FFXIV’s second wind continues today with the release of its first major expansion Heavensward, giving denizens of Eorzea access to the city-state of Ishgard and all the dragon-related intrigue they can stomach. Those who were keen enough to pony up for the pre-order have had access to the expansion content since Friday, and first reports are overwhelmingly positive.
In addition to a new location to traipse around, the expansion packs in what is technically known as a metric fuckton of additional content – a new level cap, a new race, flying mounts, new 3-tier Limit Breaks, new Primal challenges and a new raid dungeon which actually takes place within Alexander. Yeah. SE peg the length of the content as hovering around the 50 hour mark, which is practically on par with the length of the base game.
Three new classes make their appearance here – Dark Knight (Tank), Machinist (DPS), and Astrologian (Healer). Given that these are full-on Jobs, starting levels for these characters are 30 instead of 1 – meaning it should be fairly simple to grind back up to 50 in a short space of time. There’s a good chance you’ll have to dedicate some time catching up on outstanding story quests – the new expansion story content is not only gated by level (50 minimum) but also by story progression, so you’re not going to get a look in at the new content unless you’ve put the effort into completing the prior story missions.
XIV’s return to glory over the last couple of years has been fairly remarkable, particularly given the state the first iteration of the game arrived in. This is partly a result of an engaged and communicative dev team but is helped massively by the range and consistency of the updated content periodically pumped into the game. If this expansion is indicative of the quality of future content, we should expect to be playing XIV for a long time to come – perhaps even hitting WoW-tier longevity.
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