We're proud to bring you the full Q&A digest from the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part V! If you weren't able to watch the live stream, or if you just want to watch it over and over again, check it out below!
Don't forget to select the 720p option to watch the video in HD!
*The video introduces a walk-through of Ul’dah.
A: Thanks to everyone’s support, we've managed to develop FFXIV into what it is today, and we would love to make the game available on every console possible. However, we must first keep our promise to release the game on the PlayStation 3. After we've had a solid launch on the PC and Playstation 3, we can discuss the possibility of releasing the game on another system if the opportunity arises.[0:20:55]
Q: Are there plans to release the game on PlayStation 4 (or next gen consoles) in the future?
Although there will be a few skills you can use when fishing, it's been designed so they're not absolutely necessary, allowing players to relax and enjoy the experience if they choose to do so. Also, we plan on having different types and sizes of fish depending on the area and water temperature.
A: Yes, it will make it in time for launch.[0:26:36]
Q: You mentioned previously that you're working to include summoner in time for launch. Is it going to make it?
A: We definitely want to add more classes in future patches. For melee classes, I believe scout-type classes are somewhat lacking. By this I mean classes that can move around stealthily and attack from behind or steal items from monsters. The lack of magic classes needs to be addressed as well. We've received requests for ninja and samurai, especially from overseas, but we can't give out any specifics yet. Rest assured that new classes are definitely coming.[0:27:07]
Q: Can you give us any information about possible new classes or jobs like thief, ninja, samurai, or musketeer?
A: Well, mages come in many different forms in the FINAL FANTASY series, so we have plenty to work with as we add more magic classes.[0:29:24]
Q: I don’t think there are enough disciples of magic classes/jobs. What are your plans to address this?
A: Yes, they will.[0:29:45]
Q: You previously stated that the status bonuses will change in A Realm Reborn. Will 1.0 players be able to respec?
As those who participated in the alpha test discovered, a lot of changes have been made to Gridania, and although it's yet to be released, this applies to Limsa Lominsa as well. Ul'dah, however, has undergone surprisingly few changes. We're not in phase 3 yet so the area looks a little empty, but we'll be adding plenty of NPCs and quests.
Also, there were not that many NPCs to be placed. From that base, we have been adding addition NPCs, including ones that give quests. Despite this, the feel of Ul’dah in A Realm Reborn will be quite different from that of 1.0. Additionally, the Gate of Nald, which was originally sealed off, will be opened.
*The video introduces artwork of the revamped cities.
Also, we didn't want to just create new textures when remodeling the cities. After taking a closer look at each, we went in and added new elements to enhance the atmosphere and convey the culture of these cities. Although Limsa Lominsa has yet to be seen, you can expect a lot of great changes!
A: When making use of housing with your friends, it might be somewhat annoying to see shouts from outside, and with the duty finder also in place, we feel there is no real need to shout for parties, so we don't plan on displaying these messages when inside housing.[0:33:48]
Q: Will party recruitment and other shouts be displayed when you are inside Free Company housing?
Also, the shout system will be changed to let messages reach all players in the zone. In phase 3, we'll implement the /yell chat mode which will send messages to a larger area than /say but not the entire zone.
A: We're considering a variety of things, but you'll have to wait to find out more. The train tracks in that screenshot are actually connected to other places such as high level areas taken over by the imperial army and imperial bases.[0:35:31]
Q: You showed a screenshot of train tracks. Will players be able to ride on trains in A Realm Reborn?
A: Players may find this surprising, but it would have a big impact on cutscenes if players could choose to be left or right handed, because character blocking and camera position would have to be adjusted. Since we will have cutscenes in the class and job quests, as well as the main scenario, this would ultimately result in poorer quality overall. There would also be memory problems. I know it would add more realism to the game, but unfortunately adventurers have to be right handed.[0:37:11]
Q: In real-life, I'm left-handed. Any chance we will be able to change our characters to a left-handed character?
As for why we decided to adopt this system, the main reason was to stimulate the economy. If used items are constantly being recycled, new crafters will be unable to break into the market and sell their goods.
While this means that old gear can't be passed on to new players, in A Realm Reborn it will be possible to obtain equipment by taking on quests, and there should be no difficulty in getting equipment all the way to level 50. We felt it was more important to stimulate the economy and ensure gatherers and crafters could be successful.
However, if listed in your enmity list on the left side of the screen when you jump, you can die from a fall. So it won’t be possible to escape from battle by jumping off a cliff if you get aggro.
