Wisdom of Nym: Job extension ideas for the next Final Fantasy XIV expansion

    
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Wisdom of Nym: Job extension ideas for the next Final Fantasy XIV expansion

One of the interesting things about each given expansion for Final Fantasy XIV is that we always get new tricks along the way… sometimes removing old tricks, but usually more the ones we didn’t really want or need in the first place. And some of those tricks aren’t really about enhancing our overall power level but about giving jobs improved overall utility, making rotation easier, adding gap closers for jobs that didn’t previously have them, and so forth. It’s a nice bit of attention.

I’m pretty sure that every job’s player would like to have something added that deals a 2000 potency attack with no cooldown or resource cost. But today, I don’t want to look at the obvious overpowered speculative attacks any given job could get or whatever. No, I want to talk about the things that every job could use that serves that utilitarian purpose. What additional tools could be added for a job that don’t necessarily represent a big power jump but somehow add utility or functionality to the job as a whole, while keeping the jobs distinct in their weaknesses?

Front lines.

Paladin: A raise. No, really, a raise spell for Paladin is one of the things I miss the most about cross-class abilities. Sure, you couldn’t use it much in instanced content, and without Swiftcast or combat casting it’d be a minor utility… but what if you didn’t have those limitations? What if Paladins actually got an instant-cast raise ability with, say, a hefty cost and long cooldown? It would certainly add to the flavor of utility for the job without massively bumping its power.

Warrior: The broad strokes would probably be “something other than Fel Cleave spam,” but let’s be honest, that’s talking more about rotation than anything else. But you know what Warrior could use that’s purely utilitarian? An ability to gather enemies together. Warrior is the only tank job with an AoE that’s a cone rather than a circle (for the first hit), and that means being able to gather things a bit more easily would be a notable boon.

Dark Knight: Dark Arts! Ha, we have fun here. No, what Dark Knight could probably use most is probably a hair more utility for Quietus and Bloodspiller, the former especially; it hits for a solid amount, but you don’t really need it to hold threat and it’s mostly an AoE resource dump. Kind of minor, but it’s what comes to mind most regularly.

Gunbreaker: As the new tank in the game, Gunbreaker does a great job of being a high-risk and high-reward tank overall, with the squishiest frame but the best damage output. Given that, I think it’d actually be neat to give Gunbreaker a backstep option; it’s useful occasionally, not overpowered, but it does feel like another slice of DPS flavor for the tank job.

Litany of lineups.

Bard: Bane. No, really, every single Bard seems to want the equivalent of Bane so they can spread their DoT effects around to an entire pack. Yes, I know, that’s really Summoner’s purview, but I feel like this could work well enough.

Machinist: Some utility. It doesn’t have to be big, but just something that’s actually boosting the party outside of Tactician. Ranged physical DPS is the buffing-style slot, but Machinist right now is pure damage. And that’s not a problem, but it does mean that the job feels a fair bit more selfish than it used to… and hey, some people liked having a damage boost.

Dancer: As is almost always the case, this job certainly has been launched with most of its big needs already met by its basic toolkit. It even has a quick movement trick, which the other two ranged jobs don’t have! The biggest utility thing that I can think it could use is some additional ways to support its dance partner, or the option to transfer MP to other party members (thus instantly making it a favored companion for certain jobs that might not otherwise get as much out of Dance Partner).

In living color.

Black Mage: Repositioning Ley Lines. That’s all you need. It doesn’t even need to be as simple as move it to wherever; make it an ability that has a cooldown, or say that you can just consume the Ley Lines and then it has a shorter cooldown. But killing Black Mages has obviously not convinced any of them to move out of the bad, so it’s time to move on to the next step.

Summoner: Remove Dreadwyrm Trance. Or something. There are too many trances and phases right now! But… fine, that’s not utility, that’s redesign. You know what would be a great purely utilitarian option? Ditching Aetherflow and just putting Fester and Painflare on a linked cooldown with two charges. That’d remove some button pushing without substantially altering gameplay.

Red Mage: Make Engagement deal as much damage as Displacement. This is just baffling to me; you add an option to ensure that Red Mages don’t have to risk a backstep, and then you make it do less damage? Why.

We make for war.

Monk: Make Tornado Kick do something useful. Seriously. It briefly was a DPS gain in certain unusual circumstances but that’s not how Monk is supposed to work. Just having it as a dump for Greased Lightning feels bad.

Dragoon: A lot of the Dragoon pain points have been addressed over time, so it’s actually in a pretty solid place at this point in terms of quality of life much like Gunbreaker and Dancer. That being said… it’d be nice if Spineshatter Dive wasn’t both Dragoon’s gap closer and a part of the job’s DPS toolkit.

Ninja: Pretty nice how all of our Ninjutsu actually works pretty well at this point! Then again, I’ve already given the current state of NIN some props for its changes, so it isn’t in need of any major utility buffs, but given the speed of most dungeon runs it’d be nice if Hide no longer carried a movement penalty (especially since you’re just popping it on to reset your Ninjutsu pre-combat, and dungeon enemies break it anyhow if you aggro them).

