FFXIV Fan Fest Announcements 2021: Endwalker to the Moon
FFXIV Fan Fest 2021 has begun, and that means there is a mountain of announcements to get through! Over this two-day event, huge news regarding the MMO will be dropped, especially considering the expansion ENDWALKER comes out this year! But exactly when? What is the other new class? Will we see a new race? New music? What about that mysterious floating island/city? Guests from previous Final Fantasy games to fight? Oh goodness, it’s so exciting! My roommate and I both play FFXIV, so we sat down to watch the Fan Fest announcements for 2021.
We already knew about the Sage class (the one I’m personally most excited about), but on Friday night, we saw the next class, a new (but familiar race), and oh so much more. Producer and director Yoshi-P (Naoki Yoshida) came out in cosplay as always, and he gave us all the details, thanks to translations by Michael-Christopher Koji Fox. In addition, Koji Fox also serves as co-lead world and lore developer, so he’s a man of many talents.
Not to throw shade, but some MMOs could learn a lot from this style of game development. Giving the fans something exciting to look forward to, instead of constant rehashes of systems that are less than enjoyable. What’s perhaps the most interesting to me is that there are concepts from the original 1.0 development of Final Fantasy XIV that are finally coming to life. Perhaps some things were meant to be seen earlier on but never came to light. That is just a bit of speculation, but I have a feeling I’m right. But what did we learn during night one of FFXIV Fan Fest 2021 as far as announcements go?
Release Date, An Amazing Song, Edgy New Class, Familiar Faces
The most important thing as far as announcements from FFXIV Fan Fest 2021 has to be: When does the expansion drop? Fortunately, we have the answer. It will be a while, but it will be worth the wait by all accounts. Yoshi-P told us during Fan Fest that the release date is Nov. 23, 2021. We also heard the amazing new theme, courtesy of Masayoshi Soken, featuring Sam Carter (architects) on vocals. You can watch the full trailer here, and it’s breathtaking.
In the trailer, we learn something important: Zenos yae Galvus has changed. The way of the Samurai no longer appeals to him. It’s not getting the job done. Instead, he’s got a new look, a new way to fight. As such, we receive the same (or will). The Reaper is the New Class for Melee DPS in FFXIV! It comes in alongside the Sage in Endwalker. It’s a two-handed weapon class that wields a mighty gorgeous Scythe. When I saw it, it made me think of Magus, but it’s not a caster class.
Requiring Level 70, Reaper will start in Ul’dah and also starts at level 70. The Reaper reveal showed intense, dynamic scythe-slashing attacks—lots of awesome energy trails and something a bit more sinister. The Reaper can tap into the Void and bring Voidsent to join him in battle. You can also absorb that Voidsent to serve as its Avatar in this plane. In Patch 5.5, we’ll get a glimpse of what Zenos yae Galvus can do as he becomes the Reaper. You can see the Reaper in action courtesy of this teaser. Also interesting is that they share armor with Dragoon! Finally, Dragoon armor is no longer unique. The motions and attack animations remind me of a blend of Magus from Chrono Trigger and a look straight out of Bloodborne. I’m in love with the class, but it will have to wait. Sage is my calling.
One of the things people decried when FFXIV revealed the Viera was, “Why are there no male Viera?” and it’s a question that was answered in FFXII. There are Viera of the male persuasion, but they’re kept in a separate tribe from the women. They were fairly rare, as it happens. But no longer! As of Endwalker, the Male Viera will join the game as a new race! There are plenty of people excited to play as lithe bunny boys, and that adventure begins in November.
Female Hrothgar is also coming, but it won’t be until after Endwalker begins. Yoshi-P said the team is working hard on them.
The Story: Where Are We Going, Something Old, Something New
The Endwalker story will conclude the A Realm Reborn story. The Zodiark and Hydaelyn story went through A Realm Reborn through Endwalker, which will conclude in 6.0. We won’t have to wait through patches to see how the Hydaelyn arc concludes. The further expansions beyond 6.0 will begin to tell a new story, set up a new arc. Some parts of this story/area discussion felt very familiar to us old people in the FFXIV community. Some of us, the ones around during the 1.0 development, remember Sharlayan.
The original goal was to have six starting cities, but it just didn’t work out. It was perhaps too ambitious. Ala Mhigo, Ishgard, and Sharlayan were going to be a part of the mix. We’ve since gone to Ishgard, liberated Ala Mhigo. All that’s left is Sharlayan. However, we’re going to Old Sharlayan. It isn’t the same, but it will still be very familiar. It’s a gorgeous area that you can see in this convenient trailer. It’s not the only old thing that looked familiar, though.
