FFXIV: Endwalker Class Changes Guide
This article is based on an in-development build of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.
With FFXIV: Endwalker, we’re going to see a wealth of new abilities and class changes from levels 80-90. For some classes, they’re getting complete reworks, like Summoner. Dragoon also has a ton of new content, to make the class feel like less of a chore. Sorry, Dragoon mains. I’m going to cover as much as I can of all of the FFXIV: Endwalker class changes between 80-90. What I’ll probably do for the classes that get completely changed, I’ll see if I can’t cover separate blog entries to make that stuff easier to access. I’ll break it down into sections (Melee DPS, Tanks, Healers, Ranged/Magic DPS). I’ve spent the past few days going as deep into the changes as I can, and I’ll give you what useful information I’ve got.
It’s going to be an incredibly good time in Endwalker, that’s for sure. We’re incredibly hyped to go to the moon, create a farm, and get our faces stomped in by Anima and The Magus Sisters. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be glorious. So without further ado, let’s look into the class changes for the 80-90 jobs of FFXIV: Endwalker! You can see all of the new actions in this video as well.
Tank Class Changes
Tanks aren’t truthfully getting a ton of changes going into Endwalker, but there are important changes and new abilities. We’re pretty much always going to get new powers to play with! The changes, according to Yoshi-P in tanks are designed to reward skilled tanks for using their damage mitigation at the right time, more than anything else.
I think Dark Knight had the least amount of changes done. It had some potency changes, the important stuff (timers, effects) has stayed about the same. When it comes to pre-80, Delirium changes from a flat buff to an instant cast that gives three stacks of Delirium. Each stack lets you use Quietus or Bloodspiller without the costs, restoring MP when either hits. Whether this is a nerf or not is up to you, but it feels like it. It does have a longer duration (30s), so you can potentially be more flexible in how you utilize it.
What about new abilities though? At level 82 you unlock Oblation. This is a damage reduction for a party member (or yourself) for 10% for 10s. This has two charges to put to use and is on a 60s timer. This is a great ability, but Dark Knights are already pretty rad. You could use it to help an off-tank, or just use it for yourself. Level 84 gets a new trait, Enhanced Unmend. It reduces the cast time of Plunge by five seconds when you use Unmend. Sort of mediocre, but it does almost always give you a gap closer/movement ability, so that’s actually rad.
You also get Melee Mastery, which increases the overall potency for a trio of skills: Hard Slash, Syphon Strike, and Soul Eater. Salt and Darkness drops at 86, and I love the name. This makes your enemies caught in Salted Earth take unaspected damage with a potency of 500 (massive, that). Salted Earth now just drops at your feet now, so you don’t have to fiddle with moving it around after pressing the button. Love that, if I can be honest.
The other abilities you pick up make LIving Shadow more powerful, and at least they get that. Level 88 gives Enhanced Living Shadow and increases the potency of the Shadow’s attack to 300. Then at Level 90 there’s Enhanced Living Shadow II. This changes Flood of Shadow when used by the Living Shadow into Shadowbringer. Shadowbringer is your Level 90 ability and deals unaspected damage to all enemies in a straight line – for 600 Potency on the first enemy, and 50% less for everyone else. It has two charges as well, but can only be used under the influence of Darkside. The Living Shadow version is also weaker but has less potency reduction. It has 450 potency and 25% less for remaining foes. So it’s still really quite good.
Not really thrilled with Dark Knight to be honest, but I don’t tank much – when I do, it’s Paladin.
Perhaps the best thing for me in Gunbreaker is the changes to their combos. The combos that involve Gnashing Fang are two-button deals. Instead of going:
Gnashing Fang -> Savage Claw or Jugular Rip -> Abdomen Tear or Eye Gouge (depending on the Gnashing Fang combo base).
Now you use Gnashing Fang, Savage Claw, and Wicked Talon in a single button that changes per use. The non-Gnashing actions can’t be assigned to a hotbar either. Just takes a few buttons away from the bar, and that can only be a good thing. This is one thing I adore about Gunbreaker in Endwalker, it reduces the horrible bloat. Another thing that’s great (awful if you’re a healer potentially), Superbolide now has a 10s duration!
What about their cool new stuff? Level 82 gives us Heart of Stone Mastery, and that changes Heart of Stone into Heart of Corundum. Don’t worry, it still does the same thing (reduces damage taken by you or a party member by 15% and gives the target Brutal Shell – if it’s up). You get two more effects though. They might feel familiar to long-time tanks because these abilities are similar to Shelltron (Paladin) and Bloodwhetting (Warrior).
