FFXIV Famitsu Interview with Yoshida

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On December 17, A REALM AWOKEN (FFXIV Patch 2.1) will be released for Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn. We had an interview with producer/director Naoki Yoshida about the new instanced dungeon details, descriptions of job adjustments, and a number of things on the horizon for players to look forward to.

The 10th LIVE producer letter was jam-packed with content...

Tell us about the 10th LIVE producer letter the other day. It was two hours long and jam-packed with content.

Yoshida:

Yeah, I really needed a break. I kept getting thinking "hasn't it been two hours yet?" and hoping it would go by faster. (laughs)

Two hours seems like it's about the right length for these broadcasts.

Yoshida:

Yeah, it gives us enough time to get through all of the content and through any of the broadcast hiccups we run into. (laughs)

Actually, we were surprised by all of the information that we had to pack into the 120 minutes.

Yoshida:

I thought I might have been twiddling my thumbs at some point.... anyway, back on topic (laughs).

The broadcasts are pretty fun to watch. (laughs)

Yoshida:

For the content of upcoming broadcasts, we've planned many improvements. For example, after talking with the community team staff, we've asked for some honest feedback about any issues with the broadcast so that we can make it more enjoyable for everyone. It's a hot topic on the forum, and we want to make sure everyone can enjoy the LIVE broadcasts, but also that the information gets conveyed to all players of FFXIV.

In patch 2.1, Eorzea is evolving from "Reborn" to an "Awoken."

Explain for us the title of patch 2.1 - A REALM AWOKEN.

Yoshida:

In this patch, we are moving the game from "Reborn" to "Awoken." We chose this title because it is the theme of patch 2.1, where the powers which have been locked away and hidden will be exposed at last. For the story, "Awoken" will be a theme of the new quests in the main scenario. We have also planned sidequests in addition to the main scenario which will focus on Beastmen and a revolution within Eorzea. I hope everyone's looking forward to it.

Will any new characters appear?

Yoshida:

Yes. There will be new characters, and, of course, the reappearance of old characters. Additionally, there will be some old enemies which will be "awoken" as well.

Will the large amount of additional story content continue in the future as well?

Yoshida:

Patch 2.2 is actually scheduled to have about 1.5 times the amount of story in patch 2.1. The same applies to new characters which will appear in the story as it proceeds forward with each patch.

Was it easy to decide the title for this patch?

Yoshida:

Actually, we did decide this pretty quickly. We worked with Michael, who's responsible for translation of the English version, and asked him for a key word that worked nicely, and "AWAKE" came up. Because this is the first patch, we decided from the onset that we would continue to use the word "REALM" from the original game title, so it came from those ideas.

So that's how you decided the title.

Yoshida:

Yeah. After incorporating "REALM," the proposed title was "A REALM AWOKEN" and we decided to go with that. After we consulted with Oda, who's responsible for the world setting, we came up with the representation of this as a Japanese title. As a result of that, since everything in the world is waking up, we decided to use plural form "we" [[referencing the Japanese title]].

Then you set out to design the logo?

Yoshida:

We had to ask Minagawa to hurry (laughs). I had to apologize that I gave him very little time (laughs).

SPOILER: SHOW

(Laughs) Although the logo follows the original design, the font and color is very different.

Yoshida:

For the font, we plan to change it with each patch. Since an air of unrest is arriving in Eorzea and the battles will be very intense, we chose a font which reflected that. Unlike the traditional FF series logos, we wanted people to instantly see a difference when comparing the different logos side by side.

Seems like a bit of nostalgia is built into the design also.

Yoshida:

Yeah, I asked for it to look a bit like something of a 1980s or 1990s rock band, so that was intentional (laughs).

You intentionally chose the design in a rock band style?

Yoshida:

I wanted it to look different from other things that we've seen recently, so that even as a web banner it would be a very different image from others.

The three pillars of MMO development

People will likely be using patch 2.1 as the litmus test to gauge future updates for the new FFXIV. Do you plan for future updates to be implemented on the same scale?

Yoshida:

Generally speaking, we plan for the amount of underlying content to be about the same. One thing that will be different about patch 2.1 is that we are adding two entirely new systems - Wolves' Den (PvP content) and player housing. So to that end, there may not be as many new systems implemented with every patch.

Do you plan to proceed with the development of housing and PvP content over the next year?

Yoshida:

To run a successful MMO, I believe that there are three important pillars that need to be emphasized. The first is PvE (Player vs. Environment) and fighting against monsters. Next is PvP (Player vs Player), where adventurers vie against one another. The third, is all of the elements which come together to allow players to feel like they are actually living a life in the game's world. If the game can be successful on all three of those pillars, the overall success of the game is much more likely.

So that's why all three of these pillars are emphasized in patch 2.1

Yoshida:

Yes, that will be one part that differs from other patches. In the future, we will be building on each of these three pillars. There will be new monsters, new story and boss battles, and new dungeons. There will be new battlefields and rewards as well as additional content for PvP. We will add chocobo breeding and more housing content. All of these are in development.

