In a recent Livestream of a letter from the producers, the Final Fantasy 14 team revealed that for the first time in more than 10 years, Final Fantasy XIV will be getting major graphical changes to modernize the game. Announced in a recent “Letter from the Producer” Livestream, the game’s next addition will include a complete visual overhaul of Final Fantasy 14 from lighting to textures and character models to approach Final Fantasy’s visual fidelity. Additionally, the design team sees version 7.0 as the location for the first major visual update to Final Fantasy XIV, including lighting improvements, texture improvements, improved material rendering and responsiveness, and more.
With a major graphical overhaul, the team will not only be able to implement different layers of textures but will add more detail to places to make them look more alive. This all comes with a small caveat since the team will only be able to do major overhauls for a long time, gamers shouldn’t expect these updates to be the same. As expected, the minimum system requirements will change due to graphics updates such as animations and lighting updates. PC system requirements will be updated with the update, but the PS4 version will still be supported.
Other gear will be updated starting with 7.0, and Yoshi-P states that it will take several years to update all textures. These changes will not affect all transmissions at once; Square Enix will focus on popular glamor first and then gradually roll out new updates in 7.0 patches. Yoshida is quick to point out that these updates will also include content you’d normally expect from a patch, so you won’t have to worry about Pandaemonium or Kingdom Myth being ignored or not having MSQ rates. Everything players are accustomed to with regular updates will likely be included.
Producer Naoki Yoshida also indicated that FFXIV’s graphical update will also affect some NPCs, which can be “rebuilt” to bring them in line with changes to things like the lighting or animations of some NPCs. Naoki Yoshida showed some of the results of the first month of testing high-res textures and shaders, as well as experiments to improve character lighting. Its first visual update will include higher-resolution textures, improved shaders, and lighting tweaks to improve the appearance of in-game characters and gear. Planned character appearance updates include higher-resolution hair, skin, and equipment textures, improved material quality, and improved lighting and shadowing.
Producer and game director Naoki Yoshida revealed the details of the rework in a live stream on January 18. In the revelation, the producer and game director, as well as other members of the development team, revealed revised character models meant to carry them over into the next decade. Much is still in development, the review has only been a month since testing began, but there were some of the samples that have been shown.
Despite the first graphical update, Yoshi-P made it clear that this does not necessarily mean that Final Fantasy 14 support will end with version 7.0. Of course, the implementation means that minimum performance will change starting with 7.0, although Yoshi-P has indicated that FF14’s graphics will not be comparable to standalone Final Fantasy games and that photorealism will not be the goal.