Final Fantasy XIV is reining in numerical values throughout the game, and that means you’ll spot some differences in things like HP pools, attacks, and consumables. While that’s all fine and good—not really affecting your gameplay—there are situations where the changes hurt. Come Endwalker, any job or class you have mid-level will lose their EXP progress, so it’s time to start finishing off those bars before version 6.0.
During last week’s Live Letter, director and producer Naoki Yoshida detailed how these changes came to be and noted that trying to preserve or round up mid-level character experience data would lead to weeks of server downtime. It was an effort that just didn’t seem worth the inconvenience to players. Ultimately, it’s not a big deal, but it is a bit of a stinker for folks at higher levels and close to the next milestone. In a new update shared via the Lodestone, Square Enix outlined these are “uniform adjustments,” so if you’re level 79 and halfway to 80 on that Bard you’ve neglected for months, you’re about to be level 79 flat—any progress you made disappears into the Aether.
Any battle role is pretty easy to level, so my Black Mage that hasn’t moved its EXP bar since hitting cap in Stormblood is no loss, but it’s a much bigger pain for folks working on classes like Carpenter or Fisher. Leveling crafting and gathering isn’t the same challenge it used to be, but pushing those roles to their max is still far more tedious. So, if you’re in between hitting trees for hours on a Botanist, pop some leve quests and push your gatherer up to the next level. It’s certainly not worth letting that EXP go to waste.
The system is rounding everyone down to the current level, so it’s not a matter of just being close to the next milestone or not. There is no automatic bump up. You don’t have anything to worry about if you don’t care about losing progress towards a level or have everything at 80; this change only affects the experience you’ve gained in between levels. It also applies to your Retainers and Trust EXP but excludes your work leveling your Chocobo, Grand Company Squadron, Deep Dungeon, Bozja, Eureka, and PVP.
For those of us far too enchanted by the rush of satisfaction you get from an in-game achievement message, it’s worth noting this can set you back towards some of those goals, at least just a little bit. My Ninja and the aforementioned Black Mage are all I have hanging out to level, but I do want to secure that achievement rewarded for getting everything to 80 because you get an Amaro Horn. I’ve got millions of experiences towards a level on Ninja, so I’d hate to lose that progress towards my goal. I just really want to get my own Seto mount—it’s the only reason to level everything.
Regardless, the expansion just saw a two-week delay and will now go live on December 3. You’ve got plenty of time to do any leveling clean-up, so the wait is a bit of a silver lining for those of us with a miles-long to-do list. As for how downscaling affects the rest of the game, it’s really not a big deal. Fanbyte’s very own Natalie Flores spoke to Yoshida about the change, and the crux of it is that the scale of battle calculations has gotten out of control, and Final Fantasy XIV needs to lower those numbers to keep things tidy.