Starting as a new player in the MMORPG genre is always very daunting; especially so when the game has been running for some time with a well-established community. In just a few short months Square Enix will be releasing its first expansion for Final Fantasy XIV named Heavensward, and hopes to bring in new players in the process. The issue some are finding however is how will they hold up against veteran players, and what class/job will ease them into the game without feeling pushed out against others.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be here to give a guide to each class/job and which is the best for new players coming into the game for the first time. I’ll even help guide you to the best route that will give you a one up on Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn when it comes to building up a character to join players that have been playing since launch.
This week I’ll be tackling the tanks of the game, and more specifically the Gladiator. What does it mean to be a tank? The role is simple to understand though hard to master because the role relies on timing of defensive abilities, it takes someone who is willing to tinker with the role and master the right way to play it. The job of the tank is to keep the attention of the enemies on itself at all times, While keeping the aggro on them they keep the party safe from some hard hitting moves and provide the team with a great defense to help them clear dungeons and battles.
The Gladiator is a much more elegant and graceful tank compared to its more brutish counterpart the Marauder and those wanting to try their hand at tanking and are new to the MMO scene the Gladiator is the best route to go since the skills are easily understandable. Gladiators are able to hold themselves against most enemies where other classes would fail. Being give the heavy armor equipment their defensive structure soars above any other class in the game; this is great for solo fighting and even in late game tanking an arena wide boss fight.
Gladiators have access to the most efficient weapons in the game; with a sword you will have the skills at your disposal to keep the agro of the enemies and with the off-hand shield it will give you the increase of parry and block which is crucial as one attack could mean a win or defeat. In lower levels 1 through 30, this may not seem apparent but as you hit the mid-30s, you will need to understand when to start using defensive cool-downs and which enemies to provoke first.
The first main ability you will receive as a Gladiator will be at level 8; the flash move which increases enmity of all nearby enemies. Enmity is basically known as the attention of the enemy, with a move like flash you can pop it when the enmity is being increased by other party members. After you have gotten to grips with when to pop flash it will become clearer what the role of a tank is in the group. Popping the enmity increasing skills will pull enemies away from DPS and healing players which is something as a tank you are going to want to do a lot of the time.
With the flash move at level 8 and at level 15, the shield lob the two abilities will help with understanding the basics of tanking, everything from there is all about how you want to play the role yourself, while using some of the cross class abilities that can be taken from other classes.
Remember that every five levels to return to the Gladiator’s guild as quests will be available that will introduce new techniques and help show circumstances on when to use certain skills. Again these will provide you with all the necessary knowledge about the role of a tank within the grand scheme of a battle. At level 22 the main enmity increasing skill will be unlocked, Provoke is integral to a tank and will allow you to increase agro to the maximum on your main target, at level 30 you will have access to Shield Swipe which will give you a few seconds where enemies will not attack with special abilities, useful to cancel out those hard hitting attacks.
At level 10 you will be able to take part in Guildhests; small scale party fights that are the best thing to try out since they are essentially small tutorials that will help ease the player into partying and will allow you to receive a daily experience bonus. When you reach the appropriate level, running dungeons will be much easier.
The best thing to remember when running as a Gladiator is to always keep the enmity up for the enemies; the job of the tank is to hold agro and keep the trash or bosses from attacking the rest of the party and especially the healer since they are important to keeping the instance alive.