Today Square Enix broadcasted the sixth installment of the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Letter from the Producer Live webcast, starring Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida as he responded to quite a few questions from the fans, read by Community Manager Toshio Murouchi.
Square Enix President and CEO Yoichi Wada also attended for a moment at the beginning to specify that while he’s leaving his position (apparently he’s still going to work for Square Enix), nothing will change for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, as Yoshida-san already stated a few days ago.
Besides responding to the questions Yoshida-san displayed quite a few pieces of artwork for the game (that you can see at the beginning of the gallery at the bottom of the post) and traveled the housing zone of Limsa Lominsa, and the areas around both Limsa Lominsa and Ul’dah. You can also find quite a lot of screencaps of these in the gallery for those that missed the event, since it was streamed at the usual ungodly hour for a large part of the western world.
I have to say that the housing zone looks absolutely lovely, just like the ferry port that will let us travel between the two city-states. The overhaul of the area is definitely fantastic, and I can’t wait to see it in the actual game. Of course the initial sequence reproducing the opening of Final Fantasy VI with a green-haired Terra-like hyur riding a Magitek armor (including the appropriate but remade music track) was also quite unforgettable.
But without further ado, below you can read all questions and answers, with the official translation courtesy of the FFXIV community team.
Q1: What kind of bonuses will players receive by utilizing housing?
A1: By setting up items known as towers at your house, you and your free company members can receive bonuses to things like EXP, the rate in which you acquire gil, and other benefits.
Q2: Will you be able to buy and sell the rights to the land for housing in your bazaar?
A2: Yes. You will also be able to trade them.
Q3: Is it possible to have multiple houses? For example, your main residence is located in Limsa Lominsa, but you have a vacation home in Gridania or Ul’dah.
A3: It really depends on multiple factors, like lag and such, but as long as there are no problems we would like to make it possible to possess multiple houses.
Q4: Could you show us an image of an arcanist or summoner using their skills? (Just a peek!)
A4: We’re planning to release new information right before the start of Beta Test phase 3, so please wait until then.
Q5: In the previous Letter from the Producer Live you mentioned that summoner would make it in time for launch, but will it be possible to play as an arcanist in the open Beta Test?
A5: I don’t believe it will be ready in time for Open Beta; however, we would like to introduce them with a video.
Q6: Are you planning to implement great swords?
A6: We would like to introduce great swords when we implement a new class or job.
Q7: Compared to primal weapons and relic weapons, how strong are you planning to make the weapons from Crystal Tower and the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut?
A7: The way we’ve set it up is so you can use the weapons you obtained through the primal battles to then challenge the Crystal Tower, and then use the weapons you obtain from Crystal Tower to challenge the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut. With that said, the weapons and armor would follow strength in that order. Since there are a lot of primal weapons, we are also creating armor.
Q8: Will you be eliminating open dungeons like Castrum Novum from 1.0 where you could enter without having to make a party?
A8: The things we are calling dungeons will all be instanced dungeons, but that doesn’t mean that all of the dungeons that existed in version 1.0 will be turned into instances. There will be things such as FATE that take place in them.
Q9: Are there any plans for us to be able to go to areas from version 1.0 that we were unable to go to such as “Paglth’an?”
A9: There will be some locations you will be able to go to. In addition, even if it doesn’t make it in time for the launch, we’re thinking about adding these new areas in upcoming patches!
Q10: In regards to the weather in A Realm Reborn, what kind of weather will there be? Also, could you tell us any details about how the weather will affect the game?
A10: We’ve prepared sunny, cloudy, clear, rainy, and special weather for each region (for example sand storms and blizzards). We also plan on having weather largely affect fishing.
Q11: Can you show us the weather from a higher point-of-view?
A11: [Yoshida showed off a bit of the weather in-game]
Q12: Could you please tell us the difference between jobs and classes in A Realm Reborn?
A12: Compared to 1.0, we will be placing jobs above classes in terms of their ranking, however, classes will still remain better suited for times that you are leveling up solo, while jobs will be better suited for party content.
Q13: Are there any spots you would like us to pay attention to while in Limsa Lominsa?
A13: The open terraces, for instance. In addition, I would like everyone to enjoy the open atmosphere. It has a much different feel to it compared to the other main cities. We also made changes to the city so it’s easier to move from one location to another (including warp points).
Q14: How many instanced dungeons will there be at launch?
A14: Including the bigger ones, we will be implementing around 16-18 instanced dungeons.
Q15: Will there be a system that will forecast the weather?
A15: That’s something that would be nice to have so we’ll be sure to let the lead know!
Q16: In the previous broadcast, you mentioned that the materia system would be largely changing, but could you tell us some details on this?
