Shadowbringers – Give It a Try

Final Fantasy XIV has done something I have never seen a game do before – At least for an MMO. They have provided a DEMO of their new expansion. They are calling it a “Benchmark”, but it is really a demo of their new maps, job skill animations and character classes.

You don’t need an account, or to sign up for an account. Just download the demo and give it a try. You don’t play it, you just watch it. But it’s the real game engine running the real game content on your machine. And you get to create a new character to watch in it. It’s not a video, but the actual game engine. And you can run it as many times as you like with different choices.

How They Did It?

Cut scenes in FFXIV are scripted game footage that the engine renders with your character in the mix. Unlike some other games the cut scenes are not pre-rendered as videos for FFXIV.

It looks as if they used this “Cut Scene Editor” to make a benchmark using the new content from Shadowbringers and then left out everything else so the download is only about 2GB rather than 40-50GB. But you can make new characters from any of the playable races, and you have some 4 or so choices for how to dress them up for the benchmark. And this includes the two new races that everyone has been wanting to see more of: The Bunny Girl Viera and the Lion Boy Hrothgar. They are both here with all their options.

Shadowbringers Coming Soon

It is now the end of May and the new Shadowbringers expansion is due to release on July 2, 2019. Just over a month from now. They call this a benchmark to see how your computer will run the new expansion, but my guess is that they wanted to get some hype building for the new character classes as much as anything. And since lots of the jobs are going to be reworked and two new classes are added as well, it can’t hurt to show those in actual combat.

I recorded some footage, but lots of folks have already uploaded theirs, so do a youtube search for “FFXIV Shadowbringers Benchmark” or watch this one.

New Job Actions for Shadowbringers

Another thing you might be interested in is a Trailer of the New Job Actions. That link is for the official one with no commentary, but there are plenty of folks with reactions and detailed commentary that are easy to find too. The only odd thing about this trailer is that they apparently cut all the “Cool-downs” out of the skill rotations. So the game looks a little more lively in the video than it is to actually play. If I’m wrong about that, then things will seem a lot quicker in the new expansion than I’m used to. The normal skill cast time or global cool-down is about 2.5 seconds. There are lots of faster skills, but the Black Mage for example does not feel that fast to play at the moment. I suspect that a second or so was removed between each skill activation for this video.

But given that minor issue, I still think that there are lots of interesting things happening to the jobs for Shadowbringers. Meoni did a nice break down of the whole Live Letter if you’d like to see that.

Lots of us are psyched for Shadowbringers. I’ve been working on a few of my characters to get them ready to go to Norvrandt – The First. The expansion is previewed here.

May you walk in the light of the Crystal.