I had this dream the other night wherein somehow, we had the digital fan festival for Final Fantasy XIV but didn’t learn any new actual information about Endwalker in the process, and then another fan festival was scheduled in which all the actual information would be revealed. That dream was dumb and I didn’t much care for it. It doesn’t qualify as a nightmare, but it wasn’t pleasant all the same.
That having been said, it was also a ridiculous dream because I sincerely doubt they’re going to do a second one of these things and it wouldn’t fit with the setup already established at this point. With the fan festival happening later this week (and it gives me a charge just to write that out), I wanted to figure out exactly what we can expect to learn on Friday. Spoiler warning: It’s a fair bit! But not quite everything.
Our second new job
All right, this one is just a gimme. We all knew this was going to be in there. Like, to the extent that this is the whole reason of spreading the reveals over two events instead of one.
Usually, the first event reveals that there will be new jobs and hints at one, the second reveals the first, the third reveals the second. That’s kind of the expected pattern. Here, though, we got Sage right away and the promise of more coming for the second event, so it seems all but a given that we’ll learn our melee DPS here.
Obviously, my own expectation is something of a Rune Fencer-alike (or Rune Knight, or Mage Knight, or Templar, or something that functionally comes down to “armored melee DPS using magical weapon enhancement), but that’s not necessarily based on anything that we’ve been told. In truth, I almost hope to be completely surprised by this one. After all, while it’s nice to be able to look back and say that you made a prediction right, isn’t it more fun to be completely surprised?
On that note…
The new Alliance Raid series
There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule that we need to know these things before they actually get added to the game, but as with so much else, tradition is kind of the dictate here. Even though odds are we’ll know next to nothing about what the raid will contain and we know that it’s going to be original to the game, it’s to be expected that we’ll learn what it’s going to be here.
At this point, all we’ve been told is that it’ll address a long-standing mystery, but the truth is that could mean a lot of things. A friend of mine is convinced that it’s going to be Meracydian, which is definitely possible, but I think that it’s unlikely to have an entire region of the game world earmarked for just a raid.
My personal thought? I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not a nod back to a game from the franchise that hasn’t actually gotten much love in various series references, and one that’s being teased right in the promotional material. What if it’s the Tower of Babil from Final Fantasy IV? Remember, we’ve never been told that this will be some totally new content devoid of franchise references, just that it’s not another crossover; beyond that, FFIV is actually pretty light in references within the game at this point, and it would be a chance to do things up with more nods to either Garlemald, the Allagans, or both.
I fully expect to be wrong here, of course. But it wouldn’t surprise me.
A release date
This one also usually comes at the end of the fan festivals, and it’s a little easier to predict just based on what we know regarding delays. If we assume a three-month delay from a late June release window, then that places the release in late September. Easy. A lot of people – myself included – have predicted earlier than that, of course, but that is the most transparent metric to use.
In fact, the biggest tell to the contrary is that usually it’s about three months between the second part of the last patch and the expansion release, and we know the second part of the patch is coming later this month. That would put us into late August instead of September, which is a rather significant difference.
Having said all of that, I feel pretty confident in this general one-month window of possible ranges. I sincerely doubt it’ll be any earlier than late August and I similarly doubt that it’ll be any later than late September. I’d be genuinely surprised by October.
So, those are the three big obvious things we’ll learn about from this fan festival. What else is there?
More zones and the capital
Usually by the end of the fan festivals we know all we need to know about the region we’re visiting and have a pretty good sense of our zone list. Shadowbringers was a bit of an exception in that regard, and it had the honest excuse of us not even knowing where we were going for certain until the third festival. Of course, Endwalker is also promising to give us a bit more of a wide breadth of places we’re visiting rather than being confined to strict zones, which in and of itself means that we’re going to be facing a different set of ultimate reveals.
That having been said, I fully expect to learn the name of our next capital. My bet is still on Sharlayan, but I think it’s eminently possible that it will be moon-related, either on the moon itself (another FFIV reference possible there) or on the ship we wind up using to reach the moon (ditto), although that’d be a bit odd to have as a constant capital. Regardless, we’ll likely learn about it here.
Similarly, we’ll learn at least a couple of additional zones we’re going to. One of the things that Yoshida has mentioned is that this expansion will involve a fair bit of journeying to places we’ve heard of but not visited. That could mean one of two things. It could mean brief forays to spots that we had previously not explored including Meracydia and the new world, or it could be a circumspect way of alluding to more of Ilsabard and surrounding locales.
Obviously, I’m kind of hoping for the latter, but we’ll find out.
There’s usually at least one surprise in these things. I haven’t the vaguest idea what it might be.
I mean, don’t get me wrong; if I knew what we were getting here, it wouldn’t by definition be a surprise – it’d be expected. I suppose it’s possible, for example, that we could count the announcement of Blitzball being a thing as a surprise, but that’s far from a confirmed reveal, and it’s been teased enough that I can’t really see it as a full-on surprise. I sincerely doubt at this point we’ll get another big thing like another limited job. But then… what?
It might just be nothing, of course. But then, part of the fun is that you can go in kind of expecting a surprise and still leave without one free of disappointment.
Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to email@example.com. Next week? Obviously we’re going to be reacting to what we learned!