FFXIV PvPodcast - Episode 5

Upcoming PvP Changes in 4.0 - Thoughts, Opinions and Concerns. Stefan, +ONE, and Suhr break it down.

Stormblood Preseason is upon us!

Get to exploring the new changes!

Interview: "Pan-Pan"

by Marshal Renew on

The Best of Series wouldn't be complete without a member of the Japanese community. Due to the cultural differences in the west and east, this is a translated document by a third party for the conversation between Yunmi and a person who wishes to be anonymous. They want to be known as Pan-Pan during this interview.

Also, note that Pan-Pan is a top player on all three of the JP datacenters. The interview gives some good insight from the other side of the globe. We hope you enjoy it!

Q: With Heavensward we had four feast seasons. Which season was the most fun / challenging, why?
Pan-Pan: S1 was most fun, S2 most challenging.

I find getting used to the new Feast system in S1 with old PvP players also just starting out was best point of time. There weren't many new PvPers who played as often as now so it gave me the ability to practice against familiar Fold players. A new mode, a new style of play, the same faces from before... it is what made it special to me. It is also the time I met most of the newer PvP community for my DC whose friendships I have managed to maintain to this current season.

S2 was most challenging because of matchmaking and new players joining the game because of seeing the reward from S1 on players who qualified for Top 100 had interested them. They were not getting a completely identical item to S1 but it was similar enough to motivate them to play the mode. It was very trying having to give your utmost best in all matches, and twice more if you want to make up for a lost opportunity for a KO due to experience gap of the players in the team.

Yun-min: Is experience gap the true challenge of S2? It is understandable if yes, but I can't help but feel new players are seen as weight stones by many players for the duration of this season.

Pan-Pan: I do not mean that I am blaming them for lost games or that I dislike new players! Through S2 I have made new friends and we formed our own linkshells as well as Frontline parties.

It was both challenging and a way to expand our social circle... but I will not pretend as though inexperience is not the cause of game losses. At the same time, I will not fault them solely for being new and paired with me. It is not as though we have a mode for 4v4 Feast that I can find fault in beginners for not attempting to practice there beforehand.

Q: Thoughts on the rewards? (Mounts, minions, glamour, housing items) / Q: What other rewards would you like to see?
Pan-Pan: For S1 and S2, gear reward made me want to play often and work hard because glamour can last for long time. I am not a minion user and housing items were easily forgotten because it is clutter in a corner. Mounts are easily replaced as well which is why I chose not to be too serious in S3/S4 and simply played for the feeling and thrill factor.

To expand on it, my opinion is that minions, housing items and mounts only appeal to certain groups of people whereas Glamour appeals to a larger majority simply because of what it is.

Yun-min: I have the same feeling about the rewards not being very interesting to me. Then the best reward to you is gear, can you tell me more?

Pan-Pan: I would say gear is the reward I would like to see because even if you will not use the full set, we can mix the items with any future released items to create something unique. Yunmi-san changes glamour every few weeks, I am sure you understand!

Yun-min: Glamour is timeless... {╥ω╥}

Pan-Pan: I would also say that mounts change many times and Stormblood will introduce new favorites for us. It will look like the only reward that will last is a set of gear for glamouring.

Yun-min: The same can be said for gear...

Pan-Pan: We will leave it at personal preference then!

Q: Thoughts on the addition of the Wolf’s Heart?
Pan-Pan: Can I not answer this seriously? wwww

Yun-min: Answer!

Pan-Pan: It is a mistake to have put the buff into the game because of how powerful it makes a player. If the person who takes it is a WHM or SCH, it gives a considerable advantage and lasts for too long in a mode where timing, and time itself, is everything that matters.

This can of course be overcome, it does not mean whoever gets it will definitely win a game, but every player can agree that it does help a tremendous amount in bringing back a win for the team from a loss. Coupling an overall speed increase statistically for healers is a significant step upward for them, and the only other way to handle it is through CC or defeating the healer in a Limit Break to remove the buff.

Yun-min: What does it represent to you, though? A step forward in helping weaker teams? A step back in overall gameplay?

Pan-Pan: It represents a mistake.

Yun-min: At least consider the questions and how it involves the Wolf Buff! (ノД`)

Pan-Pan: I have considered it, I consider it a mistake. ヾ( ̄ω ̄||)

Q: Thoughts on the two current maps?
Pan-Pan: Lichenweed is a nightmare map when you are being pushed back constantly, because there is no way to hide the moment people run past your billboard and up the steps to the spawn platform.

The Feast Grounds map has stairs and boards to protect you, as well as a quick way to jump off and continue running away if it really comes to that. Lichenweed is basically you running into a sandbox where people are free to use the BLM/SMN LB to hit everyone for spread damage and you are basically caged in there to desperately fight them off.

The wooden bridge where boxes spawn is also a good location for ranged to stay at. Overall, it was in good taste since it changed your gameplay completely but it does not mean it was not a nightmare to play in given certain matchups and circumstances.

Yun-min: If you could choose to play on Lichenweed, The Feast Grounds or Both - which will be your choice?

Pan-Pan: I will choose Both. Both maps have their advantages and disadvantages and I prefer the diversity of difficulties respective to both maps!

