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@bryanveloso
Last active May 21, 2019
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(Almost) all of the pertinent user experience changes that were released between 4.0 and 4.58.

(NOTE: This was meant to be a YouTube video, but I ultimately decided against it.)

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood, A Look Back at the UI Changes

Over the lifetime of Final Fantasy XIV's Stormblood expansion: there have been 24 official patches. Thirteen of them contained user experience changes, and many major features added: Blue Mage, the Eureka experience, the Glamour Dresser, and more. In this case I'm classifying major as any feature that required more than a couple changes to the user experience.

With so many changes, especially ones related to the major features added during the course of the expansion, I'm only going to cover the UI changes and quality-of-life updates I feel affect your everyday gameplay, or updates people may have overlooked. If I didn’t do that, I’d literally be reading the patch notes. I've posted my full set of notes in a Gist (this document), please forgive me if my notes can be a bit... lazy at times.

Outline

Legend (MAJ): Major Feature (QOL): Quality of Life (UIC): User Interface Change

Stormblood

  • Patch 4.0
    • (UIC): Title screen logo and opening movie changed.
    • (QOL): Removed the secondary class requirement for unlocking jobs.
    • (MAJ): PVP-specific UI elements.
    • (MAJ): Introduction of Job Gauges.
    • (UIC): Color of TP cost numbers adjusted.
    • (UIC): Indoor/Outdoor Furnishings window adjustment.
    • (UIC): Emote display conditions adjustment.
    • (QOL): Distinction between debuffs that can be removed vs. those that cannot be removed.
    • (QOL): HP, MP, TP restored to full upon entering any instance.
    • (QOL): MP, TP restored to full after a trial or raid wipe.
    • (UIC): Duty Finder window adjustments.
      • Combination of the Raid Finder and Duty Finder windows.
    • (QOL): Removal of attribute points and elemental attributes. (Is this a "quality of life" change?)
    • (QOL): Materia affixing without the need for Carbonized Matter.
    • (UIC): Collectability Display adjustment. (Reducing the amount of numbers used in the display from 4 to 3.)
    • (UIC): Crafting Log window adjustments.
      • Search function added.
      • Hide completed recipes filter added.
      • Reorganization of Special Recipes.
    • (UIC): Merchant titles amended to better explain their function. Trader icons added to the minimap.
    • (UIC): Brand new map system. (See the video on it.)
      • Quests can be checked and other aetherytes can be used.
    • (UIC): Retainer selling items shows city where they're selling said items.
    • (UIC): Retainer Character window display adjustment.
    • (UIC): Layout and content of Party Finder window has been adjusted. Layout of recruiter name search has been adjusted.
    • (QOL): Players from the same world as Recruiter can be invited rather than forcing them to go through the Party Finder interface.
    • (UIC): Display of fly text adjustment.
      • Critical hits: !
      • Direct hits: none
      • Direct Critical hit: !!
    • (QOL): New waymarks added. The “D” arrived.
    • (UIC): Progress bars and action names are displayed on the enmity list.
    • (UIC): Actions & Traits interface adjustments.
      • Addition of Role Actions tab.
      • Removal of PvP tab.
      • Actions that are yet to be obtained are displayed in the Job tab.
    • (QOL): Scenario guide widget added.
    • (UIC): Armoire categories displayed as icons.
    • (UIC): Character Window Classes and Jobs tabs combined into a single tabbed interface.
    • (QOL): Number of items stored in each section of the Armory Chest increased from 25 to 35.
    • (QOL): Number of items players can carry increased from 100 to 140.
    • (UIC): Inventory grid expanded to reflect above change.
    • (QOL): Player's class/job and duty players were registered for is reflected in the Contact List.
    • (UIC): System and Hotbar filters added to the HUD Layout interface.
      • Main Scenario Guide, Duty Actions, Duty Gauge, Job Gauge available to be adjusted.
    • (UIC): Additions made to the Character Configuration interface...
      • UI Settings > General > Main Menu > Enable Draggable Shortcuts
      • UI Settings > HUD > Targets > Display Enmity List > Display Progress Bar
      • UI Settings > Character Information > Display Main Scenario Guide > Hide When All Quests Complete
      • Display Name Settings > Others > Companion Name/HP Bar
    • (QOL): Number of macros increased from 100 to 200. Two new tabs, Individual and Shared.
  • Patch 4.01
    • (UIC): Font sizes 24, 30, 36 added to Log Details tab.
    • (UIC): PS4 User Interface Size can be returned to 3.57 behavior.
    • (QOL): Keybind for Flight/Diving - Descent automatically set to CTRL + SPACE.

