This morning, Naoki Yoshida went live with the 35th Letter From the Producer Live!
The Q and A has been posted on the official forums. We’ve included it below along with images from the stream.
Here’s everything we saw!
Before the Live Letter, Yoshida and Foxclon showed off new job pins for Samurai and Red Mage!
As the live letter began, Yoshida noted that the next live letter, which will be around May 20th, will discuss the battle system changes coming with Stormblood.
They started out by going through the new characters seen in the Stormblood artwork, giving some background on all of them.
A young fighter of surpassing skill, Lyse yearns to bring freedom to her homeland of Ala Mhigo, which fell to the Empire when she was but a child. Her brash, impulsive ways often result in her biting off more than she can chew. Yet the time may come when she must rise to the occasion and become a leader of men…
Hailing from the Far Eastern land of Doma, Gosetsu has long served Doma and her sovereign, and fought valiantly to defend them from the Garlean Empire twenty-five years ago. Though Doma fell in the end, the samurai has since labored tirelessly to see her rebuilt. Renowned as a peerless warrior, this loyal retainer dreams of a day when the shadow of Garlemald no longer darkens his homeland.
A shinobi in service to the Far Eastern land of Doma, Yugiri took part in the nation’s failed rebellion against the Garlean Empire. When all was lost, her liege bade her take to the sea, along with many of Doma’s people, and seek sanctuary in the western lands of Eorzea. Her calm, collected demeanor belies a burning desire to face the imperials in battle once more, and redeem the failures of her past.
The young heir to the throne of Doma, Hien is a charismatic leader beloved of his people. Together with Gosetsu and Yugiri, he spurred his countrymen to rise up against their Garlean oppressors. But when the rebellion was crushed, Lord Hien vanished without a trace…
Zenos yae Galvus
Leader of the XIIth Legion and crown prince of the Garlean Empire, Zenos is possessed of but a single passion: to stand on the front lines, blade in hand, and dance with death. He regards friend and foe alike with contempt, and tales of his brutality against both have spread far and wide. While crushing the rebellion of yesteryear in Doma, he took a liking to Far Eastern katana, which have since become his weapons of choice.
The acting imperial viceroy of Doma, Yotsuyu’s grace and beauty belie a heart of stone. A cruel, sadistic ruler, she harbors a deep hatred for Domans. Under the pretext of purging radical elements, she has perpetrated numerous atrocities against her own people. Yet all are the hero of their own story…
A young soldier born and raised during the imperial occupation of Ala Mhigo, Fordola was promised the world─education, training, citizenship─in exchange for service. Scorned as traitors by their people and savages by their Garlean masters, she and others like her struggle to forge their own path in an unforgiving world.
There will be a story about Raubahn’s past, and Pipin will also be making an appearance.
Q and A
Q1: I would like to know the details of the house moving system! I would appreciate if you could let us know how the feature works and the steps required.
A1: Players will not be able to purchase housing at the launch of 4.0; however, they will be able to visit the housing area. The moving feature will be implemented at the same timing that the housing plots become available for purchase.
As for the steps, players will access the sign board of the plot and select the option to purchase the plot, next they will be presented with an option to move, so they will just need to select that option. You will then be required to purchase the land.
Also, there’s a new storage, so you’ll be able to store outdoor furnishings, so please use it as a storage space.
The moving feature will transfer the personal chambers, company chest, company workshop, and airship voyage status, so players will just need to prepare the fees for the new plot.
Q2: Is the timing for purchasing plots in Shirogane the same for free companies and individual players?
A2: We are currently in the middle of investigating how much of the player population owns housing, so this is still being decided.
Q3: Gosetsu looks like a Roegadyn, but also looks like a big Highlander. Which race is he?
A3: He’s a Roegadyn, but one from the lands to the East. Rather than a Sea Wolf, he’s closer to the Hellsguard tribe.
Q4: Heavensward areas were different from ARR areas in how the light and shadow were applied. Will there be a different scheme for Stormblood areas as well? Please let us know if there are any unique weather conditions, or times of day that are especially spectacular!
A4: Once again, the biggest focus is in the contrast between light and shadow. Many small specifications were made regarding putting the visuals together; one such detail was “air”, such as clouds, mist, and fog. The Othard areas and dungeons are themed around “the feeling of air”.