Q: Any ideas for new additions to the Feast game mode?
Pan-Pan: I would ask for a revamp of the medal system and also a closer look at balancing the classes which are often chosen by certain players. Find out why this is so, and take a look at class performances talked about by the community that has shown interest in PvP. You can work hard for every minute of the game and still lose at the very last seconds, and for such a thing to be possible makes it more stressful than fun at times.

I would appreciate more maps being made and possibly a practice mode for 4v4 which is similar to 8v8. Preseason does its job of allowing us to practice, but sometimes we want to play 4v4 setups without the need to risk our ranking when we do not want it to be.

Yun-min: Some community members are of the opinion that an unranked 4v4 mode will take away from the ranked PvP queue times. They have also mentioned that Preseason queues were slow due to lack of interest and therefore the practice mode should not be introduced. What are your further thoughts on such opinions?

Pan-Pan: That is indeed true, but that does not mean the practice mode should then never exist. It is possible to also say many people do not feel confident to queue for ranked with no prior practice in a 4v4 environment and that this takes away from ranked queues. It is important to give the same reasoning for both sides of the coin.

Have the preseason queues been slow? They did not seem so for me when I was actively practicing different classes during the most recent preseason. The game is ever growing in population, and having more resources available for potential interested PvPers will always be a benefit than a crutch in attracting said players. You will not know if you do not try, and we have yet to try.

Q: Which job or role plays the biggest part on your datacenter?
Pan-Pan: Melee is needed to KO enemy players, Tanks are needed to protect the party or assist for KOs to be made, Healers are needed to keep party alive.

I think all roles and jobs matter if played the way they should be, and all that matters is personal level of experience and team synergy. All roles play the same big parts and in perspective, there should be no order of importance in a setting where everyone is important.

Yun-min: My melee LB is very important during culling time.

Pan-Pan: Until I stun you before it fires off! (^ε ^ )♡

Q: Which roles have the longest queues? Shortest queues?
Pan-Pan: Range longest, Tank would be next, followed by Melee, with Healer shortest in wait time.

I believe this has to do with meeting expectations more than anything. Ranged does not have much pressure on the role to perform as Melee does, healer as the toughest job with the least allowed mistakes. The question is one of confidence that you have playing the role and how familiar you are with it. Some players just feel more comfortable with certain toolkits for one role that they do not want to try any other for their own reasons.

Q: During Heavensward Feast, were all jobs viable at one point?
Pan-Pan: Absolutely, except DRK.

Yun-min: It was a serious question! Please do not bully DRK (U/ω\)

Pan-Pan: The reason I have chosen DRK is because it required much higher skill to play and not everyone can do it depending on the kind of people you play against. Many of their abilities are circular AoE with not much range and they did not have the raw damage of WAR or protection utility of PLD. They relied on a slow, bind and debuffing which is less of a safety net than two Berserk Fell Cleave critical hits or 3-stun bash, Clemency, Cover and Testudo.

I am not saying DRK is weak or unreliable, but such a class requires something less straightforward from a person who wants to treat it like a main. It is as though the community eventually settled on what classes are PvP classes and brush aside the others. Good players can play any role if they put their mind to it, but even if some classes can be played by them, it does not mean that it will be.

When push comes to shove, a player will want as many advantages and chances as he can get, or provide, for his team. This makes most less wanting to main a class which can be seen as having too many wildcards as its strength. It is better to put faith in something solid if you are serious about ranking.

Q: Was any job in need of rebalancing during Heavensward Feast that did not get changed? (Either buffed or nerfed)
Pan-Pan: Machinist.

I would mention about PLDs stun duration when paired with BLM/WHM combination of two different DRs, but will forgo it because nothing compares to the threat level of a good MCH with awareness of his game.

Machinist is the only class that really stood out based on how dominant it was, and having a good MCH will easily combat a good opposing MNK within a game of reasonably equal players. It was on the rebalance path correctly at first with their BTE potency nerf, but the second nerf it required was one to its silence and utility on overall, not the BTE multiplier of 0.5.

Yun-min: Some argue that MCH is not that much of an issue compared to MNK who was widely overlooked for their short burst windows, superior sustained damage and lack of damage downtime.

Pan-Pan: MNK is not a ranged DPS so I will not compare apples to oranges. MNK should be compared with DRG and NIN, but for this question, I will mention MCH. Even if I were to compare on a big picture of which class makes the most difference on an equal playing field, it will undoubtedly still be MCH.

Yun-min: Why have you chosen MCH, then?
Pan-Pan: Inside of Feast, your strongest team asset is your DPS synergy. In Solo Queue if this is not an option, you will rely on your ability to CC at key points of time for high skill and experience matchmaking games. The fact the MCH has a large pool of CC except sleep, physical damage UP which is not a -Vulnerability- debuff, an AoE stun with instant root unlike BRDs which has a wind-up time/landing delay AND a short CD silence which lasts longer than that of BRD... MCH is one of the few classes that turn calm fights into massacres simply from using his toolkit to the fullest. This is not considering they have their own combination of DPS abilities which can readily KO anyone, including the 4 medal Tank.

Their silence when macro'd to focus the healer at key intervals will turn any weak attempt at bursting into a strong one. Few classes can claim the same flexibility and opportunity chances that a MCH can give.

Q: Are there any PvP resources to train new players in the JP community?
Pan-Pan: Yes. Whether they are widely known in the ENG community is another question with another answer.

People do use them but sometimes there are also players who want to learn though the hard way of experiencing it firsthand and managing themselves with experiences they get the more they play the mode.