The story seems to be an important pillar as well.

Yoshida:

Yes, even though new FFXIV is an MMORPG, as part of the FF series, the story will become the fourth pillar. With each update we will continue to add to the scenarios, so the story will always be moving forward.

So really the work is made up of four pillars.

Yoshida:

Yes. The three items I mentioned at first are the ones which allow a MMORPG to survive. In addition to those, we hope to continue to emphasize the story as the last pillar.

So the emphasis for future work based on the popularity of patch 2.1?

Yoshida:

Yes, we have a lot of plans for the future of the new FFXIV and we will do everything we can to see it survive as a MMO.

Tell us a little more about what will make up these four pillars in patches for the new FFXIV.

Yoshida:

Okay, so here's a bit more detail about PvE... we plan to add three dungeons with each patch. Additionally, new primal battles will be added with each patch. As you know there are many which ahve not appeared. In patch 2.1, we will be adding Good King Moggle Mog XII. While he was already present in the "old" FFXIV, he will be a bit special this time around with new battle elements. In patch 2.2, the main story will be supplemented with the next primal battle against Leviathan.

For future primal battles, will more than one degree of difficulty be provided?

Yoshida:

In the future, primal battles will be released at the same time. For example, in patch 2.2, we will add both the hard and extreme mode Leviathan battles to the game. We will also be adding the extreme mode King Moggle Mogg XII in patch 2.2, so there will actually be three of these battles added at once in 2.2.

Is there anything else you can tell us about PvE battle content?

Yoshida:

In every patch, either the Crystal Tower or the Binding Coil of Bahamut (the end game content) will be expanded. We will also be increasing the amount of available daily Beastman quests as well as smaller content such as treasure hunts with each update.

It was previously announced that the daily quests for the Beastmen would be tied to the existing story about the beastmen and added to each patch. After all of the beastmen of Eorzea have their stories added, what will happen?

Yoshida:

By the time patch 2.2 rolls around, all of the beastmen stories will be present. Then, adding additional episodes will become the main focus. Of course, as we add new beastmen, new corresponding daily quests will be added as well.

Increasing your "Rank" through PvP

So, for the second pillar, you'll be adding the "Wolves' Den" as PvP content?

Yoshida:

In patch 2.1, your PvP rank (the number which indicates your PvP prowess) will be able to be raised to a maximum of 30. Both your winning percentage and your playtime will be taken into account when calculating your rank ups. We will see how long it takes people to rank up when we consider subsequent additions.

When will it be expanded?

Yoshida:

In the future when the "front line" is introduced, we will open up the PvP ranks and rewards for 31 and above, at which time you'll be able to play up to PvP rank 50. We will decide with each patch based on the average rank of the player population whether we need to add additional ranks and rewards to PvP.

In patch 2.1, what will the categories and play format of PvP be like?

Yoshida:

You'll be able to participate in random matching with other adventurers at level 30, level 40, or level 50. Additionally, you'll be able to play with a party that you set up yourself at level 50.

Is it restricted to light parties?

Yoshida:

Yes, that's right. While we plan to add full party PvP in the future, we want to first make sure we have the balance right with 4 vs. 4. By having too many players at once it would be difficult to assess the situation.

What's your vision for the future of PvP content?

Yoshida:

Hmm... well, for one thing, we're looking into adding new game rules, such as a capture the flag mode which we have in development. We will also continue to expand the Wolves' Den itself, and will expand with "front line."

Player housing with so much content that it could have been its own expansion

So how about the third pillar and player housing?

Yoshida:

In each patch, we will continue to add new objects such as furniture. You'll be able to do things such as cultivate Gysahl Greens in the field. We'll also be adding new play elements such as chocobo raising in the Chocobo stables which will be added in one of the upcoming updates to housing. We plan to add at least one element like this to housing with each patch.

It seems like a considerable amount will be added in patch 2.1.

Yoshida:

Taking into account the development time, it's actually taken us about a year or more to get this content ready. If you include the planning time, it was even longer. We had to work really carefully to program and implement the specifications that we came up with. It took 6-9 months just to do the coding for the housing interiors. We had so much planned from the onset that we probably could have made player housing the focus of its own expansion disk.

Patch Notes to be published a few days before implementation

So when will the patch notes be published so that players can understand all of the patch details?

Yoshida:

Like with old FFXIV, the patch notes will be published a few days before the implementation date. Once the update is just around the corner the contens of the patch will be lined out in the notes. Not including the recipes, item lists, and job adjustments, I've heard that the notes are already up to 35,000 [[Japanese]] characters at the moment. (laughs)

A whole new discussion will probably start around the patch notes.

Yoshida:

Yeah, but it will be different before people try it out. We hope that once people see the whole picture, they'll come back and say "wow, that was a good patch."

Will it be divided up by light party/full party content?

