Guide to Improving Damage for FFXIV
This guide will provide some insight on how to correct your gameplay using external tools such as FFLogs and XIVAnalysis for FFXIV.
In this guide, we will cover how to increase your DPS in a few notable ways.
ABC: Always Be Casting
Uptime is of great importance when it comes to DPSing. Naturally, the more abilities you can get into the boss, the more damage you do. The first thing usually noticed when someone asks for feedback on their performance is uptime.
Often numbers like 90-95% uptime are what most DPS players show, while Healers sometimes go as low as 70% uptime. To put things in perspective, here is some math:
- Let us take a Savage encounter as example that might take 8 minutes to complete.
- 8 minutes converted to seconds is 480 seconds.
- If a Machinist player has an uptime of 95%, this means they have spent 5% of these 480 seconds not rolling their GCD. This is roughly 24 seconds.
- The Machinist job does an average of 300 potency per second. Losing this uptime then translates into 15 lost potency per second.
- Using the example of 7,000 DPS done, this translates into 350 DPS lost over the course of the entire encounter.
The above example is all rough calculations, and usually lost uptime is even more DPS lost due to the fact your entire rotation will drift out of raid buffs or you will be missing resources to enter your own burst with. It really is a snowball effect.
The main way of improving your uptime is keeping your GCD rolling. Your GCD is the short cooldown you have on all your abilities after you press it. On your tooltips, this is referred to as the recast time. This scales with Spell and Skill Speed on most abilities, meaning that if you have more of these stats, your recast time will become shorter.
This game is nice in the sense that you can queue up the next GCD before your recast time has completed. Simply press the next ability ahead of time to queue it up. This is called spell queueing. Doing this for every ability will prevent small clipping between the abilities, which could add up to entire abilities lost over the course of the fight.
Specifically for casters and healers, there is extra difficulty in keep your uptime as you cannot cast and move at the same time. Every caster and healer has a way to deal with movement. Summoners can plan their primal usage to align Titan or Garuda with movement, healers can reapply their dots, Red Mages can save acceleration, and so on.
Alongside this is a mechanic we refer to as slidecasting. Basically, your casted abilities snapshot that the cast is complete about 500ms prior to the cast having finished. You can abuse this by repositioning yourself in this time.
FFLogs is a website that presents raw log data in a digestible format to provide insight into your rotation, as well as damage taken and death logs. For more information on FFLogs, visit our FFLogs guide page.
XIVAnalysis, sometimes shortened to XIVA, is a tool maintained by the same players that create the job guides. This useful website can read FFLogs reports and provide feedback on a job by job basis. Frequently using this tool can help you spot mistakes you might not have realized you are making.
If after reading the guides and frequenting XIVA you are still wanting to improve further, or if you want extra clarity on something mentioned in these tools and resources, then you can join The Balance FFXIV Discord. This server has question channels and chat lounges for each job, with people answering any question you might have about the game.
- 23 Jun. 2022: Guide added.
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