The latest Final Fantasy XIV Letter to the Producer stream happened earlier this weekend and brought with it a lot of info on some of the major things coming to the MMO game – including details on the “first graphical update” coming in the next expansion, alongside FFXIV 7.0.
The latest Letter to the Producer show for FFXIV kicked off this weekend, and it had already been announced that the stream would cover the next ten years of the MMO – as well as the updates that would build to the game’s next expansion after Endwalker.
There was a lot of news in the stream but perhaps the biggest was the reveal that FFXIV’s first graphics overhaul will arrive in version 7.0, with preparations for this running from 6.1 to 6.5 (thanks, Nova Crystallis). It will require an increase in the MMO’s minimum requirements, but Square Enix will still “try to accommodate as broad a range of hardware specs as possible” – and don’t expect it to suddenly look like Horizon Forbidden West or anything. With the number of people on screen, “I don’t think it’d run on anybody’s PC,” says director Naoki Yoshida.
As discussed on the stream, specific graphical updates coming to FFXIV include:
- Animation and lighting system updates
- Higher-resolution textures (hair/skin/gear etc.)
- Improved material qualities (skin/metal/fabric etc.)
- Better lighting and shadow effects
- More environmental objects
- Higher-resolution and variety of auto-generated plant life, including grass
- Possible improvements to fog and other ambient effects
Yoshida confirms that “photorealism is not the goal” and the overall appearance of characters will be altered as little as possible. The team is continuing to test these features and will be rolling them out up to the 7.0 expansion. Yoshida also says that it’s being referred to as “the first graphical update” because the team aims to do further updates in the future.
There’s certainly a lot still coming to Final Fantasy XIV even after the recent drop of the massive Endwalker expansion, including a new Deep Dungeon experience – and don’t expect to see NFTs in the MMO anytime soon.