Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers in benchmark and letter form

Yes, this part is fully explained.

One of the nice things about the rules around the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers media tour is that seeing the big job change video means that those of us who were there can be all, “Yeah, we saw, it looked so cool.” But we also need to avoid talking about the stuff that is not in the video and/or the actual live letter until Wednesday, which makes for a fun time watching people speculate about how X works.

This speculation is always either “entirely right” or “wildly wrong,” it seems. It’s never mostly right.

Fortunately, there’s enough to discuss without picking apart speculation from the live letter alone, not to mention that long-awaited benchmark (which was as much of a surprise to me as it was to everyone else watching). So let’s talk about the new stuff that we know to take a brief interlude from our retroactive appraisal of Stormblood, starting with the long-awaited look at our two new races!


Perhaps no so much with the customization

Correct me if I’m wrong (I am not), but before we actually had the benchmark we were promised that both Viera and Hrothgar would have a variety of additional character options in the creator as part of the flip side for having only one gender each. Cut to now, and not only do they have about the same number of options, Hrothgar actually feel like they have fewer options due to hairstyle locking to face choice.

This is not the hugest issue ever, of course; if Viera and Hrothgar were wildly more customizable, it’d feel rather unfair to everyone playing other races. I’d just be remiss to not to point out that this did not pan out anywhere near as promised.

I also have to admit that I was hoping for a bit more differentiation between the clans of Viera, but that’s a minor quibble. The fact is that yes, I do like the new races. I don’t like the gender locking, but it’s not like I ever thought that was a real possibility from announcement up to now; at best, it wouldn’t tarnish how I felt about the new races. And while I think they’re both going to need a bit more polish and work (as tacitly admitted with the headgear element), they’re still neat.

Of course, the actual benchmark part is largely for giggles at this point, but it’s still nice to see the confirmation that your computer is up to the task of running the game. Since I’m planning some upgrades soon anyhow the results didn’t matter as much, but hey, I’d be fine without upgrades! That’s nice to know.

Hit it harder!

Sir, that’s my emotional support weapon damage debuff

And now we move into the part wherein people listened to half of the statement and jumped to conclusions on the rest. What the live letter actually said is that job synergy was being adjusted and the designers wanted to tune down places where it got excessive. What a whole lot of people seemed to hear is that we’re all selfish DPS now, no one synergizes at all, Dancer is now superpowered because it buffs other jobs.

That’s not what was said. What was said was that this particular synergy was a mess. They wanted to get out of a state where Monks were the only job using blunt damage and thus were lower on the totem pole because of it, and so now weapon type damage buffs is gone.

To be honest, as much as I liked these debuffs from a theoretical standpoint, we all know that they really did deform the meta. The longstanding NIN-DRG-BRD-MCH meta was based around the piercing and slashing debuffs, and that in and of itself was a challenge in balance for both Bard and Machinist. Do you buff those jobs to operate without the piercing debuff (thus making them hypercharged with a Dragoon) or do you assume they’re operating with one (weakening them substantially under other circumstances)?

From the statement alone, my mind doesn’t go to eliminating buffing or changing how the core of it works, but eliminating degenerate synergy. If you have pairings that are just so much better than any other pairing, there’s something wrong there. I’ve talked a lot about the hard balance work done to make sure that each of the various jobs is still balanced and worthwhile in content, and part of that is making sure that choosing between Bard and Dancer is a choice with actual upsides and downsides. Weapon damage debuffs skewed that, and they’re not a thing we still need in the game.

Removing that synergy allows you to pick out other synergies across the board. Although we’ll have to wait a little to see how those play out.


Pure tanks, pure heals

There’s a similar misconception that seems to be swirling around the idea of “pure healers” as mentioned in the live letter. Seriously, there was an immediate and vociferous objection to the idea that a “pure healing” role was being emphasized and “oh, what, are healers not supposed to DPS now?!” despite… again, that not being what was said.

In fact, if you paid attention, it felt like the actual test of the changes wasn’t about removing DPS, it was about removing passive healing. Pet changes put more onus of healing in the hands of the Scholar instead of letting Eos or Selene do a big chunk of it. Astrologians need to be more active in card selections and choice. And White Mage gets more tools to not be chained into just hard-casting Cure II, right down to new instant heals that unlock a damage spell.

