Review: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Patch 6.3 Gods Revel, Lands Tremble
The critically acclaimed MMO continues its patch cycle for Endwalker with Patch 6.3: Gods Revel, Lands Tremble. We get a continuation of the alliance raid that pits us against the Twelve as well as the next chapter in the MSQ that tells the tale of Golbez and the Four Fiends.
This review was conducted by the four hosts of our Final Fantasy XIV Podcast Aetheryte Radio. Let’s see what they had to say! If you would rather hear what they had to say, make sure to check out this episode!
Warning: This review contains spoilers for Patch 6.3.
Gods Revel, Lands Tremble
Fusionx: Returning to Garlemald and checking in with our friends created some interesting conversations with our newest friend, Zero. We also got an interesting bit of Reaper lore from the new dungeon, as well as definitely, maybe, probably(?), Puppetmaster lore? As was the case with the previous patch, the game has you run around the dungeon post-completion a couple of times for the next quest. I just ran through this whole thing, with the bits of lore. Now they’re gone and you want me to walk through it multiple times back and forth? Why? It’s so boring and tedious.
With the appearance of the remainder of the Four Fiends, we learn that by coming over and invading the Source, that they wish to regain their mortality, which is interesting when paired with Zero’s narrative of “person learns how to feel again.” Unfortunately, my perceived importance of the Four Fiends as nothing more than a patch series arc with little actual importance still feels justifiable. Cagnazzo is relegated to a dungeon boss as was Scarmiglione. We also end up spending even less time with Rubicante than we did with Barbariccia, which is an incredible shame as he comes across as the most interesting of the entire bunch. Also disappointing is the way the MSQ continues to ignore the Void Quests from Shadowbringers. It was a bummer back in 6.1, and it remains the case here as well. The very last cutscene of the patch however, has me very intrigued, especially as someone who wasn’t crazy about how the moon played out in 6.0. I’m very curious to see where they’re going with it.
Meanwhile, we get to talk with, and fight against, another handful of the Twelve in the latest alliance raid tier. There have been fan theories as to the real identity of the Twelve for awhile now, and it certainly seems that one of them is getting some credence. The end of the questline this time around also feels like it’s maybe hinting a bit too much at the eventual outcome of events. Hopefully it’s a red-herring and will still leave room for surprises once the series concludes in 6.5.
Xenedra: So, as I’m sure most people know by now, I love this story. The whole thing. Start to finish. There are low point and high points, yes, but they average out to “Whoa Mama,” over all. Now, What you may not know is that stuff related to the Twelve and stuff related to the Void are probably in my top 5 things that I absolutely need to know more about. I know not everyone has been as excited about these latest patches as I have, but it feels as if Yoshi-P is basically spoon feeding me chocolate cake, here.
All this to say: I’m very pleased with the story so far. This particular section wasn’t as adrenaline pumping as the previous patch, but we still got some quality lore from both the MSQ and 24-man raid. Who/where is Oschon/Golbez? How will we get the Void? What condition is Azdaja in? Will we ever finish Tataru’s necklace?! I am left ravenous for the next installments of these tales.
Aldianaux: This chapter is a steady step of rising action on our way to some major lore revelations. I can’t wait to see what Golbez is actually planning. The Four Fiends went out on a high note, with a new remix of the iconic song that is an immediate favorite. Zero’s journey is heartwarming though predictable, but her past continues to be intriguing, she is a great bridge to pre-calamity events on the Thirteenth. The alliance raid is still hoarding its’ secrets, but the new batch of Gods are incredible! We get a little trickle of lore, but we’ll have to wait until the conclusion to finally understand what’s really going on here.
Rook: Patch 6.3 had the near impossible task of following up one of the most exciting patches in recent history. Thankfully, the story continues to build momentum and depth with a slew of heartwarming character moments, Reaper lore, and further insights into the Void. Additional side story content such as Tataru’s Grand Endeavor and the newest portion of the Alliance Raid only enhance the overall narrative experience, ranging in tone from comedic jaunts to long awaited dramatic reveals. While the tail end of the MSQ felt a bit rushed, Patch 6.3 continues to deliver a novel adventure alongside new and old companions.
Fusionx: Overall, the new things in Patch 6.3 were good, but not great.
The Alliance Raid had some fun mechanics, but the final fight felt both boring and easy in comparison to its 6.1 counterpart. The trial against Rubicante, however, introduced some new mechanics that felt challenging enough, even if the trial wasn’t as fast-paced as Barbariccia.
