The latest Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter from the Producer has just hit, and it contained a full six hours of Endwalker-related livestream-y goodness. I’ve done my best to condense those six hours into this ridiculous mega-post.
The main focus of the Live Letter was on job actions — or, to put it another way, on how the existing jobs/classes are changing when they move into Endwalker. We also got a bit more of an overview on exactly how the new Reaper and Sage jobs will function, and I’m afraid those are deep in this barely-intelligible mess wall of text, too.
A few quick caveats, though. First, I have yet to hit maximum level in every single job in Final Fantasy XIV, and even then I haven’t played some of my 80 jobs in a while. As such, there are plenty of jobs where I can’t go into too much detail or give too many thoughts, or I might muck up and make some mistakes. Bear with me, and feel free to guess which jobs I can’t remember. Second, the Live Letter was in Japanese with a live translation, and live translation is obviously a bit finicky so there may be some inaccuracies or unclear aspects. Don’t take all of this as absolute gospel, basically. And third, this is all subject to change, and it isn’t a load of full patch notes or anything. It’s pretty much a series of examples and short descriptions of some changes being made.
Endwalker job actions trailer and housekeeping
First things first, we should probably look at the trailer. The 20 minutes(!) of footage below show off a variety of combos and abilities from every single combat job in the game. It’s all presented without context, so it’s mostly for two things: so that you can look at the jobs you play and go “Oh, hey, that’s new”, and so that you can look at all of the jobs and go “Ooh, pretty lights.”
We also need to talk about some of the general changes that are being made. As has previously been stated, numbers are being flattened across the board to prevent bloat. HP is decreasing, but so too is damage. So while numbers may appear smaller, the rough “effect” is basically the same.
Another change being made is that the physical damage formulas and magical damage formulas are being equalised. This is technical and involves numbers, so I’m not going to try too hard here because I am very stupid. From what I can gather, the way damage is currently calculated is a holdover from Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 — you know, the one we don’t talk about. Effectively, the formulas meant that magical damage had a higher “base” value. These formulas are now being adjusted and brought in line. However! That would mean that physical damage would do more damage, so physical attack Potency (the number you actually see on the tooltip for any given attack) will be reduced. So don’t panic that your attacks have a lower Potency: they’re still as effective as they were before; it’s just that the actual calculations involving them have changed.
One more change, quickly: the recast times of primary abilities are mostly being brought in line to be either 60 seconds or 120 seconds. That isn’t true for everything (Leylines will still be 90 seconds), but it’s an attempt to streamline and smooth things out a little, and require a bit less of a mental gear shift when you switch from one job to another. It’s not so much to homogenize the jobs, but to make sure they have a similar tempo.
All of this said, most of the changes being made to jobs are in line with Shadowbringers. The team is apparently pretty happy with the way combat and jobs currently work, so we’re not going back to the chaotic days of the 3.x series. Aside from the current system being a happy middle ground between complexity and simplicity that most people seem to like, this is also because the earlier iterations were both harder to balance and made creating balanced content more of a challenge. Take that as you will.
Right. Let’s talk specific roles and jobs. First up, the tanks.
As a general update, all tank jobs will get “greater benefits” from using their defensive buffs at “optimal times”. That is to say, you won’t just be using your defensive cooldowns to protect against a tankbuster. Using your defensive abilities in conjunction with other abilities will give a short extra benefit, and add a more technical aspect to the defensive buffs. Which is a lot of words and very few details.
The one example given was that before you might see an ability being cast, and you’d hit your defensive ability to mitigate damage. Standard tankbuster defense. Now, these extra effects mean you’re doing a bit more with this; there might be, say, a defense buff that applies to both yourself and a party member, which should also give off-tanks a bit more to do.
Also (and this goes for melee DPS as well, so I’ll repeat it in that section), ranged attacks will no longer break your melee combos. If a boss starts up an AoE and you need to move away from it, you can now just throw out your ranged attack to keep doing something instead of going “Well, I’m about to do my combo finisher and I don’t want to waste that, so I’ll stand here and do nothing.” Should make it easier for tanks to pull additional mobs that spawn without breaking their combo, too.
A few changes were mentioned for the stalwart Paladin, the face of Endwalker. The two in the slideshow above are a rather nice QoL change, as well as a new combo, but both of those are focused on the “magic” side of the Paladin. The other is a minor adjustment.
