So we’ve gotten 67% of the way through the fan festival cycle for Final Fantasy XIV, and that means taking a certain degree of stock in how accurate predictions have been so far. For my money? Reasonably accurate! (Don’t worry, I will explain my hits and misses as always.) We learned some more about Tural, learned about our first new job, had a few more teases about what’s coming next, and generally had a good time. And now it’s time to speculate for the next couple months.
Some of that speculating will, of course, happen right now because it’s literally what I do after every single fan festival, it’s kind of my job. Obviously the big reveals were covered in my full write-up over the weekend, but now it’s time to respond to them. And the first biggest reveal is definitely one that I’m excited about but also one where I feel that there’s a tendency to say speculation was wrong when it kind of wasn’t. This means talking about job speculation in a larger sense, too.
So we now know that our first new job is Viper, a job that no one guessed at all. And that includes me because I definitely did not guess that name. But I also noted that back when I guessed at Reaper, it was in spite of myself. That did turn out to be the name, but the more important part was the substance of the prediction rather than the name.
My guess was absolutely that the new job would be Corsair, but I also noted that realistically, this was more “Corsair” as an idea for “melee class with at least one sword that uses Ninja gear and has something in the offhand as well.” My guess was not Viper, but it fits comfortably within the space of what I feel my guess actually was. The major difference was that I assumed an offhand gun, not another proper dual-wielder.
This is, then, actually better than what I expected. Final Fantasy has a mixture of “dual-wielder as physical powerhouse” characters and “dual-wielder as spellcasting ninja” characters, and I’m not going to lie, I had pretty much written off the possibility of the former being added just for lack of space. Giving the job a transforming pair of weapons? Yeah, highly unexpected but also very welcome.
Of course, the mechanics are as of yet unclear, but what little Yoshida did say implies that this is going to be much closer to a selfish DPS but still technically demanding, so that’s fun. I like what we’ve seen in both theme and execution, but it’s too early to be sure about how it’ll work just yet.
As for the new caster… Yoshida did mention that he gave a hint in Vegas, perhaps implying that this wasn’t the hint. I’m still not going to be surprised by Pictomancer, and Green Mage feels a bit off to me, but I wouldn’t be shocked by that either. That having been said, I do feel confident that it is actually an existing job of some variety, since otherwise it’s not really a hint.
This is going to be a persistent thing moving forward, of course. We’re running out of jobs that have a place in the series, and while that doesn’t mean we’re running out of jobs period, it’s much harder to predict them in context. No one could have guessed Viper by name. So predictions are going to have to move more toward substance than name, in other words.
And my predictions have not been great for this particular expansion thus far, to be clear. I still was betting on Meracydia, after all.
The homages to Final Fantasy XI were definitely a surprise, but not unwelcome ones; the Moblins are a strange import as I definitely don’t feel like they were anyone’s favorite element from back in the day, but between the alliance raid series and the presence of Mamool Ja, I suppose now is as good a time as any to bring in things that are reminiscent but not redundant. Movalpolos will likely be present in some capacity, but I’m curious about how simply because it would feel a little unusual to have another group of miners on top of the Kobolds, even though the latter are, admittedly, an ocean away. There are a lot of question marks here, at least to me.
Seeing the tech stuff, though, makes me feel pretty certain that the fabled City of Gold is going to be someplace deeply unfriendly after all. I mean, that seems almost like a given; you can’t tease that without eventually going there, but it would track if it were some form of Allagan ruin or potentially even some unfamiliar technological civilization from back in the day.
It’s also clear that – to no one’s surprise – the fun summer vacation is not the whole story of Dawntrail. That’s clearly how we are going into things, but there are higher stakes at play just the same. And that would definitely work out well because as of yet we don’t actually have a clear picture of what’s going to come next in terms of overall arcs. While not every problem has been solved forever, the major problems that we’ve been facing for the first four expansions are dealt with, and the patches also make it clear that the Thirteenth is a problem for a later date.
So we need some actual stakes for now, something that’s going to span more than just a couple of patches in terms of narrative. While Yoshida hasn’t said it outright, I wouldn’t be shocked if Dawntrail follows a more standard story structure of fully wrapping up in 7.3 instead of 7.0, and that means that we’re going to have conflicts moving forward. Sure, it’s not going to be quite the same as things were back at the relaunch, but there’s still a world out there we haven’t seen just yet.
And it’s quite possible that Tural, Meracydia, and even Ilsabard hold some secrets we aren’t aware of just yet that are going to change a lot of our understanding of the world. All because we decided to go on a summer vacation.
I’m also glad to see that we do have another limited job in the works, and it seems clear that the exploration areas don’t look quite on deck for this expansion. None of this is exactly surprising, but it’s all good to see, especially as we haven’t yet heard about much of it before now. I do fully expect that the variant dungeons are going to have a different interplay with progression than they have beforehand, though; it feels like these ones have been testing the waters and the expansion is going to have them established from the start.
There’s a lot of question marks and a lot to be excited about, in other words. It’s going to be a long couple of months, and then a while after that before the expansion proper. But at least there’s some fun stuff on the other end.
Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, we won’t quite have 6.51 to look at, but I do want to look at some other ideas. Are lady Hrothgar still on the table? Could we be getting another Stormblood two-continent split? What could the new limited job be? You know, assorted stuff.