Final Fantasy XIV are scattered, and odds are high that if the Garlean Empire invades once again there will be no chance of resistance. But large-scale threats are nothing new to Eorzea, and the tradition that has defended the continent before is being revived once more, in the form of the Grand Companies. Hinted at several times by producer Naoki Yoshida, today's patch is the start of the new content associated with these overarching gatherings, with the corresponding lore page explaining what these companies are and what threats they face both within and without.
Each of the three companies -- the Order of the Twin Adder, the Maelstrom, and the Immortal Flames -- is detailed on the official page, with information about the past and present of each organization. They also lie at the heart of some of the new sidequests released with this update. Patch 1.17 also contains new notorious monsters, new equipment that requires rather than favors specific disciplines, and changes to party size and Behest. Final Fantasy XIV players are encouraged to read the full patch notes as well as the Grand Company page -- it looks as if the game's storyline content is starting to move forward after the past several system tweaks.