First, you get Clarity of Corundum and it increases the damage reduction duration for 4 seconds, and Catharsis of Corundum restores Hp when it falls below 50%, or when the effect ends (after 10 seconds). This lets the Gunbreaker, or one of their friends needs more mitigation. More traits though! At level 84 you get Enhanced Aurora (two charges of Aurora), and Melee Mastery. Like in Dark Knight, it gives more potency to Keen Edge, Brutal Shell, and Solid Barrel.
Another trait, Enhanced Continuation, it grants the “Ready to Blast” after you use Burst Strike. Your Continuation button will turn into Hypervelocity. That gives you an instant attack for 200 potency. It also doesn’t use a Cartridge, so you just get more immediate DPS. Love that. You get a third cartridge at Level 88, thanks to Cartridge Charge II. This goes along with Bloodfest and can fill three Cartridges. Again, like in Dark Knight, we get more flexibility in our tank. However, we get a very awesome attack at level 90, Double Down! It’s got a recast timer of 59s, which isn’t so bad and costs 2 Cartridges. It deals damage to all nearby enemies with a potency of 1200 for the first enemy, and 20% less for all remaining enemies. That is incredible damage! I believe it’s the strongest AOE for any of the tanks. Sure these tanks aren’t getting a ton of abilities, but what they get is useful.
The changes made to Paladin might make me play it even more than before. Paladin gets way more healing going into Endwalker. You’ll have to wait until post 80 for more Healing, but it’s going to be there. Paladin also gets more damage, which, in my opinion, it’s desperately needed. At level 82, Shelltron Mastery upgrades the skill to Holy Shelltron. It still blocks incoming attacks and reduces damage taken by 15% for 4s. Now it also grants “Knight’s Benediction”, which heals over time. A Cure Potency of 250 for 12s, it costs 50 Oath Gauge altogether.
Okay, that is amazing. We get a second trait at 82, and that’s Enhanced Intervention. Intervention now lasts for 8 seconds, grants “Knights’ Resolve”, like normal. Knight’s Benediction is the new stuff, which adds another Heal over Time for 12s, for a Cure Potency of 250. The healing doesn’t stop there! Divine Magic Mastery II shows up at level 84, and it adds a healing effect to both Holy Spirit and Holy Circle! These both have Cure Potency of 400, making their Magic Damage Combo serious business.
Like the other tanks, we also get Melee Mastery II at the same level. It increases the potencies of our melee abilities – Fast Blade, Riot Blade, Royal Authority, Holy Spirit, and Atonement. Then, at level 86 receive Spirits Within Mastery. Now, Spirits Within (single-target) becomes Expiacion (Area-of-Effect), and the base ability no longer scales with maximum HP. Expiacion drops an attack to a target and all enemies near it, for 300 Potency for the first, 50% less for the others.
Enhanced Divine Veil drops at Level 88, and adds a healing effect to Divine Veil, for Cure Potency of 400. Man, Paladins are the new hybrid healers! At level 90, Paladins receive a trio of “Sea of Swords” skills. Blade of Faith, Blade of Truth, and Blade of Valor abilities are born. This changes how Confiteor works. Now, instead of ending your Holy Spirit combo at the end of Requiescat’s buff duration, Confiteor combos into Blade of Faith, and that combos into Blade of Truth, and finally, your finisher, Blade of Valor. They replace each other on the hotbar, so you don’t have to stress having three more buttons!
What do these swords do though? All three restore MP, and we need/want that. These attacks also deal full potency to a target, and 50% to the other nearby targets (within 5 yalms). Confiteor apparently also lost some potency, but since we get all these other abilities as a result, it is said to add up to about 1470 Potency. It’s going to be just fine. Blade of Faith has a Potency of 250 at first, Blade of Truth with 350. Blade of Valor also has Damage over Time, but can’t be stacked with Goring Blade. The initial damage potency is 450, and the DoT is 80 for the first enemy.
Wow, I love Paladin, and I cannot wait to don my bright, shining armor again.
Like the other tanks, it’s going to feel mostly the same. It did receive some pre-80 changes, which we can go over in brief. Berserk/Inner Release isn’t a 10-second buff. Now it grants three stacks of Berserk/Inner Release for 30 seconds. Each stack of Berserk guarantees weaponskill attacks are crits and direct hits, with an additional effect of Surging Tempest’s duration extending by 10s each (cap of 60s). Surging Tempest is a buff for Storm’s Eye, that’s all.