The Legend Returns

  • Patch 4.1
    • (MAJ): Command missions added to squadrons, adding a lot of related new user interfaces.
    • (MAJ): Housing relocation added.
    • (MAJ): Housing item storage mode added.
      • Contents of Aquariums, Paintings, Blank Partitions, Flower Vases, Flower Pots, Garden Patches, Aetherial Wheel Stands, Retainers can be viewed via a tooltip in the storage window.
    • (UIC): Aetherflow, Draw, Royal Road, Spread now display as status icons when used.
    • (QOL): Text command to adjust the size of SMN's Demi Bahamut added.
    • (QOL): Time until the boss area in an alliance raid is sealed increased from 15 to 30 seconds.
    • (QOL): Retrieve Materia subcommand added.
    • (UIC): Ventures added to the Currency window's Common tab. Tribal tab added to Currency window.
    • (UIC): Optimal skill rating for desynthesis will now be displayed when selecting items in the Desynthesis window.
    • (UIC): Display Only Recent Recipes option added to Filter Conditions in Crafting Log interface.
    • (QOL): Glamours can now be unlocked at level 15.
    • (QOL): Players can now add other players from different Worlds within the same data center to their friends list.
    • (UIC): A new icon has been added to the friend list to indicate whether a friend is online. Icon is displayed if the online status cannot be determined.
    • (UIC): Party Finder Display settings added to the Party Finder. Locked duties can be hidden, and interval between notifications can be changed.
    • (UIC): Button to toggle simplified display of the Party Finder list added.
    • (UIC): Added sorting options for unlocked duties.
    • (UIC): High-end Duty added as a duty category.
    • (QOL): Tell messages can be sent directly to the recruiter of a cross-World party.
    • (QOL): Holding RT (R2) on a controller while using the map will reduce scroll speed.
    • (QOL): Time remaining after summoning a companion is shown in the party list.
    • (UIC): 160%, 180%, 200% added as options for the resizing of menus.
    • (UIC): Actions & Traits menu adjustments...
      • Position of the General tab changed.
      • Class and job actions combined under a single Actions section; Job section removed.
      • Actions can be set to hotbars even if they're not yet available for use.
      • Icon design has changed to distinguish between actions that can and cannot be assigned to the hotbar.
      • Duty actions moved to the general tab.
      • The Companion tab changed to the Orders tab, containing both companion actions and squadron member actions.
    • (QOL): Target Type > Target Closest Enemies added to the Character Configuration interface.
    • (QOL): Right clicking on a hotbed's number cycles through hotbar layouts.
    • (UIC): The party list can now display up to 10 status effects.
    • (UIC): HUD Layout additions and adjustments...
      • Party list has been adjusted so that up to eight players, one pet, and one companion can be displayed simultaneously.
      • Duty option added to the HUD layout filters.
      • Target bar can now be divided into HP, Progress Bar, and Status.
      • Status info UI element can be divided into Enhancements, Enfeeblements, and Other.
    • (UIC): Job Gauge adjustments...
      • Simple mode added.
      • A gauge added indicating the duration of BRD's Straight Shot's increased critical hit effect.
      • A gauge added indicating the duration of MCH's Hot Shot's increased physical damage effect.
    • (UIC): The numbers shown on the EXP bar now include commas.
    • (QOL): Most recently used chat mode will be saved when logging out, and retained upon logging back in.
    • (UIC): Icons for "Wave" and "Goodbye" redesigned.
    • (UIC): Character Configuration interface adjustments...
      • Control Settings > Target Tab > Target Type: Target Closest Enemies > Type 1 / Type 2
      • UI Settings > Party List Tab > Party List > Status Effect Icon Display Maximum
      • Hotbar Settings > Cross Tab > Enable Cross Hotbar > Enable Duty Action Input.
    • (UIC): When viewing credits, 2 on the numeric keypad adjusts the speed, and 0 pauses.
    • Patch 4.15
      • (MAJ): Performance Actions added.
      • (MAJ): Rival Wings added.
      • (QOL): Color of the icons for Astral Fire and Umbral Ice in the simplified BLM job gauge adjusted to improve usability for colorblind players.

