PAX East Live Q&A Panel Transcript

In Featured, Final Fantasy XIV by Anwyll

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At PAX East 2016, Naoki Yoshida hosted the first ever North American Live Q&A panel, taking questions both at random from a bag of submitted cards as well as from the audience on the spot. Many of you tuned in or followed the action on social media, but we wanted to make sure to get a transcript of the questions and answers – formatted for easy reading – out as soon as possible.

Enjoy!

When will we get more Hildibrand Manderville Quests?

Patch 3.3!

Will world chat and linkshells ever be available when not logged into the game? Perhaps in an app?

[Yoshida covers his ears and turns away.] <laughter> We’re currently creating an app, and one portion of that app does have a feature where you’ll be able to chat with friends, linkshell members and free company members, and that part is finished. BUT! Because we want this app to be really useful, we don’t want to have just a chat feature. We want to add things like being able to access your retainer offline, or being able to access the market while offline. So we’re currently adding all of these new features to the app, and once all those are in, then we’d like to release it. We’re going to try out best to get it out before the next expansion.

May we have an update on the plans to bring the 7-11 event items from Japan over to the states?

Our marketing team would be better for answering this one than I am, but I can tell you that I’ve approved the process on my side and we’re just waiting on a contract to get worked out. Hopefully very soon we’ll have something on this side of the continent. Sorry about the wait!

Please implement FATEs for gatherers and crafters. It’ll help make the leveling grind quicker. Thanks!

[Yoshida clairifes, “FATE?” Koji confirms, “FATE!”] <laughter> [Yoshida and Koji discuss an area suddenly popping in an area or down where everyone can run in and gather or craft on request.] It sounds interesting. I’ll talk with the team. Of course, there’s the possibility some guy’s just gonna drag a big monster into that FATE area… <laughter> But it’s a good idea. We’ll take it back with us.

Will we be getting anything from Phantasy Star Online on our end?

[Yoshida explains the background of the FFXIV x PSO2 crossover in Japan, where Phantasy Star players can challenge Odin and win Miqo’te gear.] While we have a tight development schedule until the release of the next expansion, we’ve been talking with the PSO2 team to get maybe some type of gear or characters in XIV, as well. If this happens, it will be for all players in all regions.

We noticed that a lot of the English FATE names are rather punny. We were curious if the other languages are just as punny.

[Koji laughs nervously as he translates for Yoshida.] With FATE titles, we pretty much have an internal rule that it’s going to be funny or punny in all languages. Rather than having one title and then translating off of that one, each team gets to do something that’s funny in their region, so we have a lot of freedom with that.

[Koji adds:] And when I do the English, maybe I go a little bit overboard… <cheers> The legal team has contacted me multiple times about copyright…

[Yoshida chimes in:] A lot of the Japanese FATE titles, by the way, are based on Japanese novel titles and stuff from older FFs.

When will be able to gather peaches? We have apples, oranges, lemons, grapes, but still no peaches!

<laughter> [Koji translates. There’s a pause.] Hm!? <laugher> [Koji explains thoroughly, listing fruits.] You want a peach!? <laugher> There hasn’t been a peach discovered in Eorzea yet? If we go to a new region in the expansion, perhaps they’ll have peaches there. [Koji: “PEACHES CONFIRMED!?”] <laughter>

With the addition of The Feast, are there plans to add more PVP skills to all classes?

Currently we’re in the first season, so we’re watching how that goes and getting feedback from players about balance and how the feel of The Feast is. With each new season, we’ll be considering what updates we want to put in. We’re going to watch the first season and decide from there what tweaks or new class skills we could put in before the second or third seasons.

As a tank player, on the gear, the parry stat is kind of …meh. I know you guys discussed changing the parry stat and how it works, what kind of things go into actually changing the parry stat and are you making any leeway to doing that to make it more beneficial to tank players?

Just do double check, you’re feeling that with all of your gear and materia, that building up the parry doesn’t feel as thought that skill is affected very much? [Clarification: I’m not sure about the exact mathematical numbers. I think it was discussed that something like 100 parry might be only, like, 1% or less of a chance added and, compared to other stats, it’s best to go around it (to get those benefits instead).] Okay, so yes, we do know that the parry skill is not affecting tanks as much, and we understand that this needs to be adjusted. We believe that maybe about the timing of 3.4 or the next expansion, times where the item level cap goes up dramatically, that this will be a chance to go in with some major tweaks. They are planned, and we
do know your concerns. We’re working on it!

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I find when leveling alts and I queue for a roulette, I can’t bring my chocobo out and it’s very annoying. I know it’s probably a tech limitation but [Matt is patting Yoshida comfortingly.] I would love to be able to have my chocobo out to do FATEs during those 18 minute DPS queues.

[Yoshida pretends not to hear the question, then pauses and projects a pained sigh.] <laughter> The code that we have for chocobos is very complex. Trying to unravel it and get things to work is taking a lot of time, but that doesn’t meant we’re not trying. We’re working on this. It also ties into being able to call a chocobo inside of a dungeon as well! I know we’ve been saying that we’re working on it for a long time, but we are still working on it and hopefully, someday, we’ll be able to have them out without cancelling duty finder. We have a chocobo programmer and he knows. Every time you ask that question, his heart breaks a little bit because he knows he has to make it happen.

I was wondering if there are an plans to do away with gender-locking on gear.

We understand what you mean – especially a lot of gear from the Gold Saucer is gender-locked. To take all of the things that are gender-locked currently and make them available for male and female characters would take a lot of time and resources, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to. We’d like to do it a little bit at a time, and so we want feedback from you guys. Tell us what gear you want us to start with, and we’ll prioritize starting from th- [shouts from all over: “BUNNY GEAR!”; Yoshida laughs.] We get that a lot! You really want that bunny gear for everybody? <cheers> Please look forward to it! <cheers intensify> Also, when you start giving feedback, let’s keep it in one forum. It’s tough for Matt. One thread, not a hundred threads. It’ll be a lot easier to tell the team what you want.

How many classes do you see coming out in each expansion?

[Yoshida: “How many!?” Koji: “How many!”] <laughter> Jobssszzzz… … Next question! <laughter and boos> [Yoshida grabs another card.] … Wait until Fan Fest. <cheers>

Are there any plans to release another remaster album, like From Astral to Umbral but for Heavensward music?

As you know, that arrangement album featured Soken-san’s band, The Primals. Currently in Japan, there are talks of perhaps… some concerts… and maybe some new Primals songs? GOOD LUCK, SOKEN!

At other shows you’ve talked about the music for primals and such, how you had to go back and forth. But I was curious about going through the process for creating Brute Justice. It’s clearly influenced by, like, Super Sentai and mecha anime.

The team that’s in charge of that battle, the raid scenario team, they wanted to do something – since we’re nearing the end of that arc – that was not only serious, but also comical. We got a lot of feedback from the battle team that the last boss was mostly just hitting the legs and wasn’t interesting enough, so we wanted to make this boss more interesting. To make this battle exciting, not only for the battle, but the music, we went to Soken for ideas. This was actually based on the Time Bokan series. If you’re interested, you can probably find something on YouTube. Maybe the Primals could perform it? [Koji: “Probably… not here!”] I’ll be in the chorus!

I was wondering if we’ll ever be able to fly in all the regions.

[Yoshida covers his ears again.] <laughter> If you want us to extend the release of the expansion, maybe? [Shouts of “Nooo!”] We don’t want to say that it’s not something we want to do someday, it’s just that doing so would require re-creating a lot of the maps. Right now, our priority is creating new maps rather than recreating old ones. It might be in the far future, but we’d like to try bringing flying to some of the original areas. We didn’t have any idea that there would be flying mounts at the time of ARR, so if you go behind a lot of field objects there’s just… nothing. Polygons and void.

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A lot of us are just, in general, Final Fantasy fans, and you did the FATE with Lightning Returns. Do you have any other FATEs that will be Final Fantasy-oriented? I know one that we’re probably all thinking about is maybe Final Fantasy XV…?

Yes, of course! We have something planned. We know we have a lot of fans of lot of games in the series, some people want to see stuff from VI, some from XV. We can’t tell you what’s going to come next or everyone who wanted something else will be like, “Nooo!” so, we’re going to surprise you. But we have a lot of exciting content planned. Please look forward to it.

When are we getting a winky face emote?

The animation team is actually watching this stream… so… make it!

In past Final Fantasy games, legendary relics like Save the Queen sometimes included special effects outside of increasing stats or attack power. Is there any chance of seeing something similar in FF14? Thank you!

System-wise, it’s possible. What’s holding us back is that we have to be careful not to create something that’s too powerful or would grow to be thought of as necessary. Like haste, if you have haste on it, you create a situation where if you don’t have it, you’re not welcome. Finding the right balance and timing is why we’ve been taking our time with it.

When creating new lore for the game, do you guys have something like a lore bible to make sure it fits into the world, or do you make it up as the story goes?

We do make some of it up on the spot, I’ll be honest. For the most part, we do have a very large bible. Back in the 1.0 days, when it was Iwao-san as loremaster, he made a couple hundred pages of background story of everything – the Twelve, the races – and he left that for us. We still use that today; when something new comes up, we’ll check his old documents and make sure it fits together. And we have new documents as well. But a lot of times they’ll come to us with something we didn’t expect at all. “Let’s have bears!” “Let’s have carbonara!” But we discuss it and try to make sure it fits with the bible we already have.