That was said right on the live letter. If you think “pure healing” meant “no DPS, only heals,” you might want to check your assumptions there.

It feels like these changes tie into what was announced with tanks, as well; from now on tanking means going into tank stance, full stop. This doesn’t mean that tanks aren’t supposed to do damage or care about that, but that enmity and holding things and positioning are your primary goals as a tank. No, you do not want to be doing just enough threat-wise to keep the boss on you, and now that’s no longer an option or even sensible.

That having been said, I think what’s being done for off-tank and main-tank roles makes a lot of sense. It seems like the sort of space to give you areas to differentiate the four different tanks while also not leaving any of them as undesirable on fights where one spends most of her time (or all of it) as backup or off-tanking. There will be a different character to having a Paladin or Gunbreaker as your off-tank, but you won’t have situations wherein, say, Dark Knight just doesn’t work well as an off-tank and thus gets the short end of the stick.

Obviously, I have more to say about some of these changes… but then, you’ll just have to wait until Wednesday to see our coverage of the media tour and get hints about what that might mean. Until then, feel free to leave comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, back to the Stormblood summation!

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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Some of it is changes where players were assumed to want to figure out how the roles work and what the skills do, yet if you watch players that take the time to play through the novice hall to understand how the mechanics work, they get through raids and dungeons in half the time with no players down.

One of the funniest things I noticed was the ast dealing cards when they came up to players not clicking on them when the enemy was there. I blinked and said oh I remember that quest now, and wondered how many people returning forgot to deal cards to players by clicking on the player the back on the enemies?

Tanks are Paladin, Warrior, Dark Knight and Gun Mage, yet about a week into the returning there were hundreds of players who try to tell tanks how to tank, without having even played one of those classes. It is funny to get out of Alexander fists of furry and have a player tell you to flash and not use provoke, because they are hoping if you do not hit anything better gear will drop for their class. I took the ten minute hit and spent the time leveling my crafting jobs.

Each tank has chain attack that generates continual enmity. If you miss one you drop down some, but usually the worst problems are solved by players that are willing to go through either the guildhests or hall of novices to learn that snagging the enemy the tank has yet to hit as they run to melee range, results in the tanks melee range skills not effecting those mobs. So where eliot is wrong, is tanking stance, it means nothing if you are not building enmity with the skill chains. I think I saw him in a run with bree and was laughing at what looked like massively in a massively run, so I know he plays.

The expression people are looking for is tanks job is not to burn down the boss but survive the hard hits and try to keep the non mechanic hits from the squishy players. Being final fantasy, not wow, the mechanics are designed to be blocked by stun, interrupt counter spell, or avoided. The guild hests teach some of the mechanics and give a quick encounter, non of that is going to teach how to survive void arc, Alexander, or any of the extreme versions of dungeons. It is like with the nails in infrit. If you think you can survive without getting rid of them, nope it is not going to happen.

A tank needs to be in range to hit things and they need to hit things when the yellow orange dashed line is around the skill, otherwise the other classes build enmity on what they are hitting. I watched the video so I know the Japanese and English were really close most of the time.

On a positive side the tank stance is being changed to on or off. Meaning when you are main tank it is on, when you need to heal and the healer is down it might be off, when the main tank is doing a tank swap the off tank turns on then the main tank turns off, or if the tank is tanking too many hits the off tank switches skills from interrupts to main rotation, depending on the class. Any player with an account can click on the novice hall with a tank class to 14 and play through the instructions if you want to know what the tank is supposed to be doing in that class at low levels.

I can tell you that some jobs like paladin have some skills sole purpose is not damage but to add mobs to the list of targets they can see, so they are not trying to click on the screen and move and ten other things and tab targeting takes too long when trying to save a dps or healing that is inn over there head. So do not waste your time with the loud idiots focus on learning the classes and jobs you have fun playing as the developers focus on those players quality of life.

I am not going to apologize for flash it was a request in Japanese beta for a tool for soloing content. The head of the studio warned me it would end up being an issue but it gave him an excuse to add particle effects to paladins. So while it is least well understood spell in the game I like the particle effects that we got in FF14 as a result.