There are also newly implemented weather conditions, so we’d be happy if players would take a step back and enjoy the sunrise/sunset occasionally.
Q5: Are the new areas being added in Stormblood larger when compared to Heavensward ones?
A5: The amount of areas is same and the general sizes are same as well. However, players have grown accustomed to travelling with flying mounts, so you might feel these areas are very large. That compass you all used in 3.0 might come in handy once again.
Q6: Will the island of Thavnair (Radz-at-Hahn) make an appearance?
A6: Travel to these locations will not be possible yet in Patch 4.0. However there are areas in preparation where you can enjoy the feeling of Thavnair, which you can visit starting in Patch 4.05 once travel is available.
Q7: Are there any Hunts in the new areas?
A7: Yes. There are various ones, so please check it out.
Q8: We are excited to explore new areas! Will the sightseeing log and new vistas be implemented for Ala Mhigo and Doma?
A8: There will be 45 new vistas added as part of the Stormblood section. Of course, Kugane has a few locations as well, so please look forward to it. As a sidenote, when I told the lead of this “this is easy,” he replied “I’ll make an Extreme version!”
Q9: I believe there are lots of NPC in the Doman area with Asian-themed hairstyles. Would players be able to use these hairstyles? I want a top knot!
A9: There will be two new hairstyles, but there’s no top knot. If there’s a lot of request for it, we’ll consider it.
Q10: With the additional jobs being implemented, it will likely become increasingly difficult to receive the desired equipment pieces in raids. Will the raids in 4.0 also be divided by a tier system, similar to the Alexander raids?
A10: There new raid won’t be available upon the release of 4.0.
The equipment pieces that drop in Savage are divided by role, and will mostly remain the same. However, Savage weapon drops will see a change, from Omega onward. Of the 8 players, at least one player will receive the weapon they need. We would like to expand on this sometime before we introduce the Savage raids.
Q11: Will there be job-specific gear in Patch 4.0? If so, I would like to know how we obtain them.
In 3.0, players exchanged Allagan tomestones of esoterics to obtain their job-specific gear, but since they were job-specific, it was difficult to obtain them, and it also caused situation where player item levels were not same when they hit level 60. We want everyone to look cool when they hit level 70, so we added a new system which offers a set of gear in a box, and players will be able to choose one. Additionally, I’m sure players will request this, so I just want to mention that once you take the gear out of the box, you won’t be able to put them back in.
Q12: We’d like to hear any stories about the selection and development of red mage and samurai!
A12: Red mage was announced first, but during the development we chose samurai first. In terms of roles, there were already 3 tanks and 3 healers, so we decided to prioritize balance, and added a STR and INT DPS.
Because the story was already determined to take place in Doma and Ala Mhigo, samurai was determined relatively quickly.
The red mage in the FF series uses both “white magic” and “black magic”, so we debated how to implement it. We were also considering Mystic at the time, but we thought about how often we were asked “please add red mage!” at events, and decided to add a red mage that was FFXIV-like.
Q13: For the new jobs, will there be new weapons added from existing content such as primal fights and Allagan tomestone equipment?
A13: Allagan tomestones of esoterics/lore/scripture gear will also include the new jobs’ gear. Furthermore, starting in 4.0, all previous tomestone exchangeable gear will be available via poetics.
The Ironworks gear obtained from poetics will be exchangeable, and equipment for the new jobs will be available in level 60+ content.
Primal fight rewards from Ifrit through Zurvan will all be available, including those with additional visual effects. As for raids, gear from Gordias/Midas/Alexander are all prepared. Coil and Anima weapons will not be added.
Q14: During The Rising event in 2015, there was a mention about red mage in the Eighteenth Floor. Was red mage already confirmed to be implemented at this point?
A14: If you read the first letter of the each line from Yoshida’s dialogue in the Eighteenth Floor, it reads “thank you.” If you were able to figure this out, it may have given an impression that it was a fake message just to achieve this hidden meaning; however, lots of players believed that red mage was indeed coming, and it made us worry. I got scolded by the project manager for this. I will never do this again… Also, at that point in time, it was just a high probability and wasn’t confirmed.
