For the coming expansion Endwalker Square Enix has big plans for Final Fantasy 14. In addition to a lot of playful innovations, the now ten-year saga should also be about Hydaelyn and Zodiark be brought to a worthy conclusion. The foundation stone for this final chapter was laid on December 8th with patch 5.4 "Futures Rewritten". The update offered a first glimpse of the big events that will eventually lead us to the moon. Of course we didn’t miss the opportunity to plunge into the new adventure on patchday and keep our eyes open for all the big and small hints of what's to come. But apart from that, the update had a lot to offer. You can find out what we particularly liked in our short review of Patch 5.4 "Futures Rewritten". We hope you enjoy reading!
Spoiler warning: Just like our reviews on Patch 5.2 and 5.3, this article also contains a lot of spoilers for the current main scenario.
The main scenario – a first look at Endwalker
After the story of Shadowbringers came to a worthy end with patch 5.3, we were given a first look at the future events in Final Fantasy 14 with patch 5.4. The new chapter of the main scenario began quite leisurely and served both as a small summary of the events so far, as well as to end some loose threads. So we had to first Alisaie help find a cure for the obsession with the primes. This section has taken a lot of time to refresh our knowledge of the old world and also to G'raha Tia as the newest member of the League of Dawn. Also many older characters, such as Cid and Matoya had their appearance. Especially after spending so much time in the first Splitterworld, we really appreciated this little refreshment session. We were also allowed to inspect a lot of new lore snippets, for example about the Primae or the culture of the Allager.
The new dungeon Matoya's studio was also closely linked to the events of the main scenario and is very reminiscent of its imaginative design Dohn Mheg or that chateau Cosmea. The individual sections of the dungeon are varied and offer a lot of different opponents and locations. We particularly liked the many small Easter eggs that are reminiscent of the earlier parts of the series, such as the pixelated mosaics of the Final Fantasy 1 jobs.
<img src = "https://www.buffed.de/screenshots/1020x/2021/02/FF14-Patch-5.4-Matoya-buffed.jpg" alt = "The new dungeon Matoya's studio is packed with small Easter eggs.”/>
Up to this point, the main scenario was great. It is therefore all the more annoying that the story lost some of its momentum afterwards. This was due to the tasks surrounding the lawless pirate organizations in Limsa Lominsa. Although it was interesting to learn more about the game world and especially the port city itself, these tasks did not fit in well with the overall story and would have been better off in the form of a side task.
After the attempts to cure the goblin obsession were crowned with success, what we had all been waiting for came: in the form of the magical towers that appeared out of nowhere all over Eorzea and that Ascian Fandaniel we were able to catch a first glimpse of the events that will lead us directly into the upcoming Endwalker expansion. Fandaniel without further ado explained his plan, the last days of Amaurot to recreate and thus lead the world to its end. Unfortunately, the main scenario from patch 5.4 also ends here and leaves so much room for speculation.
Is there actually an eighth catastrophe ahead of us that will literally set Eorzea up in flames, just like the trailer for the upcoming expansion Endwalker it suggests? Is this catastrophe also for the devastation of the imperial capital Garlemald responsible? What role will the two antagonists play Fandaniel and Zeros Yae Galvus play in all of these events and what are their real goals? We will have no choice but to look forward to the upcoming Patch 5.5 and of course the expansion Endwalker to be patient, in which all these questions will hopefully be answered.
Patch 5.4 – Challenges in PvE
Next to the new dungeon Matoya's studio, Patch 5.4 had a lot more in store, especially in the PvE area. So has with Eden's promise also the Eden raid series found their degree. In the grand finale, we were once again able to challenge four new bosses on two levels of difficulty. The fights are varied and closely linked to the history of the raid, which we will examine in detail in our review of the entire expansion.
For a good dose of nostalgia, however, the Dream test against titanium taken care of. Hardly any other prime is out of our mind A realm reborn Remembered as much as the god of the mountains and so it was a lot of fun to experience him again. Friends of the treasure maps, on the other hand, can use the Carousel by Lyhe Ghiah looking forward. This is an alternative to the dungeons of Lyhe Ghiah and sometimes opens randomly when completing a treasure map for eight players.
The Battle for Werlyt also started a new round with patch 5.4. After the ruby and sapphire weapon, this time we were allowed to fight the emerald weapon, which is also known from Final Fantasy 7. The extreme mode (trauma) is designed a little differently than we have so far from the exam battles in Shadowbringers were used to. His repertoire of skills is less than that of the Warrior of Light, for example, but many of these attacks require significantly more practice to be able to master them correctly. Instead of learning as many attack patterns as possible and the necessary positioning by heart, it comes with, for example Terminus Est: Trest rather on keeping the overview and reacting correctly in a matter of seconds. It may be a matter of taste which type of combat design you prefer, but the approach you have taken this time feels quite refreshing.
