Wisdom of Nym: Recapping the Endwalker reveals from Final Fantasy XIV’s Fan Festival

Reapers, male Viera, Sharlayan, the launch date, and more

    
15
aeiou

I ended the first night watching the Fan Festival a bit sad about how long it would be before Final Fantasy XIV‘s next expansion. I ended the second night a bit sad that there still wasn’t any talk about All Saints’ Wake, even though maybe that was just too far in the future. And I spent the Sunday after the fan festival absolutely devastated because we found out that Soken had been fighting for his life while composing through patch 5.3, and the amount of dedication behind this team is just amazing and I can’t even.

So it’s fair to say there were some emotions going on during this fan festival. And there were a lot of reveals and lots of things to chew on, and so I fully intend to pick all that apart as best I can because the emotions are another matter. It’s hard to process the Soken news in particular. I don’t think I even can this week. Right now, we’re talking content and game.

Let’s start with the first new thing we saw, the Reaper! This is something no one could have predicted… except I literally did. Yes, the new job is wielding a scythe and summons a phantom into battle, and that fits pretty well under the header of my realm of predictions. It’s new to the franchise as a job by that name, but I think I deserve some credit for guessing the name in context.

We don’t know anything about how it plays at this point, of course, aside from the fact that it clearly offers a powered-up state to the player character via currently unknown means. What little we see of its gameplay seems to indicate that the phantom alongside you is in some capacity an oGCD ability, since we see it striking amidst what looks like the basic three-hit combo of the Reaper; beyond that, of course, it’s hard to know what the mechanism of merging with it might be.

The obvious possibility is that it’s akin to how Dragoon powers up, but… well, I’m disinclined to believe that’s the case simply because making another Maiming job that works similar to Dragoon would be kind of silly. With such a thin sample of material to draw from at the moment, it’s a little early to be making heavy gameplay guesses, but I’d assume it’ll be more likely a tool to be used in specific situations rather than a copy of Soul/Life of the Dragon.

We also now know that we’re getting male Viera! And female Hrothgar, although that wasn’t yet given a firm timetable. Still, it feels like some degree of vindication to know that the team has been working hard at this and wants to put this together for players as soon as possible. It also winds up vindicating my theory that adding more genders is easier than adding more races, so that’s something too.

Those were the two big reveals in the character options department… but hardly the only reveals. For example, we now know for a fact that Sharlayan is our new capital city.

Yes, Old Sharlayan, let’s not pick nits.

We also got a reveal of the new zones, probably the only reveal we’re going to get of most of them. Much like Azys Lla and the Tempest, it seems like the sixth zone (and there will be a sixth zone in all likelihood) is meant to remain as a surprise to be encountered during the story. But quite notably, none of these zones have the obvious element of being an early visit that’s supposed to gradually ramp you into the story. Labyrinthos, Garlemald, Thavnair, and Mare Lamentorum all feel like high-level areas to start with (which, to be fair, they are) and the floating continent they can’t even yet name for us is definitely another high-level place, possibly the penultimate zone.

Personally, I strongly suspect that Labyrinthos is connected to Sharlayan. In fact, my theory is that this is part of why Sharlayan appears to be disinclined to act against the disaster befalling the world – the nation has what it sees as a safety bubble underground. And that raises the question of how they even have that, which brings to mind an obvious answer, that Sharlayan is particularly unique among the nations because unlike the others it’s actually got records of the technology and stores of the Ancients.

This might seem a little far-fetched, but it would explain a lot. Why does Sharlayan seem so intent on staying out of conflict? Because their entire ability to preserve their knowledge is entirely dependent on the Ascians having no idea that Sharlayan has access to the ruins it does. Why was this preserved when so many ancient ruins weren’t? Because it’s underground, just like how Mare Lamentorum clearly was spared the Calamities by being on the moon.

For that matter, what’s the flying zone? Well, it looks to me like what amounts to Azys Lla But Good, especially the bottom portions of the flying island. It’d make perfect sense if Labyrinthon and the floating island are both attempts at a society to outrun great calamities, possibly with both showing the folly of running instead of standing to face the problem and struggling to overcome it.

Of course, none of this is more than early speculation. And it’s clear that there will be a lot going on here… which we’ll have to wait a while to find out about because the expansion won’t be here until November 23rd. And yes, I said we were just going to talk about content, but should talk a little bit about that element tool. November 23rd is late compared to what a lot of people – including me – were expecting. It means that ultimately, we’re looking at four months of delay compared to the “expected” release window, which means another two on top of the existing delay created for patch 5.3 that pushed things back. If you’re like me and a huge fan of this game and eager for new content, that’s easy to be a bit bummed about. I’m bummed about it.

However.

