Critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is many things to many people, and now players can escape to their own Animal Crossing style island getaway with the upcoming FFXIV Island Sanctuary, which was detailed in Live Letter 71. In addition, game director Naoki Yoshida and community producer Toshio Murouchi expanded on much of the upcoming content players can expect with FFXIV patch 6.2, which is scheduled for late August.
Island Sanctuary is an individual island that each player gets for themselves. It is handled largely separately from the rest of the game, with its own materials, currencies, and inventory which are all handled independently so as not to clutter up players’ normal inventories. You can grow crops, cultivate seeds, care for creatures, and develop and decorate your island to your heart’s content. Each island is unique to you and the progression is designed for solo play, but players will be able to invite friends and free company members to visit their islands.
Yoshi-P emphasises that the islands are quite large – pointing to a tiny dot just visible on a wide overhead shot that he says is a Roegadyn, as an example of their scale. Island Sanctuary is expected to arrive with update 6.25, so won’t be here for August’s patch, but it should give players a whole new way to spend their time in Eorzea. We may not have Animal Crossing on PC, but this certainly feels like a good alternative.
As for the other updates from FFXIV Live Letter 71, here are all the key details:
- Patch 6.18, featuring new worlds and the introduction of data centre travel, will go live on July 5 as planned following a 24-hour maintenance period to implement the new features.
- Season 2 of Crystalline Conflict will begin with patch 6.18, with Season 3 launching in patch 6.2 alongside the return of Rival Wings.
- Patch 6.2, titled Buried Memory, arrives in late August.
- Tataru’s Grand Adventure continues in 6.2 – and will feature the sky pirates from Heavensward’s Shadow of Mhach alliance raid series. This means players will need to complete the alliance raid in order to progress this storyline further.
- A new MSQ dungeon is being added with 6.2 called The Fell Court of Troia – it’s an imposing castle that looks to be located in the Void.
- A new trial and extreme trial are coming, but Yoshida declined to provide details for these until the release.
- The second part of Endwalker’s raid series, Pandaemonium: Abyssos, is coming with 6.2. The savage raid will follow one week after the patch – the first time in FFXIV’s history where such a delay has been imposed. The team says this is a test to see how it affects things such as the world first race, and will consider player feedback before deciding whether to continue this pacing for future raids.
- Containment Bay S1T7 (unreal) is being added with 6.2, a new unreal trial variant of the fight with Sephirot aimed to match the original difficulty of the Heavensward fight.
- Job adjustments will be made for classes in both PvE and PvP, but Yoshida says that the planned “extensive adjustments” to the Astrologian and Dragoon jobs have been postponed for the time being as too much work is required to finish them.
- Yoshida says plans are in place to make adjustments that will encourage players with skills that guarantee critical or direct hits to still benefit from those stats on their gear.
- Duty support will be added in patch 6.2 for five dungeons in post-ARR and Heavensward content: Snowcloak, the Keeper of the Lake, Sohm Al, the Aery, and the Vault.
- One of the final pre-Heavensward story trials, The Steps of Faith, has been retuned into a single-player instanced trial. In addition, Thornmarch (hard) has been revamped – the team says they felt it was too much of a difficulty spike for what is now the first 8-player story trial with the changes to earlier story content in A Realm Reborn.
- Adventurer plates and player portraits are coming out of beta with patch 6.2. The player portrait system has been reworked to make it simpler to use, but will require players to retake their portraits as ones from the beta period will be lost.
- New Allagan Tomestones of Causality have been added, along with new high-level crafted gear.
- Players will now be able to request gear repairs from other players, including while inside a duty.
- Glamour dresser capacity has been increased from 400 to 800 slots.
- Patch 6.25 will see the return of Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures, which will also include “new weapon enhancement quests” that tease the involvment of both Gerolt Blackthorn and Godbert Manderville.
- New tribal quests for the robotic Omicrons are coming in 6.25, which will be focused around the Disciples of the Land gathering jobs.
- New battle content called “variant dungeons” are coming with patch 6.25 – these are described as casual level 90 dungeons for 1-4 players that scale to party size. They have no role restrictions, players can change jobs freely, and the progression route and story of the dungeon can alter based on player choice.
- The first variant dungeon is The Sil’dihn Subterrane, where players will be joined by “a certain someone” on their adventures, who will talk and provide additional story content during the dungeon.
- Two more such variant dungeons are planned to be released during the 6.x Endwalker content roadmap.
- In addition, two harder versions of this dungeon with a fixed 1 tank, 1 healer, 2 DPS composition are coming, which are described as equivalent to the extreme and savage variants of the dungeon. In these, normal resurrection abilities are restricted and players are granted limited revives – if the entire party wipes, all enemies in the dungeon will come back, and players will have to deal with an enrage timer if they take too long to clear the encounter.
Yoshida notes that he’s been so busy that he hasn’t had time to respond to many interviews lately, but he did take some time out of his schedule to talk to PCGamesN about accessibility tools in FFXIV. The community for the multiplayer game has a reputation for being very supportive, but some players feel that the report system is still bad for the instances where things do go wrong.