It feels like just yesterday that Shadowbringers graced Final Fantasy 14 as the game’s latest and greatest expansion. Or maybe it just feels that way because I only managed to beat the final boss last weekend. It doesn’t matter! Shadowbringers already has its first major content update. Patch 5.01 for FF14 includes the first wing of a new normal raid — Eden’s Gate — and some new missions to go with it. There are also new items, buffs to certain classes, Let’s take a look at what’s new!
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Eden’s Gate – FF14: Shadowbringers Raid
Much like most post-expansion patches, we have our first taste of the “normal” raid in Shadowbringers. That’s a series of 12 eight-player battles. They all roughly function like Trials, but with a story directly tying them all together. This is also only the first phase of the raid — four battles plus interconnecting single-player quests. If tradition continues, we’ll get the next eight in later patches.
As for the Eden’s Gate raid itself, we won’t spoil too much here. Suffice it to say that it’s loosely based on Final Fantasy 8. The developer also teased it with these two very good images that make it look like Thancred is about to turn this carriage right around if Urianger and the Warrior of Darkness don’t sit still and behave:
The FF8 callback isn’t too surprising, either. Shadowbringers brought us the Gunbreaker class: an obvious homage to Squall Leonheart from that same game. Meanwhile, the previous two raids were based on Omega (a classic FF boss) and Final Fantasy Tactics, respectively. FF14 does not skimp on the fan service!
Don’t confuse Eden’s Gate with the YoRHA: Dark Apocalypse raid, either. That’s the 24-player “alliance raid” scheduled for sometime later. It’s also somehow based on NieR: Automata, as well as being co-created by Yosuke Saito and Yoko Taro. It’s probably the more exciting of the two raids, but what can you do? Shadowbringers just came out, you greedy goofs!
Eden’s Gate is also currently only available in “normal” difficulty. The upcoming “savage” raid is scheduled for release on July 30. That’s about the same time that Tomestones of Phantasmagoria are supposed to be released, so we can expect that new currency to be connected.
New Items & Gear – FF14 Patch 5.01
Much like previous normal raids, Eden’s Gate will not drop new gear. Instead it will drop items you can exchange for armor. So there’s no guarantee you’ll have enough for anything you need after just one run through the four battles. Better get ready to grind!
On the bright side, you will get a guaranteed “blade of early antiquity” for completing the fourth mission. Players can only receive one of these per week. And they currently don’t do much. You just turn them in for a new currency called Lightweight Tomestones. Roughly two weeks from now, however, players will be able to purchase new weapons for Lightweight Tomestomes. That means you play the raid to get an item, which turns into a currency, which you can use to buy weapons… As usual, it’s way more complex than it needs to be.
Even so, high-level weapons are among the hardest items to acquire in FF14. Better start stocking up those blades as soon as possible! The weekly reset begins every Tuesday at 1 a.m. PDT.
Balance Changes – FF14 Patch 5.01
There’s not a lot to write home about in this regard. The Dancer saw a number of nerfs in PVP, if you’re into that sort of thing. The Adrenaline Rush limit break is also much reduced for ranged DPS and spellcasters. Obviously not everyone cares about PVP in FF14, but the Dancer changes in particular are big enough to be worth mentioning!
On the PVE side of things, we actually saw some very light buffs. The Dragoon’s recently altered Disembowel attack — which increases damage dealt by 10 percent as of Shadowbringers — now lasts six seconds longer. That’s a full 30 seconds now, instead of 24 seconds. It’s not a huge change, but it might help the Dragoon stand out from the middle of the melee DPS pack a bit more right now.
Art of War, the Scholar area of effect spell, also got a sizable dip in mana cost. It previously required 800 mana — fully eight percent of the Job’s total mana pool. Now it requires only 600. Considering the Scholar lost a ton of offensive abilities in the changeover to Shadowbringers, that’s a nice alteration. Now players can actually use one of their remaining attacks more than a handful of times a minute.
Last and, honestly, pretty much least, we have the Astrologian. Their Gravity spell now costs 600 mana instead of 700. That makes it the same mana cost as the aforementioned Art of War. Although it’s still weaker and has a 2.5 second cast time. The upside is that it’s not a “point blank” attack. You can cast it on anybody within 25 yards. Not to mention the Astrologian is a healer, not a damage-dealer. This change was likely made with single-player story missions in mind.
FF14 Patch 5.01 Notes & Bug Fixes
The rest of the update is mostly full of fixes and tiny tweaks. You can read the full FF14 patch notes here! Just don’t get your hopes up for anything too major just yet. With the absolutely enormous changes made to most Jobs in Shadowbringers, Square Enix needs time to decide what’s too powerful, what’s too weak, and what needs to be reworked altogether.
Bigger balance patches typically come much later than just a couple weeks after a new expansion. And, in fact, Square Enix PR promises there will be further battle system changes in patch 5.05. We’ll just have to sit tight for now. Until then, have fun and enjoy the first wing of the Eden’s Gate raid!