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    Yoshida Interview with Game Watch (July 11): Patch 2.3

    This was the interview which I previously touched on that Game Watch held with Yoshida on the same day as the Ramuh primal play experience event, which was just prior to patch 2.3. I'll continue updating as I work through the translation, this is just the intro text.

    --------------------

    FFXIV A Realm Reborn Patch 2.3 Interview with Producer Naoki Yoshida
    "Look forward to content of all types, from casual to hardcore."

    On July 8, Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn (hereafer, New FFXIV) Patch 2.3, Defenders or Eorzea, was finally implemented. Just prior to the patch, we held an interview about this latest update with Naoki Yoshida, producer and director of New FFXIV.

    We spoke about a lot of the implemented content in Defenders of Eorzea, Patch 2.3, including the 72 person PvP content grouping people in teams of 24 called "Frontline," and "Syrcus Tower," the latest update to Crystal Tower. We had a number of other questions focusing on a variety of different elements, so please read on.

    Since this interview was performed on the same day as our media play experience with the Ramuh hard mode primal battle, we were also able to get an early look at a bit of the atmosphere of patch 2.3.


    Regular implementation cycle of Bahamut's Coils > Crystal Tower

    After viewing the trailer for patch 2.3, there were some elements I was concerned about. Although we'll be having the play experience with Ramuh later on, can you tell us if you'll be able to fall off the stage this time?

    Although lightning will fall, the players won't be falling. From the early planning stages we decided that falling off the arena wouldn't be part of the Ramuh primal battle. Since Ramuh is a god of judgment, we had an image of a showdown on a summit, so we decided to put the arena in a high place like it is.

    Oh, but I really did want to fall.

    Around the internet, I saw people exclaiming "We can fall!" and for a moment I was wondering if everyone actually did want to fall (laughs).

    Maybe people are getting addicted to the added tension when you can fall off.

    When people thought it was a battle where you could fall off, a lot of people said "again?!," but there were others who felt the battle wouldn't be as amusing if you couldn't fall off. The high level of tension may be just right for Leviathan. In the case of Leviathan if you're near the middle and you start moving in the right direction even at the last second, there's still a chance that you won't fall off, so I think that's the right way to do it. For someone who got used to Titan extreme, they might say they were expecting it to be tougher, but we'll be focusing more on that in the future.

    In the screenshots of the new dungeon Hullbreaker Isle, there were some in the evening and some during the day, will time change inside?

    Although Hullbreaker Isle is a dungeon, since it's connected to the open fields of Eorzea, it would be strange if the time or weather inside were fixed, so they do continue to change.

    Will it change according to Eorzea time?

    Yeah. Brayflox's Longstop also works like that. Basically, if the area isn't indoors or underground, the weather and time will change like anywhere else in Eorzea. The weather is only fixed at the boss location.

    In Syrcus Tower, enemies that looked like Amon and Xande appeared, but will you be able to get to the top of the tower in this update?

    In terms of the structure of the tower, you will go up to the top.

    The original plan for New FFXIV at the start of service was that Crystal Tower would be implemented along with everything else, but after the implementation it turned into alternating patches with Crystal Tower and Bahamut's dungeons. Will you continue to go with this pattern in the future?

    Several times in the Producer Letter LIVE, I've received the question about whether we would go back to the original plan. We originally had difficulties implementing the 24-man content and we decided to move it to patch 2.1. At that point, since we configured the dungeon and rearranged the item levels, the order had already turned into the regular pattern in a sense. So if we returned to the original state, it would actually become irregular. Since we added the Second Coil in patch 2.2, there may be those players who see no use in content with a level lower than they are at, but there's a large group of players who need content to help fill the gap between item level 90 and 110.

    So you intend for some players to not try to take on the Bahamut's dungeons until they've obtained equipment from Crystal Tower?

    If we implemented Crystal Tower earlier than Second Coil, we would have set up Second Coil so that it could not be cleared unless you were around item level 100. We would have also had to raise the item acquisition restriction. Since the Second Coil was introduced first, however, Turns 1 and 2 were designed to be able to be cleared at item level 90, with no need for equipment at item level 100 or higher. However, just because the content is balanced for item level 90, that doesn't mean that everyone will be able to clear it at level 90. Because of this, our thinking is that by adding more item level 100 equipment with a delay of one patch, it allows some of these players to catch up.

    This implementation method maintains the advantage of those who are already at the top end, but helps broaden the amount of players who are able to clear the content. Also, since it's still difficult to afford gearing up a second job on Allagan Tomestones of Soldiery, the item level 100 equipment from Crystal Tower can also be used in that way. It may seem unusual that content is added with a lower level, but the idea of ensuring players can get to the preceding maximum level is important in a MMORPG.

    So Crystal Tower is added for more casual users, while Bahamut's dungeons are added first for the more hardcore players. What do you have to say about the hardcore players' perspectives that they feel like there is nothing else to play?

    For those players, I wish them luck in clearing the Savage version of the Second Coil of Bahamut this time.

    Will you continue on with more of that, like a Savage version of Crystal Tower?

    Uh... I think that might make people quit. When you have 24 people and the smallest mistake can kill you, it might cause a lot of heartburn (laughs).

    Have you actually tried it out?

    When we're in development and we have that many people play testing together there's a lot of screaming like "Seriously!?". I do not think we will add any really difficult content for 24 people.



    Taking advantage of line of sight blocking is important in "Frontline" battles

    One of the highlights of patch 2.3 is "Frontline," which takes place in an area that I was surprised to see in the trailer had some of the tiles from Bahamut's dungeons.

