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Recap of the 37th Letter from the Producer LIVE!

July 17th, 2017 by Raptorchan

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This past Saturday, July 15th, was the 37th Letter from the Producer LIVE for Final Fantasy XIV; with Naoki Yoshida and Toshio Murouchi answering Stormblood related questions submitted by the community. Later in the stream, Art Director Hiroshi Minagawa joined them and answered some questions as well.

(I had also mistakenly titled the last Letter from the Producer LIVE as the 37th, when it was not. Sorry for any confusion!)

The stream was unofficially translated live by Twitch Streamers MrHappy and Markoturn, with an official translation coming in via the forums. So be sure to thank them for all their hard work! We will be using translations from both sources.

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Yoshida and Toshio had a brief conversation while audio was adjusted. It was here that Yoshida apologized for Raubahn’s Wall and the server congestion that players faced during Stormblood’s launch. He notes that it probably should not happen again since they made adjustments to the Duty Finder.

So let’s get into the recap, and boy is there a lot!


Q&A Segment Part One:

  • In patch 4.05, coming on July 18th, they are going to add a small amount of strength to vitality accessories. Upon discovering tanks were equipping the 270 accessories, thus adding stress on healers, the dev team decided it would be best to add some strength to tank accessories for the upcoming savage content.
  • Players felt that the tenacity attribute was being held back from its fullest potential, and it was confirmed that was on purpose, so players wouldn’t focus on that single attribute. However, tank classes should hopefully feel the effect of Tenacity in savage content!
  • Paladins seem to excel in both DPS and Tanking, and a question was asked if Dark Knight and Warrior would receive changes: And yes, tanks will receive updates.
    • Paladins will see an adjustment to Holy Spirit as well as the reduction in the oath gauge when switching oaths.
    • Warriors Shake It Off ability is going to be adjusted, they have also removed the halving of Beast Gauge when stance changing. Potency during Storm’s Path will be increased as well starting 4.05.
    • Dark Knight will see potency increases in combo damage as well.
  • Healers have important Role Actions, which makes it difficult to choose between skills like Esuna or Protect. However, they have no plans to increase the amount of Role Action slots.
    • However, during the 4.0 series, they are discussing what to do with the Protect ability. They were not sure if it should be there or not – possibly as a Role Action instead of just a skill – and request players leave feedback regarding things like this.
  • 4.0 was meant to reduce the disparity amongst DPS, but certain jobs feel more reliant than others. They explained that “when you play a just, you experience the uniqueness of that job”, which is what caused the difference in difficulty between the jobs. They plan to scale this factor down.
  • Dragoon will see adjustments to their class by expanding on certain aspects of the job.
  • The new Monk skill Riddle of Fire is powerful, but because of the effect, it makes the job stressful to play for players. They believe the Monk skills are more effective and easier to understand and use in longer fights, and recommend players try it out in Savage.
    • However if there are still requests for changes after Savage, they will consider their options. For now though, they believe Monk feels complete.
  • Healers are struggling with the fact that drawn cards or Aetherflow stacks are not displayed on the partylist anymore, which makes it difficult on the healers if there are two Scohlars or Astrologians in the party. Yoshida confirms they are working on a fix for this, and for White Mage confession stack, but it may not be ready until 4.1.
  • Healers will be receiving adjustments in 4.05:

Scholar:

  • Miasma II will be introduced as a job specific skill.
  • Cooldown of Emergency Tactics has been changed to 20 seconds.
  • Indomitability (Stay tuned?)
  • Strengthened Excogitation.
  • Fey Union now goes up to 15 yalms.
  • Aetherpact has been changed to increase Faerie Gauge even when Aetherflow actions does not inflict an effect on the target.
  • Introduction of a new trait that reduces Aetherflow cooldown.

Astrologian:

  • Arcana and Royal Cards can now be discarded via an action.

White Mage:

  • Plenary Indulgence will see major adjustments.
  • Adjustments to the rate of which Healing Lilies are granted.

