PvP was one of the most anticipated features announced during the introduction of Patch 2.1. Players have definitely been putting the Wolves’ Den through its paces, but the addition of PvP in Final Fantasy XIV has not come without its bumps and bruises. A few bugs have surfaced here and there, and the first round of balance adjustments have also been announced. The unlucky target this time? Pet classes. The balance adjustments for Arcanist, Scholar, and Summoner will be released in Patch 2.15, scheduled to appear this month in January. Producer/Director Yoshida went into detail about this and other changes to the PvP system in a recent post on the official forums.
Jumping to avoid melee attacks bug
One of the main issues talked about was a bug that allowed players to avoid attacks by jumping. At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal. Similar actions exist in other MMOs. But FFXIV relies on a more traditional rpg model where, as long as your target is in front of you and within range, there is no physical way for the target to avoid your attack. In this type of system, this is mitigated by some sort of dodge percentage stat or RNG component like Accuracy. Normally, FFXIV is no different, and that’s why this is classified as a bug. Yoshida explains the issue below.
In patch 2.1, new coding was introduced that will estimate the character’s position to improve response time. As a result, response time has improved drastically in other content. However, because the estimation on the character’s position does not apply to character’s that are jumping, this leads to melee attacks not being counted quite often.
Currently there is no way to fix this issue until Patch 2.15 drops this month, which led to Yoshida’s stating that “While we continue working on this issue, I would like to ask that until this issue is addressed, please try not to use the jump as an intentional dodge maneuver against melee attacks.”
With no intention of penalizing players for this action or policing PvP matches so this does not happen (nor should this type of system be in place), there’s little chance of most players actually following this request. So it feels like a bit of a useless statement. But it’s probably better to say this than to ignore the issue completely.
Pet class adjustments
Pet classes have been described as overpowered by many of the more vocal members of the playerbase when it comes to PvP, especially with the amount of damage that the Summoner job can put out. But it’s not just a matter of damage. Pet classes have a large number of excellent tools that not only make other jobs and classes seem limited in scope, but can also provide huge bonuses. This is largely due to the presence of the pet itself. Yoshida himself admits in his statement on the forums that “…their total ability, when taking into consideration the master and pet, exceeds way beyond other classes that it is affecting the overall balance in the Wolves’ Den.”
The main problem seems to be focused around Summoner. This doesn’t mean that Arcanist and Scholar are without similar issues, but Summoner is a good example as a job that has high burst damage potential through multiple instant abilities, and a high level of utility. A poster on the official forums described their experiences with the Summoner job via a discussion in response to Yoshida’s statement.
Before I purchased my full ilvl90 pvp set I was wear full ilvl70pvp minus the weapon (titans book) I was still doing consistently more damage on average then anyone else on the team, unless there was of coarse a second SMN. Now with the ilvl90 pvp set I can consistently do more damage then everyone on both teams win or loss and have 2 separate combos (Rouse>Spur>Enkindle+Wither>Atheric Burst or Energy Drain+3Dot Fester+Energy Drain), that generally will 1shot or burst someone to the point that they are nearly dead.
While at the same time I am easily able to bring sustained damage to most if not all of the team using well placed Bane’s or just multidotting everyone in site. This damage would pressure the healer to heal multiple targets including themselves, usually requiring cooldowns, and soften up a target making it prime for burst.
No other DPS class brings that much versatility to the table, and this is before you consider they bring a pet which can act on its own (ifrit-egi on the heals? guarda-egi annoying that blm?) and an in combat resurrection every 60seconds, the best heavy in the game, one of two healing debuffs in the game which stack, a 20sec AOE Bind, Self Healing with both Physik and energy drain, 10% DMN reduction to any target attacking a specified target, A powerful Damage Debuff to a specific target, they are also the second most mobile DPS class in the game, so even if they can’t freecast they can do respectable damage to their target with Ruin II>Energy Drain> Bio I>Miasma II
If there is even a shred of truth to this, then it’s no wonder many feel that pet classes are dominating the field in PvP. Yoshida goes on to say that although several adjustments will be made to pet classes/jobs, they will only apply while in the Wolves’ Den. Additionally, those classes and jobs won’t be the only ones to receive adjustments. “Also note that minor adjustments are planned to be made on other jobs based on the data gathered so far,’ Yoshida says, so expect more in the way of class/job balancing when Patch 2.15 arrives.
Advantages of Premade Parties in PvP
Other changes include an issue with the practice of queuing up for PvP with 3-man premade parties, filling in the extra slot with a random player through the Duty Finder. Yoshida’s statement hints that these premades gain certain advantages over those who solo queue, but he doesn’t specifically state what those advantages are. Our guess is it’s the fact that players can get matches more quickly than those who solo queue this way. Also, since these groups aren’t separated from the other players, they have an easier time winning their matches against the teams that aren’t as coordinated and prepared.
That would, in fact, include most teams since they would normally be composed of strangers who might not know each other very well. It creates a snowball effect where members of 3-man premades can advance in rank/score much more quickly than other players due to the combination of being able to bypass queue and win more matches more easily. Recently, players have even reported that queue times for PvP have become excessively longer for some classes. This could also be caused by the emergence of more 3-man premade groups.
“We are also planning to make an adjustment to address this matter,” Yoshida says. “Specific details on this adjustment will be announced once the release of the patch nears. Also the exchange rate on the points required to obtain certain consumable items for PvP are a bit too high so we will be making an adjustment to lower the exchange rate.”
Patch 2.15 is expected to drop some time later this month. We’ll keep you updated when more information is available.