This comes directly from the development team
[Update: Square Enix has provided a full text breakdown of the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker leveling plan. You can read it here.]
Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker leveling is going to be just as straightforward once the expansion is out, but there’s something you should know ahead of the expansion’s launch. The FFXIV team is now warning players that if you’re midway to leveling a specific job (or more importantly, if you’re right on the cusp and are about to ding): you should push them over the edge before the expansion. Let’s break it down fully.
The PSA comes right around this mark in the video, following a short break. Here’s the full transcript from the translation, communicated by Naoki “Yoshi P” Yoshida in the recent Letter from the Producer Live stream:
“So we’d like to discuss system adjustments. So jumping right in…once again we will be implementing downscaling. So this will be all classes and jobs, retainers, and trust NPCs will be affected. That being said, the time, number of duty clears and so on required to level up will remain unchanged. But there is one thing that we need to let you know ahead of time, ahead of this downscaling.
With Final Fantasy XIV leveling your jobs and alt jobs is much quicker compared to other games, and most of you have already maxed out your characters…but if there are people who are still leveling…I’m sure there may be people who are still in the middle of that. I’m terribly sorry if you are still in the middle of leveling, but for any EXP that’s kind of in the middle of your progress, it will be reset with 6.0. It would have been great if we could bump you up to the next level available.”
So to be clear, the team is not shrinking existing levels or anything like that. Instead, they’re warning people that they are implementing a “mid-level EXP reset.”
The reason they give for not bumping everyone up is that “a billion numbers would have needed to be rewritten” to manually override leveling values. This would have required “pausing the servers for maintained for three weeks.”