Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn has officially announced the second major expansion, titled “Stormblood“, and has set it’s release window for sometime in early summer of 2017.
The expansion was announced at the FFXIV fan fest today, straight from Naoki Yoshida himself.
Development on Stormblood is well underway according to Yoshi-P, and like Heavensward, the expansion will be focused heavily on an area we already know of – in this case, Ala Mhigo. Yoshi-P has said that the focus of the expansion will be the process of taking back Ala Mhigo from the Garlean Empire, and bringing it back onto friendly terms with the Eorzean Alliance. Oh, and as it comes from Ala Mhigo, the Monk class will be put in the spotlight, the same way the Dragoon was for Heavensward.
A new, huge area called Rhalgr’s Reach (named for Rhalgr, the god of destruction and guardian deity of Ala Mhigo) will be where the new storyline really begins, and will expand from there across several new large zones.
Yoshi-P has also announced that new jobs will be added with the expansion, but said no more. Due to a few clues he gave cryptically during his time on stage (like pointing to his shirt that featured Marvel’s The Scarlet Witch), speculation abounds regarding Red Mage.
Also discussed was a revamp of the battle system and an overhaul of the skill system to address the growing concern among players that the battle system right now doesn’t really work with the abundance of skills that high-level classes have. Since changing classes and having necessary skillsets in given classes is viewed as clunky, the team is working to rework skills based upon battle roles instead of jobs. This is being done to try to unclutter hotbars for high-level play.
And, of course, more general updates were mentioned as well. New Primals will be added as part of the story line. A new housing area is being added, but it is directly tied to the storyline as well, so it was not discussed further. Also coming is a big expansion to inventories – maybe access to more retainers too? To go along with the new sprawling areas, the level cap is being raised from 60 to 70 as well. The new areas are also all going to be flight enabled, but with the holdover that you’ll need to find the aether pockets to gain flight again.
And, finally, Final Fantasy XIV will be dropping support of PS3 to push the game’s performance further.
Square also announced that they will be adding several patches before the Stormblood launch in early summer next year.