Interim Report From FFXI Producer Akihiko Matsui

FINAL FANTASY XI Producer Akihiko Matsui has made a lengthy post on the official forums discussion letting players know about the delay in a roadmap, the current situation regarding content, and development plans.

Matsui has also gone to responding directly to some of the replies on the forums which you can see here.

Hello.

Thank you all very much for your continued patronage of FINAL FANTASY XI.

Firstly, let me apologize that so much time has passed since my last post.

I have been struggling to comprehend each of the below points and organize everything to tell you all, and before I knew it, months had already passed by.

  • How has Vana’diel changed in the past two years?
  • How do all of the players feel about these changes?
  • What kinds of discussions are taking place within the development and operations team?
  • With what kind of intentions and ways of thinking is work being done?
  • What are the plans from here on out?

I’m at a point that I’d really like more time for all of this, but I can’t just keeping saying that.

With that said, I’d like to share with you an interim report of what we are doing right now and what we would like to do moving forward.

Regarding the Roadmap

I apologize for the delays with the currently released roadmap. There are two reasons for this.

The first reason is that since the schedule was released before the announcement of Seekers of Adoulin, the effects of the development load for the expansion were much larger than anticipated.

The second reason is that the hours needed to work on and discuss all of the forum topics was much greater than we anticipated.

While we looked into a revised version of the roadmap to release, instead of redoing everything that was up until March 2013, we feel it’s necessary to take time to build out a proper development plan from next year on, starting with redefining development plans and then deciding on the practical work content so that we do not disappoint all of you.

It’s hard for me to ask this, as we’ve already caused everyone to worry and be inconvenienced, but please give us a bit more time.

Understanding the Current Situation

I have been reading over what everyone thinks, not only from all of the posts made on the forum, but from players’ blogs, Twitter, and other sources.

For example, there’s the concern with content and that the necessary content is not reaching the necessary people.

When thinking about the amount of content made thus far, it’s not that the amount of content is skimpy by any means; however, I believe a contributing factor for this concern is that a lot of older content requires more than a party, but it has become quite difficult for a lot of players to do things with full parties these days.

Currently, due to the fact that there’s a lack of low-difficulty and casual content, a majority of players are focusing on high-difficulty content, and there has been a lot of feedback that even though they log in they can’t do what they want (nothing to do). Also affecting this is that things have become more complicated since adjustments have been made to drop rates and item stats.

Development Plans

With all that said, to make it easy to understand, we will be redefining and deciding on themes for the below points:

  • Content structure
  • Jobs overall
  • How to add stats to items
  • How to hand out rewards

I’d personally like to see players that are below level 99 reach level 99 quickly (we will be looking into whether we can make adjustments so that the level 95 limit quest can be completed solo), and for players that have reached level 99, I’d like to create separate elements such as solo, group, casual, hardcore, and provide game play after defining themes for new elements and adjusted elements.

It’s necessary to make adjustments to increase the win/success rate for content that has already been played out by the top groups so that players that come later can catch-up.

For example, strengthening players through job adjustments or the addition of gear may work, but another good method is to directly lower the difficulty of content. Of course this is all on the basis that we provide another challenge and even better rewards for the top groups.

Also, in regards to existing content, we will be redefining the number of people required, the level spread, and reward difficulty, and look into making adjustments to fit the needs of the current Vana’diel.
(I feel it would be best to work on the paths to these various types of content for adventurers that are coming back after a long break.)

In regards to item stats, this is a crucial growth element as you cannot level up past level 99. It’s necessary to release items with stronger and really good stats in the future. For how you receive items, as many of you have requested on the forums, I’d like to have a point system in place for when you miss out on a reward that has its drop rate set low due to difficulty adjustments.

Additionally, there are a number of things that need to be decided such as aspects of battle that are not balanced up to level 99. For example, I believe the workings of the entire enmity system needs adjustment and the problem of TP given to enemies is an important issue to look into.

Once the framework of all of this has been decided, I will talk to the staff and we’ll decide exactly what we would like to do from here on out. Once all the details have been organized I will be sure to share the future plans with you all. Of course that will not be the ultimate finalized plan, as we would like to really hear your feedback now more than ever.

In Closing

I believe there are quite a few of you who would like me to communicate swiftly and with a high frequency like when I was using Twitter. Back then I was able to focus on Twitter all day long, but unfortunately these days I’m not as free as I once was. Sorry about that.

However, once things calm down a bit I would like to show my face a bit more.
(Even though I am taking notes while I read the forum, I haven’t been able to handle it all…)

I’m still in the midst of learning what it means to be producer, but I am doing the very best I can and would like to build a FINAL FANTASY XI with you all that will be loved by everyone.

Again, thank you all so much for your continued support.

It’s refreshing to see the Producer for FINAL FANTASY XI come onto the forums to make comments like this after FINAL FANTASY XIV Director/Producer Naoki Yoshida started an unprecedented level of open communication with the player base following the failed launch of the game. Will Matsui-san be able to grab XI by the horns and steer it into a new golden age? Or is this all too little too late?

Let us know in the comments below!

One thought on “Interim Report From FFXI Producer Akihiko Matsui

  1. Honestly I think XI has had its day. I know some people will probably bash me if I say this, but I think XI would benefit from some current generation MMO features. XI has a framework that is basically an open sand box, there is no direction, no communication to the player on who to talk to, or where to go.

    Let’s take some examples and apply them to XI.
    -Quest indicators (these could be appear based on level, and would give the player incentive when he/she logs in). You could use different types of indicators for the various forms of quests, I.E rank missions, and the numerous reputation quests.

    -Simplify quest objective and difficulty.(Make it so a player knows where to go, and what to farm for quests, instead of throwing dialogue that has little to no indication on what the player should do).

    -NM announcements (Most new players have no idea what NM’s spawn where. And to further annoy this issue, the amount of time for certain NM pops is almost ridiculous at this point. XI is a different game now a days, and HOURS for a single NM pop, for an item that is lackluster to the common player makes for wasted content). Increase NM pop times by drastic amounts, and increase drop rates immensely. I would even say apply this to all monsters, not just NM. Anyway, have some kind of chat log announcement that, for example, “leeping lizzy has appeared! ” then follow it up with a defeated message.

    These are just a few, but I could think of dozens of ways to increase XI’s playability not only for new players, but for this generation of MMO players in general. I honestly think XI has some great content, that is unplayable due to lack of interested players, and the difficulty/unappealing rewards associated with that content, i.e garrison..

    Xi needs to grow into this generation, lets hope for the best!

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