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Wisdom of Nym: Why you should be cautious speculating on Final Fantasy XIV’s expansion balance

It's actually fine.

Whew. All proper. So we’ve gotten the media tour info for the subsequent Remaining Fantasy XIV enlargement, and that signifies that individuals have gotten to see early movies, tooltips, and all of that stuff. Sadly, we’ve already began seeing individuals crying that the sky is falling and that the enlargement would be the worst factor ever, as a result of now we all know concerning the talents, typically going as far as to declare jobs nugatory or insist that the meta is already decided when we aren’t but out in launch. And… yeah, that’s downright dangerous.

Look, you all understand how a lot I really like speculating about issues. I speculate about what job talents will get eliminated or added, I’ve speculated about what we’d hear on the numerous fanfests, I’ve speculated about jobs we’re probably by no means to get. However there’s good hypothesis and dangerous hypothesis, and your hypothesis about what the roles will seem like when it comes to efficiency on the new degree cap? It’s dangerous. Let’s speak about why.

Word: This text is a modified reprint of an article that I wrote again when Stormblood was popping out about participant panic over early tooltips then. I’ve gone by means of and up to date it to take away particular references as a result of this manner I’ve only one factor to level to for each future enlargement. It’s apparently going to be needed.

Purpose 1: You don’t have remaining numbers

This is not actually done. Or it wasn't when we played it, anyhow.You might discover that in each single piece I wrote, I discussed at the very least as soon as that every part previewed therein was nonetheless beneath improvement and subsequently not remaining. That doesn’t imply it wasn’t playable, in fact, however I can undoubtedly affirm it was not the ultimate construct. Tooltips had fallacious highlighting. Translations have been inaccurate. Sure attributes weren’t absolutely locked down. This was a really late-development construct, however it was not a remaining construct.

Clearly, at this level the chances of a wholesale delay are low to nonexistent. However regardless of that reality, there’s stuff which continues to be not finalized. Numbers particularly are extremely straightforward to tweak, even at late levels of improvement, since they’re principally about substituting in a special variable. Heck, even issues like which talents set off a talent are fairly straightforward to vary. In case you’re considering that there’s an apparent synergy being missed and the builders agree, it may be added with out an excessive amount of hassle.

That is why I’m frightened about potencies, prices, and so forth. These parts are all fairly straightforward to tweak, both earlier than launch or shortly after launch, and if one thing is definitely underperforming I’ve full confidence will probably be tweaked.

In fact, some individuals will argue that the builders clearly don’t see this stuff as underperforming. Which brings us to our subsequent level.

Purpose 2: It’s not about your job

We do kind of have a history of the perception that it's all about me, so to speak.One thing is all the time going to stay out to individuals as being mistaken. Numbers are going to be adjusted to be decrease. Your favourite AoE will get hit with diminishing returns. You lose a stun or an interrupt. And most of the time the gamers crying about this who foremost the job are voluntarily ignoring that that is bringing issues in keeping with each different job.

It’s necessary to keep in mind that the sport is, properly, massive. These modifications aren’t focused at you; they’re focused on the ecosystem of the complete recreation, to make it extra enjoyable for everybody. Odds are good that no matter change you’re indignant about might be made to each facet of the sport for each single job, they usually’re often modifications being made for some bigger objective.

If an AoE has diminishing returns, for instance, that’s in all probability due to a large-scale concentrating on of how AoEs work and the way potent they’re. In case your DoT is tuned downward, that in all probability means you’re presupposed to be specializing in different issues throughout the board. When you lose injury spells as a healer? Perhaps your job had an excessive amount of injury and too many types of passive therapeutic, and one thing needed to give.

FFXIV is a very rattling difficult recreation. The sport has to create partaking content material for gamers to work by way of utilizing any mixture of jobs; even in the event you simply restrict stability to dungeons alone, you’ve obtained greater than a thousand mixtures which all need to be able to getting by means of the identical content material. Maintaining all of that balanced, enjoyable, and natural is tough work. And the builders do an astonishingly good job of it, as a result of there are not any courses which outright can’t clear sure content material.

I’m not saying the group is magic; I’m saying that they work arduous and make selections aimed on the long-term well being of the sport as an entire and canopy each angle, not simply the numbers in your private job. Chances are you’ll be dropping some talents, however that doesn’t imply different jobs aren’t additionally dropping some talents, nor does it imply that the workforce isn’t conscious of the modifications having a bigger general impact.

Sure, that may make for a really totally different top-level expertise than what at present exists. However that’s a part of the purpose, and it’s downright callous to imagine you recognize what that new expertise goes to appear to be forward of time.

A new world that is probably amost exactly the same as the old one.

Cause three: You don’t know the endgame

It’s not too troublesome to determine how these modifications will shake out for those who’re taking over, say, the present prime tier of Savage with the numbers scaled up. I haven’t seen anybody truly do this but, in fact, since just about each evaluation appears based mostly round “let’s toss within the modifications to Job X on this content material with out considering the modifications to each different job on the similar time,” however it’s inside the realm of theoretical risk.

In fact, you gained’t be operating that content material scaled up. You’ll be operating the brand new savage, and the brand new dungeons, and new raids, and a brand new Deep Dungeon, and no matter different new types of content material await as we work our method by means of the enlargement. Now, take a second and clarify out loud what mechanics you’ll encounter within the first 4 segments of the marquee raid for the enlargement. Obtained it?

