Wisdom of Nym: Everything we now know about Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker

    
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Whaling on the moon.

So, hey, the moon! That’s a place we haven’t been yet, isn’t it? We’ve blown up a moon in Final Fantasy XIV (or had one blown up on us, same difference), but now we’re actually going to the moon… and that leaves me wondering how in the heck they’re going to make the moon interesting because even in the trailer it’s just walking across a barren surface of nothing. There have to be ways to make the moon interesting, right?

Well, interesting in intended ways.

I put this front and center because, well, there’s not a lot else to say about the moon but it sure is a conversation starter. There are lots of questions to be asked about how we’re going to get there and what we intend to be doing on the moon, though, and that’s without asking the obvious questions about how in the world we’re supposed to breathe on the moon… but let’s put all that to one side right now and focus on what we actually do know so far.

First and foremost, I took a look back at my column before the reveal to check my aim, and it turns out I did… well, decently! We got the location (or some of the locations, at least, including the big “surprises” in the moon, Garlemald, and Thavnair), our first job revealed, our second job’s role revealed (and I’d been expecting melee DPS for a while), Ishgard housing, new content in the form of Island Sanctuaries. Not bad for a big set of predictions ahead of time.

The reveal of Sage already has some people freaking out a bit, of course, because that ties into the idea of having “pure healers” and “barrier healers,” to which I would point out that the current expansion saw the establishment of “main tanks” and “off-tanks” between the four tanking jobs. Have Gunbreakers and Warriors lost the ability to be main tanks as a result? No, they have definitely not.

In other words, don’t freak out about this if you’re an Astrologian. I have a feeling the goal here is more about distinguishing which jobs have sustained regen options in content and which ones don’t.

Fin funnel a-go-go.

More importantly, though, is the actual meat we do know about Sage, and… yeah, that’s certainly a distinctive look for the job, isn’t it? I feel like we’re starting to move into the final batches of jobs as the game keeps going, and it’s definitely clear that we’re getting a variety of new ideas being thrown around in the process. Sage looks instantly iconic and distinct, and while it’d be wrong to treat Nouliths as if they have no other inspiration behind them from other media they are still a neat look for a new job.

More to the point, they’re a perfect addition in that they make a new healer look cool. That sounds minor, but when you’re dealing with the role that can frequently be the most backline supportive one I feel like it’s crucial to make healing look and feel neat instead of just tedious. Sage accomplishes that right away.

Interestingly enough, Sages are traditionally a bit like Red Mages insofar as they can cast both kinds of magic but tend to focus on casting without physical abilities, making them more reliant on spells but having greater spell versatility. There’s an interesting lineup between Alphinaud as a Sage and Alisaie as a Red Mage, that’s all I’m saying.

So what is the next melee job? I’ve seen lots of speculation, but there’s not much to hang the “Beastmaster” speculation on that I’ve seen beyond “but there are Garlean Beastmasters in Bozja and that should be a hint.” Actual speculation based on what Yoshida was wearing has gone toward Templar, Corsair, Rune Fencer, Necromancer, and Geomancer with varying degrees of support for each.

My personal bet is still pushing toward Rune Fencer, possibly with a more necromantic bent, but I haven’t yet seen anything that strikes me as a slam dunk. Templar seems entirely plausible, for example. We’ve come a long way from the Batman shirt, clearly, although I guess it’s pointless to wish for more information; at least this time the announcement just told us one of the new jobs instead of making us wait and guess about Thancred’s gunblade.

Either way, we’ve hit that sweet spot of giving players enough to anticipate and be excited about well ahead of the next big reveal, which is perhaps a bit further away than is usually true between Fan Festivals but should keep everyone engaged just the same. That’s probably a net win in terms of information volume.

It's a middle life.

I’m a bit surprised we didn’t actually hear about any new restoration projects with this particular reveal; while that doesn’t mean we won’t get them, the focus was clearly on Island Sanctuaries in terms of new big content, and that’s clearly got a more casual focus than the very competitive ranking going on in the Firmament. Maybe that’s intentional; I could understand wanting a break from the ranking system for an expansion or just not having the time to push that content out, or even wanting to leave it as more of a surprise for future patches rather than making it central. We’ve definitely learned from Bozja that not every feature needs to carry forward to every expansion.

What about the stuff we didn’t learn about? Well, we don’t yet know our next major city. I can think of three major possibilities. The first is that it’s Sharlayan, the other big city that would obviously work as a capital. The second is that it’s Ala Mhigo, explaining how it would be a spoiler if the city is being revitalized and rebuilt as we speak. Third and finally, it’s possible that the city is on the moon itself, and winding up on the lunar surface is where the expansion starts rather than where it ends.

Beyond that, it’s possible that some things got left out of this particular expansion because of the work difficulties involved in working from home (maybe there were plans for a new Limited Job but that also had to be pushed back) or maybe these things were never actually core parts of the plan. And that’s fine. What we’re getting that we already know about sounds meaty and fun and interesting, and while I wish it were arriving sooner than it is for obvious reasons (I want to play), I’m not surprised to learn that the delay extends to the expansion timing as well.

Now we just wait until May to learn more, it seems. All right, so I was a little off about the date, but I was right on the money about the principle of the thing, right?

