Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is the first expansion pack for the successful multi-platform MMORPG from Square Enix, released simultaneously in Japan, North America, and Europe/Australia on June 23rd, 2015 for PS3, PS4, Mac and Windows.
The Dragonsong War and the Road to Ishgard Opens
Heavensward is an expansion that focuses on the areas in the north-central Aldenard region of Eorzea, namely around the city-state of Ishgard and regions of Dravania and Coerthas.
Dravania is the home of the dragons in Eorzea, and they have been in an endless war with the Holy See of Ishgard. This is the foundation for the story, in which the player, as the Warrior of Light, will experience in Heavensward.
The expansion also finally marked the opening of Ishgard to players to venture within after being in the game since the initial launch of Final Fantasy XIV in 2010, but closed off to players.
In Heavensward, three new jobs are being introduced: Dark Knight, Astrologian, and the Machinist. These new jobs will function differently than the previously available jobs in that they do not require a base class to be leveled before being unlocked.
Dark Knights are a tank class in FFXIV which use MP and darkness abilities to perform their job functions.
They wield the two-handed Great sword as their weapon of choice, and focus on parrying and evasion for damage mitigation.
The Astrologian is a healer job, wielding the unique Star Globe weapon, and using a divining deck of celestial cards to provide support for the party.
The machinist is a ranged DPS job who wields firearms and also can call on deployable turrets to debuff foes, or enhance party members.
New Player Race - Au Ra
Heavenward introduces a new player race to Final Fantasy XIV called the Au Ra.
One of the defining characteristics of this new player race are the horns coming from the sides of their skulls, and their scale-like tails.
The males and females of the race differ, in where the males are generally quite tall and have large horns, the female Au Ra are much more feminine, and their horns tend to flow away from their faces.
The expansion also serves as the introduction to flying mounts, a first for the online games in the series.
The players' initial mount will be the Black Chocobo, a callback to previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, where the Black Chocobo was generally the only color that could fly.
As the player progresses through quests and the main scenario, other flying mounts will become available, such as griffons, an personal airship made by Cid, dragon-kin and more.
With the addition of flying mounts, the travel speed of ground based mounts will be increased to match those which can fly. Flying will also be initially limited to areas introduced in the expansion.
New Endgame Raid Content - Alexander
The primal of the Goblins, Alexander is the major end game raid to be found in Heavensward.
Much like the Binding Coil of Bahamut in A Realm Reborn, Alexander houses some of the hardest content to be found in Final Fantasy XIV. But unlike the Binding Coil, there are two versions of this content: A Story mode, and a Hard mode. Both version will have essentially the same content, but the content found in Story mode will be noticeably less difficult than that found in Hard mode. Though the rewards for beating its Hard mode are of much higher quality than what can be attained via its Story mode.