Following the first full day of Fan Fest, Yoshida held a short press conference. After a day of announcements about not only 5.0, but also 4.5, complete with Blue Mage, it wasn’t clear what he would discuss. Nevertheless, the various media gathered and prepared to ask some burning questions. Below is not a verbatim transcript, but captures the gist of the back and forth.
After thanking everyone for coming, Yoshida got right into the Q&A.
Q. With Shadowbringers, you didn’t described the areas we will be going to like you had in prior expansions. Was that intentional?
A. Good question. Warriors of Light will become the Warriors of Darkness, but the timing is not right yet to disclose where we are going. So it was intentional. Still have 4.5 coming up and there is a lot to experience in that patch. So they didn’t want to expose that until 4.5 is revealed.
Q. What can we expect for PvP in Shadowbringers?
A. The finals of The Feast Championships will be taking place in the time up to Shadowbringers, and they want to continue that momentum. PvP content in general will be announced tomorrow.
Q. 32-bit support is dropping. What is Shadowbringers adding to the game that is tied to that decision?
A. Two reasons to drop this support. First, the percentage of players on 32-bit is 1.8% of the player population. Second, the memory maximum is 2GB, which is 1/4 of PS4. It creates a bottleneck.
Q. Any plans to grow data centers in Oceanic region?
A. No plans at the moment, but they are seeing growth and the recognize that in some zones/environments there can be latency and they would like to be able to progress on those issues at the right time.
Q. What else can you tell us about the trust system? Will it make FFXIV the next single player Final Fantasy game?
A. Not meant to make FFXIV a single player experience. The good thing about MMORPGs is that you have a lot of players and you should have to play with people. But, there are players who are more comfortable playing as a single-player game and some players avoid the game because of elements requiring grouping up. With the MSQ, they would like an option to allow for a solo environment. That is the basic concept for the Trust system. But, playing through. the MSQ with NPCs will get harder as the MSQ progresses, so while they can learn the basics with this system, they should be able to shift into playing with others.
Q. The Raid meta is pretty defined with which classes are used. With new jobs, are the plans to address this in 5.0?
A. From what we have observed in Alphascape, the distribution is pretty even. So they want to keep addressing balance as they continue. With Shadowbringers they want to revisit balance and put another layer of focus on that balance. Job changes will be revealed closer to launch.
Q. Players are running cyber-sex brothels in FFXIV. Does SE have a position on this?
A. His general response is that there is a user agreement, which everyone agrees to before playing. Users that breaks laws will be dealt, including with account bans, and such issues should be reported and then the GMs will investigate.
Q. When did he decided to create the Fan Fest and make the announcements about Shadowbringers?
A. This is the third Fan Festival. After the early festivals and seeing the turnout he knew that ARR succeeded. It was about 8 years ago he took on the rebuilding of FFXIV – and at that time the idea would have been crazy, but his goal was to fix the game and grow it and be able to have these worldwide tours with the fans. By having the celebration plus new announcements these events become more fun and meaningful.
Q. What can you tell us about the “limited” jobs? Will they be able to join the duty finder, or are they are form of horizontal progressions and/or a different stand-alone system?
A. Stand by for tomorrow’s letter from the producer.
Q. What can you tell us about the end-game content for DoH and DoL? Will it just be the Rebuilding of Ishgard?
A. There will be a lot of new content, but the rebuilding is the big addition. The Rebuilding of Ishgard involves a story, so he cannot go into the narrative, but this system will allow for players to interact with the game for an extended period of time. This will be end-game content, so it will involve difficult recipes and/or bragging rights for being able to create some of the difficult recipes.
Q. Do you plan to add more content related or similar to the Rathalos fight?
A. The potential is there, but there are no plans at the moment, but after Shadowbringers there is always a possibility.
Q. With the merging of TP and MP, the UI will need to undergo a massive change. What can he tell us about that?
A. With any MMORPG, you are always keeping track of various elements. From an engineering standpoint it’s actually not too difficult, but they have to be careful to balance it all. But the UI team is certainly struggling through the transition.
Q. Why no Spanish language option?
A. Some SE games have been translated to Spanish, but those were stand-alone games. In FFXIV with the live setting and updating, the translators need to work with the development team. SE works with localization teams, but at present SE doesn’t have a Spanish language team in place to do this localization for FFXIV. SE strives to deliver games in all languages – so he would like to be able to do this, but they cannot now.
Q. The content is incredibly polished, but the cycle is pretty standardized as far as types of content and timing. What is he looking to do with Shadowbringers to keep the player base engaged?
A. To keep up with the pace of development, this pattern is somewhat necessary. He understands the predictability of the pattern, but that’s why they added Eureka, or Deep Dungeon, and soon Blue Mage. For some reason people don’t seem to count those in their consideration. They are making the effort, and the Dev Team hopes that people will recognize the effort.
EDIT TO ADD MISSED QUESTION:
Q. In 4.1 we had Ultimate Coil and 4.3 we had Weapons Refrain. Why no new ultimate in 4.5? What is the ultimate plan for 5.x?
A. There are 3 battle designers who are capable of making the ultimate battles. We intended to release a 4.5 battle, but it was too intense, not ready for release and/or some feedback was that these battles were too frequent. So the 4.5 battle was cancelled, but then they heard complaints about no 4.5 ultimate battle. They have now, however, heard those complaints going into 5.x.