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Final Fantasy VII - Prelude
(Up Next: Final Fantasy X - Wandering Flame)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Introduction to Party Play

August 15th, 2013 by Tony Garsow

For players new to party play in MMORPGs, it can be quite an intimidating first step. With Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn‘s Duty Finder, you’ll be able to use a matchmaking system to join other players at random to complete the various dungeons, raids, and trials. Learning how to play a party and fulfilling your role in combat is a key part of playing Final Fantasy XIV, and luckily the devs are here to give you a crash course.

It’s important to have good communication with your party, such as listening to advice from others who have completed content that’s new to you or explaining that this is your first time attempting the dungeon. By providing others with constructive feedback, and having a bit of patience for new players, your good turn may produce another — helping the community as a whole enjoy the game together. Of course, a big way to help your party complete an objective is to learn to play your role effectively!

There are three types of roles in Final Fantasy XIV, like many modern MMORPGs: tank, healer, and damage dealers. The Tank has the highest health and defense and will need to draw the attention of monsters to keep them from attacking their comrades. Using enmity-increasing abilities, paying attention to what direction an enemy is facing (as well as their general location), and maintaining enemy attention on you are key parts of “tanking”. While your damage output is not as impressive, your are the first one into the fight. It’s often helpful to mark out which enemy you’ll “pull” first with Signs. Gladiators and Marauders are best suited for this role.

The Healer‘s role is quite simple: keep everyone alive. Of course, it’s not quite as simple when enemies come charging at you. While your first instinct may be to spam Cure on the tank to keep him as healthy as possible, that often redirects enemy “enmity” at you. What’s wise is to let the tank gather enemy attention first before you start laying on the healing magic. You’ll also be responsible for removing certain debuffs and raising players from KO status as you level. Since communication is key, you’ll need to let the party know if you are low on MP to cast spells. Conjurer is best suited for this role.

While a Damage Dealer usually isn’t the first one to attack the enemy, the brunt of damage will come from them. Your role is to do as much damage as you can without pulling attention away from the tank in your group. Like the healer, you may have to wait a few seconds for the tank to gather attention before unleashing your salvo of weaponskills and special attacks. Pugilists, Lancers, Archers, Thaumaturges, and Arcanists are best suited to this role.

Another important point is to not be disappointed with failure — everyone is a first-timer at some point. Everyone “wipes” by mistake or poor planning in their travels, and you’ll have situations where your group just isn’t as prepared as you may like, but that’s the nature of MMORPGs. You may be put with others at a different skill level, but the fun comes from seeing what you’re able to complete together. That’s why it’s important to communicate and encourage others in your group! If you learn something you know someone else is struggling with, pass that knowledge on.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn releases on August 27th for Windows PC and PlayStation 3.

Beta Test phase 4 will run from August 17-19. Those who participated in the Beta Test phase 3 will be able to participate from August 16th. Early access will run from August 24th until the 26th with official service begins on August 27th, but the servers won’t go down after Early Access, so you’ll be able to play non-stop from August 24th.

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  • Honestly, all of this is well and good to suggest, when it comes to the social common sense of party play in any MMORPG, but SE will still need to be on top of developing their game to protect players from our own worst sides and baddest apples, because it’s 2013, it’s the internet, and the duty finder means that blacklists and reputation are pretty much impotent and moot.

    For example: giving tanks the tools to hold agro even with uncommunicative and uncooperative DPS in the party is crucial.

    At the end of the day, you can lead players to content, but you can’t make them talk to each other. SE can lay out all the friendly pie-in-the-sky reminders of etiquette they like, but what will make or break the duty finder experience is protective development designed to automatically cut down on the damage done by the most brutal, un-nerfable monster in any MMORPG: The jaded internet gaming community of 2013.

  • alexsam

    @Omedon Totally agree! In the beta phase 3 I was supposed to be a tank, yet I had no idea that the tank’s role is to gather enemy enmity and keep them busy in general, so I just went out there and tried to deal as much damage as I could. The amount of rage I received was unbelievable! This should be prevented at all cost if we’re all to enjoy the game to it’s full extent, but unfortunately no one can control what other people say. It’s up to them to make the right choices.