Last month, Final Fantasy XIV players worldwide enjoyed watching the highly anticipated Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LXVI detailing upcoming changes in the game’s fourth expansion, Endwalker. This digest follows MogTalk: Episode 242, featuring Xenosys Vex and Arthars as they join Frosty in examining the combat job changes in the new expansion.
Known for his Warrior gameplay, Xenos has been streaming and creating FFXIV content for over 6 years. Arthars, jokingly dubbed by Frosty as Xenos #2, began streaming FFXIV after being inspired by Xenos’ content.
As detailed in the live letter, job changes are still under development and subject to change. Players can anticipate more details regarding these changes over the next two months.
FrostyTV: They gave us quite a bit of information in this live letter. They went a bit deeper than they normally do, which I honestly wasn’t expecting. I thought most of this stuff was going to be saved for later. They also want to go in the direction of 5.0 adjustments and made a point to say that this isn’t going to be like 3.X. [5:45]
Xenos: People don’t want to play in 3.X. They think they do, but they don’t. In 3.X, Paladin didn’t exist. White Mage was awful. Monk didn’t exist. The job balance in this game is currently the best I’ve seen in any game throughout my life. They’re not straying from that. In the job action trailers, they played it super safe with the new abilities. Some of the things I don’t agree with, and I think they could have taken a bit more risk. It feels like they put all of their work into certain jobs and added 1-2 moves to a lot of the others. Obviously, they put a lot of work into Summoner, Reaper, and Sage. It shows because some of the other jobs didn’t really get anything, like Dark Knight, Warrior, and Gunbreaker. For the general player base, it’s smart for them to do what they’re doing. As far as making the jobs more intricate, they didn’t do that. [6:11]
FrostyTV: The problem with the job trailer is that it looks cool and sometimes you can make sense of what they’re doing, but it really just shows the animations. It looks cool, and there’s new finisher moves. Paladin looked really cool with all of the swords, but the dynamic of Paladin probably won’t change that much. [8:17]
In Endwalker, players can anticipate almost all offensive ability cooldowns to have a recast of 60 or 120 seconds. Some cooldowns, such as Monk’s Brotherhood and Perfect Balance abilities, currently have a recast of 90 seconds and don’t always align properly with other party buffs.
Xenos: Who wants to use a 90 second timer when everyone else is on 60 seconds? The fact that they put it on a minute and two minutes is really good. [9:13]
FrostyTV: They’re only going to do it for the major abilities, right? I guess they’re not going to do it for every single ability, so you’ll still have to still line stuff up to make sure it works. [9:24]
Arthars: As far as we know, it’s for the main cooldowns used when people want to burst and use their biggest hits. Ley Lines might not line up, as an example. Although it increases your casting speed, it helps you with movement by letting you teleport around the arena. Main buffs and burst windows are going to be 120 or 60 seconds. [9:38]
Xenos: This is going to make things a lot easier and a lot more fun. It’s annoying when you have jobs on 90 seconds as opposed to 60 seconds. [10:55]
FrostyTV: Let’s go through the job changes, starting with tanks. I feel like there wasn’t much announced about tanks. What did you guys think? [18:47]
Xenos: It was good, but it wasn’t great. All of the tanks pretty much stayed the same except for Paladin gaining that Confiteor combo. There were a couple of things I think they should have shown, like Paladin’s Atonement and Royal Authority skills. I assume those abilities are still in the game, but I think they should have shown them. I’m assuming the rotation is pretty much going to be the same, except for the addition of the Confiteor combo. They didn’t show Sonic Break for Gunbreaker, which I don’t know if it’s in the game or not. If it’s not in the game, then the ability that costs two ammo is basically going to replace it during the No Mercy window. They also didn’t show Storm’s Eye. I think they should have shown these abilities so we know if they’re still in the game. Overall, I think they played it super safe. The jobs and rotations are probably going to be pretty much the same. I could be completely wrong, but my first impression is that these jobs are going to play similar to how they play now with an added ability or two. I was personally hoping for a Warrior rework. [18:58]
