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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.