When Final Fantasy XIV‘s fifth expansion Dawntrail launches, the first of many heavy graphical updates will be implemented in the game. This includes better textures, lighting, weather effects, object density and more. In today’s keynote address at the game’s Fan Festival, we get a look at what to expect for the first round.
Content in Dawntrail content has been built with this graphical update in mind, but for previous expansions, the team will be working to upgrade the characters and locations piece by piece.
The philosophy behind the update are to improve the screen-wide aesthetic appeal. At the keynote, producer and director Naoki Yoshida stated that Final Fantasy XIV is not a standalone title and therefore they want to take a broader approach than updating assets individually. Higher resolution textures and shadows will be added which will make the game look prettier, as well as improved material qualities in metal objects. The goal is to improve the overall look you know and love, rather than to change things to meet a certain threshold. Players have been playing for 10 years, so they want to prioritize and take care to avoid situations where people don’t feel their character looks theirs.
The team then showed a bunch of slides, but cautioned: these are still in development and not representative of the final quality of the game. Yoshida says the final version will be of higher quality, but they really did take care to make sure that your impressions of the characters wouldn’t change. The hair texture, eyes, and skin were ones they paid particular attention to.
The Paladin gear depicted was upgraded as a test for further gear improvements but one thing they want players to keep in mind is that there is a lot of gear in the game and that some may be improved later in the 7.x patch series. The NPCs will also get prettier as time goes on, but some of them may look like their current version until they are individually addressed.
Again, all of these effects will be applied in 7.0 areas, but then the team will return to 2.0 (A Realm Reborn) and then they will “close in” on expansions between.
For locations: areas have had updates to their lighting, textures, environmental effects like smoke or fog, and the density of objects including plants. Lighting for locations (sliders are below the Characters section in this post). For grass and floor textures like flowers, etc., this will be automatically updated by the system, though the poly count can’t automatically be increased.
With these graphics updates, the system requirements for the PC and Mac versions will also be changing slightly. While Mac details will be released player, Windows PC users can check the requirements below. It should also be noted that the requirements may change pending final balancing and other factors. They don’t want everyone to feel the need to upgrade to a high spec PC, Yoshida suggests it will help with running other games.
PlayStation 4 will continue to be supported.