Since Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) took the helm of Final Fantasy XIV ahead of its revival in 2013 the game has become one biggest MMORPGs, being available on PC, PlayStation 5, Mac and PS4 with over 22 million players across 200 countries as of April 2021.
Like many fans of Square Enix’s MMO, I spent a large portion of my weekend enjoying the digital fan Festival. Unlike previous years, the Fan Festival was streamed live from Tokyo to everyone across the globe, with Yoshi-P and the Dev team stating that in the current pandemic it has been difficult to have the usual tour of Fan Festival.
So a live streamed event seemed the best way to be able to share the latest updates about the pending 6.0 Expansion, Endwalker, along with a range of other activities both in game and panels during the live streams.
In what has now become his Fan Fest tradition, Yoshi-P took to the stage at the start of Day 1 in full costume, donning what we believe to be the artefact gear for the newest melee DPS role coming to the game in Endwalker, ‘Reaper’.
Flanked by fan favourite Michael ‘Koji’ Fox, who offered excellent translations and banter with Yoshi-P, we were given more information about the upcoming expansion of FFXIV. Detailing the exciting new melee class along with further information, artworks and some Dev footage of some of the locations and dungeons.
Following this, the first day then had several panels with a various developers that have worked on a broad range of roles across FFXIV’s expansions, along with some brief written fan Q&A.
The first day was finished with a beautiful mini concert featuring Keiko doing a series of arrangements of some of the major pieces of music from Shadowbringers, joined from LA via video by Amanda Aschen to lend her beautiful soprano voice to some of the tracks. Possibly providing one of the best moments of day one with Masayoshi Soken taking to the stage with a pair of musical automaton to play a rendition of the Rak’Tika Greatwood’s background music (La-HEE) while Keiko sat at the piano looking on.
Day 2 of the Festival began with Yoshi-P coming onto stage (in no cosplay) with different members of the dev team to welcome fans to the second day, and giving a touching thank you to Square Enix Executive director Shinji Hashimoto.
Following the official opening of Day 2 Yoshi-P, along with Toshio ‘Foxclon’ Murouchi and dev team members held their 64th ‘letter to the producer’ where further details around patch 5.55 were revealed. Including its May 25th patch release date, updates on the most recent resistance weapons as well as the ‘Save The Queen’ questline and the ‘Bozja Southern Front’.
After the producer live letter, the second included a range of exciting events from a selection of the Devs, including Yoshi-P, judging the finalist of the cosplay contest and choosing their personal favourites.
A panel with some of the Japanese voice actors who went through some of the techniques and strategies they used to create their characters for Shadowbringers and a raid/family feud game with a team of players from North American data centre (Team Hydaelyn) going against a team from the European data centre (Team Zodiark).
After 4 raids and 4 rounds of questions, Team Hydaelyn won, taking home 17,500,000 Gil for their team coffers. Well done team Hydaelyn!
The final day was topped off with a head-banging 90-minute set from Soken-san and the FFXIV band, The Primals. A set that covered several eras of the game with some of its biggest and most loved Raid songs, there was even a little cameo from Yoshi-P himself during the band’s performance of ‘Under The Weight’ (the theme for Titans final phase in the his trial). Finishing with the title track from expansion 5.0, Shadowbringers complete with Jason Charles Miller guest appearing a second time for the encore.
If you happened to miss all the excitement of Final Fantasy Fan Festival 2021, the whole show of both days is available to watch on Final Fantasy XIV’s YouTube channel.
If your excited to read about all the new information we have from Fan Fest about Endwalkers, please check back later this week for a breakdown of all the information we currently have, including its release date of November 23rd 2021.
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