Twinfinite was at E3 2018 and we had the opportunity to sit down with Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida. Without a major new expansion to talk about this time, we decided to dive into a grab bag of various topics including fan questions from the FFXIV community! There’s a little something for everyone this time. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the full Q&A!
Note: Yoshida is being translated by an interpreter and the content has been lightly edited for clarity.
FFXIV at E3 2018: Burning Questions About Anything and Everything
Twinfinite: Achievement hunters have noted the extreme amount of time needed to complete all of the leve achievements. Would a solution such as allowing people to maybe buy leve allowances with gil or some kind of other currency be possible?
Yoshida: He (Yoshida-san) has a friend that works at Ubisoft, and they actually enjoy the grind. We have set the bar really high of course, and they have been working hard every day to get to that achievement. Yoshida feels that we should have [achievements] that are challenging in that aspect for people who like to do stuff like that, people who are completionists, people who want to complete that achievement. Of course it’s understood that some people might feel that it’s too much of a grind, or they might not enjoy the process. I think it’s nice to have that kind of content for those people who enjoy doing the grind. If it we were to making it purchasable, people might complain “oh well that’s pay to win.” So no plans for making any sort of changes to that at the moment.
But that friend at Ubisoft… they were able to obtain that achievement, finally! But afterwards he mentioned [tongue-in-cheek] I want to kill the guy who set those numbers and made that calculation! We understand that it’s a very tough process to get that achievement.
Twinfinite: Now that Bard can play music, other jobs are wondering if one day they will get their own out of combat job actions? Do you think this is possible, and do you have any ideas that you’d like to try out one day if you have time.
Yoshida: So because the performance action is something that a Bard can do, and was implemented as sort of a Bard’s job action, people have might gotten the impression that this was assigned to a particular job. But, the thinking behind it was actually quite different, the opposite actually.
We wanted people to able to play music in the world of Eorzea and from that idea came: How do we make that happen? Oh, we have happen to have a job called Bard… what a perfect way to implement that idea! And it sort of matches that roleplay aspect of a Bard, being able to perform, and so that’s how it came about.
If we were to think about other actions that we could do in the realm of Eorzea, so for example, we wanted to be able to allow our players to pantomime, then from there, they [the dev team] would take that idea and think: OK so how do we want to get this to happen? Which job would be most appropriate for this action? Or do we want to have everybody to be able to use this? Will we have to create a new job just so we would be able to accommodate this? Etc. etc.
So we think about what the gameplay experience is going to be first; and then sort of tailor it to what we want to achieve. So it might not be in the best interest to think about: Oh what job will get an out of combat action next? Rather, think about what new ideas the development team will have for out of battle actions.
Twinfinite: A quality of life change I often see requested is the ability to repair all, and not just repair all equipped. One button that would repair everything you have. Is this something that is possible? Or are their limitations?
Yoshida: Technically speaking it is possible. Of course it wouldn’t be instant, we would probably have a command put in, and window pops up with a progress bar saying “we are repairing all of your items” [laughs]. If that’s what people are envisioning it’s technically possible.
Interviewer’s note: So it’s technically possible, but it doesn’t seem like it’s actively being worked on… so get on the official forums and make sure the team sees that you want it!
Twinfinite: We’ve seen some classic Final Fantasy XI gear sets slowly added over time to Final Fantasy XIV. Is this a trend that will continue, and if so, are there any in particular that you or the team would like to have added.
Yoshida: Of course, we will be having an update to The Forbidden Land of Eureka content in the Pagos installment and we will be featuring XI as well there. So there will be some gear added in that installment as well.
As far as the second part of the question, if they were to specifically comment on what it is, it would take away from the fun of the players that like the content. So he [Yoshida] would encourage players to try out the content, play it, and find out for themselves.
Interviewer’s note: My next question was the following: Have the developers considered a feature that would allow players to put buy orders on the market board instead of just sell orders. For example, I could request 500 pieces of lumber at 200 gil each.
However, I think this question was a bit misunderstood and the answer didn’t address the whether or not that feature [specifically for the market board] would be possible. Because of the limited amount of time to complete the interview, and that I wanted to get through as many questions as possible, I didn’t follow up. His original response to the question was lengthy and I didn’t want to take up any more time on this question and potentially still not get answer. As you can imagine, going through an interpreter adds a lot of extra time to each question.
That said, if you’re curious as to what he did say, he spoke in great deal about a scrapped roleplaying feature that is now back on the table and planned for 4.4 albeit in a different form using the recently added guest book feature. This feature is one where people could roleplay a simulated buyer/seller crafting relationship where one person puts in a request for items through the guestbook, such as potions or food, and the crafter can complete the delivery. Neat for roleplayers if it happens!
Twinfinite: Lots of players have a close attachment to Ishgard after Heavensward and are starting to miss it. Are there any plans to possibly add content that lets us spend time with some of popular Ishgard characters like Estinien, and check in on how Ishgard is doing since the end of the Dragonsong War.
Yoshida: The development team and Yoshida of course understand how Ishgard was popular to players and I’m afraid we’re not able to delve too much into detail. With the Warrior of Light continuing in their adventure, they will be involved in yet another large fight. Eventually, we might see some of the familiar characters and there might be instances where they shine in the adventures. So we hope that the players continue to look out for opportunities like that.
Twinfinite: One of the best parts of FFXV was the ability to listen to your music wherever you wanted to. Any chance we could have a orchestrion walkman?
Yoshida: [Laughs] Our sound director, and how he approaches composing music for Final Fantasy XIV, is that we make sure that the music matches to the gameplay experience of whatever content our player is currently tackling. And so, the music that is composed we feel is the best and most optimized for whatever situation our players are in. [FFXIV’s take on the position of] having music available whenever and wherever is not optimal for our format.
And technically speaking too, because it is a MMORPG, having a whole library of songs available at your control is more difficult [to implement] than a standalone tile that doesn’t require you to be constantly online, constantly transmitting data. So if this were maybe a standalone game, perhaps, but yeah…
Twinfinite: OK I’m a Summoner, so I’m going to ask two quick selfish Summoner questions. The first is, of course, the mandatory question I have to ask: Is there any update egi-glamours for Shiva, Ifrit [etc.] [Yoshida laughs] will be added anytime soon? Or is it being considered, at least?
Yoshida: The development team does acknowledge that is about time to do our next thing, but we’re not going to reveal what that next thing is going to be just yet.
Twinfinite: Final [Summoner] question, is about the direction of the Summoner job in general. I know it’s too far away to talk in any certainty about major job changes for any potential future expansions, right. However, I really enjoyed what Stormblood did with summoner as far as demi-bahamut. From a design perspective, building up combos to unleash Bahamut, is very fun and is more in line with the traditional view of Summoners from my perspective older Final Fantasy games. Temporarily bringing in a powerful summon to do a lot of damage, and then it leaves. Is this something that you also enjoyed and would want to see it continued in the future.
Yoshida: I’m afraid we’re not really able to say anything at the moment… we’re not able to specifically pinpoint on how the different jobs are going to be handled moving forward. All we can say is that we revealing information as the become available. But, it is understood that a lot players who do utilize the Summoner did enjoy that Demi-Bahamut summon. And so, the development team will take that to heart, and investigate: What else can we do to be an enjoyable experience for our players. Although, if we were to consider some kind of summon we have to be mindful of the size… [laughs]
That was a meaty part one. Move on over to part two for a quick tour around current content and what’s potentially come including Knights of the Round Ultimate, Eureka and more.