Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Hands-On with Dark Knight

13 Oct 2021

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

So you’re wondering what good edgy nonsense you’ll get this time. Well, there’s some “nice”, some “alright, fine” and some “ugh, that’s still a thing?” If you are a Tank main more than a DRK main you’ll see some similar themes to the new abilities including the order in which each tank Job gets them. But first, let’s talk about the changes.

Delirium was basically Inner Release during Shadowbringers, and was one of the reasons that both Dark Knights and Warriors eyed a little skill speed to comfortably land 5 GCDs in these windows. Well gone are those days for both these cooldowns and they’ve even reduced the cooldown. Delirium is now a 60 second  cooldown that grants 3 stacks of Delirium which are used to remove the MP cost of Quietus and Bloodspiller and gain MP as well. That is a loss of 2 free casts, but with the cooldown reduction it comes out in the wash a bit. One would then imagine that Blood Weapon has received the same treatment and one would be wrong. Seems a little weird to me, but at least it is a neutral change.

Abyssal Drain has been altered much like Warrior’s self-heals. This ability now heals for a flat potency per cast instead of a percentage of the damage it caused. This means it will also no longer be affected by any damage buffs. But hey, it will be buffed by healing potency buffs and that’s something. It does remain to be seen if this is actually much of a nerf to self-sustain so it is nothing to worry too much about yet. A little good, a little meh, let’s move on to the new stuff.

Every tank receives a cool new single target damage reduction cooldown at 82. Dark Knight’s is Oblation, a 10% damage reduction for 10 seconds that has 2 charges on a 60 second timer. Which is good! But if you take a glance at the other Tank’s options… Surprisingly vanilla for Dark Knight. You do get a second charge where the others don’t, mind you. Is this a side effect of how amazing of a cooldown The Blackest Night is? I’m not sure, but it would make some sense.

“Salt and Darkness” is metal AF and also the name of the Salted Earth follow up gained at level 86. Right now, it has some great potency, no damage falloff on multiple targets and is usable once per Salted Earth cast every 90 seconds. This is going to blow up dungeon pulls for sure and give a little more burst in every 90 second buff window.

The capstone ability at 90 is Shadowbringer. This is a line AoE with 2 charges on 60 second cooldown that deals 600 potency of damage right now. That sounds a lot better. This will add more to Dark Knight burst, and OGCDs to weave in your opener. Your Living Shadow also can use this ability when you learn it and does it at a reduced potency. How far reduced? That’s going to take some research when the game is live as pet potencies could have been adjusted with the stat squish or potency adjustments.

I am now contractually obligated to tell you that there is a trait at level 84 called Enhanced Unmend. With that, landing an Unmend reduces the recast time of Plunge by 5 seconds. That is a trait, yup. A bit boring and with niche uses, but I mean movement is nice and Unmend will no longer break your combos.

You know, it would be easy to make some sort of joke like “Oh no, the WOL has changed from Dark Knight to Paladin, maybe you should too, har-har.” so I won’t. Even though I just did. I don’t believe the changes and additions are that bad. Honestly, Dark Knight is just uncharacteristically bland. Maybe Reaper just took all the good edge this expansion.