Yoshida:

Apart from the Crystal Tower which is alliance content, we plan for endgame content to be focused on a unit of eight players. For example, gathering Allagan Tomestones is good for a light party, but I feel like eight players is the smallest unit that should take on strong bosses.

Any reason in particular that you feel that way?

Yoshida:

Yes, we want to make sure that there is space in the party for at least two people of each role. 4-6 players is a number which has been used frequently in recent MMOs, but I stuck with the figure of eight people since back in the design stage for the aforementioned reasons. You can have two each of healer and tank and four DPS in the present situation. Once we add the hybrid role (which serves multiple roles), you'll be able to have two players from each role, for a total of 8 people.

What's the basic concept behind that?

Yoshida:

The underlying concept is that you can have eight players gathered of all different jobs, and each job plays a role in clearing the content.

So each job is like a piece of the puzzle. Can you clarify this at all?

Yoshida:

Think about it in terms of blocks. In the current content, there are eight sockets to fit eight blocks into. We have designed the content around this planned configuration. Of course, we did not restrict the freedom of the community to challenge this job configuration, and we are aware that the planned configuration is not the only one that works when clearing content.

Limiting Downgrades, Emphasizing Upgrades

Talking a bit about the job situation, in the 10th LIVE letter and on the forum you mentioned job changes a bit. Can you talk about the development and the situation behind these?

Yoshida:

As an example, in the Binding Coil of Bahamut, the roles of warrior and paladin should both be separate but similar. The design is based on the fact that the main tank and sub tank should not be fixed, so players should switch the main and sub depending on the situations. However, players have been getting through the content with paladin alone without the need for switching. As a result, the socket for this block has become distorted to "more easily" be filled with a Paladin, which essentially made it impossible for warriors to join. Of course players are focused on whatever makes the content most easily cleared, and as a result players have filled both of these sockets with Paladin blocks. It was a big mistake on our end, where we basically got the shape of the block wrong for this content we prepared.

Is there anything specific about Paladin which you got wrong?

Yoshida:

I think the combination of moves along with Hallowed Ground can be used to the point where it is too strong.

In other words, people used paladins because that block was more easily fit into the socket.

Yoshida:

Yes, and by adopting a two paladin configuration, it makes it even easier to complete the content.

And this was unexpected by the development team?

Yoshida:

Yes, this wasn't what the development team had planned. However, like I said earlier, players are of course going to adopt the tactics which give them the highest success rate. As a result, this hugely inconvenienced players who loved to play as Warriors, and I'm really sorry to those players.

Also, from a healer's perspective, since a Warrior can take more damage than a Paladin, they may have felt that they were more dangerous tanks.

Yoshida:

Yes, the timing of HP recovery from a healer's perspective is more difficult to determine with a Warrior tank. As a result, the healers suffered as well and this led to a lot of Warriors dying on the battlefield. I believe this is another reason that Warriors got a very negative reputation compared to paladins for tanking in the Binding Coil of Bahamut.

Holmgang as a one-time emergency use technique

How will you alleviate the situation created by the value of the Warrior "block" being relatively reduced?

Yoshida:

In the Binding Coil of Bahamut, we hope this will ease up the situation a bit while maintaining the utility of Paladins. The difficulty of this dungeon was actually even higher than we anticipated. However, rather than trying to modify the content which would change the difficulty for everyone, we wanted to provide more advantages to using warrior. Allowing warriors to be just as important as paladins was the main theme behind these adjustments.

So that's the idea behind the Holmgang adjustment.

Yoshida:

Holmgang is only one of the planned adjustments. When Holmgang is in effect, the HP will not go below 1. By using Holmgang for extreme content and recovering HP immediately, players will be able to continue the battle with the normal flow.

So this is just an emergency use skill.

Yoshida:

That's right, the duration is very short. For example, in the case of the hard mode Titan, it would be better to use this for a high-powered one-shot technique like Mountain Buster, rather than a continuous damage technique like Tumult. I'm sure you can think of other uses as well. We wanted to make this attractive to use while not fundamentally changing the overall technical play of a warrior.

How do warriors and paladins vary?

Yoshida:

Paladins are a strong defender, at all times. Warriors, on the other hand, tank by selectively using offensive or defensive actions depending on the battle. We imagine Holmgang to be used as an ace up a warrior's sleeve to avoid dying in an emergency. For Wrath, it became too complicated to balance defense, offense, and HP recovery, so we made adjustments to solve this problem.

Changes to other Jobs and Classes

Why the changes to bard?

Yoshida:

We wanted to reduce the role of bard a bit because too many functions have been added. In patch 2.1 we plan to transfer one of these to other jobs.

Will removing this ability make it any weaker?

Yoshida:

We're only removing one of the availabile abilities. Any change to damage dealt should be recovered by the additional actions that can be performed.

What about black mage?

Yoshida:

For black mage, there's a bug related to casting speed which has put its DPS ahead of other jobs. In patch 2.1, we'll be fixing this, which should put the overall DPS of a black mage on par with that of other DPS jobs.

