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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.