In the fifty-first Letter from the Producer Live broadcast, the Final Fantasy XIV team revealed more details about the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion, which we’ve summarized below.
In the game’s third expansion, we’ll be seeing a new world, “The First”, where players must fight to restore darkness to the realm. It’s the length of a full RPG. It includes a new city, new races, two new jobs, and increase in level cap, new dungeons and raids, and much more.
— FATEs will offer new rewards other than experience points. Additional requirements must be met to unlock certain rewards. Unique tokens will be implemented that can be exchanged for these rewards at specialty shops. The FATEs will be tied into the regional lore and will let you learn more about the areas in The First. It’s not tied to the main scenario but there will a progression system that will unlock more rewards. This style of FATE will only be available in Shadowbringers areas.
— Sidequests in new regions will be level synced. All of them can be undertaken at Level 70 and you can use them to level alt jobs. Enemies will be scaled to player level when accepting sidequests.
— Role Quests will retrace the journeys of the First’s fallen heroes and there will be four sets. Their roles are physical DPS, magical DPS, tank, and healer. One quest line must be completed to advance the main scenario. The team has put a lot of effort and cost into these quests.
— Regarding Job Quests, Gunbreaker and Dancer will have them from Level 60 to 70. Existing job quests will have a new quest at Level 80.
— Crafting and Gathering Quests will have five sets of quests in different disciplines. They involve stories centered on the Crystarium and a collective of artisans. DoH: The Facets of Forging, Crafting, and Nourishment. DoL will have the Facets of Gathering and Fishing. Hone your skills as you progress through the story of the Crystalline Mean and you’ll learn more about the world of the First. These quests are similar to the Custom Deliveries quests.
— User Interface adjustments will support themes, and a Light Skin will be added that has a brighter palette. To switch over, open your System Configuration menu. For the changes to apply, you need to re-log. They would like to expand options at a later time. All UI elements will be expanded.
— Cross-world linkshells will be expanded to eight channels.
— Target HP will now display a decimal point under 1%, e.g. “0.8%”.
— The party list information will be updated where, for example, the HP value will have more attributes.
— Housing furnishing placement preview to be added.
Battle System Changes:
— A new Charged Action System where actions gain charges for later use. Charges will build until reaching a maximum limit. Not all actions are charge-able. The charge level is displayed in the lower-right corner of the action icon. Charges may be consumed to use an action whenever you want. When used, the action will begin recharging and continue to charge in or out of battle. Certain jobs may not have charged actions.
— A new Casting Interruption System will tell you what enemy abilities can be interrupted. The enemy cast bar on their name plate will pulse in a visual animation and when it’s been interrupted, text will display over it. Tanks and ranged DPS will receive role actions for this purpose.
— Role Actions will be automatically be obtained by levelling up. The number of actions will be revised down.
— MP & TP Systems have been updated where TP has been removed entirely. MP will be capped at 10000. A lot of the actions that require MP are percentage-based, so they wanted to change it to a system that could communicate values better. The piety attribute will be adjusted in accordance with this change — but will remain an attribute that only affects healers. It’s MP regeneration. TP will be removed and affected actions will be revised so that they may be used more freely.
— Attributes for all accessories will be revised as part of a plan to address a problem gearing up, especially for tanks. Main attribute-increasing materia will no longer be meldable. Main attribute-increasing materia melded to existing equipment will be revised to have no beneficial effects. The accessories will be revised to account for this shift. Main attribute-raising materia will no longer be obtainable. Weekly token gear, as well as savage accessories and belts will have two materia slots.
— The Pet System will be heavily revised. Pets will no longer be affected by enemy attacks or PC actions. Pet actions will be removed from the pet hotbar and be recategorized as player actions. Actions for pets designed to function as tanks (Titan-egi, Topaz Carbuncle) will be revised. The unique actions for each pet will be consolidated.
— Battle system calculations will be adjusted and changed. If you see tooltips in embargoed media, they may have already been adjusted on the back end.
— Chain bonuses will be removed from dungeons in order to standardize EXP gain.
— The damage limit will be increased from 999,999 to 9,999,999 to account for future damage inflation. You might see this in an enrage situation. By the next expansion after Shadowbringers, they plan to revise damage and likely crunch them.
— The party bonus will be adjusted to account for the numbers of players filling a given role.
— The rate at which the limit gauge fills will be adjusted for Shadowbringers regions only. Pre-expansion regions will be unaffected.
— The HP of a barrier shielding a party member will be displayed in the party list.
Rebalancing Player Roles
Regarding Job Synergy, in order to address rigid party composition and the perception that certain jobs are essential, the effectiveness of synergies between certain jobs will be reduced. Debuffs reducing slashing, blunt, and piercing resistances will be removed. Action values will be revised and some actions will be removed. The synergy of the new dancer job will be emphasized — they are more of a buffer. Some people may think Dancer will be necessary to bring along, but that’s not the case.
For tanks, adjustments will be made to account for the main tank and off tank roles. All four tank jobs, including Gunbreaker, will be viable as a main tank or off tank. Tanks will possess defensive buffs that can be applied to all party members. Additional buffs designed for OTs to support MTs will be added. Tanks can also use buffs to enhance their defenses for a limited time. Job effectiveness will vary depending on player skill.
Offensive stances will be removed, and players will instead toggle tank stances on or off. Tank stances will be adjusted. Damage dealt and received reductions and max HP increase effects will be removed. Only enmity generation will be increased and all attacks will increase enmity. Adjustments will be made to emphasize the reduced damage received aspect of tanks.
Enmity generating combos will be removed. Skill rotations will not change when alternating between MT and OT. A Tank Mastery Trait will be added where all damage received will be reduced by 20%. Bonuses to maximum HP and damage dealt based on certain attributes will be granted.
