We recently had a chance to play preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we were able to enter one of the new dungeons coming with the expansion and try out the improved AI of our Trust companions.
You can also find more coverage of the Endwalker Media Tour here.
This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers including dungeon name, mechanics, and bosses.
Tower of Zot is the first new dungeon we experience in Endwalker. This is the tower shown in Thavnair and seems to be similar in design to the Tower in Paglth’an. I played through this up to the first boss with Trust on a few Jobs and all the way through with some other media tour attendees as Warrior and Summoner. The first fun thing about the dungeon is that we got no story lead up or follow up so it is mostly experienced in a vacuum. But, I can definitely tell you that the Magus Sisters are back and Delta Attack is going to murder you at least once if you don’t pay attention. Just like old times!
When you enter the Tower, you are greeted by the Scions. If you did this with a Trust, that group will be the other members that you didn’t choose. As you delve into the facility, crossing giant tubes with fiber optic like cords within as walkways, that group jumps off of the side and leaves to fulfill some objective that I didn’t catch. The enemies up to this point are all tempered imperials, Armored Magitek and other altered beings. At the end of a short walk you come to the first boss Minduruva which seems like a mixture of Mindy, this sister’s usual name and perhaps a reference to Dhruva a character in Hindu myth.
Minduruva is a powerful spell caster that can use large AoEs such as a fan shaped Blizzard, a set of Thunder circle AoEs that creep across the arena, and a large Fire donut AoE among a couple of others. With Trusts the first time, this fight is all on you. You can somewhat figure out what should be happening by what the NPCs do, and they move early enough to reliably do it for most attacks. With other people, especially other new people… Phew! The secret to this one is that they seem to always come out in the same order. So you can get used to her displacing these spells all over the place and what effect will happen.
After the fight you travel along into a much more HR Giger inspired interior that has a very rough biological feel. You fight through more altered monstrosities and magitek experiments. Here, with Trusts I decided to speed it up a little and help Thancred learn to pull big! After pulling to the next barrier, I was surprised with how Thancred and Alphinaud handled it. I don’t believe Thancred fell below around 20% health and with the help of Estinien and his liberal use of Stardiver we destroyed that pack. But then again, Summoner is very strong in AoE even at Level 81. The second boss is Sanduruva, a similar change to this sister’s usual name Sandy. She is the tall sister with a polearm and is the resident trickster here. Her fight is a sequence of fun mechanics including a “guess the real Sanduruva” phase (she is the one not dancing) some orbs to dodge and an annoying stun/line AoE combo that is easily handled, but seriously stop stunning me- I need to Summon to live!
This is an easy one with or without Trusts, but that is fine because the last boss is where it gets fun. The walk up to that last arena is filled with Magitek enemies, Predator armor and even a couple of gunships, but eventually you emerge in a large chamber with the last Sister Cinduruva standing at the top point of a triangular recess on the ground. Not ominous to those who know of the Magus Sisters at all. Once the battle starts, she casts a few spells and then summons her sisters. Now, each of them can be attacked and need to be tanked, though it seems like Minduruva stays where she is. No matter how far away, as she is a caster. Once they appear, Cinduruva starts casting a Reflect. At the end of the cast, all hell breaks loose as the chosen element (seemingly Ice first) is applied to all of their special moves. With Ice, Minduruva’s Ice AoEs start to emanate from each of them, while Sanduruva’s line AoE crosses the arena, and Cinduruva channels Icy meteors to run away from. Yeah, that is a lot, but not too hard to dodge.
The next combination seems to be lightning, which brings the creeping lightning circles from Minduruva, Lightning line AoEs from Sanduruva and Cinduruva adds a lightning strike with a stack marker so don’t spread out too far while dodging these! Last in their rotation is Fire, that large donut shaped spell from Minduruva leaves the center as the safe spot and as soon as that resolves you’ll need to move out of Sanduruva’s line AoE that conveniently crosses that safe spot. After that, Cinduruva targets the party with individual fire circles so you’ll have to spread out to not murder each other. That cycle seems to repeat forever, though as you defeat the sisters, they will stop doing the Delta Attack, or at least for us, as we killed Cinduruva first. Once that happens they just do their normal mechanics which is much easier to deal with. It could be the rare great spot for a Physical Ranged/Magical Ranged Limit Break for sure.
I only finished this Dungeon in non-trust parties and this boss took about 3 times my first time as a Warrior as it was easy for the healer to die while trying to figure out how Sage even works. The second time I was a Summoner and we melted everything. Obviously that was the power of the Summoner. But one of the biggest surprises to me from this experience is how fun tanking this was. Warrior’s adjusted kit was fun to explore with these mechanics as I was able to help heal by murdering things when it got crazy. The worst thing? It is only level 81 so you don’t have a lot of said kit.
Obviously this is just a leveling dungeon and we’ll leave it behind, just like my favorite from Shadowbringers, Holminster Switch. But it is an interesting set piece with fun bosses with a great Final Fantasy legacy. All of the chests in the dungeon dropped potions, so we couldn’t see any of the gear. If it looks good though, this won’t be too bad of a dungeon to farm endlessly. As we all know, Glamour is the real endgame.