Friday, June 19, 2015

FF14 Heavensward existing class patch notes thoughts

Okay second part of Heavensward patch notes regarding existing class changes. Below are just some of my thoughts and speculations. Maybe in the future I can look back and see if they came true?

Disclaimer: Note that the only classes I haven't played are Ninja, Warrior, Monk and Archer so what I view from those classes are purely from a bystander perspective.

The existing skill changes compilation I read were from here. It seems like there's a lot of nerf in AoE damage, defensive buffs and debuffs. There are also buffs in attack skills in general.

Particular skill changes that caught my attention:

Enhanced Medica replacing Proshell  - This is incredibly awesome given that Cure III range is so crap. This means that we can be more liberal on our AoE heals. Proshell removal is probably just to balance between all 3 healers so when Scholars get paired with Astrologians, they don't feel like they missed out on anything.

Quick Stoneskin replacing Graniteskin - Awesome also. Graniteskin removal, like Proshell removal, is probably for balancing out the 3 healers. Quick Stoneskin is actually very nice for tank busting mechanics and PVP where cast time really matters.

Selene Changes - Wow, looks like a lot of changes for the Scholar pet. The 'mass leeches' skill can be useful I guess, but with statuses that cannot be removed, it's hard to conclude it's usefulness. It will probably be good in a couple of fights here and there though.

New Class Skills

Holy shit summoner. With all the AoE nerfs to Holy and Flare, They might very well be the best burst AoE class in the game with these new skills. I'm expecting a nerf coming their way because with Tri-Disaster and Dreadwyrm Stance, they might also be the best single target caster DPS (they already are currently, but this might put they waaay past BLM).

They ramped up Scholar's ability to heal, which kind of confuses me a bit because that is traditionally a White Mage's role. I'm not exact certain about what to conclude about Deployment Tactics, except that it can gives everybody a powerful shield. Actually the new Scholar skills made me wonder where both Astrologian and Scholar stands between healing and shielding. In general, Scholar seems like very well rounded healer now, instead of a shield specialist.

Black Mage
Ley Lines is the most interesting new ability in my opinion, specifically on a job that is as immobile as a Black Mage. Sharpcast looks crazy good on paper because it forces procs. The effect of Enochain + Fire4/Blizzard4 really depends on how good they are in the BLM rotation I think. As the description holds, they do not look very impressive. It might be just there to increase overall dps and make rotations a bit more complex.

Bards seems to get a more complicated dps rotation! Hooray! Getting their own version of fester seems fun too. I personally feel that Warden's Paean will become another class defining feature for Bard, unless Yoshida is a bastard and have 'un-Paean-able' statuses.

Pretty straightforward. They get their version of Grease Lightning. Wait, then what would that make the relationship between Dragoons and Monks? With the lack of new attacks from monks, it seems that Dragoons might becoming top DPS, but only if they manage to the new positioning attack right all the time to extend Blood of the Dragon (well done, I just realized I almost described Grease Lightning).

Yay, AoE attack. Tornado kick is weird, because at the moment, monks do not want to lose their Grease Lightning. Integrating it into monk's rotation might mean that Perfect Balance timing is more important than ever. In general, it feels like Monks are less reliant on maintaining Grease Lightning, since they can gain it back faster with Form Shift. This could translate to just better overall dps.

The Chakra mechanic looks like a throwback to Monks in RO1, so we might see Monks become more bursty depending on what they can do with it.

The support melee is more supporty! Now they can reduce enmity, which probably makes them best friends with Black Mages. Other than that, they just simple dps increase.

I really think this is Yoshida's secret favorite class now. They get dps increase and a 1 hit version of the old Manawall. Divine Veil is siiiiiick on paper and can prevent raid wipes or mechanics that constantly throws AoEs (like T11?). Oh and they get a form of  Lay On Hands, finally.

