Naoki Yoshida, producer/director of Square Enix’s MMO Final Fantasy XIV, detailed new information about the upcoming Stormblood expansion during his keynote address at FINAL FANTASY XIV Fan Festival 2016 in Tokyo today.
In addition to the new Red Mage job, Yoshida announced a new, all-female beast tribe, new swimming mechanics to open up underwater locations to players, and the return of Omega in the “Bend of Time” high-level raid. He also talked about the recently-announced “Return to Ivalice” raid, to which scenario writer Yasumi Matsuno, who worked on Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, and monster and boss designer Keita Amemiya, whose previous credits include Onimusha 2 and Shin Megami Tensei IV, have contributed.
The full details from Square Enix’s official release:
New Job – Red Mage (DPS Role): The highly anticipated red mage job will make its debut in Stormblood as a ranged magic DPS, wielding a rapier and magicked crystal medium. A very mobile attacker, the red mage dives in and out of melee combat, assaulting enemies with red magic and short-ranged attacks. The red mage also has the ability to link multiple spells with chainspell, dealing massive damage and following them up with melee attacks.
Swimming and Diving: This new gameplay mechanic will allow players to seamlessly enter and traverse specific rivers, lakes, and seas in both new and existing areas throughout Eorzea®. Players will also be able to dive underwater in select locations, even while riding flying mounts. Underwater areas will not only include new gathering locations, but also will provide an opportunity for NPC interaction.
New Beast Tribe and Primal: The Ananta, an all-female beast tribe, is the newest of the beast tribes to be introduced to the world of FFXIV. This ancient tribe resides in the mountains near Ala Mhigo and worships the primal Lakshmi. Known for their skill in spell and gemcraft, the Lamia will play a very important role in the Stormblood main scenario as their persecution by the Garlean Empire is revealed.
New High-Level Raid: The Bend of Time – Omega was announced as the high-level raid series for Stormblood. Omega has surfaced within the main scenario in the past, but this menace will soon appear in full force. The mystery behind the appearance of Omega and the significance of “The Bend of Time” will be unveiled through the story surrounding this raid.
New Alliance Raid: Two special guest creators were invited to assist with the design of the newly-announced alliance raid “Return to Ivalice”: Yasumi Matsuno (FINAL FANTASY XII / FINAL FANTASY TACTICS) will write the scenario surrounding the raid, while Keita Amemiya (Onimusha 2 / Shin Megami Tensei IV) will spearhead monster and boss design.
Stormblood Theme Song: Legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu will return to create the main theme song for Stormblood.
There will also be a Collector’s Edition of the expansion in a special box featuring art by long-time Final Fantasy series illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, and will include (in addition to the game itself):
- Expertly Crafted Zenos yae Galvus Figure
- FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood Art Book
- Cloth Map of Eorzea
- Stormblood Logo Sticker
- Exclusive In-game Items
- Syldra Mount
- Wind-up Bartz Minion
- Chicken Knife
This is a pretty big follow up to that fantastic trailer from October, and Square Enix has promised even more details during the European Fan Festival happening on February 18th and 19th in Frankfurt. Stormblood is set to launch simultaneously in North America, Europe, and Japan on June 20th, 2017 for PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4. Pre-orders begin January 24th.