wisdom of nym

Wisdom of Nym is a Final Fantasy XIV column by Eliot Lefebvre. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Wisdom of Nym: Analyzing Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 3.1 notes

There are a lot of things that I really like about Final Fantasy XIV, a fact that should come as a surprise to practically no one reading this column. This specific week, however, I’m happy that the game’s developers have a longstanding tradition of making the patch notes for large patches available well in advance of the actual patch. Sure, certain elements are omitted before the full notes, such as the recipes that could otherwise lead to widespread market inflation, but the gist of the notes are available in advance.

Patch 3.1 is no different, and as such I’ve had a couple of days to mull over the notes. The obvious big features like Void Ark and the exploratory missions are things to be discussed as the patch is actually played, and you know that’s going to be the subject of the column over the next few weeks. But some things can be analyzed just from the notes, and so I’m going to examine the notes, consider what we know, and rant about a colossally dumb decision that has been made.

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Wisdom of Nym: Awaiting next week’s Final Fantasy XIV patch

We’ve still got a preview or two to go before the main event, but Final Fantasy XIV‘s first post-expansion patch is on its way very soon. November 10th is when it’s slated to go live, after all. So now its the time to get those last bits of speculation and theorizing in before the day itself — and start preparing for the patch proper. Not that there’s a whole lot to be done to prepare, other than possibly stockpiling materia when no one will care for quite some time.

The last letter from the producer had a few more tidbits covering elements of the patch, although a lot of it centered around Lords of Verminion and exploratory missions without adding a lot to our existing knowledge of those features. So let’s take this last moment before the launch to speculate a little more about the patch and consider the future, and then you can expect a survival guide to said patch next week.

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Wisdom of Nym: The cancelled future of Final Fantasy XIV

Every game has stuff in it that’s dummied out. There are ideas that the developers brought to a certain point without ever finishing, and that’s fine. But Final Fantasy XIV has an entire development line for the game that never went beyond the very early concept stages, a set of planned updates that were unceremoniously canned when the game encountered intensely negative reception for good reason.

The question, of course, is whether this stuff might be more relevant than we think for determining the future.

A lot of speculation was flying around when we still had yet to find out the new skills being added to the game with the launch of Heavensward, but I think there’s a lot of points to still be seen within there, and it’s not as if speculation about what comes next has stopped with the expansion release. So let’s take a look at the stuff that was going to be in the game and answer with some certainty the question of whether or not any of it is still relevant.

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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: Coordination, aetherial gear, and Final Fantasy XIV’s next patch

How many times a day do you think about aetherial gear in Final Fantasy XIV? If the answer is more than “zero,” I’m honestly kind of surprised. It’s my job to think about these things, and even I don’t really put much thought into it. It’s just there, filling out mid-level dungeon drops with random stats that might be great or might be absolute crap, with very little in-between.

Apparently, Naoki Yoshida thinks about it a fair bit, since it’s getting something of a rebirth with the contents of patch 3.1. A big deal was made of the fact that the explorable company airship islands will include aetherial gear up to level 210, which is… interesting. And it raises a whole lot of questions and speculation, none of which has unfortunately been shared in any reliable English formats as of yet and might not exist in Japanese formats, either.

I don’t speak Japanese, so I’m speculating a wee bit on that part.

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Wisdom of Nym: The state of Final Fantasy XIV’s ranged DPS

Honestly, ranged damage is a field that’s never quite appealed to me as much as other options for doing stuff. Not just in Final Fantasy XIV, but in anything. I love tanking, I love healing, I love providing solid damage – but give me a choice of how to do so, and I’d rather be up in the paint slicing something’s face off than attacking from a distance. And that’s with my love of gunplay.

Still, that doesn’t mean that FFXIV‘s ranged damage needs to suffer, does it? Although it really sort of is suffering, at the moment – neither Bards nor Machinists are in a great place, though arguably the former is in a worse place than the latter at the moment. But let’s take a look at both of these jobs, what their expected roles are, and what makes them cool or not – you know, the usual. I’ve done this column format twice before, I assume you recognize it by now.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s crafting and gathering endgame in Heavensward

Crafting and gathering has never been a primary goal of mine in Final Fantasy XIV so much as a secondary one. It’s something extra to do, but it’s also a lot of fun, and the fact that it has a bunch of gameplay all to itself makes it even more satisfying. So my first goal wasn’t to get a crafting or gathering class up to the cap, but now that I’ve gotten some combat classes up there my eyes have turned to the cycle of acquiring materials and the like.

Also because I need to make money, of course, because who doesn’t like making money?

Heavensward brought a pretty major revision to the way that the endgame for both crafting and gathering by adding in collectables, which brings with it a new way of gating advancement and doling out gear in smaller doses. That means good things and bad, and it’s worth examining what the endgame was like for crafting in gathering in 2.0 compared to its current state, the good and the bad.

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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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Wisdom of Nym: Two years since Final Fantasy XIV’s relaunch

I remember a couple of years ago, in February, getting ready to fly across the country for Final Fantasy XIV‘s big press event. I was worried, back then. I thought that the game had a huge uphill climb before it could possibly get any sort of mainstream attention.

Here I am, looking back over two years since the relaunch with a smile on my face. The first major post-expansion patch is coming up, complete with a feature that was an expansion element in one other game along with another huge pile of content. The game is undeniably a success story.

A good portion of the past year has been spent looking forward to and then experiencing Heavensward while still enjoying the game as it was, which is very much to the credit of the team and a religious release of content updates. So let’s talk in brief about the year and look to the game’s third year in its re-released state.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s events, anniversaries, and content

I don’t know whether we’re actually going to have a proper two-year anniversary event in Final Fantasy XIV. It feels very strange to say that, and on some level I feel as if I’m jumping the gun to say that at all; we just haven’t heard anything about it, there’s still time, and there’s no reason to assume we won’t get an announcement about another event coming out in the middle of the extant Moonfire Faire. But there’s also no reason to assume that we necessarily will get an event, or if we do that it won’t take place closer to the game’s original release date.

None of this suggests something wrong with the game as a whole, but it’s interesting to see the many ways that the game’s events have shifted over its lifespan. We’re moving into the game’s third year of operation post-reboot, and both rewards from events and the content of events have been in a degree of flux for a while now. So as FATEs are chased on the beaches around Costa Del Sol, it’s interesting to consider the game’s history of events and what may yet come.

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Wisdom of Nym: The state of Final Fantasy XIV’s tanks

I don’t generally like “ranking” classes. The best tanking option in Final Fantasy XIV is the one that you like playing the most, and if you don’t enjoy tanking, none of the options here will turn you around on the idea. But one of the cool parts about Heavensward is the way that you have three tank options, all distinct, yet all more than adequate to tank pretty much everything the game has to offer.

More simply – there might be optimal configurations for Alexander Savage, but pretty much everything else it won’t matter.

I do really enjoy looking at differences between classes, so this is just the kick-off to something that will likely be a regular thing. Let’s take a look at the classes currently sitting in the tank role, see what they specialize in, what their tricks are, and what weaknesses you have to know about in advance before you play one.

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