Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Hands-On with Bard

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 Bard changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Endwalker tab on the Bard 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.

Bards have been fun to play but a bit unrewarding for a while. A large part of this is the idea that they can’t even benefit from their own buffs. Well that’s a thing of the past, sort of, for some of the time. But I’ll tell you right now, there is no Bard version of Summoner’s Bane or any AoE DoTs. Sorry. But, there are still some good changes incoming.

Starting out strong, we’re going to go play the cooldown shuffle. Raging Strikes has had a cooldown reduction to 60 seconds from 80. That makes things a bit easier to time with your party’s buffs. Barrage has been adjusted to 120 seconds from 80, which is a little disappointing, but still lines up with every other Raging Strikes.

Battle Voice slides forward on the timeline to 120 seconds from 180. Unfortunately, it still does not affect you. I know, I know. Buffs for thee and not for me. Lastly we have Troubadour changing to a 90 second cooldown from the previous 120 seconds. More mitigation is cool so, alright.

The duration and cooldown of all songs has been adjusted. Now each song lasts for 45 seconds and has a 120 second cooldown. This will shake up the optimal timings a little bit, but should still keep everything lining up with a little wiggle room.

Next we have Bloodletter and Rain of Death changing to both share a total of two charges. This is a great change that helps with both Bard’s burst and help to keep these proc based skills from over-capping and losing out on a Bloodletter or Rain of Death proc during those lucky streaks or huge pulls.

Now for the new stuff. At Level 82 Bard learns Ladonsbite, an upgraded Quick Knock with about 10% more potency as it stands now. Nothing special, but a new animation to spam is fine too. Level 86 brings Blast Arrow- now we’re talking.  This is the instant GCD follow up to Apex Arrow. It has just about the same potency as if the Apex Arrow were cast with max Soul Gauge (500 right now) but with some intense AoE damage falloff at 60%. It also is an instant GCD so you can probably weave in a couple OGCDS, but might feel a little clunky after Apex Arrow if you aren’t weaving.

Lastly we have a new 90 second OGCD Radiant Finale at Level 90. This is the party buff mentioned in the Live Letter. This buff increases damage dealt by you (!?) and the party depending on how many Coda you have from singing songs. The levels are 2%, 4% and 5% and this buff lasts for 15 seconds. This is a nice little buff and with a 90 second cooldown it fits in for some supplemental damage windows for the party.

So… Not horrible. But nothing really awesome, that’s for sure. Battle Voice and your Songs not affecting you is still a sticking point. Maybe they can look to Astrologian’s new Astrodyne for an example of how to give back to those with powerful support abilities for the party. All I know is, in whatever alternate universe that Bard can hear Battle Voice, they must be far too powerful.