FFXIV: Stormblood Has Substantial Changes, Including Paid Level Boosts, Story Skips, and More

Square Enix has a knack for information overload when it comes to its active MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. In the latest (and extremely lengthy) edition of the game's recurring Letter from the Producer Live stream, a wide variety of information was discussed concerning the game's upcoming Stormblood expansion pack, the first since 2015's Heavensward and second ever expansion to the game.

The changes have been documented in grueling detail over at Nova Crystallis, and notably what's coming affects both PvE and PvP styles of play. For PvE the development team has opted to eliminate the ability to select additional actions from other character classes, for example, and has instead replaced this with categorization based on "battle roles," such as tank, healer, caster, and the like. Regarding Jobs in the game, it's no longer necessary to level up an added class to obtain one, another welcome and streamlined change.

For non-players of the game (as well as new and soon-to-be players), what stands out most are the altercations to what real-life currency can net you. Like genre-heavyweight World of Warcraft, you can now boost your Job levels via purchasable items. Denoted as Tales of Adventure, these purchasable packs can flag scenario quests from the former Realm Reborn and Heavensward story progressions of the game as complete, allowing you to focus on the current and latest expansion. The yet-unnamed "Job boost" Tales of Adventure will be available for every job (except Red Mage and Samurai), and will raise said Job's current level to 60 upon purchase.

The breakdown for each purchasable Tales of Adventure set is as follows.

Tales of Adventure
  • A Realm Reborn $18.00/₤13.31/€15.75
  • This will flag all main scenario quests from 2.0 through Patch 2.55 complete
  • Heavensward $25.00/₤18.50/€21.75
  • This will flag all main scenario quests from 2.0 through Patch 3.56 as complete
  • This will not raise any of your class or Job levels.
  • Available at the start of Early Access — June 16th, 2017.
  • You’ll automatically get a chocobo — the name will be randomly generated.
  • Your Grand Company will automatically be set to your starting city-state.
  • Any instanced dungeons you must complete in a Main Scenario will be flagged as cleared, as well as select sidequests.
Job Level-boost Items
  • Pricing: $25.00/₤18.50/€21.75 per Job.
  • It will be available at the start of Early Access — June 16th, 2017.
  • The team wants to monitor how this affects the game, so at start of 4.0 you will only get one per service account until a later date.
  • You will get a full set of Level 60 gear and all of the Job quests for that job will be flagged as complete up to Level 60. You’ll get all of the actions gained along the way too.
  • Hall of the Novice access will be granted and displayed prominently so you can learn the basics of your Job.

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There were also a rather startling number of announcements made during the Producer's stream, which can be seen below.

  • Preordering Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will entitle you to a Wind-up Red Mage (Minon), Ala Mhigan Earrings (Vanity), Early Access (June 16th).
  • The Far Edge of Fate: Final Fantasy XIV Original Soundtrack releases on June 7th, 2017. $49.99/€36.99 plus tax. Includes Wind-up Nidhogg (minion).
  • Trials of Bahamut Real Escape Game tickets are on sale for the North America region. Check out the official site for locations.
  • Final Fantasy XIV will be at E3 2017; in the battle challenge they will debut a Stormblood primal.
  • The next Letter from the Producer Live will be at E3 2017.
  • Plush Cushion Fat Chocobo will go on sale in July 2017; pre-orders begin in June — it will be available in all regions. ¥4800/price TBD in other regions.
  • Final Fantasy XIV Projection Mapping will take place on June 10-11 at InterContinental Yokohama Grand Hotel.
  • Eorzean Symphony Final Fantasy XIV concert will be held on September 23-24th in Tokyo.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood's release on June 20th ought to be bittersweet, as it marks the end of the game's life on PS3. Still, its existence there can't continue forever, and despite what may be controversial additions in the pay-to-play department via boosting, the expansion also contains what appears to be a wealth of changes, adjustments, and brand new material to keep fans of the game busy for quite some time. Once the dust settles, additions such as these tend to draw more players to MMORPGs anyway, and for a genre with "massively multiplayer" in its name, that's generally seen as a good thing.

For a full overview of everything announced today, which includes a whole lot of job changes coming in the expansion, check out these useful notes.

[Source: Nova Crystallis]