The Letter from the Producer Live (PLL) Part LXIII (63) was held early on April 2nd about the forthcoming patch 5.5: Death Unto Dawn, scheduled to be released on April 13th. New details were revealed about a wide variety of topics coming in the patch, including new main scenario quests (MSQ), new trials, job adjustments, and an update to the Save the Queen Saga and their respective Resistance Weapons.
Here’s the US version of the patch 5.5 trailer:
Some of the content shown in the trailer footage won’t appear until patch 5.55 coming at the end of May. As is the usual for end-of-expansion story patches, the story will be split into two parts – 5.5 and 5.55.
Paglth’an, the new instanced dungeon that will be unlocked by progressing through the Main Scenario Questline, was showcased briefly. Like all other Shadowbringers’ dungeons, this new one will also support the Trusts feature.
New trials are coming as well in patch 5.5. The Sorrow of Werlyt Chronicles of a New Era questline will come to a close with a battle against the Diamond Weapon. The PLL’s slides specifically call out The Cloud Deck, where players will confront the Diamond Weapon after having fought both the Emerald and Ruby Weapon in prior patches. As usual, an Extreme version is slated to be released as well. Unfortunately, Producer Naoki Yoshida was unwilling to pull the boss as he was showing it off, stating that an event occurred upon doing so that would be too much of a spoiler to preview during the Live Letter. Yoshida commented that a player shown appeared to be flying on the G-Warrior, the mech suit that was utilized previously in the instanced fight against the Sapphire Weapon.
The latest Unreal trial will also be swapped in. The Navel (Titan) is being moved out of the rotation and players will now have a chance to face a slightly modified Leviathan that first appeared way back in patch 2.2 in The Whorleater.
The YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse raid series will see its conclusion as well with the third chapter: The Tower at Paradigm’s Breach. The story will lead to an included weekly repeatable quest.
Save the Queen: Zadnor
The Save the Queen update coming in 5.55 was also shown off during the PLL. The new field instance will be called Zadnor, and it requires completion of both the 5.4 story and the 5.45 Save the Queen story to enter. Clarification was given that players will not have to be rank 15 in the Southern Front before entering — they’ll simply have to complete the prior story requirements. A resistance rank cap increase from 15 to 25 will be introduced, and the new area will of course have its own new Skirmishes and Critical Engagements.
Another 48-man “assault” named The Dalriada will be added; Yoshida also mentioned there will be ways to continue progressing and become more powerful after rank 25. Players will also be able to make progress in Zadnor for Delbrum Reginae (Savage), though Yoshida said that Delbrum Reginae (Savage) would continue to be the hardest content in the Save the Queen saga.
Current Save the Queen content will see adjustments as well in 5.5. Among these changes is a means to increase the speed of mounts in Bozja: Southern Front, allowing players to cut down on the time it takes to get from engagement to engagement. Critical Engagements and Skirmishes will be adjusted to account for fewer participants. According to the shown slides, the “availability” of Castrum Lacus Litore will be adjusted, presumably meaning more frequent pops of the instance. Finally, Delbrum Reginae (Savage) will be adjusted to allow for anywhere from 24 to 48 people to participate going forward; the content will be tuned slightly harder to account for the decrease in required participants.
Season 18 of The Feast will be coming to an end, and Season 19 will begin with patch 5.5.
Crafting & Gathering
Disciples of the Hand and Land will see changes as well this patch. More challenging expert recipes were announced and are tied to glowing main hand tools when completed. In addition, the slide showed off a feature where maps opened through your gathering log will now show the area where the gathering nodes will appear, much like the map appearance for quest objectives that require searching a different area. There also appears to be a feature in the works to allow players to select which fish get released at each fishing hole. Ocean Fishing was also mentioned in passing, though specifics as to what was going to be adjusted were not elaborated upon beyond listing the feature as new indicators for ocean fishing.
With Patch 5.5 also comes another update to the Ishgardian Restoration feature. With the restoration finished, celebrations named Skyrise Celebrations will be held at regular intervals in celebration of the restoration being completed. The Skyrise Celebration feature was elaborated on further into the PLL, mentioning a feature named fêtes. These celebrations will last 24 hours when they begin, then will have a break of approximately two days between each before cycling back. During these 24 hour celebration periods, fêtes will be held once every two hours, resulting in a total of 12 fêtes being held during each celebration period. Depending on your contribution during each period, you’ll receive present boxes with rewards inside matching your contribution.
A new Custom Delivery client, Count Charlemend de Durendaire, will also be added for players to make deliveries to.
Changes to the current battle jobs were briefly touched upon for 5.5, but Producer Naoki Yoshida stressed that the changes were not going to be anything significant. Dragoon and Warrior were both called out specifically as the targets of some of the changes, with Yoshida saying that the changes wouldn’t be more than a one to two percent change in their total output. He also clarified that no jobs are slated to receive nerfs in this patch. Larger changes for jobs are predictably being saved for the release of the Endwalker Expansion with patch 6.0.
