Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Coming June 20, 2017, Matsuno Returns to FF

Nobuo Uematsu, Yasumi Matsuno, and Keita Amemiya are all contributing to the next Final Fantasy XIV expansion.

At the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2016 in Japan today, Square Enix announced that the next expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, entitled Stormblood, will be releasing on June 20, 2017. Pre-orders for the expansion begin on January 24, 2017, with the Collector's Edition of Stormblood offering a Syldra mount, a Bartz (FFV) minion, and the Chicken Knife weapon for Red Mages.

If you're a Final Fantasy XIV XIV wondering more about the Red Mage job, it's intended to be a ranged magic damage-dealer. The class uses a rapier as its primary weapon, alongside a magicked crystal medium. The job uses both White and Black magic, flitting about the battlefield and racking up Chainspells to deal heavy damage. Red Mage starts at level 50, with no associated class.

The Fan Fest was also home to several announcements aimed at bringing long-time Final Fantasy fans into the FFXIV fold. Composer Nobuo Uematsu is tackling the main theme for Stormblood. Via a video at Fan Fest, Uematsu said he was more than half done composing the theme, which he expects to upbeat and emotionally strong.

The presentation covered a few high-end raids for the Stormblood. The first is The Bend of Time - Omega, pitting 8 players against what looks to be a new version of Omega Weapon. The second raid detailed will probably resonate with veteran Final Fantasy players. Return to Ivalice is a 24-man raid scripted by Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics director and writer Yasumi Matsuno. In addition Shin Megami Tensei IV character designer Keita Amemiya will be design all the bosses.

Stormblood will introduce diving and swimming to Final Fantasy XIV. You can swim while mounted, but only with a flying mount. Swimming as a mechanic will be limited to certain locations in the game and there's no combat while underwater.

The production team also showed off the new Beast Tribe: the Ananta. The tribe of snake women are oppressed by the Garland forces and worship a new Primal: Lakshmi, Lady of Bliss.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will launch on June 20, 2017.

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