If you haven’t leveled Dark Knight yet, you should. At least for the incredible story if nothing else.
The Stress Ball
Anyone who has ever had to heal a Dark Knight before will probably tell you they tend to be super squishy. This was especially true in Heavensward when magic mitigation was their focus, leaving them pitifully unprepared for the hordes of physical trash mobs in dungeons. Dark Knight has quite a better set of cooldowns now for Stormblood, but I don’t feel like an immovable shield like I do on Paladin. On the flip side of that, DRK’s toolkit contains a great deal of self-healing by 70–allowing your healers some breathing room.
From when you unlock DRK at 30 and are given a spread of abilities right away, tanking can be… difficult. This is not the tank job I’d suggest picking up as your first if you’re unfamiliar with how tanks play in Final Fantasy XIV. Maybe you’ll be alright, but from my experience the grand majority who’ve done it really just kept it around for one completely fair reason: to look super badass.
But if you’re really ready to play this, then hold onto your hats and get ready to keep constantly tracking like eleventy-billion different timers and buttons. Sure, you’ll get your flow eventually and it’ll be all old-hat, but at the speed of leveling sometimes it can be tough!
Attack the Darkness
I’m not a huge fan of how Dark Arts works right now. Sure, it’s easy enough to understand. It exists as a tool for encouraging proper resource management, and rewards playing correctly with the benefits of DA’s effect on other skills. If you manage your MP, Blood Gauge, and TP well enough then you’ll perform quite nicely with Dark Knight DPS.
Yet there’s plenty of times where it feels like all you’re doing is hitting Dark Arts. GCD, DA, GCD, DA, GCD, DA, GCD, oGCD, GCD, DA… I hope you’re sure to set Dark Arts to a button that doesn’t give you some kind of muscle issues! At the very least it does keep the job very busy, and serves as something to do between the long animated swings of your normal attacks.
Follow Your Path
I’m going to try and talk about the story without any spoilers so… here we go!
One concept I received from it was “Follow Your Heart”. This plays along well with the main story from just before Heavensward onward. Are we really making these choices on our own, or are we being led along by the whims of a higher power? Is it wrong for us to resort to heeding our negative emotions sometimes? Is Darkness really evil, is Light really good? What seems to matter most is that we remain self aware, and take the time we need to reflect–both before and after acting whenever we’re able to do so.
Another was simply “Forgive, but Don’t Forget”. We always need to remember those we’ve lost, and those who’ve hurt us. We can’t forget about those we love, and we should learn from times both when we hurt others and when others hurt us. No one should sit around and hope for forgiveness for what they’ve done to make themselves feel better. What we’ve done needs to be a sufficient burden so that we learn from our mistakes. However, it’s important to forgive others. Not to necessarily let them back into our lives, but to be able to move forward on our own path regardless.
There’s so much to learn from Dark Knight that I can’t just joke around and call it an edgy edge lord job anymore. Even though there sure are people who act that way both on and off of it. Anywho! It’s a fantastic story and I’d definitely recommend playing the job even if just for that. But yeah, do be ready to expect a little bit of a challenge in mastering the tank play unless you’re already familiar with it.