Final Fantasy XIV Director Explains Why There’s No New Healer Job in Shadowbringers
The Final Fantasy XIV team knows that players want a new healing job, but it will take some time before one is added.
Final Fantasy XIV players have been very vocal about the game’s multitude of DPS jobs and lack of new healer jobs in particular. During E3 2019, I sat down with the game’s director, Naoki Yoshida, and asked him why the team hasn’t added a new healer job since the game’s first expansion, Heavensward, in June of 2015. Yoshida-san said:
So I’m not sure if people just don’t remember it or just don’t bring it up, but in Heavensward we introduced a new healer so it’s not like we’ve never introduced one. And so, some people actually do comment to me saying, it’s been six years where is the new healer?! I go, wait that’s not true!
Of course, with healers, yes, we do admit that there are difficulties in balancing different jobs in that category. It was a struggle over the years maintaining different jobs. We do see that Scholar has the ability to cast barriers and the fairy they can summon, they’re very mobile. On the other hand, it was lacking in pure healing capabilities. We do see players utilizing the Scholar to just have barriers set up and the rest of the time they’re mainly attacking. Healers who utilize other jobs may look at the Scholar and think, they can do everything else, why can’t we have that? We do understand that concern, it was quite a struggle seeing how we can balance all three jobs including the White Mage and Astrologian against each of the healer jobs. We have been continuing to tweak and make adjustments.
As of patch 4.4-ish, there may not have been complete balance yet. We haven’t gotten ourselves where we want the balance to be. At the brink of the new expansion, introducing yet another healer before we’re able to achieve a satisfactory level of balance would complicate things further. We’re very hesitant to say we could maintain balance amongst four (healer) job titles. That’s why we’ve held back on adding another healer job.
Considering the massive nature of MMORPGs and the vast amount of content that needs to be tweaked and balanced as the game goes on, it’s understandable that Yoshida-san and his team are hesitant to simply add a healer simply because fans are asking for it. Final Fantasy XIV has 17 jobs, four of which are tank-based, three are healing, and the rest of them are split into DPS subcategories. Yoshida-san went on to say that because the team felt that the ranged DPS jobs were lacking in options, it was only natural that a new job was added to that category.
In Shadowbringers, two new jobs were added. The Gunbreaker tank job is a bit of a spin on the iconic gunblade weapon in Final Fantasy, while the Dancer is the additional ranged/DPS job that was added. Yoshida-san explained to me in greater detail why the team ultimately decided to opt for these new classes as opposed to a healer. He said:
…looking at the different roles and maintaining the balance. If you remember the number of roles as of Stormblood 4.0, we have three in the tank category, five in melee/DPS, three in magic/DPS, three in the healer, and only two in the ranged/DPS category. Looking at the numerical standpoint of what jobs we have available, it was only natural to bolster the ranged/DPS category.
During our interview, Yoshida-san also talked a little bit about a potential collaborative event between Final Fantasy XIV and the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake next year. You can expect our full interview to go live sometime during the next week.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers launched earlier this month on both PS4 and PC. You can buy it right now over on Amazon if you’d like.
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