-First off we see a hooded man in a mask rallying some Ala Mhigans at the Sunken Temple of Kharn, perhaps an Ascian trying to lure humans into summoning a new primal? Maybe Doomtrain or Eden? or maybe they are somehow involved in the final of the Warring Triads release in 3.5 or 3.6?
-Alexander finally wakes up. Hopefully we see some actual changes reflected in the Dravanian Hinterlands this time since even a step is supposed to 'drain the land of aether' as it moves. Perhaps pull a "Vale of Eternal Blossom" circa Seige of Orgimmar to use a WoW reference where a verdant land was ruined by a would be world conqueror that really upset the players and showed how they cared for the world. Inside however i dont see much of the changes they mentioned when they said "players arent as big a fan of steampunk as we thought so the final wing will be time travel based" unless perhaps thats reflected in the outside areas we dont see.
Still the fights all look great and it will be great to fight the 'true' Alex in his core but to see more brown and bronze its still a shame we got an Alexander that in my opinion artistically speaking doesnt gel with the themes of FFXIV and the FFIX or FF Type 0 Alexanders would have been far more inkeeping with the aesthetic. Perhaps this one will see a longer lifespan but i still get the feeling this doesnt mean a final Void Ark is how the expansion aids its raiding cycle. I foresee a one boss raid trial after all is said and done. Alex ending now leaving only a 'raid finder' raid to finish the expansion just feels strange.
-Apartments which will probably sell out in minutes as usual for housing. Cute locations that remind me of my FFXI days, but when i already have a small house in the Goblet i'm not gonna be a dick and buy up an apartment, gotta get those cold and tired Lalas off the streets!
-New Hairstyles including Gladiolus from FFXV that i could see a lot of femroes rocking if its not genderlocked for dat amazon warrior cred.
-New outfits and eehhh not really feeling these. Maybe the Ishgard Aesthetic has runs its course but after all this time getting very similar sets in terms of design and sillouette theory i'd like to see a return to some more traditional Final Fantasy looking gear. I can't remember the last time my Black Mage got a dyeable pointy hat outside of a raid or a tome vendor but it was probably lvl.50 content at the latest. I really hope we see more of an FFXI/FFIX inspiration in some 4.0 sets myself. These aren't bad at all but all starting to feel very samey.
-New dungeons! first up Xelphatol looks huge and foreboding but i expect more wind mechanic related rage ala Neverreap based on what we are seeing here. Interesting to see the Ixal Cheiftan summoning Garuda not unlike the Ultima Weapon did. Maybe its another instance of a beastman with an Echo related power like the Sahaghin Priest from the Leviathan storyline?
And then we get one of my predictions for 4.0 a few posts back coming way sooner than i expected, Great Gubal Library hard mode, and boy does this look like a crazy number of bosses. It looks less like a story heavy instance and more another 'just for fun' dungeon like Hullbreaker Isle and i can't complain. Theres only so many times you can fight that Ymir fight without getting bored and wanting something new to tackle.
-Duels, so finally the "1v1 me bro!" audience has an outlet. Can't see it leading to much other than maybe some silly tournaments for gil in party finder but who knows?
-Hildibrands story continues, i found the last entry far better than the first for 3.1 which was honestly pretty lame. Hopefully we get to find out if Gigi really is a Time Mage to see if they are canon in this FF world.
-Garrison followers -duh i mean Adventurer Squadrons! Hopefully they end up a little more like the Trust NPC's of FFXI than WoW's infamously disliked system where you sent out npcs to do quests for you and it killed off the open world aspect of the game for many. Jurys out on this one till i get my hands on it but i am wary to say the least.
-Palace of the Dead floors 51-200 i am honestly surprised this is coming so soon but like i said just the other day its inoffensive optional content you can dump some hours into for an instant que that doesnt rely on the 'holy trinity system' theres no reason to complain about more of it, especially if we get some more story from it especially!
-Sophia the Goddess, Containment Bay P1T6 and man thats a cool looking boss. Lotta Yunalesca vibes from this one and its not like they have added a bad primal fight yet so i can't wait.
-and we end with the Main Story questline which seems to be revisiting the older primals so perhaps Xelphatol has a tie into the warriors of darkness AND the Ala Mhigo storylines? perhaps this is what ties it all together to set up 4.0? either way this was some interesting stuff to mull over. Still not sure on just who the Warriors of Darkness are. I have a few theories but i'm still guessing till the day it releases like everyone else. Its just nice to be back to crystals, primals and ascians again after the months of dragons and goblins!
All in all this looks like a really solid patch and i havent been this excited for an update for a while. A new raid, new dungeons, new story, more deep dungeon and we still havent seen things like the journal we are working on with the Miqo'te girl yet. This time of year is also getting close to the seasonal events too -and i LOVE Halloween events in MMOs especially!- so there is going to be lots of fun stuff to do when this drops at the end of the month. See you in Eorzea then!