Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker is ready to wrap up a decades-long story that began at launch. Aside from hours upon hours of new story content, the upcoming expansion, Endwalker, will include several new areas and two new job classes: the Healer-class Sage and the Melee DPS Reaper.
IGN was given hands-on time with the two new classes, a chance to try out a new dungeon, as well as a tour of three of the six new areas coming to Endwalker. Here’s everything we saw during our preview with the next expansion.
What’s new in Endwalker?
When it comes to MMORPG expansions, Final Fantasy 14 keeps things relatively simple. Each new chapter adds some new classes, new areas, and tentacle content like dungeons and raids. This makes Final Fantasy 14 one of the easier MMORPGs to preview, as no game-changing meta-systems are added with each expansion.
Along with the two classes and six new areas, including a new core city called Old Sharlayan, there will be a level cap increase from 80 to 90.
There will also be a downscaling in the future. Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida was eager to explain how downscaling is required to solve some incoming problems, such as bugs resulting from overflow calculations and enemy HP becoming monstrously high.
To resolve this, the team attributes, player’s overall HP, damage values, and enemy HP and damage have been lowered, making the overall difficulty balance relatively the same as before the reduction.
However, the core of any Final Fantasy 14 expansion is the story, and Yoshida says that Endwalker has the largest “volume of story missions” to date. Unfortunately, none of the story content was available during our preview.
Two New Classes: Sage and Reaper
Instead, IGN spent most of our hands-on time with a construction in progress of the new classes. Yoshida emphasized that the development of the Sage and Reaper classes is ongoing and that the skills shared with us are not final.
Before I dive in, I must first mention that my main class in Final Fantasy 14 is Dancer, a ranged physical DPS. And while I’ve completed the most recent high-end Savage content, I’m not a theorist like my raid leader. I’m just a very good dancer.
This is intended to be an overview of the new classes, and if helpful, an idea of whether any of the new classes are friendly to people looking to dive into Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker. If you are looking for a more granular preview, I have included the toolkits for the two new classes below and reiterate that these are not the final specifications for either of these classes.
Sage and Reaper are the two newest classes added to Final Fantasy 14 with the Endwalker expansion. The Sage is the new barrier healer class, while Reaper is a melee DPS. On a superficial level, both classes are quite eye-catching, utilizing unique and visually impressive weapons and abilities. The Sage uses floating machines that heal and fire lasers called Nouliths, while the Reaper carries a large scythe and can summon a dark familiar.
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker – Reaper Skills and Tooltips
Reaper is a fairly straightforward class and I imagine it will be quite popular with veterans and newcomers alike. The character has two markers, a soul marker and a shroud marker, which are constructed by specific attacks. Then he will spend this meter to unleash even more devastating – and highly attractive – attacks against anything that harms him.
In an interview with Yoshida after the demo, he explained that the goal with the Reaper class is for it to have a fast tempo. And instead of waiting to fill your meter completely for a burst attack, players will unleash attacks when they become available to them. “There are certain skills you can incorporate to quickly fill your meter and run through them quickly,” Yoshida explained.
The Sage class is a bit more complicated and I would not recommend it to beginners. The core concept, from what I can tell from my practice time, is to use Sage’s ability to heal or protect party members while simultaneously attacking.
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker – Wise Skills and Tool Tips
At higher levels, a Sage can translate damage dealt to enemies into heals or buffs for party members, which could be good news for more offensive-minded healers currently playing Final Fantasy 14. But how can you? see below at my full run- Through the new dungeon, The Tower of Zot, ineffective utilization of your abilities will mean that you are not maxing out damage or healing across your entire party.
10 years of Final Fantasy 14
Final Fantasy 14 has come a long way since it was first released in 2010. After a difficult launch and soft reboot with Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Yoshida announced that Final Fantasy 14 has officially surpassed 24 million players. all over the world. According to Yoshida, Final Fantasy 14 is the most profitable game in the Final Fantasy series, which is no small feat.
Despite the decade of development, there is no indication that Final Fantasy 14 is slowing down and Yoshida tells the press that the team is already looking forward to the next ten years of the game. As the long-running story concludes, the Final Fantasy 14 team is already looking for new kinds of experiences, including a patch content called Island Sanctuary that sounds quite similar to Animal Crossing.
Much has been made of Final Fantasy 14’s popularity in recent months, especially as discontent against its rivals mounts. But Endwalker is shaping up to be an expansion of a development team that trusts its vision for an MMORPG. Take a look at our previous interview with the director of Final Fantasy 14 and stay tuned for Endwalker when it launches on November 23.
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s News Editor. Can you reach it @lawoftd.