I think whichever way was chosen, it worked well for them.

Yun-min: Thank you for answering the questions! As an ending note since this will be posted for people to read, is there anything you want to say?
Pan-Pan: I want to thank all PvPers who have played and are continuing to play PvP. I hope to see everyone in future seasons. It was especially enjoyable to watch the Aether Cup which was hosted by people from the ENG PvP community, as well as everyone who participated in it, thank you very much! Also, thank you for choosing me for this interview.

Yun-min: I actually threw 10 names into a hat and picked yours out of it randomly... but you are welcome!

Pan-Pan: The same way you pick Feast targets ('ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵̖

Yun-min: I will remember to pick you specifically in future games. Until the next time, then! Good bye!


We really appreciate Yunmi for helping us get an interview with a top JP player. Also, Pan-Pan for agreeing to do it.

Tags: News Interview

Interview: Uncle Acid

by Marshal Renew on

There is always that time in a competitive game where new blood comes forth and reinvents the way the game is played. In the last few seasons of Feast, both NA datacenters have felt his confident wrath.

The third outstanding player in our Best of Interview Series is Uncle Acid, read on!

Seasons

In Heavensward we had four Feast seasons, which season was the most fun, why?
I didn't really start playing until season 3, and that was the most fun season for me because of how much I got to play and stream. I was practicing as much as I could. I even got to do LP that season.

Which season was the most challenging, why?
Season 3 was the most challenging for me because of how much I was still learning at once, and I had Lion Corde giving me good competition.

What are your thoughts on the rewards from season to season (Glamour, mounts, minions, housing items, titles)?
The rewards for seasons 3 & 4 have been the best yet by far, and I hope rewards like this continue.

What other rewards would you like to see as we head into Stormblood?
I would like to see season unique titles. So for example, the title reward for 1st place would be different for each season.

I'd like to see people get rewards for their tier and ones below at the same time too; so if you get silver wolf for example, you also get the bronze wolf achievement and title with it and also the jewelry rewards.

I would like to see tier titles go away with each season, so you have to keep playing to maintain it.

Basically, I'd like to see it be just like WoW, but it won't ever be.

Controversial

What are your thoughts on individual players using numerous characters on the same datacenter Feast ladder?
Alts will happen on any game whether we like it or not. It happens on any healthy, competitive game with a ladder.

The problems I have with alts are the problems I have with the system. Diamond players should never see golds in their games on either team in an ideal ladder. You should not be able to queue into people competing for top spots as gold and tank their rating a bunch while getting the stronger team on 3/4 roles a large percentage of the time.

I support alts—they bring more queues and fun. The cause of many issues is the playerbase being way too small, and this issue I see as the developers' fault. If you don't give PvP attention and thrive to make objectively good changes, then people won't give it attention.

What are your thoughts on NA players making alts on JP and EU datacenters?
I'm a huge fan of it. Those people want to play the game and compete with and against the players from other data centers.

Do you think the ability and crowd control changes in Stormblood will lessen the enticement of using unfair tools like ACT for players going forward?
I don't know about the inner workings of ACT, but I'll say that cheaters will be cheaters, especially if every single person is allowed to get away with using it I suppose. The punishment is the fact that they'll know that they lose the sense of pride that's supposed to come with earning something legitimately. The same goes with any other form of cheating.

Maps and Tactics

Thoughts on the balance of the two current maps?
The Feasting Grounds is a beautifully designed map in my opinion.

Stealing boxes in the beginning was interesting to see with Lichenweed, but it's really just a ready check.

There is no place to kite once you run back to the base in lichenweed except out again. It's a smaller map. Monks can't build stacks off boxes in the beginning anymore really. The LoS isn't designed as well as in the first map, and the little of body of water next to the boxes is a good place to kite melee around.

On the balance of the two maps is an interesting question, but in a sense it is balanced because everyone has to play on it, yet it does favor some jobs over others ever so slightly.

Do you have a favorite map when playing the Feast?
Can't beat the original.

Thoughts on the addition of the Wolf’s Heart?
I think wolf heart is bad for the game. It just reminds me of when sacred prism was 40% physical dmg reduction; you just sat in it and were good for 30 seconds. It promotes a playstyle that's unhealthy.

Wolf heart impacts the game too much, and white mages are really the only healer that can deny it from the other team. You have no mana pool when you have wolf heart. You can do your perfect healing rotation and go wild. It's the difference between other healers being around my healing and me just completely blowing them out of the water doing 200k+ more healing than them—and being able to sleep and get off clutch heals faster.

It has too much HP and is too impactful. I just want to kill the enemy, not a box in PvP. Granted, you can go bonkers with healing when you have a machinist or bard too, but you suffer hard with a summoner or black mage.

Any ideas for new additions to the Feast game mode?

  • Many UI changes that improve the quality of life for PvPers and also PvErs by extension.
  • Fix the point system—everyone on the same team should not win the same amount of points unless they are the same rating. People that are lower rated should win more, and those higher should win less. This is a huge issue in LP, but it's a small thing in solo q too.
  • More frequent class changes and attempts at balancing.
  • Wolf heart is as silly as melee being able to LB 3-4 times a match last season, so remedy it basically.

Jobs and Roles

Which job or role plays the biggest part on the Aether datacenter?
ME :)

I'll answer this with what roles and jobs I think have the most impact for competing on ladder in season 4: all healers (proper WHM being the best), melee (only dragoon and monk), and machinist. Machinist played really well is probably greater than melee.

