The full Q&A from the 28th Letter From the Producer Live is up! Lots of discussion on future quality of life adjustments as well as some discussion about The Feast.
In addition to the Q&A, Yoshida revealed that brand new merchandise will be released in Japan including Paissa Sleep Masks (modeled above by Foxclon), NIN and WHM shirts, and more. There will also be a 7 Eleven campaign in Japan as well, allowing those who purchase drinks to accumulate points to use towards items such as Primal masks or Maid/Butler outfits.
For those in North America, PAX East was mentioned. No details at this time, but we expect those to arrive in the next week or so.
Q: Healers seem to miss their attacks quite frequently in dungeons released in Patch 3.2. Do you have plans to adjust healer accuracy?
A: When it comes to dungeons, our original plan was that healers should be be able to hit the monsters without worrying too much about accuracy, so we’ll make adjustment to this so you don’t need to worry as much about it.
As for raids, we don’t want to create instances where healers are forced to deal damage, but we understand some groups use this in their raid strategy and therefore have their members meld gear with accuracy.
We’re currently debating within the debating with the dv. team regarding accuracy, so please wait a bit longer.
Q: What’s the status on the glamours for summoner’s egis?
A: After assessing the resources needed to make this happen, we discovered that we need an immense amount, so we are planning to release them one patch at a time. We’re working towards implementing them starting from Patch 3.4, so please hang in there a bit longer.
Q: There are a lot of great gun designs in the game, but there are many occasions when machinists use Gauss Barrel and you can’t really enjoy the original design. Can you implement a feature to hide the Gauss Barrel?
A: We’ve standardized it into a single design so that it would not limit the freedom of the guns’ designs; however, we are planning to implement a setting that will allow you to toggle this by using a text command since there is a large demand for it. We’re aiming to implement this in the next patch.
Q: Full parties that feature a scholar and astrologian don’t have a MND party bonus so there are times where there’s added difficulty in healing. Do you have plans to change the party bonus for scholar or astrologian?
A: It’s not difficult to change this; however, by changing this, we worry that some may think of this as a nerf. Our view on this is that we should make the party bonus effective no matter what kind of healer combination is used, but we would like to hear from the players to see if it would be alright to remove PIE bonus, so please let us know on the forums. We would like to consider changing this.
Q: Would it be possible to add some kind of effect to the parry stat on tank armor so we can actually see it with our eyes?
A: We’re aware that there is a lot of feedback mentioning that when deciding on what stat to focus on when melding materia onto equipment, parry doesn’t really increase the rate of damage mitigation, and the effect of adding more parry is only moderately boosted, so it’s preferable to increase determination. We feel that large-scale adjustments are necessary, and we’re looking into doing this in either Patch 3.4, when the item level increases again, or in Patch 4.0.
Q: Since the introduction of Alexander: Gordias (Savage) the number of parties for it in Party Finder seems to vary greatly depending on the World. Do you have plans to make it possible to recruit members across other Worlds?
A: There have been many players who transferred to other Worlds in order to clear Alexander: Gordias (Savage). We’re aware that there’s a difference in the amount of party finders available for raiding depending on the World. With that said, we’re currently developing a raid finder. The system is similar to the Duty Finder, and would only apply to the newest raid content. Players will be able to make fine adjustments such as the reason for the raid, whether or not it’s for practice, or for clearing. We’re also planning to put in checks to see if the players have the achievement to prove that they have completed that content. We’re currently aiming to introduce this feature in Patch 3.3.
We’re also developing a party finder that works cross Worlds and we would like to follow up on the progress at a later timing. We are going to first implement the raid finder.
Q: Was the pace in which Alexander: Midas (Savage) was cleared quicker than the development team had anticipated? Or was it slower? I feel like the difficulty really jumped up quite a bit in the second area.
A: In regards to those competing for world first, they cleared it according to our expectations.
Compared to Gordias, we eased up the DPS check for Midas, and due to the fact that groups are challenging this raid with a low item level, there are many people melding materia in order to boost their DPS. However, the health checks for Midas were severe, so melding grade 5 materia would be a safe bet.
We’re aware that everyone is having difficulties with the Cuff of the Son (Savage), and we’re concerned about the difficulty between the Cuff of the Son (Savage) and the Arm of the Son (Savage).
The Cuff of the Son has the four bosses you have to fight in a row, but it’s likely that the increase in difficulty for this is because each of the bosses has their own mechanics and the damage they deal is high. While I can’t make any promises at the moment, we’re currently looking into adjusting the damage in the Cuff of the Son (Savage).
Q: To accompany changes in Patch 3.2, FATE spawn times has been reduced for those FATEs related to the beast tribe daily quests. However, the spawn timing for “What a Boar” and “Quenching The Flame” FATEs seem to be longer than others. Please reduce the spawn time for these FATEs!
A: The dev. team is aware of this, and we require some time to make this adjustment. Please wait a bit longer.
Q: I’m having a hard time obtaining the orchestrion rolls from the Crystal Tower raids. We have to roll against 8 people, and because these items are used as crafting material, there’s a demand even for those who have already obtained them previously. Please adjust the amount obtainable from the chest!
A: We’re planning to make adjustments so that it becomes a guaranteed drop.
Speaking about raids, the next leg of the Void Ark series is planned to be implemented in Patch 3.3.
Q: I’m excited for season 1 of the Feast to start, but I’m worried that certain jobs will become stronger or weaker with the adjustments that take place in Patch 3.25. Will season 1 begin as planned from Patch 3.25?
A: I previously posted the the adjustment plans on the forums, but in Patch 3.25, which is scheduled to be released next week, we will be reducing the match times making it so the battle can be concluded at a quicker pace. Additionally, we will be making adjustments to the aspects that have been leading to long and drawn out matches.
We will be reducing the number of walls that often disturb line of sight, increasing the frequency in which the adrenaline rush box appears and make it easier to destroy, as well as other elements to make the pace of the game quicker.
To coincide with this, we will also be making job adjustments. We’re aware that machinists have a high amount of burst damage, so we’ll be making adjustments to this.
In regards to matchmaking, we’ve already implemented an algorithm that will allow for this to take place more quickly; however, we will be making adjustments to this so that you are matched against people with a closer rating.
We originally planned for season 1 to begin in Patch 3.25, but we will be kicking it off after we address the feedback we’ve been receiving. We’re planning to start season 1 two weeks after Patch 3.25.
In regards to Patch 3.25, we’ll also be implementing the next phase of the Anima weapons. This will also happen in Patch 3.3, but in Patch 3.3 there is a possibility that the stats are adjusted.
Q: A collaboration event with Phantasy Star Online 2 has been announced in Japan, but are there any information for collaboration on FFXIV side?
A: We haven’t decided on this yet. In order to maintain FFXIV’s graphic quality, we’re required to decide on the overall dev. schedule for the long term, and for this reason plans for collaboration needs to be made after this.
The quality for Phantasy Star Online 2s version of Odin was pretty great, so we want to return with something great on our side as well.
Q: During the 20th Letter from the Producer LIVE, you explained that the specialist system will be implemented in order to balance the current situation where crafters are forced to level multiple classes and because you would like players to work together with each others. However, there are specialist recipes which require gear which have advanced melding, and the skill rotation has become much more complicated with specialist actions, and it feels like the threshold has increased more than before. Do you have plans to make adjustments, so more players can enjoy crafting?
A: The reason I mentioned that previously was because players were nearly forced to level every crafting class, or it was difficult in general to craft. We would like to move forward so that top-tier crafters can maintain their advantage, and for older recipes, these recipes aren’t really difficult to craft. In Patch 3.3, we’re going to increase crafter’s item level cap. There may be pros and cons for this, but for the next one, we’re planning to make them as a shared class equipment.
*Images of the new crafter equipment planned to be added were shown.
We’ll also update the equipment which you can exchange with red scrips. In Patch 3.4, we’re planning to release new equipment, so this new equipment are to prepare for this. You need the current gear to make the next, so it doesn’t mean that the current gear is going to waste.
Q: Do you have any plans to add materia that can be used by the Disciples of the Hand as rewards for beast tribe quests?
A: While it won’t be for beast tribe quest rewards, we will be adding a way to obtain grade 5 materia for crafting. This is still being worked on at the moment, so I’ll wait for the Patch 3.3 special to talk about the details.
Q: I haven’t leveled any Disciples of the Hand classes yet, and I always ask my friends to meld materia. But whenever they fail advanced melding they feel bad. Do you plan on adding an NPC that we can use for advanced melding requests?
A: There’s actually already a system in place for NPCs to meld materia into equipment that has open materia slots. However, I’m thinking advanced melding should be requested to those who are Disciples of the Hand, but we’ll look into this carefully as we keep an eye on feedback.
Q: I’m really happy that you implemented a system for switching HQ items into NQ items, but I’d be even happier if we could do this for multiple items at the same time.
A: The process for switching the data for multiple items at the same time is one that has a very fine line when it comes to MMORPGs. The process has to check the items one by one, and there is a possibility that it could cause server issues. We will look into this.
Q: In Patch 3.2 legendary nodes were introduced, and grade 5 carbonized matter can now be obtained from unspoiled nodes. Because of this, if we’re gathering red scrips items at the same time, the amount of GP that recovers over time isn’t enough. I would like to use more cordials to gather, so can you please consider reducing the reuse time for cordials?
A: Currently the amount of times that players use cordials has been increasing, so we will consider reducing the reuse time. Additionally, we’re going to introduce new gatherer gear in Patch 3.3 as well.
