Final Fantasy XIV had another Live Letter from the Producer last night, and let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Endwalker is delayed. The good news is that it’s only been delayed by two weeks, with the new launch date being 7 December. Early Access is still four days prior, mind, and will now be on 3 December.
The other good news is that there’s a launch trailer. That aside we’ve also got details on the post-launch schedule, with a few patches and new bits of content hitting in rapid succession shortly after launch.
There’s a rather sizeable post up on the Lodestone in which Yosida-san explains (and apologises for) the delay. From what I can gather this delay was extremely last minute, to the extent it may have only been decided shortly before the Live Letter itself.
Yoshi-P writes that the biggest factor behind the delay was his “selfishness as the game’s director.” Essentially, with Endwalker being the largest Final Fantasy XIV expansion thus far — and with it being the finale of the Hydaelyn and Zodiark plotline — he wants quality. All the quality.
“As we neared the end of development and I played through everything — from quests to battle content and the like — I just couldn’t contain my desire to further improve Endwalker’s quality, specifically because this expansion pack marks the first major culmination of events in FFXIV so far,” penned Yoshida-san. “Even as we look beyond Endwalker, the FFXIV story will continue for a long time and we hope to deliver many more enjoyable experiences in the game. However, it was precisely because Endwalker concludes the first major saga that I felt our team needed to push ourselves to the ‘limits’ that I envisioned.”
He also apologises to players who’ve taken time off, especially considering how late this delay is. But, as he notes: “At this rate, there was a bigger risk of us reaching the release date without ensuring ‘stability’ as one form of quality, and for that reason, I have decided to postpone the release at this time. As we also anticipate large amounts of congestion across all game Worlds, I felt that even in this respect it wouldn’t be right for us to release the expansion while lacking adequate ‘stability.’ I am truly sorry.”
Endwalker has a launch trailer, though
But let’s move aside from that. One thing we saw tonight which we expected was the Endwalker launch trailer, which is embedded below. Naturally, massive spoiler warnings if you’re not up to date on current content. Frankly, there are probably also a few spoilers even if you are caught up.
There are glimpses of important new plot characters, lots of dialogue, and a gander at more than one Trial boss. There’s nothing quite like the wham line at the end of the Shadowbringers launch trailer, but this certainly raises a lot of questions in my mind. And also has me theorizing wildly, because that’s just what I do.
Still, it’s a fascinating trailer. I’m not going to go into too many details in case you want to avoid it. I’ll just briefly note that, good grief, one particular Trial boss looks about as terrifying as I expected.
There were two other bits of major significance from the Live Letter. First, we have a big schedule of when everything’s dropping:
So, yes, that’s the new schedule. Early Access will coincide with the Patch 6.0 release on December 3rd, with the Endwalker official launch coming four days later. Patch 6.01 — containing the Pandaemonium raid — will drop two weeks later, on December 21st. Then, on the January 4th 2022, we’ll get Patch 6.05 which opens up the Savage version of the raid and offers up new Tomestones and new gear.
Second, Pandaemonium! The first part of the new raid will be called Pandaemonium: Asphodelus, and will presumably comprise four bosses. The asphodel is a plant that is very heavily associated with death and the underworld in Greek mythology, which makes an awful lot of sense here. For starters, Pandaemonium looks like a haunted castle, but moving past that it has a history in the Final Fantasy series.
In Final Fantasy II, Pandaemonium was the palace of hell. In Final Fantasy IX, it was an end-game location superseded only by Memoria… and that also makes sense here. It looked like Lahabrea was the poster child of the key art we’ve already seen, and the Live Letter detailed how it would shine a light on some character motivations. As such, I suspect this is going to be all about deceased characters, and it’s either going to involve Final Fantasy XIV‘s afterlife or some sort of sea of souls/memory thing.
And the rest
There’s obviously a lot more to the Live Letter than this — it was six hours long, after all, and I didn’t touch on things like one dungeon containing a “large party” with some specific new controls relating to that. I didn’t touch on the fact that, at points, NPCs can follow you around the areas chatting to each other, like a party in a single-player RPG.
This is most of the Big Stuff, though I’ll potentially edit this or fling up an extra article or two later on. After all, there was a lot of info on changes to PvP, gathering, and crafting, all of which are of interest. I mean, spearfishing is becoming a full minigame by itself. For now, though? If you want to dig deep into things for yourself, you can watch the Live Letter via Twitch VOD.
So, the big stuff: Endwalker delayed. Launch trailer released. New schedule is out. Pandaemonium looks cool.