For the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn fans in the house, today is a very exciting day. Fresh off a final demo last week at E3, as well as an Early Access program for a few lucky players who started last Friday, the game's first expansion, called Heavensward, is finally available to the general public.
Aside from the increase of the level cap from 50 to 60, the expansion also has a few more features in store to keep players happy in the new realms of Ishgard, Dravania and Albalathia. The first of these is the introduction of a new race. The Au Ra are believed to be descendants of dragons, as evidenced by the horns on their heads and the scales on their bodies. The height between the male and female Au Ra is another visible trait, with males towering over their female counterparts. The race is further divided into two tribes: the secluded and nomadic Raen and the aggressive and expansive Xaela.
There's also the introduction of three new jobs to further increase your role when taking on enemies with a group. The Dark Knight holds a two-handed greatsword and provides a tank-like role in combat. On the other hand, the Machinist will be able to attack enemies from afar thanks to a combination of turrets and firearms. To keep both classes alive, the Astrologian will take on the role of a healer, using the power of the stars to keep allies healthy and strong in combat.
For the first time in the game, we'll also see flying mounts. In the past, only land-based mounts appeared in the game, but the expansion will see players take to the skies. Also, Free Companies (similar to guilds in other MMOs) will also have the ability to construct airships, which will allow a group to explore uncharted areas. As usual, there's also new gear and recipes available for every class with the expansion.
On the enemy's side, there are a slew of new enemies, including two notable bosses: the primals Bismarck and Ravana. The two beasts are worshipped by their minions, the Vanu Vanu and Gnath, respectively. If that's not enough of a challenge for you, there's also the new dungeons to explore, as well as a raid featuring the mechanical giant Alexander, a boss well-known throughout the Final Fantasy series.
One final milestone for the new expansion is that it also marks the online game's introduction to the Mac. The game has only been available on PC, PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, so it was only a matter of time until Mac owners had the chance to try out the game on their iMacs and MacBook Pros.
Heavensward will cost players an additional $39.99. If you're still working your way through the original game, A Realm Reborn, note that you have to finish the main storyline quests, which were added at the end of March with patch 2.55. Only then will the game provide you with an introductory quest for Heavensward, which brings you to the gates of the new realm of Ishgard.