FFXIV: A reflection on Patch 5.3

This is a big week for Final Fantasy XIV! And I know I talked about it last week too, but zero shame happening over here.

The thing is, there’s a lot happening for FFXIV players today. It’s not an expansion, sure—but today, the notorious Patch 5.3 is finally rolling out after being delayed by the pandemic. And a lot of what’s in this patch will change how the game is played forever!

So today, I wanted to talk a bit about some of the highlights I’ve seen for this patch.

A Realm Reborn (again): The core game’s complete overhaul

Let’s be honest. This is probably the main culprit behind the patch’s months-long delay.

With 5.3, A Realm Reborn is getting a massive overhaul. The story’s getting shorter (thank goodness), which will be great for new players, and each of the original maps will now let players fly on their mounts.

I’m both happy and sad about it, because I absolutely intend to let flying mounts help me finally conquer all those jumping puzzles and fill out my sightseeing log—but I do still appreciate the charm of running around those old maps.

This overhaul has been planned for a while, and it’s actually why ARR was excluded from New Game+ when that first rolled out shortly after Shadowbringers. With the overhaul live now, it‘s likely we‘ll see ARR in New Game+ in a patch or two.

The continued restoration of Ishgard

Full disclosure: It‘s included in the patch website, but this isn‘t coming out until 5.31.

Though I seriously doubt this will bring us all the way to Ishgard housing, I am excited to be a step closer!

As it says on the official site:

“As many and more take up residence in the New Nest, the young lord would realize his latest vision—a bustling new commercial district befitting Ishgard’s new age of free trade and enlightenment.”

To me, it sounds an awful lot like this section of the restoration is aimed at building booths for vendors, merchants, and resident caretakers like you see in existing housing areas, so I expect there are probably a few more steps involved.

I’m also just excited to see what the prizes are. The last Ishgard patch introduced Kupo of Fortune, which got me way too addicted to running the Ishgard restoration just to see what I could find!

Trial synthesis for crafting

This may not sound like a big deal, but take it from someone who crafts a lot and has lost far too many incredibly valuable ingredients over the years. This is going to change things in a very big way.

I haven’t seen too much yet about how it works, but the idea is that it gives you a way to test out the steps of a synthesis before you actually try to craft it, and see if your plan will work or if your stats need to be higher to do what you want.

I think it’ll be really useful to have that in-game because previously, the only way to do that with any sort of confidence was to use a third-party tool where you had to put all your stats in properly and then hope it matched up.

The new furnishings

I‘m always up for new things to include in my designs, but I can be a little hit or miss with furnishings from fan contests. They always look so different from the submitted concepts to finished product!

This time, though, there are several I can‘t wait to get my hands on, including new windows and what appears to be a built-in bench. I‘m sure tomorrow will have some crafting sprees as I make them up and change course on one of my current builds to fit them in.

The new YoRHa raid

I still remember the early days of the first NieR: Automata raid in FFXIV and how intense it was until people learned the mechanics. It wasn’t uncommon in those days for a raid queue to take less than two minutes—and it was just as common to see more than half the party wiped at any given time.

The raid itself was amazing, and though I’ve only seen the game second-hand as Shane played it through, it did a great job of keeping the game’s overall tone and story.

Now, FFXIV raids do typically come with their own mini-story, and that raised a lot of questions with the final boss of the first raid. So I’m excited to see how that story continues to play out in the next part of the raid!

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