Tuesday, September 26, 2023

FFXIV Producer's Live Letter 79

Last week CCP held its EVE Fanfest event in Reykjavik, Iceland. The announcements were good, but not good enough to entice me to make EVE Online my main game again. Right now my MMORPG home is Final Fantasy XIV. Over the weekend, FFXIV's Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida (aka Yoshi-P) delivered a Producer's Live Letter from the Tokoyo Games Show to remind me why I made the switch back in 2020.

First, the basics. Patch 6.5 will come out next Tuesday, on 3 October. The 6.55 patch will come out in mid-January 2024, probably on 16 January. I am assuming that date as the Japan Fanfest will run from 7-8 January so I don't think the patch will release on the 9th. Creative Business Unit III is also releasing a patch 6.51 sometime after the London Fanfest. At least, that's my guess, although I'm not sure Yoshi-P will wait until after 21-22 October.

The final steps in the MSQ are divided between Patch 6.5 and Patch 6.55, meaning the Endwalker quests will last until January for the most eager players.

And then we get to the main side story content. The Splendorous Tools quests for crafters and gatherers will conclude in Patch 6.51 with players earning what I believe are the best-in-slot tools that should last through the Dawntrail expansion until patch 7.1. The Tataru Grand Endeavor, Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures, and The Further Hildibrand Weapons quests will conclude in Patch 6.55. The tribal alliance quests also return in Patch 6.55 with the Endwalker Tribal Alliance Quests.

Growing Light will also present players with a lot of multi-player content. In patch 6.5, CBU3 is adding:

  • The Lunar Subterrane: 4-character dungeon
  • The Abyssal Fracture: 8-character trial
  • The Abyssal Fracture (Savage): 8-character trial
  • Myths of the Realm Part 3 - Thaleia: 24-character raid
  • The Singularity Reactor (Unreal): 8-character trial
  • Aloalo Island: 1-4 character Variant Dungeon
  • Aloalo Island: 4-character Criterion Dungeon
In addition, duty support is added for the final 3 MSQ dungeons in Stormblood:
  • The Drowned City of Skalla
  • The Burn
  • The Ghimlyt Dark
With these dungeons finally converted, all MSQ dungeons through to the end of Endwalker have duty support enabled.

PvP is also receiving upgrades in Patch 6.5. Most of the adjustments are to the Crystalline Conflict UI, so I don't know enough to judge how good the changes are. I do know CBU3 is introducing a new map, The Red Sands, for the beginning of Season 5 at the start of patch 6.51.

Of course, what is an Endwalker patch without an upgrade to Island Sanctuaries? In other words, more of everything. I'm guessing the island level cap will increase to 20. I'm not exactly sure where the new gathering area will appear, but with the promise of lots of crops, animals, and structures, the land will have to appear someplace. Plus, a new trade mission type, Felicitous Favors, will probably be granted by the Felicitous Feline. If the tasks require active effort, I'm not going to do them. I already have too much to do on my "relaxing" island already.

And yes, I am showing the slide for the FFXIV x Fall Guys collaboration, if only to prove I did not make just a ridiculous idea up. FFXIV doesn't have collision detection, so perhaps CBU3 will modify the effects from chocobo racing to the new event type. Hopefully we learn more about the mechanics at London Fanfest.

Also, in the third decade of the 21st century, can a major operator of an MMORPG go without talking about server and technology upgrades? These topics seem a continuing topic with Yoshi-P.

In this case, North America gets to play around on the realms in the cloud for the testing. If the test works, I am sure the player base will clamor for more inventory space, at least for glamour.

And finally, a list of notable features that didn't fall neatly into any of the above categories:
  • New Custom Deliveries: Margrat
  • New consecutive aetherial reduction function for collectables
  • Green dot indicators on newly logged fish in the Fish Guide
  • Ability to store optional items in the armoire
  • Option to sort teleport destinations by expansion
  • New reward for obtaining all trial mounts in the 6.x patch series
  • Item level restrictions for Duty Roulette: Alliance based on level
  • EXP and Allagan tomestone rewards for each alliance raid adjusted according to difficulty and time required for completion
I highlighted the ability to store optional items in the armoire because I need to explain the importance of the change in a stand-alone post. Let's just say Yoshi-P just greatly expaned the amount of storage long-time players will have once patch 6.5 is deployed. I expect sales of glamour items in the cash shop to experience a bump shortly afterwards.

We get another data dump on what is coming up in the future of FFXIV in less than two weeks at London Fanfest.  But for a point patch, I think Creative Business Unit 3 is delivering a lot of content. Probably not enough to satisfy a significant number of players, including streamers, but a lot of content all the same.

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