Wisdom of Nym: Making proper predictions about Final Fantasy XIV’s next jobs

    
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A shameful spread of riches.

Now that we’re done poking holes in bad logic, it’s time to actually get down to brass tacks of predicting the next jobs for Final Fantasy XIV. And it’s actually a pretty wide-open field at the moment, while also being… well, let’s just say that it’s also a complicated field. There’s space to make predictions, we’ve got hints, but we are rather short on much in the way of hard data about what these new jobs might be. The world is ambiguous and strange!

And we’ve got until February to speculate, so let’s get to it, because this year Yoshida saw fit to hint about the next race instead of the next job. A lot of the stuff at this year’s fan festival seemed like it was aimed at subverting expectations in careful ways, which means we also need to take that into account… and talk about leaks again, because that’s definitely worth re-examining in the wake of Blue Mage’s announcement.

Two jobs or three?

Before the festival happened, I opined that the only way we were getting a new DPS job was if we also got a tank and a healer. We have not gotten a new DPS job. We’ve gotten something that broadly fits into the DPS slot insofar as it uses DPS role actions and gear, but Blue Mage is definitely not a DPS.

So where does it leave us in terms of numbers, though? Might we still get a DPS? I’m going to go ahead and say probably not.

There are, of course, no hard-and-fast rules about what’s coming next. Three new jobs is still entirely plausible and not out of the realm of possibility, especially since we now know that a new inter-patch job is within the realm of possibility. But I think it’s important to note that it’s within the realm of possibility insofar as the new job is specifically meant for a different form of content than other jobs.

Does that make Blue Mage more work than Ninja or less? Hard to be sure. But my gut instinct is to say that we should bank on a new tank and healer before we bank on a new tank, healer, and DPS all together.

Oh, Thancred, you wild trash fire.

The leak, Thancred, and trailer hijinks

One of the fun conversations I had with my fan festival buddy during the weekend was us chatting about the infamous leaks in specific and leaks in general. We both agreed that one of the core missteps a lot of people make is assuming that because a given leak was true about one thing, all of the other elements must be true, or that you can predict everything based on one point being right.

The reality is that having one part of a leak proven right only confirms that part was right, and while it adds plausibility to other claims, those should be evaluated separately. And if you think it lets you make predictions… well, let’s not forget that we got Blue Mage, but not in the way basically anyone was expecting.

Having said all of that, let’s start talking about the leak. For a long time, it was a leak that only covered Blue Mage, with lots of talk about how Blue Mage was coming, that it would be announced at E3 (didn’t happen) or that it would launch as patch content (true at the last possible minute, in fact). At the very end of the leaker’s tenure, there was a mention of a gunblade-wielding Soldier and Dancer as the two new jobs for the expansion, followed by the leaker going quiet.

Then, in the trailer for Shadowbringers, we see Thancred with a gunblade looking like he’s about to go to town. So… is that it? Is that a hint about our next job? Do we know what happens now?

Maybe. But just as possibly maybe not. Thancred with a gunblade isn’t automatically teasing a new job any more than Lyse with a dress was automatically teasing Dancer. I don’t want to say that trailers lie, precisely, but basically every new teaser trailer is cut in such a way to create intentional deception and misdirection.

Remember how Yoshida outright confirmed that we weren’t being told the name of where we’re going for a good reason? I realize we haven’t had this confirmed just yet, but when the presentation specifically starts off by mentioning that it’s time to take the fight to Garlemald and yet we’re not being told “we’re going to Garlemald,” that’s a pretty good sign we are not going to Garlemald. We are being set up to think we are going to Garlemald, but when the first part of 4.5 drops, it seems likely we’re going to be heading in for a conflict and the stakes are going to change. And that alone raises some questions.

For that matter, Yoshida’s statement was not that there’s a hint about the new job in the trailer. It was that maybe there’s a hint there. Maybe. And this was a statement in context of everyone wanting to see the back of Yoshida’s shirt, specifically obscuring that it wasn’t there to tease a job as everyone predicted.

My personal betting odds at this point are for something gunblade-related, yes, but I’m only staking those odds at 60% or so. Evidence seems to be pointing in that direction, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if that evidence was spurious and the real answer is off in another direction altogether. The “your princess is in another castle” of job reveals.

In living color.

But what’s been teased in the game?

Here’s the thing. You could, in broad strokes, claim that Stormblood’s jobs were teased before they were revealed. Certainly we had seen Alisiae doing some rather Red Mage-esque stuff in 3.4, and we knew that Samurai existed from talks with the Doman refugees. And before the Heavensward reveal we… well, we knew that Astrologians existed. And guns. And Dark Knight seemed logical, that was something…

The fact is that a lot of the hints the game tends to give us about these things are kept intentionally vague, to the point that they’re more often clear in hindsight. If you wanted a full list of the game’s hints, there have been hints about something to wield gunblades… along with hints for a hammer-wielding job, Geomancer, some Thavnairian sword techniques, whatever the hell jobs Raubahn and Merlwyb are supposed to have, Puppetmaster, Rune Fencer, and probably at least a half-dozen others that don’t spring to mind at the moment.

