FINAL FANTASY XIV Letter from the Producer LIVE Part III

Uploaded by FINALFANTASYXIV on 14.09.2012

[Foxclon] Good evening! [Yoshida] Good evening!
[Foxclon] Welcome to Letter from the Producer LIVE Part III. Please introduce yourself.
[Yoshida] Greetings everyone! I’m Naoki Yoshida, the producer and director of FFXIV and FFXIV A Realm Reborn. Thanks for tuning in.
[Foxclon] I’m Murouchi from the Community Team, and I’ll be your host for the proceedings. I’m also known on the forums as Morbol. Thanks for having us both!
[Yoshida] This live letter will be a bit longer than the previous two. We’ve received a lot of questions.
[Foxclon] Yep, we received a lot of questions. We’ll be starting momentarily, but first…
[Yoshida] To begin, I’d like to touch on the recent update for the current version, specifically in regards to Atomos.
We made it possible to fight him, but players are saying that it’s annoying, and that we’re giving out way too many reward items.
Also, too many people are crowding the areas and, although that’s expected, it’s making it difficult for other players to log in.
So recently our servers have been suffering from heavy traffic and glitches. They are being readjusted, though, and will be much more stable for A Realm Reborn.
We sincerely apologize for the current situation, but it won’t be a concern in future.
[Foxclon] Now then, we have a lot of questions, so shall we get started? First ques… [Yoshida] Oh, should we put up a live stream of the game?
[Foxclon] Ah, good idea! [Yoshida] Yep, it’s the actual game.
[Foxclon] We’ll be answering your questions while we demo the game. Please enjoy it!
All right then, first question. Ramuh and Titan were revealed during the 25th Anniversary event. Can we expect some new primal battles?
[Yoshida] Of course! We can’t reveal new primals without introducing new battles with them, so please look forward to those. But it’s a little too early to talk about right now.
[Foxclon] Gotcha. Moving on… You also mentioned that elements from the FF series would be introduced into the game; like the Crystal Tower, Magitek Armor, and the Gold Saucer.
What other things are you thinking would be fun to add?
[Yoshida] Well, we’ve been considering quite a lot of things...
...but it really comes down to timing. The team’s schedule is really quite full at this point.
At one stage we were talking about being able to ride Red XIII, or even Red XIV, from FFVII even came up.
I’m a huge FF fan, so just like you, I’m dreaming of different things that I would like to put into the game as well.
[Foxclon] Such as Red XIV, right? Next question…
Goobbues and chocobos mounts have been introduced, but will we able to ride the Ahriman revealed in the last LIVE letter right away?
[Yoshida] You should be able to ride it right away, but we’re testing and looking into how to introduce it along with other mounts as well.
Mounts are really fun and many players like them, so we’d like to keep implementing a variety of them in A Realm Reborn.
[Foxclon] Next up… A straight forward question; what will happen to our path companions?
[Yoshida] During Nino’s portion of the 25th Anniversary talk session, we mentioned that parley would be removed from the game. We’ll actually be removing path companions as well.
In A Realm Reborn, you’ll have your chocobo that will stay by your side and fight. However, for something similar to the fellows in FFXI...
...we felt that it would be better to create solid content where you can have a character to bond with and can change their equipment, so we will be removing companions from the main story.
There will definitely be an opportunity to revive this feature, but for now we’ll be removing them.
[Foxclon] So players can look forward to them getting revamped and returning? [Yoshida] Yes, we’ll do our best. [Foxclon] Continuing on…
[Yoshida] There are a lot of questions. [Foxclon] Yeah, we have quite a lot piled up for a change.
Will dated item data carry over to A Realm Reborn so that they’ll be equipable with the option of selling/trading them? Or will they be deleted?
[Yoshida] Since these items could have some memories associated with them, such as being worn in battle early in the game, we’re not planning on deleting them.
We’re thinking about making them unique/untradeable, so you won’t be able to trade them. You won’t be able to make or obtain these items anymore...
and they also won’t be listed in official databases or strategy guides for A Realm Reborn. But, no, we won’t be deleting them.
We will be making a Topics announcement about this, so please wait till then.
[Foxclon] Okay then, next question. This is somewhat related: gil. Will there be a gil wipe or changes to the currency in A Realm Reborn?
[Yoshida] Well, we said before that we wouldn’t be wiping anything. However, we are thinking about reworking currency denomination.
This is something we’ll be making a proper Topics post about, but the point is that ammunition is currently being sold from one gil each.
In the current version, the first digit seems to exist for the sake of arrows alone.
This reduction will apply to the entire game economy, from the amount of gil players have to prices.
So, an item currently sold at 3500 will go down one digit to 350 gil etc. This doesn’t mean that players will lose money. Rather, areas of the game with unnecessarily large numbers will be pared down ...
...and rendered more manageable. This is what I’d like to emphasize in advance.
This will all be explained in full in a Topics post along with the fate of crystal shards.
[Foxclon] Next question. When will you implement musketeer?
[Yoshida] Well, we haven’t really decided when. We’ve been talking a lot about samurai, ninja, ranger, and thief, etc...
but first we’re looking to add the class that will be most interesting and effective from the perspective of battle balance...
We still don’t know which one will be next.
For A Realm Reborn, we’re revamping everything. As you can see here, armor and weapon slots will be separated to be on the left and right of the interface.
In the case of musketeer, a double-barreled gun is a weapon that requires both hands, so it takes up two slots.
But sometimes you might want to dual-wield, so we’re making a more flexible system that lets players do this. Naturally, these changes will be introduced properly with major updates in future... please rest assured.
