It’s an exciting time to be a Final Fantasy XIV player, especially after all of the delays and difficulties presented to the development team in the last year and change; tonight laid host to the Announcement Showcase, a kind of information dump for the game as we’ve had to miss out on the usual schedule of events for the game where announcements and trailers would usually be staggered. This time, though, they decided to get right to brass tacks and give us all something a lot of us were expecting and hoping for, talk about the next expansion known as ENDWALKER!
Of course, there’s more to this Final Fantasy XIV announcement than just the new trailer for the newest expansion, so ready yourself for the rundown of everything that was broken down for the Announcement Showcase tonight! Watch out, this will contain light story spoilers for anyone who has not yet completed main scenario content up to 5.45.
- ENDWALKER Announcement: As everyone suspected, they announced a brand new expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, called ENDWALKER, quickly following up the announcement with a vague release date: Fall 2021. Like other expansions, this will formally bring the game to version 6.0. Subtitling the expansion “Dawn Moon Finale,” this expansion looks to bring an end to the Ascian/Zodiark saga that will come to a climax with an end of days situation similar to that of the one experienced through content on Shadowbringers. This involves travel across a series of new regions, including, believe it or not, the moon. The Warrior of Light, in contrast to his appearance in trailers and official material for Shadowbringers, will be highlighted as a Paladin. The expansion will also raise the level cap to 90.
- One Job Announced, One Job Teased: Two new jobs coming to ENDWALKER were talked about but only one was formally announced. One is called Sage and the other is an as-of-yet unannounced melee DPS role that they have only gone on to confirm that is not a wrestler. The Sage is what’s considered to be a barrier healer and has a basic ranged attack. It was heavily implied that you would need to switch forms or stances to use either barrier or healing magic but that was not confirmed. The Sage uses weapons called Nouliths, which are floating crystals that default to floating behind the player. It would appear that the only requirements for the job are having the expansion, having at least one job past the starting level for the job, and completing the starting quest. The job starts at level 70.
- Simplification of the Healer Roles: Since healers have gotten yet another job, it was stated that the healer role will be simplified and separated into two categories in ENDWALKER: pure healer and barrier healers. It’s implied that this will carry over into Duty Finder and Party Finder but nothing beyond that was confirmed.
- New Locations: Two new locations were confirmed for the ENDWALKER expansion: Radz-at-Han and Garlemald. Radz-at-Han will take place in a region talked about but not really visited called Thavnair, which takes on a kind of “subtropical feel.” Garlemald, on the other hand, is a location we’ve heard a lot about, as it’s the capital of the Garlean Empire. It looks like it’s been absolutely razed but what the cause of that is, has not yet been confirmed. I strongly feel as though recent civil unrest may be at the center of that but it’s hard to tell as there could be several causes. There’s obviously going to be some time spent on locations on the moon but no locations have been announced.
- Story Dump: There’s a great deal of focus on resolving the conflict between Hydaelin and Zodiark and bringing into light how they came to be and what their true purpose seems to be. It would appear that Fandaniel starts to make good on his threats made in 5.4 and things just seem to be spiraling from there. There seems to be a lot of borrowing from Final Fantasy IV through a lot of the key elements here so it could be speculated that the Warrior of Light is going to the moon to seek the aid of its inhabitants and that it actually plays a large role in the upcoming conflict.
- New Tribes: Much like the jobs, one was formally announced and one was teased. The one announced was the Arkasodara, a race of upright beings that look almost directly like elephants. They look to be a tribe associated with the Thavnair region. The other tribe was implied to be associated with the moon and it could be speculated that the tribe is Lunarians, with all the Final Fantasy IV connections made throughout the stream but this was neither confirmed nor denied.
- Two New Dungeons Shown: Two new dungeons were announced for ENDWALKER but not much was revealed about them outside of key art as they mentioned they were not completed yet. One looks like a war-torn region from Thavnair, from the looks of it where the second looked like a section of the last dungeon in Final Fantasy IV. There was also another piece of key art shown that looked like a run-down train station of sorts but there was no real confirmation if that was related to the two dungeons or a teaser of sorts.
- New High-End Raid: New content for high-end raids will be coming with the new expansion, that seems to be focusing primarily on Lahabrea, titled Pandemonium. We don’t really know much more about it than that.
- New Alliance Raid: Not much information given about this other than it’s set to take the place of the YorHa raid and that it’s supposed to be steeped in old Eorzean lore and sets out to answer a lot of established questions.
- Island Sanctuary: This has been announced as a place where players of ENDWALKER and Final Fantasy XIV can enjoy a bit of “slow living,” where players can feel free to do whatever they please at their own pace. No confirmation but there was a strong implication that the setting is like a farm, where your minions and mounts can roam free and you can craft and gather to your heart’s contentment. Whether or not this is a personal area much like your apartment or personal chambers has yet to be seen but it’s strongly implied.
- New “Threat” Announced: Introduced in Final Fantasy X, Anima will be a new enemy appearing in the expansion, probably as an eikon. Not much else is known about this.
- Gold Saucer Update: Not much formally announced but promising a game that’s similar to and on the same scale as mahjong to be launched when the expansion comes out. Not much else is known.
- Battle System Updates: This is kind of a big one for people interested in under the hood stuff. As of version 6.0, you’re going to see a great reduction in numerical values, such as damage dealt and experience gained. However, this will all be to scale, so values such as experience needed to level up and enemy HP values will also decrease. This is an effort to decrease the chance of overflow and graphics rendering issues. It would appear that the difference will bring all values down to 1/5th of their original values.
- Bye Bye, Belts: Say goodbye to your precious belts; as of version 6.0, you will no longer be able to equip them, they will be removed from your characters, and they will no longer be dropped or be in any redemption NPCs. All present belts in your person will be sent to Calamity Salvagers for “safekeeping.” To compensate for this, your armory chest will now allow for 15 additional slots to your main hand weapon and 15 additional slots to rings. They are withholding what they plan to use the remaining 5 slots for.
- Ishgard Restoration Complete: As of 6.0, you will be able to see the results of the Ishgard Restoration – a full-fledged residential district, though you won’t be able to do anything with it until version 6.1. They have announced that they will have the same amount of wards and apartments as other districts.
- Data Center Travel: Described as almost identical to World Visit but will apply to travel between Data Centers. They assure that this will not affect the economy between data centers as it did not affect the economy when World Visit was introduced.
- PlayStation 5 Version: This was kind of a surprise announcement as the CEO essentially stepped on stage to drop something that wasn’t supposed to be revealed during this event: Final Fantasy XIV will have a PlayStation 5 version, which appears to be a graphical update that focuses on higher resolution and quicker load times. Also, it was announced that if you own the PlayStation 4 version of the game, that you will be able to upgrade to the PS5 version at no extra cost. This was not exactly shocking anyone but the timing of this announcement might have been what shocked everyone, including Yoshi-P, who did not seem happy with how it was done. The open beta for this version of the game starts on April 13th of this year.
- Follow-Up Fan Fest Announced: The Fan Festival, which is currently scheduled to be purely virtual, has been announced to take place on May 15th/16th of this year. Not much has been revealed as to what will be talked about but it will likely be a big deal as Fan Fests usually are. Unique items announced for Final Fantasy XIV alongside the event are a brand new Lunar Whale mount and three Final Fantasy IV themed minions in Rosa, Edge, and Rydia.
— FINAL FANTASY XIV (@FF_XIV_EN) February 6, 2021