This year, Square-Enix hosted a virtual version of the media tour for Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. Due to constraints with the pandemic, they opted for the virtual setting instead of inviting influencers and members of the media to an in-person event, as they’ve done with media tours for past expansions. The media tour gives the attendees a chance to try out the new expansion, offering all current jobs and new jobs at the new level cap. Members also got to try out one new dungeon, The Tower of Zot, as well as explore the brand new areas, such as Garlemald, Thavnair, and Old Sharlayan. Finally, the game’s producer and director, Naoki Yoshida, sat down for individual interviews via webcam, with live Japanese/English translations from veteran Square-Enix translator Aimi Tokutake.
Everyone invited released a ton of information about their time from the media tour, including job changes and updates, and footage of the new dungeon and zones. We compiled an overview of all the exciting tidbits. While we can’t possibly include everything, here’s what we learned from the tour.
As a disclaimer, everything from the media tour is subject to change before Endwalker’s release in November.
General Changes for Endwalker
MTQCapture (Mizzteq), a prominent Final Fantasy XIV guide creator, compiled a quick list of seven miscellaneous changes coming with the next expansion. She first gives us a look at the job stones for the two new jobs, Sage and Reaper. Then she shows what the new Achievement window will look like, as more of a tattered journal to give the menu a whole new feel. Our beloved Elezen Dragoon, Estinien, is confirmed as a new Trust for dungeons in Endwalker. Mizzteq also confirms some information about Trusts, how they will supposedly be more responsive during dungeons, but they will still not do AoE damage to packs of monsters. This is to keep the dungeon length longer with Trusts, ensuring things will typically go quicker with real players.
Mizzteq then confirms some information released in the recent Live Letter about the teleportation menu. We’re due to have a new menu for teleportation, showing exactly where on the map we will teleport, and even allowing us to click on the specific aetheryte we want to go to. Next, she shows us that Shared FATEs have carried over to the new zones, functioning the same way they do in Shadowbringers. You earn gemstones from completing FATEs, which you can then trade to an NPC for special rewards.
Then Mizzteq displays the new Character window without the belt slot, which now leaves us with one conspicuously missing piece from our armory chest. It’s unclear if the devs intend on correcting this admittedly minor issue. Lastly, Mizzteq shows the stats on the starter level 90 gear, which is significantly lower than our current level 80 gear, due to the upcoming stat squish. The level 90 items appear to have about 1/3 of the numbered stats on max item level gear for Shadowbringers.
Reaper – New Melee DPS
ZeplaHQ, another prominent Final Fantasy XIV content creator, showed us how the new Reaper job works. She shows us the basics, how the scythe-wielding Reaper focuses on building two different gauges to eventually summon a dark avatar to aid us in battle. Zepla shows us that the job has a good deal of utility as well, with a few abilities to shield party members and buff everyone’s damage. Reaper has several powerful abilities with names inspired by Final Fantasy XI’s iteration of dark knight, such as Guillotine, Arcane Circle, Nightmare Scythe, and Shadow of Death. The gameplay also appears fluid and intuitive, with flashy animations and satisfying finishers. This seems like an easy job for anyone to pick up, and there are not many positional requirements on their attacks, which might attract players who aren’t big fans of melee DPS positional requirements.
Zepla does give a rundown of Reaper’s abilities, but if you’d like them all in one place, here is GamerEscape’s infographic with all of the tooltips for easy viewing.
Sage – New Barrier Healer
Next up, Zepla shows us some Sage gameplay along with her first impressions. Sage is a barrier healer with a kit reminiscent of the current Scholar in Shadowbringers. Zepla also points out that Sage is similar to the Discipline Priest healer from World of Warcraft, in that the Sage can heal party members while simultaneously dealing damage, thanks to their Kardia ability. All of the Sage’s abilities are taken from Ancient Greek names, themed after their approaches to medicine, namely with the four humors (yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm), and the concepts of Eukrasia (a state of normal health) and Dyskrasia (poor health). As specialized doctors, Sages maintain a resource called Addersgall, similar to Aetherflow, which allows them to use their thematic heals and shields in battle. They also have another resource, Addersting, which gives them access to special damage abilities when a party member makes full use of their shield. Sage focuses on switching the effect of their heals and damage spells with their ability Eukrasia, which adds a shield to their single-target and AoE heals, and turns their direct damage spell into a damage over time effect.
Unlike Reaper, Sage is a more complex job. It is primarily meant for experienced healers who enjoy dealing damage, and for those who enjoy quick decision-making in the heat of battle. Healers who don’t enjoy dealing damage won’t be able to make the most of the Sage’s kit, which is an intentional design choice from the devs.
You can find GamerEscape’s infographic here with all of Sage’s ability tooltips in one place.