System Changes & Updates
Collision detection was also mentioned as an adjustment being made in 5.5, combatting players abusing this in some content, like PvP matches. Yoshida specifically mentioned that some housing glitches, such as floating items, may be inadvertently affected by this change. While the team attempted to keep as many of them working as possible, he would like players to report if the patch breaks any so that they can attempt to implement a fix. It was also stated that this change was being made to attempt to future-proof the game, as they wish for the game to continue to be updated for as long as possible.
Blue Mage also will see a new quality of life change, allowing their hotbar slots to be saved with each set of actions, and players will be able to accept achievement rewards directly from the achievement list going forward.
Playstation 5 Beta
The Playstation 5 beta was demoed and covered in greater detail during the PLL, with Yoshida mentioning and demoing multiple aspects of the PS5 version during the stream. Among those called out were:
- Faster loading times
- 4K capabilities
- Higher resolution UI assets
- DualSense Haptic Feedback
- New trophies
- 3D audio support
As far as resolution options go, it appears players using the Playstation 5 client will have a few options they’re able to pick from. According to the presented slide, the PS5 version will allow players to select from 4K 2160p, WQHD 1440p or Full HD 1080p modes. Whether the lower options would allow for a higher framerate than 60 FPS or be capped was not mentioned.
Players will be able to log in to the PS5 client as soon as the servers go up after maintenance, and you’ll be able to download the files necessary themselves before the servers actually go live. Yoshida expressed hope that the version is polished enough that it won’t feel like a beta version of the client to those running it, and that the final release of the client may not take too long if not many bugs are found by players. Current PS4 edition players will be able to download the PS5 Upgrade Edition of FFXIV from the Playstation store, and new players will be able to download a PS5 version of the free trial.
Changes to the targeting rings for enemies are being implemented, as Yoshida noted that it was sometimes difficult to see where a boss was facing when they had a large targeting ring. These new indicators should hopefully make it easier for players to see where the front or back of an enemy is. As an example, Yoshida called out Eden’s Verse Litany (E10) as a fight where this new indicator would be useful. This indicator will be different depending on whether the boss in question actually had positional attacks or is an omnidirectional boss.
Adjustments are coming to the Triple Triad system including changes to how 4-star cards are used in decks, adjustments to acquisition rates for existing cards and a new reward being added for obtaining all Triple Triad cards in 5.55.
Patch 5.5 will also see Explorer Mode expanded to include level 70 dungeons, and introduce the ability to disable level sync, disable item sync, and play instruments.
Also coming in patch 5.55 is a new instrument for Performance Mode. The instrument was originally slated to be released with 5.5, but due to issues it is currently planned for inclusion in the 5.55 patch in late May instead. In addition, the miscellaneous updates slide also mentioned an exclusive mount for collecting all of the gwiber mounts from 5.x, as well as new prizes for the Gold Saucer.
During the PLL, Yoshida showcased new mounts and minions, including a campfire minion. The campfire minion will function similar to how the cushion minions currently work, allowing you to summon them where you would like and use them for screenshots, roleplay, etc. New mounts were also shown off, citing players who stated there was no use for gil in the game. Yoshi seemed to indicate these mounts would be expensive, at one point joking that the mounts wouldn’t “only” cost one to two million gil, saying “maybe” players would be able to afford both.
Upcoming & Closing
The tail-end of the PLL included teasers of the upcoming 6.1 ultimate, new furnishing items, new gear, new glamour, and miscellaneous other announcements. These other announcements included information about the Final Fantasy Fan Festival, being held digitally May 15th and 16th, due to restrictions from COVID-19. Day one stage events will include the Keynote Address, as well as segments titled “Welcome to Naoki’s Room”, “How Do You Like Hydaelyn?” and a development panel before capping with a piano performance. Day two of the address will start with another PLL about Patch 5.55, then segments for the Glamoured to Life Showcase, a live Q&A, a segment titled “Flashback with the Cast” and finally a band performance by The Primals.
Digital events will be held for the Fan Festival, including an event where players will be invited to try to reach the final chamber of the Lost Canals of Uznair. Winners will be picked from screenshots sent in for in-game items. There will also be a group pose screenshot campaign, where limited-time frames and stickers will be available to use in-game. Lastly, there will be a special Moogle Treasure Trove event that will only run for the duration of the Fan Festival.
The full, archived video of the Live Letter is available here from the official Final Fantasy XIV YouTube channel. Much more was shown and discussed than what can be covered in a text-based article, so I encourage you to check out the video and see for yourself the new features announced. Also check out the official patch preview site. Patch 5.5 is scheduled to hit on April 13th, 2021. Keep an eye on SaltedXIV for updates and guides on the new features and content added in the patch!