Watching Final Fantasy XIV‘s fall and rise has been quite the trip. While the game’s initial release was branded as one of the single worst marks on the franchise’s reputation, its relaunch as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has seen remarkable success and critical praise, completely reversing its previous fate. Now, with its first full expansion on the horizon, the game is looking better than ever.

To put it simply, the expansion is massive and worthy of some hype. Heavensward will be bringing players into the far-off reaches of Eorzean North, focusing on the lands of Ishgard and Dravania, where they’ll be wrapped up into the already thousand year-long Dragonsong War between the two nations. The new story arc will also bring players to large, floating islands, nestled far up in the clouds.

If you’re wondering, “How in the world is someone supposed to get there?” well, you’ll be happy to know that the answer is, “In the coolest way possible.” Another of the expansions features is the long-awaited flying mechanic, wherein players will be able to use flying mounts like chocobos, gryphons, and even dragons to soar through the sky into new territories. If that wasn’t enough, Free Companies will also be able to work to build their own airships with the new construction systems, so you can soar through the skies in style. (With your friends, no less.)

Heavensward will also include everything you’d expect from a full-fledged expansion. The level cap will be raised from 50 to 60, new Primals will be added (including the FFXIV-unique Ravana), and the expansion will feature a host of new dungeons and raids. These include a particularly ridiculous eight-player raid against the Primal known as Alexander, who is, quite literally, a massive fortress. Challengers will move to fight Alexander from within, and, with the raid featuring an optional “Savage Mode” in addition to its standard difficulty, it looks like it will be quite the challenge for the experienced and the veteran alike.

Heavensward also includes three new classes to change up the game: The Dark Knight, a greatsword-wielding tank; the Astrologian, a versatile and adaptable healer; and the Machinist, a ranged DPS class supported by deployable turrets. All classes will also be playable by the new race added by the expansion: the mysterious and dragon-like Au Ra.

All in all, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward looks like it’s going to take the already-well-recieved MMO to a new level, and fans are understandably excited for it. Those interested in seeing more or watching the teaser trailer can find more information on the upcoming expansion’s official website. Hardcore fans can even pre-purchase the Collector’s Edition of the game and its expansion, which include all sorts of goodies like an art book, a figure of the new dragon mount, in-game exclusives, and more.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward goes live on PC, PS4, and PS3 systems on June 23, 2015.


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