Tag Archives: FFXIV

On Bug Repellant

Blaugust Post #28

I didn’t think this was going to happen at the start of this year, but this weekend I find myself in Seattle, attending PAX Prime with Tamrielo and Kodra. I’ve previously been to East (twice) and South, but this is my first time coming to the original venue. It’s also my first time attending any event where there’s been a Final Fantasy 14 Battle Challenge. The enemy for this event is Ravana, normally encountered as part of the Heavensward storyline at level 53. This one’s been scaled up a bit to be an appropriate challenge for level 60 characters.


We met up with another member of our free company, which meant we had 4 people familiar with the fight. Joining us were 3 people who had never played Final Fantasy 14 before, and one who did play, but was not high enough level to have seen the fight. We got through the slaughter phases pretty well, but we had some issues with the defensive phases.

I Beat Ravana

In the end though, we emerged victorious. It was actually kind of satisfying helping people who hadn’t seen it before get through, and we got nice new shirts out of the deal.

On Dancing

Blaugust Post #10

Last night, our Monday raid beat up Bismarck (Extreme). It helped a lot to have Belghast, who cleared it with the Wednesday group last week, but it was still the first kill for 5 of us. Bismarck is one long DPS check, but more than that it’s the kind of “controlled chaos” fight that the Monday group excels at with AOEs flying everywhere and weather changes that have to be reacted to appropriately. Clearing this fight opens up our way to Thok ast Thok (Extreme) and the hardest current encounter in the game outside of Alexander (Savage).



As suits his music, Ravana asks you to dance. It’s the kind of intensely structured encounter where you need to know what’s coming, as reacting to it is generally not going to be fast enough; it’s kind of like Titan in this sense. In addition to his normal abilities, Ravana has a series of attacks called “Liberations” (Prelude to Liberation, Liberation, Swift Liberation, and Final Liberation). Each of these is a 15 second cast (he takes bonus damage while using these) that ends with a very choreographed attack pattern. These vary in difficulty from “You remember Ifrit EX, right?” to “What madman came up with this nonsense?”.

Fortunately, all is not lost, and Someone came up with these simple animations to show one way of dealing with what’s going on. I love it when players do awesome things like this, because trying to explain Final Liberation in just text requires a lot longer than the 54 seconds of this video. Understanding how and why it works that way isn’t really something you can get from the video, so there are some drawbacks there too.

On Giant Steps

It’s not exactly a secret that the most recent Trial in Final Fantasy 14, Steps of Faith, isn’t exactly popular. I think it would be a lie to say that this is because it requires coordination or punishes mistakes harshly, because there are actually a lot of trials (even ones required for the story) that do this, like Shiva or Ultros. Today’s patch, 2.57, brings some changes, mostly by reducing the damage that a lot of the hazards do and reducing the health of most enemies (including the main enemy, Vishap), which should make it a bit easier to finish the trial before you fail. What it doesn’t change is why I dislike the trial in the first place:

Even if you know you’ve failed, there’s no way to start over until all of the events “finish”.

Vishap Wins

Super Meat Boy Philosophy

If you’re not familiar with the platformer Super Meat Boy, it’s a game that’s filled with spikes and saws and missiles and other things that will kill you, and asks you to get to the goal as fast as possible without dying. You die in one hit, so it’s a pretty hard game. The thing that makes it playable at all is that there’s maybe two seconds between dying and restarting a level. (I mentioned this in the Darkest Dungeon podcast). As a result failure isn’t that big of a deal, because before you even have time to think about it you’re starting again.

Steps of Faith is not like that. It’s the only trial that doesn’t end if your entire group is dead, it has its own unique failure condition when the dragon makes it all the way to the end of the bridge. In addition, if you miss certain things (like the giant harpoons), your chances of victory are very low, and you still have to let the entire sequence play out. This results in the time it takes for a successful run to be comparable to the duration of the duty finder lockout for leaving (30 minutes), so people frequently leave when they get it via roulette. (I haven’t seen a case this bad since Oculus, which WoW eventually started bribing players into doing.)

meat boy

Looking Forward

I don’t know if the nerfs are going to help this, but that’s really just a matter of magnitude. They may have reduced Vishap’s health to the point where you can beat on him the whole time and still win. I personally think the only required change would have been allowing the fight to reset if all party members were dead (or some other way to reset the fight). It’s a new day, and we have people in the Free Company approaching this fight again, so I suppose we’ll see in the future.

