Final Fantasy XIV takes players plenty of places. Its lore is constantly growing. We’re constantly redefining what the Warrior of Light and their allies will be capable of in the MMORPG. FFXIV Endwalker seems like it will continue that trend. I was able to spend over six hours with an in-development, not final version of this expansion. While the things I saw, skills I used, and encounters I had could change in the final release, what I saw seemed promising. My time spent as a FFXIV male Viera Reaper, especially exploring the Tower of Zot to face the Magus sisters, during the Endwalker preview event was exhilarating.
Now, immediately upon entering Eorza, I needed to become a bunny boy. Male Vieras are one of two new avatar options appearing in FFXIV Endwalker, and I had to see how they looked. After using a Phial of Fantasia, I was on my way. As with the women, there are Rava and Veena options. While the early videos suggested they would be as pretty as the girls, the boys’ facial features, ear, and hair options in the build I played were gorgeous. So much so that, if this was a regular session and not an opportunity when time was of the essence, I would have spent time deliberating over which look would be best. Many of the hairstyles incorporated fun decorative elements like an over-the-shoulder ponytail with bow, braids, armored accessories, and highlights. Considering I knew my guy’s luscious locks would be hidden under a hat and beneath a scarf as a Reaper, I opted for quicker choices so I could head off.
What struck me about the Reaper in FFXIV Endwalker is that while this is a DPS job, I had access to skills that meant I could take care of myself a bit if the party’s support system would be busy. Was I worried about my health? Casting Bloodbath would offer some regeneration. When I’d attack, a part of that damage would then heal me. Like other it does for other DPS classes, Arm’s Length covered me briefly against both draw-in and knockback. And if I was facing an opponent who seemed to be standing strong against me, Shadow of Death would let me deal 10% more damage to that opponent due to Death’s Design. You also have the Enhanced Arcane Crest trait to add Crest of Time Returned to you and your allies for a HP regen effect with Crest of Time Borrowed. You are in no way meant to be a support, but it can help.
I also loved the way the Reaper let me clean up during the FFXIV Endwalker preview session. My favorite damage-dealing attacks also happened to be ones ones that would hit multiple opponents. While the Reaper did prove handy during my dungeon attempts, I found it most helpful in this build during FATEs. Gluttony is fun to cast and watch, since it means your avatar comes in for an AoE attack. Communio as well is especially potent. Both of these meant only the primary target would take the most damage. Foes around it would take less. Which is to be expected. But then I’d also have a Spinning Scythe or Whorl of Death that would dole out equal damage to anyone around me. I expected flashy attacks that would hit lots of foes. I got it.
And the Reaper even moved around the field so easily. Two of its skills are Hell’s Ingress and Hell’s Egress. The former would let you go forward 15 yalms. The latter sent you 15 yalms back. Both movement skills also offered Hellsgates and Threshold, allowing the two to work together. So if someone used Hell’s Egress to backstep, leaving behind the Hellsgate, you could then immediately use Hell’s Ingress as the new “Regress” to move again. While in my case, I tended to use the skills to evade attacks, they also paired well with other abilities in this build. For example, a positional like Gallows deals more damage if you hit an opponent from behind. Using one of these skills with that would be quite a help.
Which came in handy as I figured out my way through a dungeon during the FFXIV Endwalker preview event. While I wasn’t able to be master of this domain, I found heading in with Alphinaud, Estinien, and Thancred enlightening. As in FFIV, the Magus Sisters await in the Tower of Zot in FFXIV Endwalker. While things could change in the full release, I felt Square Enix handled its direction well.
Editor’s Note: There will be some spoilers for the FFXIV Endwalker Tower of Zot Magus Sisters fights in the following paragraphs.
The first of the sisters faced is Minduruva. I actually found this the most intimidating of the three fights during my preview session. Primarily due to the learning curve. (And the effects of the remote nature of the event.) While this fight seemed straightforward, Minduruva’s AoE attacks could be brutal. During certain points in the fight, she will cast certain spells with clearly telegraphed AoE. The ice-based ones head out in lines from an epicenter. The lightning ones hit certain circles on the field. Another hits every area in front of Minduruva. Most devastating, in my case, would be an explosion of fire that would hit everyone not in the circle around her. Since these would happen in rapid succession, it meant having to temper your assault to ensure you’d be ready to move when spells hit. (Fortunately, The Reaper Hell’s Ingress skill proved quite helpful here.)
Compared to Minduruva, a fight which took multiple attempts both with other players and my AI allies, Sanduruva seemed more straightforward. This is due to fewer opportunities to wipe people out with devastating magic. Yes, she is a threat. Especially if an ally is turned to stone, when copies of her appear, and when the party needs to dash to the end of the field to evade attacks. But with my AI allies, I took Sanduruva out in one try. It’s a fight that involves paying attention, to be sure. And some fun moments where you’ll look around you and see some visual changes. But it’s more of an opportunity to prepare for the final phase.
Which, as you might imagine, meant all the Magus Sisters joining up in the FFXIV Endwalker dungeon. Once you get to the final phase, Cinduruva joins her siblings. There are many callbacks to FFIV throughout this fight. For example, if you played that game, you’ll know which opponent to target first. Admittedly, I failed to overcome this challenge. In part because what I learned in the Minduruva and Sanduruva fights both carried over and applied here in this build. This means in addition to picking the right target, keeping track of which AoE attacks are about to hit and where is critical. (And, given some outside interference, meant I wasn’t always able to properly position.)
While what I played involved an in-progress build, what I did and saw during the FFXIV Endwalker preview event felt so encouraging. The male Viera looked great in-game. (Even though being a Reaper meant I couldn’t see mine’s pretty face.) I felt capable being a Reaper. Even though things may change, the moveset felt easy to adapt to. And great for FATE and dungeon encounters. As for the Tower of Zot and Magus Sisters encounter, I can’t wait to see how the fights feel when FFXIV Endwalker appears so I can properly face them with a prepared party.
Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker will launch on the PS4, PS5, and PC on November 23, 2021. People who pre-order will gain access on November 19, 2021. Siliconera also interviewed Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida.