FINAL FANTASY XIV Special Talk Session

Uploaded by FINALFANTASYXIV on 07.09.2012

[Mocchi] Thank you for joining us at the FINAL FANTASY 25th Anniversary: FINAL FANTASY XIV Special…
Oops, forgive me! I always seem to botch the opening line. Let’s try this again…
Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining us at the FINAL FANTASY 25th Anniversary: FINAL FANTASY XIV Special Talk Session.
I'm Mochizuki from Square Enix, and I will be your host today.
If you read the official forums, I go by the name “Mocchi.” Now before we start...
...let me just warn everyone that I’m not a professional speaker. I apologize in advance if I flub any of my lines.
Let’s kick things off by summoning the man of the hour. When I say “go” I want you all to shout “Yoshi-P!”
Everyone here at the event had some practice, so this comment is more for the people watching the live stream.
Be ready to type “Yoshi-P” in the comment box when I say “go.” If you're unsure of your typing skills, have the text copied and wait for my go.
We won’t be doing any practice runs. Everyone ready? Let’s do it! Ready…go! Yoshi-P!
[Naoki Yoshida] Good afternoon everyone! I’m Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Even though we won’t have a lot of time today, we have a lot of new information to share with you!
[Mocchi] Okay, let’s get right into it. The dragon’s skin texture and the dungeon looked amazing in that trailer!
[Yoshida] Yes, we made everyone wait quite a while. There were a lot of people saying...
...that they can’t fully believe in A Realm Reborn until they see in-game footage.
Seeing this, I think that people can finally understand that we have really been giving it our all.
From here on out we will be releasing a variety of in-game footage, so stay tuned!
[Mocchi] You’ve discussed quite a bit at gamescom, interviews, and such, so what’s the plan for today?
[Yoshida] Our goal at Japan Expo and gamescom was to promote FFXIV to people who aren’t active players.
Today, I’d like to talk specifically about how aspects of the game will change in A Realm Reborn...
...for both those who have yet to play and those currently playing.
[Mocchi] Before we get started, can I ask you something? [Yoshida] What is it?
[Mocchi] Summoner! Can you tell…
[Yoshida] It’s too early for that! I’ll talk about that later! You have the script, right? Did you read it?
We’ll come back to it, trust me.
[Mocchi] Yes! OK, later then. Is it just us for the rest of the day?
[Yoshida] In order to differentiate this from the live producer letter I decided to ask members of the Development Team to join us.
I’ll let them do most of the talking while I control the character.
[Mocchi] Well then, let’s bring out our first guest.
[Kazuya Nino] Oh boy, I’m nervous. Hello! I'm FFXIV Assistant Director Kazuya Nino and I joined the team at the end of last year.
I joined the team because I love FFXIV. While I wear the title of Assistant Director, I’m actually a quest and events coordinator.
Thanks for having me!
[Mocchi] Question! What made you join Square Enix?
[Nino] Haha, everyone asks me that! I've always been a hardcore FFXI/FFXIV player. I even bought the collector’s edition of FFXIV just to play sooner.
I heard rumors of FFXIV getting better so I wanted to be part of the team.
[Yoshida] I'd never met Nino before. He contacted me out of the blue, asking for a job.
[Mocchi] You didn’t headhunt him? [Yoshida] Yeah, I remember him asking me...
“How can I get into Square Enix and become part of the FFXIV team?” Talk about a time where hard work pays off.
[Mocchi] And next up we have…
[Yoshihisa Hashimoto] Hello! I'm FFXIV Technical Director Yoshihisa Hashimoto.
My main role in the team is to support the technical aspect of the game.
Also, I help out with project management. Thanks for having me!
[Mocchi] You have a pretty fancy title. CTO, Corporate Executive. I can just sense how important you are when I'm next to you.
Honestly, I never knew what you did for the company. [Yoshida] Me neither!
[Hashimoto] Haha, now that’s a lie! [Yoshida] Haha, just kidding.
[Mocchi] We’ll be talking to you later about technical improvements to the game.
[Hashimoto] I may have a fancy title, but I’m mainly just an errand boy for the team. Also, as it states here, I’m in charge of creating a game engine called Luminous Studio.
Between that and FFXIV, I have to work twice as much. This is a very important project for me, and I hope everyone stays tuned for what’s to come!
[Mocchi] Please welcome our third guest.
[Akihiko Matsui] Oh boy, I’m nervous. Hello! I'm FFXIV Lead Battle Planner Akihiko Matsui.
Last week, I had a chance to fully experience the updated battle system.
I must say, it’s completely different from the current system. I’m hoping I can provide a clear idea of what everyone can expect.
[Mocchi] I can imagine a lot of fans cheering for you via the live stream right now.
As some of you may have noticed, we have the producers for both FFXI and FFXIV here today. I have a good feeling about this.
[Yoshida] It'd be awesome if we can eventually collaborate on the two. [Matsui] That does sound awesome.
[Yoshida] Matsui and I are buddies so it would be great if the FFXI and FFXIV players can get along as well!
[Mocchi] And last but not certainly not least.
[Masayoshi Soken] Hello! I'm FFXIV Sound Director Masayoshi “Loves-Knee-High-Socks” Soken.
Some of you may have a hard time trying to understand what a Sound Director does. It’s basically what Hashimoto said earlier; an errand boy for the Sound Team.
[Mocchi] Are all the directors errand boys? [Yoshida] Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. It’s the same for every director in the gaming industry.
[Mocchi] I understand you’ll be focusing more on looking out for knee-high socks than talking about sound improvements?
[Soken] I'd love to, but unfortunately, I can’t really see their legs from here. [Yoshida] Stay focused!
[Mocchi] Look, there’s someone with knee-high socks in the first row! [Soken] Oh, very nice! It’s making me very nervous… Ah, sorry.
[Mocchi] Thank you all for joining us today!
Since Yoshida is playing an in-development demo, we’ll have him talk about various aspects of the game as he walks us through it.
It’s really beautiful. I’m still amazed at just how different it is from before. When I saw the screenshots for A Realm Reborn…
...I thought they were really amazing, but assumed they had been touched up a bit in Photoshop.
[Yoshida] Minagawa said that if we had Photoshopped them, it would have looked even better!
[Mocchi] So they weren’t touched up at all? [Yoshida] Not at all.
[Mocchi] I believe it looks so pretty because of the new graphics engine, but could you go into detail on how it’s different from the current engine?
[Hashimoto] First off, what do you guys think of the new graphics? Do you like it?
The first thing we wanted to improve on was the visuals of the game. So we decided to do a complete revamp of the rendering system.
We implemented a new rendering system called “deferred rendering.” With deferred rendering, we were able to add a lot of more light sources than before.
On top of that, it lets us add some complicated lighting into the game. Not only will daytime look better, nighttime and dungeons will look much better overall.
If you look closely at the shadows, you can tell that they are completely visible. Also, if you look at the forest in the screen, it looks pretty even in the distance.
We use a technique called “LoD” (level of detail) to make this possible. We put a lot of effort into details that players wouldn’t normally notice, such as the “switch over.”
Other than that, we created the tools and systems used to create battle effects from the ground up. Due to this, we were able to improve on memory size, quality, and speed.
[Mocchi] It’s interesting to know what struggles took place behind these beautiful graphics. I bet people want to know about the PS3.
Will these graphics be possible on the PS3 version?
[Hashimoto] I was originally very worried about making the game run on PS3. Even with the console’s limitations and small memory size…
we worked around it and made it possible to have these great graphics even on PS3.
Another thing is that since the PS3 is so…you know....I mean… [Yoshida] Hey, this is live! You can’t be saying stuff like that!
[Hashimoto] What I meant is that the memory size was hard to work with! MMOs are really hard to do on the PS3 platform in general.
With requirements such as having characters with a wealth of dress variations, various monsters appearing at the same time and each of them having their own animation patterns…
…an elaborate UI, and adventuring through vast, complex landscapes, time changes, weather changes and other aspects, the request was pretty rough...
...the request was pretty rough in regards to the processing speed and memory size when compared to other PS3 games.
However, even with these difficult requirements, we are aiming for high standards for the graphics. Our staff are doing their best.
[Mocchi] After seeing the graphics for ARR and the Agni’s Philosophy tech demo showing off Luminous Studio’s in-development technology…
…I have to say my expectations are set really high. Shall we take a look at the Agni’s Philosophy video?
[Hashimoto] Sorry that we are showing this during an FFXIV session…
[Mocchi] It’s no problem! This technology is what is supporting FFXIV.
[Hashimoto] This is a real-time video that uses the Luminous Studio engine that we’ve created, playing on a high-spec PC. The core of this engine was used for the FFXIV one.
[Mocchi] It’s really amazing! Why didn’t you guys just create FFXIV with the Luminous Studio engine?
[Hashimoto] In order to fulfill the needs for an MMO and for FFXIV, and in order to employ the optimal method in the shortest time, the FFXIV engine was built from scratch for FFXIV alone.
Luminous is a multi-purpose engine that is being developed to run games of any genre and it will still take time before it is complete.
While the FFXIV engine was created in an extremely short amount of time, it was worked on whole-heartedly and made into a class-leading engine for FFXIV.