First, Requiescat no longer cares about how much MP you have remaining, so you can use that whenever it’s convenient. Second, Confiteor will get a three-attack combo, which is apparently shown in the job action trailer. I’m guessing that’s the one with the gigantic swords bursting from the sky. Third, Intervene (the ability you use to dash to targets) now has a slightly greater range: you can now jump in from 20 yalms instead of 15.
Paladin is just a straight evolution, basically. While you’ll still have some new bits to adjust to, the job isn’t changing too much.
A bit more to sink your teeth into here, which seems fitting for the more bestial Warrior. AoE tanking is going to get a touch easier for the Warriors, as AoE combos now actually give you (and extend) your damage up buffs, so no more inserting a Storm’s Eye combo to buff yourself. As with Paladin, a nice QoL change. Speaking of QoL changes, Onslaught and Upheaval will no longer drain your Beast Gauge, which is nice. I honestly don’t know why Onslaught ever did, but hey. In any case, that’ll now have three charges, and will allow for a lot of mobility, especially with “the new action that stems from it”. Not sure if that’s the action mentioned directly below, or something else. And, while this bit of the livestream was a bit confused, it sounds like Nascent Flash will also have a similar change.
That aside, Warriors will get a new action after using Inner Release, and Inner Release will have its recast time adjusted from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
My beloved edgy boys and girls aren’t changing much. Delirium’s recast time is being adjusted to 60 seconds, so once again there’s an increase in frequency there, but the team is happy with most of the combos and rotations so no major shifts here. As with Paladin’s Intervene, Plunge will be extended to a 20 yalm range, and Dark Knights will get another single-target defense buff that isn’t The Blackest Night.
Salted Earth is now just a PBAoE instead of being a ground-target ability, and it’ll make a new action available. I’m pondering if that new action might be a detonation of sorts, but we’ll find out before long. Apparently, Yoshi-P got the point of setting up a macro to just place Salted Earth where he was standing, so… yeah, this change makes sense, because most everyone either did that or had it cast at target anyway. There aren’t many occasions where any tank would want an ability that does damage over time in an area to be far away from them, since… well, the tank wants enemies to be next to them, punching them in the face. I can think of a few situations, but not many.
Secondly, your simulacrum from Living Shadow will get a new action. So hey, our Living Shadow is levelling up too!
First up for those players who wish they were in Balamb Garden, you’ll have three cartridges available, and the gap-closing Rough Divide will now be a 20 yalm range.
Right, onto the confusing stuff. When you start up a combo with Gnashing Fang, that ability will actually be replaced on your hotbar with Savage Claw, and then after using that, it’ll be replaced with Wicked Talon. It effectively turns the Gnashing Fang combo into a one-button combo and saves some hotbar space, which is a change I’m pretty much always in favour of. If you insert any other actions in between, it sounds like the combo will remain where it was. Similarly, Continuation can be used after Burst Strike.
(I’m going to be honest: I don’t play Gunbreaker — yet — and that “inserting other actions in between” bit may also have been referring to Continuation, as Yoshi-P said the English word “Continuation”, and the exact quote from the translator was “will continue to be continued” which could well have been a pun.)
Either way, with more cartridges available and more maximum stacks, Yoshi-P reckons there’ll be an element of strategy involved in deciding if you want to rush in and use up all your cartridges at once or hang onto them.
Whew. Tanks done. Only… oh good grief. There are so many jobs to go, and we haven’t touched on any of the jobs getting big changes yet.
So, first things first: as mentioned above, ranged attacks will no longer break your melee combos, so feel free to use Piercing Talon or Enpi or whatever, whenever you like. Also as mentioned above, your Potency numbers will seem lower, but that’s just down to the formulas changing: the actual damage will still be in line with what it was before.
As for stuff that’s actually specific to melee DPS? Feint will no longer reduce Strength and Dexterity, but will just flat-out reduce both physical and magical damage dealt. That said, physical damage reduction will be more potent. As with so many things, it’s a nice QoL change.
