In the 62nd Letter from the Producer Live broadcast, Final Fantasy XIV director/producer Naoki Yoshida and global community manager Toshio Murouchi revealed the fifth and final major update to follow the Shadowbringers expansion.
Titled “Death Unto Dawn,” the main scenario will continue, along with updates for the NieR Automata collaboration and the Sorrows of Werlyt scenario.
We’ve summarized the major information below — check it out!
Patch 5.5 Content & Features
- Patch 5.5 Part 1 arrives on April 13th, 2021
- Patch 5.5 Part 2 arrives in the end of May 2021.
- New main scenario quests will be added — they’re split between Part 1 and Part 2.
- A new Level 80 dungeon Paglth’an will be added. It is accessible through the main scenario quest and compatible with the Trust system.
- The Chronicles of Werlyt scenario continues with a trial versus the Diamond Weapon in The Cloud Deck. An Extreme-level difficulty version will be added.
- Alliance raid series YoRHa Dark Apocalypse continues in Chapter 3. The title of the duty is being with-held for now… A weekly quest tied to the story will be available after completing the duty.
- Job adjustments are coming to both PvE and PvP; more information will be shared in Part 2 of the 5.5 preview broadcasts. Pictured below is a gearset available as a PvP reward.
- Resistance weapon upgrades require the completion of the Save the Queen story quests. Requirements up to Patch 5.35 will be eased. Upgrading will be possible while playing through the Bozjan southern front. Upgrades in Patch 5.45 will require the completion of story quests up to Patch 5.35. Upgrades in Patch 5.5x will require completion of story quests from Patch 5.45.
Upgrade quests in Patch 5.45 are quests that must be completed once per job. One when beginning the upgrade process, and another while finishing. Quests that must be only completed once per character will be intermediary quests. Not all quests are required to be completed for each job.
Rewards in Castrum Lacus Litore will be improved. This duty has become a bottleneck both for unlocking Delubrum Reginae and completion of Resistance weapons. It has become increasingly difficult to find players to join in this duty. Additional rewards will be added in a schedule hotfix.
They’re aware of an alternative method used by players to upgrade and the team feels it’s a bit unbalanced, so this will be addressed by increasing rewards in aforementioned hotfix. He asks players to assist each other in working towards upgrades.
The final step in Resistance weapon upgrades comes in the 5.5 series and will require completion of the Save the Queen story quests. A new area will be added called Zadnor.
- A new Unreal Trial will be selected and The Navel (Unreal) will be retired.
- Crafters will get more challenging expert recipes and challenging content geared towards crafters. These will require high level equipment and expert use of crafting skills. Players can earn achievements and unique crafting tools.
- For gatherers, maps opened via the gathering log will indicate areas where gathering points appear. A listing of fish to be released at fishing holes will be added.
- Ishgardian Restoration will be updated where the Firmament will periodically celebrate its completion. During these period the locals will hold Fêtes.
- A new Custom Deliveries client will be added with story quests related to the Firmament.
- Triple Triad will be updated with adjustments to the use of 4-star cards in decks. Acquisition rates will be adjusted. A reward will be added for obtaining all Triple Triad cards.
- Explorer Mode will be updated where new Level 70 duties will be added. Level sync and item level sync can be disabled. Instruments can be used in Explorer Mode.
- Miscellaneous Updates:
– New indicators for bonuses while ocean fishing will be added.
– A new instrument will be added to the Performance feature.
– A reward for obtaining all trial mounts from the 5.x patch series will be added.
- Ultimate Trial will be “Dragonsong War (Ultimate)”. It will be a reimagining of the Dragonsong War with a ‘what if…’ scenario. Originally planned to release in 5.55, production has been delayed due to COVID-19 related complications. They needed to prioritize the development of other content and the situation was at a point where it would affect the development of Endwalker. Therefore, the release has been postponed and is presently scheduled to release in Patch 6.1. Yoshida offered his apologies about being unable to deliver this content.
Special Guest: Shoichi Matsuzawa (Lead Project Manager)
A project manager has many roles, including budget planning and project management, scheduling and setting milestones, processing all sorts of proposals across project divisions and sections. Overseeing progress of game updates, handling outsourcing of contracts, negotiating with providers and processing of applications, handling of region-specific issues, and maintaining and improving the developers’ work environment. In short: anything Yoshida doesn’t want to to do (or is too busy to do!)
For example, if Yoshida came to Matsuzawa and asked him to implement Mahjong into Final Fantasy XIV, his thought stream might be: “will majohng affect the game’s age ratings? I need to confirm age ratings for all regions. There’s no time to design an engine for Mahjong from scratch. Where can we get an engine from? Select and procure and engine. Then contract companies, set up meetings, and arrange contracts. Then coordinate methods for receiving the source code and check the OSS… and confirm the UI adheres to ratings…”
Usually Yoshida will handle details around development cost but at time Matsuzawaa will step in and assist. Regarding the implementation of the 3.5 month gap between patches, Matsuzawa is responsible for keeping things on track. He breaks down the structure of post-release patches, and while major patches release on that schedule, even minor patches can include sizeable content and features like Save the Queen. These updates also address critical bugs or potential risks discovered after the release of patches.
Yoshida and Matsuzawa also walked through the play-by-play on developing the post-release patch series and how each element comes together. Requesting content development, fixing bugs, checking various areas of production all fits into the schedule.
Developing expansions is at a scale that’s significantly larger than that of major patches and ratings checks from all regions are required as well as a large amount of masters and SKUs… 24 in total plus PS5. Then there’s planning and promotion to consider, as well as the fan festivals. QA, management, marketing, and PR teams for each region are involved. Partners in Asia like Shengqu Games (China) and Actoz Soft (South Korea) license the game in their respective countries.
Switching gears to the PlayStation 5 release, it will be digital only. It’s possible to upgrade from the PlayStation 4 version. If you’re using the disc version now, the PlayStation 5 version won’t require you to after the upgrade. For FFXIV, however, the required voucher code is separate from the disc, so the game can be accessed on PlayStation 5 without a disc. They plan to add an “upgrade edition” download to the PlayStation Store. More details on that later.
• Limited Edition Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker will go on sale. Features the Final Fantasy XIV logo illustration by Yoshitaka Amano.
• Final Fantasy XIV digital fan festival will be held on May 15th and 16th. You can stream it free of charge including the concerts, but the archives may be put behind a paywall due to the partners Square Enix works with. Commemorative items you can purchase include an 8-person Lunar Whale mount, and minion versions of Rosa, Rydia, and Edge from Final Fantasy IV.
• Scions & Sinners FINAL FANTASY XIV Arrangement Album releases on March 24, 2021.
• Untempered 2 FINAL FANTASY XIV Primal Battle Themes includes battle themes from the Stormblood and Shadowbringers expansions.
• Minion figurines for Y’shtola, Ryne, and Estinien are planned.
• Other assorted merchandise shown off on-screen.