Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV's removed skills, Ranged/Caster edition

Well, folks, by all reasonable estimation we're going to have the final story patch of Heavensward next week. Why? Because there's no more March for it to exist in after that. So it seems like a reasonable prediction, and it also gives me just enough time to finish up with these Final Fantasy XIV skill predictions before I want to move on to reviewing the expansion in hindsight anyhow. So everybody wins, if I double up today.

The first installment is all about tanks, while the second installment is all about melee DPS. As always, the usual disclaimer applies that this is all speculation, not absolute fact; I don't have a clearer picture than you do about how abilities are actually being arranged. If you think I'm wrong? I might very well be wrong! All I can do is justify what I say and make my case. Let's move on.

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Wisdom of Nym: Abilitiy revisions for Final Fantasy XIV: Melee edition

I had really hoped for something a touch more substantial about Stormblood from this weekend's event, but we got what we got. Thus we are still, to some extent, in the dark about ability revisions in Final Fantasy XIV, which does mean I get to speculate about stuff that's being removed or changed a bit longer, since last week I managed to get through the tanks and nothing else.

Look, the jobs in the game are rather extensive. And numerous.

If you didn't catch last week's column, I go over the general philosophy behind what abilities seem most likely to be turned into traits or outright removed right there, so that should be relevant. Worth noting before we go too far into it, of course, is that on pretty much every single job I'm trying to list more stuff than what will likely be changed. If you think that I've got an awful lot of candidates for removal in place, you're right! That's literally the point because some of them will no doubt remain unchanged.

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Wisdom of Nym: Jobs we are unlikely to ever see in Final Fantasy XIV

We all have jobs that we want to see in Final Fantasy XIV. Some of them are pretty much definitively going to happen (I would be very surprised if we didn't see Samurai, especially since every game in the franchise with jobs bar Final Fantasy III has it). Others are possible, but part of the grand morass of possibility without any certainty. And some of them are just plain pie-in-the-sky thinking, like my desire to see Enhancement Shaman Only In FFXIV And Hopefully With A Shorter Name Than This.

But then there are the jobs that have the series pedigree to show up and all the reason in the world to be there... but probably won't ever be added to the game. Today, it's that list that I want to tackle. If you're holding out hope for one of these to be added to the game, I don't want to tell you it's never going to happen, but I would advise you to acquire some slightly more realistic hopes. It doesn't look good.

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The Daily Grind: What's the least effective character you've played in an MMO?

Red Mage is pretty unambiguously the worst class in Final Fantasy XI right now. The old trick of the class (enfeebling magic) is now pretty much useless, and everything else that the class could do is done better by another job. This goes doubly for melee, where the job lacks sufficient accuracy to hit things past a certain point and generally has to waste a lengthy period of time buffing itself into being somewhat useful despite its lackluster nature. So why was a melee-oriented Red Mage my first job to the level cap?

Well, it looked cool.

I never had any misunderstandings about the job's utility; I knew I was picking the worst way to play the worst possible job, so I harbor no real ill will. There are a lot of characters that I've played knowing full well that I was playing to less than the full potential - Necromancer/Warrior in Guild Wars, Engineering captain in a Tactical ship in Star Trek Online, every single character build I ever made in The Secret World. But what about you, dear readers? What's the least effective character you've played in an MMO? Was it intentional, and if so, why?

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV's class weaknesses and why they matter

The other day, I was browsing the official Final Fantasy XIV forums for a reason I can no longer recall. I am sure it made sense at the time, but then, I'm sure of lots of things. On the browse, I found someone complaining that as it currently stands, Ninja has pretty terrible AoE, and the designers really need to do something about that because it makes the job less useful on dungeon runs.

That stayed in my brain. Because on the one hand, the person who wrote that was completely right. Ninja does have weak AoE capability; we have three AoE skills, two of them are tied to Ninjutsu cooldowns, and the third is almost entirely worthless in terms of actually damage done per TP. (If someone is spamming Death Blossom, she is playing poorly.) But the author was also completely wrong because that's not a problem. The only problem is if you try to play Ninja as if it did have tons of AoE capability. And buffing up that ability would make for a worse job and a worse game.

Why? Because every class needs weaknesses.

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Cryptic Studios is hiring MMORPG producers

It's not uncommon to see calls for engineers, programmers, and even artists for MMORPGs, but it's producers that Cryptic Studios is seeking, according to a job posting yesterday on Gamasutra.

"Cryptic Studios is currently seeking full-time Producers. We are seeking sharp, motivated people to join our team and work on Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Located in Northern California in Los Gatos, we offer the fun, focused, and casual atmosphere of a small developer. We actively balance our work with the personal lives of our employees. At Cryptic, we look for people who have passion for what they do and work well in teams to create and operate fun and challenging online games. Producers at Cryptic Studios work closely with designers, artists and programmers to organize and coordinate the game development process. A Producer’s number one priority within the development structure is to make sure everyone else can get their job done. This means a no nonsense approach to problem solving with daily communication with and working to support all the members of the team in task management and scheduling challenges."

The studio has long been rumored to be working on a new MMORPG title, as the website still boasts that "Cryptic Studios is working on at least one top secret project," though it's unclear whether that project was the aborted Jurassic World title canceled last year. The studio suffered the loss 14% of its employees in early 2015 following two rounds of layoffs at parent company PWE that a vetted source told Massively OP amounted to a "slaughter."

