I vaguely recall statements that the third turn of the Binding Coil will be the last one, but I could be in error; I fully accept that possibility. That having been said, it certainly seems as if 2.4 will be the final turn, adding in that last bit of supplementary material exploring Dalamud and Bahamut himself. And we know for a fact that 2.4 will include Shiva, whose presence could not have been forecast in 2.3 any harder if she'd been holding up a sign saying, "HELLO MY NAME IS SHIVA."
My theory remains that 2.5 will be the last patch of the cycle, and it's going to feature a fight against Bahamut as the final primal to cap things off. And a lot of the 2.0 mysteries are likely to be answered within short order.
There are essentially two big mysteries still hanging over the game's story: what happened at the moment of the Calamity, and what the Ascians ultimately have hoped to accomplish all the way along. The former has been getting teased quite extensively, with the little anniversary stories reminding us quite explicitly that there is something funky going on with that time skip. We don't know what happened when Dalamud fell, but even the leaders of the Grand Companies still remember that something took place then...
All of this also ties into the Primals. If there was any doubt that Bahamut was a Primal, the Coils have put that doubt to rest. But he's a Primal without worship, one who required something very different from crystals to be summoned. Why imprison him rather than destroy him?
It's clear that ancient Allag ties to the Ascians in some way. Xande is tied to the void, as made clear in Syrcus Tower. Lahabrea was the one who unlocked the power of Ultima Weapon in the final battle against Baelsar. Indeed, so many of their actions seem directed not against the Primals directly but in decided opposition to them. There's a tie between Shiva and the conflict in Coerthas, but the Ascians we see on the side of Ishgard, while the woman who strongly appears to be Shiva is with the Dravinian heretics.
What 2.4 promises to do, at the very least, is show us where the expansion is going because we have options
. Doma's presence implies a trip to Othard, a strike against the Garlean forces in territories they seem to have under control. But Shiva and the renewed focus on Ishgard against the Dravinians implies moving north, into the lowlands and approaching Sharlayan. There are mysteries in both directions, and I think a lot will vary based upon whether or not 2.4 allows us to finally enter Ishgard.
Yes, I can see a city being added in 2.4. It sounds crazy, but it's also the sort of thing that this team would do.
If we're allowed into Ishgard, we may very well be looking at resolving that particular conflict now
rather than when the expansion drops. But if we're only seeing it from afar, I suspect our next quest will be to push further north and sort things out on the ground there. But either way, I suspect 2.4 will make it very clear what the Ascians hope to gain by fueling conflict against the Primals and feeding weapons and tactics to the forces who would oppose these summoned creatures.
So what do I hope for? I'm hoping, honestly, that our next destination contains fewer Ascians and Primals as a whole. While 2.0 opened off with a lot of conflicts, the opponents who have dominated most of the storyline have been Ascians and Primals, not the Garleans. While I've long been of the mind that the expansion will bring us into Ishgard and points north, a change to Othard might well give us a very different story to be concerned about and conflicts that feel more novel.
At the same time, I know that 2.4 won't resolve everything, but it will
answer questions. By the time the patch storyline has concluded, I suspect we'll know why adventurers were cast forward and erased from memory and what precise plot it is that we're foiling, giving us some anticipation before 2.5 lets us bring down the hammer in late January of next year. (Or so I'd guess.) And part of me wonders if the reason so many people are unable to remember the participants of Carteneau is that there's something even worse
worth forgetting, that a blank on these heroes is better than knowing their faces and knowing what else the world faces.
It promises to be quite a ride, though. I have no doubt that we'll be hearing about 2.4 later this week and seeing plenty of previews as we lead into a mid-October release. And when that happens I'll be eager to... totally ignore all of the story stuff and level Ninja. I've been waiting for this.
Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Next time around, I will
be able to comment on the mess that I expect 2.38 to bring along with all of the other stuff we've heard about the future of the game. Please look forward to it!
Also, you don't need to look forward to Episode 21
or Episode 22
of Chocobo Dash, you can listen to those right now. Nor do you need to look forward to part 2
or part 3
of my trip through Final Fantasy IV
. You know, like I nearly forgot to mention.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.