  • In regards to pets: Demi-Bahamut is quite large and blocks some player’s view. Yoshida is aware some players do like the size of Bahamut, so they are introducing a command that will allow players to adjust the scale on their own. This will not be ready for 4.05.
    • Sustain was removed because they had believed that pets would take reduced damage if they weren’t placed in front of an enemy. However, they are aware players used this ability a lot, and they would like to discuss it more with the development team.
  • A question was asked about Summoner’s Physick being changed so that cure potency changes with INT, like Red Mage’s Vercure. Yoshida states that Red Mage was born from both white and black magic, so it makes sense that Red Mage’s heal is stronger. This was done intentionally, as he does not want all the jobs to do the same thing, it would make things less unique.
  • Job Adjustments for Black Mage and Ninja are coming:

Black Mage:

They made a couple of adjustments, which players will understand. They are also making adjustments to the job’s MP management issue.

  • MP cost for Foul has been removed.
  • Recast time for Triplecast has been changed from 90 to 60 seconds.
  • Recast time for Fire VI and Blizzard VI has been reduced to 2.8 seconds, down from 3.

Ninja:

  • Potency for Gust Slash will be reduced. The reason for this is because the players found a stronger skill rotation than those the dev. team was using while making adjustments.

  • They are considering making adjustments to the Sprint ability, as it is inconvenient with the increased cooldown. However this adjustment will take some time.
  • For PVP: A question was asked about the possibility of having the jobs to enter with gain the experience points instead of the job you leave as. So players could still change jobs to meet the need of the party, but also gain EXP for the job they are trying to level.
    • Yoshida says this was on the table for PVP-related adjustments in Patch 4.01. They discussed how it could create a situation where players earning experience points for a job they didn’t play goes against the entire point of earning the experience points. However, they want some more time to discuss the idea.
  • Because of the large amount of job action changes in 4.0, some of the jobs play different when in level 50 dungeons and below, as opposed to 60 and up, when job gauges are introduced. They have no plans to change job skills according to each level synced dungeon, it doesn’t seem practical. However, dungeons overall will be receiving adjustments, such as actions used at low levels and the HP of dungeon monsters.
  • Alliance Raid Roulette is coming! They are aiming for a patch 4.1 release. They are also making adjustments to Labyrinth of the Ancients so it only requires one tank. This change might not make it in time for 4.1.
  • They are aware players want achievements from older Frontlines maps, and are planning to make adjustments such as a featured game mode once a week. This requires entering a new rule into the server and will require further discussion before the decision is made.
  • A fan of FFV was very excited for the inclusion of Omega: Deltascape, and were curious to know if there was any backstory for it. Yoshida says they created the lore for Omega so no one knew where it came from, and that while some of the bosses may have similar appearances to FFV, they are not the same people. They worked hard to make FFV fit in the FFXIV universe, because a lot of the developers who are working on FFXIV had also worked on FFV.
    • Also there is a rumor for a V5.0 of Omega, and while they did say they were making a Super Savage mode for Omega for players who defeat standard Savage, it would not be V5.0.
  • They do not have any plans to include the Blowdart mechanic from quests in any dungeons or raid content, it was just for the MSQ! They may include it in future MSQ content however.
  • They are considering the possibility to allow players to replay certain popular MSQ events.
  • Namazu items are planned!
  • Currently there are no plans to make the elbst mount swim under water, as it would cost quite a bit to do so. But they would like to work on it if they can! The same question also mentioned that a turtle spitting fire underwater was concerning, Yoshida explained that you must always remember: Mounts benefit from magic while underwater!
  • Q: Is there any particular reason why Zenos’ scabbard spins so rapidly? Is it spinning by force of will or some kind of switch?

Yoshida: There is a switch by his hand that rotates to the next sword. (I thought of this now.) In Zenos’ backstory, it’s written that he developed a liking for katana while conquering Doma, but as katana quickly degrade as they cut, many katana are required.

  • Q: Will Magnai ever find his Moon?

Yoshida: I was thinking it was Sadu. On the internet, some were saying it may be Cirina, or it may be the Warrior of Light. There may be a quest for Magnai and Sadu. Only the Dawn Father knows.

  • Q: I really liked the performance from the last boss in the main scenario quest. Was this done to bring back the experience from the Super NES days where your lose your precious play time from not saving?

