It’s totally Patch Day! When the team announced previously that Patch 4.3 would launch at the end of May, I fully expected it to drop a week from now. It was a very welcome surprise to learn that we’d be getting the patch this week instead, just as I’ve wrapped up most of my current goals in the first chapter of Eureka. As is tradition, I’ll be picking out some things from the Patch 4.3 Patch Notes that interest me today while languishing in maintenance limbo. I won’t be covering every little detail, but do be sure to check out the full Patch Notes over on the Lodestone. And, of course, don’t forget to check out the trailer!
Of course, all of the major additions we’ve come to expect for an odd-numbered Patch are on the way. The new dungeon, Swallow’s Compass, is tied into the Four Lords storyline (and will likely be necessary to unlock the next Four Lords trial battle in Patch 4.4). The next chapter of the Return to Ivalice storyline takes us to the Ridorana Lighthouse. We’re also getting a new trial, which is part of the Main Scenario, but in an unusual move, the team has yet to reveal anything about that trial. Even the Patch Notes are mum.
My initial assumption here was that we’d be facing off against Zenos again (echoing the Nidhogg trial in Heavensward‘s Patch 3.3), but the one factoid we do have is that the trial boss is not in the Trailer, which rules out both Zenos and Asahi. There’s not a lot to go on from there—perhaps we’ll face off with the emperor of Garlemald, come to clean up Zenos’ mess? If it’s not that, my next best guess is that we’ll be facing off with another Ascian, and given that it’s actually been some time since we’ve seen them front and center, this might be where they start to feature prominently in the story again.
We’re also finally getting a Roulette option for the normal mode raids in Patch 4.3. Even at the end of Heavensward, I remember queues for the Alexander raids often being longer than 30 minutes, which made helping my SO through them to get caught up to A12 take what felt like an eternity. The rewards for this one are honestly quite generous (and much better than the Trials Roulette), which is quite unexpected, as the team has a long history of not making Roulettes rewarding enough.
On the note of Roulettes not being rewarded enough, we’re seeing yet another update to the rewards for the Main Scenario Roulette, in the face of the last boost (doubling of Poetics tomestones) not doing enough to draw people in, given the requirement of watching all of the cutscenes now. Quite honestly, given that the Roulette can take around an hour to complete, I don’t even think this increase is going to do the trick. 50 Mendacity is hardly a drop in the bucket, considering Expert gives almost twice that, and capping Mendacity in Eureka happens more or less as a side effect of upgrading Anemos gear. Come 4.35, when the Deep Dungeon is added, that will likely be yet another source of straightforward Mendacity, too. At this point, I honestly feel as though the team should rework Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium entirely, turning them into solo instances—I’m sure that’s a tall order in terms of development time, but they’ll otherwise likely have to keep iterating on this Roulette for years if they keep trying these incremental adjustments.
In other battle content news, new changes to Frontlines will mean that only one map will be available each day, which will hopefully mean that completing achievements for Secure and Seize should actually be reasonable again. I’m fairly happy about this one, as I never finished the glamour set from Seal Rock, and I’d like to, at least on occasion, put a little time toward that one. While the set isn’t dyeable, the coat is still quite nice, and I think I could get some use out of it.
New Challenge Log additions coming in the Patch will make catching up in Eureka a little easier (though it’ll depend on just how large that Elemental Experience Points boost is). From the looks of it, these entries in the Log will be able to be completed in the next Eureka zone coming in 4.36 as well, which should do something to alleviate the problem I noted of so many of the enemies in the zones going largely unused. All in all, this is a welcome change (though I’m not a huge fan of tying these objectives to weekly timers).
Also seemingly in preparation for content coming in the Patch 4.3 subpatches, we’re going to see the Aetherpool weapon system for Palace of the Dead reworked. Now we’ll be able to cash in Aetherpool value for tokens in chunks of 10 points. In terms of the amount of bonus required to get weapons from the Deep Dungeon, nothing has really changed, but what has changed is that you can zero out your weapon if you so desire even if you haven’t hit either the +30 or +90 milestones needed to get a weapon previously. That means having to start over from lower levels won’t quite be so devastating (since you can then get more Aetherpool upgrades from chests), and you can also maintain a high level weapon (say, at +60) while making progress toward new weapons.
