Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter 59 Summary - Patch 5.3 trailer and Free Trial extended through Heavensward

In the latest Letter from the Producer Live broadcast series, Final Fantasy XIV producer/director Naoki Yoshida and global community producer Toshio Murouchi shared new details on the third major update to come after the Shadowbringers expansion.

Additionally, it was revealed that the game’s free trial would be expanded to include the Heavensward expansion’s content.

You can find our summary of the major information below.


Patch 5.3 Content & Features Summary

  • Patch 5.3 “Reflections in Crystal” arrives on August 11, 2020.
  • New main scenario quests will be added. Yoshida says the Reflections in Crystal scenario has the most voice acting and cutscenes yet, so you might just want to devote a play session to it alone due to its length.
  • The Crystal Tower alliance raid series will become a required quest as well as the My Little Chocobo quest.
  • New tribe quests will feature the Dwarves with a focus on crafting.
  • The Sorrow of Werlyt scenario quest will continue.
  • A new Level 80 instanced dungeon The Heroes’ Gauntlet will be added.
  • A new mystery trial has been added, includes an Extreme-level difficulty.
  • The YoRHA Dark Apocalypse alliance raid series collaboration with NieR Automata will continue with The Puppets’ Bunker.
  • The A Realm Reborn Revamp will include the ability to fly in A Realm Reborn zones.
  • Unreal Trials will feature a classic trial starting with Shiva in the Akh-Afah Amphitheatre. The “Unreal” classification of difficulty means that the boss is upscaled for current gear rather and item levels rather than players being synced down. The fights will rotate each patch. Faux Hollows is a minigame around this content.
  • Adjustments will be made to PvE and PvP battle jobs.
  • Astrologian‘s MP requirements for certain actions will be reduced. Lightspeed will have a 1.5 second recast, and the MP regeneration will be removed and added to another action.
  • Bard will get a boost in their damage output in 5.3. Multiple actions will see buffs.
  • Monk will be seeing a revamp similar to Ninja did, particularly to their Greased Lightning system. All the adjustments won’t be ready for 5.3, but they expect to be finished by 5.4. Perfect Balance’s cooldown time will be reduced and Form Shift will reduce one form.
  • Summoner won’t have any drastic changes to their rotation; the only change will be a Tri-Disaster nerf.
  • Season 16 of The Feast will begin; no large-scale PvP update in 5.3.
  • Crafters and gatherers will get a new custom delivery client, Trial Synthesis, a reverse lookup for recipes using materials in your inventory, and items requested as Collectables will no longer be random.
  • A party of players will be able to join another party via the party finder.
  • The option to specify one player per job will be added to the party finder. (Useful to prevent doubling up on the same job.)
  • Players will be able to use the World Visit system while in a cross-world party. (Useful for those who are changing worlds on hunt trains.)
  • New chapters will be added to New Game+.
  • New token exchange vendors will be added to major cities that will trade Allgan Tomestones of Poetics for upgraded gear belonging to each expansion so you don’t have to travel all over.
  • A Fashion Accessories menu option will be added, which includes umbrellas.
  • A Sticker Mode has been added to the the Group Pose function where you can place stickers in your shot. You can also rotate, resize, and adjust opacity of each “layer.” You’ll be able to add the zone/instance name as text as well as a timestamp and character name. (Pictured below.)
  • Yoshida teased a new glamour, emote, and a watermelon… minion.
  • A new magitek flying mount and a Construct 7 flying mount have been added.

Patch 5.31:

  • Ishgardian Restoration update where the ranking system will return.

Patch 5.35:

  • Resistance Weapon quest updates will include the first step to upgrade the items and will include a new large-scale instance: The Bozjan Southern Front.
  • Skysteel Tools update will be added.

A Realm Reborn Revamp

The ability to fly in A Realm Reborn zones has been added and you can unlock it by completing the A Realm Reborn scenario.

A lot of quests have been shortened, or their requirements lessened. For example, you won’t have to collect as many of an item to complete them. They’ve also made an teleport ticket just for The Waking Sands to accommodate new players and lessen the amount of travel time involved.

Yoshida explained that they designed quests to take around nine minutes to complete back then, even if you skipped cut-scenes. The revamp will see main scenario quest experience points adjusted so that you won’t need to worry about meeting level requirements for the next chain.