As a general policy, do you plan to perform downgrades to individual jobs or upgrades to other jobs in the future?

Yoshida:

We don't plan to make negative corrections like this frequently in the future.

Any planned adjustments for other jobs?

Yoshida:

For other jobs and classes, we are planning to make certain actions a bit more effective than before. As one example of this policy, we plan to expand the effect range of a Summoner's Bane a bit. We will announce more details in the next LIVE producer letter.

If you wait much longer we'll only be able to read it in the patch notes. (laughs)

Yoshida:

We wanted to pre-announce a lot of the adjustments for warrior because of the current situation of that job. In the future, we will just talk about update items in general until we get close to the patch.

Average Item Level requirement of 50 in Crystal Tower

What are the restrictions on entry to the Crystal Tower?

Yoshida:

Players will need to have reached level 50 and cleared the main scenario. Progress in other content will not be related. However, Crystal Tower will also be restricted by an item level check which will need to be passed for entry.

What are the requirements of the item level check and when will it take place?

Yoshida:

The user interface display will be updated with a new field which shows the average item level of your equipment, and a check will be made based on this value. The timing of this check is carried out when the duty finder request is placed for Crystal Tower. If the number is not 50 or higher, an error message "the item level is not high enough" will be displayed.

Will any of the ancient secrets of the Allagan empire be revealed by completing the Crystal Tower?

Yoshida:

Yes, there is a dedicated storyline. The scenario will begin in cooperation with the investigation of St. Coinach's Find. Cid will also be involved. As you clear the main quest, you'll be aiming for the Crystal Tower. The characters around Crystal Tower will be arranged in anticipation its infiltration.

Give us some more detail about the number and type of rewards that will be available from the Crystal Tower.

Yoshida:

In the Labyrinth (the dungeon for the first stage of the Crystal Tower) which will be implemented first, four total boss monsters will appear. One treasure box is guaranteed to appear after defeating each one, and new exclusive items will be obtained from there. One treasure chest will found for each party, so if you look at the entire alliance, there will be 12 total items obtained in a single complete Crystal Tower run. The main items dropped ar armor. Since the armor drops successively, it may be difficult to decide exactly what you want. (laughs)

So the items could go to up to 12 different people. 50% probability at obtaining an item isn't that bad at all. Can you explain the system of lotting rights with the loot distribution?

Yoshida:

As an example, imagine you defeat one of the bosses and one item appears in the treasure pool for your eight man party. You perform the "need," "greed," or "pass," as you normally do. If someone obtains a drop, regardless of the selected command, they will not be able to choose "need" or "greed" later on. This condition clears at a specific time. You will be able to obtain an item up to once per week, but you can challenge the area as many times as you want.

So you should pass the items unless you really want them?

Yoshida:

Yes. If you can obtain an item you want and you have not used up your lotting rights, please don't hesitate to "need" the item.

So this is unlike the Binding Coil of Bahamut, for example, where you can receive equipment as many times as you want.

Yoshida:

There's a big difference between the two. The idea behind the Crystal Tower is that you can repeatedly challenge the tower with the goal of obtaining one specific item, and then go ahead and do other content once you receive that item.

Tell us a bit about the features of the monsters lurking in the Crystal Tower.

Yoshida:

Groups of monsters are placed at regular intervals, and bosses will be encountered after defeating some groups of the monsters. This will repeat several times.

How strong are the monsters?

Yoshida:

The battles are designed so that 24 people in three parties dealing damage at a certain level will be needed to defeat them.

So this content is designed so that you can help others.

Yoshida:

Yes. By the way, the weekly restriction mechanism has been incorporated into the extreme mode primal battles. The three extreme primals quest can be completed once a week.

And as a reward for that you'll obtain a weapon with item level 90?

Yoshida:

That's right. Please understand that once per week when you defeat the three extreme mode primals, you'll always obtain one weapon you like. A lot of players focus on the restrictions on the content separately, but if you look at everything together (binding coil, extreme primal battles, crystal tower, beastman daily quests, mythology tomestone limits...) it should be easy to set up a content rotation. Add in time spent with player housing and Wolves' Den PvP and there should be plenty to take on.

So the expected pattern is something like clearing the Binding Coil at the beginning of the week, then working on the extreme primals, then taking on Crystal Tower until you receive the item you're after, and last focusing on collecting Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy and Mythology until the counter is reset.

Yoshida:

Sounds like a packed schedule, but you can do it a bit more efficiently (laughs). You should also try to do the duty roulette once per day. It's not just about doing it more efficiently, though, we're also increasing the content as a whole so that people can try out more systems without getting bored of any one piece of content.

How do you hope that groups play through the content?