A lot of the Luminous staff were involved with the FFXIV engine and applied their technical know-how. As I'm supervising both, they are really close genetically. While they are different, you can consider them cousins.
[Mocchi] After hearing that, I’m guessing you need a powerful PC to run this, right?
[Hashimoto] Users that have a PC capable of playing the current version of the game will be able to play the game with better graphics.
[Mocchi] Ah, so there’s no need to purchase a new PC? [Hashimoto] Correct. All you will need to do is install the new client.
[Mocchi] Now that you talked about the graphics engine, I would like to hear more about the client and the servers.
[Hashimoto] Since we’re short on time, I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. First of all, the boot-up and load times are much faster.
As a result, it greatly improves ease of playing. Also, we have a really famous person working on the pathfinding system and the AI.
This person is number one as far as AI goes. There’s a lot of interesting high-tech stuff going on in the background that everyone can’t see.
[Yoshida] Yeah, the AI and pathfinding is super light. [Hashimoto] Yeah, it's really light.
This system will actually be introduced at a world-renowned AI event as well. There’s a lot of high-end technology working... the background and it’s quite interesting for those people working in the games industry.
Server-wise, the biggest thing was making it smoother. We made it possible to reduce communication lag as much as possible…
…so that responses would be made to player’s actions immediately, so much so that it will be something everyone can really feel.
We’ve made improvements to the structure of the server as well as on the client side, so as soon as you press a button there is a response.
We’ve also reduce the lag as much as possible when playing far away from the server.
[Mocchi] I was controlling the demo for gamescom and it really felt smooth. It was so smooth that I got excited too much by jumping all over the place and I ended up getting yelled at for it!
I really wanted everyone to try it out and experience it for themselves. Everyone would understand, I’m sure, the feeling of wanting to jump around non-stop.
[Hashimoto] I created a presentation that explains other aspects that we'll be improving on.
Unfortunately, I won’t have time to go through each item. The important items on the list are: A communication setup that can handle PvP…
…and increasing the number of characters that the server can handle simultaneously. For example, increasing the maximum number of players from 400-500 to 1000.
And increasing the maximum number of monsters from 600 to 2000.
[Mocchi] Could you explain “multiple data centers”?
[Yoshida] I’ll explain this one. What we mean by multiple data centers is that, until now, all of the servers have been located in Japan.
However, we will be setting up servers overseas as well. With this, the server communication lag will improve for each area.
I’ve had North American and European players complaining that they can’t dodge the eruptions from Ifrit. They would tell me “I’m dodging it on my screen! It’s not my fault!”
It’s probably not as bad for the Japanese players...
Oh, I’m sorry. I guess it bad for the Japanese players as well! The players will have a choice of selecting a server based in their region or a server overseas.
[Mocchi] Is there anything you’d like to call attention to, Hashimoto?
[Hashimoto] It’s pretty difficult to narrow it down to just one thing. As a result of our research after the team was restructured…
…we decided not to make any half-attempts at improvements, and instead decided to rebuild just about all of the source code from the ground up.
This was a considerable challenge, but all of the staff really put their heart into this…
…and we were able to make the revamp in a short span of one year and a couple months. Under normal circumstances, this kind of phenomenal pace would be impossible.
The version we’re showing today is definitely not the final version. We are continuing to make improvements to the game.
I honestly didn’t even want to show this version to the public for that reason. We’ll be providing gameplay that is fun and beautiful in every way, and I really hope everyone is excited.
[Mocchi] We only saw a bit of Agni’s Philosophy, so if you haven’t had a chance to see the whole thing, please go check it out visiting this URL or by visiting the Square Enix official site.
Moving right along… These are quests, right? How will quests change in A Realm Reborn?
[Nino] We’re actually restructuring the entire quest system itself. First, we focused on improving the ease of the quests and increasing their number!
[Yoshida] Was that an impression of me? [Nino] Haha, sorry!
So we basically recreated the whole system with these two points in mind.
[Mocchi] So I imagine there are going to be a huge number of quests?
[Nino] That’s right. We plan on preparing a significant number of quests in order to catch up to the standard MMOs of the world. We'll be making it so you can learn about the game and level up by undertaking quests.
We’re aiming to create conditions so that there is something to do each day you log in. Hashimoto is working on tools to improve the creation of quests…
…and it will be possible to create quests at a much quicker pace than before. How much we can implement is our focus here on out.
[Hashimoto] I’m looking forward to having everyone play these quests! [Nino] The tool still has some bugs that needs fixing though…
[Hashimoto] Haha, alright. We’ll try to get on that as soon as possible.
[Mocchi] You mentioned that you’ll be preparing so many quests that it'll make it possible to level up solely by questing. What about when you want to level a second or third class?