No huge Endwalker job changes for our favorite floor tanks. The biggest adjustment is probably that Blood of the Dragon will now be a trait rather than an ability, which I quite like (one less upkeep to worry about!) although I’ll miss the big blue glow. Any actions that needed Blood of the Dragon will, as such, be available at all times.
Dragoons will be getting an expanded AoE rotation, and a new action on completing a particular combo rotation. It sounds like this might just be a flat upgrade that’ll replace an existing ability, though, rather than an extra button to push. Oh, and Spineshatter Dive will have two charges now, so you’ve got a bit more mobility.
Finally, in line with the 60/120 second recast changes, Lance Charge will now have a recast time of 60 seconds and Battle Litany will have a recast time of 120 seconds.
Ah, the Monk. I could be wrong, but off-hand, I can’t think of a job that’s had more reworks than our poor fist wizards. So naturally, Monk is getting reworked again in Endwalker. Fair warning: the last time I played Monk was several expansions ago, so I’m hardly an expert on its current iteration or how it’s changed in the intervening time.
First, as this will have a massive impact on everything: no more stacking Greased Lightning. As such, Chakras will be unlocked at a lower level. This will combine with an entirely new system, called Masterful Blitz. There are three Chakras, and also Yin and Yang. Depending on which Chakras you use during Perfect Balance (which will now have two charges, each charging over 40 seconds) you’ll unlock different skills to use afterwards.
Oh, and True Strike and Twin Snakes are no longer directional… and Shoulder Tackle is being removed. Don’t worry, though; you’ll still have a gap closer. The new gap closer that replaces Shoulder Tackle is solely for mobility, doing no damage, but it can also target your party members so you can quickly move to pretty much anyone on the battlefield. “You don’t want to Shoulder Tackle your allies,” laughed the translator, who has clearly never played with some of the people I’ve played with. Mind you, I’m a grumpy healer so I hate everyone.
The Masterful Blitz changes were extensive enough that Yoshi-P wanted to show them off on screen. You can have a quick look at them in action via the Twitch VOD, at 2:29:10.
The Samurai, fans of standing next to the tank for some reason and getting slapped by cleaving tankbusters, get some nice QoL improvements, which are strikingly similar to one of the improvements the Warrior got. Specifically, the buff effects from Jinpu and Shifu now actually get applied by the AoE combos, which… yes, thank you. The AoE combos already extended them anyway, so it’s nice to not have to weave in two separate combos just to get the buffs in the first place. It sounds like Meikyo Shisui will be doing something similar, too: if you use that to activate the third part of a combo rotation (Gekko, say), you’ll get the buffs from the second part (in this example, Jinpu) too. Don’t take that as gosepl, though.
Samurai will also be getting a new job action similar to Iajustu and Tsubame-gaeshi. From a glance at the Samurai’s part of the job action trailer, I’m guessing this is probably the attack that closed off their section. It was another charged Iajutsu, but with a new animation, and performed without any Sen after performing the various other types. Might be a follow-up that does yet another improved version after using the previous two moves, or it might be something entirely unrelated. Or I could be going mad and that’s something already in the game, but I haven’t noticed it.
Either way, the Samurai is pure melee DPS, and this just expands on that. This is another straightforward evolution. However! Tsubame-gaeshi and Meikyo Shisui now have two charges apiece, so you’ve got more burst potential if you want it.
The Ninja is another job I’ve yet to properly mess with, so I can’t do much but restate their Endwalker job changes here. Firstly, the sneaky guys and gals will be getting new actions linked to Raiton, Doton, and Huton. Likewise, they’ll be getting a new action that makes it easier to apply Huton.
In this instance, the Final Fantasy XIV team has mostly tried not to make the Ninja an even busier job than before, considering the Mudra combinations and the need to get them right as it is. So no: you get a simpler way to apply Huton, and new actions linked to the already existing Ninjutsu. Hopefully less chance of getting the rabbit of shame on your head. If you’re after new stuff, though, then there’ll also be a new action added for when you’re using the Bunshin.
Shadow Fang is also being removed, though that sounds like more of an aside. I have no feelings on this either way.
Reaper is arguably the big one, and the one most people are excited for. I wasn’t too fussed about this because I already have enough DPS jobs I need to level, but having seen this in action… yes, I’m intrigued. There’s something almost Devil May Cry about the way the combos here chain together and the sheer speed at which some of the combos come out. GCD? What GCD?
So, as the slide above says, the Reaper uses a scythe to attack in tandem with their spooky avatar friend, and can also merge with the avatar to unleash more powerful attacks. The Reaper can also grant enhancements to the party, which is apparently the only real synergy-related action the job has. In the job action trailer, this can be seen as the Reaper trying to pull something out of the Bard… but I have no idea what that’ll actually do. As for the rough mechanical overview of the job, the Reaper has a lot of specialized actions that let them do all manner of things in all manner of combat situations.
On the job HUD you can see in the slide above, you’ve got two gauges; one at 20 and one at 30. The top one is the Soul Gauge. You fill this up to unleash different attacks, and it also applies to some attack you unleash with the avatar; this will deplete some of the charge built up. Once you’ve started whipping out your own attacks and the avatar’s attacks, the second gauge — the Shroud Gauge — starts to fill. This eventually allows you to merge with the avatar and become the avatar’s vessel, which lets you unleash far, far stronger special attacks. That, in short, is the basic flow. Build up one charge and use that to unleash powerful attacks, then build up the other to go into your “merged” state and really go nuts on the enemies. Also, merging with the avatar changes your character’s appearance and makes them look like they’ve turned into a Sith Lord or something, and it looks kind of awesome.
So let’s go into specifics, because Yoshi-P brought up the Reaper on the screen and attacked some training dummies. You can see this in the Twitch VOD at 2:47:11. Sadly, Japanese text, so there’s a lot of guesswork involved.
Some of it’s about as expected: debuffs, combos, etc. It looks, a bit similarly to Dragoon, as though individual attacks can combo off into multiple other attacks. Excellently, the Reaper can open up what appears to basically be a rip in reality and use it to get away from enemies. First thought is that it’s similar to Leylines: you instantly move away and leave a tear where you were, and can then warp back to that tear. This also appears to combo into other actions, so even that’s going to give you options. As with Leylines, it’s not a targeted ability linked to an enemy — it’s more a standard “move instantly in a direction” ability, which just leaves a gate back at your starting position.
It also looks as though, aside from the gauges, certain attacks build up stacks. Several big looking red-colored attacks drained the Soul Gauge but gave Yoshida-san a stacking buff, which could then be used to employ attacks that I will give the technical term “big blue flashy things”, and these boosted the Shroud Gauge. So at a guess, the basic flow is that you do regular attacks to build up the Soul Gauge, you deplete this to gain stacks, and you then use those stacks to increase the Shroud Gauge with bigger attacks.
The big thing, of course, is merging with the avatar, which you seem to be able to do once the Shroud Gauge hits 50. You’ve got thirty seconds in that mode, plus what appear to be five charges for attacks. Attacks in this mode seem to have a much lower GCD; it looks like it’s about 1.5 seconds rather than the standard 2.5, so it really is a lightning-fast flurry of powerful attacks, especially since there are OGCD moves you can weave in at the same time.
This was specifically noted in the livestream, too. It’s very high-tempo and there’s a technical aspect to it, and it’s not all necessarily single-target either. To quote the translator (speaking for Yoshida-san): “It’s not like an endurance thing. You don’t build and build and build and build, and unleash it at one time, but it’s quite fast. I think the playstyle is quite different […] compared to any of the existing jobs.” But you need to keep an eye on your gauges, use them at the right time, and also keep an eye on directionals. While the base combos can work from any direction, stuff involving the avatar will apparently have directionals. Expect to be moving around fast, going through your rotations fast, managing your gauges, and connecting your combos together through some of the same abilities.
Like I said above, my first thoughts are… well, Devil May Cry. Lots of combo options at any given time, and you can push things out at a blazing speed. “The more you get your hands on it and try it out, I think it’s something that you can master, and can try to make the most out of it,” from the translator, once again. The implications from some of the other things said during the livestream are that it is, indeed, meant to be one of the more challenging and technical jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, which will require some time and experience to make the most of. Fingers crossed.
Finally, if you want to see the Reaper Limit Break 3? Well, it wasn’t shown on stream, but Yoshida-san mentioned that the gigantic attack used at the end of the benchmark trailer by a certain genocidal Fabio lookalike and walking Pantene advert is, indeed, the Reaper’s LB3. So, uh, leaping into the air and creating a ludicrously huge scythe, I guess.
Physical Ranged DPS
Not much to mention in terms of general changes here, except for the same stuff that’s hit every other job. Parity across physical and magical damage attributes of weapons at the same item level, and the changes to physical attack potencies. Check the Tank section for a bit more detail on that.
The only extra change across all three is that, with any buff that mitigates physical damage, the recast timer has been adjusted to 90 seconds. That aside, these three jobs have mostly been updated in a standard evolution way rather than getting any sweeping changes, but let’s take a look.
The team has listened, and the Bard has a few more support options. The Bard will now have a new action available with each of their songs that add a party-wide buff, to effectively enhance the power of the song. Oh, and the bard also gets an extra action after using Apex Arrow.
Wanderer’s Minuet and Battle Voice recast timers have been adjusted to 120 seconds, and “other various adjustments have been made.” So yeah, nothing major here; the interesting one is mostly the extra action tied to your songs. (As if you’re going to do anything other than sit in Limsa playing Megalovania. I know you.)
The Machinist is finally getting a chainsaw. I repeat: the Machinist, which is basically the FFXIV equivalent of Edgar from Final Fantasy VI, finally has what is probably his best known move. Chain Saw is a new action, which is “mechanically themed”. I’m not sure what that means, but the Machinist is getting a chainsaw. Also, the Automaton Queen is getting a new action, but that’s boring compared to chainsaws.
In terms of the general reworking every job is getting: Reassemble will have two charges, and… that’s about it. The rest is mostly just new actions, most of which will likely replace existing ones.
I’d like to note that the Automaton Queen action is visible in the trailer above, but I didn’t see the Chain Saw action in there unless it’s not actually a chainsaw and is just chains, or something. If so, I am disappointed. (I’d also appreciate the Machinist getting a hockey mask when using that, but we can’t have everything.)
Again, a QoL buff and some new bits. Weaponskill effects like Flourishing Cascade are shared across single-target and AoE skills, which is nice. Likewise, new actions on using Technical Finish, Improvisation, and Devilment.
Apparently, this is all in the theme of both applying different buffs to your party members, and making things a touch smoother. Some procs had to be managed across single-target vs AoE, and that’s simplified a little. Apparently. I do not play Dancer at a high level and I’m not sure if that makes sense. Some of this is apparently down to your hotbar switching over to Step actions when doing single-target attacks, and you’d effectively have to have a second hotbar for AoE. That’s been updated. Apparently. I’ve played Dancer enough that I think I can see the upshot of this (you can use one hotbar instead of two), but the specifics elude me right now.
Oh, and Esprit has been changed for the Dancer: it’ll be guaranteed to build for themselves regardless, with no randomisation. I… thought it did that anyway whenever you did Standard Finish or Technical Finish, but again, I may be misunderstanding something.
Magical Ranged DPS
Onto the magical ranged DPS. As with Feint for the physical melee types, Addle is going to be adjusted. Instead of lowering Intelligence and Mind stats, Addle will reduce the target’s magical and physical damage instead, with a focus on reducing magical damage.
First, a QoL update for the job that refuses to move out of AoEs. Enochian will be a trait, and will be applied automatically whenever you’re under Astral Fire or Umbral Ice. This was apparently not an easy change to make; it caused a disparity in player skill, which is why it was both a tricky decision to make, and why the decision was made. Enochian made things a bit harder to grasp for newer players and caused a huge disparity in damage. I’d say that simplification can be a bad thing, but in this case, Black Mages are reasonably complex to begin with, considering you’re trying to time all of your spells as it is. I’m not sure this change is particularly “big” for the high-skill players, but it’ll make the lower-skill Black Mages in your party a bit more effective. Likewise, there are still plenty of jobs that look like they’re going to be plenty complex. I point you towards the Reaper.
Second, new actions. Under “certain conditions”, swapping between Astral Fire and Umbral Ice will make new actions available, one of which is apparently looks like a a combination spell between fire and ice. The Black Mage, like the Samurai, is a pure DPS so it’s pretty much evolving in the same way without huge changes… which is kind of funny, considering this job has a completely different rotation every ten levels.
As for other stuff, the procs applied for Fire IV and Thunder have been extended to help with rotations. You’ll be doing More Stuff in general, so the procs will last a little longer and you can weave other bits in before having to use Fire IV. Apparently Blizzard II will also have some changes made to adjust the AoE rotation, too, and Sharpcast will have an extra charge.
Hilariously, the Final Fantasy XIV team apparently had to bring up Black Mages with the Final Fantasy Brand Committee, which is something I’m happy to learn exists. In the Japanese version, the spell tiers aren’t numbered — they’re more akin to Fire, Fira, Firaga, etc. And this means that after a point they had to start making up new suffixes, which has a knock-on effect on the franchise’s naming, so it has to be discussed outside the team. Adding extra tiers to these spells is a Big Thing… so apparently Yoshida-san went with “High Fira” instead, because the thought of adding suffixes to the brand as a whole scared him. I love it, not least because the Fira/Firaga naming convention is joked about in the English localization at least once.
Red Mages (or Seesaw Wizards, as I like to call them) mostly get standard evolution bits. A new action is available after Scorch, and Verflare, Verholy, and Scorch will be changed to AoEs and thus usable in AoE rotations. They’ll also get a support ability in the form of a defensive, party-wide buff — Magic Barrier — that they can apply.
Aside from new spells, there are lots of little changes. Black mana and white mana have been adjusted in terms of both gains and reduction, from the sound of it, so that you’re not using spell blade skills all the time, but Manafication should fill your mana a lot more quickly and give you a meatier burst phase too. Embolden and Manafication will remain at their 120 and 110 recast timers, respectively, and Displacement and Engagement will have their potencies equalised.
Oh no. So, let me put it this way: the Summoner has been described as pretty much being a new job. There are wide, sweeping changes across the board.
First things first: no more damage over time effects. Every action that applied DoTs has been removed. One of the “issues” was that the job was pretty much a DoT caster which had summons as a side thing. The reworked Summoner is all about the summons, to the extent that you can actually outright summon Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan, and not just in Egi form. Obviously you’re not summoning the full Primal (it’ll be Ifrit Ruby, Titan Topaz, and Garuda Emerald instead, with their energies in gemstones) but nonetheless, summoning Titan. Bow down, overdweller, indeed. Anyway! This will give the Summoner the aether of that Primal, and will effectively switch them into a different “mode” with new skills available.
Before, you’d call Demi-Bahamut! And it’d leave. Then you’d call Phoenix! And it’d leave. And then you’d just sort of sit there casting Ruin and Bio and stuff while waiting until you could call Demi-Bahamut again. Twiddling your thumbs, sighing, and being sad. Thinking about those halcyon days when you could call Demi-Bahamut. Lost loves. Fading memories. A single tear rolling down your cheek. And then you can call it again!
Now, you call Demi-Bahamut and… well, it’ll still leave, but you’ll gain elemental properties and can then call Ifrit Ruby, Titan Topaz, and Garuda Emerald in whatever order you like, using their individual elemental properties and skills. On depleting those, you can call Phoenix and get your elemental properties back so that you can reuse the not-Primals again. So yes, the Summoner is now actually all about the summons.
You still have Resurrection and Physick, though, and you’re still a very mobile job with low cast times and a good number of instants. So some things haven’t changed.
This was a big enough shift that, once again, the stream showed off how a lot of this worked in-game. You can see that for yourself via the Twitch VOD, at about 3:48:56.
Healers, at last! I’m pleased both because White Mage is my main, and because this is the last set of jobs so we’re nearly done.
First off, all healers will get new actions that apply single-target buffs. While no real details were given, these will definitely be on a timer, because I remember the days of casting Stoneskin on every member of the raid one by one, and I remember why that was removed. Excellently, most offensive spell cast times will be reduced to 1.5 seconds, which means I can be a Glare Mage even harder. And finally, the Limit Break AoE will be expanded to 50 yalms, which also makes sense because that’ll hopefully be wide enough that it’ll affect the entire battlefield, so you won’t resurrect everybody except for that one person who was in the corner. These are all basically QoL things, especially the cast time: it pretty much means you don’t have to cancel out of your attack spells to quickly pop out a heal or shield.
There’s also a somewhat bigger change in that, with the addition of Sage, the healers are being divided up into two categories: pure healers (White Mage and Astrologian) and barrier healers (Scholar and Sage).