Which roles have the longest queues? Shortest queues?
Healers and melee have the quickest queues. It's not uncommon to see 20 minute tank and ranged queues.

During Heavensward, were all jobs viable in Feast at one point?
Any job is top 10 viable if played properly. Some are easier to have success at than others. Some jobs are stronger than others. The ninja and dark knight buffs in season 4 were long overdue though. Viable for top 10? Yes. Viable for 1st? On the right data center with the right player? With the current skill discrepancies among players, I really think so.

During Heavensward, which job stood out to you in terms of needing rebalancing (either buffed or nerfed)?

  • It seems monks have gotten 1st the most and have been the most dominant in seasons 1-3, but they were fine in season 4.
  • Dark knight and ninja needed some rebalancing, and I think they should've done something different other than just damage increases.
  • No tank can compete with what paladins provide too.
  • White mage CC was interesting because it's mostly a problem when the other team isn't managing their purifies correctly and when damage is too high (because CC does nothing on its own). Sleep is also ridiculous because of spell delay making it a bit difficult to LoS. When you think about it, 1 minute DR is a long time. You may have noticed that a lot of times healers don't dispel sleep from their team, and a lot of the time it's because damage is so high and recast timer is so long, they're gonna get punished for dispelling, and not to mention there are so many trash debuffs that it's RNG if you even get it. Of course, it's also due to their lack of awareness in other cases. There's no decision to be made about purifying sleep. You just do it because we have abilities that are 1 shots under the right circumstances and purify is such a short CD, and your team has 4. Yet if we slowed down damage, abilities like benediction and other burst healing would be too strong and would need to be toned down as well.
  • Machinist's kit was too well-rounded and their burst is very high and also versatile, which makes it great.
  • Bards are one-trick ponies, so maybe that's an issue, but the new expansion will turn the game on its head, so we'll see what happens then!

Have any guesses or thoughts on both the RDM and SAM’s initial PvP power level?
I don't have any guesses. I see changes as they come out and live and play in the present. We'll see. I will say that on a lot of games, the new classes are usually released overtuned to get people to play them and end up getting nerfed a bit after.

Conclusion

What is one bit of advice you could give new players?

  • Learn what you're doing wrong, what you should be doing, and what the best players are doing that you're not.
  • Please don't click a single spell or ability, keyboard turn, backpedal (without legacy mode on) because these things are not acceptable for anyone to be doing ever.

If someone is doing these things and seems to be doing well, it's a sign the community is primitive, competition is bad, you're getting carried by your team, or you're seriously making up for it by doing well in another aspect of your play.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Any final words and or shoutouts?
Shoutouts to Emily Ann for putting up with me obsessing over feast and to Lion Corde for being a good friend to me, answering my questions when I was new, and being the best competition I think I'll ever see in this game.

Check out my stream: https://www.twitch.tv/uncleacidyaknow

Tags: News Interview

Interview: A'oshane Taru

by Marshal Renew on

Chaos’ most dominating Feast player in Heavensward goes to A'oshane Taru. Taking the Lone Wolf Trophy home in Seasons 1 and 3; he also was near the top or atop the boards in seasons 2 and 4. He took some time from enjoying his final days of the Feast in Heavensward to answer some questions for us.

Seasons

In Heavensward we had four Feast seasons, which season was the most fun, why?
For me, Season 1 was the most fun because it was something new and fresh to discover. It was also the beginning of the race for ranks and felt more exciting, more challenging and more rewarding. Ranks were hard to achieve and not any player could get gold+ ranks. Also, I personally got to know a lot of amazing players in that season.

Which season was the most challenging, why?
Season 2. Winning matches was extremely difficult, or rather, very dependent on RNG since Gold+ ranked players could be matched with unranked players! And I'm sure most of those players have seen the "Look who's Coming to Dinner I" achievement pop up in chat when they started the match. Having a new player or two made matches really challenging and I'm pretty sure that Season 2 wasn't the best experience for most players.

What are your thoughts on the rewards from season to season (Glamour, mounts, minions, housing items, titles)?
Personally, the glamour rewards from season 1 and 2 were much better than the mount rewards from season 3 and 4. However, I felt that the top 10 rewards were lackluster, especially in season 3 and 4 where the minion wasn't exclusive and could be obtained through achievements anyway. I feel that this takes something away from being proud to be in the top 10.

What other rewards would you like to see as we head into Stormblood?

  • Different titles
  • Including lower tier rewards. For example, if you achieve Gold rank, you should also get the title reward for Silver and Bronze ranks.
  • Changing who can be a PvP mentor. It doesn't make sense that someone who's never PvP'd before is able to become a PvP mentor. Players in the top 10 could become mentors and enable a chat similar to the Novice Network, except for PvP.

Controversial

What are your thoughts on individual players using numerous characters on the same datacenter Feast ladder?
Sometimes high ranked players want to try out jobs other than their main and I think it's best for them to try it out on an alt. The problem is that high ranked players that suddenly switch to jobs they're not familiar can make games unbalanced and other players can complain about this, so I think starting this new job from unranked on an alt is the best option. However, another problem is that having two characters in the ranking page is unfair for other players who are aiming for the top 100. I personally made that mistake in season 1 and avoided it in other seasons. On another hand, if SE implemented an unranked feast mode, it would allow players to try out different jobs without the need of making an alt.

What are your thoughts on EU players making alts on JP and NA datacenters?
I have no problems with it. I had characters on NA and JP and learnt a lot from the meta there. It can be a lot of fun with different playstyles, and alts from different regional datacenters can keeping the queue alive.

Do you think the ability and crowd control changes in Stormblood will lessen the enticement of using unfair tools like ACT for players going forward?
Yes, I do. However, I think ACT can be made completely useless if SE decides to have the combat logs completely inactive/hidden in a feast match.

Maps and Tactics

Thoughts on the balance of the two current maps?
To achieve balance on both maps, I think the following should be done to Lichenweed:

  • Expanding the area.
  • Increasing the travel distance between adrenaline boxes.
  • Adding more walls or trees.
  • Adding an extra entrance/exit to the bases.

Do you have a favorite map when playing the Feast?
I prefer The Feasting Grounds map. The Lichenweed map feels tighter and more limiting when it comes to kiting since there are only 2 walls and 2 trees and also the bases only have 1 entrance/exit unlike The Feasting Grounds.

Thoughts on the addition of the Wolf’s Heart?
I liked the addition of Wolf's Heart, the only 2 downsides I think are the duration of the buff and the timing of it. It plays a big factor on determining the match, given that it can be up for the last 3 mins of the match.

Any ideas for new additions to the Feast game mode?

  • Implementing new maps.
  • Adding an unranked feast mode for experimenting jobs or doing matches casually.
  • Weekly decay of rating if inactive.

Jobs and Roles

Which job or role plays the biggest part on the Chaos datacenter?
Monk, Machinist. Those 2 jobs have so much potential, not only in Chaos datacenter. Monk's defense style and power to remove buffs and also their ability to spam silence with Arm of the Destroyer. Machinist’s ridiculous damage and crowd control with silence, heavy, bind, stun and knockback.

Which roles have the longest queues? Shortest queues?
Shortest: Healer/Melee.
Longest: Ranged.
Not sure about tanks.

During Heavensward, were all jobs viable in Feast at one point?
I believe all jobs have always been viable in feast. I've seen really good players pick a low tier job and shine with it.

During Heavensward, which job stood out to you in terms of needing rebalancing (Either buffed or nerfed)?
Monk and Machinist had far more potential than other jobs when it comes to crowd control, they needed nerfing, or other jobs needed buffing.

Have any guesses or thoughts on both the RDM and SAM’s initial PvP power level?
From a PvE point of view, both jobs look really strong. SAM have very high potency skills whilst RDM can quick cast spells which could potentially be a quick burst. However, with the changes in PvP to skills, I personally have no clue how strong these jobs will be, we'll have to see shortly.

Conclusion

What is one bit of advice you could give new players?
Look into guides of the mechanics of The Feast, such as:

  • How to handle medals
  • Timing of boxes
  • Familiarizing with quick chat macros.
  • Learning your job role

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Any final words and or shoutouts?
3.0 PvP has been a blast, it's been a rollercoaster of a journey with some highs and some lows, but what really makes PvP great are the people that play it. And with that, I'd like to mention just a few names.

EU: Reiku Seraphia/Aqua Rain: Not only are they great Astrologians, they are so friendly to play feast premade with and their ability to carry my Summoner without wolf heart is astonishing ;)

Yu Len: I've had horror matches against him in season 1 and sadly he wasn't around much in season 2 and 3, but I'm very glad he came back to the game in season 4. (whispers hello...)

Zegram Xiv: For reviving feast in season 1, if not for him, I wouldn't have gotten diamond that season. EU's Accelerator Xiv.

Thana Rah'thazel/Dacien Darlett/Tamor Zonvolt: Despite the fact that they are amazing players, their streams were the best to watch for me.

D'an Lyehga: It was really fun premading with Dan, he's a really chill guy and one of the reasons premade feast was still alive.

Oni Fujin/Erandel Windseeker/Naxam Naekovu/Commander Justitia: Thanks to those Monks, I was having the hardest time surviving their pressure, but it was always amazing getting matched with them though :P

Thunder Volt/Ami Prower: Sneaky burst Machinists, Matches are mostly determined when you see them.

Mei Misaka: An amazing White Mage, The most likable player of the datacenter, we still miss her in feast.

Katniss Ane’ko/Haki Haki/Ku ji/Twiiss Il: Best feast premade group this datacenter ever had, I'm very honored to have played against them.

Abbas Furnas: Dark Knight of the datacenter, The guardian of the ant queen as he likes to be called.

Cool Boy: A lala that is so cool.

NA: Aviars Lightsworn: One of the best White Mages that I’ve seen, thanks for keeping queues alive across 3 datacenters and for streaming most of your matches since season 2.

Andre Duilio: The most determined/persistent Healer ever, having the most number of matches ever done in a season, much respect o7.

Nothurp Durp: I'm pretty sure most people know him. All I can say is we need a Hurp in EU.

Miyuki/Uncle/Koltik/Rum/Tieria/Poliantha/Tiramisu/Eureka/Momiji/Rei: I am very grateful I got to know them, some of the top players I have personally encountered in NA.

