This past weekend, FFXIV held a Live Letter that discussed some of the changes and content coming in patch 5.1. Though we don’t have an exact date, we do know it’s set to drop sometime late October.
New 24 Man Raid
Of course, the biggest selling point for this patch is that the new 24 man raid is being create in conjunction with folks who made NieR:Automata. For me, it’s not that exciting of a hook, though. I’ve never played a NieR game (gasp!) and though people shout from the rooftops how good they are, the aesthetics and basis for the game just don’t appeal to me.
Already we’re seeing screens of the raid with machines, dull-feeling metal backdrops and things that just don’t spark interest for me. If you happen to be a fan of the series, I’m sure there’s things to enjoy about it, but I’ve never been into heavy machines/robots/android type environments.
Not to mention that I just haven’t found most of the 24 man raids all that fun since Void Ark. The fact that these raids are complex enough to need voice chat to ensure everyone’s on the same page… but then that’s impossible since you’re just randomly lumping together 24 people. It just leads to frustration. Ask anyone who has had to run the Monastery lately (except for Syn… she likes the pain for some reason).
Anyhow, not to start out with a downer, but just wanted to establish that the thing they’re making the most fuss about is the thing I’m least excited about. I’ll run it because it has upgrade tokens for my gear. I’ll see if it feels more fun mechanically, and I will try to be open minded about the setting. But I’m in a huge wait-and-see mode with this content.
Blue Mage Updates
I haven’t messed around with my BLU in a while, so this is a good excuse to do so. We’re getting a level cap raise to 60, new skills, new quests and a BLU log.
From what I understand, this is kinda like a weekly challenge log just for BLUs to group up and run party content. Since BLU is not a party-oriented job, this tries to make up for that… but I’m not sure if enough people that I know run BLU and would want to do logs. We’ll see.
New Game +
I have way too many alts stuck in past expansions to be excited about this. But for folks who aren’t alt-crazy like me, this is a great way to go back and play old story content. Interestingly, ARR content is not listed as re-playable, which hints at the overhaul that’s supposed to be coming in 5.3 (if I remember rightly).
Crafting and Gathering Updates
Now here’s where you start to earn my excitement. The thing is, I want to enjoy crafting in FFXIV. They have a lot of neat ideas, and I have two characters who have at least all crafting jobs to 70, some to 80.
But what really frustrates me is the complexity of having massive sub-combines for finished items. A sub-combine here or there is fine, but some of these just get way out of hand. I never know what I need to craft and what mats I need to finish the job.
Thankfully, they’re going to be giving us a crafting tree. While this doesn’t cut down on the pain of the sub-combines, at least I don’t need to go to an outside webpage resource just to figure out what mats and sub-combines I need to craft the final item!
It sounds like they’re also going to be streamlining the whole crafting system (which is much needed) and making it easier to get into crafting as a new player (also much needed).
Gathering is also going to see some nice improvements, especially dealing with unspoiled nodes. Unspoiled nodes are my least favorite part of gathering, and really turned me off when I finally did get to end-game gathering in ARR. While they’ll still be on timers, I assume, at least now you’ll always be able to detect them and items will never be unknown or out of reach.
Also, Stealth is turning into Sneak. This works mounted and doesn’t slow your movement speed anymore. Thank you!
All of this is building up to…
Restoration of Ishgard
We still don’t know a ton about it, but I’m really on board with this. It reminds me of the building projects we used to work on as a server to unlock things in Istaria. I love those projects!
And the fact that there might be housing eventually unlocked is doubly exciting. I don’t have any characters who would seek out a house in Ishgard, but I know plenty of people who really want their character to live there. At this point, any new housing we get is a blessing.
There’s a lot of other little things that are exciting, too. Sitting while eating (finally), a new GATE in Gold Saucer, new beast tribes and custom deliveries! Also, a neat update to Bard performance that looks like a rhythm game?
And check out that picture. Not only is a new horn instrument sound added to the game, but we actually see the Bard holding and playing the horn – unlike some of the other instruments that are represented only by a harp. Awesome!
Anyhow, there’s a lot to see from the Live Letter. If you want to check out all the slides, here’s an Album made by a community member. There’s certainly plenty to look forward to in patch 5.1.