This is a sponsored post presented by Square Enix.
As well as raising the level cap to 60, introducing a whole host of new areas to explore and flying mounts, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s first expansion, Heavensward, introduces a trio of new jobs to build on the way combat works in the game. There’s a new job for the different roles of tank, DPS and healer in the game. Each new job took Square Enix’s ARR team about a year to create, factoring in cutscenes, quests, weapons, armour and new individual animations - so it’s a huge deal for Heavensward to bring three at once.
The dark knight adds a third tank-style character to Square Enix’s MMO, and is a title that players are likely familiar with from Final Fantasy IV, where the protagonist, Cecil, began the story as a dark knight. In battle, the knight can use darkness-based powers as either a protective buff or an attack with area effect damage. It’s different from the existing tank roles in the game, paladin and warrior, in that the dark knight uses MP to perform attacks, and managing MP is a key part of playing as this job. The FFXIV team has considered incorporating the dark knight’s traditional HP drain to perform powerful attacks, as per earlier games in the series, but given the way tanks traditionally work in MMOs, that kind of element might not make the finished release.
This DPS class brings stylish firearms to Final Fantasy XIV, and carries different items to buff fellow party members. Being able to carry a gun in Final Fantasy XIV was a common player request, apparently, hence their inclusion - and the weapons here have some serious style to them. Guns can be customised with attachments. The machinist can use a load of different gadgets (turrets, for example), too, which can debuff your enemies or buff your allies, meaning the machinist can operate in a support role capacity as well. There’s a hint of Irvine Kinneas in FFVIII to some of the cowboyish character designs Square Enix has used to illustrate the machinist so far, and the garish weapons look like classic Final Fantasy iconography.
The healing-based job of the Heavensward’s three additions to A Realm Reborn. The choice of weapon for the astrologian, called a starglobe, is a kind of gauntlet that carries magic cards, and apparently took quite a lot of time for the developers to figure out. The astrologian is a unique kind of healer, with good instincts required on how the cards are used once they’ve been drawn - you can use a card on the spot, for example, or draw another and see if they can be combined.
Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn: Heavensward will be released on June 23rd.