Gamer Escape Stormblood Interview With Naoki Yoshida

After sitting down and checking out Stormblood during the North American media tour, we sat down with Naoki Yoshida.

Make sure to check out our hands-on coverage of Stormblood here.

Gamer Escape: During our time with Stormblood, we noticed that some of the new role actions give new responsibilities to jobs that didn’t have them before. As an example: Palisade can reduce physical damage to a party member, are you worried that players are going to see these as “required” and make these jobs use those abilities?

Naoki Yoshida: This was linking to some of the feedback we received, in terms of certain jobs are able and expected to do certain actions. And now that we have made some of those actions common to a role, rather than a specific job, we have sort of made it clear that its for the role, and this is something that we had received a lot of feedback on. Of course, depending on the job, it will feel like a new responsibility and some people might not have been wanting that kind of added responsibility. But, again it was something that we had to consider because of all the feedback we were receiving based on the synergy that works between the different jobs, and consolidating it so that it’s shared amongst the role instead now. We wanted to make sure that it is even and fairly distributed amongst the different roles. But I think that the way you can approach it, is as if a new action has been added altogether. That might help the transition in having that new action added in there as a shared role action.


Gamer Escape: As a follow-up, how did you come up with the new role actions? Some of the new role actions are taken from other jobs, some of them are new. How did you decide how to come up with those and what they would do?

Naoki Yoshida: So, one of the concepts for creating this role action was, when we’re considering the balance. For example, if it is an action for the tank role where you’re sort of decreasing physical damage by 20%. The three jobs would have each of their own sort of action that has the same effect, but they’re under a different name. So we just wanted to simplify it and consolidate it. Because it functions the same, just have it as a shared role action. That was the kind of thinking that went into it. Because some of these actions are shared amongst the different jobs, under the same category as role, for example if you’re a healer and you’re really good at managing your remaining MP or if you’re good at controlling enemy enmity, then something that is a separate action that manages it for you really necessary. Some of the redundant  actions is the kind of thinking that went into removing the redundant  actions, and at the same time, again with the healer role. Sometimes, we’ve implemented a new job action where you’re pulling, LITERALLY pulling your party member closer to you so that you can help them out, so if they’re running off in a weird direction you can come back and try to grab them and pull them closer to you to support them in that way. Those are how some of the thinking that went behind the new actions were added in.


Gamer Escape: Now that we know that, for PvP, that gear isn’t counted and there’s no more Action Points (AP) for PvP Actions, how would you describe PvP progression now?

Naoki Yoshida: So just the ranking would.. your PvP rank would be what you reference in terms of progress.

Gamer Escape: So it’s more of just like a “Prestige” thing, it doesn’t unlock anything?

Naoki Yoshida: (some slight confusion from the translator about what Prestige is)

Gamer Escape: Like bragging rights?

Naoki Yoshida: Yes. Also, your sort of “Number of times you’ve fought opponents” is definitely a way to look at progress as well as how much PvP gear you’ve obtained through your battles.


Gamer Escape: A long time ago, you showed an in-game model of Cloud’s motorcycle as a mount…

Naoki Yoshida: (Laughter)

Gamer Escape: Now with the mount speed increasing…

Naoki Yoshida: (Sighs)

Gamer Escape: Are you maybe looking at bringing that back and maybe other vehicles like the Regalia from Final Fantasy XV once you get around to that collaboration?

Naoki Yoshida: But if we were to put The Regalia into XIV, we wouldn’t have it as a simple mount. It would need to be a collaborative effort with Final Fantasy 15. But with regards to the Fenrir or Cloud’s bike… Yes, travelling speed on your mount has increased and it does unlock a faster speed up to the third tier (or third gear as we would say), but we still have the normal speed. Imagine the Fenrir travelling at normal speed. It’s not gonna look very good at all. So if there was a way where a certain area already starts at that highest 3rd gear, at that highest speed, it might be a possibility. But we don’t have any plans at the moment. So I think it’s something that we would still need to make considerations for and think about it for the future or something. But of course as mentioned earlier, it does go up to additional speeds beyond normal. So like we said at the fastest speed, it might look cool for a bike to be riding around. Although, we’d have to make it fly too…


Gamer Escape: We’re wondering how the new job specific UI has impacted the adjustments of the new actions for all of the new jobs? It seems like a lot of the new actions rely on that new UI.

