Square Enix held the Final Fantasy XIV Letter from the Producer Live Part LXVIII (68) this February 19, 2022, where we most notably got a roadmap for “the next ten years of FF14.

We will keep updating this article with new information as the stream goes on, so be sure to refresh this page regularly. Note that this article contains minor gameplay spoilers for Endwalker. Update: The stream has ended.

As the stream started, FFXIV producer Naoki Yoshida pointed out that there won’t be any major announcement, so you should just sit back, relax and enjoy the stream.

11 years of FFXIV

The first part of the stream was a retrospective, looking back on the history of FFXIV. Nothing major was shared here, but it was pretty fun to follow.

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Letter from the Producer Live Part LXVIII – Next ten years of FFXIV explained by Naoki Yoshida

YoshiP won’t leave FFXIV

Despite working on Final Fantasy XVI, Naoki Yoshida won’t leave the development team of FFXIV. YoshiP said that he’ll only ever leave FFXIV through extreme circumstances, like if he actually got sick or passed away, if the development team kicked him out, or if Square Enix’s bosses removed him from the project, and even then he would fight them to stay.

FFXIV major graphical update plan revealed

YoshiP stressed out this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to play the game anymore on PS4.

He also explained it’s pretty frustrating to hear people say “I’m a FF fan, I played them all, except FF11 and FF14.” He understands FFXIV is an MMORPG, and that there are some people who don’t want to play and interact with others. So he wants to improve the game so even these types of fans can pla it, and this includes improving the solo experience.

In a nutshell, several changes and adjustments are coming to improve the FFXIV experience both in solo and with friends.

The graphical update will be split into two, maybe three updates

The first update will only update a certain amount of assets. Consulting with the graphics team, they figured it’s impossible to fully upgrade all the assets of the game in one go as conversion problems will arise. Note that all the comments were going “4K grapes!” at that point.

The first graphical update is coming in 7.0. YoshiP: “I saw Horizon Forbidden West, it looks amazing, but we’re not aiming for that. Imagine if we rendered hundreds of characters on screen at the same quality level as Horizon‘s. It’s not impossible, but no one would have a PC powerful enough to play the game. I want to make sure you remember we’re not planning to do that”.

Playable character appearance update

This is a work in progress example of how characters COULD look like in 7.0. YoshiP jokingly explained “no, this is not me with a very tired face”. It’s been around 5 weeks since they started testing the graphical update, so most of the work is already done. Technically, they could even release it now, but they want to aim for something even better, as they know the current result they have is slightly different from players’ expectations.

Note the newly added shading, like the hair bangs’ shading. that’s something YoshiP and the team wanted to do for a while, as it’ll make characters look better during cutscenes. Adjusting the Lalafell in particular is pretty difficult. it’s a challenge to decide how to depict Lalafell skin, should it look flawless, or have more texture to look more like skin?

NPCs and textures graphics improvements

On OG FF14 there was actually a shader on metal, fabric etc, but it was too heavy performance/load-wise so they removed it in Realm Reborn.

There’s so much gear and NPCs in the game it’s impossible to update everything by Version 7.0, that’s also why the graphical update is coming in multiple parts. In counterpart, all the new gear added in 7.0 will use the new graphics.

Starting 7.0 there will be NPCs that went through the graphical update, and some who haven’t yet, so it might be a bit jarring and the team is apologizing in advance for it.

All NPCs who were made using assets that are also used for characters in character creation will be updated at the same time as playable characters.

Map graphical update samples

There’s a new light on top now, adding more shadows like the desk’s. You can also notice more details now.

Titania comparison. There are additional lights and some colored lighting. The background was not changed and the textures are the same. This is an example to show how thanks to the fact that there are multiple light sources, you can notice the details in the background now.

The designers were pretty aware of how they need to keep the moody sad tone to fit Titania’s story. YoshiP asked them to specifically add these red light for this example.

The metallic textures have been improved.

Instead of repeating the same texture for the floor and stairs, it looks more realistic now. with more layers, giving it more texture. Previously they wouldn’t have enough memory so it’d just be the same looking floor copypasted, but now they can add details like cracks, etc.

