Today Square Enix broadcasted a new Final Fantasy XIV Letter from the Producer Live, focusing on the next major patch and more.
Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida and Global Community Producer Toshio Murouchi provided a lot of information about the upcoming update 5.3 (titled Reflections in Crystal) and the 5.3X series.
We already know that the update will release on August 11.
Incidentally, we learn that the game has passed 20 million registered players. You can watch the new trailer of the update, which is titled “Reflections in Crystal.”
Below you can see a few slides summarizing what was announced during the previous broadcast, basically your “the story so far.”
Moving on to new reveals, we get to see an update to Gpose (basically Final Fantasy XIV’s photo mode) including stickers and all the options related to that.
There are various layers you can use different layers and include optional data like the name of the area and the timestamp. This will have a limitation at launch as there won’t be the ability to manually type-in your own text.
In the next video we catch a glimpse at a summery Hula dance emote and a watermelon minion.
More gameplay showcased the ability to fly in the original 2.0 A Realm Reborn area on top of new mounts. This is a much-requested feature and a lot of work went into it, as the areas weren’t originally designed to support viewing them from above.
We get to see Costa Del Sol, Bronze Lake, and Western Thanalan from above.
Flying will be unlocked simply bu completing the A Realm Reborn main storyline. Luckily, there won’t be any Aether Currents to collect.
Interestingly, the revamp of the main storyline of A Realm Reborn will bring teleport tickets to the Waking Sands.
Quests have been streamlined by reducing fetch targets and removing dead times (quests should now last about 9 minutes when skipping cutscenes) and experience gain has been adjusted to bring it in line with later patches.
The free trial will be expanded letting free players play up to level 60 instead of 35. Quests will be playable up to Heavensward (patch 3.56).
Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist will be playable alongside the Au Ra race. The Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition will be expanded to include the same features without limitations.
Speaking of adjustments to existing jobs, it won’t include all the existing classes. The biggest changes involve Monks. The Greased lightning system will be reworked, but it actually won’t be done until 5.4.
Astrologians will see their MP consumption reduced while Bards will get their damage increased.
Next, we take a look at The Puppet’s Bunker, the next raid from the YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse series tied-in with NieR Automata.
Like the first raid, it was created in collaboration with Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito.
Below you can see the new gear from the raid new housing items, including Viera and Hrothgar mannequins.
Next, we get to see the next tribe quests featuring the Dwarfs. The area is going to evolve as we progress with the quests.
The gathering and crafting update will include a practice mode that won’t consume materials from level 15.
A reverse lookup system will let you search for recipes that you can perform with a certain material.
A calculator will tell you the materials you need to craft a certain number of items.
Quick desynthesis will let you automatically desynthesize stackable items. You can see it in action.
We then get to see more new minions.
Next we get more info of the new stage of the Ishgard Restoration including new gathering and crafting items, achievements and titles.
Below you can see the relevant slides and one of the rewards (a minion) in action. Completion of the phase will update new quests that will expand the story of Ishgard.
Next comes Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr.
The update will include a large-scale battle on the Bozjan Southern Front.
Players will play in instances with up to 72 players and take on story quests and extra challenges. Below you can see a few screenshots.
You need to be level 71 or above but you can change job once inside. It’ll be a good area to level up lower-level jobs.
Everyone will be level synced to 80 and item level will be synced to 430. Mounts can be used immediately, but flight is not enabled.
Fighting against the Imperial forces will raise your mettle and having enough mettle you can raise your Resistance rank and push the frontline forward until you can storm Castrum Lacus Litore.
Encounters include Skirmishes and Critical Engagements. The former is similar to FATEs and happen randomly in the field. They will accept an unlimited amount of players and will provide various rewards via lockboxes.
Critical Engagements will be triggered by meeting certain conditions. They will have different sizes. For instance, some will accept 24 players and some will accept 48. They’re comparable to dungeon or raid bosses and they award greater mettle and rewards.
There will also be 1 vs 1 phases in Critical Engagements in which a single player selected based on performance will fight a boss.
The largest Critical Engagement accepts 48 players and is the assault against the walls of Castrum Lacus Litore.
If there are more requests for a Critical Engagement than slots, participants will be randomly selected.
You can gain priority by contributing to triggering the engagement itself or using items you can earn in the area.
We also learn about Lost Actions, special actions that can only be used in this area. They offer beneficial effects like healing and resurrection.
They can be created by combining Lost Shards and they have a certain weight. You can only carry a certain weight, so you need to pick what to carry wisely.
Below you can see the slides explaining the feature, screenshots, and gameplay.
Of course, we’ll also get a chance to upgrade our relic weapons. Items required for the upgrade can be found both inside and outside the Bozjan Southern Front area. You’ll need both.
More gameplay of the Bozjan Southern Front area can be seen below. The video also showcases the new mount that you can acquire as a reward.
We then get to hear from Level-5 President Akihiro Hino that the Yo-Kai Watch collaboration is coming back with new weapons for Gunbreaker, Samurai, Red Mage, and Dancer.
We also see a Jibanyan flying mount that you’ll get for collecting all the weapons.
The collaboration will start on August 19 and end with the release of patch 5.4.
In the video below you can see the minions from the collaboration and the gear you can earn in the Bozjan Southern Front.
Below you can see the schedule of upcoming events for the game. This includes the Moonfire Faire and The Rising between August in September and the Make it Rain Campaign between October and November.
Next, we heard an update for the fan festivals. The Japanese fan-festival in Nagoya has been canceled and Square Enix is looking for new ways (including locations, dates, and methods) to host an event in Japan.
Of course, we already knew that the same decision has been taken in regard to the event in the United Staes.
The European fan fest is still being considered and may still happen in February 2020.
We also get to see a beautiful Omega Meister Quality figure created from the art by Yoshitaka Amano.
It’ll launch in January 2020 for $229.99.
If you want to read more details about the update, you can check out our report of the previous Letter from the Producer Live.
If you’d rather read something a bit more whimsical, you can enjoy the report on our latest visit to the Eorzea Cafe in Tokyo, one about the latest orchestra concert, and our look at the recent Uniqlo collaboration.
Final Fantasy XIV is currently available for PlayStation 4 and PC.