Before Stormblood MNK was not favored in end game raiding because even though their single target damage was the high, they did not offer ANY raid utility to boost the rest of the party. It wasn't impossible to find a group, but certainly harder than it was for other melee classes. Positioning was not as big of an issue because boss up time was generally high in raid, and maintaining stacks between mechanics was tricky but manageable. They attempted to change all of that with the SB updates, but from what I am hearing the changes hurt MNK more than it helped. So my guess is that MNK will have just as much, if not more, trouble in the upcoming tier. Red, Von'schweets, Cornell or Kindrec (Bloodknight in discord) would probably be able to explain the changes better.
As far as the old stuff, we aren't currently scheduling any clear nights for old content since so many are pushing to get ready for the new savage raids which launch in a little over three weeks. If the demand is there, we plan on bringing Bridge Night (clear all the things night) back after the raid has launched and everyone has settled in. In the meantime, my best advice would be to either ask for help in FC chat or keep an eye out for WT / Wondrous Tails parties in party finder. These parties are focused on quick kills to complete the objectives for the weekly WT book. These parties generally appreciate new players for their bonus which is also a benefit for the WT book.
I would focus on the story and getting to the new raid tier since there really is no benefit to doing the older stuff, even for raid practice as the difficulty ceiling is pretty low.
There are 3 options when queuing for the older content:
- Standard queue: Syncs down to the original level of the content. I cant remember if the gear item level is capped or not, but if it is it is still pretty high so completing these is still pretty easy compared to what it was when each of them came out. Apparently drop rates on things like music are higher in this mode, but people rarely queue this way anymore. This is the mode you will get from Duty finder and typically only filled with new players that aren't aware of the other modes of queuing. These parties are generally pretty trappy since no one that isn't new ever queues this way.
- Unsynced / Undersized parties: This allows a party to queue and ignore any item or level caps and full party requirements. Most of the ARR primals can be completed easily with 3 or 4 people in this mode, as little as 1 solo person. This is how most people queue for old content.
- Minimum item level: This sync down the original level AND the original minimum ilvl to enter the instance. This is the hardest possible mode. No one really does this. We have had some people interested in doing this for the challenge of it, but I would imagine it would be difficult to do this now with so many new things to do.
Long story short, the old stuff probably won't give you the challenge you are looking for and you have enough time to be ready for the next tier coming up if you want a challenge. All of the FC raid groups are currently full but we are looking for someone to lead another group. Not clearing the previous stuff shouldn't hold you back as long as you have your rotation down / can maintain high DPS and have generally good raid awareness