Naoki Yoshida: Balance adjustments…?

Gamer Escape: Adjustments to, like new actions for existing jobs and how those were designed around the new job-specific UI. If that had an impact or influence on how the new actions…

Naoki Yoshida: As an example would be the Warrior. In the current version, you would have to stack a sort of buff, the Wrath buff, and you would be looking at how many are stacked and sort of manage just by looking at that. But we got rid of that, and we replaced it with more like, an ‘energy’-sort of thing where you’re looking at a 0-100 sort of gauge. It’s more visually recognizable, so if your bar is filled up to full if you use up 25% of that you can execute a certain action with that amount of energy. So it’s more intuitive, you just have to manage how much of the gauge you’ve filled up. Of course, I’m sure players who are experienced in looking at the number of queues of course may look to the different numbers, but we tried to make it so that it’s more intuitive. Just looking at the bar and the gauge. Let’s say for example: “Ok my gauge is filled up this much, then I can execute this action this many times” is the kind of way of thinking we would like to encourage with these new job UIs. Additionally, certain stances that are required for different jobs, going back to the example of Warrior, you would have the “Defender’s Stance” and then the “Deliverance Stance.” We wanted to make sure that it’s visibly clear so that you’re not looking at it as a buff icons that are shown in very small icons, but more like a HUD that is visually recognizable. We applied that to each individual job. But the thing with stances, we made sure to leave in the buff icons for your other party members to make sure that it’s there because we don’t want people to look at you and point out that “Oh you’ve forgotten to switch your stance.”


Gamer Escape: A long time ago, you said that Ivalice and Hydaelyn were not literally connected. You recently referred to a possible connection as “a mystery” when talking about Return to Ivalice. Has that changed? Is Ivalice still not connected? Or is this new Ivalice simply just an area in Hydaelyn?

Naoki Yoshida: (chuckles) I think it would be better if you actually played the content. My stance, personally, has not changed. And so with that being said, if you play through the content of Return to Ivalice and see what the interpretation of it is, within that content, this is something that we discussed in-depth with the creator of Ivalice, Mr Matsuno, and this is content that won’t end with just one patch. So we’re hoping that players can dive into the content and see how we’ve interpreted Ivalice and sort of brought a new sort of interpretation together.


Gamer Escape: Earlier you talked about consolidating combos in PvP. I was wondering if you’ve considered doing the same for PvE.

Naoki Yoshida: <laughs> I knew somebody would bring this up. One of the reasons why we decided to implement it for PvP, is that there are far more often times, or instances that these routes have to be executed in the PvP than in PvE. In PvE there are far more rotations to go through in terms of combos. And also, there are the directional restrictions in PvE and we would have to have a system that determines your direction and then change it. With PvP, we’ve removed that directional restriction, so it was easier for us to implement it in the PvP situation. But that being said, the base system has already been established so if there is a large demand for it, it might be something that could be considered. But for something like the Monk for example, we wouldn’t know which combo rotation to do/to select because there are so many branches.



The rest of this article is a translation into Japanese from the English text above. Enjoy!




























で、クラウドのバイク、フェンリルに関してですけど、今回マウントのスピードが速くなるとはいっても、今のいわゆるノーマル・スピード、それからギアが一つ速くなった状態、それからさらに速くなった状態、三段階が存在するので、やっぱりノーマル・スピードでバイクで走られるっていうのは信じられないぐらいカッコ悪いので(笑)、ギア3を解放したエリアだけで呼び出せるみたいな仕組みを作れば、まぁなしじゃないかなと思いますけど、まだそんなシステムないので… でも登場する可能性は増えたと思います!ただ、これから次第かな(笑)。