[Foxclon] So basically everyone should look forward to the order in which they appear.
Next one is right from Twitter. In the future, will there be any shields with primal motifs? There are weapons, so why not shields?
[Yoshida] There are weapons, so why not shields? Hmm, was there a shield in here... Oh, here we go.
[Foxclon] Hold it up closer to the camera. Yeah, that’s nice. [Yoshida] Here’s a set for gladiator.
This is another weapon that transforms. From Titan.
[Foxclon] Oh, we’re streaming in HD, so it’s possible that players can read the text now.
[Yoshida] Oh! I learn this right after doing something dangerous.
Unlike the previous live letters, this time the door can't be opened, but we have speakers on outside and the item team is looking at us funny. But it's okay.
[Foxclon] Right, well then, next question. Please tell us how crafters and gatherers will change in A Realm Reborn.
If possible, we'd like to see it in the game. Could you show us?
[Yoshida] We’re in a different zone right now. [Foxclon] You need to change right?
[Yoshida] Yep, I need to change. [Foxclon] We haven't really introduced this to players much. [Yoshida] Alrighty then... [Foxclon] Oh, gear sets!
[Yoshida] For crafting, sorry, it's somewhat hard to discuss and play at the same time. We have a recipe notebook here.
The recipes you've learned are listed here. This character is actually level 10, but once you select the item you'd like to make…
…you can confirm what materials you need and what you have.
You can pick to use NQ or HQ materials and then begin crafting.
We decided to base the crafting system on the already improved current version and polish it even more. The process will be very similar.
The basic concept is keeping an eye on durability while improving quality and completing the item.
In ARR, there’s going to be a new element to crafting called CP. Players will be able to use actions as long as they have enough CP.
Like the current version, the higher the quality of the item, the more EXP you will earn. There’s also a feature to craft multiple items at once.
So this is what it looks like at level 10.
And we have three basic skills needed to craft items, increase quality, and maintain durability.
As you continue to level, you will learn more advanced abilities, e.g. those that increase the pace of progress when you string together successful actions...
... those that greatly increase quality but sacrifices the rate of success, and more.
The goal will be to combine these actions to craft the item of your choice. In addition, crafters will learn an action that will let them create a lower-level item instantly.
Progress will fill in an instant and the item will either be NQ or HQ, depending on quality percentage.
This will be the basic flow of crafting. Success!
Okay, we are going to switch the screen while I move location, so hang on a second.
Next, let me show you how gathering will work...
By the way, we didn’t increase the stability of this build just for today’s stream. So there’s a possibility that an error will occur.
[Foxclon] While Yoshida moves the character, let me add to what he just said. For events such as gamescom, …
...we usually move the game build to a different branch to increase stability. This time, though, we wanted to show everyone how the actual Alpha client will look.
[Yoshida] Making a separate build also impacts our schedule so we try to avoid doing it. By the way, in ARR, a new action called “Sprint” will be added.
The action allows your character to run faster through the use of TP.
In ARR, you will be able to choose whether or not you see gathering points via an ability. For example, you can opt to hide gathering points when walking through a low-level area...
Gathering points will also appear on your mini-map.
Another thing that will change in ARR: you’ll be able to see what you can obtain at a gathering point. The range of items you can gather will expand as rise in level.
They will also differ depending on the area you’re in.
Since my character is level 10, he can basically gather in any low-level area. As you can see here, players will be able to see the success rate for gathering an item.
Just like crafters, gatherers will be able to use actions to increase their chance of success
There’s also an ability that increases the number of items that you can obtain per attempt but lowers gathering success rate.
As for rare items, players will not be able to see what they are. There will be trends, though, so experienced gatherers will have an idea of what they might find.
Like the current system, you can strike at different heights at a gathering point. For instance, experienced miners may know that dark matter is usually found in the lower area.
From this they can deduce that the unknown item is dark matter.
Since my character is only level 10, I don’t have many abilities to use GP on. Once you reach the higher levels, though, you will need to manage your GP as you gather.
While a crafter’s CP recovers to full after each crafting attempt, GP accumulates over time like TP. So you probably want to avoid spamming your GP.
[Foxclon] Being able to select what you want to gather is a huge change.
[Yoshida] Over time, you'll learn where to obtain the items you need, and your gathering efforts will become more objective-oriented.
Design-wise, gatherers won't be able to spam gathering points. Instead, they will have to wait a while between gathering attempts.
Oh, there’s another important thing I should mention. In ARR, when you create a new character, you’ll only be able to start as a battle class.
While the game gives you the choice of taking many paths, we felt that it’s important to narrow these paths at the start of the game so as to not confuse new players.
There will be tutorials on character and camera controls, buying and selling items, the workings of aetheryte crystals, etc.
By the end of these tutorials, players will reach level 10, at which point the Armoury System will be unlocked.
From there, they’ll be able to try out different classes such as Disciple of the Land and Hand classes.
Some players may not be happy, thinking that we’re turning crafters and gatherers into sub-classes, but this is definitely not the case. We just want to make sure that players learn the...
basics first after which players will have the freedom to do what they want. Also, as I stated before, I would like everyone to have at least one battle class leveled up.
As you can see from what we just demonstrated, we definitely didn’t do a half-hearted job on the crafting and gathering systems.
We’re going to make sure both crafters and gatherers can be played as proper classes. As for fishing, we’re still working to improve it. Stay tuned!
Since we’re not able to show you how the fishing system works today, how about I show you some artwork of the upcoming fisher gear?
While I’m at it, here’s an artwork of goldsmith gear.
And here’s one for blacksmith as well. We’re putting a lot of work into everything we do, so please rest assured.
