In the 64th Letter from the Producer Live broadcast at Fan Festival 2021, Final Fantasy XIV director/producer Naoki Yoshida and global community manager Toshio Murouchi revealed what’s coming for Patch 5.55, along with a Q&A with lead scenario designer Natsuko Ishikawa and other announcements.
Patch 5.55 is scheduled to launch on May 25 as a second part of the two part patch series. Part 2 will include the second and conclusive part of the main scenario that leads into the events of Endwalker, the final Save the Queen updates, YorHa: Dark Apocalypse epilogue quests and a reward for collecting all Triple Triad cards. Along with the launch of Patch 5.55 begins the official service of the PlayStation 5 version.
We’ve summarized the major information below — check it out!
Save the Queen Update
- New Battlefield – Zadnor
- The final chapter of Save the Queen will be penned.
- Resistance Rank cap will be raised from 15 to 25.
- New skirmishes and critical engagements added.
- The Dalriada, a new large-scale assault (max 48 players) will be added.
- Unlock requirements – 5.4 main scenario quest completion, 5.45 Save the Queen story completion.
- As the war for Bozja wages on, the Warrior of Light must make a difficult decision.
- There was a similar decision you made in the Baldesion Arsenal, featured in the Forbidden Land Eureka foray series. When you make this decision, it will affect the outcome of subsequent events. You should “follow your heart” and make a decision.
- This is the last part of the Save the Queen story. Matsuno wanted it to be perfect and the team has been working up the last minute to get it done.
- Rewards for this content include new glamour and furnishings, and a two-seater airbike you may remember from Final Fantasy XII.
- Resistance Honors-
- Unlocked upon reaching Resistant rank 25.
- Sufficient mettle may be used to acquire proofs of mettle.
- Proofs of mettle can be exchanged for three times of honors that increase attributes in Save the Queen areas: Sun of Fortitude – increases maximum HP, Sun of Valor – increases damage dealt, Sun of Succor – increases healing potency.
- Yoshida advises not your burn yourself out grinding for proofs of mettle. Pace yourself as we have six months until Endwalker.
- Final step in Resistance weapon upgrades.
- Upgrade quests will become available upon unlocking Zadnor during the 5.55 storyline.
- Stats will be slightly better than those of the Eden’s Promise (Savage) weapons.
- One one has been upgraded, the process for upgrading further weapons will differ.
Desynthesizing Gear Obtained from Trials
- In Patch 5.55 adjustments will be made so that all gear obtained from Extreme trials will yield crafting materials. The plan was for 6.0, but they wanted to have people test this now – so it was implemented in 5.55. If there’s issues Yoshida would like you report them.
- May 25 – Patch 5.55.
- July – Make it Rain Campaign.
- Coming June-July/July-August – Patch 5.57/Patch 5.58.
- August – Moonfire Faire/The Rising.
- September – FFXV Collaboration Returns.
- November – Endwalker releases.
Q&A With Natsuko Ishikawa
- “It’s a story about the tragedy of the end of the world.” She reviewed her notebook for story details and saw a note about a “hero that saves the world.” She says that the theme is something you have to read into and that you enjoy it as entertainment. The answer is you.
- “We don’t need a tagline or a catchphrase for these types of stories.”
- Even though her title is a scenario writer, Ishikawa reviews and makes proposals for various cutscenes that take into account the cost of animations, etc. The level of involvement varies based on the staff, but Ishikawa plays it out in her head as she writes for feedback.
- First they create a storyboard that’s largely text-based. What you’re seeing is a scene from 5.3 including the formation of the scene, dialogue, expressions and motions.
- That information is then transposed into the cutscene spec document. It includes a lot of small details on what to do, such as the ID of the outfit that a character is wearing. Cutscene, VFX, and character leads get together to discuss the specifications.
- These time-intensive meetings resolve a lot of important issues. Ishikawa says the document is Excel but she actually uses Notepad for her writing. She transposes her notes from Notepad into Excel. She checked the 6.0 version of the file about six months ago.
- After that, they look at a rough draft of a cutscene where Ishikawa provides feedback on how to adjust its elements. She also decides what background music is used, even the timing with which it is used. Finally, she will review the finished cutscene and approve.
- Ishikawa gives feedback and wants to shoutout the cutscene team for their hard work.
