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Five More Final Fantasy Games We’d Like To See On Switch

Posted on September 25, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With Final Fantasy is making the jump to Nintendo Switch throughout the next year there are still many more tales that would be an absolute delight to have on the go on Nintendo Switch. The lack of Final Fantasy 8 in the release schedule has been covered to death – and apparently there’s no modern port for S.E to easily convert to switch – so baring that entry here are six more Final Fantasy titles that should grace our favorite console. 

In no particular order…. 

Final Fantasy Explorers  

Monster Hunter World showed that Capcom’s long niche boss gauntlet game can have massive mainstream appeal and the recent launch of Monster Hunter Generations: Ultimate on Switch was nothing to sneeze at either.  

Now take the barebones structure of Monster Hunter’s gameplay and apply it to possibly the most well-known RPG franchises to exist and it sounds like a winning combination. Foregoing the well-known narrative structure of previous Final Fantasy entries1, like Capcom’s games, Explorers had players traverse an island performing various objectives from gathering to combat. With well-known jobs like Red Mage, Fighter, Summoner, Dragoon and more available, how is this not a rife for a complete remake for Switch? 

Final Fantasy Tactics 

Ivalice is a world that has been visited many times and Nintendo Switch owners will get the chance to visit Dalmasca when Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age arrives next year but missing from Square’s line-up is the game that started the Ivalice mythology – 1998’s Final Fantasy Tactics. 

Eschewing the Active Time Battle system and even the traditional side-view combat camera angle – Final Fantasy Tactics takes all of the trappings of previous FF titles and crafts something truly unique. Playing more like a strategy RPG, complete with isometric camera angles, Final Fantasy Tactics crafted an intricate narrative set in the aftermath of a great war. Featuring 20 different jobs (PlayStation original version2), interesting conflicts between characters and a vast wealth of lore – Final Fantasy Tactics is perfect for players who want to immerse themselves in both strategy and deep storytelling.

[Head Image: Fan creation based upon CaitlinStar’s Switch Case Template | FF Tactics Image via YouTube | FF Explorers Image via YouTube]

Final Fantasy XIII-2 / Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Square Enix’s “Fabula Nova Crystalis” might not have panned out as originally intended but what did it eventually give us was a trilogy of games that greatly expanded upon one of  FFXIII’sheroine Lightning and the world’s lore. Welcome but unexpected (to me) at the time was FFXIII-2 focus on her sister Serah’s quest to find Lightning after the events of the original XIII. Taken as a trilogy the XIII Saga greatly expands upon the larger universe with the introduction of deities, alternate timelines and even the ability to view alternate timelines where certain events did or did not take place.

The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy takes the world initially created for the first game to unexpected places but you might be wondering why the first game didn’t make it onto this wishlist. Simply put the original FFXIII would never fit onto a single Switch cartridge or even two of them. As of the writing of this article Nintendo Switch carts are limited to 16GB and some of the largest digital Switch games come in at approximately 30GB (hi DOOM!). XIII has a number of 720p cut-scenes that made a Blu-Ray disc on PS3 mandatory (or 4 Xbox 360 DVDs). Switch owners would be better served by a truncated movie version of the XIII events or that game’s story as a data-log.

Final Fantasy XIV

At last we come to what is undoubtedly my most wanted FF title on Switch – Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. What can be said about the world of Eorzea that hasn’t already been expressed by other fans and Warriors of Light? Naoki Yoshida and his team have taken XIV and made fashioned a world that I simply want to live in – from the rolling green foothills of the Azim Steppe to the lush forests of New Gradania, the world of Final Fantasy XIV is as vibrant as it is diverse when it comes to setting. Special mention also goes out to the music – from the memorable City State themes, Zone themes you can’t but help to humm or the amazing music brought to every raid tier by the talented Masayoshi Sokken – the music in FFXIV will leave you awestruck. Flesh all of that out with a Main Scenario that helps create characters that resonate with players and a regular patch cycle that adds new content to the game every few weeks and it is easy to see why thousands of people login to FFXIV every day.

