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Final Fantasy 14 patch to roll back black mage buffs as Yoshi-P promises his main isn't getting "preferential treatment"

GamesRadar logo GamesRadar 5/27/2022 Dustin Bailey
Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida in black mage cosplay © Provided by GamesRadar Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida in black mage cosplay

Final Fantasy 14 is rolling back some buffs for the black mage job in PvP, which happens to be the favorite class of director and producer Naoki Yoshida (affectionately known to fans as Yoshi-P) - but he promises that the class is "experiencing no preferential treatment."

Patch 6.11a launched earlier this week with a number of balance changes for jobs in PvP, and most of those focused on black mage. Many of the job's abilities got increased damage, increased effect times, and decreased recast timers. In response to the changes, fans joked that "every BLM in CC should thank all of those players who actively target Yoshi-P when they get in [a] match with him."

"We have received a great deal of feedback regarding these changes, and in hindsight, I believe we went too far with our adjustments," Yoshida says in a new blog post. "For this, I apologize. Please know that we have plans to address these concerns in Patch 6.15, which will be released on Tuesday, June 7."

Yoshida goes into extensive detail on the team's process for balancing classes. With the new Crystalline Conflict mode bringing a rush of players into FF14's PvP, the devs wanted to implement balance changes "as soon as possible." While 6.11a, with the overwhelming black mage buffs, was released on May 24, because of the game's development schedule, work on those changes was completed back on May 7.

"The changes made in patch 6.11a were particularly extensive and implemented on relatively short notice, causing many players to lament their inability to enjoy and explore the nuances of Crystalline Conflict in the state it was released. Reflecting on this, we acknowledge that waiting to release all necessary adjustments in patch 6.15 would have been a better solution than hurrying to release an intermediary patch as we did."

When 6.11a was in development, "the black mage was exhibiting the lowest usage and win rates across all player categories. (As a point of reference, the black mage experienced victory 14% less than the job with the highest win rates.)" Yoshida says that "in the following days, I would have the distinct pleasure of battling against many of you in my personal investigation of the black mage's issues."

In the wake of that testing period, Yoshida says "my personal impression after countless Crystalline Conflict matches is that, in the hands of a skilled PvP combatant, the black mage has more than enough potential to excel in battle." But 6.11a was already out for "finishing touches" at that point, and "what should have been minor changes were released as major changes, which ultimately resulted in an overpowered black mage."

Yoshida concludes "I would like to emphasize that the black mage is experiencing no preferential treatment by being specially mentioned here; we evaluate action balance for all jobs with a similarly scrutinizing gaze. I only present this instance as an example as it was particularly inconvenient and frustrating to many players, and I am truly sorry for the trouble we have caused."

This blog is also our first confirmation of the Patch 6.15 release date on June 7. Besides the balance changes, the patch will also implement new Hildibrand quests, the Arkasodara tribal quests, and the Ameliance custom deliveries.

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