Final Fantasy XIV." And it's true! While I'm not as happy with 2.2 as perhaps I would like to be, as odd as that statement sounds, it's not the end of the world. In fact, there's a lot of stuff around the corner that should make me a lot happier.
We've heard rumblings about what we'll see at E3 next month, we're hearing discussion of what's next on the docket for patch 2.3, and there are tantalizing hints about what's going to be arriving beyond even that. Some of these are things that I've discussed elsewhere; some I haven't had the opportunity to chat about yet (we only got the live letter announcement on Friday, after all!). So let's go ahead and dive into what's on the horizon for the game.
Those new classes
Yes, this is a topic near and dear to my heart, so much that I can't stop talking about it. But despite that, what I have talked about almost universally is the gun class. But there's more to highlight, starting with the fact that all we know about them is that they'll be coming after 2.3.
Some translations have specified soon after 2.3, so perhaps we can expect a small intermezzo patch, but simply saying after could mean a lot of things. It could mean they're not coming until the expansion that we all know is on the horizon. I suspect we'll see them much sooner than that, but the point is that nothing is written in stone at the moment. Could be at almost any time!
But let's go down the speculation road because for all the chatter about guns, the dual-wielding dagger class has gone virtually unmentioned, which is interesting because there are lots of possibilities there, too.
Ninja is the obvious frontrunner here, but those who have played through 2.2's main story will know that it culminates in a number of people obviously dressed to resemble the iconic Thief. So either is possible. Perhaps both, in fact; it's not out of the realm of possibility that the root class will be the first class other than Arcanist with two jobs available. People have tossed around Scout as a possible class name, which sounds plausible to me.
Correspondingly, there's a question of roles, which is worth bringing up. The game is currently lacking tank, melee DPS, and healing options compared to ranged damage. Having both Thief and Ninja spin off of a central class would address that; Ninja could take a tank role to mirror its function in Final Fantasy XI, while Thief once again goes the DPS route.
E3 expansion announcement
I'm not saying that I am absolutely confident we will see the expansion announced at E3. I'm saying that it would be silly for Square not to announce it there.
Do I think there's any doubt of an expansion? Not really. We've all been watching Square-Enix keep doing better and better on financial forecasts because of Final Fantasy XIV, and I have little doubt the game is going to keep moving forward and being profitable for a very long time. E3 is the perfect time and place to announce an expansion, especially when I see the game continuing on the current patch cycle until about 2.5.
What will be in the expansion? Well, I've speculated about that on Chocobo Dash, so if you don't want to listen to my pie-in-the-sky speculation out loud, here's the summary: three new classes (including Dark Knight), a new crafting class, a new gathering class, a level cap increase, entrance to Ishgard, and personal airship construction. I'll probably be wrong about lots of that, but I do not care.
Mind you, I don't think we'll be getting the expansion this year. I suspect we'll see 2.3 hit in early July, 2.4 in late November, and then 2.5 setting the stage for the expansion in mid-March next year. It'll actually be out at some point in the summer. But I think the hype needs to get started now, and honestly, it's the big obvious announcement to make in the first place. Feel free to leave your own speculation down below.
Oh, right, 2.3 is coming
The funny thing is that almost all of the things that the internet has been wildly speculating about are nowhere to be found in the 2.3 content under discussion in the live letter. That's going to focus on Ramuh, the three new dungeons, item desynthesis, and the new daily hunts. (Also the continuation of the Zodiac line, but I'm beyond tired of talking about that.)
I'm still curious to find out where Hullbreaker Isle is located; the name suggests Limsa Lominsa, obviously, but let's not forget the coastline of Thanalan. I'd really rather not have another top-tier dungeon in Vylbrand since we saw how the first one turned out. The idea of revisiting Stone Vigil is appealing, while Tam-Tara seems less enticing. It remains to be seen if the former has actually been reclaimed by the Holy See, which was the interesting route that Halatali went.
I suspect that Daily Hunts are the rumored non-full-party content that was supposedly on the docket, and they might prove an interesting new exercise. Of course, they could also be the equivalent of random dungeon quests or something similar. I'm hoping but not expecting something akin to duo/trio Guildhests, reusing existing maps in interesting ways and pitting players against interesting minibosses for loot and currency.
Of course, this is all so much speculation now, but there's no reason you can't join in on the speculation train in the comments below. Your feedback and comments are also welcome, and you can also mail those along to firstname.lastname@example.org. By the next column, the live letter should have just been released, so I'll be analyzing that new crop of facts for everyone's amusement.
Yes, we continue bravely onward! Episode 3 contains some of our future speculation as well as more talk about the awfulness of Atma (at which point I said I was tired of talking about a depressingly dumb design). Meanwhile, Episode 4 includes ranting about the global nature of the game, speed runs, healer roles, and personal housing. If you've got a topic you'd like to see us discuss in the future, you can leave that in the comments as well; we're receptive!
Meanwhile, those of you who enjoy the series in general and watching me rant about various parts of it might have fun with my latest diatribe about Final Fantasy II. You know, just some extra reading material for a Monday afternoon.
From Eorzea to Vana'diel, there is a constant: the moogles. And for analysis and opinions about the online portions of the Final Fantasy series, there is also a constant: The Mog Log. Longtime series fan Eliot Lefebvre serves up a new installment of the log every other Monday, covering almost anything related to Square-Enix's vibrant online worlds.
The Mog Log: Whispers of what comes next for Final Fantasy XIV
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