Source: Gamasutra


Ultima Online is looking for fresh staff to run live events

Ever wanted to try your hand at writing content for a production MMO on the fly? Appreciate old games that still maintain staff to create real live events for MMO players? How about be paid to be a really solid roleplayer and community rep? Ultima Online might interest you if so. The venerable 18-year-old game is on the hunt for new Event Moderators -- what we called back in my day EGMs, or Event Game Masters.

"We have 6 openings on the EM team, three (3) on Japanese shards and three (3) on US shards. If you would like to apply for an Event Moderator position please send an email to [Mesanna at Broadsword] with a write up of an event you would like to run, including what type of reward you feel is correct for the event. I will need you to give your account names and what shards you play on. Please understand you can not EM on a shard you play."

As a bonus, you'll participate with the knowledge that obsessed event item collectors will spend cold hard cash to travel to the shard where you work and beg for free stuff, often ruining your efforts. Hooray!


CCP is hiring a Senior Producer for an undisclosed new project

Fans of CCP Games have a pretty solid idea of what's on the company's docket: EVE Online, EVE Valkyrie, and EVE Gunjack, and if the developers aren't too busy with other matters, they might even roll out an update to DUST 514. It's all straightforward enough. But a new job listing for a Senior Producer indicates that the company is working on something else.

What might this something else be? That's unclear. It could be a producer for the murmured "Project Legion" followup to DUST 514. It could be something entirely different. There's no obvious red flags in the listing, like expecting experience with mobile titles, but it is specifically listed as being a Senior Producer for a new project rather than an existing title. Whatever it turns out to be, there's something new in the works today, and the fans will just have to wait a little while longer to find out what that something may be.

Source: Gamasutra


Blizzard is giving some love to its classic games

A new job listing for a senior software engineer at Blizzard revealed that the studio is looking to bring back its classic games catalog in some way. One of the key goals of the job is to make Blizzard's older games playable on modern operating systems.

"Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made [Blizzard's older games] more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation," the studio posted. "We’re restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done."

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Wisdom of Nym: The state of Final Fantasy XIV's healers

One of the damage dealers in the party can't stay out of damaging effects because moving interrupts his casts, and he thinks finishing a cast is more important than not getting killed. The other DPS seems to think that she's winning if she can pull threat off of the tank, usually by pulling groups that the tank hasn't even seen. And the fact that the tank is wearing nothing but Slaying accessories and hasn't even broken 13,000 HP as a Warrior doesn't help matters either.

But the dungeon still gets cleared successfully. Why? Because of the healer.

Healers in Final Fantasy XIV are fairly involved as roles go, given far more tasks than simply desperately clicking on party members while making health bars go back up. Oh, sure, that's a big portion of what they do, but there's respectable damage and support to go along with it. So now that we've covered the other roles, it's high time to give the healers their due.

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Wisdom of Nym: Surpassing Final Fantasy XIV's cross-class legacy

In one respect, Final Fantasy XIV is an incredibly flexible game. You are never actually locked into a single role or job; even if you've been playing a dedicated Warrior since the launch of the game, you can always start taking up the lance and become a solid Dragoon. You always have options. So from one point of view, there's nothing wrong with your options for playing a given job.

On the other hand, there's still the screaming problem that there's no customization once you make that choice.

There's been an issue in place since the game launched in straddling the line between what players can and can't toggle around. While the current state of affairs is arguably better than the game was at launch, it's still not good, and it has a major issue insofar as the game has two systems for player customization that both don't work in the slightest. It's something I've talked about before, and it's something that should be examined in more depth.

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Wisdom of Nym: The state of Final Fantasy XIV's magical DPS

The purpose of magical damage in Final Fantasy XIV is to ruin everything. Really. You get a huge group of enemies together, and then you ruin them with a barrage of magical forces. Not literally using Ruin most of the time, that works its way into your rotation but isn't a mandatory thing at all times. Though it's pretty important for Summoners, I know. Mostly as a filler.

Just as ranged DPS and melee DPS has a niche in the game, magical DPS has its niche, and while Summoner was originally sold as a bit more of a debuffer than simply a DPS with a heavy damage-over-time element, we're here now. So to round out the previous columns on the DPS jobs in the game, let's take a look at the two damage-dealing casters in all of their glory. Mind the explosions, those show up a lot. Also mind the damage fields. It's sort of their thing.

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Wisdom of Nym: The state of Final Fantasy XIV's melee DPS

I main melee DPS on my main character in Final Fantasy XIV, but it was never really by design. Originally I was quite happy playing her as a tank most of the time, it's just that character traits developed over the source of the game, and by the time Ninja was released, I had regular run partners playing a Paladin and a Scholar. So everything lined up perfectly, and here we are.

Regardless, melee is usually sort of my thing; I prefer being in the paint to being out of it. So as I did a few weeks ago with tanking, let's take a look at the melee jobs in the game, what they can do, and what they can't do so well after all. And if you'd like to argue about which ones provide the best DPS in the game... please, do so over there, away from me; I don't actually care. (But the answer is probably "not Bard at the time of this writing.")

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