With servers down all of today to implement the giganticness that is Patch 3.3: Revenge of the Horde, the ideal ways to pass the time are to read the massive Patch 3.3 notes, and check out one last (really this time) batch of new screen shots.
First up is the new style treasure hunting. Treasure maps have been part of FFXIV for a long time, but now, when uncovering treasure with a Dragonskin Map (the highest-tier map currently), there's a 50% or so chance a portal will appear leading to a time-limited loot dungeon. The opponents are random, and can consist of normal or rare enemies. Upon clearing a room, a party can choose to continue via one of two doors — one will lead deeper to more treasure, and one will kick you out. Good luck!
Are you caught up on the timesink that is the current stage of Relic weapons? I hope so, because Patch 3.3 introduces a new tier of upgradey-ness for your Anima Weapon. Similar to the Novus stage of the Zodiac Weapons in the past, this tier, through collection and application of unique components, will allow you to customize the stats of your future weapon to suit your preferences. Thankfully, unlike the breaking materia of the Novus weapons, you can't "fail" and be out millions of gil this time. Instead, each application of magical fairy dust upgrade materials will raise a stat by 3 typically, or 4-5 if you're lucky. It's still a long-form process, but at least not hampered by random failure.
There's another new PVP map coming to Frontline, titled Shatter. Victory depends on, along with defeating opposing players, occupying Allagan tomeliths (think Capture the Flag), and destroying icebound tomeliths to earn more data (points). Plus the battlefield is this cool snowy wonderland:
The adventures of Hildibrand continue in Patch 3.3. The public opinion of the inspector's return in 3.2 was that the quest line felt too short, so this latest chapter will allegedly be meatier. And if the idea of meatier Hildibrand adventures don't excite you, then I don't know what could.
Deep Dungeon: Palace of the Dead
The Palace of the Dead is a fascinating addition that, sadly, isn't part of the initial 3.3 release, but is coming in Patch 3.35. This endless dungeon will feature random floor layouts, foes, and loot, with progress saved at certain intervals, presumably after boss encounters. Gear from the outside world is irrelevant here, as Deep Dungeon features two equipment slots: a weapon and piece of armor, unique to this mode. You'll be able to grow stronger, but the hard division between the main world of FFXIV and this mode is interesting. There's even a completely unique UI at work here, complete with classic Final Fantasy blue windows, and sprite interpretations of each job class! Check out the cropped portion of the screen below, and I think you'll agree this is going to be a fascinating new mode for Final Fantasy XIV.
That wraps up today's update! Patch 3.3: Revenge of the Horde will launch tomorrow morning with all you see here and much more. If you missed the grand trailer last week, you can see it below. Note, again, the trailer opens with a massive story spoiler if you haven't yet completed the main Heavensward campaign in 3.0!