Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is the first expansion pack of Final Fantasy XIV, announced at the 2014 Fan Fest in Las Vegas. It was released on June 23, 2015. A Mac version was originally planned to launch on the same day as Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 versions, making it the first Final Fantasy title on Apple's personal computer. The Mac version was briefly recalled by Square Enix due to early stability issues[1], but has since been restored as a digital-only game at the Square Enix Online Store.

A benchmark program for Heavensward was released on April 27, 2015, featuring support for DirectX 11 and Au Ra character creation.

With the update for patch 5.3 on August 11, 2020, the Heavensward expansion is now included in the Starter Edition of the game.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The expansion automatically increases the level cap to 60 for all disciplines. A new playable race, the horned Au Ra, and multiple new jobs were introduced. One new job was announced for each of the three roles: the Dark Knight for Tank, the Astrologian for Healer, and the Machinist for ranged DPS. New job quests for existing jobs were added. Each job now has a unique level 3 Limit Break, with existing ones redistributed to appropriate classes.

All-new Primals appear, including at least one Primal created just for Final Fantasy XIV—the first of these being Ravana. New dungeons and new raids appear. A new feature allows Free Companies to create their own personal airships. New field areas in the expansion are 50-100% larger than existing ones[2], and support flying mounts, such as black chocobos, personal-scale airships, the collector's edition griffon, and a dragon who is important to the story of Heavensward.

Story[edit | edit source]

Owing to schemes in the shadows of Ul'dah, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn have been scattered, and the Warrior of Light has been forced to flee North with Alphinaud Leveilleur. Though granted shelter by Lord Haurchefant, The Adventurer's group presses on to Ishgard, a reclusive nation locked in a never-ending struggle with dragons. But matters have worsened not only in the Dragonsong War, but the unexpected appearance of a Warrior of Darkness as a countermeasure to the Warrior of Light.

Development[edit | edit source]

Naoki Yoshida had revealed that the first expansion of the game will let the players fly, and one of the themes will revolve around a "great conflict that spans across millennia."[3] In April 2015, Yoshida revealed "gothic high fantasy" was the key theme for art direction, while the storyline moved towards dark fantasy.[4]

Major updates[edit | edit source]

Note that the below version updates also added features and adjustments to A Realm Reborn (2.x) content.

As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness (3.1)[edit | edit source]

As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness logo.

Released on November 10, 2015. The main scenario saw the Scions continue their search for their missing compatriots and the introduction of the Warriors of Darkness, antagonistic adventurers possessed of the Echo.

Patch 3.1 features two new dungeons: Saint Mocianne's Arboretum Saint Mocianne's Arboretum and Pharos Sirius (Hard) Pharos Sirius (Hard). The first duty in the Shadow of Mhach Shadow of Mhach raid series was introduced in The Void Ark The Void Ark. Additionally, the end-game dungeons from A Realm Reborn now award EXP for players who have Heavensward. An extreme version of the final battle of 3.0 was released in The Minstrel's Ballad: Thordan's Reign The Minstrel's Ballad: Thordan's Reign

Vanu vanu beast tribes quests were added, while airship exploratory voyages allowed teams of players to explore uncharted islands in the Sea of Clouds first-hand in the Diadem. A new Gold Saucer attraction called Lord of Verminion was introduced, an RTS-style minigame involving minions. New Triple Triad cards and players are added, along with adjustments to Chocobo Racing. Housing had an eviction system added to handle lots owned by inactive players, as well as an Estate Sharing Function for private residences.

Patch 3.15 added the Saint Endalim's Scholasticate quest series, as well as the new Anima Weapons.

The Gears of Change (3.2)[edit | edit source]

The Gears of Change logo.

Released on February 23, 2016. The Scions search lead them to the depths of The Antitower The Antitower, while plans for a peace conference between Ishgard and Dravania ran into complications. A Grand Melee was held to celebrate Ishgard's joining the Eorzean Alliance.

In Azys Lla, the Scions would investigate the awakening of the Warring Triad, facing off against Sephirot in Containment Bay S1T7 Containment Bay S1T7. The Alexander storyline would continue in Alexander: Midas Alexander: Midas, and another new dungeon was added in The Lost City of Amdapor (Hard) The Lost City of Amdapor (Hard).

Patch 3.2 added new training grounds, the Hall of the Novice for beginners, and Stone, Sky, Sea for endgame players to hone their skills. A Mentor system was introduced to compliment them. Gears of Change is revamped the way the materia system works, including allowing melds on endgame equipment[5]. Other job adjustments, such as damage calculation for tank classes, were implemented. This patch also featured the return of Hildibrand, Agent of Inquiry and new beast-tribe quests involving the Gnath. Patch 3.21 added a new seasonal PvP mode called the Feast, and patch 3.25 introduced the next upgrade phase for the Anima Weapons.

Revenge of the Horde (3.3)[edit | edit source]

Revenge of the Horde logo.