[Foxclon] We have been receiving a lot of feedback so far. For instance, a lot of players are talking about how smooth the gear change process is.
[Yoshida] Thank you. Speaking of gear sets, your gear won’t change just by changing the gear set tab. You have to click the “Change Gear” button to bring up a confirmation prompt.
We didn’t make gear swap instantaneous when switching tabs. This way, players would be able to adjust a particular gear set without having to switch to it.
It may seem cumbersome at first, but we made it this way because it’s simpler and easier to understand.
[Foxclon] Players are also saying that crafting has become smooth. Another player has pointed out how the crafting music was removed.
[Yoshida] We didn’t remove the crafting music.
Players may notice this and other features that seem to have been removed when watching live streams and videos, but we’re just in the middle of transferring everything over.
Just because a feature isn’t in the Alpha doesn’t mean it won’t be available at launch. In the Alpha, we want to make sure that the system is working as intended.
[Foxclon] We just received a message from the development team. They’re saying that they thought the crafting music was removed!
[Yoshida] Haha, oh yeah! There was a request to have the crafting music removed. We wanted to put an emphasis on the environmental sound rather than having the crafting music repeat over and over.
[Foxclon] Now they’re saying that Soken has the final say. We’ll see how it turns out!
Let’s move on to the next question. Will we need to clean up our inventory because max capacity will be reduced to 100 slots?
[Yoshida] We’ll be releasing a Topics announcement regarding this matter. Yes, the inventory limit will be reduced to 100 slots.
In ARR, when you equip an item, that item disappears from your inventory. So when you put together all your gear sets, your inventory won’t be as full.
As for current players who have up to 200 items in their inventory, all items over the 100-slot limit will be transferred to an NPC. Players will be able to reclaim these items by speaking to the NPC.
[Foxclon] Let’s move on to the next question. Will we ever sell the "Meteor Survivor" polo shirts and t-shirts? We had a large amount of requests from English-speaking regions.
[Yoshida] There has been a huge amount of requests for this. We actually have the product made and are now in the process of deciding how to sell it.
Personally, I would like to prepare these for events and what not after launch. It might take a little more time, but we’ll definitely make it happen. Stay tuned!
[Foxclon] Next question. Will the new graphics engine be compatible with DX9, DX10, and DX11?
[Yoshida] I’m pretty sure I answered this question at one of the previous interviews. At launch, the graphics engine won’t be compatible with DX11.
We’re going to need time to make this happen with the new engine. However, there are plans to implement DX11 compatibility after the launch of ARR.
After launch, our next big milestone is DX11 compatibility. Once we achieve this, there will be a further improvement in graphics.
Technical Director Hashimoto was recently talking to me about whether it’s possible to further increase graphics quality on the PC version, so we need to decide how ambitious we want to be.
[Foxclon] Here’s another spec-related question. Can you tell us the minimum and recommended specs for the PC version of A Realm Reborn?
Hmm, perhaps I should have explained this a bit more thoroughly.
We've released the recommended specs when we opened the Alpha test recruitment page, and players are saying that the specs are not as low as they expected.
However, these are for the Alpha only, and we’re currently in the process of optimizing everything.
The next thing we need to do is decide where we can set the line so that the game still runs well.
In a way, also, decide on where we can draw the line for FINAL FANTASY.
We are trying to decide this week or the week after, so we will have a definitive line set then.
The game will run on specs much lower than you're expecting, but please be patient for the post-Alpha specs.
I find the word “recommended” rather difficult in the Japanese language.
Are we talking about the recommended specs for a player to be satisfied with the game? Or the recommended specs for a player to run the game smoothly?
I mean, this is FINAL FANTASY, so of course we would want everyone to play at the highest quality possible for the PC that specs that you have.
However, if we set that as the recommended specs, it will end being way too high for most players. We’re currently discussing how we want to word it. We’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop.
For now, please don’t assume that the specs for alpha apply to the final release version.
I remember one of the vendors talking to me about how the minimum specs were going to be raised for ARR and I was like...
... “Huh!? Where did you hear that from?” So if you work for one of our vendors, please don’t get the wrong understanding of the minimum specs.
[Foxclon] It’s a little bit too early to start preparing your new machines for ARR. Please stay tuned for future announcements regarding the specs!
Since this is going to be a long event, let’s take a break soon. Let’s move on to the last question before the intermission. Are there any plans to increase the level cap? If so, when?
[Yoshida] At the launch of A Realm Reborn, the level cap will still be 50. We’re already planning to implement a lot of content specifically for level 50.
If we decide to increase the level cap at the time of launch, we’re going to have to implement additional content before we’re able to launch ARR.
The current plan is to increase the level cap with the next major update after launch. We will also be updating the content to reflect the increase in level cap.
So the level cap increase will happen. It just won’t be happening at the launch.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to give you a time frame on when it will occur. Please note that the battle system is completely different in ARR, so even if your character is already at level 50, there’s a lot to re-learn.
[Foxclon] Alright, let’s end the first half here and take a five-minute break. In the meantime, we’ll show you a slide show with photos taken at events such as gamescom and the FF 25th Anniversary.
These memorable photos were hand-selected by the community team. If you’re interested, please take a look during the break!
What’s wrong, Yoshida? You don’t look too happy.
[Yoshida] I have a bad feeling about these photos… [Foxclon] Haha! Okay, see you after the break!
[Foxclon] I hope everyone enjoyed the slide show. Players were saying “Yoshi-P, you’re surrounded by ladies!”
[Yoshida] I can’t lie--it did feel like I was in a harem!
[Foxclon] Well then, let’s continue with the questions. [Yoichi Wada] Wait a second! Introduce me!
