Final Fantasy XIV’s Under The Moonlight patch due soon

Final Fantasy XIV

Few games make patch day feel even half as momentous as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. In-between each major expansion, the MMORPG receives five massive episodic updates bridging between story arcs, adding new features, dungeons and more, each accompanied by a dramatic trailer and a novella’s worth of patch notes.

The third episode of this season was officially unveiled today. Due for launch on May 22nd, Under The Moonlight (aka Patch 4.3) is going heavy on the politics, as Doma negotiates to free its people from the Garlean empire through a prisoner exchange. There’s still time for side-stories, as the Ivalice arc (guest-directed by Yasumi Matsuno) continues to explore the world shared by FF Tactics and FFXII.

While normally FFXIV update trailers feel more like a dramatic feature-list, Under The Moonlight’s focus is squarely on the main story. Expect a lot of samurai/ninja-themed drama, all delivered through conspicuously British actors. The Ivalice arc returns (with its concluding chapter due in Patch 4.5), with 24 players ascending a massive tower in the heart of the Dalamascan desert. There’s also a new 4-player dungeon – The Swallow’s Compass – set high in the eastern mountains, featuring a Tengu among its procession of bosses, as well as a very swanky looking set of armour to be earned there.

For those who like to spend their time chatting as they craft, Under The Moonlight is introducing a little bit more non-combat gameplay. Crafters will now find a new range of delivery-type missions available from Kurenai, who has big ambitions for the future that require a lot of resources. For those aiming to see a more immediate return on their material donations, you’ll also be able to expand and improve the new Doman settlement by giving them construction materials.

Under The Moonlight is also set to bring some nice quality-of-life improvements. The recently added Glamour system (allowing you to easily and permanently convert equipment into cosmetic costume pieces) is being expanded further, allowing more types of items to be put in your dresser and also offering the option to turn converted items back into usable equipment. The fun but under-populated Chocobo Racing and Lord of Verminion minigames are also being added to the Duty Finder screen, letting you passively queue for them as easily as you would for a dungeon run.

Final Fantasy XIV

While the game still divides players across server lines, so long as your friends share a regional data center you’ll be able to keep groups together. The new update is expanding Linkshell chat to allow cross-server communication. Logical, given that you could already form dungeon parties cross-server. More passively, home-owners will now be able to place a guestbook for curious visitors to scribble in. Quite why you’d want to have random internet strangers write things in your house is beyond me, but FFXIV’s community does feel more civil than most.

And that’s just the stuff that’s been revealed so far. Still greyed out on the official Patch 4.3 page are sections on a new Trial boss fight, a new ‘Ultimate’ difficulty Minstrel’s Ballad, a new Beast Tribe to pal around with and do side-quests for, and (of course) more slapstick antics with Hildibrand and co. There’s also expansions coming to the roguelike Deep Dungeon mode, plus a new zone to explore in The Forbidden Land, the recently added co-op endgame hunting ground.

14 Comments

  1. Dominic Tarason says:

    If anyone’s curious about FFXIV, I highly recommend the free trial:

    link to freetrial.finalfantasyxiv.com

    It starts a bit slow as it’s trying to teach MMO basics, but the trial takes you all the way up to level 35, with several dungeons and at least two god-slayings along the way, ending on a nice main story break-point. The *demo* will take you a good week or two by itself.

    You can also access the roguelike Deep Dungeon mode in the trial, which is a fun way to try out new classes.

    • QSpec says:

      Is it easy enough to find people for dungeons?

      When I played (a long time ago), the low-level dungeons were all but dead. This was made worse since the story question required me to go into a dungeon. Ultimately it is the reason I quit. I logged in a few days in a row and after an hour or more in the queue for the dungeon, I’d log. Eventually I never logged in again.

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        When did you last play? Ages back they added pretty big rewards for higher-level players doing general/low-level dungeon queues. Dungeon matchmaking is also cross server and even (optionally) cross-region if you want to expand the pool of options.

        You’ll always be waiting a while if you’re DPS though. Tanks are always in demand and healers will never, ever have to wait.

      • RavenGlenn says:

        There’s always a ton of people looking to do dungeons. For tanks and healers it’s pretty much instant to get in to most any dungeon you want.

        As a dps you’ll have to wait longer, but there is no shortage of dungeons being run at all!

      • SaintAn says:

        I’ve never seen dungeons empty and I’ve been playing a long time and have 3 separate characters with many jobs leveled and leveling. I’ve seen there not being enough people queuing as tanks and healers while a whole lot of people queue as DPS so the queue times for dungeons can get slow for DPS. I recommend playing as a healer or tank if you need the story stuff and don’t want to wait a long time in DPS queue.

        • Dominic Tarason says:

          Apparently near launch (I only started playing just before Heavensward came out) the dungeon queues were a lot worse, as there were no rewarded multi-queues or cross-server (and definitely not cross-region) matchmaking. They’ve done well to identify their problems and fix them, for the most part.

          • SaintAn says:

            Forgot about all that. I played the story the first month of relauncch when there was a lot of players doing those dungeons too, and after that I leveled Jobs from Fate grinds and didn’t do many low level dungeons.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’m still waiting for the main story to be consistently interesting and the quests to quit being so careless of my time and I’ve beaten the MSQ through the end of the original game and maybe 25% of the post-ARR patch stuff. I’m told it picks up in Heavensward onwards but my stamina ran out. :/

      It’s frustrating because it’s not like it’s consistently bad or boring. If it were, I would have quit months ago. There are cool ideas and epic encounters and such. It’s just that they’re very unevenly distributed, and for every god-slaying there’s running around for 3 hours gathering food for a party or similar bullshit.

    • sandineyes says:

      For what it’s worth, this and WoW are the only MMOs that I’ve played for any significant amount of time, and I really liked FFXIV. I played back when Heavensward was released, and I found that the community in this game is generally excellent. I also prefer cooperative rather than competitive multiplayer usually, and FFXIV is a great game for that.

  2. Grim Rainbow says:

    ”I say no, sir.”

    Oh wait..IV, opps.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I do quite like FFXV, but my favourite game in the series, period, is FFXIV. 150+ hours in and I’m still fully invested in the story and characters and want to see where it all leads. Rare enough for a Final Fantasy, and unheard of for an MMO.

      • SaintAn says:

        You should try FFXI some time then. It has like 15 years of story and it was developed with horizontal progression in mind instead of the carrot on a stick vertical progression where everything you get gets replaced in the next patch and old content becomes outdated.

        After FFTactics WotL FFXI is my favorite because of its world, characters, story, and depth. It’s mind blowing just how good it is.

        • I Got Pineapples says:

          Yasumi Matsuno, who is a huge, huge influence on FFXIV’s story and designer of FFT, is quietly one of the more daring game narrative guys around, complete with his own Kojima /Yoko Taro Japanese Game Designer Fixations and it’s an awful damn shame that he’s off fronting a mobile game.

          If you haven’t played Tactics Ogre, WotL’s bleaker Yugoslavian war inspired predecessor, you really need to.

          • SaintAn says:

            I’ve played Tactics Ogre LUCT multiple times and lately have been thinking of trying some of the others in the series on my phone through emulators. I have one for the N64 and one for GBA that I’m going try soon.

            It blew my mind when I heard Lich Nybeth Obdilord was in FFXIV’s POTD. He’s in the infinite dungeon in LUCT too so that was a really cool way to add him. He’s one of my favorite characters in gaming and I actually use the name Nybeth for a lot of my dark magic using characters in games so I freaked out.