With the arrival of Patch 5.35 this week, Final Fantasy XIV players can take on the second chapter of the Save the Queen scenario, written by Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII creator Yasumi Matsuno. The overarching story picks up where the Return to Ivalice series left off — so to understand what’s at play, the game requires you complete that scenario first. Once that’s complete, you’ll need to finish the first chapter released back in Patch 5.25 — the quest-giver is in Kugane.
Without spoiling, the Bozjan Resistance has drafted the Warrior of Light to win back Alermuc Fortress (now Castrum Lacus Litore) from the Garlean Empire’s IVth Legion. When you accept the quest and depart from Gangos, you’ll be taken to resistance camp in the Southern Bozjan Front.
Bozja is built similarly to the Forbidden Land Eureka series that released in the Stormblood expansion. You enter a large zone and take on varying objectives that employ the use of an independent levelling system. Story beats are gated based on your level, and the experience needed to raise it can be lost should you fall afield then use the Return function. (Be sure to call for help first!) This makes traversing the areas a bit more precarious, but unlike Eureka, Bozja is more forgiving in how its enemies are placed — avoiding an instant kill situation should you wake a sleeping dragon by clambering quickly past it.
Taking notes from how players assembled and organized themselves into “trains” to move from FATE to FATE in Eureka, Bozja is designed to accommodate this style of play yet provide a bit more structure so that encounters aren’t completely trivial. After participating in a FATE (or Skirmish as they’re referred to here), you have a chance of triggering a Critical Engagement with up to 48 players. You or your party leader must queue for them through the Bozja-specific user interface.
These encounters, given their size limit, require you to be on your toes a bit more than Eureka’s trains. (Or in some cases, a lot more on your toes.) Triumph here rewards “Mettle,” the form of experience points that you’ll need to increase your rank back at camp. I quite liked some of these fights — their difficulty is comparable to an alliance raid mid-boss: punishing mechanics, but enough room to recover should things get real dicey. On rare occasion, a successful Critical Engagement will spawn a Duel — where one player is selected to face off a tough boss while others can cheer them on from the sidelines. It’s a neat addition you can take or leave.
You’ll also collect items that can be traded in for specific Lost Actions, abilities and items that are only usable on the Bozjan Southen Front. Being that group compositions can vary wildly, some of these Lost Actions are ideal for shoring up any missing roles or boosting existing ones. You’ll also collect crystallized memories depending on what part of the zone you’re fighting in. These memories can be used to strengthen your Resistance Weapon in much the same fashion as Relic Weapons and Anima Weapons before it. However, should you desire to collect them outside Bozja, you can do so by farming FATEs in select Heavensward zones instead.
When you reach Rank 10, you’ll reach the culmination of the second chapter’s scenario with a raid on Castrum Lacus Litore. This dungeon can be queued for within Bozja and be composed of many parties with a sum total of 48 players. Storming the castrum is a blast — not only because it includes fun encounters, but that it asks you to work with atypical group formations — and requires some communication and coordination should you want to maximize the loot you can collect. A healthy selection of Lost Actions is necessary to move things along smoothly, and using them in hectic moments rewards your preparation well. The only downside to it is that it can be a pain to get into — as competing critical engagements may lock many of the instance’s participants out of the window of opportunity to launch a raid.
The story revolving around the occupied lands of Bozja, the knots entangling a class-stratified people, and the theater of war pour from Matsuno’s pen. Not only in the scenario itself, but in the Field Record feature where you can collect the colorful stories of enemies and allies alike. Alongside the refinement of the Eureka experience, Save the Queen scenario feels at home with the raid and alliance raid stories, adding yet another pillar of reliably good XIV content. While you’ll be in for some grind (this is intended to supplement the weapon enhancement feature for several patches, after all) it never feels as laborious as Eureka. If you are aiming to collect anything and everything, including the exclusive gear, Lost Actions, and records, Bozja’s refined experience will likely make that effort less dull.
Below, you’ll find our entire playthrough of the Bozjan southern front, truncated to story beats and the raid on Castrum Lacus Litore.
Be warned, this includes spoilers for the Save the Queen story!
The Bozjan Southern Front
Final Fantasy XIV is now available on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac.