FFXIV – Shadowbringers Healer Changes

Right, so many of you may not know this but I’ve been really into FFXIV for the last two or three months. That’s also partially why I haven’t been reviewing as much. And the slow down in my writing, as I find myself lacking as much free time.

No, I don’t have a problem so stop looking at me like that.

Anyway, I may not have a lot of time in the game. But I do have opinions in regards to the changes they are making in the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion. Specifically, the Scholar job.

Unfortunately, Shadowbringers has decided Scholar needed a lot of changes. Astrologians suffered greatly as well, but I don’t play that class so I can’t do them justice aside from saying that rather than taking what the RNG fates gave you and making do with it as best you can, you now just give DPS buffs. It feels like they lost their identity, but the same can be said for Scholar as well.

To make things easier, I won’t bring up the missing DPS skills like Energy Drain, Shadowflare, Misama II, and Bane. Their loss will also be annoying but I want to focus specifically on healing skills for Scholar, as well as the loss of Role Actions.

Now, I particularly loved the Scholar class because it meshed well with me. I like to think of myself as a Tactician of sorts when I play a Scholar, choosing the right spell for the right time and guiding Lily where she’d be most effective, combining our healing capabilities to laugh off mechanics. It was complex to an extent but never boring.

But the changes first involve basically taking the things that made Lily’s Eos and Selene aspects different, essentially turning the fae’s aspects into glamour. I hate this personally because it feels like they simplified it and took away something that made her unique. But more so because I saw they removed Selene’s utility entirely by removing her AoE Esuna in the form of Fey Caress.

Do you know what kind of hell it is to try to heal people when you get hit with something like Silence or Paralysis?  Or when the group suffers from a mass detrimental effect, do you know how many times you have to hit the Esuna button to get somewhere?  Well, I do and its not fun because the time it takes for you to get lucky or the status to wear-off could be the difference between  a fail and success.

And guess who the party is going to blame when that happens?

They won’t kick you, of course. The wait time for Healers and Tanks is long enough that they’d may as well be doing the queue over. But as the failures pile up they will let you know that you stink at the job and it adds toxicity and pressure, the likes of which drives people from the job.

That is the last thing you should want when you see how long the DPS queues are because of a lack of Tanks and Healers.

Anyway, with Selene you could remedy that, hence why I’ve found her useful at time. I know people rarely used Selene because Eos was just better at healing, so SE can justify the glamourization. But why wasn’t the effects of Fey Caress rolled into either a spell or one of the remaining skills?

Not only would this have added some diversity instead of giving a regen effect to Succor, but you could have had to where White Mages had strong heals and heals over time, Astrologians could provide buffs (maybe debuffs to enemies to replace the loss of Spire), and Scholar providing mitigation and removal of bad effects.

But no, they want to give them all largely the same kit so none of them will be too much better than the others… except White Mage still only has one shielding ability and so its always going to be reactive. No real changes there. Just a Blood Lily for a single hard-hitting spell every 90s.

Worse, with SE trying to put a focus on healing they did it by actively gutting other classes and role skills that mitigated a lot of damage. They’re basically trying to force healers to heal more by artificially inflating the difficulty.  Take Protect for example.

Protect offered guaranteed mitigation for 30 minutes or until incapacitation. While reducing damage by a 10th (I believe) may not seem like much, it could be the difference between a Raise and a Benediction/Lustrate. Combined with Eye for an Eye potentially lowering the enemy’s damage output by 10% for 10s, you’ve reduced the incoming damage by a 5th instead of a 10th. Add in the other cooldowns like increased Parry or increased defence, it makes things go more smoothly.

But now that’s gone based on the information given by the Media Tour, leaving the Healer to shore up the burden when healing can already be a stressful job as is.

Even worse, they’ve lowered the ability of other Caster classes who aren’t healers to heal themselves or others to reduce the amount of support they get.

Removing Drain takes away Black and Blue Mages means of healing themselves effectively.Both do have some means of mitigating damage through things like Manaward or Diamondback, but these don’t top off your health. Blue Mages in particular have White Wind, but that only restores the health you currently have by that same amount at a heavy MP cost. That means Drain was the only reliable way to do some damage and get health back, even if only at 80 potency. As for removing Erase, that means a Caster can no longer cure a DoT that needs to be gone now and has a cure potency of 200.

Tanks also lost Convalescence too, meaning a Healer has to heal more frequently as well to get the same results. Warriors lost the ability to heal themselves using Steel Cyclone and Fell Cleave as well, so its clear they’re fully intent on making the healer work more there too.

Instead of making healing simpler they instead put more pressure, because if the healer screws up now they have no real safety net.  Yes, it raises the skill-level by taking away tools to make it easier from everyone else. But it also makes it less fun.

And the less fun it is, the less people who will play the role. I personally won’t be using Healer for roulettes or MSQs because I’m not going to ruin one of the pleasures I enjoy for faster queues.

But to say no one will play it is ludicrous when the new Adventurer in Need bonuses start showing up consistently for Healers as everyone else plays Dancer and Gunbreaker. In fact, people who need to do their daily’s will flock to it for the bonuses.

But in doing so you instead have someone doing it for mercenary reasons instead of a love of the class. That means they won’t be as effective and less inclined to do better if they make a mistake. They can literally just leave once the grace period kicks in or wait until the penalty goes away and then sign up again with a different group.

I personally believe that SE will get the message and change things for the better by the time 5.1 kicks in, as things are subject to change. But I would have preferred the changes be unneeded in the first place.

 

 

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