And finally, when it comes to major battle content adjustments, the team did decide to go through with the change to alliance raid loot, making all of them Greed Only. I’m honestly not sure how to feel about this one. Getting the piece you want in an alliance raid is often a massive headache already, and my fear is that this change will only make the problem worse. While this should mean that people will more often play their main jobs in alliance raids and hopefully result in smoother runs, I suspect that won’t really be worth the increased frustration of lost rolls when it can sometimes take countless runs in a given week to even see the piece you want, let alone win the roll on it. My only hope here is that, when this doesn’t improve things, we see alliance raids moving to a token-based system of some kind (but not one like the normal mode raids, please!).
Along with the new battle content, we’re getting various job adjustments, with Astrologian, Dark Knight, and Samurai getting the majority of the attention this time around.
Astrologian receives some much needed quality of life changes that will end up being a significant buff, too. The job uses a lot of Abilities with card draws, shuffles, and spreads in addition to various healing cooldowns, a style of play that’s never worked particularly well for them since they have so few instant cast spells. While all casting classes suffer from this to some degree, it was perhaps most notable for Astrologian since their core mechanics are supported by Abilities. With Malefic now having a shorter cast time than the global cooldown, they’ll have a lot more mobility and be able to weave in card effects much more readily without clipping the GCD. The Lightspeed change has a similar effect, and this will probably make Astrologian the most mobile healer by far.
Black Mage also picks up some welcome increases to their mobility, with the wind-up time being lowered on Aetherial Manipulation and Between the Lines. This will likely be comparable to the change made to Ninja’s Shukuchi some time ago and make zipping around the battlefield a much safer proposition when it comes to dodging boss attacks and the like. It’ll also likely just be plain fun, to be honest.
Dark Knight has received by far the most adjustments, for a range of all around improvements. Their survivability’s going up, with Dark Mind now always functioning as though Dark Arts had been used on it previously, Shadow Wall getting a cooldown reduction, and Sole Survivor now always guaranteeing the 20% HP and MP recovery as long as the duration expires (and restoring even more on if the enemy dies under the effect). Overall damage and enmity increases are also welcome, most especially the enmity increase on Plunge, which now has a similar function to Warrior’s Overwhelm.
I’m surprised we’re getting Monk adjustments so soon after the last round of them, which were pretty significant. The change to Purification is great, as I’ve often found the lack of an enmity shedding tool to be a real pain since taking up Monk as my DPS main. The change to Brotherhood seems to be mainly for situations where two Monks are in the same party, allowing their Brotherhood Actions to work together, which is a small but welcome change especially for Duty Finder matched parties, where you might end up paired with another Monk sometimes.
Alas, my long awaited changes to Ten Chi Jin remain elusive. This change to Hide is most likely the odd reference to Deep Dungeon related changes for Ninja made during the most recent Live Letter. While this isn’t huge, the fact that Sprint dispelled the Hide effect has always rather bugged me, and this will indeed be useful in Deep Dungeons for sniping chests and the like. I haven’t done any testing with Hide in Eureka to see if it’s even worth using, but if it is, this change will also be a welcome addition there.
I saw more hype and interest for Samurai changes on social media leading up to the release of the Patch Notes than I did for any of the other jobs, and I can only imagine most dedicated Samurai are a little disappointed with these changes. Raw potency increases are, while sometimes deceptively impactful, never very exciting. That being said, a similar thing happened with Summoners earlier on during Stormblood, with small potency adjustments to their DoT effects making them the main caster DPS choice in raids for at least a little while. I expect we’ll see more adjustments to Samurai further down the line, though, as FFXIV just isn’t a game where a job can survive on pure DPS when party synergy is so important.
Scholar is mainly getting some quality of life adjustments to pet micromanagement in the Patch. There’s a fairly significant potency increase to Whispering Dawn as well, though. I’m not sure that Scholar really needed much help, but being able to cancel your fairy’s casts should make a big difference in getting the various fairy buffs up for defense and offense alike, so that’s certainly a welcome change.
Outside of battle content, we’re of course getting quite a lot of new things added. For crafters (and seemingly gatherers, this time), we’ve got new Beast Tribe Quests with the Namazu, which I’ll likely be using to get my last few crafters to level 70, as well as new Custom Deliveries with Kurenai from the Shisui of the Violet Tides storyline. We’re also getting a new vendor in Rhalgr’s Reach, will allow us to upgrade crafted item level 350 gear. This is something of a new system, and I’m not entirely sure what we’ll be looking at for rewards here, but it seems to be an attempt to keep the crafted gear more relevant throughout the entire raid tier, which is not unwelcome.
