While this weekend’s announcement of Final Fantasy 14’s next expansion Dawntrail was huge news for fans, for new players yet to jump into Eorzea the prospect of even more story to get through may be a daunting one.
And with the game coming to Xbox consoles next year, there will be a whole new audience looking to start their adventure.
Producer and director Naoki Yoshida likened the game to a TV show that players can binge from the start, and highlighted the Duty Support system as a way to ease in newer players.
“With the Duty Support system…we’ve allowed it so that you don’t necessarily have to play with other players, you can go solo and power through the story content,” said Yoshida at a press conference during the Final Fantasy Fan Fest in Las Vegas.
“With the analogy of a TV series, this is like a season six that we are just now releasing, and people might be tempted to say ‘Oh, well just start from six’ but I honestly feel like well, it’s on season six and we’ve made it so that season one is very easy to get through and binge.
“So I think it couldn’t be easier to recommend for [new players] to just start at the beginning and take it from there.”
He also explained that despite expansions extending the game’s narrative, older content is still updated and worth playing.
“Even if we release an expansion pack, our previous content is not necessarily old or older, so to speak,” said Yoshida. “We continue to update it, we’ve continued to add new content. Plus it’s very story driven.
“And so, if we have a new expansion pack, would players only focus on the new expansion? Would people be eager to just jump into the new expansion pack? I wonder.”
Some players may be eager to just play the new content, but due to the continuing story that wouldn’t be recommended. That said, level skips are available to purchase for each individual Job if desired.
What’s more, the game’s 6.5 patch due in October will expand the free trial to include Stormblood up to level 70, meaning a huge chunk of the game is available for free.
Speaking of TV shows, Yoshida said he would “love to have a Final Fantasy 14 TV series” when asked about expanding content outside of the game. However, he doesn’t feel he can “squeeze in being a director of a TV series” on top of his work at Square Enix.
Said Yoshida: “I won’t be able to do it personally, so we’re actually quite open to offers that we may receive if there is a passionate party that wants to bring Final Fantasy 14 in another medium – in a spin-off or some kind of anime or movie or TV series that our Warriors of Light would be involved in. We’ve never really rejected the idea.”
He added: “If the 14 team becomes committed to a project like that, we want to make sure that we’re not destroying the image that we have built, or that players have built in their minds, of what Final Fantasy 14 should be, no matter what the medium would be.”
Final Fantasy 14’s next expansion, Dawntrail, was announced at the Fan Fest – here’s everything you need to know.