Arthars: For tanks, I think if they’re not broken, there’s no need to fix them. One of the best things about Shadowbringers is that the tanks are super balanced. They can all do the job while having a slight uniqueness. When you look at the trailer, it’s like nothing has really changed. Dark Knight especially doesn’t seem to have changed. As a developer, you are always trying to find the sweet spot to hit while adding things and moving forward. I think they found the balance in design for raid during Creator, and I think they found the balance for most jobs in Shadowbringers, except for Summoner, Scholar, and Astrologian. In 6.0, they have to deal with a number crunch while adding more abilities, so I think they chose a safer route. Tanks are already great, so they’ve added 1-2 more abilities because there’s no need for a major rework. I assume that 6.0 will be as balanced for tanks as 5.0. [24:35]
FrostyTV: It seems that most people are on board with making that new combo a single button but aren’t on board with making old combos single buttons. [27:25]
Xenos: Square Enix is the one that doesn’t want to make the combos all one button. Yoshida said in an interview that they won’t ever do that. It exists in PVP because your focus needs to be on CC. In PVE content, it’s much slower paced. Your focus is on your rotation. [27:42]
Arthars: If Square Enix thinks there is a button bloat, they would have already made combo-related actions into one button. Our hotbars are typically three lines, and you usually get two and a half to three hotbars of abilities. With any new expansion, there’s a worry about having too many new abilities for our hotbars. By the media tour, we’ll have more insight on this. [29:13]
A major change coming to tanks involves using defensive abilities more strategically to get some sort of benefit in battle. Additionally, it was announced that each tank will receive a new defensive buff that they can apply to themselves or someone else in their party.
FrostyTV: The other quality of life change regarding tanks is that they’re allowing them to use ranged abilities without breaking combos. [37:23]
Arthars: That’s huge, and it also extends to melees. If you sit back and think about Gordias and Midas in Heavenwards, the raid wasn’t that bad. What made it harder is that you had to do mechanics while playing your job perfectly, including keeping up buffs like Blood of the Dragon and Enochian. In 5.0, the jobs became more balanced and relaxed, but sometimes the bosses are more crazy, like in ultimates. Now that ranged attacks won’t break combos, we can squeeze more potency in. If they make the bosses more crazy, this will help in easing into that. [37:39]
Xenos: I think it’s going to raise the floor. Many players will start a combo, run out, throw a Tomahawk, then more back in and have to restart their combo. In almost every case, it’s better to hold your GCD. When you continue your combo, you’re building gauge. [39:58]
FrostyTV: Let’s move on to discussing melees. The biggest news is regarding Reaper. The new job looks really good. [54:37]
Arthars: I’m worried. In new jobs, we can’t understand how they work without tooltips. I saw something that made me really afraid. I saw 1.5 second GCDs in some Reaper skills. When Reaper went into that avatar-like mode, I saw those short GCDs. Apparently, you might need to also weave something between those GCDs. [54:57]
FrostyTV: So far, we know it’s not a pure DPS job, right? We know that Reaper is going to have buffs and teleport around. They said something about the job being unique in the way it battles. [56:09]
Arthars: Is it unique? Yes, the playstyle is unique. At the end of the day, we need a guru to lay out a rotation and tell us what to use during burst windows. We need all the information and tooltips to be able to lay it out. At first look, it looks special and unique. [56:35]
FrostyTV: Monk also has some neat stuff going on. They’ve changed Shoulder Tackle, and you can now use that skill to get to your allies. That was huge. Are there any other notable melee changes? [1:00:43]
Xenos: Why do they feel the need to give Dragoon a million AoEs? There’s now a four-step AOE move. Holy shit, man. Will we even use this in a raid if there isn’t an AoE-based fight? [1:01:15]
Arthars: Maybe there’s going to be a change to AoE attacks. What if AoE combos now work the same as single-target combos, meaning that if it’s used on a single target, you get more potency. That was my first thought when I saw Dragoon and the amount of AoE skills. Is this an integral part of the rotation? If not, why do we need so much AoE? What situation will you need 6-7 AoE skills? [1:01:49]
FrostyTV: In Shadowbringers, they gave everyone AoE in some way, and it was relatively decent. We all wondered why they were doing this, and they said it was to make dungeons easier. [1:02:29]
The trio theorized that maybe there would be another AoE-based raid fight, like the second floor of Gordias.
