Skip to main content

Final Fantasy XIV Letter from the Producer Live LXVIII Summary

Squintina has been passionate about video games ever since her first Sega console. Her primary interests are JRPGs and MMORPGs.

Letter from the Producer LIVE Part 68

Producer Live Letter 68 Logo

Producer Live Letter 68 Logo

For the 68th Letter from the Producer Live, Final Fantasy XIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida discussed the roadmap for the popular MMORPG for the next 10 years. In addition, various questions submitted by players on the official forums were selected and answered.

Mr.Yoshida was also joined by Toshio Murouchi A.K.A. FoxClonn, Community Team Producer and Aimi from Square Enix America to translate for Mr.Yoshida. Kate from the localization team also joined during the Q&A.

This event, commonly nicknamed "PLL" (Producer Live Letter), occurred on February 18th 2022 at 6PM PST and was broadcasted on Twitch, Youtube, and Niconico.

The three hosts of Letter from the Producer Live 68 Part 1

The three hosts of Letter from the Producer Live 68 Part 1

The three hosts of Letter from the Producer Live 68 Part 2

The three hosts of Letter from the Producer Live 68 Part 2

Live Letter Layout

  • Our Journey Thus Far: FFXIV from 2010 through 2021
  • Newfound Futures: The Next 10 Years of FFXIV
  • Patch 6.0: Endwalker Q&A
final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

XIV is my life's work. It's not like I'm going to just up and leave suddenly.

— Yoshida

Our Journey Thus Far: FFXIV from 2010 through 2021

Before focusing on the future, the team wanted to reflect on the past.



Additional Reflections

1.0's Legacy

Yoshida mentions FF14 1.0 is also known as "Nightmare" due to a previous response he made to a request for a FF14 1.0 classic server. Yoshida thanked all the 1.0 players who are still playing today.

Starting Work on A Realm Reborn

  • In March 2011, they started doing the framework of A Realm Reborn. 5 People were designing the framework
  • In June of 2011, 6 Programmers were starting to write code for A Realm Reborn, which would be released only 2 years and 2 months later

Content Outside Battle

  • During Stormblood, they started looking at other types of content than just battle and combat. Players resonated with this feeling of being in the world.

Learning from Mistakes

  • During Heavensward, players were clamoring for higher difficulty content, and so the team provided very tough content - only for many players to realize it was too difficult. Yoshida and the team learned the lesson: It's best to keep the difficulty where players can clear with any job and grow, eventually walking out of it saying "Oh, that was pretty easy".
  • They also fondly remember the valuable lesson regarding "Raubahn Extreme" from Stormblood. From that failure, they built a better queuing system.

Thanking and Looking Back

Mr. Yoshida went on to acknowledge the efforts not only of the development and the operations team, but also the marketing and PR team. Without all of these teams, Final Fantasy XIV wouldn't be what it is today.

These 11 years went by quickly for him. There are just so many people including the warriors of light, their partner companies, the media, and various others who have supported them throughout all these years. The development team always had such a hard schedule, even as they developed the expansion packs and patches. Often they had a year or less to work on upcoming content.

Scroll to Continue

Looking back on their trajectory, they consider it a success. They're not ashamed to declare FFXIV a success after getting so far from where they started, but it is time to look to the future.

Looking to the Future

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Unless the CEO says 'Yoshida you need to leave' - and even then I think I'm going to fight him - or if like the development team or the operations team want to kick me out, or if I, God forbid, die... Those are the only extreme cases I would even consider leaving the 14 Project. I want to continue working on Final Fantasy XIV so your continued support will definitely be appreciated.

— Yoshida

About NFTs

Before the show started there was a pre-show to test out the audio and video settings. During this time, Yoshida confirmed that at this point, the FFXIV team has no intention of incorporating NFTs. However, he certainly wouldn't mind talking about the concept of NFTs in video games as a whole (outside of FFXIV) in an interview.