Would it be possible to see or meet the Doomtrain in the game? <cheers>

…5.0? <laughter> I mean, maybe someday, in the future, when the player finally gets to go to the Garlean Empire, we’ll see the Doomtrain. [Koji adds: Though maybe it won’t be on tracks. Maybe it’ll be flying? Flying Doomtrain?” Yoshida stares, then laughs.] Maybe.

When are we gonna get new pets for the summoner? I’m sick of looking at Garuda and Ifrit.

[Yoshida mashes his hands into his ears repeatedly.] We gets this all around the world! System-wise, it’s very complex. To add completely new egis or pets is very difficult. One thing we’re working on right now – we understand looking at the same pet all the time is tough – so we’re going to change the appearance. That takes a lot of programming, but we’d like to get one of those in with each patch, probably starting with Carbuncles.

For both Yoshi and Koji, What is the quest or quest chain that you love the most and hate the most as a player?

Koji: That’s a time bomb. If I answer the hate one I have to go back and work with these people next to me! I sit next to the quest team!

Yoshida: I hate the hidden moogles. <cheers and laughter> I actually want to apologize for that quest chain. I realize it’s created a lot of enmity towards moogles, all around the moogles. We’re going to work hard and bring new quests in to make people love moogles again. Hopefully in 3.3, you’ll be able to get your revenge on the King (Chieftain Mog). As for a quest I like, it’s more of a storyline than a specific quest, but I personally really like the Alphinaud storyline; starting with about 2.55 when Alphinaud hits rock bottom, through the Heavensward story where he realizes his true purpose and grows up. He starts as a guy with a big ego and learns his role in saving the realm. Every now and then it’ll go to his head and he’ll say something and Estinien will step in like, “Dude, it’s not you defeating primals. It’s the Warrior of Light.” and sets him straight. I starts to feel like he’s a little brother.

Koji: This is kind of a cop-out, but I love FATEs. I love writing FATE descriptions. Everyone gets story from the quests, that’s what’s important. But finding little bits of Hydaelyn in Eorzea is really exciting. Getting an opportunity to not say just, “Kill this monster, kill these ten things.” but create a bit of story in there – why are there hordes of sheep rushing at you, I don’t know, maybe some rabid wolf bit one and now they all have rabies and it’s zombie sheep – creating things like that. A lot of players just grind FATEs to level up, but there’s that little block of text on the side of the screen and there’s a lot of cool stuff in there. If you have time, check some out. You’ll learn something new about Eorzea. But I hate no quests at all. I love every quest in the game. And I love the writers that I sit next to. They’re the greatest writers that a man could sit next to.

Right now, we keep getting a few new dungeons and either a new or more difficult primal fight in every patch. Will the patch pattern change in the near future?

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You know, this has been a great Q&A… but we can’t have this type of session and not being in something new – a new reveal. Let’s talk about something coming in the next patch. <cheers> You can see a little bit of what’s coming, it’s a completely new type of content. The Deep Dungeon: We’re planning on releasing it in patch <mumbles>. It will be called The Palace of the Dead, but this is no ordinary dungeon. You’ll notice that you only see one person in this dungeon… why could that be?

Editors Note: “Palace of the Dead” is a throwback to a dungeon from Tactics Ogre, while similarly, “Deep Dungeon” comes from Final Fantasy Tactics

It’s an endless dungeon that goes deeper and deeper – you can go solo or in a party of up to four! This is the first time we’ve designed a dungeon to be soloable. It will feature an independent progression system – you’ll be starting at Level 1. We know many people invited friends, and maybe you’re not on the same level yet, But with this, you can go in with new friends or old friends and all start in the same place. Level progress is saved on select floors, if you die you’ll go back to the last auto-save.

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Item Level doesn’t work in these dungeons, you’ll power-up using items found inside. It’ll be in Patch… 3.35! You’ll find bosses on multiple floors and in the deepest levels. Patch 3.35 will have a certain number of floors, but in future patches we’ll add further floors below them. And when we add those new floors, we also plan on adding a ranking system to go with it. Going in with a party of four and trying to complete the content and have fun is one way to play, but we wanted to have an option for hardcore players to go in and see how far they can get by themselves. And, of course, ranking will be job-specific. But it’s not too tough, it is a more casual type of content.

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You saw in the screenshot, you saw the adventurer in front of that stone. There’s where you go to power up, but some of them are traps; you might get weaker. Certain floors might also bar you from using magic. But the big thing is that this dungeon will change on every visit. We hope you’ll play it a lot and have fun. Please look forward to it!

In addition, going back to the original question, we have lots of exciting new types of content for the future. In 3.3, we have not only the Deep Dungeon, but also a Treasure Hunt Dundgeon. We’re going to keep creating new kinds of content in the future and we hope you look forward to it. For more information on Patch 3.3, check out the Producer Letter LIVE where we’ll be talking a lot more about it, just a few days away we’ll have much more information!