March 13th marks the launch of a new patch for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, which brings the Forbidden Land of Eureka and more Hildibrand adventures. The Forbidden Land of Eureka will be the key here, as its a new unexplored area for players to sink their teeth into, and it brings new gameplay elements and new weapons along with it. Meanwhile, the continued shenanigans of Inspector Hildibrand will be there for laughs if you need them.
Eureka isn’t quite like any other content in the game right now, as it isn’t a Free Company Exploration Mission, it isn’t a treasure hunt, it isn’t a dungeon, raid, or trial. It’s something of a hybrid encounter. So far, what we know of the new area is this:
- Field Area-Style Gameplay: Up to 144 players may occupy a single instance. Players are encouraged to group up with fellow adventurers to hunt notorious monsters and work towards common goals.
- Player Progression: Players will gain elemental EXP to strengthen their ability to harness the elements, and may also use the new Magia Board feature to customize their elemental affinities to aid them in exploring Eureka.
- Altered Battle Mechanics: Additional strategy is required in battle through an element system, in which players must utilize the Magia Board to change the element affinity of their attack to oppose their enemy’s. Players will customize their Magia Board’s elemental attributes prior to exploration using a Magia Melder, and must carefully consider their setup depending on the goal of the adventure.
- Rewards: Players will occasionally earn protean crystals through exploration of Eureka, and may use them to enhance Eureka weapons and gear with the aid of the famed blacksmith, Gerolt.
Thanks to the inclusion of Gerolt in the official description, we can guess that the new slate of Relic progression weapons will be available only through accessing the Forbidden Land. Finally, we’ll get our level 70 relics to grind through. With 144 players in a single instance, it is a bit like an FC Exploration Mission, just on a larger scale. It also gives us a whole new player progression system and new battle mechanics to figure out, which should help with that end-game boredom.
And, in case you were wondering, the annual Little Ladies’ Day event is running now through March 14th, and yes, the Songbirds are back along with some new emotes.