Next week, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will receive Patch 2.5, ‘Before the Fall.’ As with past content updates to Square Enix’s MMO, this patch will extend the main story alongside new dungeons, raids, and other activities.
A trailer released this morning gives us an extended look at all of it.
Final Fantasy XIV veterans know this is a very important patch, as ‘Before the Fall’ will set into motion the narrative events leading to Heavensward, the game’s first expansion. For Final Fantasy fans in general, the shortlist of Patch 2.5 additions is plenty nostalgic:
The World of Darkness: a 24-player raid that will conclude the Crystal Tower storyline, hearkening back to Final Fantasy III. Confirmed bosses include Cerberus, an Ahriman, and (of course) the Cloud of Darkness.
The Gold Saucer: A recreational space for players to engage in a variety of mini-games. Paying homage to Final Fantasy VII’s Gold Saucer, the Manderville Gold Saucer features Triple Triad, Chocobo Racing, basketball, and more. (Patch 2.51 – late February)
Triple Triad: The card-battling mini-game from Final Fantasy VIII deserves its own discussion. As confirmed previously, players will be able to battle NPCs across the land and other players. 80 cards will be implemented with this initial release, with some reserved for dungeon loot. Details about acquiring cards from other players and dedicated tournaments are scarce, but the Manderville Gold Saucer looks to house a dedicated area for Triple Triad play. (Patch 2.51 – late February)
Odin battle: Final Fantasy mainstay Odin has been in the game since release, with rare appearances in the open world for massive player battles. Patch 2.5 will introduce ‘Urth’s Fount,’ a dedicated, 8-player battle with the Primal that features more intricate mechanics. As usual, expect Hard and Extreme difficulties.
Elsewhere, three new dungeons will give endgame players new opportunities to earn Tomestones for gear and other rewards. The first, Keeper of the Lake, features a fight with legendary dragon Midgardsormr. The others are Hard Mode re-imaginings of Amdapor Keep and Wanderer’s Palace. The latter looks to be occupied by the Mamool Ja, a beast race prominently featured in Final Fantasy XI.
The World of Darkness will feature new gear sets for all Jobs and upgrade materials currently available only to progression raiders in the Final Coil of Bahamut. In keeping with Crystal Tower tradition, the World of Darkness will thus provide an alternative path to high-level gear for players outside the raiding scene.
Patch 2.5, ‘Before the Fall,’ will release for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC on January 20. Patch 2.51, a sub-release that will include the Gold Saucer and Triple Triad, is coming in late February. Heavensward, which will add the Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist Jobs, is out this spring.