Update January 25, 2017: pre-orders for Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood expansion have gone live.
You can now pre-order Stormblood, the next chapter in the ongoing story of Final Fantasy XIV, and Square Enix have announced a couple of new bonuses to encourage you to do so.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn made our list of the best MMOs on PC.
Square Enix filled us in earlier this month on the expansion’s new features and the collector’s edition (see earlier coverage, below), but pre-orders will get some more goodies.
Among the pre-order bonuses include early access to Stormblood ahead of its official launch on June 20, a wind-up Red Mage minion and a pair of earrings emblazoned with the Ala Mhigan standard.
So, if you’re already keen to turf the Garlean Empire out of Ala Mhigo and can’t wait to begin what should be an epic tussle with Omega, head to the Squeenix online store to place your pre-order. It’ll set you back £29.99, or $39.99 if you’re in the USA. The collector’s edition, with figurine, in-game items and so on as detailed below, is rather more, at £179.99 or $199.99.
Update January 4, 2017:more details have emerged of the next Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Stormblood.
Following the initial announcement of FFXIV’s second expansion last month, Square Enix have filled in some of the detail around the new features, and released a couple of new screenshots. The game will release on June 20, but pre-orders are available at the end of the month.
The announcement was made at the FFXIV Tokyo Fan Festival (see original story, below), with game director and producer Naoki Yoshida announcing a range of new features. We’ve since learned a bit more about each.
The Red Mage, a classic Final Fantasy class (or job, in FFXIV), is added to the game, and we know a little more about how it will play. The red mage will be a ranged magic DPS class, armed with a rapier and magic crystal, and will nimbly dive into melee for a couple of strikes and out again to cast spells. The red mage also has the ability to link multiple spells with ‘chainspell’, dealing massive damage.
Swimming finally comes to FFXIV, but it sounds like it will be limited to specific locations:players will be able “to seamlessly enter and traverse specific rivers, lakes, and seas in both new and existing areas throughout Eorzea,” say Square Enix. “Players will also be able to dive underwater in select locations, even while riding flying mounts.” Underwater areas will feature new gathering locations and NPCs to speak with.
The new beast tribe, the aquatic Ananta, will feature prominently in the new storylines. They are reside in the mountains near Ala Mhigo, and worship the primal Lakshmi, and are skilled in spell and gemcraft. Their persectution by the Garlean Empire is central to their role in the plot.
Most excitingly for fans of the music of classic Final Fantasies, legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu will return to create the main theme song for Stormblood.
Square Enix have also confirmed that Stormblood will have a collectors’ edition, with an art box, art book, cloth map of Eorzea, logo sticker, Zenos yae Galvus figurine and exclusive in-game items, including a chicken knife.
Pre-orders for Stormblood go live on January 24, and more information will be revealed during the European Fan Festival in Frankfurt on February 18-19.
Original story December 24, 2016:The next expansion for Japanese MMO Final Fantasy XIV, Stormblood, will release on June 20, 2017 as more details of the xpac arrive from FFXIV Fan Festival in Tokyo.
The next update will introduce the Red Mage as a job option, but unlike Heavensward you can get access to this job in the common areas of the base game, meaning you don’t need to have levelled out into the stratosphere before you don a red robe.
As a character, the Red Mage seems kind of sassy, wielding a rapier and magic together to make for a smarmy cock-sure fencer with fireworks and a rad attitude, which you can see here.
You will also be able to swim and dive into water making it easier to move around or just kick back, relax and enjoy the surf in Eorzea. Pool rules include no fighting in the water, and any flying mounts can also swim.
Obviousy there’ll also be more 8- and 24-man high end raids, the smaller being focused on Omega Weapon and the larger called “Return to Ivalice”, penned by FFXII and Tactics creator Yasumi Matsuno.
A new beast tribe, the Ananta, will arrive too, made up of Lamia-type creatures and specifically involved in underwater areas and storylines, while Lakshmi, Lady of Bliss, will serve as a new Primal enemy for the expansion.
There’s still a second job to be revealed for the expansion, and if previous fan fests are anything to go by, director Naoki Yoshida’s t-shirt choice may hold some hints for what it might be. He was wearing a Spider-Man shirt, so…arachnomage?
Popular guesses so far are along the lines of Samurai (a homophonic reference to the 2002 film’s director Sam Raimi) or a Blue Mage because they absorb enemy magic like Parker absorbed radioactive spider powers? Fan theories in the comments below, please.