The patch notes for Heavensward’s final chapter are finally here! It feels like we learned about Zurvan of the Warring Triad, Dun Scaith and a brand new Diadem a lifetime ago — but now we have hard information about what’s in 3.5. Here’s what you need to know.
Tidings from Gyr Abania
Let’s start with PVE content. Five Main Scenario quests will be added this patch, which is significantly less than in previous patches. Expect this to set up some of the scenes we saw in the trailer and end on a cliffhanger; the conclusion (and probably the more exciting stuff) will come in March. You can pick up the quest chain where you left off at the Rising Stones in Mor Dhona. One of the new dungeons, Baelsar’s Wall, will be unlocked through these quests.
While you’re in Mor Dhona, make sure to visit the catchily-named Unukalhai to unlock the fight against Zurvan of the Warring Triad. As usual, he’s in Minfilia’s old room. His side story will end with the culmination of this trial.
The Scholasticate and Hildibrand quest lines return this patch. Only two Hildibrand quests this time — our time with the hapless inspector is always far too short — and four for the scholasticate. Both side stories resume in Ishgard; the Pillars for the Scholasticate and Foundation for Hildibrand.
Sohm Al (Hard) also makes its debut. To unlock it, you want to grab the quest The Fires of Sohm Al from Idyllshire. You’ll need to do this and Baelsar’s wall to open the Expert Roulette again.
And what of Dun Scaith? Gird your loins, get ready to wipe and go to the Sea of Clouds and pick up Where Shadows Reign. A typo in the patch notes says that rewards for Dun Scaith will upgrade Lore gear; it will be Scripture. Gobdip, used to upgrade weapons, will not be available until 3.5 Part two.
You will need to be over an average item level of 230 for the dungeons, i235 for Dun Scaith and Zurvan, and i250 for Zurvan extreme.
Back to the grind
I’m sure everybody will be overjoyed to know that the Anima Weapon quest will pick up again this patch. It is not yet clear how these upgrades will work, but the patch notes say that “[h]ow players choose to enhance their weapons is completely up to them”.
As a side note, Producer Naoki Yoshida said in a recent interview that the next step would be “hell”. “As if the last ones weren’t,” a friend responded. You’ll be able to progress the weapon to Item level 270 with this patch. i275 will come in March; Alexander Savage-notwithstanding, this will be the only way to get an i275 item before Stormblood is released.
New equipment will be introduced for crafters. A large number of recipes have been added, and some present recipes have been tweaked. As is the standard with major patches, many items no longer require a specialization to craft, such as Teak accessories. Zhloe Aliapoh is not mentioned in these patch notes, so the crafter-focused Wondrous Tails will be introduced in a later patch.
Mount-hunters will get the awesome-looking Firebird if they’ve collected lanners from all of Heavensward’s extreme encounters; visit the Wandering Minstrel in Mor Dhona once you’ve got them all to claim your prize.
Lagging behind? Drop rates for all primal birds up to (and including) Sophia has been increased. (They were already pretty high for Bismarck and Ravana…) Sophia and Sophia extreme will also get The Echo, so pugging that should be much easier than it is right now.
The floating chair that Strix rides in Gubal Library’s hard mode has also been added as a mount. More minions are to be added, too, including a wind-up Estinien. Carbuncle glamours for Summoner egis can be unlocked by speaking to the Arcanist trainer in Limsa Lominsa.
Heavensward’s beast tribes will come together for a multicultural epilogue. Visit Drydox in Idyllshire to pick up the quest that kicks things off. If you’re an idiot like me and you didn’t lend a hand to the Moogles, bad news: you must have completed the quests for all three beast tribes to pick this up.
The cross-world Party Finder will be introduced this patch, and the Party Finder as a whole will be redesigned to accommodate that. Functionality identifying what server people are permanently based on will also be introduced. Passworded party finder groups will become available, making it possible.