I’ve been playing FFXIV since the waning days of A Realm Reborn and it remains a place that I visit every day – whether I’m exploring the new Main Scenario quests, running daily content with my spouse or just logging in to hang out in chat with my comrades in my Free Company. With dozens of classes- both battle and crafting – seasonal events, 24 person raids and weekly loot drops – there is always something to do in FFXIV and it really is my second home.

[Sources: 1 2 ]


Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.3 Details Further Unveiled During Letter From The Producer Live

Posted on May 14, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

FFXIV’s next big update Patch 4.3: Under the Moonlight will be delivered to players on May 22nd it has been revealed during the latest entry in the Letter From The Producer Live live-streams. During the show with Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida, a special guest joined the show in the last half – none other than the creator of Italic himself – Yasumi Matsuno, to further discuss the second tier of the Return to Ivalice raid series.

The Main Scenario Continues
As with every major patch released for Final Fantasy XIV, the Main Scenario revolving around the player character and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn continues for yet another instalment full of twists and turns. Patch 4.3 will see the storyline regarding the far eastern land of Doma come to a dramatic conclusion as the newly installed leader of Doma, Hien, grapples with a tense prisoner exchange with the Gatlean Empire. Can we trust the Empire’s intentions at face value? For a faction that has invaded Eorzea and caused a devastating calamity five years ago, there isn’t much reason to trust them.

Job Adjustments
Several jobs will receive adjustments as part of Patch 4.3, it was noted that the Tank role of Dark Knight could be due for a complete redesign but we shouldn’t expect it during this patch series – as this redesign would take at least six months of development time. Dark Knight, Monk, Astrologian, Black Mage, Samurai and Scholar will all receive adjustments with this patch.

• Samurai – Potency increases, Basic combo potency to be increased, possibility of empty control (remove empty like Machinist / Bard?) to be included with these adjustments.
• Dark Knight – Potency increase across the board, animation cool downs to be reduced, defence buffs.
• Astrologian – Cast times for Attack Spells reduced across the board, Lightspeed MP cost of affected spell reduced from 50% to 25%, Danage reduction effect currently on this spell to be removed.
• Scholar – misc Pet adjustments.
• Monk – Skills that allow Monks to reduce the amount of Emity they generate will be introduced.
• Ninja – Unspecified adjustments for use with the Deep Dungeon Heaven on High.

New Deep Dungeon: Heaven on High

Remember the Jenga tower in the Ruby Sea that the camera focuses on for a long dramatic pause before never being mentioned again? Players were correct in their assertion that this will be the new Deep Dungeon – similar to Palace of the Dead – with a focus on quick experience gain and it’s own levelling system. Rather than contain 200 floors of challenging MOBS, Heaven on High will feature 100 floors with the really hard content beginning on floor 31. It was also mentioned that a “grand summing” system will become available in Heaven on High, but what this actually entails is currently unknown.

Forbidden Land of Eureka: Pagos (To be introduced several weeks later in Patch 4.36)

Our last expedition to the Forbidden Land of Eureka seems like it has been a success with the announcement of the commencement of the Pagos expedition expected to be released sometime in June. This snowy region of the misplaced island of Val could very well focus on the Blizzard aspected aether that players use to defeat some of the Notorious Monsters across Val. Once players locked down the pattern of knowing the NM spawn times, moving as a cohesive “train” from Monster to Monster and power-levelling. The obvious problem with this system was that lower level characters could contribute to the battle against the stronger NMs like Pazuzu. Here’s hoping the vague promise of ‘new gameplay elements’ can make our time in Pagos engaging and entertaining.

Final Fantasy XIV Under The Moonlight will be released next Tuesday, May 22nd. Alongside everything outlined above it also brings a brand new 24-person raise, a new Extreme Trial, a mysterious unannounced Story related trial (it’s Zenos.. come it has to be) and the Ultima Weapon’s Refrain (Ultimate) – the next segment of the ultra-hard content for the top % of players. For further coverage check out my post from last month.