A: Once phase 3 of the beta test starts and data is transferred from Version 1.0, it will be possible to test the new system. However, many aspects such as multiple melding rates and materia attachment rules are being adjusted for A Realm Reborn. Because we're making so many changes, we feel it would be better to announce details regarding materia at a later date.[0:54:59]
Q: Please tell us about the materia system. Also, are you planning further changes for the materia types and system?
A: I believe this will be released in a patch after launch, but disciples of the land will have a chance to discover maps when they are gathering. Players can use these map to go treasure hunting with their friends. When they locate treasure, a large number of enemies will appear, and upon defeating them you can claim the treasure.[0:55:54]
Q: Can you tell us more about the treasure maps that were listed on the initial 2.0 document on Lodestone?
In version 1.0, personal chocobos obtained through the grand companies were all male. However, in A Realm Reborn, you will be able to breed and also raise chocobos.
A: A player's ID includes both their character name and their world name, so even if the players searching have the same name there won't be any problems! It will not be possible, however, to invite specific players by ID. We thought this would defeat the whole purpose of being able to challenge content by matching up with random players. If, for example, you have a six-man party and still need two more players, you can use the duty finder to fill up your team.[0:59:05]
Q: When using the duty finder, if two players have the same name, what will happen when they're placed in a party together? Also, can you invite specific players by name?
A: We are planning to completely overhaul the gear set system. We've yet to decide on an official name for the new system but for now we're calling it the "Armoury Board." The current plan is to show a catalogue of items the player owns, and allow them to create different aliases for their gear sets.[1:00:26]
Q: You previously stated that you will be changing how gear sets work. Could you be a little more specific?
The gear set system will still be in use during phase 1 and 2 of the beta test, with the new "Armoury Board" system being implemented later. Because we plan to make such radical changes to the gear set system, they've yet to be reflected in-game. Although we're constantly looking at player feedback, this new system will be based primarily on feedback from the alpha test, so look forward to more details in the future.
A: The benchmark video contains content that's specially created for PR-purposes, but you will be able to fight giant enemies starting from phase 1 of the Beta Test. If we receive enough requests to increase the size of NMs, we will certainly look into it![1:02:03]
Q: Will we be able to fight giant enemies such as the adamantoise that appears in the benchmark video?
* Please refer to the portion of the video demonstrating the FATE system.
Once you enter the blue circle displayed on your map, the FATE will begin and you can participate without having to form or join a party. Also, the duty list on the right-hand side of the screen will display the FATE objectives, which can be completed by anyone in the area.
Even when participating alone, a FATE will not be difficult to the point where it requires healing, or that some players will be inevitably incapacitated. And in phase 4 of the beta test, we will be implementing level sync, so it will be possible for high-level players to participate in a low-level FATE if they wish.
In addition, a FATE may change depending on the amount of players—enemy numbers may increase, objectives may change, and even bosses may appear.
Players can experience a FATE as early as level 5, so please try it out during the beta test.
A: Since gatherers have access to the stealth ability, they'll be able to avoid many aggressive enemies. We're also looking into reducing FATE frequency in areas where there are too few players.[1:05:23]
Q: What will happen when there are only a few players in the zone? A FATE could inconvenience players engaged in quests and gathering. Do you have any countermeasures prepared?
A: Any FATE encounters including beastmen or Garlean troops will be similar to the ones shown in this video.[1:08:19]
Q: In the future, will FATE include hazards such as collapsing bridges, or battles against large groups of beastmen and Garlean troops?
* Please refer to the portion of the video demonstrating the breach and defense of a fort through the FATE system.
A: The retainer’s role of selling goods and storing items for you will not change. In the future, we plan to add features that let retainers do other things for you as well, such as gathering. In essence, we want your retainer to seem more human, as if it were a real character.[1:11:23]
Q: Could you give us some details about retainers? Will you be able to order them to gather materials? Will it be possible to change their appearance when you hire them? What about changing the name and race of our existing retainers?
You'll be able to keep their names, but we will be preparing a re-hiring flag, which will allow retainers previously released from service to be re-hired. Since retainer names are unique, there may be cases where names will overlap, making it necessary to re-name them.
A: For the most part, NMs will only appear in FATE battles. Once a FATE has started nearby, it will be marked on the map, so players that join will notice the NM right away. We want these battles to be a fun experience that brings players together. Some very large NMs are hiding out there somewhere, so stay alert![1:16:03]
Q: How will we fight notorious monsters in A Realm Reborn? Will they only appear in FATE battles and dungeons?
A: We're playing on the development server using debug commands to change our characters, so the stats aren't accurate.[1:19:16]
Q: Your character only has 556 HP even though he's level 50. Isn't that a little bit too low?
