While I’m mainly concentrating on getting my $5 worth out of WoW this month XD , I wanted to post about some changes to the Dragoon class in FFXIV that really got me excited. I’ve been guilty of not logging into FFXIV for a while, though I remain subbed to the game. I just felt the desire to switch it up some after spending hours of grinding levels for my Ninja in FFXIV, whiclh led me to trying AA and WoW this fall.
My Dragoon History
Being a huge fan of oldskool Final Fantasy (FFIV in particular), Dragoon is a class that naturally appealed to me. I like playing melee DPS by default. I like the concept of Dragoon jumps and the shiny blue armor. I like the overall idea of the class. So, it was logical that I leveled Dragoon on my duo alt, Tai.
I just didn’t enjoy the way it played. I found the constant positional requirements a real frustration, especially since you were never promised to have a good tank… or even a tank at all. Since I’m often the tank for my duo team with Syn, or soloing hunts on Tai, positional attacks just couldn’t happen, which lowered my overall DPS.
Dodging in and out of AOE ground attacks was a pain, too, but something I learned to deal with. It still chafed me that the Dragoon’s magic defense was much lower than any other class, which resulted in me eating dirt far more often on this class than any other class I played. Dragoon also had very little in the way of utility, especially compared to Monk and Ninja.
Despite leveling Tai to 50 on Dragoon, working to obtain a full set of ilvl 90 gear for him, and starting the Dragoon relic quest, my morale about playing the “LOLGoon” (as they’re sometimes called) was pretty low. I felt that others probably groaned when they saw a Dragoon in their random party. I don’t think I’m a terrible Dragoon, but I know I’m not the best, either, as I’m no min-maxer rotation memorizing player.
But when I didn’t think about how gimped Dragoon was as a class, I enjoyed playing it overall. That, and all the work I put into the class, kept me from abandoning it and trying something else completely. Though I did level Ninja to cap – I had hoped Ninja would be a replacement for Dragoon – and I enjoy Ninja for what it is, it only confirmed to me that I still enjoyed Dragoon more. Funny, huh?
Give the Dragoons Some Luv
After the release of Ninja, the Dragoon players got really vocal. It’s been long known that Dragoons are often seen as the butt of the jokes in parties, even by Square themselves. Hence, this video:
But with a new DPS introduced, one with equal DPS output and much more utility, the Dragoon players gave a cry that the developers actually heard. All the issues with the class – forced positionals, low utility, and weak magic defense – meant that parties would rather take a Ninja than a Dragoon anyday. Can’t blame them for that.
I remember reading not long after the Ninja release that the FFXIV dev team heard the plea of Dragoons, but I never expected to get such a huge buff to the class mechanics as what we saw in Patch 2.45.
From the patch notes:
So, as it stands now, the positional requirements for buffs and combo starters have been removed. However, to get the best DPS, you still need to use the skill from the right position. This means if you just happen to mess up, due to whatever circumstance (twitchy tank), your skills don’t totally fail, they just won’t output the best DPS – much like how the Monk skills work.
We got some other nice little buffs to useful skills, including shortening the recast timer for Jump.
Also, they’ve brought the Dragoon’s magic defense in line with other melee DPS. Woo! Why was it like that to start with?
This has me super stoked for playing Tai as a Dragoon in the future, even enough to motivate me to work on his ilvl 100 armor in time. It’s always great when a underdog class gets the love it really needs, and I hope these changes help the morale of Dragoons in parties. There’s already discussion happening at the FFXIV forums, of course, but I can’t see these changes as anything but needed and good.