Free Trial Expansion

The game’s Free Trial mode will be expanded — you will be able to play for free up to Level 60 (up from 35.) You’ll be able to play up to patch 3.56 of the Heavensward expansion without a subscription and have access to Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist as well as the Au Ra race. There will still be restrictions on in-game currency.

The Starter Edition will also be expanded to include the above updates. The originally wanted to cap it at 50, but thought that the more players play the more invested they would be to pay for a subscription later on.

YoRHa Dark Apocalypse – The Puppets’ Bunker

Yoshida showed off a peek of The Puppets Bunker, the second chapter of the YoRHA Dark Apocalypse alliance raid compilation with NieR Automata. They had to adjust it a lot in testing and when they showed it to Yoko Taro he said “Oh if we die, we die, ok? You should make it so that the whole raid wipes if you press this Duty Action.”

NieR Automata-themed gear was also shown. (Pictured in gallery below.)

Tribe Quests – The Dwarves

A new crafting-focuses tribe quest series involving the Dwarves will be added in Patch 5.3. Their home base will be in Lakeland. You can expect rewards to include a mount.

Crafter & Gatherer Updates

Upon reaching Level 15, players can practice crafting without the necessary materials – this is called Trial Synthesis.

A Reverse Lookup function will let you search for recipes via the materials in your inventory and will even include recipes you haven’t yet unlocked. You can find this by opening the submenu for an item.

You will also be able to use a feature that will calculate the amount of items you’ll need based on the amount of items that you to create. (See picture below for a detailed breakdown.)

Quick Desynthesis will also allow you to desynthesize a single stack of items in your inventory in succession.

Ishgardian Restoration Update (Patch 5.31)

The third phase of the restoration will begin in Patch 5.31 where new gathering items will be added to the Diadem. Skybuilder Rankings will reopen with new titles and achievements.

The team shared their plans for titles, but they’re not finalized quite yet and will be checking the comments about this. Skybuilder Ranking Achievements and Titles to be added this round: 1st to 12th place will be Divine Ascenscion / Saint of the Firmament. Phase II titles will have “Phase II” added to them. 1st to 100th place will get Minor Miracle / Beatus(Beata) Ascendant title. Previous phases will have their titles modified to reflect the change as well.

Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr (Patch 5.35)

Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr is a new, large-scale encounter at the Bozjan Southern Front. Band together with up to 72 players and assist the Bozjan Resistance in their mission to rout the IVth Imperial Legion. What’s different from the Forbidden Land Eureka series is that there will only be a maximum of 72 players in and instance. You can focus on the story quests or take on extra challenge — the decision is yours.

In order to participate, you will need a battle job at level 71 or above, and you can change jobs and form parties once you’re inside the instance. Players will gain experience when using jobs below level 80, which will give you another option for leveling. When you enter, you will be level synced to 80 and your gear will be item level synced to 430. If you’re below level 80, you will be upsynced to 80, similar to how Palace of the Dead and Heaven-on-High work.

Mounts can be used immediately after entering, but you won’t be able to fly.

You will do battle with the IVth Imperial Legion to raise your Mettle. With sufficient Mettle, raise your Resistance rank to help the front line push forward. Then, you can storm Castrum Lacus Litore. Players can increase their mettle by joining special encounters on the southern front: Skirmishes and Critical Engagements. You can’t earn Mettle outside these encounters, despite mobs being in the field.

Skirmishes are battles initiated randomly in the field, similar to FATEs. There are no limits to the number of players that can participate, rewarding mettle commensurate to contributions in battle. Players will also receive lockboxes which can be appraised to receive various rewards.

Critical Engagements are battles initiated after meeting special conditions. Only a limited number of players can participate, with encounters ranging from 24 to 48-person battles. Designed to be intense battles that take place in the field, comparable to dungeon or raid bosses. These will award greater Mettle and rewards for completion.

When Critical Engagements are triggered, you have a brief time to request deployment. Then, you will be given an option to transport to the battle location and have a brief period of time to prepare before battle begins. The Critical Engagement fails if you wipe.

