The Machinist is one of three new jobs added in Heavensward, the first expansion to Final Fantasy 14. While the other two jobs, Dark Knight and Astrologian are fairly straightforward tanking and healing jobs respectively, Machinist is more of a hybrid job like the Bard in Final Fantasy 14. You can play Machinist as a straight damage-dealing DPS job, but it's meant to played as a ranged DPS job that also provides ample support to the party. Let's take a closer look at what Machinist has to offer in the new expansion.
How to Unlock Machinist
To unlock Machinist you first need to have access to the Heavensward content. That requires you to have completed all of the main story quests in Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Once that's been completed, head over to (8,10) in Foundation to find the NPC Stephanivien. Speak with him and accept the quest, "Savior of Skysteel" to begin the Machinist job quest. The quest isn't particularly long and doesn't require much effort to complete.
Playing as a DPS Job
As a ranged DPS with support abilities, Machinist has a lot in common with Bard. That also goes for how they should be played. Machinist relies heavily on using an ability that may proc another ability, then using that proc'd ability or going back to the beginning of the rotation. Split Shot has a 50 percent chance of increasing the potency of your next Slug Shot by 80. Slug Shot has a 50 percent chance of increasing the potency of your next Clean Shot by 100. In most cases, Split Shot is your go-to weaponskill, but if you get the proc you use Slug Shot next, and if that procs you use Clean Shot. If you don't get a proc you go back to Split Shot again.
One of the abilities that separates Machinist from Bard is the use of ammunition. You must load your ammunition to get the most out of many of the Machinist's attacks. Reload puts five rounds of special ammunition in the Machinist's weapon. This lasts 30 seconds and has a 60-second recast. Quick Reload gives you one round of special ammunition and restores 50 TP with a 30-second recast. You always want to make sure you have ammunition loaded, which means using Reload and Quick Reload before the battle begins so they're ready to go again before you need them.
Machinist also has the Gauss Barrel ability. When this is active your damage is increased by 20 percent, but you no longer auto-attack. In addition, all weaponskills have a cast time while Gauss Barrel is active. That means you can't move while shooting under the effects of Gauss Barrel. Some other skills have special buffs while the ability is active, such as procs having a 100 percent chance of activating instead of 50 percent.
Playing as a Support Job
One of the biggest aspects of the Machinist job that separates it from Bard and other DPS classes is the ability to use turrets. Turrets account for roughly 15 percent of the Machinist's damage when they're deployed during a battle. However, in addition to inflicting damage, the turrets offer support abilities similar to a Bard's songs.
The main abilities you'll be using are Rook Autoturret and Bishop Autoturret. Rook replenishes TP for your party members and Bishop replenishes MP. When a Bard plays certain songs their damage output is cut. While the Machinist is not directly affected by the use of turrets, when you're using the Rook or Bishop turrets it will not auto-attack and you'll lose out on that additional damage.
Overall the Machinist offers similar abilities to a Bard, but what it takes to activate and properly use those abilities is a bit different and more unique compared to a Bard. If you're looking for a DPS job that offers a bit of support as well, Machinist could be what you're looking for. At the moment some players are complaining that the damage output of a Machinist isn't as high as it should, so some changes may be coming in a future patch.