Update (02.16) — Nintendo has announced that the 1.3.0 patch has been delayed until March 2, 2018 due to a bug.
Nintendo has announced that Xenoblade Chronicles 2's 1.3.0 patch will be released next week. Director Tetsuya Takahashi detailed some of the additions that are coming in the patch, including its New Game+ options, as well as an Easy Mode difficulty, which are detailed below:
Additions Available in New Game+
- Adds ability to befriend Blades that appear in the game as enemies (including various spoilers). These Blades can be gained through Core Crystals or quests and can be gained at any time, even before they are met/fought in the game.
- All Blades can be dispatched in Merc Groups, including those couldn't in the first playthrough.
- All Drivers have an extra "Reverse" Affinity Chart
- Drivers can be levelled down at inns, providing more bonus XP when doing so.
- Bonus XP can be used to purchase special items. For example, one that allows more Driver accessories to be equipped.
- A specific Blade has their level 4 special move unlocked.
- The New Game+ will carry over Driver level, Driver and Blade equipment and growth, Awaekened Blades, items and gold, town development levels, Merc level, Event Theater contents, and Unique Monster kills.
- The New Game+ will reset quests, heart-to-heart events, fast travel points, and cleared Merc missions
Additions Available in All Playthroughs
- Blades can be locked, preventing them from being accidentally released
- The Blade awakening cutscene can be skipped
- The enlarged mini-map includes the icons set on the quick-travel screen.
- Easy mode difficulty added (standard difficulty is now labelled Normal)
- New sorting options added to various areas including accessories, Blade list, etc.
The patch will also add in the Helpful Items Pack 4 for those who have purchased the game's season pass.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is available now for Nintendo Switch and is the third Xenoblade game, following Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X, though all of the titles are standalone. Those looking to read more can check out RPGamer's spoiler-free review. The game also recently won Best Switch RPG and achieved third place for Game of the Year in RPGamer's 2017 awards.