Gather round everyone, because it's time for another Letter From the Producer. In the latest issue of the ongoing series where Final Fantasy 14 producer and director Naoki Yoshida pens an open letter to players, there's the reveal of patch 5.3's launch date.
Patch 5.3 was originally meant to release for Final Fantasy 14 in June. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, that release date has been pushed all the way back to August 11, Yoshida writes in the letter. The official name of the patch is "Reflections in Crystal."
The two-month delay was due to playtesting the upcoming Nier Automata crossover Raid: the Puppet's Bunker. Playtesting for the Raid had to be done in the Square Enix offices, so Yoshida and the rest of the Final Fantasy 14 dev team set about creating a safe space in which the QA team could work.
This open dialog between upper management and dev teams on Final Fantasy 14 is nothing new. During an interview with Naoki Yoshida last year, the director told me how Final Fantasy 14's dev teams are split into groups handling different areas like combat and quests, and each team is free to reject the work that he assigns them if they don't feel like they have the time to meet the requirements set out for them.
Yoshida also notes that patch 5.4 will be releasing in the usual dev cycle, and won't be fast-tracked because of the delay to patch 5.3. Final Fantasy 14's more recent patches have released in a one-to-two-month cycle, so you can probably expect patch 5.4 to launch in either September or October.
Finally, there's a very cryptic teaser as to what the dev team are up to after patch 5.3. Take a look at the image below, which appears to show some sort of tank in action. Any guesses as to what this could point to?
Patch 5.3, Reflections in Crystal will continue the Nier Automata crossover storyline. The crossover story that began with a new Alliance Raid in the Shadowbringers expansion will continue with the Puppet's Bunker Raid in the next patch.