Over the weekend Square Enix held the biennial Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas. Expectations were high, and honestly it feels like Naoki Yoshida and co delivered with the debut trailer for the game’s latest expansion ShadowBringers. On Saturday Final Fantasy XIV Producer / Director Noaki Yoshida sat down with Sound Director Masayoshi Soken along with a translator. The pair took questions from curious Warriors of Light who traveled from all around the (physical) world to ask the pair questions about Eorzea, its lore and what the future had in store. Topics ranged from how the developers plan to balance Tank accessories, to the stability of servers and how they’ll bring new accessibility options to FFXIV.
Below is a complete transcript of the Q & A. Please note that this transcript was typed in real-time during the Q & A so there may be minor typographical errors and wording may not be exactly 100% accurate.
Please Look Forward To It!
Q: Lots of players need to use VPNs to connect without disconnecting it lag. Will be talking to ISPs about routing?
A: this is an issue we are constantly tackling. We strive to provide the best service but the ISPs are their own company and sometimes they are cooperative. Sometimes they push back about accommodating for our needs. We will continue to reach out, we are not giving up.
Q: I was curious, do you have any plans for realm vs realms open world PvP content with siege weapons?
A: To be honest we do not have any plans. We did hear that applause, we acknowledge that – no need to exert the opinion that we only want PVE content but thank you.
Going back to the original question, we don’t have plans currently – we have done tests where we take certain worlds where we turn on the PVP flag and have Grand Company battles in the public space. It is possible – if we were to do something like this we would still make it a PVP realm. We are continuing to monitor if this is content that is wanted.
Q: it’s clear that time is progressing in the expansion trailers. We don’t know much time has passed. Since ARR how old have our characters grown?
A: That might not be something we want to touch upon. We don’t want to specifically answer it or make it canon so to speak.
That being said, since 1.0 and looking at Shadowbringers we do notice that our warrior of light has aged. We hope that you can imagine or speculate how this might be. Maybe it’s static party breaking apart and disbanding (referencing a reddit post).
Q: Everyone here appreciates all of the work that you do. We have Hilda who is half elezen half human. I’m Stormblood a half human half Raen is mentioned. Could we get to play as these types of character?
A: *laughs* That’s why I told you not to bring out those characters so many times! It’s Oda-san! I do believe we would have the possibility of more NPCs like that appearing but having them playable….
Say for example a half Miqo’te, half Roegadyn, what kind of voice would it have?
Sokken: I have no idea!
Q: I’d like to thank you for making one of the greatest games I look forward to every day. My question is. – there are 15 classes in the game and rumours for more. In terms to glamour plates, can we have them linked to class or more plates? I could be a MNK or SMN but the weapon would be different but the gear stays the same.
A: I believe we do have three major tasks in regards to the Glamour Dresser and plates. We want to increase the number of sets you can store in the dresser. Another task we want to look into is the number of available plates. Third would be increasing the number of Locations where you can use these plates.
We do have these three tasks identified. We are still investigating which task to take on, and what’s feasible technically. Updates on this may come in spurts. In terms of your question you’re asking about tasks 2 – increasing the number of plates. Technically speaking increasing the number of plates and recognizing a job is possible. This brings up a great opportunity – by show of applause which would be your preference, we will name out the three tasks we are looking at.
Sound director please be the judge.
Sokken: Number 4 – I get less work.
Q: New races are exciting but I wanted to ask about the existing character models. Like Male elezen looks a little weird around the neck with some gear. Are there plans to polish up existing models?
A: Technically speaking it’s not impossible to do but say hypothetically speaking at the launch of Shadow Bringers you see Elezen have very compact neck, people familiar with existing characters would say “why would you do that!” It’s a very line. If it isn’t too much trouble – if you are experiencing these issues please post a screenshot on the official forums and we will look into it. Please mark the posts as (Fanfest QA).
Sokken: I have a request for the sound team and QA for this. Something I always get asked about the Waring Triad mounts. A lot of time people think ur music is the latter half of the battle but I The Sephorot case it is the music from the first half of the fight. People say “change it!” But if we do change it people will say “why did you change it!”.