[Yoshida] Oh, I didn’t see you there. [Wada] What are you talking about!? You two just moved your chairs over for me.
[Foxclon] Would you do the honors and introduce him? [Yoshida] No problem! Here is Yoichi Wada, the CEO and president of Square Enix.
[Wada] Thank you for having me. Today, I’ll do my best to take your place and make sure that everything is on track with ARR.
[Yoshida] Did you really have to come in middle of our office’s relocation? [Wada] Oh, I happened to drop by this building. I just wanted make sure everything is going well.
[Yoshida] Everything is going well. [Foxclon] I understand you wanted to ask a few questions?
[Wada] This one time I was putting together a party for either CC or AV. I had a meeting with the North American branch the next day, so I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.
I finally got a group of eight and we headed over to the instance.
However, when we got there, the area was jam-packed with players. I tried to go in, but kept on getting the congestion message. Having put together the party, it was very awkward for me.
I waited a very long time just to get in. That was a very bad experience. What will you be doing to fix congestion in instanced areas?
[Yoshida] Ah, so you hid your true identity and tried to go into the instance yourself.
[Wada] Yes, I looked around at all the people waiting and tried to calculate how long it would take before we could enter.
[Yoshida] That’s a tough question. In the current version, we have servers for the instances. What we did was physically assign popular content to these servers.
Unfortunately, the system made it hard for us to control the congestion.
However, with the new server structure, we’ll be able to monitor the congestion level of the instances and reallocate resources on the fly.
For example, if there’s content that is fairly empty, we’ll take the resources from there and allocate them to more populated content. There are also other systems in place to alleviate congestion...
... such as the matching system and the revamped reward system. With the revamped reward system, players won’t be spamming the same content over and over.
With the current version, we couldn’t implement a large amount of content at one time. So every time we added something new, it got congested.
In ARR, there will be many different types of content available at launch so everyone won’t be focusing on the same thing.
[Wada] I’m glad that’s going to be fixed. I would hate for the same thing to happen in ARR.
Speaking of forming a party, in the current version, it’s a hassle to type out the character’s name if I wanted to send a /tell. Will you be doing anything to make it easier to /tell people?
[Yoshida] In our current internal build we have implemented a feature where you can click on the character’s name in the chat log and send that character a /tell message.
The feature is currently turned off because it’s buggy. Don’t worry though -- players won’t have that problem once we implement it properly.
[Wada] I’m glad to see that you’re working hard! [Foxclon] I’m more surprised about how pin-point your questions are! [Yoshida] Believe it or not, he plays a lot.
[Wada] My monk is level 50! In an interview, you mentioned how monk will be changed in ARR. Could you go into more detail?
[Yoshida] Of all the classes and jobs, pugilist and monk will undergo the most change. Currently, monk is more of a hybrid style, but in ARR, it will be all about chaining skills endlessly.
Normally, a character’s combo comprises three weaponskills. Monks, however, can keep on going beyond that. The more they chain their attacks, the more damage they’ll deal.
This will be further bolstered by the increased pace of battle in ARR.
They still have their stances, but it’s more of a self-buff in ARR.
I remember the time when the battle team brought me a huge list of changes they came up with. Both Gondai and the battle team apologized because they wanted to change monk so much.
Not only monk will change, mind you--all classes and jobs will be different come ARR. Can you switch over to the game screen?
In the current version, a character will auto-attack an enemy when you target them like so. In ARR, the auto-attack is a separate command.
If you’re playing on the PC, auto-attack commences when you right-click the mouse. Archers will use their bow when far away from the target and punch when near.
[Wada] The battle pace is so fast! [Yoshida] Yeah, it’s much faster.
Since we’re playing on the Alpha, all the cool-down timers are in place. Let’s continue with the questions while we wait for the timers.
[Wada] Speaking of stress in instances, will you improve the stress related to retainer placement in the markets and the constant crashes in Ul’dah?
[Yoshida] That’s basically what we want to test in the Alpha. Speaking of the Alpha, I think some people are expecting way too much.
It will consist of stress tests, for example, we’ll ask players to gather at 6pm in a specific area and fight solo all at once. We’ll be asking this frequently throughout the Alpha testing period.
In regards to the towns, we totally rebuilt the servers, so we won’t know how many people can fit into the zone until we actually verify it through stress testing.
When I spoke to the lead programmer, we discussed that we would like to see in the Alpha test if there are hundreds or thousands of players that cannot access a single zone...
... and decide whether or not it will be necessary to create multiple layers to disperse them and then ultimately bring them together.
So depending on what we see during the stress tests, we will be making changes accordingly.
[Wada] It was also stressful when you couldn’t place your retainer in the popular cities. Would the revamp cover this issue too?
[Yoshida] The market is basically revamped as well. As for retainers, it’s impossible to make all of them appear at once.
Instead, we want to implement what’s called a market street and have players decide on what they want others to see.
It’ll work kind of like an instance, but you’ll be able to see them out in the open. Each retainer you see will look different. The search feature has also been revamped.
Searching will take place through a board. We’ll probably be able to show everyone what it looks like during the beta phase.
Also, players will be able to perform more precise searches. Currently, players can’t search for HQ/NQ items or for items with/without materia attached, which is quite frankly ridiculous...
... but with the new search feature this will all be possible. We can’t wait to show everyone how much it has improved.
[Wada] Wow! You guys have been working really hard!
[Yoshida] You should know best! You’re the one who’s been approving the overtime. [Wada] Yeah, HR isn’t too happy about that.
[Yoshida] Let’s not mention work hours too much or they’ll think you’re exploiting us. [Wada] Good idea. Well, I picked this up on the way here.