Samurai: Give us a slightly longer Third Eye duration. I like its interactions and everything, it just requires timing to be a bit closer than is always comfortable.

Lizard laugh.

White Mage: Disable Regen out of combat. This will make tanks happy. “Nope, can only be used during combat, stop precasting.” But that’s a bit snarky; a better answer would be lessening that weird delay between the conclusion of the Holy cast and when it actually hits.

Scholar: I almost feel like Excogitation would be nice to have on just a cooldown without the Aetherflow cost, but that might be more of an actual balance trick. Beyond that, though… the biggest thing I can think of would be allowing Art of War to spread your DoT across everything you hit. Yeah, that is also a balance change, but the loss of Bane kind of does suck for Scholar. It’d be a nice nod to the familiar territory.

Astrologian: While it’d be really nice to remove the “not in combat” restrictions for Sects, there would legitimately be some balance issues if Astrologian could use either mode at any point in the fight. But… we can probably just make Benefic II a straight upgrade to Benefic at this point, right? Is it really doing that much on its own?

As always, feedback is welcome in the comments below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week? Well, as we’re still awaiting our next patch date, let’s run down what the delay might mean for the game’s usually rock-solid scheduling and where we go from here.

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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John Smitheson

For Pally I could see a raise happening but only if it took the place of Hallowed Ground and shared its cooldown.

Warrior has a few things like the big upheaval or fireball attacks in its job quests that could be implemented, or a multi-holmgang that drew enemies in AND maybe stunned them for a while.

Machinist has an odd hole in its rotation and an ability that is mostly worthless in flamethrower. There are several things they could do- add a battery guage charge or a stacking buff to it to make it worth utilizing outside of dungeons, a buff that either acted like a vuln up that increased with time the longer an enemy stayed in the fire, or maybe an increase to your next attack’s damage, or maybe add in a single target version of the attack with ramping dps (coiincidentally they could use something like Barrett’s gatling Ungarmax for the animation).

As for Samurai’s defensive as a one hit 10% reduction I’d up that to like 30%, include the retaliation attack automatically and remove the tiny heal.

For Ninja hide is so unloved outside of resetting jutsus, I’d love it to do something useful in combat too.

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

Just give me a superbolide that roots me to the ground, reduces me to one HP, gives 7 seconds of invulnerability THAT RECHARGES after every pull and consider me happy!

Bereman
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Bereman

What if Paladins actually got an instant-cast raise ability with, say, a hefty cost and long cooldown?

10k Mana cost *under the Requiescat buff*. 5 Minute Cooldown.

The 5 minute cooldown is pretty obvious – you’d at most get 2 of them across an entire Ex or Savage fight, which compared to the more open ability to use them as healer when needed, the decent one a minute swiftcast (or full cast if things have gone super sideways) instant for healers and Summoner, or the mana eating but easy to instant cast Rez Mage- I mean Red Mage, feels like it’s in an okay spot in terms of how frequently you’d be able to use it.

The 10k while under the Requiescat buff – the full bar and the additional requirement – is because, if you’re looking at a hefty cost, you’re looking at trading an entire Requiescat buff time, which is a solid part of a Paladin’s damage kit, as a trade for bringing someone back into the fight.

Though I’d even hesitate to say that’s enough with the 5 minute cooldown…one to match Hallowed Ground might be a better balance option, cause at 7 minutes you’re only getting one in the vast majority of content. Being able to bring a healer back as a tank is…yeah, depending on group comp, that can save runs. Would need to definitely be appropriately balanced so that Paladin doesn’t become the absolute guaranteed, always bring it tank…

And I say that as a current Paladin main.

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cursedseishi

Definitely in agreement with a lot here. Especially on Dragoon (my main job). I can’t tell you when they did it, but I am so glad the Blood-of-Dragon specific combo enders were changed back to the old manner in which they correlated with the positioning of its regular ender. It’s nice not having to run all around an enemy just because my Flank-ender suddenly procs the Rear-BoD attack and vice versa. You still have to shift some since at later levels you get both attacks… But it cuts down on mandatory movement for the extra oomph and the Raiden Thrust buff.

Oh, and for haters of Elusive Jump? It’s great, you don’t know what you’re saying. I like how I can use it to completely undo fall-damage in spots or just for a funny glitch. And I LOVE how I can give Leviathan a big “Famfrit-You” on Hard or Extreme with it. Wanna tail-slam the side of the boat I’m on? I’ll stand near that edge alright. I’ll stand there, let you start the slide, and the use ‘Elusive Jump’ to break the slide-animation and be safe while another dragoon laments his poor choices in not doing it.

And then end up on the Sea Floor later anyways. I embrace my meme.

And yeah… ‘Third Eye’ is great and all For Samurai, but it feels like a Tank buff rather than an ‘oh-crap’ buff. You pop it because you’re about to take a good hit… But most times, to get the full benefit from it you have to consciously choose to eat the hit. If they don’t want to extend the time for it, alter Hissatsu: Seigan. It’s literally just “Shinten”, but 4 levels late, weaker, and requires you to risk your health and Healer’s well-being to ever us.