[Yoshida] First off, there will be plenty of quests left even after you hit level 50 with your first class. Secondly, we’ll be preparing other exciting content such as public events.
The NM system will also be completely different in ARR. So it'll be possible to level up your second class and beyond by tackling that content.
Basically, we don't feel that you have to level by hunting monsters out in the field. It will be more efficient to level up through newly added content.
[Mocchi] So before you know it, you’ll level up?
[Yoshida] Right. Instead of doing the same thing over and over, you’ll be able to level up efficiently by going around and doing various content.
[Mocchi] How about the players who have leveled up already in the current version, what will they be doing in A Realm Reborn?
[Yoshida] There are two main options. We'll be making new content for current players to enjoy such as the Crystal Tower and the introduction of new raid dungeons.
Such as “The Great Labyrinth of Something or Other.” Other than that, players can raise their chocobos. We’ll also be implementing a lot of lower-level dungeons in ARR.
These new dungeons will all have level restrictions. To accommodate all these low-level dungeons, we will be implementing a level sync system.
So let’s say if a level 50 player tries to enter a level 35 dungeon the player will be able to enter the dungeon as level 35 without changing their equipment.
So even if you’ve reached the cap you’ll be able to challenge these new dungeons and hunt for items.
[Mocchi] In the post-Seventh Umbral event world, how will the current main scenario quests differ? Will they pretty much be the same as the current version of the game?
[Nino] We’re currently reworking it to be the same setting and system, but we don’t plan on making it the exact same thing.
We’ll be dialing it back a bit and making adjustments so that the story is more in line with what it should have been originally.
[Mocchi] Could you tell us specifically which portions will be changing?
[Nino] I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll talk about the minor changes. We’ll be removing the parley system.
There’s actually a guy in my LS that likes the parley system. I feel bad for him. We’re only temporarily going to be removing it.
Yoshida and I were talking about trying to bring it back when the Gold Saucer is implemented.
[Yoshida] We felt that parley didn’t fit the revamped main story. I mean, let’s be honest…
…isn’t it strange that you are saving the world by convincing the last boss to eat a poisoned rice ball? That’s why we decided to temporarily remove it from the game.
[Mocchi] Was there anything else?
[Nino] When it comes to quest progression, in the current version there are a lot of instances where quests would end without fighting a boss that was introduced.
However, we’ll be making it so that you’ll need to fight against a strong boss to proceed with the quest. I’m personally really happy about the level sync system.
I remember my friends helped me with the normal Ifrit and Ifrit was already defeated by the time I finished watching the cut scene! I was so bummed.
So with the level sync system, we want the players to feel satisfied when defeating a boss, and then move on to the next part of the story.
[Mocchi] I too remember parts of the game where I was pretty sure I was going to fight a boss, but ended up not fighting anything.
[Yoshida] I remember saying numerous times that boss fights are an important part of quest progression.
[Mocchi] Any parting thoughts, Nino?
[Nino] We’re putting a lot of effort into making sure our players can easily understand the quests. We even added a new element to the UI that lists your objectives.
Objectives will guide the player through the quest and make sure they have a pleasant experience. There are some complicated systems in place as well...
...but we’re going to do as much as we can to make sure the system is transparent. We'll continue to put all our effort into making sure quests are fun.
[Mocchi] Thanks for the insight. Actually, one more thing. I remember that Yoshida announced that ARR would support voices in multiple languages.
Will the quest cut scenes have Japanese voices?
[Nino] Yes. Oops! Sorry, I totally stole Soken’s part... The recording was tough, right Soken?
[Soken] No worries. I’m just the knee-high sock lover. [Nino] No, no! Please go ahead!
[Soken] Well, we did indeed record voices for quest cutscenes in multiple languages. I’m sure there will probably be some players…
…who feel the voices of the NPCs are different from what they imagined. However, the recording went very well!
[Mocchi] Oh, it’s done? [Soken] Pretty much.
The voices are really amazing, so I hope you’re excited to hear many characters speak for the first time.
[Mocchi] Can you tell us which actors were used for some of the characters? [Crowd] Gaius! [Yoshida] Ah, we’ve got a request for Gaius.
[Soken] Well, I can introduce one of them: Akio Otsuka.
[Mocchi] Oh wow! Otsuka!? [Yoshida] Let’s keep his character a secret, okay? Don’t tell everyone yet.
[Soken] Let me at least tell everyone what he said at the recording. We put the character he’s voicing…
…up on the projector and waited for him to come into the studio. When he arrived he was like, “Huh? I’m going to do a judge again?”
[Yoshida] I know the character resembles a judge, but he’s not right? Let’s keep it quiet. [Soken] Yes, sir! Phew, I almost gave it away.
