Final Fantasy Xiv Endwalker (31)

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker was announced during a special Announcement Showcase livestream. As it’s the final expansion of the current arc, Endwalker will conclude the Hydaelyn/Zodiark story that’s been running since Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. Which launched back in 2010. This has been a long time coming (and is still a little ways off, as it’s due out in fall), but this isn’t the end of Final Fantasy XIV itself.

In this article, I’m going to cover basically everything of interest revealed in the livestream — everything you need to know, to cheesily drop the title. Note that this means massive spoilers if you’re not caught up on Final Fantasy XIV yet.

 

Before we get on with talking about all the Endwalker info dropped in this nearly two-hour showcase, let’s have a gander at the teaser trailer.

Usually, the teaser trailers are cut-down versions of the “full” trailer, which we’ll see closer to launch. Nonetheless, if you haven’t at least completed patch 5.3 of Shadowbringers, then there are a lot of plot spoilers in here. Consider this your final spoiler warning.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker info

Alright, we’ve got that out of the way, and it looks fancy as hell! Plot stuff aside, that trailer also gives us a glimpse at a few of the new bits and bobs we’ll be talking about later. A new job, new dungeons, the Paladin as the flagship job, and the moon. And that doesn’t come close to everything that producer Naoki Yoshida and translator/world-and-lore developer Michael-Christopher Koji Fox had to reveal.

Here’s a quick run-down of everything that was revealed and given at least some degree of detail:

  • Story conclusion
  • New jobs
  • New areas
  • New Beast Tribes
  • New enemies
  • New dungeons
  • New Normal Raid
  • New Alliance Raid
  • New small-scale PvP content
  • New Gold Saucer attraction
  • “Island Sanctuary”
  • Ishgard residential district
  • Numerous system reworks
  • Data Center Travel system
  • Patch 5.5 release date

We’ll be going over all of that below. And, of course, talking a little about where the story’s going to take us and what it’s going to involve. I should also add that the level cap will be raised by 10 again, bringing the maximum level up to 90, but that should surprise literally nobody.

If you want to watch the livestream for yourself then it’s archived over here, but I’m going to cover basically every single thing below. Your choice!

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The end of an era

First things first: Endwalker looks to have the Warrior of Light and the Scions battling to prevent the second coming of the Final Days, which destroyed Amaurot and resulted in the sundering of the star in the first place. Reality is fraying, and things are going wrong. And this is almost certainly down to the machinations of Zenos yae Galvus and Fandaniel. Those dicks. How many times do we have to teach you this lesson, Zenos?

To learn about what really happened in the Final Days, to prevent them from happening again, and to learn the full truth behind Hydaelyn and Zodiark, the Warrior of Light will be venturing to the moon to save the world from its greatest threat yet. And considering that we’ve seen the Ascians pop up on the moon a few times (plus the other moon containing Bahamut) that’s not a huge surprise. If you’re thinking Final Fantasy IV here, you’re not the only one, but we’ll get to that a bit later.

The questions that will be asked and answered in this expansion: what brought about the Final Days? What became of Hydaelyn and Zodiark? What is the ultimate fate of the Garlean Empire? What are Zenos and Fandaniel trying to do? What is the dying wish of the Ancients? What are the fates of the Warrior of Light and the Scions? And what, exactly, will we find on the moon? (Also: how will we get there? And breathe there? And…) We’re promised a lot of twists and surprises, and my fingers are crossed for just that.

 

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Either way, this is the end, and the showcase made great pains to show this off, even coloring the words “Final” “End” and “Finale” in bright red. Endwalker will close off the Hydaelyn and Zodiark plot arc that’s been running for the past ten years. Yoshi-P likened each expansion to a time of day: A Realm Reborn was a sunrise, Heavensward was a cold blue sky, Stormblood was a crimson twilight, Shadowbringers was a dark (k)night, and Endwalker is a new dawn. So, full circle.

What’s interesting here is that the story will actually end in 6.0. Traditionally, we get a climactic battle at the end of the expansion, and then the story of that expansion comes to its full close in the x.3 patch, with the x.4 patch leading into the next expansion. In Endwalker, that’s not the case. 6.0 will be the grand finale of the story, with 6.1 being the start of something new.