Yoshida:

The play style is free so I want players to play through whatever they feel like. However, if it was me... first I'd play through the duty roulette once per day. I'd also do three of the beastman quests per day. Since you'd generally be getting a good amount of Allagan Tomestones from other content, by the second day of the week, I'd be focused on taking on the extreme mode primals or taking a shot at Crystal Tower. Later on in the week, I'd work on crafting and participate in Binding Coil of Bahamut, and maybe by the weekend I'd work on Treasure Hunts with my free company and everyone else. I'd fit in Wolves' Den whenever I had free time. I hope that each player picks the content they like from among all of the content available.

The Alliance Targeting Window

Please tell us about the extra widget that appears at the top of the screen when you're in an alliance.

Yoshida:

In the alliance widget, you'll see the HP and job icon of players in the parties which you are not a member of. We decided to pare down the display to that level.

You will not be able to see TP?

Yoshida:

Some people may want to see the MP or TP of other members, but we have made it so that you can only check the HP of other parties' members. You'll be very busy, so you might find that you hardly even have a chance to pay attention to much more. (laughs)

What do you expect players to do with the job and HP information of the other parties' members?

Yoshida:

We hope those players will be able to help out when other parties are likely to be wiped out. It's also possible to target players by clicking on them in the alliance widget so that they can be healed.

Even within the alliance, you've kept the party size of eight consistent.

Yoshida:

Even though players will be able to defeat monsters together as one, it will be easier if players primarily focus on playing their given role within their party.

Plugging Away at Allagan Tomestones

Please tell us about the current situation and your future plans for Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy and Mythology.

Yoshida:

Prior to patch 2.1, obtaining Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy and Mythology was one of the only methods of vertical character progression. The basic premise, though, was that players would progress as they took on the highest level content with equipment available in dungeons, and for players who find the highest level content difficult, Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy and Mythology would serve as an alternative to obtain high performance equipment by collecting them over a period of time, making the higher level content easier to take on. The idea was to create two directions for character progression.

OK, I understand. The tomestones were added as an item for players to plug away at.

Yoshida:

The idea was that the most hardcore players would obtain items as drops from content, and casual players would gradually catch up. Although there would be a large difference at first, the gap would close over time. However, in the current situation, players have to repeat the same content in order to obtain the tomestones, and there really wasn't enough. We're sorry to have kept you waiting, but we believe that a lot of the content added in patch 2.1 will help solve this problem.

So it seems like you're creating different content for players who seek efficiency and those who want to play at a more leisurely pace.

Yoshida:

Yes, and I'm sorry that the current situation really doesn't reflect that. For the highest efficiency, players can take on the new Pharos Sirius dungeon or the two hard version dungeons that we are adding. For players who prefer to collect the tomestones at a more leisurely pace, they can use the duty roulette and also work on other content such as the beastman dailies or treasure hunts.

Previously, you announced that you'd be raising the limit on the acquisition of Allagan Tomestones on Mythology - how far do you plan on raising the limit?

Yoshida:

We are currently thinking around 450 tomestones per week, but the decision has not yet been finalized.

Duty Roulette and individual play styles

The duty roulette is part of dividing up the content into efficiency vs. leisurely pace?

Yoshida:

Yes. For example, the low level content roulette applies to content up through the Rihtahtyn assault [[Cape Westwind]]. Because many people are experienced with this battle through the main quest, you'll be able to take it on without worrying too much about whether or not you have the skill to contribute.

The reward is low, so you probably won't be matched with other players who are only seeking efficiency. (laughs)

Yoshida:

About half of the people who are playing the new FFXIV have not yet obtained any of the Darklight equipment yet. After reaching 50, most of those people are developing other classes and working on gathering and crafting rather than actively collecting Allagan tomestones. By taking on the low level duty roulette once a day, players will be obtaining 200 Philosophy tomestones. They can do this over time, little by little while playing other content, and at some point they'll see all the tomestones they've accumulated and decide to buy some Darklight equipment. Ideally, we want players to be able to collect them without even really thinking about it. Of course, if you're just worried about efficiency, please check out the other high level content. (laughs)

For the duty roulette which you can partake in once a day, is there any specific time after which you can try again?

Yoshida:

Yes, it's 0:00 JST. For content that's on a weekly timer, the reset time is 0:00 JST on Tuesday.

Once you reach that time you can take part in it immediately again?

Yoshida:

Your participation rights in the content are used up at the time of obtaining rewards after clearing the content. You'll want to complete participation in the content before the date changes in order to be able to go again.

So for weekly content, there's really no need to rush to take part.

Yoshida:

Apart from the daily content which resets every day, you shouldn't really need to rush to participate in any content unless you wait until Monday.

After finishing the duty roulette, how will players be earning experience points outside of FATE battles?

Yoshida:

For those who want experience? It's good to try out dungeons once per day since that can be a fun experience. Players should also try out treasure hunts and beastman dailies. After finishing the low level roulette, you may want to try the high level one.

A lot of players may not try the high level duty roulette even if they meet the entry conditions.

Yoshida:

Until they obtain strong equipment from Allagan tomestones, I want players to be able to casually be able to accumulate to be able to afford that equipment. I also want to make a lot of options available to these players such as beastman dailies and treasure hunts. I don't want people to be focused on just one type of content, I would like players to experience a variety of content.