* Please refer to the portion of the video featuring artwork of Gilgamesh.
A: I don't think we'll have mixed races for a while.[1:23:15]
Q: What kind of new races are you considering adding, and will mixed races ever be introduced?
If and when we implement additional races, I would like them to be different from what we have now. That said, the longer we wait, the more difficult it becomes for players to start over from scratch, even if they'd like to play as a new race, so we'll have to keep that in mind as well.
Viera are quite popular around the world, so we're considering them. Personally, I would prefer something more beastly, so a new race's appearance may vary greatly depending on if you choose a male or a female.
A: We're planning to introduce a variety of achievements related to Free Companies (initial formation, membership numbers, quest or FATE completion, etc.).[1:25:31]
Q: What type of Free Company rewards and achievements will there be? How will the ranking system work? Are there benefits to forming a Free Company?
As for rewards, we don't want to force players to form Free Companies or punish players in small Free Companies, so there are currently no plans to introduce rewards based on Free Company performance in battle. However, there will be benefits for those who have maintained a Free Company for an extended period of time. As players continue using a Free Company, its rank will increase, and this will lead to rewards—more color/pattern customization options for your Free Company crest, more available features for Free Company housing, etc.
* Please refer to the portion of the video featuring artwork of PvP rewards and the PvP arena.
A geographic anomaly near Limsa Lominsa was shown very briefly in the “A New Beginning” trailer, the inside of which has been converted into an arena. Players will register for PvP battles inside the ship out front. The first PvP arena we plan to introduce will include pillars, stairs and other obstacles that players can exploit when engaging their opponents.
After registration, players will be matched up automatically against other players based on their PvP ranking. It will be very casual, so hopefully everyone at least tries it out!
Also, another major feature will be an official database. For example, if there is a specific item you want, you can research how to acquire it. If it's obtained through a quest, you can then select the quest name and search for the name and location of the NPC that gives the quest.
This database won't require an active internet connection, so it should be very convenient. The application will be available for both iOS and Android, and we’re working hard to have it ready in time for launch.
A: Unfortunately, we cannot release any samples at this time due to contract restrictions, PR considerations, and spoiler concerns. Until the official release or perhaps phase 4 of the beta test, we have no plans to release these recordings. However, our PR department will make an announcement listing the voice actors and which roles they play in the future. There are also new characters that have not yet been revealed, so please look forward to it.[1:33:40]
Q: Since some of the game's cutscenes will have voice acting, any chance we can have a small sample of the audio?
A: The baby behemoth is one of several new minions, which are basically pets that follow you around. There are no limitations as to who can summon these pets, and we’ve prepared a wide variety of them. They can be obtained as rewards or purchased from stores. Minions are summoned by using items, so these items can be given to other players as presents, and they can also be given out for special campaigns.[1:35:06]
Q: I remember you showed us artwork that had a baby behemoth on New Year ’s Day. Where will it appear in the game?
* Please refer to the portion of the video featuring artwork of minions
While there is some concern that minions may seem out of place in Eorzea, we wanted to add a collectible element to the game that would make adventuring more enjoyable and give players more incentive to play longer. We thought it would be fun to choose a minion to suit your mood, so we've created a large number of different ones. We might even host a community event where we ask what kind of minions players would like to see added.
A: We plan on having a major patch every two and a half months. We were releasing patches at roughly same pace for Version 1.0, so we would like to maintain the same pace for A Realm Reborn as well. We'll make sure players never run out of things to do.[1:39:24]
Q: How often are you planning to update the game after the official release of A Realm Reborn? Also, will you be introducing side stories not tied to the main storyline during these updates?
As for side-stories, the aforementioned encounter with Gilgamesh is one of them, but we're also planning multiple stories that progress in a fashion similar to the Grand Company and Seventh Umbral Era stories from 1.0. Everyone's favorite detective may be returning as well.
A: As I've mentioned a few times on the forums, we'll do our best to assign worlds in a way that is not detrimental to players. Now that we've established regional data centers, we intend to divide the ten worlds from Version 1.0 among them. During phase 3 of the beta test, we'll announce which data center each world will be assigned to, at which time we will give players time to consult with their friends and decide on which world they would like to move to.[1:41:33]
Q: With the shift to regional data centers, how will you determine which worlds from Version 1.0 will be assigned to which region?
Depending on how many Version 1.0 players return, millions of characters may need to be moved. After confirming the number of characters that must be transferred, more worlds will be added to ensure players can continue testing the game comfortably. We'll do our best to make the process as painless as possible.
* Please refer to the end of the video for additional artwork of dungeons.