This time last year, Final Fantasy XIV wasn’t even out yet. Now, a year later, it has over two million players with information about an expansion trickling down every so often.
We had a chance to sit down with Naoki Yoshida to talk to him about some of the most recent announcments as well as to ask about the progress of previously announced content.
Read on for part 1 of our E3 interview!
our interview was shared with MMORPG.com
Yoshida: At last year’s E3 we were getting ready to start the beta but since then we’ve had a successful launch and we’ve got some big patch updates under our belt and we have our millions of users playing the game so we’re really excited with what this year has brought us.
So what do we have in store? We want to continue to grow our already large community. This summer we’ll be going into another market with a China release and we also have other regions planned so we can grow the community and the game.
MMORPG: You talked about going to other regions. Is Latin America one of those?
Yoshida: We’re definitely considering South America/Latin America as a place for expansion of the game. We’re currently looking into what languages would benefit the project most and what languages are most needed.
One of the things that causes pauses is we’re deciding if we want to add these new regions to our global version or make them separate versions. The biggest thing is that the game is currently developed in Japanese and then translated into English. From there, having to go to another language could delay the development and the patches. If you’re working with the global version you have to wait for that one language before you can release the other languages. A lot of other MMOs are developed in English and it doesn’t have that extra step. Working out the logistics of starting in Japanese and then going to these other languages is it feasible to include them in the global version? Or do we have them in their own versions?
We have recognized that Latin America and South America game communities are getting larger so we understand the need to get our game out to these regions.
GE: What will be the sub classes for Ninja and are you considering going back and including Rogue abilities to existing Jobs?
Yoshida: Right now the battle team is working on balance so they’re still deciding on which actions and jobs to connect that with. If we tell you now and release that now then the battle team is going to get upset with us. It’s coming in 2.4 so it’s still a ways off and that’s why we can’t say anything right now.
MMORPG: Can we expect Ninja to be an evasion tank like in Final Fantasy XI?
Yoshida: The plan we have is to make Ninja strictly DPS. It will have a very unique role in the upcoming Frontline PVP maybe as a scout type of class where they can use their stealth abilities to scout for their teams.
Then there’s always the image of a Ninja. When people think of a ninja, they don’t think of out there on the frontlines, they think of something more stealthy, hiding in the shadows to come out for a critical hit.
GE: Can we get some more information on how Stealth and Ninjitsu will work? Will they have similarities wiht Pugilist forms or something like Aetherflow charges?
Yoshida: It won’t be like Pugilist where you put together combos. Creating one Ninjutsu type of spell will use multiple hand gestures, these mudra. You take these and combine them to make one ninjitsu spell that will be cast in battle. It will be making different combinations of these to make different ninjitsu to handle different situations in each battle. Having the player think constantly during battle is what we want to do.
There will be spells that enhance the player as well as enfeeble the monster. You’ll want to use a certain spell depending on the phase a boss is in so instead of using your hand technique it will be more thinking about “ok this time in the battle we’ll need this type of spell” and so we want the player to strategize that way.
MMORPG: You have 8 and 24 man encounters that are available through the Duty Finder. Will we see content made for groups of that size that’s not put together through the Duty Finder?
Yoshida: The current 24 man content is Crystal Tower and yes you can make a party of 8 but it matches to get the full 24. We’ve gotten lots of feedback that are wanting this so it’s something we’re working on. We planned on having it in for 2.3 but we weren’t able to get it in so we hope to have it in by the 2.35 patch.
GE: Do you have any updates for us regarding the Gold Saucer? We heard you wanted to get a few activities in and that it would be sometime after 2.3.
Yoshida: It’s still going to be sometime after 2.3. However what’s going into the Gold Saucer has already been finalized. We have the artwork up and we believe that once we’re able to show the artwork that the players will be pleasantly surprised. Everything is ready to go to start production and we hope to have it released soon, but again it will be after 2.3.
And we’re not limiting ourselves to what was in FF7, we’re going to use the whole Final Fantasy knowledge base and hopefully get a lot of different type of mini games that you’ve seen in other titles as well as FFVII.
MMORPG: Can we expect to see any improvements to the Mog Station to make it more convenient?
Yoshida: This is something we’re working on, we know a lot of players aren’t satisfied with the system. The truth of the matter is there are a lot of legal hurdles that we have to cover. It’s a daily battle with our legal department. Personally, we want to take out a lot of the steps to make it easier but because we’re using personal information, there are laws in different countries that restrict the movement of that information so working with legal to find a solution that makes it easy but also covers those laws is the biggest hurdle right now. It’s definitely something we’re working on though.
When I go to the legal team I say “well other games have it easier and why can’t we do this” and the legal team says “well what they’re doing is dangerous and they could get busted”. So we’re trying to find some good middle ground.
GE: What are the differences between personal chambers and personal housing. Will there be a yard? House sizes?
Yoshida: With private chambers it’s pretty much what you already know. You have to be in a Free Company and they have to have land and an estate and you buy the chamber.
GE: You buy the chamber?
Yoshida: You have to add on the private chambers so yes, it will cost Gil.
The size of the private chambers will be the small size with maybe one more wall so it’s actually pretty big.
GE: Is the chamber cost per person or is it a one time cost for the whole Free Company?
Yoshida: It’s each person that will have to get their own room.
With the private housing it’ll be the same thing as the Free Company housing. Everything that’s in the Free Company housing will be in the private housing.
MMORPG: On the newest trailer that just came out it says there are two million adventurers. Is that subscribers? Total accounts?
Yoshida: That’s our total unique account number. 2.2 million is the number of registered accounts.
If you look at the number of actual characters is closer to around 8 million.
Keep an eye out in the coming days for part 2 of our interview!