Exclusive FFXIV interview with Yoshida – Patch 4.2, Eureka and future content

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With Final Fantasy XIV evolving substantially since its launch in 2010, and with so much more on the horizon, including a new PvP mode, the introduction of Eureka, and the incoming patch 4.2, PlayStation Universe hooked up with FFXIV game director and producer Naoki Yoshida to ask some burning questions, and get the answers that the Final Fantasy community really wants to know.

Check out the Final Fantasy XIV interview

PSU: In regards to housing, you recently posted on the official forums that you and your team didn’t anticipate the sheer demand for new housing in the game. You also announced that additional wards will be implemented around patch 4.2. We greatly appreciate that you are working to address this, however it seems like just adding additional wards will not cover the demand on many servers for private and Free Company housing. Are there plans to update the housing system in other ways to allow all players the chance to own a home within the game?

Naoki Yoshida:
I first want to apologize to all of the players and free companies who were unable to purchase land and to whom we caused a lot of stress due to the shortage of housing plots. The development team is already working on adding more plots for Patch 4.2, but we are also planning to introduce new processes to the plot purchase specifications. We’re unable to provide details now, but we will be able to update everyone as we get closer to the release of Patch 4.2. It would be greatly appreciated if you could wait a little longer!

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PSU: With each new expansion, we have received new Disciples of War and Magic to take into battle, but the number of crafting and gathering jobs has remained the same since the game’s initial release in 2010. Has there been any consideration given to adding new Disciples of the Hand and Land? How do you plan to keep crafting and gathering from becoming stale and repetitive?

Naoki Yoshida:
We do not have any plans to introduce new Disciples of the Hand and Land at the moment. We feel there are already a wide variety of crafting and gathering classes available to players, and there is a high possibility that any new classes would only fill a lesser role in comparison to the current classes.

We would also need to make major changes to current recipes to have them incorporate items from new classes and create demand for items a new class could craft or gather. These are the main reasons why we currently are not planning for additions. However, it is not to say that it is an impossibility if the right idea comes to mind. 

The fundamental activities of the Disciples of the Hand are to become involved in the economy after fully leveling up the class. However, we are currently investigating ways to introduce new recipes or fun ways to use the class to create additional goals and playstyles for the Disciples of the Hand.

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Check out patch 4.15 preview

PSU: Inside of Final Fantasy XIV there are a number of players that categorize themselves as role players, who act out scenarios within the game as their character. During patch 3.4 the “RP” tag was implemented to let others know that we are interested in role playing scenarios. What other ideas are the developers considering to help these players become more immersed within the world of FFXIV?

Naoki Yoshida:
Including the new Performance Actions for bard, which will released with Patch 4.15, we have a solid roadmap of what roleplay-related elements we will be implementing in future updates. Similar to Performance Actions, we are continuing to put effort into implementing features that allow players the chance to create their own type of fun within the game. I hope that you enjoy these features and use them to enhance in-game roleplaying even further!

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PSU: While the Diadem was a daring step toward new content in FFXIV, it seems like many players didn’t feel a strong incentive to stick with it for the long haul. What lessons have you learned from Diadem, and what kinds of changes can we expect to see when Eureka is implemented? What challenges have you encountered that have delayed its release until 4.2?

Naoki Yoshida:
This can be said for Diadem as well, but when creating content for FINAL FANTASY XIV, we don’t envision anything we make as “content we want people to continue playing for an exceptionally long time.” We have designed the game in a way that entices players to strive for high item level weapons or equipment, or enjoy the aspect of leveling up with our content updates. Since there is a level cap in the game, coupled with the fact that we increase the item level on equipment with our updates, it really is hard to imagine content existing that can played for an extended period of time.

We tried a few different things with the Diadem—in the first iteration we focused on content where players farmed enemies without many clear objectives, and then toyed with the idea of having players complete objectives with a big surprise waiting for them (in the form of a monster). Eureka was developed based on our experiences from creating that content.

The idea behind Eureka is to give players the opportunity to experience content that has a completely different set of battle rules from field or instanced content. However, it has been taking us time to develop due to its scale and completely new system. It shouldn’t be much longer, though!

