New floating islands, bosses, and jobs galore in FFXIV Keynote
Like the Vegas show before it, today’s Final Fantasy XIV London fanfest, a celebration of sorts for the revived mmorpg, featured a lengthy keynote presentation for what producer Naoki Yoshida has planned for the future expansion. Where Vegas was the grand reveal of the Heavensward expansion, today came a stream of details about what’s in store for fans. Take a look below to see highlights from the presentation:
First up, seemingly boring news that will be a godsend to European players. Anyone playing on the EU servers will know the hardest opponent in the game is latency, and is no joke when you consider that the servers are all located all the way in Canada. Based on what must have been a small mountain of complaints, Square is finally moving the datacentre, or at least the part containing the relevant servers, to Europe.
Next was revealed what will be the second large area to be opened up to players. As well as the long teased city state of Ishgard, Players will be able to access a brand new series of floating islands, likely the titular Heavensward. Similar to the floating islands of Skyward Sword, players will be able to hop from island to island via new floating mounts including the reoccurring Black Chocobo, as well as very grand (and expensive) looking personal airships. These islands will contain large fields, forests, towns, and even what looks to be one of the new beast tribes that will also be added to the game.
Speaking of beast tribes, two have been announced for the game. One is the bird like Vanu Vanu, a short fat race of birds, likely related to the ground dwelling and featherless Ixali, who will most likely be the primary residents of the new sea of floating isles. These will be worshipers of the Vanu Primal Bismarck, a giant horned bird who has interestingly been depicted in past games as a whale. A flying sky whale perhaps? The other new race are the Gnath, a decidedly insect-like tribe who appear to live in a swamp, very much on solid ground. Their god is Ravana, an original character to the series, and the first primal not based on Sqaure’s back catalogue of monsters. Based on the demon king of Sri Lankan folklore, this bug god has four arms, each holding onto a rather nasty looking sword.
The last announcement, done in the style of Apple’s ‘one last thing’ gotcha’s, is the new job role of the Dark Knight. The polar opposite of the Paladin role, Dark Knights will ditch shields for a two handed Greatsword, and will have access to the dark magics of black mages instead of the buffs and healing moves of White Mages. What’s interesting is that this new job will not require any base class at all instead of the current requirement of two, which suggests there will be sweeping changes to how classes will work when the expansion hits next spring.