Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn (opens in new tab) has come a long way. Since starting off as one of the most disappointing MMOs ever, to returning as an almost entirely new game, to attracting more than 4 million active players, it's been a surprisingly uplifting journey. And it's going to rise even higher (literally) with the release of its first expansion over the summer.
Square Enix announced at PAX East that Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward will release on June 23, adding a ton of new stuff for longtime players to sink their teeth into. The most notable addition is the new region of Ishgard, which will boast several huge new areas to explore. It's a good thing you'll be able to hop on a flying black chocobo or single-seater airship and get around three times faster than you would on the ground.
Heavensward also boosts the level cap from 50 to 60, with all the new tweaks and gear for existing classes that you would expect. But you'll only need to be level 30 to try out the expansion's three new extra jobs: the Dark Knight, a magic wielding tank; the Astrologian, a healer/buffer/soothsayer; and the Machinist, a gun-wielding, ranged-damage dealing, um, machine.
Make sure you catch up on A Realm Reborn's story if you want to jump into Heavensward's new narrative arc right away. Square Enix says the upcoming patch 2.55 will conclude the original game's story and lead the way into Ishgard.
Of course, you're also free to just bum around in Ishgard whether you're caught up in the story or not, as long as you own the expansion. Speaking of which, you can start playing early, on June 19, if you pre-order Heavensward.