Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.1 in review, part 2

    
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The other side.

There are some things that I am just not qualified to comment on extensively when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV. Generally speaking, this mostly covers things like high-end progression content, which I have zero interest in beyond “well, that’s nice for the people who like that, I suppose.” In the case of patch 5.1’s job tweaks, though, there are a few that I can’t comment on much simply because these are not my main jobs for endgame content and thus are ones I’ve only played through leveling.

So, for example, I can’t really tell you in much detail how the Summoner tweaks improve or diminish the job compared to before. I can’t comment much on how it feels to play a Samurai at the moment. What I can comment on is the new changes to a job that I literally got to max level within four days when it first released during 2.x that has subsequently been my main job, and that’s the one that actually saw the biggest changes! So that works well.

borf

Unseen arts

While I can’t say with absolute certainty that the new version of Ninja actually deals significantly more damage than its previous version, I can definitely say that slowing down the playstyle at least feels more fun. And it is a bit of a slowdown, but it’s the sort of slowdown that gives the job’s multiple competing elements space to breathe, and makes gameplay much more of a matter of prioritizing correctly and planning ahead rather than mashing things super fast.

Your Trick Attack is still significant, but the lower potency for more uptime means both that your numbers are no longer desperate for that 10% buff and that you have more chances to fit everything in. This is good, because you really want to fit Dream Within a Dream (and Assassinate), all your Bunshin charges, Kassatsu, and whatever else will fit into that window; that’s a lot going on. Those first three are your biggest individual hits and have priority, but the net result is still doing a lot of things within a controlled window. Fortunately, you actually have that window now.

The original wording made it sound as if your individual mudra would have separate charges, but in practice it’s really just two charges on Ninjutsu arranged to look otherwise. This is good, since it avoids having to do the math about spending a Ten charge for a particular assault. You want to just use the best spell available to you at any given moment, period end.

And yes, it really does feel like the game has doubled down on the job as a melee spellcaster, the inverse of Red Mage. The fact that each of your Ninjutsu hits feel particularly meaty now definitely helps; I think it’s ultimately a better setup than Ten-Chi-Jin and Kassatsu boosting Ninjutsu damage, since both of those abilities have their own functionality.

Numbers seem to be solid in terms of performance, and most of the existing issues have gone away. I don’t think the job has suddenly become the most lethal DPS in the game, but that’s fine in and of itself; what it really needed was to not feel as if it was twice as hard to play for half the effectiveness. And the redesign has largely accomplished that.

Not actually war ready.

The craftaclysm

Before we really examine this in any depth, I think we have to start by acknowledging something important: Crafting has been a mess for a while now.

Most of us who have been into crafting for a while now haven’t thought about this all that much simply because, well, once you got past a certain threshold it worked all right. Sure, there were a lot of redundant abilities or ones rendered obsolete past a certain level. Yes, most crafting cycles involved taking a lot of free steps to make incremental progress. We all knew it was kind of ridiculous that even high-end recipes could be reliably made HQ without any HQ source material at roughly the same difficulty. But we all accepted it, right down to the absurdity of leveling a bunch of crafts you might not care about for the one you did.

In that respect, all of the changes were pretty much flat improvements. HQ crafting is made notably easier with HQ ingredients, or if you have a fair spread of levels above the item in question – and in that case it’s trivially easy, so you don’t need to worry about it at all. And the actual process of most crafting is… honestly, less reliant on ornate loops and more reliant upon logical actions and reaction.

This is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, yay, crafting is now approachable by people who aren’t going to sit down to read a guide explaining how to start up bizarre multi-step loops in which you game the system precisely. On the other hand, well, people who have macros and got used to those multi-step loops have to deal with a new setup, even potentially not getting an HQ on everything the first try! Kind of a change.

Ultimately, though, I think it’s a net improvement. It’s a pretty big change, and it’s going to hit some established crafters with a surprise, but it makes the overall feel of crafting more a matter of thought and planning rather than arcane knowledge that’s not really explained via the quests. I do miss some of my tricks like Comfort Zone, but not as much as I appreciate having crafts that don’t require judicious use of Comfort Zone even for simple items.

