The expansion was revealed during the keynote of Final Fantasy XIV’s 2016 Fan Festival in Las Vegas today. Director Naoki Yoshida took to the stage to provide an overview of the expansion and company 4.0 update, saying it takes places to the location of Ala Mhigo to face off against a bad guy by the name of Zenos.
Update 4.0 increases the level cap from 60 to 70 and introduces new jobs, but Yoshida didn’t announce specifics. There will also be new equipment for existing jobs.
Stormblood brings new areas, and you can expect there to be at least as many new ones as in the previous expansion, Heavensward. The goal is to have a “full standalone game’s worth of content” in Stormblood. A fourth residential area is also being added, the setting for which wasn’t unveiled because it’s tied to the main storyline. There will be new Primals, dungeons, and high-end raids, too.
The battle system is being revamped, which will see an overhaul to the skill system. Skills will be recategorized to make it easier to switch between jobs, which Yoshida said will simplify things. Skills that aren’t used much or have little purpose will be “reassessed,” likely meaning they’ll be reworked or cut altogether to make things easier for casual players.
The biggest cheer of all from the crowd came when it was announced that the item inventory is expanding, something that has been a long time coming. It was described as an “extreme” expansion, though specifics weren’t shared. Yoshida described it as a serious technical challenge, so this increase may not come until after 4.0 launches in order to ensure this change doesn’t disrupt service.
Stormblood is planned for release in “early summer” 2017. We’ll continue updating this story as more details are announced. Yoshida teased a full-length version of a teaser trailer shown at the start of the keynote is also on the way.