It’s the year 2014, and as some of you out there already know by now – it’s the year for Final Fantasy XIV and the PlayStation 4. Square Enix, having just announced the release date of 4-14-2014 for the PS4 version of their popular MMORPG, invited Gamer Escape and others to a hands-on session for the PlayStation 4 version of A Realm Reborn, which suffice to say was quite an experience (more to come later!) We were also given a chance to sit down with Director/Producer Naoki Yoshida once again to talk about the game.
Check out the interview below!
GE: Having just played the PS4 version of the game, we noticed that the graphics quality looked much better than the previous PS3 version– the number of NPCs and players that could be displayed at one time was much higher, the field of view was much better – with the graphics being much better with this iteration of the game, we were wondering about the DirectX 11 version of the game? Perhaps if you can give us a time frame or maybe an idea of what we can expect from the DirectX 11 version of the game?
Yoshida: With respect to the Windows DirectX version of the game, of course we have made some preparations for a DirectX version.
We’ve been developing the PlayStation 4 version which runs on 64 bit hardware and because of that work, the Windows 64 bit version is done. However, this coming summer we plan to release the game in China and after that we have plans for an expansion pack so when we finish those, we will be looking to complete the DirectX milestone. With that in mind, after we successfully launch A Realm Reborn in China and begin work on the expansion pack – I believe that around that time that we may be able to speak more about the DirectX 11 client for Windows. But don’t worry! We are definitely making progress on that project. (laughs)
As far as what to expect from the DirectX 11 client, it is my policy that we don’t do anything to change the gameplay experience from one platform to another. While DirectX 11 will provide a graphical advantage for some players on newer hardware, there really are no changes in gameplay for someone with older hardware vs newer hardware. However, in terms of graphics there may be a large jump in graphics quality – the whole engine and the rendering pipeline is completely different. The way shaders work, the way polygons are rendered, water effects, mirroring affects, or objects getting wet – they all work a bit differently on the new version for DirectX and will be updated for the DirectX 11 client. So for players who are more discerning of graphic quality – they will most likely notice. But it will not change the gameplay at all, and I’d like to make it so that it is simply another option you can select.
GE: Speaking of an expansion pack, do you think you can tell us when we will hear more on that? If not, perhaps you can tell us how much content we can expect?
Yoshida: Of course, we do have a target date but I can’t talk about it at this time. We’d like to get through Summer and Fall first, but I am sure there will be an opportunity to talk more about the expansion pack then. It terms of how much content you can expect, we’re going into it with the expectation that the expansion pack will have as much content as when we launched FFXIV with A Realm Reborn, and so it is definitely large scale. The Dev team is pretty exhausted and going without sleep making all the content. Everyone is like, “Are we really going to make all this content?”
GE: Recently, there has been noise from players about parsers, mods and third-party applications being used with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and about people getting warned, suspended or even banned by GMs for using such applications. There was also mention of a plug-in API for the game. We were wondering what the policy was, your stance on it, and how you were approaching these issues. Some players are a bit worried and don’t want to get banned.
However, I too am a hardcore PC gamer so I understand that there are a lot of plug-ins and add-ons available to many games. So as a PC gamer, all I can really say is “Please, don’t get caught.” If you are going to use add-ons and plug-ins please be discrete about it. Don’t go around telling your friends you mod the game on chat, or ask a GM if using such an add-on is ok. We can’t really go around and check if add-ons and plug-ins will work with our game and debug it, and check that it doesn’t break anything – its too much. Really what it comes down to is I can’t really say “Yes” to these things, and players have to realize that by using an application that accesses game files that they are the ones that are assuming the risk of viruses and possibly compromising their account.
And as you probably know, Final Fantasy XI had a particularly strict policy on this kind of thing, so there are quite a few players out there who moved from XI to XIV who definitely view any kind of add-on to the game as bad. So please, just be discrete if you will be using tools or add-ons.
GE: One feature that many players are looking forward to is the “Vanity” system, or Glamour System as it is known in the US. Can you describe how the system will work? Will crafters be needed? Are there any fees associated with it?
Yoshida: In terms of fees for players, players should not be paying a high fee to use the Glamour System. As to how it works, there is a new item called the Glamour Prism which is a crystal that can be used to change your appearance by mirroring the look of your item. These crystals will come in different types to accommodate different gear level ranges, so if you want to assume the appearance of an item that is iLvl 30, you would need the Glamour Prism that corresponded to items of iLvl 30 to iLvl 40. While that is not the exact range, there will be several ranges of iLVLs that each Glamour Prism will work on, similar to how Grade 1 Carbonized Matter, and Grade 2 Carbonized Matter work.
Crafters factor into this as they are the only ones who can make these crystals, and they will bring the Glamour Prisms to market. Players will go to the marketplace, buy the crystal they need and mirror the appearance of their desired gear onto their character. So if you’re a crafter, you can make your own Glamour Prisms. The recipes for the crystals aren’t designed to be expensive, so I imagine it won’t be a limiting factor. Once you copy the appearance of gear that you like onto the crystal, that crystal is now bound and cannot be traded or sold, so the only commodity in the Glamour system are the Glamour Prisms that are blank made by crafters. So as a crafter, you will want to bring to market the Glamour Prisms that correspond to the coolest looking gear.
It should be easy to access for everyone and shouldn’t cost too much, so please look forward to the new feature.