From the moment they were announced it was clear which of the two new Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringer job roles I had to play. Not that I’m not a Dancer – I cut a mean rug given half a chance – but the brand new Tank class, the Gunbreaker, looked absolutely amazing. And now it’s finally here.
You’ll need to have at least one other role that’s Lv. 60 or higher before you can set out on the Gunbreaker quest, and you’ll have to head to the New Gridania Aetheryte to pick it up. Entitled “The Makings of a Gunbreaker” you can grab it from the God’s Quiver Bow NPC that’s stood waiting for you at X: 11.5, Y:11.9. He’ll ask you if you fancy making yourself useful, and as any player of FFXIV can attest, we love to be useful – especially if we’re going to get a sword with a gun attached to it at the end of the quest.
It’s a straightforward little quest where you find yourself saving Radovan and Sophie, two travellers heading for Gridania, from bandits. Well, at least one bandit. Despite Radovan’s humbling by some lowly crooks, which doesn’t exactly speak highly of his skills as a warrior, he offers you the chance to learn the ways of the Gunblade in exchange for your help. As has been the case with the other job quests you’ll get your beginning gear upon completion, and you can jump straight into the next quest to learn how to use it.
At level 60 being dumped into a whole new class, with sixty levels of actions already unlocked might be a little daunting, but if you’ve played any of the other Tank classes you’re going to feel immediately at home here. Even if you haven’t it’s a great place to start tanking, combining some frantic action combos with some awesome looking moves and weaponry. As a Tank class it’s all about keeping everyone else safe, and from the off you’ll want the Royal Guard ability active to pull enmity, to make sure you have all those lovely enemies coming for you rather than your teammates.
Demon Slice and Demon Slaughter are going to be your main weapons for pulling groups, while your central combo will run with Keen Edge, Brutal Shell, and Solid Barrel. Both of these basic combos will add a cartridge to the Powder Gauge; the Gunbreaker’s special attack gauge.
There’s two cartridge slots for you to fill, and it’ll cost you one to launch into the punishing combination of Gnashing Fang, Savage Claw and Wicked Talon. There’s a 28.5 second cooldown on Gnashing Fang though so you’ll need Burst Strike on hand as an alternative for when it’s not ready. Once you’re at Lv. 70 you can also use the Continuation ability which allows you to fire successive rounds with your Gunblade to cause even more damage.
The second job quest is a bit tougher than the first, and you’re tasked with taking a threatened harpsichordist called Editha for a walk – because, of course you are! – and it’s here that you can really get to grips with how the Gunbreaker role feels. The development team have done a fantastic job at making the combos feel powerful and relevant, while the Demon Slice and Demon Slaughter AOE attacks are great looking – and effective – at making you the centre of attention.
As long as you keep everyone away from Editha – Demon Slice is your friend here – you should be able to march through to the conclusion of the quest in short order at which point it’ll be time to head out and make the Gunbreaker role truly your own. While you’re smashing through the enemy lines don’t forget to use abilities like Rampart, Nebula and Camouflage to help stave off the damage, and you’ve got Aurora to top your health up if your healer isn’t quite keeping up with you.