Wisdom of Nym: What will Final Fantasy XIV add to its tanks?

    
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Kershadow

So we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Endwalker will add new tricks to every job in Final Fantasy XIV. We don’t know what just yet, but it’s a given that we’re going to get another slate of new abilities, and it’s probably going to be a grand total of five for each job just like always. These things have a certain cadence, after all. And yes, some of these things will likely just be potency increases or traits that tie into new mechanics, but there are still likely to be some new abilities in the mix there.

This naturally prompts us to wonder what each job is going to get. And as we settle in for the long wait until Endwalker, I feel like it’s a fun speculative enterprise to try guessing at what might be in the cards for all of the new jobs along the way. Sure, a lot of this speculation will doubtlessly be proven entirely wrong, but looking at what a given job lacks and what it might be served by gaining is still a fair bit of fun.

Walking.

Paladin

You know what’s interesting? Paladin is the only tank job with a purely defensive job gauge. Every other job has purely offensive options with theirs, usually in both AoE and single-target varieties, but Paladin’s gauge only unlocks defensive tools. And if you think this is where I’m going to point out once again that it’d be nice to have some kind of offensive way of using up that gauge… you’re actually wrong. At this point, that’s a defining attribute of how Paladin works, and I think it’s actually a better option to keep the job gauge as a defensive tool.

Besides, Paladin already has a separate attribute to manage there with MP, so that works as an offensive gauge. Indeed, Paladin benefits from feeling like a really complete job in Shadowbringers, with an interesting rotation, a useful kit, good options for both melee and ranged attacks, and lots of neat tricks.

So what could be added for Endwalker? Well, honestly, one of my favorite ideas would be to restore something Paladin used to have – a Raise ability. As it stands, Paladin is remarkably good at managing to pull a group back from a wipe with Clemency, but it’d be nice to take that a step further and actually let Paladins start recovering with a spell that – thematically – fits right into the job’s overall ability set.

Beyond that, the other big thing that I’d like to see is something slightly more interesting done with Atonement. Hitting it three times in a row is just kind of boring. Something to spice it up would be welcome. It’s not a dire problem, but it’s still there.

Darkness!

Dark Knight

Here’s where I actually feel like there is the possibility to do something interesting. Why? Well, because right now the Dark Knight job gauge is just boring. It’s functional, but it works basically identical to Warrior’s gauge with less interesting stuff and also the option to summon your shadow clone. But the two attacks it unlocks are just basic spam, they don’t have any particular effects of note, and they’re always the right thing to use.

How do you change any of this? Well, my thought would be that this becomes a gauge that actually does have defensive and offensive uses. Give Dark Knight a nice defensive tool to use off of that blood gauge, even make it functionally identical to Blackest Night, and it both fits thematically and ties into the delicate dance of how you use your resources that is at least theoretically at the heart of Dark Knight.

But talking about this also exposes part of the problem: Dark Knight has kind of lost a lot of its elements at this point, with less management of MP and less frantic activity, both of which have kind of moved over to other jobs. It’s not a bad job by any means, but I think my biggest wishlist for Endwalker is just giving it a bit more definition compared to its contemporaries.

Make it PAIN

Warrior

Have we all gotten Fell Cleave spam out of our system by now? Yes? Cool. Leaving aside that this element can be a little bit boring, Warrior is actually in a stable enough place at the moment and not in need of any major adjustments. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the tanks with the fewest needs in terms of major utility. It has a flavor, it has a cadence, it works well, and the Beast Gauge has a couple of big attacks coupled with a couple littler tools to keep it relevant at other intervals.

So what could Warrior use? Well, actually, I think there’s an opportunity here for something interesting. Warrior is the only tanking job where your charge ability is not a cooldown but is tied to the job gauge. Why not give Warrior the tool that we’ve seen NPCs in the job use frequently and let Warrior instead have a cooldown to pull enemies together? Just lash out with a big chain and drag it over to you! It’d be cool, it’d be flavorful, and I absolutely assure you people would love it.

Beyond that? I actually can’t think of much that the job really needs. More Nascent Chaos tricks would be fun, but hardly necessary. It’s a remarkably solid tank right now.

A nasty boy, a foul cigarette boy.

Gunbreaker

More than any other tank job, Gunbreaker has an interesting situation simply because in some ways it is the least mechanically defined job. I don’t mean that it doesn’t have solid mechanics or isn’t fun to play; rather, I mean it doesn’t slot immediately into an identity of “this is the tank that does X.” It has a heal, but only as a regen; it has a barrier, but only a small one as part of its combos; it has a lot of damage potential, but it can feel fragile by tank standards.

It doesn’t hurt that a lot of its basic ability lineup was cribbed from Squall, and they’ve kind of exhausted that well now.

However, I think that there are places to go with it. In a broad sense, Gunbreaker is kind of the dodge tank of the lineup, and there’s an ability that actually perfectly fits its ability setup – Impetus. A speed and dodge boost would be a perfect fit for Gunbreaker and also give rise to moments of simultaneous hype and recklessness as you tear forward and hope your dodges will save you ahead of even a sprint.

