Every two months or so, fans of Final Fantasy XIV are presented with a development update in the form of what is formally called a Letter from the Producer, usually abbreviated to “Live Letter.” This evening, we got the sixty-sixth installment, and it is one of, if not the last, ones before Endwalker releases in November. Expectations for this Live Letter were that it would be substantial and heavily focused on combat. At over five hours long, it certainly was, and here’s everything we found out!
While the developer team warned that they weren’t going to go into specific information, we did receive summations on the planned changes for existing Jobs coming in Endwalker. The team’s mission was to build upon changes made in Shadowbringers, updating them for the new level cap of 90 and adjusting many ability recast times to one- or two-minute timers. (Unfortunately for our producer, the Black Mage’s “Ley Lines” buff ability was specifically stated to remain on a ninety-second recast.) We got a typical visual look at the expanded rotation of each job (including Sage and Reaper) and an incomplete list of more specific changes.
- Some defensive buffs (“cooldowns”) will now be buffed based on the timing with which they’re used and related to other abilities in your arsenal.
- Ability combos will no longer be broken by using ranged attacks (such as the Warrior’s “Tomahawk”). This was intended to help tanks and melee DPS’ who need to move away from a boss to avoid an area-of-effect attack that continues to do damage without losing potency when they return to close combat.
- Steps are being taken in damage calculations to bring physical and magical damage output closer in effectiveness. This may make potency numbers appear lower, but outputs will be higher, so things will even out.
- Gap-closing abilities will get a 33% range increase, up to 20 yalms.
- Paladins will be getting a three-attack combo beginning with “Confiteor.” Additionally, “Requiescat” is being adjusted to no longer depend on the remaining MP to determine its effectiveness.
- Warriors will have damage-up effects triggered and extended by combos of their area-of-effect abilities rather than needing to sustain the buffs with single-target abilities. Their “Onslaught” and “Upheaval” abilities will no longer drain their Beast Gauge, and they are receiving a new action to follow “Inner Release.”
- Dark Knights are receiving a change to their “Salted Earth” ability, which will now affect the area immediately surrounding the caster and have a foll0w-up action. Their simulacrum is getting a new action tied to a new job ability. The job is also receiving a single-target defense buff.
- Gunbreakers will have their “Savage Claw” and “Wicked Talon” abilities in their combo replace “Gnashing Fang” as the combo is executed, reducing the number of inputs and Hotbar buttons required for the combo. They’ll be getting a new trait upgrading their maximum number of cartridges to 3.
- Melee DPS
- “Feint” is changing and will now reduce physical and magical damage dealt (with a greater reduction from physical damage).
- As with the tanks, their ranged attacks will no longer break their combos, and their potency numbers and damage calculation are being adjusted to match magical damage calculations better.
- Dragoons are getting an expanded area-of-effect range, and a new follow-up action is being added for their weapon skill combo. “Blood of the Dragon” is being changed from an action to a permanent trait. “Spine-shatter Dive” is being upgraded to have two charges.
- Monks will be adjusted to unlock Chakras at a lower level, and the mechanic of stacking “Greased Lightning” will be removed. A new system (called “Masterful Blitz”) is being added to change the Blitz ability depending on which weapon skills are used while in Perfect Balance. “True Strike” and “Twin Snakes” will no longer have positional conditions. “Shoulder Tackle” is being replaced with a different rush action intended for movement. The player will also be able to target their allies and rush towards them, similar to Black Mage.
- Samurai‘s effects given by “Jinpu” and “Shifu” will now also be applied by area-of-effect combos, and the job will receive a new action similar to “Iaijutsu” and “Tsubame-gaeshi.” The goal for Samurai in 6.0 is to expand on their role as a “pure melee DPS,” and “Tsubame-gaeshi” will get two charges.
- Ninja is getting actions linked to Raiton, Doton, and Huton, as well as an action making it more straightforward to apply Huton. The team prioritized not making Ninja even more complicated to play, as it is already an intensive and challenging job. “Shadow Fang” will be removed.
- Reaper received an overall gameplay summary.
- They use a scythe and their avatar to attack simultaneously, and the avatar will be able to possess the player to use stronger abilities.
- They will have buffs that can be applied to their party.
- They have a specialized toolset to create an advantage in specific combat situations.
- Their job gauge is called the “Soul Gauge,” with two separate bars that can be charged to unleash attacks between yourself and your avatar.
- After using weapon and avatar skills, the “Shroud Gauge” will fill, allowing you to be possessed by your avatar to use more powerful combos.
- The job is comparable to Samurai, as a “pure melee DPS,” though not quite to the same extent.
- Physical Ranged DPS
- Bards will have a new action tied to each of their songs that applies a party-wide buff, as well as a new follow-up action for “Apex Arrow.”
- Machinists will receive a new mechanical action called “Chain Saw” and a new action for the Automaton Queen. “Reassemble” will now have two charges.
- Dancers will now have their weapon skill effects shared across single-target and area-of-effect skills and will have new follow-up actions for “Technical Finish,” “Improvisation,” and “Devilment.”
- Magical Ranged DPS
- Black Mages will have “Enochian” changed into a trait automatically applied with Astral Fire or Umbral Ice. Under certain conditions, swapping between Astral Fire and Umbral Ice will enable new actions. “Sharpcast” will have two charges.
- Red Mages will have a new follow-up ability to “Scorch,” and “Verflare,” “Verholy,” and “Scorch” will become area-of-effect abilities for a new AOE rotation. They will also gain a defensive party-wide buff. The rate at which you gain Black and White Mana has been increased to emphasize the “spellblade” aspect of the job. “Displacement” and “Engagement” will have their potency changed to be equal to each other.