On a very positive note people may not have noticed, is that if you did not understand what he meant by you should recognized these characters, the minimum system that people are using is high enough that there are updated models for gear and faces if you download the bench mark. Any piece of gear that says untradable upgrades based on main story line, job quests and a number of other things and those got upgraded. The important thing is the faces for all the races are upgraded to more details. If you do not want to lose the effects of eating and sleeping in the game, and muscular verse soft use a bottle of fantaisa on your character to export the current version, so the demo can see it, and you should have a mild to much nicer upgrade of the character.

The most obvious is quing into a raid with a cool looking piece of gear and then seeing as you are waiting for the run to start that you have new accents to the gear. Carmen was telling me more about some of the later content back in 1.0 trying to make me understand one character multiple jobs is the way to advance the character. I had an alt that had gotten ahead of my main in the story because of running palace of the dead to get her witch outfit.

If you want to see how plays at high level the glowing ball of fire is one of the things you get for a world first or completing the job quest line in the next expansion. As as square knows none of the exploiters managed to get access to that database. The white dots when a person is teleporting is from unlocking Alexander post heavensward meaning the level 60 version. There are some other effects that were talking about on the old forums before they were locked due to the people working in torontoʻs data center. The letter 51 was for talking about the class stuff and what is coming for the game the apogee at the end, was for the data center being hacked again. In japan it needs not be said but in american culture it is really not that different, it means heart felt sorrow that people time to relax and have fun enjoying the work of art the story he created was not perfect. We do not live in a perfect world but one with people, those whom wish that we were all nice to each other, one were there are people who fail at life and people who are indifferent to lives of people around them as if all they see is themselves and people are scenery in their story.

One thing for those who took the time to read to this sentence. If your character is recognized in the game as something worth writing a story about your quests and available quest will change, hopefully for the better. It is funny when most of your quests do not have dialog because the do not want to waste time record the wrong story line words.


… Mate, I’m gonna be honest and try not to be mean, but literally half of this word soup has nothing to do with the article. Nor does anyone likely posting in this need some barebones wiki-guide to beginners tanking. And that it feels somewhat blindly and erroneously aimed at Eliot doesn’t help either. Just as it sounds like you completely misunderstood what Eliot was saying.

The current meta for tanking, aside for Paladin because they have zero offensive skills reliant on their stances, is to switch between one or the other as able. Specifically this applies to Warrior and going between Defiance and Deliverance. You build up a cursory amount of aggro on the boss to ensure its held to you, switch to Deliverance and then unload your entire gauge plus whatever with Berserk/Inner Release and Fel Cleave before shifting back to Defiance.

And there’s literally no spell or ability that exists to ‘add’ mobs to your target list. You’re referring to aggro. As a healer, if I cast regen and a tank runs into ten mobs, all ten mobs will ‘pop’ into my aggro list becase–guess what–my regen ticking generates aggro. ALL classes do this. What you’re referring to is the basic AoE threat generators EVERY Tanking class has, whether it be Flash, Overpower, or Dark Knights totally-not-Flash.

And, because you mentioned it… The mechanics in World of Warcraft and those in Final Fantasy 14 ARE similar. They may be separate games, but FF14 isn’t the only game where there are abilities that must be interrupted or silenced or avoided. World of Warcraft had it too. I know, because I tanked heroics and raided throughout Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. Hell, Vanilla (and later Wrath’s) World of Warcraft’s Naxxramas raid was well known at the very least for Heigan the Unclean, one boss whose mechanics were widely described as a ‘dance’ and even had an achievement called “The Safety Dance” because the entire fight is about actively dodging and moving out of one thing or another.

And, while this is me being nitpicky here, there’s only three tanks in the game. There is no “Gun Mage” or Gunbreaker as I’m sure you meant that are currently playable.


Kudos for trying to respond to that post. I think my brain broke a little trying to follow it to the end…

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So Rokien would be my guess.

Sicker I have been making mistakes with the various gun blade classed over the years the wrong name, so yes Gunbreaker, is the correct name for the fourth tank that goes in with shadowblade and if you think cid was unplayable by the players you would be correct, while the class worked it does not go live until the 28th of june for pre-orders and july second for everyone else and getting yelled at for that by better people so I find it funny. That and the playable version that people saw on the live stream before 51 aired is funny.

