NieR and Final Fantasy collide again in FFXIV update 5.3’s crossover event
Final Fantasy XIV’s Shadowbringers expansion continues to bring the goods, with the upcoming major 5.3 update, Reflections in Crystal, reuniting players with the setting of the critically-acclaimed NieR series.
Announced during a Twitch stream with Final Fantasy XIV’s Producer and Director, Naoki Yoshida, Shadowbringers’ 5.3 update will introduce plenty of new quests, reworks of existing content, and the second NieR-inspired alliance raid.
In late 2019, update 5.1 introduced a series of NieR alliance raids known as the YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse. The first raid under this banner was The Copied Factory and will now be joined by a second in the form of The Puppets Bunker. Featuring work from NieR veterans Yosuke Saito and YOKO TARO, these 24-people raids revolve around the mysterious white-clad android 2P, who looks eerily similar to NieR Automata protagonist 2B.
Importantly, completing YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse raids nets sweet loot, including NieR-themed outfits for your characters. More information on the Final Fantasy XIV and NieR collaboration will go live on the MMO’s YouTube channel this Thursday, as a bonus episode to Square Enix’s series exploring the making of Shadowbringers.
Arguably the most intriguing aspect of Shadowbringers version 5.3 to Final Fantasy XIV noobs like myself, is the reworking of A Realm Reborn, the base-game content that requires completion before diving into the meaty expansions. According to Square Enix’s press release, the tweaks are designed to ‘give new players a more streamlined experience’ throughout A Realm Reborn’s main scenario questline. This will no doubt be beneficial to returning players wanting to quickly level up new characters and zoom through to the thick of the expansions. I’ll be interested to see the changes in effect and compare the experience with the early-game content I’ve played so far.
As per the press release, here’s what else you can expect from Shadowbringers 5.3:
- New Main Scenario Quests – The curtains raise for the final act of the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers main scenario questline.
- Main Scenario Questline Update: A Realm Reborn – The main scenario questline in A Realm Reborn will be reworked to give new players a more streamlined experience as they progress to Heavensward and beyond. Additionally, players will be able to fly in A Realm Reborn areas upon completion of “The Ultima Weapon” quest.
- New YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Alliance Raid – Following Patch 5.1’s The Copied Factory, this next NieR-inspiered alliance raid, titled The Puppets Bunker will unravel further mysteries of the machine lifeforms on the First.
- New Dungeon: The Heroes’ Gauntlet – Players can tackle this new challenge alongside fellow adventurers, or a party of non-player characters, using the Trust system.
- New Trial: Parties of eight players can challenge this new challenging trial battle in both normal and extreme difficulties.
- Save the Queen Questline Updates – Players can enhance weapons obtained in the first chapter of this ongoing quest series as they explore an all-new area. Additionally, new large-scale battle content will be added as part of the update.
- New “Chronicles of a New Era” Quest: The Sorrow of Welt – Part of the Ruby Weapon series, players can enjoy a story-focused experience culminating in a special event battle.
- Ishgard Restoration Update – The third phase of restoration begins following the efforts of the Skybuilders. Skybuilder Rankings return, with new items for players to craft and new achievements for top contributors to the restoration.
- New Beast Tribe Quests – A new crafter-focused questline featuring the dwarves.
- New Game+ Updates – The updated A Realm Reborn main scenario and other quests are now available for players to revisit while keeping your current character and level.
- New Battle Content: Unreal Trials – Players will be able to challenge powered-up primals from earlier expansions that are ready to fight against level 80 heroes. Unreal Trials will feature one primal fight which will change with each patch, beginning with Shiva in Patch 5.3. Defeating the primal each week gives players the chance to complete a new mini-game, with those who emerge triumphant receiving tokens to exchange for prizes.
- Crafter and Gatherer Updates – New custom deliveries, updates to Rowena’s House of Splendors, and an update to the Skysteel Tools questline headline several crafter and gatherer updates.
- Job Adjustments for PvE and PvP, System Updates, and more.
An official date is not yet public for this instalment’s release. Initially, 5.3 was slated for a mid-June launch, but the COVID-19 pandemic means July is sounding more likely.
In the meantime, you can catch up on all things Shadowbringers 5.2, which is out now and stars an adorable little shark.
Adelaide-based Donkey Kong Country evangelist & enthusiast.
Chris writes for Player2.net.au, Vooks, PC PowerPlay and Hyper about games and the wider community.
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