Lots of changes and new features attached Final Fantasy XIV with patch 6.1, the first major patch following Endwalker‘s Release.
PvP fans, in particular, will be delighted as the modes and system have been revamped in an attempt to rekindle player interest. Along with adjusting seasons and improving rewards, a new mode was introduced called Crystalline Conflict.
This new mode is on a smaller scale, with two teams of five players battling it out in an arena where they will challenge for a crystal to escort it to their respective base. In order to dominate the mode, players can use multiple protective items and have individual Limit Breaks.
This mode is very different from all the others in the game, so some long standing FFXIV fans may be confused when they first launch it. Here are some tips for better success in Crystalline Conflict.
Related: All PvP Changes From Final Fantasy XIV Update 6.1
Before you play: adjust your HUD
Similar to PvE instances, your HUD plays a crucial role in your performance. And since PvP follows its own rules, you won’t get an optimal HUD by just copying the one you normally use. Instead, you should adjust your HUD specifically for PvP.
Crystalline Conflict games are very fast, faster than any other instance. For this reason, you want each button to be close to each other. Since you have fewer abilities to use, try to find an optimal shortcut bar for your commands instead of replicating the buttons you normally use. For example, it’s best to assign the Recover button to your most used hotkeys (such as Q or E on PC) and put your Limit Break, Guard, and Standard-issue Elixir ability a bit further down since you’ll be using them less often .
It’s also a good idea to assign a common shortcut bar for each job regarding chat features. You cannot write freely in the Crystalline Conflict chat, but rather send predefined phrases. Some of them are useful, such as Limit Break and MP level upgrades. They will help your teammates know what to do, especially if they should engage, retreat, or coordinate their Limit Break with yours. While it probably won’t be useful as a beginner, using it early on will teach you good habits that will become more useful over time.
Limit Breaks are game breakers
All Final Fantasy fan knows how important a Limit Break is. In Crystalline Conflict, this can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Each player has a Limit Break gauge, and it is possible to track their progress on both the ally and enemy side. In particular, checking the LB gauge of your enemies is crucial. If you stand in the middle of the crystal and see an image similar to the one shown above, it means certain death. When you see some players have their LB full, spread out, hit the guard or get away from the crystal and get ready to spam Recover.
Even if you only play a few jobs in game mode, it is useful to know the LB effect of all classes. For example, the Machinist’s LB, Marksman’s Spite, is a line attack with massive range: you’ll know that a side step will be needed to dodge it. Here’s a video of all the new PvP Limit Breaks in the game.
Guard: the ultimate tank ability
In Crystalline Conflict, everyone can tank once in a while, even healers can thanks to the common ability Guard, which reduces damage taken by 90% for a few seconds. Use it well, but use it often, as it can turn the tide of a fight.
A good strategy is to use it when there is no one to defend the crystal or when you attract the attention of all the enemies around you. It’s also useful as a last resort ability when you’re focused by enemies but have no MP and no elixir near you to heal yourself.
Another thing to remember is to immediately stop hitting opponents who activate Guard. Luckily, it’s easy to spot, as you’ll see a huge opaque blue shield appear around them.
If you perform an action other than moving, like using Recover, be aware that you will instantly lose your shield and lose its effect.
Retreat Rather Than Die
All newbies have done it: upon experiencing the game mode for the first time, things get so chaotic and fast-paced that players want to engage and stay in the fight to push the Crystal to their death . But this is clearly not the most optimal solution.
Dying incapacitates you for at least 10 seconds, and you need to add the respawn animation delay, as well as the time it takes to resume combat. It’s much more efficient to track your mana gauge and retreat when it’s nearly empty. Hide behind a structure and use your Elixir, or head to an instant Elixir point on the map. If you use the elixir, be careful: the five-second animation resets when you take damage. It can be frustrating to watch your teammates struggle while you heal, but in most cases it’s worth it.
Many other tips could be included in this list, but you will learn them naturally with experience. Things like when to heal and who to CC, or when to engage in combat, will become second nature as you get used to this game mode and its playstyle.
A good idea, like in any multiplayer video game, can be to record your games and watch them later. You’ll be able to spot your mistakes because, in the heat of the moment, it’s hard to step back and think about what you just did. It can also allow you to notice powerful moves from allies or enemies to try and replicate in another game. Good luck.