Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

DRG – Anything Estinien can do, I can do better

 

Dragoon was almost an auto-include for most raid groups in Heavensward. Their strong damage, piercing debuff and critical hit buff ensured that they were never unwelcome. They had their problems though, as maintaining their premier mechanic Blood of The Dragon, created a cavernous rift between good Dragoons, and mediocre ones.  The abilities gained in Stormblood are here to bridge that gap a little. They also continue the theme of the Dragoon embracing more and more of the Dragon’s power.

Dragoon retains its’ central mechanic of Blood of the Dragon, which is the focus of its’ Job UI, the Dragon Gauge. When Blood of the Dragon is active the UI shows a meter representing your time left on the buff which is pretty straightforward, but directly above that is a dragon’s eye which opens further as you perform a new action. After the Dragoon uses Jump or Spineshatter Dive they trigger a buff called Dive Ready, which enables the use of Mirage Dive. This is the ability shown in the live letter that looked like a dragon diving onto the enemy. It is an off-GCD with 200 potency that adds an eye to your Dragon Gauge. Once you gain four eyes, using Geirskogul will activate the new mode, Life of the Dragon. While this status is active, Geirskogul is changed to a new ability called Nastrond, which is a 320-potency attack with the same range and shape as Geirskogul on a 10 second cooldown. Once in Life of the Dragon, the timer resets to 15 seconds and you have that long to possibly get in two Nastrond uses.

Other than that new mode, Dragoon also receives a new party buff, well a party member buff. Dragon Sight is a new two-minute cooldown that grants a 10% damage buff to the Dragoon, and a 5% damage bonus to your target as long as you stay within 6 yalms of each other, that’s right, you are tethered together, best friends!

It has a 15 second duration and it does not end when you are out of range, it always lasts for 15 seconds, but the damage buff is only active when you are together within range. Dragoon has a new AoE weaponskill that combos from Doom Spike called Sonic Thrust, which is a 170-potency attack for 120 TP.

As an ease of use change, Geirskogul does not decrease your current timer for Blood of the Dragon anymore, ensuring that Blood of the Dragon is easier to maintain, especially with the changes to Wheeling Thrust and Fang and Claw.  You can now combo Wheeling Thrust into Fang and Claw, or vice versa. This is how the Dragoon in the Job ability trailer boosted their Blood of the Dragon timer by 20 after their combo which will make it much easier to maintain the buff through the phases leading up to the use of Life of the Dragon, even when the boss is doing its’ best to stymie you. All of these changes put Dragoon is an amazing spot. More utility, more damage, and a much easier time maintaining your buffs mean that a wide swath of players will see huge DPS increases. The question is, how high is the skill ceiling? When you switch to Life of the Dragon, can you retain all of the remaining timer on Blood of the Dragon? In the trailer, the Dragoon has below 15 seconds and it increases to 15 when triggered. Is that a minimum or a maximum? Time will tell.

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