There will also be a type of encounter that follows Critical Engagements that involves one player against one mob, and other players can watch from the sidelines. You may be selected for this if you did well during the Critical Engagement. You won’t need to engage in these to complete the story. The largest Critical Engagement will to storm Castrum Lacus Litore, involving 48 players. If you don’t have any Lost Actions, it’ll be tough.

If there are more requests for deployment than are permitted for an engagement, participants will be selected at random. However, it is possible to gain priority in participant selection. You can contribute to triggering the critical engagement or use special items obtain in the Bozjan southern front.

Lost Actions are special actions that can only be used in the Bozjan Southern Front. They offer various beneficial effects, healing, and can even revive players in battle. Lost Actions are created from forgotten fragments obtained in the field. Each crystal used to create these actions has a given weight. Players can only carry a certain combined weight, so you must choose wisely.

Resistance Weapons can be strengthened after gaining access to the Bozjan Southern Front. Players can also accept a quest (from Gerolt in Gangos) to begin collecting items to augment their Resistance weapons. The required items can be found both in and outside the Bozjan Southern Front.

New Glamours, Housing Items, & Minions

  • Mannequins representing hrothgar and viera races have been added.
  • Housing items have been added from the player design contest and the YoRHa Dark Apocalypse series.
  • Several new minions were shown. (Pictured below.)
  • A new Gaelicat-like minion with a winter coat can be obtained by collecting Skybuilders’ Scrips through the Ishgard Restoration update in Patch 5.31.
  • Yoshida showed off new Bozjan gear.

Yo-Kai Watch collaboration event returns

The Yo-Kai Watch collaboration with Level 5 is coming back on August 19th through Patch 5.4’s release date. It’ll include new items for newer jobs like Gunbreaker, Samurai, Red Mage, and Dancer. A new Jibanyan flying mount will be available for collecting all the weapons. (Pictured below.) Previous weapons in the 2016 event will also return.

Fan Festival 2020-2021

Previously, Square Enix had cancelled the North American Fan Festival set for this year due to concerns over safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yoshida says they had venues reserved until the last minute but had to cancel.

The Japanese government wants large-scale events to have attendance reduced by half, and they feel they wouldn’t be able to provide a good experience — long (socially distant) queues and having to clean equipment at each booth after use — it would’t be fun.

The North American event in San Diego will remain cancelled; the team is looking into new dates locations and methods to host an event. The Japanese festival in Nagoya has also been cancelled. The team is continuing to monitor COVID-19 developments to determine whether an event in Europe in Feburary 2021 will be safe.

Yoshida says they had spent a good deal of money to reserve locations for these events but obviously that’s not a concern. They’ll do their best to put on events at a later date.


  • Final Fantasy XIV recently surpassed 20 million players.
  • The Moonfire Faire seasonal event will run between August 12th — 26th.
  • The Yo-Kai Watch collaboration event will run between August 19th through Patch 5.4’s release date.
  • The Rising seasonal event will run between August 27th through September 10th.
  • This year’s All Saints’ Wake event will have elements in the Manderville Gold Saucer to coincide with the Make it Rain Campaign.
  • The Make it Rain Campaign will run between late October through late November.
  • A live patch note reading will take place on Monday, August 10th @ 20:00 JST.
  • New installments of the Tales from the Shadows short stories will be released in late August.
  • Bring Arts Y’shtola figure will release in October 2020 for 8800JPY, 94.99USD, 89.99EUR, 81.99GBP. You can pre-order here.
  • Meister Quality figure Omega will release on January 23 2021 for 23000JPY, 229.99USD, 225.99EUR, 215.99GBP. Includes an exclusive emote “Ballroom Etiquette – Omega Simulations.” Official website here.
  • Pulse Final Fantasy XIV Remix Album will release on September 30th for 3000JPY, 34.99USD, 24.99EUR, 21.99GBP. The remix album includes 14 popular FFXIV songs arranged in various genres like EDM, future bass, house, techno pop, and electro swing. Official website here.

Final Fantasy XIV is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac.

About the Author

Tony Garsow Tony joined Nova Crystallis in 2015, and has spent more than a decade writing in the Final Fantasy community. He also contributes to the Nova Crystallis Twitch and YouTube channels, where you can watch select gameplay highlights, previews, and streams.