- Summoners are getting an extensive rework, removing their damage-over-time effects. Their summons are being changed to the “real” Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan, rather than just representations of them. They will be able to augment their abilities with elemental properties. (Notably, amongst a great list of other changes, they are keeping “Resurrection.”)
- Each healer job will gain a new action to apply a single-target buff, and cast times for offensive spells will be reduced.
- Limit break range is being expanded to 50 yalms.
- To compete with the White Mage’s “Holy” spell, other healer jobs will gain an area-of-effect offensive spell with different debilitating effects.
- White Mages are getting a visually distinct area-of-effect heal action (the intention with WHM being to change as little as possible to maintain the simplicity of the job.) “Holy” is getting an upgraded tier. “Fluid Aura” is being removed, and “Divine Benison” will gain multiple charges.
- Astrologian will be reworked into a “pure healer.” “Diurnal Sect” and “Nocturnal Sect” are being removed, and basic healing actions will now have their “Diurnal Sect” effects by default. “Divination” will be changed, and its seals will be used for new self-targeted enhancements. “Redraw” will be changed from a charge action into being able to be used each time you draw. Finally, an area-of-effect action will be added combining a healing and offensive effect, similar to the White Mage’s “Assize.”
- Scholar is gaining a job action that will (temporarily) increase party movement speed, including during combat, similar to the Bard’s “Peloton” or the “Sprint” universal action.
- Sage, similar to Reaper, got an expanded gameplay summary and demonstration.
- As previously stated, this job will be a “barrier healer” similar to Scholar.
- The Sage will be able to attack and heal specific party members at the same time.
- Unique resources (called Cardia) will be used for heals/buffs and offensive magic.
- Raid Finder matching for Savage content will be changed to search for one barrier healer and one pure healer per party.
- Similarly, the Healer category in Party Finder will be split between pure/barrier healers.
- The Party Finder will also gain an option to search for players who have yet to receive weekly completion rewards. Additionally, search results won’t show parties you can’t join due to “One Player Per Job” requirements.
- Duty rewards are being adjusted as follows:
- Trials with weapon drops will drop a weapon coffer in addition to the regular weapon reward to accommodate the number of jobs in the game now.
- This will also apply to the fourth tier of high-end raids released through Heavensward (Coils of Bahamut, Coils of Bahamut (Savage), and Alexander (Savage)).
- High-end raids released through Stormblood will now drop gear and accessories in coffers instead of direct equipment drops. (Coils/(Savage) (excluding accessories), Alexander (Savage), and Omega (Savage)).
- Conditional “proc”-type buffs can now be separated as a separate category and resized in the HUD layout, in addition to the existing separate “enhancements,” “enfeeblements,” and other categories.
- Ground targeting functionality has been added with new settings in the Character Configuration menu. The action button can now be pressed a second time to confirm the placement of a target circle, and the cursor can be prevented from moving outside of the targeting range of the action.
- Your party member’s cast target will now be shown in the party list (extremely useful to see which party member your ally is reviving).
- Health bars will now be displayed even when the character is downed (this was previously a setting that had to be enabled but will now be permanently activated).
- Unreal trials will temporarily be suspended. This is due to adjustments and data required to match these trials to the new level cap. As of now, they are scheduled to return in Patch 6.1.
- As announced previously, belts will be removed from the game in Patch 6.0. They will no longer be equippable or obtainable from any circumstances. Belts currently equipped by player characters and retainers, as well as belts in the Armoury Chest, will be sent to the Calamity Salvager. All other belts will remain in your inventory as-is, with all affixed materia, but they will still be unequippable.
- The Speed Belt obtained in Eureka will be replaced with a ring in Patch 6.0, and Speed Belts can be exchanged for the substitute item afterward.
- Belts will no longer be available for leve, supply mission turn-in, or sellable on the Market Board as of Patch 6.0.
Downscaling Values (“Stat Squish”)
- The difference in gear stats from level 50-80 will be reduced, as well as overall HP and damage values.
- The potency of meals, medicine, and materia will also be reduced.
- The current estimate is that level 80 stats will be reduced to around 1/5 of their current values.
- When using the Undersized Party option, a new buff called “Enhanced Echo” will be applied to bring the difficulty of un-level-synced content in line with pre-6.0 play. Enhancement strength will vary by duty level.
- Experience point gains will also be downscaled (though not in such a way that impacts the amount of time needed to level additional jobs). Additionally, dungeon EXP previously earned from standard “mobs” will now be awarded all at once from defeating the corresponding boss.
- Certain HQ items (primarily those gained from gathering and enemy drops) will be removed, HQ gathering bonuses will be retooled into normal gathering bonuses. HQ gear will remain.
- Aetheryte Teleportation fee calculation is being recalculated, and the 999 Gil cap is being removed.
- Intuition progress for Fishers will be maintained after logging out.
- Data Center Travel is being pushed past 6.0 due to server congestion issues.
Aside from all of that, we also got a look at a new, super-premium Y’shtola doll, the soundtrack release for music from the Patch 5.x content, and an adorable video about this year’s digital Fanfest event. Finally, while it’s rather disappointing that Data Center Travel (probably the most-anticipated feature coming in Endwalker) is being delayed, it’s understandable since so many servers are still extremely full due to the sudden influx of new players in 2021.
What do you all think of these numerous changes?
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