Wisdom of Nym: Final thoughts in the wake of the Final Fantasy XIV media tour

    
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Nairs your Thav.

It’s so relaxing to finally be able to talk about the media tour. I’ve talked before about how Final Fantasy XIV lacks much in the way of public testing and how that’s kind of a good thing, and I stand by that, but it also means that the rare instances when I actually do have information that not everyone has access to is a bit of an odd experience. You want to just shout about it all from the rooftops, but you have to wait.

Since all of you can go ahead and re-read through all of that content, I wanted to use this week’s Wisdom of Nym column to address some bits and pieces that came up in the wake of that coverage, ranging from things that I missed to some questions and theories that have gotten passed around as well. So let’s recount that mass of amorphous stuff, why not? We’ve got just over a month until the expansion comes out; it seems like the right time for this kind of content.

Fighting with a reap.

“Why did you miss this?”

This question got brought up a few times in regards to various things. There were some job abilities I didn’t mention, either changes or specific abilities that weren’t included in my write-ups about the various jobs. And it’s a fair question in each case; these were genuinely things that I did not mention that other sites did mention, and I’m not going to claim that these elements were not on display. Things like “what exact levels were monsters in these zones” or “why didn’t you mention the change to X ability” are fair questions because I did have access to that information.

The answer to the question is ambiguous, though, because there are actually two possible answers, and they both have different implications and rationales, and the answer varies depending on what specific thing I’m being asked about.

First possible answer? I just missed it. FFXIV has 19 different jobs as of Endwalker, and each of those jobs has a different rotation, different sets of abilities, different traits, and so forth. There’s a lot to keep track of. Heck, in my experience almost everyone I know plays one or two jobs and maybe dabbles in a couple others. That doesn’t mean no one levels all of the jobs, but amaro mounts are not exactly raining from the heavens right now.

My job for the media tour was to be familiar enough with 17 jobs to understand how and why all of them were changing, and to become familiar enough with two totally new jobs to explain them, and to do a dungeon, and to do all of this within the span of around eight hours. That’s a lot.

So many swords.

I don’t mean to imply that I’m some kind of unique polymath because I play and understand the majority of the jobs in the game, mind you; I’m not, I am sure there are people out there who are even more multi-talented than I am at playing every job. Rather, my point here is that a certain amount of time limitation is natural, and there’s only so much that I am capable of doing. There is only one of me, and I was trying to hit everything rather than just the highlights.

The second possibility is a bit different, though. It’s possible that I didn’t miss anything, but specifically decided that it wasn’t worth going into too much detail about something. Why would I notice something and not mention it? Because it didn’t ultimately matter.

For example, did you know that Ninja weapon combos will raise the Ninki gauge by a larger amount now in Endwalker? I definitely noticed it. But it wasn’t in my writeup at all. Why was that? Why didn’t I mention this change that does actually have a definite impact on how quickly Ninja unleashes abilities?

Because it matters, but it also doesn’t matter. Earning more Ninki is important, it will affect your rotation and damage, it will have an impact. But it isn’t going to actually alter what you do. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be choosing to use your weaponskills in situations where you otherwise would not be using them; if anything, it balances out your overall gains against the fact that Ninja has more things to do that will not earn you Ninki. It’s a change, and it matters, but it’s going to wind up being invisible a lot of the time in actual play.

So which reason motivated me not mentioning a specific detail? Hey, that’s part of the mystery.

Kersmash

“So what else do you know?”

Nothing. At this point, you fans know about as much as those of us who have played this expansion, allowing for some slight difference between reading about jobs and actually playing them. If you’ve read all of the coverage that’s out there for the media tour, then short of the muscle memory of actually playing these jobs, you know as much as I do right now.

I think this question is coming from two understandable but slightly incorrect places. The first is assuming that if we knew all of this and kept it secret, Square-Enix might have given us even more information to look forward to. But no, this was in fact all of it. If you’re curious about the orders of zones or something, trust me, we are still unclear on that as well and our speculation is no more valid than yours, barring our individual track records.

The second is wondering if people datamined out some other things from the game’s files, since we were all playing at home. This is a logical assumption, but it’s also slightly wrong. While we were playing on our home PCs, we were using a remote desktop setup, and that was being pretty closely monitored. If someone managed to datamine anything out of this particular build, I am simultaneously impressed and not here for that. Be dubious of anyone claiming to know more than has already been revealed thus far.

Sagacious!

“Was leaking those tooltips really so bad?”

Yes, yes it was. It was bad enough that I feel like there’s a whole column to do about it eventually, but it’s compounded by the fact that as I mentioned last week, even getting access to the tooltips was an unusual situation and this casts a pallor over an effort by Square’s team to help us get more accomplished within a limited span of time.

Let me know if you want to see that whole column, for the record. It would be angrier than usual.

“Are you excited for the expansion now?”

Oh, so very much yes. The media tour served as a delightful tease of what’s on display, and I can’t wait to play with the full expansion. As much fun as it was to try out Reaper, there’s a lot that’s missing in this particular build by design. You could see NPCs that were clearly having conversations, places where quests will go in the future, areas to explore on foot, and so forth. I never really indulge too much in the FATEs in these zones just because I would rather play the actual game, but gosh, it was tempting to reap my way along in here.

If you were worried that this expansion would be lower-quality based on the events that are happening in the world, I’m happy to report that there’s nothing to indicate that will be the case. There’s just over a month until it goes live at the time I write this, and I, for one, cannot wait to play it for real.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I think I’m going to keep being a bit meta by talking about how I usually do a whole series of “expansion in review” columns and why I didn’t do one for Shadowbringers.

