Final Fantasy Downtime
Yesterday the world mourned as we were unable to play Final Fantasy XIV. While technically at this very moment the servers should be up, I am pretending that they are not so that I don’t get horribly sidetracked this morning. While locked out of the game yesterday, it lead many of us to start speculating about what the classes and jobs that have yet to be identified might be for the Heavensward expansion. Right now there have been extremely scant confirmed details. The Dark Knight being the only class that is 100% verified and confirmed by the Square Enix. However during the events of Las Vegas there was a moment when maybe the Samurai was confirmed. As Soken scrolled around on screen looking for a specific track to play, he scrolled past a folder labeled “Samurai”.
So while this isn’t a confirmation by any case it has caused a lot of folks to assume this is the next class. Since Dark Knight is a tank, would this maybe make Samurai a DPS? In any case I plan on playing one whatever it ends up being. There is a thread out on Reddit trying to collect various tidbits of information that Yoshi-P has said during official statements. While this thread predates the Las Vegas Fan Fest, there is still a lot of interesting information in it. Primarily the confirmation that there would be at least one gun glass, and that it would not be the gun classes that we would expect. What I think is meant by that is that there is been a Corsairs guild in Limsa Lominsa for ages, it just isn’t labelled as such formally. Since Merlwyb herself is a Corsair, it has always been assumed that this would be an early expansion class. I feel like Yoshi-P is specifically saying this isn’t the case.
So if not the Musketeer/Corsair class then the question becomes what exactly will the gun job be. During the London Fan Fest Yoshi-P took the stage wearing a really awesome Black Mage outfit, however as soon as he stripped down out of the top part of it… he was wearing a black and gold 007 t-shirt. Then he pantomimed the traditional Bond opening sequence with a finger gun seen above. Normally I would think… this is Yoshi… he does all sorts of interesting things, this is pretty much the standard fare. However in Las Vegas the Dark Knight job that was eventually conformed in London… was first introduced with a Batman t-shirt. So this leaves us with what exactly is this job he is trying to tell us. Turns out there is in fact a job from one of the Tactics series games called “The Agent” that is apparently exclusive to that games “Cid” character. In fact the analogy pretty much fits Bond perfectly, considering the Agent is described essentially as a womanizing spy.
There however is a significant contingency that seems to believe that Yoshi might have already told us what the gun class would be. During an interview with MMORPG.com they asked him what his favorite class that is not currently in Final Fantasy XIV. He gave two specific answers, the first being Dark Knight which was confirmed in London. The second one he announced is the Machinist, specifically the version coming from Final Fantasy Tactics. This is traditionally a ranged attacker class, so it could very easily be this gun based class folks are assuming it would be. The version of this class that I am most familiar with is Edgar from Final Fantasy VI, and in that version he wields a wide variety of ranged contraptions, each of which giving him a different unique attack. Having not played much of the Tactics games, mostly because the game play style never really clicked with me… I am not sure exactly how this differs. It would be cool to have a traditional engineer type class, that fights using gadgets. Oddly enough the FFXI Puppet Master class is apparently considered a Machinist according to the wiki, and that is already a class that I would dig seeing in FFXIV.
Another possibility would be the Chemist, as it is one of the few traditional Final Fantasy “healer” jobs that exist but are not already in game. There is a precedent for being a gun class apparently. While I do not know which game this came from, the Wiki lists them as being able to equip guns in at least one game. Hoping that someone can fill in these details in the comments below as to which game they actually used guns. In any case even if this is not a gun glass I think it is a pretty strong candidate for a healer. They would present a unique healing style that isn’t already in the game, and could even do something similar to what they are doing with Ninjutsu to support the “mix” gameplay style from previous games. What if you had a series of commands that represented “ingredients” and then you had a mix command that you pressed afterwards. The combat effect would be based on which three ingredients you combined. Sure this would make for a strange healing style, but you could give them really strong heal over time capabilities to make up for and buffer the fiddly nature of mixing just the right potion in the heat of battle. I think this would be a really interesting game play style for someone looking for a class with an exceptionally high skill cap.
One of the things that screams Final Fantasy to me is the more interesting classes. Every game has the holy trinity of Tank, Healer and Melee/Range DPS. Final Fantasy however has traditionally had some exceptionally nuanced classes that blur these lines. For me at least the king of the “odd” classes is the Blue Mage, in its various forms. This apparently is another class that there is at least some precedent for being a gun class, based on past games. However even if this never makes it in as a gun class… I still want the class in the game badly. In part because I know this would make a good friend of mine exceptionally happy… and we would likely never find it playing any other job. The Blue Mage game play style would be extremely difficult as compared to the traditional MMO tropes… but I feel like it would be something interesting to add in with a series of intricate quests similar to the “Egi” quests needed to learn the various “lore” spells. I could see getting pulled into a series of dungeon encounters to be able to learn things like “Doom” that are traditionally in their spell list. I could also see it playing out far more organically and you have to actually learn your spells through running dungeons and defeating encounters. In any case I think it would be an extremely interesting addition.
Last bit of speculation this morning is one that seems like an absolute no brainer. In Final Fantasy V the Berserker had the ability to Equip Axes, which made them the almost natural choice for these weapons that most job could not use. As a DPS job, this makes them an ideal fit to be paired with the Marauder class and represent their DPS job, much the same way as Scholar and Summoner currently come from the Arcanist class. I have no clue if we will see this happen during the Heavensward expansion, but I think at some point each of the classes will end up getting a second job. It seems like a no brainer to make this happen, since most of the abilities in the marauder class could easily support the Berserker. The only question is how exactly would the game play work. I seriously doubt that they would try and replicate the weird glitchy “berserk” game play where the character just kind of goes off on its own making poor life decisions and getting the party killed. Instead I feel like it would be a traditional melee dps option, something they are of no shortage of currently. if nothing else I think this is a thing that is going to happen sooner or later, and I would welcoming having another class that uses all of the badass looking two handed axes.
Heavensward Job Speculation
Something to remember when reading this… everything but the Dark Knight is pure speculation. Yoshi-P is notoriously poor at keeping secrets, so I feel like he has already given us a bunch of information to figure out what sorts of classes and jobs we will see for the expansion. I also feel over the coming Live Letters he will start leaking more details, and hopefully between all of this we will start to be able to piece together what the final line-up is going to look like. I don’t think we will get much more confirmation however until the December 20-21 Tokyo Fan Fest. There are a ton of jobs that I would love to see in FFXIV. Mostly I feel like we have the strong core classes already in place, and would love for them to start adding in more of the trademarked Final Fantasy “quirk”. There are a ton of jobs that can be inspiration from decades of games, in any case I feel like we will have lots of interesting options this spring. Now I need to wrap this up and get to work… so I can rush home after work and play Patch 2.4.