The best time of the year for Final Fantasy XIV fans is coming with the next expansion’s release date being just around the corner. Among the numerous new features and changes that will be introduced to the game alongside the Endwalker expansion, the Island Sanctuary has led to plenty of curiosity and discussion among many players.
The Island Sanctuary will be a unique area that promises to offer an entirely new game experience for fans. Not much information has been revealed on the matter yet, but the expansion is only one month away.
Here’s everything we know about Endwalker’s Island Sanctuaries.
Everything we know about upcoming Island Sanctuaries
The Island Sanctuary feature was initially revealed alongside the first Endwalker showcase that introduced the main new features of the expansion during the spring. It was presented as an area to chill that would suit casual players in particular, with new ways to interact with minions, farm, stable chocobos, and more.
Island Sanctuaries will be considered “solo” areas where players can create and cultivate their space, FF XIV producer and game director Naoki Yoshida. “You can tend to your animals and crops, expand the territory on your island, and let your minions roam free,” Yoshida said in an interview with PCGamesN. “As such, it’s a mode through which you can enjoy the slow life.”
Following its initial reveal, many players compared this feature with games such as Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, but it will be distinct. It won’t be as developed either since it will only be the side content of the expansion.
In an interview with Meoni and Shenpai during the latest media event in October, Yoshida discussed this feature once again. He mentioned that it’d be possible to invite friends to your island and go visit their island too, as well as to customize the island by placing “buildings” and “gather materials” starting from a “blank canvas,” according to the interview.
He also explained that given the overwhelming response from the community after the feature was revealed, the developers wanted to put more effort into it to meet the players’ expectations, which might have delayed its release.
“I didn’t want to approach it in a hazard way because it might lead to a misunderstanding from the players,” Yoshida said. “So I thought it would be a safer option to wait until we can show screenshots or even live gameplay in a stream.”
Following this interview, many players have started to wonder if this feature would complement, or even replace in some way, the experience of housing. That’s currently the only way for players to garden and customize their own space in the game. But since houses are rare, they’re difficult and expensive to get.
Many players choose to buy flats or private rooms in Free Companies, which offer a similar experience, but it’s not to the same level that a whole private house offers. It’s still unclear what level of customization will be permitted, however, and how players will be able to interact with minions and the environment there.
When will Island Sanctuaries be released?
Contrary to what most players expect, Island Sanctuaries likely won’t release alongside Endwalker straight away. Yoshida mentioned it’d be introduced “during the 6.X series,” so in between the next expansions. But Square Enix has yet to reveal more details about the release date.
Considering that the guests of the latest media event weren’t able to see or learn anything more about Island Sanctuaries, it doesn’t seem like players will get to test it out in November or even this year at all. Players will seemingly have to be patient before entering the Island Sanctuary. In any case, the developer should reveal more information about it in the coming months.
FF XIV’s upcoming Endwalker expansion will be released on Nov. 23, or on Nov. 19 for players who pre-ordered it.