How Final Fantasy XIV's Duty Support system made me a bigger fan of the MMO

How Final Fantasy XIV's Duty Support system made me a bigger fan of the MMO
Square Enix

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes

Published 

23rd Dec 2023 10:56

Despite spending literally thousands of hours playing Destiny and its sequel, I primarily enjoy spending my time gaming solo.

That's partially because I like my experiences to be my own, but it's also down to a lack of charge in my 'social battery'. Between work, parenting, and friends in real life, I simply don't want to jump on voice chat with strangers online, particularly when I'm new to a game and don't want to let my teammates down.

Still, when it comes to games like Final Fantasy XIV, it can make things tricky - particularly for things like Dungeons, and if I get there, Raids.

Final Friend-tasy

Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker combat
Click to enlarge

I've been dipping in and out of Square Enix's massive MMO on a semi-regular basis for the last few years, but usually only for a dozen hours or so.

I've also found myself hung up on so many side quests, and switching up my Job (the game's version of classes) that I've barely made any progress, meaning friends already entrenched in the game are way beyond my level.

That inability to pick a Job has also meant I'm still learning and relearning mechanics I probably should've gotten to grips with by now, which made jumping into Dungeons in the Main Scenario Quest a trial by fire of frustration and a little bit of embarrassment.

That was until Endwalker.

Friendwalker

FFXIV boss
Click to enlarge

Endwalker added a Duty Support system that fills your party slots with a variety of NPCs that act as substitute players.

They're not only helpful for alleviating the worry of dropping the ball in the middle of an intense dungeon encounter but also mean you can progress through at your own pace.

I've been heading off in different directions, unshackled from a team, just taking in everything around me. If I was playing with a team, that'd be a nightmare for them, but here I just feel less of a hindrance and more like I can unwind with a dungeon or two.

A Realm Reborn has a fair few Dungeons in its MSQ, meaning there are an awful lot of potential bottlenecks for players who would otherwise have sidestepped dungeons.

It's also a fantastic training tool since it helps players learn the various roles of Tank, Healer, and DPS by filling in any that are absent. Being able to play through a Dungeon without needing to find a Healer or Tank when you just want to tear through some enemies reduces an awful lot of friction, particularly as a player that keeps switching classes, and roles, with reckless abandon.

I may feel less confident when it comes to Dungeons that aren't instanced, but for now, there's a whole host of Dungeons I'm itching to play through - especially since I've heard things get much more impressive from Heavensward onward.

How to use Duty Support in Final Fantasy XIV

Duty Support can be accessed in multiple ways, according to the FFXIV site.

While it is possible to use the main menu 'Duty Support' option to queue yourself up for your chosen Duty, new players may prefer to simply arrive at a Dungeon and select the option to 'Enter with a party of NPCs'.

Happy Dungeoning, Warriors of Light!

Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.

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