Vishap Loses

On Sword Oath

I’m already forgetting the lessons of Blaugust. I might be a bit busier than I was then, but I should keep in mind that I don’t need to write an entire book every time I hit post. With that in mind, here are a few things that came up this past week in FFXIV. While the game balance at 50 is generally somewhere between “good” and “excellent”, there are a few periods where skill order makes no sense whatsoever. Lancers, for example, do the most DPS between the levels of 12-25 by spamming Impulse Drive, and ignoring the 2-step combo that they have. The Black mage rotation doesn’t really make sense until you have both Fire III and Blizzard III, which isn’t until 38. But the worst case of this in my opinion is the Paladin.

Skill Order

When you get your Job Stone as a warrior, the skill you get at Level 30 is Defiance. It improves your survivability, helps you hold threat, and allows you to build stacks that you can’t spend for five more levels. Paladins instead get Sword Oath, which increases the auto-attack damage you do (admittedly by a decent amount). The skill they get that increases their threat and survivability (Shield Oath) is withheld until level 40. The level 35 skill is Cover, which does not assist in threat or survivability. This wouldn’t be such a big problem, except that dungeons at this point start getting quite a bit more challenging (Brayflox’s Longstop and The Sunken Temple of Qarn are a giant wake-up call) and all DPS jobs get a massive stat boost from their job stones (and some of them also get important damage skills at 30). Unfortunately, this means that Paladins are at a rather large disadvantage, and I know from enough times healing and tanking Brayflox that it isn’t just player perception.

Sword Oath

Problem Resolution

All is not lost: Paladins are perfectly capable of doing the content in this level range, it just takes a bit more work. It comes down to two things, really: Cooldowns and Target Switching.

Paladins are blessed with an entire suite of damage reduction cooldowns, and they can even steal the Warrior’s best one at that level range. In addition, the pace of combat in FFXIV is such that you can use something with a cooldown of 90 seconds about every other fight if you want. My first instinct when I was playing was to save cooldowns for emergencies, but you will get some more suited to this purpose later. Things like Convalescence, Foresight, and Rampart are nice to use whenever they make the healer’s life easier. Making their life easier then makes your life easier.

This one was a bit unintuitive to me at first too, but it’s useful and nearly required in the 30s. The only Paladin Combo that matters 95% of the time (Fast Blade->Savage Blade->Rage of Halone) has a threat modifier on the second hit, and a larger threat modifier on the third hit. It can be extremely helpful when tanking multiple things to land the second or third hit on something that isn’t your primary target, because Flash starts to not be enough in some cases. (These cases are named Summoner and Black Mage) On the other hand, if you have a strong single-target DPS in the party (Monk, Dragoon, Ninja) you might lose aggro on the primary target if you switch, so know when not to. If your party contains a Summoner and a Dragoon, mark targets and hope.

I'm not proud.
I’m not proud.

At the end of the tunnel

At level 40, you finally get Shield Oath (and will forget to use it roughly once a day for the rest of your time playing this class). At 38, you get Sentinel, a cooldown actually worth saving for emergencies (which is why it’s not in my macro). The dark days of the 30s don’t last forever, and once you get through them you’ll (hopefully) know how to be a better tank with lessons that once again apply once you have to deal with the class that can cast Flare. Have fun!

On Saving Time

At this point I’m not sure where I first heard it, but I find when it comes to dungeons in Final Fantasy 14, the following is quite true:

Nothing wastes more time than people trying to save time.

So to my tank in Aurum Vale this past week, this one’s dedicated to you. It’s a bit of a rant, so sorry ahead of time for that.

