More Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Information During the EU Fan Festival

Final Fantasy XIV fans! If you missed or couldn't watch the live stream of the EU Fan Festival, here you're in for a treat. New zones, new beasts, and Blitzball?

This is it, the last Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in Frankfurt, Germany before the launch of the new expansion -- Stormblood. The pervious Fan Fest gave us loads of new information with the reveal of Redmage (new job), two new raids called “The Bend of Time -- Omega” and “Return to Ivalice," a new beast tribe known as “The Ananta," the introduction of swimming mechanics, a bunch of new zones, and a (tentative) release date of June 20, 2017.

This time, we got even more information about Stormblood and some unexpected news as well. We already knew that there was going to be at least one new job shown, as some were speculating that it was Samurai. And that hunch was spot-on.

The surprise I was talking about earlier was massive – not only will we be going to Ala Mihgo (which is part of the main arc in Stormblood), we will also be going to the far eastern continent of Othard. Along with that, there will be all new cities and areas you can find in Othard – The city of Kugane, The Ruby Sea, and Yanxia, for example.

Let’s dig deeper into all the new information presented to us. Hold on, it's a lot! 

Samurai Job Details

Every Final Fantasy XIV player has been waiting for the announcement of the newest job – the Samurai. Although no one knew for sure, there were hints at the last Fan Fest about Samurai. During the last Fan Fest, Naoki Yoshida (the Director of Final Fantasy XIV) came out with a spider-man T-shirt and told everyone he really loves the Sam Raimi directed films, which was the hint that Samurai was/is a thing.

New in-game footage of Samurai’s abilities was revealed along with the announcement. Just look at how amazing the armor set is!

As you expect – Samurai jobs will wield Katanas and each Katana will come complete with their own unique scabbard (the blade casing).

The only way to unlock and play Samurai is to complete the 2.0 main scenario, after the Preatorium dungeon. Once that has been completed, even new players can go to back to the old areas to unlock and experience Samurai right at level 50.

Samurai will be the 10th DPS (damage per second) class introduced to Final Fantasy XIV. Samurai is a close combat DPS that deals massive damage single-handedly. As a Samurai, you are a Master of the Art of Sen and its three forces: Setsu, Getsu, and Ka (Snow, Moon, and Flower). A new mechanic introduced specifically to the Samurai is charging attacks -- and timing it well will net the most damage.

Samurai looks like a cool and fun job to play; the unique factor of its battle style might be able to wheel me back into the game. This is a job that so many players were waiting for, even if it isn’t what they expected.   

Unexpected New Areas, and A Lot of Them

Kugane

We knew that we were going to Ala Mihgo. But what we didn’t expect was going to the east continent of Othard. In the new trailer, there were shots of a new city in Othard called Kugane. It seems inspired by eastern culture, down to the architecture and even music.

The layout of the city is portrayed as a port town, with the reason for that being that Hingashi is a far-eastern nation with a strict isolationist policy and is only open to foreign trade vessels. Violence within town walls is prohibited and anyone who disobeys will pay accordingly.   

The Ruby Sea

There isn’t much information about The Ruby Sea, except that it is ruled by pirates and beasts, known as Kojin, that love treasure. These are the new beast tribes that can be found around the Ruby Sea. They’re tortoise-like with large protective shells. What's more, they love to be in water and even have settlements under the sea. 

The Kojins believe in unique gods named Kami, which are the collectors of treasures. They are protected by powerful deities, one of which is an original primal known as Susano – Lords of the Revel. In Japanese mythology, Susano is the god of storms. 

Yanxia

Yanxia was only talked about briefly and how it’s controlled by the Garlean Empire (main antagonists). Most of this part of the keynote was showing some art of the area.

The Azim Steppe

The Azim Steppe is the first “expansive plain (or open) area, which is populated with Nomadic Au Ra tribes, the tribes that you can pick in the character creation section of Final Fantasy XIV. To get an in-depth look at the history and everyday life of the Au Ra is going to be fascinating. Again, most of this segment was art.

A 4th Residential Area

Finally, something everyone was waiting for -- housing! This is something really worthwhile, as fans have been clamoring for easy-to-buy housing for quite some time. Of course, adding a new district doesn’t completely fix these problems, but it’s a start.

The area is set in Shirogane, a far-eastern district and from the video show, you can see the eastern influence in the landscape and architecture.

Because housing is so big, the plots will not immediately be available for purchase at launch, although you can gaze at the scenery. Now that there is another residential area, there are new features for moving. At launch, you will be able to transfer your existing house to a new plot.

And ...what’s a new house without furnishing? Before launch, there was a finite number of furnishing you could add in a house, although the number was (and still is) generous, there still wasn’t enough space for players to add. So, they are doubling the amount of furnishing you can have in a house. 

After the first day, Naoki Yoshida held a special press conference for the media in attendance. Gamerescape reported on all the questions and responses.

In Q&A press conference held for media a day after the even began, a correspondent from MyM Magazine asked Yoshida: "With the addition of swimming, do you see Blitzball in the future of Final Fantasy XIV?". Yoshida answered, "Yes, we have plans." Expanding on that, he said he wants Blitzball to feel like it did in Final Fantasy X, but to also make it fit in an MMO. He concluded by saying that "Because we have swimming and diving, it's natural to get that in the game."

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All this news makes me extra excited for Stormblood. Knowing that there are going to be multiple places in Eorzea means that the devs are willing to step out of their comfort zone and do things that could make the game a better experience for players. The developers are listening and getting feedback from the community.

Are you stoked for Stormblood? I would like to hear the things that excite you.

Published Feb. 18th 2017

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