To me, it was a breath of fresh air when A Realm Reborn was released and the combat emphasized reactive gameplay over proactive gameplay (dodging, and keeping close eye on the enemy as opposed to spamming large rotations over and over again). Sure, there certainly still were rotations with A Realm Reborn, but they were nowhere near as cumbersome than what Heavensward brought to the table. You still need to dodge and closely watch the enemy in Heavensward, only rotations have a much greater emphasis and have gotten much more complex.
With so many good games being released; many want a game they put down and easily pick up later. I by no means feel that difficulty should be nerfed, but I don’t think the investment time to get back into the game should be so high. Take a game such as Dark Souls. Difficult, (arguably) but the combat is simply light attack, heavy attack, roll, parry, etc. Highly addicting, fun and difficult gameplay that the player can simply pick up without having to research how to play again. With Heavensward, if I take a break, or if I want to switch jobs, I need to spend a good amount of time in front of a dummy just to memorize my rotation. To be honest, the thought of having to get familiar with the rotation again often prevents me from logging in. You can still have a difficult game without forcing the player to memorize attack patterns.
Those who have mastered the rotations and never take breaks from the game probably enjoy it. I’m sure many of you (likely most) will disagree with me. However, as someone who frequently likes to try out other great AAA titles; it can be frustrating to return and feel like I don’t know how to play anymore. I don’t think the amount of abilities should be reduced; however I feel like the game should be designed that you fire off an ability as a “reaction” as opposed to one huge “proactive” spam of abilities to buffer your attacks over and over again like a mindless drone. Memorization is not hard. It’s a growing pain I feel many have to repeat over and over again. My two cents. I’ll go hide now.
I really want to see the game start to not lean on the Tank/Healer/DPS trinity so much. I love the battles where the tank CAN’T tank the boss. Like in Stone Vigil HM…there are two of them, they can’t be tanked, and some of their attacks aren’t telegraphed by the usual AoE markers that people usually look for. Everyone has to dodge and pay attention and it creates a totally different feel to the battle. No more zombie rotations. Unfortunately….there aren’t very many battles like this one. I think it would also be good to have fights that would encourage players to mess around with the party makeup a bit.
Example: Titan HM during 2.0
The standard party makeup was 2 Tanks, 2 Healers, 4 DPS. Most everyone struggled with this fight trying to get their relics. It required memorizing the attack tables (especially if you were a healer) and some parties would replace a tank with a DPS. What few realized though was that other party makeups worked….unusual party makeups.
We used 6 Warriors, 1 Scholar, and 1 Monk. The average item level at the time was in the 70’s-80’s while everyone was still farming capped myth tomes for the i90 gear. We found that we could dependably down Titan with this party 3 times successfully in a half hour period. All of the nay-sayers would be like “It won’t work, you don’t have the DPS”.
6 Warriors could handle much of the Tumults and sometimes eat a Weight of the Land and shrug it off, where a DPS would normally die or be close to death requiring the healer to direct their attention to them and heal them sometimes leaving the MT vulnerable to Mountain Buster unmitigated by stoneskin or heals. Because of the Warriors being able to withstand this damage with ease, it left the healer to focus more on the MT as long as the SCH and the MNK stayed out of AoEs. The monk existed in the party for the Limit Break to kill the heart. After the heart was down, the Monk was no longer vital to the party and continued to DPS. So while many thought we were walking in with a fail party because we didn’t stick to the 2/2/4 makeup, we turned Titan into an easy farm even for beginners. Not that I recommend turning every fight into a faceroll…but it would be nice to see fights that allowed for many different party makeups so that we wouldn’t exactly have to rely on the trinity for queues. Imagine queueing for a duty and having a faster spot because it wasn’t so full of DPS trying to get int but only 4 slots were available per party. Like how can join Frontlines as any job.