Slow Down

The nature of some of the high level content in FF14 means that you may end up doing some dungeons rather often, especially if you decide to continue the relic quest past the atma stage (I don’t recommend this if all you care about is having a good weapon). Sometimes this makes people a bit impatient. Recently I’ve noticed a trend in doing nonstandard things in an attempt to “save time” and finish the instance faster, particularly on the part of tanks. Strategies for this range from reasonable (pulling more things than intended), to ridiculous (ignore all mechanics and hope for the best), to mildly exploitative (skip pulls by sending someone, usually the tank, on a suicide run). The only reason I call that last one mildly exploitative is because Square Enix seems to have reduced or eliminated the ability to do this in some of the older instances, and designs most current instances to make it impossible.

The thing is, there are very few things that slow a run down more than a wipe, and some of these things lead to that very scenario. If your entire party isn’t on-board, a suicide run is a disaster waiting to happen (I’ve even seen this go bad in the first turn of Binding Coil). Speedpulling is well and fine, unless your healer isn’t aware of what it takes to keep up with such high damage on the tank (or worse, isn’t aware that they need to hold off on heals until things have some amount of aggro and get instantly murdered). As far as ignoring mechanics goes, almost all cases where this is viable require high DPS, and sometimes people try without being aware that it’s an issue. A wipe in the last phase of Howling Eye (Hard) takes a lot longer than simply killing the adds would have, and I encountered this when going for my Scholar relic recently. Other notable examples include the Bone Dragon and King Behemoth in Labyrinth of the Ancients.

Communication is Key

The most important thing is that your entire group is prepared and willing to go along with whatever you’re doing. If someone says that they’re not familiar with a particular instance, or doesn’t feel confident in their ability to do a speed run, don’t try it anyway. If your party’s DPS is a pair of dragoons, you’re not really saving time by pulling more things at a time. On the other hand, if you have a Bard and a Black Mage feel free to pull as many things as you can without giving your healer a heart attack. If you’re in an instance below level 50, it’s important to keep in mind that some classes are missing relatively important tools (Flare, Perfect Balance, and Medica II come to mind immediately) and if you’re in an instance low enough there are some classes that don’t have any AOE abilities at all (Monks get their only worthwhile one at 30, Summoners get vastly improved AOE ability at 30, Dragoons get their first at 42 and a better one at 46).

The one that really gets me is ignoring mechanics without warning the party, particularly when this requires healers to kite or tank something they were previously unaware of. I first encountered the “screw the healer” strategy in Cutter’s Cry, and I’ve since seen it in Copperbell Mines and a few other places. It also tends to be the go-to in the Crystal Tower instances, even though there are somewhere between 2-5 tanks who don’t really have anything better to do who could be picking up adds instead of fighting for aggro on a miniboss. (Mini-rant: If you’re a tank, and you’re in one of the 24-man instances without a real job, please don’t fight whoever’s tanking a boss for aggro. In fact, turn on Sword Oath/turn off Defiance, and you will help more by doing damage than you would by spinning the boss. The exception here is when there are adds that need to be handled, most notably on Glasya and Amon, but you can switch your tank stance on when you get there if you’re paying enough attention.) If your healer doesn’t know what they have to do, they’ll die, and you’ll wipe, and have to do the whole thing over again. There are many more examples of this, like not killing the pillars in the last boss of Qarn, or ignoring the Iron Giant in Labyrinth. More uptime on the boss doesn’t speed things along if it causes a wipe.

It’s the little things

THAT SAID, there are some genuine ways to save time in instances that don’t endanger the group. For DPS classes, the biggest one of these is knowing your own class. If you are a bard, and you don’t anticipate the need for TP or MP regen, Foe Requiem increases the damage of your dots and Flaming Arrow even if there are no magical DPS in the party. (It also pulls from a very long distance, so be careful with it.) For Monks, Perfect Balance can be used to get a lot of AOE damage out of spamming Rockbreaker. For Black Mages, Blizzard III and Fire III replace Transpose entirely (unless you mess up).

Another thing that can help as a healer is casting damage spells. In particular, Holy is one of the game’s best AOEs, and the associated stun helps to reduce incoming damage on the tank. For Scholars, Shadowflare is also very good and causes a slow on everything standing in it, again reducing incoming damage. Provided you keep an eye on MP (Holy is very expensive) and don’t neglect normal healing duties, a bit of healer DPS can go a long way.