A16: The equipment in A Realm Reborn will have sockets, and you will be able to place materia into these sockets without failure. We are calling any attempts to add further materia beyond the set number of sockets “forbidden,” (what we referred to as multiple melding) but if you fail at this in A Realm Reborn you will not lose your equipment. We will also be addressing this so imbalances do not arise with gear that has been melded with multiple materia in version 1.0. We will let you know further information as we move toward release.
Q17: Will we be able to enter instanced dungeons with our chocobo buddy?
A17: We would like everyone to challenge the dungeons with players at launch so you won’t be able to enter the dungeons with your chocobo buddy. However, we do have plans to release the restriction in stages. Please stay tuned!
Q18: You mentioned that there would be tank, caster, and other roles for the chocobo buddy system, but could you tell us some details about the system?
A18: Ultimately feature-wise, the player has the Armoury system and the chocobo’s level will match their master’s level. As the chocobo continues to grow you will be able to acquire points, which you can then use to obtain skills. If you obtain attack-related skills, you can gear more towards an attacker role, while if you focus more on healing skills, your chocobo will become a healer. It will be possible to change their role anytime you wish.
One more thing… Up until now we have shown a bunch of different chocobo equipment, but we’d like you to choose what you equip based on how you want your chocobo to look. By setting parameters to chocobo armor, we felt everyone would be equipping the same armor, so we decided to get rid of stats for their armor completely. We’d like you to pick the armor you like the best.
Q19: What’s happened to the arcanist guild?
A19: [Showed the arcanist guild area on the stream]
Q20: Will we be able to craft furniture for housing?
A20: Yes, we have plans for you to be able to craft many, many items. Stay tuned!
Q21: Would you be able to provide us with more information on the ARR Collector’s Edition?
A21: The Collector’s Edition may come with some in-game items… Don’t worry, we do have plans to do something for the 1.0 players that have purchased the original Collector’s Edition!
Q22: Will there be changes to the relic weapon quest in A Realm Reborn? Also, if there are changes and we were in the middle of the quest in 1.0, will we be able to continue?
A22: We are planning to make some simple changes to the content, but your progress status will be saved and we’ll be making sure the efforts you made are not wasted.
Q23: During the previous Producer Letter Live, you showed us artwork for the upcoming PvP gear and some of the artwork had the open face. Will we be able lift the visor for the warrior artifact helmet or put on the hood up for the white mage artifact armor?
A23: You will be able to lift the visor for the warrior helmet, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to put on the hood for the white mage armor.
Q24: Will it be possible to customize or add color to magitek armor?
A24: We are creating them so that they can be customized and colored. We are also thinking about implementing content involving playing with both chocobos and magitek.
Q25: Will we be able to listen to the music that we heard at the start of of the show when you showed the magitek armor in-game?
A25: Generally, the in-game music is created based on the scene. However, with this particular music, Music Director Soken went all out and created it strictly from the images that were released on the blog. Soken mentioned that he has no regrets creating the music! Since the music wasn’t something that we requested, we’ll try to use it if we can find a good fit for it.
Q26: Can the duty finder be used for 4v4 or 8v8 PvP colosseum and other content?
A26: There will be a matching system that can be used.
Q27: How will the primal fights change in ARR?
A27: They will be basically be the same as the fights in version 1.0. However, we will be making some minor tweaks based on the new battle system and the primals will have a larger role in the main scenario.
Q28: Do you plan on adding any random elements to dungeons, such as where monsters and treasure chests spawn, paths, and puzzles?
A28: Currently we are not planning on this, but I don’t believe it is out of the question.
Q29: You have shown us many rewards that we will be able to obtain in ARR. How will crafted gear impact the game?
A29: In ARR, every gear is assigned with an item level. These item levels are also tied with the difficulty of each instanced dungeon. For example, let’s say you challenge a higher-level instanced dungeon without meeting the item level requirement. Players will be able to able to fill the missing item level via crafted items. Also, players will be able to unlock new crafting recipes by completing content. We’ll make sure the crafters will be able to shine in many aspects of the game!
Q30: Will it be possible to watch PvP as a spectator without actually participating?
A30: We are planning to have it so you can view the camera of the players PvPing, but we’re just barely progressing with this, so we will be looking into this as a feature to be released in the future.
On a separate note, in order to record in-game content and upload it, we need copyright permission. However, considering the current trends, gameplay videos are quite popular, and we were able to clear all the authority issues with the cooperation of all the related individuals including the songs and voices.
Of course, materials cannot be used if they are not A Realm Reborn-related, and when it comes to A Realm Reborn materials, they cannot be used just any way. However, after launch, we’d like to aim at allowing you to have fun and make official gameplay videos. We will be sure to inform you all of details moving forward.