However, that doesn’t mean Final Fantasy XIV will cease development with 6.0. Patch 6.1 onwards will be the beginning of a brand new story arc, completely separate from the Hydaelyn/Zodiark saga — and fear not. Yoshi-P will still be carrying on. “I look at Final Fantasy XIV as my life work,” said Yoshi-P (via Koji Fox’s translation), “or at least until the president tells me to stop. 6.0 will be ending the story, but from 6.1 on we have an even greater story, and I personally feel that I’m probably going to end up being with Final Fantasy XIV for my whole life.”

New jobs

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will add two additional jobs to the roster. The one revealed during the stream was the Sage, who will be the fourth healer. According to Yoshi-P and Koji Fox, a lot of the feedback they’ve received in the past is that the game doesn’t have enough healers (White Mage, Scholar, and Astrologian being the three healing classes out of the current 17 non-limited jobs). And Alphinaud has apparently swapped to the Sage job for Endwalker, but until we play the expansion, we won’t know why. However, we do know that the gear he’s wearing in the trailer is a variant of the Sage’s Artifact gear.

The Sage will wield a unique, aether-imbued weapon which looks to me a bit like four pieces of magitek. On the other hand, “Sage” makes me think of Sharlayan, so who knows where this job will originate from? The weapon — called the Nouliths — is controlled by the character’s aether.

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The addition of the Sage is going to result in a bit of retooling to the Astrologian. Patch 6.0 (the Endwalker patch) will make a bigger distinction between “pure healers” and “barrier healers”; while the White Mage is a pure healer, the Scholar and the Sage are both barrier healers. This means that the Astrologian will be retooled a bit to fit into the role of a pure healer, so that there are two of each. Even the Raid Finder will be expanded to make a distinction between pure healers and barrier healers, interestingly.

Anyway, the Sage! The Nouliths can heal the party, put up barriers to shield them, or directly attack enemies, but the focus is definitely on barriers. In terms of unique mechanics, the Sage will be able to temporarily augment their own magical abilities to increase their power, so (as with basically every other job in the game) they’ll hopefully feel entirely unique.

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The Sage will start at level 70, so you’ll have a bit of grinding to do before you can get into Endwalker content with them. No class is required, but you must have at least one other job at level 70 or above, and you must own Endwalker to switch to this job. That said, the job quest will be offered in Limsa Lominsa so you’ll be able to switch before you even start Endwalker. No need to visit a brand new city.

The other job, which has yet to be revealed, will be a melee DPS job. Geomancer? Berserker? Necromancer, somehow? I’d be intrigued to see a melee magic class as that’s something we don’t really have yet, but your guess is as good as mine. That said, the duo noted that “the guesses have been kind of off, for the most part.” Which means no sumo wrestlers, apparently. The second job will be announced in May during the digital Fan Festival.

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The characters

Next up, the characters we saw in the teaser trailer. Alphinaud has shifted over to the Sage job. Alisaie remains a Red Mage, but will be getting a lovely new costume — and we’ll apparently be surprised as to who she gets it from, and how. Fandaniel remains a mystery, and also remains a massive hate-sink on account of both being a massive dick and inhabiting the body of Asahi, who was also a massive dick. (He will, apparently, not be the last boss, but he is keeping a “big, very complex” secret.) Finally, there’s Zenos yae Galvus, whose sole purpose in life is to fight his first and only “friend”, the Warrior of Light. We can probably guess his motivations.

While those are the characters in the teaser, there are plenty of past characters who’ll be returning. Estinien will have a large role to play, to the extent that he’ll be joining the Trust system to fill in a melee DPS role there. More on that below.

Final Fantasy XIV Radz-at-Han

New areas

There’ll be two towns in Endwalker: one large, and one small. The one revealed today was Radz-at-Han, on the island of Thavnair, which is the smaller town and will be roughly the size of Eulmore. Going by the art, it’s also extremely colorful. Yoshi-P didn’t talk about the influences barring stating that it has a “subtropical feel”, but to my horribly untrained eye it looks like it’s taken some inspiration from places like Morocco, India, and maybe some south-east Asian countries. And this probably isn’t a surprise after Radz-at-Han being revealed as a city, but the entire island of Thavnair itself will also be a playable region.