Designed to encourage leisurely play

In the low level duty roulette, can you also obtain Mythology tomestones?

Yoshida:

You will obtain 10 each time. You can earn up to 70 per week this way. Of course, for players who are working on the low level duty roulette, they are not really working on obtaining mythology. Mythology equipment or Relic +1 weapons are probably something they are thinking about in the distant future. That said, once they start accumulating it little by little, at some point they will notice how much they have, and maybe start to think about the ways in which they could obtain in faster. At this point, that person might have some Darklight equipment and will maybe look at trying out Amdapor Keep or Wanderer's Palace to obtain more mythology tomestones.

Will there be any bonuses to the duty roulette, like obtaining a varying amount of Allagan tomestones?

Yoshida:

The amount will always be fixed. In order to prevent any trouble during completing the content, we're also not doing anything like an fast clear bonus. There is the potential that we may change this in future patches.

Beastmen Dailies are convenient for players approaching level 50

Can you use the Beastman daily quests to earn experience points?

Yoshida:

Because they can be taken on after clearing the Stone Vigil, they can be used by adventurers who are working their way up to level 50.

When you play through all the quests that you can take on in one day, will you obtain enough experience to go up by one level?

Yoshida:

Because there is a limited number of quests per day, you will not earn quite so much experience, but you can go through the quests and obtain the rewards at your own pace because of the format. Rather than focusing on raising your level from just one kind of content, we're also putting a good experience value on the duty roulette.

From the second class onward, the content roulette will receive the armoury bonus, so leveling up should be pretty smooth.

Yoshida:

Yes, for the second class and onward, players should definitely be able to earn experience efficiently through instanced dungeons. Those who still hesitate to partake in those dungeons will be able to leisurely level up in FATEs as well. We've also improved the experience values and given role bonuses to players who are currently missing from the duty finder queue.

Earning High-Performance Accessories from Extreme Primals

Tell us some more about the extreme primal battles.

Yoshida:

This will be very difficult content. Until the method for clearing these battles is well-established it will be very difficult to clear. The scenario is unique because of the presence of the primals in the battles, so please stay tuned.

What's the time limit?

Yoshida:

In the hard mode primals we have the limit set to 90 minutes, but we think players may get tired of the battle after that long, so we're considering shortening this a bit.

The item level of weapons available from the extreme primals is 90, but how strong will they be?

Yoshida:

As far as the item level goes, they are the same as "Relic +1," but the exact parameters will be different. Since I believe it's good to have a variety of choices for the strongest weapons and armor which you can combine to fit the content you're taking on, they should be considered among the other top tier choices.

You plan for players to selectively use armor and weapons based on the situation?

Yoshida:

Yes, I'm thinking that equipment of the same item level can vary in its proper use. For example, on weapons, you may want to have an emphasis on determination, or you may want to combine with other equipment and emphasize critical hits.

So you don't want players thinking that a particular weapon is not necessary when they have another weapon at the same item level.

Yoshida:

Yes, I think for players to become really strong, they will work on collecting all of them, and they will adjust the equipment according to the planned tactics and the type of content.

In the 10th LIVE producer letter you mentioned that there would be some other items?

Yoshida:

Separately from the weapon that you can obtain as compensation, there is a chance that an item will drop from the extreme primal. Additionally, a treasure box with accessories at a high item level will also appear.

Focus on Dialogue during the King Moggle Mog XII battle

Tell us about the story behind the extreme version of Good King Moggle Mog XII which will be added in patch 2.2.

Yoshida:

We will talk more at that time, but this will be a brutal battle.

Is there anything else you can tell us about it?

Yoshida:

We think there will be a lot of conversation about the speech bubbles that appear in the Moggle Mog XII battle added in patch 2.1, so it should be very interesting for now. (laughs)

For example, what kind of conversation will appear?

Yoshida:

I don't want to ruin it too much, so please check it out (laughs). The words will be worthy of the Moogle's personality. The tempo of the song will change each time one of the minions are defeated, and you will have to attack various objects to remove them. There should be some sense of panic, but it will also be a comical atmosphere. It will definitely be different from Titan where you constantly feel that one mistake can lead to failure.

For the Moogle battle, what is the difficulty planned?

Yoshida:

We believe that the difficulty will be between the hard Garuda and hard Titan primal battles. We recognized that there's a large difference between the difficulty of those two fights, so we wanted to add something to bridge the gap.

For the difficulty of hard mode Titan, is it what you originally expected?

Yoshida:

We expected the difficulty of the hard Titan battle. However, as I mentioned, the difficulty step up was too large, so we wanted to add a range of equipment like in Crystal Tower and other places in the future so players don't feel like they absolutely need to win Titan right away.

Pharos Sirius, the hardest four-man dungeon

Tell us about the difficulty of the Pharos Sirius lighthouse.

