It’s been a strong couple of years for Final Fantasy 14 (styled as Final Fantasy XIV). In 2019, the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released its third expansion, Shadowbringers, to widespread critical acclaim. This major content release sits at a strong 90/100 on Metacritic, with an equally glowing user score.
Looking at the future, Square Enix recently announced Endwalker, its fourth expansion due out in late 2021, which will take Warriors of Light to mystical new locales including the moon. Final Fantasy 14 is also making its way to PS5, with those who own the game on PS4 eligible for a free upgrade.
On May 15, Square Enix hosted a two-day event: the Final Fantasy 14 Digital Fan Festival 2021. Colloquially referred to as Fan Fest, this year’s event was of course digital-only due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but fans were treated to a deluge of new information on the upcoming Final Fantasy 14 expansion, Endwalker.
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker release date and price
Final Fantasy 14’s Endwalker expansion will release on November 23, 2021, but those that pre-order the expansion can experience it a few days earlier on November 19.
A number of versions of the Endwalker expansion are available for purchase. The standard digital edition costs $39.99 / £29.99 / AU$52.99 and includes pre-order bonuses such as the aforementioned early access.
If you’d like a few extra in-game bonus items, then you might consider the Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker digital collector’s edition, which costs $59.99 / £44.99 / AU$79.99. This version grants an exclusive mount, minion and weapon when the expansion releases.
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker trailer
The Final Fantasy 14 Digital Fan Festival 2021 opened in spectacular fashion with the debut of the full Endwalker trailer. At nearly six minutes in length, the extended version of the initial teaser trailer from February did not disappoint, giving Warriors of Light a much greater insight at what to expect this November when the expansion releases.
The trailer’s music was just as impressive as the visuals, with Shadowbringers’ Amanda Achen returning to perform vocals. Sam Carter, lead vocalist of British metalcore band Architects also lends his voice to the main theme, and the results are nothing short of stunning.
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker classes
On February 5, Final Fantasy 14 director and producer Naoki Yoshida presented an announcement showcase for Endwalker, which was fans’ initial exposure to the expansion.
During the announcement showcase, the first of two new classes (jobs) was revealed. That being Sage, a new Healer job and the first of its role to be added since Astrologian all the way back in 2015 with the release of Heavensward, Final Fantasy 14’s first expansion.
Fighting enemies and healing allies via a set of floating turrets called Nouliths, Sage looks to be a pretty unique take on the more traditional healer archetype, and looks like it could be more focused on attacking than its peers.
During the keynote showcase during the 2021 Digital Fan Festival on May 15, Yoshida revealed the second of the two jobs. This being the melee DPS Reaper, a scythe-wielding job that calls on the power of the void for support.
The job certainly created a strong first impression, and had fans wondering what the class’s story will be like. Especially considering that Endwalker’s antagonist, Zenos, has also taken up Reaper as his chosen class.
From the trailer below, it looks like we’ll have control of a voidsent creature. It complements our scythe attacks with its own, and appears to be able to fuse with the Reaper, augmenting their abilities even further.
Both Sage and Reaper will be available from the launch of Endwalker on November 23 (or November 19 if you pre-ordered for early access). Both classes will begin at level 70, so you’ll have a bit of levelling ahead of you if you want to main one of those classes for Endwalker’s main scenario.
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker new race
Viera are a lagomorphic race added in Shadowbringers, an extremely popular addition that were first seen in Final Fantasy 12. While very well received, the race only supported the female body type. During the Fan Fest keynote, however, we got our first look at male Viera, which will be added as a playable option in Endwalker.
Director Yoshida also said that female versions of the Hrothgar – another race added in Shadowbringers that currently only has a male variant – will be added sometime after the release of Endwalker.
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker content
One announcement that really stuck with players was the Island Sanctuary. This was billed as more casual, laid-back content for any player to enjoy. Most likely it won’t be dissimilar to farming sims like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon.
Sadly, not much was revealed during the May 15 keynote, besides that the content will periodically see updates through the 6.x patch cycle, meaning that the development team likely has a lot planned for Island Sanctuary as a long term piece of side content.
Not much is known about this new mode currently, except that we will be put in charge of our very own instanced island paradise. It’s also a place where the player’s minions (collectable critters that follow you around the overworld) can roam free, and potentially perform tasks themselves.
Scant details were revealed about the new raids that will feature in Endwalker. Firstly, the new eight-man raid series will be titled Pandaemonium, the announcement of which was accompanied only by an ominous piece of key art. Almost nothing was shared about the new 24-man alliance raids, however, only that it will be a move away from the last two expansions’ focus on crossovers, in favor of an original story.
In terms of new trials, (Final Fantasy 14’s term for boss fights) fans were treated to a key art of Anima. The fan favorite boss is making a return from its appearance in Final Fantasy 10. This was joined by concept art and in-game screenshots of some new dungeons and overworld areas including Garlemald, the Imperial capital players have been eager to visit ever since A Realm Reborn.
Rounding out the announcements were details on the upcoming downscaling of numbered values throughout the game. Yoshida went into minute detail of what will be happening here. Essentially, the numbers the game is currently handling right now are far too big (bosses have HP values in the hundreds of millions, for example) and their bloated size is causing bugs within the game.
