Final Fantasy 14 Will Revamp A Realm Reborn This Summer With Patch 5.3

The long-awaited streamlined version of the base game Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn arrives with the next big update.

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As the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has evolved into a renowned, critically-acclaimed mainline series entry with its expansion packs, the one caveat players frequently bring up to newcomers is that they'll have grind out the base game A Realm Reborn. It's often referred to as the least enjoyable part of FFXIV with some long strings of main quest filler and limitations from the time it was made. Square Enix had frequently teased a revamping of the base game, but it'll soon be on its way. A smaller hotfix arrived May 1 with minor updates, as well.

In the latest Letter from the Producer livestream, director/producer Naoki Yoshida and community manager Toshio Murouchi went in-depth on the upcoming FFXIV 5.3 update, including the revisions made to A Realm Reborn. Main scenario quests from the start of the game up to the concluding quests from the 2.5 patch will be affected. According to Nova Crystallis, about 13% of the main quests have either been cut or truncated. Although it'll be shorter, experience points gained through these quests have been altered so that players will still reach the base game's level cap of level 50 by the end of it and be prepared to go into the first expansion pack, Heavensward.

A slide from the Letter From The Producer livestream presentation.
A slide from the Letter From The Producer livestream presentation.

Another significant change is that flying mounts will be able to take to the skies in zones from A Realm Reborn (flying was restricted since these zones weren't designed with it in mind). However, you'll have to finish the main quest "The Ultimate Weapon," which is towards the end of the base game's questline. You will not need to collect aether currents to begin flying in these zones, unlike the expansions.

There is one big change story-wise. Although it doesn't necessarily alter what's already in the core narrative, players will be required to complete the 24-player Alliance Raid series "The Crystal Tower" in order to progress past the base game when patch 5.3 comes. It's been optional for players, but since it has major implications for what happens in the main story in subsequent expansions, FFXIV will make sure players experience that.

The Crystal Tower 24-player alliance raid questline has major implications for what comes later in FFXIV.
The Crystal Tower 24-player alliance raid questline has major implications for what comes later in FFXIV.

As to why A Realm Reborn has been the way it is, it was originally developed for the PlayStation 3 and launched in 2013, subject to running on low-end hardware of the time--zones are also much smaller because of past limitations. The base game was born out of the now-defunct original FFXIV that launched in 2010, but has grown significantly since then with the expansions (Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers) as clear examples.

The real-world situation with COVID-19 is affecting everyone globally, including game development studios like Square Enix. This also means that the scheduled release FFXIV Patch 5.3 has changed. It was intended to launch in mid-June, but Yoshida-san indicated that there is an estimated 1-2 week delay that could extend to a month. He reiterated that the FFXIV team is working from home and the workflow of ironing out bugs, pushing changes, and recording voice overs for new story quests has changed due to the circumstances.

For more on the game, be sure to check out our breakdown of the upcoming FFXIV 5.3 patch which adds new story quests, the next Nier Automata raid, and a whole bunch of features for crafters/gatherers.

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