During a press conference following the first day of Final Fantasy XIV FanFest in Frankfurt, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida shared even more details about the upcoming new expansion Stormblood.
We hear that creating the new areas of Hingashi and Doma, the team had the idea of designing something similar to Japan, but they decided to make a fusion of many different views of the far East, giving birth to something truly unique.
Doma and Hingashi are also completely different countries. Hingashi is on an island and Doma is on the continent.
Yoshida-san mentioned that despite the inclusion of Doma, there are a lot of adventures set in Ala Mhigo. About 50% of the adventures included in the expansion are set in Ala Mhigo and about 50% in Doma.
Currently there is no plan to implement new jobs outside of the expansion launch like it was done with Ninja. The team really wants to focus on balancing the system first. While currently there are no plans, it might be a possibility after the overall balancing is done.
The development team is working on implementing cross-server friend list, even if it might not be ready for Stormblood. There is also a possibility for the future for cross-server linkshells and free companies, but Yoshida-san could not say when it’ll happen.
Grand company platoon NPCs are going to be usable in dungeons in the future. The code is already being worked on, but the plan is on hold during the build up to Stormblood. After the release of the expansion it will be implemented.
Yoshida-san said that “maybe” there are plans to implement Blitzball. That said, there are a few problems: among the development team there is the opinion that players would lose interest quickly in Blitzball in its original form as it was in Final Fantasy X. The team had the idea to make an MMO-specific Blitzball, howerver, on the other hand, that would be a departure from what fans are expecting. The team is currently trying to solve this dilemma.
About theupcoming revamp of the battle system, the team is focusing on two elements: there is a large gap in skill rotations between very skilled players and more casual ones. The new revamp aims to push the bottom of that gap up a little.
The second element is that a lot of players use controllers, and it’s getting very difficult for them to use all their actions, especially if more are implemented. Cutting the number of unused action and combining similar actions together aims to keep the number of skills pretty much the same as it is now, even with the increase of level cap.
A lot of jobs also have to monitor an excessive amount of buff icons. The revamp aims to alleviate this with the implementation of specific UI elements. Those probably won’t be shown before May.
The team is planning to shorten some of the least relevant battles against trash-mobs on the field, since they may have gotten a little to long within the 3.X series of updates.
The samurai is a DPS class because that’s how Yoshida-san envisioned it: as a post-Edo-era Samurai, it needs to be an “attacker.” The concept the job is based on is Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai.
A new mobile app is in the works to let people communicate outside of the game, but it might not be ready for Stormblood. That said, it will come relatively soon.
Lastly, the team has tested PlayStation VR, but you need at least 60 FPS, or even better 120 FPS. Creating something that really takes advantage of virtual reality would require dedicated content, and that would lock everyone who doesn’t own a VR headset out of that content. Another problem would be, of course, finding out who would pay for its implementation.
Yoshida-san joked about the possibility of implementing a “Miqo’te Paradise” feature. This was brought it up with the development team, but no one has volunteered to create it yet.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will release on June 20th exclusively for PC and PS4, with the PS3 version of the game getting discontinued. PS3 users are eligible to a free upgrade to the PS4 version, and you can find out how to get it here.
In case you missed it, you can also also watch the new cinematic trailer and the new screenshots, read more information on the Samurai job, our full recap of today’s Fanfest FanFest keynote, the one from Tokyo FanFest keynote, and the one from Las Vegas FanFest, to get the full picture of Stormblood info.