Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida announced today in his producer’s letter the content and changes that will be released in patch 1.19, scheduled for release by the end of September.
The patch, defined a “veritable monster”, with patch notes three to five time longer than 1.18, will include a long list of new features, many of which have been in the “most wanted” list of many players for a long time.
Between the new features a fan-favourite will for sure be Chocobos, coming in both a rental version and personal version issued by the Grand Companies. The picture above shows them with armor, but it’s still unknown if there will be any customization available. Yoshida encourages players to “let their imagination run wild”, so it’s likely that something of that sort will indeed be present.
In addition to that the implementation of airships linking the three major cities will make traveling faster and easier. Players will also be able to fully join a Grand Company and to meet the rulers of the three city-states in the process.
Other prominent additions include new tutorials, quests, guildleves, Notorious Monsters, the battle against Ifrit (in two variations, for level 30 players and level 50 players), caravan escort missions, beastmen stronghold raids and a new dungeon.
The battle system will be revised further, with a lot of fine tuning, the introduction of groups for enemies, changes to claiming and the introductions of experience chains. Physical levels will also be done away with, while “ranks” will be renamed into “levels” and “skill points” will be renamed into “experience points” to make the system more familiar to MMORPG players.
Crafters and gatherers won’t be left in the dust as the Materia Crafting system will be implemented, allowing players to customize their equipment. Further personalization will also be available in the form of variable recipes that will grant different attributes (and colors) to items. Gatherers will also gain a stealth ability to avoid being attacked while in the field.
Reading the full list, the patch does seem extremely big, testifying the amount of work that has gone on behind the scenes in the last month. What’s noticeable is that, despite the fact that the majority of the game’s population is now rather high in levels, new content and adjustments for low level players are still largely present.
It almost seems like the development team is expecting the induction of a large number of new players in the relatively near future. PS3 version anyone?