Final Fantasy XI’s producer announced yesterday that the game is getting a new storyline, in an incredibly lovely little August update letter to players.
While Square Enix continues to maintain its first MMORPG through regular patches, Final Fantasy XI hasn’t gotten any new story content since 2015's Rhapsodies of Vana’diel update, which more or less tied up all of the existing narrative strands in the game. Now Akihiko Matsui, the game’s producer and a longtime veteran of Square Enix, says that story will be getting another chapter added to it.
“The most exciting news I have to share is that a brand-new storyline will be coming to Vana’diel!” he wrote in the game’s August update letter. “This story, which will play out over the course of many version updates rather than just a few, explores a side of Vana’diel that’s never before seen the light.”
Players will have to play up through and finish the Rhapsodies of Vana’diel content in order to access it though, so if you, like me, are intrigued by the promise of a backwater MMORPG whose world was built over nearly two decades, it’s time to get to work.
I’d be lying if I said that the prospect of charging through dozens of hours of a 2002 game didn’t feel daunting, but Matsui’s update letter has actually inspired me a bit. I mean, it’s just so beautifully personal and wholesome. Here he is talking about the weather:
“On an unrelated note, it occurs to me that most of my greetings start off with talking about the weather or other seasonal topics, which I’m sure strikes some of you as rather banal. For those of you living outside of Japan, I’ve often asked you to envision the weather in a place you might never have set foot in before—now I’d like you to do the opposite, and tell me about what summer is like where you’re from. Some places have wet, sticky summers, and others have hot, dry summers. I find learning about the world an incredibly fulfilling topic, so let me know what summer is like where you’re from.”
This is how all service game updates should be book-ended. I’m being completely serious when I say I might dive head first into Final Fantasy XI for the patch notes alone.