Rise of a New Sun

  • Patch 4.2
    • (QOL)(?): Cutscenes in Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium can no longer be skipped.
    • (QOL): Players can now teleport directly to a friend's free company estate, private estate, or apartment building.
    • (QOL): The Triple Triad icon displayed above NPCs will change depending on the player's standing with them.
      • ! Icon: Yet to win against them.
      • Star Icon: Yet to acquire a card from them.
    • (MAJ): New performance UI added; piano UI layout + assignment of dedicated hotkeys.
    • (UIC): Special graphical effects will be displayed when players are afflicted by enfeebling effects in PVP.
    • (UIC): Icons representing dropped medals have been updated.
    • (QOL): Removal of elemental resistances from the UI.
    • (UIC): Maximum number of items per slot increased from 99 to 999.
    • (UIC): Item level displayed for meals.
    • (UIC): Icon for flight credits changed.
    • (UIC): Addition of Glamour Dressers and Glamour Plates.
    • (QOL/UIC): A new glamour prism item used to cast glamours of all types.
    • (MAJ): Duty Recorder added.
    • (MAJ): Chocobo Saddlebag feature added.
    • (UIC): Adjustments made to the layout of inventory and retainer inventory...
      • Inventory Grid changed from 5x5 with 6 tabs to 5x7 with 4 tabs.
      • Retainer Inventory Grid changed from 5x5 with 7 tabs to 5x7 with 5 tabs.
    • (QOL): Undo Sort subcommand added.
    • (QOL): NPC shops can now be filtered to show only items released after an updated by selecting "Show only recently added items."
    • (QOL): Opening the Actions & Traits interface will take you to the last viewed tab, even after logging out or changing job or class.
    • (QOL): Easier to select aetherytes when teleporting from a map using the gamepad or controller.
    • (UIC): The Scenario Guide will display any available class or job quests for your current class or job.
    • (UIC): World name is now displayed in the chat log when receiving a message from a player from another World during a duty.
    • (UIC): Icons for "Surprised" and "Shut Eyes" redesigned.
    • (QOL): Certain commands can be assigned to the mouse wheel.
    • (UIC): Option added to toggle wether the camera locks onto NPCs when you are speaking to them.
      • Character Configuration > General > Event Camera Settings > Look at Target When Speaking
    • (QOL): Ability to toggle the playing of battle music when targeted by an enemy in the field.
      • System Configuration > Sound Settings > Enable Normal Battle Music
    • (QOL): If a player is logged into a client, logging into a second client with the same service account will automatically log that player out of the first client.
  • Patch 4.25
    • (MAJ): Eureka Anemos added.

Under the Moonlight

  • Patch 4.3
    • (MAJ): Doman Enclave Reconstruction added.
    • (QOL): Glamour Dresser and Armoire added to the Grand Company barracks.
    • (MAJ): Message Book furnishing added.
    • (UIC): The music for housing districts can now be switched to that of their respective city-states.
      • System Configuration > Sound > Enable city-state BGM in residential areas
    • (UIC): For performance actions, all musical notes can now be set to individual key binds when using a keyboard.
    • (QOL): Players outside the sealed area during a boss battle now have the option to move directly to the area and enter the fight.
      • The countdown for sealed areas in alliance raids is reduced from 30 to 15 seconds (back to what it was previously).
    • (UIC): A REALLY LOUD message will appear if you are applying to join a raid which will cause you to forfeit one or more weekly rewards.
    • (UIC): "Craftsmanship Recommended" values will now be displayed for recipes in the crafting log.
    • (MAJ): Cross-world Linkshells added.
    • (QOL): Glamour dresser adjustments...
      • Glamours can now be restored to their original form.
      • Individual glamours stored in the glamour dresser can be directly applied to currently equipped gear.
      • Glamours can be searched using /itemsearch.
    • (QOL): Glamour plate adjustments...
      • All glamours on a plate can be dispelled at once using the "Dispel Glamour" function.
      • Glamour plates can be linked to gear sets.
    • (UIC): Icons indicating that an item can be stored in the armoire, can be converted into a glamour and stored in the dresser, and that crests can be applied to an item added.
    • (UIC): Players recruiting members for an alliance or custom match can now choose which alliance or team to participate in.
    • (UIC): Map icons for non-player party members have been adjusted for easier differentiation between members.
      • Chocobo Companions, Carbuncles, Egis, Fairies, Turrets
    • (QOL): Full-screen color filtering options have been added to Accessibility Settings in the System Configuration window (PC/Mac only).
    • (UIC): Character Configuration window adjustments...
      • UI Settings > General Tab > Achievements > Display achievements nearing completion upon login.
      • Cross-world linkshell related options.
    • (UIC): System Configuration window adjustments...
      • Mouse Settings > Expanded Mouse Functionality Settings > Hardware Cursor Selections
      • Sound Settings > Sound Settings > Enable City-state BGM in Residential Areas
  • Patch 4.35
    • (MAJ): Heaven-on-High added.
    • (QOL): A window will appear when selecting the subcommand "Search for Item."

