In order for the development team to support its next decade, Final Fantasy XIV will be undergoing significant changes in its battle system formulas. As of Endwalker, values will be downscaled — a fact that director Naoki Yoshida hopes you won’t worry about. As part of a recent media tour for Endwalker, he explained the team’s reasons behind this change and why he believes the community will adapt fairly quickly.
There are various reasons for this rework: battle calculations are causing overflow and resulting in bugs; enmity calculations are reaching their limits; flying text is becoming too lengthy; enemy HP is becoming monstrously and needlessly high. Yoshida states that the highest HP pool for bosses was in Patch 5.5, where a boss has a health pool of 440 million points. “To be honest with you, I’m not very good at numbers,” he said during his presentation. Same.
While seeing your attacks do massive damage is a reliable way of getting some serotonin, the increasingly bigger numbers can lead to application errors for the developers. Additionally, rendering all those numbers puts a strain on the screen both in terms of processing and rendering. Yoshida says the team would rather prioritize “the rendering of player characters to better showcase their style and cosmetic design” rather than spending too much on the many numbers that fly across your screen. (This is more than fine by me, as I care so much more about looking good while fighting crime than the numbers behind the crime-fighting things I do.)
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Make no mistake, though: this doesn’t mean Warriors of Light are becoming weaker. Yoshida uses the example of a spell that deals about 100,000 damage points; this will be cut down to 20,000 — roughly one-fifth of the original damage — after Endwalker is released. The same will apply to everything battle-related, so the changes will be balanced. When you level up from level 80 to 90, you should feel that you’re noticeably growing in strength. The team wants to make sure you feel stronger as you level up. They hope and expect players to understand when the adjustments go live.
Battle systems aren’t the only things going through numerical adjustments, though. The team will be taking measures against inflation in gil. One such method will be changing teleportation fees. Right now, the upper limit for any teleportation fee is 999 gil. In a role-playing sense, it doesn’t make sense that teleporting from Uldah to Kugane will cost as much as teleporting from Uldah to the moon, where we know we’ll be going in Endwalker. The distances are entirely different, and going to the moon should be far more expensive. Looking at it from another angle, teleporting to closer places shouldn’t cost as much. By doing this, the team intends to do away with the sense of stagnation generated by the game’s overall economy.
“This isn’t to say that we’re going to collect more gil from players through additional fees and so on,” says Yoshida. Instead, the team hopes players will see this as a means of “recalibrating” the economy to a more appropriate state. The fees will still abide by the game’s rules; for example, you can still change your favored destinations, which you can teleport to for a cheaper fee or even for free. He assures the team has “made sure to do this properly,” with the game’s lore being fully considered for the detailed adjustments.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will be released on November 23 for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Mac. Early Access starts on November 19. Be sure to check out our hub for all of Fanbyte’s Endwalker preview coverage, and keep an eye out for The Linkshell, our upcoming dedicated Final Fantasy XIV section!