Automatically generated grass. YoshiP “This is one of our worst enemies. In some cutscenes you can easily see how pixelated the grass is.” YoshiP explained a certain spoiler cutscene in Endwalker with Hermes. Before release that cutscene looked realy bad because of the grass, so he asked the designers to remove the grass on that specific part of the ground where the cutscene takes place in.

Only the grass was changed in the comparison screenthost above.

Background visuals updates

They are testing background visuals updates very carefully to make sure the PC minimum requirements for the game aren’t upped and people with older PC configs can keep playing normally.

That’s all regarding graphics updaes coming to FFXIV with Patch 7.0.

FFXIV Future updates roadmap from 6.1 to 6.5

FFXIV patch 6.1 is scheduled to release in April 2022

This was only confirmed verbally and did not appear on the slides.

The first Ultima Weapon battle was designed in a rush, so this new one was rebalanced.

YoshiP noted the tribe quests are called “beast quests” in Japanese and they’re thinking of changing the name.

Ultima’s Bane is coming in 6.11. So that way people can enjoy the story first. Ishgard housing will open in 6.11 too.

Patch 6.2 roadmap

YoshiP “Yesterday I checked out the Island Sanctuary content and it’s huge. I think it’ll be really good”.

Glamour Plates will be expended and improved in 6.1. They couldn’t fit in everything on the slides so there are several details like that they only mentioned verbally.

New “Criterion” dungeon: the dfficulty will adjust itself dependng on the number of players participating.

Patch 6.3 roadmap

They’re in the planning phase of the Deep Dungeon Series #3. Ultimate duty #5 is already in devevlopment now.

Patch 6.4 and 6.5 major updates roadmap

There’s more in store but they can’t reveal it yet. Like when Blue Mages will get their next level cap raise. It’s not because something isn’t written on this slide that they won’t do it on this patch. There’s a lot of stuff still in planning phase. So look forward to future news.

YoshiP “If you’re thinking about something, then it’s very likely we’re already working on that something. For example we’re working on Gold Saucer updates, but we don’t know yet if it’ll be in 6.4 or 6.5”.

New FFXIV patch release schedule: one major patch every four months now

YoshiP apologized when making this announcement. He explained that it’ll give them one extra week for fine-tuning each major patch.

It’s important the development team can rest and spend time with their families too so there will be one more extra week of delay in summer and new year holidays. “That’s the conclusion we reached after re-examinated how we work and to be sure everyone stays motivated, as some of us may have been pushing ourselves too hard”. Lotof postive comments appeared after this, YoshiP thanked the fans for their comprehension.

They published this table to show how much the amount of content has increased patch by patch. YoshiP explaind the team has grown obviously, but it’s not like it’s just more people on an assembly line. They need to train newcomers etc, so more people isn’t an immediate increase in production. Especially as it’s much much harder to increase the number of people at the top supervising and double-checking everything. YoshiP jokingly said “I can’t clone myself, sadly technology hasn’t advanced this far yet”. They also joke about ow YoshiP could get Sundered.

As the first part of the stream ended, YoshiP said they hope the game will continue for another 10 years, with more and more challenges, surprises, and hope we’ll continue building FFXIV all together.

One last announcement they forgot to bring up before: Data Center travel is coming at around patch 6.18

End of the first half of the stream. The second half had a Q&A part.

Letter from the Producer Live Part LXVIII – Q&A with Naoki Yoshida, news

Story related questions

These are all major spoilers for Endwalker so if you’re interesed in the answers, watch that segment on the stream yourself. You can watch the plot and spoilers Q&A right afer the stream’s break, at around five hours in.

Housing plot sales in patch 6.1 and lottery system

FFXIV Free Trial resumes

The free trial will restart on February 22, 2022. The specific time will be revealed at a later date.

Final Fantasy XIV Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LXIX date and time revealed

The next stream is happening on March 4, 20:00 JST, 3 AM PST, 11:00 GMT. It will focus on Patch 6.1 with new previews of its content.

FF14 Endwalker sountdtrack, new collaboration cafe and merch up for pre-order

Fina Fantasy XIV is hiring game designers and graphics engineers

YoshP explained they really need more Graphics Engineers especially. Meanwhile you can apply for a game designer position as you long you can use Excel.

The stream has ended, watch it below:

The post FFXIV Next 10 Years, 6.x Roadmap, Letter From Producer LXVIII News by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.

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