You are able to do so silently, if it’s simpler. I can’t hear you both method.

However in fact you possibly can’t do this, since you don’t truly know. I don’t truly know, both. I do know the broad strokes of the mechanics for one leveling dungeon as a result of I’ve performed by means of it, and in all probability that’s extra of the enlargement content material than you have got presently performed by means of. Additionally it is, once more, not the endgame. It’s not even near the endgame.

Context modifications rather a lot. It’s totally attainable for the mechanics which you assume are pointless now to matter an entire heck of rather a lot when the enlargement goes reside. You possibly can even guess about a few of the mechanics coming with the endgame based mostly on the brand new talents, and lo and behold, most of them converse to a brand new endgame during which party-wide injury is much less widespread however massive hits for particular person gamers (not all the time the tank) are undoubtedly in play. Two totally different tanks have the power to defend a celebration member, every healer has a brand new software to assist bolster and heal a selected get together member, and there are some fairly strong defensive cooldowns on deck for present jobs as nicely.

Speculating about what the endgame will seem like based mostly on the instruments we’re being given is far more strong than speculating on how helpful our instruments are based mostly on an endgame they’ll most undoubtedly not be used for. However even then, you won’t be actually getting an image of these instruments within the first place.

Purpose four: It’s a set of modifications, not a single change

Pictured: the sky ACTUALLY falling.It’s straightforward to take a look at modifications to a given capacity or a eliminated capability and get freaked out as a result of one thing isn’t there any longer. “I don’t use Potential X,” you cry, “however this new trait triggers off of Capability X solely! It’s ineffective!”

That is neglecting that you simply now have a further cause to use Capacity X for precisely the trait.

Taking a look at a part of the modifications and never the entire is lacking the forest for the timber within the excessive. As an alternative of seeing a set of talents which now play off of each other in several methods, you’re seeing a capability to don’t use very ceaselessly being modified. The idea shouldn’t be “however I don’t use that,” it ought to be “oh, maybe now I’ve extra purpose to make use of that extra steadily.”

Critically, once I’m on the media tour there are often at the least a couple of talents getting highlighted on my foremost job that I have a tendency to not use. Seeing them work collectively and have synergy and motivation doesn’t make me assume that this stuff aren’t helpful; it makes me assume “ah, the play mechanics are encouraging me to recall that this exists with some upside to utilizing these talents.” The performance change is a component of a giant scheme of issues.

That’s, briefly, the purpose of those modifications. They work collectively in a bigger ecosystem, quite than simply being a single change to at least one capacity. In the event you don’t perceive why a buff is tied to a talent you don’t use, step again and begin asking if that buff is a purpose to make use of that talent.

There's so much going on here that even I don't know all of it, and I'm pretty sure I've played more of it than you have.

Cause 5: You could be basing it off of incomplete assumptions

When you’re evaluating class efficiency based mostly on Savage efficiency, your evaluation is dangerous and you must really feel dangerous. In case your record of which jobs are greatest is predicated solely on development teams making an attempt for world or server firsts, similar factor. This isn’t the content material most gamers are going by way of, and it’s not even on the depth most gamers will expertise it.

The US playerbase has settled into an accepted technique of making an attempt to push by means of new ultra-challenging content material with sub-par gear, and it principally comes right down to pushing DPS with an depth that might make an Iwo Jima veteran ask when you might dial it again a bit. Japanese gamers have a special technique, and I’m prepared to guess the European group has one other one as properly. However gauging jobs based mostly on which of them carry out in these intensely slender methods is like gauging jobs based mostly on what number of vowels are within the identify. You are able to do it, however it doesn’t offer you a lot helpful info.

Most gamers are going to run regular mode raids, alliance raids, Professional dungeons, and perhaps a couple of Excessive primals. Some gained’t even clear all of that. Some will clear slightly bit extra. Some will work by means of Savage at a extra leisurely tempo. A job’s efficiency must be evaluated based mostly on how properly it performs in all of these circumstances, not simply the way it manages once you’re within the newest crafted gear with full melds and making an attempt desperately to race down the well being of a brand new boss.

If, say, BRD is best than MCH in each single context, than that’s an actual difficulty. But when BRD is extra fascinating on your world first clears of Excessive primals however matches up with MCH simply nice in all different contexts, BRD isn’t actually higher.

Cause 6: You may simply be improper

I imply, you haven’t even performed the enlargement but. You will not be as sensible as you assume you’re. You may, in reality, be misreading one thing or making assumptions that are simply plain incorrect.

Forming hypotheses is all nicely and good, however till you truly check them they’re simply concepts. I don’t assume that as a Ninja participant, I’m smarter and know extra concerning the job’s design than each single one that’s creating the sport. So I’d see factor which make me increase an eyebrow, however till I truly attempt them it’s simply a lot hypothesis.

And, you already know, I might be completely mistaken.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense quantity of data and studying, however a lot of it has been misplaced to the individuals of Eorzea. That doesn’t cease Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Last Fantasy XIV every week in Knowledge of Nym, internet hosting guides, dialogue, and opinions with out a lot as a hint of rancor.