Unsurprisingly, Square Enix this morning (Japan time) used their major announcement livestream to announce that the next expansion pack for Final Fantasy XIV will be titled ‘Endwalker’. This will be the fourth expansion pack released for the game, and will also bring the MMORPG’s first major story arc to its conclusion.
Scheduled for release sometime in the third quarter of 2021, this expansion will be released for the Windows PC, Apple Mac and PlayStation 4 platforms, in addition to the PlayStation 5. PS5 support will be through an upgraded client, taking advantage of its enhanced capabilities. Were you unable to watch the livestream today and just want a look at the key facts? Scroll down for a list of what we do know, and what we do not.
A major expansion to the Final Fantasy XIV narrative, including new locations to visit, a major continuation to the storyline and more.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker by the conclusion of its main release (Version 6.0) will bring the long-running Hydaelyn and Zodiark story to its conclusion, making way for a new generation story from Version 6.1 onwards. The Warrior of Light t will encounter an even greater calamity than ever before as they travel to the far reaches of Hydaelyn and even to the moon. The stage will then be set for new adventures that longtime fans and new players can enjoy together.
Despite initial fears in the Twitch chat I was tuned in to, this should not be taken as a reduction of development on behalf of the game’s dev team, and also not a sign that YoshiP will be leaving the project anytime soon.
A Fourth Healing Class will be Introduced – Sage
To this point, Final Fantasy XIV has had three healing classes – White Mage which takes the form of a pure healer, Scholar which focuses more on barriers and AI Pet healing and Astrologian which featured a combination of both. Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will see healing classes broken up into two distinct types, for which the new ‘Sage’ class will join Scholar as a Barrier-oriented class. More information about classes will be detailed in the coming months, but first impressions make it a very aesthetically pleasing class.
The level cap will be raised from 80 –> 90, but do not expect this to correlate to greatly increased DPS output
As with every expansion back since FFXIV: Heavensward, Endwalker will see the level cap raised from 80 to 90. This should not come as a surprise, but the big takeaway from this announcement is that Square Enix will be refining and ultimately downscaling the outputs from level 50 onwards. The world will be adapted based on this, but there were both technical and aesthetic reasons for this decision. Those who were hoping their DPS might eventually enter into the hundred thousands eventually may be a tad disappointed.
Get Ready For a New Housing Savage in 6.0
Over the past month, players across all servers have joined together in crafting goods to contribute to the development of Firmament in Ishgard. It may not come as much of a surprise, but everyone’s efforts will result in Ishgard housing districts being rolled out next expansion. This has long been demanded by players, so do expect some form of “Housing Savage” soon.
New Dungeons, Raids and Alliance Raid Series
Staples of all Final Fantasy XIV expansions, players can look forward to a range of new dungeons through the storyline and post-game (Promoted as having a vast variety of themes and motifs), a new set of Normal and Savage 8-player raids under the “Pandæmonium” label, and a new Alliance Raid series which is based on new Eorzean lore rather than a crossover.
PlayStation 5 Support
While players can access Final Fantasy XIV through backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 5, Square Enix will be launching a native PlayStation 5 beta client in April 2021, which will be formally rolled out over the next few months.
The PlayStation 5 version will feature numerous upgrades from the PlayStation 4 version, including significantly improved frame rates, faster load times, 4K resolution support and more. Two different modes will be available to players, a performance mode with the highest frame rates and a 2K resolution, and a Quality mode with the 4K resolution, perfect for photographs and enjoying the sights of Eorzea at the highest quality.
Players whose FINAL FANTASY XIV Online service account has a registered license for the PlayStation 4 version may download and play the PlayStation 5 Upgrade Version at no extra cost at the start of the open beta period.
and a range of other confirmed features…
Other confirmed inclusions in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker either at launch or patched in shortly after launch include:
- Expansive new areas, including Garlemald, Thavnair, and the city of Radz-at-Han.
- A New Tribe: the Arkasodara
- New threats, including Anima (Adapted from the Final Fantasy X version)
- New Small-scale PvP Mode
- An Additional “Trust” System ally: Estinien Wyrmblood
- Updates to the Gold Saucer
- Relaxing Fun in Island Sanctuary
- New Gear and Crafting Recipes
- Expanded Horizons via the Data Center Travel System – An exciting expansion to the current World Travel system, giving players an option to travel to worlds on other datacenters – across Japan, US and EU.
What We Do Not Know Yet
YoshiP did not announce everything during this livestream event, and will be saving some announcements until the official Digital Fanfest in May 2021 or another date closer to launch. Some of the big ones include:
An Additional “Mystery” Class
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will feature two new classes for players to enjoy. One of these is the healing class Sage which was announced during the livestream, and another for which they remained tight lipped about. The community during the livestream were incredibly passionate about Necromancer being included as a playable class, although there remains several Final Fantasy series staples which could serve as solid DPS classes.
A New Game “On the scale of Mahjong” will be offered at the Golden Saucer
While comparing it on the scale of Mahjong does not evoke much hope in it being of the long-time requested mini-games such as Blitzball, Bike Riding or Snowboarding; it was announced that a new major game will be available to players at the Golden Saucer in Endwalker.
We don’t have details of an exact release date, or Collector’s Edition content/price
Outside of a broad “Fall 2021” (or Spring 2021 for those in the Southern Hemisphere) release window, there is no announcement of an exact release date. Specifics on this, and any Collector’s Edition goodies (physical or digital), I would expect to be announced at the Digital FanFest event.
Expect to hear more about these features and many more in the months leading to launch. This is just a summary of the more than 2-hour long announcement stream, which you can watch in full below.