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Improving the Solo Experience

Why Solo: The Breakthroughs

Although Final Fantasy XIV would be categorized as an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), Yoshida has had throughout the years the opportunity to speak with many players as well as his marketing team. From their market research, there were always two scenarios he could never break through:

  • A lot of players who love the Final Fantasy franchise except for FFXI and FFXIV (the two MMORPGs) - and they've made various updates for FFXI to make it very solo friendly, but with FFXIV they want to go beyond that.
  • People who don't want to deal with having to play with other people online, so they hesitate to play FFXIV. So what he wants to do is spend the next 10 years to break out of being an MMORPG to truly become an RPG that can be enjoyed with friends.
final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Expanding Trust Content

  • Trust Compability for all main scenario dungeons and 4-players trials to be added in Patches 6.1 - 6.5
  • They'll be adding the trusts incrementally, so each patch will add more, but they are preparing to have all of this available for 7.0
  • Patch 6.1: A Realm Reborn (2.0) scenario duties Trusts compatible
  • 8-player trials will not be updated at this time.
  • They did develop the Endwalker 8-person trial as a test case. Although successful, it did require a lot of resources for them to build it. If they were to apply that same system to existing instances, they would need to adjust the mechanics of those instances.
  • Queue matching will still be involved, it's just less required. With an 8-person trial, they feel the personal responsibility is still lower than 4-man content so they feel those players will be able to jump into the duty finder for now but they are looking into it for 7.0 and beyond.

About Trusts NPCs

  • For the trusts, they do have to be careful about which characters are available as part of the story. So the Trust members might be members of the Adventurer's guild, or a stand-in NPC that also has the echo. However, for some key points the team will make adjustments to the script so that certain main characters can join.
  • For example: They figure players might find it cool for the Nidhogg fight to have Estinien join as a Trust and they are considering making that happen. (More to be discussed in later PLL).

Upcoming Instance Changes

  • They might also rework certain dungeons in ARR because of differences in design philosophies. Heavensward and Stormblood instances will also be reviewed for potential changes.
  • Thousand Maws of Toto-rak: They are getting rid of the poison floors that inflict Heavy status.
  • There may also be areas where they adjusted lighting
  • Cape Westwind: They are removing Cape Westwind as an 8-person Trial. It would be humiliating for 8 people to come in and beat him up and instead it will be a quest instance solo duty.
  • Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium will be adjusted to 4-man dungeons.
  • The battle against Ultima Weapon will be a 4-person battle. Note: it is not clear if they just mean that this will happen because the dungeon is becoming 4-man, and so of course the Ultimate Weapon fight inside the dungeon has to become 4-man as well, or if they mean that the battle will be moved into a separate 4-man trial.
  • The battle against Lahabrea will be removed from The Praetorium instance and moved into a Quest instance.
final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Graphical Updates

Final Fantasy XIV will be receiving graphical updates! However, if they attempted to update every asset they have made all at once, it would be impossible for their team. Rather, they will be addressing them in phases. With their first graphical update, they will be testing some of these elements.

Yoshida laughed at a comment from the chat regarding "4K grapes". Imagine spending so many resources just to make the grapes in 4K resolution. There wouldn't be enough resources left for the characters!

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

New graphics will not be comparable to those of stand-alone titles.

This is still a multiplayer game so they still want to strive for the overall aesthetics fit for a multiplayer game. It won't be raised to the level of a game like Horizon Forbidden West if hundreds of characters had to be rendered at that level. While it would technically be possible to do that, it would drastically affect the accessibility for many players to play the game.

Minimum operating specifications will also change as of 7.0

They will still try to accommodate as broad a range of hardware specs as possible. PS4 support will remain at least through 7.0, and they will try to add more configuration options to help prioritize frame rate and alter performance.

Animation and Lightning updates

They will revisit some of the allocation for the memory for animation. This might allow for emotes with longer animation loops. Regarding lighting, having more lights than originally set up might allow more details to become visible. Such changes would improve the graphical quality without even having to make further changes to the elements in the game just by allowing more details to be visible.