Radz-at-Han

Radz-at-Han

Radz-at-Han

My guess for the second city would be somewhere in Sharlayan, especially because it’s visible on the map at the start of the trailer. That’d also tie into my guess for the Sage lore. But, as with so much else, we’ll have to wait and see.

Moving on from friendly cities, Garlemald — capital of the Garlean Empire — will also be a playable region. However, it’s… not in a good state. The civil war and Zenos’ ongoing lunacy have clearly taken a pretty bad toll on things, but the exact nature of what happened here isn’t clear yet. “There’s a very deep and intricate story that is related to this area,” said Fox.

Garlemald

Garlemald

New Beast Tribes

The new Beast Tribe we’ll be encountering in Endwalker is the Matanga – specifically, the Arkasodara tribe. These are the elephant chaps that you may have fought in the Azim Steppe (and you may have seen some bits about them in Treasure Hunts), but the blue elephants of the Arkasodra Tribe are significantly more friendly. It hasn’t been specified, but it very much sounds like this Beast Tribe will be geared towards Disciples of War.

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There will be other Tribes introduced too, although it’s not clear whether that’ll be in 6.0 itself or if they’ll be kept until the post-launch patches. Koji Fox did mention that we will be going to the moon, and pondered out loud what we could possibly meet there. I’d have said “dragons”, but we met them already. Then again, we don’t have a dragon Beast Tribe yet…

Final Fantasy XIV - Anima

New enemies and dungeons

Here’s a fun one: Anima from Final Fantasy X will be making an appearance, and the original designer of Anima in Final Fantasy X is actually on the art team of Final Fantasy XIV. So Anima will be authentic, at least. I can see this either being something to do with the Final Days, or (given its prior status as a summon) one of the new Primals we’ll be encountering. Either way, we’re going to be taking her on.

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As for new dungeons, we don’t have much in the way of concrete details, but we do have art and a fair bit we can infer from that. The first dungeon shown was a ruined temple in a forest engulfed in flame; given the architecture (and the dev comments) I suspect this will tie into Thavnair. Likewise, the giant two-headed statue (or enemy?) makes me think of Agni, which would once again tie into this.

Final Fantasy Xiv Biomech Dungeon

Another dungeon shown was pretty much the polar opposite: a weird, biomechanical fortress that looks like an H.R. Giger nightmare, with faces and masks blended into purple fleshy walls. In short, think Exdeath’s Castle from Final Fantasy V. Based on the trailer, this might be related to the moon, and it may also be where Fandaniel is holing up.

Final Fantasy Xiv Train Station

The third piece of dungeon art showed something akin to a Magitek train station, and that makes me assume it’ll be related to Garlemald. “You’ll be visiting most of them during the main scenario, but this time we have a wide variety of dungeons. Some that are very high fantasy, some that have ancient ruins, as well as some that have a very modern feel,” the duo commented.

New raids

This is Final Fantasy XIV, so of course, we’ll be getting a new Normal Raid series and a new Alliance Raid series. The Normal Raid (the eight-person one) is called Pandæmonium, which I will be called Pandaemonium from now on. The single piece of art for this showed, of all things, Lahabrea — or at least an Ascian with his sigil. You know, the crap Ascian that unceremoniously died back in Heavensward.

Final Fantasy XIV Pandaemonium

Again, a fair bit of guesswork can be made based on these two bits of info. Pandaemonium was the final dungeon of Final Fantasy II, and was the palace of hell itself. With Lahabrea being dead, this might involve the afterlife or hell, in some way. “We cannot talk about where this raid will take place. It’s going to be very, very unique to Final Fantasy XIV,” said the pair. “In conjunction with that story that we’re completing with the Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga, we plan to tell this new, completely original Final Fantasy XIV story of Pandaemonium.”

There’ll also be a new Alliance Raid, but we have almost no details on that so far. We do know that it won’t be a crossover, though, unlike NieR or Final Fantasy Tactics. It’s a Final Fantasy XIV original focusing on a piece of Eorzean lore that “has remained steeped in mystery for a long time.”

My dreams of a Chrono Trigger crossover remain just that. Someday, maybe.

New PvP

Endwalker and 6.0 will come with a new PvP mode that’s smaller in scale than what’s currently in the game. The intention here is to make PvP content that feels “more casual and more immersive by removing role restrictions.” Another part of the idea is to make matching easier than before.

