In the desert heat of Las Vegas, Final Fantasy XIV fans packed into the Rio Hotel & Casino in the hope of finding out what’s next for the hugely successful MMORPG. Charismatic producer Naoki Yoshida opened the event with a keynote speech that laid bare the next year of content that players can expect to see.
Early Summer 2019 will see the release of Final Fantasy XIV’s next expansion, entitled Shadowbringers. While players have spent hours of their life fighting as the Warrior of Light, Shadowbringers will see you become the Warrior of Darkness.
How and why will become clear in Patch 4.5, which players can expect to see in the forthcoming months, and which will start laying the foundations for Shadowbringers’ narrative. It will also, somewhat surprisingly, bring with it a new job class in the shape of the Blue Mage, an announcement which was met with uproarious approval.
In 5.0 you will join the allied nations to stand against the Garlean nation, and finally take them down in a conflict that could bring the 8th and final Umbral era.
The new expansion will bring with it multiple new jobs, take the level cap up to 80, and update the battle system to streamline things for the increased cap. There’ll also be sprawling new areas including the Rak’Tika Greatwood, which plays home to ruins from an unknown civilisation and abodes in the trees. Ahm Araeng meanwhile is a new desert area. New beast tribes will appear, including the cute Nu Mou as well as new Primals to tackle. There’ll also be new races appearing including pixies and dwarves, as well as a new playable race that was heavily hinted at as being the rabbit-eared Viera.
Stormbringers will bring with it nine new dungeons, as well as a raft of challenging new high-end raids. There’ll also be end game content for Disciples of the Land and Hand for the many players who enjoy the crafting and gathering elements of the game. They’ll be able to come together and work on the restoration of the Holy See of Ishgard, a location deeply damaged by conflict. Once players have rebuilt and restored this fabled location, they’ll then be able to live there.
Amongst the new battle system changes will be “Trust”, an NPC battle-assist system that players of Final Fantasy XI may well recognise. This isn’t intended to replace the party matching system, but it’ll mean that solo players will actually be able to play the entire game without interacting with anyone else, essentially making Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers the next single player Final Fantasy game.
Starting in 5.0, players will be able to return to previously released content from earlier patches that has finished, allowing them to replay quest lines that have been and gone, while new players will get to experience everything that has gone before. This feature will be called New Game+.
Another new feature will be The World Visit system, so players can move freely between worlds on the same data centre, and play with friends who might otherwise have been cut off from you. It also means that if you’re on a congested server perhaps you can head across to somewhere else to play your main scenarios.
In a spot of housekeeping, the 5.0 patch will see the game finish its 32-bit Windows support, while they add new North American and European data centres to help cope with number of players that are now playing the game.
We can expect more details coming out of the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival over the weekend so stay tuned!