Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has drawn some criticism over the years for opting for a traditional subscription business model, when everyone else seems to be moving to other systems, but it's easy to see where the money is going with this game.
FFXIV's patches are closer to mini-expansions, each bringing a significant chunk of new content to chew on. While the previous update brought us a Final Fantasy Tactics themed raid and a mech-laden, MOBA-like PVP mode, patch 4.2 - Rise Of A New Sun - looks set to bring equal parts story, action and nostalgia.
Breaking it down, here's what patch 4.2 will include:
- More main story, getting into increasingly complex political territory.
- 1 new raid, continuing the Omega story arc and featuring iconic enemies from Final Fantasy 6, including a possible cameo from a certain evil clown, if the trailer is any indication.
- 2 new dungeons: Hell's Lid (an Oni-filled mountain full of lava and Japanese-inspired monsters) and a return to the Fractal Continuum, freshly re-stocked and full of new suprises and old Allagan technology.
- 1 new Trial boss fight; Byakko, the Tiger, first of the Four Lords.
- More wacky antics with bumbling detective Hildibrand and friends.
- A new Beast Tribe to befriend and do quests for in exchange for unique gear - the snake-like Vira clan.
- A new PvP arena map and some major revisions to PvP rules and match format.
- A new cosmetic outfit system, allowing you to convert gear into costume pieces at inns, and create whole outfits that can be switched at will without bloating your inventory.
- Fashion contests over at the Gold Saucer, so you can strut your stuff on the catwalk and perhaps earn some prizes for your impeccably stylish use of the new costume system.
- Underwater adventures: Companies (guilds) can now build themselves a submersible workshop, and construct advanced and customized submarines to take on adventures to loot-heavy caverns under the sea.
All that and more, and I'm still not even sure how the Doom Train featured so prominently in the trailer even fits in. There's a few things that haven't been revealed as well, according to the official patch 4.2 page, including the mysterious 'Forbidden Land of Eureka Anemos'.
FFXIV's patch 4.2, Rise Of A New Sun, will launch on January 30th, although the vast majority of it won't be accessible unless you own both the Stormblood expansion, and have completed almost everything up to and including patch 4.1's content. A Realm Reborn is - in classic Final Fantasy fashion - a quite linear and story-driven game, after all.