Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

WAR – SIX FELL CLEAVES? End segment.

Are you still reading? Fine. Warrior is in a great spot right now. They have the combination of high DPS, good utility in their slashing debuff and damage dealt debuff, and stellar mitigation. What could you possibly add? Or, more accurately, what did you lose for “Moar Fell Cleaves”? Surprisingly a small drop in utility, a little more emphasis on smart stance dancing, and a shiny new UI element.

Warrior trades in its’ Wrath stack mechanic for a Beast Gauge. Basically, most abilities that generated a stack now generate an amount of your new Gauge, and skills like Fell Cleave, Unchained, Steel Cyclone and Inner Beast now cost 50 points from this gauge. The biggest change is that swapping stances reduces the current amount of the gauge by half. This probably will incentivize players to spend most of their gauge before swapping stances, unless there is an emergency. But hey… If Fell Cleave costs 50, how could you possibly do six of them? Warriors new ability, Inner Release halves the consumption of the Beast Gauge for 20 seconds enabling you to stuff double the amount of bestial goodness in that time. Coupled with Infuriate’s ability to gain 50 points of your Gauge, that 20 seconds is going to be filled with Fell Cleaves. Especially since there is a trait which reduces the recast of Infuriate by 5 seconds on each Fell cleave cast.

In other changes, Maim and Storm’s Eye’s buffs have been swapped and the damage buff from Maim has been increased from 16 seconds to 24. Berserk, loses the pacification penalty so say goodbye to everyone’s favorite berserk macro.  The new triple-punch damage skill Upheaval adds an oGCD burst of 300 potency seemingly made to fit with Berserk because of its’ 30 second cooldown. The gap closer that we all marveled at during the benchmark is Onslaught a 100 potency, 15 second cooldown attack that costs 20 of your Beast Gauge.

Oh yeah… Warrior is a tank, isn’t it? I guess we can talk about the changes to some defensive abilities and utility. Storm’s path loses its’ damage dealt debuff which is a big deal, it is replaced with HP drain and boosted Beast Gauge generation. Now, that is welcome since Warrior loses the ability to have Bloodbath, since that is now a Melee Role ability. The damage dealt debuff has been made available to all Tanks in the form of Reprisal so at least it is still selectable. All of the defensive cooldowns that previously added stacks such as Vengeance and Raw Intuition do not increase your Beast Gauge which is also a bummer. Though, Warrior gains the ability Shake it Off which shrugs off most detrimental effects on a 60 second cooldown. While Warrior received some really awesome new pieces, they have lost a little bit of utility. The fact that they gained no new defensive abilities seems to say much about how awesome they already were, and with the shared role abilities, they’ll be able to pick from the best abilities anyway. I don’t see Warrior losing anything from this shake up.

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