We are pleased to present the full digest of the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XLVIII, the second half of the two-part special preview of what’s to come in Patch 4.5—A Requiem for Heroes! If you missed the live stream, or if you just want to watch it again (and again), check it out below!


* Don't forget to select 720p option to watch the video in HD!

Patch 4.5 Special Part 2
As this is the second part of the Patch 4.5 special, we introduced some of the new content by showing it off with live gameplay.

■A Requiem for Heroes Trailer


We kicked off the show with a brand-new trailer for Patch 4.5—A Requiem for Heroes packed with teasers for upcoming story and gameplay.

■Patch 4.5 Release Date
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Patch 4.5 is the final major update in the 4.x series and will be released in two parts. The first part is scheduled for release on Tuesday, January 8th and the second part is scheduled for release in late March. We also have two more Fan Festival events that will take place in Europe and Japan. We planned our content release schedule around the Fan Festivals so that everyone could enjoy new scenarios and content in between announcements, so please look forward to it!

■Upcoming Content and Features in Patch 4.5
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In terms of the Patch 4.5 series, we have already determined the schedule up to patch 4.58.

We are planning for Patch 4.55 to release about a month after Part 1, and then Part 2 will begin with the following patch, 4.56. The volume is so big that we could've easily split it into three parts, but we're going to keep it within two.

We would like players to be able to focus on the main scenario and Return to Ivalice story with the release of Patch 4.5, so blue mage will be released a week after the patch goes live. The blue mage content will be implemented with the same system as seasonal events, so there is currently no maintenance scheduled for this release. However, please note that if any hot fixes need to be implemented, there may be maintenance.

The final chapter of the Return to Ivalice series brings Warriors of Light to the Orbonne Monastery. Be sure to check back with the NPCs on the Prima Vista before and after the patch is released, as their dialogue will change as you progress through the story. We’re sure that you’re all very eager to jump right into the Orbonne Monastery, but be sure to take your time and really take it all in when experiencing this story. Major developments will come from this grand finale!

For those of you who have been diligently working on your weapon upgrades in the Forbidden Land, Eureka Pyros, don’t worry, we won’t be resetting your weapon attributes in Hydatos. However, take note that once you begin the weapon upgrade process in the Hydatos series, you won’t be able to switch out your sub-attributes until the Hydatos update is complete. Expect to see some adjustments for Pagos in Patch 4.5 as well.

We're planning to cover more of the Forbidden Land, Eureka Hydatos and the next Rival Wings update, the Hidden Gorge with live gameplay in the future.

In regard to the North American and European data center expansion, we'll first add the new data center for the European region, and then proceed to the regrouping of the North American data centers. There's no patch number tied to either of these; however, this is currently set to take place after the second half of Patch 4.5.

The World Visit system we introduced during the North American Fan Festival is scheduled for Patch 4.57.

We understand there are some concerns with this system causing congestion on your home Worlds, but please do not worry. We have a system in place that will allow us to monitor activity, set the ratio of how many visitors can travel to the world based on population, and a system to prioritize players accessing their home world. However, please note that login queues will continue to exist for Worlds that have reached the maximum number of players allowed at any given time.

■Job Adjustments
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In Patch 4.5, we'll be making improvements to monk, machinist, and white mage. Please check patch notes for adjustment details.

Keep in mind that while there will be some numerical adjustments taking place in Patch 4.5, we also plan on a major update to some of these jobs in Patch 5.0. We debated within the development team if we should make adjustments in Patch 4.5, considering the overhauls that will come in 5.0. Ultimately we decided that we should make these adjustments to improve the experience of those playing these jobs, even if they will only apply to the Patch 4.5 series.

■Seiryu - The Wreath of Snakes
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Yoshida briefly took on Seiryu to show off the battle arena and character model. As with the other members of the Four Lords, Seiryu has a very unique voice, dialogue and presence!

■Doman Mahjong
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We’re pleased to introduce some brand new Gold Saucer content coming in Patch 4.5: Doman Mahjong! Check out the live gameplay footage where Yoshi-P uses the Duty Finder to match against other players.

New players can review the detailed rules of Doman Mahjong in-game by talking to an NPC, and there’s also a guide feature that will alert players to which hand might be more dangerous to take. During a match, players are able to chat with each other. Additionally, players can select either Doman-style tiles, or more traditional mahjong tiles.

