What a twist! Yoshi-P strung us along, instilling in everyone the belief that Stormblood, FFXIV's second expansion, will solely take place in the region surrounding imperial-controlled Ala Mhigo. With the Frankfurt Fanfest keynote wrapped up, it would appear that the bulk of the expansion will instead take place in the Far East, far away from Eorzea and in the land of Othard. If we're going to try and liberate Ala Mhigo, we may as well try our hand at liberating Doma from the very same oppressors too? With its Edo-era architecture and sprawling landscapes inspired by oriental lands from centuries ago, it is more than apt given the very distinct Far East theme that the second new job revealed for Stormblood to accompany Red Mage will be Samurai.
Check out the official trailer below, which is an extension of the teaser from the Las Vegas Fanfest in October:
The Warrior of Light and the as-yet unnamed Crimson Liberator square off on the statue of Rhalgr in the mountainous terrain near Ala Mhigo on the Eorzean frontiers while halfway across the world past the ominous shrouded land of Ilsabard that is entirely under Garlemald's control, is Othard. Notice Doma on the map, which lore fans will recognise as the home nation of the character Yugiri, which had been razed to the ground by Garlean oppressors in brutal retaliation for a failed uprising. Across the strait is the port city of Kugane. Much like Japan, this island chain of Hingashi is not the most welcoming of hosts for foreigners, with the city acting as a special economic zone of sorts, where outsiders can dock and trade. Beyond Kugane, The Ruby Sea is host to myriads of pirate vessels, with the sprawling terrains of Yanxia and The Azim Steppes on the Othard mainland itself.
Notice Yugiri and a new character named Gosetsu at the end of the trailer. While we are already familiar with Yugiri, and look forward to an expanded role for her after playing a very passive role in the Heavensward storyline, Gosetsu is a new character. We will likely be introduced to this man with the second part of Patch 3.5 The Far Edge of Fate next month.
If you examine the expanded world map, you might just find the four legendary creatures typically depicted in Chinese mythology as being the guardians of the four corners of the world. In the Japanese variation of the mythology, they are: Suzaku (vermilion bird), Byakko (white tiger), Genbu (black tortoise) and Seiryu (azure dragon). Could this have some significance? Who knows!
Stormblood will only have two new jobs and both will be DPS. The previously revealed Red Mage from the Tokyo Fanfest in December is primarily a ranged DPS with a melee stance, while Samurai is a full melee DPS, sharing Striking gear with Monk, and unsurprisingly wielding the swagger of both a katana and the fashion style of FFX's Auron. Like Red Mage, Samurai can be unlocked in Eorzea itself, so there's no need to race to Othard to take up the katana. It will also start off at level 50. Yes, I repeat. It is a DPS, not a tank. Please put the pitchforks down and let the FFXI veterans rejoice.
Its techniques resemble somewhat of a mix between Monk and Ninja, with constituent energy components "setsu", "getsu" and "ka". Energy will have to be stored in the katana and unleashed at just the right moment, so in terms of playstyle, we can safely assume that it heavily depends on timing. If you always wanted to play Ni-oh on PS4 without actually playing Ni-oh, this could be the next best thing.
So how does FFXIV's own Auron look in-game? Here's some teaser footage.
Kugane and Shirogane
The aforementioned port city of Kugane serves as the introductory main city of Stormblood. Notice the conspicuous Aetheryte in the centre and its array of shop stalls.
The fourth housing area has been revealed and it's...not Ishgard. Because who would ever want to live in that dreary snow-covered canyon inhabited by stuck-up Elezen? I wouldn't. Instead, you have Shirogane, an Othard housing zone. Note that this feature will understandably not be immediately available at launch.
There's another new Beast Tribe: the Kojin. They're like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, only without the pizza, presumably. Their deity and inevitable Primal fight? Susano.
4.0 will also double the capacity for furniture in houses. Also included will be the ability to move houses. Players are urged to upgrade to 64-bit if they haven't already, as you may not be able to see all the items on 32-bit architecture.
And finally, let us have a preview of Stormblood's theme song. Like Answers and Dragonsong, Nobuo Uematsu once again came back to compose the theme, with Susan Calloway on vocals. Here is a preview of Revolution:
Sources compiled from across Reddit