Final Fantasy 14’s Endwalker expansion saw the end of the story arc that’s been in the making for ten years, so now players are eagerly awaiting what the future holds. The game’s producer and director Naoki Yoshida recently hosted the 68th “Letter from the Producer Live” show to discuss the plan for the next ten years of content for FF14.
The first part of the live stream discussed FF14’s journey so far, from 2010 to 2021, before moving on to plans for the future. Yoshi-P also took the time to explain that he has no intention of leaving FF14 or adding NFTs to the game.
After fan feedback and market research, the team wants FF14 to become a game to enjoy alone or with friends. Plans to achieve this include adding Trust compatibility for all main story dungeons and four-player trials in increments throughout patch 6.1-6.5. However, Eight Player Trials will not be updated during this time, but will be considered for 7.0 or later. For starters, patch 6.1 will make all tasks in the A Realm Reborn scenario (patch 2.0) compatible with Trust.
Yoshi-P reassured fans that there were no plans to remove the matching system for dungeons that allows players to group together through the Duty Finder, as the emphasis on Trust compatibility is aimed at players who want to play alone through the story.
Trust AI characters won’t always be the Scions or main characters, as that wouldn’t fit the storyline for all tasks – for example, if a character is somewhere else in the world, it wouldn’t make sense for them to come help you – so Yoshi-P gave the example of some Trust characters being members of the Adventurers Guild or other people with the Echo. Of course, during other key tasks, notable characters will join you, and there may be in-game script changes to ensure it makes sense for them to do so.
Improvements are also planned for dungeons and low-level main scenario trials, and changes will also be made to some older tasks. For example, puddles in The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak that inflict Slow will be removed, the eight-man duty Cape Westwind will be removed, and will instead be reworked as a quest instanced battle where you fight Rihtahtyn sas Arvina. Praetorium and Castrum Meridianum will become four-person instanced dungeons, so the battle with Lahabrea in Thancred’s body will also become an instanced story quest battle.
The first graphical update will be implemented in 7.0, including updates to the animation and lighting systems, allowing for the possibility of longer lasting emotes. Naturally, that means the minimum running specs will change from 7.0, although Yoshi-P pointed out that FF14’s graphics won’t be comparable to standalone Final Fantasy titles and photorealism wouldn’t be the goal. . Despite the planned graphics update, Yoshi-P clarified that this does not necessarily mean that support for the PlayStation 4 version will end from version 7.0.
Samples of improved character models were shown; these were produced after only a month of high resolution testing with shaders, so these are not the final result for 7.0, but give players an idea of the kind of improvements that will be made. The team will continue to update players as testing continues.
Planned character appearance updates include higher resolution textures for hair, skin, and gear, improved material qualities, and better lighting and shadow effects. Due to the large number of gear available, not all legacy gear will be updated for 7.0, although older gear that is still popular glamorous options for players will be prioritized. Other gear will be updated from 7.x, with Yoshi-P stating that it will take a few years to update all textures. Graphical improvements will also be made to legacy NPCs throughout 7.x. The overall appearance of player characters will be changed as little as possible, and testing for additional enhancements will continue in the future.
Several test screenshots showed improvements with additional lighting, higher resolution, improved texture, placement of additional environmental objects and detail for better immersion and improved plant resolution. Other possible improvements are also tested for fog and other ambient occlusion effects.
Yoshi-P said the team will continue to provide regular updates on an appropriate schedule and revealed that in addition to the major storyline updates coming through patch 6.1-6.5, the “Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures” and “Tataru’s Grand Endeavour” would also launch during these patch updates.
Major Updates Planned for Patch 6.1
The Patch 6.1 series will see the implementation of the first part of the Myths of the Realm alliance raid, a new PvP mode called Crystalline Conflict, the Arkasodara Tribe quests and dailies, and Ultima’s Bane (Unreal). A new Ultimate Duty called Dragonsong’s Repise will launch in Patch 6.1.1, while Crystalline Conflict is expected to land in Patch 6.15.
Players already knew that the new Ishgard Empyreum living quarter will open in Patch 6.1, but other plans for the Patch 6.1 series roadmap included implementing the aforementioned trust system for Dungeons 2.0. , a new calling card style UI (not the final name), new hairstyles for Hrothgar, and new custom deliveries for Ameliance.
More details regarding the new features and the exact date of their implementation will be provided in the Live Letter scheduled for March 4, 2022.
Major Updates Planned for Patch 6.2
The Patch 6.2 series will see the Trust system implemented for the 2.x main story dungeons, as well as two or three Heavensward main story dungeons, new weapon upgrades, a new dungeon type with varying difficulty for one to four players codenamed Criterion, and finally, the launch of the highly anticipated Island Sanctuary content. The Glamor system will receive a much-needed update, with the addition of more Glamor plates. New Pandaemonium and Faux Hollow content, additional trials and more are also planned.
Major Updates Planned for Patch 6.3
The Patch 6.3 series will include the implementation of the Trust system for the remaining Heavensward main story dungeons, a new Deep Dungeon series, a new Ultimate Duty, and an Island Shrine update. Additionally, more Myths of the Realm and Faux Hollows content, new trials, and more will be added.
Patch 6.4/6.5 Major Updates Planned
The 6.4 patch series will see the Trust system added to all main storyline Stormblood dungeons, two new Criterion dungeons will be added, as well as a brand new area for Island Sanctuary. The conclusion of Pandæmonium, more Myths of the Realm and Faux Hollows content, new Trials, and more will also be added. Additional plans for 6.4 and 6.5 are still being worked on.
Planned Major Patch 6.x Updates
It is planned that Blue Mage will receive a level increase, but at the moment there is no exact timeframe for this. The data center move is currently planned for patch 6.8.
Additionally, Yoshi-P announced changes to the usual major patch cycle; Since A Realm Reborn, a major patch is released every three and a half months, but going forward, each major patch will be released every four months. This is to allow an additional week for implementation and development. An extra week during the summer and New Year holidays will also be added.
You can watch the full live stream here. There will be a dedicated live letter in the future to discuss patch 6.1 in detail.
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