Some changes will be made to The Feast. Chat will be disabled and replaced with a PVP-only communications system that relies on pre-existing phrases, sort of like Hearthstone. The amount of currency required for PVP gear has been decreased, and a huge amount of gear (at i235) will be added, as well as new mounts thanks to the FFXIV-Garo collaboration. Duels, which are a little bit mental right now, can now be item level synced. A new map will come when the current PVP season ends in March.
Players can now opt to become Frontline freelancers, allowing them to support other Grand Companies who may have trouble securing the numbers they need to mount an offensive. Could this be the end of poor Frontline queues? Perhaps, but perhaps not: it’s not mandatory, and will require significant adoption to make any serious difference. Any Frontline duty (not specific ones, i.e. Fields of Glory) will count for Wondrous Tails from now on, assuming it’s listed as a panel.
Look and feel
Rejoice! There’s now a reason to fill out your sightseeing log. You can buy paintings based on how many places you’ve registered in the log from Idyllshire. Paintings and frames come separately, and can be affixed to the walls of your house or apartment. Interestingly, paintings can be previewed, paving the way for other furniture previews.
New furniture, crops and fish for aquariums will be introduced. Apartments will get their own Postmoogles, and switching between apartment rooms will be made a little easier. You’ll also be able to make your house look like a giant Paissa. I don’t need to tell you how important this is to the housing meta. Thank you based Yoshi.
Screenshot connoisseurs and fashion bloggers have been thrown a bone with new /gpose settings. The patch notes are very comprehensive on this front, so it’s worth reading them directly if you’re interested. The fitting room has also been overhauled; it now has a list of slots as well as a dye previewing feature. Alexander: Savage gear will now be dyeable. And, of course, you’ll have some more hairstyles to pick from.
There are a huge number of quality of life additions in this patch, including hotbars that have multiple rows (i.e. a 3x4 hotbar). This is huge for people that have special raiding UIs set up or MMO mice.
Odds and ends
Diadem will be shut until Patch 3.5 part two. It appears pegasus whistles will be unobtainable until then. Crafting materials can be purchased with scrips and those seeking Anima weapon materials (Kingcakes, etc) should buy what they need from their Grand Company quartermaster. On the subject of Grand Companies, adventurer squadrons have received a mild overhaul.
The amount of EXP required for crafting up to level 55 has been decreased. Leve EXP has not been increased, but the bonus for first-time crafts has. The EXP bonus for second jobs has not been increased, and presumably will not be increased until 4.0. However, those looking to gear up will be relieved to hear that the cap on Scripture tomestones will be increased to 900 in March.
A number of boss Fates, such as Odin and Coeurlregina, have been made more frequent. A new mark log can be bought with Centurio seals, which will form a currency for new items. Rewards for Heavensward treasure hunts have been boosted.
Even though Yoshi has said before that the team wasn’t planning to add much to the Gold Saucer after the last massive round of editions, there are, as has become standard, more Triple Triad cards being released with this patch. Tournaments have been made shorter in terms of the number of games you need to complete them, but, perhaps more importantly, it seems win fixing is no longer possible. This is fantastic! You’ll instead have to go to the Triple Triad battlehall and be matched with random players. You cannot play the same person twice in the new system. NPCs that used the ‘random’ ruleset have had the rules they follow changed also.
/Sing is not included in this patch. Neither are those Idol costumes Yoshida showed off at Fanfest Tokyo. I would guess that both will debut with Little Ladies’ Day in February when the Songbirds make their return. A glasses-pushing emote and the Moonlift Dance will be added. The new dance almost certainly comes from the Beast Tribe quest.
Finally, for those who’ve quit the game and have read this out of curiosity, additional features to help returning players re-acclimatise to the game have been added. You’ll be able to attach a special status to yourself.
Okay, phew. *Takes a deep breath* That’s almost everything we’re getting this Tuesday. There are tons of little tweaks and features worth looking at, so take a look at the patch notes in full if you really want to dig into it further. These are the draft notes, though very little (outside of formatting and typographical errors) typically changes when the proper patch notes are published.