It is also nigh-on mandatory to note that this is not the result of any lack of effort. A total of four months delay while working through a global pandemic – and what were clearly other extenuating real-world circumstances – is really pretty astonishing, especially when you consider that it’s the first real time anything has thrown off the game’s otherwise rock-solid update cadence. That’s kind of astonishing in and of itself. While it’s going to be a long wait, it’s certainly not for lack of trying or for lack of content along the way.

Basically, I would say that while it’s understandable if you’re a little bit sad about the wait, I get that. But if you’re going to blame the development team for it or act like it was in any way a form of laziness or lack of effort, you should really step back and double-check where you’re coming from. It is possible to be slightly disappointed by something without being a jerk about it, and I think that’s an important line to cut.

Especially in light of… well, what we’re going to talk about next week. Yes, Soken gets a column all to himself. For now, you can leave feedback in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com.

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.
Advertisement

No posts to display

15
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Minimalistway

I too thought Labyrinthos have a connection with Sharlayan, of all things the new trailer showed; Sharlayan for me is the most exciting thing, i can’t wait to see what the MSQ will show about it.

Reader
cursedseishi

I’ll admit, first thought upon seeing Reaper fighting was a mechanic similar to Blood of Dragon, perhaps with some options to burn a chunk of it to manifest the Voidsent with off-cooldown attacks. The one thing I wish we did see was… well, more of the ‘Void-Possessed’ state. They enter it, and then spam the one Single-Target move over and over. That might be why people are leaning in towards ‘plays like Discount-Dragoon’ given the whole… gar… garvsba… garvjhei… fancy thrust AoE move.
Otherwise? It’s neat. It vindicates the Bloodborne Tome gear, gave Yoshi P a great excuse to cosplay as a Bloodborne Hunter. And it means Angsty boy Zenos is graduating from “I’ve got the Power of Garlemaid and Anime On My Side!” Weeb Katanas to…

… Well, I guess ‘Edgelord Cosplayer’ isn’t much of a graduation, more of just… upgrade. That scythe looks like someone’s ‘first big foam prop’ in all its overdesigned crazy glory, and Fandaniel is the parent waaaaay too happy to tell their child they are amazing and done awesome on it.

Island with a town around its edges and a big hole in the middle kept giving me ‘Made In Abyss’ vibes, which… wooo boy. Even if unintentional, that is both great as well as depressing.

And Lopporits? Obvious Beast Tribe quests, and them being on the moon is a clear allusion to ‘moon rabbits’. That makes me expect them to be our non-combat beast tribe… and hopefully the only one. One of my biggest issues with Shadowbringers is the beast tribe quests and how they’re divided up. Crafting had almost zero purpose given how insanely easy this expansion made it to level up (seriously, Ishgard Restoration is a power-leveler’s dream), and that screwed over Gathering jobs who only really have had Leve Quests and Beast Tribes to level quickly. So the Qitari being added in after Ishgard Restoration made sense since it gave Gatherers an option to level and catch up with crafting jobs.

But… Then we got Crafting last and… I just don’t see why it had to be separate. Crafters have had more options to level up this expansion than they’ve ever had, and by the time Dwarves were introduced? Even my ‘casually on-off playing’ rump had all of the jobs maxed aside from an outlier or 2 at the extreme upper 70s–literally most all from Ishgard Restoration, and just a bit of Custom Deliveries.

And that left Pixies to be the sole ‘combat’ tribe which… well… don’t blame people for not enjoying Pixies much after that. It feels horribly unbalanced all things said, and both the Qitari or Dwarves could have served both sides of the Non-combat spectrum on their own. So with Dwarves focusing on jobs that already have an absolute and literal glut of easier and larger xp?
It fell flat for me. Even the proper end of the tribe didn’t really…. feel like it delivered much. Pixie’s have their Dream, the Qitari their history, and Dwarves…. have a thing you don’t really see. Conceptually, building a tank sounds great… but aside from a mount there isn’t some big change or show of growth aside from the usual hub change. Not even just a random NPC tank chugging along through the world between areas.

So unless we get an ‘Allied Beast Tribe’ quest that really hits home for them, they felt… superfluous.
So again… hopefully Moon Rabbits have us gathering AND crafting altogether.

Reader
Ruby Lancer

The whole thing with the Beast Tribes is that they were ALWAYS unbalanced in the past. ARR and HW don’t necessarily have a tribe that you can focus Gathering on, and prior to ShB, the tribes always favored combat over the crafting and gathering.

The tribes in ShB were actually the most balanced they have ever been, as you now have options for Combat, Crafting, AND Gathering as opposed to two Combat and then Crafting and/or Gathering.

Further more, there are more ways to level a combat job than there are crafting and gathering. Prior to the Ishgardian Restoration, your basic ways of leveling a Crafter or Gatherer basically amounted to just doing the job, hitting up the three daily beast tribe quests you could do for either one or the other, or just spamming levequests. Oh, and the WEEKLY Custom Deliveries once you hit the 50s.

