Healers in FF14 get that awful sinking feeling as Yoshi-P cheerily announces a major buff to an ability mainly used for resurrection

 A healer looks mournfully towards the camera, hand outstretched, as she topples into the bowels of the Tam-Tara Deepcroft in Final Fantasy 14.
A healer looks mournfully towards the camera, hand outstretched, as she topples into the bowels of the Tam-Tara Deepcroft in Final Fantasy 14.

Final Fantasy 14 has had its last "live letter" before Dawntrail—live streams which clue players in on what they can expect in the next expansion. This time around, Yoshi-P revealed a ton of new info about job (class) changes that'll be coming with its latest expansion, Dawntrail.

Among a very flashy and exciting trailer showing off all the new toys we'll be getting, the game's director Naoki Yoshida (better-known as Yoshi-P) worked through several of the more granular tweaks to jobs. One seemingly innocuous update, however, has the game's healers clutching their staffs, nautiloids, and fantasy tarot decks: Swiftcast's getting buffed.

In case you're completely uninitiated, Swiftcast is an ability available to all healers (as well as magic ranged DPS jobs) that allows them to cast their next spell instantly. While some jobs have niche uses, for healers, Swiftcast's primary role is allowing them to resurrect one of their allies right away.

This is because such spells, like Raise, have a cast time of 8 whole seconds—which is much, much too long to pull off in most high-level content. During the live letter, it was revealed that Swiftcast's recharge was reduced from 60 seconds to 40 seconds. Which, considering the game's hardest fights (Ultimates) can last dozens of minutes, is huge.

So yay, right? Healers should be rejoicing, right? Uh, not so much.

See, these balance changes are the first look we've gotten at how FF14 will be approaching difficulty in Dawntrail. It's all conjecture right now, of course, but we at least know that Yoshi-P is interested in injecting a little more stress back into the formula. Furthermore, changes like this aren't going to have much of an impact on casual content—which has shorter fights packed with more forgiving mechanics.

Essentially, if you're wondering why healers are biting their nails right now—it's like how when a game gives you a bunch of healing potions out of the blue, and suddenly you're put on-guard waiting for a boss health bar jumpscare. 'What am I being prepared for?'

"WHAT is in Dawntrail that requires one of the most rigid abilities in the game, something that endlessly comes in clutch or helps your rotation, to suddenly get a shorter cooldown," writes one player, with another adding: "I like to imagine there's some Actual Hell waiting in endgame content that makes this [cooldown reduction] necessary."

But that's not the only thing making terrified hardcore players' tinfoil hats tingle. Abilities like Feint and Addle, which both reduce enemy damage when used, have also been buffed, and DPS healing abilities like Second Wind are also getting a bump. It's the equivalent of reading sheep innards right now, but all signs are pointing towards Dawntrail having a lot more damage than we're used to.

Personally, I'm all for it even if this trickles-down into regular content, too. As I mentioned a while back, Endwalker suffered from a lack of decently-challenging content for "midcore" players—if we're gonna be getting smacked outside of Extremes, Savages, and Ultimates, I'll be a happy camper (on the floor, face-down, dead because I tried to get full uptime on a boss).