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Battle system Q&A

29 May 2011

A two-part Q&A has been posted on the Final Fantasy XIV forums covering the upcoming changes to the battle system. The posts originated in the Japanese section of the forums, however the questions answered are not region specific and were compiled from all parts of the community.

Check out parts one and two of the Battle system Q&A after the jump!

Part One


My goodness! Thank you for the incredible amount of feedback. I think I underestimated you guys. I’ve gone ahead and gathered responses from the Development team, mainly from Matsui, Takai, and Minagawa and compiled them here. Though I don’t think we’ll be able to respond in this manner very often, I’d like to seize the opportunity to do so when it presents itself

Well then, let’s get down to answering your questions…I believe I collected them midday Thursday, so I may have missed a few. I tried to collect every relevant post, excluding those that didn’t seem to either pose a question or express an opinion, but please accept my apologies if I missed something (I’m making excuses for myself). There were quite a few posts to go through, so the answers are sometimes brief, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t considered carefully!

Also, though I’m afraid it’s my fault for setting things up, everything ended up clumped into one thread, so I’d appreciate it if you could make separate threads for each topic moving forward.

Server load related
As previously stated, the programmers are looking into a fundamental reworking of the system, but this is a long-term development goal. We’re working on improvements to reduce the number of unnecessary data searches and function calls related to battle calculations.

How about suspending all commands while performing actions, and then having them go into effect after actions are completed?
We’ll look into it, and if it works out better than what we have in place, we’ll make the change.

I want to be able to perform actions and cast spells immediately.
Although you’ll still have to wait while in the middle of performing actions and casting spells, we’re looking into allowing instant execution of actions and spells while in auto-attack mode.

Because of the restrictions of the stamina gauge, I can’t execute actions with various special effects when I need to.
We are planning to remove the stamina gauge. Like before, TP and MP abilities will still be affected by recast times. There will also be cooldown times between actions.

After mistakenly choosing an action, or deciding to use a different action, there’s no way to cancel a previously selected action.
This is somewhat related to the items brought up above in that once we change over to a gameplay style that allows for immediate execution of commands, this should no longer be an issue (since there won’t even be an opportunity to cancel something to begin with).

I’m too busy manually managing my own actions to be able to pay attention to what actions others are taking.
I think the situation should improve once auto-attack has been implemented.

According to the Producer’s Letter, the action bar is to be modified; is it actually going to be removed completely?
The action bar will not be removed. What will be removed is the stamina gauge. The action bar will be improved so that it is easier to use and easier to see important information.

The action gauge fills too slowly.
As noted above, the action gauge is scheduled to be removed.

Especially during party battles, the effects are too flashy and it is hard to look at the screen. I would like effects to be removed for regular attacks and the action to be played out more clearly.
This will be adjusted.

Raise has no visual effect, so sometimes other characters and I cast overlapping raise spells.
We are looking into this.

It is hard to distinguish whether spells are cast on enemies or allies, so I would like the effects of spells being cast to be accentuated.
We recognize this as a problem. We are looking into fixing this problem.

During battle I have to be running around constantly, and that leads me to only look at the mini map during battle.
Is this because the enemy is moving or because you want to run away? We are looking into fixing the problem of the enemy moving.

During battle I automatically move closer to the enemy. As a marauder steadfast disappears sometimes, and monsters go out of range for area of effect attacks.
For regular attacks, this will be fixed when auto attack is implemented. We are looking into fixing actions.

The attacking motion is small, so it is hard to see what my enemies and allies are doing.
We are looking into fixing the player motions and would like to make adjustments in the near future.

Some battle motions are repeated frequently, so I would like to see more new motions.
For some actions, we plan to add new motions/effects.

It is weird that characters can still move while they are asleep.
We are looking into this.

I would like more attention to be paid to the motion when receiving a special attack from a monster.
We have no specific adjustments planned, but we have taken note of your input.

It’s frustrating that the action bar is not displayed unless something is targeted.
We are looking into displaying the action bar at all times.

Instead of having to go through multiple layers of actions, I would like to be able to view all my actions at once.
We are currently looking into being able to display multiple action bars at one time.

There should be an easier way to identify when counter-type actions can be used.
Due to the technical issues we have to address first, it’s not something that we will be able to implement right away. However, we are looking into being able to easily identify when certain actions can be used. An example would be to have the action in a halftone color when it can’t be used due to being out of range, etc.

