Welcome back to another installment of Eorzea Reborn! I just finished watching and taking screenshots for the slides from the latest Letter to the Producer Live, so there's quite a bit to share this morning, or evening, depending on your time zone.
Aside from a mention of the void ark raid zone in Patch 3.1, which they’ve titled As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness, most of the Live Letter was actually devoted to new content people could participate in, namely Exploratory Missions and the Gold Saucer game Lord of Verminion.
First off on the agenda was a quick discussion and video introducing more of the Void Ark. The Void Ark is a new 24-player alliance raid, similar to the Crystal Tower series.
According to the Live Letter, the role requirements are the same as that of the World of Darkness. Looting (in the slide it's lotting) restrictions will be separate for both equipment and material rewards.
The main event began with a discussion of the exploratory missions system, which is an offshoot of the free company airship system introduced in Heavensward. Exploratory Missions Allow players to go around islands teeming with monsters.
Players can participate as an alliance with your free company airship, and may encounter other parties on the same island. Islands can be accessed via expeditionary airships from Ishgard. These can be undertaken while solo, or can be done with a formed party beforehand.
Of note, players can explore the islands using flying mounts and battle powerful monsters. The Live Letter said the islands will play host to NM-level and even HNM-level monster types.
Gatherers, meanwhile, can collect resources at various locations, including rare items. Some particular items are unique to these islands, which makes exploration a potentially lucrative venture for well-equipped Free Companies.
One additional wrinkle comes in the types of rewards one can pick up from Exploratory Missions. Aetherial Equipment with item levels up to iLvl 210 can be picked up, though these equipment appear to have either random attributes, or a random glamour – while the slides say glamour, the descriptions indicate that "extremely powerful equipment" can be gained this way, so I'm hedging my bet on randomized attributes.
Lord of Verminion
The latter portion of the Live Letter was devoted to the Lord of Verminion game that'll come with patch 3.1
According to Producer Naoki Yoshida, Lord of Verminion is a real-time strategy game between two players. Players summon minions to do battle and win by destroying their opponent's arcana stone. No video was presented, but it feels like some kind of mashup between an real-time strategy title that's coupled with MOBA elements, though.
That said, here are some additional factoids:
Lords of Verminion has a 10-minute time limit.
Minions have a corresponding summoning point cost set in 5 tiers. This means summoning point costs can be anywhere from 10-30 points, increasing in increments of 5. As minions have various statistics, it also means higher tiered minions should presumably be more powerful than lower tiers.
The summoning points are refunded when a minion is recalled or defeated, meaning that you can only have a set number of minions at any time. During the preparation stage, 60 points are allotted for initial setup, with a total of 240 points available for players during the 10 minutes of combat itself.
There are 4 minion types: Puppets, Monsters, Critters, and Gadgets. A modified rock-paper-scissors system is used to determine strength. Namely Puppets beat monsters, Monsters beat critters, Critters beat puppets. Gadgets, meanwhile have no inherent strengths or weaknesses against other minion types.
There are 5 Game modes: Tutorial, Challenge, Training, Battle, and Tournament. According to the team, there will be a matchmaking feature that matches users based on their battle performances. Participating in Lord of Verminion provides achhievements, as well as rewards, such as what appears to be an afro haircut for characters and glamour gear.
While a formal translation is not available yet, it is also important to note that mog-based exterior housing glamours and a Haurchefant painting were showcased during this portion, so it's entirely possible that these may also end up being rewards for Gold Saucer or Verminion participation.
More information on Lord of Verminion is scheduled at the Hiroshima FATE on October 25, so that means 3.1 will come after that, sadly. Here's to hoping we learn more exciting news at the FATE. Cheers!