Final Fantasy XIV’s recent expansion “Shadowbringers’ delivered some of the game’s best stories and challenges. But expansions don’t really end right away, and the next patch is stuffed with content and drama. A new trailer and developer livestream outlines giant robot battles, creepy villains, and maybe the most adorable and important mount ever placed in an MMO.
Direct Naoki Yoshida and community manager Toshio Murouchi outlined the upcoming patch—Echoes of a Fallen Star— in a live Twitch stream. While the previous story patch mostly set up some plot pieces, Echoes of a Fallen Star looks pretty damn stacked. If you’re eager for a more complex story, that seems to be on the way. Do you want even more boss fights? Good news, bucko! Hungry to craft more items and have a better want to gather resources? You’ll get that too. It’s a surprisingly robust patch.
There are a few small things to keep in mind for Echoes of a Fallen star before considering the big stuff. The Red Mage class is getting damage buffs, which is good since it’s generally the weakest magical caster. The distracting Golden Saucer theme-park is getting a new obstacle course. If you fish, you’ll also be able to hitch rides on boats to head to the high seas for better catches. These aren’t big changes but they help one of the game’s weaker job classes and add a little color.
The big stuff comes from a combination of story additions and the expansion of previous raid tiers. The Eden series of raids, featuring remixes of old bosses with new designs by Final Fantasy mainstay and Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura, continues with new additions. Fans were speculating heavily on what would come next—the Eden raids met with positive response—and the answer is more batshit designs. The lightning primal (read: god) Ramuh is now some type of beefy grandpa-centaur and there’s a sleek new look for the fire primal Ifrit. My bet? Ice-gal Shiva will be the final boss and the new music for her fight will be so good that the world cracks in two.
In addition to these fights, Echoes of a Fallen Star kicks off a plot where players battle deadly “Weapons” built by the evil Garlean Empire. These are bit different than the nasty Ultima Weapon that was involved in the game’s initial plot—a civilization called the Allagan’s made that thing—but from the looks of the latest trailer they’re basically going to be Gundam-like throwbacks to some of the hardest option battles from Final Fantasy VII. Because every video game should have a Gundam.
But wait! There is one more incredible important thing. There’s a new beast tribe coming. That’s neat. Beast tribes usually offer alternate rewards to players more interested in crafting and gathering. They also give smaller daily missions that players can run to collect tokens to hand in for prizes. The new tribe, the Qitari, have the most important prize ever: a Serpent of Ronka mount. The Great Serpent of Ronka initially appeared in Shadowbringers as a legendary creature who turned out to be a small, potato shaped worm-bud with the memetic cry of “SCREEEE!” He is adorable, and must be protected at all costs. With enough work for the Qitari, you will be able to ride this roly-poly pal throughout the game world. It is literally the most important moment in gaming history.
Echoes of a Fallen is coming near the middle of this month, pushing players toward a final confrontation with the shadowy Ascians who have been acting as the story’s antagonists. It’s clear that things are moving forward quickly, and the slew of new content will bring tons of side stories and bosses to compliment the core narrative. Most importantly, for those who missed it before: SERPENT OF RONKA MOUNT! SNAKE BUD IS READY FOR LIFTOFF! SCREEE!