Square Enix Provides More Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Details
Square Enix held its latest Letter from the Producer livestream yesterday, during which producer Naoki Yoshida provided lots of in-depth details about the changes coming with the release of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, the MMORPG’s upcoming third expansion. Following the livestream, Square Enix also released new benchmark software for the expansion, which players can download from its official website. A new benchmark trailer, as well as a job action trailer showing combat abilities from the game’s combat jobs, can be viewed below.
As a quick recap, Shadowbringers will bring Final Fantasy XIV up to version 5.0. The story will see players traveling to a new world known as the First where players are tasked with returning darkness to a world being engulfed by light. Shadowbringers will add six large new zones, a new city called the Crystarium, two new jobs — ranged DPS Dancer and tank Gunbreaker, and raise the level cap from 70 to 80. It will also feature many new items and crafting recipes, a new high-end Raid series titled Eden, a new YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Alliance Raid series, new dungeons, and new end-game content for crafting and gathering jobs. Finally, there are two new playable races: Hrothgar and Viera, the new Trust system where NPCs can join players in dungeons, the new Nu Mou and Pixie Beast tribes, new foes such as Innocence and Titania, and the addition of the World Visit System.
Like its previous expansion, Stormblood, Shadowbringers will feature many adjustments to gameplay. One of the areas to see changes is the FATE system, which sees timed special events taking place in the game’s zone and is often used by players for the purpose of levelling jobs. The FATE system will now provide new rewards other than experience points. These rewards come from unique tokens, which can be granted for passing requirements and can be exchanged for the special rewards at certain shops. These changes will only apply to FATEs added in Shadowbringers.
Side quests will also undergo changes. Rather than being set for specific levels, side quests in the new Shadowbringers areas will be level-synced and can all be undertaken from level 70. Enemies will be scaled the player level when the quest is accepted. This change is gear to assisting players who wish to level multiple jobs. There will also be new types of quests called Role Quests. These quests focus the fallen heroes in the First, with player retracing their adventures. There are four sets of quests, one for each type of job — physical DPS, magical DPS, tank, and healer. The quest lines are tied to Shadowbringers’ story and players will be required to complete one of these lines to advance the main scenario. The Role Quests effectively take the place of Job Quests, though the new Gunbreaker and Dancer will have Job Quests between level 60 and 70, and all jobs will receive a new Job Quest at level 80. For crafting and gathering jobs, five sets of new quests will be added, to align with new groupings of the jobs. These quests are stories focused on the Crystarium and its artisan collective.
The game’s user interface will receive changes and new features. The first of these is the addition of a light skin that has lighter UI elements compared to the darker default skin. Other elements will be expanded. Cross-world Linkshells to be expanded from one channel to eight channels, while enemy NPC health totals will now show percentage values down to the nearest 0.1%, party information such as HP will be updated, and housing furnishing placement previews will also be added.
Getting into the combat system changes, Shadowbringers will add the Charged Action System. These are designed to be more versatile, with actions gaining charges for later use as opposed to some current actions that disappear if not used within a certain time limit. There will be a maximum number of charges, which are gained as the recast time cycles, and charges may be consumed as a regular action as the player desires. Another addition is the Casting Interruption System, where players can interrupt enemy actions. The system will incorporate the Silence status, while actions that can be interrupted are more obvious in the UI. Tanks and ranged DPS jobs will receive actions specifically designed to utilise the system.
As part of balancing the battle actions for Shadowbringers, the developers have decided to remove the ability for players to choose from a number of role actions, and the game will instead unlock set role actions automatically upon reaching the required levels. Shadowbringers will also be removing the TP bar and introducing a cap of 10,000 on the MP bar seeing as most spells feature percentage-based MP costs. This change will sees the Piety attribute adjusted to affect the rate MP is restored, though it will remain an attribute that only affects healers. Actions that are affected by TP will be revised so that they can be used more freely.
Numerous balancing adjustments are being made to jobs and synergy. Tank jobs are being balanced so that all four are viable for the main tank and off tank roles in raids. Healers will also be rebalanced to emphasise a pure healing role, with each healing job receiving new actions to cover gaps in their abilities. DPS roles can being altered to be more traditional to their individual design concepts. Bard, Machinist, Summoner are receiving the biggest changes, with Machinist in particular getting a near complete revamp.
In a final set of announcements, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers will be present at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, where attendees will be able to try out the trial against Titania. The next Letter from the Producer will be held in Los angeles the day after E3, starting at 3pm Pacific on June 14, 2019. Square Enix has also teamed up with Hori to create a specially-designed left-hand gaming device for use with Final Fantasy XIV that will be released worldwide in late 2019. Finally, the Eorzea Symphony Final Fantasy XIV Orchestra Concert 2019 will take place in September. The concert will take place in Yokohama, Japan, on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, September 21, 2019, and the evening of Sunday, September 22, 2019. Ticket sales will begin in late June.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbingers is set to be released on July 2, 2019, for PC and PlayStation 4. Those who pre-order the expansion will be given early access to the content from June 28, 2019.