Q15: In Patch 3.0 we had the Specialist system. Are there any plans to add new features for Disciples of the Land and Hand in Patch 4.0?
A15: There won’t be any new system, however, we have made overall adjustments based on feedback we received.
Q16: Will weekly restrictions on blue scrips and red scrips continue to be used in Patch 4.0, or will there be a new token for Disciples of the Land and Hand?
A16: Blue scrips will be retired. Red scrips will remain; however, we’ll remove the weekly restriction from them. We will also add a new yellow scrip, and this won’t have any weekly restrictions either. Therefore, the weekly restrictions for both Disciples of the Land and Hand will be gone.
Q17: With the level cap being increased, I believe the maximum amount of GP we can have will increase. Will the speed in which the GP recover increase?
A17: The speed won’t change; however there is a new trait which will increase the speed for GP recovery. Players will be able to obtain this trait through the class quest, so make sure to do them!
Q18: Will there be a new underwater gathering system implemented?
A18: All gatherers will have a new underwater gathering implemented. For fishers, spearfishing will be added.
Q19: I’m curious to know if there will be any other underwater mounts aside from Syldra! Can you please let us know if there are any other mounts?
This is a single person mount. It may have a protective barrier underwater… but it may not. The art doesn’t show it, so maybe not…
*The dev. team followed up afterwards stating this mount will not have any barrier.
This mount will be able to go underwater using the same protection that the Warrior of Light receives.
Q20: If there are any currently existing mounts that will be available underwater, please let us know.
A20: All flying mounts will be able to go underwater. We will gradually allow more ground mounts to fly.
Ground mounts will also be undergoing major changes, with the addition of two more levels of speed. The current speed will be lowest. Clearing each area’s main story quest will unlock the second tier of speed in that area. Afterward the third tier of speed will be available upon doing a certain something. Because it is the main scenario quest, players who are finished with the story up to 3.0 will automatically be able to use the second tier of speed in all ARR/HW areas.
Also, we will be removing the skill cooldowns for when changing classes in non-sanctuary areas. Additionally, sprint will no longer consume TP. Tanks and melee DPS will be able to more easily use sprint in raids.
Q21: We’ll finally be able to visit Doma, but will there be any Eastern-styled emotes?
A21: Japanese people pay respect, and so it’s important to show courtesy for anything, so we’ll add emotes related to this first. If you have any requests, be sure to let us know on the forums.
Q22: This year makes 30th anniversary for the FINAL FANTASY series. Are there any plans for a anniversary event in FFXIV?
A22: We’re planning to hold a FINAL FANTASY series projection mapping collaboration event with the city of Yokohama in June. The projection mapping for FFXIV will be done on the wall of InterContinental Yokohama Grand Hotel. This is a large-scale event, so if you have a chance to visit, please be sure to check it out. *Video showed slide with an image.
Q23: When can we expect a Stormblood benchmark?
A23: If we did have a benchmark, we would show it around now. We’ll talk about it after the break…
Q24: The Aldenard region, where the adventures up until now have taken place, and Othard, the region including Doma, are very far apart. Will there be different time zones, similar to real life?
A24: From a lore perspective, there are time zones; however, we have ET as the local time, so please think of ET as that area’s local time when you teleport to that zone. Basically, don’t worry too much about it!
Q25: During the Fan Festival, you mentioned that there are plans for PlayStation®4 Pro support, but is this planned for Patch 4.0?
A25: Yes. There will be two modes available.
One mode will retain the current resolution while increasing the frame rate. With this mode, you can expect a stable 60FPS even in scenes with many people.
The other mode retains the current existing frame rate but increases the resolution.
You will still be able to enjoying playing without a PlayStation®4 Pro, so please choose the best option for you.
Q26: In Stormblood, will there be additional options to increase graphics quality beyond what is currently available?
A26: There aren’t any particularly outstanding settings, but there is the PS4 Pro compatibility, so PS4 Pro graphics settings will be improved, and UI scaling will be enhanced as well.
Q27: In an interview, I read that the number of data centers for Japan may change. I’m currently gathering members to run the Omega raid, but are there any plans to change portions of the Elemental or Mana data center?