Meanwhile you had TWO Beast Tribes worth of quests a day for combat jobs PLUS all the Daily Roulettes PLUS the Deep Dungeons PLUS Fates PLUS your daily hunt marks… combat jobs don’t need to have more than one Beast Tribe per level range to facilitate leveling.

Putting the Lopporits as both Crafting AND Gathering would be a huge step back in this regard honestly, as not only would you then have to be forced to choose between which role to level here, but you might not necessarily have a thing like the Ishgardian Restoration to assist with leveling from 80 to 90. I don’t see Garlemald Restoration being a thing here as they’re treating that as a whole region and not just a city. Maybe a sub section of it, but for the most part, I don’t see it coming along to assist.

I get being upset that some of the combat content was taken and repurposed for non-combat things, but as I had kind of stated earlier, there is so much content that is catered STRICTLY to combat that it feels kind of petty to me to be complaining that the non-combat content got more stuff.

Reader
cursedseishi

I’m not upset. Just because its ‘one of my biggest issues’ with the expansion doesn’t mean I’m upset.

But I will disagree with the assertion that it was unbalanced before or balanced now. Daily Hunts are limited by levels, fates aren’t all that great either as–much like quests–they don’t scale much. And while you have your Daily Roulettes? That doesn’t mean I want to play through them with specific jobs. I’m DPS mainly, I might tank and if absolutely necessary I may heal… But my internet has been spotty and rough as all heck the past few months. Playing DPS? Eh, I might get floored or nipped by things but it isn’t a major issue. Tanking? Well, miss a CD here maybe or lose a bit of aggro. Might eat more damage than I otherwise would, but so long as my internet doesn’t drop out I’m okay. But healing? No sir-ree, that is not fun. At all. I’ve never particularly enjoyed healing, but I definitely do not enjoy healing from a position where I’m constantly on the back foot and not always sure if a heal I’ve just cast three or even four times during a serious bit of lag actually got through.

There are more ways to level combat jobs, yes, but that’s because there’s many more of them and not every single person wants to engage with all the content with them. Deep Dungeons does not really exist beyond 70 for leveling, Fates have always been a poor source of leveling on their own, and again–Hunting Marks are only really good once you’re in the later half of the expansions leveling for one job to focus on.

And yes, while Crafting/Gathering jobs have had to a degree less–it’s because what is on offer offers drastically more experience. I never stated, much less offered, the belief that ‘Garlemaid Restoration’ would be a thing, but it hardly needs to be. Like I said, the Ishgard content offered what was honestly the quickest, most massive bump in gains for experience for Crafting Jobs. It still is, especially with the Fete’s running now and turn-ins still being offered. That is, most likely, why the Qitari were put out as Gathering-exclusive. During the Restoration, the only real source of levels for Gatherers was through the ‘Efforts’ that popped up since they guaranteed 1 level’s worth of experience. Even Eureka doesn’t offer quite the bump crafting does. So the Qitari were a way to let Crafters catch up their gathering jobs.

And as someone who has literally leveled every job, combat and non-combat, to the caps in each expansion? In my honest opinion, Shadowbringers is horribly unbalanced. I leveled 1-50 in Realm Reborn mostly off Ixali, 50-60 pretty much exclusively off Moogle and 60-70 off Namazu. It is more than enough. Shadowbringers has been an expansion where I’ve been playing the most casually, and I had already gotten most of my Crafting jobs to 80 through Ishgard alone well before 5.3. And I’d argue the Dwarves are the slowest way to go still.

But that has nothing to do with me feeling as though the Dwarves were the weakest Beast Tribe this expansion. Aside from the obvious ‘will they, won’t they’ hook for its leads, it doesn’t really go anywhere. I’m not ‘complaining’ that Non-combat jobs got more stuff. I’m arguing that the beast tribe quests for them feel wholly unnecessary because of a combination of events well before them in the expansion, as well as the story it is telling just… not being fulfilling. Which, again, I can change my mind on when and if we get an ‘Allied Tribes’ quest for this expansion.

And–if I’m to be completely honest here–my only issues as of this expansion is the utter disrespect towards and lack of Hildebrand content. Followed by the Dwarves, and then the Bozjda stuff. All of which, as a whole, is relatively minor. But all the more glaring for me when the expansion otherwise has been a massive grand-slam.

Reader
Skoryy

On the one hand, the expansion delay gives me plenty of time to complete story quests. My main’s just about to take on Mt. Gulg and my alt’s ready for Heavensward. (I just need the mental energy to tackle all the reflexes neccessary for lvl 80 BRD. :P)

On the other… 26 weeks until boy band bunnies? Ooh, that’s gonna be a difficult wait.