Next, the guests moved on to discuss the removal of some positional-based skills, which developers have slowly been removing over time.
Xenos: I don’t care if they keep them in or not. Positionals are tedious and annoying. I don’t think they add depth. Why does Monk even have positionals if they have two stacks of True North and Riddle of Earth, which you can constantly refresh to have no positionals. How does the job with the most positional requirements have the least amount of positional requirements? I don’t main melee, but I think it’s tedious. The argument that positionals add a layer of depth is something I don’t agree with. If they want to make things harder for melee, they should make the rotation be high risk, high reward. Those who think that positionals are what make melee complicated didn’t play during 3.X. The rotation itself was more complicated then. [1:08:21]
Arthars: High risk, high reward means that you shouldn’t go for the positional when you know you can’t. If you do it, you gain extra potency. However, there are many bosses with dynamic movements, like Fatebreaker targeting a random person or Cloud of Darkness choosing a corner and facing where she’s going to move. Either you remove positionals or give more True North charges. If you give more True North charges plus the non-positional aspect of Riddle of Earth, what’s the point of positionals? [1:10:24]
Xenos: Whenever they buff melee, they always buff the floor. They never buff the potency of hitting the positional. The high risk, high reward of using positionals has been slowly disappearing over time. Hitting a positional now isn’t as rewarding as it was in 3.X. They’ve been left in the game to provide some level of intricacy, but we also have skills that completely remove them. I don’t know why we still have them in the game. Having to pop True North so much throughout a fight is annoying and tedious. [1:11:25]
Summoner mains were either shaken or elated of the news regarding the job’s entire rework. Instead of being a DoT-focused job, Summoner now returns to its roots by being entirely focused on using the powers of Ruby Ifrit, Topaz Titan, and Emerald Garuda strategically during battle.
FrostyTV: The changes coming to Summoner have created a whole new job. From what I can see, they did what they should have done to Summoner. What are your opinions on it? [1:19:25]
Xenos: What they did to Summoner is badass. Now, you summon primals similar to the other Final Fantasy games in the series. You summon Titan, he does Earthen Fury, and you are granted rock-based attacks. I’ve never been interested in Summoner. After seeing the rework, I’m really interested in the job. [1:19:28]
Arthars: I played Summoner in 2.0 and 3.0, but I slowly quit playing it because it didn’t feel like what Summoner should be. Now, I feel like they’ve hit the spot where every primal seems useful and meaningful. You don’t stand there spamming Ruin. We now get to actually play the primals themselves in this form of Summoner. [1:20:59]
Xenos: I like how they went out of their way to say that you should not be a Titan-only Summoner. It’s similar to Black Mage players, who must use fire and ice spells at the same time. [1:25:47]
Xenos: Red Mage is going to be lit. They have a rez, they can heal, and now they have a new party buff. They didn’t really tell us what the new party buff is, though. [1:29:56]
Arthars: It looks like a barrier. I assume it mitigates AOE damage, right? Having that option, even if it’s only 5% mitigation, is huge. [1:30:21]
FrostyTV: What about Black Mage? They showed some cool graphics with fire and ice mixing together. [1:32:39]
Xenos: Enochian is now a trait, but you never really lost it before. Ley Lines are still 90 seconds, which feels bad. [1:33:02]
Arthars: It’s not a major ability. 40% of its usage is about moving around the place, right? It’s not like Inner Release, where you need those GCDs for burst. Many people use Ley Lines to strategically move around during mechanics. It’s part of what makes Black Mage great. If you make an ability strictly for burst windows, you would just stand there and DPS. If Ley Lines was on a 60 second cooldown, what would be the point of the utility? Yoshi-P is a Black Mage main and knows that players use this for strategic purposes. [1:33:19]
FrostyTV: How do you think physical ranged players are feeling right now? [1:34:30]
Xenos: I think Bard mains are in shambles. They probably still can’t hear their own music. [1:34:40]
Arthars: I think physical ranged is where it should be. 5.0 physical ranged is where these classes should be, at the bottom of the DPS list. What should make them feel better is that they provide utility and support, like Dancer. That’s why Dancer feels like the best physical ranged class. [1:34:54]
Xenos: They have the most freedom in movement and can move wherever they want while having full uptime. Their DPS should stay where it is. There is no reason that physical ranged should deal more than other DPS jobs. [1:36:31]
FrostyTV: Another change to physical ranged is the adjustment of the party-wide defensive skills. They are now 90 second cooldowns. They also said they were going to make Dancer more simple. [1:02:53]
Regarding healers, it was previously announced that Sage will join the cast as a shield healer, moving Astrologian into a pure healer role instead of having ties to both regens and shields. Additionally, offensive spells will now have a 1.5 GCD, granting less clipping throughout encounters.
