The 2012 MMO Final Fantasy XIV has certainly found its audience, particularly after the Realm Reborn reboot, with SquareEnix reporting that the game has reached 20 million registered users across its lifespan. Square Enix will look to bolster those numbers further in the previously delayed upcoming patch 5.3 update that will introduce a new expansive free trial as well as a return to NieR themed raid content as the game starts closing out the Shadowbringers expansion. Check out the patch 5.3 Reflections in Crystal trailer below.
The big draw with this patch will be the new trial mode, which gives players complete access to all the content through 2015’s Heavensward expansion and a max of level 60 before needing to buy into the game. That’s hundreds of hours of content free, especially given the quest grind involved to go from expansion to expansion. If you’ve ever been even a little bit curious about the Final Fantasy MMORPG then this is your chance to see if it’s your speed or not.
As for the rest of 5.3 here’s what else to expect.
- New Main Scenario Quests – The curtains rise for the final act of the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers main scenario questline as the Scions endeavour to shed light upon the Ascian Elidibus’ dark plot.
- Main Scenario Questline Update: A Realm Reborn – The A Realm Reborn main scenario questline will be reworked to give new players a more streamlined experience as they progress through the story leading to Heavensward. Additionally, players will be able to use flying mounts to take to the skies in A Realm Reborn areas upon completion of The Ultimate Weapon quest.
- Expanded Free Trial – The free trial will now allow players to enjoy unlimited playtime up through level 60 and will also include access to Heavensward content, an additional playable race (Au Ra), and an additional three playable jobs (Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist).
- New YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Alliance Raid – The white-robed android 2P awakens at last, but so too does an unforeseen danger to Komra in the next chapter of this NieR-inspired alliance raid, The Puppets’ Bunker.
- Save the Queen Questline Updates (Patch 5.35) – Players can further enhance weapons obtained in the first chapter of this quest series as they explore The Bozjan Southern Front, a new area where the Bozjan Resistance has begun Operation Eagle’s Nest in a bid to regain Alermuc Fortress from the Empire.
- New “Chronicles of a New Era” Quest: The Sorrow of Werlyt – Part of the ‘Weapon Series’ questline, players can enjoy a story-focused experience culminating in a special event battle.
- New Dungeon: The Heroes’ Gauntlet – The whole of Norvrandt becomes a battlefield across which the Warriors of Darkness must fight their way. Players can tackle this new challenge alongside fellow adventurers, or a party of non-player characters, using the Trust system.
- New Trial: A fearsome new foe possessed of immeasurable might shall arise to test Warriors of Darkness in both normal and extreme difficulties.
- New Beast Tribe Quests – A new crafter-focused questline featuring the dwarves.
- New Game+ Updates – The updated A Realm Reborn main scenario and other quests will be available for players to revisit while retaining their current character and level.
- New Battle Content: Unreal Trials – Players will be able to challenge powered-up versions of existing primals that are prepared to battle against level 80 heroes. Unreal Trials will feature one primal fight which will change with each patch, beginning with Shiva in Patch 5.3. Defeating the primal each week gives players the chance to complete a new mini-game, with those who emerge triumphant receiving tokens to exchange for prizes.
- Ishgard Restoration Update (Patch 5.31) – The third phase of restoration begins following the efforts of the Skybuilders. Skybuilder Rankings return, with new items for players to craft and new achievements for top contributors to the restoration efforts.
- Crafter and Gatherer Updates – New custom deliveries, updates to Rowena’s House of Splendors, and an update to the Skysteel Tools questline headline several crafter and gatherer updates. Additionally, recipe search functionality will be improved for ease of use.
- YO-KAI WATCH Collaboration Returns – The YO-KAI WATCH collaboration event, Gather One, Gather All returns to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online beginning August 19th and includes new rewards in addition.
That last bullet point might have caught you by surprise, but, yes, there is a mount based on the cat spirit Jibanyan from Yo-Kai Watch. Why not? Check all of this and more out on August 11 when patch 5.3 goes live across all versions of Final Fantasy XIV.