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Final Fantasy XIV – Trust System impresses despite growing pains

FFXIV Shadowbringers Logo

Final Fantasy XIV’s newest expansion, Shadowbringers, includes a wide variety of changes, additions, and fixes. On particular addition I hold quite dear is the Trust System.

After getting a taste of the character creation and during my time in Dohn Mheg, the fight that taxed the Trust System the most was against Griaule. This fight has a phase where five indestructible saplings appear on the battlefield perimeter and attempt to buff Griaule. Party members must intercept four of the beams that the saplings give off so that Griaule is not buffed by more than one of the five beams at a time.

The Trust System party members had a tendency to pick a beam and go for it, whether that beam happened to be closest to them or not. Oftentimes, I claimed a beam just to have an NPC steal it from me. That left two beams hitting the boss, and I had no time to make up for the mishap, resulting in a buffed boss.

FFXIV Shadowbringers Saplings
Intercept the beams to prevent the saplings from buffing Griaule.

This can happen a couple times without consequence, but a third time basically spells instant defeat. I got hung up on this fight for a fair while.

I learned a couple strategies, one from trial-and-error and one from the helpful staffers we had at the press event. The ladder simply suggests that you stay as far away from the other NPCs as possible. That way, the NPCs choose a beam closest to them, allowing you to take the remaining one. However, this strategy works best for range characters.

The other strategy is to basically stand on Griaule and wait for the NPCs to pick a beam. Then, simply close the short gap to the remaining beam. This works well for tanks and melee DPS classes.

One thing I would like to point out is that using the Trust System takes more time than finding a group. From start to finish, a clean run with NPCs took me about 40 minutes. With a standard Light Party, the run took about 25 or so. Another factor to consider in these figures is that I played as a dancer. Learning a new class is not an efficient way to run an instance either, so consider these times more as a comparison to each other rather than fixed values.

The biggest difference between these runs comes from how the NPCs behave when compared to players. As players, we tend to pull multiple groups at once, drastically reducing completion time. We also use cooldowns whenever we can, because–and let’s be honest–looking at bigger damage numbers is always great.

FFXIV Shadowbringers Trust System
A list of NPC characters fill party needs based on what class you choose.

All in all, using the Trust System takes a bit more time. However, as a DPS class, the queue time for dungeons tends to be at least fifteen to twenty minutes minimum. So, the difference is a wash.

Either way, the Trust System offers a fantastic option for players to complete new dungeon content. It also allows players to try out a new class without having to worry about bothering other players.

The Trust System AI needs a bit of help from time to time, but I consider that a new way to learn the game more than anything. With a mechanic this helpful, I’m more than willing to accommodate.

Check out our video as we take on Dohn Mheg, with the help of the Trust System!

*Development footage. Subject to final adjustment/changes*

At launch, the Trust System will only be available for Shadowbringers content. The development team plans to see how this system is received by the player base before thinking about its future. Personally, I hope that it is received well and finds its way into old content. There is a lot of jobs that would benefit from leveling with the Trust System. We shall see what the future brings.

Until then, we just have to wait until Shadowbringers finally lands on July 2.Don’t forget that pre-ordering grants early access to Shadowbringers, beginning June 28.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, and content in the final version is subject to change.