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I want to talk about what we learned about patch 5.5 in the producer letter, which kind of got short shrift compared to all of the big expansion reveal contents. It was largely inevitable, though.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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vgees

As a trained scientist, seeing someone on a presumably airless moon, without protective gear, is disconcerting! But with Cid and magitek, all things are possible. In any case, I’m super excited for this expansion and strongly motivated to finish up Stormblood and Shadowbringers by fall!

ekurisona
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ekurisona

final…end…finale

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Sorenthaz

Because it’s the end of the Hydaelyn/Zodiark saga, and Yoshida stressed that it doesn’t mean it’s the end of FFXIV’s story. 6.1 will be the start of a new adventure while 6.0 wraps up and brings the story of Hydaelyn and Zodiark to a close.

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Vincent Clark

I agree with Chris (see below), I don’t think the moon will be that prominent in the expansion. We are definitely going there, but the majority of the expansion I predict will be on Eorzea. It’s still a great “holy shit we’re going to the moon!” selling point to get people talking.

As excited as I am for 6.0, the prospect of 6.1…the fact that Yoshi-P said the past 10 year saga will definitively end with 6.0 and a brand new story will start in 6.1…has me super excited!

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Sorenthaz

It means we pretty much have to see some sort of closure and answers for Hydaelyn and Zodiark, and likely we’ll get to see both of their primal forms since the Endwalkers artwork heavily teases their designs.

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MolleaFauss

bit meh on the choice of healers and melee dps. ranged dps and (ranged) caster have only 3 jobs while the others have all already 4 (or 5 now)

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Ysayle was right

That’s 6 ranged options to only 4 melee.

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MolleaFauss

yea, ok, I see where you come from, but the 6 ranged are half physical and half magical and the playstyles are totally different (physical mobility is way higher than any magical counterpart).

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Ruby Lancer

It seems that there was an interview between the Announcement Showcase and the Live Letter that went into a bit more detail on some of the Endwalker stuff that had just been released.

I won’t go into the majority of it, but one of the things that -was- said that didn’t get mentioned in the Announcements was the gear that the new Melee DPS would wear, and that its sharing its gear with Dragoon. This alone can help narrow the choices of what the new job can be due to the nature of the armor itself.

Based just on the jobs that were mentioned in the article here, Templar is the one that leans itself more into that gear, though Rune Fencer isn’t necessarily too far off itself. While a case could be given for Necromancer still here, I don’t necessarily think it’ll be likely just due to a themantic point of view. While I can see such a job being in the thick of things with various undead creatures it called up, it would still feel odd to see it wearing the typical heavier armor.

Beyond that, I want more info on the changes to stats. Right now they’re saying “Players shouldn’t notice any change in difficulty outside of unsynched content”, but I don’t know if they just mean that in the level range they’re targeting, or if that means over the entire game. If its just the level range they’re targeting, then things at 50 and under should become less trivial than they are currently. I’m fine with early level content being easy, but right now a lot of it is TRIVIAL. That stuff needs adjustment.

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Syran

In the live stream they went to great lengths to make it clear that player strength or content difficulty will not change at all, including 1-50.

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Erika Do

I mean, how did we breathe at the bottom of the ocean? Clearly the flying whale bringing us to THIS place will conjure us another bubble of atmosphere. Alternately, this is not Earth, who’s to say this moon doesn’t just have atmosphere? Sounds like it’ll have a beast tribe, so that might be more likely. Unless they’re a beast tribe of allagan robots?

As an Astrologian who hates all things crunchy granola but plays AST because the thematically-better Scholar is boring as hell, I’m really excited about Sage. A thematically int-based healer that doesn’t have a pet to deal with? Give me those laser scalpels.

As for the other class, I’m still expecting beast master to be another limited job where you have to tame beasts from all over the world. I’d love to see a magic rune-themed melee dps in rune knight or rune fencer, though I’ll agree that there’s convincing arguments about that reaper class with the scythe. Maybe if they give the reaper runes, they can make everyone happy.

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Chris Neal

I personally suspect the moon won’t be a destination so much as the backdrop for the final fight between the WoL and Fandaniel.

Also, there is a lot being made about the melee class being a scythe-wielding Reaper. Maybe even a GW1-style Dervish class with a Thavnairian bent. Either way, the XIV devs trying wholly new classes is extremely intriguing to me.

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Dagget Burmese

Seems Sage copied in part from this:

Alphi_GOOO.gif
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Sorenthaz

Less copied and more heavily inspired by, which Yoshi-P and Koji Fox did playfully joke about during the reveal. Bits/Funnels have been a thing in Gundam for decades at this point.

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Ysayle was right

They indicated there will be at least one tribe on the moon, meaning there’s gonna be content there of some kind beyond just a battle, and they outright said Fandaniel is not the final boss.

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Java Jawa

The moon isn’t a reflection of earth, so for all we know it could be fairies and human varieties.

They have a real opportunity here to make some visually amazing vistas if done right, perhaps blending into a bit of science fiction.

I’m confident we’ll see some garlemand schemes at at, because why wouldn’t we — that’s the major villian since ARR.

Not sure what to think of the healer, flying daggers? Seems wierd to me, but that remains to be seen in game.

As for the melee class, I’ve heard reaper tossed around. A melee pet class would be lots of fun, but wishful thinking!

I’d like to say shadow warrior thing, but that’s probably step on the toes of dark knight. Symbology a scythe depicts death in the fantasy genre for western culture.

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Ruby Lancer

Eh… we’ll see some Garlean schemes in that so many of the leaders of their legions can’t seem to help BUT scheme some form of power grab.

And I hesitate to call them -THE- major villain since ARR. That’s more the Ascians, given that we’ve been foiling their schemes since even the early days of our adventuring careers. The Garleans -are- a major villain, I won’t deny that, but as we learned back in 4.5, they too were just another Ascian scheme in the long run.