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Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Combat Changes Detailed

Posted on September 18, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix livestreamed a nearly 5 hour presentation detailing the upcoming job changes coming to Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. During a rather lengthy discussion of each job had the major adjustments & new actions coming with the November launch of the new expansion. Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida also went hands-on to show off the brand new Reaper & Sage jobs in addition to the reworked Monk and Summoner.

If you want to know what changes are coming to your favorite job, I’ve jotted down all of the major changes discussed below.

This story is still developing the livestream is still happening so I’ll update this story if anything substantial is announced.

Battle Adjustments:
– Party Finder adjustments.
– Parties will include one pure healer and one barrier healer for Savage content.
– Party finder: Healer category will be split between both types.
– New options for players who have yet to receive weekly rewards.
– Search results will not longer include parties you can not join due to one person per job.

Duty Rewards Adjustments:
– Trials will drop a regular weapon and a coffer.
– Fourth encounter of savage tier (3.0+) will drop a coffer as well as a weapon.
– 4.0+ Savage will now drop gear and accessories as coffers.

Misc Battle Adjustments:
– Improved ground targeting functionality.
– New settings added to Character Configuration menu.
– Prevent cursor from moving beyond ground targeting range.
– Displays which party member target when casting
– For example you’ll see “WHM Raising Member [2]”.
– Also works for targeting enemies as well.
– Unreal Trials will be temporarily removed.
– Job adjustments will need to be finished with the level 90 level cap before revisiting Unreal Trials.
– Scheduled to be reintroduced in patch 6.1!

Downscaling Values:
– Difference in gear attributes from levels 50 – 80 will be reduced.
– Overall HP and Damage values will be reduced.
– Potency of meals, medicine and materia will be reduced.
– Adjusting to maintain balance with various systems.
– In general the reduction is about 1/5th

HQ Items Removal:
No longer available as HQ
– Gathered Items
– Enemy Drops
– Token Exchange Materials
– Non Crafted materials

Items Still Available
– Crafted Items
– Gear
– HQ Yield gathering abilities will be adjusted to quantity.

The Athernet UI Will Be Updated:

Datacenter Travel Delays:
– Due to urgent need to address server congestion Data Center Travel visit system has been delayed until after Patch 6.0x.
– Server team is working on server stability to avoid crashing and congestion.
– Will be introduced “6.x and beyond”.
– Additional traffic due to players moving within their regions.
– If servers went down during launch would make bug tracking harder.
– Too much of a risk.

Regarding Cloud Servers:
– Tested cloud technology with a “Major partner” two years ago.
– Long story short: With assessments completed. Costs would have been high. Stability issues
– Zone servers could be supported on cloud. But physical servers are more reliable.

General Tank changes:
Beneficial effects for using cooldowns at optimal times.
– Ranged attacks no longer break combo.
– Magical + Physical attacks will now have parity.

Paladin Changes:
– Requiescat now will be equally effective regardless of MP.
– Confetteor has a 3 attack combo now.

Warrior Changes:
– Damage up boosts can now be triggered + extended with AOE combos.
– Onslaught / Upheaval don’t cost gauge.
– New ability available after using inner release. – Inner release recast times 60 seconds.

Dark Knight Changes:
– Salted Earth now spawns around and makes a new ability available.
– It is no places on the ground.
– Your FRAY now gets new ability as well.

Gunbreaker Changes:
– 3 Powder slots on the job gauge (we saw this in the actions trailer)
– Savage Claw and Wicked Talon swap on the hotbar (One button combo)
– Any actions in between don’t break combo – Continuation usable after Burst Strike

General Melee DPS Adjustments:
– Feint now reduces magical and physical damage.
– Combos aren’t broken by Ranged Attacks (just like Tanks)
– Physical / magical parity on weapons of same ilevels and potency.

Dragoon Changes:
– Expanded AOE Rotation
– New weaponskill available upon execution of combo.
– Some of the existing actions have been removed over the years. Swapped them around for base skills.
– Blood of the Dragon is now a trait. No need to maintain it or use it.

Monk Changes:
– Chakras now unlocked at a lower level.
– New System: Mastering Blitz.
– # of charges available depending on the skills used when under the effect of perfect balance.
– With the Chakra system you will need to activate it with Perfect Balance.

Samurai Changes:
– Effects from Jinpu and Shifu now applied by AOE combos.
– A new action will be available in the vein of Tsubame-gaeshi.
– Wanted to preserve the feeling of a “pure melee” DPS. – Straight forward changes from the last expansion.

Ninja Changes:
– Actions linked to Raiton, Doton and Huton.
– An action making it easy to apply Huton.
– Dot will be gone
– No 4th mudra

Reaper (new job):
– Attacks in tandem with Avatar. Unleash powerful attacks by combining with the avatar.
– Grant buffs to party.
– Unique /special actions (see below)
– Soul Gauge you charge up which unleashes different attacks. Effects avatar attacks as well.
– Weapon skill own + avatar = 2nd gauge will build. Merge with the avatar and unleash devastating attacks.

General Physical Ranged Changes:
– Buffs that mitigate damage, recast time on Tact / Shield Samba adjusted to 90s.

Bard Changes:
– Each of 3 songs will make a new ability that applies party buff.
– Feedback for more support abilities with songs.
– Apex Arrow usage makes a new action available. (Level 90 cap stone move?)

