Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Hands-On with Astrologian

6 Jun 2024

Last month we had a chance to play a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we were able to experience many of the Job changes that are in the works. For the Jobs that we weren’t able to personally get hands-on with, we still had an opportunity to look into the changes that will be coming when Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail arrives on July 2 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, Mac, Windows, and Steam.

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 Dawntrail tab on the Astrologian Job page.

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

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

Oh boy, Astrologian mains, it is time for your customary rework!  I won’t pretend to be an expert in all things Astro, but this doesn’t seem like a horrible compromise on the card front. The rest of the changes and additions aren’t bombastic, but it all makes sense.

Yoshi-P mentioned that the team has received both positive and negative feedback about the random aspect of Draw. So, they’ve decided to remove that completely and instead give you multiple cards on a fixed rotation but with disparate effects. Here’s how that all works. At level 30 you’ll learn Astral Draw, the 60 second cooldown that draws the same four cards every time. These being the Balance, the Arrow, the Spire and once you gain Minor Arcana, the Lord of Crowns. Each of these cards will be played through a different keybind, abilities called Play I, Play II, Play III and Minor Arcana. So, you’ll always know that Play I in Astral Draw is the Balance, Play II is the Arrow, and so forth. After you use Astral Draw, it will morph into Umbral Draw which continues to alternate every 60 seconds. That’s the gist of the Draw part, now let’s talk about playing those cards right.

Each card does have a unique effect and they all have a duration of 15 seconds. Starting with the Astral Draw cards, we have the Balance, which is unchanged, a 6% damage buff on a Melee or Tank and 3% for everyone else. The Arrow gives the target a 10% increase in healing received for those same 15 seconds, a nice predictable healing buff that you can hold on to for a minute. Next is The Spire which grants the target a barrier- not quite as strong as a Celestial Intersection, but chunky. It also has a duration of 30 seconds, which is an outlier, but nice. We’ll skip the Lord and Lady as they are basically unchanged. Umbral Draw’s cards are similar but not quite the same. The Spear is now the 6% damage buff for ranged DPS and healers with the customary half value for the other roles. While Astral Draw has a healing received buff, The Bole from Umbral Draw is a straight-up 10% damage mitigation for the target. Very nice to have. Lastly, we have The Ewer which places a moderate heal over time on the target. Not the most exciting but it is there. I don’t think these cards will make everyone happy, but these options are at least interesting and desirable, there’s no Skill Speed buff here.

Phew, now we can finally get into the abilities from the current expansion. Oracle is an AoE oGCD learned at level 92, that is activated after using Divination and gaining its’ new Divining buff. Compared to the rest of your DPS kit, this hits like a truck and it has no AoE falloff so it will be amazing in those situations. Yes, it may only be available once every two-minutes, but hey, you got a DPS button. Swiftcast has its’ cooldown reduced from 60 to 40 seconds at level 94 for every healer. That’s great. At level 96 Aspected Helios is upgraded to Helios Conjunction giving its’ regen effect a boost. All Healers share a similar boost to their basic AoE heals, so maybe you have more work to do in Dawntrail. I don’t know, you’re the one that can tell the future. Essential Dignity is buffed at level 98 as now you can store up to three charges of it. Another use of an “oh crap” button can only be good.

Finally, your capstone ability Sun Sign is learned at level 100. This is an oGCD follow up to Neutral Sect that gives all party members within 30 yalms a 10% damage mitigation buff for 15 seconds. The buff that enables you to cast this, Suntouched, lasts longer than the healing potency buff from Neutral Sect so you can hold on to it to extend the time that you have some buff or mitigation up if you really are in dire straits. Layering the mitigation like that could be amazing for dungeon content especially.

I’m not an Astrologian player, but I have heard the complaints about cards for a long time. From my perspective, this iteration is a little safe, but ensures that you have access to a damage buff and a few other tools that you actually want to use. They’ve also added a little damage to make up for the loss of Astrodyne. Your kit is still amazing, and it will be needed because everyone knows you will certainly be healing more in the next expansion. For real this time.

Ephemerist’s Attire