If you’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIV quite a fair bit, then you’ll know to be no stranger to new content. Even though Heavensward was released over a year ago, today marks the fourth major patch that adds all manners of new content and new adventures to explore. FFXIV’s Patch 3.4, Soul Surrender, continues the main story as the Warrior of Darkness comes out for some more tomfoolery and general hijinks.
The full patch notes are in a glorious new format here. I’m already loving the new format, with quick-menu access to jump to key sections. Prior to this we had to scroll through the normally enormous page to find the bit we wanted. Top job, Square Enix.
Here are a few entries in the patch notes that really caught my eye as I was scrolling down:
W Cross Hotbar
99.9% of my time with FFXIV has been using a DualShock 4 pad. I’ve tried once or twice to use the trusty keyboard and mouse but it just doesn’t quite work out well for me. Patch 3.4 adds a new version of the gamepad friendly Cross Hotbar that stretches its capabilities further.
Double-tapping R2 or L2 when this is turned on brings up another hotbar full of commands you could use. This can be configured to be just four buttons around your face buttons or could be the full eight button set as configured below:
This rocks my world so hard. In some occasions my butter fingers pressed the wrong button when trying to select a hotbar on the pad. This makes bringing up a particular hotbar on either side so much easier.
Also, incidentally, FFXIV will now natively support the DualShock 4 on PC. I’ve had to use an app before to make the pad play nicely, now it appears that’s no longer necessary. Huzzah!
The famous Agent of Enquiry is back, and there was much rejoicing. Patch 3.4 adds two new quests as the most gentlemanly inspector makes his impact on Ishgard. This series of side quests never fails to make me giggle, and is always a welcome inclusion to any FFXIV patch in my book!
New Trials and Raids
Making you fight big beasties has always been a key ingredient in the Final Fantasy cake. Patch 3.4 adds a third tier to the Alexander raid and the second element of the Warring Triad.
Four more raids make up the third and final sector of Alexander, titled “The Creator”. An additional four raids in the Savage difficulty tier is also added, for those that really want to push their gear set to its limits.
However, inside Containment Bay P1T6 lies the second of the Warring Triad – Sophia the Goddess:
Sophia is the second in a trio that originally made themselves known in Final Fantasy VI. Sophia the Goddess follows Sephirot the Fiend in delivering another ‘big beastie challenge’ for adventurers to take on. Of course, an Extreme version of the trial is also available.
I remember Sephirot’s normal battle being especially tricky the first time I attempted it. One wonders how challenging (and fun) this battle could be!
So much more!
Patch 3.4 is incredibly chunky as far as updates go and I’ve barely scratched the surface, with things like duelling, fish tanks (yep!), Triple Triad updates and more for adventurers to enjoy.
The full notes are here, and if you’ve not tried FFXIV yet, it’s certainly worth giving it a go. PC gamers can click here for a free trial. PlayStation gamers can check out the PS Store for a free trial to download also.