Journey through the Diadem once again with updates to the Ishgardian Restoration project. Image courtesy of Square Enix

Square-Enix has announced their Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase event for Friday, February 5th. In years past, these events would be held in concurrence with fan festivals across the globe. Unfortunately, in the age of COVID-19, we’ll all have to settle for watching online this year.

This is being billed as a bigger event than our usual Letter from the Producer Live. So what should people be expecting from the FFXIV announcement showcase? Here are five things to look out for!

New Expansion!

In a normal cycle, we’d already know what the new expansion is going to be. But with COVID-19 having put an ax to Japan and North American fanfest, we’re still in the dark as to what’s next for the Warrior of Light. Expect that darkness to be lifted early on in the presentation. My guess is that the trailer for the new expansion will lead off the presentation, as it has in previous years.

So where is the Warrior of Light heading this time? That remains anyone’s guess, but personally, I think this will be the long-awaited confrontation with Garlemald. Look for the Warrior of Light to be journeying far north to Ilsabard, as a united Eorzea finally takes the fight to the Garleans front door.

How will the mysterious towers popping up all around Eorzea play into it? Will they really make us spend another expansion on Zenos? All of this will likely be answered come February.

Yoshi’s T-Shirt

From Dark Knight to Blue Mage, you can always look at the t-shirt. FFXIV Producer Naoki Yoshida, better known as Yoshi-P, is famous for clueing us into what new classes will be entering the game by what he wears. I’m not expecting any new races this time around, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see two or three new classes added into the game.

The most obvious one for me is Apothecary, as our Mystel friend on the first hinted that she wanted to become one. Mayhap Yoshi will take the stage wearing a Full Metal Alchemist T-shirt? By now, we’ve exhausted many of the jobs from Final Fantasy XI and FFV, but there’s one they’ve been hinting at throughout the Bozja story that I am fully expecting to see: Beastmaster. It’ll be a tricky line to walk, but I’m fully expecting to have a beast companion in the next expansion.

The End of Shadowbringers

Patch 5.4 brought us the most recent installment in the Main Scenario Quest, in which we returned from the First and refocused our efforts on the troubles of the source. It concludes with the sudden appearance of mysterious towers all across Eorzea emanating a beacon of some sort.

Fandaniel and Zenos are certain to be front and center for this final stretch of Shadowbringers, and I really hope this is where their story ends. I do not want another expansion with these two villains, because frankly, they’re weak. We’ve gone from the single greatest villain to ever grace FFXIV in Emet-Selch to maybe the weakest in these two.

Update On Fanfest

In the United States, Fanfest generally falls every other year in October or November. The new expansion is revealed, and we have about 6 months to wait until it releases. This time around, there is no fanfest, only sadness, and plague. My guess however is that Square-Enix still wants to hold a celebration of some sort.

Look to them either promoting a virtual fanfest or announcing that they’ll hold an in-person fanfest when the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. My money is on the former, as I don’t think it’ll be particularly safe to hold a massive gathering like that in 2021. Either way, look forward to some form of an update.

Nothing About Final Fantasy XVI

I would expect all kinds of announcements about the content including where we’re going, what we’re doing, and who we’re going with. I would expect a road map of Final Fantasy XIV over the next two years, and I would expect some insight into what Yoshi’s future with the project looks like. But one thing I urge you not to expect is anything about Final Fantasy XVI. If that’s what you’re tuning into this event for, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

FFXIV fans old and new, set your calendars for February 2021. We’ve just got a little bit longer to wait. Tune in on Friday, February 5, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. (PST) / 8:30 p.m. (EST). You can watch it on Youtube, Niconico, or Twitch.

About Final Fantasy XIV Online

Final Fantasy XIV Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, set in the world of Hydaelyn. Players create their own character in-game, known as the Warrior of Light as they help unite the land of Eorzea against the evil empire of Garlemald.

Along the way, players join with friends and allies as they combat the twisted machinations of the Ascians. FFXIV is a PC game, and can also be played on PS4. Find out more information here.

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Image courtesy of Square Enix