For solo use it’s alright but overshadowed in several areas… But group content? Yeah, it’s not good at all. Add a +Heal% to Seigan to make it up to your healer, or heal-on-hit effect from behind to add a bit of ‘Kurosawa’ flair to it. Or drop Seigan and replace it with a secondary skill like ‘Eyes of Mercy’, but awarded when the Third Eye buff isn’t triggered and expires while in combat.

You don’t even need a different button for it. Have ‘Eyes of Mercy’ switch with it depending on the buff’s ending. Could be a guaranteed crit on the next attack or something.

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Ryan Allgood

Scholar: Aetherflow out of combat needs to come back. It just feels sooooooo bad that you can’t use it out of combat.

If they’re worried about players delaying pulling the boss to make sure they have Aetherflow charges full and the CD available, which I believe was their stated reason for making the change, then just give us an out of combat Aetherflow regen. Give is one charge back every few seconds when out of combat. Something so we can actually use Excogitation before a battle, when it feels more appropriate to use, or not have that annoying moment when Aetherflow comes off CD a quarter second after you’re not considered in combat anymore.

Redmage: You know the damage on Displacement is higher than Engagement for a reason? It’s meant to be a way to optimize to get a little extra damage. If you can safely pull off the leap back, you get a tiny damage increase. Engagement was added so you didn’t lose quite as much DPS when you couldn’t leap back. Otherwise, if they did the same damage, Displacement is basically useless.

Just ask any Dragoon or Samurai, the leap back options aren’t actually good options to use when they don’t contribute to your DPS. The animation time and rigidity of the movement mean you’re much better off just walking out of an AoE. I’d hate to see Displacement, one of the coolest looking abilities in the game, relegated to “Don’t even put it on your action bar”.

White Mage: A cooldown like Spiritwalker’s Grace from WoW Resto Shaman would be cool, allowing you to cast while moving for a time. Even better if it had charges on the buff, so it would make your next 3 or 4 non-instant spells be castable while moving, instead of a flat duration.

I feel like WHM has less on demand mobility (basically just Regen, refreshing Aero, or the Afflatus spells), while SCH always has Ruin II (even if it’s a DPS loss) and AST has lower cast times so they can sort of stutter step / slide cast better.

Machinist: I’d rather they stayed the “selfish” ranged DPS. It means there’s one in every DPS role (Black Mage for Caster, Samurai for Melee). It also feels more appropriate for them to be more DPS focused compared to Bard and Dancer, which both have extremely supportive themes and roots to their concepts.

I’d like to see them alter Flamethrower so it doesn’t interrupt you if you even accidentally turn slightly. Also maybe have it refund some of it’s cooldown based on how long you use it? Not enough to make it worth interrupting on purpose, but enough to make it not so frustrating when the tank decided to move for no reason after you start it. Alternatively, let us move while casting it, even at a reduced speed.

Edit: There’s a lot more I’d want them to do, especially to healers, but you were specifically discussing utility things here, so I won’t elaborate on that.

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Ruby Lancer

Okay, time for some Red Mage fun~ And by that, I mean theorycrafting. Optimal play is being assumed here. Not 100% perfect, but just being as optimal as possible.

And the TL;DR at the start here: If Engagement had the same POTENCY as Displacement, you would have no need to use Displacement outside of movement as Engagement would be doing MORE DPS than Displacement could, due almost entirely to animation lock and GCD timings.

As it is now, Engagement is a POTENCY loss compared to Displacement. That is hard fact. The other difference between the two is actually a bit more subtle, in a manner of speaking and as subtle as Red Mage tends to get.

Engagement has a faster animation than Displacement, and thus spends less time in animation lock. This, in turn, means you can get Engagement plus one other oGCD off where as Displacement basically forces just it if you’re trying to avoid clipping your GCDs.

Now, it was mathed out to where 4 Engagement uses equal 3 Displacements, which actually works out well for cooldown timings with Manafication. Now you -could- fit a 4th Displacement in between the Manafication uses, but its a bit tricky to potentially find a good spot to use it in that wouldn’t result in some form of DPS loss.

So yeah, with optimal play, you’re already looking at something that is coming out to be roughly the same DPS in the long run, so buffing Engagement’s potency to match Displacement’s would just make the former the safer and easier choice to use in any situation that doesn’t end up involving you needing to get out right away.

Apridise
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Apridise

I think they way they mixed jobs in ffxiv and give abilities to classes far too limiting, I prefer the way they did it in FFXI. The amount of freedom there is to customize your character and play it how you wanted was awesome.

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Java Jawa

I’d love my stormblood scholar back, biggest reason why I’ve quit. Finished up shadowbringers and unsubbed. 2 years later still haven’t subbed back.

florida_boy
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florida_boy

WHM – I would like my AOE dot back, please. Even if it consumed a Lily.
On that note, a long CD ability that automatically gave Lillies or sped up the acquisition of them would be great.