Square Enix recently held a live letter concerning patch 6.2 for Final Fantasy XIV. This new patch will include additions to the main story, balance changes, personal islands, and also Variant Dungeons.
Variant Dungeons were initially called Criterion Dungeons when they were first announced. In Variant Dungeons, players can play solo or with friends through a dungeon with a branching story, making a new type of content for lore-hungry players. These dungeons are replayable so players can see every branch and outcome.
The first Variant Dungeon will be called The Sil’dihn Subterrane and players will explore the dungeon with a certain NPC character relevant to the dungeon’s story. These dungeons can also be done with unsynced parties that don’t fit the typically required roles (as in, one tank, one healer, and two DPS).
Criterion Dungeons still exist though, and the name has been repurposed for harder versions of Variant Dungeons that follow a traditional format. Criterion Dungeons will take Variant Dungeons but only follow one path, require a typical party format, and are also harder as they don’t allow players to freely resurrect.
To make things even more intense, Criterion Dungeons will have a “Savage” difficulty option for highly geared players. These Savage Criterion Dungeons are reminiscent of Mythic+ in World of Warcraft. Players will have to act fast as the enemies will get stronger over time. Players also will be unable to resurrect at all, and a total party wipe will force the entire dungeon to reset.
This means players will have to clear the dungeon in a single go with as few mistakes as possible. The rewards for Criterion Dungeons are unknown, but we can speculate they’ll be similar item level to other end-game sources of gear.
Players can try Variant and Criterion dungeons for themselves when they come out with Patch 6.2 in August.