The Final Fantasy XIV community has always played a huge role in shaping the game’s future. From its original launch to its most recent expansion, there are touches of fan-requested features implemented in every new patch. Now, Square Enix has decided to take the time to bring a whole new world of updates with their upcoming expansion, Shadowbringers. With it, players will find re-balanced character classes and all new features that weren’t previously in the game.
We had the chance to go hands-on with the new expansion to try out its newest features. Here’s what we learned. This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, and content in the final version is subject to change.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers presents the first time that players will need to fight to restore darkness to the realm. The expansion has additional features that the development team has mindfully expanded upon including new dungeons, end-game content, an NPC Assist System, and two new races Hrothgar and Viera. The team is also working on support for a 64 bit Mac and 32 bit PC version of the game.
In Shadowbringers, players can expect to find updated 5.0 side quests, which can be taken on at level 70. During these side quests, enemies will be scaled to the player’s level in order to facilitate multiple job leveling. There will also be new quest types with four sets of role quests added. However, one quest line of either Physical DPS, Magical DPS, Tank, or Healer must be completed to advance the main scenario.
What we found to be the most interesting new feature is the Trust System that expands on the single-player nature of the Final Fantasy series. this allows NPCs to run through dungeons with you, filling significant roles in your party. The developer is aiming to make these AI companions as human-like as possible by giving them unique actions. Our video preview shows this new feature in action as we run through the new Dohn Mheg dungeon.
With the new level cap, Square Enix has improved the MP and TP system. After the update, the MP limit will be set to 10,000 so that players can clearly see what they available when casting. Additionally, the maximum damage will be raised to 9,999,999. However, the team will be playing close attention to these updates and adjusting them as necessary.
Pets in the game will no longer be affected by enemy attacks and the Pet Action will be removed from the pet hotbar. The action will be consolidated into a player action, so, for example, the pet that acted as a tank will change in function following the update. Moving forward, each summoned pet will no longer have a unique action and in its place will be one single action to be used that corresponds to the group being summoned.
Many job classes are being updated, with the most notable being the removal of Protect from the Healer job class. However, the other balances within the job classes seem to make this change not so significant and running through the dungeons without Protect didn’t affect my party’s performance. The Machinist seems to have received the largest update making it feel like a brand new job. We understood what they meant by this update after playing as the Machinist and witnessing just how capable of a fighter the job class now is with some rotations that will be a fine addition to any party.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers has so much new content that the 6 hours we spent with the game wasn’t enough to truly see everything. What we did find is that Square Enix is focused on expanding this world to great new places and we are very much along with for the ride. Playing through the expansion as the Viera race with the Dancer job class is something that we can’t wait to do more of especially to see more beautiful dungeons such as Dohn Mheg.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers brings in a lot of changes that will open the doors for players to explore new job classes and questlines. Every corner of this world is filled with exciting new features as well as a story that takes players to areas they have never been. We can’t wait to play through this update with friends and experience this brand new adventure within the Final Fantasy XIV series.
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