During a Letter from the Producer Live broadcast from Hamburg in Germany, Final Fantasy XIV Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida and Global Community Producer Toshio Murouchi provided a lot of new footage of the Stormblood expansion, on top of a new trailer and a lot of new information.
As a disclaimer, Yoshida-san mentioned that the gameplay footage used today is not final, and especially the tooltips are subject to change before Stormblood‘s release.
First of all, we get to see Stormblood‘s main menu screen.
The changes to the battle system coming with Stormblood are being done to address existing issues, including complexity and players running out of hotbar space. There are also too many status icons on screen, and a stark disparity in what core players can do, against casual players. On top of that, not all jobs have good synergy.
Additional actions will be removed, so players won’t need to level up different jobs to get necessary actions for your current one. Those actions will be converted into Role Actions for tanks, healers, melee DPS, ranged DPS and caster.
This also means that secondary class requirements to unlock jobs will be removed. Below you can see a video showing what they will look loke.
Actions grayed out on the hotbar below are those eliminated by the change. Players will need to swap them out, replacing with the new Role actions.
Players will be able to select up to five role actions, and will need to choose them depending on the content they’re tackling, as you can see below.
Healers won’t deal damage anymore using INT, but with the new change, healer damage will be based on MND. Cleric Stance will change, since its current effect will be default. It’ll raise dealt damage for a certain amount of time. This means that it won’t be a permanent stance, despite the name.
The synergy changes will look at the various job from a party DPS standpoint, so that players won’t need to choose their party composition so selectively for high level content.
For instance, monks will be able to improve their party DPS output. Conversely, while this ability is active, party members will be able to use certain actions that will increase the monk’s chakra.
Job Gauges will be added, with job-specific info. Paladins will have an “Oath Gauge.” Stances visibility will be improved. The emphasis will be shifted on visual cues instead of numerical ones. Some numerical cues will remain for those who like them, and players will be able to change the size of the gauge.
The new changes should eliminate extreme disparity between DPS classes.
Below you can see all the different Job Gauges for every job, including the new ones, Samurai and Red Mage.
Gameplay footage was shown, demonstrating the job gauges in action.
With the new changes, in order to use Enochian on Black Mage, you’ll need to be under the effect of Astral Fire or Umbral Ice. Blizzard IV will be added, and three umbral hearts will be displayed on the job gauge for that. Job Gauges will evolve as you level up and gain new powers.
Healers will get a role action named “Rescue.” It will let players pull to their position party members that have any enmity on them.
Stances will still show up as a status icon, allowing party members to keep an eye on them.
Wrath has been removed for Warriors, but they will accumulate another value named Inner Beast. It can be accumulated like Wrath, and will allow warriors to use new actions.
The action rotation for monks hasn’t changed drastically, but Grease Lightning has a separate gauge.
Red Mages will have the chainspell ability, removing the casting time from the second spell of a chain, making it instant. The job gauge will show white mana and black mana, associated with different spells. If you use too much of one category, your DPS will suffer, so you’ll need to keep a balance. Balance is the most important thing about the Red Mage job.
Samurai will have a kenki gauge and a sen gauge. Depending on the sen you have available, you’ll be able to use different Iaijutsu abilities.
Job actions will be changed in several ways: unused and underused actions will be removed, and upgraded spells will automatically replace outdated ones. With Thunder it’s a little different, as Thunder and Thunder III will share a slot, since they’ll be single target, and Thunder II and IV will be sharing another, since they’ll be AOE. The same rules will apply to all jobs.
Most jobs should end up with less actions than the current numbers, reducing the stress on controller users.
At this point, Yoshida-san introduced a rather spectacular trailer showing off the new job actions that will come with Stormblood.
Paladins’ shields will be able to block magical attacks as well, on top of physical attacks. The action seen at the end of the trailer, summoning wings of energy behind the Paladin, is called Passage of Arms.
It has a recast timer of 120 seconds, and it instantly deactivates if the paladin moves. It raises block chance to 100% and reduces damage to party member in a cone behind the caster by 15%.
You can see a more in-depth look at it below.
Yoshida-san then talked about sub-parameters. The parry stat will be removed from equipment, and it will be replaced by a parameter named “Tenacity.” It raises damage dealt and lowers damage received.
Accuracy will also be removed. If you’re fighting a monster of the same level, frontal attacks will hit 100% of the times. Attacking from the sides and back will raise that percentage. If you’re blind, the percentage will lower. Accuracy will be replaced by a “Direct Hit” attribute. It will apply only to equipment for DPS jobs, and will come into play more often than a critical hit, even if it won’t deal as much damage. Critical hits won’t be removed, so both can happen at the same time.
Piety won’t be a main attribute anymore, but will become a sub-attribute. It will only apply to healer equipment. It raises the maximum MP.
Strength will return to the damage calculation formula for tanks, but their accessories will be based on VIT, so there won’t be a case in which tanks are forced to wear STR accessories.
Another video demonstrated the new speed of ground mounts pitching a chocobo running at normal speed against a paladin mount running at the second stage of enhanced speed. If you have completed the main quest on an area, your ground mounts will get the first speed increase. The second increase will require a further step to be completed. These changes are retroactively applied to older areas.
PvP will also receive significant changes to address a few issues: the level restriction was too high, there are too many job actions, action points cause excessive disparities, and controls are overly complex.
Level restrictions are being removed. Everyone who has a job will be able participate. Attributes will be equalized, determined by role. Gear will affect only appearance, and PvP hotbars will be implemented for each job.
PvP actions will also be changed. All actions used in PvP will be specific to PvP. There are nine per jobs, plus two selectable actions and Adrenaline Rush. This means that adjustments made for PvP won’t affect PvE balance.
Melee DPS actions won’t be directional anymore, and combos will be consolidated on the hotbar (by pressing the same button multiple times, you’ll execute the following steps of a combo). This intends reduce complexity, and should increase the level of maneuverability and action.
Players will also be able to select three passive traits. If you forget to set them, they will be selected by default. The same applies to selectable actions. Melee DPS classes won’t have a stun,and sleep-type spells will have diminishing returns on their duration.
At the launch of Stormblood, there will be a pre-season for ranked PvP, to let people get used to the changes and focus on the story and new content.
Lastly, the Job-Level Boost and Scenario Shortcut microtransactions have been confirmed and detailed, and you can read all about them here.
If you want to see more, you can listen to the beautiful theme song for the expansion, “Revolutions.” You can also download the benchmark to test out your PC, and read our recap of the previous Letter from the Producer Live if you need to catch up.
Incidentally, tomorrow I’ll jump on a flight bound for Hamburg, so you can expect a lot of coverage from the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Media Tour that will be held there, here on DualShockers.
Final Fantasy XIV‘s new expansion Stormblood will release on June 20th exclusively for PC and PS4, with the PS3 version of the game getting discontinued.