Today marks the first Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest event of 2019, this time in Paris, France. Square Enix kicked off the event in grand style with a new version of the trailer for the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion. It began like the first, but continued to show new and returning characters in the Final Fantasy 14 saga.
A number of fan favorite characters who sat out the Stormblood have returned for Shadowbringers. The trailer showed off several members of the Scion of the Seventh Dawn, including Thacred, Y'shtola, Minfilia, and Urianger. Several of the characters look to have changed jobs, with Y'shtola in particular looking to have switched to Black Mage after previously having been a Conjurer with some White Mage spells. Returning character Thancred, who was previously a Rogue, has changed over to the expansion's new job.
That new job is the Gunbreaker. The Gunbreaker wields a wicked gunblade like Final Fantasy 8's Squall Leonhart. Gunbreaker is Tank for Final Fantasy, joining Dark Knight, Paladin, and Warrior. Like in Final Fantasy 8, the Gunbreaker will slash at enemies, pulling the trigger to deal additional timed damage. Players can unlock Gunbreaker by purchasing Shadowbringers and leveling at least one character to level 60. Square Enix is currently planning to have the job unlock quest in Gridania, allowing players who have reached 60 to level through the new expansion as a gunbreaker.
The keynote presentation covered some expected additions, like new regions. Yoshida showed off the Rak'tika Greatwood, a vast woodland area that looks like it'll be home to a new race (read on below!). Another area called Il Mheg is the home of the Pixies, sporting a bigger and more whimsical fantasy feel. Who are the Pixies? They're the new Beast Tribe for this expansion, a race of tricksters who are great with magic. And with the new Beast Tribe comes the next Primal, the elegant Titania. Shadowbringers will also offer nine new dungeons and a new high-end raid series.
The keynote then moved to further details on previous announcements from the previous Fan Fest event in Las Vegas. The Trust system is aimed at solo players, allowing you to enjoy group content by yourself with AI companions. A concept screenshot showed Yoshida's character with Thacred, Y'shtola, and Urianger as party members. The New Game+ system also got a little shine. Yoshida calls New Game+ "very unique" for FF14 compared to other MMOs, allowing players to go back and play older quests and content. The previously announced World Visit system, bringing more servers together, will be ready for patch 4.57.
New Alliance Raids will be coming to Shadowbringers! The last Alliance Raid, Return to Ivalice, called in guest creator Yasumi Matsuno to revisit the story he started in Final Fantasy Tactics. Shadowbringers' Alliance Raids will be built with the help of two new guest creators: Nier Automata, Dragon Quest 10, and Dragon Quest 11 executive producer Yosuke Saito and Nier Automata director Yoko Taro. The raid will be called YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse, pulling heavily from NieR: Automata if the concept art is any indication. In a short video the pair joked that "Yoshida-san has lost his mind," asking them to bring Nier over to Final Fantasy 14
Viera were finally confirmed as the next playable race, with Yoshida noting that they'll probably be the "final" playable race! They're coming in Shadowbringers, but the development team still has more work to do. In particular, the team needs to redo helmets to account for the Viera's ears. The Viera were shown in a video, wearing a new race-specific armor made to look like Final Fantasy 11's Fran. No male Viera were shown at the keynote.
Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers is coming on July 2, 2019. The Early Access period for the expansion will begin on June 28, 2019 for those who pre-order it. Pre-orders will be available on February 6, 2019. A Final Fantasy 14 Starter Pack is available for free to Twitch Prime members from February 4 to May 3.