The recently added Patch 6.2 was arguably Final Fantasy 14’s most diverse update to date.
The focus was on the Island Sanctuary: a farming simulation mode that offers a relaxing alternative to dungeon combat through duties and raids. Added to this were even more main scenario and side quests, treasure hunts, housing options, and an expansion of the Duty Support feature that allows players to undertake quests alone.
All of this variety fits producer and director Naoki Yoshida’s vision of the ultimate MMORPG.
“My vision of the ultimate MMORPG is one where each player playing the game can choose the content they want to play, and the developers take into account the myriad values of the players and respond to as many requests as possible,” he said Eurogamer.
“What I’m saying is that if the game can meet the needs of many players, not just the needs of one type of player, then the game will evolve. In my mind, the ultimate ideal isn’t “playing all of the game’s content” but “being able to choose what content you want to play”.
“How much of each type of content to implement is determined by discussions between the core staff, including myself as director, the assistant director, the content director, the fight director, and so on. Still, at the end of the day, it boils down to making a judgment based on what we think is appropriate. So we will release the content and then iteratively make adjustments while monitoring player feedback.”
Final Fantasy 14 has proved incredibly popular with the series’ fan base and has proven financially successful for Square Enix. With an ever-growing audience of gamers, it’s clearly important to diversify content and offer something for everyone.
The duty support system may seem strange at first. After all, Final Fantasy 14 is a multiplayer game, so why allow players to complete tasks alone? Yoshida believes it can provide an entry point into the game.
“The main point isn’t that we’re solely focused on single-player content, but that the scope of the game, its content, and its development have finally grown to the point where we can offer content tailored for single-player,” he said.
“Another reason is that as Final Fantasy 14 evolves and expands in scope, I want to guide people who thought ‘connecting with other players is a pain in MMORPGs’ so that they ultimately appreciate the ‘fun of it.’ learn to play with others’. As an entry point into the game, being able to play the main scenario alone is a huge plus.”
The Island Sanctuary is another extension of content diversification.
“I wanted to provide a place where players could comfortably while away their time without engaging in combat. It was also our goal to meet the needs that housing could not meet, such as: Finally, as I was thinking about these things, a popular Japanese TV show gave me the idea (of the island concept) and the content took shape as you see it today,” he said, laughing.
In fact, the team has been criticized for its handling of in-game housing – a feature that has been overwhelmed by popularity. Instead, the Island Sanctuary offers a space for players to care for animals, cultivate the land, and express their creativity through customization. Unfortunately, it’s only available to players who are up to date in the story and not accessible from the start, but that’s all tied into the storyline.
“Wherever possible, I wanted this content to be available to players in early levels of the game, but I thought that we have reached an opportune moment in the current story and now we are able to offer our hero such an island To make available. So, in the end I had no choice but to make clearing 6.0 a condition to access the content. You see, these kinds of things tie into the fact that we’re paying a lot of attention to the story of Final Fantasy 14,” Yoshida said.
With so much content added to the game, it must be difficult to please everyone – something Yoshida recently admitted is having an impact on the Final Fantasy series as a whole. But specifically for his flagship MMORPG, he believes further expansions of the game will only benefit players.
“I’m not sure Final Fantasy 14 will be so big that it doesn’t satisfy everyone. The bigger the game gets, the more content should be available to cater to players’ preferences, which will be beneficial for players and nothing bad will come of it,” he said.
To celebrate the launch of the Island Sanctuary, a week-long live stream took place at Mudchute Farm in London, affectionately dubbed Mogchute Farm for the occasion. It was a nice way of promoting the update, with fans particularly fond of a male chicken renamed Zenos after one of the game’s main antagonists.
Yoshida was particularly excited about the stream, but can we expect a Zenos chicken minion or mount in the future?
“I’ll avoid giving a definitive answer as to whether Zenos the Chicken will appear in the game or not, but I can say that the stream has proven to be a great source of inspiration for imagining future rewards,” he said.
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