*Since there is a NDA in place, this will not be possible during the Beta Test.
Q31: Will we be able to change the appearance of our characters during the beta phase? Or is this something we can only do at the launch of ARR?
A31: The one-time appearance change will be available only for the launch of ARR.
Q32: When are you planning to switch the Lodestone to the ARR version?
A32: We will most likely switch over to the ARR version some time between phase 3 to phase 4 of the Beta Test.
Q33: What’s the status of Legacy players wishing to add their names to credits?
A33: We will be releasing the sign-up page next week so please stay tuned!
Q34: How much of an impact will the selected guardian have on our characters? Will it be minimal similar to 1.0?
A34: Yes, the impact will be very minimal.
Q35: Could you provide more details on how we will be able to move items between characters on the same account?
A35: While you will be able to move items between different characters on the same account, the feature will be unavailable at the launch of ARR. We will monitor the situation and release the feature once we feel that it’s okay to release.
Q36: Will trains, boats, and airships run on a set schedule? Also, will we be able to see Eorzea from the sky when we ride on airships?
A36: It will basically be the same as it was in 1.0, so unfortunately it will not be possible to view Eorzea from the air.
Q37: Will there be a feature where we can try on equipment?
A37: We are planning for this; however, it will not make it in time for launch, so it will be some time after.
Q38: Since we will be able to change our genders with the launch of ARR, are there any plans for us to be able to exchange the “fire resistant” gear based on the new gender?
A38: We’re currently looking into how we would like to address this.
Q39: Do you plan on making a guild finder (LS finder) type of feature where you can search for an LS that fits your goals?
A39: The feature you are asking has already been implemented on the Lodestone, so we would first like you to utilize that.
Q40: Will you be implementing a feature where you can directly research monsters and item stats from in-game?
A40: No. However, we are looking into a smart phone app, so we’d like you to research it from that.
Q41: In 1.0, the battle music changed based on what area you were in. Are there any plans to do something similar in ARR?
A41: In ARR, each area is tied to a certain musical instrument. While the battle music will be the same, it will have a different feel to it because of the different musical instruments it will be played on.
Q42: For Beta Test phase 3 you’ll be introducing PS3, as well as Ul’dah and Limsa Lominsa, but are there other elements that will be added?
A42: We are planning to add free companies, guildhests, expanding FATE, early stages of the main story, and more dungeons.
Q43: Could you tell us any new information about the specs for the Armoury (Referred to as the “Armoury Board” previously)?
A43: I thought about if there was anything I could tell you, but basically I had to decide between ease of understanding and convenience, and since I decided on convenience the explanation is going to get quite difficult. To give you a simple idea, it’s like a single macro switch. We’d like you all to try it out in Beta Test phase 3, so please be sure to try it out.
Q44: Are there any plans to implement open world content other than FATE?
A44: While FATE will be the only open world content, there are plenty of aspects of FATE that we have not released. Please stay tuned!
Q45: Could you show us any other limit breaks other than the meteor?
A45: While the limit break system will be available from phase 3 of the Beta Test, we’re currently working on a FF-like trailer to highlight the limit break system. Please stay tuned
Q46: Could you show us how Coerthas and Mor Dhona look in ARR?
A46: Both Coerthas and Mor Dhona will be high-level areas in ARR. You will be able to feel the destruction of the Seventh Umbral Era and the presence of the empire. In addition, the weather will change drastically as you get closer to Ishgard. You will also be able to find dragons within the dungeons.
We are planning to release a trailer in the future so please stay tuned!
Q47: It was mentioned before that we could design linkshell and free company crests by putting together different segments, but can you show us what kind of options there will be?
A47: [Showed an image of the various crests]
After the questionnaire Yoshida briefly introduced a promotional stage event that will be held during Nico Nico Chokaigi between April the 27th and April 28th, featuring a collaboration between Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Windows 8. The Event will include a customized booth to showcase the game, miqo’te make-up sessions and the introduction of one of the voice actresses. Yoshida-san will also be present together with Masayoshi Soken, that will compose music on the spot.
If you’re wondering about the identity of the voice actress in this picture, she’s the extremely popular Rie Tanaka that originally lent her vocal cords to one of the Female Miqo’te voices in the first installment of Final Fantasy XIV. You’ve probably heard her before in a multitude of anime series like Gundam Seed, Air Gear, Hayate no Gotoku and many others. Looking at this picture, showing a rather thick script for A Realm Reborn, we can see her autograph on the top right, with the character name hidden by tape, so we can pretty much guess that she’ll play a major role in the new game.
Update: Thanks to youtube user BionicXraided you can now watch the full recording below. Enjoy!