The Forbidden Land, Eureka Anemos Comes to Final Fantasy XIV on March 13New challenges await. In the meantime? Glow sticks.03.01.18 - 12:22 PM
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood was recently updated with Patch 4.2, which among other things, included the new Sigmascape raid featuring iconic Final Fantasy VI bosses and music.
One of the most anticipated additions of 4.2 has been the new area of Eureka. The developers have been putting a ton of effort into Eureka, as it features its own unique progression system and mechanics. That's part of why it didn't debut with 4.2, and is instead coming as the headline feature of Patch 4.25, due March 13th.
(see all new images for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood)
Inspired by the land of the same name in Final Fantasy III, The Forbidden Land, Eureka is described as an "expansive, unexplored area" on a new island. A unique and separate EXP and leveling system in this area is embodied in the Magia Board and its elemental properties. Elemental affinities were recently removed from the main FFXIV gameplay, as they were a relic of the 1.0 release that never really did anything.
By contrast, elemental affinity is the core of everything in Eureka: your own current affinity is weighed against your foe, with each element opposing another. You can rotate/swap your affinity on the fly, enhancing your defense and offense in one element, while lowering them in another. Out in the field, you'll be limited in how often you can make this change before heading back to town, so there's another degree of strategy involved in your choices. Your Magia Board can also be upgraded as you battle and earn EXP, to strengthen elements as you see fit.
The system is designed in such a way where these affinities... you know, matter: You won't be able to plow through battles ignoring strategy, as the enemies are meant to be much tougher than typical field enemies in the game. That's before we even get into the notorious monsters that can be found roaming the wilds. As you can imagine, these NMs will have a chance to drop rare or valuable items, so they're worth banding together to take down.
Veterans of Final Fantasy XI may think roaming notorious monsters sound familiar, but it runs a little deeper: In Eureka, enemies will also chase you far longer than in standard FFXIV areas. It's sometimes a point of contention among players that enemies in the field give up chase so easily, as it removes most of the danger of exploring high level zones. Anyone who played FFXI knows that some mobs would follow you across an entire map, so there was a degree of caution needed in exploring. The one FFXI feature that isn't making a return with Eureka? Those notorious monsters cannot be tagged/claimed by a specific player or group: They function the same as FFXIV's FATEs, where anyone that contributes to a battle earns the right to loot.
The last, and possibly most vital aspect to Eureka for high-end players, are protean crystals. This catalyst is exclusive to Eureka and is key to a new line of Eureka weapons and armor. There have been several tiers of so-called relic weapons in FFXIV, and this latest iteration is the first to include both relic weapons AND armor. Earning and strengthening them requires both earning these crystals, and talking with the ever-overworked blacksmith Gerolt (I always want to say Gerolt of Rivia, but have to stop myself) to fashion them into your gear.
Patch 4.25 also introduces the next chapter of Hildibrand events, and if the mustache above doesn't make you want to experience it, then I don't know what will.
Finally, while not related to Patch 4.25, is the debut of this year's Little Ladies' Day event, which begins today. Once again, you'll help Eorzea's very own pop stars, the Songbirds, in putting on a show meant to be "unlike any other." Beyond the joy of another event with the adorable trio, among the rewards are a series of emotes that let you cheer on others with three styles of revelry... and most important, glow sticks:
I mean, sure, there's a cool new "Doll Display" piece of furniture too, but c'mon, it's all about the glow sticks.