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Distant Worlds IV - Dalmasca Estersand from Final Fantasy XII
(Up Next: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - Eruyt Village)

Letter from the Producer Live XIV

May 24th, 2014 by Tony Garsow

Join us for Letter from the Producer Live XIV, beginning at the top of the hour. Streaming from a “Full Active Time Event” in Nagoya, Japan, #14 will be the first of a two-part Letter that will cover Patch 2.3 content. Today we’re expecting to get our first look at Eorzea’s newest primal threat: the Lord of Levin, Ramuh. We’ll also get to see a new dungeon named Hullbreaker Isle, as well as hard modes of Tam-Tara Deepcroft and Stone Vigil. New features such as Daily Hunts, and Item Desynthesis will also be discussed. The special guest this broadcast is lead designer Takeo Suzuki.

As always we’ll be following the major updates from the stream in the post below, including translated Q&A and images.

To read the full QA, expand the post below:

Q1: What will be required to progress with the Saga of the Zodiac quest?
A1: You will be able to progress with the quest as long as you have an Animus version of the Zodiac weapon.

Q2: When will we be able to customize the stats on the Zodiac weapons?
A2: It will be possible to start customizing with the Novus weapons.

Q3: Are there any plans to make it easier to progress with the Saga of the Zodiac quest (i.e. increase FATE spawn rates, increase drop rate of Atma, decrease the number of Mythology tomestones to obtain books, etc.) in the future?
A3: There are no immediate plans to make adjustments to the quest (2.28 and 2.3). However, we may make adjustments in the future.
Furthermore, we do have plans to increase the number and location of Mythology tomestones obtained content in the near future so it will be easier to obtain books.

Q4: What item level will the Novus weapons be?
A4: Item level 110.

Q5: Will the design or glow of the Novus weapons change?
A5: Yes! We wanted to make them flashy and as such they will be different.

Q6: The Trials of the Braves are supposed to be ancient texts that showcase the deeds of the Zodiac Brave heroes, but why are modern imperial weapons shown in the book?
A6: The Trials of the Braves is an ancient text that was translated into a current Eorzea edition. Just as Jalzahn explains, it traces the deeds of the Zodiac Braves and if you put it into terms of Eorzea currently, it’s lore is similar to that monster…

Q7: Will the hard and the extreme modes of the Ramuh fight be implemented at the same time?
A7: Yes, both fights will be implemented at the same time!

Q8: What will the Ramuh fight be like? Will there be any mechanics like the Titan and Leviathan fights where players can fall out of the battlefield?
A8: It’s a secret!

Q9: During the main scenario, it mentions that Ramuh is a guardian deity, and even if he was summoned again, as long as you do not disturb the Sylph’s territory then you should have no fear of being hit by his lightning. So why will we end up needing to fight him?
A9: Explaining this in detail will naturally be a huge story spoiler, so please be sure to play through the main scenario to find out why Ramuh has been summoned and why the Scions of the Seventh Dawn must do battle with him.

Q10: I don’t recall seeing the name of the instanced dungeon “Hullbreaker Isle” before. Where is it located?
A10: The dungeon is located in the Southern area of La Noscea. Please stay tuned to learn about the unique mechanics and how it tie in with the main story!

Q11: Show us a video of the new dungeons!
A11: (Introduces them with images)

Q12: Tell us the item level of the rewards we can obtain in the new dungeons.
A12: We’ll make an announcement for this information soon as we are still making last minute adjustments.

Q13: Will there be weapon drops from the Ramuh fight? If so, what are the item levels on the weapons?
A13: Yes, there will be weapons and also accessories that you can obtain from the fight. The item level of the reward will be 100. However, the main reward of the fight will be accessories and the weapons will be a rare drop.

Here are a few details regarding the purchase of Fantasia which will be made available in patch 2.28.
– Purchasable by service account (item granted to all characters)
– Three purchase options will be available (one, three, or five phials)
– Up to nine can be purchased in total
– Will be delivered via the moogle delivery system and cannot be traded
– The option to purchase a specific number of phials coming at a later date

Q14: Will there be rare drops from the new instanced dungeon similar to the “baby opo-opo” minion that drops in the instanced dungeon “Brayflox’s Longstop (Hard)?”
A14: I checked with the “Minion Union” and their answer was “Maybe? Maybe not.”

Q15: Will it be possible to desynthesize all items?
A15: Not all items, but it will be possible to desynthesize a large amount of items — even fish.