A floating city was teased, and when I first saw it, it was reminiscent of The Kingdom of Zeal in Chrono Trigger. However, what if that’s not what it is? We weren’t told what this is. There are architectural similarities between this city and Sharlayan. Is it the Garden of Xarakish? It’s an area teased but never ventured to. Or what if it’s something more? Some other speculation, if you’ll indulge me. What if Amaurot didn’t sink into the sea here on the Source? What if it wound up there? In the sky? Now that would be a bombshell. There are, again, similarities.
We also saw some new areas, like Labyrinthos, an underground city that features a dome to give it a blue sky. We also got the briefest tease of Mare Lamentorum, a city on the moon. I cannot wait to go to the moon.
We also got a peek of Thavnir, the home of dancers. The city of Radz-at-Han is a bright, colorful area, and it makes me think of one of the upcoming foes, which we’ll talk about soon.
Foes, Original Alliance Raid, New Beast Tribe
During the keynote for FFXIV Fan Fest 2021 announcements, we saw a few interesting teasers that weren’t discussed in detail. One of the huge monsters looked like a version of the Void Eater. The Void Eater was a horrible monster in FFVI that engulfed the party, taking them into a dungeon (where Gogo awaited). One of the trials briefly teased looked like it was the inside of that same Void Eater. It sure seems that way, but we’ll have to wait. But as far as enemies that are confirmed? The Magus Sisters are confirmed for an appearance! They’ll likely be a Trial encounter. Their outfits’ style and bright color make it sound like they’ll come from one of the new areas, Thavnir. In the Trials teaser, it’s interesting that they choose Golbez, Clad in Dark as the music from FFIV.
One of these dungeons also looked like the realm of the Eidolons from FFIV as well (only darker). It’s all very interesting! We’ll also have a brand new eight-player raid, Pandaemonium. Another interesting announcement was that the new Alliance Raid Series would be a unique one to FFXIV. The previous Alliance Raids were mostly tributes to other games (FFXII, FF Tactics, NieR: Automata).
Myths of the Realms will take us deep into the Final Fantasy XIV lore, and the teaser looked like it showed all of the icons of the various gods of Eorzea. Alongside this, we saw another Beast Tribe, but they’ll be located on the moon. They may also be called “Hummingway,” but they’re instead known as “Loporrits.” These adorable bunny people are on the moon, and we’ll learn more about them this November.
A New Data Center, Pre-Order Bonuses, Final Thoughts
Australian and New Zealand players are getting a new Data Center: Oceania! It doesn’t seem to have a cool name like the other Data Centers, but that can always change. That’s all we know about that, but it’s worth mentioning. Since there’s also going to be Data Center transfer in-game, we’ll be able to play with friends all over the world. There are restrictions, though, to prevent shady dealings in-game.
If you pre-order FFXIV: Endwalker before the game comes out, you’ll get early access (tentatively scheduled for Nov. 19). There’s also a cool pair of in-game items for pre-ordering. The Menphina Earring is inspired by the moon and varies in strength depending on your job/level when equipping it. It also grants 30% EXP when worn. You can’t beat that value. Finally, an adorable Porom Minion will be included, one of the two twins in FFIV. Best part? You get these as soon as you pre-order. No need to wait until Endwalker to use the two in-game items. If there are any Collector’s Editions left right now, I’d be shocked. It comes with some amazing swag. You can only get it on the Square-Enix Store, and judging by my cursory glance, they’re already gone. Perhaps more will be made, but it’s unlikely. Here’s what it contains, though:
- Endwalker Special Art Box, art by Yoshitaka Amano of Hydaelyn and Zodiark
- Expertly crafted Paladin Figure (Warrior of Light) using Passage of Arms
- Art Collection & Frame set: Ten B5-sized art prints, with key visuals throughout the FFXIV history (1.0 – Endwalker)
- Azem Pin is a brilliant pin that appears to look like Azem’s crystal.
- Loporrit Min-Plush
- In-Game Item: Arion Mount – a new, Paladin-themed mount
- In-Game Item: Wind-up Porom Minion
- In-Game Item: Death Scythe: Reaper Weapon – the classic weapon from FFXI comes as glamour to FFXIV
For PS5, PS4, and Steam players, the Collector’s Box will also be available as a standalone product (without a copy of Endwalker), but only while supplies last. If you want the Arion Mount, Wind-up Porom, and Death Scythe items, the Endwalker Digital Collector’s Edition will have them. Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker launches again, on Nov. 23, across PS5, PS4, PC, and MAC. We still have so many questions about this expansion, and maybe we’ll get some of them this weekend. If any other major announcements get made, we’ll update this, so stay tuned! This is the end of one major story, but not the end of FFXIV by far. It’s a journey I’ve been glad to have made with my friends.
I hope we can all come together and experience it again this November. There’s so much more coming, though! Ishgard Housing is on the way! We’ll get side content to manage and run a farm, a’la Stardew Valley, or Harvest Moon! It’s not tied to crafting/gathering either. It’s just something fun and relaxing to do on the side when you want to unwind. This is going to be an incredible adventure. I hope to see you all there.