If someone’s new, an explanation ahead of time is better than a wipe later. It’s ok to suggest other things, but make sure everyone’s prepared and willing to go along with whatever strategy you’re using. Otherwise you’re just wasting time.

On Repeatability

This is an expansion of some of my thoughts from the Podcast this past week, specifically regarding raiding in FFXIV. At this point I’m raiding one night a week, and would consider myself fairly casual, but the group I’m raiding with is awesome. After struggling with it for a few weeks, we cleared Turn 5 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut in mid-December. I’ve since cleared it 3 more times, twice with the same group and once with another group from our server. Some spoilers for the fight follow, so if you want to go into it blind, you should stop reading. (Also, don’t go into it blind. It’s a long fight with lots of moving parts, there’s plenty to learn even if you know what to expect.)

Because Reasons

One of the things that distinguishes our raid group from many others is our continued tendency to ask why certain elements of strategies exist. When learning Turn 2, we experimented with killing different nodes to see what the options for clearing to ADS actually are. Killing a node removes that ability from ADS, but adds a buff. Rot passing is required (if you’re doing the fight traditionally) because killing the Quarantine Node (which grants ADS the Allagan Rot ability) grants an overwhelming haste buff which makes the fight unhealable. As a result of this asking why, we’ve gained a pretty good understanding of a decent number of mechanics in Turn 5.

There are an amazing number of mechanics that instantly kill you in this one, which is probably a part of why it takes so much to learn. The following things will kill you with no save if not handled properly:

  • Conflagration (Phase 2)
  • The wall of the arena (All phases, most relevant in Phase 3)
  • Twintania’s big attack (end of Phase 3)
  • Twister (Phase 4)
  • Dreadknight (Phase 4)
  • Hatch (Phase 5)

The only randomness in almost all of these is who is targeted, and almost all strategies aim to reduce or eliminate the effect of random chance in this. Regardless of who gets conflag, they always move to the same place. The “Divebomb dance” if done correctly allows everyone to dodge no matter who is targeted. (It has the added benefit of allowing people who don’t dodge well to not get flung into the wall.) You can’t tell who Twisters pick, so everyone moves. The threat of the dreadknight is reduced if no one (except the tank) is near the middle. Hatch can be completely eliminated as a threat if the off-tank takes every one in the final neurolink.

Perfect Practice

As a direct result of this, the ability for the fight to screw you via RNG is fairly low, and I’ve observed this for most of the fights I’ve done so far. Fights can be practiced, mistakes can be identified, and eventually, victory can be achieved. Even things that seem like they could be random (Titan jails 2 people) aren’t as random as they look (Titan always jails a healer and a DPS) and can be planned for. Some mistakes are more forgiving than in certain other games because all healers (and also summoners) can raise during battle.

At the same time, the required amount of personal responsibility for all players is far higher than many other games. Part of this is the 8-person group size for “hard” content, which means the loss of even one player means you just lost ~25% of the group’s DPS and might not make a DPS check because of it. Some fights (Titan, Leviathan, I’m looking at you) don’t allow for the element of recovery I mentioned earlier, because once you’re knocked off of the platform, you’re dead until the next attempt. I feel like these mostly balance each other out; random personal responsibility feels unfair (See: Teron Gorefiend in WoW’s Black Temple), but it doesn’t feel quite so bad here. Because fights really do play out the same way almost every time, it’s possible to reliably get farther with each attempt, and that’s something I didn’t feel like was always true in my previous raiding experience. Maybe my group really is just that awesome.

On Tank Training

As those of you who pay attention on Twitter may have noted, I’ve been having some issues with the state of tanks in low-level instances in Fina Fantasy 14 lately. While I level my complaints directly at Riot Blade (and Gladiators in particular) that’s not really the core of the issue. MMOs are bad at teaching you how to play them, and for a role like a tank, that’s A Problem. Rather than continue to berate anonymous Gladiators for not knowing better, I’d just like to clear up a few things. While this post focuses on Gladiators/Paladins, some of it is also applicable to Marauders/Warriors as well. For a few reasons (*cough*) marauders tend not to have the same problems at low levels.

