Some big and exciting changes have come to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online. The latest update for the game, Patch 5.3, has arrived, and not only does it add a wealth of new content for existing players, but it essentially kicks the door wide open for newcomers as well. The development team has revisited the base game – FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn – and made some serious revisions to make it more welcoming. Not only that, the Free Trial has been dramatically expanded and it now features a massive amount of content to play through!
The development team set out with the goal of ensuring a smoother journey through main scenario for newer players, and took steps to streamline that original main scenario, including all story content through Patch 2.5. Some quests have been altered, others have been removed entirely, but it essentially means you spend less time to-ing and fro-ing between different quest-givers, and more time doing the fun stuff like battling fearsome foes, exploring the varied locales of Eorzea and experiencing the game’s fascinating story. Not only that, but elements like experience and quest rewards have also been adjusted to account for the new changes. Again, it makes the progression faster and more rewarding than ever before.
As part of the new 5.3 update, FFXIV has made a very generous chunk of its saga entirely free. Previously, the free trial only let you go up to level 35 and play content that was available up to that level cap, which encompassed about half of the base game. Now, trial players can go up to level 60 (the current cap is 80 for reference) with access to all the playable content that comes with A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, even the excellent post-release content. There is no time limit or subscription requirement, unless you want to start the second expansion, Stormblood–note that there are restrictions on social features in the free trial, however. That’s two full games, well over 100 hours worth of high-quality RPG, for free.
FINAL FANTASY XIV Online has seen three expansions: Heavensward, Stormblood and – most recently – Shadowbringers. Fans will debate endlessly about which of these expansions has the best story – even here in Square Enix HQ you’ll hear that particular discussion play out! Some adore the political shenanigans of Stormblood, while others can’t stop singing the praises of Shadowbringers’ tale of light and darkness. But Heavensward’s stirring tale of war and dragons is a particular favorite among fans. Not only did it expand the world of Hydaelyn in some pretty dramatic ways, it presented an emotional adventure that stands up alongside the best stories in the FINAL FANTASY series – yes, it’s that good. And now it’s included in both the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Free Trial and Starter Edition as standard – with all the content up to Patch 3.56. Suffice to say, that’s a lot of quests, dungeons, and content to enjoy.