I was actually wondering what dps class this is, then realized it's the Warrior. At this point, I'm entertaining the thought that Yoshida might change the Warrior icon to purple. Warriors are still really good tanks if done right though. Also, having a TP restoring skill really helps since they cannot cross-class Invigorate. I think they will be really fun to experiment solo/duo dungeon runs with, since their kit is looking more and more akin to those solo classes in other MMOs.

White Mage
Everything is good here. Every skill just makes White Mages do what they already do better. Aero III and Assize is going to be awesome for clearing mobs with the nerf to Holy incoming. Asylum is always good to have; there is actually a similar skill in PvP. Getting our own small Lustrate is good (Tetragrammation). My only hope is that it's "Instant" is really instant unlike Benediction's.

Aaaand that's it!^^

Heavensward soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

FF14 Heavensward patch notes thoughts.

Preliminary Patch notes are out!

Here are my thoughts for most of them.

Let's start from the top. Real talk here.

Playable Content
New areas and stuff. Not much to comment other than graphics. Art-wise for normal non-snowy areas look very Vanguard:SOH style: lots of brown, lots of medieval, lots of ruin, lots of moss, and...brown. Snowy areas look very Everquest: Scars of Velious: mainly pointy stuffs and dragon-like stuff littered over barren whiteness. Quite lovely. I loved Velious in Everquest so I'm pretty sure I'm going to love this place. I would love to have our FC house in a snowy place!

Flying continents are always amazing, of course. Brings the epic feel to the game.

Nothing much here, except that Beast tribe daily quest allowance increased from 6 to 12, which means more free exp especially for Ixali crafters.

There's this new thing called "Temple Leves" which is basically giant leves that uses up 10 allowances. There doesn't seem to be much motivation to doing these except that it drops this thing called "amber-encased vilekin", which we still have no idea what it can be exchanged for.

Nothing interesting here. More FATEs. Much wow.

Treasure Hunt
Nothing interesting here. More map types, much awesome.

Grand and Free Companies
Company Workshops! This is puts some EVE Online into FF14. Basically, crafters (or rich people, usually they are both) within the FC can come together and craft awesome stuffs, like airships! I think this new feature is pretty nice and adds a whole new level of content for crafters. 

Speaking of airships, there's this new thing called Exploratory Voyages. If a Free Company has an airship, you can send it on one. From a glance, it seems like a very detailed super retainer. I'm quite interested in how much Square allows this to affect Adventuring. My speculation is that it won't affect that much, but on hindsight, I can see how you can implement it such that it does.

And finally, new company actions! Glancing thought, the Jackpot ones (increases MGP payout) is so smart, especially if it affects mini-cactpot (I don't think it...will for the giant cactpot one?). If so, I can see our coffers drain at every midnight now.

New furnishings...etc. The Triple Triad table is actually interesting. I'm wondering if others can spectate a match.

The Manderville Gold Saucer
[2.0] Players can now purchase up to three mini cactpot tickets per day.
Holy crap? It gets more expensive after each try but...holy crap?

Other Playable Content Stuff
Nothing much that we don't know about here. New sightseeing logs, Au Ra race, new hairs (I don't think they are that interesting). Being able to view weather forecast is cool. Flying mounts. Oh yes, flying mounts. Like many others, I'm excited to have one, but I didn't like the addition of griffons. I really don't think it belongs in a Final Fantasy setting at all. But whatever pleases the crowd right? Griffon + snow = profit!

Battle System
Okay I'm just going to talk a bit about the 3 new jobs. It's going to be interesting to see how all 3 of them works out and fit into the current meta. Just some thoughts off my head:

Dark Knights
Are Dark Knights going to replace Warriors as a preferred tank? Or Paladins? Which do they synergize with better? How mana or energy reliant are Dark Knights? This might affect synergy with bards and ninjas. Potentially, like Ninjas, their existence in a static that aims for optimization might change their lineup.

What support does Machinist provide? I don't think they are all out dps because then they would be competing with our 3 other melee dps for physical prowess. I don't think any melees will like it if Machinist does more dps than them, which means they might support based. If so, how are they compared to Bard, which already seems to have everything.

