Naoki Yoshida, the deep-voiced producer of Final Fantasy XIV, answered the questions from the fans during a live session held today.
Many questions were asked (not mine, unfortunately), and quite a lot of answers have been given. A few interesting concepts for future content have also been shown.
Yoichi Wada, president and CEO of Square Enix found the time to drop by as well, for a few words of greetings. You can read the full Q&A List as officially translated by Square Enix, and see the concept art shown past the cut.
Note: my personal notes will be in italics, in order not to confuse them with the official Q&A.
Q: When will the map will be renewed for XIV? I’ve been waiting for long time…#XIVLive
A: We’ll answer in next live event we hold! However, let me show you something as we are on Live. This is the dev. document about Gridania. As you can see, it’s a very major change! In any case, let me give you more details in the next live event!
They shown the map of the new Eorzea and one of the new Gridania, in which, if you squint enough, you’ll be able to see that the world is going to change a whole lot. They’re basically going to remove the whole labyrinth that made Black Shroud a chore to navigate.
Also, they pretty much confirmed that the revamp of Gridania will be featured in a Live event, probably the culmination of the many story-driven mini-events we’ve been seeing lately.
Q: When do you think you will be able to revamp the linkshell system?
A: We have been receiving a lot of feedback regarding the linkshell system. We will try our hardest to get this out as soon as possible. We are actually having a meeting today to discuss how we can improve the system!
Implement the ability to kick inactive members, pretty please?
Q: Will you make it possible to remember the set actions when switching classes?
A: In an interview the other day I mentioned it would be during 1.19, but it seems like it just barely wont make it and it is planned for 1.19a.
This is something I’ve been personally looking forward to quite anxiously…
Q: On the upper left of the white board, there is a highlander female, Miqo’te male of course, but are there going to be any other races added?
A: Once we add the aspects that are missing, we will consider the costs and look into adding more.
The lack of Highlander females is another of my personal pet peeves, I’m happy they’re looking into it.
Q:Hi Yoshi-p! I am a culinarian, please let me know what the planned timing for the food effects and your current thoughts on the class!
A: Planning for 1.20 or 1.21. If the effects get a bit too high, we will be focusing on a specific recipe and will be thinking in a bit different direction. Once we decide the specifics we will let you know.
Q: In FF series, ancient spells are ultimate spells. IN FFXIV, they’re not. Will it be adjusted later?
A: In 1.20, there will be major action and magic spell changes. I am thinking about adjusting this in there. Look forward to that change!
Q: Do you have any plans of implementing an efficient and easy-to-use party formation feature? Currently, everyone is shouting in town and it takes quite some time to efficiently form a party…
A: This is a very important topic for us and we are currently looking into creating a system where it is much easier to form parties.
Q: How do you determine which monsters are huge and which ones stay small?
A: We base it on how we feel the monster should be seen by players. Intimidating or not, etc.
Q: Does Yoshi-P play as a Miqo’te or Lalafell, or Roegadyn?
A: I typically always play a Lalafell!
Q: It looks like the game is on the way of becoming another FFXI. Is this intentional?
A: We received a lot of similar feedback when we implemented the auto-attack system. No, we are not intentionally trying to make the game similar to FFXI. We just wanted the players to be able to play the game at an easier pace.
Q: Could you tell us all of the jobs that are going to be released in 1.21?
A: There is one job that has yet to be announced… What we have announced so far is paladin, white mage, black mage, dragoon, monk, and bard. Last, here is a warrior image!
They also shown some more interesting concept art at this pioint. The artifact armor of a bard…
The Moogle-sword. A Moogle that turns into a sword. This is weird, but very cool…
… And the infamous transformable Bow-harp…
Q: Hello. I started playing after release, but I quit after hitting rank 30. I plan to come back. In your eyes, what do you think is the main feature of the game in its current state? It would help a lot if you can clear that up for players that are planning to return to the game.
A: It’s hard to say in its current state. We are only about 50% done regarding content. However, if we are talking about 1.19, I would have to say chocobos and Ifrit will be the main content. Everyone should get that FF-feeling with this content.
50%? They really plan to add a whole lot of things in addition to what’s getting implemented in 1.19… The game is going to become very big. At this point they shown a few minutes of gameplay showcasing the materia interface.
Q: Will you be able to attach materia to equipment created via the old recipes?
A: We will not be allowing materia craft to be used in conjunction with the old equipment. Apologies for this.
Q: How will you earn spiritbond points for Materia Craft? Will it be based on the number of hits? Parties you’re in? When does it reach 100%?
A: Spiritbond will increase when you earn experience points.
Q: We have seen Ifrit weapons. Are there any plans to implement Ifrit armor in the future?
A: The Ifrit weapons are heavily focused on Ifrit’s horns. I wanted to implement weapons with special effects so we will only implement weapons this time. However, we are currently in the process of creating new armor (job specific armor, crafter specific armor, etc.) for the upcoming content. Stay tuned!
They also shown a pugilist fighting with the Ifrit fists.
Q: Will you be adding chocobo animations while on chocoback? Like waving while riding?
A: Currently we don’t have any plans for this, but if there are a lot of requests, we will look into it.
Q: I understand that the chocobos implemented now are male. Will there be a female chocobo?
A: Chocobos are heavily connected with Ishgard and come only from there at the moment. In order to maintain their exclusivity, currently only male chocobos are being given out to the rest of the city-states. Also when you name Chocobo, you might want to name them male-type name.
Q: As a gamepad user, I find it difficult to scroll through the list of actions. Are there any plans to update the interface?
A: We will be working on updating the user interface not only for the gamepad, but for the keyboard/mouse users as well. Please be sure to provide us with your feedback.
Q: PvP has often been touched on, but exactly what kind of elements are you thinking to add?
