Nier Crossover and a New Tank Job: New Details from the FFXIV Paris Fan Fest
Round 2 of the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers information trickle just ended at the Fan Fest in Paris. In the usual fashion, we saw the game’s producer, Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida, deliver a keynote address, some trailers, and more of his infectious mix of professionalism and adorableness. These things are becoming quite predictable, but the hype is still real.
As the introduction, they revealed an extended version of the teaser trailer from Fan Fest Las Vegas. The biggest addition was a clip of Urianger as an astrologian, complete with a sick tattoo-beard, addressing Y’shtola as “Master Matoya”. Y’shtola herself was dressed, “like a black mage”, in Yoshida’s words. He described her this way multiple times throughout the keynote, while speaking about everyone else’s jobs in specifics, so this perhaps implies she’s rolling some new job.
Speaking of jobs, they transitioned directly into more news on that front. The first is that there will be multiple new jobs. The second is that Shadowbringers’ gunblade-wielding job will be called gunbreaker. This new tank job will use magicked bullets to enhance melee attacks, and starts at level 70. Yoshida delivered the address wearing a real-life version of the gunbreaker class gear, with a white coat, while apparently the actual class will wear blue.
From there, we moved into more details on FFXIV 5.0. They revealed two new open-world zones: The Rak’Tika Greatwood and Il Mheg. The former has an ancient forest feel, with skyscraper-sized trees and towns among the canopies. The latter is an almost whimsical fantasy location, and the home of the pixies, one of the new beast tribes in Shadowbringers. They’re described as “not as much of a pain in the ass as the moogles”.
After a quick mention that they’ll be reevaluating the battle system to condense combat abilities and add new ones (they promised more info in May detailing these changes), the keynote glanced over the new iterations of the usual content. There will be nine new dungeons at the launch of Shadowbringers, and a new endgame raid, but no details yet on either. They’re adding a new Ishgard Restoration quest line for max-level disciples of hand and land. It’ll span the entire 5.x patch series and sounds very reminiscent of the Doman Reconstruction quest line, but with some form of cooperation between players. Doman Reconstruction is one of the best parts of Stormblood, so I personally have very high hopes for this.
There was also a quick mention of the Trust system, which debuted at the US Fan Fest. Some (possibly all) new dungeons can be completed with NPCs. There are very few details on this Trust system still, but there was this screenshot showing a light party of Yoshi-P, Urianger, Y’shtola, and Thancred. It was described as quote “If you want to play solo by yourself, use the Trust system. If you want to play with friends, use the matching system.”
This rolled into more information on New Game +. It’s still as it sounds: a way to play main story, chronicles, and job quests again, at your current level, without affecting your “real” story progress. It’s a great idea that they make sure to point out is unique in MMORPGs. This block wrapped up with another mention about the World Visit system coming with patch 4.57.
At this point, we finally jumped back into new stuff! They showed the pixies in greater detail, along with their primal (images below). The pixie primal, Titania (pronounced “Ta-TA-nia”) drew a huge, positive reaction from the audience, due to the fantastic artwork for her screenshot.
Up next was a huge piece of news on the expansion’s 24-player Alliance Raid. The series will be designed with guest developers Yosuke Saito and Yoko Taro, of Nier fame. This is a pretty big deal, not just because neither developer has ever worked on a Final Fantasy game, but also because they implied this raid will connect to the Nier story in some form. The reveal was accompanied by an endearing video from the guest creators, mostly comprised of them joking about how unprepared they are to work on FFXIV. It was a fun time. Finally, they revealed the over-dramatic name for this raid:
The last big announcement was a perfectly-executed reveal of the new race coming in FFXIV Shadowbringers.
Once the audience recovered from the joke, this trailer played. They didn’t mention it either way, but the assumption is it’s a female-only race.
Yoshida and the team wrapped up the keynote address with a look at the Shadowbringers collector’s edition. The package includes a detailed dark knight figure, an art book, a vinyl cling, a deck of FFXIV-themed playing cards, the game, and a fancy box. It will also add a set of in-game items: a Wind-Up Fran minion, a replica of the Revolver gunblade (Squall’s weapon from Final Fantasy VIII), and the Grani mount, which I just think is a hilarious name for a demon horse. Lastly they showed the pre-order bonuses for all versions of the game. There’s a Baby Gremlin minion, as well as an Aetheryte Earring. The latter gives a 30% experience bonus up to level 70 and its stats will adjust to your job level, so that it remains a viable piece of equipment. As such, these two items will be added to the game before Shadowbringers releases this summer, helping players prepare for the expansion. Shout out to thoughtful game design! There was no pricing information, but pre-orders go live Wednesday, February 6th. Images in the slideshow below.
We’re expecting even more Final Fantasy XIV news tomorrow, in the form of a Letter from the Producer Live. This one’s scheduled to cover the upcoming patch, probably 4.55. As far as Shadowbringers info, we’ll hear more at the next Fan Fest this March. They teased a new job reveal, new locations, and more story information.
Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers releases July 2, 2019 for for PlayStation 4, PC, and Mac. Early access for players who preorder the game begins June 28th, 2019, tentatively.
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