Maintaining Threat

While I’m not going to claim that it’s always easy (it’s not), tanking in FF14 isn’t terribly complicated. Your job in any given pull is to keep all of the enemies attacking you until all of them are dead, and also doing the best you can to keep yourself alive while doing this.The second part could be its own post, so I’ll stick to explaining the first. FF14, like many other MMOs at this point, uses a threat system (usually referred to in-game as “enmity”) to determine what enemies attack (most of the time). Tanks have abilities that are very good at generating threat, and using these liberally is one of the keys to being successful. To track you you’re doing, the party list and the enemy list both have different ways to display your current threat.

First, the enemy list tracks your threat status on all enemies, with green for low threat, yellow for medium, orange for high, flashing orange for a last chance warning, and red for when something has enough threat to attack you (aggro). (These are also all different shapes so they can be differentiated even with color blindness.) Tanks should strive to keep this as red as possible. The party list tracks who in your party has the most threat on your current target. Because the enemy list unfortunately doesn’t have a color for “about to lose aggro”, this is the only real way to see when someone else is getting dangerously high on threat. it can be helpful (especially if you have a Summoner or Black Mage in your party) to tab between enemies and see if any of them are doing unfortunate things.

party list enemy list

Why Riot Blade is a Trap

For Gladiators, the abilities that do bonus threat are (in the order you get them) Savage Blade, Flash, Shield Lob, Rage of Halone, and Circle of Scorn. That last one only comes in at 50 and isn’t really relevant to this discussion. The problem lies between the levels of 12 and 26, where you have access to Riot Blade but not Rage of Halone. This means that for damage, the ideal combo is Fast Blade->Riot Blade, and out in the world this is perfectly fine. However, Riot Blade wasn’t on that list I mentioned earlier, so in dungeons you’ll lose threat to the classes that do more damage than you (which is to say all of them) if you use that combo exclusively. Fast Blade->Savage Blade amplifies the bonus threat on savage Blade, and keeps things where they should be: attacking you. Riot Blade does have a use, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Riot Blade

Provoke and You

Provoke is a Gladiator ability earned at Level 22, and currently holds the spot of “most required cross-class skill in the game” for Warriors. (If you are playing a Warrior and you do not have this skill cross-classed, get those extra few levels of Gladiator right now.) It’s the game’s only true taunt, so it’s essential for tank swaps, and it can be helpful when you lose aggro on a particular enemy. However, Provoke works by giving you threat equal to whoever the current highest threat person is, plus one point. This means that unless you immediately take some other threat-causing action, you’ll lose the target immediately. It also means that if you pull with provoke, you have exactly one point of threat and any action taken by anyone else will pull off of you. Shield Lob does have bonus threat attached, and should be used for pulling whenever possible.*

*There are edge cases where provoke’s longer range allows it to be useful for pulling, usually to grab a patrolling enemy.


Savior of the Universe

Flash is essential for Gladiator tanking. It does no damage, but a lot of threat to all enemies near you; I guess they don’t like light shining in their eyes or something. The range is just barely longer than melee range, so don’t use it expecting to hit enemies halfway across the room (and if you use it running in you’ll probably hit nothing). Flash is your only tool to build threat on multiple enemies simultaneously between when you get it at level 8 and when you get Circle of Scorn at level 50. Even if you use high-threat attacks on your primary target, not using Flash will result in everything else running to murder your healer as soon as they heal you once. Using it once is frequently not enough, either. How many times you should use it and how frequently varies depending on your personal gear, how many enemies there are, how long they’re likely to live, and if anyone in your party is using AOE attacks (attacks that hit multiple targets). Belghast’s recommendation from today’s post is generally a good one: Pull with Shield Lob, Flash twice once things are near you, and Savage Blade combo until dead.

Since Flash does eat a decent chunk of your MP bar, the only acceptable use of Riot Blade in dungeons is to earn back the MP to use Flash more. It can be useful, particularly if you have DPS that are level synced from 50, to tank by spamming just Flash until you are out of MP and using the Riot Blade combo only when you can’t use Flash.


Adventurer in Need

There are some additional nuances, but what’s here is enough to carry you through until you hit 50, provided you also remember not to stand in glowing red things. I hope this helps beginning Gladiators; If you are one of them and you’re in the low-level queue, I thank you for making the queue shorter for the rest of us.