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PSU: Throughout A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, we have seen great improvements to the crafting system and inventory management, such as the ability to search the market boards and retainer inventories for specific items. With the new server upgrades, what kind of quality of life adjustments do you see as a possibility? For example, would it be feasible to be able to craft items from materials still in your retainer’s inventory?

Naoki Yoshida:
The development team are aiming to increase usability on two fronts.

The first is the development of a large-scale and new system surrounding the Glamour system and player inventories. The second is allowing for players to manage their retainer’s inventory, chat with friends, and plan out schedules without having to log into the game—this would be through a companion app on smart phones. I believe we will be able to release more details on this soon. I hope you’ll look forward to it!

PSU: It was mentioned in an earlier interview that you have thought about the idea of “Relic Armor” that can grow and improve with your character through completing quests and running content, something akin to the Zodiac and Anima weapon quests we currently have. Have you had any more thoughts about how this type of gear could be implemented within FFXIV?

Naoki Yoshida:
Yes, we actually already have solidified our plans for this. This content will be packaged within the Forbidden Land of Eureka content, and thus will be implemented at the same time.

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PSU: We would love to see some improvements with the current FC system—it feels more like simply a chat system more so than an actual clan. Is it possible, for example, to include a calendar so that players can schedule events in game?

Naoki Yoshida:
I’ve mentioned this in a previous answer, but we have decided to consolidate these features into a companion app instead of implementing them directly into the game. A calendar, chat functionality, and more will be free features available within this app.

PSU: You recently made changes to the Warrior job that has caused some dark knights to now feel slightly less useful in the end game scene, with certain moves like Dark Passenger feeling much less useful. Are there any plans to address these potential balance issues?

Naoki Yoshida:
While we are always looking closely at community opinions on adjustments, the team currently feels that these recent changes have not made a largely visible disparity between the classes. Many players are tackling the Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate) and the trends in strategy and party composition is also a big indicator for us as well. However, I do not think it wrong to say that the contribution warrior can now bring with Shake it Off is more visibly apparently when compared to dark knight.

PSU: Players have voiced that the current crafting meta has a few problems, with the 2-star crafts being incredibly difficult compared to new crafted items in previous patches—this is making macros almost useless. Was there a reason this change was made?

Naoki Yoshida:
This was done to create motivation for players to challenge themselves on the highest level of crafting. There are conflicting requests from players—some would like us to create recipes that are even more difficult, while others wish for more casual crafting that can be done using macros. It is an extremely tough decision to make, one way or the other.

One of the aims that we have when releasing differing types of content is to find out what the player sentiment and trends are. We would greatly appreciate continued feedback on this.

PSU: As a Monk, we feel like the job has been somewhat left behind since Stormblood’s launch in terms of job balance changes. We feel tackle mastery is redundant, and Brotherhood also seems to have limited use unless there is a certain party composition. We love the role of Monk, and given that Stormblood feels to be a monk-focused expansion, will we see any changes at all? Maybe even that rumoured Greased Lightning IV?

ffxiv monk

Naoki Yoshida:
The idea for Greased Lightning IV was heavily debated within the development team during our work on Stormblood. If we were to implement a new level for Greased Lightning, we would have to consider the following:

1. With additional stacks, the number of times an attack can be executed within a certain amount of time will increase, so in order to keep balance, we would have to lower the potency of weapon skills.

2. Executing actions will become even more hectic for Monks, and the disparity between player skill will become even more apparent.

These two major issues would occur, and so we decided not to move forward with the idea. I understand the desire to improve gameplay, and I’m still very conflicted about this. However, we are continuing discussions within the development team on this topic.

With the upcoming new PvP mode hitting us very soon, and the recently-released new hardcore content – the unending coil of Bahamut – it’s clear to see that Square Enix’s development team have taken player feedback on board and really listened to the community.

If you have something you wish to be added to the game, think about posting it on the official forum as they do listen! Who knows maybe your idea will be added down the road – Please Look Forward To It.