Square Enix’s beloved MMORPG Final Fantasy 14 (FFXIV) has seen enormous growth and evolution since its initial rocky launch in 2010. After a well-received relaunch as FFXIV: A Realm Reborn in 2013, the game has gone from strength to strength, garnering consistent critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase now numbering over 25 million players globally.
2023 looks set to be another standout year for FFXIV, with several major updates and improvements on the horizon that will enhance overall gameplay, accessibility, storytelling and more. Let’s explore some of the most hotly anticipated changes that veterans and newcomers alike have to look forward to.
Expanding the World of Eorzea
FFXIV’s first 2023 update, patch 6.3 titled “Under the Moonlight”, promises new main scenario quests advancing the compelling narrative as well as an array of engaging side content. Players can tackle new trials and raids, such as the latter half of the Myths of the Realm alliance raid series started in patch 6.2. The new Abyssos raids should prove especially exciting, featuring famous Final Fantasy summons to challenge seasoned veterans.
Beyond battles, players also have new lands to uncover on the outskirts of Sharlayan. This unexplored territory offers not just vistas to satisfy virtual tourists, but also new secrets and threats related to the impending Final Days calamities facing Eorzea.
Patch 6.3 also marks the return of the wildly popular Tataru’s Grand Endeavor event, where disciples of the hand and land can reap unique rewards through seasonal crafting and gathering challenges.
All told, 2023’s updates look set to expand FFXIV’s deep lore and diverse gameplay opportunities even further.
Improving Playability & Accessibility
Beyond sheer scope, 2023 also promises some subtle but impactful quality-of-life improvements that should make jumping into FFXIV’s adventures more appealing and accessible than ever before.
For one, the user interface has been overhauled to be cleaner and more intuitive. Key gameplay elements like the Duty List and loot windows have been updated to quickly provide players with the most important information. Likewise, group play should feel more cooperative thanks to the new Fellowship Finder system that helps match players based on experience level and content goals.
Developers have also implemented widespread keyboard/mouse and gamepad control improvements for a more responsive, console-quality feel. And for players struggling with some of the game’s more demanding battle mechanics, more lenient adjustments have been made, like increasing the resurrection time in certain raid fights. This lowers the barrier for less experienced while still retaining overall challenge.
Combined with enhanced in-game guidance for new players, 2023’s refinements should ease new Warriors of Light into the rich experiences Eorzea has to offer.
Reworking Jobs and Classes
Of course, combat mechanics sit at the core of any MMORPG, so 2023 also ushers in sweeping updates for FFXIV’s diverse job and class abilities. Longtime paladins will immediately notice increased magic potency on key attacks like Expiacion, buffing their damage-dealing capabilities. Likewise, dragoons receive boosts to critical hit rates and new consumable resources to manage, doubling down on their brute force strength.
Yet the star of 2023’s battle revisions is the formerly underwhelming summoner. This magical job has been completely overhauled, with a reworked gameplay loop focused on rapidly summoning astral beings like Garuda and Ifrit to unleash potent attacks. It’s a completely fresh take perfect for new summoners, while still retaining strategic depth for veterans.
These and other exciting job adjustments continue FFXIV’s long legacy of ensuring combat balance across all roles, giving players viable options to flexibly enjoy experiences tailored to their playstyle.
Doubling Down on Crafting & Gathering Depth
While fantasy combat rightfully garners attention, one of FFXIV’s most underrated strengths is its deep crafting and gathering subsystem. Players can lose countless hours following non-combat classes like mining, botany, leatherworking and more, leveraging complex mechanics to construct goods in player-driven markets.
2023 looks to expand that economic opportunity even further. The Island Sanctuary system introduced in 2022 already gave players their own slice of paradise for farming and building infrastructure. Now crafting mentor NPCs are being added to the sanctuary to provide guidance for new gatherers and producers.
Likewise, changes to crafting skills themselves introduce new actions to execute and factors to consider during the creation process. Expect shuffling demand for different resources as new optimal crafting strategies emerge. Combined with quality-of-life tweaks to inventory management, 2023 should nurture the game’s bustling virtual product ecosystem.
Engaging Storytelling Takes Center Stage
While MMO mechanics certainly satisfy, so much of FFXIV’s appeal stems from its narrative ambition, weaving together intricately crafted character arcs spanning expansions. 2023 promises to advance the overarching tale of the impending Final Days in unexpected ways.
The patch 6.3 main scenario introduces a host of new complex characters like the suspicious mystic Sevrin as well as long-anticipated plot revelations. Furthermore, seasonal events like the Moonfire Faire see recurring NPCs’ stories progress, bringing welcome depth beyond typical fan service.
Let’s also not overlook the emotional gut punch that will be the finale of the Tataru’s Grand Endeavor crafting events. Series lead writer Natsuko Ishikawa has teased the possibility of prominent character farewells. So get the tissues ready!
Combined with spectacular musical accompaniments and localizations in 10 languages, FFXIV’s storytelling continues maturing into an epic crossing cultural and language barriers worldwide.
The Road to Endwalker and Beyond
As patch 6.3 continues laying the groundwork, players ultimately have the latter half of the Endwalker saga and the Final Days conclusion to anticipate in 2023 and beyond. With exhilarating new regions, threats and cataclysms, the development team continues raising the stakes towards what will undoubtedly prove a dramatic climax years in the making.
Yet FFXIV’s future remains vibrant even after Endwalker. Director Naoki Yoshida himself has already teased a new major storyline arc advancing beyond the struggle between Hydaelyn and Zodiark. So even as longstanding questions find answers, 2023 kicks off a new age of unknown adventures and purposes for our heroes to discover.
In the meantime, newcomers have literally thousands of hours of acclaimed experiences to catch up on before the next saga arrives.
Welcome to Eorzea – Victory Awaits
As Final Fantasy 14 strides into its second decade, the sheer breadth and depth of its evolutions make it essentially an entirely new experience awaiting both fresh forays and returns from lapsed Warriors of Light.
2023 represents the perfect chance to (re)experience FFXIV’s engaging blend of storytelling, combat, crafting and community. And with more extensive quality-of-life refinements than ever before, actually diving into Eorzea’s virtual fantasy never felt more approachable.
Both veteran stalwarts from A Realm Reborn and fledgling sprouts alike have cause for excitement with 2023’s updates. Because when it comes to Final Fantasy 14 in its newest form, the best is yet to come!
So what are you waiting for? Join over 25 million adventurers and answer the call of destiny today! Eorzea awaits.