Fun fact: We’re only about a month away from Endwalker! I’ve already booked vacation days for the entirety of early access, and I’ve been trying to learn everything I can about the new expansion ahead of time.
I’m not the only one who’s excited, either. You can almost feel the vibrations of excitement as players start to get ready—with who knows how many of them even following this handy checklist.
So with little time to waste, and way too much hype in my heart, here’s why I can’t wait for the new expansion!
A word to the wise: There may be spoilers for FFXIV’s earlier expansions below! So keep reading at your own risk.
The new story
Obviously, Square Enix is keeping pretty quiet about the storyline for the upcoming Endwalker expansion, much like they have done in the past. But one thing we do know is that it’s been created by the same team that was responsible for the award-winning Shadowbringers expansion.
If you haven’t played it through yet, I do highly recommend it—the story was just beautiful, even for a Final Fantasy game.
So far, all I know of the actual story is that we’re going to the moon, possibly in a giant robotic whale, and I am here for it.
The new areas
So far, Square Enix has shared news of three new areas in Endwalker: Old Sharlayan, Thavnair, and Garlemald.
Old Sharlayan has come up a few times throughout the game’s expansions, featuring in a major way in Heavensward. Known as the home of the scholars (and of course, our favourite Scionic twins), it’s exactly what you’d expect: a giant library of a town with calm, relaxing music.
Thavnair in general is associated with all things exotic and tropical in FFXIV, from scanty glams to fancy onions and more. It’s also the home of my favourite flashy class, the dancer. Though I don’t think anything like this has been confirmed yet, it’s entirely possible we’ll discover an unofficial dancer guild!
And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Garlemald, seat of the Garlean Empire. This might feel like a bit of a spoiler, but it was actually one of the first things Square Enix teased—and it stole the spotlight in last week’s official press tour.
Since that’s now public knowledge, all I can do is wonder what it is we haven’t learned yet. I figure it must be something big!
Garlemald is exactly what you’d expect: dark, bleak, and as one reviewer put it, very Nier-like. I especially appreciated this descriptive line:
Something died here. Pretty sure that something was hope.Kotaku
The new roles
Every FFXIV expansion to date has introduced new battle class roles, and Endwalker is no different.
The first new class we’re getting is the sage, the first new healer job in FFXIV since Heavensward. Naturally, people are pretty excited about it. And I’ll be honest: Even as someone who doesn’t love playing healer classes, sage looks pretty cool.
From what I understand, sage is somewhat of a cross between scholar and dancer in that it uses shielding and a pet to heal, with plenty of party-focused buffs. Unlike scholar, though, sage’s pet heals based on how much DPS you can do to the enemy.
Healing through damage is something that MMOs have played around with for a while, but it’s entirely new for FFXIV, so I’m excited to see how it plays out.
There’s been decidedly less information published about reaper, the new melee DPS class. I did find that a little surprising given that it was the T-shirt spoiler (yes, that is a thing) that Yoshi-P wore for the announcement showcase, not to mention how obsessed people have been with the idea of a necromantic class.
What I have seen so far is that it seems to rely on an entirely new skillset, which some people have found tricky to use—but honestly, that could also describe every DPS class they’ve introduced since Heavensward.
Yes, I’m looking at you, samurai.
Even though this is technically a 6.1 release, not strictly speaking an Endwalker release, I absolutely cannot wait for Ishgard housing. I never got into the serious fandoms behind characters like Aymeric or Haurchefant (whose name I actually had to look up, whoops), but I do love the area.
It feels very pre-Industrial-Revolution British, with its flagstone and wooden beams everywhere. It’s also neat because it’s the one city outside of the Garlean Empire that isn’t afraid to play around with technology.
Sure, most cities will use things like airships, but Ishgard is the home of the Skysteel Manufactory, a shop founded on the principles of Garlond Ironworks. This shop doubles as the machinist guild, easily my favourite class in FFXIV because it’s the only one that relies entirely on technology without any magic or mana involved.
Even the gunbreaker, which is pretty similar to the pre-Shadowbringers, ammo-dependent machinist build, uses mana-charged ammo for its big combos.
I expect we’ll start to learn more about the housing area a week or two after the Endwalker release, since typically X.1 releases come about a month after the X.0 release. That means it could potentially hit just in time for Christmas, so there’s still time to save up for a house if you haven’t yet!
Now, this is just my own hypothesis, but there’s also a reasonable chance the patch could get pushed back if it does fall around then. Not many dev teams will want to release something right at a major holiday, when a lot of their players may be away from home and unable to use it right away.
But of course, now I’ve said it, so we can’t assume they won’t release it then anyway!
The island sanctuary
Did you forget about this fun thing that transforms FFXIV into MMO Harvest Moon? I sure didn’t!
Though it’s not clear yet exactly when this new feature is coming out, I cannot wait! Inspired by titles like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons (and yes, they admitted it!), Island Sanctuary is supposed to give casual solo players like me something fun and different to do. It’s even supposed to unlock things that you can’t do by gardening at a private estate.
As for when we can expect it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes out closer to 6.5. From what I’ve read, Island Sanctuary has been in development for years. The team even wanted to bring it out halfway through Shadowbringers, but it was nowhere near done at the time.
So I think we’ve got a bit of time, unfortunately. But that won’t stop me from being excited about it!
So there you have it! Are you excited for Endwalker (or another upcoming game release)?