We also had some pretty big changes to PLD this time around, as well as some changes to Machinist. While I can’t speak too much on PLD changes, I can say that the mind game of “my ping isn’t great and therefore I’m bad at this job” while playing Machinist is completely gone with the new changes. In fact, I’ve found myself playing MCH every chance I have since the patch came out.
Xenedra: I’d like to start by saying that I’m not a Paladin. It’s 90, I got it there, and I have a vague understanding of their abilities, but that’s all. I did, however, think that this latest iteration of Paladin, as of the beginning of Endwalker, was probably the most fun one yet. So I’m left wondering: why the update? From feedback I’ve heard from the community it’s not a bad update by any means, but also… why? Why Paladin, when it seems like there are other jobs clunking along that needed that care a little bit more? Some jobs did get great reworks. Bard’s Minne change is substantial, if in a small way. Dancer’s ability to heal and shield while they’re doing steps is a quality change. Machinist is now able to… be played again! But those weren’t overhauls.
The 24-man and the dungeon seemed to have done a flip flop from 6.2. This is, of course, just in my opinion, but the dungeon is slightly more challenging, while the 24-man is a bit easier. The one that was a little disappointing here was Rubicante. The final, most powerful of the Four Fiends should have kicked our butts a little more than that! Then again, maybe he wanted us to win…
Aldianaux: Lapis Manalis is fun and slightly harder than Troia (which is very easy to accomplish). The second boss has a neat little performance timer Easter egg which I’d love to see more of.
I’ve been calling this the “wiggle room” patch with regards to the nice quality of life changes many Jobs have received. Machinist is a stand out with some great utility and ease of use changes. Paladin… works better than it did in the current meta – which is all you can really ask for. I also feel that Euphrosyne has some spectacular mechanics. It really feels like the dev team has 24-player content fully dialed in.
Rook: Delivering fairly straightforward gameplay, the general content of the patch offered a lower baseline of challenge, perhaps to make way for the upcoming Ultimate and Deep Dungeon releases. The trial boss was enjoyable, though Barbariccia packed a stronger punch. Similarly, the new Alliance raid is more forgiving than its predecessor but features engaging fights that creatively embody the themes of each deity. The new Crystalline Conflict map adds challenging layers that nicely shake up the game mode.
While the PLD rework was intended to solve player dissatisfaction with the class, it seems to have done little overall in the grander scheme of things, though other changes such as the new Bard buffs were unexpected but well received!
That Buuz Though
Fusionx: The animation team did a fantastic job with this patch. From the incredible elastic, stretchy Buuz, to G’raha Tia’s cool backpack.
All of the animations, and character designs of the Twelve in this raid tier were also incredible. Nophica is just as we saw her all those years ago, and Halone is as much of a badass as we could have ever hoped. Though, I still think Dalamud should have been red during the final raid encounter.
Of course, the music didn’t fail to disappoint either, with Soken busting out a fiddle for the 24-man track which gave of some definite “harvest festival” type vibes as you start out with the Nophica encounter. And we absolutely, cannot forget the incredible Four Fiends arrangement that was done for the fight against Rubicante. Soken has teased on social media that we might find out soon who did that arrangement, and that’s definitely a blog post I can’t wait to read!
Xenedra: While the mechanics in the 24-man might have been easier, they were also a little more visually stunning, especially during the Halone fight. Her attacks, in addition to the transformation of her weapon were incredibly fun to watch. I also really appreciated that they mixed up the flow of the boss fights. We weren’t just presented with four gods, but five! The dynamic between Nymeia and Althyk in their fight isn’t one we see often in FFXIV. The dungeon was no slouch visually either. I always like a snow-scape and the bridge where we start climbing up the slope offers quite a vista. The stampeding animals during the first encounter had me cracking up. Walking through the caverns and seeing literal underground seas of ceruleum was pretty cool, especially the part where it was on fire.
Aldianaux: Unfortuneatly, when we look at how things are presented in this patch, there’s some jank that slips in. While the main content of the patch is stellar as always, there were still some unsightly cracks showing. Adventurer portraits, while an awesome feature, still need some stability fixes. It is common to see a whole party with default portraits thanks to some bugs with when/how they are saved. There are some issues with the functionality of Ninja’s Mudras right now, making it hard to cast ninjutsu for some players.