So, you guys are planning on taking off to a resort because work is killing you? This thing here. [Foxclon] Can you show it to the camera please?
[Wada] See it? [Foxclon] How did you get this? [Wada] You guys want to live here? Or maybe go on vacation?
[Yoshida] I’m sorry, but where in the world did you get this? [Wada] Over there. [Yoshida] Over there!?
[Wada] This is the dev area. There’s bound to be something lying around. [Yoshida] So you picked it up without asking? [Wada] Asking? I’m the president!
[Yoshida] Ah! You got me there. [Foxclon] Hard to say no to the president.
[Yoshida] This is the artwork for the much-anticipated housing area. [Wada] Oh! This is it?
[Foxclon] I guess this would be a nice opportunity to answer some questions that we couldn’t cover during the 25th Anniversary talk session. Can you explain housing in more detail?
[Yoshida] The image that we just showed was concept art for the Limsa Lominsa housing area. We’ve been working on mock-ups, and you can see a dummy house right here.
This house is just a placeholder we’re using to check house sizes and such, and it’s not an actual design. In this picture, you can see a wider view of the same area.
There are several areas where players can build houses, and a large open area.
Basically, there will be three different types of housing areas: desert, forest, and sea.
Here we have the concept art for the forest housing area. This isn’t finalized, of course. We’ll publish more info as soon as we can. [Foxclon] So many images.
[Wada] I bet it’s actually finished. [Yoshida] This is the desert housing area. It still needs to be finalized.
[Wada] It’s a totally different type of zone. It’s good to have choices. [Yoshida] Players will first choose an area they prefer and then purchase land there. Kind of like “I like this spot!”
Once they purchase the land with gil at the signboard, players will buy the right to build a house there.
Once players have constructed a basic house, they can open a special housing widget to browse and purchase housing materials, such as roofing.
You could also commission crafters to build roofing, which could then be equipped, in a sense, onto your house to change its external appearance.
You can even hang tapestries on your walls. So that’s basically how you can change your house.
[Foxclon] So you can be very creative? [Yoshida] Yes, you can be pretty creative with this.
The yard… I shouldn’t show anymore actually… As I mentioned previously, houses will also have yards where you can place objects.
For example, if you place a chocobo stable in your yard, you'll be able to raise several chocobos there.
There will be updates dedicated specifically to the housing system. Content won’t end with a single release; we plan to introduce new features, such as additional ways to play with your yard.
Additionally, players will be able to drag and drop objects within their house easily, in both the PC and PS3 versions. We’re working hard to create a very flexible system.
[Foxclon] We’ve just received a live update. Of the three zones you just showed us, the sea zone is the most popular with our players on Twitter.
[Yoshida] The resort area? [Foxclon] Yes, the resort area.
[Yoshida] It’s actually based on a real resort in Europe. The picture that Wada showed earlier has a prominent structure in the middle of the housing area...
... that’s like a landmark with houses built around it.
Likewise, the desert housing area wouldn’t look as good if it was simply a town in the middle of the desert, so we placed it atop an imposing cliff.
And, of course, the forest housing area is nestled beneath this giant tree.
Houses can be used as headquarters for linkshells and Free Companies, and they can eventually be expanded to allow individual rooms.
To prevent disputes over land, housing areas will be instanced. After the maximum number of houses are sold in one instance, players will be asked to purchase land in a different one.
More instances will be added as necessary. [Wada] Oh! For a moment there I was imagining bitter turf wars erupting. What a relief!
[Yoshida] We’ve planned for that. Also, land will be available in small, medium, and large sizes. Certain structures will require huge tracts of land to build.
The price for the largest sizes is expected to be astronomical. Most players will purchase medium-sized lots, build a house and slowly upgrade it over time.
We’re putting a great deal of effort into making the system both realistic and enjoyable using mock-ups along the way to check our progress and reduce the need for revision.
We should be able to provide more details near the conclusion of the Beta Test.
[Foxclon] Players can definitely look forward to that. [Yoshida] Indeed. [Foxclon] Thank you very much.
Wada, do you have any additional questions? [Wada] You guys were talking about the PS3 version earlier. Can we see the PS3 version?
[Foxclon] Straight to the point. What should we do Yoshida? [Yoshida] I was hoping to spend the second part of this Q&A session answering less serious questions!
We’ll be releasing the initial information around mid-October. I can say that right, PR people? I can see them nodding.
We’re busy optimizing the PS3 version and, when we think it’s good and ready, we’ll show everyone how it looks, along with the user interface.
First we’ll show some screenshots and afterwards, just like with the PC version of ARR, we’ll release videos to show how it actually looks in motion.
We’re working on a really tight schedule, but we’ll deliver what we have as soon as we’re ready.
[Wada] The graphics have improved a lot compared to the current version, but the specs haven’t changed for the PS3. Is everything going to be okay?
[Yoshida] Yeah, we’re really working hard on that. Can we go back to the game screen please? So you were saying the game is looking beautiful, but I had a word with Akihiko Yoshida...
...during the break and he said “The picture during the show looks so grainy on a TV screen! We have great graphics to show off so why can’t you broadcast a detailed image?”
[Foxclon] Ah, such complaints... [Yoshida] He also scolded me about the water. He said “Don’t show the surface of the water yet! We’re still working on it”
Well, the quality isn’t perfect as it’s a live show, but we wanted to show everyone more in-game footage. We’ll be revealing more info about the PC version first...
but we’ll tell everyone more about the PS3 version once we’re ready.
[Wada] So if the game runs fine on PS3, then I won’t need to buy a PC with high-end specs right? [Yoshida] That’s right, you won’t need to.