You won’t need MGP in order to take part in a match, but it can be earned by completing objectives in the challenge log. You can also participate in NPC matches while waiting in queue for other duties. Once your Duty is ready, players can simply end mid-match without difficulty. There will also be a four player match option that will allow you to play against others without having your rating effected, so feel free to use this for fun or when you want to teach others how to play.

We’re sure that some players might have concerns as to why this kind of content was designed, and how it fits into the world of FFXIV. Doman Mahjong was developed by a just few members of the dev. team, and also utilizes a game engine that specializes in mahjong games, so we really haven’t put that many resources into implementing this content. We also wanted to give players globally a chance to experience a broad variety of types of gameplay. As we continue to create original content for FFXIV, we would also like to implement other various types of online game features not normally found in an MMORPG setting, so please look forward to them!

Originally we had planned to develop a poker game, but there are different legal rules with those kinds of games and how they are perceived in different countries, so we couldn’t implement poker as-is into FFXIV. We’re currently making some adjustments for this one!

Doman Mahjong will be accessible as soon as you are able to enter the Gold Saucer, so Free Trial players will be able to partake as well.

■Air Force One
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Next we introduced the second addition to the Gold Saucer, a new GATE called Air Force One. In the video, you can see Yoshi-P challenge the GATE from start to finish, so check it out!

In the Air Force One GATE, players will participate in a mini-game, transported to a plane that will automatically move along a set path. The objective is to shoot down various targets as they spawn to earn points. Careful! Shooting the red bomb targets will result in negative points. There’s a special bonus round in the middle where you can rack up points as well! We’re planning to add even more simple, yet fun mini-games like this in the future.

We’re also planning to add more prizes to the Gold Saucer available for MGP exchange throughout the Patch 4.5 series. Expect to see a new item that will be quite expensive, more than the current maximum of one million MGP. Start saving up!

■New Furnishings
Patch 4.5 will see the implementation of exciting new furnishings based on the winning entries from the Furnishing Design Contest. We’ll also be adding other various furnishings such as a Tsukuyomi-themed aquarium. We also considered that players may want to play the new Doman Mahjong from their homes. While we don’t have that type of furnishing available at this time, there is a dev. in charge of this feature if it is highly requested, and they mention that it's somewhat ready.

■Blue Mage
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Blue mage will be added to the game a week after the launch of Patch 4.5. We shared some live gameplay footage of FFXIV's first limited job!

In order to unlock blue mage you must complete a certain quest as a level 50+ Disciple of War or Magic. Blue mage starts at Level 1, and will only have access to one spell at first “Water Cannon”, which is learned from a job quest. You can then become stronger by acquiring other various monster abilities as blue magic spells.

Although you will still level up from earning experience points, the strength of a blue mage more heavily relies on the number of blue magic spells you’ve obtained. Unlike normal job quests that only require you to reach a certain level, blue mage job quests will require that you’ve learned certain spells!

As a blue mage, you will gain access to the Blue Magic Spellbook menu. The Blue Magic Spellbook contains a list of all learnable spells. Though unlearned spells will be displayed as “?”, you can mouse over each missing action for some hints on where the spell can be obtained. Use this information to deduce which monsters you can learn spells from! As a side note, spells are not listed in the Blue Magic Spellbook by potency or the order in which you can learn them.

As previously mentioned, the strength of a blue mage is very reliant on the spells they’ve learned. Even if you are the same level as another blue mage, your abilities may vary greatly! As such, blue mage will only be able to participate in certain content, which is why it is considered a limited job.

Blue mage will also gain more experience points defeating monsters in the open world than a normal job. (Experience from FATEs will remain the same.)

Here, we showed off some footage of the blue magic spell learning process. Also, check out that mount that Yoshi-P is riding!

Blue mages learn their blue magic spells by defeating certain enemies. The enemy must use the ability while in combat before a blue mage can learn it, but you do not need to be hit by it. You will, however, have to wait until the enemy has finished using an ability before you have the chance to learn it and success rate will vary for each enemy. If multiple blue mages are in the party, all blue mages will have a chance to learn that spell.

*The success rate of learning a blue magic spell is predetermined per enemy, and is not affected by the number of blue mages in a party.

Yoshi-P took on a Stroper (a Morbol-type enemy) and learned the spell “Bad Breath”. The success rate for learning this spell is 30%.