Inner Release lets you use the Beast Gauge actions without cost and will guarantee crit/direct hits. The ability also still nullifies Stun/Sleep/Bind/Heavy as an effect of the ability. Storm’s Eye buff is down to 10 seconds, but the max is still 60s. The Recast timer is 60s for this, so you will have it up nice and frequently. As for new content, Enhanced Shake It Off comes at level 76, and adds a 300 Cure Potency heal to Shake It Off, and that’s amazing.
The real good stuff happens starting at level 82, Bloodwhetting. For 8s, you take 10% less damage, and each weaponskill delivered restores HP (400 Cure Potency), and grants Stem the Flow for another 10% damage reduction for 4s. Stem the Tide creates a barrier around the Warrior that absorbs equal to 400 Potency, for 30s, and also shares a cast timer with Nascent Flash.
All of this comes from Raw Intuition, as Raw Intuition Mastery at level 82, upgrading it to Bloodwhetting. This level also gets Enhanced Nascent Flash, granting it Stem the Flow and Stem the Tide. Now we see why the two abilities share a recast timer! Then we pick up Melee Mastery at level 84, which probably isn’t a shock by now. Heavy Swing, Maim, Storm’s Path, and Storm’s Eye all get increased. Level 86 brings a new attack, Orogeny. It hits for 150 to all nearby enemies and shares a recast timer with Upheaval. Simple, to the point.
At level 88, you receive a third Onslaught charge, thanks to Enhanced Onslaught. Like the other tanks, we also receive a brutal, powerful attack at 90. Primal Rend drops a critical hit to the target, and all enemies nearby – a Potency of 700 for the first enemy, and 70% less for the remaining targets. It doesn’t consume stacks of Inner Release either, but it can only be executed under the effect of Primal Rend Ready, which Inner Release grants.
Healer Class Changes
On a personal level, healing is my favorite way to play the game. I might have all jobs at 80, but I spend more time as a White Mage than anything else. One of the major “changes” being made in Endwalker, the healers are essentially being changed into “Barrier Healers” and “Pure Healers”. This doesn’t mean the classes are being essentially being weakened. They are instead being given new powers to make this role clear. I imagine that in the higher-difficulty content, you’re going to need to be clear about what healer styles you need, so you can actually succeed, but things will probably still feel the same. I like that.
White Mage and Scholar get new abilities, but no major changes, but Astrologian will be adjusted to make their kit work as pure healers instead of what they did before. We’re also going to cover what you can expect in Sage in brief, since it’s the new healer class. It reminds me a great deal of Nu Gundam, piloted by Amuro Ray, with the Nouliths weapon.
Let’s get started!
This class probably gets the most changes overall. The biggest change for me is that the “Sects” are gone! No more juggling Diurnal and Nocturnal Sect. The effects are still around in certain abilities, but you don’t have to juggle the skills. Level 80’s Neutral Sect grants barrier effects to Aspected Benefic and Aspected Helios (which is gained by Nocturnal Sect).
Another important change is to Redraw. It’s not a charge action, and you can do it every time you Draw. The “Seals” are now called “Signs”, which is a flavor change more than anything – Solar Sign, Lunar Sign, Celestial Sign. Minor Arcana was overhauled to draw Lord of Crowns (AoE damage) or Lady of Crowns (AoE heal), and are a separate deck, more or less. You activate it through Crown Play.
Astrodyne shows up at level 50, and it sort of replaces Divination (which is now a 6% damage buff to your party). The effects of Astrodyne change based on the Signs you pick up from played cards. You can only do it after reading three astrosigns. You receive one of the following abilities:
- 1 Sign Types: Grants Harmony of Spirit
- 2 Sign Types: Grants Harmony of Spirit and Harmony of Body
- 3 Sign Types: Grants Harmony of Spirit, Harmony of Body, and Harmony of Mind
Harmony of Spirit grants MP Regen, Harmony of Mind grants 5% damage and healing buff, and Harmony of Body grants 10% cast-time reduction. So these are definitely worth exploring, depending on what you’ve done. Celestial Opposition doesn’t have the old Barrier ability, and Celestial Intersection loses Regen (but has two charges at 88). Earthly Star is a two-part AoE but gets a huge damage boost. Stellar Burst has 240 damage potency, and Stellar Explosion is 320 potency, and both retain their original healing potencies. As for the 80-90 content, Malefic IV changes at level 82, into Fall Malefic, and Gravity becomes Gravity II. These come from Gravity Mastery and Malefic Mastery IV.