Staff
Kickstarter Donor
Chris Neal

I am stealing “boy band bunnies.”

Reader
Sean Walsh

I must admit I’m actually rather okay with the delay in expansion launch, though it’s for particularly personal reasons. I put so much into Shadowbringers in the early stages of the pandemic needing a place to escape and since then, I’ve found it difficult to jump back in. This is in some part due to having completed every single quest in the Shadowbringers zones that I could(for the first xpac ever), leaving me no desired, default solo activity to work on while I wait for queues. But moreso, I need some distance from this pandemic. FFXIV needs to feel more like a fun place I WANT to go again, and not a place I’m going to escape the real world. Given how things are shaking out in the US presently, November feels like perfect timing for all this to come together.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Louie

I’m pretty confident Old Sharlayan will be the start of the expansion story myself, especially given its confirmation as a hub like the Crystarium, which means it’ll probably be somewhere we visit a lot, but not where we end up getting our gear.

The fact that the Elezen Y’shtola is talking to is Alphinaud and Alisaie’s dad makes things pretty intriguing too. I’m thinking because of that connection Sharlayan might end up changing its tune on helping Eorzea towards the end of the expansion. Or earlier, who knows!

My enthusiasm for Reaper is kind of diminished because it’s hard not to feel like it’s a bit of capitulation to the type of people who complained about DRK being a tank (in conjunction with the fact that the job doesn’t really appeal to me), but it is what it is. It’s probably going to be the flashiest job yet just from that one minute video, and I’m sure XI DRKs are happy to have a scythe job finally too.

Good write-up as always. Really looking forward to next week’s column.

Reader
Danny Smith

I’m really expecting Sharlayan to effectively turn out to be tomb robbers. Building their little empire on all the amourotine relics that have been conveniently missing on the source. I wouldnt be surprised if most of their prowess is straight up concept crystals found on that floating city zone we don’t have a name for yet thats probably where we find our lunar whale to get to the moon.

I wont be shocked if they have known about whats coming for years and are building a doomsday bunker for it based on thinking”we know better than the amouritines did”.

Reader
Dagget Burmese

The Sharlayans have to scavenge their goodies from a world that has been shaken and stirred 7 times. We, however, can get Amourotine relics and info ourselves from a few preserved locales on the First. I do expect that world to be part of the MSQ and that place that Y’Shtola spent time investigating may well give us leverage against the Sharlayans if they are not letting us play with their toys. Given that they hinted that we will lose some friends along the way, I wonder if she will make some sort of sacrifice to get us that stuff.

Far left field theory – Tataru is Venat.

Reader
Danny Smith

Part of me is thinking the reaper job is yet further hints we are going to somehow involve the 13th in the next story. That and teases to a time skip have been super common in the last two patches alone so i would not be surprised if 6.0 ends and we get a peace gets restored montage over the credits then 6.1 is like two years later when most of the scions have moved on but due to your own nature you called by your reaper voidsent, who may be a certain piece of a certain someone, with the reveal the void just like the first wasn’t completely rendered down into nothing and eden is a pretty good way to explore that and maybe allow characters like Rhyne and Gaia to come with you instead.

Reader
Ruby Lancer

The problem I have with that is that they do their best to try and avoid having the MSQ itself be tied to a specific job to push things onward. Sure, you get the occasional line here or there in regards to your job if it makes sense, but nothing that basically boils down to you HAVING to have leveled that job up.

The closest we’ve had so far to that is the Role Quests, and even then you only need to do one of them and it doesn’t matter which one you did, let alone did it matter what the job you were when you did it.

And no matter how much they might want to push the Reaper job, it would be a whole lot of bad PR if suddenly you had to tell everyone that they -MUST- level it up to 90 to continue on with the MSQ in 6.1.

Now if an NPC that just happens to be a Reaper comes by and tells us all the same things there, that would be fine. It still allows the players to be able to play the job they want to play for the MSQ and doesn’t force them to have to level something that they might not necessarily want or enjoy.

The next issue to figure out would be how to get us to the Thirteenth Shard, because… well… everything that happened that got us to the First is… kind of a special set of circumstances that came together and ultimately created a miracle. We still kind of need someone to summon us to the Thirteenth similar to how one summons Voidsent to the Source or how we were summoned to the First.

Reader
Danny Smith

They would probably just make it optional. Just like how if you did Binding Coil in ARR Allisae talks to you differently in stormblood or characters go “long time no see” if you did their quests rather than if you didn’t. Theres been plenty of void stuff along with the job to carry it. Just think back to unakulhai last patch.

Reader
Ruby Lancer

Yeah, that was some of what I was getting with in regards to how they do their call backs and the like. Basically can do something similar to when Estinien was first introduced into the MSQ proper prior to HW. Something that is a nice bonus if you did it, but nothing that would ultimately get in the way of actually being able to do it.