This new PvP content won’t just be for the hardcore. There’ll be a new type of reward system that doesn’t focus solely on gear, but will also have a new category of reward, in the hopes of opening it up to a lot of new players.

New side content

In another “not a surprise”, we’ll be seeing new gatherer and crafter quests, as well as an expansion of the Role Quest system. Role Quests will be back in much the same way, but rather than the roles being Tank/Healer/Melee DPS/Ranged DPS, they’ll be divvied up differently, with Ranged DPS split into Ranged Physical DPS and Ranged Magical DPS. Five roles instead of four, then. However, as this ties into the large city, we apparently can’t learn anything more about them just yet.

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As noted earlier, Estinien will be joining the Trust system, filling in the role of melee DPS as a dragoon and hopefully not backflipping off ledges. Why will he be joining the Scions, if indeed he will? We’ll have to wait and see. And he definitely won’t betray us. Dragoons never do that. Especially not in Final Fantasy games where you go to the moon.

The Trust system itself will also be expanded, but details are scarce. There’ll be “new types of activities and new types of duties” for the Trust buddies to take part in, but I have no idea what that means.

The Gold Saucer will be getting some new content, but once again, we don’t know what. There’ll be something “almost as big as the recent addition of Mahjong”. Ideas thrown around on the stage in terms of what people want were Blitzball from Final Fantasy X, snowboarding from Final Fantasy VII, and… also Fall Guys and sumo wrestling. Whatever it is, it’s going to be a major new attraction, presumably on the scale of Triple Triad, Mahjong, Lord of Verminion, and chocobo racing, so pretty much any of the above could actually fit. Except maybe Fall Guys, unless we get a really weird crossover. It’ll be for all players and it will contain multiplayer.

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Island Sanctuary

This addition to Final Fantasy XIV in Endwalker is a really intriguing one and deserves its own sub-heading, although Island Sanctuary may just be a working title. This will let Final Fantasy XIV players “enjoy a bit of slow living”, and it’s not just limited to crafters and gatherers. You could raise animals, cultivate land, and sell the results. Or maybe you could have your minions run free.

Either way, this sounds a bit Harvest Moon. You’ll be getting to visit a deserted island and make it your own, so I’m in.

The Island Sanctuary system will be updated across the entirety of the 6.x patch series.

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Ishgard residential district

At long last, with the completion of the Firmament, we’ll be able to get housing in Ishgard. As of 6.0 players will be able to visit the residential district to look around. However, players won’t be able to purchase a plot there until 6.1. The Warrior of Light’s going to be a bit busy saving the world before worrying about getting a new house. Not much point buying and furnishing a nice new place in Ishgard when the fabric of reality is being rent asunder and the planet’s on fire, after all.

That said, considering the housing system in Final Fantasy XIV, getting a plot of land is going to be far more difficult than just preventing the Final Days. And alas, Endwalker won’t be updating the housing system itself: the team’s plan is to have the same number of wards as all other residential districts, plus apartments. So good luck getting one of these. Fox and Yoshida said that they’re trying to make sure there’ll be enough plots available, but unless there’s a significant rework, I cannot see that happening at all.

Battle values being downscaled

There’ll be the usual tuning of job actions and new actions (and hopefully a major rework of a job or two), but there’s a bigger change coming in Endwalker. First, all values are being downscaled. Basically, numbers are getting too high and they’re starting to cause some bugs (as well as floating damage text taking up massive amounts of screen space). Enmity overflowing back to zero would, for instance, be a bad thing, and at this point these bugs are mostly getting bandages put on them rather than actually fixed. Likewise, enemy HP and experience numbers required to advance are both getting ludicrous, so you’ll earn less experience but requires less to level up. Apparently, one boss in patch 5.5 will have 440,000,000 HP. Which… okay, yes, that’s silly.

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As such, character growth (in terms of raw attributes) won’t go up quite so much from levels 50-80. From 81-90, though, you’ll still be getting the current hefty increases so you’ll feel a much bigger increased in power.

