Mike Salbato
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Gets a New Race, Machinist & Astrologian Jobs
Also: details on the new raid, an extravagant Collector's Edition and more from FFXIV Fan Fest Tokyo.
12.19.14 - 11:52 PM

Square Enix and Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida weren't shy about revealing details about the title's upcoming Heavensward expansion at the Las Vegas and London Fan Fest events this year. But, as expected, they saved a lot of information for the third and final event Fan Fest, being held in Tokyo right now.

The opening keynote recently concluded, and there's a lot of information to cover, so let's get to it! Before we dig into the new gameplay elements, we have so share the exciting music news: Heavensward will have an all-new theme song, and, like A Realm Reborn's stunningly-gorgeous "Answers," this new theme is being created by legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu. I don't need to tell you that if I could order this soundtrack right now, I would...

New Job: Machinist

The long-awaited "gun class" is finally a reality. Players have been awaiting a gun-wielding ranged DPS class since FFXIV 1.0 released in 2010. With banners strewn about Limsa Lominsa even today, we've been teased by this one for so long, that while we knew it would happen, we never knew when. Unlike current jobs - but like all of the expansion's jobs - Machinist will not require leveling a base class first. Based on the video at the event, it appears Machinists will not only do battle with an assortment of ornately-decorated guns, but perhaps can augment them with special attachments. Making use of a mechanic so far reserved for magic classes Summoner and Arcanist, Machinist will also be able to summon a machine companion to battle for assistance.

New Job: Astrologian

We've known for a long time that Heavensward would be introducing a new healer class. Once we got confirmation of a gun class, many people thought these would be one in the same. Well... nope! An all-new healing class will be making its debut in the expansion, the Astrologian.

As you can see in RPG Site's image capture from the event above, this job wields the wild-looking Star Globe as a weapon, and casts healing and supportive magic with both the globe and a divining deck of cards:

There's certainly a lot of questions about how exactly the Astrologian will play, but we don't have any other details yet. So far it seems different enough from the existing classes that it should give people an interesting new option for healing (and those robes - so pretty!)

New Job: Dark Knight

We learned about Dark Knight last month at the London event, but we got a short glimpse into how the job plays during the opening. Wielding a massive greatsword, Dark Knight certainly won't be the fastest class in battle, but it certainly looks like it hits hard. And while we don't know the specifics, we got to see a Dark Knight empowering his blade, perhaps indicating different stances like Paladin? The images above show not only this new tanking class, but the new playable race, the Au Ra.

New Race: Au Ra

The new Au Ra race has been teased for awhile as well: We were told that Yugiri - who made her debut in Patch 2.3 - was a member of this race, but we didn't yet know what she was. The Au Ra are a humanoid race that hail from Othard, a continent that lies to the east of Eorzea. Along with their scaly tails and skin, the Au Ra have distinctive horns that grow differently for males and females. It was also revealed - now that we've seen the Au Ra - Yugiri will reveal her face for the first time in the upcoming Patch 2.5.

New Raid: Alexander

I've been playing Final Fantasy for a long time. One of my favorite summons is Alexander, once I saw him in action in FFVI. So when I saw that Alexander would play a major role in Heavensward tonight, I had a really hard time containing my excitement. It looks like ol' Alex won't be reprising his role of a "cute little castle" from FFXI, but instead will be properly gargantuan like his Final Fantasy IX appearance. Alexander is considered a primal, summoned by the Goblin race (!?), and because of his sheer size, the new endgame raid content won't have players simply battling against him, but INSIDE him, in order to take him down. As you can see in the images, there's probably good reason for that.

With The Binding Coil of Bahamut wrapping up before Heavensward, the unnamed Alexander raid will be the new high-end content. This time around, the raid will launch with two difficulty modes, not unlike World of Warcraft's Normal and Heroic difficulties. Alexander's normal mode is said to be on par with Patch 2.2's Second Coil content, provided you run it with the current Echo buff that increases damage & healing done by 15% over its initial difficulty. This should enable players who may not be overly accustomed to raid content to jump in. It was re-confirmed that clearing the Bahamut raid will NOT be a requirement to partake in this new content. For more seasoned players, there will also be a hard mode, which is meant to be even more difficult than the just-introduced Final Coil of Bahamut that some of us (like me!) are still working to complete.

New Thing to Drop a Ton of Money On: Collector's Edition

No MMORPG expansion is complete without an elaborate Collector's Edition. Thanks again to RPG Site's Twitter-wielding staff at the event, we have a couple images to show:

As you can see, the Heavensward Collector's Edition includes a figure of the in-game dragon mount we'll get to ride, along with an in-game griffin mount, a "Baron Helm," fashioned after FFIV's Cecil (!!), and an in-game Wind-up Kain minion (!!!!). Dragoons are so central to the story in this expansion, that if Dragoons can't acquire a Kain's Lance weapon, then I know someone who will be very sad. Oh yeah, and it also comes in a massive box. We didn't get the details in the stream, but other items are shown there: A secondary DVD/Blu-ray, and perhaps an art book? A Realm Reborn's CE came with a bonus video disc about the back story of the game, so perhaps this extra disc will be similar.

And finally...! No, just kidding. That's enough information for now. If I wasn't already sitting down, I'd need to sit down. As you can see, there's a wealth of exciting things coming in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, and I for one can't wait. The expansion is scheduled to release sometime in spring 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3. At some point prior to that, Square Enix will be releasing a Benchmark tool to download so that you can see how the expansion will run on your PC.

Come back tomorrow evening when we'll be covering another information explosion, as producer Yoshi-P is hosting a Letter From the Producer Live at Fan Fest, and will be revealing for the first time what's coming in Patch 2.5. Topics so far include the final leg of the Crystal Tower storyline/dungeon, the long-long-long-awaited Gold Saucer (yes, there will be chocobo racing and breeding), and three new dungeons: The Keeper of the Lake, Amdapor Keep (Hard mode), and Wanderer's Palace (Hard mode).

All of that is tomorrow, so you can expect one of the FFXIV addicts around here named Mike to bring you all the details then!