[Wada] So are we going to get a benchmark soon? [Foxclon] You’re asking excellent questions. [Wada] I am, aren’t I?
[Foxclon] There are a lot of people asking for the benchmark to come out soon.
[Yoshida] We’ll have two benchmarks. The first will be available before the Beta test starts so that players can see if their PC specs meet the requirements for FFXIV:ARR.
The second one will be released just before the game launches and will be bundled with character creation software.
In other words, you’ll be able to make characters to use in FFXIV:ARR before launch. If you’re wondering what character creation will be like and are thinking about what...
kind of character you want to make, you can check this out.
[Foxclon] Unfortunately we can’t show the character creation system today, but there will be a tremendous amount of freedom for players to create original characters.
[Yoshida] Yes, it allows for a lot of variety in the character creation. I really wanted to show everyone today but there are a few bugs-but we’re working on it!
[Foxclon] It should be pretty polished by the time everyone gets a chance to try it out. Anyway, we should have some information on the PS3 version in mid-October.
[Yoshida] Yes, that’s right. We’ll be releasing information starting mid-October. [Foxclon] And we’ll finally put an end to the mystery of whether or not it’s actually being made.
[Wada] Was it a mystery? [Foxclon] There have been doubts.
[Yoshida] I’m always shocked when I see comments like, “They really made it!?” We're also definitely working on a PS3 version, which we will be showing in the near future...
so please look forward to that.
[Foxclon] Let’s move onto our next question which comes to us from Japan. But since it’s a great opportunity, why don’t we have Wada stay with us a little longer?
[Wada] Is that ok? [Yoshida] I don’t think - well, I suppose it’s ok... [Foxclon] He doesn’t hesitate to ask tough questions, which I’m sure our fans appreciate.
Moving on to the next question: “Will I be able to use the same gear in multiple gear sets, or will I have to equip these items from my inventory when I change to a different set?
[Yoshida] You will have to create different gear sets for each class and, if you wish to use the same item in multiple gear sets, you’ll have to obtain multiple copies of the same item.
We believe that this system, which players will see in the Alpha Test, will be easier for players to use and understand.
Another approach we might use involves “aliases,” in which one item can be registered to multiple gear sets. This is possible to implement, but tracking what items are equipped in...
... which locations can make for a very confusing UI system. That said, we definitely want to hear how the players feel about this.
Ideally, we’d like to implement macros that players can create and use to assign gear to different sets. This way, players can easily assign gear to a set without manually equipping each piece.
The macros will be simple enough for beginners to use, but technical enough that advanced players can customize their gear sets quickly and easily. I think this system would best...
suit everyone but it’s really difficult to determine what the players would prefer. We’d like everyone to experiment with these systems as much as possible and tell us what they think.
Unfortunately, we won't have the macro system ready for the Alpha Test, but we hope to receive plenty of feedback during the Beta Test.
[Foxclon] So, for now, players will simply take items from their inventory and equip them to individual gear sets, correct?
[Yoshida] Yes. So, if you wish to equip the same gear to gear set 1 and 2, you will have to obtain two of the same gear, or equip the gear from your inventory manually, or use macros to switch.
Again, we want to hear what the fans think about these methods.
[Foxclon] We hope plenty of people can test these systems during beta. Moving on, this one something that is starting to appear more and more on Twitter…
For Disciples of Magic, will casting be performed like it is in the current version with the player in passive mode?
[Yoshida] Ah, hold on. I aggroed some mobs. [Foxclon] You’ve got quite a few chasing you.
[Yoshida] I just changed classes, so hang on… I can’t cast anything until the cooldown time expires.
[Foxclon] As you can see, we didn’t plan this demonstration in detail, so we can’t immediately show off casting.
[Yoshida] We wanted everyone to see the game environment as a normal player would experience it, so my character can’t use debug commands.
Alright, I think we can do it. Where’s my whistle… [Foxclon] Looks like we’re okay.
[Yoshida] Can I even beat this guy? So now I’ve drawn my weapon. This mob is level ten like me.
[Foxclon] Is everyone watching? Casting will be just as you see here. [Yoshida] Ah, he interrupted my spell. It’s using ranged attacks as well.
[Foxclon] Alright, while the fighting continues, next question: “Will we have more options for customizing faces, height, body type, hair style, voices, and so on?”
[Yoshida] We’re currently adjusting the distribution of these choices between races. Also, personally speaking, I feel that Hyurs are too plain.
We’re trying different things, like giving them more distinct hairstyles representative of FINAL FANTASY. I’d also like to tweak their faces, maybe give them more attitude.
[Foxclon] Let’s move on to the next question. Will it be possible to visit Sharlayan, Ala Mhigo, Ishgard and the Garlean Empire from launch? Will new areas be added later?
[Yoshida] Um…give me a moment. Ala Mhigo and Ishgard… let me get out of this fight first. It’s not dead yet it, but I hit with a DoT. Ah, there’s the exp.
Ala Mhigo and Ishgard won’t be available at launch. I know that people have been asking to see other new areas, since we’ve only shown Gridania so far...
but we’ve completely remade all the maps. In that sense, all areas are completely new.
There are new settlements, monsters, and dungeons-some which are three times the size of current ones. Frankly, when you consider that it’s only been fifteen months since we started...
writing code and creating assets...if we wanted to include Ishgard and Ala Mhigo at release, it would take another year of work. The development teams wouldn’t like that very much.
Again, allow me to reiterate that all areas have been fundamentally rebuilt and should be considered new. We’d like players to enjoy this content first...
as well as the completely new Crystal Tower and the Great Labyrinth of…um... the PR people are giving me that look again. In any case, there are plenty of new places for players to visit.
