As part of their 14-hour livestream extravaganza, we had the latest Live Letter from the Producer covering what’s new for Final Fantasy XIV. Director and producer Naoki Yoshida hosted it alongside community director Toshio Murouchi cosplaying as a Loporrit, full makeup and everything. The Live Letter started with Yoshida reviewing feedback on Patch 6.2 content and recapped the upcoming content for FFXIV Patch 6.25, set to release on October 18.
Here, we summarized everything covered in the Live Letter, including the segment on the story development and writing process for FFXIV and the details for the return of Fan Fest. Since the stream was Japanese-only, we relied on the live translations by the FFXIV Reddit Discord channel.
Yoshida Reviews FFXIV Patch 6.2
The first half of the Live Letter had Yoshida going through all the Patch 6.2 content and explaining some of the design decisions and player feedback. From the one-week buffer for the Savage raid tier to their vision for future Job changes, he peeled back the curtain a bit to provide some developer insight.
Storm’s Crown Barbariccia Trial
- Identity was kept hidden before release to preserve the mystery and keep playing guessing who would show up in terms of Final Fantasy IV references.
- Storm’s Crown was designed to be fast-paced and high-tempo in terms of mechanics. Recent fights were designed like puzzles to solve, so Barbariccia was a change of pace.
Pandaemonium Abyssos Raids
- Intended to explore Lahabrea since he had an early exit in FFXIV and wasn’t explored in Endwalker MSQ.
- Yoshida was surprised the character had voice lines in the fight and didn’t know until he play-tested the raids.
- Although they run on a tight budget, the recent success of FFXIV let them add more stuff like extra voice lines.
Savage Raid One-Week Buffer
- Feedback has been very positive with regards to holding off on releasing the Savage versions of the raids until a week after patch release.
- Concerns about crafted gear not selling as much, but there were cases in which some servers sold much more than previous Savage releases.
- They’re still reviewing feedback and player data, but the team is leaning toward doing the same Savage release cadence in the future.
Feedback on Job Changes
- Yoshida and the team have been looking at all the feedback and will continue explaining their design process and reasoning behind future Job changes.
- Yoshida feels some of their reasons have been taken out of context so he will offer more detail in the future.
- There are concerns that the dev team and players are looking at different data in the context of Jobs, creating some issues.
- Patch 6.25 and 6.28 Job changes will only include number adjustments (potency, durations, etc).
- No major overhauls, adjustments to actions, or mechanical changes until Patch 6.3.
- Bosses in new fights have larger hitboxes to help melee Jobs with uptime, but this has thrown off the balance between ranged and melee Jobs. It is one of the factors they’re considering with future Job changes.
PVP and Crystalline Conflict
- Crystalline Conflict has been very popular, boosting PVP’s relevance.
- The biggest Job change in Patch 6.25 will be Paladin’s Cover system.
- Bigger Job changes planned for Patch 6.28.
- Yoshida emphasized the “slow life” design intention for Island Sanctuary, and they’re seeing players min-max their island tasks, especially Japanese players.
- He recognizes feedback for wanting to design individual islands more freely to make them stand out, but said it is difficult to implement from a development standpoint.
- The team is working on allowing garden housing items in Island Sanctuary although there is no timeline for implementing this feature.
Other Matters in Brief
- Emotes with fashion accessories proves difficult to implement. Yoshida mentioned that executing these at the same time is hard because they use the same system memory, but they are working on improving this.
- The Fae weapons was the gear design team stepping up their game. Yoshida admits that a problem with “stepping up” with features is that the player feedback also evolves, leading to more requests.
- He used an example of players asking to be able to enable/disable visual effects on gear, but emphasized that it’s not that simple for development.
- Yoshida met with team members about the Patch 7.0 graphical overhaul and they’re discussing new ways to feature visual effects.
- Yoshida says player feedback is always encouraged, but to please be nice about it.
- FFXIV Patch 6.28 will release on November 1, just two week after Patch 6.25.
