‘Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers’ to launch next summer with gunblades, Viera

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, the third expansion to the popular Square Enix MMORPG, is set to launch in summer 2019 with new story content, dungeons and raids, plus gunblades and the Viera in tow.

Shadowbringers, which will follow 2015’s Heavensward and 2017’s Stormblood, was a surprise announcement  by Square Enix at the Final Fantasy XIV Fanfest, which is happening over the weekend in Las Vegas. The game’s director and producer, Naoki Yoshida, took the stage to reveal details of the new expansion.

Shadowbringers will continue the Final Fantasy XIV storyline, with players to take up the fight against the evil Garlean Empire. The story content will be accompanied by new dungeons and raids, as expected from a new expansion. Players will also see the level cap increase from 70 to 80 once Shadowbringers launches.

Yoshida did not provide specific details on the new character jobs that will be released in Shadowbringers, but he hinted that one of them can be seen in the teaser trailer. A character wielding a gunblade, similar to what Squall used in Final Fantasy VIII, was seen in the trailer, and the unnamed class that will use the part-gun, part-blade weapon will likely be in the upcoming expansion.

Final Fantasy XIV fans have long clamored for the addition of the Viera, the race of rabbit people that first appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and represented by Fran in Final Fantasy XII. Yoshida said that Shadowbringers will add a new playable race to the MMORPG, and while he did not name the Viera, he was wearing a Bugs Bunny shirt that gives a strong hint.

Shadowbringers will also add a New Game + feature to Final Fantasy XIV, which will allow players to relive the game’s story so far while using their current characters. There will also be a new Trust system similar to Final Fantasy XI that will allow non-player characters to accompany players in dungeons, which will make completing the story mode of Shadowbringers as a solo player possible.

Final Fantasy XIV will be updated to version 5.0 for Shadowbringers, but before that, the game will be upgraded to version 4.5. Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda, wearing a blue cape and holding a staff, came out on stage near the end of the presentation to reveal that the patch will bring the Blue Mage class to the MMORPG. Like in previous entries to the franchise, the Blue Mage will learn skills from monsters encountered in the field.

More details on Shadowbringers and update 4.5 will be revealed over the weekend at the Final Fantasy XIV Fanfest.

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