Months ago, the team behind Final Fantasy XIV promised that Hrothgar players would get new hairstyles soon. During the Patch 6.1 Live Letter from the Producer, creative director and lead producer Naoki Yoshida showed off a few of the new hairstyles. Which were really old hairstyles for other races transplanted over, similar to the new female Viera styles.
There was one major problem that players noticed, however. Unlike the new female Viera hair, the male Hrothgar styles hide their distinctive cat ears. Not in a way that makes sense, mind you. The only one that somewhat works is the one based on Snow from Final Fantasy XIII, since the cap would hide the ears. The others simply remove the ears entirely.
“As for the ears, please think of it as the ears are housed within the hair,” said Yoshida during the Live Letter, as translated by Iluna Minori of the FFXIV Discord. “If not… well, originally the ears and the head are integrally molded and it’s the actual specifications [we need to adhere to] in order to implement Hrothgar into the game, so to add hairstyles for Hrothgar we have no choice but to do it this way.”
It’s an odd choice and one that players aren’t happy with. In one post on the FFXIV subreddit, a user pointed out that simply having the ears clip — when one piece of the model passes through another in an unnatural way — through the hair would’ve been a better option. This already happens with Miqo’te and Au’ra tails, which clip through most in-game gear. It’s the same fix that players have wanted for Viera and certain helmets.
“When you compound this with over three years of nothing added to Hrothgar and the fact we need to pay actual money to change hairstyle because it’s tied to our faces, this being ‘the best we get’ feels really sad. Especially when Bozja NPCs have hairstyles that work. But those aren’t the ones we’re getting,” added another Reddit user. “I think I can say with certainty most players wouldn’t mind a bit of clipping. At least in comparison between having the same set of options we’ve had for three years or options that decrease the little character customization we have.”
Another disappointing aspect is that players have also expressed further umbrage at the fact that they don’t get a free Fantasia to change over to the new hairstyles. If you don’t have a Phial of Fantasia to spare, they cost $10 a pop to switch over to a new hairstyle that cuts off your ears is a hard pill to swallow for the Hrothgar community.
Hopefully, Square Enix is open to the idea of having ears clip through hairstyles in the future, or at the very least some sort of toggle to allow players to choose how hair (and helmets!) work for those with ears on the tops of their heads.