Big changes (and one bighorn beast) afoot in Final Fantasy XIV

In his tenth letter to the community since assuming the Final Fantasy XIV producer role in December, Naoki Yoshida posted a staggering list of changes in process and planned for the troubled MMO. The exhaustive and meticulously charted notes suggest that Yoshida's team at least has its "concrete" plan in place -- the first goal of the leadership shakeup -- to right the game following its disastrous launch eight months ago. Better yet, some updates have already been implemented through the two most recent patches, 1.16 and 1.17.

While it's sort of impossible to concisely sum up the changes coming in the upcoming 1.18 patch -- expected before this summer -- some of the highlights include a revamped battle system and a new job system, in addition to the "long-awaited" Ifrit battle (early concept pictured).

Of course, these improvements and add-ons might be met with mixed reaction from players. Should they succeed in bringing about a better Final Fantasy XIV, it would be an undeniably good thing -- but perhaps a good enough thing for which Square Enix could finally start charging a subscription fee.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.