In order to use a newly acquired spell, you will need to open the Blue Magic Spellbook and select the spell to register it as an Active Action. You can have up to 24 Active Actions at a time. There will be a total of 49 learnable spells at the launch of Patch 4.5, so you’ll be able to customize your own combination of active spells. You can also save up to 5 Active Sets of 24 spells, to easily swap between certain builds.

Blue mage will not be able to use the Duty Finder, but you can enter an instance with a premade party. For example, you could form a light party of four blue mages, and each could play a different role. One player could take defensive spells and play the tank role, another could take restorative spells and play the healer role. This allows for a very fun, unique playing experience.

It may prove useful to register multiple Active Sets based on what role you’ll be playing.

Here, Yoshi-P goes head to head with a fearsome Apkallu to learn the spell “Flying Sardine”, later getting in to a bit of a fish fight. The success rate for learning this spell is 20%.

We also showed off a number of other blue magic spells, such as “Mighty Guard” and “1000 Needles,” which can be seen in the video.

In addition to their blue magic, blue mages will have access to magic ranged DPS role actions. These role actions will likely be helpful in various situations, such as using “Lucid Dreaming” to replenish MP.

Yoshida also clarified that while he had mentioned “Level 5 Death” as a learnable blue magic spell, it will not be available yet in Patch 4.5 due to the level cap.

We plan to gradually raise blue mage’s level cap with major patch updates, not just expansions. We also plan to add new blue magic spells and blue mage specific content with major patch updates, so please look forward to it!

Blue mages wield a cane as a weapon, which you’ll obtain from your first job quest and continue to use. The weapon itself will not become stronger, but as you level up, you can wear stronger magic ranged DPS equipment and accessories.

Blue magic potency is determined by the INT stat. Because blue mages do not obtain new weapons, their damage calculation formula is different than that of normal magic ranged DPS jobs. (Each INT point has a heavier influence on damage output.)

■The Masked Carnivale
“The Masked Carnivale” is a sort of endgame challenge for Level 50 blue mages. You can participate in these challenges by talking to the Celestium attendant NPC near the Miners’ Guild in Ul’dah.

You’ll use the blue magic you’ve learned to clear The Masked Carnivale’s various stages. Each stage consists of 1 to 3 phases. You’ll be able to view enemies’ resistances and weaknesses for each phase.

Coming up with a strategy and selecting Active Actions based on these hints will be the key to victory. There aren’t any penalties for failing The Masked Carnivale, so feel free to take up the challenge as many times as you’d like!

Each stage has a Standard Completion Time and an Ideal Completion Time. Clear the stages with a better completion time and you’ll receive a bonus to your overall score! Additionally, there will be weekly challenges called Weekly Targets, where you must complete specified objectives such as “clear without taking any damage” to obtain a weekly reward.

One of the reasons why blue mage was implemented as a limited job is we wanted to provide a new, unique way to for players to enjoy FFXIV. You could enjoy BLU as a solo journey, or group up with other blue mages and find new and inventive ways to take on content. You can also work with your fellow blue mages to discuss strategy for the challenges that await in The Masked Carnivale. We will continue to introduce these sorts of new features, so please look forward to it!

■HUD Setting Update
We introduced a new transparency feature in the HUD settings. The UI development team added a green line indicating the recommended settings above the transparency bar, so you can use that as reference if you wish.

■Group Pose Update
Patch 4.5 will see updates to the Group Pose feature! Be sure to check out the footage for a mount preview or two as well.

A popup will now appear asking ”Would you like to leave Group Pose mode?” when you press the Cancel button while in Group Pose.

New features include Depth of Field adjustment and Manual Focus, allowing you to change the focal point.

Another new option will allow you to display one or all characters as wet.

Last but certainly not least, you will now be able to access the emote menu to switch emotes while still in /gpose!

■Housing Update
There are some updates to housing that were discussed as well. Yoshida explained that currently, interactive furnishings will occasionally disappear from view, regardless of their distance from the player character. They will disappear less often in Patch 4.5, though as with other furnishings, they will still disappear if the character is too far away.

We also mentioned that there was a bug where furnishing positions would sometimes be altered very slightly after placing an item, logging out and then logging back in. This will no longer occur in Patch 4.5, as we have increased the accuracy of furnishing placements. Due to this change in accuracy, furnishing positions may get slightly altered one last time when logging in for the first time after Patch 4.5.

This concludes the Part 2 of the Patch 4.5 special! Stay tuned for Patch 4.5 on January 8th!