Who's THIS guy

Bits and bobs

I admit I’m only a couple of weeks in, but Kai-Shirr has not shaken the image I have of him as something of a whiny prat, and the idea of rebuilding Eulmore as a tourist attraction is not really quite syncing up for me. Yes, I get where the designers were going with this, you want to keep Eulmore as Eulmore but you also have to justify its existence once you know how bad it got… but at the same time, it feels more like an excuse to keep things here at least somewhat static. Ah, well.

I really don’t like how it’s possible to roll on the 2B gear coffer even if you’ve already gotten it. Technical limitation compared to how minions are handled, maybe? It’s not hopeless, but I’d like that addressed all the same.

My grand total time with New Game+ remains resolutely at zero; having done all of this content so many times before now due to having alts, I have no urgent need to revisit any of it. That may change at some point if I really need to revisit a story beat without being able to find it, but for the moment… not so much. Oddly, I haven’t seen people really talking about it either, so I have no real sense of how much people like or dislike the feature.

Also, where the heck is an actual Fellowship search feature? The fact that they’re nearly impossible to find at the moment is curtailing their functionality somewhat. Also, it’s been a crazy month and I haven’t had the time to trawl for them. There has been, uh… stuff happening this month.

Of course, I’ll have more to talk about next week with the introduction of Ishgard restoration; until then, you can feel free to send feedback via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com, or just drop it down in the comments below.

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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JonBuck
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JonBuck

Before the crafting changes I only had Armorer over 60, with the rest down around 30. Post changes I boosted the rest of them to over 55 in a few days. All my gathering Jobs were at 80 before this, so it’s no problem to get stuff I need. I’ve spent more time gathering and crafting than dungeoneering. Being able to make that high end crafted gear so I’m not as dependent on tomes appeals to me. It might actually be more effort, but there’s more satisfaction.

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Coldrun ??

I stopped leveling crafting jobs in the mid-50s.

I’m actually excited to try them again.

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Scott Leyes

You should enjoy it. Crafting in the 30s – 40s is a bit of a slog, but it opens up past 50 (for the most part… HW recipes are a bit of a bear with all the “holy” mats). I’ve been leveling an alt just to see how the “new” crafting works at lower levels (my main has been max crafting/gathering since the third week of the expac)

A couple of things:
1) Do the Grand Company daily crafting/gathering turn-ins… they have been buffed in XP rewards, so an HQ turn-in can get you up to FOUR LEVELS if the item is starred.
2) Leves are buffed also, though i haven’t even done those (GC turn-ins are that good)
3) If you can, level ALL your crafting jobs at the same time. Because the XP rate is so good, you’ll be tearing through levels, and gearing is expensive after a bit – but gear is shared, so ONE set of crafting (or gathering) gear can be shared by all your jobs
4) Once you hit max level, you get a skill that makes crafting any item 70 or under a 2-3 step process with a guaranteed HQ (even without HQ mats); it’s remarkably easy. My main has been a crafting mule for everyone in my Free Company who is now leveling their crafting jobs, they just gather the mats and I spit out the HQ items.

Bereman
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Bereman

I’ve played Summoner a lot, though it hasn’t been my main (was Bard and now Dancer) it’s basically my first secondary job.

The changes feel really, really good. Good mobility and less whack-a-mole feeling. That’s the TLDR.

To a similar extent (though not quite as much) it’s like what you expressed regarding Ninja here:

it’s the sort of slowdown that gives the job’s multiple competing elements space to breathe, and makes gameplay much more of a matter of prioritizing correctly and planning ahead rather than mashing things super fast.

So one of the elements of Summoner before the changes was that to maintain the mobility and provide opportunities to use Ruin IV (which was either very useful for mobility or for fitting in more attacks during Bahamut, thus getting more Wyrmwaves off, on top of doing the most damage of any of the Ruin abilities) you had to make sure you were using your Egi Assault abilities as often as possible to manage 4 stacks of Ruin IV and keep it there.

