Square Enix has released more information about FFXIV patch 4.2, Rise of a New Sun, which is due out later in the month. They’re showing off the new glamour system, a new PVP arena and the Ananta beast tribe quests that’ll debut when it arrives. No word on a release date yet, but if you want a peek at what’s coming up, here’s what’s on the horizon.
On the lighter end of the spectrum, we’ve got a glimpse of the newest beast tribe. Hot on the tail of the Blue Kojin, we’ll be able to solve the problems of the Ananta. The story will revolve around Alpa, the daughter of the Ananta broodmother, who has grand plans for the Ala Mhigan resistance (or whatever it is now we’ve kicked out the Garlean empire), but needs someone to undertake ‘bizarre and perilous’ trials to make said plans a reality. Who better than a god-killer to lend a hand? (There’s a very cool elephant mount in it for you if you do.)
A new map set atop the crystal tower is also being set up. It’s a bit more cuddly than the others — with Moogle and Chocobo statues around the outside, but the layout seems cool. I’ve always found the Gridanian map a bit confusing, but this looks simple in the best way possible. It’s pretty, too. XIV has always had brilliant skyboxes, so anything that’s this far above sea level is alright by me. Pleasingly, the spawns seem pretty far away from the arena, so you can’t just run back there when things go bad, nor can you hurl stones at people who’re barely done zoning in after a KO.
The rules are changing also: matches are being shortened, and a ‘light medal’ buff will be introduced that will increase the defenses of players holding fewer points. On the surface, the latter change seems like a good idea, though I hope this isn’t open to exploitation. Some jobs — healers in particular — are already so hard to kill in 8v8 that it could potentially make casual play a bit of a headache if the ‘meta’ becomes making healers so sturdy there’s no hope of taking them down. Note that the new PVP team feature will be introduced, but I’m not sure if it’s clear right now if that’ll change the game or just be (essentially) a sort of fleshed-out linkshell.
As for the glamour system, there are screens showing what the Glamour Dresser furniture item will look like, as well as a better look at the interface itself. It does look good, and it’s a great foundation that SE can build on; it’s not the most comprehensive system in the world, nor is it automatic, but it’ll empty an entire retainer’s worth of glamour items and group all of them in one place. It looks like you’ll be able to apply glamours to gear much faster, in a way that’s much easier to preview what it is you’re doing, so that’s a huge improvement.
Saying that, it’s a little disappointing Armoires (wardrobes for event items) are still a part of the equation — you can see one in the screenshot above, and it’s hard to see why they’re still kicking around at this point. Armoires are clunky, it’s hard to know what you have in them if there are pieces you take out and use fairly frequently, and now that system will exist in parallel with a new gear storage system that should be fundamentally better. This would’ve been the perfect time to do away with them completely, or at least incorporate it into the wider overhaul of the glamour system.
We’ll find out the release date for the content this week. I expect the reveal will be a part of Friday’s Letter from the Producer Live. Details of when and how to tune in can be found on the Lodestone here; expect to see relatively simultaneous translations from fans and SE themselves as the day goes on.