Q16: Are there different levels of difficulties in “The Hunt?”
A16: Yes. Some of the marks can be defeated solo by an item level 90 player and some may require a group of players to defeat. While it’s difficult to say how difficult they will be, we will be preparing a variety of hunts. Please stay tuned!

Q17: When are you planning to buff the black mage job?
A17: The adjustments will go live in patch 2.3. The general direction of the buff is “increasing DPS on a single target.” Please note that the adjustment will not be only for the black mage and we are currently looking into other jobs as well.

Q18: Are there any plans to make it easier for us to obtain the sands/oil of time?
A18: You will be able obtain them in the new Crystal Tower dungeon in patch 2.3. Instead of increasing the drop rate, we want to increase the location of where the item can be obtained from.

Q19: When will we be able to reallocate our companion skill points?
A19: We’re planning to make this possible in patch 2.3.

Q20: Will there be different items you can desynthesize based on what Disciples of the Hand class you are?
A20: There will be different desynthesis skills for each of the eight Disciples of the Hand classes, and at level 30 you will learn a skill for desynthesis. This is a skill that is somewhat different than the original FFXIV: ARR system, and it is a system where you can increase the skill itself. In order to grow this skill, you will need points, but these points are shared between the eight different desynthesis skills, so it will not be possible to max all of them out.

Q21: What kind of rewards will we be able to obtain through “The Hunt?”
A21: You will be able to trade-in allied marks (points obtained by defeating marks) for items such as armor that is currently traded for Mythology tomestones, unique items that can only be obtained from this content, and alexandrites which is required for upgrading your Animus weapon into a Novus weapon.

Q22: Will we see any famous FINAL FANTASY series monster appear as bosses in the new instanced dungeons?
A22: A familiar krakken monster will appear that you FINAL FANTASY fans may recognize. I wonder what kind of battle it will be…

Q23: Can you tell us more about the content “The Hunt?”
A23: The content will consist of players earning allied marks by defeating specified monsters called “marks.”

There will be different ranks of marks. The higher the rank, the more allied marks you will obtain.

While there’s no time limit for these marks, there will be weekly (via Grand Company) and daily marks which you can defeat to obtain bonus allied marks.

Q24: Will you have to finish the Sylph beast tribe story quests in order to challenge Ramuh?
A24: You can still challenge Ramuh without completing the Sylph beast tribe storyline. However, the beast tribe story quest is a story that is related to the Sylph tribe overall, and if you play through it beforehand, their relation t o Ramuh will be easier to understand. Naturally, you can also play through these quests after you battle Ramuh too!

Q25: Can you tell us more about the desynthesis system?
A25: Simply put, you will be able to break down items and obtain materials? We understand players have unused gear which they have previously crafted or obtained through battle content and you will now be able to break them down. Also, there are rare materials that you can obtain through the desynthesis system.

Please note that this system does not just consist of pressing a button to break down an item. In fact, it consists of players using special desynthesis skills to break down an item. We specifically designed this content for the crafters to enjoy.

Q26: Will the items you can obtain from desynthesis be random each time where you can obtain a rare item if you’re lucky?
A26: You’ll obtain a material that the item is made of. Depending on the level of your desynthesis skill and the level of the item you are desynthing, what kind of item and the amount you obtain will be vary. Obtaining these items, you can do something and obtain rare items. Also note that it’s not 100% you will get all the materials back.

Q27: Are there any restrictions such as item levels for desynthesis?
A27: You won’t be able to desynthesize the highest item level items that were added in the most recent patch. Also, whether or not your desynthesis succeeds is dependent on your desynthesis skill and the item level of the item you are desynthing, so if you skill is low and attempt to desynthesize a high item level item, you don’t stand a chance at succeeding and it won’t be possible to desynth in cases like this.

As we move forward with patches, the items added recently will become possible to desynth.

Q28: Please tell us more about Suzuki. What is he in charge of?
A28: Suzuki is in charge of graphics, art, character, motion, cutscene, and effects. He’s also in charge of making sure none of these fall behind the schedule.

Q29: Suzuki, have you ever screamed out “Yoshidaaaaaa!” at work or have you ever wanted to? If you have, can you tell us the reason?
A29: Well, not really during work, but when I’m watching Letter from the Producer LIVE and I’m surprised by an announcement (you know, the ones we are still working on) I want to scream out his name.

