For anyone who is googling about Stormblood and stumbled upon here let me give a disclaimer: This post isn't about any of the actual content of Stormblood. My highest job right now is Monk level 55 and I just started Heavensward a few days ago. So as much as I'd like to talk about the storyline or the areas of Stormblood it is just not possible for me. What I will actually talk about is the mechanical changes to Monk (that I was able to experience so far) and my impressions of Samurai. Sorry if you came here looking for something else!
Like I mentioned in my previous post, Stormblood came with a lot of mechanical changes that affected pretty much everybody. In case someone hasn't been keeping up with the Final Fantasy XIV news, here is a summary of them, or at least the ones I can remember from the top of my head:
- You only need to level one class to unlock a job now, so if you want to be a Monk you only need to level Pugilist to 30.
- The additional traits are gone and have been replaced by role actions. Role action are a fixed set of skills that you can choose from. What skills you get depends on your role. So DPS gets some utility skills that help them do their job better, like lowering aggro, recovering some health, some debuff, etc. While tanks get skills that makes their job easier like reduction damage, aggro generation, etc. Other roles get skills that fits their place in the party.
- All jobs had some skills removed, changed and some new ones added.
- All jobs got a Job Gauge. It is hard to explain it but it is kinda like a graphical way to see how much you have built up of something to unleash a special skill. It will probably make more sense when I talk about monk.
There was a lot of other changes too but for the sake of this post I think these are the main ones.
Like any other job, Monks had a few skills removed, changed or added as part of Patch 4.0. Fortunately for me it pretty much didn't affect my skills rotation.
That isn't to say that Monks didn't get any significant changes. They did, quite a lot in fact. My monk level isn't high enough for me to do a full analysis of it, nor have I played the job long enough to do it adequately but there are a few things that I can already tell are a big improvement.
First it is the Job Gauge. Monks have two, one for Greased Lightning, which I have no idea when they get, probably as Pugilists or maybe early in the Monk career. The other is the Chakra gauge which they get after completing their level 54 job quest.
Greased Lightning is the one we get first. For anyone who doesn't know what it is, it is a short-term self-buff that increases damage and speed. It gets automatically applied once we complete a combo. Before patch 4.0 the only way I could see if I had Greased Lightning going on was by checking the buff icons at the top which just wasn't practical for me. I am usually too busy keeping my eyes on the fight itself to look up on what buffs I have going on.
The gauge on the other hand is big enough that I can always easily see how many I have going on and their timer. I even put it closer to my hotbars to make it easier for me to check it at a glance.
The second gauge is the chakra one. Now chakra is a big deal for the monks, their use is pretty much what defines them in terms of lore. In mechanical terms we have an ability that allows us to open our chakras which allow us to use certain skills. Right now I only have one which deals massive damage and uses up all the five chakras. But I know there are a few others down the line.
Because it is a bit of a pain to open the chakras I probably will be using it only once during the fights. At later levels there is a trait that has a chance to open a chakra with each critical hit. Hopefully that will make it more viable to use those special skills multiple times during a long fight. In any case I will try to add some materia to my gear to increase my chances of a critical hit. 🙂
Oh, another addition I like is a skill called "True North" from the Role Actions. It allows us to ignore the positional requirements for a few seconds. This means that if I can't move for any reason I can just click on that and continue doing the same DPS as before. 🙂
The only change I am feeling "Meh" about was "One Ilm Punch". Before 4.0 it wasn't all that useful since besides some damage it was supposed to remove a buff from the enemy. But I never found a situation where that was useful. Now they changed the additional effect to be a "Stun" but I need to be in Coeurl form to use it. Which means I would need to at least use one of my opening skills to use it. Much easier to just use "Leg Sweep" for a stun attack that can be used at any time.
Overall though I am pretty happy with Monks. Not that I wasn't happy with them before but it is nice that I don't have to change much on the way I play. 🙂
When the samurai were announced I knew I wanted to unlock the job. But later previews made the job sounds complicated to play and I was a bit apprehensive if I'd like them. Turns out my fears were completely unfounded. The Job is pretty easy to understand and extremely fun to play. So much that I have been seriously considering making it my new main job. 🙂
What I love about Samurai (besides it feeling a very powerful job) is that they feel very flexible. Maybe it is because I played monks for so long that anything else would feel more flexible. Or maybe it is something about the Job. It just feels to me that I can take a group of mobs as easily as a single one. Well, maybe not that easily but it certain feels that way. 🙂
The reason for that feeling of flexibility for me comes from the way the skills work. There are 3 combos for single targets and two combos for AOE. Each combo builds up one of the different Sen Gauge. Then there is a special ability that uses up that Sen. Now what that special ability does depends on how many you have built up. If it just one Sen then it is a single-target damage-over-time attack. If it is two then it is an AOE cone. If it is 3 then it is a single-target massive attack. So depending on the fight I will decide how much Sen I want to build up for the special attack.
Then there is the Kenki Gauge. That one just gets built up by using certain skills and also have a special ability that consumes it. I only got it recently though so the only special ability I have now is one that gives a short self-buff to increase damage. But I got the impression that later on there might be some special attacks that use it. Just like the Sen Gauge it will probably become an interesting choice of how much Kenki to build and which abilities to use.
Since my monk levels are a bit ahead of the main storyline in Heavensward I have been using Samurai to do those quests and the ones for the ARR tribesmen. Once the story get caught up with my Monk levels I will probably switch between the two jobs to do the quests. 🙂
Those are the main things that I noticed and enjoyed so far. I haven't unlocked Red Mage yet but from what I've heard and seem of others playing it that is another job that is tons of fun to play. In fact I am pondering about unlocking it to continue the Hildebrand series of quests and do the side quests in Heavensward.
That is, if I don't end up unlocking another job before that and get even more side-tracked. :p
If you got Stormblood too what have been your thoughts about it so far? 🙂