Yoshida: I lost a lot of my play time right in front of a save point in Final Fantasy V… The manager from the design team, Takai, also lost his precious play time to this trap, and the debug team said we should make some adjustments to tone it down (referring to the Tidal Wave mechanic in the first phase of the battle) but Takai told them “I fell into this trap before as well” and left it alone. For the overall battle itself, we were worried about the difficulty level, but since it’s the last boss, we made it strong. We also talked about how we won’t make anything stronger than that. 

  • The development team is planning on allowing players to return to the area where the final battle takes place. They are also considering allowing players to visit The Archbishop’s room as well!
  • On the subject of inventory and retainer inventory space: They are currently taking careful steps with this. The inventory expansion in 4.0 had stressed the servers a bit, and they are making sure no important data is lost or that it can’t be exploited. They would also like to observe the retainer inventory expansion issue, as there is some disparity between people who use a lot of retainers and those who don’t. So they will be keeping a close eye on things post 4.0.
  • Q: Estinien was really cool! Will there be an opportunity to meet him again?”

Yoshida: Perhaps there is a chance if everyone wishes for it. Personally speaking, I believe he is a member of the Scions, but he isn’t the type to directly interact with them. My image of him is that he helps members in need from the shadows.

  • Yoshida says he would like to implement more jumping puzzles like the one in Kugane, but maybe not any higher – or even as high – as it can stress out in terms of graphics. He’d like to add more to the Gold Saucer too.
  • Changes to Machinist are coming! Aside from the adjustments made to heat management, the changes coming to the job are:
    • Hotshot: Increased physical damage effect from 5% to 8%
    • Hotshot: Increase to Heat Gauge reduced from 10 to 5.
    • Removed the Heat Gauge reduction effect from Quick Reload.
    • Increased Rook Overload potency from 400 to 800.
    • Increased Bishop Overload potency from 300 to 600.
    • And more!

At the end of the first half of the Q&A session, they touched on some of the details for Omega Savage and it’s new loot system, which should hopefully make it easier to obtain equipment for the now 15 jobs of Final Fantasy XIV. They also showed off some of the new gearsets as well!

Upon completing each Version (once a week)

  • Gear will appear inside the chest
  • Everyone will obtain tokens that can be exchanged for equipment.

Note: Parts which can be obtained through each version, and the amount required for exchange varies.

Upon completing Version 4.0 (once a week)

  • A new item will drop which can be used to obtain a weapon of your choice
  • Players will obtain the weapon for the job they are on when using the item.

The Lost Canals of Uznair was touched upon as well. It is the new level 70 version of Aquapolis with a Thavnairian theme! Materia VIs and other rewards have a chance to drop in The Lost Canals of Uznair.

They also mentioned that, while they have removed instanced areas in Stormblood, they would be adding this back into certain areas where rare monsters spawn in hopes of lightening the player load. These instanced areas will return in 4.05.


Q&A Segment Part Two, with Hiroshi Minagawa:

  • Minagawa was in charge of the UI for A Realm Reborn, and during Heavnesward, he adjusted the lighting in the fields and also managed the staff for the Background Art Team. In Stormblood, he was also looking into field lighting and things like that.
  • They are currently looking into which status effects and buffs players are having difficulties checking. They are also planning to make a simplified version of the job gauge for jobs like Bards.
    • They are also receiving a lot of requests to make the job gauges transparent, so they are considering lowering the opacity so the UI can be overlayed over characters. They are currently looking into what HUD elements to include in the job gauge and will move from there. This is being aimed for a 4.1 release.
  • Adjustments to Buff/Debuff are coming, to make it easier to track your own buffs and debuffs in the target information. They will look into this for Focus Target as well.
  • They are currently not considering filters for desired requirements for party finder. However they have received comments regarding how to hide locked content in search results. They are currently deciding whether to hide the results or just make them appear at the bottom by default.
  • Q: I would like to know if there were any major difficulties during the development of 4.0!

Minagawa: We were making adjustments for the PlayStation®4 version until the very last minute. This has finally calmed down last week, and we’re back to the normal pace!”