Yoshida:

In addition to Pharos Sirius, we will also be adding the hard versions of Haukke Manor and Copperbell Mines in patch 2.1 - all three of these will be the same difficulty. These are intended to be the most difficult dungeons that a party of four people can take on.

What are the restrictions for entry?

Yoshida:

You'll need to be done with the main scenario.

Gil cost of Housing currently under revision

What will be the price of land available for housing?

Yoshida:

We haven't decided yet (laughs). This morning (note: the interview took place on November 25), I confirmed the monetary values, but I had a few questions for the staff. I got some answers, but that led to more questions... I'm going to be talking to them some more right after this (laughs).

Are you basing the costs on a clean slate?

Yoshida:

We're taking the economic situation of the entire world into account after reviewing all of the logged data. The cost fractions are decided roughly based on the size of the land. We determined the price based on a number of factors.

For the medium and large size houses, do you have a rough idea in mind of how many adventurers they can accommodate?

Yoshida:

The medium size house will be for roughly 10-15 people, and I believe the large size house will be OK for 20 people or more.

Seems like some free companies have already begun restructuring in anticipation of the housing additions.

Yoshida:

It might be a little early (laughs). The price of the land will lower in the auction countdown, and this content is planned to exist for a long time. By accumulating steadily with your companions, I feel like most people will be able to eventually afford it.

Item level is a key parameter for development

Above level 50 the item level becomes more important, but what role does it provide?

Yoshida:

The item level is a measure of the item's strength. When we're balancing difficulty and item performance, the upper and lower limits are based on a formula. The item level is used as the criteria in this formula. For example, in patch 2.1, the item level of Allagan weapons will be raised from 90 to 95. Since the limits on the stats of item level 95 equipment is predetermined, the higher performance will simply be based on that formula.

Is this also an important parameter on the development end?

Yoshida:

Yes, the number does have more meaning. For example, crafters can manufacture item level 70 gear which can be enhanced through materia melding and overmelding, but the performance of the armor would not exceed the numbers found on item level 90 gear.

For melding and overmelding, the upper limits are determined based on the item level?

Yoshida:

The upper limit is determined based on a formula. If a person was doing the calculation it could lead to errors. However, because the calculations for the numerical values are carried out in advance, if the calculated damage outweighed the item level we could detect it automatically during development. Since it's calculated in advance, the appropriate value is automatically applied.

Speaking from a player perspective, the item level may be used as a gauge to measure progress in the game.

Yoshida:

It's also intended to give a general gauge for the strength of adventurers as a numeric value. This should be further reinforced by the average item level display which will be added in patch 2.1.

Speaking about item level, what's the reason that you decided to raise the item level of Allagan weapons in the first place?

Yoshida:

Many more people have acquired the HQ version of job-specific weapons compared to what we initially expected. The item level of the weapons available from the final encounter of the Binding Coil of Bahamut was also level 90, so we wanted to give players added motivation to continue to participate in this high level content.

The level of adventurers currently caps out at 50, but come patch 2.1, the highest item level equipment will be 95. Will this difference remain at this level in the future?

Yoshida:

The item level will continue to go up while adventurers are capped at level 50. In patch 2.2 we plan to raise it by another step.

So it's better to consider the item level and character level as completely separate things.

For adventuers who reach level 50 later, they will be about 50 off from the highest item level, so it will be easier to compare adventurers to each other with the item level.

The current highest level is Allagan weapons at 95, so it will still be increasing.

Yoshida:

Yes the difference is 45 from level 50; however, that's just based on the current situation.

Adding new content to foster more play in FFXIV

The amount of experience obtained from the main quest is determined by a percentage of a level for each range?

Yoshida:

It's designed so that you can get to level 10 just from doing quests. You should be able to just about get to 20 between hunts and quests. Hunts and quests together should get you about 70% of the way to 30, 60% of the way from 30 to 40, and about 40-50% of the way after level 40. This doesn't include the extra experience that you get from going through the dungeons as part of the main scenario, etc., so it's actually even more. Completing a dungeon instance about three times is intended to give players one level after level 40, but right now we know that FATEs are the preferred method of leveling that most players have followed. With the addition of the beastman daily quests in 2.1, we think there will be more options to consider.

So the methods of leveling up will be increased.

Yoshida:

Our goal with new FFXIV is is that leveling up isn't the only thing players are doing. We hope that they can get up to level 50 at a good pace on a class/job that they like. I want players to be able to enjoy the variety of different content on each of the classes or jobs so this can last a long time as a MMO.

Real life events with the development team and the World Tour

Do you plan to have more real life events with fan participation like the Titan challenge?

Yoshida:

Because the Titan and Ifrit challenges were very popular, we plan to have events like this in the future in similar formats. We're hoping to have a real life event dedicated to showcasing the content every time we release a new patch.

Can you give us an example on the type of content?

