Straight after the major success of their latest expansion, “Endwalker”, the director of online role-playing game Final Fantasy 14, Naoki Yoshida, declared that the game would see 10 years of further support in the most recent “Letter from the Producer Live”.
During the “Live Letter”, Yoshida went over several important changes the game will undergo within the next 2 years and what the development team plans to achieve in the coming decade. Below is a summary of the changes.
A great role-playing game, with OR without friends!
One of the main points of frustration Yoshida has had with Final Fantasy 14, is that fans of the Final Fantasy franchise skip playing XIV due to game’s the reliance on multiplayer; they prefer singleplayer experiences.
To remedy this, the next update will allow players to run A Realm Reborn (base game) main scenario dungeons and trials with non player characters (NPCs) via the “Trust system”.
With each expansion adding more dungeons and trials (boss encounters), the roulette system which matchmakes high level players to fill parties in need, may not be enough to combat long queue times.
With this new addition, even if older expansions have less players engaging in their content, newer players can still progress and enjoy the game’s well-written story, providing a more traditional ‘Final Fantasy experience’.
The Trust System is so far only compatible with the two latest expansions Shadowbringers and Endwalker, but Yoshida intends to have all Heavensward and Stormblood main scenario dungeons playable with Trust NPCs by patch 6.5, which should be around next year.
Greener (and more hi-definition) Pastures
Another concern that Yoshida has about the decade old mmorpg, is that its graphics have fallen behind more modern releases. With games such as Lost Ark and Elden Ring entering the market, players are spoilt for choice when choosing what fantasy adventure to embark on.
Although Yoshida tells players to not expect graphics on the same level of games like Horizon Forbidden West, the long overdue graphical upgrade hopes to update Final Fantasy 14 to suit more modern expectations.
The team will begin the graphic overhaul during patch 6.1, which is due to go live in a few weeks. Yoshida aims to complete this by the next expansion, giving the team two years to upgrade the engine and add new assets.
According to Yoshida, research is still ongoing for texture design and implementation, so what we see here is still very rudimentary. Still, the proposed work is promising.
A Realm Reworked
A relatively minor, yet nonetheless significant point made during the Live Letter, was that the game would see changes to certain dungeons and trials to facilitate a smoother and more engaging experience.
Yoshida in particular, wishes to rework the infamous Cape Westwind trial, and The Praetorium and Castrum Meridianum dungeons.
Cape Westwind is well-known in the community for being extremely easy, so much so that it is a common practice to fool newer players into believing that this fight is unreasonably difficult, only to eradicate the supposed “Shield of Garlemald” in the time it takes to make tea. Thus, the fight will be made into a more engaging solo instance, which would be more consistent with the antagonist’s buildup in the story.
As for Castrum Meridianum and The Praetorium, these currently 8-man dungeons will be converted into 4-man dungeons, with The Praetorium’s final boss fight being relegated to a solo instance fight. These dungeons are far too easy due to the overwhelming number of players and so changes will be made to improve its challenge.
A boss fight from The Praetorium
The main point is that the team has understood feedback of the game’s main shortcomings and is actively allocating resources to fix old elements of the game. Keep an eye on this MMORPG as it may very well become your next favourite game after these changes.
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