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Why are Skill Speed and Spell Speed less than ideal for many jobs in FFXIV?

At first glance, skill and spell speed in Final Fantasy XIV appear to be potent stats that can enhance gameplay and increase damage output. However, a closer look reveals that these stats might not be as beneficial as they initially seem. In this guide, we will delve into the reasons why skill/spell speed can be considered less desirable for many jobs in FFXIV. We'll explore the mechanics behind speed scaling, the impact on different job roles, the implications of the two-minute burst meta, and how these factors contribute to the relative inefficiency of speed-based builds.


Why are Skill Speed and Spell Speed less than ideal for many jobs in FFXIV?


Basics of Speed Scaling

Skill speed reduces the Global Cooldown (GCD) time of weapon skills, while spell speed reduces the GCD time of spells. Theoretically, faster GCDs lead to increased damage output. However, the actual impact of speed on damage is more complex than it may seem.


Each 0.01 reduction in GCD is linear in its effect, meaning the more you stack, the greater the impact. But this impact comes in intervals: every 14.6154 points of speed, you gain a 0.1% damage increase on auto-attacks and damage-over-time effects. Beyond this, the base GCD of 2.50 seconds reduces by 0.01 seconds for every 58.4615 points of speed.


Why Speed Isn't Always Beneficial?

Despite the potential for damage improvement, most jobs in FFXIV benefit differently from speed. Here's why:


Resource Generation and Consistency More speed allows more GCDs per minute, increasing damage and resource generation. However, the cost of stacking speed often outweighs the benefits. For example, the cost of acquiring enough speed to fit in an extra GCD in a minute might be equivalent to the benefit of 4% extra damage. This means speed needs to provide a substantial increase to be worthwhile.
Cooldown Limitations Many abilities, including powerful cooldowns, are unaffected by speed. If speed doesn't grant more uses of these abilities or more damage during burst windows, it's not as valuable. The two-minute burst meta, where raid buffs align every two minutes, highlights the importance of maximizing damage during these windows.
Class-Specific Considerations Different classes have unique mechanics that interact with speed. Healers, for instance, value speed depending on how much of their damage comes from GCDs. Classes like Summoner and Monk benefit from certain speed breakpoints, while others, like Dancer and Machinist, struggle due to weaving timing issues or unaffected cooldowns.


The Impact of the Two-Minute Burst Meta

The two-minute burst meta shapes the importance of maximizing damage during short windows of high raid buff availability. In coordinated groups, jobs aim to fit as many impactful abilities as possible within these windows. Speed can either help or hinder this objective.


Optimal Builds and Filler Rotations

In many cases, the focus is on optimizing burst damage during these windows, rendering filler rotations less impactful. If speed doesn't directly amplify cooldown abilities or lead to more abilities during burst phases, it loses value compared to direct damage-increasing stats like determination or critical hit.


Examples and Job-Specific Observations

  • Black Mage: Speed can be beneficial as long as it allows optimal rotation alignment and fits the required number of spells in each Astral Fire state. Beyond that point, the difference between more spells and more spell damage becomes negligible.
  • Summoner: Speed can be beneficial if it allows fitting an extra GCD in Bahamut and Phoenix phases, but this is often challenging to achieve.
  • Monk and Samurai: These classes care about specific speed breakpoints to align rotations with burst windows optimally.
  • Dancer and Machinist: Affected by weaving timing and unaffected cooldowns, speed is less valuable due to rotation constraints.



In summary, while skill/spell speed in FFXIV may seem enticing at first, the complexities of how it interacts with different jobs' mechanics, the two-minute burst meta, and cooldowns lead to a scenario where speed often falls short compared to other damage-enhancing stats. Its limited impact on cooldowns, coupled with the importance of optimizing burst phases, contributes to its less favourable status in many jobs builds. However, experimenting with speed-based rotations might yield unique results and gameplay experiences for those willing to explore beyond the conventional.

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