Currently players on PC are able to simulate that extra lighting via the use of third party shaders.


What the graphics update will NOT be

Some people commented this looked like a tired Yoshida!

Some people commented this looked like a tired Yoshida!

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

The team is not aiming for photorealism. The actual graphical updates are currently being tested for about a month and a week so far (early January). They do have results available, but these are not the final results!

As they have only been working on these models for about a month, they did not have more character samples to show. However, they would like to show more when Fan Fest comes around again.

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Character Appearances Update

  • Higher-resolution textures (hair/skin/gear/etc.)
  • Improved material qualities (skin/metal/fabric/etc.)
  • Better lighting and shadow effects (especially for players' shadows, etc.)
  • Overall appearance of player characters will be altered as little as possible
  • Will be applied to old NPCs where possible from 7.x onward
  • Testing for additional improvements will continue in the future

Fabric shader returns

In the original FF14 (1.0), there was a shader that was applied to fabrics so the texture quality would look like more realistic but it was too heavy of a load, so they had to remove it for the relaunch. However, they are looking for a way to re-implement that so fabrics look smoother.

Gear updates will also be phased

While some gear will be updated for 7.0, many will not. New gear created for 7.0 will have the upgraded graphics and then they will update older gear based on frequency of use. It will take several years to go through all of the existing gear.

Existing NPCs may not all be updated

Character model updates may not be applied to all NPCs. Teledji Adeledji should be mostly updated as his character model does not use custom elements not available in the player character creation system. NPCs that use custom elements, such as Nanamo Ul Namo, will need to be assessed for when they can and should update them.

Note: Although it was not mentioned at all, it is worth pointing out that NPCs also wear gear. Since gear will be upgraded in phases, it's quite possible there may be mismatches where some gear has been updated while other gear has not.

Clipping issues will remain

As it would require a rework of the physics engine, and the workload for the currently planned graphics updates is already quite high, fixing issues with character models "clipping" into gear is not currently being planned.

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Background Visuals Update

  • Additional lighting points
  • Higher-resolution shadows
  • Improved textures
  • More and better auto-generated greenery
  • Possible improvements to fog and other ambient effects
  • Upgrades will be tuned to the maximum extent performance allows
final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

Patch Cycle Changes

While not a new concept, the product team intends to remain reliable in their content schedule - albeit with an adjustment. Patch cycles will be increasing by 2 weeks to allow one for more content and fine-tuning to be worked on.

6.1 Roadmap

This covers patches 6.1, 6.11, 6.15, and 6.18. While some are directly confirmed, many are not.

  • Main Scenario Quests
  • New Trials
  • Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures
  • "Tataru's Grand Endeavor" sidequest series
  • Myths of the Realm #1 (alliance raid)
  • Crystalline Conflict (PVP) ~ 6.15
  • Arkasodara tribe quests and dailies
  • Dragonsong's Reprise (Ultimate #4) ~ 6.11
  • Ultima's Bane (Unreal)
  • Trust system for A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.0) main scenario dungeons
  • New Calling Card-Style UI
  • New hairstyles for Hrothgar
  • Empyreum (Ishgard housing)
  • Custom Deliveries: Ameliance
  • Glamour plates expansion
  • DC Travel ~ 6.18

6.2 Roadmap

This covers 6.2 and 6.2X.

  • Main Scenario Quests
  • New Trials
  • Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures
  • "Tataru's Grand Endeavor" sidequest series
  • Trust system for 2.X main scenario dungeons
  • Trust system for 2-3 Heavensward main scenario dungeons
  • New weapon enhancements
  • New "Criterion" dungeon with variable difficulty (for 1-4 players)
  • "Island Sanctuary" debuts
  • Pandaemonium Tier 2
  • Faux Hollows update

"Criterion" dungeons

A new type of dungeon with variable difficulty. "Criterion" is currently a code name. The content will scale based on the amount of players who enter.

final-fantasy-xiv-letter-from-the-producer-live-lxviii-summary

6.3 Roadmap

This covers 6.3 and 6.3X.