Final Fantasy XIV’s Eureka Is A Fun Grind The Mixes Up Existing Mechanics In A Fresh Way

Posted on March 13, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest patch for Final Fantasy XIV Online: Stormblood has arrived and with it a brand new land for level 70 adventurers to explore. The lost island of Eureka awaits players brave enough to explore a large open world map filled with challenging monsters as well as the return of a mechanics from both the 1.0 days of FFXIV and systems from Squeenix’s sibling MMO Final Fantasy XI!

What Is Eureka

Before discussing how Eureka’s new systems work and what it feels like to play for an extended period of time, there’s some background information that I need to get out of the way. The lost island of Eureka is a direct replacement for the Relic Weapon quests that were present in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. In those quests you’d go to existing zones from the current version alongside farming older content in order to complete the steps required to get your glowy relic weapons. Eureka takes this idea and advances it one step further by melding in mechanics from the Heavansward group content known as The Diadem from Patch 3.1.

Here’s a point by point breakdown describing the new content awaiting adventures provided by Square Enix PR:

The Forbidden Land, Eureka Anemos, is an expansive, unexplored area that brings a number of changes to the normal pillars of gameplay:

  • Field Area-Style Gameplay: Up to 144 players can participate. Players are encouraged to group up with fellow adventurers to hunt notorious monsters and work towards common goals.
  • Player Progression: Players will gain elemental EXP to strengthen their ability to harness the elements, but will need to be careful. Death in Eureka will result in lost EXP, and even lost levels, if players rashly rush in.
  • Altered Battle Mechanics: Additional strategy is required in battle through an element system, in which players must utilize the Magia Board to change the element affinity of their attack to oppose their enemy’s. Players will customize their Magia Board’s elemental attributes and must carefully consider their setup depending on the goal of the adventure.
  • Rewards: Players will occasionally earn protean crystals through exploration of Eureka, and may use them to enhance Eureka weapons and gear with the aid of the famed blacksmith, Gerolt.

The Thrill of Battle

For two hours this afternoon I took my level 70 Machinist, Reka Ai’a, along with my wife’s lvl 70 Paladin out to the forbidden land of Eureka to experience the changes in combat first hand. In other open world content in XIV a level 70 character can pretty much be guaranteed to shred any mob that stands in your way, although with multiple mobs this can get a little dicey.

Right off the bat I could tell that this is not the case in Eureka. The island’s open fields are littered with monsters that if you’re not careful will not think twice about teaming up to stop you dead. Unlike other instanced content in FFXIV being “level 70” doesn’t really mean much since Eureka has its own experience and leveling system known as the “elemental leveling system”. A single mob will kill you if you don’t pay attention to Eureka’s unique mechanics (more on this in a little).

Defeating mobs in Eureka (carefully) will obviously award you experience points but the gain rate isn’t the same as the base game. Instead of requiring hundreds of thousands of experience points the level up, the jump from level 1 to 2 is somewhere in the range of 1,000 or so elemental experience points. Accordingly the amount of experience earned from defeating mobs is drastically reduced when compared to base XIV and more so when compared to leveling low level jobs in XIV. Soloing Eureka content I found that I was gaining between 20 – 45 EXP per level, which sounds like a tedious grind. This is because the EXP rates in Eureka rise with a “chain bonus” similar to the one you get in dungeons for killing mobs in quick succession, but only when you are partnered with another player. Chain bonuses can work their to a 30x multiplier before eventually resetting back to 1. With an organized team or just a single other player to play with Eureka’s leveling experience can feel rewarding and challenging without feeling like a slog. In the two hours I played today I got to level 4 – so about a level every half hour, not too bad.

Elements And… Notorious Monsters???!