At level 85, the Enhanced Healing Magic trait grants potency bonuses to Benefic, Aspected Benefic, Helios, and Aspected Helios. However, at level 86 Astrologian receives an off-GCD spell, Exaltation. It reduces the damage you or a party member takes by 10% for 8s and has a 500 potency heal afterward. That’s a serious bang for your buck, on its 60s timer.
One of my favorite abilities of the entire collection comes to level 90 Astrologians – Macrocosmos! This is their big-time, 120s ability that will really help in difficult fights. It deals a 250 potency (first enemy, 50% less for remaining foes) AOE, and grants Macrocosmos to your party for 15s. During this time, it keeps track of damage taken, half of which is factored in. The total amount is distributed as a party-wide heal after the effect expires. You can trigger it early, with the follow-up Microcosmos. I can see this being a serious way to help when your party takes a ton of damage, to get the health back.
I didn’t get to take part in this preview, so I have no personal experience with Sage or Reaper, unfortunately. Sage is a Barrier Healer and mitigates damage while healing the party, which is nice. It’s being said the damage isn’t so great on it though, but that can change with time. I may return and do a separate piece on what I know about the Sage since I’ve done a fair amount of research.
I’ll go over a few key abilities. Kardia grants the perpetual effect of Kardion to you or a party member. This makes a portion of your damage heal that target. As far as damage dealing, you have a few abilities – Dosis (single target), Dyskrasia (AOE), and Phlegma (two-charge, oGCD), and Toxikon. What about our cure spells? Diagnosis is our Cure, Prognosis is a party-wide spell, and Physis is party-wide Regen. You can modify these to add barriers, by activating Eukrasia before casting, and it also turns Dosis into a DoT.
Sage’s Job Gauge is “Addersgall”, and it accumulates stacks (up to 3) every 20s. This gives you your “-chole” healing spells – Durochole (single-target), Ixochole (party-wide), Kerachole (regen), Taurochole (party-wide regen and mitigation). These spells are instant and cost 1 Addersgall point.
In addition, the Job Gauge has “Addersting”. When your Eukrasian barriers get absorbed, you gain a stack, up to three. This grants access to the Toxikon AOE spell, for 1 point of Addersting. While I haven’t had a chance to play Sage, I’m really interested in it. Not just because it’s basically Nu Gundam with healing.
Scholar is now a Barrier Healer, so it got some minor tweaks to reflect that. A few abilities received some potency decreases, and Aetherflow now restores 20% of your maximum HP (instead of 10%). At level 82, you receive traits to upgrade Art of War into Art of War II and Broil III into Broil IV, which makes sense. Gotta get upgraded damage! Like Astrologian, at level 85, Enhanced Healing Magic increases healing potency for Physick, Embrace, and Seraphic Veil. It also increases the barrier of Adloquium (from 125 to 180%) and Succor (from 125 to 160%).
So our barriers are significantly stronger, which is what we need. Scholar receives an off-GCD spell at level 86, called Protraction. It increases the maximum HP for yourself or a party member by 10% for 10s. Not a bad deal when you need to survive just a bit longer. It also increases HP recovery via healing actions by 10%. We get another trait at level 88, Enhanced Deployment Tactics, making the titular recast time go down to 90s.
At level 90, Scholar get a speed boost! Gotta go fast! Expedient grants a movement buff and reduces damage taken by 10% for all nearby party members for 20s. Have friends that don’t know how to run out of the way of things on time? Here you go, you can help those people avoid death (potentially).
White Mage is my go-to healer, I’ve played it since ARR – when I gave up playing Summoner because it wasn’t fun. That’s going to play into later in this piece. It’s a great Pure Healer class, and it has damage! It did get some very minor adjustments, but I’m more curious about its 80+ class changes for FFXIV Endwalker. White Mage isn’t special here, so at level 82 it receives a pair of traits, Glare Mastery and Holy Mastery. This gives us Glare III and Holy III.
Always ready for more Glare/Holy spam. Then at level 85, we get Enhanced Healing Magic, of course. All of our Cures, Regen, Medica, Afflatus Solace, Afflatus Rapture receive healing potency bonuses! It’s not all traits though, because at level 86 we get Aquaveil. It’s a 60s spell recast, that reduces damage taken by 15% for 8s on us or a party member – this probably feels familiar, but we get 15% instead of 10%. Our use of Divine Benison goes up with a second charge at level 88, thanks to Enhanced Divine Benison. What about level 90?
Lilybell is our final spell and has a massive 180s cooldown. It lets us pick a spot on the ground for healing, and grants five stacks of Lilybell. Whenever we take a hit, one stack is used, and a 400 potency heal pops to anyone around me. This lasts for 15s, and any remaining stacks will get used and heal for 200 potency at the end. So it’s going to behoove well of us to be in the middle of the action, to make sure our tanks/dps get these huge heals. Great when unavoidable (or otherwise huge) damage procs are going on, to keep people up.
Melee DPS Changes
I don’t truthfully play a lot of melee DPS in FFXIV, but I do like them. It sounds like some pretty serious changes are coming to the melee classes, from the streamlining of Ninja to make it easier to access, to the major changes of Monk. Dragoon gets a little easier to play with the Blood of the Dragon changes, and some love for Samurai. We’ll also briefly talk about the new Reaper class, but I’ve not had my hands on it just yet. Perhaps we’ll have time to go back over some of what I’ve learned by researching, in a future blog. So let’s check out what’s changing for Melee DPS!
Thank. God. For. Blood of the Dragon update. You get it at level 54 still, but it’s passive, instead of something you need to juggle in your rotation. Life of the Dragon retains its function though. So we get a passive that increases the potency of Jump to 320 and Spineshatter Dive to 250, without having to worry about activating it at the right times. Thank. God.
At level 76, Dragoon gains Draconian Fire, and it’s granted after using the Fang and Claw, Wheeler Thrust combo (or vice versa). It replaces “Raiden Thrust Ready”. This will give us access to Raiden Thrust as a weaponskill. It plays into our level 90 power, so we’ll go over that soon. Level 82 grants Coerthan Torment, which also grants the Draconian Fire effect (Enhanced Coerthan Torment). It also converts Doom Spike into the upgraded Craconian Fury, while Draconian Fire is in play.
Level 86 changes Full Thrust into Heavens’ Thrust and Chaos Thrust into Chaotic Spring – thanks to Lance Mastery III. Enhanced Life Surge happens at level 88 and allows the accumulation of charges for consecutive uses of Life Surge (cap of 2). Certainly neat, that’s for sure. At level 90, things change again! At level 90, using Raiden Thrust or Draconian Fury grants a point of Firstminds’ Focus. Two of these let you use a powerful new Line-AOE, Wyrmwind Thrust.
It looks like level 90 Dragoons are going to dole out some pretty heavy damage, and I’m here for it.
Monk has always felt kind of complicated to me. It never felt like I was quite playing it right. One of the weird things was when you access Meditation, so you can start building Chakra. Now you acquire it at level 15.Building Chakra by using unique attacks is important, so getting it early is key. You also get a new attack at the same level – Steel Peak. This will become The Forbidden Chakra later (level 54). They also learn a new attack, Howling Fist at 40, and that turns into Enlightenment at level 74. You’ll need 5 Chakra stacks though.
Another major change is Beast Chakra. Each relates to one of your stances – Opo-opo, Coerl, Raptor. You gain this Chakra by using the appropriate skills while under Perfect Balance (level 50. If you get 3 of the same Beast Chakra, you can use a retooled Elixir Field, which unlocks at level 60. If you have three Beast Chakra of two types, you can instead use Celestial Revolution, and with one of each type, you can use Flint Strike. It frankly, feels even more confusing than ever. Flint Strike also grants Solar Nadi, Elixir Field grants Lunar Nadi, and Celestial Revolution gives you whichever you don’t have. From here, you want both Nadi, three more of any Beast Chakra, for a retooled Tornado Kick.
This sounds like it will add so many buttons, but the new skills are tied to the Masterful Blitz action, so it just changes depending on your current situation. They also lose Shoulder Tackle, but gain Thunderclap (no damage gap closer, that can also go to allies). Monks receive Riddle of Wind at level 72 which cuts our auto-attack delay by half. Amazing.
So, Monk sounds like it might get even more vexing, but I’ll have to try it out. What about the new 80+ stuff? At level 82, Arm of the Destroyer (AOE) becomes Shadow of the Destroyer thanks to Arm of the Destroyer Mastery. Flint Strike becomes Rising Phoenix at level 86 and Tornado Kick evolves into Phantom Rush at level 90! I’m not really sold on Monk, but I appreciate much time was taken to make it something unique and special. Boy, it sure does that.
Ninja got streamlined, and that’s very important. It’s another class that felt kind of perplexing to me, but I still love playing it. Though Huton’s gauge was lowered by 10s (to 60, to line up with previous announcements), it does receive a new weaponskill that refreshes an active Huton by 30s – Hurajin, at level 60. If Huton isn’t active, it just activates it for the full 60s, which is amazing. It’s not a combo either, so you can just pop it!
