Before today we had only a quick on-the-fly translation of the Final Fantasy XIV live Q&A session held a few days ago. Luckily Square Enix provided us today with an official, more in-depth translation, and with a recorded video for the ones that missed the event.
You can see (and read) both and enjoy Naoki Yoshida’s deep-voiced eloquence past the cut:
Q: Is it possible to save the set of action bars for individual classes?
A: We were aiming to implement it in patch 1.19. However we could not complete the debug testing so it did not make it. It is planned to be implemented in patch 1.19a*, which is scheduled to take place around 2 weeks after patch 1.19.
* Patch 1.19a will be released in mid-October.
Q: When do we get to see the revamped map and PS3 version of FFXIV? We have been waiting for ages.
A: With regards to the map, user interface, and server revamp, we are working at full speed. With the map, we are making quite a drastic change to it. I would like to introduce it along with more details after patch 1.19 is released. I hope I can answer this in more detail during the second broadcast of the Letter from the Producer LIVE. (Additional note: The PlayStation 3 version will be discussed later!)
Q: Yoshi-P, what are your hobbies?
A: I’m basically a workaholic but other than that, I like Japanese pinball.
Q: Please tell us about the planned timing and your current thoughts on the adjustment of food effect.
A: Adjustments to the food effect are already in the plan for the patch 1.20 or 1.21. As of now, we are trying to determine when and how much of an adjustment should be made. We should be able to deliver the details some time soon. Regarding their effects, introducing a food item with a great effect may force every player to eat the item to participate in content. To avoid that issue, striking a delicate balance will be required. So, we are planning to add different, food-like effects from what we have now.
Q: In the FF series, ancient spells are ultimate spells. In FFXIV, they’re not. Will it be adjusted later?
A: We are considering making major action and magic spell changes in patch 1.20 and I may be able to introduce more specific ideas in there. We have various ideas like splitting the spell categories to single target and area of effect or allow the spell damage to change depending on the level. I am thinking about making a drastic changes to the action based on these ideas. So for now, please wait until these details are introduced and please give us the feedback on the forum or even during the second broadcast of the Letter from the Producer LIVE.
Q: Are the clocks place behind you showing the local time of various locations around the world?
A: Since FFXIV is operated globally, I have placed clocks and calendars that show local date/time in my office so that I can decide when would be a perfect timing to send an email or to announce topics or release the patch without a time lag.
Q: On the upper left hand corner of the white board, “Female Highlander”, “Male Miqo’te”, “Female Roegadyn” and “Must Have”. Does this mean that new races could be added?
A: It’s more like something we must have in the game and it’s a meeting log from when we were talking about adding them as soon as possible. After we calculate the cost, we will first add the things that are must have. After that, we would like to move on to introducing other races such as Demi Human and Dragons.
Q: When is the revamp of the Linkshell system going to take place?
A: Since we are receiving quite a number of demands on this, I have been discussing with the Lodestone team and would like to work on it as soon as possible to improve the in-game community feature, especially in regards to Linkshells. We understand a Linkshell search is essential. As the work on patch 1.19 has just been completed, we are now assigning priority to each task for patch 1.20 and beyond. I consider that the revamp of the Linkshell system is a must do to strengthen the in-game community for players to enjoy the game together. So, please wait a little longer.
Q: Size adjustment has been made to some monsters but are there any standards on this?
A: Enemies in an RPG are something players should do battle with and overcome. We have adjusted the size to give them more impact corresponding to the appearance and the strength. Since their quality is really high, we adjust the size of each enemy to make for impressive battles.
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. A minor adjustment has been made to the party formation system when Dzemael Darkhold was implemented but we consider that it’s not yet complete. I believe that the Market and the party formation system are the next big issue so we are planning to use FFXI’s system as a reference and make an adjustment as soon as possible. Schedule and details on this will be announced once they are ready so please hang on.
Q: It looks like the game is on the way of becoming another FFXI. Is this intentional?
A: We received a lot of similar concerns that the game may turn into FFXI-2 when we revealed the video of the auto-attack system. No, we are not intentionally trying to make the game similar to FFXI and we want to make sure FFXIV battle is speedy and enjoyable in a different way.
Q: Yoshi-P, which race do you like the most? Miqo’te, Lalafell or Roegadyn?
