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The initial FF14 A Realm Reborn revamp proposal was “reduce the number of quests”

"This had major drawbacks, such as players losing the opportunity to meet NPCs and find out about the lore"

The long-awaited Final Fantasy 14 patch 5.3 release time has landed. The MMORPG’s latest update, Reflections in Crystal, is live in-game, which means a hearty new batch of content to feast upon, as well as a revamp for A Realm Reborn’s main story, to help newcomers get through it and catch up more easily. Deciding what had to go and be cut out was a tricky process, however, as the game’s director tells us – and it seems an initial idea was to get rid of some quests altogether.

In an interview with FFXIV director Naoki Yoshida, we asked how the developer decided what to cut and what to truncate, and if there were any painful decisions to make along the way. “The first proposal was to ‘reduce the number of quests'”, Yoshida tells us.

“This is because it would make it easier. However this had major drawbacks, such as players losing the opportunity to meet NPCs and find out about the lore if the quests were removed completely,” the dev says.

It also seems it wasn’t so simple in practice, as the director explains. “This did not leave many quests that could be removed completely, so we had to make individual adjustments such as changing less important main scenario quests to side quests and reducing the number of steps required in each quest.

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“Out of all the troubles that the dev team went through,” he adds, “this is what I felt bad about the most… I am very grateful for their perseverance!”

Fortunately, it appears that balancing the new shorter quests with XP acquisition that progresses at the same rate as before wasn’t too challenging a process. We asked Yoshida about whether this posed a challenge, to which he replies: “Not at all, many elements in FFXIV have solid mathematic designs as foundations, so as long as we know how many quests were removed and the target experience points, it is quite easy to calculate how much needs to be adjusted”.

Take a look at our Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.3 notes if you’re keen to delve into all of the new content and goodies ahead, now the update is here.