[Mocchi] Can you give us any more actor names? [Soken] I knew you would ask, so I came prepared.
These are poster boards signed by the whole Japanese voice cast. [Mocchi] Are they for you?
[Soken] No, no! We’re still deciding what to do with them. These are from the actors who finished recording. [Mocchi] That’s quite a few.
[Soken] Yup, and actually the exact same signed poster boards can be found at Cafe Eorzea right by the exit. Please check them out to find out who will be providing voices.
Here is Otsuka….and here is… [Mocchi] Some of them you can tell right away. [Yoshida] Some give themselves away.
[Mocchi] Thanks for sharing. Will player character voices also be recorded in multiple languages?
[Soken] Yes, player character’s voices will also be in Japanese, English, French, and German. We are planning to make it so…
…regardless of region you can select which one you would like to use.
[Mocchi] That’s very cool. Can you discuss the background music a bit? [Yoshida] Just “a bit”? That’s his main role!
[Mocchi] Oh! Sorry! I thought knee-high socks were. [Soken] True. I’m quite the handyman. Well, until now the music would start playing...
...when you went out into the field and it would keep looping. However, we’ve changed things up for the new field music.
[Mocchi] Changed things up? [Soken] For example, if you listen to the music for Gridania playing in the demo right now…
…we split up a song that was originally around 5 to 7 minutes long into different sections, and then scattered the parts across the fields such as settlements and dangerous spots. Nino is currently working on this.
[Nino] I was really impressed with Gridania’s music when I first listened to it and I also liked the idea of splitting up songs. Then they told me I was gonna be in charge of it and I was like “Wait? Me!?”
But I’m doing my best to integrate the songs into the maps.
[Soken] From the point of departure to your destination, when you progress without making any detours, we've set it up so you can hear one full-length song.
[Mocchi] Ah! So the song connects itself? [Soken] Not directly, but very subtlety. [Mocchi] That’s amazing!
[Yoshida] I believe we’re hearing it right now as we close in on this stronghold.
[Soken] This isn’t your typical Soken song I must admit. [Yoshida] So the full length song plays when you get to the stronghold.
[Mocchi] I see. [Soken] We also paid a huge amount of attention to ambient sounds, such as this waterfall you can hear behind the music.
We wanted to make these sounds the special ingredient of A Realm Reborn… That wasn’t the best example was it?
[Mocchi] Let’s just ignore that part shall we? [Soken] “Seasoning” is the word I was looking for.
The essence, the spice of the game if I may call it that. Basically, I wanted realistic sounds to accompany the realistic graphics and express the emotions within the game.
[Mocchi] You’re awesome Soken. Not to be a rude host, but I’ve changed my opinion of you. [Soken] Why thank you.
[Mocchi] With that said I’d like to ask you one more thing. In an older blog entry you said “I’ll stop Meteor!”
[Yoshida] I remember that. He said it without my permission! [Soken] I really said that, didn’t I?
[Yoshida] I keep telling you it’s part of the Seventh Umbral Era. [Mocchi] How exactly would you stop it though?
[Yoshida] Yeah, you were like “I’ll stop Meteor once I get 800 likes on this blog entry!” and in two days you got 840 likes. What're you gonna do?
[Soken] I thought people were vote spamming, but those likes are actually unique. [Yoshida] Of course! The system’s got that covered.
[Soken] I was really surprised by the likes, but to follow through with my words I would like to show you my battle with Dalamud. Hit it!
[Mocchi] You stopped it! [Soken] I can tell you it was HOT! And the outcome of this duel was…this.
[Mocchi] You’re completely burned out! [Soken] If I really stopped it A Realm Reborn wouldn’t arrive on time, so I went easy on it.
[Mocchi] You’re having way too much fun! I don’t think we can salvage this joke so let’s continue onto the Battle portion! [Soken] Please do!
[Mocchi] Take it away, Matsui! Or before that I should mention… It really looks like the battle system has seen a lot of changes.
It’s flashier and the tempo has really been sped up. Just looking at it makes me excited. Matsui?
[Yoshida] Uh oh, his mic isn’t on… [Matsui] Sorry about that. I’m good now. Yes, we completely rebuilt this as well.
[Hashimoto] That’s right. We had Matsui revamp all the battle specifications and I took care of the programming.
I think we lost him again.
[Mocchi] Is everything okay? You’re mumbling. Just relax. Don’t stress yourself. [Yoshida] It’s not Matsui’s fault!
[Matsui] To explain the part that we are seeing right now…
[Mocchi] Microphone delivered. Please trade that in for your headset. [Yoshida] This feels very “live” doesn’t it!
