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Yep, because nobody asked for it but because it’s very much fresh on my mind, I’m revisiting Stormblood Squee Week for the second time! Monday the 22nd had an absolutely humongous Live Letter from producer Naoki Yoshida and I have a great many thoughts about what was presented.

So for the first Squee Week Part Deux post, I wanted to cover all of the big reveals in general and offer my opinion on them.

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Starting with this gorgeous ability HOLY CRAP LOOK AT IT.

Just in case you weren’t around or are a fan of XIV but somehow haven’t been up-to-date, the Live Letter talked about the much-discussed and much-presumed Combat Refresh, which would see combat in Final Fantasy XIV shift completely. After having looked over what I could of the stream and reading briefings, BOY am I happy.

Starting with the classes that affect me personally – Dark Knight and Machinist – I’m significantly happier with the adjustments to Machinist than I am to the Dark Knight. Overall, the Dark Knight doesn’t appear to have been tweaked too much, though the new Tank Role cross class skills mean that the stunning kick-to-the-gut move will be shared among all tankers. There weren’t any particular demonstrations of the Dark Knight’s abilities new and old, though the Class Actions video did offer at least a couple tastes.

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I mean, it’s just OOZING style already anyway, so…

The Machinist is where the real squee starts for me. Removal of that STUPID DSFHA;DJ CAST-TIME MECHANIC from both Machinists and Bards has made me ecstatic. While the incredibly ugly Gauss Barrel is still a thing, it now adds some sort of Heat mechanic that, presumably, builds up in order to spend on bigger attacks.

Honestly, I’m interested in learning more, but I don’t care what it ultimately means or whether it’s a throwaway thing to babysit or not because I CAN MOVE AND SHOOT AGAIN AAAAAAGH!

Oh, speaking of Heat mechanic. The new Job Gauges UI element? That spoopy sword-thing on the Dark Knight image up there? Yeah. Every class has a different one now. Which, I think, is probably one of the most inventive yet obvious answers to class resource management I’ve seen in this game. I mean, it’s a thing in WildStar and it’s incredibly effective, so why not give it to XIV?

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It’s a nice thing that they’re stylish, too, even if they appear a bit tough to grasp initially.

Another big surprise for me was the changes being made to gear sub-stats. I’m not the kind of min-maxer that pays incredibly close attention to these matters, but a lot of what was being said definitely made me grin. I’m particularly happy to see throwaway stats like Parry and Accuracy adjusted, but the one sub-stat that really perked my ears is Direct Hit.

Basically, Direct Hit works like an additional crit, though it doesn’t hit as strong as crits normally do. Speaking as a newly-born DPS player, I’m almost certain that seeing numerous regular hits, crit hits and Direct Hit numbers spring up will make me feel DAMN powerful, which is something I’m missing from playing Machinist right now.

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I’m sure Bards will feel empowered too but whatever.

While this Live Letter brought wiggly joy, there were a couple of…not downer moments per se, but things that underwhelmed. Particularly, the Samurai doesn’t look very interesting to me. It, from what demonstrations were provided, looks like a boring Ninja. This probably stems from my general ambivalence at the katana as a weapon – I’m sure if I revered those things I’d be super impressed – but really it just seems kind of dull.

Which is an odd complaint to levy against XIV because, I mean, every skill in the game animates so well.

What I wasn’t expecting? For one thing, I was not anticipating the Paladin to look as amazing as it did. That Passage of Arms skill – the shiny wings ability pictured at the top of this post – is staggering. I mean….scroll up and look at it again. Go on. Look at that majesty.

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Know what? I’ll put it here again so you can look at it easier.

Something about that just makes me…well, I’m gonna elaborate on that later in the week, actually, but just know that I’m completely amazed at how good it looks.

As a matter of fact, that segues quite a bit into the other surprise from the stream; the confirmation that Jump Potions are going to come to the West. Yes, we’re getting the oft-discussed content and level leaping boosts from China and Korea.

How do I feel about these new items? Well, in short, I’m in support of them. And I’ll explain why I am in the next edition of this week’s posts. Until then, I’m going to re-watch that Skills video again.

….oooooh fuck YES….

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