Wisdom of Nym: What we actually know (vs. what we assume) about Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker

    
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Whaling on the moon.

So what’s going to happen to Nocturnal Sect? We don’t know yet.

I put that front and center because it is one of the current bugbears that the Final Fantasy XIV community has treated like an answered question. If you ask a lot of people, you’d be told that what’s going to happen to Astrologian when the next expansion comes out is that Nocturnal Sect is going away, based entirely upon the statement that starting in Endwalker the healers will be split between “pure” healers and “barrier” healers, with Sage belonging to the latter group.

Here’s the problem: That statement does not actually indicate what’s going to happen with Nocturnal Sect at all. It just states that there’s going to be a division of healers, just like there is supposed to be a division of tanks at this point. And this week I want to talk a little bit about these assumptions that we have in place about what’s happening with the next expansion, and the line where you start to move from “extrapolating and speculating” into “assuming the unstated.”

Here’s another example: What armor set will the new melee DPS use? The assumption seems to be that it’ll be maiming, but I haven’t actually seen a source for the same. The closest thing we have to a source is an interview with Yoshida in Japanese that specifically mentions how Dragoon is in a unique spot, so the new melee job is meant to address that fact.

Does that mean that we’re going to be using Maiming armor? It certainly implies it, and there’s reason to believe that’s the case as well (for example, this would mean four jobs using Strength accessories, which is already the case for every other accessory type with Sage). But it’s not actually the same as treating this as confirmed information.

And yes, I’m aware that I’ve actually done that. I was, as it turns out, wrong to do so because it was not in fact confirmed.

Feelings felt

Does that mean that the new job won’t use Maiming armor? No, it means that we don’t actually know just yet. And if we were absolutely supposed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have been told this to begin with. If we were absolutely supposed to know what’s happening with Nocturnal Sect and Astrologian’s design – or what the split between “barrier” and “pure” healer was supposed to be – we would have been told that, too.

I mean, let’s just look at this objectively. Every healer currently has both barrier options and regen options of some kind. Sure, Astrologian can switch between the two whenever you’re out of combat, but currently regen effects are generally more powerful simply because they allow you to basically slap on the effect and go back to DPS for the majority of the time. Barriers require a bit more proactive healing.

But that might actually be the split that’s being discussed, and rather than removing barriers, Sage and Scholar are designed to be more proactive in different ways while White Mage and Astrologian have a more reactive playstyle. Or it might be that the split winds up being more of a conceptual one than a gameplay one, like the split that’s supposed to exist between off-tanks and main tanks with the current tanking design. Do you remember which ones are supposed to be off-tanks off the top of your head? Does it actually matter? Tanks changed pretty significantly in Shadowbringers, but a lot of their core mechanics remained the same.

Or yes, it could mean that Nocturnal Sect’s barrier effect is going away altogether and the change between the sects will be different or reworked altogether. That is possible! Plausible, even! But we don’t actually know just yet, and the reason we don’t know is because we’re not actually supposed to know just yet. We are supposed to be in the dark about this stuff.

And… that’s all right.

Like, seriously, you don’t need to know how Astrologian is going to change in the next expansion just yet. It’s May. The expansion isn’t coming out until August in early access for pre-orders at the earliest. You’ve got some time. It’s not something that’s changing tomorrow.

What happens if the new job is something you intensely want to main and you need to make sure you have armor for it? Well, it’s going to be really easy to get a full set of armor for it since it’ll start at 70, and I’m pretty sure you can get most of a level 80 set ahead of time by the time you actually know what gear type it’s going to use. The worst-case scenario means that you might need to save up some Poetics to get level 80 gear. Poetics are not difficult to get.

This stuff is not about to happen tomorrow. You have time.

This will probably be fine for your gear, and it will be easy to access.

