just a couple of invocations - Paralysis and melee thunder spam. Two Fingers of Light looks intriguing as a ranged heal/damage option, but I very rarely see it talked about, so have no idea of its viability or usefulness.
A more refined set of skills here, with some great looking mage utility thrown on top of the rogue's usual toolset, and Soul Annihilation offers a tasty bit of melee burst. But beyond that, I do worry that MC Ciphers offer little beyond their one 'trick' per subclass. While mixing things up with Phantom Foes and Disintegrate will no doubt be fun for a time, Ciphers very much seem to be a class that suffers from the lack of options afforded to it via the skill trees. What little they can do they seem to be able to do particularly well though - less may well be more in this case.
NPC subclass builds
Tekehu's subclasses in particular add some very interesting and exciting spell options to their existing class skill trees. For example, some combo of Monk, Rogue or Fighter/Stormcaller looks very promising, but I have no idea how many of the additional spells are actually worth using vs. standard invocations, nor how slow the phrase generation might be vs. Troubadour or a crit-stacking Skald.
Honestly, I could go on listing other builds for an age, but I hope by now my vision and tastes are clear enough. I am also absolutely open to other suggestions too - I've mulled over the ideal of working Druids and Priests into the mix in some capacity, not to mention a passing intrigue in any prospective builds that might make use of melee & ranged weaponry (think Scordeo's set) together. I'm not hunting for gamebreaking combos or anything; I'm just looking for a satisfying package of options and abilities.
(As an afterthought, I've completely neglected to consider items that grant spells or certain effects. Are there some good options that might fill gaps?)
I feel just need a nudge in the right direction, and perhaps even a reality check from experienced builders. Is my list of wants entirely unreasonable? Am I expecting too much from a single character; am I undervaluing the levels of fun offered by a build that does 1 thing really well vs. one that does a load of things 'pretty well'?
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to indulge me with this. I'm all too aware just how unoriginal this post is, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little ashamed about it!