Live letter # 68: Naoki Yoshida unveils his plans for the future of FFXIV
After a first retrospective on the eleven years of existence of FINAL FANTASY XIV , the producer and director, Naoki Yoshida presented his vision for the future of the game around three key concepts:
- Updating the appearance of characters:
- Updating visuals in the background:
- Update 6.1
- Update 6.2
- Update 6.3
- updates 6.4 and 6.5
- RESUMPTION OF THE FREE TEST OF THE GAME
- “An even better RPG – alone or with friends”
- Prepare for the future: the first major graphic update
- Regular content updates from 6.1
An even better RPG – alone or with friends
Many fans of the Final Fantasy Saga have played all the opus, but have never crossed the step with the XI and the XIV, because the idea of playing a MMORPG with other people pushed them back. Some players prefer a more solo game style, without having to interact and communicate with other light warriors.
Yoshida-San wants to make FFXIV accessible to the largest number of players, including the cases mentioned above. As a result, the series of updates 6.x will widen the adjuration system .
The idea is to make all the dungeons of the epic and 4-player challenges compatible with the Adopté system. Challenges with 8 players (from Heavensward ) will only be updated from 7.0, due to the amount of work needed.
From the 6.1, the set of missions of A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.0) will be playable in Adopé :
- The NPCs that will accompany you in the missions ARR will be mainly minor members of the heirs of the seventh dawn with the donation of ECHO ** or members of the Adventurer Guild. In order to stick to the scenario, all NPCs (the main heirs for example) will not be able to accompany you in the dungeons. Some special NPCs could appear at certain missions, such as Estinian who could join you to undo Nidhogg. On the other hand, this will not be the norm for all missions.
- Some dungeons will undergo aesthetic or gameplay adjustments. For example, the glutant floor that inflicts gravity in Toto-Rak’s thousand gules will be removed.
- The 8-player RAID Cape Wind West will be removed: the fight against RhitaThn will be reworked to become an instantiated fight.
- The Praetorium and Castrum Meridianum will become 4-player dungeons instead of 8. The Ultima Arma will be withdrawn from the dungeon and will become a separate 4-player challenge. The fight against Lahabrea will become an instantiated fight during a quest for the epic.
The first major graphic update of Final Fantasy XIV
Yoshida-san says it’s the “first” as there are others in the future. In eleven year of existence, an immense volume of graphic resources was produced for Final Fantasy XIV: it will be impossible to adjust everything, so they will gradually make it.
This first update of the game graphics is planned for the next extension 7.0 :
- Preparations have already started and will continue until the new extension exit.
- The idea of the development team is to reach a pleasant aesthetic in full screen and appropriate to a multiplayer environment.
- Animations and the light system will be improved. On the other hand, it will not be necessary to expect photorealistic characters or graphics worthy of _ Horizon Forbidden West _. It would require too many resources and sacrifice accessibility options.
- The support of the PS4 will be maintained during 7.0: the graphics and the display options may be customized to a certain level.
- The required minimum systems configurations will be adjusted from 7.0, but the development team will try to fulfill a maximum of hardware specifications.
Yoshida-san shared several visual samples made after only one month of testing. These visuals can be further improved in the future.
Updating the appearance of characters:
- Textures in higher resolution for hair, skin, equipment, etc. On the other hand, all equipment will not be updated due to the astronomical amount of work that would require. Priority will be given to frequently used equipment or mirage.
- Improving the quality of materials: skin, metal, tissues, etc.
- Better effects of light and shading, especially for players’ shadows. The appearance of the player characters will be modified as little as possible. These effects will be applied to NPCs from 7.0, but all will not be improved so it will be necessary to expect graphic differences.
- Clipping problems will continue due to limitations of their physical engine for online game.
- Other additional improvements will be tested and potentially added in the future.
Updating visuals in the background:
- Increased lighting points: improvement of the quality of visuals, depth and immersion
- Higher resolution shadows: Improvement of movement effects and discounting on-screen scintillers
Improvement of textures: metals, fabrics, etc.
More self-generated greenery and better quality: improvement of resolution, types of greenery, etc.
- Potential haze improvements and other ambient occlusion effects are being tested, but the first tests were not sufficiently conclusive to play players.
The FFXIV roadmap from 6.1
These ten years more in Etheirys must start somewhere, and Naoki Yoshida presented to the players a glimpse of what awaits the warriors of light with updates 6.1 to 6.5. The list is of course not exhaustive, as some contents are still being discussed or planning.
