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Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.3 to Streamline ARR Story, Add Flying Mounts to Eorzea

Take to the skies, upgrade your relics, and tackle the next Nier raid.

by Brandon Adams


In a ‘Letter from the Producer’ for Final Fantasy XIV that was broadcast earlier today, Director/Producer Naoki Yoshida (AKA Yoshi-P) discussed Patch 5.3 coming to the popular MMO. “Reflections in Crystal” will not only include the conclusion to the Shadowbringers main scenario, but an extensive streamlining and overhaul of the A Realm Reborn main scenario. Oh, and will finally be able to use your flying mounts in Eoreza.

To start the Live Letter, Yoshi-P discussed how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the team, and he confirmed “Reflections in Crystal” (hereon referred to as Patch 5.3) will be delayed to mid-late June, or maybe even early July (major patches typically follow a three-month cadence, so that would have placed Patch 5.3 around May if the world weren’t on lockdown).

He then went on to detail what players could expect in Final Fantasy XIV’s latest update, which can be summarized as “a lot”. Patch 5.3 will conclude the Shadowbringers main scenario and add a new dungeon called “The Heroes’ Gauntlet”. The Dwarves will be the next Beast Tribe added to the game, and they will be this expansion’s crafting tribe.

Of course, a new patch means a new raid. Since this is an odd numbered major update that means the Nier 24-man raid will add its second wing – The Puppet’s Bunker. Additionally, The Sorrow of Werlyt storyline that introduced Ruby Weapon will receive its next chapter. Patch 5.3 will also bring with it some job adjustments for both PvE and PvP, and the Frontline roulette will include all Frontline modes once the patch goes live.

Players may have just recently started their relic weapon quest-chain, but that doesn’t mean the next stage is too far out. In Patch 5.3 the first stage for upgrading our relics will be introduced and take place in a large-scale instance called “The Bozjan Southern Front” (hopefully it’s not near as arduous a grind as Eureka was in Stormblood).

Disciple of the Hand/Land will see the next stage for their Skysteel Tools added, which will help them contribute towards the Third Phase of the Ishgardian Restoration. Collectibles will receive an update, and there will now be a fixed list of items for turn-ins. A new custom delivery NPC will also be introduced, and crafters can now search recipes from items in their inventory.

The biggest batch of news had to do with the extensive overhaul the original A Realm Reborn main scenario will receive in Patch 5.3. Long chastised for being too long, dull, and grindy the team has gone ahead and culled 13% of the content. The entire MSQ has been streamlined, and other quests have had steps and requirements relaxed to make the experience better for new players.

Experience and gear rewards for ARR main scenario quests have also been increased, so new players won’t have to do side quests to reach level 50 and move onward into Heavensward. That said, the Crystal Tower and “My Little Chocobo” quests are now required to progress the main scenario (which, without going into spoilers, makes sense). Once players complete “The Ultimate Weapon” (the final quest in the original, pre-patch ARR story) they can use their flying mounts in Eorzea, though they can’t enter bodies of water.

Other than the massive removal of chafe from the ARR quest-chain, a few other things were announced. Unreal difficulty will be introduced for trials, which will see old trials adjusted to level 80 gameplay. There will be one per major patch, and completing it will unlock access to a new Faux Hollows mini-game. Parties can now merge in the Party Finder, players can use World Visit while in a cross-world party, and there will be new chapters added to New Game+ (I.E. the ARR overhaul).

The live letter is still being translated, so when I have more details to share I’ll be sure to update this article, but there’s still plenty to chew on. Final Fantasy XIV may be my favorite game of the last ten years, and I have logged an absurd amount of time in the game. From the look of things, I’ll be dumping hundreds more hours into it here soon.

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