Final Fantasy XIV is a complex game full of different classes, combat mechanics, and skills to use on the battlefield. The process of learning the many mechanics that FFXIV presents can be vexing, to say the least, but it pays off for sure after you familiarize yourself with them. Today, I will introduce you to the Roles and what they entail, accompanied by some useful Combat Tips.
Universal Combat Tips
The following tips are recommendations that you should keep in mind at all times during any fight. Roles aside, more factors come into play in the heat of the moment, and there’s a lot of learning and a lot of practice to do in FFXIV, both solo or in a team.
Tip #1 - Communication is key
Communication in a Party or Alliance is key, depending on your role will see you in certain situations where you have to ask, clarify and teach mechanics for the newest players, and overall be able to check on the rest of your team for readiness before a boss battle. Always be patient, and always be clear.
Tip #2 - Listen to your teammates
Viceversa, you should always be open to listening to them if you’re the new player. We all begin somewhere and given the complexity of this game, sometimes you need to swallow your pride and listen to the more experienced players if you don’t want to be a deadweight in a fight that you don’t comprehend yet. Thankfully, FFXIV’s community is lovely and understanding, most of the time.
Tip #3 - You’re naturally a DPS
As stated before, three main Roles separate the classes in FFXIV. However, something you must keep in mind every single second you’re in a fight, is that all the classes are naturally DPS. This means that, whenever you’re not taking a specific action of your role, such as healing, applying regeneration buffs, or taking the aggro of a mob of enemies, you must be attacking.
Tip #4 - Don’t waste your time
Every moment you spend on a fight you must be doing something, whatever, even if the skill seems useless. With time, you will learn the intricacies of every job that interests you, the rotations, and what’s better to use in a certain situation. Until that time comes, get yourself accustomed to being quick at casting skills and applying buffs or your own AoEs, it’s a habit that takes time to develop but becomes incredibly useful later.
Tip #5 - Rely on your companions
Sometimes things will get tricky in a fight. HP goes uncomfortably low, someone seems kinda distracted, or the mechanics within the fight are really fast and you’re struggling to see them coming. Don’t panic. As long as you all know what you’re doing, the right thing to do is to rely on your party. As the Tank takes all the attention from enemies, Healers are there to maintain them alive while the DPS depletes the boss’ HP. Every role has a function in a fight, and as long as you do your part correctly, you will be helping the rest to do the same.
Tip #6 Don’t be afraid to mess around
Ok, this is an overall tip for the entire game, not only for combat, but it’s worth noting something that you should do that is related to it. Play with your setup as much as you can, like your Hotbar configurations and such. Menus and settings are fully customizable, and if messing around with them helps you to feel more comfortable, then it's worth the hassle, for sure. Have fun while you learn to play, otherwise what’s the point?
FFXIV - Roles 101
The Roles are the three main categories that separate the many classes in FFXIV. These Roles have specific tasks within a fight, and learning the basics of each one is something you should aim to do, no matter which class you main, so you always know what to do in any given context!
Tank - The Shield Of The Party
As the Tank of your party, your role consists of using your skills to deviate all the attention (usually called “Enmity” or “Aggro”) of the enemies into yourself and keeping their attention right there, so they ignore your teammates and they can fulfill their respective roles as well as they can.
To do that, you have access to different Stances that will increase the enmity you generate, and if for some reason you lose it or you need to take the aggro from another tank, you have access to moves that help with that, like Provoke or Shirk. However, it’s a must for any Tank to remember to have the Stance on.
Positioning yourself as opposed to the rest of the party is also important since most AoEs will be directed at you, being the primary focus of the enemy. You don’t want your team to get interrupted nor killed, so if you can afford it, always be apart from them. Also, equally important is the relevancy of your mitigation skills, buffs that you must use at all times that protect you or others, usually alleviating Healers’ backs a bit.
The Tank Role covers the following classes:
- Paladin (PLD)
- Dark Knight (DRK)
- Gunbreaker (GNB)
- Warrior (WAR)
Healer - The Saving Grace
Healers are the “mom friend” of the party group. While the Tank is the protector and the one who sets the pace in progressive places like Dungeons or Raids, Healers are the ones in charge of maintaining the Tank alive and being quick on their feet if things go south.
Whether is applying a regeneration buff, resurrecting a teammate, rescuing someone who’s standing in the wrong place, or simply saving the entire group of a painful demise, Healers have to keep all their eyes open and pay close attention at all times. In a game with as many mechanics as FFXIV has, the general situation can change very quickly in any fight, and it’s on their shoulders the responsibility of saving lives.
And for the love of God, be nice and commend one of your healers after a Duty, it’s stressing and they’re doing their best.
The Healer Role covers the following classes:
- White Mage (WHM)
- Astrologian (AST)
- Scholar (SCH)
DPS - Kill Things As Fast As Possible
As a DPS, your job isn’t to run first into battle, neither to heal other people (even if in some cases you actually can), but to inflict as much damage as you can in the most effective way you can afford to. DPS classes in FFXIV are by far the strongest ones in terms of damage output, and the biggest difference from the other two main roles is the importance of their positioning in battle, which is defined or limited by the mobility of the DPS Sub-role you’re using.
DPS classes are separated into three sub-roles that are defined by their specific mechanics. Melee DPS classes are close-combat fighters that hit hard, Ranged DPS are long-distance attackers with great mobility, and Caster DPS are magic users that have limited mobility due to how they deal with their own casting times.
The DPS Role covers the following classes:
- Dragoon (DRG)
- Monk (MNK)
- Ninja (NIN)
- Samurai (SAM)
- Bard (BRD)
- Machinist (MCH)
- Dancer (DNC)
- Black Mage (BLM)
- Summoner (SMN)
- Red Mage (RDM)
- Blue Mage (BLU)
Now you have a sneak peek into the Main Roles and the Classes in them, you're ready to get deeper into the ones that interest you! If you want to learn more about the Duty mechanics themselves, you can also check our useful guide!