There are others I might have missed but you know who you are ;) ♥

Tags: News Interview

PvP Changes - 4.0 Patch Notes

by King Stefan on

The patch notes for 4.0 came out just a few hours ago, and WOW, there are way more changes to PvP than we expected! Not only is there a full revamp to the combat system, but they've also removed several modes, made some horrible design choices, and a few good ones too. Let's get into it.

First up, a small adjustment renaming the two feast modes, likely so that newer players can better distinguish which mode they should be queueing into.

The level cap to be able to participate in PvP has been lowered to 30. Any character that has reached level 30 and has unlocked their job can queue up for ANY MODE. Yes...Even ranked feast. If you thought that the leaderboards were littered with alts and win traders before? Prepare for the Storm.

Let's face it, nobody played The Fold once The Feast came out. The loss of it isn't such a big deal, though it will always have a place in the hearts of those that played it back in the day.

Slaughter has also been removed. While suprising, it speaks to Square Enix's design philosophy when it comes to PvP. There was just way too much killing, and not enough time spent AFK waiting for RNG objectives to spawn.

The Feast (Light Party) has also been REMOVED. Many players have been advocated for the removal of it's rewards, but Square Enix has straight up put it to bed. We have a heavy opinion about this topic, which will be expressed at a later time. For now, just know that events like the Aether Cup and regular team practice just got WAY more frustrating to organize.

Many minor changes here, but some really stand out:

  • Several changes to the way combat works, like the removal of AA, parry, and Crits. This is pretty huge, since now you no longer need to worry about RNG screwing you over.
  • Spells are no longer interrupted upon taking damage. This is a huge deal, and means that CC will likely be necessary to stop healers.
  • The damage penalty on ranged dps was archaic, and we are glad to see it go.
  • Silence is now on the diminishing return (though position displacement abilties, like knockbacks, still have no DR)
  • Oh, Dimishing Returns are gone. Instead, you are now immune from a specific class of crowd control for 1 minute*Tentative-It may be less than 1 minute now, though not confirmed (or longer with the trait). Goodbye, 3-time stun lock!

Something the PvP community has been asking for since The Wolve's Den! New players will now be directed to a beginners guide to spell out the basics of PvP. We have not personally looked at this beginners guide yet, but rest assured it will not outclass the guides on PvPaissa!

This change speaks subtle volumes. Since these are listed as the only modes which do not have EXP tied to them, that means...

THE FEAST (RANKED MATCH - SOLO QUEUE) WILL HAVE EXP REWARDS TIED TO IT!

Buckle up, pals. Solo Ladder is about to be more chaotic than ever before!

That's it for the new, relevant information. However, there were some good clarifications to changes that have been announced before.

If you didn't already know, each job will be getting a SEPERATE set of actions when in PvP. As stated recently, each job will have 9-12 specifics job actions, in addition to 3 PvP traits and 2 PvP actions. The patch notes provided a few screen shots for us. In this example, we take a look at the monk.

Simple enough, but a good change for new players. The tooltip of your combo abilities in PvP will display all the abilities in the combo. That still doesn't mean people will actually read the tooltips.

A screenshot of the new PvP additional actions. Once we could have them all, but now only two. It will make for some interesting match-by-match decision making.

The PvP traits are about exciting in functionality as they are in name. It is important to note that these are the same across every role and job.

The last large topic was the changes to Adrenaline Rush:

The old "Tank LB" gave 40% reduction for 10s, while this new one gives 25% for 15s. While it may look to be way worse than it's previous incarnation, we will have to wait and see how powerful it is with the rest of the new combat changes.

With Slaughter, The Fold, and Light Party deleted from the game, it's a wonder how this and Shatter survived...

Jokes aside, it is important to note that base HP has been raised in PvP and the damage of this ability has been slightly reduced, meaning it should technically be less impactful than it is currently.

A really good overhaul. The damage is lower, but the additional effect really makes this worth using. Also, it is instant cast! But...

The caster version is better, minus the cast time.

Healer LB took the real hit here. It no longer removes detrimental effects, just CC.

To finish off the round-up of the 4.0 changes, we've compiled a list of the other, more minor changes:

  • PvE actions can no longer be used in PvP areas
  • Players will get a seperate hotbar for PvP
  • When going between PvP and PvE areas, your hotbar will swap automatically
  • The ice in Shatter had it's HP adjusted to facilitiate the changes
  • Secure now uses Adrenaline Rush instead of Limit Break
  • The Character menu now has a seperate look when in PvP areas
  • You can't summon your chocobos in Wolve's Den Pier (ok)
  • The rewards for PvP have been doubled (PvP EXP, Wolf Marks, and Tomestones)
  • Quick chat is still in the game
  • Nice Job!

If you have feedback on these changes, the official forums is a good place to go. We will personally be starting a few feedback topics in the near future, so look out for those!

Tags: News

Interview: Straigus Reyist

by Marshal Renew on

Kicking off the 'Best of' Interview Series here at PvPaissa, one of the, if not the, top all around FFXIV PvP players on Aether, Straigus Reyist. He took some time to answer a few end of Heavensward Feast related questions.

Seasons

In Heavensward we had four Feast seasons, which season was the most fun, why?
Season 1 was the most fun for me. It consisted of more higher level players whom were also at the rank they belonged, providing more even and exciting games than the seasons following it. There was also a more steady playerbase pvping at the same time leading to less bs at high rating. Despite wintrading existing in Season 1 as well as the rest, it was at a much smaller scale as far as I’m aware.

