Ever since it was announced, the Final Fantasy 14 raid inspired by Nier: Automata has been one of the most anticipated updates. Earlier this morning in the latest Letter from the Producer Live, the team at Square Enix revealed when players can ponder the line between man and machine. The raid is coming with patch 5.1, subtitled "Vows of Virtue, Deeds of Cruelty", coming on October 29, 2019.
The Nier raid was at the forefront of the presentation. A total of 24 players can tackle the first section of YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse, the Copied Factory. The environment and some of the encounters shown in the trailer seem to recall the opening section of Nier: Automata in the Abandoned Factory, including the Goliath-class Engels boss and 2B's Flight Units. Another boss resembling the Goliath tank also makes an appearance. And players of Nier: Automata will be familiar with the dark purple orbs fired by various enemies, which you'll probably spend a good deal of time dodging over the course of the raid.
Interestingly enough, the companion character shown in the artwork isn't 2B. On a special site following the stream, that character was instead revealed as "2P", sporting the second player color scheme 2B had in Soul Calibur 6. 2P is light on dialog, so we're not quite sure what her deal is and how she connects with the 2B Nier fans know and love. The previous guest raid involved the cast of Final Fantasy Tactics, where it was revealed that the Zodiac Brave Story and Ivalice was a hidden legend in the past of Eorzea.
A new series of side story quests leading to the YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse raid will come with Patch 5.1 update. In addition, the main campaign of Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers will continue, leading to a brand-new level 80 dungeon, the Grand Cosmos. This looks to be a grand palatial estate that's been abandoned by its former inhabitants, but remains the home of a mysterious mage. Then there's the next Ultimate trial, which seems to be Alexander! Outside of raid and dungeon content, Patch 5.1 will also have a Savage version of the Hades trial, a Golden Saucer mini-game, a new set of beast tribe quests focused on the Pixies, and a host of new hair styles, mounts, and other cosmetic items.
New Game+ Arrives at Last in Patch 5.1
There are major changes to crafting and gathering in Patch 5.1, with a brand-new user interface. This interface will offer a recipe tree that will show you all the materials required for each craft. The team has also stripped out a number of redundant crafting abilities, lowering the overall complexity and need for macros. There's also a new quick gathering options for when you're farming materials. Crafters and gatherers will also be able to help with the restoration of the Holy See of Ishgard, by completing tasks and item deliveries. Square Enix plans to add a ranking system to the Ishgard restoration, but it won't be in at launch.
The long-awaited New Game+ option is coming in the update as well. This options will let players choose specific complete quests, battles, and cutscenes toi re-experience, which retaining their current level. The launch version of this feature will include all of the main scenario quests for Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. You'll be level-synced for these encounters and three will be three difficulty options: Normal, Easy, and Very Easy. It largely seems to be a way for players that have been boosted to the Shadowbringers expansion to experience some of that older content. Note, the Realm Reborn main scenario quest aren't included yet, but will be forthcoming during the Shadowbringers update cycle.
A Host of Tweaks to Existing Job Classes
Finally, there's a whole host of tweaks to job and role actions. Bard's song now buff the entire party again, as they did in Stormblood, but those buffs won't be as strong as they were in previous expansions. The range on the White Mage's Asylum has been increased, the tank action Reprisal is now and area-of-effect ability. Ninja, Samurai, and Summoner will receive the most extensive changes. Ninja has seen a slight revamp, with ninjustu and mudra sharing a global cooldown with weaponskills, but having their potencies increased. For Samurai, Meditation now has up to three stacks and no longer expires. And with the Summoner, Egi Assault I and II are now spells that are part of the global cooldown; with the change their potencies have been increased.
We don't have the full patch notes yet, but those will be coming on October 29 ahead of the patch itself. The next community event for Final Fantasy 14 will be the sixth 14-hour broadcast, coming on December 14, 2019.