Throughout this series the one thing I can’t seem to escape is Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. I have lost track how many times it has shown up in my articles ever since it was first announced back in October of last year. As much as I absolutely love Final Fantasy, and especially XIV, I keep writing these articles with the intent that it will be my last one in the series. My last Final Fantasy article for awhile. However, producer Naoki Yoshida and his team constantly impress me as they bring out new information on this expansion and I can not help but be ecstatic at the news each and every time.
The 18th of this month marked the start of the third and final Fan Fest, taking place in Frankfurt, Germany. While there were some announcements that almost everyone was expecting, such as the introduction of the samurai job, there were far more that threw everyone for a bit of a loop.
The first big announcement that caught everyone by surprise was that samurai will be a DPS rather than a tank. When Red Mage was announced back on Christmas day at the Tokyo Fan Fest as a DPS, everyone was sure that samurai would be a tank to help balance things out. As it stands at the moment Final Fantasy XIV has three tanks; three healers, and ten DPS. This is making players fear that queue times will be atrocious for DPS come Stormblood, although Yoshida has stated that the development team does not believe that this will be the case and that is part of why they went with the decision. Personally, I believe the queue times will suffer greatly at the start of the expansion but then will even out nicely after about two weeks to a month.
The next big reveal was that we will not only be traveling to one new region in Stormblood. It had been hinted at quite heavily since before Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward came out that the area we would be traveling to would be Ala Mhigo, which was confirmed back at the Vegas Fan Fest in October. Now, along with liberating the Ala Mhigans, we have learned we will also be traveling to the Far Eastern land of Doma to liberate them as well. Doma is heavily influenced by Japanese architecture and was apparently added due to a large demand for more Asian themed areas and items. This leads into the next major announcement that caught everyone by surprise. Housing.
Housing has been a very bittersweet part of the game for players for quite some time now. Almost everyone wants a house of their own, but there are only so many to go around. Every now and then with new updates we get more housing wards to provide more residences, but there’s just never enough. Yet, even with more houses always being added, we’ve had the same three areas for about three years now. Players have been asking for Ishgard housing ever since the release of Ishgard (that old Games of Thrones feeling area we took a journey to for the first expansion). Judging by the crowd’s reaction to the announcement, I think it’s safe to say I was not the only person surprised when the new housing area was announced to be in Doma. Although, I suppose that’s only natural since I imagine most people took the same bait that I did in believing Ala Mhigo would be the only new area
While I feel it would have been great to have a very cold and almost eerie housing district similar to that of Ishgard, I will gladly take having a more Eastern themed area. I think it is a great opportunity to prevent the areas from getting too stale by being too similar to each other, while also maintaining a beautiful and elegant feel that’s just overall pleasant to be around. I mean, it looks absolutely gorgeous.
This was by far the most entertaining Fan Fest out of the three for me, (well, the one in Vegas gets an edge but that’s just me being bias due to having physically been there. Content wise, Frankfurt definitely wins.) The surprises really helped keep things interesting and fun, and I hope we have more unpredictable announcements in the future. Also, being the final Fan Fest, we can expect there will be little news on the expansion and can go ahead and sit back and enjoy the ride for the time being. Time to tie up any loose ends you may have in Heavensward, because Stormblood is right around the corner - releasing June 20th.