Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

MCH – So hot right now

 

Machinist had a great “rags to riches” story in Heavensward. From the laughingstock of the DPS jobs to an almost auto include for the prevalent meta. Machinist is inexorably tied to Bard, as they both share so much of the same mechanics including the cast time for their spells, and TP/MP regen. So, when you hear that Bards won’t need to stand still to cast in Stormblood, rest assured that Machinist got the same treatment. But they didn’t stop there! Machinist, has undergone a transformation, and now has a very interesting “Heat” management mechanic. How does it work?

The new Machinist Job UI has three elements. A representation of your current Ammunition which maxes out at three charges now, an indicator for your turret’s status, and the Heat Gauge. The Heat Gauge is a 0 – 100 indicator of your current level of heat. This is because Gauss Barrel has been changed into an off-GCD that increases damage dealt by 5% and causes each weaponskill cast to gain heat. If you ever reach 100 heat you will gain the Overheated debuff and your damage will be reduced by 20% for 10 seconds. After which Gauss barrel is deactivated and put on a 10 second cooldown.

To manage said heat, Machinist has received a couple of new abilities. The first of which is Cooldown, a new weaponskill that reduces your heat gauge by 25. It seems like you will want to use it to stay in the 50 – 99 range as it is 230 potency in that range, but 150 if you are lower than that. Barrel Stabilizer is a new ability that sets your Heat Gauge to 50 on a 120-second cooldown. Of note, is the stipulation that you have to be in combat to use it, and that it cannot be used while you are Overheated. As of writing, we do not have access to the tooltip for the new Flamethrower moves shown off in the trailer, but we did see it increase heat per tick, so I am sure that it will also be a quick way to build heat up to the 50 heat threshold. Your current level of heat affects your abilities in myriad ways, so lets’ go over what we know.

The bread and butter of the Machinist, their shot weaponskills, have been changed. Slug and Clean shot still gain more potency depending on the previous shot procced or not, and Ammunition still buffs that proc chance to 100%, but it now also adds a 25-potency buff to each shot. Machinists receive a trait at level 64 that replaces your Split Shot, Slug Shot, and Clean Shot with “Heated” variations of themselves if you are over 50 heat. Each of these receive a 30-potency bump over their non-heated counterparts. In addition, Heated Split Shot, and Heated Slug Shot are buffed further by ammunition. If you cast all three while heated and with ammunition, that three weaponskill combo will deliver a whopping 895 potency. Keep in mind though, that Clean and Heated Clean shot do not receive any buffs from being performed with ammunition, so make sure to use your last stack of ammo on Slug Shot/Heated Slug shot. Wildfire has also seen a change, most likely because of the increase in overall potency. Wildfire is now a 90 second cooldown that explodes for 25% of the damage done while it was active, which is a duration of 10 seconds. Sure, it is a bit of a nerf, but with the change in potency, it will still hit like a rocket boosted truck.

Conspicuously missing from the Job Ability trailer were the Machinist’s little buddies, the Rook and Bishop turret. Fret not, they aren’t going anywhere, unless you command them to. Your turrets can be commanded to go into overdrive which causes them to deliver a high potency attack and then be withdrawn from battle for 30 seconds. Rook Overdrive will deal a single target 400-potency attack, while the Bishop turret will deal a 300-potency AoE. This is not to be confused with Hypercharge, which still exists much the same as in Heavensward. The vulnerability bestowed by the turrets has been decreased to 5%, however. Machinist is a Job transformed. We’ll need to see how it pans out against the other DPS, but with its’ great utility and according to these potency amounts, I wouldn’t bet against this new toolkit.

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