Final Fantasy 14 10-year plan: What the future of Square Enix’s unsinkable MMO looks like

Now that the buzz of the release of Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker has settled in and free trial players can once again experience the critically acclaimed MMORPG, it’s time to start looking ahead for the Warrior of Light and Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

In a recent Live Letter stream, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida gave fans an update on what the future of Final Fantasy 14 will look like. Along with the usual upcoming patch content updates, we also have got a glimpse of an ongoing graphical overhaul and plans to make the game playable in single player. After reflecting on what made Endwalker so good and examining the intricacies of its success, the team looks to the future with excitement and excitement – and it’s great to see.

After a huge increase in player numbers over the past six months, FFXIV is the most popular and successful of all time. While smaller MMOs may wait until player counts start to drop to make meaningful changes, it’s refreshing to see a team so dedicated to evolution. FFXIV has nothing to prove, but it does it anyway.

The most immediately obvious of the upcoming changes is a graphical update planned for the next expansion (7.0). While you can expect any kind of photorealism or anything close to Horizon Forbidden West (or even high-end grapes) and development is still in its early stages, previews of the characters and backgrounds -players’ plans are already promising. It’s a significant upgrade for a game that’s been around since 2013, though.

Textures, shadows, lighting, and the number of placeable objects are all reviewed and improved. Of course, this will mean the minimum spec requirements will be raised, but the team is keeping PS4 gamers in mind, as PS5s are still so hard to come by, so there’s no need to worry. of removing them from console support at this time.

However, arguably the biggest update is that the developers are aiming to allow FFXIV to be played solo, so if you’re a Final Fantasy fan who’s never played it because you’ve been put off by everything the MMO and you’re playing with other things that won’t be a problem anymore. Starting with patch 6.1 (the next big content release in April), all 4-player dungeons will be playable using the game’s “Trust” system which will fill your AI party so you never have to worry about a queue again. If you’re the kind of gamer who likes playing solo in The Elder Scrolls Online, then Final Fantasy 14 will undoubtedly start to pique your interest.

To implement this, the developers have also changed several fights and dungeons – The infamous Cape Westwind and Lahabrea fights are now single-player instances instead of 8-player trials, and the Praetorium and Castrum Meridianum dungeons will now be 4-player players instead of 8. Future patches will add more Trust dungeons for patch quests, Heavensward, and Stormblood until the game catches up with Shadowbringers when the system was originally introduced. There is one caveat though – the Trust system currently only works for 4-player content, so you’ll still have to party for 8-player trials and raids involved in the story… so basically , you will have to party for a lot of boss fights.

The incorporation of better single-player play is a real boon to the game. FFXIV contains one of the greatest “Final Fantasy” stories of all time, but it’s so often overlooked because it’s about an MMO, so hopefully this will remove that intimidating barrier for many. Some may worry that this may mean that fewer people will want to play together and the game will become less social as a result or that queues will be longer, but that doesn’t worry me – the kind of people to whom this is for those who will play through each dungeon once for the story and then move on. The main game base that replays things to level other jobs, party for raids, or grind for relics, etc. will remain the same. The changes just open more doors for people, and maybe by doing that, a few more will be convinced to stick around.

I have some concerns about this, as it currently means that the first fight you’re forced to play with other people in the story will be against Good King Moggle Mog XII – a hilarious first fight, but tricky because the mechanics involves a bit of cooperation and direction to conquer. This would make a heck of an intro to the game along with the others, but given how many changes have been made to previous quests to fit the game, I imagine this fight will be changed as well, so no need to panic just yet.

In the more immediate future, we still have a lot of hotfix content to look forward to before the next expansion. 6.1, which will be released sometime in April, will see the return of everyone’s favorite inspector extraordinaire, Hildibrand, as well as the first 24-player alliance raid “Myths of the Realm”, updates to the history, Ishgard dwellings and Hrothgar haircuts. Soon after, you’ll be able to travel between data centers in patch 6.18, while 6.2 (likely released in September according to current patch schedules) will introduce the long-awaited Island Sanctuary feature for those looking to add a touch of Harvest Moon to their lives.

This is all just a small taste of what the next few years will look like for Final Fantasy 14, and we’ll have more information on patch 6.1 on March 4 (look forward to that). Seeing the development team being so open with their progress and expectations while continually improving what they’ve been doing is exciting to watch. With so much to do and a bright future ahead, there’s never been a better time to play FFXIV.

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