Today Square Enix hosted the 53rd Final Fantasy XIV Letter from The Producer Live broadcast from its headquarters in Tokyo, sharing new updates about the game.
Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida and Global Community Producer Toshio Murouchi provided a followup to the successful release of the expansion Shadowbringers.
First of all, we hear about balance, with the development team working hard on tweaking it now that the expansion has launched.
One of the points of contention among players is the Ninja job, which is seen as less powerful compared to other damage dealing jobs. Issues were caused by Ninjitsu and Mudra combined with the global cooldown, making gameplay clunky.
There are simply too many inputs required during the rotation to deal as much damage as you could. In order to achieve this, they’re considering tweaking some of the job’s actions to make the rotation less busy (something on the lines of combo -> ninjutsu -> combo). The developers are also looking at the utility in party of Trick Attack and at the overall damage output.
While the changes did not make it for 5.05, the plan is to increase raw damage by 5.08, with further adjustment possibly coming in 5.1
Samurai is another job that is being looked at, as it should be doing more damage. Shoha is very difficult to use, so players simply don’t use it as much. Even in this case, the developers believe the rotation has become too complex. Shoha will also be changed in 5.1, with meditation stacks accumulating in various ways.
Some small tweaks to the numbers should come in 5.08, but again, they may be tweaked again by 5.1.
Summoner is another job that became very busy with Shadowbringers. Instead of increasing the duration of DoT spells, the development team is considering increasing the potency of Ruin proportionally with the number of dots on the enemy. If this ends up being a suitable solution, it should come by 5.08.
While bard has become easier than it was, The team has been looking for the right balance between avoiding parties being too dependent on the song by removing most synergy effects, but still preserving the Bard’s uniqueness compared yo Machinist, that’s why actions like Nature’s Minne have been preserved.
In particular, they want to avoid bard and dancer to be too similar and to establish a balance between ranged classes with machinist bringing the most raw damage output, dancer the most party buffing, and bard in the middle. This is challenging to balance.
Speaking of Astrologian, the development team believed that it was important to remove some of the least useful cards without completely axing the card draw aspect of gameplay. For now, they don’t plan to change this to avoid going back to how it was before.
For tanks, Yoshida-san doesn’t believe there are major disparities among them. While there are no tweaks coming in the immediate future, the team is waiting for feedback from the recently-released savage raid to get a better idea on whether there is need of adjustments. That being said, the team doesn’t think that the current balance can’t be improved and warriors might get some buffs in the future, possibly in the duration of some defensive abilities.
Scholar needs more details on the effects of the fairy actions explained in the tooltips, and this is a priority for the team.
Players have been having issues in dungeons because players join with a low item level, resulting in very slow runs. Simply implementing a higher ilevel requirement would cause issues of its own, so the developers are looking into an alternative solution.
Speaking of PvP an increase of actions to 16 is planned for 5.1. This w also include an emergency heal for all jobs, group defense actions for tanks, and group heals for healers. A new frontline internally code-named “Seal Rock 2” should also be coming, but it might be pushed back to version 5.15.
Speaking of the Trust system, the development team has discussed things like letting players do primal trials with it, or even some older dungeons in the company of the leaders of the Grand Companies. That being said, this would have been really demanding in terms of development resources.
For now, they’re focusing on future content and all main story quest-related dungeons in the 5.X series will support trust (this doesn’t guarantee that all dungeons coming down the line will be related to the main story quest) Also, you won’t need to level up your Trust buddies when doing those dungeons for the story quest.
The next beast tribe questline will come in update 5.1. On the other hand, there is no plan to continue the Crystalline Mean storyline, as it has concluded. That being said, it’s not impossible.
At the moment there are no plans to change the loot system in the Savage raids, as it’s better than the previous system. On the other hand, Yoshida-san feels that the system in the extreme trials may not be good enough. He himself didn’t manage to get what he wanted in over fifteen attempts.
The team is discussing adding new Logos actions to Eureka in order to make things easier for solo players. They’re also considering increasing the cap on bicolor gems and adding Vieras and Hrothgar to the company squadrons.
Developers are working on a new feature named “Circles” that will be less limited than Linkshells. People can register to them and receive notifications. It’s planned for a release in 5.1.
The team would like to add the facial hair shown in the benchmark as an option for player characters, but it isn’t easy and it will take time. New hairstyles will be added for Viera and Hrothgar down the line, but they won’t be as many as other races because they’re created specifically for them.
They’re also working on lifting restrictions for The Great Hunt Extreme so that players can go with their preferred group size. An extreme version of the last boss battle from Shadowbringers will also come in 5.1.
The main scenario quest of A Realm Reborn will be made more compact, with a target timeframe around 5.3.
An update for the Restoration of Ishgard feature will come in future Letter from the Producer Live broadcasts. Speaking of that, more information about the new YoRHA: Dark Apocalypse raid by Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito will be shared in the LftPL focused on patch 5.1 (which is likely going to be the one at Tokyo Game Show), and it’ll include the appearance of a “special guest.” This is likely Yoko Taro himself, as Yoshida-san felt like he was teasing as usual, but it wasn’t confirmed.
Large changes are coming from gatherers and crafters in 5.1. This includes 100% guaranteed desynthesis with no need to level up the skills. Basically, people will be encouraged to use it when they have excess stock of an item. Tweaks to unbalanced crafting recipes are also coming. Another important upcoming change is the ability to avoid monster aggro when gathering.
Developers may add more armory space in the future, but it’s very challenging because it increases the amount of data associated with players, and when they move around areas and servers, it causes a lot of additional load.
The team is looking into ways to make flavor background NPC dialogue more readable, maybe by increasing its size. It would be difficult to make it customizable due to how it’s rendered by the engine.
Y’shtola’s new robe should come relatively soon to the cash shop. A housing “farm” for minions is in the planning phase, but a reveal for this is a long time off. The trees from Lakeland will also likely come for gardens in the future.
In the slides below you can see a few community announcements including a collaboration with the Square Enix cafe in Akihabara and the reopening of the temporary Eorzea Cafe in Yokohama.
We also see the upcoming fanfest in Shanghai, the Awa Odori event in Tokushima.
At Gamescom in Cologne there will be the traditional battle challenge, a cosplay contest, and a livestreamed Q&A Session with lore guru Banri Oda. At PAX West there will be a livestreamed panel with Lead Artist Takeo Suzuki and Main Scenario Writer Natsuko Ishikawa.
Tokyo Game Show will see the return of the Letter from the Producer Live with its 54th episode, alongside various playable activities.
Pre-orders for the Shadowbringers Original Soundtrack are now open and it will release on September 11 and include a code for a “Wind-up Suzaku” minion.
If you’re interested in the game (which has recently been updated to version 5.05), you can read our review of the latest expansion Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and our article explaining why it features the best story among all the tales told by the Final Fantasy series.
If you like roleplaying, Square Enix also recently released the naming conventions for the new Viera and Hrothgar races.
Final Fantasy XIV is currently available for PS4 and PC.