When will be able to use cool spells and skills like the ones from the opening movie where the characters are fighting the Malboro, or the barrier-like spells used in certain cut scenes?
Although we are not able to provide you with a time frame, we can promise you that we are currently working hard to address the current issue at hand. Once these issues are addressed, we would like to start working on implementing additional spells and skills.

I would like to be able to either see the range of my actions or have my character automatically move into range in case I’m out of range.
We will look into it.

It takes forever for the macro pallet to show with a gamepad.
We will look into it when we revamp the macro pallet.

I would like to be able to claim more than one group of monsters at a time.
We are planning on revamping the claim system.

I find it strange that all monsters have a ranged attack. There’s no point in binding monsters in the current state of the game.
We will look into it.

It’s difficult to position myself around a monster when they are constantly moving around.
We will speak with the person in charge. Please note that we may decide to keep the movement of certain monsters in its current state.

I find it annoying when you fight a NM with a group of players and the NM makes a sound every time a player attacks it.
I could see how that could be annoying.

I don’t like how the character takes a few extra steps after you stop.
We may look into it down the road, but they are currently no plans of addressing this matter.

The timing of the attack motion, damage display, and the damage taken is off.
I completely agree that it does seem strange in the current state. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to provide you with a detailed response regarding this matter.

You are currently able to target monsters that are claimed by another party.
We will look into this while we revamp the battle system.

Part Two

Casting Cure while performing an attack will cause you to lose focus on your target.
We’ll address this issue during our review of the action-related data.

Whenever someone casts cure on me, I end up targeting them.
We’ll address this issue during our review of the action-related data.

The subtarget of my action gets set to an enemy the action has no effect on.
We’ll address this issue during our review of the action data.

I want text commands that use pronouns, like “/assist” and “/mark” and “/ta,” to be implemented.
We’ll look into these during our combat-related revisions.

Monsters often clump together and make it difficult to accurately select a target.
When monsters bundle up together, it does become difficult to tell which has the yellow name and which have red names. It’s also hard to tell which of them has the “attack this one!” mark attached.

To address these issues, we’re looking into implementing a system that allows you to set the target cursor to appear above the nameplate.

Raise can end up targeting enemies.
We’ll address this along with the previously mentioned “subtarget of my action gets set to an enemy the action has no effect on” issue.

I’d like it if my target could “glow” using a bloom graphical effect.
This would require modifying the graphical system, so although it would be difficult to implement in the near future, we’ll look into it.

When targeting someone as the main target, when you change targets, the party member list flashes to indicate you’re targeting them. I’d like to have this implemented when sub-targeting someone as well (About to cure yourself, but tab over to them).
We are going to implement this.

I’d like an arrow, or a highlight, or some kind of indicator on the party member list to show which party member is selected as my subtarget.
We are going to implement this.

Sometime when standing directly in front of a PC or NPC, I’ll press the confirm button and it will end up targeting something ridiculous, like a target that was next to me or behind me.
In Patch 1.17, we adjusted the target selection mechanics, so please see if the situation is resolved now.

I’d like to be able to manually set up the controller configuration myself when using a gamepad for targeting.
We are working on expanding the list of configurable commands for both gamepads and keyboards.

The battle system is compromised of two types of attacks; Turn based attacks (stamina gauge, recast, attacks whose success is determined after the hit) and action based attacks (attacks that can be dodged by moving around).
As stated previously, the stamina gauge is scheduled to be removed. We believe that all the other issues mentioned do not detract from the game significantly.

I would like distance, movement, and positioning to play a larger role in the game. The graphics are so nice that it would be a waste if the battles are mostly number based.
Once the basic upgrades are taken care of, more advanced upgrades involving attack direction and positioning and regional destruction will be worked on.

Stamina gauge, recast interval, and TP requirement present 3 major hindrances to using abilities.
The action gauge will be removed, but recast interval and TP requirements will remain.

Recasting the same spells takes way too long (Reuse interval)
We will be reviewing all actions, so recast times that are disproportionately long will be adjusted, while some recast times are intentionally long. We would like to continue to receive feedback on the forums.