We’re also seeing something new in terms of side content with the Doman Enclave reconstruction. By selling items to vendors, we’ll be able to assist in rebuilding the enclave (which is a cool, but currently sparse, area). We’ve not seen anything like this before that I can recall, and the Patch Notes are vague about what we’re going to see overall. Will we see new vendors added to the Enclave over time with special items or special quest givers, for instance? Or is the growth of the Enclave limited to cosmetics? My guess is that we’ll see more added to this in the future given that they seem to have created a special UI for it.
We’re also seeing changes to the Gold Saucer, like the addition of Chocobo Races to the Duty Finder and adjustments to Lords of Verminion, but the big one everyone’s been clamoring for has been years in the making by now: the Bunny and Bunny Chief attire sets will no longer be gender-locked! This doesn’t matter much at all for me, of course, since I don’t play male characters, but I know that plenty of people have been wanting these for a very long time, and I’m excited for that alone. This will hopefully also be only the first of many sets to have gender restrictions removed, both for female- and male-only sets.
And now that we’re finally to the glamour bits, we can talk about the much needed changes to the Glamour Dresser coming in 4.3. Stored items will now be able to be retrieved, which fixes my single greatest problem with the system, and we’ll also be able to use the /isearch command to find things we’ve stored inside, too. Both of those changes are going to be a big deal for the Dresser’s usability. On top of those massive improvements, we’ll be able to apply individual glamours from the Dresser itself, without making use of Plates, and we’ll be able to attach Glamour Plates to gearsets, without having to make use of macros, getting us ever closer to job-specific glamours! We’re not quite there yet, since Glamour Plates can still only be applied in settlements, but we’re very close!
The new Swallow’s Compass dungeon will be bringing us the winning set of the Caster gear design contest from some time ago, along with other sets inspired by that design. I have no idea which set goes with which role on these, outside of the Casting set (on the male miqo’te). The far right set on the male highlander is probably the tank set, but I’m not even confident about that. I’m not really a huge fan of these, when compared to the Skallic Sets, which I thought were much more flexible for glamour purposes. These are heavily stylized, and likely won’t work with much else (though I do suspect they might work with some of the PvP armor). But, sometimes, pieces of gear surprise me, so perhaps I’ll find some uses for them anyway!
As with the gear for Royal City of Rabanastre, the gear from Ridorana Lighthouse is largely inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics. Like the last array of sets, I think these are a bit too stylized in a way that doesn’t really fit in well with FFXIV‘s overall style (and not quite evocative of the sets they emulate from FFT, in my opinion). I do really like the set patterned after Vaan from Final Fantasy XII (on the miqo’te in the center), and I think that top in particular will be great for glamours. My guesses for these are Fending (male elezen), Striking (female au ra), Scouting (male hyur), Aiming (female miqo’te), Maiming (male miqo’te), Healing (female lalafell), Casting (female roegadyn), but the physical DPS jobs can all probably be swapped around in terms of who gets what. Personally I’m hoping for the Vaan-inspired set to be the Scouting one, so I can use it for Alahra’s Ninja glamour, but we’ll see!
The last gear preview that I could find (unfortunately not in a full-sized screenshot) is this cutesy little ensemble that is most likely the new crafted fashion set for 4.3, which will undoubtedly remain exorbitantly expensive for months to come. While I’m not personally a fan of the dress (Alahra would look ridiculous in it), the shoes and tights will surely find some use somewhere, assuming they dye well (though it’s not clear from the picture that the tights are actually new: they could just be the Bridesmaid’s Tights). There will probably be other glamour sets as well, but so far as I know, we’ve not seen them.
And that covers everything that really stood out to me in the Patch Notes! As always, there’s a lot I didn’t go into detail for, like Cross World Linkshells, new accessiblity settings for color blindness, PvP changes (which I never feel qualified to comment on), and other things I’m probably forgetting entirely! While the main draws of this patch series are coming later for me (in 4.35 and .36 with the new Deep Dungeon and Eureka: Pagos), I’m still more than ready to continue the Ivalice storyline in particular, thanks to my everlasting love of FFT. I hope everyone’s having a wonderful Patch Day, and I’ll be catching up with a couple pre-Patch glamours for the rest of the week before my normal first impressions post sometime next week!