We also saw that Assassinate becomes Dream Within a Dream, instead of being two different actions (Adept Assassination trait). Love that as well. What about the 80+ content? Ninja gets some awesome stuff, that’s for sure. Phantom Kamaitaichi is a level 82 weaponskill, and AOE no less. You can only use it when Bunshin is active. You get a skill that enhances your Hakke Mjuinsatsu at level 86 when executed within a Doton area – Hollow Nozuchi.
You can also outlook forward to Melee Mastery at level 84 to increase the potency of Spinning Edge, Gust Slash, and Bhavackra. Bhavackra also gets another boost at level 88 with Enhanced Meisui – while under the effect of Meisui, at any rate. At level 90, you receive Forked Raiju and Fleeting Raiju. They are combo weaponskills and gap closers. They pop up for you after you activate Raiton.
I’m really looking forward to the new Ninja, that’s for sure. It feels like they’ll have more options for damage, and that should make them interesting.
During Fan Fest we talked about what Reaper can do, but a clearer picture has been painted, thanks to this media event. Reapers build up a Soul Gauge (red bar) and Shroud Gauge (blue bar) and expend a variety of weaponskills this way. Our abilities, basic and off-GCD feed the Soul Gauge, and after getting 50 Soul Points, you gain stronger attacks. This includes Blood Stalk (single-target), Grim Swathe (cone), and that activates Soul Reaver.
Soul Reaver will grant further awesome powers, like Gallows (single-target), Gibbet (single-target flank), and Guillotine (cone). These are some pretty grim names and fit the class pretty well, IMO. Using Gallows and then Gibbet makes the second one powerful. This works the other way around too. So you’re going to want to swap between the two to deal more damage.
These abilities build up your Shroud meter, and once that hits 50, you can enter Enshroud. This is where you do the majority of your big burst damage. You’ll have 30s to use your Lemure Shroud points across a few attacks. Cross Reaping and Void Reaping also enhance when using them one after another, and you also have Grim Reaping for a cone AOE.
That’s the basics of the class, and it sounds like it’ll be a hoot. Post 80, you’ll gain more Enshroud skills to burn, so you can be more flexible (and in turn, complicated) in maximizing your damage. These new attacks are Lemure’s Slice (single-target) and Lemure’s Scythe (cone). We’ll also have Blood Stalk upgraded into Unveiled Gallows/Unveiled Gibbet at 90 when you’re switching between skills. This should make using Soul Reaver easier.
It sounds like it will be pretty easy to get the hang of. Each form builds into the next form, increasing the amount of potential damage each time it sounds. Very curious about giving this a spin. They better have a Magus glamour from Chrono Trigger too!
It doesn’t sound like Samurai really changed a whole lot. By that I mean, it sounds like it’s still similar to what it was. We do know that Third Eye doesn’t grant Merciful Eyes/Hissatsu Seigan now, as those are now gone. Third Eye increases the Kenki gauge by 10 in addition to damage reduction. The damage buff gained by Jinpu and Shifu has specific names now too: Fugetsu and Fuka. Mangetsu and Oka gain the appropriate buffs instead of extending their durations as well.
So other than these, and some potency reductions, Samurai feels pretty similar, apparently. Shoha II shows up at level 80, and it’s an AOE version of Shoha. It can still only be executed after gaining three stacks of Meditation by executing Iajutsu, Meditate, or Ogi Namikiri in combat. Shoha and Shoha II also share a recast.
Hyosetsu is a new level 86 AOE attack that combos with Fuga, and grants Setsu on your Sen Gauge. We also gain enhanced traits for Tsubame-gaeshi (level 84) and Meikyo Shisui (level 88). The good stuff predictably comes at level 90. That means we gain Ogi Namikiri, and it’s a cone AOE that also adds Meditation stacks. This can only be activated under the effect of Ikishoten (Ogi Namikiri Ready). Kaeshi Namikiri unlocks at level 90 as a new Iaijutsu and is also a cone AOE. We’ve got lots more AOE in Samurai, it feels like. Really good feeling about that.
Ranged Melee/Magical DPS Changes
The big winner of the ranged classes is Summoner. It’s a whole new job now, and it’s a very serious change. Everyone I’ve seen talk about it after playing it loved it. This is great news because I hate Summoner. It was my first class in ARR, but I stopped playing it around level 40. It was frustrating, and not a whole lot of fun. That’s when I went WHM and never looked back. The other classes don’t have quite as many changes as Summoner (not even by half), but the changes make sense to me. There are newfound complexities found in quite a lot of the classes, but also important streamlining to reduce some bloat.