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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Dagget Burmese

As for the tooltips, i hope they snuck in stealth watermarks for each media entity invited, so they can trace them back to who posted the tooltips.

latorn
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latorn

I agree that leaking the tooltips was bad, and I’d love to see a column on why you think so- just to see if we share the same reasoning.

Seriously though, imagine getting invited to an exclusive event, agreeing to an NDA in order to partake, and then stabbing SE in the back by breaking the NDA and your word. Pretty shameless if you ask me, guess SE shouldn’t trust anyone anymore. :/

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Andrew Clear

I think leaking is bad, in and of itself. It shows a serious lack of respect and a lack of individual responsibility on oneself.

Of course, sometimes companies actually plan leaks to drum up PR, but I highly doubt SE would’ve done that with the media tour, as the tour was there to drum up the PR.

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fameofthewolf

Dont think those tooltips leaks were that bad. If anything it gave the general public some power to critique the changes from an unbiased position of power. Before a biased actor regurgitated them to the rest of the people with a veil of clear preference.

Expansion looks very hype nonetheless. Reaper tempo change upon transformation is a great flow design. Probably will be a very popular class.

latorn
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latorn

Seeing tooltips isn’t the same as actually playing the game though. People over react to class/job changes in every MMO without actually playing the game. None of the reaction to leaked tooltips would be useful from a developer standpoint, and none of the changes would make it in before 6.0

The most important player feedback will happen once players have gotten familiar with the new abilities, and the changes will only be implemented in 6.05 or even 6.1 unless something is extremely broken.

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fameofthewolf

I mean your points have credence, but most people ignore potencies, and tooltips let the playerbase see just how little got changed for most classes. While it will still be an improvement for most classes over current kits, I dont know if some of these small changes will keep players attention for 2 whole years. Some classes got a lot more new stuff and changes than others. And some classes like DRK the changes are almost negligible, on top of a class that already is plaqued with issues, even if its functioning fine. The tooltips let the players then critique the changes or lack thereof.

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Bereman99

A few big and mostly otherwise just refinements has been how FFXIV has been operating pretty much every expansion so far, so I’m not sure where the “can it keep player’s attention for 2 whole years?” is coming from. Honestly, once the job gets a design that the majority like, the general sense is “more of this please” and not “so what new version are we going to get this expansion?” They leave that to other MMOs that like to reinvent the wheel with each expansion.

As for tooltips (from your other comment) there are always groups within the media tour that release them shorn of any real commentary, so it’s always been easy for the community to find that info and comment on it/critique it without it being behind a “veil of clear preference.”

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fameofthewolf

This has been for the classes, not getting reworks(SMN, MNK), the least amount of class changes we’ve ever seen.

Veil of clear preference is just content creators pushing and spinning all changes in positive light. Nothing to do with access to, and ability to critique it.

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Bereman99

Not really. Bard saw less changes going from Stormblood to Shadowbringers, for example. Same with White Mage andRed Mage, as I recall. Sure, some saw bigger changes, such as Machinist or Ninja, while others got refinements like Samurai or Black Mage.

The point is – this game is not one that needs to reinvent classes every expansion, nor is that something the player base as a whole is seeking, nor is that approach healthy in the long run.

As for the “veil of preference” thing, I’d take a second look – I’ve seen plenty of criticism aimed at changes (or lack of changes, as is the overall case with Scholar)…and your comment still doesn’t address the fact that players can easily get the tooltips to view and make their own judgments about the changes (try visiting Reddit or the forums, you’ll find plenty of opinions being bandied about that don’t rely on content creator’s influence) without relying on someone leaking them ahead of time.

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Andrew Clear

Well, you have to understand that the more changes made = the more complexity added. This can lead to a lot of the player base leaving the game, or other people complaining that people can’t play their jobs correctly. SE purposefully removed a lot of the games complexity with Stormblood, and even purged some more in Shadowbringers. The massive amount of changes in those two expansions lead to a lot of controversy (and a lot of people actually quit around Stormblood due to the job changes).

Now, with less changes there is a lot of controversy. It just seems, you can’t please all the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time.

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IronSalamander8 .

Almost done with Shadowbringers, just beat Mount Gulg and the following trial last night, and a got a little further before work this morning, so very close, then the in between stuff to go!

Got 3 jobs to 80, but as one of our FC focuses on tanking, which is unfortunate as I prefer tanking to DPS, 2 of my 3 80s are DPS (MCH and DNC), my other 80 is GNB, but have been working on others too, some are quite low, a couple I’ve not unlocked yet.

May actually be the first time ever in my on and off history with FF14 where I’m actually going to be starting the new expansion on/near launch day!

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Andrew Clear

I can’t wait for this expansion to finally launch, I have been itching to continue this story all summer long.

Been trying to figure out which job I want to level through the story with. I pretty much play WHM main since the end of Stormblood, but I wont go through the story as a healer (boring DPS job…..). Normally I use either BLM or SMN to go through the story, I might do SMN again since it is a new job, yet again…., also, I watched the mechanics for the dungeon, and man, life as a BLM is going to be harder than it was in Shadowbringers….

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

Solely based on the new healer skills (WHM’s raidwide Excog and SCH’s in-combat Peloton) I have the sinking feeling that mobility is going to be mandatory.

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Scott Leyes

Angry column?

Yes, please!

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Vincent Clark

With less than a month away, the majority of my FC is in prep mode. Maxing out tomestones, maxing out allied and centurio seals (to exchange for aetheryte tickets since the teleport cap is gone in Endwalker), etc. The hype is real.

The next live letter is set for 5 November, I’m curious if we will get the official expansion launch trailer before then or at the event itself?