Wow, that’s an anemic slide for these Endwalker job changes. White Mage gets “a functionally and visually distinct restorative field action.” This, I think, we saw in the job action trailer. I remember the White Mage creating something that looked like a flower, which seemed to be pulsing out something akin to Medica every few seconds.
Also, they get a higher tier of Holy, and it’ll contribute to Lily generation. Holy spam will continue apace, searing the corneas of anyone who hasn’t turned down party spell effects, and it’ll contribute to me being able to push out Afflatus Misery. I like this.
In terms of other changes, Fluid Aura is being removed, which is fine because I barely remember that was even a spell. If you’re in the same boat: it bound an enemy in place for six seconds or until they were hit, and thus was functionally useless with the way most people play. Divine Benison is getting at least one more charge, which I’m also a fan of; while it’s mostly used for mitigating tankbusters, it’s occasionally nice to use it to protect against certain other attacks and make sure you’re not in danger of dying when healing the party after a nasty unavoidable AoE.
So yes, nothing too special here: it’s mostly just the White Mage continuing to White Mage. Not too surprising as it’s one of the most standard classes, but things like Afflatus Misery and blood for the Blood Lily were pleasant surprises before.
The Astrologian is being skewed harder towards pure healer, which means that Nocturnal Sect and Diurnal Sect are being removed. Your healing actions will, instead, have the same effects they would if you were using Diurnal Sect. This makes sense, though it’s also slightly disappointing: while Diurnal Sect was “the” one to use, it was fun messing with Nocturnal every now and then. Barriers aren’t gone completely from the Astrologian kit, though. That said, Neutral Sect will still let you use a few barrier actions, and from what I could infer it might be available a little earlier and possibly have some buffs. (This does make me wonder how the Astrologian job quests will be changed, though, considering many of them were very specific about using particular Sects.)
Divination is also being adjusted. It looks like it’ll be a flat buff to the party regardless of which seals you have — the seals used for Divination will give the Astrologian themselves some buffs and enhancements. Continuing with the theme of fiddling with the seals, Redraw will no longer be a charge action, but instead you can use it once every time you draw it. Minor Arcana will also be changed, though there weren’t many specifics for that.
Astrologians will also be getting a new AoE spell that has a healing capability as well as an offensive element. Initially, my brain went “Isn’t that Earthly Star?” but it seems like this is more to be an equivalent to the White Mage’s Holy. The specifics will differ (Holy stuns enemies rather than healing allies) but it seems as though all healers will be getting something of the sort. I suspect this will replace Gravity, but we’ll see.
This, apparently, was quite the debate. Did the team want to add stun to the Astrologian ability, or remove it from Holy? Would it homogenize things too much if stun was added to all of these new AoEs? In the end, each job has its own characteristics, and that’ll apply to these new AoEs too. Kind of equivalent to Holy, but with some individual nuance.
Onto the barrier healers. The Scholar isn’t getting the heavy changes that the Summoner is, but it is getting shifts towards being more of a barrier healer. Mostly minor adjustments from the sound of it, though — including the pet behaviours.
The one point that was highlighted in the presentation was that the Scholar will be getting a unique job action that increases the party’s movement speed, even during combat. It’s akin to Sprint: for a brief period, the party’s movement speed will be boosted, but this won’t stack with Sprint.
Scholar will apparently also be getting a “fairly powerful” enhancement that can be targeted at a single party member. Confusingly, the previous movement speed action is apparently “like a fringe benefit of the action itself”; it’s meant to be a damage mitigation buff that applies in an area. Target one person with damage mitigation, and everyone else gets the equivalent of Sprint, maybe? Looking forward to seeing how this works.
So yes, not too many sweeping changes here.
Finally, the Sage. The new healer who has lasers, and basically guarantees that tanks are going to be the ones with instant queues when Endwalker launches.
