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Final Fantasy 14 won't let you blast past its story for free anytime soon because Yoshi-P worried 'the value of the game itself will be diminished'

 The Hero of Light slashes with paired daggers.
The Hero of Light slashes with paired daggers.

Director and producer Naoki Yoshida has squashed the possibility of introducing a new alternative starting point in Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail.

The MMO is getting to be a mighty long game. With one base game, four expansions and a fifth one on the way, I don't think it's too out there to reckon that you'd be spending a good 300 - 400 hours ploughing through the story alone.

That can be a big roadblock for would-be Warriors of Light and honestly, if I hadn't been playing for almost a decade I don't necessarily know if I'd have the willpower to get through it all. Of course, there is the option to cough up a few bucks for a story skip, but with Dawntrail marking the beginning of a new narrative arc, I was hoping that there'd be an option in-game for an alternative jumping in point.

The possibility of a skip to allow people to join the story during the post-Endwalker patches was discussed last year, so in a recent interview I did with Yoshida, I thought I would bring the question up again. Sadly, nothing is in the works anytime soon. "For the story we are not currently planning any kind of new skip feature," Yoshida said. "This is something I'm constantly torn about, and we have already finished implementing a feature that allows players to learn about the story, setting, and characters even when they skip the story."

Presumably Yoshida is referring to the Unending Codex, a feature that was implemented shortly after Endwalker's release. It has a ton of info around different characters and concepts within the game, providing helpful reminders or catch-ups on the major players within Eorzea and beyond. There's the Unending Journey too, a long-running feature that lets you go back and watch cutscenes for previous quests.

An image of the first Hrothgar in Final Fantasy 14 smiling as she regards her home, Tural, in Dawntrail. She is a large lioness-like lady with a bright, optimistic expression: sailing under a clear blue sky.
An image of the first Hrothgar in Final Fantasy 14 smiling as she regards her home, Tural, in Dawntrail. She is a large lioness-like lady with a bright, optimistic expression: sailing under a clear blue sky.

Despite offering in-game access to lore and a cash shop skip, Yoshida appears to be hesitant to make the process of ignoring 10 years of story easily accessible. "I'm concerned that if the globally acclaimed storyline can be skipped through a function, the value of the FF14 game itself will be diminished," he said. "So far, FF14 has been able to continue to grow while keeping the story as the main focus."

While that answer does seem to largely write off the possibility of a free in-game skip, Yoshida's answer didn't end there. "As such, please let me think about it some more," he said. "Of course, I do understand where you're coming from [about the increasingly daunting length of the story], so no need to worry about that."

It's a shame in a way, but I do understand where Yoshida is coming from. A lot of my love from this game has come from spending several hundred hours with its colourful cast of characters. I'm not sure I would be so darn attached to my Warrior of Light otherwise, but of course that's my own preference. I have pals who love the game just as much as I do while being unabating cutscene skippers.

There'll still be a paid option to skip ahead—something that I don't necessarily love, but at least it's there—but for now those looking to keep their wallets closed will have to power through the story. Or at the very least, utilise the escape key a whole bunch.

If you're wanting some more morsels of news and knowledge from Yoshida, good news! This answer is part of a larger interview coming to PC Gamer magazine where I talk to the director and producer all about Dawntrail. The issue's out on March 28 in the UK and April 16 in the US, and you can pick up an issue over on Magazines Direct.