During our time previewing Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, we got to run the new Tower of Zot dungeon with other players. This is usually how I prefer to play, especially since the MMORPG’s community is generally kind enough that I don’t expect to have unpleasant experiences. However, trying out the newly upgraded Trusts might have convinced me to use Trusts during all my first runs in the future. In fact, they’re so effective that it makes a future in which you can play Final Fantasy XIV on your own possible.
This article is based on an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.
In a presentation ahead of our time with a preview build of Endwalker, director Naoki Yoshida stated all dungeons in the expansion can be cleared using the Trust system. Although the Trust system was decent enough in its implementation during Shadowbringers, the team added new features and AI to make it more reliable. These enhancements were quickly apparent while observing Thancred, Alphinaud, and Estinien in my party — they reacted not just competently, but effectively. Alphinaud excelled in his new Job as a Sage, and each party member reacted swiftly to every mechanic thrown their way.
“We’re looking to expand the list of dungeons that Trusts can be used in from Patch 6.1 and onwards,” said Yoshida. He was quick to address the potential concern that Final Fantasy XIV eventually being playable on a solo basis would be a sad affair for an MMORPG. It’s in the name of its genre, after all — it’s a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
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And Yoshida has been playing MMORPGs for a long time now, so he knows some people may have this line of reasoning. He also knows there are many kinds of players, including those who would prefer not to communicate with others in a game due to social anxiety or disinterest in multiplayer experiences. He feels it’s “a great shame” that such players could lose the chance to engage with a story like Final Fantasy XIV. To him, it’s “perfectly fine” if there are players who only play the game on a solo basis to follow the story.
In turn, this could change the minds of those players, who may find the game to be more fun than they initially expected — and perhaps even grow to see MMORPGs as less stressful. “There’s nothing better than playing the game and experiencing it first-hand,” he said. “Through the usage of the Trust system, I’d like to eventually convey to these types of players how much fun it is to play with others. That’s why we want to remove as many barriers as possible before that point.”
Yoshida says this is a challenge the team has set for themselves for the next decade of development. The team will have more details after Endwalker’s release.
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!