Machinist Changes:
– New Action Chainsaw added (you can see this launching chainsaw blades during the Job Actions trailer)
– New ability added to the Automaton Queen
– Reassemble now has 2 charges.

Dancer Changes:
– Weapon skills like Flourishing Cascade will now be shared across single target and AOE.
– New skills open up upon using Technical Finish, Improvisation and Devilment.
– Smoother in terms of execution different rotation. Hotbar switching from AOE/Dancing

Red Mage Changes:
– A new action will be available after using Scorch. (Line AOE in the job trailer?).
– Verflare, Verholy and Scorch will now be AOES available part of the AOE rotation.
– Defensive party wide enhancement will be added.
– Manafication changes.


Summoner Changes (6.0 Rework)
– Full rework (might as well be a new job)
– All damage over time abilities removed.
– Use Ifrit, Garuda, Titan not just the egis.
– Concept is transferring energy into jewels.
– Tried to bring out of the feeling of traditional summoner.

Healer Changes:
– New actions that apply single target buffs (each healer).
– Cast time for offensive spells has been reduced.
– Limit break 3 area of effect expanded to 50 yalms.
– Two regen healers / two shield healers. Diurnal and Nocturnal Sect will be removed.

White Mage Changes:
– Simple update.
– Functionally and visually distinct restorative field action added.
– Focus: Pure healer.
– A holy spell has been added that lily charges
– Fluid Aura removed
– Divine Benison will have charges.

Scholar Changes:
– Is now classified as Barrier Healer.
– Unique action that enhances the party movement speed even during combat as been added. (Peloton for combat?)
– Functions like sprint but it will not overlap with the buff from sprint.
– Powerful healing spell

Astrologian Changes:
– Neutral sect will still give shields. Basic healing will be adjusted as if it was under Diurnal sect.
– The effect of Divination will be changed and seals are used for new enhancements.
– Redraw will no longer have charges.

Sage (new job):
– Focus is barrier healer.
– Able to attack enemies and heal party members simultaneous. Only works on one party member.
– Draws upon unique resources for healing / enhancements and attack magic
– The ability to target a single member of the part is called “Cardio”.
– When hitting an an enemy, attack can become a damage over time.
– Resource that you build to deploy instant barrier heals.
– Movement Skill – “Icarus” – Movement ability in actions trailer.



Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Free Until Launch of Shadowbringers

Posted on May 2, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

FFXIV’s first expansion Heavensward was released back in 2015 but if you haven’t experienced the story of the city state of Ishgard, the Dragonsong War and a Warrior of Light on the run then now you can by claiming a copy of the expansion on either PC or PlayStation 4 up to a day before Shadowbringers launches in Early Access on June 28th.

In order to begin adventures in Ishgard players will need to clear the level 50 Main Story Quest between 2.0 (A Realm Reborn) and 2.55 (Before The Fall). To qualify for a free copy of Heavensward players must have the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition on either Windows PC or PlayStation 4. Also it appears that this offer doesn’t extend to the Steam version of XIV.

Reka Ai’a and her companions explore Azys Lla

Despite being 4 years old, Heavensward adds a lot of content that extends XIV’s gameplay in a number of ways that provides Warriors of Light with months, if not years of playable content including:

  • Main Scenario Expansion (Heavensward Base Story 3.0 + 3.X Patches)
  • Three New Jobs – Machinist, Astrologian and Dark Knight.
  • Increased level cap to 60 for all DOW / DOM / DOH / DOL Jobs.
  • Open World Content: The Diadem (although it does require quite a bit of organization to play this content nowadays.)
  • Seven new trials: Ravana, Bismark, Thordin, Sephirot, Sophia, Zurvan and Nidhogg. Plus each trial also has an extreme variant that can reward really sparkly bird mounts.
  • Six new zones: Foundation / Pillars (Ishgard), The Churning Mists, The Dravanian Hinterlands, The Dravanian Forelands, Azys Lla and Ideshire.
  • 12 Eight Person Raids – Alexander.
  • 3 Twenty Four Person Raids – The Shadow of Mach Series -“The Weeping City”, “Dun Scaithe” and “The Void Ark”.

Ozma, one of the most impressive bosses of the 24 person raid series.

I thoroughly enjoyed FFXIV: Heavansward and often find myself returning to its locations quite often. This is true for normal gameplay, whether doing the Alexander Raids or various trials while levelling alt jobs or to collecting rare crafting materials to fashion the shiny primal weapons. Heavenswards’ areas have also been a sort of inspiration for my character as well, as she’s a Machinist, you can often find her hanging out at the Skysteel Manufactury during RP time or just downtime in general.

Source: FFXIV Official Twitter


Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.4 To Arrive Mid Sept, Monster Hunter World Event Starts Aug 7th

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest edition of Letter From The Producer Live, a Japanese livestream regularly held by Square Enix to announce and promote upcoming content for Final Fantasy XIV was held last night in the early hours of the morning (for those of us in North America). FFXIV Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida was joined by Monster Hunter World Director Yuya Tokuda and Monster Hunter World Art Director Kaname Fujioka. The trio went through a number of new developments including the release date for Patch 4.4, further details surrounding the MHW Collab event and even a second entry in the Eorzea Encyclopedia book series.

