We’re still working our way through the Endwalker patch cycle in Final Fantasy XIV. This cycle is the Patch 6.x series, meaning whatever form the next expansion takes will be the Patch 7.x series. We already know that one of the new features coming in this future expansion will be a graphical update and overhaul. It’s one of the first since the launch of A Realm Reborn.
According to FFXIV lead producer Naoki Yoshida, the team just did a midway review of the graphics update. They’re taking care to update the graphics without removing the aesthetic character of the current game. Yoshida mentioned this during the FFXIV panel at PAX East 2023 (via The Eorzean Archives) this past weekend.
“I would like to mention our artists and engineers are really working hard to get this to happen with our first graphics update,” Yoshida explained. “We are working hard on it, so before I left for PAX, we were doing this midway review right before Fan Fest. With the graphics update, we want to deliver better-looking graphics, of course, but there are elements we’re working on that are part of the update that are not just the immediate aesthetic aspects of it. We’re really excited about what we can deliver for this.”
The FFXIV team revealed the update during a Live Letter back in February 2022. The changes are focused on textures, lighting, and shaders, with examples showing existing character models looking slightly more realistic. There will also be higher-resolution textures coming to gear as well, better shaders to mimic materials like metal, cloth, and leather, and improved lighting across the board.
The previous outline of the graphic update also talked about optimization. At the time, Yoshida said that the team is addressing how memory is used by animations and rendering. These optimizations would allow for longer emotes and increased environment detail.
That’s not to say there haven’t been smaller graphic improvements previously added to FFXIV. Patch 6.2 actually included dynamic resolution for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC, allowing for improvements in performance and frame rate. Patch 7.0 is a long ways down the road though, as we’re currently waiting on Patch 6.4. We’ll have all the information from the upcoming Live Letter focused on the patch coming this Friday!