Wisdom of Nym: The Final Fantasy XIV Tokyo Fan Festival in review
As was the case in Vegas, FFXIV fans got plenty to chew on from the first day and slightly less to munch on from the second day, so much of what got covered in our initial post is what there is to be known. But there's still space for reaction, isn't there? The answer, as far as I'm concerned, is "definitely yes" - starting with the speculative side of things.
That Spider-Man shirt...
We all watch Yoshida's shirts very closely. When he wore a Scarlet Witch shirt, we knew that Red Mage was coming; when he wore a Batman shirt, we knew that Dark Knight was coming. And when he wore a James Bond shirt, we knew that... er...
Well, that one kind of gets pushed to one side, doesn't it? And I think that's something worth noting as we wait to see what the Spider-Man shirt was hinting at simply because he's quite possibly hinting at something we can't get completely right because we don't yet know enough.
This was true with Machinist; we didn't have any hints about the job, we had a hint about its weapon. Most speculation focused on jobs like "Agent" or "Assassin," but the reality was that no one guessed "Machinist" at all. Heck, most people were guessing about the possibilities for a gun class that could also heal, which meant that speculation was often far down the rabbit hole.
If Yoshida wanted to hint at Samurai, he could have found less oblique ways to do so; there are a number of things that could point in that direction with wordplay and character adaptations, but it's certainly not wearing a Silver Samurai shirt. (Or, for that matter, Sunfire.) If Yoshida wanted to hint at Blue Mage, he wouldn't have been wearing a red shirt while emphasizing the fact that it was red. (Also, he wouldn't have a game that specifically runs counter to how Blue Mage works.) If he wanted to hint at Chemist... you get the idea.
It's quite possible that the next job will have elements of something familiar (like Machinist and Astrologian) without inherently being a job that you can quickly derive from Spider-Man. In subsequent discussions he's mentioned a "spiderweb knight," and that seems like it deserves a bit of unpacking along the way. So speculate away! But it's worth keeping in mind that what amount to Markov chains of justification for your pet job are as likely as not to be supported.
Of course, obviously I already know what the next job is going to be; Spider-Man is from Queens, Save the Queen is a common Final Fantasy ultimate weapon, it appears in Final Fantasy VI as the ultimate weapon for Celes (a Red Mage) and enables the wielder to use Bushido if applicable. Samurai confirmed.
Yes, Red Mage!
I'm actually going to go ahead and say that most of my speculation about Red Mage came out more or less right; it's a hybrid ranged/melee damage dealer that's darting in and out of range, and while some stuff didn't factor into my predictions (that fun hovering doohickey that converts a rapier into a staff) the core of it's all there. So I am, needless to say, very happy at seeing how this job is going to play in action.
The biggest thing that strikes me as a potential stumbling block is the hints about how Chainspell will work with rotation; it sounds a bit like a self-focused version of Wildfire in terms of mechanics, where you build things up and then unleash a burst. The problem, as someone who has extensively played Machinist, is that Wildfire is kind of the main damage dealing ability for the job, and it's also a mess; you can wind up getting a big chunk of damage lost by using it at the wrong moment, and it turns gameplay into long stretches of waiting until you can really do damage again.
Still, the job looks incredibly cool, and it's the sword DPS we've all been idly waiting for since the game launched. It fulfills the role it needs to, dealing damage in a way that's distinct from the other jobs, and it manages to get that stylish hybrid routine down to an art. The last reveals will have to be something really special to keep me from using this as the main job for my lizard, because this is just the sort of thing I've been waiting for.
Interestingly enough, that tweet about how we've only got one more job reveal has been deleted, which prompts plenty of speculation. One wonders if it was removed because it was accurate but revealed too much, or because it was inaccurate and revealed too much that way. I suspect it to be entirely legit and we'll only be learning about one new job, but there is the possibility that Red Mage is one of three rather than one of two... although I wouldn't bet on that.
Say, how is silk as a bandage material?
If you're looking for me, better check under the sea
I'm sad that we only get to go underwater in 4.0 areas, I'm not going to lie. But realistically, it makes sense; there's way too much stuff in existing areas that could have underwater content, so it makes sense to just limit it to the new stuff rather than breaking the game for a handful of content. My biggest mechanical hope for the hold world is that we can do stuff like swim across the water from Bronze Lake instead of paying that greedy Qiqirn bastard money every time.
Yes, that's annoying to me.
The lack of underwater combat feels like a bit of a noteworthy exclusion, but it also seems to sidestep the orientation and layout issues so frequently discovered in games which do feature it. Instead, it's all about exploring and otherwise interacting. There's still stuff to do underwater, but you don't have to fight off your enemies while doing so, and I think that sounds pretty great. It also leads to the idea of things that you can only reach through the water, like caves with limited access; that appeals to me.
In some ways, this feels like the biggest missing quality-of-life issue from the game at launch, and I'm glad to see it being extended outward. I don't know how much impact it's going to make at this point, but we don't actually yet have access to the expansion, so we can't be sure; we can only speculate and be happy that swimming is coming. That's good enough.
As always, feedback is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to email@example.com. Next time around, we'll be in the new year. To kick things off, let's talk about job imagery and justifying their existence! Or some other new piece of news that gets dropped during the next week, we're in that stretch of time for 3.5.