Final Fantasy XIV has a lot of people who can’t deal with their particular role responsibility within the party.
Teaching A Lesson
One thing that gets under my skin a little is when a DPS won’t use Diversion, Lucid Dreaming, Tactician, or any of their available enmity tools. Like… alright, but why? And then the reason comes up, “Well, the tank should be tanking! So I’m teaching them a lesson.” The reason this nerves me so much is because I’ve used the exact same reasoning. At least, until I started raid tanking as Paladin back during the Coil era. Look, y’all aren’t teaching any lessons. At most, you’re being a little inconvenient.
The difference to a tank in terms of buttons pressed, generally speaking, is two or three at best. Sure in the greater details you’re probably screwing with their resource management, DoT timing, etc. But for the sake of simplicity: you’re making them press the three buttons of their enmity combo, instead of the three to a damage combo. Maybe they’ll have to use a Provoke or Ultimatum early and now won’t have it for Shirk swapping in 8 or 24 player content. Great! Awesome. Stellar. Sure showed them a thing or two.
I completely understand if you dislike how Final Fantasy XIV works right now. Like many others, I grew up in online games where tank players would hold enmity/threat/hate and mitigate damage; where healers would keep everyone alive or restore those who died and all or the majority of damage dealt was from the DPS. That sort of thing made sense, and it still does! But that’s not how it goes here.
Sure, you’ll always find people who do the bare minimum of their roles. Tanks who will never leave tank stance and only ever do their enmity combo are everywhere in Duty Finder. Healers who refuse to use their damage spells and just stand there without using MP are all around too, for that matter. It’s always frustrating when you find like a WHM who hasn’t used Assize even, nor done a Swiftcast Aero III on trash pulls, because “what if the tank is in danger”. Are you serious right now?
Responsibility Towards Others
Don’t get me wrong, this extends to DPS too. Why isn’t your DoT up on that boss? Why are you “going easy” because it’s just a dungeon run? I don’t think anyone should expect people to use food and potions for the simplest of content, but seriously! For anyone going into an instance, you now have a responsibility, however slight, towards the time of anywhere from three to twenty three other people. You should try to respect that and reflect it in the amount of effort given that you feel is appropriate.
And don’t forget your enmity cooldowns, DPS. Even if the tank has a good handle on things, working together to widen that gap is important. And I don’t mean by holding back–the 90% reduction in Diversion is generally enough to be like a ghost. Use the tools you’ve been given, as they’ll use theirs, to help avoid any accidents and to generally make the flow of combat faster and easier.
Mechanics vs Damage
When it comes to progression, from the simplest of dungeons to the most challenging of raids, players should start out being a little cautious. Learn about the enemies you’ll face, the mechanics you’ll have to handle. Knowing how to deal with them, how fast things are, how much damage things do, so forth are all important.
As a DPS, I hear quite often, “We should focus on mechanics first instead of damage!” And to some extent that’s necessary… but not to completely divide it into two separate processes. Aiming to do the mechanics while optimizing uptime and position can be extraordinarily helpful towards pushing phases out of more annoying mechanics, or clearing enrage faster and getting to the next fight. While yes, as you improve in gear and experience you may notice more things post-clear that can be improved… but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try during progression too!
The Scale of Progression
And as for tanks and healers, all damage in the game is essentially predictable. Every healer will eventually have a healing rotation based on their group and the encounter, which may vary based on accidents. Every tank will have a defensive rotation similarly. Knowing when to mitigate, knowing when the big heals are necessary… these are life saving skills gained through experience! But once you have them, you don’t need to be waiting for the next big hit. Tanks can come out of their shell. Healers can spend their freed attention on damage spells. The goal with both is to do so without dying–it should be just as easy to keep everyone alive now while they do damage!
Think of an encounter like a scale–you want to keep things even. This means the healing and mitigation together balance out the incoming damage. Any healing or mitigation beyond this balance point is literally worthless. But you might need a lot when you’re learning a new encounter or dungeon! And as you gain experience by learning what’s coming next and how to handle it, you can lower that. The goal is for your party to get the balance just right, so tanks and healers can throw in their damage combos and spells and make the encounter easier on everyone… eventually.
The Best We’ve Got
Now, if you still think that the system should be changed? That’s fine–everyone has an opinion. And it’s the discussion of these opinions that we have as a community, as well as the developers’ discussions, that can sort of mix and blend into what we end up with. They’re not going to just give every player exactly what they want–if you want that, well, make your own game honestly. It’s the only way. But for now, we’ll work with what we’ve got… and that means being responsible for the time and experience of other people.
If you put forth the time and effort necessary to learn how and when to use your abilities, it’ll benefit you as much as it does others. By lowering your enmity, you’re not “enabling lazy tanks”. You’re giving them breathing room to use two or three other buttons. Maybe even two different combos together–to help the whole party out. And yes, you benefit from their extra capability! If you’re sitting there as a healer, not DPSing but not having to heal either… seriously the hell are you doing? I’d get so bored. You can still watch Netflix while DPSing daggone!
And tanks…? I know tankxiety is a very real thing. But once you’re comfortable and can let loose? Smash.