Frustrated Final Fantasy XIV Healers Are Planning To Strike When Dawntrail Debuts

Frustrated Final Fantasy XIV Healers Are Planning To Strike When Dawntrail Debuts

After months (and even years) of healer mains in Final Fantasy 14 complaining that Square Enix’s MMORPG has simplified and devalued the job, seemingly to no avail, aggrieved healers are going one step further to make their opinion known: They’re going on strike.

The strike originated on June 9, when Square Enix forum user Gemina (a Scholar main) posted a thread succinctly titled #FFXIVHEALERSTRIKE. The thread opens with a mission statement for the strike. Gemina writes:

I would like to make this the official thread for those in support of a healer strike as a collective voice to the dev team to express the dissatisfaction with the continued direction the game has gone concerning healer gameplay and what is an arrived consensus that has deemed to be a negligence towards the role, as well as the players who main it.

The strike asks any player who participates to abstain from taking on any healer jobs in any group content (dungeons, raids, trials).

While this is not a new issue for FF14’s healer community, Dawntrail previews were the tipping point that led to the strike. Specifically, FF14 content creator Xenosys Vex’s preview video, showing a four-person party beating the new expansion’s first dungeon, Ihuykatumu, without a healer. Of course, Xenosys used some clever party make-up: The party’s tank was a Warrior, a class known for its self-healing abilities. The Warrior was then supported by three DPS players, with one choosing Red Mage to make use of healing and revival magic without the need for a true healer. Still, it’s not a good look for Dawntrail and it has put a sour taste in many healers’ mouths.

Xenosys Vex

You may think, based on Xenosys’ preview, that a healer strike might not get anywhere since it proved how useless the role is in even Dawntrail’s basic content. However, when completing party-based content for the first time in FF14, you are required to adhere to a strict party makeup. Four-person content requires one healer, while eight-person content requires two. So players can’t take the Xenosys approach of foregoing healers as soon as Dawntrail launches, and a strike should remind people that they’re being taken for granted.

The grievances listed by Gemina sum up a building list of issues players have had with the healer role—issues that have only been exacerbated by the imminent changes coming to the new expansion. The healer community, me included, has long been complaining that each expansion’s job changes have continuously diminished the usefulness of healers in anything but high-end content, in addition to simplifying the actual rotation of play. For example, the average rotation of a White Mage in an encounter is to spam the single target offensive spell Glare, while also keeping the damage over time spell Dia constantly applied to an enemy. Healing is done very rarely.

That means you spend your time spamming two buttons, which is obviously boring compared to DPS and Tank roles with their more complex and engaging rotations. To make it worse, Dawntrail looks to simplify Astrologian, perhaps the last semi-complex healer job in the game, alongside the continued bolstering of self-healing abilities in tank classes.

Image: Square Enix / Kotaku

As a healer, I understand the frustration that led to the strike. I hope Square Enix is currently working on changes to address these long-vocalized issues. There is even some hope that Dawntrail might offer an olive branch to the healer community. Summoner is losing its ability to revive players, meaning that Red Mage will be the only non-healer role with the ability to revive. That gives healers a little bit of purpose back. Furthermore, the Swiftcast ability is getting a shorter cooldown, something that could signal more challenging content for healers. However, that might still be reserved for high-end content only, which doesn’t exactly fix the problem.

The #FFXIVHEALERSTRIKE thread currently has over 300 pages of comments adding their support. To give players time to complete any Endwalker content they need to before the next expansion, Gemina proposes that the strike does not officially start Dawntrail’s release on July 2.

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