On Au Ra

The new race for Final Fantasy 14 has finally been announced. I’m personally choosing to treat this as FF14’s personal birthday gift to me, even though the timing is a bit off. The phrase “Don’t stop pretending you’re a dragon” (from the PS4 Conference abridged) has gotten a lot of use within our circle, and now FF14 is giving me another way to pretend.

au ra

Missing Something

I was torn on what race to initially play when we started playing FF14. I really liked the Galka in FF11, and my legacy character in FF14 was a Roegadyn. I initially passed on Roegadyn because male Miqo’te were added in 2.0, and unlike Galka, Roegadyn do not have tails. Turns out that’s important to me, as I used a Fantasia to change to Roegadyn last year, and changed back when I felt that I just liked my character less that way. I tend to like the big races however (I played mostly Tauren and Draenei in WoW) and as the second-shortest race Miqo’te are certainly not that.

Roegadyn Ash
One of the very few shots of Ash as a Roegadyn

Scales & Claws

The Au Ra appear to be almost exactly what I wanted. They’re dragon-people, with horns and tails and claws and scales, but with a basically human facial structure. That last part is probably important because of how much FF14 likes to use and abuse the fact that your character is a silent protagonist; it allows the player characters to remain expressive in recognizable ways. I’ve always taken a liking to the less-human race options in most games, because being a human is boring. The nature of the Final Fantasy 14 world means that actual non-humans aren’t likely to be an option soon or ever, but I’ll take what I can get. In addition to the horns and tails, Au Ra are a bit unusual in that they display more sexual dimorphism than the current races. I’m not sure this was entirely necessary (Female Roegadyn seem to be fairly well received), but I guess it might be a bit late to take back Yugiri’s appearance.


I find it somewhat interesting that character re-customization is just cheap enough that it’s a semi-common occurrence, but not cheap enough that people do it all the time. Also, after being subscribed for a month, you get one free Fantasia (which lets you change everything about your character except the name). Any additional ones are $10, with a bulk discount if you feel you really need that sort of thing. This is reasonable to me, and priced competitively with other games. (For reference, changes like this in WoW cost $15 if you don’t change races and $25 if you do, but a name change is included. Square charges an additional $10 for that, which is the same as a rename by itself costs in WoW.) When Heavensward comes out there are likely to be screenshots of Ash the Au Ra, and I’m looking forward to it.

On Jumping Good

The developers of Final Fantasy 14 have been very slow to make balance changes. The last patch to make major balance changes before last week was in December of last year, with major Warrior buffs, Summoner nerfs, and quality of life improvements for just about everyone. With Ninjas coming in with patch 2.4, it became clear that there were some balance issues between them and the existing melee DPS Jobs. As I’ve mentioned earlier, Dragoons had a few issues with positional requirements and magic defense that Ninjas and Monks did not share. I expected the patch to address these, and maybe nerf Ninjas a bit. (Ninjas were balanced on the assumption that Ninjutsu is hard, and it sort of isn’t. More on that later.)

What actually happened was beyond the wildest dreams of every Dragoon player I know. Buffs were received in multiple places, addressing both survivability and damage. The required math to figure out where they ended up in relation to the other classes is beyond me, but I have my suspicions.

Potency ↑

A few abilities got flat damage increases. Full Thrust went up by 30 potency (and so Life Surge -> Full Thrust became better burst). Both dots (Phlebotomize and Chaos Thrust) went up by 5 potency per tick (for a total of 30 and 50). The direct damage portion of Chaos Thrust also went up by 50 when used from behind; I’m pretty sure at 600 total that’s the highest displayed potency on any single target ability across all classes.

Impulse Drive didn’t get a potency increase, but now has full potency from all sides of the enemy (which incidentally means that it’s the only offensive ability you should use other than heavy thrust before Level 26). To go along with this, the positional requirements on all combo steps have been essentially eliminated (Heavy Thrust and Chaos Thrust still do more damage from the side/rear), and combos can no longer be “missed” by positioning incorrectly.

