Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Patch 4.2's New Raid Is All About Final Fantasy VI We've been waiting to see a train in Eorzea for years, but this is better than we could have hoped for. 01.19.18 - 12:42 PM
Well, well, well. Following the Final Fantasy V-themed raid that launched with Stormblood last summer, fans have been speculating what classic FF game would inspire the next leg of raids, and now we know it's all about Final Fantasy VI.
FFXIV has no shortage of references to the pinnacle of 16-bit Final Fantasy, so I wasn't convinced they would do it. And then we get this new trailer today with the damn Phantom Train, and I couldn't possibly be more thrilled. The music is especially notable too:
Okay, there's much to digest there, and a ton more information that came out of this morning's Letter from the Producer Live, that fills in the remainder of Patch 4.2's updates, after our previous report. Let's go!
Patch 4.2: Rise of a New Sun releases on January 30th, with servers being closed for 24 hours to implement the updates. Housing — which is getting some major adjustments — will be available an hour after the game is available to play.
As seen in the trailer above, the second tier of Omega raids is based on Final Fantasy VI bosses, with the Phantom Train, Kefka, and what seems like Atma/Ultima Weapon, plus what looks like an interesting battle with the "demon in a painting," Chadarnook. New raids are generally one of the most exciting things in patches, but this one in particular looks to be fascinating. (I am trying hard to keep my inner FFVI fanboy in check as I write this)
Oh, and both normal and Savage difficulties will be available on patch day.
In XIV, "glamour" is the system for making one piece of equipment take on the appearance of another. The developers quickly understood players' desire for fashion options, and every patch includes many new pieces of gear — often cartable by players — that exist solely for glamour purposes.
Now, I'm a huge fan of Final Fantasy XIV, but the amount of inventory space I reserve for glamour gear is not insignificant. It's an area the game has lagged behind others, like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, which don't require you to use precious inventory space simply to store an item's appearance. Finally, with the inclusion of the Glamour Dresser, FFXIV players will be able to move this gear to a special storage space. More than that, it will allow you to save hundreds of different pieces, and several unique complete outfits. Even better, the new system is more flexible than the old one, as you can use a single item's appearance in different sets, and have it dyed a unique color for each.
The current system can still be used moving forward — and it will be simplified by requiring a single kind of glamour prism, versus a unique one for leather, cloth, etc — but it's hard to imagine wanting to use that when you can use this fancy dresser:
Along with this new focus on fashion, comes a new mini-game for the Manderville Gold Saucer that is all about being fashionable. Word is that you'll be given four attempts to construct a glamour set to fit a given theme, and are then scored based on how fitting your selections are. Fashionistas, assemble:
Housing is often a source of frustration for FFXIV players. There's simply not enough housing plots in the game to accommodate the ever-growing player base. When the new Shirogane housing district opened in the fall, it was, expectedly, a mess. Knowing the limited space available, would-be homeowners logged in and tried to snatch up their desired plot as fast as possible. Failing that, renting an apartment in the area was at least a fallback, but those quickly sold out too. For a day or two, there were even reports of frustrated players camping in Shirogane and sending harassment reports to Square Enix whenever someone would enter the area, falsely blaming bystanders for their inability to get a house, and their frustration with players who own dozens of houses.
Starting in 4.2, the housing system is going to see some key changes that may alleviate some of these issues:
Five new wards (each with dozens of plots) will be added to each housing area. These will be added a week after Patch 4.2 releases.
Free Companies will only be able to purchase a plot if they have at least four members. In addition, players will only be able to own one private house and one FC house.
When a plot is relinquished, it will not immediately be able to purchase by someone else.
While these changes may make it easier for players to purchase that plot they've been wanting, for the moment, personal housing will not be available as the developers evaluate these changes (I'm expecting more official details on this will follow).
Finally, a housing info website/page will be launched that explains the ever-increasing complexities of Eorzean home ownership.
Play it Again, SAM
More Bard love is coming. A couple months ago, Bards gained a new Performance function, granting access to a suite of notes, allowing them to compose and play songs at will. It's a unique function only for Bards, and people have been having fun with it — it's common to just see Bards playing if you visit any semi-populated city these days. 4.2 is greatly enhancing Performance. For one, instead of each note being set up like a job action, and requiring you to set up hotbars full of notes, Performance now will have a fully-unique UI, usable by both keyboard (top image) and controller (bottom image):
In addition to this great, user-friendly UI, additional instruments will be coming, in the form of harp, grand piano, pizzicato, and steel guitar.
...I really need to level up my Archer and get Bard now. Playing music won't help defeat the Phantom Train, but there's a musician inside me and only when it's finally out, can I walk free.
There's a quartet of new mounts coming, ranging from a fantastic striped doggo, to a True Griffin, Marid (elephant), and the sure-fire favorite: The Magitek Death Claw. Which... really, is less of a mount and more of a terrifying thing that carries YOU:
A new map is coming to The Feast, with the Crystal Tower Training Grounds, and so is a new PVP Team system, allowing up to 6 players to compete in ranked matches. And with new PVP additions, comes cool new gear sets.
The new areas in Stormblood introduced us to several new beast tribes. We already have quests to help out the Ninja Turtles... er, the Kojin, and next up is the Ananta, an all-female tribe of snake-like women. Specifically, we'll be helping the Vira tribe of the Ananta, and the broodmother's daughter, Alpa, who longs to help the Resistance beyond her means. New screenshots show Alpa, along with a new settlement that looks to occupy a former Empire stronghold:
A new option is coming to Free Company workshops: In addition to the existing airships that players can build and send away to gather items, submarines and underwater exploration are coming next, and should be familiar enough to grasp easily. Get your crafters ready!
Okay, this has gone on just about long enough. Aside from all this, Rise of the New Sun will also bring new Hildibrand adventures in a future minor patch, a smattering of job adjustments, a welcome new storage solution with chocobo saddlebags (which hold 70 items), and a new Duty Recorder that can capture videos in-game of your battles.
The last somewhat unknown quantity of Patch 4.2 is the long-awaited introduction of The Forbidden Land, Eureka. This new area is supposed to be quite large, with a wealth of new things to do, unique gameplay, and ways to earn and power-up new relic weapons and gear. Eureka is meant to be expansive enough that it will be added to over time, with the first area being called Anemos. You can see some of it in the trailer, and there's this great-looking artwork as well:
Eureka Anemos is coming in a smaller patch after the initial release of Patch 4.2, so we'll hopefully have more details soon. In the meantime, look for Patch 4.2: Rise of a New Sun on January 30th!
Some of this information may be subject to change/interpretation; Square Enix has yet to release official English translations of this morning's stream, so much of this information is based on this Reddit post.