Media Tour 2019: Benefits of Dropping 32-bit Support

*This page lists videos and articles based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, and content in the final version is subject to change.*

TateandMe

While doing the interview, I was coupled with influencer GoldenTot(Tate). Together we asked questions in regards to the future of content going into Shadowbringers. One of the big highlights to Shadowbringers was the fact 32-bit Windows support was being dropped. So Tate wanted to dive more into how this will benefit the players and asked:

Tate:

So with the drop of 32-bit support I’m wondering if there’s anything specific you guys are excited to do with less limitations in the future, is there anything specific you guys have in mind for that?

Yoshida quickly responded with:

Yoshida:

The thing about Windows 32-bit OS is that there’s so little memory to process things and that was literally the biggest issue and the development team is surprised that XIV can run on 32-bit OS, it’s a miracle that it’s even functioning properly. So I think the biggest advantage of dropping the support is that it alleviates a lot of debug cost on the team’s end.

So in terms of dropping support it will allow us to manage more things, render more things at the same time. I think that’s where we will be seeing that breaking free of that limitation of that 32-bit OS. So for example, if you were utilizing housing, we don’t have to worry about accommodating for 32-bit OS and so the range at which things are rendered is expanded so you’ll be able to see more things rendered. Or in raid content, it will allow for us to depict more artistic, visual presentations on screens. I think those would be the elements that would be more easily recognizable with the upgrade.

So with the improvement of visual rendering, you might think that “Well what about character graphics?” Unfortunately character graphics quality will not dramatically change, that is more associated with the graphics engine and we would have to rebuild the graphics engine in order for the character models to become improved in visual quality. Considering if we were to rebuild our graphics engine, we would have to look at the resources we already have and it’s a mess right now, so we need to reorganize it, and so at this point we’re like “I think we want to release Shadowbringers first and we’ll come back to that later.”

So in the end, the major points are helping with developer time cost of debugging. Most of the benefits for the players will be what’s rendered on the screen – this will especially be useful during hunts and popular Fates. Unfortunately character graphics will still be behind, but honestly it is still better than most other popular MMOs on the market.



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