While I’ve been of the feeling that a hammer-wielding job and Geomancer feel right based on what we’ve seen thus far, the fact that we’ve seen a lot of hammers being thrown around (including by Nero) and that Geomancer gets a lot of screen time in the Astrologian quests isn’t more than hinting that could go nowhere. It could be hinting that’s not going to pay off until the next expansion… you know, like Doman refugees mentioning Samurai back as soon as they showed up. It could be nothing.

Really, it felt like we had a clearer picture of Stormblood at this point in time than we do of Shadowbringers, but some of that is just story structure. Heavensward wrapped up its main story in 3.3 and thus had all of 3.4 to lay the seeds for the expansion story; Stormblood had the equivalent conclusion in the base game, and 4.4 isn’t revealing its secrets just yet. And that’s fine.

Not that it makes the waiting until February all that much easier. But at least then we can guess at how valuable existing tank players are going to be.

Feedback, as always, is welcome down in the comments or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I want to talk about Viera, the races we know, where we’re going, and what all of this could mean for our overall course.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.

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Eamil

The blue mage leaker also called Tsukuyomi and every Alphascape boss well before either were publicly known, so they do have a somewhat longer track record than the article implies. That said, tempering expectations when it comes to leaks is a good thing. Blue Mage alone has me pretty excited, and I’ll be happy whether we get Dancer and Soldier (or whatever they call the gunblade job) or something entirely unexpected.

wrathofmogg
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wrathofmogg

I just don’t think there’s any way they release an expansion without a new DPS job. I think it’ll be support DPS like BRD/MCH, but there will be a DPS. There are just too many DPS-only players to leave them all empty handed for an entire expansion. I really hope our tank/healer brothers and sisters get their new jobs too, but a DPS is a guarantee. Unless Square is dumb enough to consider BLU as basically the DPS job for Shadowbringers… Time will tell.

bereman99
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bereman99

We just got two with the last expansion while the healers/tanks had nothing. They absolutely will leave out DPS as a role if they need to, and I don’t all think it’s dumb of them to make that call.

Finding the right balance of classes to make available is more important than making sure players of any one role get a shiny new toy for a couple years.

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Apollo Haner

I would release a job that can switch between tanking and dps outside of combat. Not totally different skills for the stances, just different focuses on skill effects, depending on what stance you are in.

I doubt we will get 3 new classes plus Blue Mage. But I also doubt that we will not receive another dps class. I’m guessing healer is the most likely to be skipped.

wrathofmogg
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wrathofmogg

I really wish they would make a system that allowed tanks to DPS and some DPS (NIN, SAM) to tank. It could be done by switching the role actions when you toggle to one role or the other, along with a small number of other spells that would switch (or just change existing spells to have different effects). I want to DPS as DRK and tank as SAM!

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styopa

Re the Blue Mage, I’m curious – as I understand they’re blocked from Duty Roulettes – what impact this is going to have on that ecosystem? I mainly heal, so I have almost as short a queue as tanks, but poor dps? If the Blue Mage means that if a lot of the players sitting around idle at level cap just queuing roulettes drops significantly, I can see DPS looking at 1+ hour waits.

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cursedseishi

Nothing I’d imagine. Blue Mage will have a buffed EXP rate out in public, so you’re going to see them there. And this is going to mean jack squat for the Roulette too, since people can simply queue as one job and level BM as you are more than easily able to do now and have been able to do since 2.X.

Literally. No effect.

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styopa

So you can queue as one job and then run the instance as another? Am I understanding correctly?

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cursedseishi

No. I’m talking about queuing as the job you want to do the run the Daily Roulettes with, and then switch to another (as in Blue Mage) to do quests/fates/grind while you wait for it to tick. Again, something you could literally do since 2.0.

The only time DPS timers have ever been affected has been when there was a new DPS class released. And Blue Mage is NOT a DPS class, despite ignorant arguments otherwise. It is a solo-oriented job with its own sort of end-game. The shot of it versus Shiva in the reveal is in a pre-made group… Which, obviously, means it’d be a stomp no matter what. It is not a class that will be balanced for ‘group’ play, will never touch dungeons through the Duty/Party finder, and so will never take up a slot in the Roulette or finder.

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Kurtis Thorp

The Blue Mage is going to be a dps role. They already confirmed it but it will also be capped at lvl 50 until the expansion hits and even then it will still be capped below max lvl, raising with each content patch.
I believe the gunblade/Soldier class is highly likely. The only thing that hints at it being dps is Thancred. He’s been a rogue and now has a gunblade while still wearing leather but that doesn’t mean much. It could easily be a tank class.
As for a second class in the expansion anything goes. Yoshi did say he’d like to see arithmetion but

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Noc Noc

Blue mage is a dps. But it is not an expansion DPS just as ninja was not. Blue Mage also will not likely be at Max cap by time expansion comes out. If we had to go by the expansion trailer the first job will probably be gunblader/ solider. If you go by the leaks from the past few months that so far have been accurate the second job will be dancer. Dancer can be healer or buffer DPS.