This article discusses content found within the end of Final Fantasy XIV 4.3: Under The Moonlight. If you haven’t finished that MSQ content, stop reading right now.

Patch 4.4

Final Fantasy XIV‘s next major patch will be titled ‘Prelude In Violet’ and we finally have the first details regarding the new content then will be coming our way this September and it’s sounding like a juicy update.

New Dungeon: The Burn SURPRISE! That brief playable section where you got to control Alphanuad in the then unseen province of The Burn was not only teasing a huge story stinger but also the next playable dungeon. It was a huge surprise at the end of the last patch to see Alphanuad and his Garlean companions airship crash in the desolate land, only up until now teased on a fan translated map of Eorzea released in the lead up to Stormblood.  Seems like the Warrior of Light will be really feeling the Burn this next patch.
New Dungeon: Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum A normal version of this dungeon was original released in Patch 3.1 -“As Light, So Goes Darkness” way back in 3.1. Now in the twilight of the Stormblood era we’ll get to revisit the Arboretum for a harder encounter.

Title & Key Art: The title for FFXIV 4.4 will be titled “Prelude In Violet” and Key Art released for the patch (see header) prominently features members of the governing garlean class, including former emperor Solus zos Galvus who absolutely should be dead, given he is said to have died during the lead up to Heavensward.

New Trial: Suzaku & Suzaku EX (The Four Lords Part 3)

New Raid: OMEGA raid tier concludes with OMEGA Alphascape and Alphascape Savage.
Role Action Changes: Each job will now have a total of 10 slots for Role Actions versus the current 5. It’s unknown if this is an admission that the Role Action system isn’t working as intended – as Role Actions like Refresh / Tactician for BRD / MCH and Protect for healers aren’t really optional or mandetory. Regardless it looks like we’ll all have 5 more actions to add to our hotbars next patch.

Monster Hunter World X FFXIV

This collaboration has been teased for sometime and we finally got to see what the Bahemoth encounter in MHW would look like – thanks to Naoki Yoshida playing the upcoming event with a few others during a recent Monster Hunter World live stream. We now know that the Rathalos encounter for FFXIV will be coming as a cross over trial in two flavors – 8 person (normal) and 4 person (EX).  Players looking for harder 4 person content finally now have something to sink their teeth into!

Requirements: Complete the Stormblood SQ and obtain level 70.
Release Date: Rathalos King of the Sky will be released on August 7th


  • Rathalos Mount
  • What appears to be a Poogie mini-pet
  • Class specific armor sets
  • What appears to be a fire spit housing item

Encyclopedia Eorzea and Other Stuff

The next installment of the Eorzea Encylopedia series, which will cover content from Patch 3.4 forwards is set to be released THIS YEAR.

  • English and Japanese versions to be made available.
  • JPN pre-orders already live on the official website.
  • 300 pages
  • Will be available at the Las Vegas Fan Fest.
  • Pre-orders for non Fan Fest attends TBA.
  • Scheduled to go on sale on November 24th.

Anemos: Pegos (Relic Stuff)

  • New Region Confirmed
  • “Logos System” to be implemented. (no further details for this provided)
  • New models for the next steps of relic weapons



FFXIV’s Hard Core Raiding Community Spent The First 12 Hours Doing ‘The Weapon’s Refrain’ Wrong

Posted on June 6, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With the release of FFXIV Patch 4.31 two days ago, the newest entry in the on-going series of Ultimate difficulty encounters – The Minstrels Ballad: The Weapon’s Refrain – has been unleashed upon the denizens of Eorzea.  

As soon as the servers went live in the early morning hours several well-known raiding groups like Elysium, YouTuber Mister Happy Gaming and XenoSysVex were ready to see just what Yoshi-P& Co were going to throw at them. Alongside these skilled raiders are thousands of viewers (over 9, 810 as of the time of writing) ready to watch and interact as Streamers attempt to figure out just how The Weapons Refrain works. 

The Ministral’s Ballad: The Weapon’s Refrain is a dramatic retelling of The Warrior of Light’s encounter with the Ultima Weapon way back in A Realm Reborn. Featuring brand new mechanics and edge of your seat encounters with the 3 original Primal (Garuda, Titan and Ifrit) from ARR, this is an encounter of epic proportions. Challenging an Ultimate level encounter is no joke – FFXIV offers encounters at a number of different skill levels: Story (regular), Extreme (harder content but still PUGable), Savage (Even harder group content that can require weeks of coordination) and for the most diehard – Ultimate. 

Above: The Weapon’s Refrain streams are currently the most popular FFXIV content out there.

Initially the community thought that the first 3 phases of the fight were a joke as raiding groups blew through the 3 Primal with relative ease over the first few hours of their streams. Some called the encounter too easy as these Warriors of Light pushed on for upwards of 16 hours yesterday but there was a massive problem once the first group hit phase 4, the Ultima Weapon itself.  

Upon entering Phase 4 of the fight (which may not even be the last phase, we don’t know as no one has gotten past it yet) entire parties received a Doom buff that could not be cleansed (removed) – killing the entire party. It turns out that if a party does not do the mechanics in phases 1 thru 3 in a certain order to “awaken” the 3-original primal (and make these phases much more difficult in the process) they inevitably hit an unwinnable state come Phase 4.  

