Final Fantasy XIV: Changes to Jobs in the Stormblood Expansion
Yesterday, Final Fantasy XIV held its 36th Live Letter in Hamburg, Germany. Live Letter XXXVI was hosted by Naoki Yoshida (Producer), and Toshio Murouchi aka “Foxclon” (Community Manager), along with a community translator. There was a lot of new information for players this time around -- but the biggest reveal was changes to jobs coming in the new Stormblood expansion.
Let's go over what those changes are going to be, and what new job functions you can expect from the Stormblood expansion when it launches on June 20th.
Goodbye Cross-Class Skills, Hello Role Action
A major problem regarding character progression and actions is the fact that you need to level other classes to play your main job to its fullest -- which in some cases is a mandatory chore.
To fix this, cross-class skills have been removed altogether and will be replaced with Role Actions. These are split into four categories: Tank, Melee, Ranged, and Healer. Now players don’t have to level up classes they don’t want to play.
With the addition of Role Action and changes to Job Action (which we’ll get back to), Yoshida said that one of the first things you'll do when starting the Stormblood expansion is remap your hotbar.
Streamlining the Hotbar with Role Actions
Like the Cross-Class Skills, Unused/Underused Actions are completely removed. Instead they will be merging and creating new Role Actions.
Spell related actions will be automatically updated as you level. For example, Stone 1 > Stone 2 > Stone 3 > Stone 4 will all fit in one slot on the hotbar. Other skills with multiple tiers will be combined as well, such as Thunder 1 and Thunder 3.
Whether you're using a controller and the standard mouse & keyboard setup, these changes should make it less overwhelming to perform actions. These action changes may make this iteration of FFXIV feel like a new game to master, which is exciting after four years of the same combat system.
Stylized Ability Gauges/HUD
There are a lot of things to manage during combat – self and party HP, boss abilities, AOE indicators, buffs/debuffs, etc. The FFXIV development team wanted to make tracking these elements less of an eyesore, and make buffs more pleasing both in management and aesthetic.
With Stormblood, every job will have its own unique gauge. These gauges are meant to be visual cues regarding your character's stance and numerical buffs. Simplified versions of the Job Gauges are still under construction, and the developers want feedback from players on how to improve them.
Keeping up with buffs during combat has always been difficult -- especially when using controllers. But the UI changes coming in Stormblood are looking to fix that. Soon, buffs will not be hidden away, and you'll see them clearly in every combat situation.
To see how all these changes to jobs, actions, and HUD actually look in-game, check out the trailer above! Just keep in mind that the footage may not be totally representative of the finished version of the upcoming expansion.
Major Changes to Attributes
Attributes have a varying degree of impact on the actual gameplay in FFXIV, and tend to matter a lot more in raids than they do in other parts of the game. But the Stormblood expansion will be rebalancing and replacing a number of attributes.
Accuracy is being replaced with Direct Hit Rate, which can only be used by DPS Jobs. Players now have a 100% hit rate (Front), 110% (Flank), and 120% (Rear) at equal or higher level than the enemy. The flank and rears have a higher percentage because of the debuffs that might occur in battle.
Direct Hit Rate also gives a higher percentage chance to land a critical action. Those critical actions aren't as strong as critical hits, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a critical action land a critical hit. Executing this will add additional critical bonus on the original crit action.
Parry is going to be replaced by Tenacity, which is only available to Tank jobs. Parry was the most useless stat in FFXIV. It grants players the ability to mitigate 20% of all physical damage, which sounds great. But when every boss does magical damage, it's not a very helpful attribute to have.
With the addition of Tenacity, tanks now have increased damage and increased reduction of incoming damage. Parries are still possible, but you won't be able to progress them as a stat with your gear.
Available only to healers, this stat's main advantage is the increase in max MP. Piety isn't getting a replacement, but it is changing from a Main Attribute to a Sub Attribute. So there will be room for more flexibility in terms of how to spec your healing characters based on your combat style.
These tweaks to the Sub Attributes provides a different feel to all jobs. Now tanks can do more damage while still having the tank stats, and DPS classes will be even more hard-hitting than before. With the addition of Direct Hit Rate, DPS can land more critical hits. Changes like these make more stats matter in a meaningful way, and could even provide some extra diversity to the jobs.
Live Letter XXXVI was an excellent information dump on the Stormblood expansion. Seeing the new changes to the jobs and all the existing issues in FFXIV has me just as excited as I was for the Heavensward expansion. These types of changes cater to new players, but give, current players a new “thing” to work towards.
FFXIV: Stormblood will release on June 20th. For those who pre-ordered the expansion, early access to its content will begin on the two-year anniversary of Heavensward -- June 16th.
Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more updates and guide content as the Stormblood expansion draws closer to launch!