A27: For the Europe region, the Chaos data center population is increasing a lot, so we may open up one or two new Worlds. For North America and Japan region, we see deviation to the population on different Worlds. Instead of shuffling the players around to different Worlds, we’re considering to prepare incentives such as removing the gil restrictions for players that transfer to specific Worlds. We’ll make an announcement on the Lodestone at a later date.
Q28: There was an announcement regarding inventory slot expansion, but we would like to know which inventory (inventory/Armoury chest) is being increased and by how much!
A28: We received comments that the Armoury chest and inventory could not be expanded due to PS3 limitations, but the two are separate issues. When players move areas or go into instances, all item data is being moved along with the character, so if we were to add additional item slots without much thought, the amount of data being transferred could become ridiculous, network usage would skyrocket, and servers could go down.
With this in mind, in Patch 4.0 we will implement the first inventory expansion, take a look at the state of the servers, then prepare for additional expansions.
The Armoury chest will receive 10 extra slots for each category of equipment, while the item inventory will be increased by 40 slots.
* During the stream we showed off images of the updated UI.
I am also discussing with our server programmer Kasuga whether we can utilize other methods to efficiently increase inventory space.
Q29: In a previous Letter from the Producer LIVE, you mentioned that you are considering increasing the amount of total macros players can have by sharing the macros across the account. Are there any plans to implement this in Patch 4.0?
A29: At the 4.0 timing, the amount of macro slots will increase by 100. This slot is shared with characters under the same account. Please move any macros you would like to use with other characters in this section. With this, players will have 100 macro slots for the character, and additional 100 slots shared within the account.
Q30: With the player level cap increase, can we expect to see retainer level cap increase as well? Also, can we assign the new jobs to our retainer?
A30: The retainer’s level cap will increase to level 70, and they will be able to become the new jobs.
Q31: I believe a lot of items will be introduced in Patch 4.0, but do you have plans to increase the amount of retainers we can hire?
A31: We currently have no plans. We’re looking at the amount of retainers being used, so we believe it’s fine as is, and will consider looking at the situation.
Q32: Are there additional Gold Saucer GATEs, rewards, and minigames planned?
A32: Rewards will be added, but minigames and GATEs will be added later on in the 4.x series.
Q33: Along with the increase of the level cap, will our companion’s rank increase as well?
A33: The companion’s level is synced with the player’s level, so the level cap will automatically increase. As for rank, we will not increase it yet.
Q34: In Patch 4.0 we expect equipment item levels to skyrocket all at once, but will there be higher grades of materia introduced?
A34: Yes. The name is tentatively known as High Materia V, and we plan on making them easily obtainable, but they are quite powerful so we plan on restricting advanced materia melding to one time only. We plan on making regular materia more easily obtainable as well.
We would have liked to have named the new materia “Materigyo” in Japanese, but as it could affect other FF titles, we plan to implement higher grades as “High Materia V” and “Mega Materia V” (tentatively).
Q35: Are there any plans to add new character customization options, such as new face types or face paints?
A35: We’re adding new hairstyles, but there will be no changes to the character customization options. We’re planning to add variations of hairstyles through the aesthetician. Please be sure to leave any feedback, if you have any.
Q36: The amount of new areas will increase, but I would like to have the amount of favored destinations we can set increase as well! Are there any plans for this?
A36: We won’t increase the amount of favored destinations you can set. The distance between areas is quite far, so we set a cap on the teleportation fee to 999 gil.
Q37: Will the interior and exterior layout of Shirogane housing match what is currently available in existing houses? Also, we are expecting Doman furnishings, please tell us what you can about the items that are being added!
A37: Eastern furnishings will be added at the same timing the Shirogane housing area is released. (During the livestream we showed off the interior/exterior of a Shirogane L house, as well as new Eastern furnishings.)
There were also designs shown for a Carbuncle house:
Q38: Will there be new Allagan tomestones introduced in Patch 4.0? Please let us know if there are any weekly restrictions.
A38: There will be new tomestones, and there will be no changes to the weekly restrictions. The name for the new Allagan tomestone is still a secret.
Q39: Could you please let us know the progress on the app where you can chat with your friends and FC members?
A39: With the app you will be able to access retainers without actually logging into FFXIV. Instead of the app just being simply used for chatting, we’re developing the app where if you pay, players will have access to other features, such as accessing the market board.
