Final Fantasy 14 fans clear Dawntrail preview dungeon without any healers, leading the MMO's dedicated support mains to strike over "negligence towards the role"

Final Fantasy 14 screenshot showing a male Viera - a rabbit-like race with lengthy ears - looking up, his eyes yellow and skin a deep blue
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14's healer aficionados are sharing their disappointment with how Dawntrail's job changes are shaping up and the MMO's general treatment of support jobs, going as far as to organize a role-related strike.

As the long-awaited Dawntrail release nears closer each day, players are learning more about the 7.0 update and its coming changes thanks to the expansion's recent media tour. Among a sea of coverage and previews, however, one video in particular is managing to divide the community more than most. The clip in question is of streamer Xenosys Vex, known better as Xeno, clearing Dawntrail's first dungeon - without a healer.

Xeno Tanks the Dawntrail Media Tour Dungeon With NO HEALER - YouTube Xeno Tanks the Dawntrail Media Tour Dungeon With NO HEALER - YouTube
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If you don't know why that's such a big deal, it boils down to years of job and priority changes affecting healers specifically. Most players' healing no longer prioritize, and haven't for some time, actually healing or shielding - instead, they do as much damage as possible to keep up with DPS classes and tanks. This is due to the fact that a sad majority of content is just not difficult enough to warrant a lot of healing, especially with spells that carry cooldowns.

Considering all of this and the push from fellow party members players often face to do more damage rather than focus on healing, Xeno's ability to clear a dungeon without a healer was the final straw for many. In a thread on the official Final Fantasy 14 forums aptly dubbed "#FFXIVHEALERSTRIKE," the community calls for "support of a healer strike" to "express the dissatisfaction" players feel regarding Square Enix's "negligence towards the role, as well as the players who main it."

The purpose of the fan-led strike "is to garner support for necessary changes and adjustments to be made in order to once again validate its [the healer role's] place in content that requires grouping." Some of the issues that healers striking hope to see Square Enix address include the amount of healing and self-sustain abilities given to other roles, excessive off-cooldown healing abilities among healers, homogenization of jobs, and "a lack of threat level in nearly all forms of content."

Another massive problem acknowledged on the thread, one echoed by players of all roles, is the over-simplification of jobs - especially DPS classes. While Yoshi-P says Dawntrail will finally return "more individuality" to the MMO's jobs in patch 7.2 and beyond, there's no telling how Square Enix intends to pull this off yet or how it will affect healers. The changes players know about thus far aren't exactly reassuring either, with abilities and buffs abound to increase non-healer players' self-sustainability.

This all factors into the fan-led strike's sentiment: "Healers should feel like they have a place in all forms of content." There should be "an equal contributed effort among all members of the group in order to facilitate clears," with damage dealers damaging, healers healing, and tanks tanking. As an Astrologian myself, I get it. While I'm not going to strike (can't keep my static waiting), sometimes it feels like my role involves applying a damage-over-time debuff to enemies and casting Fall Malefic continuously - and that's about it. 

I would happily welcome dungeons and raids that require cooldown-heavier heals and more stressful mana management as a change. It seems like lots of healers would, too, and not just those on the Final Fantasy 14 forums. Various posts on Reddit discussing the strike are flying, with one proclaiming that "Dawntrail will kill the healer" role and another asking "how long until" healing is deemed "completely useless." Hopefully, that never happens - my cards and I are counting on it.

2 years later, Final Fantasy 14's Yoshi-P is "really torn" over whether removing one of the MMO community's most beloved skills was the right call

Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.