2-12-16 Edit: Square Enix released a trailer for Patch 3.2 today, which showcases may of the new features discussed below:
Back in December last year, Square Enix gave Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward players a taste of what’s to come in Patch 3.2 – The Gears of Change. Most prominent among these features is a new addition to the Alexander series of raid dungeons titled Alexander: Midas. As with the other wings of Alexander, Midas will also feature a Savage difficulty.
The backstory to Alexander: Midas can be found on the Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone page, which was updated today:
Though its core was disabled, the colossal steel giant still hums with a foreboding sense of dread. The Illuminati are gearing up for war, and Alexander has thrust yet another arm up and out of the Thaliak river, continuing its climb from the murky depths. Will the Illuminati realize their warped ideals and bleed the realm dry? Once again you must call forth your allies and venture into the iron fortress, lest the realm bears the price of the goblins’ endeavor.
In a statement released by Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida last December, the FFXIV team has been hard at work tuning Midas’ difficulty. For many players, the previous raid – Alexander: Gordias (Savage mode) – often proved too difficult. Midas will still provide a challenge for players, but will now be easier to complete with public groups.
An article published today on Japanese gaming publication Dengeki Online also revealed new screenshots of the Alexander: Midas raid, as well as screenshots for other content coming with Patch 3.2. The article previews some of the snazzy endgame armor sets that can be obtained through completing Alexander: Midas.
Square Enix has also released images of gear that can be purchased with Moonstones.
In addition, the Gnath will be joining the series of Beast Tribe Quests, in which players help outcasts from fanatical tribes find their own footing in the world. The Gnath are a warlike race of ant-like humanoid beings who normally hold conquest in highest regard, and link themselves to a hive-like Onemind. The Heavensward main story reveals that group of rebellious Gnath, though, have broken off from the Onemind in pursuit of individualistic freedom. It is assumed that players will be helping these free-thinking Gnath in their Beast Tribe Quests. Like the other Beast Tribe Quests, the Gnath quests will grant players access to vendors and new items as they gain respect in the Gnath community. At the highest level, they will be able to purchase a flying mount, which was fully shown in the Dengeki Online images seen below:
Patch 3.2 will introduce a new training mode, titled “Stone, Sky, Sea.” In this mode, players will be able to select a stone pillar that acts as a training dummy. These dummies are said to reflect the defensive statistics of popular raid bosses and must be defeated within a certain time limit. Much like a regular training dummy, Stone, Sky, Sea is intended to let players test their damage-dealing chops and make improvements to their rotations, but the fact that each pillar can be defeated helps provide visual confirmation of your DPS skills.
The patch also offers a slew of other goodies for Final Fantasy XIV fans. These new additions include two new dungeons – The Antitower and Amdapor Keep (Hard) – and new trials in the Containment Bay S1T7 series, changes to Anima weapons, tweaks to Exploratory Missions, a new PvP mode called The Feast, and changes to the Materia slotting system. A new Mentor system will also be introduced, which will allow veteran players (those who have completed a substantial number of dungeons and have received many player commendations) to tutor new players on the esoterics of Final Fantasy XIV’s endgame content.
Lastly, Patch 3.2 will also see the continuation of the delightfully goofy Hildibrand quest line. In this series of sidequests, players help a bumbling detective named Hildibrand Manderville investigate murders, sinister plots, and the meaning of being a manly Manderville man. According to the Dengeki Online article, the questline picks up right after the end of the last chapter, where Hildibrand soared into the sky by way of magic sword. He’s apparently landed in Ishgard, and it’s up to the player to help him on his latest case.
The original Hildibrand questline introduced Final Fantasy series favorites Gilgamesh and Ultros both as characters and as fightable bosses, so perhaps we may see their return come 3.2 (or even the introduction of other beloved characters!). Is that a Vivi doll I see?
Final Fantasy XIV’s Patch 3.2 – The Gears of Change is set to release on February 23 this year.