It’s almost official: Final Fantasy XIV has given up on Summoner

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    Throughout Final Fantasy XIV, the common joke about Summoner has been that if you don’t like it, wait for an expansion and you’ll get a whole new job. With Dawntrail, the new work they created on Endwalker continues, for better or worse. For most people, it’s worse.

    A brief history of Summoner in FFXIV

    In the history of the Final Fantasy series, summoners have been some of the strongest and most exciting classes to play. Yuna in Final Fantasy Obviously, this job fantasy can’t exist in an MMORPG like XIV, but Square Enix has recently taken steps to address the gap between job fantasy and the reality of a group multiplayer game.

    Summoner’s story is torrid. For most of his life, it was a complex magical work with a heavy focus on accumulating damage effects over time and a rotation that took a full two minutes just to begin. He was strange, tasty, and barely counted as a Summoner. Old Summoner was a work you either loved or hated, and the total rework was no surprise.

    The new Summoner promised to open up work and really deliver on big, interesting calls. The pint-sized egis are now replaced by almost full-sized versions of the same primals we fought in A Realm Reborn. Ifrit, Titan and Garuda appear on the field, blocking the view of our teammates and raining hellfire (helearth? hellwind?) on our enemies.

    The work was extremely simplified compared to the old spreadsheet beast, and even some serious work guides derisively refer to “lego blocks”, the gemstones that act as a gauge of the Summoner’s work (implying that work is now done for children). Still, there are others who enjoy this new style of play, and I have always been in the camp that advocates a solid foundation. Summoner may be simple now, but I was sure it was just a foundation to build on.

    After all, there’s no denying that the larger summons that do most of the work in Summoner’s rotation fulfill the fantasy of the job. You are a fighter of the gods, and it will only be a matter of time before you are added to your list of deifics. Any of these days.

    The problem with Summoner in Final Fantasy XIV

    Screenshot of pro game guides

    You first fight Ifrit at level 20. The Titan fight is at level 34. Garuda, who has long become one of the most dangerous ancient ones in Eorzea, dies at level 44. Meanwhile, Bahamut and Phoenix , larger summons that are outside of the normal level 1. -2-3 rotation, both associated with level 50 raids. We’ve fought dozens of primals since then, including many who are vital to the game’s main story in ways the original trio can only dream of.

    So why, at level 100, is our new summon a second Bahamut? Even staying at level 50, we fight Ramuh, Leviathan, Shiva and Odin. Summoners have been asking for new summons for as long as the summoner job has existed, and I was really hoping Dawntrail would be a chance to live out the fantasy.

    The most common request for new summons involves the other half of the elemental map with lightning, water, and ice. These items and their appropriate primary items appeared in the Shadowbringers Eden raid series alongside our current summons, so they’re not a new concept.

    Several different battles throughout the game include multiple interacting elements, which could have been a fun addition to Summoner’s job for some much-needed complexity. At the moment, there is technically a better order for choosing your summons, but there is no tangible benefit to choosing that correct order outside of high-end content. For the average player, summoning Garuda or Ifrit is simply a matter of mobility. With the addition of Leviathan’s Water we could make an enemy more susceptible to Ramuh’s tracking beam, as many bosses use those same elements against us.

    Even without new mechanics accompanying new summons, animation updates can be a sight to behold, a fact the developers are well aware of. Updating animations seems to be a high priority for all other work, and this is easy to achieve.

    While the base summons were defeated in A Realm Reborn, there are two primals that were recently defeated in Endwalker. Levels 90-100 would be the perfect time to cap off Summoner’s primaries with the oldest and most powerful primaries of all: Zodiark and Hydaelyn. The balance between darkness and light is a theme for the last two expansions, making these two primals incredible summon options to replace Bahamut and Phoenix, respectively. The new toy the summoner got, Solar Bahamut, even seems to lean towards the dark versus light aspects as it stands.

    The FFXIV development team doesn’t know what to do with Summoner

    Screenshot of pro game guides

    The only new summon, which is a version of one we already have, seems thematically weak, and the mechanics barely change at all. Either the development team has given up on Summoner or they’ve decided that the “good enough” we’ve had since A Realm Reborn is the best we’ll ever get.

    Our last hope for new summons seems to lie in the egi glamours, which transform our carbuncle into vague approximations of the greatest summons. You summon Titan, the god of the earth, and your egi looks more like a chicken nugget, but at least it would be something for our poor hungry summoners.

    For more information on Final Fantasy, check out 15 Ways to Prepare for FFXIV Dawntrail in Pro Gaming Guides.


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