Here comes the endgame for a saga that started back in late 2010. Endwalker: Final Fantasy XIV is the MMO's fourth expansion and will be the ultimate climactic culmination of over a decade's worth of story covering the struggle between Hydaelyn and Zodiark. Also, we seem to be heading to the Moon, so get in the Lunar Whale and strap in.
IS THIS THE END?
So what is the deal with the Endwalker name? Is this the final outing for the Final Fantasy XIV saga as a whole? The climax of the long clash between Hydaelyn and Zodiark and the culmination of everything being built up from the very beginning? Yoshi-P appears to confirm so, though Endwalker does also mark a new dawn for the world.
One interesting note is that the actual core story of Endwalker will end with 6.0 itself. In previous expansions, while players would typically find the credits rolling come the end of the base main scenario, its story would not actually end until the X.3 patch cycle. This was true for all prior expansions: Heavensward, Stormblood and Shadowbringers. All three saw their respective stories end in earnest in their X.3 patches.
In Endwalker, the entire saga of Hydaelyn and Zodiark will end for good with 6.0 itself. Do not fret, says Yoshi-P, for after this saga ends, an entire new story will begin starting from Patch 6.1, and it will usher in a wholly new, distinct story separate from this current saga. Thus the unofficial tagline of a "A New Dawn".
Not unlike another massive popular franchise with an installment having a name beginning with the conjoining prefix "End-", this saga climax will feature an abundance of characters from the last decade of Final Fantasy XIV returning to play roles of various sizes.
- The new level cap will naturally go up from 80 to 90.
- New zones, including a new city named Radz-at-Han, the island of Thavnair, the ruined heart of the Garlean Empire itself, and...the Moon?
- New tribes, including the Arkosodara Matanga
- New threats, including Anima (that fans of Final Fantasy X will recognise)
- New dungeons
- New high-end raid named Pandemonium.
- New 24-man Alliance raid - an original story and not a crossover
- New small-scale PvP mode that is a less restrictive and more "casual, immersive" experience
- Role quests will now cover five roles: tank, healer, melee physical DPS, ranged physical DPS and magic caster DPS
- Estinien joins the battle as a new Trust NPC!
- New content for Gold Saucer on the scale of Mahjong
- An entire new bit of side content tentatively named 'Island Sanctuary' that is not limited to just crafters and gatherers.
- New residential area: Ishgard - though you can visit it in 6.0, there will be no house purchases until Patch 6.1
- Sage (Healer)
- Unrevealed new melee DPS (to be shown at the May digital Fanfest)
Sage is conceptually a barrier-based healer similar to Scholar. It will start at level 70 and available only to players who purchase the Endwalker expansion. Sage players will be able to temporarily augment their magic abilities in battle.
Endwalker will make the distinction between "pure" healers and "barrier" healers a lot more apparent, meaning Astrologian will be retooled to be a "pure" healer in line with White Mage.
- Downscaling of values - the numbers used in calculations will be adjusted downward. There are many necessary technical reasons for this, from avoiding the worst-case scenario of everything succumbing to insurmountable bugs to the fact the newest bosses have ridiculous health points.
- As such, the difference in values from levels 51 to 80 will be truncated. This will initially LOOK like HP and damage levels will go down for players who are levels 51 to 80, but it does NOT mean players are getting weaker all of a sudden. These are relative numerical readjustments.
- Maximum damage per attack and EXP acquired will be reduced, as will the amount of EXP required to level up.
- This may therefore mean undersized parties tackling older content will find it marginally more difficult as a result of numerical rebalances. The team is still in the process of adjusting this.
- Belts will be removed entirely, because their stats are fairly negligible, have no effect on your characters' appearance and take up unnecessary space. Come 6.0 any equipped belts will move to the Calamity Salvager, but REMOVE ANY MATERIA EQUIPPED TO THEM before the expansion comes out!
- With the abolition of belts, 15 of the vacant slots will be given to primary weapons. Another 15 for rings. The remaining 5 slots will be reserved for something yet to be determined.
- Data centre travel
Final Fantasy XIV 6.0 Endwalker will be out sometime this autumn for PlayStation 4 and PC. There will also be a PlayStation 5 version with 4k resolution and much faster SSD load times. For PS5 owners who have a PS4 licence for the game, there will be an upgrade programme free of charge, though you will still have to pay for the monthly subscription. There is no word yet on when the PlayStation 5 version will be due, though an open beta for it will be available on 13 April 2021.
The next update for this expansion will be in 15-16 May in the form a digital Fanfest.