Yoshida: If we did change it we wouldn’t have the first stage music would not be on the mounts. As a development team people say “you could just change it” – as a development team if it were that simple we would have already done it. Everything in the game has an ID and there are no more IDs.
Q: Thank you for making Ultomate and Savage. We love directing how the mechanics how they work. In Omega 3 Savage the big fists chose players in the light Partyand we can’t figure out how this works. Could you shed some light on this?
A: *everyone laughs* According to the person who handled this (Omega S3) – I had actually asked how are people being picked? And I think I remember them saying that may be a bug…
*crowd erupts in laughter*
Depending on which jobs make up the party there seems to be a pattern. I’m so sorry! Just to add to this – it is not a critical bug where you can’t clear the content. But we don’t want to go in there and make things worse, we are still in the monitoring phase. I’m so sorry!
Q: Showing my friends End Game raids from HW and SB a lot of my friends love it but when they start they get to 2.X quest chains and they stop playing. Is there any plans to condense that so that maybe players who left will come back?
A: To be completely honest with you. I would love to go into ARR to rebuild the story quests – and there are a lot of quests in that narrative. We have looked into the quests in there and not cutting out quests but making adjustments to what is necessary to progress. When we evaluated previous quests in previous expansions we decided we would have to dedicate a lot of resource too. Now that we’re moving into development of Shadow Bringers it is something we could look into post 5.0 launch.
Q: In the trailer there for 5.0 it sounds like they’re saying “Warping Shadows” what are the lyrics?
Sokken: Warping Shadow! It’s me! It’s a secret!
Yoshida: I wanted to add if you hear a male vocals on a song it’s usually one of those two – Sokken or Koji Fox. The sounds of the gremlin are one of the sound design team.
Q: White Mage is very maligned right now and we won’t find out any changes until 5.0. Is the team looking into this a the Lillies and other mechanics make it difficult to raid. Scholar and AST are the main picks in Omega.
A: Let’s look at it from the timing perspective first. At the time of the release we will adjust each of the jobs within their role. With certain mechanics of these jobs – we heard a lot of feedback, certainly MCH, we will have to take a hard look at them for rework. I’m so sorry! We are going to look into making adjustments into the fundamental mechanics of these jobs – we’ll make sure to communicate this before the launch. Please look forward to more information as it is to come.
In terms of the immediate Patch 4.5 – we are looking at the numbers and deciding amongst the development team whether or not we make any adjustments to WHM or MNK. We will had a second live letter before the launch of the patch.
Q: Thanks for adding Blue Mage to the game. I’m a big really fan of the instances content like the haunted house mini game. As an homage to FF7 could we get a haunted house game in the golden saucer?
Sokken: There’s this memory problem.
Yoshida: *contemplates* First and foremost letting us know you enjoy the Seasonal Event. Any sort of instanced content we try to add several of these within the year. We are at our maximum workload when we are introducing those within our upcoming Starlight Celebration this winter. Considering have that kind of content to the Gold Saucer we’d have to consider what do we do with the following years mini games and seasonal events. It is tough to consider these events from a development perspective. In the live letter we will be introducing two new games for the Gold Saucer later this afternoon!
Q: As a player with near nearsightedness, colorblindness i would like to thank you how accessible you’d made the game. Could it be possible to change the color of damage indicators for AOEs on the floor on the client side as they tend to bleed into the floor.
A: We have done our due diligence to research accessibility and that there are differences depending on the individual. If we were to have to adjustments on the client side – we would have to prepare different types of assets – in our accessibility settings we do have color adjustment to filters has that helped?
In this case but if you could post this on our forums. We would like to get information about what content and where you have trouble recognizing the AOEs so that we can consider the color variations and patterns we use on our floors within our content.
Q: Warriors has shifted to using crafted accessories that make only a few 100HP difference but our DMG can make the difference in the situation of a 1% wipe. Are there plans to address this?
A: This is an issue that has existed for a while. There are lots of issues why can’t revert to the calculation used in the Midas era. At that time Tanks had a lot of DPS and we felt this was an issue. From a game balance perspective despite being a tank role the damage dealt is increasingly close to that of a DPS role Job. ATK power is consistently high. At the same time in order to raise the damage dealt we do have to rely on crafters and there are players considering the raid drops being inferior to the crafted alternatives.