FFXIV’s Black Mage was made too strong in PvP and will be rebalanced after player backlash

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-05-28 13:22 JST)

Naoki Yoshida, producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV, has released a statement on the game’s official website explaining that they went too far with the PvP adjustments made to the black mage job.

In patch 6.11a, released on May 24, the black mage job received a number of substantial buffs in PvP, and this led to many highly critical opinions about the changes being shared on the official forums and elsewhere.

The black mage saw improvements to ten of its actions that included reduced casting times, improved power, the strengthening of an immobilizing action, and more. These adjustments clearly stood out when compared to the other jobs, which received changes for around one to four moves each. The notes for the entirety of patch 6.11a were actually quite short, which only served to place more focus on the black mage changes.

notes from patch 6.11a

FFXIV’s Crystalline Conflict PVP mode features small teams where one of the main strategies is to work with all of your allies and focus your fire on one opponent at a time. The black mage job specializes in debuffing enemies and possesses many actions that can immobilize enemies and leave them helpless.

These debuffing abilities were further strengthened in patch 6.11a, and the black mage also received an improvement to its defensive action to help compensate for its low health. By restricting opponents with nasty debuffs and possessing the tenacity to survive for long periods of time, the black mage became a very troublesome job when it formed a part of the opposing team.

Many players experienced the aftertaste of a demoralizing loss where they were bombarded by debuffs and defeated without being able to do anything. The irritation from these defeats likely contributed to the outpour of opinions from players who claimed that the black mage had been made too strong. On May 24, a topic requesting that the black mage be weakened was posted on the official forums and has since gathered over 200 responses.

In his statement, Yoshida explained that the adjustments to the black mage were made in response to the low usage and win rates of the job. As of May 6, the deadline for changes that would be implemented in patch 6.11a, the black mage had the lowest win rates in all ranks and experienced victory 14% less than the job with the highest win rate. This was the reason that they decided the black mage should be strengthened.

Yoshida himself participated in Crystalline Conflict, starting from May 7, in an attempt to investigate the black mage’s issues. This was likely one of the reasons that players began to witness Yoshida playing the mode in mid-May (related article).

After reconsideration based on various factors including Yoshida’s personal investigation of the job, Yoshida stated that he believes they went too far with the adjustments. The heavy effect added to Night Wing, and Paradox being changed into a charged action are things that are expected to be reverted to the way they were in patch 6.11. The level of defense granted by limit break action Soul Resonance is also going to be reduced. These readjustments will be made in patch 6.15, which is planned for release on June 7.

Yoshida also touched on the balance of jobs in the large scale PvP mode Frontline. As a result of recent balance adjustments, this mode has become devoid of strategy due to specific jobs being able to wipe out their enemies by unleashing powerful attacks. There are plans to adjust the damage dealt and taken by all jobs in Frontline, as well as adjustments to the frequency at which limit breaks can be used. These changes will gradually be addressed beginning with patch 6.18.

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