Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Hands-On with Astrologian

We recently had a chance to play a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we had a chance to play with many of the updates coming to each Job. For those that we weren’t able to personally get hands-on with, we still had an opportunity to look at the changes that will be coming when Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker releases on November 23.

You can see all of the Astrologian changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Endwalker tab on the Astrologian Job page.

You can also find more coverage of the Endwalker Media Tour here.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.

The biggest change will be the reclassification of healers into Pure healers and Barrier healers. Of course, this caused some side-eye from Astrologian mains. What happens to this versatile healer’s identity once it has to pick a side?

Here is what it means, now by default most of the abilities that used to switch between a regen and barrier healing while in Nocturnal/Diurnal sect now only give a regen normally. Celestial Intersection is now your only barrier heal without the use of the newly repurposed Neutral Sect. It isn’t all bad news for barrier healing fans on Astrologian though, as this now has two charges to use on a 30 second charge timer. The potency of this shield is a little hard to gauge right now, but it will be similar to Adloquium it seems.

Neutral Sect, your normal 20% healing potency buff that enabled the Aspected series of spells to have the effect of both sects now changes Aspected Benefic/Helios to create barriers instead of the regen. This makes it a pseudo stance-dance mechanic for when you just have to have a barrier. This also means that… It is basically exactly the same as it was so that’s nice.

Draw has been changed as well to provide a buff called Clarifying Draw. So instead of multiple re-draw stacks you now have multiple draw stacks with one re-draw granted after each. 30 sec Pre-Pull draw is not completely dead with this change, but it might make drawing a little less annoying in a wall to wall pulled dungeon.

In the damage department, Malefic and Gravity have received upgraded versions, and Astrologian like the other healers, will benefit from the cast time reduction to damaging spells that will come with Endwalker.

While those are the largest changes, that’s not all. Now Divination, your party buff, is no longer subject to the whims of the random number generator. It has been altered to be a flat 6% bonus to the party’s damage output for 15 secs. “But where am I to get my degenerate gambling fix?”, I hear you ask out there. Astrodyne, your new self-buff depends on those seals. With one, two and three unique seal types you will receive in order; a MP regen for 300 total potency, A 10% haste buff, and a 5% healing and damage buff. With all three seals that is a really amazing cooldown that is reminiscent of a mixture of the original card buffs.

Macrocosmos is your new 2 minute AoE cooldown with the gorgeous “star fall” effect spell seen in the Job abilities trailer. When used it hits for 250 potency (with 50% fall off) and grants you and your party the Macrocosmos buff for 15 seconds. When you press the button again (now called Microcosmos), everyone will heal for 50% of the damage they took during that time. This is an amazing addition to the kit and a really interesting effect. I’d imagine those “bring everyone to 1 HP and annoy every healer” mechanics being a little easier to deal with while this is in your back pocket. Though, because I am not a healer in most content I know I am not thinking about how best to maximize the effect. I can’t wait to see how this can be used at the high end.

Lastly the new single target buff Exaltation is a 60 second CD that reduces damage taken by the target by 10% for 8 seconds. After that time elapses, the target gets a 500 potency (equivalent to a Benefic right now) heal. As all other healers received one of these damage reduction cooldowns we see a little homogeneity creeping into the game. However, this effect continues  to push on that “Glimpsing the future to react to damage” flavor that AST has.

When AST has morphed into a Pure healer and lost some of that “I’ve seen the future and prepared for it” flavor. They still retain their identity as the supernaturally precognitive healer. Macrocosmos and Astrodyne are huge standouts here and I really can’t wait to see what career Astrologians think of this new kit.