Note that this won’t actually impact your actual power, because everything will be scaled to everything else. In relative terms, things will be the same. You’ll be doing “less” damage and earning “less” experience, but as enemy HP and the experience requirements will also be dropped by the equivalent amount, it’ll even out — it’s just that the numbers will be smaller. The example given was that, if a level 80 Black Mage currently uses Fire IV and does 50,000 damage, this will drop to around 10,000 after 6.0 hits and the downscale takes effect. It’ll be around a fifth of what it was, but then enemy health will also be about a fifth, so it evens out. This is basically a step being taken to ensure that things can continue on for many years to come — and indeed, it may have to happen again in another decade.

The one thing that will be impacted is undersized parties. Because character growth will be lessened until 81-90, doing older content as a level 75 or so will be more difficult. This apparently will be addressed, but the team is still figuring out the details.

Taking off your belt

One more little addition: belts are being removed from the game. They currently have no bearing on a character’s appearance and they’re negligible in terms of stats, so they’re not a popular piece of equipment… but they still take up armory chest space. Rings, however, are here to stay as they’re still visible on players — for now at least.

Final Fantasy XIV Sage

NO BELTS ALLOWED.

As of 6.0, belts will no longer be equippable. Any equipped belts will be unequipped and moved to Calamity Salvagers, and this also includes retainers. As such, there’s no need to rush to unequip belts, but you should remove materia from belts before 6.0 launches. Equally, belts will no longer drop from duties, and will no longer be in Tomestone exchanges.

The removal of belts does allow for a bit more armory chest space in other areas. The 35 slots allocated to belts will be divided up with 15 slots added to primary weapons, while another 15 will be allocated to rings. The remaining five slots will be held onto for a rainy day. So, good news for glamour fiends, which I suspect is “all of us.”

warrior of light portal

This is actually the Warrior of Light looking at the housing market, but I guess you could liken it to transfer of some sort.

Data Center Travel system

This is something that’s been requested for a long time, but we’ll soon be able to visit other Data Centers. This won’t work in the same way as the World Visit system, but it’ll hopefully be similar and still fairly simple. You’ll apparently need to change this outside of the game and then log back in, so it won’t be something you can just do instantly, but it’s something I’m very happy to see.

The flipside is that there will be a number of restrictions with this; possibly more than exist with the World Visit system. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to temporarily head over to other data centers and hang out with any friend you have that plays Final Fantasy XIV, regardless of where they play. And apparently this won’t have much impact on world economy, on the basis that the World Visit system also had a pretty negligible impact on that.

Patch 5.5 release date and PlayStation 5 support

The first part of this isn’t PC relevant, but I did say this was Everything You Need To Know, so: hello, console players! Final Fantasy XIV will be getting a dedicated PlayStation 5 version, and the open beta will be launching on April 13th. I’m not going into the heavy details here, but it will have the expected improvements: better load times, better framerates, and support for 4K resolutions (which will be optional, because that will lower the framerate).

girl

Why does that matter for PC players? Well, the date the open beta starts is the exact same day that patch 5.5 is launching. So yes, patch 5.5 is coming on April 13th.

Since we’re talking about the console version, I’ll also briefly say that upgrading to the PlayStation 5 version will be free to anyone who has a registered Final Fantasy XIV account on PlayStation 4.

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival

Finally (Fantasy), the digital Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival will be taking place on May 15th and 16th. We’ll be learning a lot more about Endwalker there, and it’ll be completely free to watch online, including a live concert by The Primals. (Do note that as there may be performances from people not affiliated with Square Enix, the stream may not be archived. DMCA is a thing, apparently.)

If you do want to pay then you can do so, as a number of commemorative items will be up for sale. The Lunar Whale mount will be the first eight-person mount in the game, and you’ll also be able to purchase minions based on Final Fantasy IV heroes Edge, Rosa, and Rydia. I mean, Endwalker does focus on the moon, so where else could the mount and minions have come from?

hand art

And that, right there, is your lot. I have a good amount of speculation and ideas in my head about where the story is going to go and what we’re going to see, but I’ve speculated enough in this piece, and I’m sure you have plenty of guesses of your own.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will launch this fall, and patch 5.5 is coming on April 13th. We’ll be getting more details during the Fan Festival on May 15th and May 16th.

Tim McDonald
Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he's willing to admit. He's written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion - in all its various incarnations - for over a decade. When not writing about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random. He's also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man's only professional games journalist.

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