In the 58th Letter from the Producer Live broadcast, Final Fantasy XIV director/producer Naoki Yoshida and global community manager Toshio Murouchi shared more information about the third major update to the Shadowbringers expansion.
We’ve included a summary of the major information below:
Covid-19 impact on development
Yoshida read a letter from a player who is a medical worker on the frontline of fighting the coronavirus who expressed their thanks to the development and operations team for a game giving everyone the strength to get through this.
Square Enix staff are working from home. Originally, Patch 5.3 was scheduled to release in mid-June. The original plan was to have Yoshida check over the patch content in the second week of April; it was then decided that the Square Enix office in Tokyo would need to transition to work from home. Voice actors are recording lines from home and sending the data to to Square Enix. Everything for Patch 5.3 has now been recorded.
Staff are testing their updates from home to prevent bugs before their changes are pushed to the game. The transition to work from home hasn’t been without difficulties, such as needing to connect to an internal server for security purposes. Some staff could do this in 20 minutes, others took four hours. Staff are also working with dev units, which are large and noisy, and difficult to work with at home. Yoshida shouts out Square Enix’s infrastructure team for setting this all up in an very short amount of time, considering the circumstances. They are working step-by-step to improve this process. Patch 5.3 includes a 24-player raid, and the team wants to see if they can have 24 developers play this raid from home.
Yoshida’s conservative estimation is 1-2 week delay for Patch 5.3, but they don’t rule out a delay of one month. The team will do their best to make the delay minimal and they are motivated by the upcoming content. Further updates on the development situation will come in blogs.
Patch 5.3 Content & Features
- Patch 5.3 is titled Reflections in Crystal. It will be the conclusion to the Shadowbringers story.
- Changes to the main scenario quests in A Realm Reborn will now require completion of the Crystal Tower alliance raid series and the quest My Little Chocobo. The requirements for the Crystal Tower series have been eased, and Yoshida comments that now’s a great time to play it if you haven’t yet.
- A new Level 80 instanced dungeon will be added: The Heroes’ Gauntlet. It is compatible with the Trust system.
- A new tribe quest has been added for the Dwarves. They will focus on crafting quests.
- The Sorrow of Werlyt quest continues and is story-focused with an instanced encounter. There will not be a trial this installment.
- A new trial has been added, but this time it’s a secret! This will be the final trial of the Shadowbringers story. An extreme version will be added too.
- A new alliance raid dungeon named The Puppets’ Bunker will be added for YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Chapter 02.
- Job adjustment information will come in the next live letter broadcast.
- Daily Challenge: Frontline will now include all Frontline campaigns.
- Resistance Weapon quest update will include the first step in upgrading your Resistance weapon. It will include a new large-scale instance called The Bozjan Southern Front. Like the Eureka series, 100 players will enter an instance, but the content this time will be different. There will be two different ways to upgrade your weapon; either way, the story will be mandatory. Timing is planned for Patch 5.35.
- Crafter and Gatherer updates will include Trial Synthesis where you can try a recipe without having the ingredients and the ability to search for recipes using the ingredients in your inventory. A new custom delivery client has been added. Changes to the collectables system include: a set list of items will be applicable for turn-in. Like custom deliveries, crafted/gathered items will be used only for collectables.
- Ishgard Restoration will enter its third phase. Skybuilder Rankings will reopen and new items will count towards your skyward score.
- Skysteel Tools will have further enhancements available.
- A party of players will be able to join another party via the Party Finder.
- The option to require one player per job will be added to the party finder.
- Players will be able to use the World Visit system while in a cross-world party. (Useful for hunt trains.)
- New chapters will be added to New Game Plus.
- New token exchange vendors will be added to major cities.
- A new menu for parasols will be added.
A Realm Reborn Revamp
The A Realm Reborn Revamp will see streamlined main scenario quests between Patch 2.0 and Patch 2.5. They pruned 13% of the quests. Some of them are important because they involve characters that come into play later, so instead they changed the quests so they can be done faster.
Additional experience points and gear have been added to quests, ensuring a smoother journey for new players progressing to the Heavensward expansion. You’ll meet or exceed Level 50 at the end of the 2.0 story. As previously noted, The Crystal Tower and My Little Chocobo quests will be necessary to progress through the main scenario.
Flying mounts will be compatible with A Realm Reborn zones, you’ll first need to complete the main scenario quest The Ultimate Weapon. Chocobo companions will also gain the ability to fly at this point; the quest I Believe I Can Fly has been removed. Mounts cannot enter bodies of water. Due to these changes, players will no longer be able to climb certain scenery.
Unreal Trials & Faux Hollows
Unreal Trials are a new trial difficulty. Battle primals synced to level 80. The first trial to be added is The Akh Afah Amphitheatre (Unreal). One trial will be added per patch for a limited time. Complete Unreal trials to earn the chance to play the Faux Hollows mini-game once per week with unique rewards. The team simply didn’t increase the HP and damage, but adjust each fight for Level 80.
- The Free Login Campaign is underway from now until May 17th. (The Lodestone)
- Japan: The game is currently 30% off through May 7th. (The Lodestone)
- North America: Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers & Complete Edition are 40% off through April 29. (Square Enix Store) (PlayStation Store)
- Europe: Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers & Complete Edition are 50% off through April 29. (PlayStation Store)
- Episodes of The Creation of Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers behind-the-scenes series are available to watch. A bonus episode detailing the creation of the YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse raid will release on April 30th.
- Yoshida’s wearing a The Primals jacket and shirt that will be available in the e-Store at some point.