Bard gets another party buff! Huzzah! Bard in general is more or less the same, but it did get some cooldown reductions, like Ranging Strikes (60s). Straight Shot Ready will be available for longer (30s, instead of 10s), which will be great. The Bard Songs in general also last 45s, instead of 30s.
Quick Nock Mastery shows up at level 82 and changes Quick Knock into a new power, Ladonsbite. It’s an AOE cone in front of you and has a 30% chance to reset the recast timers for Bloodletter and Rain of Death. This is even better because at level 84, Enhanced Bloodletter is a trait that allows you to get a charge of each of those skills!
Bards receive a powerful line AOE at level 86, through Enhanced Apex Arrow. Once your Soul Voice Gauge gets to 80 or higher, and have used Apex Arrow, you can then cast Blast Arrow. Bard has always been a kind of simple class though, so at level 90 it gets a new mechanic – Minstrel’s Coda! Playing your Bard Songs will grant a corresponding “Coda”. Mage’s Ballad grants Mage’s Cody, Army’s Paeon grants Army’s Coda, and Wanderer’s Minuet grants Wanderers Coda. Depending on how many Coda’s you have, Radiant Finale will grant a party-wide damage buff. 2% for 1 Coda, 4% for 2 Coda, 5% for all three.
It’s honestly a pretty cool way to reward players for using their class as intended, and getting the songs in.
I’m sorry to every Black Mage main (especially Yoshi-P), but I’ve never found Black Mage to be fun. It felt very slow and very boring until later on in its levels. It’s a class that’s more or less staying the same it seems like. That said, it does have some changes to be aware of though. Perhaps the biggest is that Enochian became a passive trait, so that’s one less thing to be frustrated/aware of. It activates when under Astral Fire/Umbral Ice. It still boosts your damage as you level up, and grants a count of Polyglot if you hold it for 30s.
Enhanced Freeze will unlock earlier(level 58) and makes Freeze grant three Umbral Hearts. We also get a new trait at 80, Enhanced Foul. Now Foul is instant-cast when it’s time to use it! Okay, now Black Mage is starting to sound appealing. At level 82, Fire II and Blizzard II become High Fire II and High Blizzard II. This comes from Aspect Mastery IV. We’ll get another trait at 84, Enhanced Manafont. It will reduce the skills’ recast time to 120s.
At level 86, things heat up. Amplifier is a 120s recast ability, and it grants you one stack of Polyglot. It can only be used under Astral Fire or Umbral Ice as well. This level also grants Enhanced Enochian III, which increases its magic damage increase to 20%. Then at level 88, we get the trait Enhanced Sharpcast II, which allows us to stack charges (max 2) of Sharpcast!
The grand finale comes in the form of Paradox at level 90.It deals unaspected damage of 510 potency and has different effects depending on what form you swapped from. You gain access to Paradox after swapping Astral Fire III or by swapping Umbral Ice III (with three Umbral Hearts). The Astral Fire bonus refreshes the duration of Astral Fire and a 40% chance to grant Firestarter. Your next Fire III with that will require no cast time/no MP. The Umbral Ice bonus requires no MP to cast and refreshes Umbral Ice.
Dancers’ big change was to streamline how their procs work. They changed it from having single-target and AOE weaponskills that create their own procs. Now specific procs rely on the same effect that grants a combo action.
Cascade and Windmill have a 50% chance of granting an ability, Flourishing Symmetry.This lets you use Reverse Cascade (single-target) or Rising Windmill (AOE). So you use the appropriate abilities, and pick the proper follow-up that you need, whether it’s single target or aoe. This stays the same for Fountain/Bladeshower (50% chance of granting Flourishing Flow) for Fountainfall and Bloodshower.
Improvisation was changed too and grants Rising Rhythm. This will stack every three seconds, to a cap of four stacks. Then when ready, you can pop Improvised Finish, which gives you and nearby party members a damage-absorbing barrier. The amount absorbed depends on how many stacks you get. It also has a party-wide HOT (Heal over Time), so that’s brilliant.
Level 82 grants Enhanced Technical Finish and grants Flourishing Finish after using Technical Finish. This allows for the use of the Tilliana ability! It’s an AOE attack that grants Standard Finish’s effects and Espirit to yourself and your Dance Partner. Level 86 grants Fan Dance IV as an AOE attack. Flourish grants a stack of Fourfold Fan Dance.