A: Lalafell. Even when I play other MMO titles, I always use the smallest race. This is because a small character is harder to target during PvP and works great as a sneaky damage dealer.
Q: Why can’t we adjust the chest size of the character?
A: I need to be careful of what I say here… For those of you that place an importance on the character’s chest size, please choose your favorite size based on the race.
Q: The boarding fee of the airship is expensive. Could you make it cheaper by any chance…?
A: The boarding fee has been determined based on the amount of gil players own and gil that can be obtained through various content. We changed the Guildleve system in 1.19 and you are now able to stock your quests and play several of them over the weekend. So, you should be able to get enough gil to cover the fee by doing one or two high-level leves. I consider it to be a decent price but we may make an adjustment based on the in-game economy. So for now, please try out the patch 1.19 and send feedback on it.
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: To be honest, I consider that we’re about half way to the point where we can confidently call it “FINAL FANTASY”. 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.
Q: Isn’t it about time for you to introduce all the jobs that will be implemented in patch 1.21?
A: There is one last job that has not been introduced yet. So far, I have introduced Paladin, White Mage, Black Mage, Dragoon, Monk and Bard but the very last job left to be announced is… Warrior!
Q: Will you be able to attach materia to equipment created via the old recipes?
A: Due to the basic concept of recipe revamp starting from the patch 1.19, the old equipment data and the new equipment data are developed separately. Thus materia craft cannot 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: As long as you are participating in battles in a normal way, you should be able to gain spiritbond points relatively easily. 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 as soon as possible, so with the “the Bowl of Embers” battle we prioritized the implementation of weapons. However, we are currently in the process of creating new armor (job specific armor, class specific armor, etc.) for the upcoming content. Stay tuned!
Q: Will you be adding chocobo animations while on chocoback? Like waving while riding?
A: Currently we don’t have any plans for this on patch 1.19 or path 1.19a, as we need to consider the amount of animation we can use with the memory, since while you are mounting the chocobo the animation itself changes drastically. 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 exported to the rest of the city-states. Also when you name the chocobo, you might want to name them male-type names! We are thinking of implementing female chocobos in the future as well, but as always we will keep you updated throughout the roadmap.
Q: As a gamepad user, I find it difficult to scroll through the list of actions and spells. 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. The UI team is working hard on these tasks and will make sure to adjust the system wherever possible. 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? Is it going to be a full PvP? Also how are players going to participate?
A: First off, we are designing it so that players that do not wish to take part in PvP are not forced to. The battle framework we are currently working on takes into account future PVP contents. We are planning two approaches to PvP. The first are battles in the Coliseum where you can have a fair duel against an opponent. The second is a PvP area where you can fight for control of various influences with several players.
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: I’m sure there were lots of difficult aspects throughout the year, but as I always say, I really enjoy my work so it wasn’t all that hard. I’d say that my very first month after the change was the hardest. I had to learn about the game client, determine what the major problems were, and speak with each member of the team individually. And I had to do all those simultaneously, so I’ll say that that was the hardest part. However, the motivation of the team is high and also the company is giving us its full support, so I was happy throughout it. And my happiest moment is when our 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. I don’t even need any water!
Q: What’s the best part about online games in your opinion?
A: It’s often said that the best thing about online games is the ability to communicate with others, however, for me, there are a lot of things about recent MMOs that tire me out. Everyone is so busy with their real lives that when they get home, it can be pretty rough if you have to talk a lot. However, you can still be in this world with other players, and sometimes you can play together with them and sometimes play alone. What you do is going to be a bit different. The situation from day to day will change. This is why I like online games, especially PvP, and it’s the same reason why I like fighting games. I think the fact that the situations will always be different is what attracts me to online games.
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 hold at once. Also you may be able to obtain a dedicated company seal. There are variety of company seals such as Private Third Class, Lieutenant, Commander and many more.
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…
Q: Regarding the two types of PvP Yoshi-P mentioned earlier, will the former type allow PK, where players get to attack others without provocation? Or is it more like a sports match?
A: I’m not planning to allow PK in the Coliseum. Please consider similar to a sports match where the teams hold a sports-like competition. However, with the other one that takes place in the PvP area, players may be attacked by others at any moment as long as they are in that area. So as long as you don’t enter that area, you will be safe.
Q: Can you make the pugilist become god-like?
