Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.3 Preview - Part 2

Today marks the final pre-Patch 4.3 Letter from the Producer Live and, as expected, it's packed with information on Final Fantasy XIV's upcoming additions. For starters, the patch drops Tuesday, May 22, 2018. That's 11 days from now and it'll follow a 24-hour maintenance period, meaning servers will go down late Sunday night/early Monday morning. Prepare accordingly! This Live Letter's purpose was to give more details on the new features announced in the previous letter, so it's a bit light on news. We'll get to all that, but first, the trailer:

Battle Content Details

They covered a lot of new stuff regarding Heaven-on-High, the new Deep Dungeon coming in 4.35. There will be a few new pomanders to play with, including one that petrifies all enemies on a floor, opening them up to one-hit kills. The new pomanders replace the old ones that turned your character into NPCs (like the manticore one). HoH will also have helpful pet NPCs granting various buffs to the party during each floor.

Additionally, magicite will be available, allowing players to summon primals in the Deep Dungeon to wipe out floors of enemies. Only one of each magicite can be held at a time, and they appear to feature Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan, at the least. Magicite will come from silver chests which means it will help solve one of the design issues with Palace of the Dead. Since silver chests also hold gear upgrades, and there's a cap to how far gear can improve, players at the maximum gear level would ignore silver chests. Adding magicite to them means more incentive to open every chest and explore every floor. 

Starting in Patch 4.3 players in both PotD and HoH will be able to exchange 10 of their gear upgrade points for a token, and a certain amount of tokens can buy a new weapon. It's a slight improvement over the old system, so it's nice to see it applies to both dungeons. Lastly, they've added new random elements to how the floors are designed, including one floor type that is just a single, huge room. Check the slideshow below for... slides.

The mystery extreme trial became a bit less of a mystery for those who paid close attention to the trailer. Still, they're keeping the name under wraps. Similarly, there was next to nothing on Eureka Pagos, except that it will arrive in 4.36, at least a month after Patch 4.3.

There were no new major details on The Ridorana Lighthouse, our next 24-player raid. A live demonstration showed the first area, but only barely. They like to tease. Yoshida says we should expect the story to be on par with the main scenario in terms of writing and production, so "please look forward to it." The trailer implies that the boss theme from Final Fantasy XII plays during combat in there, and I'm pretty excited about that. The second half of the Live Letter featured some in-depth discussions on the design decisions leading to the whole Return to Ivalice campaign. It was fun to see as a fan of both FFXII and Final Fantasy Tactics, so I urge you to check out the stream archive on their YouTube channel (once they upload it) if you liked those games. They even showed some original design documents from Tactics dating back to 1996.

We got a good look at Ultima Ultimate, a.k.a. The Minstrel's Ballad: The Weapon's Refrain (Ultimate), which comes in Patch 4.31. Based on their live demonstration and some teases in the patch trailer, the three phases prior to Ultima will be Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit. This effectively satisfies the demand for a new difficulty tier for the old primals. In the demonstration, Garuda autoattacks Yoshi-P's black mage for over 20k and does an attack reminiscent of Slipstream for almost 70k. I assume they're not lying when they say that despite this fight being shorter than Ultimate Coil was, it'll still be just as difficult. The background music in this instance was a remix of Garuda's theme from The Primals' album (the recently-released album of FFXIV rock covers made by members of the game's music and localization team).

In the previous Live Letter, they mentioned some impending job adjustments to dark knights, astrologians, and samurai. This time, they've expanded those adjustments to seven jobs, adding scholar, monk, black mage, and ninja. The details are laughably scarce so we'll have to wait until the patch notes for real information, but the gist of what was mentioned today is as follows:

  • Potency increases for SAM and DRK. 
  • Shorter animation locks for some DRK actions, including Plunge.
  • Faster animation on both BLM teleports to make them more useful.
  • Shorter cast time on AST damage spells. Aspected Benefic buff.
  • Enmity reduction for monk and SAM.


Solo Content Details

The Namazu beast tribe quests look like a good time. The quest area is in the Azim Steppe and has its own aetheryte! The namazu themselves are still ridiculous. There's a mount that... I can't really even put it into words. It has its own music, a mount action, and it flies but the only real way to process this thing is to just see it in action. Trust me.

The housing guestbook feature is pretty complex. People can post one message per day. Homeowners can decide if messages are automatically displayed publicly, or if they'll be subject to moderation first. There's a points-based "Like" system in play here, also. Beyond that, they showed a few new furniture items, including a picnic setup for outside, and an island counter top for indoors.  There's a new item from the Gold Saucer in the slideshow as well, and I'm not sure what it is, but the devs say we should start saving MGP now because it'll be expensive.

Performance mode for bards will be expanded upon significantly. The dev team is adding at least four new instruments, UI changes like an expanded keyboard interface for more notes, and, after this update, even more instruments. Patch 4.3 will also add sustained notes to Perform, which is a major improvement.

FFXIV is finally getting a color blind mode! The settings seem pretty robust compared to what most recent games are offering, but you'll obviously have to see it for yourself to judge how effective a change this is. 

The next chapter of the Doman Reconstruction side quest adds some sort of an economy mini-game. Players will buy and sell things to NPCs at fluctuating prices. They didn't explain this one very well, but it seems interesting. Also, the next Custom Deliveries client is Kurenai from Sui-no-Sato.

That covers the major points of this Letter from the Producer Live. The FFXIV Developers' Blog also just posted an article highlighting some quality of life improvements for Patch 4.3, including one that will make those Eureka crowds a little easier to manage. During the 24-hour maintenance on Monday, May 21, Yoshi-P will do the usual patch notes reading stream. The next proper Live Letter will be during E3 2018 in early June, so one can expect it to cover 4.35 content like Heaven-on-High. We'll have thoughts on Under the Moonlight once it's finally out! Come at me on Facebook or Twitter if there's anything major that I missed.

All screenshots are captured from the live stream by members of the r/ffxiv Discord server.