— Paladin‘s Sword Oath is gone but the feel of play will not change. Riot Sword will allow for no casting time. Sheltron was momentary in use but will become more of a lasting ability. Rage of Halone isn’t totally moved, but swapped out with something powerful.
— Warrior‘s Destroyer has been removed but the feel of play won’t change. There’s a new buff when you use a certain action and the potency will be more powerful than Fell Cleave.
— Dark Knight‘s Dark Arts is gone. You have your defensive buffs but you draw out your “inner soul.”
— Gunbreaker uses a gunblade — when you slash and pull the trigger and it enhances an attack. You use different cartridges to enhance actions. They have a rush move called Rough Divide. The combo route changes very quickly depending on the actions used and it feels different from the other tanks. There’s a regenerative healing action called Aurora.
Healers will be thoroughly rebalanced to emphasize a pure healing role. Protect has been removed from the game. New actions will be added to address gaps in each healer’s repertoire. Offensive actions will be reviewed for healers.
— White Mage‘s receive an instant heal to mitigate the cast times of other abilities. Lilies will automatically accumulate during combat. Previously you had to use actions to accumulate them, but no longer. While it has powerful healing spells, it required a lot of casting time and therefore became less mobile. With the increased mobility you can better prepare for your next action — an area they thought the job lacked. If you meet the conditions, a black lily will appear which lets you cast a powerful offensive ability.
— Scholar‘s pet actions will be revised, while direct heals and barrier magicks will be adjusted. For the most part Scholar hasn’t changed much, but there will be more healing involved. Selene and Eos are essentially the same now — you can pick whichever one you like the look of better. You can summon the Seraph fairy which can help you cast more powerful healing spells.
— Astrologian‘s stances and card effects will be adjusted. This job has changed where the card effects will all have damage buffs, but the element of dealing these cards to a member of your party hasn’t changed. You may run into situations where you still need to redraw a card. They’ve also separated the recast timer to draw and play cards. At a higher level, you will get an action that will let you access the other stance (Diurnal or Nocturnal) from your current stance.
Design concepts will be more traditional and mechanics will be revised accordingly. They felt DPS went in two directions — ones that had a simple evolution like Monk, Dragoon, Ninja, Samurai, Black Mage, and Red Mage…
— Monk‘s Greased Lightning can be stacked four times via an action. Initially, they were concerned about adding four stacks and it would cause a disparity between players who are more experienced with Monk and players newer to the job. Based on feedback, they wanted to respond the requests from the Stormblood expansion and add the fourth stack. An action will allow you to maintain that charge without losing the stack. Post Shadowbringers they expect people to get more familiarized.
— Dragoon‘s jumps have become very quick.
— Samurai‘s initial concept was easy accessibility and it hasn’t changed too much, but the expansion will have a simple evolution of the job. Hagakure has been revised where you can activate Midare Setsugekka more easily.
— Ninja‘s enemy enmity actions have been removed in accordance with the changes to the tank role.
— Black Mage can use a stacked action to maintain Umbral Ice so that DPS output can be more evenly preserved. Other changes include the next tier of powerful magic — Fire V and Blizzard V. There are more instant-cast spells. Black Mage evolved to cast more magic and if you are at 0 MP you can use Blizzard III to instantly restore MP. Flare only effects one enemy.
— Red Mage has also had a simple evolution. While you’re moving the gauge depletes but there are more actions to do while moving. You will continue to accumulate white and black mana and then you can use Displacement. Each individual job will allow you to build an AOE into your rotation.
…and there are jobs where there have revisions to mechanics.
— Machinist is currently undergoing significant changes where it’s basically a new job. They wanted to address the confusing mechanics involved and even when you understand them it didn’t feel very rewarding. Now, it’s a positive thing to build your Machinist job gauge. When the battery gauge is charged you can summon a robot to fight alongside you. They wanted to revisit the idea of the machinist using machines over shooting — they’ll pull out different weapons like like a drill and so on. Gauss Barrel is no more.
— Bard‘s overall feel hasn’t changed, but they wanted to address various issues. The songs used to raise the critical hit rate of the party but they have been removed to fit with the rebalanced party synergy. At higher levels you will unlock a Soul Voice gauge which will unlock more powerful actions.
— Summoner mechanics will be partially reworked. Ruin IV will be available when your pet performs a certain action and it’ll be easier to use. The Egi summons are now instant and you can call forth an Egi depending on the situation. Once you summon Bahamut you’d then be able to summon Phoenix, etc. You won’t have to worry about building Aetherflow stacks before entering combat anymore either.
— Dancer is a character that uses dances to buff. The dance has steps and you have a “partner” in your party. You can buff that party member and they can execute an action that increases your job gauge. There are two different steps: the Standard Step and the Technical Step. Standard has two steps involved and Technical has four. Once you go into your step, the next action must be your next step. Once the step is complete it applies the buff. The buff you apply to yourself also applies to your dance partner. There are two types of attacks the Dancer can do — single target and AOE from a distance. As you do more steps, it’ll get quicker paced. Whenever your partner lands a successful weaponskill action, the Dancer gets a buff to your job gauge. If it accumulates to 50 you can unlock more powerful steps.
— Final Fantasy XIV will be at E3 2019. Attendees will go hands on with Titania, a new trial in Shadowbringers.
— Letter from the Producer Live LII will be at E3 2019. Friday June 14th at 3:00PM Pacific.
— A left-handed gaming device developed by HORI will be available late this year. It’s compatible with PS4.
— Eorzean Symphony Final Fantasy XIV Orchestra Concert will take place in Yokohama on September 21-22, 2019.
— Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers benchmark will be available today — Thursday, May 23rd at 7:00pm Pacific Time.