Q30: Suzuki, are there any moments you felt happy about being the lead artist? And the opposite?
A30: I enjoy being able to interact with a wider of sections using my previous experience as an animator and technical artist. However, it was really tough in the beginning because there was a lot of stuff I didn’t know about when it came to the sections I had never interacted with in the past.

Q31: There’s a lot of content currently where you can memorize the patterns in order to win, but in the future will you be implementing content with random elements?
A31: Even now there are random elements in content where you might not know who is going to be targeted, so we aren’t making content without any random elements at all; however, we do not have any plans to make the random elements stronger and our direction is to fundamentally make it so as long as you do the content properly you’ll be able to clear it without leaving it up to luck. The reason being that if we were to make these random elements stronger, during really close end-game battles there would be a lot more stress placed on everyone.

In one of the dungeons we are adding in patch 2.3 there will be a bit more of a random element than you’ve seen up until now, so please let us know your feedback.

Q32: Suzuki, can you explain to us the basic process of how a piece of gear is designed?
A32: (Images shown in the stream)

Q33: Suzuki, are there any plans to implement more vanity gear like the spring gear?
A33: Yes, we have plans to implement additional vanity gear in the future. In patch 2.3, we will implement the “Night Wear.”

Q34: Please implement a DPS tool and a feature that shows a monster’s HP %.
A34: An HP % display shouldn’t be too hard so we’ll look into it when I get back.

In regards to a DPS tool, we don’t have any plans to implement something you can use during battle. If we were to implement something like this, it would be a necessity for content and we feel it would cause conditions where lines are drawn by players saying a certain amount of DPS output is bad.

However, I understand the requests to be able to know how much DPS you are doing. While it is a bit off in the future, we are thinking to make it so you can understand how much DPS you are doing by having content for beginners where you have to reach a certain amount of DPS within two minutes to clear it.

Q35: Suzuki, are there any plans to make the unique/untradeable gear (obtained through dungeons, etc.) dyeable?
A35: Currently, the basic policy is only making crafted gear dyeable and unique/untradeable gear cannot be dyed.

Q36: Suzuki, are there any plans to make the glass frames dyeable?
A36: Yes, we do have plans to make them dyeable (actual images shown in stream).

Q37: Suzuki, are there any plans to implement new emotes similar to the manderville and step dances?
A37: While there won’t be any in patch 2.3 (and/or any near patches), we do have plans to implement unique emotes tied to seasonal events. Other than that, new standing/sitting emotes will be added in patch 2.28.

Q38: Suzuki, are there any plans to implement a cuter-looking chocobo barding in the future?
A38: Currently, all the bardings are designed with the primals in mind. However, we are currently designing mounts that can be mounted by 2 players.

Q39: Suzuki, can you tell us about the difficulties you ran into with adding new hairstyles?
A39: I struggled quite a bit expressing the longer hairstyles. When transferring the hairstyles to other races, it was difficult to get the balance right with Miqo’te’s ears and such. Also, we made them while paying attention to how they fit with equipment.

Q40: Suzuki, are there any plans to implement any male-specific vanity gear?
A40: Originally, we were planning for the spring wear to be female-specific and the sailor wear to be male-specific. However, we came to a conclusion that the sailor wear looks awesome on females too so we implemented it for the females as well. Don’t worry, we do have plans to implement male-specific vanity gear in the future!

Q41: Suzuki, comparing the graphics and designs of FFXIV 1.0 to FFXIV: ARR, could you tell us what you think improved and what you think was better in 1.0?
A41: Making the change to FFXIV: ARR, the graphic engine was overhauled, so the overall graphical quality increased. Especially with the expression of shadows, I think it really took the art to another level. In addition to this this, I think the scenery and dye support were done well and the tempo of movement also improved.

I really think that overall FFXIV: ARR became better, but if I had to choose an example of something that I liked from 1.0, a lot of time was spent on the lighting and effects for the cutscenes, and I think they were done well.

Q42: Suzuki, are there any plans to implement a skirt where the length is somewhere between a mini-skirt (starter gear for female hyur and miqo’te) and a long skirt (spring skirt)?
A42: We intentionally did not design middle-ranged skirts due to how the game is designed. For example, darklight feet goes up to a character’s knees. It hides perfectly when you wear a long skirt and shows perfectly when you wear a mini-skirt. However, if you take the middle of these two, it will interfere, so we haven’t been able to make it.

However, I understand that having a bunch of different patterns would be fun, so I’d like to take on the challenge.

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