This one feels as if it took half of forever. Combined with the leaks, the lack of hints, the speculation, and the general lack of anything to predict… honestly, this is the first time that I’ve found the wait between fan festivals to be actively unpleasant. This is a shame, since it’s been coloring some degree of my enjoyment of the usual Final Fantasy XIV proceedings. This should be a fun experience, not a frustrating one! And yet here we are.
Our second new job
The most odd aspect of this reveal is that for the first time that we’ve been doing these expansions, we really have no hints about what this next job will be aside from leaks. If there were hints on stage or in the trailer, no one has yet uncovered any of them; as near as anyone can tell, we’re just going in blind. Yes, the last two hints have been somewhat misleading (no one really got Machinist, for example, since everyone expected a gun-based healer), but this time we have nothing.
That having been said, right now the primary betting odds are for Dancer as a healer. This works, that’s fine. But we’re going to find out here, and that ties in to the next point.
Betting odds: Will we have to fight Titania?
A third new job?!
This one is being hinted by not being hinted, if that makes sense. A lot of the stuff we’ve learned about with this expansion and these fan festivals have been very focused on reminding players that something hinted at is not confirmed and something that won’t be done for a while is not the same as something that will never be done again. With that in mind… here we are at the possibility of three new jobs instead of two.
I don’t think this is tremendously likely, but I can see Dancer as ranged DPS (probably using boomerangs and/or fans as its weapons) and something else taking the healer spot. Of course, that’s contingent on assuming that Dancer is our next job in some capacity, which itself hasn’t been confirmed or more than hinted at. In short, it’s not something I’d really plan on, but you can’t discount it.
Betting odds: Three lines in Wondrous Tails!
This is the one that has the largest amount of buzz because it’s been tacitly confirmed that we’re not going where people expected after the first fan festival. Obviously it’s not an explicit confirmation, but the fact that Yoshida has specifically avoided mentioning our new destination is important. There’s also the fact that no zones we’ve seen have any hints of Garlean influence and it all adds up to us not being told yet – and that makes me suspicious of theories that wind up at “we’re just going to the outer fringes of the Empire!”
So where are we going? I honestly suspect we’re going to find out at this fan festival. It’s something that could be left vague and spelled out explicitly in the next part of the main scenario, of course, but somehow that feels just a little bit too late for what we’re investigating now. There’s also the rather interesting aspect (to me) that we have yet to see any real signs of geographic connections; compare what we’ve seen here to the zones of Coerthas and Dravania, or Othard, or Gyr Abania. We’re missing some connecting tissue, and I think knowing our destination will provide some of that.
Betting odds: High-quality chance of 75%
Well… this seems reasonable. The theories obviating this don’t feel quite right. But then there’s that wall of silence and no hints, and who knows any more? But I’d be taking bets on this over a second all-male race.
Betting odds: Retrieving your Tier V materia
As much as this could be a race reveal, this could even just come down to discussion of what that line actually meant. It could be nothing, and if it’s not discussed, that’s exactly what it means. But that’s not what people are speculating about; no, the speculation involves this being an entirely new race.
As I’ve discussed before, I think that if this is a new race it’s something that’s not going to be seen for a good long while… and I think that this may be the reason for the continual “probably the last race” regarding the Viera. Setting us up to not expect this for a long while, and actually introducing the race earlier. We’ll just have to see what happens, but it seems unlikely for the last fanfest to include a heretofore undiscussed new race.
Betting odds: Retrieving two Tier VI materia
The new normal raid
Well, this seems like it’s a shoo-in; the whole reason it wasn’t included in the last fan festival was that it wasn’t quite ready. As the last several of these have been based on traditional superbosses or major summons, it feels safe to assume this one will be as well; the question is what it’ll draw from, as we’ve honestly gone through those pretty quickly.
Here’s a wild idea. If we do wind up going down to Meracydia, is it possible we’ve not actually seen the last of Bahamut-themed dungeons? Unlikely, perhaps, but possible?
Betting odds: Main Scenario roulette featuring snarky cutscene commentary
An extended trailer
It feels like this could go either way. There’s stuff that could be filled in further with a more extended trailer, so it’s definitely possible; at the same time, the trailer we got from Paris is already about the length of a full expansion trailer. So I’d believe it, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if we get nothing of the sort. We’ll probably find out when the keynote kicks off.
Betting odds: No good lines in Mini Cactpot
Game mechanics previews
Ah, now we’re getting deep into the woods. We know that the “main” previews of new job mechanics and such will be coming in May, separate from the fan festivals. The keynote isn’t really quite the right place to go into this stuff in depth. And yet it’s also possible that we’ll see a bit of sizzle, some of the idea about what our old favorite jobs will be getting in terms of new tricks.
I think this isn’t exactly impossible, but it’s not really likely. It’s the sort of thing to expand the festival when there’s otherwise not quite enough to fill out the full run time.
Betting odds: Blocking the tankbuster when you missed Shelltron
Some heretofore unannounced system
This one sort of ties into the bit about a third new job because this has been the fan festival cycle of big reveals. Not the reveals that you already knew about, of course, but reveals you didn’t expect showing up in ways you didn’t expect. Blue Mage arriving in patch 4.5 was a big shocker. Paris was a bit more conventional, but dropping a sudden “oh, and we’re bringing in Yoko Taro” was a sudden swerve. So I think it’s plausible that this particular fan festival keynote caps off with something… stunning.
What could it be? I don’t know. It can’t be the Trust system, since we know about that. It already feels like we’ve got a pretty full slate. Could it be some sort of specialization system for combat jobs? A promise of Ishgard housing? A new housing system?
Well, nothing. It could be absolutely nothing. This is speculation about something to speculate on. So don’t bank on this one.
Betting odds: Barely winning a Greed roll when someone could roll Need
Feedback and your own odds are welcome in the comments below or via mail to email@example.com. Next week, well… we’re going to have this to react to, yes? Let’s get on that. And, of course, I’ll be covering the keynote and such as it happens, so if you want real-time reactions keep watching.