Beyond that, though, I’d also love to see more done with the ammo charges than what’s being done right now. Functionally, sure, it’s not very different from how the other tanks work as you have three abilities (single-target damage, AoE damage, and a special ability which in this case is an explosive combo). But hey, adding a fourth job gauge ability for most of the jobs would be nice.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I’m actually going to break up the flow a little (don’t worry, we’ll get to the other roles too) and talk about how the Bozjan content actually shows how the game could introduce ability customization in a larger fashion.

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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IronSalamander8 .

Late to this one here as I am just reading the healer article and wasn’t playing at the time of this post.

I have limited knowledge of Paladin/Gladiator as I only played that job back when you needed to grab some of their defensive skills for cross-class abilities as what was my main back then; Warrior/Marauder. Warrior has also changed a lot and haven’t touched it since I got it to 55 in Heavensward and swapped to Dark Knight as my main job before then swapping to machinist when I was left on my own and don’t like PuG tanking.

Coming back, I’ve been playing mostly Dark Knight (65 now), Gunbreaker (63 now), and Machinist (71 now), and I gotta say that DRK feels much easier to play than before as I only have Grit and not that other toggle that drained health (or MP? or both? I can’t recall), to increase my damage, but after strongly disliking GNB back in the day, it’s really fun now but indeed feels squishier than DRK. Our small group’s main healer is a White Mage and a damn good one, so it hasn’t been a big issue, but as someone who really loves GNB now, I’d not be upset if I lost some damage for more survivabilty and more uses for my powder charges. And perhaps some kind of extra job gage resource to manage as well.

Super Bollide reminds me of CoH Invulnerability’s ‘Unstoppable’ in a way; really good ability that can panic your team! I don’t use it all that much.

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R'nageo

I only play Paladin so that’s what I’ll comment on. What I’d like to see is more uses for Sword Oath stacks, and more ways to generate them. Say completing a Total Eclipse -> Prominence AoE combo grants one stack, and you can spend 3 stacks on a new AoE expender, or maybe a free cast of Confiteor if we don’t want more buttons.
If we want to rework that even further, let’s make the Sword Oath stacks go up to 5, and each can be used for either Atonement in melee or an instant cast of a spell at ranged, and change Requiescat to give 5 stacks at once and allow the cast of Confiteor which consumes all remaining stacks, but gets stronger the more spells you’ve cast in the last 10 seconds.
As for the Oath Gauge, the only change I’d make is add a trait so we start combat at 50 energy so we can use Shelltron or Intervene on the first tank buster, which on more than one fight comes before the bar has time to fill up.

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Ruby Lancer

The problem with Paladin’s Oath Gauge isn’t necessarily its lack of Offensive Options, but just its lack of MEANINGFUL options.

Shelltron is used basically to keep from overcapping most of the time; Intervene has some use but mostly as an off-tank (though in rough dungeon runs it could help save a healer); and Cover is similar to Intervene, only less likely to really be used as it is.

These are options that you could turn into cooldowns and not have any gauge tied to them and essentially have little to no change in how a Paladin plays. There isn’t anything here that feels like it has -that- meaningful an impact on things.

Paladin doesn’t necessarily need anything offensive as you said, but I just want other options that actually make me THINK about if I should use them then or not, as opposed to just kind of mindlessly hitting Shelltron/Intervene to avoid capping depending on if I’m tanking things or not.

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Bereman99

To add to this, Oath Gauge might be one of only two job related resources where you have no impact on it filling except being in combat.

Nearly all the others are tied to things you do, or at least have a button that increases it faster. White Mage is the only other one whose mechanic is “wait for it to fill” but at least it’s tied to abilities you use frequently, and a nice offensive hit at the end.

Oath Gauge just fills from auto attacks, 5 points at a time, and takes about 21-22 seconds to reach 50…so Shelltron, functionally, ends up feeling like a less interesting Heart of Stone (that interacts with Brutal Shell) or Raw Intuition (which at least exists as a choice between it or Nascent Flash)…both of those are 25 second cooldown abilities that provide similar levels of mitigation. You wait about the same amount of time, and then can press it.

The one difference is you can hold off and if you use it around 95 Oath Gauge, you can use another round of it right after…which I never ended up having to use, even in the savage/extreme content I did.

There’s no consideration there, like juggling DPS abilities that use MP with the potential for needing The Blackest Night, like there is on DRK.

As you said, you could absolutely change all of the abilities to have specific length cooldowns and require no resource, and Paladin would play the same.

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Darkedone02

I have to strongly agree, I used to have cover on my hotbar, but due to the lack of usage of that ability, I’ve basically removed it. I feel like paladin is the slowest class of tanks for me to enjoy, compared to warrior and dark knight, and gunbreaker is fun but can be complicated due to the large amounts of abilities you obtained. I want paladin to have more offensive capabilities so that it feels fun to play and to level up on.

I was hoping they could redesign cover to be another defensive CD with a reduction of damage, I agree with the job gauge at this point, it felt kinda useless unless your dealing with large damages. etc… it NEEDS offensive abilities.