Square Enix planning to shorten Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to help onboard players

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
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Like a dagger in the heart, after I’ve spent months churning through the story, Final Fantasy XIV producers have confirmed they’re working on an update which will shorten Final Fantasy XIV’s base game.

Known as FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, the opening chunk of Final Fantasy XIV can take players hundreds of hours to get through and get to the outstanding expansion pack content which has been earning rave reviews. It’s widely regarded as the weakest part of FFXIV, and can be skipped entirely for about $50, but it’s also essential in terms of laying the groundwork for the MMORPG’s epic story. 

During a Letter from the Producer live stream, translated from its original Japanese, Squenix said “we’re working on adjusting the A Realm Reborn main scenario to be more compact, and are aiming for patch 5.3.”

Square Enix has long known A Realm Reborn presents a huge roadblock for new players, particularly in light of the new Shadowbringers expansion. If you want to play that new content you either need to stump up a big chunk of money to skip right to it, or grind away through all of the low-level content in order to experience the story for yourself. Trust me, there’s a ton of filler in that early content and getting through can be quite a slog. I bounced off FFXIV several times because of this, eventually charging through once Shadowbringers arrived.

It’s unclear at the moment just how Square Enix intends to rework the base game content, although we’d be hopeful they significantly reduce the number of fetch quests, ramp up experience gain even further, or potentially even just allow players to burn through all of the cutscenes to take them right up to the start of Heavensward.

As for when we can expect these changes to roll out, FFXIV: Shadowbringers patch 5.3 is the targeted goal. We’re currently on version 5.0 I believe, and FFXIV gets major updates every three or four months. By our reckoning, that means patch 5.3 will probably be arriving in Spring/Summer 2020.