Then at level 88, Shield Samba gets a cooldown reduction, thanks to a trait. Now it’s only 90s. Then we get to level 90, and the ultimate ability, Starfall Dance. It’s a line-AOE and requires Flourishing Starfall, which requires you to use Devilment first. Dancer definitely got some quality love in this expansion.
Machinist didn’t really change much either, but it’s 80-90 stuff is still awesome-sounding. Spread Shot Mastery at level 82 upgrades Spread Shot into Scattergun. It does still function the same, and Scattergun is a cooler name, I think. Enhanced Reassemble is next at 84, allowing for an extra charge of Reassemble (cap of 2). We also get Marksman’s Mastery to increase the potency of Heated Split Shot, Heated Slug Shot, and Heated Clean Shot. Quality stuff, that.
Our Automaton Queen gets a new finisher at level 86, Crowned Collider. This is a follow-up for Pile Bunker. So when you use Queen Overdrive (or when time runs out), she’ll use Pile Bunker, and follow-up immediately with Crowned Collider, for a serious, meaty bit of damage.
Tactician gets a cdr reduction thanks to Enhanced Tactician at level 88. At level 90, we channel Edgar from Final Fantasy VI, with Chain Saw! You may be seeing a pattern – another line-AOE, and it also grants the user 20 points to the Battery Gauge. Chain Saw is pretty awesome though and is solid damage on a reasonable timer (60s).
Red Mage gets something new pre-80, which will adjust how you use Verflare/Verholy – Mana Stack. For each Enchanted weaponskill you use, you gain a Mana Stack. This caps at 3. Once you have three, Verthunder becomes Verflare and Veraero becomes Verholy. Verflare, Verholy, and Scorch also inflict AOE damage. Engagement also unlocks much sooner, at level 40 instead of 72. Enhanced Contra Sixte (now Red Magic Mastery) unlocks earlier, 74 instead of 78. This swaps with Enhanced Manafictation. Manafication in general also changes, granting 50 White/Black Mana, instead of doubling them.
Red Magic Mastery III shows up at level 82 and upgrades Verthunder to Verthunder III, and Veraero to Veraero III. This ties into Mana Stack, which we just discussed. Level 84 also improves these spells’ potency, thanks to Red Magic Mastery III. Then at level 86, you gain Magick Barrier – party-wide damage reduction, and a buff to HP from healing spells. Your healers will thank you. At least, they should. You get a second charge of Acceleration at 88, too.
Level 90’s spell is Resolution, which can be activated after Scorch, nice and easy. It’s also a line-based AOE! It is 750 potency for the first target, and 60% less for the other targets, and has a very low recast timer since you can do it whenever you Scorch.
Oh, Summoner. You’ve seen so many changes, there’s no way we can get into every single one here. A major change is that the DoT spells were completely removed – farewell, Bio and Miasma. Fester is now a direct-damage spell, and Tri-Disaster is now an AOE spell, replacing Outburst at level 74.
Aethercharge has been completely repurposed as well. It’s not using weird, random abilities. Now it gives us three elements, the Arcanum. Ruby (Fire), Topaz (Earth), and Emerald (Wind). You can then summon the appropriate Carbuncles to use a limited number of attacks in a 30-second window. When you exhaust one, you can activate the next for another time window.
The order you use them is up to you. Then at level 30, 35, and 45, you can summon Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda, in that order. In the time you have these, you can use Gemshine (single-target) and Precious Brilliance (AOE) will become the main actions, depending on the summon.
Dreadwyrm Trance’s new version pops up at level 58. During it, you can use Ruin III and Tri-Disaster/Outburst to become Astral Impulse and Astral Flare. Oh, and you have Deathflare still, too. Then after that wears off, you’ll have access to your previous summons. Summon Bahamut will replace Dreadwyrm Trance at level 70, and it will retain the effects while summoning Bahamut for 20s.
Much like in Shadowbringers, Summon Phoenix is next, and it is summoned after Summon Bahamut. Like the previous abilities, you then have access to your elemental summons. You’re going to be going into Dreadwyrm/Bahamut, then summoning your Elemental Allies, then Phoenix, then your Elemental Allies, and repeat. You can summon those in any order to mix it up, and they all have unique abilities. They will gain more powers and improve as you move to 90.
I’m so excited about this. The class makes more sense and has less obnoxious nonsense in it. It could lead me to playing it again as my primary DPS class, and that’s wild. FFXIV: Endwalker’s class changes are far and away exciting. I cannot wait to get into the expansion. While I’m not excited about all of the classes (Sorry Monk, Dancer), the majority are very cool.