Q: Could you add an option to listen to music from the orchestrion as regular background music instead of with 3D sound?
A: We won’t be able to do this right away. Soken will be post details on the forum. The 3D sound for the sound source is working a bit too well, so we are proceeding with plans for making adjustments. We’re also developing a shuffle feature at the moment. In regards to songs from the FINAL FANTASY series, it’s difficult for us to use other titles’ songs however we like.
Q: Will you be implementing the Chinese-themed clothing?
A: Please let us know your feedback on the forum.
Q: The Hildibrand quests in Patch 3.2 were really interesting. I’m really interested in hearing when we can play the continuation of the other side quests such as the scholasticate quests and the Delivery Moogle quests.
A: We just had a meeting last week about the scholasticate quests, and we’re working towards starting a new story from Patch 3.4.
We’ll be adding Hildibrand quests in each patch. We are aware that there was a lot of feedback mentioning that the Hildibrand quests this time around were short, so we told the lead on these to try and do what they can.
In regards to the Delivery Moogle, there are a lot of side quests right now, so we do not have any concrete plans for a continuation at the moment.
Q: Unlike previous primals, Sephirot isn’t directly related to the main scenario quest, but does this mean the Warring Triads story is going to be expanded separately from the main scenario?
A: We removed it from the main scenario series so players can challenge the Extreme version of the primal right away, but players will see appearances from the Garlean Empire, so from story standpoint it’s not unrelated.
Q: The amount of attractive rewards for the Gold Saucer has increased, but there’s not enough MGP. Do you plan on increasing the amount of MGP rewarded?
A: In Patch 3.25 we will be increasing the amount of MGP rewards for the challenge log. Additionally, we will be making a large-scale update to chocobo racing in Patch 3.25. There will be a mode where you can have challenge races against NPCs, and you’ll be able to earn a lot of MGP by completing this.
Q: Previously, I’ve read an interview where Yoshida mentioned that Fenrir is listed as one of the mounts that will fly. If there are any other existing mounts that will also become able to fly, I would like to know.
A: Fenrir is planned to be able to fly in Patch 3.3. And after this, we’re looking into the three mounts you can obtain from the tank achievements. It’ll require a lot of resource to release all three at the same time, so please give us some more time. Additionally, we’re planning to introduce new flying mounts in Patch 3.3. This one looks similar to the Dravanian down trees you see across the fields.
*Image for the new flying mount was shown.
Q: In a previous Letter LIVE, you mentioned a type of content where you could make your own platoon, but I was curious about the progress of this.
A: This is content that has had some hardships during the planning stage, but we are planning to add this in Patch 3.4. However, I cannot make any promises right now as to whether we will be able to add dungeons that you can bring your platoon to at the same time. Though, we will be unlocking the second lieutenant rank for grand companies at that time.
In regards to companies, we will be adding new items that can be purchased from grand companies in Patch 3.3.
Q: As part of job adjustments for The Feast, are there plans to adjust dark knights?
A: We’ll be making adjustments to dark knight.
Special Guest Section
Guest: Lead UI Artist Hiroshi Minagawa
Q: Could you tell us exactly what a lead UI artist does?
A: Generally, we are often called UI designers or UI planners. The role really differs between the start of the game’s creation and when you are in the midst of making it.
The first job is to receive the overview from the producer, and then make sure it is compatible on different platforms as well as a multitude of languages.
First, I make things such as images of what the game would look like so that we can share it with the staff.
I also created the FFXIV: A Realm Reborn logo and the patch logos.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to Yoshida now?
A: Please be mindful of your health!
Q: Can you please let us know other UI’s that impressed you from playing other MMORPGs aside from FFXIV?
A: It would have to be RIFT and Guild Wars 2. As for recent games, The Division has new visual UI, so I would like to use them for reference.
Q: There are many MMORPGs out there, is there anything in FFXIV which you were particular about, or had trouble developing?
A: I believe it’s very important to create the UI which is a standard for PC MMORPGs. We have to also think about playing with a gamepad, and this was the hardest part. Not only that, since this is part of the FF series, so we have to think about making them so players who haven’t played an MMO until now can play casually using a gamepad. In Patch 3.2, we have developed various features that will ease beginners into the game without any major issues, but we’re also developing to make the equipping process easier in Patch 3.3.
Q: *Picked up a question from Yasumi Matsuno on Twitter.
Last year, when we went out drinking with Yoshida, you promised me something…what happened to that? I’m talking about the feature to switch target. You mentioned you would relay it to Minagawa, but can I have an update? Also, would it be possible to have a text command which would display a target’s actual HP?
A: We can’t answer this here, but we’ll go back and look into this.
Q: Would you like to start researching VR more? Or are you already working on this?
A: As a hobby I have interest in this, but whether or not we implement this for FFXIV is a totally different story.
Q: In previous Letter from the Produce LIVE, Yoshida mentioned a little about double cross hotbar, but I would like to know what this is.
A: I brought a video showing what we’re currently developing.
*A video was shown that demonstrated the feature.
The “double” in the name refers to double clicking. By double clicking the L/R buttons, it’ll bring up one more hotbar. For those not used to switching sets you may feel that this wouldn’t change much, but this feature would allow you to access the hotbar without switching back to the original hotbar set. When we tested this internally, the amount of testers used this feature and those who did not was evenly divided, so we would like to look into this a bit more.
I believe this would be a good place to add actions, or markers and macros which aren’t used as frequently into this hotbar. This feature is complex, so we’re aiming to release in Patch 3.4.
Q: Could you tell us what you can about the progress of add-ons?
A: I apologize that this is taking a while.
Since there have been a lot of discussions about DPS meters, we have been putting it aside.
We had been working on add-ons originally with the goal of implementing it half a year after the launch of A Realm Reborn; however, we were looking at features that would not create any inequalities between PC and PlayStation users and one of the reasons why we are behind on this is due to the lack of room to do certain things on the PlayStation, which was more than we had envisioned. Because of this, we have been prioritizing the implementation of other expanded features.
Q: The times I participate in PvP has increased, and it’s a lot of work switching between PvE and PvP every time. Can you please consider making it so we can register our hotbars for PvP and PvE individually?
A: I’m aware of the request, it’s difficult to store data for two hotbars, so we’re currently looking into this to see if there’s a different way to handle this. I believe there are players already using text commands in macros to do this, but we’re thinking of making this happen with one button.
Aside from this, we’re also planning to implement a feature where you can store the points allotment PvP action as sets. We expect this feature can be implemented faster than the above mentioned feature, so we’re planning to implement this in Patch 3.3.
Q: With the number of actions and jobs increasing, I’ve filled up all my macro slots. Do you plan on adding more macro space? Also, there are a lot of macros I want to make that exceed 15 lines. Will you be increasing this in the future?
A: After looking into this, we found that it would take a significant amount of time to change the core structure of the macro system. However, we’re aware that if we do not change it we will not be able to address this with the current system, so we are working towards addressing it. We’re looking into whether we can standardize the macro data for multiple characters so it can be shared and then allow for an increase in the amount that can be used.
Q: Would it be possible to implement a feature to store several patterns for HUD layout as favorites?
A: We’re currently developing this, and it is planned for Patch 3.3. We’re currently thinking of being able to store up to 3 sets.
Q: I play on a gamepad, but with the new actions added at level 60, I’m having a tough time finding space to place them. I’m assuming we will eventually reach level 70 and 80, so I think it’s going to be even tougher when there are more skills. Can you look into addressing this in some way?
A: One of our ideas for how to address this is actually the double cross hotbar, but we would like to keep the next expansion and the actions to come in the future in mind as we develop features.
Q: There’s a display limit in 24-man raids such as Crystal Tower, and Void Ark, so there are times where I can’t see the DoTs I put on the target. Would it be possible to handle this, by displaying the information of my own debuffs on the focus target?
A: We’re looking into this. The reason for this is because, currently, we squeezed in as much information that can be displayed during a battle, but couldn’t see what actions were being included. However, we have a better understanding now, and think we can increase the amount of information displayed, so give us some more time.
Q: I want to glamour equipment I use on multiple jobs on a job-by-job basis. Do you plan on implementing a feature to do this?
A: We do not have any plans to implement this. The reason is that there is only one aspect of the glamour data that is saved on items, and furthermore, in order to save this kind of data, it would require revamping the core system, making it difficult to accomplish.
Q: Seeing my character’s name displayed in English during quest dialogue feels a bit out of place. You previously mentioned that you would like to consider registering a name which can be used only for quests, but during that time, you had many tasks at hand and weren’t sure of the timing for this. Has there been any progress on this?
A: We did look into it, but we have decided to not do this. Character names are vary from player to player, and inside the dialogue boxes we use a temporary name to assign character names, but having a separate name would make this part much more complicated.
Additionally, there is a possibility that it would confuse the players by having several names, so we have decided not to do this.
Q: Previously, the Valerian equipment from Tactics Ogre was implemented into the game, but do you have any plans to implement equipment from Vagrant Story?
A: It was quite easy to design the equipment from Tactics Ogre since it was just pixels, but the Vagrant Story equipment–actually, just check out this picture I brought along.
*Shows an image
This is the main character and his rival. The rival is bare from the waist up, while you can see the main character’s butt from the back. Creating this for PlayStation we were able to somewhat fake it, but with the quality of PlayStation 4, we’re a bit worried that it might not be too great to have this kind of visual.
Q: My Armoury Chest and inventory are always full. Do you have plans to expand the amount of items we can hold?
A: We require more time for this, but we are looking into making it happen.