After a pre-order early access period so popular it overwhelmed servers and left players in long queues, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker has now officially launched. The fourth expansion pack for Square Enix's fantasy MMORPG continues the story with new quests, adds two new player classes, takes us to new areas to fight new enemies, and, most importantly, opens a male option for the Viera race so you can play as a bunnyboy in a maid costume. Yeah, thirst for those bunnyboys will only make the queues longer.
Endwalker brings a conclusion to the story of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, which started years ago and whose recap I cannot remotely understand. That means new quests in new areas, including... the moon? Alright, splendid. Love a bit of moon, me. New classes arrive too: the Sage, a new healer with ranged magic attacks; and the Reaper, a melee DPS job armed with a two-handed scythe. The level cap is boosted from 80 to 90 too. And new equipment and new enemies and... it's an MMO expansion, you get it.
See the version 6.0 patch notes for more newness alongside the expansion, including letting those bunnyboys be maids. Some parts of Endwalker, including a new raid and new PvP antics, will follow in later updates.
As for the overloaded servers, Squeenix announced on the weekend that they planned to give active subscribers 7 days of free time. Today they said that will start rolling out today, though it may take up to 3 days for the process to finish. They've previously said that efforts to expand server capacity and spin up new worlds have been hampered by the global hardware shortage.
Square Enix also mentioned today that FF14 has set "a new registered player milestone of 25 million." It's wild to think how much FF14 has grown and improved since it first launched in 2010. The game was in such poor shape that Square Enix suspended subscription fees in apology and eventually shut it down entirely, before relaunching with a huge overhaul as 'A Realm Reborn' in 2013. It's come on leaps and bounds ever since. The player number is surely also helped by the fact that it has a generous free trial which even includes the first expansion.
I hear that trial is very good. I hear many people have been won over by that trial. I hear the game is great. I hear the game has been swallowing up players who left World Of Warcraft. And that's probably why I can't try it. I'm only now clawing back time from Destiny, I can't fall into another MMO. But it's good? Not that I'll try it. But if I did, I might like it?