[Mocchi] This can only happen live! Soken, tell us a joke while we wait. [Soken] Knee-highs! [Mocchi] That’s your joke!? Are you ready Matsui?
[Matsui] I’m ready. This thing’s passing under my clothing. I can strip, but nothing to get excited about. Compared to the current version of the game, the battle tempo has become extremely fast.
One major difference from the current game is the fact that you’re now able to execute a weaponskill right after initiating a battle.
[Mocchi] So you have TP right from the start?
[Matsui] Yes. First, the method in which you generate TP to use weaponskills will change. In the current version, you generate TP by hitting enemies…
…but in A Realm Reborn, it will be a parameter that recovers over time similar to MP. [Yoshida] I just used a whole bunch of skills, but as you can see the TP just began recovering. So now you can fight continuously from the get-go.
[Matsui] That’s right. Considering the increased battle tempo and the implementation of PvP in A Realm Reborn, you’ll need to be able to execute weaponskills at the start of battle…
…so we decided to change the parameter to a cost management system that is most similar to MP.
[Mocchi] Being able to use weaponskills with short delays as well as the changes to how TP is accumulated really makes it seem like cost management will change a great deal.
[Matsui] That’s right. In fact, let me talk about action cost management a bit. I assumed this would be asked, so I went ahead and prepared a presentation.
Battle actions, similar to how they are in the current version, will be split into three categories: abilities, weaponskills, and magic.
In the current version… Cost management was done this way, but in A Realm Reborn…abilities are still dependent on recast time…
but for weaponskills and magic spells, we decided to change from the current two forms of management, to basically only be limited by resource cost.
[Mocchi] Does that mean recast times will be eliminated for things other than abilities?
[Matsui] No. We won’t be completely eliminating recast times, but by changing it to a system where recast times…
…are shared amongst all skills and magic, we changed it so that you don’t need to worry about recast times. So, if you use execute a weaponskill...
...all of your other weaponskills and magic will have their recast timers activated for three seconds.
[Mocchi] Ah, we’re pressed for time, but I really want to ask! Since we’ll have TP at the start of a battle, you can use weaponskills in succession, right?
What does this mean for combos?
[Matsui] That’s a good question. We’ll be reworking the combo system a bit, which is an interesting feature of the current version.
We’re keeping the combo system that allows you to link weaponskills together while taking PvP into consideration, and we’ll be significantly reducing the number of weaponskills that have directional requirements.
We'll be making it so the ones that have directional requirements will only be weaponskills that are used to initiate a combo, or single hit weaponskills.
As you can see in the demo, we’ll also be changing the system so that the second weaponskill onward will have a TP cost associated with it.
[Mocchi] Interesting. As much as I would like to get into the details of this…time isn’t on our side. Can you give us one last comment?
Something that would bring this all to a full circle.
[Matsui] Well, basically we have been working hard to increase battle tempo and the fun factor, and this has led us to rewrite the calculations numerous times.
At one point we scrapped something that we spent a month to implement, so we really owe one to our programmers for hanging in there.
Anyhow, what we aimed for are simple and user-friendly calculations and parameters, so please look forward to these changes!
[Mocchi] Thank you so much. So far we’ve heard some interesting details, but I’d like to ask a few more questions.
Sadly, I can’t ask all of them so I’ll run through a few of them real quick. I was gonna ask this this one first, but can we skip it actually? How does the audience feel?
[Crowd] Tell us! [Mocchi] Okay! Let’s go with this one then. “How can we get our chocobos to fight along with us?”
[Yoshida] You call your chocobo. A menu will appear. You then select “Fight together.” End of story.
[Mocchi] That was super quick! Will we get more color variations? [Yoshida] We’re thinking colorfully. Get it color-fully? Sorry, that was lame.
[Mocchi] Next! “We can jump now! So, will we be able to fly next? Or swim?” [Yoshida] In my interviews I said that there’s a 50-50 chance for one or the other, but while I was eating in Germany…
…I began to lean heavily towards flying. When you think of FF one of the images that comes to mind is your character flying in an airship. I personally think that'd be great.
It’s also true that XII’s airships were very popular, so I would like to take to the skies. However, as Hashimoto is glaring at me, this is something that might come in the form of an expansion pack.
[Mocchi] So it’s something that will come a bit further down the road. [Hashimoto] Yes, it’s a bit tricky.
[Mocchi I see. I won’t ask anymore questions, but let’s take a look at the slides. These were some of the other questions and topics we were hoping to discuss.
This one I was curious about: “What else can we use besides Meteor with the Limit Break?” [Yoshida] Tifa’s Final Heaven is planned…
[Mocchi] Slip of the tongue there. We had questions like these too…these are things you want for sure?
