Final Fantasy XIV – “Death Unto Dawn” Patch 5.5 and the next expansion, Endwalker

The upcoming patch to Final Fantasy 14 will be bringing loads of new features and will serve to keep players interested for the next couple of months while waiting for the next and possibly final expansion.

The upcoming 5.5 patch for Final Fantasy XIV, titled “Death Unto Dawn” is now confirmed to be releasing in just a few weeks on April 13th, with a second part released in May. Included will be a new dungeon called Paglth’an, a new and yet-unnamed Unreal Trial, and access to Zadnor, a new battlefield for the Save the Queen Relic Quest. Players also now have access to challenge the Diamond Weapon through The Cloud Desk trial, which is described as the final chapter of the Sorrow of Welyt questline in which the player must defeat the Ruby Weapon, Sapphire Weapon, and Emerald Weapon, which were originally introduced in Final Fantasy VII as optional and ultra-difficult bosses meant to challenge the player.

There will also be an update to the Ishardian Restoration storyline, explorer mode, Triple Triad, and the addition of some new minions, mounts, and emotes. Players can look forward to an extension of the main storyline beginning where Shadowbringers left off, complete that storyline, and then lead us into the next expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker.

Announced in February 2021, Final Fantasy: Endwalker will be the fourth expansion to Final Fantasy XIV. Set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Mac sometime this coming fall, Endwalker’s story will be mostly centered around completing the Zodiark and Hydaelyn storylines in which the Warriors of Light will be facing a much greater challenge than has even been presented in the main storyline so far, and according to the SquareEnix press release in February, may lead players “to the moon”. The expansion’s story is expected to be resolved through the Main Scenario Quests. It appears to be the conclusion of the critically acclaimed main story of Final Fantasy XIV that began in A Realm Reborn.

One very major feature of Endwalker will be the addition of two new classes. One has already been revealed to be the Sage, a new Healer class that focuses on barriers that enhance the player and allies’ defenses and wields flying knife-life weapons called Nouliths. To balance the addition of another barrier-based Healer class, the Astrologian will be receiving some adjustments making them into more pure healers. The other new class is expected to be Melee DPS, but not much else about it is clear.

Quite a few minor features changes are coming with the expansion:

  • Level cap is going to be increasing from 80 to 90
  • Belt equipment is being removed
  • New residential district: Ishgard
  • New small scale PvP mode
  • Updates to the Gold Saucer
  • New equipment and crafting recipes

New dungeons and trials will be included at launch, and players can look forward to a fight with Anima (a summon originally introduced in Final Fantasy X). There will also be a new high-level raid called Pandaemonium, which appears to involve the villainous Lahabrea, one of the main questline’s primary antagonists.

A new area called Island Sanctuary will be introduced with Endwalker. Here the player will be able to take a break from grinding trails and quests and participate in several activities like farming crops and raising animals.

April 13th will also be the beginning of the PlayStation 5 open beta and is open to anyone that is currently playing Final Fantasy 14 on the PS4. However, there will be no beta for the Xbox Series X, and apparently, there is no sign that Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to the Series X anytime soon. In an interview with the Washington Post, the game’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, confirmed there were no plans for a release to the Xbox, at least for the moment.

There’s a lot of new and exciting features coming to Final Fantasy XIV with the next expansion, but it does feel somewhat bittersweet that the story will be coming to an end.

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