Hello and welcome to PvPaissa’s survival guide to The Feast 4v4, patch 3.55, preseason 4! In this mini guide, we will be evaluating the changes granted in the initial preseason patch which was released on 2/28/2017, and will be covering: Evaluation, tips and strategies for the new Feast map (4v4), Lichenweed! Explain the revamped “box” system, complete with tips and tricks. Go over the single rebalance in PvP, the nerf of Monk’s ability "Fists of Earth."
Lichenweed is the new map added with the patch, and brings a new aesthetic to The Feast in addition to a shift in gameplay. Take a look!
The first major difference most people will notice is that the spawn points for each team are no longer large obstacles, as in, you can no longer kite the enemy around your spawn by jumping the platform and running up the stairs. The spawn is a tight enclosure, which makes “turtling” in your spawn a much riskier option than in the previous map. (The Feasting Grounds).
Second, you’ll likely notice that the initially spawned offense and defense kits are no longer right in front of you, they’re a bit further away. Because of this, it is very possible to steal the opposing team’s offense kit. This can be done by sprinting through the middle of the map and using powerful ranged abilities to tag more than 50% of the kits’ HP. Bards and Ninjas are particularly good at this, with abilities such as Swift Song and Shukuchi. We’ll talk more about the boxes later.
Lastly, we’ll talk about the layout. It’s very clear once you load in: Lichenweed is a very small map. What does this mean for gameplay? Well, it means that most of the combat is centered around the middle of the map, as it’s also the only area with walls/trees to avoid line of sight. It also means that disengaging from the middle back to your base is very risky, while pushing to the opposing team’s spawn and then disengaging to middle is less risky. The opposite was generally true for The Feasting Grounds map. Also, with it’s enclosed active space and easy-to-shoot angles for caster, it’s safe to say that SMN and BLM are very strong on this map. We'll cover that in our Lichenweed map guide!
Along with a new map, preseason has introduced a chance to the “box” system. It now works like this:
6:00 - Two Adrenaline Kits spawn at 2 points in the center of the map, 1 box favoring each team in terms of placement.
4:00 - Wolf’s Heart Kit spawns at the center of the map. The Wolf’s Heart kit has much more health than your typical kit (approx. 32k hp), and will require a team effort to secure. The Wolf’s Heart is an extremely powerful buff which increases: HP Regeneration (very comparable to regen+medica 2 stacked HOTS), MP Refresh (Comparable to Shroud of Saints or Luminiferous Aether), 75% Movement Speed increase, and an increase in attack speed (Cast times shorter, GCD shorter, auto attacks more frequent). We recommend giving this buff to your healer, though other viable options are found in Paladins and Black Mages.
2:00 - Two more Adrenaline Kits spawn at 2 points in the center of the map, neither box favoring a team in terms of positioning.
With the higher focus on the “box” system in preseason, it has become more important than ever to ensure your team secures the box objectives. Two Adrenaline Kits are equal to a full LB, and since there is a higher potential to get these kits, it could be viable to distribute them to members of your team other than the melee. However, at this time, we still recommend funneling the LB to your melee dps in most situations. The Wolf’s Heart kit is equally, if not more, important, for many of the reasons stated above. It lasts for THREE MINUTES! (That means it will only fall off in the last minute or so of the match.) Also, it turns a great healer into an invincible god that will never run out of MP, which is invaluable if they do not have a Bard or Machinist to support them.
Patch 3.55 did not bring much when it comes to job balance. In the days following the release of this guide, we will be releasing a job tier list for each map to give you a greater idea of our thoughts. However, there was one major change:
Monk had their Fists of Earth reduced by 5% in PvP. What does this mean for Monk? Not much, really. Monks are still, by far, the most tanky melee DPS. However, the 5% nerf to their damage reduction is very noticeable, and is a welcome change. Is this the end of Monk? Hell no. Shit is still OP.
This wraps up our mini guide on the PvP changes in patch 3.55 for Preseason 4. Please look out for our upcoming job guides, tier list, and more as we move closer to Season 4!