[Yoshida] Yes, I touched base on it during Producer Letter Live. [Mocchi] Okay, I must ask the final two questions. This is the first one.
I believe Excalibur and Masamune are recurring names in the FF series, but will they ever be introduced as weapons?
[Yoshida] We are certainly thinking of adding Excalibur with some unique specifications. On the other hand, I believe Masamune will truly prove its worth only when samurai and ninja jobs are implemented.
I understand that there’s a ton of requests from our players overseas, so I’d like to coordinate this with the addition of those jobs.
[Mocchi] Also, a certain number of players are requesting this, but will sheathes also be added?
[Yoshida] I’ll take it into consideration…with the programmers, animators and character modelers. [Hashimoto] We’ll do our best!
[Mocchi] Thank you. [Yoshida] I know that a sheathe is vital to perform a quick draw with a katana.
[Mocchi] Very true. Okay, last question. I really want to meld materia onto Cloud’s buster sword.
Is this too forbidden to ask? [Yoshida] That’s totally FFVII! [Mocchi] That’s right!
[Yoshida] I’m an FFVII-lover and I understand that players have their own favorite weapons from the FF series, so I’ll take it into consideration.
[Mocchi] Well, with that, I can consider the QA session complete. A big thank you to all of the development team members for being here!
[Yoshida] Actually, Matsui, can you stick around for a bit? We’re gonna talk more about the first topic raised by Mocchi.
[Mocchi] Moving on… We had planned this big announcement, but I believe everyone is aware of the new class and job already.
[Yoshida] That’s right, some of it leaked a bit earlier. When we launch FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, we’ll be introducing a new battle class.
Also, let’s keep a count on how many times Matsui mispronounces “arcanist.”
[Mocchi] Well then, can we start off with an introduction of arcanist? [Yoshida] First, let me show you the artwork provided by Yoshida Akihiko.
[Matsui] There’s an interesting creature on the armrest, but let’s not focus on that for now. I’d like to first explain about the weapon that will be connected to the Armoury System.
As I’m sure you can see from the picture, the arcanist’s weapon is a book.
[Mocchi] You’ll be able to hit with the book, right? Right!? [Matsui] Indeed, they will be able to strike with their book.
[Yoshida] I spoke to the team about this and asked if attacking with a book was a bit too difficult because of the realistic sizes of the characters in XIV.
I had partially given up, but the design team fought really hard, saying “We WILL do this!”
[Matsui] The motion team was especially vehement about it. As I mentioned before, their main attack is not from their weapon…
…and the auto-attack damage is fairly cosmetic, but we made the animation look like it really hurts!
[Mocchi] I’m curious, how will you craft books? Surely it’s not woodworking or blacksmithing. Perhaps weaving or leatherworking?
[Matsui] We asked the team about this and they’ve confirmed that books can be crafted, but they are currently looking into whether these will become recipes for a specific crafting skill, so for now I can only say… *inaudible*
[Yoshida] Rest assured that you will be able to craft them. We just need to decide which class will get the recipe. We’ll reveal this eventually.
[Mocchi] I see. There was one more thing I was curious about. That creature we initially put aside…it’s Carbuncle, right?
[Matsui] Yes, since Carbuncle is there, this means that the arcanist is not only a caster but also a class that utilizes pets.
[Matsui] So the Arcanist is a class that excels in magic and summoning pets to fight by their side.
[Mocchi] Currently we have the thaumaturge, whose specialty is offensive magic, and the conjurer, whose specialty is enhancing and healing magic. What will the arcanist focus on?
[Matsui] The arcanist will specialize in damage over time magic and debuffing.
It will also be possible to use two kinds of Carbuncles, a tank and a mage.
[Mocchi] How will you tell the types apart? Different colors? [Matsui] We’ve been discussing color variations, but now that we’re in the implementation phase, Yoshida has been offering alternative ideas.
[Yoshida] Yes, blame me for everything! [Matsui] So that part is still under development, but I believe we will settle on adding color variations.
[Mocchi] Interesting. Now before you divulge too much information, let’s move on to summoner. [Yoshida] Take a look at this image that was also prepared by Akihiko Yoshida.
[Yoshida] This concept art also reveals their job-specific equipment. [Mocchi] I see something above him…
[Matsui] This is the pet that will be utilized by summoners. Instead of Carbuncle, summoners can call upon pets that are imbued with the power of primals.
[Mocchi] Primals? [Matsui] They aren’t primals themselves, but they have the power of a primal imbued in them.
[Mocchi] This one is imbued with the power of Ifrit, right? [Yoshida] Remember, it’s not actually Ifrit. We’ll be having a different system for the actual primal called “primal avatars.”