We’re thinking of adding Ishgard, Ala Mhigo and other areas with our first expansions, so please look forward to it! In the meantime, I’m certain there will be enough content for players to enjoy.
[Foxclon] Moving on, here’s another question that many people have: Will NPCs that appear in the current version, such as Yayake and Popori, appear in A Realm Reborn?
[Yoshida] Well… [Foxclon] Well…
[Yoshida] I have some artwork here…characters. The characters are like this here. [Foxclon] You sure picked some impressive designs to show them.
[Yoshida] Wait, these are monsters! My mistake.
Here we go… Oh wait, this is armor! [Foxclon] Some of the designers are going to be upset.
[Yoshida] It’s okay, it’s okay! Wada will take care of it. Okay here, I hope you all can see… This is Minfilia, an NPC that appears in the current version of the game.
We’re creating original gear for these NPCs, including Yayake.
Once the designs are finalized, we’ll reveal them to everyone. It’s going to take some time to completely re-design their gear and switch it out, and some NPCs won’t have new gear during the Alpha Test.
Please look forward to the re-introduction of these characters, as well as the many new characters you’ll meet in A Realm Reborn.
[Foxclon] Yes, please look forward to it. [Yoshida] However, we won’t be revealing information about the main story during the Beta Test.
[Foxclon] Okay, next question. Will current players and new players be able to play together from launch?
[Yoshida] First of all, we will definitely be increasing the number of worlds. PS3 players and new PC players will be able to select any world when making a new character...
...including currently existing worlds. So if your friend is joining after A Realm Reborn begins, they can choose your world. It will absolutely be possible to play together.
[Foxclon] This next question is somewhat open-ended. Can you give us more details about Free Companies? [Yoshida] Details?
[Wada] That really is open-ended! [Yoshida] First, you’ll need a group of four people. Then, you’ll all need to join a Grand Company, whichever you prefer.
Afterwards, you can form a Free Company under that Grand Company by visiting the Grand Company desk.
Free Companies each have a shared box for storing items and transferring them between members. However, imagine I’m the free company leader.
If I want, I can configure it so that only I have the authority to remove items, and that the other three members can only deposit items.
We’ve created a very detailed system of permissions. Free companies will also have a point system that is similar to exp, which will allow Free Companies to grow.
By completing quests, defeating monsters, and conquering dungeons together, the company can grow to level two and so forth.
Leveling allows for greater customization of your Free Company. Players will have more options when designing their company crests and decorating company headquarters, and they can...
even increase the size of their building. There are also special Free Company achievements.
Unlike linkshells, which are more relaxed, Free Companies are more like organizations with shared goals.
Also, if you have a solid group of 8 people and there’s another Free Company you’re friends with, since it’d be difficult to merge Free Companies, we’ve designed an alliance system...
that allows Free Companies to work together. You’ll be able to utilize a shared discussion area on the Lodestone, and company leaders can control who has permission to post. It’s quite a complex system.
[Wada] So there’s a bit of freedom? [Yoshida] That’s right. If you’re the type of player that doesn’t want to interact with people on a daily basis...
but you have some interest in joining, you can join as a guest. Also, by inviting new people and helping them out...
you will be rewarded with items that will help your free company grow more easily. We’re still considering how to implement this. We don’t want to make things too strict...
but we don’t want to allow unrestricted access - especially since there is item sharing.
[Foxclon] Thanks. Okay, next question. Will there be a secondary job for each class? Such as gladiators becoming dark knights, or archers becoming rangers?
[Yoshida] I spoke to the battle team earlier, and they said they will do it… when they find the time, that is.
They’re currently focused on refining the new battle system, which has changed so radically that all classes are essentially new.
When that’s finished, they’ll move on to secondary jobs, but I cannot say when that might be. [Foxclon] Of course. We’re looking forward to it.
[Wada] They’re really going to do it, eh? Maybe I should get ready ahead of time. [Yoshida] You’re a paladin?
[Wada] A bit more and I will be. I was leveling gladiator and… anyways… [Yoshida] He seems more like a dark knight to me. [Wada] What was that?
[Yoshida] Ah nothing, nothing. [Foxclon] Our time is just about up, so moving on to the final question.
During the 25th Anniversary talk session, you mentioned that the names of existing content would stay the same, but the content itself would change.
For example, how will leves, behest, NMs, and hamlet defense change?
[Yoshida] Leves won’t change much. They will continue to be simple, enjoyable challenges. We’re currently tuning them for the Alpha Test.
Behests, however, will change significantly enough that we’ve considered changing the name. They will become more complex, puzzle-like content.
As for NM battles, hamlet defense and caravans - we’re making content that encapsulates them and will be integrated into this.
Also, there have been questions asking whether there will be content where towns are attacked and what not.
Players will have to wait a bit longer for this, but there will be times settlements come under attack, and players can assist.
This content will be easy to join and leave.
I'm sure the people out there will be able to imagine what I am talking about. Overall, we’re aiming to put plenty of content into each area. [Foxclon] Oh, into each field area?
[Yoshida] Right, we are going to be putting things into each area, and since it won't be in the Alpha, you won't really be able to feel it, but it serves to bring the game to life.
We're working very hard to prepare this content, so please look forward to them.
[Foxclon] Thank you very much. We’re running out of time, but let's get back to the in-game screen. [Yoshida] Where did all these people come from?
[Foxclon] Well I told everyone we were having a live event and to make the game look lively. The development team too. [Wada] Hey, that guy there is just running in place.