A: First off, we are designing it so that players that do not wish to take part in PvP are not forced to. We are planning two things for PvP. The first are battles in the Coliseum. The second is an PvP area where you can fight for control of various influences.
Arena gameplay and a PvP dedicated area? count me in.
Q: What is the hardest part of this past year for you? And what is the happiest thing that happened in the past year?
A: Many hard things! (laughs) My very first month after the change was the hardest. However, my happiest moment is when you, players cheer me on! Thank you so much!
Q: I heard you like spicy food. How spicy are we talking here?
A: There’s a soup-style curry at a certain restaurant that is supposedly extremely spicy. I can eat it without even breaking a sweat.
Q: Yoshi-P, I bet you want a smoke right about now!
A: Haha. Yes I do! I would like a cup of coffee as well…
You shouldn’t smoke Yoshida-san… It’s bad for your health. I definitely endorse coffee though.
Q: What’s the best part about online games in your opinion?
A: The most attractive aspect to me is that there are so many things to do and people to meet everyday!
Q: When you rank up in Grand Companies, what kind of good things will happen? Also, please tell us some of the rank names.
A: First, you will be recognized on the Grand Company Lodestone page! Also many good things will happen such as an increase in the number of company seals you can obtain. Give it a shot in 1.19!
Q: Are there any plans on improving the pugilist class?
A: You should see for yourself in patch 1.19!
Q: Why do we lose everything including gear when failing the ‘forbidden’ material craft? It seems like too harsh of a penalty!
A: Yes, the penalty is big. When you get all seven equipment slots set with 1 materia each, you will be very strong. If you want to be stronger, there must be a risk associated with it. Feedback on this will be welcome though.
Q: Can you give some pointers for beating ifrit?
A: The normal mode is pretty easy to beat. However, the hyper mode is going to be very difficult. You’ll feel the true power of a “god” in that fight! Multiple stages… horns… I’ve said too much already!
Q: Is Yoshi-p almost capped on accessory points? You’ve got a bunch of accessories!
A: Yes, indeed. I can put about 6 more though. lol
Q: What kind of other mounts will there be aside from chocobos in the future?
A: When we did a survey on the forums, we received a lot of requests for “Magitek Armor” as an example. Things like that will be a good reference going forward!
Q: Will we have the chance of meeting the leaders of the Grand Companies soon? What about the NPCs that appear in the main scenario?
A: You’ll get a chance to meet the NPCs that appear in the main scenario very soon. Also, there’s an ongoing event that the GC leaders are involved in. You’ll have the chance of meeting the leaders of each GC as well. Stay tuned!
And I’m still conflicted about what company to join… the patch is tonight and I need to take a decision fast…
Q: Do the developers think the rate in which players completed Dzemael was fast? Slow?
A: The community team predicted the first clear would be after about 8 hours. I predicted 3 days and it turned out it was pretty much that. So I think it’s just right. Ifrit is even harder, so good luck!
Q: How did you get started in the gaming industry?
A: Well, I wanted to write story scenarios to begin with. I worked my way up from a large MMO-title and became director after that.
Q: After the claiming system change in patch 1.19, I’m afraid everyone will be power leveling each other. What do you think of this?
A: It depends on what you consider power leveling. I just want to make sure friends are able to help each other if they want to challenge content together.
Q: I hear rumors about moon phase or the direction you face giving special effects to crafting. What’s the truth?
A: I know it’s talked about in forum, too. Hmm. Maybe some things are better to be left unanswered.
I kind of expected this answer… Same question was asked about Final Fantasy XI long ago, and pretty much the same answer was given.
Q: On the Lodestone, level 51-60 recipes were posted. What is the meaning of this? Will the level cap be lifted?
A: Whether the cap will be lifted is a separate question. We posted these recipes to show off some new items as well as the necessity for equipment for high level and crafts that level 50 players can gain experience from.
Q: Can you tell us about the new class system?
A: For the class adjustments, we are planning to have every class possess their own identity. Also, actions with multiple elements and facets to them. In regards to jobs, you will be able to take on job quests from level 30+, and once you complete those will you will be able to use those jobs.
Q: Will you be able to convert equipment crafted with old recipes into materia?
A: Yes. The old recipes will disappear from the game, so convert all your beloved gear into materia and add it to the new equipment.
Q: Which Grand Company should I join? As the equipment rewards are different, I am having a hard time deciding.
A: There will be more chances to earn company seals coming and grand company balance overall will be adjusted. So don’t worry too much about rewards. You should pick the grand company you think is a good fit for you. Also we will not make changes in a way that friends in different grand companies can’t play together.
Q: Will there be a delivery system?
A: We will definitely be implementing a delivery system. Unfortunately, it’s something that is going to take time and I am unable to provide a date for that just yet.
Q: Do you have plans to add mandragora into Eorzea?
A: I will ask the character team if they can add it to their list!
Q: Is there any information you can provide regarding the impending doom of Eorzea?
A: Out of the 4 keywords that I provided earlier in the year (FUN, LIVE, REBOOT, REBUILD), the keyword “LIVE” will have a huge impact for this event. You’ll notice many changes that will occur in the world of Eorzea. I would like you see the changes for yourself in patch 1.19 and then use your imagination for what’s to come.
Q: When do you think the cool/sexy looking gear will be implemented?
A: We are currently in the process of working out the details. I want to be sure the class gear is implemented first. We will try to implement the cool/sexy looking gear by 1.22 or 1.23.
And that’s it. That’s quite a lot of information to take in, and it was definitely fun to watch. There’s also a lot to look forward to, especially the next Letter from the Producer Live, that will happen between the end of October and the beginning of November. Of course, I’ll make sure to cover it here when it’ll happen.