The FFXIV Team had no idea at first what the Ascians were up to
It can seem like everyone in the creative team planned everything from the start of a great story. Even though long-form stories are often told over many years, it is not the case. Everything is being created on the spot. Final Fantasy XIV is an example of this.
Famitsu interviewed Endwalker story designers Natsuko Oshikawa, Banri Oda, and FFXIV creative Director Naoki Yoshida. They admitted that they didn’t know what the Ascians were up to before Shadowbringers. They were generally bad guys until then.
Ishikawa stated that it’s easy to believe we planned it in advance. Original Ascian legends only let the player know they were paranormal entities with evil plans and no shadows. There were also other characters whose shadows didn’t show at the time so this special feature was removed and the Ascians were remade into “a bunch of bad guys.”
Oda, who was FFXIV in 1.0, said that the writing team didn’t know what to do with Ascian legends at the time. Yoshida claimed that the Ascians’ nebulous nature was a common feature of the characters.
He said that even back in A Realm reborn, Hellsward, and stormblood, it was stated, “We don’t know the Ascians’ goals yet, so let’s just have them do bad stuff in the background.”
Endwalker makes it feel like we have put the Ascians’ story behind us. We are now ready to move forward and not back as we embark on a “Newfound Adventure” using patch 6.1. Yoshida and Oda agreed that there are many more directions for FFXIV.
“Even though the end of the story is over, we want to remind everyone that the adventure isn’t yet over,” Oda said in a translation by Audrey Lamsam. “Although Endeavor was on an even larger scale, where we went into space and explored it extensively, we were still able to communicate through words and graphic details that there are many more places to discover.”
Yoshida added, “Well, there are different shards, and if you pull from the multiverse then everything is possible.”