After 12 hours of what seemed like steady progress that frontier of the Final Fantasy 14 raiding community had all of their gains wiped out by a single doom cast. Major groups had to go back to Garuda (phase 1) and figure out just how to cause her to “awaken” before moving on to Ifrit and finally Titan.  Right now it seems like the current theory is to gain a special buff from each of the 3 primal in order to cleanse the doom in phase 4 and survive incoming attacks using three consecutive Limit Break 3s. All of this, is of course, hypothetical because noone has lived long enough through Phase 4 to verify that this is the intended solution. 

Watching chat commenters, community personalities like Mr.Happy and even on-going analysis between groups streaming the encounter individually to figure out the solution to The Weapon’s Refrain’s mystery is actually really captivating. My spouse and I spent several hours last night watching it all unfold live and who knows how long it will take before a World’s First is claimed. 

Above: The Unending Coil of Bahamut

Last Fall in Patch 4.11 Square Enix released the first Ultimate level encounter, The Ultimate Coil of Bahmut, which tasks players with slaying the Elder Primal yet again. Groups worked on the UCOB encounter for 12 days before Dysnomia from Japan was able to claim the World’s First UCOB kill. 

Header Image Source: YouTube


FFXIV 4.3 Will Conclude Doma Storyline, Introduce Second Ivalice and Mobile Companion App

Posted on April 16, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The next major update to Final Fantasy XIV Online: Stormblood will come out in late May Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida confirmed during a regularly held community live stream known as Letter From The Producer LIVE. Patch 4.3 brings a number of brand new features to the game – the conclusion of the Doma main story questline,  a brand new raid, a new “deep dungeon” leveling experience and so much more!

In terms of in-game content adventurers will be able to take part in the second of the Ivalice themed 24 person raids, The Ridorana Lighthouse. Smaller parties will be able to take on a brand new secret trial (Zeno extreme as rumored by players? The next of the Four Lords series perhaps?) as well as journey through a brand new dungeon called the “Swallow’s Compass”. Crafters and Gatherers who have jobs at least level 60 can start to befriend the fish-like Namazu.

Players who have completed the Stormblood MSQ might remember a Jinga-like structure that received prominent placement in a cut-scene during the Ruby Seas ark. Well it turns out that the structure is actually called “Heaven On High” – similar to Heavensward’s “Palace of the Dead” – a self contained leveling experience where adventurers start at level 1 and rapidly progress through their profession’s abilities. After completing a set number of floors in “Heaven On High” it is expected that players will receive at least 1/4th of a level out of the tower upon completing 10 floors. Unlike Palace of the Dead, the total number of floors is only 100 floors vs the 200 of Palace of the dead. In HoH floors 30+ will be challenging content.

Here is a breakdown of all of the in-game content coming in FFXIV 4.3 – some of these descriptions are obviously just little tidbits:

  • New Main Scenario Quests – The story of Stormblood continues.
  • New Alliance Raid – The Ridorana Lighthouse.
  • New Trial
  • New Dungeon – The Swallow’s Compass.
  • New Beast Tribe Quests – The Namazu.
  • New Sidequests – The Four Lords, Doman Reconstruction and Further Hildibrand Adventures.
  • New Deep Dungeon – 100-Floor Heaven-on-High.
  • The Forbidden Land, Eureka Expansion – Pagos Expedition.
  • New Ultimate Difficulty Raid – Ultima Weapon.
  • Updates to jobs, PvP, glamour system, housing, performance actions, new more powerful gear and more.

Coming at some point later will be an official FFXIV Companion App that will enable all users to chat with friends as well as message the Free Company chat channel.  Organizing inventory, purchasing and placing items for sale on the in-game market boards will also be supported.  A paid for premium plan allows subscribers to double their chocobo Saddle Bag storage, sell up to 2 items per day using Kuppo Nuts (vs 1 with the free plans) and have an extra retainer. We don’t have an official price for the premium tier just yet.

Here’s a breakdown of the companion app that Square Enix provided:

ll players that download the app will be able to enjoy benefits such as the following:

  • Chat with friends and free company members
  • Organize events with the scheduler
  • Organize inventory and armoury chest
  • Peruse the Market Board
  • Put items up for sale and purchase items
  • Register an additional favored destination Aetheryte

An optional, Premium Plan is also available, which unlocks the following features for a monthly fee:

  • Organize Saddlebags and Retainer Inventories
  • Saddlebag capacity is doubled
  • One additional Retainer can be employed


Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.2 Impressions: Sigmascape

Posted on January 30, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Phantom Train XIV

Raids in Stormblood – Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion – have been split among the wings of Omega and an on going plotline involving the Garlean Empire, the land of Ivalice and a theatre troupe. Patch 4.2 “A New Son Rises” once again sees the Warrior of Light (player character), Cid Nan Garland, Nero Tols Scaeva and Alpha the Chocobo face off against the artificial creations of the fearsome Omega. Raids are released with each patch – odd numbered patches bringing a new Ivalice raid and even numbered patches bringing a new section of Omega.

Spoiller Warning: Mechanics for 2 of the 4 “Omega Sigmascape” fights are described in detail below.

Here are my general impressions after running the “normal” difficulty for two of the four “Sigmascape” encounters.