A: Actually, we do have a pugilist lover, Hiroshi Takai, the assistant diorector of the FFXIV dev. team. He is totally head over heels on the pugilist. Every time the patch goes up, he is pressuring both Matsui and Gondai to make the pugilist stronger. After patch 1.19, pugilist can dish out quite a bit of damage, so please 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, you can say that the penalty is harsh. Though as I mentioned earlier, the spirit of each player will be converted into a form of material and will increase the strength of weapons, armors and players themselves. When you get all seven equipment slots set with one materia each, you will be very strong. This becomes more predominant with Materia IV, the highest rank of them all. At first, please see for yourself how strong you can get by setting one materia to each slot. If you want to be stronger than that, there must be a risk associated with it. I do feel that this penalty is quite severe compared to the recent trend of MMOs but first, please see it for yourself. Feedback on this will always be welcome.
Q: I feel that equipment durability is unnecessary, but what do you think?
A: I would like the players to have a minimal amount of a tension and risk in an RPG game. With my policy on the game design, I cannot accept a system where players can tackle a challenge without taking any risk. I don’t think that the current generation of MMO player can accept the penalties that existed in the first generation of MMO titles. Thus, I consider the durability being the best form of penalty and that is why it is kept as part of the death penalty. In patch 1.19 we have made an adjustment where the durability decreases at a slower rate so please try and see it for yourself.
Q: Can you give us some pointers for beating Ifrit?
A: The normal mode is pretty easy to beat. I’m sure you can feel that by actually trying it. However, the hard mode is going to be very difficult. You’ll feel the true power of a “god” in that fight! Well there are several stages of Ifrit and the tactics required to defeat Ifrit differ in each stage. Oh, and the horns… Oops, 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 think I can wear about six more though, because I no longer wear earrings. I’ve got some room there!
Q: You talked about the pugilist earlier, but can the culinarian become god-like as well?
A: It’s all about the taste of the food. I’m sure that all the love you have poured into cooking will pay off in the form of supreme taste. But alas, if there happens to be a player who has a poor tasting dish, I guess it can’t be helped…
Q: After Ifrit, will we see Titan introduced?
A: Hmm… Is it alright for me to show this? I believe the character in this image kind of shows what’s coming next. I’m sure I can talk more about it sometime soon. What’s shown in the image will be the next challenge after Ifrit. And it is planned to come with lots of new challenges. (Additional note: Check out the footage for this one!)
Q: What kind of other mounts will there be aside from chocobos in the future?
A: Well for patch 1.19, both programmers and planners have done their best to implement the basic structure of the mount system. Chocobos are not only a mount, but also an icon of the FINAL FANTASY series to all of us. Regarding other mounts… 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 to meet 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 Grand Company leaders are involved in. Within that event, the reason why Grand Companies are being resurrected will be revealed. They know many things that players are unaware of. And many more incidents will take place in Eorzea. In 1.19, you’ll have the chance of meeting the leaders of each Grand Company as well, so stay tuned!
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 that on the 3rd day we started to see players who cleared Dzemael. So, I think it’s just right. Ifrit is even harder, so make sure to prepare for it! In the second broadcast of the Letter from the Producer LIVE, we hope that we can go over how long it took players to defeat Ifrit!
Q: How did you get started in the gaming industry?
A: I can’t get too deep into the details since other game companies and studios are involved. I can say that I wanted to write story scenarios to begin with. I worked my way up from a large MMO-title and became director after that. So my career as a director is pretty long.
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. For example, if my friend and I were playing completely different games. I’ve already reached the level 50 cap, and then I invite my friend. Of course I want to do end game content like Ifrit with him, but I invited him, and he wants to play too, and we are really good friends so I want to help him out. I can help him out with my level 50 character when he’s being attacked by a monster. Of course it’s going to lower the XP a bit, but I’d like to make it a bit loose and not too strict. I just want to make sure friends are able to help each other if they want to challenge content together by filling the gap.
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 being discussed in the forum, too. But I wonder if I should really answer this question. Will people be happy? Maybe some things are better left unanswered.
Q: On the Lodestone, level 51-60 recipes were posted. Does this mean the level cap will be lifted?
A: We posted these recipes to show off some new items, as well as the necessity for equipment for high levels and crafts that level 50 players can gain experience from. As to whether or not the cap is going to be raised or not is a completely different story.
