Square Enix is gearing up to take Final Fantasy XIV on the next 10 years with its first-ever graphical upgrade in the distant future. Starting from the next expansion, there will be improvements in animations, lighting, textures, and more to reflect the advancement of graphics over the past decade since its release.
Here's an overview of the upcoming visual enhancements:
Character Appearance Updates, including higher-resolution textures and improved visual quality for materials for hair, skin, gear, etc, as well as better lighting and shadow effects.
The overall appearance of player characters will be altered as little as possible.
Currently-existing NPCs will have their appearances updated through 7.x; however, not all old NPCs will receive this update.
Background visuals updates, including additional lighting points for improved visual quality, depth, and immersion, higher resolution shadows, improved textures, and better auto-generated greenery.