All Aboard The Phantom Train

Fans have been speculating for years now about when “Doom Train” (also known as “The Phantom Train”) would make its appearance in Square Enix’s latest online incarnation of Final Fantasy. As far back as 2014 players have joked about the train – some wishing for a smaller version of the train to become a mount and others hoping that Goldsmith GoldBert would end up suplexing the train.

FFXIV Phantom Train

Sadly neither of these things happen in the normal version of Phantom Train. What players do get is a bit of a wild ride though – things start off with the entire party aboard the backmost car of the titular train. It is here that the party must send volleys against the train itself while avoiding ghosts that spawn, train car wide AOEs, using searchlights to “put out” the spawning ghosts and the possibility of being sucked into one of the endless number of the Phantom Train’s passenger compartments.

The journey to the Phantom Train is probably the strongest opener to a raid tier that I can remember in sometime. After all is said and done, once the train crashes off the tracks and dissipates back into the aether, the Warrior of Light is left with a haunting ghostly vision of some of it’s occupants – referencing events that haven’t happened in Eorzea’s existence.  The whole encounter feels other worldly and if you’re into FFXIV raiding – make sure to take a ride on The Phantom Train.

“I will destroy everything! I will create a monument to non-existence!”

Sigmascape is filled with references to Final Fantasy’s storied 16-bit history but the one encounter that sent chills down the spine of those who watched the pre-release “Final Fantasy 14 4.2 Patch Trailer” was only hinted at – a battle with the one and only, Kefka Palazzo.


The former court jester has already successfully destroyed an entire world during the second half climax of FF VI, and now he’s got his sites set on wiping the floor with the Warrior of Light and her comrades. Mechanically Kefka’s sigmascape encounter is probably one of the hardest normal difficulty fights ever included in FFXIV. To successfully bring the clown down you’ll have to deal with large line AOES, circle AOEs, knockbacks similar to Heavensward Sephirot aaaaaand – the off chance that Kefka is straight up  messing with you and his mechanics are lying to you. Battling Kefka is interesting, challenging and when it’s not rage inducing to die to “lie” mechanic with less than 10% health left, a lot of fun.

There’s So Much More To See

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.2 has so much more to offer and I’ve barely done it all justice by describing the these two Sigmascape encounters. In addition to the continuation of the ongoing Main Scenario players can take part in the four Sigmascape raids – in a savage or normal difficulty. A battle with a brand new primal is included during the MSQ, where the Warrior of Light and her comrades face off against the Jade Stoah. Other improvements include new housing items, new fashion items, a whole new set of tomestone gear, new emotes and PVP adjustments.


Final Fantasy XIV Stomblood Impressions #2 – Vising The Great City

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

It has been a week since the launch of Stormblood, the latest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV and I thought it would be a perfect time to share some updated impressions now that I am several hours further into the expansion’s narrative. Unlike my last impressions entry, this one is not free of spoilers, be forewarned that ahead of this paragraph are bullet points that may contain story, quest and NPC related spoilers.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try and Try Again

Throughout the first four levels of the campaign (60 – 63) the Warrior of Light & Co. has had their share of failures and setbacks assisting the resistance. As Lyse, The Warrior of Light, and Aliase enter the occupied lands of Gyr Abania they are not treated with the hospitality that House Fortemps showed the party in 2015’s Heavensward. Instead, the people of Ala Mhigo are hesitant to work alongside the heroes, for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are macro-focused (such as the Eorzean Alliances thus far refusing military involvement against the occupying Garleans), and some are on a more local level (the bloodbath that took place at Baelsar’s Wall didn’t leave anyone that could help). It’s going to take a lot more than small favors, fetch quests and heartfelt speeches to rally the hearts of a population that has been trampled by oppression for decades, one that would be risking the superior numbers of the Garlean forces coming down on them even harder should another organized resistance fail.

Residents of Gyr Abania despise the empire, and the tyranny it has thrust upon them but it is understandable that they refuse the help of our players, this is not just one quest NPC for the Warrior of Light to fight – this revolution belongs to the hearts of the people of Gyr Abania. All of this is a lot deeper than the political fare found within the 2.X and 3.X series of patches where the leaders of the Alliance stand around the groves of Gradania, talk and then nothing really changes.

The Towering City of Kugane

The bloodbath at Rhalgar’s Reach complicates things even further, after rallying the survivors of the previous revolutions and standing alongside both the eager and formerly unconvinced the people as well as members of the player’s party take a literal beating. Efforts are then turned towards the on-going resistance in the Far Eastern lands of Othard.

It is here in Othard that we are introduced to the second major city, Kugane, a large trading hub and the only port open to outsiders. Like Gyr Abania the residents of Othard are under Imperial rule and the flow of people, good and information coming in and out of Othard is tightly controlled. Right from the outset it is clear that the political climate and overall atmosphere of Kugane does not set the expectation for whatever other areas the continent of Othard has in store for us. The party must keep a low profile to avoid the Empire’s attention, this means that direct action against Imperial forces is off the table for the time being and using a corporate headquarters just down the road from the Garlean Empire will have to suffice.  Outsiders are known by the label of “Ijin” (an obvious parallel to the Japanese concept of “Gaijin”) but the Ijin concept stretches far beyond societal labels, with the immediate tangible ramification of the Ijin label being a separate housing district for outsiders. From a gameplay perspective, Kugane’s large red bridges and absolutely stunning architecture are home to the usual suspects – a market board, a materia handler, an aetherite and several NPC vendors. Curiously there are two things that make Kugane distinct from other major quest hubs in XIV – the lack of any Job or Crafting guilds and the fact that none of Kugane’s side-quests involve combat in any way.