A beginners guild to tanking… run guildhests and the novice hall, humm why would I be offended at pointing out the people who are having trouble in level 50 content with tanks who run 50/60 for the free poetics know what they are doing and if they think the person is not doing what they are supposed to there is an easy way to find out what the developer thinks each role is expected to do.

The only way it would be bad advice is if people decided the way they play is fine and people need to carry them through dungeons. If people get angry at me my que of people who do not know how to play gets faster. When they closed the old 1.0 forums my que was two minutes. blacklists are account and server wide and if they only people black listing you have trouble, your que time goes down to the point many of the good tanks and healers got yelled at for dilbretely irkig off people to have smoother runs. I still can not prove that to any of the developers peace of mind that we did not unintentionally do it. Oh and the old forums were not deleted just not relevant anymore.

Oh a easy one Total Eclipse is low damage primarily to add anything in range to the list of enemies you have already attacked or attacked you, because have the people play with a console, which is why tab targeting which can be configured and screen clicking are not as optimal as clicking an attack to target the mobs around you. Warrior uses Overpower in the first levels of the game to do the same thing. Overpower is an Enmity (Argo, Hate, Threat, every game has it own term they started using and they all have their own flavor of differences) builder. It does more damage so it often used to mow down enemies as well. Unleash is the dark knight power that if you have the UI up you see the enemies added to it as you hit them while they might be argoing on some one that tries to be first to hit the mobs.

Combos in final fantasy is something that the series has built on from the founder days building importing and maintaining arcades in japan.

As far as the article goes massively was trying to talk about what was in 51 not what was embargoed until Wednesday.

Things in the video not mentioned are the black Lilly flower that white mages can earn if you can figure out what the producer of the game meant by greedy, there is a running joke among the developers it has something to do with either running only greed not need or pass or something equally silly. Either way I got to post two more things because there was one post that reply with the only intent to insult.

I figure the thing to post is that the loot optimizations that were in one point oh, were removed with heavens ward because instead of rewarding players dragging along an afk player people were using vote kit to bring in a paid run at the last boss for the loot drops and tried to say the people were upset at not getting good loot. So RND reared itʻs ugly head and what you get it what you get. It is also why there are three loot containers in raids where you can only see instead two and there is no masterlooter, which I had assumed was primarily a wow thing as most of the other games had as many problems with it being exploited as blizzard did.

Either way your post was funny. Final Fantasy healers only argo mobs when the player they are healing attacks. I am not offended when people who have different view points than myself play games because I rarely can find two people with the same view points in life. I do tired of people who have no idea how to get through a run because as a healer or tank in need I do not get the free poetics unless they finish the run which are worth more than whatever else I get from the run. If they they figure it out or can be carried through I figure they have better gear the next time they go in, and given enough time doing it wrong they will look it up and find good advice on what they need to do instead of someone from a company that can not keep a float on 250k subs.

Most of 51 was about how square plans to move forward with the game those words are the view point that the developers backs if you can not understand them then, it is cultural. Sure some of the jokes about producerʻs daughter having a boyfriend who does not spend enough time in japan, and he is guy, which the head of character design through he was girl because of yellow heart on the check, well that was mostly in Japanese but out side of of the scions storyline, which is supposed to there to get people to want to form companies has little to do with final fantasy. They talk about it at the end and if you can find someone that is not too busy giggling they can likely translate what was said on the live steam, on twitch or youtube.


Yeah, just no. Learn to be concise first off. No one cares for your ‘advise’ because its lost in the Niagara Falls of disconnected and jumbled text. And no, just like how you do not understand tanking you have zero clue about healing aggro. A tank doesn’t need to attack or be attacked for the regen effect to draw aggro–and I know this from experience. Proximity ‘aggroes’ a mob, and without any provocation a tick from the healing will draw them without any active engagement.

And, for the love of god, stop talking like nobody here knows how tanking works. I tank 70 content, I heal 70 content, and I DPS 70 content.

Nobody is talking about Letter 51 except for you. Nobody is talking about “developer told me” except for you. This isn’t a ‘point of view’ thing, this is a ‘you are objectively wrong’. This article was about 3 things, and 80% of your post is literally nothing to do with it.