Q: Can you tell us about the new class system?
A: In regards to jobs or the revamp of the class system? Answer differs depending on it, so I will answer both. For the class adjustments, we are planning to have every class possess their own identity, along with actions that feature multiple elements and facets to them. We’re also giving some thought to introducing combo actions. For example, attacking the enemy with Red Lotus from behind, and then inflicting bonus damage by immediately following up with a special action from the enemy’s flank. I’m talking about introducing a feature which allows even solo players to pull off combos while switching positions, rather than simply landing one attack, etc. Magic could be another way to let players initiate a combo, too.
Again, this sort of idea is part of taking a different approach to XI, like I said before, and we’re aiming to make pulling off combos an exhilarating way to use techniques, so we’re working on it. With regards to jobs, you will be able to take on job quests from level 30+, and completing those will allow you to use those jobs. The number of job quests is pretty much fixed, but it’s likely there’ll be more (or fewer) quests further down the line so I can’t really comment on the exact number right now.
Clearing these quests, as a Dragoon for example, will open up stories related to that job which we’ve been developing. So by completing these trials one at time, what we know as jobs, or “job stones” at the moment as I haven’t fully decided on the name, once they start, then you’ll be able to change jobs and fight as them. From then on you’ll earn weapons specific to each job, or job-specific equipment and so on.
There will also be special actions characters can learn which only certain jobs can take advantage of. In other words, the point of a job is to keep developing unique abilities by clearing quests.
Q: What city do you recommend for joining a Grand Company?
A: Gridania! Gridania! As you know, the equipment available at each city-state is different at the moment. You can expect the number of items that can be purchased with company seals to gradually increase at Grand Companies with each patch. We’re keeping balance in mind and players may find we’re implementing certain new additions based on all their feedback. As we’ll be trying to compensate later for whatever Grand Companies are lacking, don’t decide which Grand Company to join based on the rewards currently available, but rather please sign up to whichever one appeals to you. It won’t be like you can’t party up with friends who have joined different Grand Companies. In fact, it makes it more interesting to play with others aligned with different Grand Companies, so you should consider that the reverse is true – everyone sticking with the same Grand Company makes for dull gameplay.
Q: We have a question regarding the lack of a delivery system. What happened to the Mog Post Office?
A: We’re moving forward with this with both item delivery and letters in mind, as they are a vital part of creating a sense of harmony for everyone in the community. I’ll talk more about when you can expect this in the next broadcast, but please be assured we’re working on this – it’s definitely moving forward.
Q: Will it be possible to forge materia from equipment created using old recipes?
A: It will. I think the recipe announcement confused many players, but 1.19 will see new recipes introduced. Although there will be items with names similar to the old recipes, I guarantee plenty of new items with different abilities. Down the line, older recipes will be removed and there will be lots of other items that will no longer drop from enemies. That’s why items you cherished can be turned into materia and then attached to weapons made with the new recipes.
Q: When are you planning on introducing cool and sexy gear?
A: Cool and sexy gear, huh… Actually, it so happens that we’ve been looking into this. For starters there’ll be job-specific equipment, and other equipment for classes, such as crafters or gatherers which is something we’d like to get right. This is on the white board and is clearly a must have feature so we’ll be giving it priority. Regarding sexy gear and what to expect, it should be released as part of 1.22 or 1.23. That may sound a long way off but we are focusing and duly working on it so please keep your expectations high.
Q: Do you have any plans to add Mandragora enemies to Eorzea?
A: I’ll ask the character team to add it to their list!
Q: We have a question about the trademark glasses you wear. Do you have one pair for work and another you use outside the office? How about that scarf?
A: No, I wear the same glasses whatever I’m doing! Although I tend to wear shades even more. And that’s a stole, not a scarf!
Q: Can you say anything more about the impending doom Eorzea is facing which will define the game quests?
A: Out of the four concepts I touted earlier this year under the four keywords, “Fun”, “Live,” “Reboot” and “Rebuild,” it will be “Live” that will have a profound impact on these events. You’ll notice many changes throughout the world of Eorzea as more and more significant quests and episodes will be implemented with each patch, along with the introduction of jobs. I would like everyone to experience the results for themselves starting with the quests in patch 1.19 and share your thoughts about what’s in store in forum discussions.