Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers Job Changes, New Quests, More Announced
Square Enix has announced new details surrounding the upcoming third expansion for Final Fantasy XIV. Ahead of the most recent Letter from producer Naoki Yoshida, we had the chance to attend a private media event for the upcoming expansion.
At the event, we had a presentation directly from Yoshida himself in which he revealed a ton of new information about the upcoming expansion that we didn’t know about previously. Some of these details were revealed in the most recent letter, but others are new details that we are breaking for you today.
These details include major Shadowbringers job changes, including some job classes functioning completely differently than they did previously. At the same time, there are new types of quests, new features, and a lot more to unpack. Without further ado, let’s take a look.
Final Fantasy has always boasted some of the best trailers in the business. If you haven’t already seen the Shadowbringers trailer it’s a must watch.
To start things off, there is a ton of new in-game content that will be available in Shadowbringers that we didn’t know about previously. The Fates system is something that not a ton of players actively participate in. Some players (like us) will try out some of the new ones at the beginning of an expansion and then forget about them quickly.
If you are like us or if you are someone who participates in Fates actively, you will want to know about the changes. For all Fates in the upcoming expansion, players will have the opportunity to get new rewards beyond just the normal experience and gil.
Similar to the Foxy Lady Fate, players will get a unique token currency reward in addition to the usual Fate rewards. This can be then turned into Fate traders for rewards, similar to other content in the game available currently. This provides yet another way to get new items.
During our time with Shadowbringers at the preview event, we accessed one of the traders and saw the typical items you’d expect like crafting materials and so on. Regardless, this is a great way to breathe new life into the Fate system, something that we’ve honestly ignored at this point, too.
That’s not all, though. There will be new types of quests in the upcoming expansion as well as major changes to quests that we already expect to be there. For starters, all 5.0 side quests introduced in Shadowbringers will be available at level 70 no matter which new area you’re in.
The new benchmark trailer for FFXIV.
In addition, the side quests will scale from 70 depending on the level you are currently at when you take it on. This will affect enemies within the side quests as well, as they will scale to your level as you fight them, too.
This is great news as it allows you to save side quests to be completed whenever you feel like it and not feel like you’re missing out on rewards. This is a great change that will benefit players in two different ways.
The first is that it will allow you to use the side quests for those expected moments in the main story where it jumps a level or two or three higher than where you are currently. These gaps can be some of the most frustrating moments, but this change could help with that.
Secondly, it also helps because it means you can save the side quests for a different class(es) to use to level them up faster rather than wasting the side quests or never doing them because they are too low level.
As for the new type of quests that players can expect, we are now getting “role quests.” These quests, as the name implies, are tied directly into your job’s role. There are four general roles with four sets of quests available in the expansion.
The four roles are tank, healer, ranged DPS, and melee DPS. Each of those four will have their own set of quests to take on. One set of quests is required in order to progress through the main scenario in the expansion so do be prepared to check role quests out at some point.
Thankfully, role quests don’t seem to affect the existence of job quests in the expansion. The two new jobs, Gunbreaker and Dancer, will get new job quests for players to check out. However, from Yoshida’s words during our presentation, he mentioned that existing jobs will have a new quest at level 80.
The official trailer for the new Dancer class.
This leads us to believe that, unlike previous expansions, it is possible that there will only be one job quest for existing job classes rather than a set of them that tells an arching storyline like before. This is an unfortunate change, if so.
There will be some new crafting and gathering quests, too. There are five sets of new quests and they will have a story focused around the new hub city of Crystarium. Through these quests, players will learn more about the lore of the First’s world.
We are currently unsure if these quests are replacing the typical crafting and gathering job quests, as they weren’t mentioned. But they do seem to be different. Yoshida mentioned that these quests will be divided up into five different roles, seemingly similar to the battle role quests.
The five roles are forging, crafting, nourishment, gathering, and fishing. Most of those seem pretty self-explanatory like nourishment and fishing, but it is interesting to see that these will be divided up into specific roles that will play into the quests themselves.
Beyond content itself, there are some other minor changes announced worth mentioning. Players will now be able to select a “theme” for their UI. Right now, there’s only the dark grayish-black option, but there will be a light theme added with more themes on the way in the future.
All general UI elements will be expanded as well. Also, cross-world linkshells will now have eight channels rather than just one. The info on an enemy target will be updated, too, to allow for decimals in the percentage once you reach below one percent. Example: 0.9 percent and so on. Last but not least, players will now be able to preview housing placement.
The Trust system, for those who don’t know, is a new NPC feature that allows AI party members to fight alongside you in dungeons. We have no idea currently if you can do trials with them or not. This is a great feature for players who like to play alone or don’t want to wait for queue times.
Unfortunately, we now know that the Trust system will only be available for Shadowbringers content at the launch of the expansion. We have no word if the system will be expanded to previous content as well, but that would make sense, especially with new players having a harder time finding people to complete required old content with.
With the Trust system, you will be able to fill the role of your choice. If you want to be the tank and try out the new Gunbreaker job without the worry of making mistakes in front of other players, this is a great way to do that. You can also be the healer and DPS if you want to.
The official trailer for the new Gunbreaker class.
Your NPC allies have special dedicated AI and unique actions that help make the system a sufficient solution for players looking to complete the Shadowbringers dungeons. NPCs are designed to react to whatever situation will occur in a dungeon-like boss mechanics and so on.
Yoshida was honest with us during the presentation, though, noting that the Trust system is meant to be an option for players rather than replace a real party with real players. Playing through content with other players is still the more effective option and will be most likely faster.
Yoshida mentioned that it will take about 30 minutes to complete a dungeon using the Trust system, though, it’s worth mentioning our experiences were much different than that during our preview, which you should read for a better grasp of what to expect.
