Today, Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida took the stage for the opening keynote for FFXIV Fan Festival Europe in Frankfurt, Germany. Yoshida joined the show dressed as Auron from Final Fantasy X, pointing to the final job of the Stormblood expansion, the Samurai. Unlike expectations, Samurai is not a tank class. Instead, the class uses their Katana and Iai sword techniques to deal massive damage on the frontline.
Samurai begin at 50 and are unconnected to any other class. Samurai use "Sen" in various forms to chain attacks and deal a ton of damage, sounding vaguely like another version of the Ninja's Mudra system, but no details were given. The Samurai will be the second and last new class for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood expansion. Square Enix wants to focus on balancing the current tank and healers classes and adding three classes in Heavensward made that a difficult task.
Yoshida named one new story character for Stormblood: the samurai Gosetsu, followed by his ninja companion Yugiri.
Stormblood will take players to a whole new continent. Up until this point, the game has taken place on Aldenard, one of the three great continents of the world of Hydaelyn. Now we're moving to Othard, where the enslaved region of Doma resides. Ala Mhigo may have been the bait, but it looks like the sinker is that Stormblood is a Doma expansion.
Yoshida showed off one of the new regions, the isolationist island chain of Hingashi. He highlighted the city of Kugane, the only port in the nation that's open to outside visitors. Think of Medieval Japan writ large in the world of Final Fantasy XIV and you'll have an idea of what Kugane looks like. Stormblood is leaving behind PlayStation 3 players and it looks like the additional power is being used to build much larger cities.
Players will travel across the Ruby Sea to reach the new island nation. The Ruby Sea will play home to the new Beast Tribe, the Kojin. The Kojin are skilled traders who prefer the waters of the Ruby Sea. The Kojin follow the primal Susano, the Lord of the Revel, who players will undoubtedly take down during Stormblood.
Yoshida then jumped to talking about some other areas of the Stormblood expansion. It's clear that the entire expansion is meant to recall different areas of East Asia. Azim Steppes looks to be a region of sprawling plains recalling Mongolia, while Yanxia looks to be based on the mountains of China.
The new residential area will be Shinogane, a Far Eastern style of housing located in Hingashi. Yoshida noted that fans had been asking for housing in the Japanese style for some time now, and Shirogane is that answer. Plots of land in the new region won't be available at launch, with Yoshida saying that players will be busy fighting the Garland Empire as Red Mages and Samurai. Basically, the team at Square Enix doesn't want a land rush at launch.
When Shinogane does debut, the game will include a Free Company moving feature to make transitioning over to the new area easier. Square Enix will also be doubling the capacity for all estates in the game. Cottages jump from 100 to 200, Houses jump from 150 to 300, and Mansions go from 200 to 400. Some of the new housing pieces may also not work for the old 32-bit client, another way to force PC players to move to the 64-bit client.
The keynote speech then transitioned to a special guest, veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. Uematsu came to show off the new main theme for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, "Revolutions". Like Uematsu's composition of Answer for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, the Revolutions song will be sung by Susan Calloway. Uematsu will be a part of another Fan Festival panel, alongside Final Fantasy XIV's main composer, Soken.
Finally, Yoshida brought out the development team that's around at the Fan Festival, to given fans a chance to thank them for their work. There were no details on the new battle system or tweaks to the current classes, which will likely be a part of other panels and interviews. We'll keep you updated as the new information becomes available!