Final Fantasy XIV is the best Final Fantasy game to come out since 2002's Final Fantasy X, and its turnaround success after a rock-bottom launch only supports Square's upward trend over the last few years. I would even argue that it's the most exciting MMORPG on the market these days.
While the game's universally praised relaunch, subtitled A Realm Reborn, debuted on the PlayStation 3 a few months before the PlayStation 4, the game has always meant to be played on the latest generation hardware. It's a shame that Square Enix has to leave the platform behind, but those who make the upgrade to the PlayStation 4 or PC versions will be happy they did.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will add new features and an entirely new region for players to explore. See the full list of additions below:
Stormblood will explore Ala Mihgo. The main focus is to regain control of Ala Mihgo from the Garlean Empire. 20 years have passed since Garleans have had control. The main antagonist is Zenos Yae Galvus, XIIth Legion Legatus and de facto ruler of Ala Mihgo.
The Warrior of Light’s main job in 4.0 is Monk.
The area shown in teaser trailer is Rhalgr’s Reach, the HQ of Ala Migho’s main resistance.
Multiple new jobs will be discussed at future date. Producer Naoki Yoshida wore a t-shirt of Marvel’s Scarlet Witch, and said that was the only hint he’d give at this time, suggesting the addition of the Red Mage job.
There is a new level cap of 70 (for all classes). More actions for each job to go with the new cap. A revamped battle system will accompany the new actions.
Additional skill systems are to be overhauled, with skills shared by roles instead of jobs, and can choose from shared role ability options.
There will also be a reassessment of unused / ineffective actions. The example used is Dragoon’s Blood of the Dragon buff, where in 4.0 an icon / gauge showing how much time is left will be better visible on screen so players aren’t just staring at the current icon.
Stormblood will be a full standalone game’s worth of content. New areas will be introduced, comparable in size to Heavensward areas, as well as new Primals, including known names and all-new original-to-Final Fantasy XIV ones.
New Dungeons will be introduced with new battle and dungeon concepts. High-end raids to also be added, with the possibility of different stories depending on difficulty—normal on odd patches, savage on even.
New Alliance Raids will be added. Yoshida says it will be “very, very Final Fantasy.”
An expanded form of Exploration will be introduced: The Forbidden Land of Eureka, something different from Diadem and will expand its own entire area, unique to Stormblood. There might even be Notorious Monsters that only appear once every 72 hours. Eureka may also be used for next set of high-end weapons, akin to Relic / Anima, rather than upgrades in “normal areas.”
New Gear and Recipes will be added, including winners of the Fan’s Gear Design Contest.
Item Inventory will be expanded. They’re looking to increase “as much as humanly possible.” There is uncertainty in how this will be implemented due to the server needs, and it will be addressed in a future Live Letter.
A fourth Residential Area to be added. As for where it will be added, Yoshida said, “Sorry, can’t tell ya.”
Indications are that Ala Mihgo is crossed via a wall in The Black Shroud, which will be shown in Patch 3.5. Yoshida joked that Dragoon Jump won’t work to scale the wall, but that The Warrior of Light has a lot of practice falling off of things.
Ala Mihgo will not be just deserts and wasteland. Forests are also part of it.
All areas of 4.0 will be accessible by flying mounts, but there was an indication that it will again by quest-based like in 3.0. At groans from the audience, Yoshi said it will be easier than Moogle Quests.
There will be changes to the Windows version’s minimum specifications. The current minimum specifications are geared towards components you can’t buy anymore. So for the best experience possible, they’ve decided to raise their minimum specifications. “If possible, maybe upgrade to a 64-bit OS,” Yoshida said. The game will still support 32-bit, however.
More information will be released at other Fan Fests, during Live Letters, and so forth. “This is just the start” Yoshida teased.