  • Main Scenario Quests
  • New Trials
  • Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures
  • "Tataru's Grand Endeavor" sidequest series
  • Myths of the Realm #2 (Alliance raid)
  • Trust system for the remaining Heavensward main scenario dungeons
  • Deep Dungeon series #3
  • Ultimate duty #5
  • Faux Hollows update
  • Island Sanctuary update

6.4 & 6.5 Roadmap

This covers 6.4, 6.4X, 6.5, and 6.5X. Plans for 6.4 and 6.5 are still being finalized.

  • Main Scenario Quests
  • New Trials
  • Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures
  • "Tataru's Grand Endeavor" sidequest series
  • Trust system for Stormblood main scenario dungeons
  • Criterion dungeons #2 & #3
  • Island Sanctuary Update: additional area
  • Pandaemonium Tier 3 ~ 6.4
  • Myths of the Realm #2 (Alliance raid) ~ 6.5
  • Faux Hollows update
  • A Gold Saucer update will be coming in either 6.4 or 6.5

Blue Mage Updates

Although a blue mage update is coming, it has not been placed on the roadmap yet. They will share that for a patch-specific PLL once they have finalized which patch it is for. Other updates for various pieces of content are also coming despite not being listed.

Information revealed during the Q&A

Q&A related to lore has been omitted from this article

Job Adjustments

Several jobs will be updated. Dark Knight will have a Living Dead rework; white mage and machinist will also be receiving adjustments to their toolkits; Dragoon's animation locks are also being looked into.

Orchestrion Rolls

The Garlemald radio song will be coming to the orchestrion roll in two versions. The distorted version features in the Main Scenario Quest will be released first, and then subsequently a clean version will also be released.

Female Hrothgar

The art team has picked two styles for Female Hrothgar and they are still working on implementing them in the character creation. Female Hrothgar will be the last race they release.

New Gear

Based on a player question, they will be looking into including more Garlemald and Sharlayan glamour. For the Garlemald part, it makes sense now that Garlean relations have improved.

Glamour Plates

As previously mentioned, the amount of plates will be increased in 6.1. They are also working to increase the glamour dresser space and expanding how many places allow the use of glamour plates

About Minions

Regarding Emet-Selch, Hades, and Zenos minions, Yoshida stated that minions were usually considered when a character's role is finished. They did say they would consider adding these now that Endwalker is done, but did joke that having Zenos as a minion means he would still be following the Warrior of Light everywhere.

About the Possibility of New Housing

A player question inquired about Sharlayan or moon housing, even if just apartments. The response was to please focus on the new Empyreum housing options first and the other various increases to housing availability they are already working on.

Please, please just try living in Ishgard first. We cannot keep up.

— Yoshida

Housing Lottery

  • A player can only enter the lottery for one plot of land during the lottery period
  • Each FC member with the right permissions can enter for their FC
  • Players must pay full price to enter - unsuccessful players will be refunded in full
  • Separate wards will be given either: First Come First Serve (Individual), First Come First Serve (FC), Lottery (Individual), or Lottery (FC)
  • In Patch 6.1, all wards will use either the individual or FC lottery system.
  • Adjustments will be made based on player demand

Free Trial

  • Free trial resumes Tuesday February 22nd

Server/World upgrades

  • The JP Server reassignment will be announced in the 6.1 PLL on March 4th

Other Announcements

  • The Endwalker original soundtrack will be released on February 23rd
  • Japan-only art print collection for sale
  • Japan-only Square Enix Cafe collaboration
  • The team is hiring game designers and graphics engineers

The End

That's a wrap for the 68th Letter for the Producer LIVE for Final Fantasy XIV. The overall response so far as monitored on social media has been rather positive as many of the features being worked on have been long-requested by fans.

The next Letter from the Producer LIVE will be hosted on March 4th, 2022 at 3AM PST / 11 AM GMT / 10 PM AEDT / 8PM JST

Related Articles