You might think this is a little hypocritical of me when I frequently write columns trying to determine these things well ahead of time, to the point where I’m pretty sure that I guessed we’d get a new melee DPS way the heck a long while ago. (I’d call that a point for my predictive abilities if I were willing to look for it, but I’m not so I won’t.) But you’d be wrong, because what we’re talking about here is the dark side of speculation where you start assuming something will be true without knowing it.

By assuming that you know something is true when you have, at best, only had it vaguely implied, you start to outline courses of actions and intended stances and opinions on issues. You treat speculation as conclusions. And that can get unsettling because what you think is a foregone conclusion may in fact be completely wrong.

Speculation is fun. It’s the act of guessing about what happens next based on incomplete information. But while I feel relatively confident guessing about what roles the next two jobs the game adds will be (yes, for the expansion after this one), I certainly wouldn’t presume to state these things as absolute facts. Heck, I don’t even know with absolute certainty that there will be two new jobs in the next expansion! There could be three, or one, or even none.

And while I’ll be the first to speculate about what seems likely or predictable or probable, I also acknowledge that it is all speculation. I knew we were getting a healer, for example, but I didn’t guess that it would be Sage. I daresay no one could have because that came a bit out of left field. For all I know, the new job is something totally original we’ve never seen before, and if I had started hyping myself up for a scythe-wielding melee job I’d be disappointed by not getting something I was never promised.

So yes, speculation is fun. But it should always be with the knowledge that you have gaps in your information. Enjoy those gaps. Let them be there. Enjoy the blessing of incomplete knowledge. You’ll know more soon enough.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. (And if you have an absolute source for something in there, hey, toss that down there too.) Next week, it’s fan festival hype time!

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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Louie

From what I’ve seen, people love selectively forgetting that both healers have both options. I main SCH as my healer, and I would say most of my healing on that “barrier healer” is done similarly to WHM. Lustrate, Indomitability, Excogitation? These are my most powerful heals in dungeons, and a whopping none of them have shields tied to them. Even Sacred Soil has a regen effect now. All the shield spells are tied to the GCD (minus Seraph’s heals), which makes them a less-than-preferable option when you could be using that to DPS.

Obviously that’s a whole different aspect of the design to talk about, but suffice it to say I’m excited to see what they have in store for healers especially. Hoping that we can go back to having more than just one DOT and one attack, but time will tell. I still find playing healer a lot of fun, and Summon Seraph is one of the flashiest abilities SCH has ever gotten, so I’m hoping for more in that vein.

Please show us the job actions trailer at FanFest ;-;

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Ruby Lancer

The Nocturnal Sect thing of Astrologian is especially silly when you stop and realize how core it is to the Astrologian theme and lore. If you get rid of it, you might as well get rid of Dinural Sect as well, as they’re two sides of the same coin.

Plus, its used in quests and a key thing in the SB quest line for Astrologian. It would be A LOT of work to go back through and change not just the text referencing Nocturnal Sect, but to change the quests themselves to detect when a whole new buff was applied than what they had normally had.

As for the Dragoon speculations and all, it does feel like the gear is more likely than not what they’re getting at because when you look at any of the other options, it just seems kind of silly. They aren’t going to share weapons, and given how the damage dealers all play fairly differently in the long run to one another, I don’t see the new job playing the same as Dragoon. Armor is the only thing that really seems to fit here.

The other bit of speculation that I’ve seen (and I’ve been a part of) that shakes my head some is in regards to the stat squish. Most seem to be taking what Yoshi-P said about the difficulty of the game (synched) wouldn’t be changing from what it is now and applying that to ALL of the game. But given that it was stated that they were focused on the 51 to 80 range, and how the gear synching works… it just doesn’t seem right to assume that all of the synched content in the game is going to remain at the same difficulty.

Hopefully by the time the first day of Fan Fest is over, we’ll have 80 to 90% of the non-story based changes and new content revealed to us, and we’ll be speculating on just how useful and strong the new abilities all the jobs will have will be as opposed to just speculating on how anything will be.