Final Fantasy XIV’s 58th Live Letter from the producer officially announced the upcoming Patch 5.3: Reflections in Crystal. The new patch continues the Shadowbringers story, adds a 24-man raid in the YoRHA: Dark Apocalypse series, and includes a story-based trial. As part of the A Realm Reborn Revamp, flying will become available in ARR zones, and the post-2.0 Main Scenario Quests have been streamlined.
To kick off the 2-hour webcast, FFXIV‘s Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida and Global Community Producer Toshio “Foxclon” Murouchi went into great detail about the delays the development team is facing in completing the patch content. They cited the office-driven culture of Japanese companies as being a great barrier; their systems simply aren’t set up to allow for work to take place remotely. The development team has shifted to working from home over the last two weeks, which makes testing patch content much more challenging.
So far, this transition has caused about a month’s delay for Patch 5.3, and Yoshi-P expects another few weeks of delay as they complete the final phase of patch development. A launch date for Patch 5.3 has not been announced yet.
Although we don’t yet know when the patch is coming, we do know that it will contain a great deal of new content; much that we’ve learned to expect from a new patch, plus a few new surprises.
Main Scenario Quests
The conclusion of the Shadowbringers story takes place in Patch 5.3. The Main Scenario will include both Normal and Extreme versions of a new trial. While details were vague, Yoshi-P says it’s unlikely the community will guess who the final boss will be.
YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Chapter 2
The second 24-man raid in the Nier series will be titled The Puppet’s Bunker. This Alliance Raid continues the story launched in Patch 5.1’s The Copied Factory.
New Dungeon: The Heroes’ Gauntlet
The new dungeon added in this patch will be part of the main scenario. During the webcast, Yoshi-P hinted that this takes place in Lakeland, but the topiaries look very Il Mheg. We should expect screenshots of the dungeon in the Patch 5.3 trailer.
New Beast Tribe
The Dwarves will be the new Beast Tribe for Patch 5.3. This will be Shadowbringers‘ crafting tribe, much like the Namazu and the Moogles before them.
New Instanced Battle Encounter
The Sorrow of Werlyt questline that gave us Ruby Weapon continues in a new instanced battle encounter. This as-yet-unnamed creature does look very blue—maybe even Sapphire.
A Realm Reborn Revamp
13% of the quests between Patch 2.0 and 2.5 have been removed, and those that remain have been simplified. As such, experience gains have been buffed so that the time players reach Heavensward, they’ll be level 60. Most people who quit the game while leveling dropped off during 2.1 content, so this change is designed to help new players progress through what was once a 100-quest slog.
Flying will now be available in ARR zones. Players will need to finish the ARR Main Scenario Quest up to the completion of Ultima in order to unlock it.
Unreal Trials and Faux Hollows
Unreal Trials are an entirely new concept. A new, adjusted version of old trials will be introduced, with mechanics designed to be challenging for level 80 players. Patch 5.3 will include an Unreal difficulty Akh Afah Ampitheatre. The development team chose Shiva for the launch of Unreal Trials since it’s relevant to the current raid tier. In the future, players can expect one, or possibly two, Unreal Trials per patch. Each fight will only be available for a limited time. Completing Unreal Trials allows you to play the new Faux Hollows minigame for new rewards, but it’s not clear yet what the minigame involves.
Ishgardian Restoration Upgrades
The third phase of the Ishgardian Restoration will take place, getting players one step closer to rebuilding the Firmament. This will kick off a new season of Skybuilder Rankings, which offers special titles and achievements for top crafters and gatherers.
Resistance Weapons Update
The Save the Queen questline will be updated, allowing players to update their Resistance Weapons. Yoshi-P was careful to mention that this is not Eureka Part 2, but it will be an instanced zone.
Skysteel Tool Upgrades
Crafters and gatherers will be able to update their Skysteel Tools to a higher item level with more stats.
Fans of Seal Rock and Shatter can start celebrating. Frontlines will now include all four PVP modes.
More details will be available in the next Live Letter from the Producer, which has not yet been announced.