Final Fantasy 14 director says Endwalker’s climax is what you don’t get from other MMOs
MMO stories don’t end. The requirements of a live service game require that there be more and more content. The worlds of Destiny 2 and World Of Warcraft will never experience peace until their servers finally go dark. Because of this, it came as a big surprise when Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy 14 would close the book on a ten year lot with its next expansion, Endwalker.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Game Director Naoki Yoshida explains that precisely because of FF14’s heavy emphasis on story, it’s important to summarize things. While Square Enix could easily keep track of things indefinitely, the game’s story would ultimately suffer from not being brought to an end.
“Final Fantasy 14 is very unique to an MMO in that it is very storytelling,” Yoshida told PC Gamer. “It’s true we can expand the story further, but by providing the climax for this current story arc, we’re creating a new experience that players may not get from other MMOs.
“I made it clear that we will continue to create new content, but for Endwalker in particular, it was exciting for me and my team to think about what kind of ending we would be through the story with this type of game.”
Typically, FF14 expansions come in two phases – the expansion itself and a “series” of post-release patches that complete the plot. Endwalker breaks out of this form, however, by packing everything up on release, a decision that Yoshida deems necessary to create the Land of End.
“This is not just the finale of a single expansion pack, it’s the end of a long-running saga. That’s why I wanted to make it as great as possible. Since we are using most of the development resources to create the expansion pack ourselves, we could do this as part of Endwalker fulfill this wish.
“Using three additional patches worth of resources would add to the work, but that would also mean that we’d have to keep expanding the story as we normally do over those patches. In which case, we wanted our players to have everything up to and including the experience It ended in an exciting blast, so we decided to mix things up and wrap things up with 6.0. “
Of course, that focus on history makes getting into FF14 a daunting prospect. There are hundreds of hours of narrative twists and turns spread across four (soon to be five) different arcs, and it would be easy to see a post-endwalker reset to create a new entry point for newbies.
(Image credit: Square Enix)
But Yoshida isn’t concerned, saying the decision to restart wasn’t driven by a desire to target new players. The feedback seems overwhelming that while new players are drawn to the latest expansion, they don’t mind starting over from A Realm Reborn.
“Basically, the story of Final Fantasy 14 can be thought of as a TV series with different seasons. We’re not forcing people to play all of the previous expansions – we just want to give players the opportunity to enjoy the story from the start. ” Just like a new show they want to see. That is really all there is to it. “
Yoshida ended on a slightly refreshing note for seasoned MMO players. We all burned out the endless content churn, and the director seems surprisingly to accept people who took a long break. The team just hopes they can tell a story that is worth bringing dilapidated players back to Eorzea.
“I would like to tell those who are on a break from the game that there are even bigger adventures and stories waiting for them and invite them to come back to the game. I think the best way to do this would be that we make a game that is worthy of our players expressing their love for the game to let others know it was for the best! “
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker is out this fall. Patch 5.5 lays the foundation for the action of climatic expansion on April 13th.