Final Fantasy 14's director confirms that no, Pictomancers weren't meant to manually remove their own buffs for a 1% DPS increase—outlines other job changes for patch 7.01 of Dawntrail

Pictomancer in Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail has been out for less than a week. I'm barely starting to near the story's final act myself, however that hasn't stopped the admirably ravenous theorycrafting communities of the world from tearing into its new job balance adjustments.

There's been a fair share of "the sky is falling" types, who say their jobs are ruined forevermore—I've heard Black Mage is in trouble, but I like being able to move, so I barely play the dang thing. On the whole, though, this sort of early-days adjustment period is very familiar.

As a ninja main, I remember back in Endwalker where, for a brief time, Square Enix suggested that we should have to use a gap closer attack four times during our burst window (that's the bit where you do lots of damage very fast every two minutes or so, for those unfamiliar with MMO terminology).

This sucked. Every time you use a gap closer, your character gets locked in place for a second—which is both terrible class fantasy for a ninja, a job about being an agile and nimble warrior, while also being a massive pain in the rear. Square changed that right quick, and now you get a choice between a gap closer (or) a normal zap.

All of this to say, game director Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) has already released a news statement outlining player feedback and the team's plans to change things in the near future.

The funniest change is at the bottom of the list, but I'm going to go over it first here—Pictomancer, the Bob Ross of Final Fantasy 14 jobs, had an absolutely cursed rotation (as shared on the ffxivdiscussion subreddit) where players can manually cancel a buff by right-clicking it in order to gain a whopping 1% DPS increase. "This has been mathed out to being under 1% overall DPS to do," explains painterly scholar tordana, "at the cost of making your rotation extremely more painful and strict." A truly misbegotten alternative.

"This will be addressed with Patch 7.01," Yoshi-P promises, "but we ask that you please refrain from manually removing these status effects when practising your rotations. My apologies for any confusion this may have caused."

Monks will be getting a tune-up in patch 7.01 as well, fixing "incorrect potencies" for their job actions and "minor adjustments to the job HUD". Yoshi-P then apologises "for monk’s inadequate performance, which presently differs from what we previously announced."

Astrologian, meanwhile, will be getting its cooldown (recast) timer on Lightspeed, an ability which gives a boost of speed to your actions for 15 seconds, reduced—as well as given charges for added flexibility. "We’re also planning to shorten the recast time of their two draw actions, and adjust the potency of Macrocosmos," he adds.

Viper, the other new kid on the block, also has "several improvements" planned. While Yoshi-P is vague on the details, he mentions easing up on positional requirements—that is, abilities which deal more damage based on whether you're hitting an enemy from their flank or their rear (stop giggling). I've been levelling Viper alongside Ninja, and I honestly don't have any complaints so far, so that's all news to me.

Black Mage will have the level requirement for Umbral Soul nudged down in a future patch, which is—at present—accessible at level 76. As for why this is significant, in Final Fantasy 14, you get locked out of your higher-level abilities if you get plonked into a lower level dungeon via, say, the Duty Roulette, so this should be a big quality of life bump even for max-level thaumaturges.

Tanks will also be getting some TLC in Patch 7.01. In Dawntrail, several gap closers have had their damage component removed in an effort to keep them as buttons you press to, well, close the gap, rather than being mandatory parts of your damage rotation.

This has caused some problems, however—for instance, impacted abilities don't deal damage anymore, which means they don't generate enmity (aggro), which doesn't feel exactly right: "To help remedy this, we will be adding increased enmity effects to tank area-of-effect attacks, as well as their movement abilities in Patch 7.01."

As always, it's nice to see this kind of immediate and clear communication—though teething issues happen every expansion, and you'll always get certain players proclaiming that Square Enix has destroyed their favourite job out of spite, somehow. It's a good test run, at any rate, for the big overhauls Yoshi-P has planned for the game's next expansion, which are bound to be a far bigger calamity if they go through.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.