Tbh it feels like it’d be better for them to just strip the piercing/slash/blunt damage nonsense or just have it be purely flavor-esque. Which I guess is what they’re accomplishing by removing the debuffs. If it means one less debuff Monks have to maintain and shove into their ridiculous back-and-forth rotation, I’m okay with that.


I don’t know if I’d remove the damage types entirely. Blue Mage’s Job-specific challenges make good use of theming and creative application of elemental weaknesses and vulnerabilities. So if they were to expand upon that later on, I think the Slash/Pierce/Blunt could be something more they could play with.

Them removing the specific vulnerability-debuffs seems more like they are bringing everything in line. Same as how Paladins and especially Dark Knights will see a benefit from the HP-buff the tank-specific trait will provide come Shadowbringer. You won’t need to worry about having a Warrior there to eat what would otherwise be a one-shot to a tank or group, just as you now won’t need to fret about ensuring you have a Dragoon to improve Bard damage and Ninjas/Warriros to buff just about every other physical class’s damage aside from Monk… who… really only benefits themselves I believe.

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Every time an expansion to this game comes out, I consider switching my main job, but then I see the new Paladin skills and go “oh okay nevermind PLD for life for another 2 years.” I am really excited for Gunbreaker, especially being an homage to FF8, but PLD will still be my go-to for the expac. Excited to see how the tanking changes pan out, I’m optimistic though.


On the reveal of the MCH robot, one of the most frequents comments I see is “Bob! Do somethin’!”


From what I’ve saw of the action trailer, I’m also interested in seeing how Machinist plays out. It looks like they removed the ammo counter (as it wasn’t on the job gauge being shown from what I saw), which gets rid of one half of the issue with the Machinist rotation. It also means no having to save it to maximize the Wildfire burst. Mixing that and the potency gains from ammo with also needing to juggle keeping gun heat over 50 was a lot of pretty much nothing. I’ll be curious to see if they adjust the rotation though–whether that means dropping it entirely for something else, or simply making it a three-button chain like most other DPS share.

Dragoon is… eh. I’ve not been a fan of the Dragon gauge since they introduced the mechanic in Heavensward. It buffs all of two abilities, does very little, and until you hit the mid sixties or so and unlock the thrust mastery it’s not even easy or viable to upkeep consistently in dungeons. Even then, it’s a buff you’ll benefit from 3 or 4 times before you trigger it, and you go from your basic combo string ignoring it to having to switch and hit Nasgro-whatever every ten seconds. If they were going to buff jumps, they should be buffing ALL of the jumps–wildfire dive included–and from what it seems like we’re getting yet another gap-closing jump. Just one that seems tied to triggering Red Dragon Gauge. So… yay?

Red Mage looks like its getting ranged options to spend their balance gauge though if I saw right. That is honestly a welcome thing to me.
And I’ll admit I am not too excited to see the arcanist changes. Both losing the fairy as an auto heal I can rely on to catch others, as well as losing Pet autonomy for Summoners. Titan-Egi as tank has been a way for me to cheese Heavensward group fates that people just simply don’t do or bother with anymore, and I happened to have missed out on during. And there’s a fate or two like that in Stormblood that people simply don’t do either that I was planning to do the same thing to complete.


I’m really interested in the changes coming to Machinist, it makes it look like it will be more tool focused, like Edgar from FF6…with a robot. I really hated playing it before, it felt unnecessarily complex for what it was offering.

Tank changes I like. It never made sense that most of my time was supposed to be spent in dps stance during a boss fight, why even have the tank stance it was only used during the initial pull? It also meant that in a pug situation, you had to play differently since the DPS would never use their threat cooldowns, leading you to have to stay in tank stance more often, while simultaneously getting yelled at for being in tank stance because it wasnt meta, never mind that the dps wasnt playing the meta way, just the meta classes.

Gonna wait to see how the healer situation washes out, as a healer main, I just slapped a regen on the tank and threw rocks most of the time, or pretended I was in Yugioh or something. It might be nice to have to do more for once.

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Seriously. I’ll take any and all tank changes if it makes it so I don’t have to depend on the DPS using a single cooldown (which they never do) to be able to perform well.

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The team said “We reworked MCH from the ground up, it’s like a whole new job” and I am 100% HERE FOR IT, folks. I always wanted to be Edgar Figaro when I grew up.

Minus the whole creeping on girls thing, of course.