Mike Salbato
TGS 2014: Details and Video for Final Fantasy XIV Patch 2.4: Dreams of Ice
It's right around the corner, but we finally got our first look at much of what's in store.
09.21.14 - 4:59 AM

The Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn team has been consistently delivering new major content patches every 3 months or so ever since 2.1 dropped last Christmas. Patch 2.4, due sometime in October, might be the most anticipated so far, as it's one of the few updates Producer Naoki Yoshida and crew teased months in advance. We actually learned about the Rogue and Ninja classes that would debut in 2.4 before 2.3 released in July. We haven't learned much new about them, but this new video does show you both classes in action:

The other major feature of 2.4 - hence the reveal of the "Dreams of Ice" title - is the inclusion of Shiva, a long-time favorite of Final Fantasy fans. In FFXIV lore, all of our classic "summons" are known as "primals," and come into XIV's world of Eorzea by way of their followers who worship them as gods. We don't know yet know how Shiva will be introduced, but we do know that Shiva is on a different level than most of the rest: While Ifrit, Garuda, and co. are all primals, Shiva is an Elder Primal, a rank only shared with Odin and Bahamut, presumably placing her above the others. In today's videos, we see how Shiva looks in-game thanks to the official TGS trailer, and a short teaser of the arena in which we'll battle her:

Oh man, I love snowy areas. I won't spoil the story for anyone who has yet to play through the conclusion of 2.3, but as you may guess from 2.4's title of "Dreams of Ice," we might be seeing a lot of Coerthas in the near future:

Now then, what did we learn in the TGS edition Letter from the Producer? There was talk of the current state of player housing; as Yoshida mentioned on the forums, he apologized for the continued lack of available land plots (despite adding more in last week's patch 2.38), and that the next step in 2.4 will double the available plots of land, which they hope should alleviate some concerns.

Next was talk of new dungeons. As usual, patch 2.4 will introduce a brand-new dungeon, and two "Hard" versions of existing dungeons. FFXIV's idea behind these hard modes actually involve adjusting the layout and progression through dungeons we once knew, changing all the enemies and bosses, and adding new high-level loot as rewards. So while we've seen Sastasha and The Sunken Temple of Qarn before, these will be different experiences with a new story behind them. Though it's the Snowcloak dungeon that has me most excited. Look at it! (dat music)

It seems - and this should please lore fans - the Snowcloak dungeon is located exactly where we think it would be in game, and will bridge Central Coerthas (which we can currently access) and Western Coerthas (which we cannot and it bothers me daily). Whether we'll get to see beyond the epic wall of ice until the expansion, we're not sure.

Following these updates, Yoshi-P re-confirmed that patch 2.4's round of Binding Coil of Bahamut will be the finale to that storyline, and, like the Second Coil in the game now, will receive a harder "Savage" version in patch 2.5. Smaller but welcome changes were also covered: Leviathan's weapon-upgrading Mirror of the Whorl will drop more frequently from the battle moving forward, a blessing for those of us who still want our watery blades. The Wolves' Den PVP arena will be getting some unspecified updates, and PVP in general will see the addition of new ranks, with more PVP changes in the works. And yes, the "Eternal Bond" system - formerly "marriage" will appear in patch 2.45, so pick out your future husband/wife/life partner/BFF now! (I already have mine)

The next major event with a Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn presence will be the upcoming Fan Fests in London, Las Vegas, and Tokyo. These festivals will host a ton of events, including a new Letter from the Producer LIVE, panels, a keynote, a Music Special with composer Masayoshi Soken (brb, need to prepare my body for this), a battle challenge (primal battle perhaps?), LIVE quests, cosplay and art contents, and more. Oh, and merchandise. So much merchandise. Not only will it be the first time people can buy A Realm Reborn's art book, The Art of Eorzea - words cannot express my excitement - but like the game's soundtracks, the book includes a code that awards you with a mini Wind-Up Enterprise minion, complete with mini Cid at the helm. In Eorzea, moogles are known as the letter carriers, and Fan Fest will be the debut of Delivery Moogle plushies, which, yes, also come with a code for an in-game Wind-Up Delivery Moogle. There's also mention of a new music disc, but with a release date of December 17th, it likely won't be at the event. In any case, this new Blu-ray disc, titled "Final Fantasy XIV: From Astral to Umbral" is an album of arranged FFXIV:ARR music from Sound Director Masayoshi Soken's new band The Primals. On the disc are also some piano renditions of XIV music. Unfortunately, there's no word on if this soundtrack will include a code for a Wind-Up Soken minion. But we can hold out hope!

With FFXIV:ARR patch 2.38's release last week, the 2.3 series is all but complete, so you can look forward to our official review of all of 2.3 in the very near future. So stay tuned for that, as well as coverage of 2.4 and more from next month's Las Vegas Fan Fest!

Most of this information came to us by way of the excellent Nova Crystallis, so we appreciate their exhaustive report, and please do check out their fantastic Final Fantasy coverage over at their site.