Yoshida was adamant in explaining that while numbers across the board will be downscaled, it’s all relative. Even though our damage numbers will be significantly lower, players themselves aren’t getting any less powerful. It’s one way the team is future proofing itself for all content in the coming years.
Finally, players will see their belts removed. No, not like that. Belts have been something of a bane to players for years. They’re not visible on characters at all, and they offer negligent stat bonuses compared to the more valuable gear pieces. As a result, Square is doing away with them entirely.
The slots belts currently occupy in the Armoury Chest will instead be allocated to primary weapons and ring slots, with some storage being held in reserve until the team knows what it wants to do with them.
What is Final Fantasy 14?
Final Fantasy 14 is an MMORPG that was originally released in 2010. This version of the game, collectively referred to as “1.0,” was a far cry from the game players know and love today. Filled with bugs, confusing gameplay, needless progression roadblocks and poor optimization, it was soon shelved in order for the game to undergo a massive rework. This led to 2013’s release of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn on both PC and PlayStation 3.
Final Fantasy 14 is currently available on Windows 10, Steam and PlayStation 4. A PS5 version of the game is also on the way, with an open beta scheduled for release on April 13.
The PS5 version of Final Fantasy 14 boasts a high-resolution interface (something that has actually been lacking, even on the current PC and PS4 versions), much faster load times between areas, as well as support for 4K resolution and general improvements to performance.
As a massively multiplayer online game, the world of Final Fantasy 14 is shared among thousands of players simultaneously. Players can choose to undertake quests solo, or team up with other players and/or friends to tackle instances like dungeons, raid bosses and much more.
There’s a range of battle-oriented classes new players can choose in the character creation process. From axe-wielding Marauders to damage healing Conjurers and everything in between, the initial selection has something for everyone.
Don’t like the class you picked at the start? You can simply unlock another one by visiting the appropriate guild or non-player character (NPC). There’s no need to make another character to try out different classes, then, and even more will unlock as you progress through each expansion.
If you need to take a break from the frontlines, though, Final Fantasy 14 has you covered with a suite of crafting and gathering classes. Both are incredibly robust and many players spend the majority of their play time on these systems alone.
How can I play Final Fantasy 14?
Interested now? You’re in luck. Square Enix offers a free trial to all new players that haven’t subscribed in the past. The free trial is incredibly generous, allowing new Warriors of Light to experience the base game and the first expansion Heavensward in its entirety, with a level cap of 60. There’s no time limit on the free trial, either, so feel free to explore the land of Eorzea at your leisure.
If the free trial made a good impression, the Complete Edition is available for purchase on Windows, Steam and PS4. This retails at $39.99 (£34.99 /AU$50) when not on sale, and features all the game’s content up to and including the latest expansion, Shadowbringers. Keep in mind that the Complete Edition does go on sale somewhat regularly, usually for 50% off, so consider that if you’re on the fence.
Final Fantasy 14 does employ a monthly subscription fee of $12.99 (£8.99 /AU$10) if you want to enjoy the game long term, past the free trial restrictions.
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker interviews
Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker – PlayStation Q&A with Naoki Yoshida
In an interview with the official PlayStation blog, Final Fantasy 14’s director and producer Naoki Yoshida gave a few more details on the upcoming expansion, Endwalker.
Yoshida answered questions about the closure of the game’s first major arc in Endwalker, and where the story can go from there. He also touched on the themes of Endwalker’s story, the similarities between it and Final Fantasy 4, shared the thought process on creating Sage – the new Healer Job – and finally commented on the musical style that composer Masayoshi Soken is bringing to Endwalker.
Endwalker will be the final chapter in Final Fantasy 14’s epic “Hydaelyn and Zodiark” saga. Yoshida said that the general structure for the story arc was envisioned as early as A Realm Reborn in 2013. He also estimated that Patch 6.0 (the patch that coincides with Endwalker’s release) or even 7.0 would mark the end of that saga, leading into new stories beyond that point.
Yoshida mentioned he is already thinking about where the story will go past Endwalker, but that he is also “thinking of how to best deliver the first climax” to Final Fantasy 14 by way of Endwalker. His comments seem to suggest that there will be plenty more story to look forward to in subsequent patches after 6.0.
Touching on the similarities to Final Fantasy 4, which itself featured the moon as a crucial location and narrative device, Yoshida confirmed that Final Fantasy 14 was indeed paying homage to that game. However, he dropped a juicy story tidbit that fans should keep in their minds, saying: “The previous lunar satellite […] turned out to be a cage created […] to imprison Bahamut. That begs the question: then what is the moon itself?”
Finally, Yoshida closed out the Q&A by describing the thought process that went into creating the Sage, one of Endwalker’s two new playable Jobs. He said that the team initially struggled with differentiating the Job from Final Fantasy 14’s existing healers, those being White Mage, Scholar and Astrologian. The base idea for Sage was finally formed when someone suggested its weapons should be “controlled magically,” as opposed to being held in their hands.
Responding to the final question about how to entice newcomers to Final Fantasy 14, Yoshida suggested players should imagine the game as an interactive TV drama, alluding to its story-heavy focus. He compared each major expansion to being their own seasons, before calling newcomers to action through mention of Final Fantasy 14’s generous free trial.