This brings me to the most striking difference between Eureka and the core leveling experience to be found within any of FFXIV’s other encounters – the elemental level system.  Due to some really awesome lore that I won’t spoil here, the aether on Eureka is all sorts of messed up. Monsters are a lot more powerful than their Othard or Aldenard counterparts and even the Warrior of Light’s power stands little chance against them. To combat this threat Geralt and Krile have devised an “elemental wheel” which will grand you attack bonuses and defense bonuses towards certain elements. It’s almost like the meta-game of Pokemon: Fire beats Water, Wind beats Earth etc. UI elements on your HUD will show you which element you’ll need to aspect into for either attack or defense and the key to survive encounters is swapping between these attack and defense buffs for each of your encounters at the right moment. It adds a bit more nuance to the moment to moment combat of FFXIV and once I got the hang of it, I was really enjoying it.

Lastly I’ve come to the inclusion of Notorious Monsters, super powerful boss-like creatures that occasionally spawn in Eureka’s over world. The name Notorious Monsters comes from both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. 2.0+’s A Rank hunts were similar to these new NMs but unlike their ARR+ brethren, Eureka’s Nortious Monsters get their own map marker and FATE spawned as soon as they enter the world. No need to sit in shout chat and hope someone calls out the location of the challenging MOB – where should you miss an A Rank you’d have to wait possibly days for a respawn. NMs in Eureka are large events with dozens upon dozens of players all vying to take part in the monster’s destruction. NMs have high health pools and mechanics that if done incorrectly can one-shot entire swaths of players.  At times with so many players present it can feel like “effects soup”, so be prepared to think fast and maybe turn down your graphical settings. Outside of Savage, it’s probably one of the most challenge things right now – especially while the community figures out the unique mechanics per mob. After the large monster goes down you’re rewarded with special crystals that can be turned in towards Relic Weapon steps and special lock boxes that have a chance to contain a Eureka exclusive glamour or a T-Rex mount. Best of all NMs spawn so frequently that I saw a number of them during my time on the island.

That about wraps up my introductory coverage of Eureka, I’ve still got about 4 levels to go before I encounter the much feared “level down” mechanic, so expect another long winded blog entry sometime in the coming weeks. My journey towards GDC also begins tomorrow – so it could be a little while before I get a chance to take the ferry to the island of Eureka for an extended stay.

What do you think about Eureka? Let me know in the comments.



Player Made FFXIV Music Video Is a Work of Art

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Final Fantasy XIV YouTuber denmomcstronghuge has been publishing videos set in Eorzea for awhile now but his latest work – “Find Your Dance, Eorzea” – is both a stunning tribute to the many different zones featured in the game’s latest expansion and a marvel of editing mastery. It is easy to see why “Find Your Dance, Eorzea” will be appealing to both longtime players, newcomers and even those unfamiliar with the MMORPG.

The video featuring some catchy Japanese Electronica and breathtaking time lapse panoramas as we follow a female Aura through some of Stormblood’s new zones. This is only the tip of the iceberg as to why “Find Your Dance, Eorzea” is such an achievement. Denmo’s seamless editing makes it appear as if the central character of the video is walking in five separate locations at the same time. With everything perfectly synced up the editing work is almost perfection. Throw in some timely musical cues and background dancers and you have a recipe for a piece of player created art that has been viewed over 50,000 times.

I reached out to the Denmo to get some perspective on what inspired this amazing creation. Here is what he had to say about collaborating to create “Find Your Dance, and little bit about the secret sauce that goes into that satisfying editing work.

On collaborating with others to create the piece:

“The last part was a call out to friends and anyone who happened to be online and in the same server, yeah.

I’m lucky that I have a patreon discord to turn to, and a lot of friends willing to spread word out and just be there. No matter what it is I’m doing lol”

I asked Denmo about some of the challenges that went into the technical work of syncing up shots from so many different locations. Sounds like it took quite a long time to record the amazing time lapses featured in the video:

“That particular part was, yes heh. Each of those shots flashing by was a time lapse recording that took half a day at least to get.And then because of the method of recording it was, like, each one ended up having slightly different timings as well. It was very difficult to sync up properly.

