Naoki Yoshida Comments On Baldesion Arsenal Feedback Alongside Today’s Hotfix

Since it’s inclusion in the last major patch for Final Fantasy XIV, the Baldesion Arsenal, the game’s ultra high-end public dungeon inside of Eureka Hydatos has had the community talking about it more so than most content- and with opinions varying between regions. With criticism coming from players regarding it’s story, access conditions and more, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida, as well as Lead Battle Content Designer Nakagawa took to the forums today to explain some of the changes made to Eureka content during the overnight hotfix maintenance as well as some of the changes they’re considering for the future.

Regarding Eureka Hydatos and the Baldesion Arsenal
Hello everyone, this is FFXIV Producer and Director Yoshida here.
It’s been roughly two weeks since Eureka Hydatos was released, and I’d like to thank you for all your valuable feedback.

As you may know, Eureka and the Baldesion Arsenal were created with the concept of breaking down FFXIV’s fundamental gameplay. As a result, following the release of its final installment, we’ve received more feedback than usual from all over the world. Of those feedback posted to the forums, I noted that there’s a big divergence between North American/European and Japanese players.

The hot fix scheduled for today will introduce a number of adjustments to Hydatos and the Baldesion Arsenal based on your feedback. On this occasion, I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to some of the concerns raised and also explain our intent behind the changes.

Please be warned that this post will run a little long, as it comes from myself as well as Lead Battle Content Designer Nakagawa.

– The Baldesion Arsenal Post-clear Story (Yoshida)Firstly, regarding the feedback on the story that unfolds upon clearing the Baldesion Arsenal. As I mentioned in earlier interviews and announcements, I personally didn’t see it as an additional story or ending, and greenlit the content in its current state. However, my words proved to be misleading to those who felt there was a story, and for that I apologize.

During development, the team deliberated this at great length. The scenes that follow the Baldesion Arsenal wouldn’t be experienced by everyone, but only by those who make a certain choice in regards to a character’s question and then go on to complete the dungeon. If you choose differently, you would not see these scenes.

However, no matter how you respond to the question, the Eureka story ends at that point. Those who’ve played through the story will know that you have to make a tough decision. In proceeding with the current spec, we believed that players would’ve come to terms with their decision and the consequences. And no matter what players choose, they would experience a clear ending before to moving on to the Baldesion Arsenal. Based on this, it was my belief that the Eureka story concludes there.

Rather than being a “true ending” or an “epilogue,” we sought to depict the events following the Baldesion Arsenal as a happy accident. This is because it’s impossible to predict such an outcome when you’re faced with the abovementioned tough decision. And if the choice you made left an unpleasant aftertaste, then that was as we had intended.

But regardless of our intentions, the way we implemented the content has been the subject of considerable criticism, and we’re taking it all to heart. I will also endeavor to take greater care with how I explain things. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

– A Word from the Lead Battle Content Designer (Nakagawa)Hello everyone. This is the lead battle content designer, Nakagawa. Thank you for your feedback and discussion.

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the stress you’ve experienced as a result of the entry requirements for the Baldesion Arsenal. And I’d like to thank you all for observing good manners when enjoying Hydatos and the Baldesion Arsenal.

The following is an explanation of our policy behind the changes to the content. Please take a moment to read through it.

– Eased Requirements for the Aetheric Stabilizer (Nakagawa)The aetheric stabilizer was devised as a priority ticket for gaining entry to the Baldesion Arsenal, but it isn’t seeing much use due to the difficulty in obtaining it. If it were it too easy to obtain, it wouldn’t serve its intended function, but there’s undeniably a problem with the current spec. In response, we’ve decided to ease the requirements for obtaining the item while preserving its purpose. This adjustment will be implemented in today’s hot fix, and players will find the item considerably easier to obtain.

This adjustment is intended to make it possible for players to enter the dungeon with a reasonable time investment, while alleviating the competition for the entry amidst random conditions. We’ll keep an eye on things and make further changes if necessary.

