Talk with Naoki Yoshida about Patch 6.2, FFXIV’s Future
Patch 6.2 was a boon to Final Fantasy XIV players. The FFXIVteam delivered new content on almost every front — a wild raid level in Abyssos, revelatory story quests featuring new characters, and the eagerly awaited chill vibes from Island Sanctuary.
We’ve covered every aspect of it since its release in August. We took some time off from the patch, and 6.25 was right around the corner, so we could take a moment to think about where FFXIV was going.
I was able to email Naoki Yoshida, director and producer. It seems that the FFXIVteam has the post-Hydaelyn world down pat.
Yoshida said, “Given we’re embarking upon a new adventure here, I was most careful about losing momentum.” I asked Yoshida about the team’s handling of expectations for FFXIV’s future era.
He continued by saying that Endwalker was the closure for everyone’s excitement, which was why keeping the flame burning for the next thrill was so important. These are the things players want, so I try to anticipate their expectations.
The story FFXIVtells is responsible for the thrill Yoshida mentioned. If you aren’t up to date on Patch 6.2, there is new content. We have the Void-native Reaper named Zero and Varshahn, who both quickly grew into satraps.
This current storyline is heavily rooted in Final Fantasy IV. We will use the classic entry as a reference. Golbez, the Four Fiends, are currently the focus of villainy. However, FFXIV is not as simple as it seems.
Yoshida suggested something more: “I hope you’ll keep tuned to see how it will unfold from here.”
He reiterated his earlier statement regarding how FFXIV are, in part, a Final Fantasy theme park. There is a fine line between being too referential and being overly descriptive. Yoshida stated that this applies to all titles in the series, but while we want people to feel nostalgia, we also ensure our story remains original.” Yoshida continued, “The same approach has been used this time too.”
The little things are what make FFXIV so enjoyable. Players highly regard the game’s storytelling and set-piece battles. Patch 6.2 is another example of the variety of side activities that adds to the enjoyment. FFXIVregularly offers players something new in addition to the usual content.
Island Sanctuary was the recent highlight. Crafting, gathering and managing the base proved easy unless you aggressively play in the Handicraft Market. There is more to come.
“We plan to open more areas to construct facilities, add more types of facilities, and course, address feedback from our players,” Yoshida said regarding what’s next for Island Sanctuary. He concluded, “We’ll be maintaining the concept of making the Island Sanctuary a place where players can freely enjoy at their own pace.”
Whatever is in store, we can expect it in the upcoming 6. x patches, as mentioned in previous Live Letters.
Criterion and Variant Dungeons are an all-new type of instance, which debut in Patch 6.25 later this month. And I hope you’ve done your Hildibrand quests to prepare for the following relic weapons. In terms of shaking up the core of FFXIV, Yoshida doesn’t seem too concerned about making significant changes to the established formula. Instead, it seems the team is more focused on the game’s quality of life and long-term sustainability for now.
“The plans I’ve announced so far, including accommodating solo playstyles and offering new types of content, are the entirety of the challenges we’re currently pushing forward with,” Yoshida said in reply to a question about the most pressing matters they face and if there are concerns about shaking up the current formula.
The oversized ticket item as we approach the next expansion and Patch 7.0 is the graphics overhaul, which was outlined in a Live Letter earlier this year. It’s a significant piece in modernizing FFXIV, and it’s not the only one.
Recently, Europe got new servers, Japan got restructured data centres, and Oceania servers went live. And while new North American servers are still being worked on, it’s been a critical focus, especially considering the congestion troubles around Endwalker’s launch.
“Naturally, the graphical update isn’t the only challenge we’re undertaking; we’re also working on future-proofing with significant server expansions, as well as investing in infrastructure and other aspects,” Yoshida mentioned.
“Outside of that, well… I suppose that depends on what sort of ideas we have for the [Patch] 7. X series. I know I’m already wracking my brain over it (laughs),” he typed out, probably giggling to himself.
FFXIV has a much higher profile now, and with more eyes on the game than ever before, ushering the game into a new era also means taking care of the not-so-flashy aspects like servers and improving the user experience. Though I have noticed over the years of playing FFXIV new ideas explored in patch content are often a testbed for something we’ll see in the future. However that may manifest in the following expansions or patches, it’ll be exciting to parse when the time comes.
If you’re itching for more hints about where FFXIV is going from here, you should know that the development team is on the case, having wrapped up their writer’s retreat not too long ago. In the meantime, Patch 6.25 is set to release later this month which we’ll have covered here.