Which season was the most challenging, why?
Season 1 was the most challenging.

Season 2 doesn’t exist to me. Season 3 & 4 just turned into timing queues to dodge throwing/useless players (healers), avoiding disadvantages due to the excess amount of alts or players queuing later in the season, and riding the train of alt/late healers for easy climb.

What are your thoughts on the rewards from season to season (Glamour, mounts, minions, housing items, titles)?
I liked Season 1 & 2 gear the most.

Season 3 & 4 mounts, earrings (lul), and minion (lol), are okay at best. I use nothing from Season 3 itself except for glamouring the earring on one job. I don’t really care for the trophies either, we have two in our FC house and I see them trimonthly if that.

What other rewards would you like to see as we head into Stormblood?
I would really like emotes, gear, and status icons that are somewhat flashy/cool for people to notice the achievement. Different Limit Break animations perhaps. I haven't put the most thought into rewards other than that to be honest, they’re just a bonus.

Controversial

What are your thoughts on individual players using numerous characters on the same datacenter Feast ladder?
I don’t really care for it in solo queue. I’ll just avoid the unfavorable matchups and ride the train up if it arises. That is all Season 3 and Season 4 are.

What are your thoughts on NA players making alts on JP and EU datacenters?
Not my problem lol. Some people I suppose enjoy high ping (rip east coast) or just get the same ping to EU datacenters. eastcoastlivesmatter

Do you think the ability and crowd control changes in Stormblood will lessen the enticement of using unfair tools like ACT for players going forward?
In combination of their being less spammable CC and less buff usage I see ACT being weaker in that sense, but people will still use whatever crutch available to get ahead.

Maps and Tactics

Thoughts on the balance of the two current maps?
Feasting grounds is more balanced mid-field than Lichenweed.

Lichenweed base is more fair than Feast Grounds, but it lacks sufficient line of sighting and the LoS it does have is so lousy. Lichenweed has very tight spots in the middle as well that tends to cause weak positioning and further LoS’ing.

Overall Feasting Grounds is more balanced.

Do you have a favorite map when playing the Feast?
Feasting Grounds.

Thoughts on the addition of the Wolf’s Heart?
Wolf’s Heart is a weird addition. Yes, it helps SMN/BLM comps handle their lack of mp regen. In some cases it feels that it’s a loss if your healer is terrible at mp management and you miss the heart. However, at the same time, It’s such a buff that is only effective for good healers. Less limit breaks and the addition of Wolf’s Heart has certainly led to healers having greater carrying potential.

Any ideas for new additions to the Feast game mode?
Uhh, I don’t like Feast. I'm not sure what can be done to Feast when the problem is the core.

Jobs and Roles

Which job or role plays the biggest part on the Aether datacenter?
Currently, White Mage/Healer.

Which roles have the longest queues? Shortest queues?
Range have the longest queue, and healers have the shortest.

During Heavensward, were all jobs viable in Feast at one point?
Define viable. As far as I’m concerned BRD/NIN have never been viable. They are simply outclassed by their alternatives in factors that actually matter in the Feast.

During Heavensward, which job stood out to you in terms of needing rebalancing (Either buffed or nerfed)?
Monk, all around the best job. Their utility is insane on top of fast burst windows and high consistent damage. Best objective control of the melees. It’s just simply the best that has only got a small nerf to Steel Peak stun duration and Fist of Earth damage reduction.

Paladin stood out as well since it’s just a job that is simply anti-fun. All it does is cockblock and does it too well.

Have any guesses or thoughts on both the RDM and SAM’s initial PvP power level?
SAM high damage, mobile, no utility.

RDM high single target sustained damage, mobile, variable burst, some utility.

Conclusion

What is one bit of advice you could give new players?
Try to be doing something productive every GCD, look at ALL of your abilities, and test what you can do in different modes/the pier/dueling.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Any final words and or shoutouts?
Shoutout to my Free Company, RareX and all of the friends I’ve made through PvP. I’d give a shoutout to Yoshi for the end of ps3 support, however, he also moved the datacenter to the other side of the continent.


I want to thank Straigus for doing the Q&A with us.

He takes the time to watch the #meta channel on the Team Tryhard Discord server, providing guidance to newer players wanting to improve. Definitely one of the most genuine people I met during my time PvP'ing in FFXIV.

Tags: News Interview

Stormblood: WHM Sneak Peek

by Marshal Renew on

With just over a week to go until Stormblood's Early Access begins, the Square Enix team has released a sneak peek at the White Mage's PvP arsenal.

Oldies, but goodies:

  • Cure
  • Cure II
  • Regen
  • Benediction
  • Assize

Protect is back, but...

What else is new?

The new job gauge system will also have unique effects in PvP as well. For white mage, the healing lilies will reduce the recast time for some of the actions. (Please note this is different in PvE!)

60 second Benediction?! Yes please.

15 second Fluid Aura? Melee will be crying.

A new ability, added in Stormblood, called Divine Benison was also added to the PvP toolkit. Divine Benison creates a barrier around a target that absorbs 15% of their current max HP in damage. Divine Benison uses all of your current lilies in exchange for recast time reduction. Note: This is how it works in PvE, so could be different in PvP!

While the WHM has lost Repose, for crowd control they still have Fluid Aura as you can see in the image above.

Stone III shows up as the only damage dealing spell for the WHM. We are unsure if it does anything more than damage (maybe adds Heavy?). Note: Healer's damage spells no longer require Cleric Stance.