Cooldown ↓

The Dragoon’s signature Jump ability had its cooldown reduced from 40 seconds to 30 seconds. In addition to the straight damage increase this represents, it also allows it to line up nicely with Power Surge. Life Surge’s cooldown also decreased.

As a related note, I personally think that the way Ninjutsu’s 20 second cooldown aligns nicely with the ninja’s ability set is why that class was not as hard to play as anticipated. A 1-minute long rotation of Huton, Suiton, and Raiton overlays over the “standard” rogue rotation in a mostly predictable way.

Survivability ↑

The most important change in this patch for Dragoon survivability is that the magic defense on their armor increased to be equal to the amount on comparable Ninja/Monk armor. This change alone means a lot for survivability in boss fights, and it allowed us to use Dragoons as fireball soaks in T5 this past week. In addition, the cooldown that melee like to use at the worst times, Blood for Blood, had the damage taken component reduced for Dragoons only. (Monks and Ninjas can continue to kill themselves with it.) Combined, these might mean that Dragoons survive the boss AOE they’ll inevitably get hit with.

The End of loldrg?

Dragoon is still the melee that is perceived as being the easiest to play, and playing either of the other two optimally requires running it up to 34 anyway (for the aforementioned Blood for Blood). Because of this, there are a lot of potential dragoons, and some of them are still… unfortunate. The past two weeks have taught me that while good dragoon players are amazing, bad dragoon players are still bad, and no amount of patching is likely to fix that.

Maybe next game, guys.

On Speculation

First things first, this post is inspired by Bel’s post this morning, and conversations we’ve previously had. I might be the friend he mentions who would drop everything for Blue Mage. With the announcement that Dark Knight is going to look more like the version from FFX-2 than the version from FF11, the doors are open for wild speculation on the other jobs. I have a few ideas of my own, but we’ll start with one already covered.


In my opinion, this is a natural fit for a DPS job to go with the already-existing Marauder class. Marauders have almost everything needed to be a functional DPS class already. They have a long-duration DoT (although the potency is laughable), a slashing resistance debuff and a large DPS cooldown (which is even called “Berserk”) the only thing it lacks that the other melee DPS in the game have (including Ninja) is some form of gap closer, and all of these so far are Job abilities anyway. They’d likely have to give up the defenses of heavy armor in trade for proper DPS stats.

One of the reasons I think this would fit well is because the Warrior quests are all about not letting your rage overwhelm you, and gaining control over it. Berserker quests could provide an interesting counterpoint, displaying the power of what happens if you just let it all out. There are no actual hints of anything like this, so it’s just based on my wild speculation, but I’d like to see it.


There is already at least one NPC who is a master of illusion and strikes with cards. I don’t think a class focusing on such would be unreasonable, although this game doesn’t really need more DPS classes right now. With the Gold Saucer on the way, I think it would be nice to have a class using the traditional dice/cards/slots to do damage to enemies. It’s probably better for everyone involved if the number of negative effects associated with such a class were kept to a minimum, but purely positive things could still work (like Wakka’s attack reels, or Setzer’s dice).

To go along with this is the card-using trickster class from FF Tactics A2. This one lacked the random abilities, and had status abilities instead. They also had an abilities that did increased damage based on the number of statuses, similar to the ability Fester that summoners currently have. Since most of what this job did went to arcanists, it might not get reused.

Red Mage/Mystic Knight

One of the skills that I noticed early on that enemies use, but players can’t use in any way, it the en-[element] spells (like Enaero or Enthunder). These usually go to some sort of mystic knight class,but in FF11 they mostly went to the Red Mage along with a large assortment of other buffs and debuffs. Interestingly, I think this class would best fit into FF14 as a tank. Powerful defensive buffs could make up for potentially lighter armor, and weapon enchants could be switched around depending on situation, possibly for AOE, or increased survival, or other purposes.

Gun Mage

“But Ashgar, Gun Mage isn’t even a Final Fantasy class!” First, that’s incorrect. Second, as that game’s version of the Blue Mage, this would make me happy forever. As far as gun classes go, this one seems quite unlikely. Yoshi-P said that the gun class would be something that people didn’t expect (which immediately made people expect that it would be a healer), but I’m holding out hope for this.

I can dream, right?