Astrologian seems hardcore, potentially. Also seems fun. I'm definitely playing one on release. Either way, the way their stances work make it seems like they synergize well with the other healers. There will probably be different playstyles depending on what your other healer is, which I thought is interesting.

Limit Break Changes
The limit break for ranged physical DPS has been changed to an attack to all targets in a straight line before the caster.
Sounds incredibly underwhelming and boring on paper. Sounds like AE limit break with less area and possibly more damage. If that's the case though, I can see how it replaces caster LB in certain fights though. Pretty safe move. Still much much better than Bards casting healer LB.

Attribute Changes
[2.0] Player attributes have been adjusted as follows:
- Skilspeed and spellspeed now affect damage over time and healing over time effects.
Finally. About time. Also, maybe SMNs can share gear with BLMs now? And very good news for WHM. We'll still need to see the formulas though.

- The effect of determination on auto-attacks has been reduced.
This is just to reinforce the skillspeed/spellspeed changes.

- Critical hit rate now affects damage dealt with a critical strike.
Wow. So it's crit damage AND rate now? Sounds really overpowering. 

- Certain attributes no longer affect parry or block.
No comments. 

Fantastic changes which opens up for more experiments with gear, depending on how well they balance. In the future meta, at best, we might be seeing different BIS for different fights along with different rotation with different BIS. At the worst case, we'll just go back to the 1 BIS to rule them all. 

Pet Changes
[2.0] Pets have been adjusted as follows.
- The base accuracy of pets has been raised. Furthermore, all pet attacks will now be treated as if attacking from the rear.
- Pets will now receive the attribute bonuses of food items.
Awesome changes for SCH and SMN. To be honest though, these should be in since day 1 so from my perspective it's more of a bug fix. 

- In order to receive the effects of the caster's spell speed attribute, all pet actions excluding auto-attacks have been changed to elemental damage.
This one is pretty rad. /shrug. 

Duty Finder Changes
Undersized Party allows you to bypass restrictions of a duty while Minimum IL syncs you to the duty's minimum requirement. Both are really really cool. Undersized Party allows for cool experiments like maybe solo warrior runs....would make decent online content for your blog or whatever. Minimum IL is lovely. It allows players to experience old content as close as possible to its release. Reduces the amount of "BACK IN MY DAYS" rants for old players, I guess.

Loot Rules can now be set
We finally have multiple loot systems: Normal, Greed Only, Lootmaster. To be honest, I can't believe it took them this long to implement this. Watch out, DKP loot system might be coming Weird though, to have DKP for 8 man runs. Must be more unnecessary than I thought.

Nothing much. New kind of hunt seal? I hate hunts so I'm not really interested.

Lots of interesting changes and fixes. We can finally figure out WHY we win/lose now that they are showing points gained from various sources. There are also new rules for Frontlines which I cannot wait to try out!

Tons of small, interesting things here. Let me cherry pick:

[2.0] High quality items can now be converted into normal quality items.
The ability to reduce HQ stuff to LQ is always useful.

[2.0] Players can now purchase replica Zodiac Weapons from Drake in the North Shroud (X:30 Y:20).
AWESOME! No more stupid WHM christmas tree stick!

[3.0] Disciples of the Hand and Land can now exchange blue crafter's scrips and blue gatherer's scrips for items and gear.
Looks like tomestones/marks/seals for crafters and gatherers. No idea what it is, but good to see content expanded for crafters and gatherers.

Recycling mechanic. Always nice in any MMO. We'll have to wait and see what things actually get recycled for.

[3.0] The crafting specialist system has been added.
Essentially means you cannot be a "Master Crafter/Gatherer". Er, this is good and bad. Good because market won't be flooded and a crafter can probably earn better dough. Bad for consumers because everything is back to being rather expensive. However, still good for the game in general because the market will be stabler. I won't go into details here.

[2.0][3.0] New minions have been added.
[2.0][3.0] New mounts have been added.
Yay! Sorry.

Nothing much here

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Casual Connect 2015 Report

A bit overdue, but I'm gonna just drop this here: