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 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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!