That's right, 2018 plans. In the newest, and reportedly last, Active Time Report scheduled for the one-year anniversary of the game yesterday, Square Enix outlined some new content coming over the course of the game's second year. Unfortunately, the ATR was not subtitled this time around
, so there are big parts of it I can't yet report on, such as the survey results from the questionnaire the game served up for a while a couple months back. One takeaway is that anything not explicitly laid out here is still meant to be locked in for plans and timing by the end of this calendar year.
The crux of that survey, though, was asking what other characters in the Final Fantasy XV world needed an "episode" DLC, in the manner that Noctis' party has gotten, concluding with Episode Ignis arriving on December 13. More on that in a bit, but in terms of the survey, it's worth noting that the next episode, centering around Ardyn
, will be the first released of the "at least three" scheduled for next year. Ardyn's episode appears as if it might be more of a look back in history than previous episodes, with a focus being put upon worldbuilding in Eos. The dates and other content for other episodes are unclear, but Hajime Tabata expressed in the ATR that 2018 was not a hard-and-fast window, and that episodes would be released only when they were "satisfactory." Tabata also acknowledged that players really want to get more story content for Lunafreya, so I think it's a safe bet that one of the episodes will also center on her. I'm still kind of hoping for an Aranea one, for what it's worth.
The big free December update, though, will be out just before Ignis and will add the ability to switch active party members during battle
. For those who haven't played, up until now every battle required you to operate as Noctis, only able to set equipment for the rest of the party and allowing that to influence their battle decisions, as well as giving them orders for special techniques when available. The new update will give a new in-battle option to switch to another member of the four, and use some of the battle mechanics that have been given to those characters in their episodic DLC.
Now, back to Ignis. His episode, as mentioned, will be out in just a couple weeks
, and appears to take place canonically in the time immediately after the major plot events of Altissia. It's meant to have a couple hours of plot, but will have two routes of completion, one unlocking only for players who have finished the main game. This secondary route is implied to have some impact on the way that the polarizing ending of the main game has been received; I'll go no further so as to avoid spoilers, but I think anyone who has finished the game can probably guess what that might mean. The secondary route will also have a challenge boss fight, which differs from the other battle available to players who complete the episode via either route - a one-on-one Ignis v. Noctis battle all around Hammerhead.
Stay tuned as more information should lock in over the next few weeks!