To “properly” use the Egi Assault, since it was off the gcd, you had to fit it in after an instant cast that was on the gcd. This was either Ruin III during the Dreadwyrm Trance phase, or Ruin IV/Ruin II (the second being much less ideal since it does noticeably less damage) for the most part. Of course, using Ruin IV used up a proc, so you were basically using and then refreshing the proc…and to make that worth it you needed to fit another off gcd ability before the Egi Assault – something like Energy Drain or Fester.

So it might be Ruin IV -> Fester -> Egi Assault I, all inside a single gcd window.

So managing those felt really busy, since you were having to double-weave whenever you needed to use Egi Assault, but also managing using Ruin IV around Bahamut phases or when mobility was needed. Egi Assaults themselves didn’t do much damage as well, so it felt like just an extra button you had to press “just because you used Ruin IV somewhere” to make everything work at or near its best.

Moving Egi Assault to the gcd and increasing their damage basically fixed all that. Now you frequently have up to 4 gcds that you can move with that you can with using the Ruin IV stacks, as well as being able to refresh those with a separate gcd attack (and not having to use them together), and can fit your ogcd abilities inbetween those. They feel like proper instant cast abilities that you want to use, not extra abilities you had to thrown in the mix.

You also had the Ruination element of Tri-Disaster, which you wanted to have available for that extra bit of damage from your Ruin casts…and so it didn’t feel quite as nice to have your dots up and doing not quite as much damage just because it wasn’t the dots applied by Tri-Disaster.

Not having to worry about that, and just worry about keeping dots refreshed, is nice.

Oddly, I haven’t seen people really talking about it either, so I have no real sense of how much people like or dislike the feature.

I haven’t actually gone in and done anything with it, but I did find the quest to unlock it pretty charming. It’s just a simple “Old man wouldn’t mind sitting down with you and listening to your stories to pass the time and reminisce” kind of thing as a way of introducing it, but I appreciate that they found a way to introduce it “in universe” in a way that works.

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Ruby Lancer

I don’t blame you for lacking time to be able to fully delve into every aspect of 5.1 in full, what with your job covering other things that have been all but demanding attention for better or worse.

The 2B coffer stuff is kind of stupid, but I get why they put it as a drop you have to roll on as opposed to attaching it to an achievement in some form. This way you have people running the instance more frequently and as it is, and hopefully getting used to and learning things and helping out. As opposed to Orbonne Monastery, which got an Echo buff just because people were being stupid and trying to rush it without explaining things to new people.

The changes to Summoner were needed, as before it was very much in a state of doing twice as much work to put out the same kind of DPS as either of the other casters, let alone other DPS. Now a lot of that extra work has been trimmed down, but you also ended up getting what is shaping up to be some rather potent buffs to potency. Summoner is starting to have the most DPS among the Casters, and is certainly in contention of having that same title among all the DPS in general.

The Crafting stuff was also well needed. Hell, before they changed it and all, I kept running into people that thought that the Elemental Brands would double progress on any craft that was being done with crystals of those elements! No, it wasn’t -that- obvious, but a bit of experimenting would have shown otherwise. Basically its just an example of how the Crafting system needed a revamp. I still need to get my hot bars on my crafters taken care of, but removing the cross-class stuff and making it all open to every crafter, along with taking out the heavy amounts of RNG certainly will make the leveling process easier, and the EXP buffs make it even faster.

And right now the Fellowship system seems like it’ll just flop. There’s no way of finding a Fellowship all -that- easily, and I’ve seen MANY going with the fairly “creative” name of “Fellowship of the Ring” on the Crystal DC alone. Couple that with the fact that there isn’t any real notification in-game to tell you when stuff happens in a fellowship, regardless if you were online at the time or not, and you have a system that feels like it was just kind of created to add more social aspects in without really thinking about how it would work.