Released on June 7, 2016, Revenge of the Horde saw the finale of the Dragonsong War, with the Warrior of Light braving Sohr Khai Sohr Khai to recruit Hraesvelgr in the battle against the vengeful shade of Nidhogg on The Final Steps of Faith The Final Steps of Faith.

Another dungeon was added in Hullbreaker Isle (Hard) Hullbreaker Isle (Hard), while the Shadow of Mhach storyline continued in The Weeping City of Mhach The Weeping City of Mhach. The Warring Triad and Hildibrand storylines also progressed. A new feature was added to the Treasure Hunt, allowing a portal to the Aquapolis to spawn rarely when opening Dragonskin maps.

A new set of beast-tribe quests called Mogmenders was added, involving both moogles & dragons and with an emphasis on crafting. The third phase for Anima Weapons was added. A new Frontline area called Field of Glory (Shatter) was introduced. Additional Housing plots were added, and various UI enhancements such as the Raid Finder interface was added. Patch 3.35 saw the introduction of the first deep dungeon the Palace of the Dead, which allowed for both solo and group content. In Patch 3.38, parts of the Anima Weapons quest had its difficulty reduced.

Soul Surrender (3.4)[edit | edit source]

Soul Surrender logo.

Arriving on September 27, 2016, Soul Surrender saw the Scions investigate a new spate of primal summonings. Their investigations would lead them through Xelphatol Xelphatol and The Navel The Navel before arriving in Thanalan. There they would meet with the Ala Mhigan Resistance and its leader the Griffin, and face off against the Warriors of Darkness.

The Great Gubal Library (Hard) The Great Gubal Library (Hard) would be added as an additional dungeon, while the final Alexander raid would be added in Alexander: The Creator Alexander: The Creator. The Warring Triad storyline would continue with a battle against Sophia in Containment Bay P1T6 Containment Bay P1T6. New quests for Hildibrand adventures and the Saint Endalim Scholasticate were added.[6]

A new system for the Grand Companies called Adventurer Squadrons was added, with the First Lieutenant rank finally made available for players to unlock. A new side activity, Wondrous Tails, features weekly challenges for special rewards. A new UI mechanism for controllers, the W Crossbar, was introduced. The Housing system was expanded with instanced apartments and personal aquariums. Support for cross-server play of certain Gold Saucer activities via Duty Finder was added. Patch 3.45 added the remaining floors to the Palace of the Dead and a new step of the Anima Weapon system.

The Far Edge of Fate (3.5)[edit | edit source]

The Far Edge of Fate logo.

The Far Edge of Fate was split into six separate patches. The major releases were 3.5, released on January 17, 2017, and 3.56, released on March 28. The main scenario saw the border between the Black Shroud and Gyr Abania explode into war as the Ala Mhigan Resistance launched an assault on Baelsar's Wall Baelsar's Wall, and the Alliance resort to desperate measures when a primal was unexpectedly summoned.

Sohm Al (Hard) Sohm Al (Hard) was added as an additional dungeon. The final raid of the Shadow of Mhach storyline, Dun Scaith Dun Scaith, was added, and the final member of the Warring Triad, Zurvan, was faced in Containment Bay Z1T9 Containment Bay Z1T9.

The final steps of the anima weapon quests were added. An egi glamour was added for Summoner Summoners, allowing summoners to change the appearance of their egis. Chocobo companions were now be treated as pets rather than party members, enabling greater flexibility when using them for party content. Cross-server recruitment for the party finder was added.

Patch 3.55a saw the introduction of Custom Deliveries for Disciples of the Land and Hand. A new PvP map was be added to the Feast, featuring a Sudden Death mode. A new encounter was added to Dun Scaith against Proto-Ultima. Patch 3.55b saw an overhaul of the Diadem.

Release[edit | edit source]

Packaging of the Collector's Edition (North American region).

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Reception and sales[edit | edit source]

The PC version of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward scored 86 metascore[7], all-time highest of all Final Fantasy titles available on Microsoft Windows.

Packaging artwork[edit | edit source]

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Gallery[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • During the announcement at Fan Fest, Yoshida wore a Batman shirt which he said was a hint towards one of the new classes in the expansion, eventually revealed to be the Dark Knight, one of Batman's nicknames. At a later event he wore a James Bond shirt to tease the Machinist, making a connection between their choice of weapons: guns.
  • The Japanese name of the expansion, 蒼天のイシュガルド (Souten no Ishugarudo?) is more literally translated as "Ishgard of the Azure Sky".
  • During the streaming event, a folder named "Samurai" was spotted on Masayoshi Soken's laptop, thus leading to rumors of Samurai being one of the new jobs. However, it was later confirmed by Naoki Yoshida that Samurai will not be included in the expansion, as they did not want to include another Japanese-style job at present, although the job concept was heavily considered for the new "tank" job prior to Dark Knight being favored.[8]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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