At the 78th Letter from the Producer Live broadcast from Final Fantasy XIV‘s Fan Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, producer/director Naoki Yoshida, English translation director Kate Cwynar, and global community producer Toshio Murouchi took us through an overview of the next major update to the game following the Endwalker expansion.
Titled Growing Light, Patch 6.5 will be delivered in two major parts, a tradition for the final major update before an expansion. The first part will arrive in early October (Yoshida stressed “early”) and the second will arrive in mid-January 2024. This all leads up to the next summer’s Dawntrail expansion, which was announced yesterday.
In our summary below, we break down the new content and features that are planned.
Patch 6.5 — Early October 2023
The patch title Growing Light has a hidden meaning in the Japanese version 光明の起点（ゼロ) / Komyo no kiten (zero), as the character Zero will have a prominent role as in recent main scenario quests. The main scenario will also be weaving in elements that will further tie in to the upcoming Dawntrail expansion. In the images the team shared from the scenario, we can see Y’shtola with Vrtra in Meghaduta, and the Warrior of Light accompanied by Ryne and Zero in the First’s Crystarium. The team hinted “why is Zero in the first” as a story beat for players to ponder.
The main scenario will also feature a new Expert dungeon: The Lunar Subterrane, which will see players descend into the depths of the Moon presumably on the Thirteenth shard, where much of the recent main scenario quest has transpired. Yoshida mentioned that the scenery in this dungeon will change drastically as you progress, and the team would like you perhaps take it slow as you go through it to notice the details.
At the conclusion of Patch 6.4, a new threat named Zeromus was revealed, yet another reference to Final Fantasy IV that the post-Endwalker story has been chock-full of. A trial versus Zeromus will take place at The Abyssal Fracture and there will be the commensurate Extreme mode difficulty released at the same time, though you’ll need to complete the story and talk to the Wandering Minstrel to unlock it.
A new Unreal trial will be swapped in to replace the currently running trial. In Patch 6.5, players will be rematched with Thordan and the Heavens’ Ward in The Singularity Reactor (Unreal). The final boss of the Heavensward expansion returns. The fight has been adjusted to match the skill level of the players today (keep in mind Unreal trials are adjusted to match current job levels and item levels) and Yoshida assures this version will be “quite fun.” They’ve worked on the tank placement and hope to have designed it in a challenging way where players who didn’t get to challenge it at it’s original difficulty will have fun.
The third and final chapter of the Myths of the Realm alliance raid will take place in Thaleia. Yoshida noted that the raid has been well received by players he attributes to pantheon of Eorzean godes called “The Twelve” and that newer, younger staff have been working on this one. A particular level of attention has been paid to making pretty maps, which is what the team noticed players liked. There’s another image the team wanted to share, but Yoshida deemed it too much of a spoiler to share, and wanted to honor the players sense of surprise when they get there. They hope you enjoy the story to its fullest.
Duty Support will be updated to include dungeons that released after the Stormblood expansion launch. They include: The Drowned City of Skalla (4.1), The Burn (4.4), and The Ghimlyt Dark (4.5). In one screenshot you can see the Warrior of Light accompanied by Alphinaud and Arenvald. The original plan for the dungeon, which Yoshida consulted with scenario writer Banri Oda, was to have these two fight alongside you in some way in this dungeon, but it wasn’t until Duty Support was implemented that it became a reality.
This also marks a point where Duty Support can now be utilized for all main scenario dungeons from A Realm Reborn to the present, with continued support planned for the Dawntrail expansion. This is notable in that, aside from the Crystal Tower alliance raid series and certain 8-player trials, the main story can be played solo.
PvP Series Five will begin in Patch 6.5 while Season Eight will run from Patch 6.48 on August 8th until Patch 6.51 in late October. The reason for this schedule is that they don’t want PvP job adjustments to interfere with regional tournaments that are taking place at Fan Festivals in Las Vegas and London (in October) which would potentially be unfair.
Crystalline Conflict will get updates where the minimap and UI adjustments have been added based on player feedback. There will also be a new arena: The Red Sands. In the image shared, you can see a desert-looking environment with rock formations, ruins, and animal bones strewn across the battlefield.
Island Sanctuary will be updated with new ranks and visions, and a new gathering area in the wilds. New materials, craftable items, crops, animals, isleworks handicrafts, and structures will be added. The audience requests “increased pasture size” and Yoshida responds that he will relay to the team but he’s not sure if they can do it—it won’t be as early as Patch 6.5 if it’s possible. Further Island Sanctuary updates will feature ‘Felicitous Favors’ which will unlock with the completion of Patch 6.5 sanctuary progression. The felicitous furball will issue individualized requests for handicrafts production. Shipping these handicrafts yields special tokens tradeable for exclusive rewards.
- Job adjustments for PvP and PvE are planned but they are minor in scope.
- New Custom Delieveries will feature Margrat as the client. She’s a workaholic that the team has an affinity for.
- New consecutive aetherial reduction function for collectables.
- New fish caught in the Fish Guide will be noted with a green dot.
- The ability to store optional items in the armoire will be added.
- An Item Level restriction for Duty Roulette: Alliance Raid will be added based on level. Yoshida noted that while the crowd reacted positively there may be some that don’t like this change — but they think it’s better for the health of the game overall.
- An option to sort teleport destinations by expansion will be added to the Teleport menu.
- A mount rewarded for collecting all of the Endwalker Extreme trial mounts has been added — it’s based off an artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.
- Final Fantasy XIV’s free trial will expand to include the entirety of the Stormblood expansion. This will arrive with Patch 6.5.
Patch 6.51 — Late October 2023
Scheduled for Patch 6.51 is the third Variant and Criterion dungeon: Aloalo Island. Three levels of difficulty are planned: Normal, Criterion, and Criterion (Savage). You won’t need to complete the other Variant Dungeons (The Sil’dihn Subterrane [6.25] and Mount Rokkon [6.45]) to participate. Pictured is a lush tropical island under a blue sky with distinct geological formations and the presence of totem. Yoshida notes that there is a “very robust story” here.
Splendorous Tools will have another upgrade tier, as Grenoldt and Mowen’s story continues at the Crystarium in the First.
Patch 6.55 — Mid-January 2024
Part 2 of the 6.5 main scenario quest will commence in this update, the final update before the Dawntrail expansion planned for Summer 2024.
A capstone quest for completing all of the Endwalker tribal quests will be added, meaning you’ll need to complete the sidequest stories for the Arkasodara, the Omicron, and the Lopporits to start it. Tataru’s Grand Endeavor will also continue in Patch 6.55, and due to the spoiler-y nature of the story the team took screenshots that may seem rather mundane, but it’s only to protect players that want their experience untouched.
Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures will return with the new chapter, and pictured are Hildibrand, the extremely polygonal Brandihild, and Godbert Manderville. Of course that means that upgrades to Manderville Weapons will be deployed in the same patch, providing yet another item level tier to upgrade.
Moving onto Gold Saucer, the ‘Fall Guys’ collaboration will take place here and is scheduled for some time in the Patch 6.5x series. This content is still under development. Yoshida mentions the ‘Fall Guys’ team has FFXIV players so they are enjoying making the crossover content.
Commemorative Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2023 in-game items are now available and discounted. They include the Garlond GL-IS mount where Alpha rides in the sidecar and another player rides on the spare tire. A new emote: Advent of Light features the player character doing a heroic leap before quickly descending to the ground. Other emotes include new colors for the Cheer emotes available in a set: green, purple, and ‘bright’. Orchestrion roll sets for Eorzean Symphony and a second Pulse album are available as well.
A new arrangement album Forge Ahead: Final Fantasy XIV was announced, and includes a total of 19 tracks including piano arrangements by Keiko, band arrangements by The Primals, and more. It goes on sale in December 2023.
A high-end turntable is available for preorder. This SL-1500C model was selected by composer Masayoshi Soken who also supervised its FFXIV-themed design. This turntable will retail for $1700 USD.
High-precision artwork will be available to pre-order in North America for the first time. There are 25 pieces you can select from. The team supervised and testified to their quality and told fans they would be proud to hang them up on their walls.