Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker is the fourth expansion since the once doomed MMO relaunched in 2013 to great success, and it's also going to be the most important. Unlike other MMOs, FF14 tells a coherent, linear story though each of its main expansions—and Endwalker is the final chapter in this ongoing arc. While the MMO will continue long after its release, Endwalker will bring to a close the past eight years of FF14 as players square off against the Garlean Empire in all-out war.
Final Fantasy 14's last expansion, Shadowbringers, was applauded for it’s incredible storyline and Endwalker will see adventurers through to the final climax of that story. But with new jobs, dungeons, and even a detour to the Moon, Endwalker looks set to finish this arc with a bang. Here’s everything you need to know about Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker.
What is the Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker release date?
During the Final Fantasy 14 annual fanfest (which was all-digital this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic), game director Naoki Yoshida announced that Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker will release on November 23, 2021.
That's probably a bit later than most players were expecting, which Yoshida acknowledged during the keynote presentation. Due to the transition to working from home because of the pandemic, Square Enix is running a few months behind its regular summer release schedule but didn't want to compromise the quality of the expansion or cut features. Seems like the right call.
What's new in this expansion?
There was a huge info drop during the initial Endwalker expansion reveal and the Final Fantasy 14 fanfest. Here's a brief rundown of all the features coming in Endwalker.
- The level cap will be raised to 90.
- Several new zones to explore, including Garlemald and, yup, the Moon itself.
- New dungeons, raids, and alliance raids.
- Two new jobs: the Reaper and Sage (explained below).
- New race: Male Viera (only female Viera are currently available)
- New high-difficulty raid: Pandæmonium
- New threats: Anima and The Magus Sisters
- Cross-server travel to other datacenters will be available.
- Two new tribes: Matanga and Loporrits.
- A new housing area in Ishgard.
- A Harvest Moon-esque mode where you can tend gardens and livestock.
What kind of craziness can we expect from Endwalker's story?
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker's story is a direct continuation of the events in the current expansion, Shadowbringers, and it will contain around 30 percent more story and cutscenes than its predecessor too. If you're not up caught up on the story, this section includes minor spoilers.
The stakes of Endwalker are incredibly high. The last of the remaining Ascians, who worship the primal god Zodiark, are hoping to bring about the end of the world which will, in turn, restore their old civilization. To do that, the chief remaining Ascian, Fandaniel, has orchestrated an all-out war between the Eorzean Alliance—the good guys—and the evil Garlean Empire.
Given Fandaniel’s fondness of destruction and theatrics, things are about to get pretty intense. His plan also involves Zenos, an impossibly strong Garlean warrior who lives entirely for the thrill of battling you, the main character, to the death. What fun company. To stop them and save Eorzea from complete destruction, you'll need to recruit new allies from across the realm, so players will be venturing to never-before-seen locales like Sharlyan.
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker will also be the final chapter in what is called the Hydaelyn/Zodiark storyline. This is the main narrative that has been slowly unravelling since Final Fantasy 14 first launched in 2010 and was later remade in 2013. Unlike previous expansions, where the story is continued through post-release updates, Endwalker will conclude the entire story with its initial release. Future updates will then start a brand new narrative arc. What it will be is anyone's guess at this point, though game director Naoki Yoshida has teased some possibilities for what will come after Endwalker:
"There are areas within planet Hydaelyn where we haven't explored yet. There are continents that have yet to be discovered, areas that have yet to be explored. There's possibilities there," Yoshida said. "And with the story of Shadowbringers, we learned that the Crystal Tower acts as a portal not just to the distant Realms, including The First and those that have been divided by the Sundered, but it can also allow us to travel in time as well so we can go back to the past and future as well. So there's still a lot of possibilities left."
What are the new jobs in FF14?
The Endwalker expansion will also add two new jobs to the MMO. The first, Sage, is a barrier healer that utilizes four floaty medical gun-things called Nouliths. They’re controlled by a character's aether and can be used to heal party members, put up barriers and zap bad guys. It’ll start at level 70 and be unlockable in Limsa Lominsa so you’ll be able to start playing as a Sage as soon as Endwalker releases.
The second job is the Reaper, a melee DPS class that wield a giant scythe and can summon an avatar from the void to help in battles. This avatar appears to be a pet, similar to the Summoner job, that can be given orders during combat. Reapers are unique, though, in that they can also fuse with their void avatar to become even more powerful.
What areas will we be visiting?
After the events of patch 5.5 we know that the imperial capital of Garlemald is a mess thanks to Zenos’ and Fandaniel’s scheming, so we be marching straight in there to sort it out. You can expect plenty of cool Magitek machinery to fight, but also potentially some fleshy additions to all of that machinery if the magical towers that are currently posted around Eorzea are anything to go by. Brrr.
We’ll also definitely be heading south to the Island of Thavnir, where we’ll get to explore its subtropical climes as well as the capital city of Radz-at-Han which appears to be precariously positioned atop a giant rock structure. It looks to have a lot of influences from India, and is also the region where the Dancer job originated.
The new player hub will be Old Sharlayan, an island of scholars that usually prefer to keep themselves closed away from the rest of the world. We’re also headed to the Moon, though for what purpose we're not entirely sure.
If you've played through Final Fantasy 12, you should be no stranger to the Viera race. Fran, who joins as a playable party member early on, is probably the most recognisable Viera from the FF series. You've likely never seen a male Viera though, but lore tells us that they do exist, though they live their lives separately, away from their female counterparts.
Viera are already available as a playable race in FF14 since Shadowbringers, but they are gender-locked to female only. Endwalker will change that by introducing the male half of the lithe, long-eared race.
Sorry, what was that about Harvest Moon?
Not interested in saving the world from complete annihilation? Why not do some farming! Island sanctuaries where you can farm and raise animals are also being added. Why be a Warrior Of Light when you can be a Farmer Of Light? Clearly that is the real endgame.
Little is known about the mode, but the idea is that you'll have a small slice of land to cultivate and maintain, alongside some livestock to raise. It's not clear how this will fold back into other aspects of FF14, however.