Final Fantasy XIV is getting a major expansion dubbed Stormblood, according to a keynote presentation from producer and director Naoki Yoshida. No official information has rolled out afterwards, so we will rely on Yoshida's words and the teaser trailer.
According to the game director, the expansion will ask the players to reclaim the nation of Ala Mhigo from the Garlean Empire. Zenos will be the name of the story's antagonist, who convinced a lot of the Ala Mhigo population to follow him into battle.
The debut point of the storyline takes place in a new area, which is dubbed Rhalger's Reach. Of course, other new territories will be added for the players to discover. The previous expansion, Heavensward, should be a good indicator of the level of extra content coming in Stormblood.
The expansion will feature a slew of perilous novel dungeons, new raids and new Primals. Yoshida has hinted that the storyline will be greatly influenced by the addition of a new residential area, but he did not give any more details about the changes. However, he touted that "a game's worth of content" is coming.
One key zone for the players to venture into is "The Forbidden Land Eureka." In the area, players will discover super-rare materials that ramp up gamers' high-end weapons, as well as very rare types of monsters that we assume will drop very rare loot.
Yoshida did not elaborate on what makes Land Eureka different from other zones, so we just need to wait it out.
The inventory system is also receiving a rework in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. Square Enix managed to resolve a "serious technical challenge," which could mean that the modification to the inventory will land after an update to Stormblood is released. According to Yoshida, the new inventory asked Square Enix to do some "major" overhaul of its server infrastructure.
The skill and battle systems will also be tweaked and improved in the upcoming expansion. The former will cater to the gamers' complaint that the existing skill system is unfit for high-level characters and their high-end quests. It is very probable that Square Enix is going to simplify the ways in which players can switch between classes and skill sets, thus increasing versatility.
Speaking of skill, Stormblood will take the level cap from the 60 to 70.
Last, but not least, Stormblood will ask more from the rigs of PC gamers. No specifics were mentioned during Yoshida's keynote, but players are being encouraged to play the latest expansion on an OS that supports 64-bit. The good news is that the game will maintain 32-bit platform support.
Fans of the series should expect Stormblood to land summer next year. Meanwhile, check out the video trailer below.