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Dev Tracker: Naoki Yoshida On Crafting

20 Nov 2013


Naoki Yoshida has been busy! Yet another post on the official forums, this time in regards to crafting. Hit up all the details after the break!

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn Producer and Director Yoshi-P here with a few thoughts on crafting and high-level items.

As always, I appreciate the constructive feedback that many of you have offered on this important topic. In this post, I’d like to discuss our vision for the role of crafting in Eorzea.

Crafting of High-Item-Level Gear
As you all know, the item level cap in FFXIV Version 2.0-2.1 is item level 90.
(We will be implementing a slight balance adjustment based upon our observations of item distribution within the player population.)
There are currently two ways to obtain item level 90 gear: by conquering the game’s most challenging dungeon, or by collecting and exchanging Allagan tomestones.

In contrast, the highest-item-level gear that is currently craftable is item level 70. Looking simply at the difference, this appears to a very significant gap. That said, the materia system (including advanced materia melding) allows for the crafting of gear more powerful than its item level would suggest, gear that can—when augmented with effective materia combinations—serve players well even in the most challenging battles.

That said, it is impossible to craft higher-item-level gear, or gear that is completely equal in power to the highest-item-level gear available.

This is an intentional decision that we made for a few reasons, which I would like to explain in detail.
Preserving the Appeal of Dungeons
While there are a variety of ways to enjoy FFXIV, the desire to become powerful is a great motivator for many players. In particular, the impressive weapons and armor obtainable by triumphing in high-level PvE encounters attract many players to take on these challenges.

If the same items were made craftable, some players might find it easier to save up their gil, robbing them of this motivation to undertake the game’s toughest battles.

I realize this is a worst-case scenario. In a perfect world, it would simply be another option, and players would have the choice of either fighting or saving money to obtain their desired gear. Unfortunately, this remains a concern.
Ensuring Item Rarity
We also believe that the strongest gear available at a given time should not be obtainable by all players.
As of Version 2.0-2.1, this position is held by the Allagan gear that may be won by completing the Binding Coil of Bahamut. With only the most skilled of adventurers able to complete this challenge, many others must settle for obtaining high-item-level gear via tomestones while biding their time, waiting for the difficulty of this battle to be eased.

Crafted gear plays an important role in allowing players to triumph in battle and obtain the strongest gear. Furthermore, as the item level cap is raised in patches to come, new recipes for higher-item-level gear will be added, preserving the valuable role of crafters while maintaining this intentional gap.

As our first patch has not yet arrived, it may seem as if the current state of items and crafting is static, but rest assured that subsequent patches will introduce higher-item-level gear, along with many new opportunities for crafters.
The class/job level cap will remain at 50 for the time being, meaning that gear (including crafted gear) will play an increasingly important role in character growth in the months to come.

At the moment, players are striving to improve themselves within a relatively limited range of power, but this range will gradually expand as new content is released, and as the difference in play styles between players leads to greater disparity over time. As a result, even if they lack the ability to create the highest-item-level gear, crafters will always have an essential role in Eorzea.
RMT Concerns
“What if high-item-level gear was made craftable with materials dropped in the Binding Coil of Bahamut?” is a popular argument. As I alluded to in a previous section, we believe that the prices for such gear would be high, forcing players to choose between sacrificing time to earn gil, or taking on the battles themselves.

It is nevertheless an understandable suggestion, and one which is of course possible to implement.
However, we stand by our decision not to have the highest-level gear available for purchase. One of our primary reasons is that such a change would encourage RMT. Our team is working tirelessly to stamp out RMT entirely, closing thousands of accounts and seizing massive amounts of gil every week—this even in the game’s current state, where many believe that crafted items are in low demand.

Were the highest-item-level gear made craftable and available for purchase, it’s easy to foresee a problematic situation where RMT abusers would:

  • Overrun instances for item farming (monopolizing materials)
  • Buy high-item-level gear at excessive prices to drive up value (market manipulation)
  • More persistently solicit RMT gil purchases from players (increased spamming)

This would, in turn, lead to more players choosing to purchase gil, creating a vicious cycle that would feed further RMT abuse.

At one time, we considered the option of adding a more valuable, non-tradable currency that could be used to purchase these items on the market, but this idea was scrapped, as it made little sense from an overall gameplay perspective.
Existing Concerns and Future Plans
To summarize, in the game’s current state, the limited item level range for available gear means that many players are able to meet their needs with gear obtained in the course of leveling. Crafted gear remains useful for only a short period of time, resulting in low demand on the markets.
We are aware that this is especially true for weapons, with relic weapons becoming a sort of standard.

These issues will be eventually be dealt with by raising the level cap, but crafters need not wait that long for change. Patch 2.1 will see the addition of the Wolves’ Den and the Housing system, and the services of crafters will be in high demand for both PvP-related items and furnishings. Looking ahead to Patch 2.2, crafters will be able to alter gear designs using a “template” system (official name TBD), giving them yet another role in creating desirable gear.
Rest assured that we will not sit idly by as crafters go neglected.

In closing, I would like to emphasize that we will continue to look at the demand for crafted items in all aspects of gameplay, from PvE and PvP to housing, end-game content, and so forth. We will continue to explore options for expanding the role of crafters—if not by allowing for the crafting of the highest-item-level gear—with a close eye on that which is in the greatest demand in the ever-evolving world of Eorzea.
I hope all crafters will look forward to the changes to come!