are instances that are designed to challenge players at end-game. They differ from the leveling dungeons in that their main purpose is not for EXP, but for loot from difficult bosses. While you will still accumulate EXP in a raid dungeon you will most likely not need it because you will already be at the level cap.
The main raid dungeons confirmed for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn are the Crystal Tower
and the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut
, however it is likely that returning dungeons from 1.0 such as Cutters Cry and Aurum Vale will fall into this category.
Square Enix has designed end-game content in FFXIV: ARR to have a clear order of progression, where you will have to gear up in one raid in order to complete the next tier of content. For example upon reaching level 50 you will aim to obtain a primal weapon
. This will enable you to move on to the Crystal Tower and from here the drops will enable you to successfully complete the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut. It is not yet clear where relic weapons
will fall into this place but we think somewhere between primal weapons and Crystal Tower weapons.
The Crystal Tower
The Crystal Tower is a remake of the final dungeon from Final Fantasy III and it is likely that the final boss Cloud of Darkness will make an appearance. FFXIV: ARR's version will also have multiple floors and it will not be possible to complete the entire raid in a single sitting. The plan is that Square Enix will add more floors via patches over the course of a year and a half. Progress can be saved.
The dungeon is designed for an alliance of up to 24 players in three parties of 8 and will be incredibly difficult. A huge amount of bosses are expected to be inside, but other than this we don't know any more about how it will work. In the screenshot below you can see the Crystal Tower in the distance in Mor Dhona.
The Great Labyrinth of Bahamut
Even less is known about The Great Labyrinth of Bahamut than there is the Crystal Tower, Square Enix are keeping very quiet about this one in order to avoid spoilers. As you know, Bahamut played a very important role in the events at the end of the Sixth Astral Era but we do not yet know what happened to him afterwards. It is likely that he is hiding within this great labyrinth.
Square Enix have stated that fragments of Dalamud scattered all over Eorzea during the calamity and these are a clue to the dungeon. You will be able to enter the Great Labyrinth from various locations via these fragments but nothing else is known. Will the raid be different depending on where you enter?
The screenshot above is from Eastern Thanalan, a likely entrance point for the Great Labyrinth. This is the largest Dalamud fragment site we could find in Eorzea so it makes sense that it plays a role somewhere. However this is speculation.