- Yoshida does a final check after works, his “producer check” and offers further feedback. Usually there aren’t huge changes at this point.
- Ishikawa says its hard to calculate an amount of time to design a quest as her job involves other activities. She will start with voiced cutscenes which require more work, then un-voiced cutscenes, so it may be a “broken up” type of workflow.
- Ishikawa says that, at her busiest, she has written two novels worth of content in about three months.
- Ishikawa wants to resolve a misunderstanding: people ask her why did Thancred eyes get healed in Shadowbringers? She says it was a temporary injury. He didn’t want to stand out on the first and out of consideration for Ryne he made himself look a bit neater.
- When he returned to his body in the Source, where it had a different skin tone due to the events in Heavensward and Tataru would have cleaned him up a bit.
- Ishikawa relaxes by bothering a co-worker Takeyanaki. She stares into the sky. She enjoys the dawn where the sky just starts turning blue and will stay up during all-nighters and enjoys the color of the sky.
- Working at a previous developer she said she could work long hours because she was by the ocean and felt rested. She’ll visit planetariums and observatories, etc.
- Yoshida wants to respond to comments, and says that working super long hours is not a good thing. He himself feels that sometimes he wants to keep going and not be interrupted. However, HR at SE is strict and won’t let them work those long hours.
- Yoshida says his working hours get audited by SE HR once a month, and they will point out in red the long days he works. 10 years ago, he would have fought it, but today this attitude is less accepted.
- Yoshida says he doesn’t want to interrupt developers who are in the zone, but doesn’t want them to work themselves sick.
- Ishikawa says she doesn’t focus on consuming media by specific creators. If she is at the doctor’s office or train, and it something interests her she will research it – or if it pertains to her work.
- Ishikawa is coy about why the Crystal Exarch came to the Crystarium, but she says maybe you can make him coffee with your campfire minion and he’ll tell you.
- Ishikawa said she voted for Omega in the NHK Final Fantasy character poll.
- Favorite dialogue or scene? Ishikawa says there’s an adventurer that used to take you around Idyllshire but as time went on he lost his purpose but returned to unlock Stone, Sky, Sea.
- Some characters serve a very functional purpose, and Yoshida says what’s great about the FFXIV team is that they will still try to implement a backstory and their place in the world.
- Ishikawa reflects critically on some her past work – about what should could have done better or different. Yoshida says there are several people like that on the team that will ask for comments and feedback. She wants to hear the good and the bad.
- Yoshida mentions that Ishikawa’s happy and motivated even if Yoshida’s feedback is positive or negative.
- Regarding dialogue choices, she prefers the first being optimistic, second neutral, third pessimistic. Sometimes these are trimmed to two or a silly response is added.
- Yoshida and Ishikawa both commute to the office, but she hears from coworkers that they’re able to help more around the house. Yoshida says he needs the separation between work and home but are taking the necessary precautions during the pandemic.
- During the last fan festival, Ishikawa asked players to complete the Crystal Tower series before Shadowbringers. No specific requirement this time, but there’s a lot of things you’ll pick up on if you play all the raid storylines, job quests, Save the Queen etc.
- However, if she had to narrow it down, she suggests the Binding Coil of Bahamut to get a better idea of the family dynamics between Alphinaud and Alisaie – especially since Endwalker will have us travel to Old Sharlayan.
- The second recommendation is the Omega raid series with possible connections to Midgardsormr’s First Brood — of which Vrtra is the youngest. We’re travelling to the Moon , specifically Mare Lamentorum so there are connections there.
- Final Fantasy XIV branded wristwatches made by Citizen — light and darkness models. Orders open May 16th and they will release on December 24th. NA/EU pricing information and shipping dates are pending for these regions and will be announced later
- Final Fantasy XIV model Fender Stratocaster. It has a meteor mark, a neck made of a dark wood called rosewood. The body is has crystals embedded in it. Yoshida says Fender designed it with a theme of light and darkness and they came up with the crystals idea. If you press the tone button, the sound “bursts” according to Soken. He calls it the “Limit Break Switch.”
- An electric guitar is being added in Patch 5.55. Switch between five different audio tones – even when mid-performance. A new housing furnishing will also be introduced.
- New merchandise: