Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter 80 Summary - Graphics Update, New Blacklist Features

In the 80th Letter from the Producer Live broadcast, the Final Fantasy XIV team talked at length about the upcoming graphics update to the game in the Dawntrail expansion. This time around, we got a closer look at how areas old and new will look after the update is implemented, as well as some of the graphics settings you can adjust.

We also learned more about new features being added to the blacklist function, including the ability to mute players and prevent them from entering your estate. The team also shared the upcoming schedule until the Dawntrail expansion, which will see a multitude of returning collaborations and events.

But, to kick things off, the team shared that the official Dawntrail benchmark will be releasing on Sunday, April 14th. Players can use this benchmark to assess their PC specs to determine how well the game runs before launch.

7.0 Graphics Update

In Patch 7.0, when the Dawntrail expansion arrives, new areas will take full advantage of the updated graphics and older areas have been updated as well. The team showed side-by-side footage of the game as it appears now (in Patch 6.58) and how it will look in 7.0.

Immediately apparent is the higher resolution foliage and the density in which it appears. Producer/director Naoki Yoshida and global community producer Toshio Murouchi demonstrated how grass will now move and bounce slightly as your character walks through it. Next, they showed the improved floor textures that have are more detailed, and how materials have been improved to show more properties. This includes metals and crystals, like aetheryte crystals, having more reflectivity.

Character models have been improved to reflect shiny or smooth skin, and wet surfaces now have a more sharp and reflective appearance.

The team also demonstrated that TSCMAA anti aliasing can be implemented to reduce the shimmering of distant objects as the character moves. On Windows and Mac, an additional option “TSCMAA + Jittering Camera” can be selected to further improve this.

Shadows have also had their resolution increased, and players can adjust whether they want these sharp high resolution shadows or toggle a feature that will naturally soften them. In an example, they they show how a trunk of a tree has a more defined shadow, but branches and leaves scatter the light more.

While not explicitly tied to graphics, they demonstrated that certain flying mounts will now roll as you turn them, such as the winged griffin. Not all mounts will have this feature, as their design may not make sense to roll in this way. Characters’ eyes will also now move slightly to provide a more realistic expression, but they left existing cutscenes alone as to not meddle with emotions that characters may be expressing.

Yoshida also showed off a few locations in Tuliyollal, a new city players can travel to in the Dawntrail expansion. Highlighted is the increased density of objects and higher poly count objects. He also showed off an area that demonstrates wave simulation – an area that players will also travel to in this expansion.

Super Resolution will also be implemented on all platforms, which is a feature that restores the image quality of low-resolution image thereby minimizing resolution degradation. AMD FSR 1.0 will be enabled by default, but for those playing on Windows with a graphics card that supports DLSS 2.0, they recommend you flip over to this in the settings menu.

When AMD FSR is selected on the Windows and Mac platforms, the resolutions, the resolution scaling may be adjusted between 50~100%. Lowering that value will reduce the stress on your device. AMD FSR maintains the desired resolution via spatial upscaling of lower resolution images, ensuring any resolution loss is less prominent.

When enabling dynamic resolution, it will automatically adjust the resolution of your screen when the framerate goes below the desired threshhold. With AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS to offset the resolution loss, the team believes that players can maintain a better resolution quality and frame rate than before.

Last generation consoles won’t get every feature in the graphical update. For players playing on PlayStation 4, supersampling will be reduced to lower the stress on the console, and resolution and LOD on distant objects will be forcibly enabled. On the Xbox Series S version, LOD for shadows will be forcibly enabled for the same reason.

7.0 Blacklist Improvements

Dawntrail will also feature new features for the blacklist. Currently, messages from blacklisted characters are hidden, but the update will now hide their character model as well. This applies to all characters on your blacklist across your entire service account. It will distinguish between characters blacklisted before and after Patch 7.0, so if you want them to disappear, you may need to remove and re-add them.

Blacklisted characters will be displayed in certain situations where visibility is necessary, such as when partied together in a duty. But, even when their character model is visible, their name will display as “Unknown” in the party list and on the character’s nameplate. A notification will indicate when they speak during duties, and players can choose whether they want to temporarily see what they’ve written by using a subcommand on the chat menu.

A mute list has also been added where you can mute a characters messages. It automatically applies to characters blacklisted prior to 7.0, and the mute list applies to all characters on an individual’s service account. Muted characters’ names will display as normal, and like blacklisted characters, you can use a subcommand to temporarily see what they’ve written if you are partied together in a duty.

All your currently blacklisted characters will be carried forward, and there’s a maximum of 200 per character that can be registered. The data is stored server side, so if you play the game on another platform they will remain blacklisted, however their names will display only on playing on the device they were registered on as the character names are saved client side. Up to 200 characters can be registered to the mute list, which is separate than the blacklist. Data is stored client-side so if you move to another platform this will not be shared.

A term filter has also been added which will filter out messages based on terms you specify. It applies to Say, Tell, Yell, Shout, and /emotes in all circumstances including duties. However, it won’t apply to linkshells, cross-world linkshells, party, or free company chat.) The term filter data is stored client-side, so it will not travel with you if you move to another platform.

An estate expulsion feature will be added so that characters can be added to a no-entry list in your estate grounds and will be expelled from it immediately. When added to the no-entry list, they will be unable to enter for 10 days. This applies to all characters on an expelled character’s service account. Free company masters and estate owners have access to this function. Free company masters and estate owners can designate up to four members or housemates to have access to this function. When players with expulsion privileges are in the estate, anyone registered to their blacklists will automatically be expelled when attempting to enter the estate grounds.

The Lodestsone will also grant greater control over privacy settings. You can limit who can view certain aspects of your Lodestone character page, such as your profile, achievements and friends. Visibility settings can be limited to friends, free company members, linkshell members, etc. You can also remove yourself from Lodestone character searches. A block list will be available for the Lodestone where notifications regarding the activity and blog entries of blocked players will no longer display. Blocked players will be unable to see your activity. The above settings will also apply to characters added to your in-game blacklist.

Upcoming Schedule & FFXIV facts

The team released a list of upcoming events and returning collaborations that will elapse between now and the Dawntrail expansion launch.

  • 4/24: Yo-Kai Watch collaboration event reruns, includes a new framer’s kit.
  • 5/08: Final Fantasy XVI collaboration event ends.
  • 5/14: Moogle Treasure Trove — The Second Hunt for Genesis event begins.
  • 5/15: Make it Rain Campaign seasonal event begins.
  • 5/15: The Dawntrail media tour begins.
  • 5/16: Letter from the Producer Live #81 will air, focused on job updates for the expansion.
  • 5/30: The Dawntrail media tour ends.
  • 5/31: Make it Rain Campaign seasonal event ends.
  • 6/05: Dragon Quest X collaboration event reruns.
  • 6/14: Letter from the Producer Live #82 will air.
  • 6/20: Dragon Quest X collaboration event ends.
  • 6/24: Moogle Treasure Trove — The Second Hunt for Genesis event ends.
  • 6/26: Yo-Kai Watch collaboration event ends.
  • 6/26~6/28: A 48-hour maintenance session is scheduled, to allow players to fully download the large files coming with the expansion.
  • 6/28: Dawntrail Early Access begins, available to those who pre-order the expansion.
  • 7/02: Dawntrail Official Launch

In celebrating the 10th anniversary of Final Fantasy XIV‘s operation since A Realm Reborn, the team had some quick stats to share with players:

  • 30,000,000 registered accounts
  • 240 accolades received worldwide, of 313 nominations
  • 88 aetherytes travel points
  • 325 duties in the Duty Finder
  • 159 hours of cutscenes
  • 4,917 minutes of music
  • 16,096 tons of materia melded, equal to the amount of platinum reserves in the earth.
  • 46,152 km is the distance all corks popped from the Realm Reborn Red champagne bottle have flown, further than the circumference of the earth.
  • 54,350,656 liters of potions imbibed, nearly more than the amount of ketchup consumed by the populace of the United States in one year.

When did players start playing? Favorite mount? Favorite minion? Favorite home point? Most formiddable boss? What is FFXIV to you?


A variety of merchandise and goods were discussed on the broadcast for Japanese markets, including lacquerware plates/bowls, a custom order photo book, potato chips, a “Meister-quality” Zodiark/Hydaelyn statue, and a planetarium show. The team is also hiring a marketing planner and community planner in Japan.

About the Author

Tony Garsow Tony joined Nova Crystallis in 2015, and has spent more than a decade writing in the Final Fantasy community. He also contributes to the Nova Crystallis Twitch and YouTube channels, where you can watch select gameplay highlights, previews, and streams.