Changes to Tanks – Paladin, Warrior, Dark Knight, Gunbreaker
Existing Final Fantasy XIV jobs also received updates. Paladins are the poster job of the expansion, and they’ve received some exciting changes. They now have a brand new combo following their level 80 Confiteor skill, a beefy update to Sheltron that adds healing and more damage mitigation, and helpful tweaks to Divine Veil and Intervention. Warrior is still keeping its hefty self-healing going, with more abilities for healing and changes to existing abilities to include self-heals. Inner Release gives a new hard-hitting ability, Primal Rend, to add some variety to spamming Fell Cleave.
Dark Knight is functionally the same as it is now in Shadowbringers, with only a new defensive cooldown, a new ability to use with Salted Earth, limits on Bloodspiller usage during Delirium, and a hard-hitting ability, Shadowbringer, also extended to the Living Shadow simulacrum. Gunbreaker builds on what we already have, with a third cartridge for special abilities, a self-healing evolution to Heart of Stone, and a powerful finisher called Double Down.
Mr. Happy, another longtime Final Fantasy XIV content creator, has compiled his thoughts and impressions with each of the jobs on YouTube. We also have the tooltips for you from GamerEscape.
Changes to Melee DPS – Monk, Dragoon, Ninja, Samurai
As for the existing melee DPS jobs in the game, they received some tweaks as well. In Monk’s case, the devs reworked the job’s entire system, replacing the Greased Lightning mechanic with a new one. Monk now revolves around the Masterful Blitz system, where their attacks give them certain seals, which then unlock specialized skills to expend those seals. Their Chakra ability is now level 15, giving new players the chance to get comfortable with the system for much longer as they level up. On the flipside, Dragoon is still very recognizable, aside from a few changes. Blood of the Dragon is now a trait instead of a resource you have to maintain on your own. Their combos now grant them a new resource, Firstminds’ Focus, which allows them to unleash powerful finishers.
Ninja will also be familiar to current players of the job, but with new tools to work with. Keeping in-line with its busy, high APM identity, Ninja also gets new finishers for their abilities. Their mudra actions unlock stronger follow-up attacks, such as Forked Raiju after using Raiton. The Shadow Fang DoT is no more, and the Bunshin shadow clone gets access to a new powerful damaging ability, Phantom Kamaitachi.
Samurai is also sticking to the formula and building upon the current foundation. They get access to Shoha II, an AoE version of Shoha after using Iaijustsu abilities. Neither Shoha ability is affected by Tsubame-gaeshi anymore, which will keep players from losing out on extra Shoha stacks after accidentally triggering Tsubame-gaeshi too soon. Using Ikishonten for 50 Kenki grants the ability to use Ogi Namikiri, a powerful conal AoE attack. This has a follow-up in the form of Kaeshi: Namikiri, an even stronger conal attack.
Changes to Physical Ranged DPS – Bard, Machinist, Dancer
Next up are our physical ranged jobs. Bard receives a few quality of life changes, such as two charges for Bloodletter, and Caustic Bite and Stormbite getting their durations increased to 45 seconds each. But the Bloodletter charges are unfortunately a double-edged sword. When you get a proc that resets the ability’s cooldown, both charges come back up instead of only one at a time. As for new abilities, Bard gets new resources to manage with the Radiant Finale skill at level 90. Radiant Finale works similar to Astrologian’s current version of Divination, where the Bard builds up different Coda through their song gauge. Once they have three different Coda active, they can use Radiant Finale to increase their damage and the party’s damage by 5%. Having fewer than three different Coda types on the song gauge offers a lower buff when using the ability, so the Bard will want to focus on getting three different Coda whenever possible.
Machinist in Endwalker is incredibly familiar to its current Shadowbringers counterpart. The Spreadshot AoE ability becomes Scattergun at level 82, dealing more damage and giving more Heat Gauge points. The Automaton Queen gets a new ability, much like Ninja’s Bunshin shadow and Dark Knight’s Living Shadow simulacrum. Chain Saw is an AoE version of the hard-hitting Drill and Air Anchor abilities, granting additional Battery Gauge points for your Automaton.
Dancer is also quite similar, with a few changes and additions here and there. Improvisation no longer gives Esprit while using it, instead granting a healing over time effect to nearby party members. When using Flourish, you can only use your single-target or AoE procs, not both. This eliminates the need to purposely go in melee range to land AoE procs on a single boss. Following the use of Technical Step, Dancers unlock the ability Tillona, an AoE attack that deals damage, refreshes Standard Finish for you and your dance partner, and grants you Esprit for free.
Changes to Magical Ranged DPS – Summoner, Black Mage, Red Mage
For the final set of DPS jobs, our casters got a few surprises. Summoner got an extensive overhaul. The job no longer has any DoTs, and instead focuses on summoning different primals at different times, each offering unique effects. The Summoner cycles between Carbuncle for healing support, Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan for damage, and the existing Bahamut and Phoenix phases. The signature Summoner ability from Final Fantasy XI, Astral Flow, makes its introduction in Final Fantasy XIV, unlocking the current summon’s powerful ability when used. It’s up to the Summoner to decide which summon they would like to use and when. This gives Summoner more of a classic Final Fantasy feel, at last returning the job to its franchise roots.
