It’s summer in Eorzea, and that can only mean one thing: the Moonfire Faire is back for another year. The event has always had a special place in my heart because it was active when I started playing the game, and, as a British person, summer is a season I see very little of.
Costa Del Sol got fully renovated with Stormblood, so this is the first good excuse to visit — and man, it’s really nice. It was already a really swell area, but being able to swim adds a lot to the atmosphere. Like most years, the event itself is just FATEs on the overworld coupled with a main quest. It’s rumoured that Gegeruju, the eccentric Lalafell that owns the resort, has hidden a treasure for revelers to find. That treasure might not be what you expect, though…
The quest (which you can pick up in Limsa Lominsa, at the Aftcastle aetheryte) rewards a dyeable version of one of the Shisui armor sets. There are also tokens for completing the fates or handing in various crafting items that reward, among other things, an orchestrion roll that’ll only be available for the duration of the event.
There’s nothing groundbreaking — certainly not compared to last year’s Power Ranger-esque emotes — but if you’ve got an active sub, it’s worth heading down. It’s also a great place to just idle, and people on my server are making a lot of money selling the hand-ins to lazy people.
Striking a balance
Patch 4.06 kicked off the Faire, but it also brought a new season of ranked PVP and a few minor buffs to DPS jobs. The Ixion fate has been nerfed, too — you now get six horns for completing the FATE with a gold rating. That makes it significantly easier to get, and while that diminishes how rare the mount is (and makes it less appealing to some people who have been camping the FATE for weeks), it also means that Ixion-mania will subside that much sooner and the Lochs will eventually be able to go back to being a normal zone.
Meanwhile, Machinist, Ninja, Dragoon and Summoner all got a little bit of love. Of the above, melee classes have a slight damage buff designed to make missing positionals a little less crippling. Machinist hasn’t changed a huge amount, but keeping up hot shot is easier (it lasts a minute now), while some cooldowns have been made shorter.
The job’s utility is still pretty lacking compared to Bard, but it seems like Naoki Yoshida and the dev team want to get away from the two jobs being as similar as they were in Heavensward. I imagine the job will continue to evolve into more of a pure ranged DPS over the course of the expansion.
Summoner… Just got a buff to the potency of some of its damage-over-time abilities. It’s worth lingering on this point because Summoner is in a really bad place. Its damage is relatively poor, it takes a huge amount of effort to play, and it is outclassed in almost every way by other casters.
Way back when I was finding my feet, I remember asking my FC leader why a group would take a Black Mage over a Summoner. Seemed like a no-brainer — Black Mages hit really hard, but dying is bad and Summoners have a combat res. Not so, he explained: dying in Alex Savage was very bad indeed, and most fights with a death would end in a wipe anyway.
Now, though, with Stormblood’s changes to the way resurrection works, deaths aren’t that bad. Sure, res sickness hits DPS hard, but there’s no longer the same penalty to max HP, and no mechanics where bosses power up on deaths (That I’m aware of — I haven’t seen O4S). If you’re speedrunning raids, then yeah, resurrection doesn’t matter, but if you’re trying to kill bosses for the first time, it’s a great tool to have.
In a world where it was just BLM and SMN fighting for the caster slot in a group, you could see this utility being worth considering. Unfortunately for SMN, we live in a reality where Red Mage exists. Red Mage rezzes better, does more damage, buffs your physical players and it’s easier to play. SMN is hard as hell by comparison, and spending mana getting people back on their feet is seriously punishing.
Slightly buffed dot ticks aren’t enough to make SMN a force to be reckoned with, and, indeed, the change does little to remedy the litany of issues plaguing the class. Sure, if you play it casually, you might have a good time summoning Bahamut, but playing it in a serious environment (hell, even Omega normal) is immensely frustrating. Black mage hits like a bus, while Red Mage is more useful to the group and also does more DPS than Summoner. There’s just nothing there to set the job apart.
Yoshida has indicated that changes are coming, and that’s a good start. But the minor tweaks that followed Stormblood’s release have done little to indicate that he and his team know what the problem with the job is and what their plan is to change it.
Moreover, it took a long time for Bard to get the love it needed in Heavensward — three major content patches, to be exact. If I was a Summoner main right now, I’d be happy to know change was coming, but I wouldn’t count on it being any time soon. Given how easy it is to switch jobs in this game, it’ll be a wonder if there are any left when that day comes.