No matter what changes, the tank stands at the front of any part in Final Fantasy XIV. In this evening’s “Live Letter from the Producer”, FFXIV director and executive producer Naoki Yoshida and community manager Toshio Murouchi highlighted the changes coming to each Job and the Tank role overall. Here’s a glimpse at how Paladin, Warrior, Dark Knight, and Gunbreaker will play in the new expansion.
It’s worth noting that these tweaks and new actions are subject to change in the road up to launch. With that tiny disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at all the new bells and whistles we have on the frontlines.
First up, the FFXIV team is reworking every Tank so that defensive cooldowns will give you additional benefits when used at the right time. Yoshida stresses that this won’t mean you’ll need to observe tight timing, similar to fighting game mechanics like parries or “Just Guard”. Instead, your cooldowns will have additional benefits. The hope is adding these will reward technical play and the proper use of your cooldowns.
The next change involves your weaponskill combos. Ranged attacks will no longer break your combos. This means you can get through the first two attacks of a combo, drop into range because of a boss area-of-effect (AOE) attack, and then continued your combo in melee range again. This applies to melee DPS as well. The dev team found that players would sometimes stop attacking to preserve their combos, and they wanted to fix that problem.
All these changes come on top of the general change to every job in FFXIV. Square Enix is adjusting many abilities so that recast timers will fall on 60 or 120 second intervals. This change is being made for end-game raiding and allows for a more consistent tempo across all jobs.
What follows are the job-specific changes:
The team feels like Paladin is in a pretty good place as of Shadowbringers, so there aren’t a ton of changes here. Yoshida said that they don’t want players to be “brain dead” while doing the rotation.
- Requiescat currently increases in potency as your MP decreases. That will no longer be the case in Patch 6.0.
- A new three-attack combo will be added, with Confiteor as the beginning of the combo.
- Intervene, the gap closer skill, now has an increased distance of 20 yalms, up from 15.
The fixes here are rather small, improving damage buffs in AOE situations and smoothing out buff upkeep.
- Warrior damage buffs can now be triggered and continued by a Warrior’s AOE combos. This includes Storm’s Eye.
- Onslaught and Upheaval no longer drain the Beast Gauge upon use.
- Onslaught now has three charges, enabling the Warrior to get around the battlefield more.
- There will be a new action added that will become available when you execute Inner Release.
- Nascent Flash will also help while off-tanking.
Dark Knight (DRK)
There are some more substantial changes here, but no big class overhauls. Square Enix feels the Dark Knight rotation is already clean and straightforward.
- Salted Earth is no longer a placed ability. Instead, activating it will affect the area immediately around the Dark Knight.
- Living Shadow will be getting a brand-new action when you acquire a new job ability during Endwalker leveling.
- Delirium recast has been adjusted to 60 secs.
- Plunge is like the Paladin’s Intervene, has seen its distance increased up to 20 yalms.
- There is a new action that will be a single-target defense buff.
The changes to this job are mostly about cleaning up your hotbars a bit.
- Savage Claw and Wicker Talon will replace Gnashing Fang automatically in your hotbar, thus saving space. Your cartridge combo that begins with Gnashing Fang is single button, changing for subsequent attacks.
- You will be able to use Continuation following a Burst Strike.
- There will be a new trait that will raise your maximum amount of cartridges to three.
- Rough Divide, the Gunbreaker gap closer, will see its range increase to 20 yalms, like Intervene and Plunge.
If you want more details on what’s new with Square Enix’s excellent online adventure, be sure to check out all our FFXIV coverage. The Endwalker expansion is set to launch for PS4, PS5, and PC on November 19 for those who get the preorder early access and November 23 for everyone else.
If you’re interested in seeing the other job role changes outlined in the “Live Letter from the Producer”, you can find them right here!