Black Mage receives a good amount of quality of life updates. Their new ability Amplifier automatically grants one Polyglot to use for casting Foul or Xenoglossy. Like Dragoon’s Blood of the Dragon, Enochian is now a trait instead of an active effect the Black Mage must maintain at all times. The Aspect Mastery trait, which allows for casting of the opposite Fire or Ice spells with no MP, is now a level 1 trait instead of level 72. This will make the leveling process much smoother for Black Mages, rewarding them for gaining enough stacks of either Astral Fire or Umbral Ice, which will then allow for 0 MP casts of the opposite spells.
Red Mage will feel a bit different than it is now in Shadowbringers. Manafication now grants a flat amount of 50 Black and White mana. Additionally, you only need 50 mana to enter your melee sword combo, instead of the current 80 mana requirement. All corresponding spells will grant less overall mana as a result. Engagement is now a level 40 skill instead, preventing awkward moments where you’re forced to backflip with Displacement during level synced content. Acceleration simply gives three stacks where your Verthunder, Verflare, Veraero, and Verholy spells will trigger Verfire and Verstone procs. Embolden boosts all party members’ damage by 10%, and only your magical damage. Magic Barrier reduces incoming magic damage and boosts healing by a small amount. Finally, Resolution is a powerful finisher after the current Scorch finisher, dealing AoE damage in a straight line in front of you.
As a limited job, we didn’t get anything about Blue Mage at this time. We can expect to hear more about this one some time after the expansion launches.
Changes to Healers – Scholar, White Mage, Astrologian
As announced during the previous Live Letter, the devs brought a paradigm shift to the healers. With the introduction of our fourth healer, Sage, we now have two barrier healers (Scholar, Sage) along with two pure healers (White Mage, Astrologian). The idea is that the devs want us to pair one pure healer and one barrier healer together for 8-man content. As for other changes to the jobs, all healers will receive updates to their damage spells, increasing one tier with higher potencies as they level up. The main changes to look out for are the new abilities they gain between levels 81 and 90. Astrologian is an exception, receiving more changes than the two existing healers, but we’ll get to that soon.
Scholar is still very much the same as it is now, with a few additions. Protraction increases a party member’s HP by 10% and increases their healing received by the same amount. This counts for all healing actions such as Lustrate and Indomitability. At level 90, their Expedient ability grants a Sprint-like effect to all nearby party members, boosting their movement speed for a short time. This effect doesn’t stack with Sprint, but it will be useful for hurrying your party members around a battlefield to handle mechanics.
White Mage is also pretty familiar. The job unlocks Aquaveil at level 86, reducing the target party member’s incoming damage by 15%. At level 90, they learn Lilybell, which is a large flower the White Mage places on the field. When the White Mage takes damage, the Lilybell pulses out an AoE heal to nearby party members. This pulsing can heal up to five times before the ability expires.
As we mentioned, Astrologian received something of a facelift with the new healer identities. Now classified as a pure healer alongside White Mage, Astrologian is no longer a hybrid regen-shield healer. Diurnal Sect and Nocturnal Sect are no longer in the game. Instead, all of Astrologian’s heals will function as their current Diurnal Sect versions. Neutral Sect is still around, however, and works the same way as it does now with simultaneous regens and shields. Divination now grants a flat 6% damage increase for party members, removing the need to earn seals by using cards. The seals have been moved to the new ability called Astrodyne, which instead grants new personal buffs to the Astrologian only.
Exaltation is Astrologian’s version of Scholar’s Protraction and White Mage’s Aquaveil, reducing the target’s damage taken by 10% and granting a potent heal when the effect wears off. Earthly Star grants even more healing, and Astrologian gets the powerful Macrocosmos ability. Macrocosmos deals AoE damage to enemies, granting an effect to nearby party members. While under this effect, the ability compiles 50% of the total damage taken by your group. Macrocosmos then heals all party members for the same amount, which can turn into a godly heal for everyone if timed correctly.
That wraps up our coverage of Endwalker’s media tour. A number of other sites have their interviews with Naoki Yoshida. The content creators listed above also have interviews with Yoshida on their YouTube channels, all of which offer even more information to look forward to in the new expansion. There’s a ton of other coverage out there, too, such as lore tours of the new hub Old Sharlayan, footage of media tour attendees challenging the new level 81 dungeon, and even in-depth analyses of the emotes for male Viera, the new playable race. We encourage you to check them out if you’re interested.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker launches November 23, 2021 for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. Early Access begins Friday, November 19 at 1:00 AM PST for those who pre-order the expansion.