Final Fantasy XIV‘s third expansion Shadowbringers will introduce two new playable races: the Hrothgar and Viera. Only male Hrothgar and female Viera will be playable, and each will have two divergent clans that have differing physical traits.
According to a recent letter from producer and director Naoki Yoshida, the team had a strong desire to create a more beastly race but also fielded many requests from fans to add Viera. Due to budget and workflow limits, the team decided on one from each.
In the video below, we spend about 45 minutes in the newly-released Shadowbringers benchmark playing around with the leonine Hrothgar and leporine Viera. While we didn’t pore over every detail, it goes to show you how deep the rabbit hole can go when trying to settle.
“Hailing from the distant shores of Ilsabard, the Hrothgar are a burly people of lionlike appearance–or the males are, at least. Females number staggeringly few among their population, and thus are rarely so much as glimpsed by the other races.
The Hrothgar’s imposing countenance–mitigated not at all by their sharp claws and still sharper fangs–incited panic amongst Eorzeans upon their arrival. As they were also unable to communicate, initial interactions with the commonfolk often escalated into conflict. It was not until the Hrothgar gained mastery of the common tongue that fears were allayed, and in time they would be as neighbors, welcome in all corners of the realm.”
The Hrothgar diverge into two distinct clans: the Helions and the Lost:
“Hrothgar of the Helion clan are easily discerned from their counterparts by the warm color of their fur. In ages past, they could be found primarily in the southern region of Ilsabard, devout servants of their queen, one and all. Though they themselves had no word to describe their clan, scholars came to call them “Helions” after observing how the people’s lives all but revolved about their queen’s needs, as planets circle the sun.”
“Unlike their Helion brethren, the Lost have always been a free-spirited people, aptly name for their traditionally nomadic lifestyle unbound by the whims of any reigning monarch. They are known to ply various trades–from seasonal worker, to mercenary, to peddler. They are reluctant, however, to undertake duties at odds with their propensity to travel. The cold, wintery colors of their fur are said to serve as a symbol of their independent nature, which drove them from the warm embrace of their queen.”
Of tall stature and slender frame, the Viera’s physical appearance is strikingly similar to that of the Hyur and Elezen, save for their distinctive long ears. Adhering to a strict code known as the Green Word, they are prohibited from contact with the outside world under threat of exile. Their society is purely matriarchal, and males of a certain age are seldom, if ever, found within the bounds of any village. They instead serve as protectors of the wood from the shadows, that no evil may ever encroach on their sacred lands.
The Viera also diverge into two distinct clans: the Rava and the Veena.
“Viera of the Rava clan live primarily in the Golmore Jungle, their umber skin allowing them to readily blend in with their surroundings. Though the males stand as wards of the forest, the females are adept hunters in their own right, fiercely guarding their homes and their young. Despite attempts by the Dalmascans to subjugate them, they have ever maintained a self-governing dominion. Though most would adhere to the traditions of the wood, some few have chosen to venture out into the world.”
“With skin as fair as the snowcapped mountains towering above, the Veena clan make their homes in the forests lining the southwestern foothills of the Skatay Range. Like the members of their sister clan, the Veena live as hunters and gatherers, laboring not only to protect the woods, but to nurture them. As the winds of war swept up a number of those who left their mountain homes, many such hardened hunters chose to set out for the distant shores of Eorzea.”
Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers arrives on PC, PS4, Steam, and Mac on July 2, 2019. You can check out more of our coverage here.