FFXIV Patch 6.25 Release Date and Content Summary
We have a definitive release date for FFXIV Patch 6.25: October 18. You can expect a scheduled maintenance period on October 17 for patch implementation in which the game will go offline. There wasn’t much in terms of new information, however. We did get two screenshot teasers, one showing what happens as you progress in the Omicron Tribal Quests and another revealing new spy-themed glamour.
The main pieces of content in Patch 6.25 are the Omicron Tribal Quests, new Hildibrand Quests, the Manderville relic weapons, the first Variant and Criterion Dungeons. We have all these topics covered from our previous stories, which are linked here.
North American Server Expansion Coming in November
New data centers and servers for North America has been in the works for a while and had to be delayed for a bit. But it’s finally happening and has a confirmed date: November 1. There will be a new data center named Dynamis and it will house four new servers: Halicarnassus, Maduin, Marilith, and Seraph. Yoshida mentioned that a 24-hour maintenance period (starting on October 31) might be necessary.
Yoshida said that they’re starting with just four servers but expect to expand on the Dynamis data center as we approach the next expansion and Patch 7.0 as the playerbase grows.
FFXIV Housing Expansion and Lottery on New Servers
Player housing has been a pain point for a long time and the new lottery process introduced a few new frustrations. Yoshida stated that the team is working on adding new housing plots, but didn’t have much to share since they haven’t finalized their plans and schedule quite yet.
As for the new servers on the upcoming Dynamis data center, the first housing lottery will begin on November 5. If you’re interested in playing on the new servers and want a house, refer to our summary of how the FFXIV housing lottery works.
Demystifying the Story Writing Process for FFXIV
A major segment of the Live Letter focused on the development process for the writing and story team. It featured Daichi Hiroi (lead story designer), Banri Oda (senior story designer), and Natsuko Ishikawa (senior story designer). Them three are overseeing and managing FFXIV‘s narrative design rather than writing the story itself, which has been the case since Patch 6.1. They also explained the new writing process for the FFXIV dev team.
Although there weren’t necessarily exciting new information revealed, it shined light on how complex and involved development is for FFXIV‘s story creation. They discussed everything from writing dialogue and scripts, implementing quest text, creating cutscenes, getting other teams involved to finish making story content, and the workflow to have it all come together.
They used the Role Quests from Shadowbringers as an example for how complex and intricate the story development process can get. And as a more recent example, they talked about the challenges of making the Pandaemonium raid story up to this point. Hiroi hinted that the upcoming story content for Pandaemonium will be “a rollercoaster of emotions.”
If you’re interested, we suggested heading over to the FFXIV Reddit Discord channel and checking out the translation of the segment in the translations-and-liveletters feed.
FFXIV Fan Fest Returns Live In-Person
The big announcement during this Live Letter was the return of FFXIV Fan Fest. North America will have its Fan Fest in Las Vegas, NV on July 28-29, 2023, Europe’s will be in London, UK on October 21-22, 2023, and Japan’s will be sometime in 2024. Yoshida said that things are a bit more difficult to plan for in Japan so they’re still in the process of securing a location. More details are coming soon as this was just the announcement.
Due to the global pandemic, FFXIV FanFest events in 2020 had to be cancelled. An online version was livestreamed in 2021, but the event will return to being an in-person convention starting next year.
Weapon Design Contest Winners and New Furnishing Design Contest
The previous weapon design contest winners were revealed not too long ago, but with Reaper and Sage being all-new Jobs in FFXIV, more time was given for the contest for the two Jobs. Two winners were picked for each Job and you can check out their designs below.
The next furnihsing design contest was announced as well. More details will be available on The Lodestone, the official FFXIV site, at a later date.
All Saint’s Wake Returns This Month
Lastly, the next seasonal event is All Saint’s Wake to celebrate the Halloween season. This recurring spooky event will have of course feature properly themed quests and rewards. This latest iteration of All Saint’s Wake kicks off on October 19, the day after Patch 6.25 drops. More details will be available on The Lodestone soon.