More details on Final Fantasy XIV‘s third major patch following the Shadowbringers expansion went online today, including more information on Ishgard Restoration, the A Realm Reborn Revamp, as well as new mounts and minions.
Titled “Reflections in Crystal,” Patch 5.3 will continue the main scenario through the conclusion of the Shadowbringers story, including a new dungeon and mystery trial. The YorHa Dark Apocalypse alliance raid series collaboration with NieR Automata will also continue with The Puppets’ Bunker, and a new map will be added for the Resistance Weapon series, in which you’ll take part in a campaign against the Garlean Empire. You can read more on the patch’s contents (and watch a trailer) here.
It’s important to mention that, before you can start Patch 5.3’s main scenario, the team is now requiring that you complete the Crystal Tower alliance raid series and the My Little Chocobo quest obtainable from your Grand Company.
Faux Hollows will be a mini-game built around a new difficulty mode for trials: “Unreal.” While it’s not necessarily harder than Extreme or Ultimate trials, the concept behind this mode is to tune classic trials to players’ current level and item level rather than using level sync. The first trial will be The Akh-Afah Amphitheatre (Unreal) introduced in the A Realm Reborn patch series that pitted the Warrior of Light against Shiva. Expect the trials to rotate each patch, with one trial retiring in favor of a new Unreal trial.
“A strange fox comes to you seeking even stranger tales, those born of boldness of imagination. When you turn your mind to the story of Shiva, what dreams of ice may come?” — Patch 5.3 Website
The next phase of Ishgard Restoration will begin, complete with a new Sykbuilders leaderboards to compete for exclusive titles. Patch 5.3 will also be replete with quality-of-life updates for crafters and gatherers, including a “trial synthesis” mode that lets you practice crafting an item without using materials, and a “reverse lookup” function that will let you look up what recipes can be created with the item in your inventory.
“With Francel de Haillenarte leading the charge, the reconstruction of the Firmament surges to ever-loftier heights. As many and more take up residence in the New Nest, the young lord would realize his latest vision─a bustling new commercial district befitting Ishgard’s new age of free trade and enlightenment. Artisans one and all, take up your tools and answer the call!” — Patch 5.3 Website
The A Realm Reborn Revamp will take a hammer and chisel to the base-games more drawn-out quest chains in an attempt to make the leveling process much smoother and momentum more in line with the game’s expansions. In a recent Letter from the Producer Live broadcast, producer/director Naoki Yoshida said they’ve even created an item that will allow you to teleport back to the Waking Sands in Western Thanalan — drastically cutting down the travel time to complete certain quests.
Additionally, field zones in A Realm Reborn have been retrofitted with the ability to fly — which was first introduced in the game’s Heavensward expansion. For players who are long-used to seeing Eorzea only from the ground, it should offer an interesting new perspective.
“A Realm Reborn offers players an adventure of epic proportions. At times perhaps…too epic. To make the journey to Heavensward swifter, the main scenario is now streamlined in terms of overall length, with adjustments to experience point gain and gear rewards for quest completion.
In addition, mounts can now fly in A Realm Reborn maps. This much-requested feature allows you to view the landscapes of Eorzea as never before while helping you reach your destination more quickly.” – Patch 5.3 Website
Of course, new mounts and minions will be marched out for you to collect…
Final Fantasy XIV is now available on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac.