Final Fantasy XIV’s new fleet-footed Scholar ability gets players buzzing

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-09-19 17:58 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier

On September 18, the latest Final Fantasy XIV news was broadcast in another Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LXVI livestream. Part of the broadcast outlined changes that are coming to jobs in the new Endwalker expansion that is launching on November 23.

While some jobs are getting flashy new moves and dramatic overhauls to mechanics, it was the update coming to the Scholar that got players buzzing. In a slide outlining the changes for Scholars, “A unique job action which can enhance the party’s movement speed even during combat will be added,” was all that was written.

*The Scholar’s section begins at 4:09:39~

Scholars are barrier healers that apply barriers and damage reducing buffs before fights to help mitigate damage. In addition to giving instructions to the fairies they summon, they also have an assortment of skills they can use to support a party.

The Scholar’s new movement buff and its grand announcement caused a bit of a commotion among the community. The White Mage is getting “A functionally and visually distinct restorative field,” the Astrologian will see an assortment of mechanical changes, and the new Sage job was shown off with gameplay footage. The Scholar only had “Can make party members move faster” highlighted.

Screenshot from Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LXVI livestream

The Scholar actually had its speedy walking abilities shown off in the job action trailer at the top of the broadcast. At the end of the Scholar’s scene, a marker for an enemy attack appears and the Scholar kicks it into high gear to somehow avoid the attack. That’s a pretty normal way to dodge an attack so nobody really made much of it when the trailer played, but when FFXIV director Naoki Yoshida pointed it out, people started to notice how silly it was.

A VTuber that goes by Odin combined the new job actions from the trailer into a humorous little video and posted it to Twitter. A Dragoon launching a red and blue dragon, a Black Mage casting a combined fire and ice spell, a Knight swinging a shining blade, and a Scholar rounding out the video by… moving out the way of an AOE attack.

There’s also a thread on reddit titled, “Scholar Gap Closer Looks Fantastic!” where one user commented, “Scholars are smart. After all, why expend energy & close the gap quickly, when you can just…use your legs?”

While Scholars are made to look like intellectuals, their quest line is full of brazen scenes and parodies of the movie Full Metal Jacket. Compared to the flower and star motifs of the other healers, the content for Scholars seems more befitting of a meathead. While highlighting “making the party run faster” may be bizarre for a healing class, for the Scholar, maybe it isn’t that strange after all.

Screenshot from the job action trailer

Content for the Scholar may be on the silly side, but how will this new job action fare on the functionality side of things? Since it wasn’t mentioned on the slide, this job action may be mistaken for just a speed buff, but Yoshida explained that it’s actually a damage reducing action that includes a speed buff.

So a barrier healer is getting a new damage reduction skill and that skill has an added movement speed increase. The extent of the damage reduction hasn’t been revealed yet, but all damage reduction abilities in the game have been useful so far. If you’re going into battle as a Scholar, it’s probably an action that will pair well with what’s in version 6.x of the game.

The slide in the live stream highlighted how it’s the only speed buff that can be used in combat, which makes it seem like a big deal, but it’s hard to say if this buff will be linked to actually clearing content. Of course, it will make dodging attacks easier, and there may be gimmicks coming that will be easier with the extra speed as well.

Patch 5.5 also added a speed buff called Lost Impetus that could only be used in certain areas, but it sometimes caused players to go too fast and accidentally throw themselves into even more dangerous spots. Lost Impetus makes players move faster than the new Scholar action will so the chance of accidents occurring is higher with it, but the Scholar action in Endwalker could pose a similar risk.

The new job action’s speed buff effect is also the same as the “Sprint” skill which every job has access to and it doesn’t sound like the effects will stack. When you consider the history of combat in FFXIV, it’s hard to think they will add content where a specific job is required. Even if there’s a part that’s difficult without the increased movement speed buff, it’s likely that “Sprint” will suffice if your party doesn’t have a Scholar. While the new job action is highlighted as a speed buff that can be used in combat, it’s unlikely there will be content you can’t get through without it.

FFXIV’s Endwalker expansion will launch on November 23.

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