Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is launching on June 20th 2017, Square Enix announced today, with pre-orders opening on January 24th.
Initially announced during the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival last year, the Stormblood expansion will introduce a swathe of new features to Square Enix's MMORPG, including the new Red Mage job, swimming and diving and an all-new beast tribe.
The iconic Red Mage will be a ranged magic DPS in Stormblood, and will see players wielding rapiers and magic crystals as they dart in and out of combat. The Red Mage will also be able to link multiple spells together thanks to their chainspell ability.
Meanwhile, the new swimming mechanic will allow players to take a dip in the many seas, lakes and rivers throughout Eorzea. Only select locations will allow players to dive beneath the waves, but the good news is that these areas will also let you dive while riding flying mounts. Underwater areas will feature new gathering locations as well as spots for NPC interaction.
The all-female Ananta tribe is the newest beast tribe to be added to the game as well. Located in the mountainous region near Ala Mhigo, the Ananta will play a key role in the main story scenario as they suffer persecution by the Garlean Empire.
In addition to these new features, Stormblood will add a high-level raid series known as The Bend of Time, which sees players take on the deadly Omega once more. There will also be a new alliance raid called Return to Ivalice penned by Final Fantasy XII designer and Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno, and designed by Onimusha 2 and Shin Megami Tensei IV artist Keita Amemiya.
A Stormblood Collector's Edition will also be available. This features special box art by Yoshitaka Amano, a Zenos yae Galvus figure, an art book, a cloth map of Eorzea, a Stormblood logo sticker and exclusive in-game items. The latter includes a Syldra mount, a wind-up Bartz minion and a chicken knife.
More details about Stormblood, the second expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, will be announced at Square Enix's European Fan Festival next month.