We’re currently testing the app, and it looks like we may be able to release it around end of the year, or the beginning of the next year. We apologize for taking so long on this, but we’re developing the app where all the FFXIV players can use.
Q40: Will limitations be removed from existing alliance raids and level 60 dungeons in the future?
A40: All dungeons and raid content at level 60 will be have their limitations removed. When you hit level 70, please try out content you weren’t able to clear during the 3.x series!
Q41: On the forums, there was a comment that hinted at a group pose function where we could use combat action motions. Is this planned for implementation in Patch 4.0?
A41: Yes. (During the livestream, we showed screenshots that were taken utilizing the new group pose functions.)
We plan on showing these more in depth during community streams and the Developers’ Blog.
As a side note, we are also finalizing the dynamic theme for the PS4 digital pre-order bonus. (We showed some sample images during the stream.)
The details of this will be announced on the Developers’ Blog as well.
Q42: It was mentioned that the Gear Design Contest for the Tank edition was planned to be implemented in Patch 4.0, but could you tell us how we can obtain this gear, as well as the stats!
A42: I can’t say the stats yet. We felt it should be strong fitting the design, so we’re planning to implement it as a high-tier Allagan tomestone gear.
Q43: In Patch 4.0, I’m sure FATEs will be popular for leveling, but are there any plans to implement features to the FATE system where players can earn more experience points?
A43: In 4.0 area FATEs, we have implemented features so players will have an easier time earning experience points, such as experience bonuses.
Q44: Will Omega, the next raid tier, be released some time after patch 4.0, similar to Alexander?
A44: Yes, we will be releasing the normal version two weeks after 4.0 release, and Savage will be released two weeks after that. Please feel free to play story content and level your jobs at your own pace.
Q45: Compared to other city-states Ul’dah’s market board is inconvenient to access. I’ve gotten used to it playing from A Realm Reborn, but would it be possible to add an aetheryte there?
A45: We placed one! We added an aetheryte, so try it out in Patch 4.0.
Q46: I’m curious about what the minion team is up to! How many new minions can we expect to be added?
A46: There are more than 20, and you’ll be able to obtain them in various ways. Please look forward to it!
Q47: Are there plans for the appearance of a young Au Ra NPC, similar to how Khloe is a young Miqo’te?
A47: They should appear in the Azim Steppe region. Khloe is a very unique NPC, so in comparison they may seem more simple.
Q48: Will Rowena and Gerolt make an appearance? Personally, I would like to see new NPCs taking over their roles, but not having them would also make me sad… it’s a very complex feeling.
A48: I believe we can expect new developments for Gerolt. As for Rowena, she’ll definitely make an appearance.
Q49: Through art and trailers we see samurai wearing casual clothing, but will there be any armor-styled gear? I would like to see gear such as the Genji series from previous FF games!
A49: Putting aside whether or not we’ll have Genji gear, we have prepared armor-styled gear for the jobs.
Q50: I really like the feminine bosses and monsters that appear in instanced content. Will Patch 4.0 have beautiful, powerful female bosses similar to Sophia and Scathach? We are really looking forward to Lakshmi!
A50: Lakshmi’s Extreme version has finished testing. There was very little we needed to fix, but the lead mentioned “the battle balance is good. The model needs fixing”. We are pursuing the meaning of beauty, so please look forward to it.
Q51: In Heavensward, players were able to increase their item level through main scenario quest rewards, but will players be able to increase their item level in the same way in Stormblood?
A51: Similar to 3.0, players will be able to obtain gear through main scenario and side story quests. With 3.0 dungeons, there were times where gear for the role you wanted didn’t drop, or you may have lost the loot to other adventurers, so your item level may have increased slower due to these reasons. For these reasons, with the 4.0 dungeons, we made it so players can obtain the gear for their role after defeating the last boss in that dungeon.
Q52: Will we continue to have patch note readings in 4.0? I like the duo of Yoshi-P and Morbol, but I think it would also be great if voice actors read the patch notes.
A52: During the early access release on June 16th, we will once again be away at E3 in Los Angeles. As with 3.0, we will be locked in to a hotel in Los Angeles. As we are in Los Angeles, we will not be able to call upon any voice actors, and will be reading off the patch notes ourselves. Sorry!