Apart from the actual fight, the new part of the battle for Werlyt quest series has inspired us and is one of the highlights of the update this time as well. We are not only fascinated by the exciting and sometimes very dark plot, but also by the many insights, which we in the course of the story into that Garleische Empire receive. In view of the upcoming expansion, it is good that this part of the game world will continue during the events in Shadowbringers has not been lost sight of and remains part of the plot in the form of this quest series. Especially the bad guy Valens van Varro sparked our anger, so we can hardly wait to hopefully give him a good beating in the grand finale in Patch 5.5.
Patch 5.45 – The Delubrum Reginae
The friends of the 24 raids did not go away empty-handed either. Patch 5.45 was released on February 2nd, a full expansion of the quest series with the Queen's Guard and the Bozja south front had in my luggage. We are now allowed to upgrade our weapons of resistance up to level 515. The main feature was that Delubrum Reginae, which is also available in two levels of difficulty and differs from other raids in several ways. Among other things, it is possible to use the missing commands from the Bozja southern front and thus give the characters a real buff.
But some game mechanics are also completely new. In every fight, a debuff ensures that we die on the second mistake, which forces us to keep a close eye on the boss skills, which also come along with some new ideas. For example, we have to keep an eye on our body temperature during the fifth fight and run targeted area attacks to compensate for this. The last boss even abuses us as figures on a game board, where we have to position ourselves correctly and then walk a predetermined number of fields in order not to suffer damage – that's fun and even forces us to analyze the situation for a moment before we act. It is precisely because of these fresh ideas that the raid is one of the highlights of the entire patch and is always worth a visit.
The exploration mode – non-combat fun
Exploration mode is undoubtedly one of the best new features that came into play in Patch 5.4. It allows you to explore already completed dungeons without any annoying enemies or bosses. You can even use your mounts and have access to other gimmicks, such as special training dolls that you can place anywhere. You can also activate the three levels of the limit break at any time.
With the exploration mode you can take very special screenshots and explore the lovingly designed dungeons in peace. Small details that have remained hidden from us during our normal rounds always catch the eye. The mode is great and that's why it's a bit of a shame that it is currently only available for the dungeons of the Shadowbringers-Extension is available. During his live letter on February 6th, however, Yoshida announced that the dungeons of the Stormblood-Era to be made available for exploration mode.
New item level and other innovations
Patch 5.4 also had a lot to offer apart from the story and PvE content. Among other things, we were again able to look forward to an increase in the general item level. Thanks to the new Allagan Stones of Revelation we can now purchase level 520 equipment. The raid Eden's promise on the other hand, it comes up with level 510 in the normal and 530 in the heroic version. Anyone who has had a longer break can easily catch up with their friends again with the help of the Allagan stones and normal raids and enjoy the new content together with them.
Collectors of rare rewards will also get their money's worth with patch 5.4 and can hunt for a lot of new companions, items of clothing, poses and mounts. You will receive some of them as a reward for the PvE content, others for participating in the Rebuilding Ishgard. This also went into a new round with patch 5.41, which appeared on January 12th. Here, the craftsman classes were asked again, who had to give their best again to complete the various construction stages together. Even if the construction work is finally finished, we have to wait until patch 6.1 before we can move into the new residential area in Ishgard. However, we are allowed to inspect the housing zone and the associated plots from patch 6.0 onwards.
The combat classes were not neglected with patch 5.4 and have been revised once again. Above all, the monk should be mentioned here, who now feels much stronger and is also more pleasant to play due to the loss of some skills. Gardeners and miners have also received a little attention. In particular, the way in which collectibles are looted has been revised. The improvements feel sensible and fit in well with the series of previous improvements in the artisan and collector classes since patch 5.1.
Patch 5.4 "Futures Rewritten" – our conclusion
The Patch 5.4 Main Scenario did a good job of raising many questions that we are eagerly awaiting answers to. The events act more like a teaser on what is to come, so we will have to wait until patch 5.5 "Death Unto Dawn", which will be released on April 13th and will represent the last step towards the grand finale of the current story. But even so, the previous plot points invite you to speculate and already give an idea that there are still some brilliant surprises ahead of us.
Apart from the main scenario, Patch 5.4 also convinced us across the board. Both the finale of the Eden Raid, as well as the many other innovations, such as the exploration mode, managed to captivate us for a good time in front of the monitor. Particularly noteworthy here are the raid Delubrum Reginae, which caused some surprises with its new mechanics, as well as the finale of the Rebuilding Ishgard, thanks to which we can now get a more precise idea of the Ishgarder residential area.
Of course, we are also looking forward to your opinion. How did you like Patch 5.4 and what was your highlight? Did you find the main scenario satisfactory or would you have faced the announcements of Endwalker Would you like more relevant plot points? Let us know in the comments!
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