Final Fantasy 14's most divisive tank is getting an equally divisive rework

Final Fantasy 14
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Today's stream breaking down Final Fantasy 14 patch 6.3 provided a whole lot of new details about the rework coming for Paladin, and the changes to the job are proving just as divisive as the job itself.

The developers aim to improve Paladin's ability to deal burst damage through various tweaks, including a decreased reliance on damage over time. As usual for FF14, we won't get specific details on the changes until the patch actually launches, but for now the developers have a bullet point list of some of the highlights.

  • Rotations have been shortened to accommodate high-powered actions
  • Damage Over time effect for Goring Blade and Blade of Valor was removed and their potency was adjusted
  • Divine Might is now applied after weaponskill combos, allowing an enhanced Holy Spirit to be executed once without casting
  • Holy Sheltron's effect has been changed to reduce damage taken, thereby enhancing defensive capabilities against damage over time
  • The previously removed Bulwark ability has been revamped and reintroduced, offering increased defensive capability

Paladin stands out from FF14's other tank jobs for its awkward rotation and high learning curve. This work could make it much friendlier to learn, but veterans fear it might strip away the class's unique playstyle to match other tanks, which are already highly burst-focused.

FF14 director and producer Naoki Yoshida offered a few more details on the reasons for the rework in an interview with Game Watch, saying (as translated by Gematsu) that "this overhaul is not about making it inconvenient or making it the same as other tank jobs, but about retooling the current system of the Paladin job, which has been distorted considerably by the excessive buildup. So it is not about taking only Hallowed Ground and doing something about it."

Gematsu's summary of Yoshida's comments suggests that the job will start to match the "homogenized" rhythm of most job rotations in modern Final Fantasy 14, and it seems players are getting hung up on that specific word choice while debating the merits of this particular rework.

"I think Paladin needs a major rework and the ones who think they don’t are the ones who are already maining them or are already extremely good players," Reddit user Demeris writes. "PLD is NOT an easy job to pick up. The timing on their skills can be wonky and alignment issue is easy to get behind on."

"I hope everyone here realizes that people choose to play and love PLD because it's kinda janky, different from the other tanks, and offers a rewarding experience once you hit the skill ceiling," Duke_Ashura writes.

If you're wondering why the devs typically hold back specific details on balance changes until patches actually go live, well, this sort of debate is exactly why. We'll see how the Paladin changes work in practice when the Final Fantasy 14 patch 6.3 release date lands on January 10.

For more critical acclaim, don't miss our guide to the best MMORPGs.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.