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Positionals are abilities in Final Fantasy XIV that gain additional effects if they’re launched at the enemy’s rear or flank.
It’s true that positional attacks can be an extra step of complication if you’re looking to maximize your DPS output. And in the heat of battle, it seems like just another thing to worry about.
Not only do you have to dodge AOEs and manage your rotation based on the situation, but you’ve got to make sure you’re standing in the right place at the right time.
It’s really not as complex as it seems, though.
Once you get comfortable with them, performing the necessary footwork gets embedded in your muscle memory – much like your rotation eventually will be.
How Do I Tell What Position I’m In?
Well, this is normally quite an easy task if you’re fighting a humanoid enemy.
Are you at their side? That’s the flank.
Are you behind them? You’re attacking the rear.
For a clearer indicator, you need to take a look at the red ring below the enemy’s model.
You’ll see an arrow pointing in the direction the enemy is currently facing. If you’re on either side of this arrow, you’ll be attacking the flank. If the arrow is pointing directly away from you, you’re at the rear.
Looking at this arrow is generally the more reliable way to determine your position, but it can be fiddly at times.
The game doesn’t always register your position correctly, especially if you’re huddled up too close to the target. It’s best to leave as much distance as you possibly can between your character and the ring so your attacks land in the way they’re supposed to.
Can I Make Hitting My Positionals Easier?
Yes, all melee DPS classes will unlock the ability “True North” at level 50.
This is a role action, and as such is not tied to one particular job.
True North nullifies all directional requirements for abilities, meaning you can launch them for full effect no matter where you’re standing.
The ability has two charges, which last for ten seconds each.
And the cooldown time for each charge is 45 seconds, so it’s an ability you can use fairly often.
If you’ve had to dodge an unexpected AOE mid-combo, you can use True North to ensure an upcoming positional attack hits for full effect. It’s just a way of keeping your momentum going in hectic fights when it might not always be possible to line up your position with the enemy.
Tips For Practicing Positionals
If you’re really struggling with positionals, I’d say take the time to practice on easier targets.
Enemies in the overworld will likely die before you get some proper practice in, so there’s a couple of options available if you want to sharpen up:
First and most useful would be to assemble a party via your Free Company (probably the people most likely to help you) and run some dungeons in a controlled environment where the sole aim is to sharpen your skills.
This way you should (most likely) have a tank that knows how to move the boss in a predictable manner you can work around.
The second is less effective, but a bit better than using a training dummy – head into a dungeon several levels below yours and take on some of the monsters solo by joining as an “Undersized Party” via the duty finder.
Eventually you’ll be able to take on many of the earlier dungeons and trials by yourself, and you can treat the bosses as living target dummies (while not being in much actual danger yourself).
The downside to this is obviously going in alone, since you’ll be the sole focus of the boss’ attention.
This will make it much harder to flank or backstab, but even in that case you can get the hang of True North.
Bring a tanking friend along to make it even easier!