FrostyTV: I guess we should talk about Scholar quickly. Sprint is tied to a defensive ability. [1:45:48]
Xenos: It’s weird, man. It’s one of those abilities that won’t have anything balanced around it, so why have it in the game? I just think that it’s never going to be needed. [1:46:07]
Arthars: I think they will change it in some way. It’s like Shake It Off in 4.0. Doesn’t having this skill in a fight break the very balance you are trying to make? [1:46:45]
FrostyTV: I think it’s going to be used to troll people and confuse those in Party Finder. If you don’t have it in one group and sprint to a side of an arena, you might have a Scholar in the next group, overshoot yourself, run off the side. [1:47:32]
Xenos: People want it to be good, but I think it’s going to be more like how Cover is now. It’s super niche and likely won’t be included in any strategy outside of a wacky speedrun. [1:48:14]
Arthars: I believe that SE thinks that Scholar is good enough, and that’s why they didn’t give them anything else. I love Scholar, and it’s my favorite healer. Maybe it was already good enough. [1:50:50]
FrostyTV: The sprint skill will probably be used regularly because it’s tied to a defensive cooldown. It’s always going to be thrown in there and make things feel awkward and out of place. If they were to separate it into another ability and make it into a trick you just use into the side, sure. Being always present and throwing people off will make it uncomfortable to use. [1:51:21]
Xenos: Having sprint when you don’t expect it can really mess you up. If you’re trying to get uptime and at the peak of max melee then have to move out and back in, you’re going to move in too fast and get hit. [1:51:52]
Arthars: When I look at Sage and read the tooltips, I believe that is what Dancer should have been. It looks exactly how I thought Dancer should be played. [1:55:17]
FrostyTV: I think the ‘heal your friend while you deal damage’ thinking is slightly overhyped, because the fairy heals someone at the same time you are casting Broil on Scholar, right? [1:55:54]
Xenos: I’m definitely going to level it. I’m going to level White Mage and Sage because I don’t really like pet jobs and they made the cards a little too tedious for me. I’m a casual healer, but I’m interested in Sage because of the gameplay style. It’s going to be interesting depending on how it works. The amount of damage you do might heal more. If that’s the case, they may nerf it a bit because you’ll run into healers playing Sage who won’t heal at all. [1:56:39]
FrostyTV: Astrologian looked somewhat similar. Was there anything that stood out to you? [1:59:55]
Arthars: The one thing that stood out about Astrologian is that nothing changed. Finally! Because of having a fourth healer, maybe SE found that perfect spot for Astro. [2:00:14]
FrostyTV: I think everyone watching was pretty happy with the job changes. They only did a couple of crazy things, but these things look simple enough to grasp and understand. [2:08:04]
Xenos: I think this expansion is all about playing safe. [2:08:24]
Arthars: This is the tipping point where the most people are coming into the game. If you told me 3-4 years ago that Endwalker was going to be more hyped than Shadowbringers, I wouldn’t believe it. The fact that they ran out of digital codes for Endwalker is crazy. The servers were also at maximum capacity during a content drought. I would be okay if the overall job balancing and story quality is exactly the same as before. [2:09:11]
Click here to enjoy the entire conversation.
MogTalk is a weekly podcast airing every Saturday at 5PM ET on twitch.tv/Frosty_TV. The show is entirely focused on bringing the community together to discuss topics of interest regarding FFXIV, including patch notes, game mechanics, and raid insights. Mogtalk Digests are now available thanks to Patreon supporters! If you are interested in supporting all of the content MogTalk has to offer, please visit our Patreon page.