– Increased Rewards for the FATE “Baldesion Arsenal: Expedition Support” (Nakagawa)We received a lot of feedback saying that the reward for completing expedition support is inadequate. In order to make it worth the difficulty, we will increase the amount of Hydatos crystals awarded. This adjustment will also be implemented in today’s hot fix, and we’ll make further changes as required.

– Abandonment of the FATEs “Baldesion Arsenal: Expedition Support” and “I Don’t Want to Believe” (Nakagawa)We consider this to be one of the biggest problems in Hydatos, and are hurrying to implement a solution.

This problem came about as a result of an attempt to address an issue immediately before the patch’s release. We had observed that Ovni’s knockback attack was preventing players from receiving entry rights, and so we expanded the area of eligibility to the whole field. However, this made it possible for players to still receive entry rights without participating in the FATE to the end, and instead go to find an aetherial node. Most of all, this situation was unfair to those tanks who stayed to keep up enmity until Ovni’s defeat, and we’d like to apologize.

In order to resolve this problem, we’re considering the following adjustments. Please note that these are subject to change.

▼Changes to the FATE “I Don’t Want to Believe”
Delay aetherial node spawning by a few minutes following Ovni’s defeat.
Limit the granting of the Aetherially Primed buff to the battle area.

▼Changes to the FATE “Baldesion Arsenal: Expedition Support”
 In line with the above, we will make the following adjustments.
Delay aetherial node spawning by a few minutes following Ovni’s defeat.
Have unstable nodes spawn first, followed by unstable nodes a few minutes later.
Limit the granting of the Aetherially Primed buff to the battle area.

Through these adjustments, we intend to prevent players from abandoning the FATEs. However, as these changes must be implemented with care, and following extensive testing, it may take a little while before we can proceed with them. As a result, they won’t go live in today’s hot fix, but we aim to implement them as soon as possible. We ask for your patience and understanding in the meantime.

– Reflecting on the Baldesion Arsenal (Nakagawa)The Baldesion Arsenal was an extremely ambitious venture, and we were driven by the strong desire to deliver an experience and enjoyment that players had never seen before in a battle content. At the heart of the enjoyment is the restriction on resurrection, which introduces a heightened sense of tension as you play. This is how it all began.

The inspiration for this were the games I used to feverishly play, for instance Diablo 2 and its hardcore mode and Wizardry on the Famicom, to name a couple. I feel that we succeeded in bringing that same enjoyment and sense of tension to our players in the Baldesion Arsenal. I also think we succeeded in creating an enjoyable high-difficulty raid dungeon for the largest ever number of participants ever seen in FFXIV.

Having said that, due to the abovementioned issues and other things we’ve learned through your feedback, we’ve caused our players a great deal of stress, and this is something we deeply regret. We’ve been made to realize there are many things we can change and improve upon. We’re determined to correct all the major issues and take the experience with us when we develop future content.

My responsibility on the FFXIV team is to plan and develop battle content that will be enjoyed by all our players. In this post, I’ve been given the chance to say a few words on Eureka and the Baldesion Arsenal, but I’d like to state that my desire to create great content applies across the board.

In the future, should more issues like this arise, I promise to take your feedback to heart, communicate openly with you all, and quickly take the necessary measures to improve things. Thank you for your continued support.
– Going Forward (Yoshida)This is FFXIV Producer and Director Yoshida again.
As Nakagawa has stated above, as a content, Eureka has been a challenge for the FFXIV team, following on from the Diadem.

FFXIV’s base gameplay is very important to us, and in order to have as many players as possible enjoy themselves, we take care not to introduce unnecessary stress to content. On the other hand, we also believe there is payoff to be had, a sense of accomplishment, at the end of sustained effort and heightened tension. This is a good kind of stress, and it’s the driving concept behind content such the Diadem and Eureka, which aim to break outside the FFXIV box.

As a result, there may be situations like Hydatos, where feedback diverges greatly depending on region, and issues arise that are beyond our anticipation. But we’ll learn from this and strive to continue delivering new ways to play.

With the 5.x series of patches, we’ll be trying something new again, but in the meantime, we’ll continue making adjustments not only to Hydatos, but to Eureka at large. Thank you for continued support.