The future of Final Fantasy XI is always a topic of intense debate, with players of the game gleaning over news releases hoping to find out the next change to their favorite job or an upcoming battle system. In recent months, to appease this burning curiosity, Square Enix has released road maps to lay out their plans for the upcoming year, and today Square Enix has released a brand new roadmap to cover their plans throughout the remainder of 2012!
The full details of the 2012 roadmap can be found below the break. Want to share your opinions on FFXI's future? The ZAM forums has you covered!
From the official Final Fantasy XI forums:
FINAL FANTASY XI 2012 Roadmap
Hear ye, hear ye, honored adventurers of Vana'diel!
It is with great pleasure that we bring you the FINAL FANTASY XI roadmap for the six-month period commencing April 2012.
From this update on, new content will be announced in three different categories to more clearly illustrate both content priority and implementation timeframes. Furthermore, yellow cells denote new features that are either particularly important or wide ranging.
The new development cycle adopted at the end of last year will continue, with players testing specific content on the test server, and our development and quality assurance teams refining it based on feedback collected. This process ensures that we will be able to release version updates at a quicker pace and provide a challenging, enjoyable adventuring experience.
Development and Update Release Cycle
- Development of new content
- Introduction on test server and announcement on official forums
- Playtesting phase
- Feedback from test server participants received.
- Development and QA teams explore possible refinements.
- Refinement phase
Content is adjusted based on playtesting feedback and updated on the test server.
(*Cycle repeats from step two until content is deemed ready for release.)
- Content released!
The following new content is scheduled to feature on the test server in the coming months:
The group two merit point category will receive adjustments early on, followed by the addition of new two-hour abilities and adjustments to monsters' enfeebling magic resistance. Subsequent enhancements to these new two-hour abilities are scheduled for later this year along with an expansion of the job-specific merit point categories.
Multiple adjustments for specific jobs are also planned, as illustrated on the roadmap.
Battle Content Updates
In addition to adjustments planned for Voidwatch, Legion, and the Walk of Echoes, previous battle content such as Limbus, Einherjar, and Salvage are set to receive expansions.
Two new battle systems and are also scheduled to be introduced and expanded during this time. One system will involve dungeon exploration, while the other will allow PCs to play as monsters.
- Miscellaneous Updates
This category includes system-related and user interface adjustments.
Many of the proposed UI changes will solely affect the Windows version of the game, and some of the first adjustments made will be to introduce new icons and increase their resolution. The next priority will be the introduction of layout customization and a multi-windowed mode, including support for font vectorization and multiple log windows.
After this, we will implement support for continual display of the macro palette, and explore the possibility of displaying recast times in the macro palette.
- Fine-tuning Based on Player Feedback
There are currently multiple features displayed on the roadmap that are undergoing refinement based on user feedback. New features will also likely be introduced on the test server even after the release of this roadmap, so stay tuned!
Further details that emerge regarding these updates will be announced on the FINAL FANTASY XI forums, playable on the test server, and discussed at VanaFest 2012.
May you continue to enjoy your adventures in Vana'diel for years to come!
Sincerely, the FINAL FANTASY XI Development and Operations Teams