FFXIV: Stormblood Early Access Impressions – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Due To Server Errors

Posted on June 19, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Stormblood has been in early access for the past 72 hours and despite constant disconnects, server crashes and long queues I’ve played through the first story arc until level 62. Here is a point by point recount of my experience with the game.

Thoughts of Level 60 – 70 Bard Changes

  • Bards are now a lot more mobile thanks to the removal of “casting times” during the usage of Wander’s Minuet. The mobility is certainly welcome but I was used to the split second timing of waiting for the cast time and then moving to avoid AOEs. Not having cast time takes away from a damage bonus we had previously while Wander’s was up and active.
  • Changes to Bard’s active songs are a welcomed addition. I thought it would be difficult to manage the critical strike bonus and additional effects of Wander’s Minuet, Mage’s Ballad and Army’s Paean. Surprisingly I find myself cycling from song to song rather naturally and the new rotation was starting to form muscle memory within the first hour or two.
  • Pitch Perfect – the flashy new ability linked to Wander’s is probably my absolute favorite of the three changed songs. It is so satisfying to see the bright flash of light that comes with having three Pitch Perfect Charges.
  • Having a “Job Gauge” makes managing procs and other timed abilities a lot easier to handle – I had feared it would have added additional “visual clutter” to the layout.

Thoughts of New Zones & Story

  • After seeing three different areas of Gyr Abania, it is very clear that we aren’t in for hours and hours of simple dry desert. Instead, Gyr Abania is full of lush vegetation alongside running oasis and rivers. When your character enters the settlement of Rhelgar’s Reach giant tents, several NPCs and a large statue measuring in the 100s of feet tall greet you.
  • The resistance settlements feel alive, as do the members of the resistance I’ve met thus far. For sure the stand out for me – without giving spoilers would have to be M’Naago.
  • I can’t wait for my Bard, Reka Ai’a to help out the resistance and experience the tale that Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has to offer. I’m intentionally avoiding ANY spoilers since the game is in Early Access and the general release date is tomorrow. My full thoughts will be shared throughout the next week or so.

Server Instability

  • Stormblood has had a number of high-profile hiccups during Early Access. Throughout the first 24 hours or so the game’s “instance servers” which handle Party Finder, Duty Finder and some customized quests for Main Story crashed under the intense load. This meant that even if you got access to the game, you were stuck behind a bottleneck of players spam clicking to get into one of the two instanced early story sections that were required to continue.
  • Square Enix has issued multiple statements and conducted emergency maintenance more than once on the North American and European data centers to address these issues. For the most part, the quest related bottlenecks and instance server crashes appear to be a thing of the past.
  • Login times on the most crowded servers, including my home – Balmung, can take up to two and a half hours to complete. For most people this would probably be a deal killer – but I’ve struggled through the wait times thanks to Netflix and other games. So far Stormblood has delivered a positive story experience that is well worth the wait. At the peak, I’ve seen queues up to 4500 people – with 100 or so entering every 5 minutes. It doesn’t help that some players are abusing a logout glitch that keeps their player active on the server for an infinite amount of time without performing any action. This has lead to characters idling in town, taking up valuable slots, while their owners sleep or do other things.

What’s Next?

Reka Ai’a is on her way to the Far East and the lands of Doma, where she will meet up with the Ninja Yugiri. I’m looking forward to where the story will take her, I also look forward to sharing my specific thoughts on Main Story Quest Events and Dungeons after Stormblood releases on PS4 and PC tomorrow.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s full release doesn’t make the queue times on Balmung even worse. I wouldn’t want to have to watch the entire LOTR trilogy before continuing my journey.



Get Ready For Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood With This Cool Hotbar Simulator

Posted on June 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix is making a lot of exciting to Final Fantasy XIV with the release of Stormblood in two weeks time. A Japanese fan of the game has taken all of the tool tips, ability changes and additional actions and compiled them into an interactive hot bar simulator that you can try right now. It supports both the standard horizontal bars layout and the controller friendly cross media bars.

I’ve already played around with it and put together my bars for my Bard when I get her to 70s. With the changes to current songs, the removal of wide volley and the fact that the old song abilities have been split into three new abilities separate from songs – I had to do a lot guess work and thinking about where exactly I wanted my abilities to be. I’m still not 100% sure I want my AOEs like Rain of Death and Quick Knock on the second bard but I won’t know for sure how comfortable this is until Stormblood goes live on June 16th.

If you’re a current player make sure to check out the simulation tool here, just remember everything is in Japanese.


Here Is How Classes & Combat Are Changing In Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix held a nearly four hour livestream for the last FFXIV: Letter From The Producer Live before the Stormblood expansion is released next month. In this special Letter From The Producer Live Yoshi-P & friends gave us an overview of how the battle system will change in 4.0, revealed many of the new class specific changes coming to Stormblood as well as releasing new cash shop items for the Mog Station and much more.