Rook: The cinematic polish of Patch 6.3 was a real highlight while playing. Animations only continue to improve and everything from minute character expressions to the much hungered after Buuz show how much XIV’s cutscenes have improved over time. Character portraits in instanced content are a wonderful addition to the game, but still seem buggier than they should be. Others, myself included, reported server issues and an ongoing bug for Ninja players caused problems for mudras, which resulted in much needed hotfixes that are still being ironed out.
Fusionx: I never knew I would enjoy a stupid, silly little thing like auto-umbrella. It’s such a goofy, but neat change with this patch.
We also got a new UI theme that, frankly, is the best one they’ve added since they started doing new themes. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone not using it. We also got more island sanctuary content, though it seems to be hiding behind getting a couple more levels to your island- which is fine. After the sprint to rank things up when the system was first included, I’m fine riding a casual wave of exp until I see the new additions.
The myriad new items, whether it be the added Binding Coil and Crystal Tower raid gear to the PvP vendors, or the new furniture items, are fantastic additions. On the point of housing, this patch also introduced new wards. On the plus side, it did certainly feel like there was less demand for the houses this time around. However, the ward system for housing in FFXIV is still not a great solution for the game’s large population and the addition of wards continues to feel like a band-aid solution.
We had more additions to the portrait system, some of which we actually wished for! However, it baffles me that this is, in its current state, a system that was taken out of beta. It’s still incredibly touchy and clunky. I have no doubt there will be further adjustments to its usability but for now it isn’t great.
Lastly, the inclusion of the Gaia outfit on the Mogstation with the timing of this patch is… disappointing. It feels like very little effort went into its creation, whether it’s the fact that it’s one piece, or that the leggings weren’t adjusted for darker skin characters. It feels like an incredibly obvious, low effort cash grab.
Xenedra: The auto umbrella feature is just so precious, I can barely stand it. Zoning into an area where it’s raining with my frilly umbrella already out just warms my heart in ways I can never explain!
Having more than five marker configurations is bewildering in the best of ways. You need five for savage content alone and it would have been nice to have one or two extras for trials. Now we have a welcome glut of them! The downside, of course, is that we still can’t put markers down in battle- though that’s not a negative point against this new change.
They moved our fun, new (if glitchy) portrait feature into other content, which was something we’d been hoping for. It’s certainly fun to see how creative people can be with them. We also got damage type indicator symbols! As I said about it months ago: “Wait, we have three types of damage?” You can really tell I’m not a tank! These were long overdue and will surely smooth out the way some mechanics are handled in the future.
Last, but not least: furniture. We got some great stuff this time! I’ll start, maybe obviously, with the waterfall partition that I know anyone who’s interested in housing has been waiting for since the 2019 furnishing contest. But there are also a ton of other, amazing and varied pieces this time around! From the new versatile sink, to the incredibly elegant water jug, to the Il Mheg inspired table, these items are all beautiful and, more importantly, usable! Not to mention the array of Hannish items and the (long awaited) implementation of Alpine pillars and partitions!
Aldianaux: Tataru’s quest continues to be well worth the time, especially with a great new glamour as a reward. Speaking of glamour, I love the new versions of the Coil and Crystal Tower gear that were added to the PvP vendors this patch. Hopefully they’ll continue to upgrade the visuals of old gear like this. My favorite addition is the new combat text UI that shows the type of damage you are receiving. That, along with the inclusion of visible buff timers for your party’s active conditions show the team’s dedication to improving this sort of tactical feedback. Ya love to see it!
The Gaia outfit added to the Mogstation, which is predictably great (and ubiquitous) also has a predictable issue where the skin color of the leggings doesn’t adjust for your character. Though, I’m sure they’ll fix that real soon, as it costs real money.
Rook: Patch 6.3 introduced a slew of great little QoL changes, including additional hairstyles for Viera and Hrothgar and the ability to auto open umbrellas when raining. The new blue UI, plus a huge range of furnishings, glamour items, mounts, Ruby Weapon Extreme special effect weapons, and a refreshed PvP reward track give players plenty of acquisitions to enjoy. Adventurers can rake in some additional charming interactions with the new custom deliveries agent and expanded duty support dungeons, which add further continuity and independence for those playing through Heavensward’s narrative. All are welcome additions to the game!
Patch 6.3, while maybe not having quite the level of challenging difficulty at its launch as Patch 6.2 did (The Omega Protocol Ultimate is scheduled for 6.31), FFXIV’s latest patch still offers a fun continuation to the stories that have begun after the Endwalker finale while bringing some other nice additions.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.