  • Q: As you were part of the staff of FINAL FANTASY XII, how much were you involved in the recent FINAL FANTASY XII: The Zodiac Age? It’s not FFXIV related question, but I love FFXII, so I would like to know.

Minagawa: I tried hard to make it look like I wasn’t involved too much on the project. I was invited over at the start of the development, and have attended about 10 meetings to discuss the objectives and such. In the later half, I was just creating the logo.”

Yoshida: The quality of the original FINAL FANTASY XII was very high, so I was surprised how the graphics fit in with the current generation.

Minagawa: Actually, minor details like eyeball movement was in there from the original version, but we just didn’t notice because of the quality of CRT TVs.

  • Q: Alongside Return to Ivalice, I would like to see Matsuno and Minagawa conversing! Do you two go out to drink often?

Minagawa: Actually, I received a Tweet from Matsuno earlier saying “You forgot to increase stack maximum from 99 to 999.” I am not in charge of that, so maybe once he talked with the person in charge…

Yoshida: Matsuno’s 4.1 text is currently being implemented! Please look forward to it!    

  • A player asked if it was possible to set unlearned actions on their hotbar in order to have their layout prepared by level 70. Minagawa explained they are currently discussing whether or not to implement this.
  • The ability to rearrange Linkshells could be a possibility with the incoming changes to linkshells, making them cross-worlds. They are aware this has been requested since the 2.0 series, and they ask you to please hang in there!
  • While they have not made any progress on it, Minagawa will discuss with the person in charge about the function for the chat box appearing when active and disappearing when inactive.
  • It is possible to add a feature to change the size of NPC names, however if players want names individually sized, that would be far more difficult to achieve. They want to consider the option for scaling altogether though.
  • Q: Do you have plans to implement a UI where we can see the inventory from all retainers at once?

Minagawa: It creates a lot of stress load on the server to access the data. If we were to download the retainers data locally, then it may be possible; however, it won’t be consistent when looking from a different client. It would be difficult to do more than what we have now.

Yoshida: However, we’re planning to touch on glamour in the future, and we’re planning functions such as accessing glamour history.

  • Q: Please tell us about your biggest mistake in life, and how you overcame it.

Minagawa:  I moved out for my entrance exams, but I did not go to school, and the first place I worked part-time became my first workplace. At the time, the game industry was not as big, and my relatives were worried. It turned out okay so I think it was a success.

  • Q: The map in 4.0 is very large, but please let us know what improvements or difficulties you had when creating the 2D map.

Minagawa: For the 2D map, the new world map is about twice the width of the previous one, and we had a hard time creating it. For the standard area map, the method for creating them is set, so it wasn’t that difficult. For region maps, we expanded it so you can check to see where the maps connect. This was easy for 3.0 and 4.0 areas, but there were lots of unused space for the 2.0 areas, so it was difficult to line them up together.     

  • When asked what he would like to accomplish as a developer, Minagawa said he would like to answer all the various requests they’ve received since A Realm Reborn.
  • Adding a feature where Lodestone news and updates are received in game would be difficult to do, and would require an overhaul of how memory is handled. Unless players want an internet browser window to pop open, then maybe?
  • Minagawa would like to have VR implemented.

Announcements:

  • Details for the Final Fantasy XIV Orchestra Concert, an additional show was added and pre-sale dates showcased.
  • Final Fantasy XIV Orchestra Mini Album Announced! Will have some of the songs from the live show and will be sold outside of Japan.
  • Four Year Anniversary 14-hour Stream announced! Will happen September 1st, as Yoshida will be traveling during August 27th.
  • An Official Stormblood Game Guide announced! For Japan only.
  • Eorzea Cafe Three Year Anniversary. Will have a limited time theme, with new menu items and placemats, based on Woundrous Tails.
  • Fat Chocobo Head plush goes on sale July 25th.
  • Final Fantasy Lost Stranger. A monthly shonen gangan written by someone who has played both FFXI and FFXIV. It is set within a Final Fantasy world in general. A dengeki light novel was shown as well.

And finally, before bidding everyone their goodbyes, Yoshida took a moment to welcome in all the new players to the world of Eorzea, and they hoped all would look forward to the new content they have planned for the 4.0 series.

Byebye!

Good luck in 4.05!

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