Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida is back with another live letter. This month’s instalment offers a look about the upcoming Monster Hunter collaboration and the next Eureka expedition, as well as the first concrete details about Patch 4.4, Prelude in Violet.
Let’s start with what’s due soonest. Patch 3.56 comes out August 7 and brings the Monster Hunter x FFXIV collaboration to the live servers. The event will pit eight Warriors of Light against Rathalos, the Lord of the Skies, and offers an extreme mode for groups of four. Check out the trailer here:
Interestingly, this will be the first ever Extreme trial designed for four-man groups. While I doubt it’ll be particularly difficult given that it’s a crossover event and they’ll want as many people to do it as possible, I’m always excited to see more difficult content for smaller parties, so I’m really looking forward it.
For those unfamiliar with Monster Hunter, Rathalos is probably its most iconic enemy — it’s been cropping up in the series in various forms since 2004. Speaking of iconic, Palico and Poogle minions await those who complete the event, along with a barbeque spit furnishing, Rathalos armor, and a sweet-looking mount.
Don’t panic if you love Monster Hunter and you’re a little way off finishing Stormblood or hitting level 70. Like the Garo collaboration, this event has no end date, so you’ve got plenty of time to see it for yourself and reap the rewards. XIV players and MH fans may also be interested to know this collaboration is a two-way thing, and you can take down the Behemoth — if you can avoid the meteors — on Monster Hunter World from August 1.
3.56 will also bring a new area to Eureka. The Pagos Expedition will take players to an icy wasteland offering new challenges and an opportunity to upgrade your relic weapon further. This update will also offer a series of new job actions depending on your role, which they’re calling the Logos system. One example given was that DPS could build threat and function like a tank, potentially giving smaller groups an easier time. Note that it appears Pagos will only offer upgrades to artifact weapons — armor upgrades will presumably come in the following update.
(A prelude to) Prelude in Violet
Viewers were also given a whistle-stop tour through patch 4.4 which is due to come out mid-September. It follows Alphinaud’s journey to Garlemald, and is set to expand upon some of the stuff we saw towards the end of the 4.3 MSQ. The question is: Will we keep playing as Alphinaud? And can we take this as confirmation that, as has long been suspected, the next expansion will be set in Garlean territory?
Set to be a PVE-heavy outing, 4.4 will bring two new dungeons – The Burn, which looks like it takes place in the wasteland from the 4.3 MSQ, and a revamped Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum – as well as Suzaku, the next trial in the Four Lords series. The Omega raid series will also be brought to a close with the Alphascape. It’s not yet clear which prior FF game this one will be based on, if any, though Yoshida teased the possibility that we’ll fight Omega itself.
Battle system changes are also coming. There will be further adjustments to jobs, and, interestingly, everybody will be given up to ten role action slots to address some of the complaints and feedback people have had about the system.
This is smart, because it fixes the healer role action issue (my experience leads me to believe that arguing over who carries Protect is a big part of the healer raid meta) where five slots has never really seemed like enough for them, although it does beg the question why role actions are even a thing at all at this point. You might as well roll them into general actions and give them to people as they level up. And, indeed, the live letter made it sound like the system’s set to change yet again when they have more time to work on it.
The Lost Canals of Uznair will get updated with entirely new dungeons, there will be further updates to Eureka including another new region, jumping puzzles based around famous landmarks are coming to the Gold Saucer, and a further Grand Company rank and squadron missions will be added. That’s an absurd amount of content. And this list isn’t even exhaustive – Yoshi-P said he was running out of time, meaning there’s more set to be revealed in the run-up to September.
If you’re interested in checking out the stream, you can catch the vod on Twitch here. It’s in Japanese, but there’s a lot of English texts on the presentation slides. If you need to fill in any blanks the guys over at the /r/FFXIV discord also have a translations channel that I’d really recommend checking out, too.