Final Fantasy XIV is seeing an upcoming icon changed thanks to some concerns in the community regarding it triggering a lesser-known phobia out there: trypophobia. The phobia itself puts sufferers into a feeling of "fear or disgust of closely-packed holes" according to Healthline, which the original icon had as part of the design.
In a letter to the community by producer Naoki Yoshida (as reported by MassivelyOP), the game developer started off assuring users that the team is now running at the "upper limits" of its server capacity as the FFXIV team navigates the record number of players.
However, he quickly turned to the concerns many fans pointed to regarding the Sage icon coming as part of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. Yoshida admits that the icon reveals themselves weren't "particularly big," however feedback soon poured in about the Sage icon and how it could be triggering to those who suffer from trypophobia.
"When we released new details for sage and reaper on the special site, we also included their icons, not thinking that they were particularly big reveals. However, we soon received feedback from players all over the world, who told us that the sage icon made them uncomfortable or fearful.This aversion is known as trypophobia, and those who have it feel disgust and fear when they see clusters of small holes or bumps. The severity of the reaction varies between people, and what triggers it in some may not do so in others."
As a result, the team looked to how they can re-work the icon to make it less triggering, especially as the company will be included in not just the game itself, but also marketing materials and merchandise.
The new design doesn't change the philosophy too much, however the holes that brought up concerns are mostly filled in now. The new design, according to Yoshida, accentuates "the design concept." The holes themselves initially looked like a cluster, however now there is only one hole itself in the icon, reducing the chances of of a triggering event.