The other shots done in normal time were much easier to do by comparison, but i’m happy with how it all turned out.”

That ear worm of a song… how did Denmo come to chose it?

“I had no idea what song i wanted to use even as I started recording. so I asked a lot of people for suggestions hehe. A friend picked this one and it just stuck. Had the right feel and everything.”

Finally I took the chance to ask Denmo his thoughts on the recently released Stormblood expansion. In particular I wondered if there was anything that stood out for Denmo from a creative perspective.

“It’s been really good! I’m excited to get my alt leveled up this time and experience the story again. As for content creation, I’m always looking for new ideas that I want to invest time in. The new gpose + actions is really cool and fun to play with.”

Thank you to Denmo for answering my questions about his latest FFXIV music video for this article. You can watch it for yourself in the embedded player below and while you’re there – perhaps consider subscribing to his channel.  “Find your dance, Eorzea” does come with a photo sensitivity warning as well as a light spoilers warning for 4.0. 


Final Fantasy XIV Stomblood Impressions #2 – Vising The Great City

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

It has been a week since the launch of Stormblood, the latest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV and I thought it would be a perfect time to share some updated impressions now that I am several hours further into the expansion’s narrative. Unlike my last impressions entry, this one is not free of spoilers, be forewarned that ahead of this paragraph are bullet points that may contain story, quest and NPC related spoilers.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try and Try Again

Throughout the first four levels of the campaign (60 – 63) the Warrior of Light & Co. has had their share of failures and setbacks assisting the resistance. As Lyse, The Warrior of Light, and Aliase enter the occupied lands of Gyr Abania they are not treated with the hospitality that House Fortemps showed the party in 2015’s Heavensward. Instead, the people of Ala Mhigo are hesitant to work alongside the heroes, for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are macro-focused (such as the Eorzean Alliances thus far refusing military involvement against the occupying Garleans), and some are on a more local level (the bloodbath that took place at Baelsar’s Wall didn’t leave anyone that could help). It’s going to take a lot more than small favors, fetch quests and heartfelt speeches to rally the hearts of a population that has been trampled by oppression for decades, one that would be risking the superior numbers of the Garlean forces coming down on them even harder should another organized resistance fail.

Residents of Gyr Abania despise the empire, and the tyranny it has thrust upon them but it is understandable that they refuse the help of our players, this is not just one quest NPC for the Warrior of Light to fight – this revolution belongs to the hearts of the people of Gyr Abania. All of this is a lot deeper than the political fare found within the 2.X and 3.X series of patches where the leaders of the Alliance stand around the groves of Gradania, talk and then nothing really changes.

The Towering City of Kugane

The bloodbath at Rhalgar’s Reach complicates things even further, after rallying the survivors of the previous revolutions and standing alongside both the eager and formerly unconvinced the people as well as members of the player’s party take a literal beating. Efforts are then turned towards the on-going resistance in the Far Eastern lands of Othard.

It is here in Othard that we are introduced to the second major city, Kugane, a large trading hub and the only port open to outsiders. Like Gyr Abania the residents of Othard are under Imperial rule and the flow of people, good and information coming in and out of Othard is tightly controlled. Right from the outset it is clear that the political climate and overall atmosphere of Kugane does not set the expectation for whatever other areas the continent of Othard has in store for us. The party must keep a low profile to avoid the Empire’s attention, this means that direct action against Imperial forces is off the table for the time being and using a corporate headquarters just down the road from the Garlean Empire will have to suffice.  Outsiders are known by the label of “Ijin” (an obvious parallel to the Japanese concept of “Gaijin”) but the Ijin concept stretches far beyond societal labels, with the immediate tangible ramification of the Ijin label being a separate housing district for outsiders. From a gameplay perspective, Kugane’s large red bridges and absolutely stunning architecture are home to the usual suspects – a market board, a materia handler, an aetherite and several NPC vendors. Curiously there are two things that make Kugane distinct from other major quest hubs in XIV – the lack of any Job or Crafting guilds and the fact that none of Kugane’s side-quests involve combat in any way.