Yoshida:

The real life events carried out around patch 2.2 will have something showcasing the extreme Titan and hard mode Ultima Weapon battle strategies. We will follow up around patch 2.3 with events which showcase the hard and ultimate Leviathan battles.

Will there be events around the world so that others can enjoy them as well?

Yoshida:

Yes, we're planning events soon for Europe and the United States. So far I've been the only one who's fought alongside other players, but we're planning to mix it up in the future. Of course I'll also be answering questions about the game and, if you want, take commemorative photos.

So people can look forward to enjoying the event-specific content with other staff members.

Yoshida:

Yes. We'll probably link these up with producer live letters and broadcast them to the whole world live via the internet. We also plan, if possible, to have some exclusive good available to sell at the venue.

Will you be selling any new goods at the event in January?

Yoshida:

We're working on it (laughs).

In which countries in Europe will you be holding events? Germany, France, the United Kingdom...?

Yoshida:

The schedule might be a bit too tight to hold events in three different countries. For Europe, we will probably just hold an event in one country.

Will you be involved in other events besides the producer letter LIVE from Osaka and the world tour?

Yoshida:

Yes. We're planning to invite about 200 players, and we'll also be touring major cities across the country apart from the world tour.

Do you expect these events to take place quickly over a short period of time?

Yoshida:

We will try to get around the country over the course of a year, once every two or three months. For the world tour, since we'll be spending a lot of time traveling and the development work could stagnate, we'll try to keep the events spaced out over short periods of time.

FFXIV breaks new domestic MMO records

For the most part we've talked about patch 2.1 details so far, so please tell us about feedback you've received on the successes and failures since the launch three months ago.

Yoshida:

While we began trying to relaunch from the failure of the old FFXIV, I'm delighted in the number of people who have experienced the new FFXIV. This has been the result of all the hard work from not only the development team, but also the management, advertising team, and everyone else coming together. We've had over 300,000 players and the highest MMO recorded retail sales domestically. We're definitely pleased with so far, and I'm especially relieved since I felt even more responsible since this was the latest installment of the FF series.

Any negative feedback?

Yoshida:

There was a lot of problem with the software and players not being able to login for the 2-3 weeks around launch. Looking back now, I'm sorry to the valuable time that was lost for all the fans. The other day I took a look back at some older online shopping sites that had reviews which said "you can't log in to the game when you start it" and I felt sorry once again.

What are your prospects like right now?

Yoshida:

I feel like we've gotten started in the right direction, but we need to focus on maintaining subscriptions in the future. In the past three years, the production team has worked hard, and we hope that all our effort has paid off and really shows in the final game.

Do you get a lot of inquiries about publishing overseas?

Yoshida:

We're already working on it for China, and we've received other inquiries from countries like Russia, Taiwan, South Korea, and a number of other countries. We want to make the game as global as possible.

Aiming to make the game fun for all players

So any last messages to all the players?

Yoshida:

The new FFXIV is still just getting started. Above all, we're focused on responding to player feedback and providing enjoyable content for everyone. We will continue working as hard as possible with this cycle and thank you for your continued support in the future. The world will be changing in patch 2.1, so we hope you're ready.

There's a large variety of content coming for FFXIV around the holidays and New Year.

Yoshida:

The amount of content that we'll be adding at the end of the year in patch 2.1 alone is much more than you'd find in most games. It's something like 300-400 hours of content when all is said and done, so please look forward to it!

We can't wait!

Same thread, different interview:

  • They're still getting about 100,000 new subscribers per month.
  • They're reducing the time you get locked in place after Spineshatter Dive and Dragonfire Dive to make it easier to avoid AoEs.
  • Recast time of Power Surge will be shortened by 30 seconds.
  • Hard mode dungeons will be changing up enemy placement as well as the general look and feel of the area (fog/lighting, etc.).
  • The three dungeons they add with each patch will be two hard mode and one new instance dungeon for four players. They will start adding ones at a higher difficulty level once Binding Coil is further expanded.
  • Instanced dungeon EXP will be increased to about 150% of the current value (i.e. 50% more EXP), and between the various bonuses for rested EXP and roulette, players should be able to get about 3x the experience they can currently get.
  • GCs will not be expanding to allow higher player ranks just yet. Your FC's GC standing may have some effect on PvP down the road.
  • Once you install furniture into your housing, you can no longer sell it.
  • Treasure Hunts involve decoding a map and finding and opening a chest, rewards include EXP, equipment, tomestones, housing materials, HQ materials....there are different grade treasure maps with different grade rewards (up to grade 5).
  • Something about snowball fights in Coerthas, sounds like part of a seasonal event.
#2 Posted by Itwastuesday (938 posts) -

I kind of wish every game that produces patches did it with long-form interviews with the project leader. Well, that's a lot of junk these guys are adding! Please look forward to it.

#3 Posted by EXTomar (4508 posts) -

I kind of wish every game that produces patches did it with long-form interviews with the project leader. Well, that's a lot of junk these guys are adding! Please look forward to it.

This is a stellar idea in general.

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