The Black Mage content was available to all characters of level 200 and higher, over the winter (December-January).
If you missed that, then yes, you're going to have to grind to 245 and above to see the story to its completion.
I think it's only fitting that in order to defeat the ultimate boss of the game for the past ten years, you need to get nearly to max level.
Disclaimer: Some of this will be a bit off on the details, as I'm still trying to catch up on 8 years of changes. What hasn't changed is interesting though.
I think we have a bad case of endgame creep here.
Its standard practise for this sort of game to stretch the endgame out with challenges and daily quests, to keep players engaged instead of running out of content. (Although I don't quite see why they do that in some games with loads of different classes, such as this one...)
However, it doesn't look like any of the daily grinds have been cut down at all when the game has been extended, other than exp gain.
In its current state, the game looks like it has three separate endgame sections.
Early Endgame: Around level 120-180. You start doing bosses daily, and there are areas with daily quests that get you better accessory equipment, and for some reason Mastery Books.
Mid Endgame: Around level 180-200. You now need to do daily bosses, in addition to daily quests, to get better armour and weapons.
Late Endgame: Levels 200-250ish. Rinse and repeat, but you also need Arcane Symbol Dailies.
Where has this gone wrong? Well it doesn't look like any of the grinds have been reduced when later ones are added.
Two examples in the Early Endgame section:
1) Mastery Books. These used to be there to slow progression when 4th job was the endgame. These were then changed to be not class specific, and made purchasable as an endgame gold sink. Since then, Starforce is now the endgame gold sink, and we are well past 4th job being endgame. Yet for some reason these haven't been removed.
2) Shadow Merchant / Magnus Coins. There is no point collecting these coins. Its easier to get the items from killing Magnus. I wasn't around when this was added, so I'm not sure if this was pointless to start with. Luckily, you can completely ignore this one. Unfortunately, this one isn't alone. There is also the Monster Park and the Evolution System which have pointless grind coin shops.
Mid Endgame issues:
I haven't got into these properly yet. All these events are distracting...
However, judging by the rest of the game, you are going to be doing long grinds to get equipment that is superseded by Late Endgame grind equipment.
So while people might feel pleased about getting something that took ages of work to get, they really aren't going to be keen to repeat that long process a second time when they want to play a different class. And that doesn't even include Arcane Symbols...
The fact that the genesis weapon also follows this trend of dagger shapes also concerns me, because in all honesty it does not look pleasing compared to all the other weapons. When I first got my Arcane umbra dagger, it was a big achievement for me, unfortunately the pleasure of finally retrieving this well deserved item is not backed up in it's looks compared to many other arcane umbra weapons in the game. Which encouraged me to use an anvil to show a much more pleasing dagger, being the Raven horn Baselard. In my opinion, this was one of the last few daggers that were introduced into the game that actually looked like I was using a dagger, I know that NA Nexon doesn't really have the power to change the game on a large scale but I do wish to voice my opinion that I do not like having a mezzaluna as a weapon for a thief. I want a knife