Final Fantasy XIV’s live letter explains future patch plans and graphical upgrade plans

Magic shield.

After a decade of operation (a little more, actually, but even producer and director Naoki Yoshida admits to rounding to a decade because it sounds better), Final Fantasy XIV is still going strong. It even got a new live letter late last night going over plans for the game’s future. While the live letter promised plans for the next decade, it was really only about the next couple of years… but they’re pretty big plans all the same.

The one bit of bad news-ish in the whole thing is simply that the design team is changing its patch cadence very slightly. Whereas the previous schedule had been three and a half months between major patches, the team is moving to a major patch every four months in order to avoid team burnout and allow more breaks off. So, two additional weeks in the turnaround time. Astonishing.

Beyond that, however, Square-Enix laid out plans for the game through 7.0 and for the patch series for 6.x. Trust compatibility is coming for all MSQ dungeons and four-player trials, with Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium getting redesigned as four-player dungeons with the Ultima Weapon fight changing to a four-player trial. Patch 6.1 is currently planned for April and includes the first Myths of the Realm Alliance Raid, the Arkasodara tribe quests, Dragonsong’s Reprise (the next Ultimate battle), Ultima’s Bane (Unreal), the trust system through all 2.0 MSQ dungeons, Ishgard housing, custom deliveries to Ameliance, and the new “Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures” and “Tataru’s Grand Endeavor” quest lines. Whew.

Beyond that, 6.2 will continue the pattern with more trust expansions moving up to Heavensward, new weapon enhancements, a new scaling “Criterion” dungeon style, Island Sanctuaries, and expansions/improvements to glamour plates. Patch 6.3 will contain a new Deep Dungeon, another Ultimate, more Island Sanctuary content, and more Heavensward trust dungeons; 6.4 and 6.5 will bring trusts up through Stormblood, two more Criterion dungeons, and more Island Sanctuary content. Yoshida was quick to point out that these updates will also include what you normally expect from patches as well, lest you worry that Pandæmonium or Myths of the Realm will get neglected or that there will not be MSQ installments.

In addition, the team is looking ahead to 7.0 as the place for the game’s first major graphical update, including lighting improvements, texture improvements, better mapping and reactions for material, and so forth. It’s a lot, in other words, and that’s without getting into better and less pixelated grass. Add in the inclusion of data center travel scheduled for patch 6.18, and there’s a lot to look forward to for the game over the next several months.

Source: Live broadcast, full summary available at Nova Crystallis
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