Check out the SE blog for a bit more information on Additional Actions and Traits.

Tags: News

RIPPVP Events: Seize and Secure

by Marshal Renew on

Noxious Lotus of Goblin and Rest In Peace PVP are looking to host some Frontline events over the next few weekends leading up to Stormblood.

Greetings to all of Aether. Considering the upcoming changes to PvP and those of us that strongly disagree with the upcoming changes. I am assisting with promoting a Seal Rock Sunday from now until release of Stormblood. Secure Saturdays as well.

Please spread the word for those that are interested in getting their Commander's gear or wrecking faces; the choice is yours.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend besides attack giant Ice Tomes, check out our Frontline guides for a refresher!

Then queue up solo or with some friends and enjoy some Seal Rock, and Secure.

Tags: News

Stormblood PvP: Major Changes

by Marshal Renew on

The Letter from the Producer XXXVI took place with lots of new Stormblood information, including a preview of what is in store for PvP:

Current Issues

  • Level restrictions too high.
  • Too many job actions.
  • PvP != PvE
  • Action Point disparity.
  • Overly complex controls.

Restrictions

People interested in PvP had a huge hurdle to get over in order to try PvP. Not only did they have to get to lv. 60, but also had to rank up to 48 in PvP so they were on equal grounds with veterans. Their solution:

Level Restriction Removal.

  • Any job over lv. 30 can participate.

PvP Attributes Determined by Role

  • Tank/Healer/Melee DPS/Range DPS/Casters
  • Gear affects appearance only.

A lower level requirement could lead to an influx of players trying their hand at PvP and the community could use a larger pool of players.

With gear being visual only, you do not need to worry about undergeared players on your team. WoW recently has done this to make PvP as fair as possible, leaving player skill and coordination as the main focus.

PvE Crossover and Complexity

As PvP is more about coordinating burst and using as many abilities as you can in a small window; players interested from the PvE side of the game also found themselves underperforming with rotations they use in dungeons and raids.

  • All PvP Actions are now PvP-specific
  • Allows for adjustment without affecting PvE balance
  • PvP Hotbars for Each Job
  • New PvP Actions UI
  • 9 actions per job* plus...
  • 2 bonus selectable actions plus...
  • 3 selectable traits

As you enter a PvP zone, your hotbars and actions will change over to PvP-only versions:

Below you can see your Job Actions UI:

The additional actions will come with two selected for you, incase you forgot to set them...

Three traits will also be customizable by the player:

Due to PvP adding even more abilities to people's hotbars, which could be overwhelming for some, jobs (all?) will get new Combo Actions.

  • Consolidated combos free up hotbar space

To make melee's life easier:

  • Direction requirements for melee DPS have been removed
  • Less Complexity = More Maneuverability

Misc

  • Stun will probably be limited to Tanks only.
  • CC durations will be toned down.

Conclusion

A lot of people were crying this is the end of PvP, but the changes could very well increase the participation in PvP. Voice your opinions here.

Tags: News

Aether Cup Tournament Recap

by Marshal Renew on

The second ever Aether Cup, organized by the PvP community, was excellent; kudos to +ONE, Xy Xx, and crew.

If you did not watch the event live, watch the VOD as soon as you have 5-6 hours free. Note: there are event spoilers below.

Aside from only match 5 and beyond having the commentators casting, this event was excellent.

  • Every team was punctual and the event did not have any real delays.
  • There were random prize drawings for viewers courtesy of Team Tryhard.
  • There were 350-400 people at any given time watching the event.
  • The viewers seemed excited and were cheering for their favorite teams/players during the event.

Highlights

Below are a few Twitch clips grabbed from the event. The full list of clips can be seen here.

Double Kill

Tank Slayer

Denied

You Cannot Run From Us

Ava Loves Limit Break

MVP Plays All Tourney

Results

Congrats to Team Primal on the win. They had to fight their way out of the lower bracket vs Team BoxeR.

Final Standings:

  1. Team Primal
  2. Team BoxeR
  3. Team Angelus
  4. Team Elysium
  5. Team Park & RareX
Tags: News

Aether Cup Light Party Tournament

by Marshal Renew on

The Aether PvP community is hosting a Light Party (LP), 5 team double elimination style tournament this Saturday; May 6th, 2017. Starting at 9PM EST (Sunday 1AM UTC), the organizers would like to invite you to spectate some of the strongest teams on the Aether DC battle it out for champion prestige -and- a professional art comission of the winning team. The event will be both organized and hosted by +ONE and Xy Xx.

Teams Participating:

BoxeR

  • Damaru Damasu
  • General Esudesu
  • Kiri Gaia
  • Last Boss
  • Nex Cross

Cactuar

  • Angelus Demonus
  • Atchh Solo
  • Raiden Gensai
  • Triple Mango

Elysium

  • Alessandra Floriani
  • Chyea Chyea
  • Kiona Lynaer
  • Mezzu White
  • Nepu Nepu

Primal

  • Ava Jinsoku
  • Chaelyn Kim
  • Divine Eureka
  • Koltik Morrel
  • Suhr Zarek

RareX

  • Atreus Auditore
  • Exiras Nex
  • Jay Park
  • Maximus Caladbolg
  • Stefan Delumiere

For further info, please visit https://www.twitch.tv/aethercup

Tags: News