Battle System Changes
In terms of battle system changes, there are a bunch coming in Shadowbringers. To begin with, there is a brand new action that will be added to the game called charged actions. These actions, as the name implies, gain charges over time.
They are sort of the opposite (kind of) of normal actions that have a cooldown before they can be used. Instead, they have a timer as well, but that’s until it receives one charge. At that time, you will be able to use the skill just like a normal action.
The difference is, though, once it charges the first time, it will immediately start the timer again and charge a second time until it reaches the maximum charges. The max could be something like two or three from what we’ve seen.
You are then able to use that action as many times as you have charges. If you want to use the action three times in a row because you can, go right ahead. The examples of this action we saw in practice was the Dancer’s charge forward ability.
The casting interruption system has been updated, too. Previously, it was hard to know which of the boss’ abilities could be interrupted or not. Players would have to memorize them or check guides to find out. Now, that will no longer be a problem for players.
From now on, the charge bar of a boss’ ability will look different than usual if it is able to be interrupted. Yoshida called it “glowing” but to us, it looked more like it was shaking or something. Regardless, it looks totally different from a normal cast bar so be sure to interrupt when you see it. Also, tanks and ranged DPS will both have interrupt role actions so that ranged DPS can help in this regard.
As we already knew, TP is no longer a thing in Shadowbringers. Instead, everyone will just use MP for their skills. We got further details on this, though, including the fact that everyone’s MP will be capped at 10,000, which is much lower than some current MP bars.
MP cost for skills should adjust accordingly, but overall, this is a solid move that will streamline things in combat. It will be much easier for players, specifically healers, to calculate and know how many more times they can use a certain ability before they run out of MP.
This, of course, brings yet another change to the Piety attribute for healers. Piety will remain an attribute that is only for healers but will now affect how much MP you recover over time. The overall calculations for actions have completely changed.
Chain bonuses are also being removed from dungeons. The overall damage limit has increased from 999,999 to 9,999,999. The party bonus will change depending on how many of a role are in the party. Barriers that are cast on players will now show up on the HP bar so you know how much you have left.
Attributes and Materia Changes
Speaking of attributes, there will be some other major changes to attributes as well as materia that will likely be pretty mixed and controversial to the community. For starters, let’s talk about the major materia changes.
Starting in Shadowbringers, players will no longer be allowed to meld materia that is tied to your class’ main attribute. You will only be able to meld materia that is for sub-attributes. This is a massive change that will likely affect raids and endgame parties.
What’s worse is that any materia you currently have equipped that are main attributes will be rendered useless when the expansion launches and be a waste of space. Square Enix has not announced any way to trade in your soon to be useless materia for useful ones.
Because of this, we highly recommend that you trade, sell, and get rid of the main attribute materia you have for all of your job classes before the new expansion launches. To make up for this as well as to boost the viability of token gear, all weekly token gear and raid gear in Shadowbringers will have two materia slots.
The overall job synergy is completely changing with the launch of Shadowbringers. Square Enix is addressing the issue in the endgame that certain jobs are essential to raids and being the world first to clear a raid.
Debuffs that certain jobs give to enemies like reducing slashing, piercing, and other resistances will be removed. This results in changing some actions while removing others entirely. This will allow every job to, hopefully, be viable for making up a party for raids. In addition, the synergy of Dancer will be increased as a buffer job.
Role and Job Changes
Last but not least, there are a ton of general Shadowbringers job changes that are coming along with changes to roles. Some of these Shadowbringers job changes will likely be controversial while others will be welcome changes that players have wanted for some time.
Tank Role/Job Changes
To kick things off, let’s take a look at the tank role, which has the biggest changes overall in the new expansion. All four tank jobs will be viable as both the main tank and off tank. There will no longer be the problem of some tanks being better for one or the other.
How this change works is that all offensive stances for tanks will be removed. Tanks will only have a tank stance that you either turn on when you are the main tank or turn off if you aren’t. To compensate for this, tanks will get a permanent bonus of 20 percent damage reduction as well as bonuses to strength and vitality.
The only difference between having the stance active or not is that you will have increased enmity in the tank stance. Your stats will be exactly the same with no change to them like before. As such, enmity combos will be removed from tanks. Tanks will also have a defensive buff to give to party members.
Healer Role/Job Changes
On the other hand, healers will remain roughly the same as before but with some key changes. There will be a bigger emphasis on healer classes as a pure healing job. Protect is being removed and there will be new actions all around.
White Mage will get an instant casting healing spell to offset long casting times. Scholar will get a new healing spell to make it more viable for healing as well as a new temporary summon like Summoner’s Bahamut named Seraph.
Astrologian will have some of the biggest changes with its stances and card effects adjusted. The level 80 ability Neutral Sect will allow it to temporarily have the effects of both Diurnal and Nocturnal Sect.
DPS Role/Job Changes
As for DPS jobs, most of the jobs are remaining the same including the most recent ones Samurai and Red Mage. These classes are roughly what you expect with just a few new abilities like Monk finally getting the fourth Greased Lightning stack. The ones who will drastically change are Bard, Machinist, and Summoner.
Bard will have some general changes to it, while Summoner will now have instant pet summons. Like Scholar, pets will no longer take any damage or be targeted by enemies. This completely changes the Titan and Topaz Carbuncle, as they will now focus on DPS.
Summoner will also receive a brand new summon in the form of Phoenix. It is large in size and similar to how Bahamut functions in combat. Visually, it looks to us like Suzaku.
Machinist, on the other hand, feels like a totally new class, according to Yoshida. Many of its abilities are totally different and the way it summons machines is different, too. There is more of a focus on the machines it controls for a temporary set of time. It will get a new automaton it can summon to fight alongside it briefly.