Glory to Mankind! NieR Automata, Vieras and a Gunblade-like job coming to FFXIV: Shadowbringers


The Paris Fanfest for Final Fantasy XIV is in town and with it another keynote to outline the content that can be expected for the MMORPG's third expansion, Shadowbringers, not to be confused with Stormblood when abbreviated, because...wait, why have they done that? That just adds unnecessary confusion...

The first key point is the expansion will be available on the 2nd July this year. If you pre-order from the 6th February, you can participate in the expansion's early access period from the 28th June, providing the servers do not buckle the moment everyone attempts to queue in.

NieR Automata

You've presumably just had your fill of the Ivalice series of 24-man raids during the course of Stormblood's run. Yasumi Matsuno's highly anticipated collaboration with the FFXIV team has assuredly been a major success, inducing a new swathe of Final Fantasy Tactics aficionados to sign up and play the game. So naturally, the team has decided to do it again by collaborating with another major name in the business to create a new raid series also dedicated to another one of Square Enix's popular intellectual properties.

"YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse" will be Shadowbringers' new trilogy of 24-man raids. In the high chair this time will be Yosuke Saito and Yoko Taro, whose recent titles include NieR Automata and Dragon Quest X. Yoko Taro continually insists on wearing the demented, rictus grin mask of Emil from the original NieR game, so it is virtually impossible to not recognise him in a crowd.


It would appear a good handful of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn now sport fetching new gear to match the advent of a new expansion story season. Thancred in particular looks particularly fetching, having finally discarded his previous shabby, huntsman look for a white trenchcoat and a Gunblade.

  • Gunbreaker is a new tank Job unlockable at level 60 at Gridania. There is no associated Class or Job.
  • You must purchase the Shadowbringers expansion to play the Gunbreaker job.
  • Like Squall and Seifer in Final Fantasy VIII, these Gunblades are not designed for shooting projectiles, but for timed, extra slashing damage in melee combat.
  • Gunbreaker will engage targets directly and deal slashing damage. It will use ‘magicked ammunition’ that enhances the damage. You will execute abilities by spending magicked ammunition.

New Zones

Rak’Tika Greatwood

As the name suggests, this part of the world is a formidable forest, where massive trees challenge the skies and form a considerable canopy over the forest floor below. Flying mounts will no longer be unchallenged as large boughs also stretch upwards to claim the lofty skies as their territory. Mounts will therefore have to fly under this canopy.

Il Mheg

This new zone is the ‘Realm of Pixies’. It sports a notably high-fantasy atmosphere and the Pixies that reside in this part of Hydaelyn are referred to as tricksters and are proficient in the arcane arts. Their matron deity is Titania. Invoking the spirit of Tolkien, the FFXIV team has supposedly created a new unique language for the Pixies, called Elvish “Fae”.

And speaking of Titania, guess who will be one of the new Primals of the expansion story?

Battle System
  • Another expansion, another new level cap. Everyone now gets a raise from 70 and 80, including crafter and gatherer classes.
  • Battle system maintenance will be conducted where they will review the amount of actions for each job and the removal of TP. A live letter in May will reveal more details.
  • The new raid (equivalent to the Coils of Bahamut, Alexander and Omega) will be revealed at the Tokyo Fan Festival.
  • The Trust system will be different than the one that is featured in Final Fantasy XI.
  • You will be able to party with NPCs to challenge Shadowbringers story dungeons.
  • The existing matchmaking feature for duties will not change.

New Playable Race - "The Viera"

  • Bunny girls and bunny boys will presumably be the final implemented playable race for Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Since the Viera have large ears, the team has had to undergo substantial changes to armour systems like how helmets work. More information on how this will work later.
  • Below is the Viera starting gear. Curiously I don't see any bunny boys looking fabulous...

  • New Game Plus feature will let you replay the main scenario, job quests, Chronicles of a New Era quests with their current level and gear.
  • New information about Shadowbringers will be shared at the Fan Festival in Tokyo, Japan on March 23rd.
  • Twitch Prime members can receive the Starter Pack to the game for absolutely free from the 4th February to the 23rd March.
  • There will be a World Visit system, due for Patch 4.57, so it will be prior to the new expansion's launch.
  • There will be an endgame content for crafters and gatherers (or for anyone who simply eschews raid content in general). Ishgard requires some major refurbishment and there will be story context to the restoration project. Content is planned through Shadowbringers's post-release patches.
Nova Crystallis
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Wow, that gunblade!

Rak’Tika Greatwood looks amazing...

I really miss FFXIV... but I just can't play the game anymore, even when I do subscribe... it just feels off and different and I end up not playing. But great to see the community and updates are still going strong.
Titania as a fairy / pixie queen is pretty awesome. :)

Also, adding the Viera as a playable race is quite a landmark moment. All of the FF online game races so far have been original to said online games (human-based characters aside). Introducing a race from elsewhere in the franchise opens it up to other races which people have dreamed of.... If they do decide to release any others.