FFXIV: Stormblood Early Access Impressions – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Due To Server Errors

Posted on June 19, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Stormblood has been in early access for the past 72 hours and despite constant disconnects, server crashes and long queues I’ve played through the first story arc until level 62. Here is a point by point recount of my experience with the game.

Thoughts of Level 60 – 70 Bard Changes

  • Bards are now a lot more mobile thanks to the removal of “casting times” during the usage of Wander’s Minuet. The mobility is certainly welcome but I was used to the split second timing of waiting for the cast time and then moving to avoid AOEs. Not having cast time takes away from a damage bonus we had previously while Wander’s was up and active.
  • Changes to Bard’s active songs are a welcomed addition. I thought it would be difficult to manage the critical strike bonus and additional effects of Wander’s Minuet, Mage’s Ballad and Army’s Paean. Surprisingly I find myself cycling from song to song rather naturally and the new rotation was starting to form muscle memory within the first hour or two.
  • Pitch Perfect – the flashy new ability linked to Wander’s is probably my absolute favorite of the three changed songs. It is so satisfying to see the bright flash of light that comes with having three Pitch Perfect Charges.
  • Having a “Job Gauge” makes managing procs and other timed abilities a lot easier to handle – I had feared it would have added additional “visual clutter” to the layout.

Thoughts of New Zones & Story

  • After seeing three different areas of Gyr Abania, it is very clear that we aren’t in for hours and hours of simple dry desert. Instead, Gyr Abania is full of lush vegetation alongside running oasis and rivers. When your character enters the settlement of Rhelgar’s Reach giant tents, several NPCs and a large statue measuring in the 100s of feet tall greet you.
  • The resistance settlements feel alive, as do the members of the resistance I’ve met thus far. For sure the stand out for me – without giving spoilers would have to be M’Naago.
  • I can’t wait for my Bard, Reka Ai’a to help out the resistance and experience the tale that Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has to offer. I’m intentionally avoiding ANY spoilers since the game is in Early Access and the general release date is tomorrow. My full thoughts will be shared throughout the next week or so.

Server Instability

  • Stormblood has had a number of high-profile hiccups during Early Access. Throughout the first 24 hours or so the game’s “instance servers” which handle Party Finder, Duty Finder and some customized quests for Main Story crashed under the intense load. This meant that even if you got access to the game, you were stuck behind a bottleneck of players spam clicking to get into one of the two instanced early story sections that were required to continue.
  • Square Enix has issued multiple statements and conducted emergency maintenance more than once on the North American and European data centers to address these issues. For the most part, the quest related bottlenecks and instance server crashes appear to be a thing of the past.
  • Login times on the most crowded servers, including my home – Balmung, can take up to two and a half hours to complete. For most people this would probably be a deal killer – but I’ve struggled through the wait times thanks to Netflix and other games. So far Stormblood has delivered a positive story experience that is well worth the wait. At the peak, I’ve seen queues up to 4500 people – with 100 or so entering every 5 minutes. It doesn’t help that some players are abusing a logout glitch that keeps their player active on the server for an infinite amount of time without performing any action. This has lead to characters idling in town, taking up valuable slots, while their owners sleep or do other things.

What’s Next?

Reka Ai’a is on her way to the Far East and the lands of Doma, where she will meet up with the Ninja Yugiri. I’m looking forward to where the story will take her, I also look forward to sharing my specific thoughts on Main Story Quest Events and Dungeons after Stormblood releases on PS4 and PC tomorrow.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s full release doesn’t make the queue times on Balmung even worse. I wouldn’t want to have to watch the entire LOTR trilogy before continuing my journey.