If you weren’t able to watch the livestream this morning or don’t have the attention span for a four hour broadcast I’ve summarized the majority of the big reveals in this article. Please remember that some of these reveals come from translated screenshots and an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood – they may not accurately represent the final game.

If I missed anything huge or simply got something wrong please feel free to email pr[at]brokenjoysticks.net and I’ll make sure to issue a correction. With so much new content revealed I’m sure I missed something.

Without further ado here’s all the major reveals:

Battle System Changes

Why Change The Battle System?

  • Previous battle system was too complex – Too many actions per job and not enough hot bar slots.
  • Too much emphasis on players focusing on status icons.
  • Large disparity between the amount of DPS done by “core players” (end game raiders etc) and those who play more casually.
  • Lack of synergy between some jobs while other jobs worked well together in group settings.

How The Battle System Will Change In 4.O

  • Cross-class skills will no longer be in the game.
  • Being replaced with “role actions” with five different types. (Tank, Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Caster)
  • Requirements for unlocking jobs will change now that cross class skills have been eliminated.
  • Actions on existing players’ hotbars that no longer exist will be greyed out to remind them to swap them out.
  • Players may have up to 5 “role actions” active at any given time.
  • Slots for role actions unlocked at levels 12, 20, 32, 40 and 48.
  • Several discrete abilities have been merged together into new actions where this makes sense (example: raging strikes).
  • Most jobs have less actions than they did in 3.0 despite new job actions being added in 4.0.

PVP Changes & Adjustments

Problems With The Old PVP System

  • Level restrictions for PVP were too high.
  • Too many job actions.
  • Takes too long to get thru existing content before PVP becomes available.

Changes Coming In 4.0’s PVP Overhaul

  • Removal of unused actions.
  • Any jobs over lvl 30 can participate.
  • PVP actions determined by role, not by Job.
  • Gear affects your character’s look only. Stats from PVE are not carried over.
  • PVP Actions are now PVP specific.
  • Each job has 9 PVP Actions + 2 selectable actions and adrenaline rush.
  • Stuns have been removed.
  • For an unspecified time at the launch of Storm Blood PVP will be in a “unranked pre-season” with the start of an official ranked season coming sometime later.

New Mog Station Cash Shop Items

  • Scenario Skip items allow players to skip the Main Scenario quests for either A Realm Reborn or Hevansward.
  • Scenario Skip consumables only mark the Main Scenario quests as complete and do not affect side quests.
  • These items do not affect player Job levels at all.
  • Priced at $18 USD for ARR MSQ Skip, $25 for HW MSQ Skip. Buying the Heavansward MSQ Skip also includes ARR Quests – new players do not have to buy both.
  • Job boosters will level one single job to level 60 with all actions and gear unlocked.
  • Dungeons tied to Main Story Quest will be unlocked but the first time bonus for Story Dungeons will still be available. These items do not automatically unlock optional side quest dungeons.
  • Job boosters can only be used once per account.
  • Priced at $25 USD.
  • All of these new optional items will be available on June 16th when Early Access launches.

Class Changes:


  • New job actions have been added that go until LVL 70.
  • The rotation for this class hasn’t changed much from the 3.0 iteration even with these new abilities.


  • Now has “music bars” that display the amount of time remaining in the song so that Bard’s know how long active effects have left.
  • Cast timers for Wander’s Minute has been removed alongside the damage buff that this provided permanently.
  • Removal of cast timers was due to the disparity between core and casual players in terms of the amount of DPS being done. Overall Square saw the adoption of Bard slow after the launch of the last expansion.
  • New multi arrow bard abilities.
  • New poison animations.

Black Mage

  • Fourth level of thunder being introduced with Storm Blood. Thunder IV is an AOE cast.
  • Enochian’s recast time is now 30 seconds.
  • Once Enochian has been cast Black Mage’s have access to either the Umbral Ice or Astral Fire chains of abilities.
  • New spell in Storm Blood called “foul” is being introduced – large damage but can only be used Enochian for at least 30 seconds. Foul can not be stacked together.

Dark Knight

  • On screen resource bar is known as the “Blood Gauge”.
  • Once the Dark Knight begins collecting “Black Blood” the Blood Gauge will become visible on screen.


  • Not a drastic change in regards to the rotation that players will perform.
  • Dragoon’s passive ability allows them to build up Blood of the Dragon.
  • Using the move Mirage Dive will be able to gain a status from the Brood to open up further abilities while in combat.
  • New actions available up until level 70.


  • Like bard, Machinist no longer has a cast timer.
  • Flamethrower ability first shown in the Storm Blood benchmark makes an appearance in the job actions trailer.
  • On screen Job UI is a “heat gauge”. Some actions will raise heat while others will lower it, it is the machinists goal to manage the heat resource and make sure it doesn’t fill up all the way.


  • Has two different job gauges – Scrolls & Hotun.
  • Scrolls are raised by performing auto attacks.
  • A chance to cast Ninjitsu with no cast timer.
  • Burn scroll to summon a giant toad. Looks like toad casts oil.


