Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida confirms that patch 5.3 will be delayed in the wake of the pandemic

    
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Nonsuch Weapon

It’s been said many times that Final Fantasy XIV has one of the most rock-solid update schedules in the MMO space, but it turns out that a global pandemic does indeed disrupt that schedule. A new letter from producer and director Naoki Yoshida on the state of development in light of COVID-19 states that patch 5.3, planned for mid-June, will need to be delayed. It’s currently unknown if that delay will be as little as two weeks or closer to a month, with Yoshida stressing that the goal is to minimize said delays.

He points to a number of factors contributing to the delay – disruptions in art assets from outside studios, disruptions in voice recording work in Europe, delays in capacity across both QA staff and development staff due to movement restrictions – but stresses that this is the only way for the development team to stay safe and able to work correctly. Considering that he also states clearly that the development team is safe and healthy, most players will likely be happier about the health of the team than anything.

Yoshida also stresses that the game will remain online, maintained, and functional, even as he apologizes for the unavoidable delay. He encourages players to find happiness in their lives and to enjoy time spent in Eorzea during this unprecedented situation. That seems worth a little bit of slowdown in patch time.

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Vincent Clark

Initial, gut reaction was: Aww man! But then, y’know…it’s the world we are currently living in. I trust Yoshi-P and his team to keep their people safe and deliver patch 5.3 when it’s ready and not a moment sooner.

Bereman
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Bereman

To be honest, I’m surprised they are estimating that the delay will be at most a month, and might be as short as a couple weeks.

Kinda figured if it got to the point of being delayed that it would result in a longer wait.

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Syran

I hope they’ll still give us some information about the content of 5.3 soon. Some of my friends have been waiting for years for this mystical streamlining of the ARR main quests before they give the game another shot – It would be nice to know if it’s finally happening.

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Toy Clown

This is what you’re worried about in a pandemic?

miskav
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miskav

Oh I’m sorry, I forgot we were only allowed to think about the pandemic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Existing in a constant existential dread and never enjoying anything or looking forward to anything ever again.

Thanks for the reminder.

Bereman
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Bereman

I’d be more worried that your friends have hyped themselves up to unreasonable expectations regarding the streamlining if they’ve been waiting that long and haven’t given the game another go (a stretch of time they easily could have casually finished the entire ARR stretch twice over by now).

It will almost certainly still be a long story with most of it intact, just likely condensed in some areas and quality of life stuff like being moved back to the Waking Sands when the quest or cutscene asks you to return instead of having to travel on your own.

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Syran

I don’t think they’ve hyped themselves up at all. They tried FFXIV and got bored of the longwinded story. It’s not about lacking the time to play it, there’s simply no point in playing something they don’t enjoy.

Whether or not the changes are substantial enough to make a difference remains to be seen. Since SE has apparently been working on this for at least 2 years, I think there’s reason to be optimistic. After all, I don’t think the story of ARR is bad, it’s just not well told and never manages to gain momentum since there’s always a dozen fetch quests that interrupt the flow.

Bereman
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Bereman

The amount of time spent working on it – at least 2 years – is a rather big unknown.

As early as 2 years ago they did talk about how they were talking through and planning how and what to change, but we don’t actually know how much time was actually dedicated to it, and they certainly haven’t been open yet about what they consider to be condensing…and the sole example we have of any kind of condensing other than experience gains boosted (a change to the 2.x MSQ wherein you no longer had to run a guildhest that required having done like 8 other guildhests before it to unlock it, and instead making it a simple “kill x mobs in Mor Dhona”) doesn’t exactly point to the changes being a significant overhaul…

But even that is just speculation based on very limited information. Hopefully your friends have set their expectations accordingly, even if they haven’t hyped themselves.

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Sorenthaz

Well yeah they’ll probably livestream something or another in late April or May.