Get Ready For Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood With This Cool Hotbar Simulator

Posted on June 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix is making a lot of exciting to Final Fantasy XIV with the release of Stormblood in two weeks time. A Japanese fan of the game has taken all of the tool tips, ability changes and additional actions and compiled them into an interactive hot bar simulator that you can try right now. It supports both the standard horizontal bars layout and the controller friendly cross media bars.

I’ve already played around with it and put together my bars for my Bard when I get her to 70s. With the changes to current songs, the removal of wide volley and the fact that the old song abilities have been split into three new abilities separate from songs – I had to do a lot guess work and thinking about where exactly I wanted my abilities to be. I’m still not 100% sure I want my AOEs like Rain of Death and Quick Knock on the second bard but I won’t know for sure how comfortable this is until Stormblood goes live on June 16th.

If you’re a current player make sure to check out the simulation tool here, just remember everything is in Japanese.


Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Benchmark Reveals New Job Actions

Posted on May 1, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Adventurers in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will soon set sail for the land of Doma and Ala Mhigo. Before they set foot in these new areas it is best to make sure that one’s PC is up to the task. Both acting as a stress test for the upcoming expansion and a tease for keen-eyed players – offering a look at several unannounced job actions – the PC benchmark is a must download for any hardcore FFXIV player.

The official Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood benchmark takes players through several different pre-configured scenes including a bustling Doman city, a large scale battle on the outskirts of Ala Mhigo, into the heart of the uprising and even one of the new primal fights.

Astrologans can turn cards red:

Brand new Bard action complete with mid-air casting circles:

Ninja’s get to ride giant toads:

[Gifs via this IMGUR album]

In addition to the release of the downloadable Benchmark a Letter To The Producer Live was held last week. The broadcast was in Japanese only but thankfully FFXIV Community Manager Matt Hilton was on hand to provide translations of the several player questions asked on the live stream.

Regarding weather effects and aesthetic differences between A Realm Reborn, Heavansward and Stormblood:

Q: Heavensward areas were different from ARR areas in how the light and shadow were applied. Will there be a different scheme for Stormblood areas as well? Please let us know if there are any unique weather conditions or times of day that are especially spectacular!

A: Once again, the biggest focus is in the contrast between light and shadow. Many small specifications were made regarding putting the visuals together; one such detail was “air”, such as clouds, mist, and fog. The Other areas and dungeons are themed around “the feeling of air”.

There are also newly implemented weather conditions, so we’d be happy if players would take a step back and enjoy the sunrise/sunset occasionally.

Players got the chance to ask if there will be new hairstyles in FFXIV: Stormblood:

Q: I believe there are lots of NPCs in the Doman area with Asian-themed hairstyles. Would players be able to use these hairstyles? I want a top knot!

A: There will be two new hairstyles, but there’s no top knot. If there’s a lot of request for it, we’ll consider it.

Here is what Yoshi P had to say about how gear progression and procurement will work in Stormblood in contrast to 3.0 and ARR:

Q: Will there be job-specific gear in Patch 4.0? If so, I would like to know how we obtain them.

A: *The video showed CG artwork for the dark knight, dragoon, paladin, bard, and scholar job-specific gear.

In 3.0, players exchanged Allagan tomestones of esoterics to obtain their job-specific gear, but since they were job-specific, it was difficult to obtain them, and it also caused a situation where player item levels were not same when they hit level 60. We want everyone to look cool when they hit level 70, so we added a new system which offers a set of gear in a box, and players will be able to choose one. Additionally, I’m sure players will request this, so I just want to mention that once you take the gear out of the box, you won’t be able to put them back in.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood offers adventurers a number of new features beyond the two new areas. As with every expansion we’ll get new 24 person raids, new beast tribes, new side-quests, new light party dungeons and more. One of the biggest features being promoted currently is the ability to swim, gather under water and even dive deep with underwater mounts. Stormblood will be out on PS4, PS4 Pro and Windows PC on June 20th 2017. A number of bonus items are also being offered as an incentive for pre-ordering the expansion. New players who purchase Stormblood will also gain access to 2015’s Heavansward.


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