  • Shields now block physical and magical attacks.
  • An unnamed move was shown where the paladin spins their sword in a circle like Link’s spin attack (from the Legend of Zelda series).
  • Yet another unnamed move has the Paladin spread wings behind their back, almost looks similar to a limit break. Party members behind the Paladin will take 15% reduced damage for the duration of the cast. While this ability is being cast the Paladin will take a 100% damage reduction.

Red Mage

  • Has two different mana pools: Black & White.
  • Players will have to balance between the two different mana types because if they stick to only one of them their DPS will be low.
  • One of their main mechanics is the ability to chain spells together.
  • Example: First spell will use its’ initial cast timer, the second spell in the chain will be counted as an instant cast with no timer. Players can chain either spells of the same color or different.
  • Spellblade – functions almost like an “ultimate ability” if the job actions trailer is accurate. At the end of a rotation, a Red Mage may spend her entire dual mana bar to thrust forward and empower her sword to deal a massive amount of damage. After the attack lands, she jumps back with a flourish.


  • Third stage added to their rotation after DreadWyrmTrance that allows the summoner to call a representation of Bahamut onto the field.
  • Currently not known what the Bahamut summon actually does but the explosion in the Job Actions trailer sure is massive O.O.


  • Two different on screen gauges depending on their stance.
  • With the removal of the wrath resource Warriors will now collect a resource known as “Inner Beast”.
  • When the Inner Beast gauge reaches 100% it will begin to glow.


Tactics Alexander Savagely Gives Us a Taste of 16-Bit FFXIV

Posted on April 2, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

April Fools Day may have come and gone but the Final Fantasy XIV team produced one of the most obvious yet fantastic pranks this year.  Titled Alexander Tactics: Savage this fake game features recognizable encounters, monsters and NPCS from FFXIV Heavanswards’ raid content and adapts them in the style of Final Fantasy Tactics. I had no clue I needed this in my life but the idea of playing XIV’s raid content on the go with retro style graphics and turned based combat sounds absolutely awesome.

Split into four distinct wings – Gordias, Midas, The Creator – the Alexander raids provide challenging encounters for end-game players to collect sets of gear the scale higher in item level than those found throughout the rest of the game. While not quite as retro as this April Fools joke the next expansion, Stormblood, will take players back to the world of Ivalice – featured in Final Fantasy Tactics – with the new “Return To Ivalice” raids set to launch sometime this summer.


FFXIV Letter From The Producer Live XXV Confirmed

Posted on October 11, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix has confirmed that the next Letter from the Producer Live for Final Fantasy XIV Heavansward will take place on October 25th. It seems kind of fitting that we will get our first close look at Final Fantasy XIV Patch 3.1 during the 25th Live Letter.

For those who are unaware – “Letter from the Producer Live” are a series of Live Streams featuring FFXIV’s producer Yoshi P where he details upcoming changes to the game, reveals new locations and other fun tidbits. Sometimes they are broadcast only in Japanese, which means the community will have to wait for the official translations or summaries to be released to get all the juicy details, and sometimes they are broadcast with English subtitles.

Patch 3.1 will bring the first major story content for FFXIV’s first expansion, Heavanward, since it’s launch this past June. Also included in the new patch will be a brand new 24 person raid called “The Void Ark” as well as co-operative airship missions for player Free Companies.

There is lots of stuff to look forward to.. so FFXIV fans hang tight and as always PLEASE LOOK FORWARD TO IT!

Here are some of the details from the Official FFXIV website:

Patch 3.1 Preview
Yoshi-P will discuss the upcoming Exploratory Missions and Lord of Verminion, as well as field questions taken from the official forum.
Miscellaneous Announcements
How to Submit Questions
Prior to the live stream, questions will be accepted in the designated thread on the official forum. It is also possible to ask questions during the live stream. To do so, please follow the official FFXIV Twitter account (@FF_XIV_EN) and send tweets containing the “XIVLive” hash tag.

Official Forum Questions Thread: http://sqex.to/WJA
Official FFXIV Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/FF_XIV_EN

Exploratory Missions
Lord of Verminion
Questions for Yosuke Hayashi
The item team’s lead planner will answer item-related questions ranging from general topics to details on the Minion Alliance.



FFXIV: Heavensward – Early Story Impressions

Posted on July 29, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

It’s been about a month since the last time I wrote about my experience with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Unfortunately I forgot to write a new entry in my proposed series of articles about Square Enix’s latest expansion. Since the early access period expired at the end of June my bard, Reka Ai’a, has ventured through the Dravanian Forelands, brought an end to the DragonSong war and is now heading towards the final encounter with the Holy See.Read More


New FFXIV: Heavensward BenchmarkTrailer Gets Us Excited

Posted on April 24, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix has released the full trailer for the Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward benchmark which will be released to the community this coming Monday. It’s our first look at a lot of the new abilities available to existing classes, possibly some of the upcoming raid content among other hints of things to come. Needless to say FFXIV players will be picking this benchmark apart until the full expansion drops this coming June.

For the uninitiated FFXIV: Heavensward expands on the original Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with entirely new zones set in the northern snowy planes of Coerthas, raising the maximum level cap to 60, introducing three new jobs (Machinist, Astrologain, Dark Knight) and the promise of new 4 player / 8 player dungeons and of course 24 player raids.

Get your PCs ready because it looks like FFXIV: Heavensward might take a bit of additional horse power.

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