[Foxclon] You’re getting nitpicky. [Yoshida] Oh yeah, I guess I should go ahead and say this now. This Miqo'te has no tail.
[Foxclon] Oh wow, yeah there's no tail.
[Yoshida] There's a reason for this. You'll be able to select from a variety of patterns and you can also choose tail length.
This morning, for some reason, we discovered a bug where the parameter for tail lengths became zero.
[Foxclon] So they have a tail, but the parameter is zero? [Yoshida] That's right. It's not that it's gone, it's just zero.
I wanted to use this chance since we are on the topic of the graphics engine to illustrate that it's not fixed, it's calculated linearly, and it has just become zero.
[Foxclon] Gotcha, so it's just become zero. [Yoshida] I figured I’d explain this now because players are going to notice it when they watch the video later, and be like "oh there are no tails?"
[Yoshida] Also, since this is the Alpha build and there are level restrictions, you’ll notice that my character is equipped with the starting gear.
For those who thought the gear isn’t fancy enough, don’t worry!
[Foxclon] Okay, we’d like to end our third letter since we hit the 90 minute mark. You can probably hear the fatigue in our voices after an hour and a half.
While there are no more questions, did you want to do a little free-talk to sum up before we go?
[Yoshida] Sounds good. I wanted to provide more details on how the servers will be divided because, when I first mentioned the data centers, it looked like many players...
had questions about it. Players will be shown a complete list of all worlds. Within the list, players will see which worlds are tied to which data centers (i.e. this world...
and this world are tied to the data center in Japan, this world and this world are tied to the data center in North America or Europe). Players will have the freedom of selecting any world they prefer.
This means that they can select a world with a data center in their own region, or they can select a world based in another region. For example, I would choose a world based in Japan because the data centers are physically closer to me.
On the other hand, a North American or European player may prefer to choose a world based on proximity to their data centers to keep lag to a minimum.
So let me make it clear that we're not separating the worlds by language. For those who want to play with players outside of their region, they will have the choice of selecting...
a world that's located in another region. Also, through the content finder, you will be able to select a language preference. Those who wish to play with players who...
speak the same language can set their preferences to their language of choice.
[Foxclon] Looks like the players are saying that the Live was too short. I’m sure everyone wanted to hear more about what’s to come, like how PvP will work in ARR.
[Yoshida] I’m sure our PR team is way beyond the point of being shocked with the amount of new information we’ve been sharing.
This one is related to behemoth. Players will be able to raise their chocobos as they see fit.
If a player raises their chocobo as a healer-type, they will end up wearing the white mage gear that you saw. Also, certain monsters like the behemoth will drop costume-type gear for chocobos.
[Foxclon] Will players be able to ride the chocobo while they have this gear equipped? [Yoshida] Yes, they will! You can ride them and make them fight by your side.
We recently had an internal discussion about preparing a lot of gear options for chocobos. [Foxclon] It’s hard to tell because the door is shut, but...
it looks like a lot of team members were shocked by the information we just revealed. [Wada] Was it something we weren’t supposed to show?
[Yoshida] Don’t worry; we still have plenty up our sleeve! We’re always talking about how if we think something might be potentially fun, let’s not hesitate and make it.
While some of the new content may not make it in time for the initial launch, we will implement it as soon as possible through updates. Please stay tuned!
[Foxclon] Looks like some players really wanted to hear more about the PvP system. [Yoshida] We’ll need a lot more time for that. [Wada] At least 30 minutes!
[Yoshida] Yeah. I’m sure there are some players that don’t care for PvP, so I’m not exactly sure if the majority would want to hear about it. However, there’s going...
to be another Letter from the Producer Live on Nov. 11, so maybe then? [Foxclon] We already told everyone the date of the next Producer Letter Live.
[Yoshida] I believe the next one is our 4th Letter from the Producer. This was our first numbered Letter from the Producer Live. I guess this means we’ll be continuing to do these live letters?
[Foxclon] The first two live letters were called the first half and the second half. I don’t think we intentionally planned to have more than two at the start. However, now that we started numbering them...
it shows the players our dedication towards continuing to do these in the future. [Yoshida] I wonder if Wada will show up next time too… [Foxclon] Definitely something to look out for!
[Foxclon] Shall we call it soon? [Yoshida] Sounds good. [Foxclon] Anything else you want to mention?
[Yoshida] I think I did enough damage for the day. There’s always next time! [Foxclon] Alright. It’d be great if you and Wada could provide everyone with a message before we end. Yoshida?
[Yoshida] As you may know, we will be doing another Live broadcast after the conclusion of the current version on Nov. 11. I would like thank all the players for their support over these two years. We wouldn’t be here without you.
All of us at Square Enix have been working at an incredible pace to provide the players with a game that they can enjoy. We would be honored if you could continue to support us and wait just a little longer for ARR.
[Foxclon] Thank you. Wada? [Wada] Again, thank you so much for your support.
Even though I made fun of the team earlier, I know for a fact that they have been working very hard on this game. It’s a like a sweatshop here! [Yoshida] Haha, shhh!
[Wada] We will continue to push on until the re-launch. Don’t take your eye off of us for even a second! Your encouragement and your criticisms continue to help us move forward.
[Foxclon] Thank you. Okay, that marks the end of the LIVE Part III. As we stated earlier, our next Letter from the Producer Live will take place on Nov. 11.
[Foxclon] We’ll see everyone on the forums! Okay, is there anything you wanted to show before we end this? [Yoshida] What’s this? [Wada] What is that?
[Yoshida] Okay, let’s end with one last piece of concept art. [Foxclon] Okay then. See you guys next time! Bye! [All] Good bye