The unique thing about the Sage is that the job actually heals and damages at the same time, which is called Cardia. (I can’t be certain on the spellings, but this and a few other abilities seem to be based on medical terms, so I’m guessing it’s about right.) You designate a party member, and as you’re attacking an enemy, you’re simultaneously healing that party member. I can’t imagine this’ll completely prevent you from having to go into full-on healing mode occasionally and focus your resources on just keeping someone alive, but for moment-to-moment play it looks like you’ll be able to attack and that’ll actually keep your party’s
Samurai main tank alive. I’m wondering if it’s going to be a weird sort of lifesteal, where a percentage of the damage you inflict goes to the designated party member, or if it’s just going to be an ability with a base attack Potency and healing Potency.
Another unique thing, which we’ll talk about below when we get into the gameplay, is that the Sage has a kind of extra stance that turns its attacks into DoTs.
The Sage has a resource — and again, spelling, here — called the Adder’s Gall which builds up over time and lets you perform instant barrier heals, and has Icarus as a movement action that basically makes them jet in a direction. It’s positioned, apparently, as a “technical barrier healer”.
Apparently, it’s complex enough that explaining it is difficult even as gameplay is being shown, but that didn’t stop Yoshida-san. Gameplay footage begins on the Twitch VOD at 4:18:42.
Despite being in Japanese, I was able to discern a little more from these, though it’s admittedly not the most useful information. Cardia — the ability that designates the party member for healing — is a basic ability of the class which will be in full operation even if you queue into Sastasha, and has a pretty short recast time of 5 seconds. For the most part you’ll likely want to keep it on the main tank, but this at least gives you the option of quickly switching it out for a short period. And yes, you can self-target it.
Using what I’m guessing was a fairly basic attack that shot four giant lasers with a delightful rising “bweeeEEEE” sound, Yoshida-san was inflicting around 7400 damage and healing for 2900. As previously mentioned, numbers are squished so that might seem a bit low (and everything’s still being tuned), but for comparison, the level 90 Sage had a health pool of 40,717. Meanwhile, my Shadowbringers level 80 White Mage has a health pool of about 110,000, a Cure II heals about 35,000, and Regen ticks for about 11,000. Again, those are the current numbers; they’ll be a lot lower once Endwalker hits.
It’s going to be relatively small but consistent healing, in short, but no match for a dedicated heal spell. I’m terrible at maths, but comparing it percentage-wise to the un-squished White Mage above, it seems like it’s more equivalent to a Regen effect that ticks whenever you attack. That attack itself was pretty powerful, though, and was relatively equivalent to some of the numbers coming out from the Reaper’s basic attack skills. Just, y’know, a lot slower, and with a cast time.
As for the attack-turned-DoT ability, that’s related to Eucrasia (spelling, again, though that’s a medicinal term for being in good health). Once you cast Eucrasia, it actually changes your skills into other skills. Saves hotbar space, at least. At a glance, it changes three skills, and has basically no recast time. As such it’s pretty much a stance switch that’s consumed on use, but which can be reused immediately. It looks like this isn’t just for DoTs, though. If I saw things correctly, one of those skills changed from a damaging laser blast into a DoT application; one changed from a single-target heal into a barrier, and one changed from an AoE heal into what looked like an AoE barrier application.
Also: I’m actually happy about the Icarus gap closer. I don’t know if this can be used on allies or just enemies, but either way, anything that gives me an extra chance to catch up with a Sprinting tank who’s pulling a dungeon wall-to-wall is much appreciated.
I’m not sure how different the Sage is really going to be — like I said, the heal-on-attack thing seemed to be akin to a different sort of Regen — but there’s only so much you can differentiate “make the health go up”. The Eucrasia mechanic looks neat and I’m certainly keen to get my hands on this for myself, though; I can see myself doing some fun keyboard dancing to switch through everything.
And that’s your lot, for now, but it sounds like we’ll be hearing more in the coming weeks.
There was additional stuff in the Live Letter, of course. There’s new merch, ranging from Reaper and Sage job pins and standees up to a Y’shtola Dollfie that I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that I really want. Also, a Great Serpent of Ronka massage stick. The Dragon Quest crossover event will be coming back towards the end of October, too, and there are lots of more minor QoL changes to things like teleportation. But! For the most part this Live Letter was all about the job actions.
The next Live Letter is coming on November 5th at 7pm PDT, and that’ll be focusing on “crafting & gathering, system-related adjustments, and the new PvP.” I am praying I don’t have to write a monolith like this when that happens.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is due out on November 23rd, with Early Access beginning on November 19th.