The usefulness of supplementary abilities and the effects of food can’t be easily seen.
Don’t worry, these will be adjusted. The effects of food will be reviewed and made readily available through help text.

Important moves that are earned in multiples such as Shadowbind/Shadowbind II share the same recast, so they are difficult to take advantage of.
Shadowbind II is an upgrade of Shadowbind, so we have planned for the recast time to be shared.

My actions miss frequently. My attacks never hit successfully.
Even using the proper rank and gear, my accuracy is too low (or my opponent’s evasion is too high)

Accuracy and action accuracy will be considered important points when we upgrade the battle calculations.

Spells are easily resisted (full / partial) no matter how long the spell takes to cast or how much MP it requires.
We will be working on adjusting the balance. It would be fantastic if we could continue to hear your thoughts via forums.

If a monster dies while you are casting a healing spell, the spell is canceled.
We will discuss this with the person in charge.

I wanted to play a healer, so I chose to be a Conjurer, but I think it’s strange that a Thaumaturge is better suited to act as a healer. In terms of HP healed and area of affect, the Thaumaturge is just better.
In addition to the review of battle class actions, we’re also going to be adjusting the classes to give them each specialties and defining qualities. We’ll continue to look to you all to provide us with feedback as we move forward.

When I play as a Conjurer and see fighter classes cast buffs and healing magic that I haven’t yet learned, I get pretty bummed out.
This should be addressed in our adjustment of class roles and specialties. We’ll continue to look to you all to provide us with feedback as we move forward.

It might be cool if we could attack and cast spells while moving.
I stop moving as soon as I begin casting a spell.

These two points will be addressed in an upcoming modification that will allow close range attacks and actions to be performed while moving. As for spellcasting, we’d like to make a separate, more comprehensive announcement regarding our plans, so please hang on until then.

Moving while attacking seems to randomly cause the shield to rise up.
It can indeed be frustrating to try to move during an attack/ability. We’ll look into reworking shield usage.

The damage from actions typically doesn’t exceed 1.5 times that of a normal attack. Conjurer spells that take 30 seconds to cast are weaker than rank “II” spells.
We’ll be adjusting this. The previously mentioned revision of battle class actions will include these adjustments.

The camera is unresponsive and it’s hard to get a good grasp of the situation due to the constantly changing POV.
We’re looking into allowing changes to the camera rotation speed in the settings.

I find it annoying how my player character keeps moving its position when they perform an attack. Occasionally, the character will end up overlapping with the monster and the camera will start turning around the monster.

I don’t like how the camera moves back and forth when my player character is attacked by a monster. It tends to occur when the monster overlaps with my player character after an attack and the camera swings back to its original position.
We are currently looking into the movement of the player character. There are plans to start addressing the issue in the near future.

Currently when I lock onto a target, the camera is centered on the particular target. I would like to see a function where I could turn this feature on/off at will.
We will discuss this with the person in charge.

I would like more control over my character’s point of views.
We will discuss this with the person in charge.

Avoid haste from becoming the primary factor of the game when auto-attack is implemented.
Rest assured that we will handle this situation delicately.

Please be sure to think about the changes in hate management (especially casters) when implementing auto-attack.
Rest assured that we will be careful regarding this.

Please be sure to think about the amount of TP generated from auto-attack. I would like to avoid situations where we have to tell the melee characters to not feed TP to the monster.
We agree that this is indeed a sensitive matter. We will be sure to exert extreme caution.

Intensify status ailments used against a player character in order to make the battles more interesting.
Once we finish adjusting the overall balance of battle, we may look into other factors such as status ailments. However, we will most likely save the intense status ailments for special encounters.

Turn on character collision during battle.
We believe that we will be able to address our current issues by improving the monster AI and hate management instead of making changes to the collision.

The field is currently too peaceful. There should be more active monsters placed along the road.
We will be adjusting monster placement bit by bit.

Levequests and behests are currently boring due to the monsters not having enough HP. It seems like all we’re doing is running from one place to another.
Once the algorithms for battles have been revised, we will look into additional factors such as monsters that appear during guild leves, the amount of their HP, group settings, etc.

We are currently unable to switch between passive move and active mode while moving.
Switching between passive mode and active mode takes too long.

We are currently in the process of experimenting with the issues stated above.

There are too many buff icons.
I agree. We will look into it.