The creatures that summoners call upon are just pets that borrow their power. But rest assured that they will have an impact on battles.
[Mocchi] I see, I see. By the way, how many types of summons do you have planned?
[Matsui] Right now we’re planning four different types, each having power from a different primal and each having different roles.
[Mocchi] So one has been revealed here. What are the others? Garuda?
[Matsui] It’s safe to assume players will be able to use Garuda. Yikes, Yoshida is glaring at me. As for the other two, we want you to see for yourself when summoner is introduced!
[Yoshida] You’ll be able to utilize four different types. That’s for sure.
[Mocchi] I see. So when are you planning to implement arcanist and summoner?
[Matsui] Oh, the pressure. You’ll be to play as an arcanist when A Realm Reborn launches, but we’re planning to implement summoner in a later patch.
[Yoshida] Huh? You’ll make it in time, right?
[Matsui] I’ll do my best! [Yoshida] The entire development team is giving all it’s got, so please look forward to these additions.
[Mocchi] Finally, at Japan Expo in July we introduced the starting equipment for some races in A Realm Reborn, but Soken was begging for us to show all of the races together.
[Yoshida] Him again?
[Mocchi] Yup, so we had our models put on the costumes. Check it out!
Can you all please show off your poses?
Did everybody get a chance to take a picture? Are our live stream audiences satisfied as well? We’re good, right?
Thank you very much, everyone!
Should we bring out Soken? Soken! [Soken] Wait! I’m not satisfied yet! I couldn’t see! [Mocchi] Go ahead.
[Soken] Wooow! May I take a picture? [Mocchi] Make it quick. [Soken] Everybody do your emotes! There you go…and pose!
Ooh, this is great! [Mocchi] Satisfied now? [Soken] Very! I’ve never been this satisfied in my life.
[Mocchi] Don’t forget to show it on your Twitter. [Soken] I sure will… Well, just my satisfied face.
[Mocchi] Last, we’d like to have our development team members give a message to our audience here and to those watching the live stream as we head towards A Realm Reborn.
[Yoshida] I swear Soken is really abusing his time here. [Mocchi] It was a complete misuse of authority wasn’t it? Since we mentioned him, let’s start with Soken.
[Soken] Surprise! The FINAL FANTASY XIV original soundtrack is available starting today! Today! [Mocchi] Today?
[Soken] Yes. It will be available through iTunes. It’s called “Eorzean Frontiers.” This is just a copy glued onto a cardboard cutout.
They told me not to bring it out, but I didn’t listen. And one more. “Distant Worlds,” which was previously only available at events. We’ll be selling it at TGS as well so please grab a copy.
Be sure to check this one out too on iTunes. [Mocchi] Thank you! Next, Matsui!
[Matsui] During the rehearsal I kept mispronouncing “arcanist” and I seriously felt like cursing the guy who named it…
I’m hoping everyone was able to understand the changes made to the battle system. If not, the build should be ready for hands-on experiencing very soon, so please look forward to that. Thank you!
[Mocchi] Thank you! Moving on, Nino! [Nino] Our first and foremost goal for quests and events is to make as many available as possible.
Also, there’s one more thing we are meticulously working on, and that’s the placement of the inhabitants and their lifestyle. We plan on showing something totally different from today’s demo so please look forward to it. Thank you!
[Mocchi] Thank you! Next up, Hashimoto. [Hashimoto] We overhauled nearly all of the source code and other specs, which was previously unheard of.
This type of work is extremely difficult, but the development team took the task seriously with an attitude of creating something amazing. A lot of near impossible instructions come from Yoshida too…
…but the team is working hard to be able to incorporate them all and make sure that both PS3 and PC versions are spectacular. The game will continue to evolve through fall and winter, so please anticipate the changes to come.
[Mocchi] Thank you! Lastly, Yoshida! [Yoshida] Hashimoto mentioned fall and winter, so I’d like to announce that at the end of this month we’ll be kicking off the first phases of our Alpha Test.
Also, starting today we will launch our alpha tester registration. An application form will appear on the official website, so please apply through that. Alpha testers will be playing with us, and their feedback will be greatly appreciated.
I also understand that some people want a concrete date on the alpha test duration. The entire development team is right in the middle of testing the alpha version hands on, fixing bugs, and making adjustments.
It’s my belief that it would be useless to share the game with our players before we are confident that the beginning is fun. So if you can give us some additional time…
…and in the meantime apply for the alpha test, that’d be great. We kind of rushed through things today, but I thank each and every one of you for sticking around until the end. Thank you very much!
[All] Thank you! [Mocchi] Thank you, Yoshida and the development team here today! This concludes the FFXIV Special Talk Session. Thank you very much everyone! Goodbye for now!