The new player experience just got a lot larger.
Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.3

Beginning today with the launch of Patch 5.3 for Final Fantasy XIV Online, new players will be able to play for even longer than ever before without having to pay a single penny for the game. The new player experience will allow those who have never paid for Final Fantasy XIV in any capacity to play to the increased free level cap of 60 and gain access to the Heavensward content. This also means that free players will gain access to an additional playable race (Au Ra) and three additional player jobs (Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist).

Beyond this massive increase to the free player experience, Patch 5.3 provides some much needed streamlining of the main quests for A Realm Reborn content. This is the base storyline in Final Fantasy XIV before you hit the expansion content.

Square Enix has made adjustments to experience point gains and gear rewards for quest completions. They have also made it so that some quests are outright removed while others are much shorter than they were previously. This should all help to alleviate some of the grind that players experienced in just trying to get from quest to quest in the main game on their way to the superior expansion content.

There is a lot of good stuff featured in today's update. The major points of Patch 5.3 can be found below. A more detailed look at Patch 5.3 can be found here.

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  • New Main Scenario Quests – The Scions endeavour to shed light upon the Ascian Elidibus’ dark plot in the final act of the Shadowbringers storyline.
  • Main Scenario Questline Update: A Realm Reborn – The main scenario is now streamlined in terms of overall length, with adjustments to experience point gain and gear rewards for quest completion. Additionally, players will also be able to use flying mounts in A Realm Reborn areas upon completion of The Ultimate Weapon quest.
  • Expanded Free Trial – The free trial now offers unlimited playtime and a level cap of 60, along with access to Heavensward content, an additional playable race (Au Ra), and an additional three playable jobs (Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist).
  • New YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Alliance Raid – The white-robed android 2P awakens at last, but so too does an unforeseen danger to Komra in the next chapter of this NieR-inspired alliance raid, The Puppets’ Bunker.
  • New “Chronicles of a New Era” Quest: The Sorrow of Werlyt – Part of the ‘Weapon Series’ questline, players can enjoy a story-focused experience culminating in a special event battle.
  • New Dungeon: The Heroes’ Gauntlet – The whole of Norvrandt has become a battlefield across which the Warriors of Darkness must fight their way. Players can tackle this new challenge alongside fellow adventurers, or a party of non-player characters, using the Trust system.
  • New Trial: A fearsome new foe possessed of immeasurable might has arisen to test Warriors of Darkness in both normal and extreme difficulties.
  • New Tribe Quests – A new crafter-focused questline featuring the dwarves.
  • New Game+ Updates – The class quests from A Realm Reborn are now be available for players to revisit while retaining their current character and level. Patch 5.35 will see the addition of the revamped A Realm Reborn main scenario quests as well.
  • New Battle Content: Unreal Trials – Players can challenge a powered-up version of Shiva, who will now prove a fierce challenge for level 80 heroes. Unreal Trials will feature one primal fight which rotates with each patch.
  • Crafter and Gatherer Updates – New custom deliveries, updates to Rowena's House of Splendors, and an update to the Skysteel Tools questline headline several crafter and gatherer updates. Additionally, recipe search functionality will be improved for ease of use.
  • YO-KAI WATCH Collaboration Returns – The YO-KAI WATCH collaboration event, Gather One, Gather All returns to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online beginning August 19th and includes new YO-KAI WATCH-themed rewards for players to earn.
  • Ishgard Restoration Update (Patch 5.31) – The third phase of restoration begins following the efforts of the Skybuilders. Skybuilder Rankings return, with new items for players to craft and new achievements for top contributors to the restoration efforts.
  • Save the Queen Questline Updates (Patch 5.35) – Players can enhance weapons obtained in the first chapter of this quest series as they explore The Bozjan Southern Front, a new area where the Bozjan Resistance has begun Operation Eagle's Nest in a bid to regain Alermuc Fortress from the Empire.
  • Job Adjustments for PvE and PvP, System Updates, and more.