It’s no exaggeration to claim Endwalker is one of the most highly-anticipated game drops of 2021. With the massive uptick in popularity Final Fantasy 14 was gifted this year by eager players from every genre, the newest expansion for the MMORPG has a lot to live up to.
Like with any other major gaming release, I’m sure plenty of excited players have already queued up days off to complete the expansion. However, is it going to be enough? I’m going to say… unsure.
During the Endwalker media tour, game director Naoki Yoshida, known to fans as Yoshi-P (the -P being a slang honorific meaning “producer”), told press and creators that this will be the largest expansion yet. Like, he really drove that point home. At a certain point, he claimed the expansion will actually be bigger than a modern RPG release, and it will certainly be bigger than previous expansions.
“Especially for the story, when we look at the amount of text, cut scenes and so on…” Yoshi-P explained during a presentation, “I don't want to give such a comparative figure, but there's a lot more here than in Shadowbringers.”
Given the story context of Endwalker, it’s a likely fitting length. This expansion will be the last of what the team calls the “Hydaelyn and Zodiark Saga,” which tells the story of how those blessed by the two entities, the Warriors of Light and Ascians respectively, are pit against each other through apocalypses and near-apocalypses.
Yoshi-P also hopes fans enjoy the game in any way they feel comfortable. He knows that certain players will rush through to reach the endgame content, but says that those who have been invested in the story should pay attention as the story comes to its apex. In other words, you’ll also need a bit of time to simmer on what’s being given to us.
In other words, the FFXIV team really, really wants you to enjoy their biggest expansion yet. And remember that, of course, there’s not just the story; there are a ton of new features, such as new raids, the Island Sanctuary, and new jobs to try out. If the story alone is bigger than Shadowbringers — and, whewph, as someone who binged Shadowbringers, that was lengthy — then you may need some more energy drinks and some extra sleep readjustment days off.
Once you wrap up Endwalker, Yoshi-P, once again, must reiterate that this is not the end of FFXIV. He and others on the team have stressed the importance of how the game has a ten-year plan. As a recap, it’s been ten years since the original, defunct 1.0 game, and eight years since the reboot, A Realm Reborn. If there’s ten years ahead, then who knows what’s in store for us?
This article is based on play of an in-development build of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.