Prelude in Violet

  • Patch 4.4
    • (MAJ): The Shifting Altars of Uznair added.
    • (MAJ): Mannequin furnishings added.
    • (MAJ): Estate tags added.
    • (UIC): An icon to indicate the exit from Eureka now appears on the map.
    • (UIC): "Focus Attack" user interface added.
    • (UIC): The fishing log now displays the conditions necessary to catch certain fish.
    • (QOL): The movement speed for terrestrial mounts can now be increased to two stars in 4.0 areas.
    • (QOL): Achievement rewards can now be claimed via a menu and will tell you which ones you do and do not own.
    • (UIC): Information on whether na item is sold at vendors can be viewed from the Item Help and Item Comparison menus.
    • (UIC): Beast tribe quest items are now described as such in their descriptions.
    • (UIC): Condition, Spiritbond, Repair Level, Materials, Quick Repairs, Materia Melding categories are no longer displayed in item comparison.
    • (UIC): Collectibles are now indicated with an icon.
    • (UIC): Icons added showing the availability of recording, and if a duty is being a recorded in the Server Info user interface element.
    • (UIC): The "Open All" setting has been added to the Inventory Interface options (Windows DirectX 11 and PS4 only).
    • (MAJ): Alarm feature added.
    • (UIC): The Unending Journey now allows you to specify quest progress in order to view variations of cutscenes.
    • (QOL/UIC): Mount Guide and Minion Guide additions...
      • Addition a Favorites tab.
      • Text search on mount and minions.
      • Recently acquired mounts and minions will be indicated with a green marker.
    • (QOL/UIC): Favorites tab in Emotes menu added.
    • (QOL/UIC): Moogle Delivery Service menu adjustments...
      • Received letters are divided into Letters from Friends, Purchases & Rewards, and Letters from GMs tabs.
    • (UIC): The clock in Server info may now be toggled between 12-hour and 24-hour formats.
    • (UIC): In preparation for new UI skins, the colors used in certain parts of the UI have been adjusted. 👀
    • (UIC): Icon added to the login screen in preparation for the character settings backup feature.
  • Patch 4.45
    • (MAJ): Eureka Pyros added.
    • (MAJ): Server Backup function added in beta state.

A Requiem For Heroes

  • Patch 4.5
    • (MAJ): BLU added.
    • (QOL): The limit on the number of interactive furnishings that can be displayed has been removed. Such items will be displayed regardless of how many are placed (unless you have a 32-bit operating system).
    • (UIC): You can now hide the arrow icons that indicate interactive furnishings.
      • Character Configuration > Display Name Settings > NPCs > Housing Furniture settings
    • (UIC): New estate tags added.
    • (QOL): Players can now use Return and Teleport from inside an inn room.
    • (MAJ): Doman mahjong added.
    • (UIC): It is now possible to filter by complete or incomplete objectives in the Challenge Log.
    • (QOL): The ability to set the magia board aspect to offensive or defensive added. Can have the magia board automatically set itself based on current target using /magiaauto.
    • (QOL): The recast timer of abilities will now be reset when entering dungeons, trials, and raids.
    • (UIC): Countdown icon for "Focus Attack" is now displayed above the enemy team party list.
    • (UIC): Special Recipes can now be viewed by category more easily in the Crafting Log. The user interface has been modified to use collapsable sections.
    • (UIC): User experience changes related to World Visit...
      • You can no longer use just a character name as a qualifier. You must add @[Home World] to the character name.
      • The online status of free company members is now displayed while you are in a duty.
      • The World name is now displayed in the Server Info HUD.
    • (QOL): If a player is accessing the retainer vacate menu when matched to a party via the Duty Finder, they will automatically exit that menu.
    • (QOL): "Only select from favorited mounts" toggle added for the Mount Roulette and Flying Mount Roulette actions.
    • (UIC): An icon to indicate mounts that seat multiple passengers has been added.
    • (QOL): "Only select from favorited minions" toggle added for the Minion Roulette action.
    • (UIC): Friend list display has been adjusted to indicate more clearly when a filter is being used.
    • (QOL): A sound effect now play when a ready check is initiated.
    • (UIC): HUD Layout Settings now allow the transparency of most UI elements to be adjusted.
    • (MAJ): Server Backup function released as a beta for PS4.
  • Patch 4.55
    • (MAJ): Eureka Hydatos added.
  • Patch 4.57
    • (MAJ): World Visit system added.
    • (MAJ): Server Backup function released officially.

While I’ve always loved scouring the patch notes for user experience changes, doing so at this point in time not only makes me grateful for what we do get for the five 3 month cycles each expansion has, but it has gotten me even more excited for what changes lie ahead.

When we were building up to Stormblood two years ago, I was so excited to see the quality of life upgrades done in the wake of sunsetting PlayStation 3 support for the game. It’s not as glamorous a term, but the move to sunset 32-bit operating systems has allowed the devs to lift a lot of the limitations they were once bound by and I’m sure they’ll continue doing so with the early Shadowbringers patches. Tell me what you’re excited to see change in Shadowbringers and leave it in the comments below or throw a tweet my way.

We’ll get a sense of exactly what those changes are soon enough, and I’m utterly excited to share that information with you when it becomes available.

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