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The Pandemonium Abyssos Savage raids are some of the content of Final Fantasy XIV right now, and when they were first released, the final boss was much stronger than the development team originally thought. On September 13th, after being out for less than a week, the team gave the final boss of Abyssos: The Eighth Circle, Hephaistos, a nerf, a rarity in the game’s history. Today, Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida issued a statement about that nerf, further clarifying the decision.
Yoshida shared his statement about Final Fantasy XIV website. Here he breaks down how the balancing team approaches these Savage fights, how they create the difficulty of an encounter, and how they make it a little more complex than their balancing team can handle because the best raid groups in Final Fantasy XIV are the best in the game; the team wants to give them wins that are won “by-the-skin-of-your-teeth.” The balance team achieves this by giving the boss a “little extra”, which translates to a one to two percent increase in the health pool value.
After these routine tweaks, the Final Fantasy XIV community struggled with this battle, and the development team moved forward to tweak Hephaistos’ health pools. The hope was to ensure that the Final Fantasy XIV community didn’t feel like they were limited to using specific DPS jobs, ensuring that every job in the game was able to contribute to any raiding party.
The health pool adjustment, while a nerf, was done because Yoshida believes the team miscalculated the difficulty. “The adjustment to Abyssos: The Eighth Circle was never intended to be a ‘nerf’, but simply a correction of values set inappropriately for a fourth-tier Savage raid to begin with,” says Yoshida.
When the nerf was first announced, members of the Final Fantasy XIV community questioned why the team tweaked the encounter, not the in-game Jobs. “Trying to improve this by buffing certain jobs without making changes to the raid itself would have negatively affected the overall balance with each role,” Yoshida shared. “Unfortunately, it is also not possible to adjust all jobs in such a short period of time.”
These difficult Savage raids in Abyssos have been a learning moment for the Final Fantasy XIV team. Yoshida promises to take this experience further and hopes to use what he’s learned to create more balanced and engaging encounters for the Final Fantasy XIV community to enjoy in future updates.