The latest Final Fantasy XIV Letter from the Producer Live broadcast introduced an entirely new type of dungeon content, which will be introduced following August 2022’s Patch 6.2 update. Called Variant Dungeons, the new FFXIV activities will offer a new approach to difficulty and choice. Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida detailed the concept behind FFXIV Variant Dungeons on the stream. They were previously introduced in the post-Endwalker content roadmap as “Criterion Dungeons”.
Variant Dungeons are variable-difficulty FFXIV dungeons designed for solo play or in parties of up to four. They’re meant for casual play, and have no role restrictions. This means you can bring four tanks, four DPS, four healers, or any combination of jobs to the dungeon. They’ll even allow mid-dungeon changes of job. Enemy strength in a Variant Dungeon will be based on party size. Variant Dungeons also have multiple pathways of progression, with branches based on player actions.
The first FFXIV Variant Dungeon is called The Sil’dihn Subterrane. Players will explore it with “a certain somebody” and will experience a different story based on their choices. They’ll be able to replay the dungeon to see different outcomes and paths.
The team didn’t just throw away the previous Criterion Dungeon name, though. That’s now the name of the hardcore take on FFXIV Variant Dungeons. Formally called Another Path – Criterion Dungeons, Criterion Dungeons are designed for max-level four-player parties. They’re require the traditional role mix of one tank, one healer, and two DPS jobs, and have a predetermined route and enemy makeup. They’re also different from a standard dungeon, in that they don’t allow normal methods to revive a KO’d player. Instead, every player has a limited pool of revivals to use on their fallen buddies. Enemies also don’t respawn if the party wipes out.
The first Criterion Dungeon will be called Another Sil’dihn Subterrane. It’ll have its own Savage difficulty tier. On Savage, Criterion Dungeons forbid all forms of revival. They also respawn all enemies on a wipe, and enemies get stronger if players can’t defeat them within a certain time limit. It seems designed to give 4-player parties a taste of the difficulty usually reserved for 8-player Trials and Raids.
Final Fantasy XIV is available on PS4, PS5, and PC. FFXIV Variant Dungeons arrive as part of the Patch 6.2, which launches in late August 2022.