The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival’s Japan leg kicked off in Tokyo yesterday, bringing with it a host of announcements about the upcoming expansion. The keynote by director Naoki Yoshida was a welcome FFXIV Shadowbringers Fanfest update; it confirmed a number of rumors that had been kicking around, especially with regards to a new job and a new playable race to accompany the highly-anticipated Viera.
The announcement of the Viera earlier this year as a playable race sparked a lot of discussion amongst fans as to what else Yoshida could be bringing to the table with Shadowbringers. The announcement of the NieR: Automata collaboration raid was considered an outlandish yet fitting pairing, which only arguably raised the bar in terms of community expectations for this next installment in the FFXIV saga.
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The official FFXIV Twitter account tweeted about the FFXIV Shadowbringers Fanfest updates, listing off the highlights including the newest Dancer job and the introduction of the Hrothgar as a playable race. Alongside those two announcements, the official website for Shadowbringers also lists a number of revelations from the Fanfest keynote, including new trials, a new endgame 8-player raid called Eden involving a feisty new NPC, and a new location for the Warrior of Darkness to explore — Norvrandt.
Our burning questions about how we’d segue from Stormblood to the upcoming expansion were also answered to some degree: Yoshida confirmed that the Shadowbringers story would be taking place in an alternate universe of sorts without night time, separate from where the story of the game has previously taken place. This realm has been named as The First, and the Warrior of Darkness will be tasked with bringing balance to a world controlled by Light. Our rundown of the various FFXIV Shadowbringers Fanfest updates continues below.
As mentioned, the Dancer is the newest job that’s been introduced as part of Shadowbringers, and the trailer above from the official Final Fantasy XIV YouTube channel shows the job off in style. Available when the new expansion drops, we know now that the Dancer will be a utility DPS job. Much like the existing Bard, it looks like the Dancer’s kit is going to revolve around buffing allies as well as doing ranged damage.
The official promotional photos on the Shadowbringers website show off some neat-looking chakram, so we have some idea of the fluid style that the team is trying to achieve here when combined with the graceful weaponskills of the reveal trailer. While it’s uncertain at this stage whether Dancers will only use chakram or have other weapons available to them, one thing is clear: it looks incredibly stylish and incredibly fun.
After all the hubbub about there not being any male Viera in the game after the race’s announcement, it’s been officially confirmed that the Hrothgar is the next playable race. Much like how you’ll be unable to play as a man if you want to be a Viera, it looks like you’ll be unable to play as a woman if you want to roll a Hrothgar.
Interestingly enough, the name “Hrothgar” was first brought up when FFXIV was patched last month, with the French version listing off every race in the game as part of a glitch including both the Viera and who we know now are the lion-maned playable race that will be released with Shadowbringers. Not much is known about them at this stage, though these leonine characters look amazing and we can likely expect to find out a little more as the expansion draws closer.
Progression raiders with their sights set on the next big thing will have been pleased that the Shadowbringers high-end raid has now been given a name. Fans will be able to look forward to Eden, the latest to join the ranks of FFXIV end game content. This raid is apparently going to feature a woman named Gaia (pictured above), though not much is currently known about this particular NPC or what she has to do with the Warrior of Darkness at this stage.
However, Yoshida’s keynote confirmed one incredibly interesting fact: the character and boss design for Eden are going to be the product of acclaimed Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura. It’s possible that this collaboration might have something to do with the aesthetic that Gaia is rocking in the promotional images. So far Shadowbringers looks to be drawing heavily on other Square Enix properties and the creatives behind them, so it’s possible that Taro and Nomura could be just the tip of the iceberg here.
Yoshida’s keynote also revealed what would be the latest content hub for the expansion. Shadowbringers and its journey to The First will also take players to the city of The Crystarium, which will be the Warrior of Darkness’ base of operations as they attempt to bring balance to the realm. This is a 180-degree change from the rugged expanse of Rhalgr’s Reach with its intricate design and the bustling town feel. Exploring it should prove to be interesting, but those wanting a little callback to Heavensward might very well also enjoy the other city that was teased: Eulmore.
Eulmore is somewhat of a different beast when it comes to the hub of The Crystarium. Described during the keynote as a place designed for people to live as large as possible before the end of the world as they knew it, it’s both a place of incredible excess and what appears to be incredible inequality. Much like Ishgard’s issues with corruption, it looks like the upper parts of Eulmore have a vastly different life to those living below, which will be an interesting parallel to experience in person.
For those needing a little more to whet their appetite for Shadowbringers, Fanfest also delivered in the form of an updated full trailer for the expansion. While most of the material is stuff that we’ve already been previously exposed to, this latest trailer showcases the Crystarium and a frolicking Viera, bringing the latest FFXIV Shadowbringers Fanfest announcements full circle with the footage that’s been shown off to the community to date. With FFXIV Patch 4.56 to look forward to very soon, the wheels are in motion for this next chapter in the game’s long-running story, and we’re definitely chomping at the bit to experience the Warrior of Darkness forging new paths.
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Source: Final Fantasy XIV/Twitter