First of all, each major update will be accompanied by epic quests gently starting the new epic saga that will follow Hydealyn and Zodiark. But Endwalker will also see two secondary intrigues to reveal to the extension’s son. First, the return of Hildibrand , gentleman and extraordinary detective! The second intrigue is entitled “ Tataru’s Grand Endeavor ” (NDLR: That could be translated by the great work of Tataru) and remains for the moment a mystery. But the secretary of heirs seems to have major projects in perspective.
- First Alliance Raid (24 players) of the Earzian myth quest series (related to the “twelve”),
- New JCJ content in reduced team, the crystal conflict (find a few informations about this article),
- New quests for men’s tribes, Akasadora,
- New epic difficulty challenge, Dragonsong’s recovery (6.11),
- New challenge in unreal difficulty, the plague of Ultima,
- Adopted to all the epic dungeon of A Realm Reborn (patch 2.0 only),
- New “business card” system (temporary name),
- New haircuts for the Horthgars,
- New NPC for special orders: Impairment (mother of Alphinaud and Alisaie)
- The trip between data centers (6.18)
And of course the sale of land in the new residential area of the empyrea in Ishgard. From 6.1, each neighborhood and annex will be assigned one of the following 4 purchase systems:
- Lottery for free companies
- Lottery for single-family houses
- First come / first served for free companies
First come / first served for single-family homes
Note that except in the case of very high demand from players, all neighborhoods and annexes will have a lottery system at 6.1.
Some reminders about the purchase rules. A player can only register for 1 detached house at a time. Each member of a free company can register only for a house of CL at a time. The house must be paid in advance and will be refunded if we lose the lottery, and penalties will be applied in case of cancellation of participation in a lottery.
The details of this update will be unveiled during the next two letters Live to come , the first being very soon, Friday 4 March at 12h **, Paris time.
When updating 6.2, the epic dungeons of A Realm Reborn (updates 2.1 to 2.5), as well as 2 or 3 dungeons of the heavensward epic will be added to the Adopté system.
We announce a new weapons improvement system (NDLR: no precision, but possible whether it is the relics of the Endwalker extension) and a new type of dungeon the “Criterion” (provisional name ) The peculiarity of this new dungeon is the evolutionary difficulty, depending on the number of players who will take part, from 1 to 4 players.
Finally, the Sanctuary Islands will be deployed. As a reminder it will be an individual environment for the more positive atmosphere, where you can take care of your mascots and peacefully enjoy life on a small desert island.
Obviously, the other usual contents like the new stages of Pandaemonium, a new unreal challenge, a 8-player challenge and others will also be implemented. No content reduction so.
The 6.3 update will be rich in content. In addition to typical additions to an “X.3” patch (new alliance raid, challenge, unreal challenge, etc.), players will enjoy the following novelties:
- A new bottomless dungeon to succeed the Palace of the Dead and the Pillar of the Heavens,
- Implementation of the Adopté system for the rest of Heavensward’s epic dungeons,
- A new challenge in epic difficulty,
- An update of the contents of the sanctuary islands.
updates 6.4 and 6.5
And finally, through the updates 6.4 and 6.5, the adjuration system will be usable in all the epic dungeons of StormBlood . Two new “Criterion” type dungeons will be added, as well as a new area for the sanctuary island will be implemented. As with other patches, all of this will be in addition to the expected content as the last stages of the pandaemonium (6.4), the last raid of the Eoratean myths, unreal challenges and challenges, etc.
In Augments, a very nice program awaits players for this first stage of a new 10-year departure that will take us to the twentieth anniversary of Final Fantasy XIV. And concerning the rumors, Naoki Yoshida suggested during this live letter that some places mentioned during a certain kinematics of the epic with Emet-Selch could be the subject of future content…
All these additions have a cost though. N. Yoshida announces that the updates will now be deployed every 4 months , against 3.5 months previously. An additional time of time will also be taken into account for summer and new year updates (you have to take a vacation and rests). This is particularly related to the fact that the team is developing more content per update compared to the first extensions.
RESUMPTION OF THE FREE TEST OF THE GAME
Tempted by the adventure FINAL FANTASY XIV ONLINE ? The famous free trial of the game will be available again from Tuesday, February 22. As a reminder, it allows new players to access for free and no time limit to Final Fantasy XIV up to level 60 and the conclusion of Heavensward. Yes, 2 full games to try without paying a cent.
For more information on this trial version, go to the dedicated website! (NDLR: site unavailable when we write these lines) You can also view the list of restrictions related to the trial version by following this link.