From the announcement of a new expansion, to new jobs, to a PlayStation 5 upgrade, the Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase gifted us with a number of things to look forward to for the famed MMORPG.
The Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase, hosted by director and producer of Final Fantasy XIV Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida, granted fans and viewers a slew of exciting updates regarding the critically acclaimed MMO. The showcase began with a trailer presenting the new and upcoming expansion to Final Fantasy XIV, known as Endwalker. Endwalker is set to arrive in the Fall of 2021, with its original release date reportedly having been pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Endwalker will be Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 6.0, centering around the protagonist, the Warrior of Light, and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, battling against the great calamity known as The Final Days.
It has been confirmed that Endwalker will be a conclusion to Final Fantasy XIV’s story of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, the game’s central figures in conflict.
Along with news of Endwalker, the showcase went on to announce two new upcoming jobs in the expansion, including a healer job and a melee DPS job. While the melee DPS job is set to be revealed at a later date, the showcase introduced the Sage job, a role specializing in barrier healing and complete with a new weapon unique to Final Fantasy XIV.
One of the showcase’s most important announcements entailed the arrival of Final Fantasy XIV to the PlayStation 5, with the beta to commence on April 13, 2021. The PS5 version of Final Fantasy XIV will see augmented content of 4K resolution support, faster loading times, and a significantly improved frame rate, creating an enhanced experience. It has been confirmed that players with registered licenses to play Final Fantasy XIV on the PlayStation 4 will be able to upgrade to the PS5 version at no additional cost.
Yoshida confirmed that the level cap in Final Fantasy XIV in the current expansion will increase from 80 to 90, adding there will also be a slew of new locations, including the subtropical small town of Radz-At-Han, and the capital of Final Fantasy XIV’s Garlean Empire, Garlemald.
Along with the revelation of new locations came the announcement of new tribes, the Matanga – Arkasodara Tribe for one, featuring familiar faces that players may have encountered as foes in past expansions. The addition of new enemies and dungeons were also announced at the showcase.
Preparations are also reportedly underway for a new 8-person raid titled Pandaemonium, which will tell a story completely unique to Final Fantasy XIV. Players and fans are encouraged to look forward to upcoming new high-end and alliance raids. Yoshida also discussed new PVP content in development, stating it would be on a smaller scale than what is currently in place. Current plans include making the PVP content more casual and immersive, as well as broadening the rewards system. New side quests will be added, with the continuation of role quests in tow along with some systematic changes. Role quests, initially split into the four categories of healer, tank, melee DPS and ranged DPS, will see the addition of a fifth category for magic DPS. It is also confirmed that there will be many role quests for gatherers and crafters.
Yoshida also announced the arrival of the character Estinien to Final Fantasy XIV’s Trust System as a dragoon. Estinien’s addition to the Trust System will benefit the system’s initial lack of melee DPS centric characters. It was also mentioned that there are more plans for adjustments for the Trust System underway that will be revealed at a later date. Final Fantasy XIV’s Gold Saucer will also be updated, heavily implied to feature new, massive content akin to the scale of the recently added mahjong.
The “Island Sanctuary” was also revealed at the Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase, introducing an element in which Final Fantasy XIV players and characters can engage in more slow-paced gameplay reminiscent of simulator games. Ranging from raising animals, to cultivating produce on the land, to even giving character minions a place to roam around freely, the Island Sanctuary seeks to give players a more leisurely, calming experience.
Additional updates and information from the Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase included mechanical changes to the battle system’s damage output and numerical values, purposed with creating less overflow in the game’s computation and, overall, a smoother playing experience.
A new residential district in Ishgard will also become available to players, with the area to open for exploration in the 6.0 patch. The following 6.1 patch will then allow players to actually purchase plots of land. Belts will also be removed, and the development of a new player traveling system – known as the Data Center Travel – is currently in development.
While there is so much new content confirmed for Final Fantasy XIV on the way, there is even more that is yet to be announced. The Final Fantasy XIV Digital Fan Festival, a two-day event set to take place on May 14 and 15, promises even more information and content to be revealed. The Digital Fan Festival will be completely online and free to stream for all, and will even feature live concerts.
While the two-day festival is free to stream, commemorative digital content will be available for purchase, including the Lunar Whale Mount, Final Fantasy XIV’s first 8-person mount, and new Final Fantasy IV inspired minions of respective characters Edge, Rosa and Rydia. These are direct references to the connection between Final Fantasy IV and the new Endwalker expansion of Final Fantasy XIV, as Endwalker’s focus on the moon as a destination and the depiction of the Warrior of Light as a Paladin are deeply reminiscent of the former.
The Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase introduced a plethora of new information and upcoming content to look forward to for Final Fantasy XIV. However this is just the beginning as there are more revelations to come. Final Fantasy XIV PlayStation 5 beta is set to begin on April 13, 2021. The Final Fantasy XIV Digital Fan Festival will also take place on May 14 and 15 respectively, and finally, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is currently slated to arrive in the Fall of 2021.