    The gimmick is only at those spots. The hill is about the midpoint between the three cities. Carteneau Flats is ground zero of the crashed satellite Dalamud, so there may be some visual elements reminiscent of Allag. In fact, a part of it is involved with the main story to some extent.

    What gimmick?

    Monsters will appear tied to that device. Because they are hostile to anyone, the presence of monsters is a neutral element. You'll earn points for defeating those monsters, though, and another possible tactic is to accumulate your limit break gauge by fighting the monsters.

    Will the monsters appear by triggering the device?

    There are two ways: one device will appear at fixed intervals, and the other device will appear with random timing. It will have some effect on the flow of the battle when it appears. Although the battle is between three main forces, one tactic you could use would be to leverage monsters as a fourth force.

    The bases of the three cities are located on cliffs, but will attacks be able to be launched from the top or the bottom of the cliffs?

    It will be possible. In order to prevent respawn killing, there are measures in place to prevent ambushes on the resurrection point. Since the respawn location is fairly deep, it can't be attacked from the cliff, so you'd be at a disadvantage, plus you could have concentrated attacks raining down on you from above.

    Is it better to attack from above?

    From the bottom, it's difficult to get line of sight, but you have a better view from above.

    In PvP, there's power in numbers, so would you expect enemies to flock together in numbers to take down others?

    It's likely that there will be games where the number of KOs matter, but the accumulation of points is faster by holding bases. However, because there is a considerable distance between bases, it's not always possible to get to each enemy base.

    How many neutral camps are there?

    There are six of them placed around the main battlefield.

    Will there be several routes to get to each? In addition to open areas, will there also be bottlenecks?

    Of course. Also, Dalamud debris that fell into the middle of the battlefield can be used to block the line of sight, and you can also use this to help hide or retreat to rally. It's important to be able to block the line of sight before you get on your mount; when you want to withdraw from the battlefield, you'll be able to escape much faster on your mount.

    When an enemy gets out of range, will you lose the target on them?

    It will work the same way as when you fight monsters. Since the targeting range is 50m, it will automatically drop off if they get farther than that.

    When you disengage will you automatically recover also?

    Simply cancelling the battle stance and dropping a target is irrelevant. The hostility list is what matters, a PC's hostility list clears when they get a certain distance away from a monster.

    What kinds of chat can you use out on the battlefield?

    In addition to party chat, there's alliance chat which all 24 players in the alliance can see, and you can use say and shout modes, but they will only reach those on the same team.

    Are there any chat commands that you can select on screen; for example, from a drop down selection?

    We do not expect drawn-out battles in which this would be needed. Because this is the first appearance of Frontline, it's been designed that way. As people continue to play it, we expect a variety of tactics to emerge and strategy to be more and more important to being able to win battles.

    Do you expect people to basically move around as parties of eight?

    For occupying neutral bases, it will take a minimum of four people. With that said, it's good to move around in groups of about three, but it's important to be ready for full parties of eight also.

    Does the occupation rate change with more than four?

    Yeah. If you have three people in the same circle that an opponent has four people, it will only count one person. The gauge won't change if both teams have four people. So, you need to continue to increase your army's occupancy to defeat your opponent.

    You can change jobs at the bases, but can you also reassemble parties?

    No, you cannot change parties. Unlike in PvE, it's not necessary to strictly stick with your party to fight other people. If you set the UI to always display the HP bar of allies, it will be easy to determine who is friend or foe.

    Is it confusing to differentiate between teammates and enemies?

    You can see the different color of their name immediately, as well as on the map.

    At the end of the story last time, there were some indications of possible war in the future, so will PvP have some meaning in the main story?

    The "FF" series story is PvE, with the player traditionally fighting a global threat and becoming a hero. If we had PvP become a major element of the main story, the main story would change greatly depending on the results of PvP. Although there's mention of the war in the storyline, the policy of new FFXIV is that participation in PvP isn't mandatory.

    When I heard about war, I thought it was leading to a hostile relationship between the three cities.

    That's not the case. If we were to do that, it would have had to be presented to players from the start, and that was never our intent.

    Will your Grand Company rank have any effect in Frontline?

    It does not. Grand Company ranks will not be used in PvP. Rather than PvP, we intend to keep the advantages of higher Grand Company ranks to PvE.

    Will there be any new ranks this time?

    People often ask me whether and when the new ranks will be added. We don't just unlock new ranks at any point because we need to have items associated with the new ranks to implement in conjunction. Right now we're developing some new elements for Free Company play, and we plan to increase the rank limit around the same time that we implement that.

    So that will be included in patch 2.4?

    It's not definite yet. We're planning for that, but we have other higher priority content which we need to develop first, so we won't know until closer to the patch.

    There are a lot of people right now with capped company seals and nothing to spend them on.

    Well, that's a waste. You can at least profit on them by just buying up some materiel and selling them on the market. Keep saving money so you can buy your own individual house.



    The main story is at a halfway point in patch 2.3

    There's been a lot of speculation floating around the internet about who the mysterious beauty in the main storyline is.

    There has. It's fun to see the speculation.

    Did anyone come up with the right answer?

    I haven't really seen it yet. It's not so simple. Just look forward to finding out more as the story develops.

    Have you completed all of the storyline up until the expansion?

    We'll continue to make patches to move the story along. It's been a pretty tight schedule for the main scenario team, so they get a chance to take a bit of a rest while we're recording voices. After this break, we'll be working on writing the dialogue for 3.0.

    As the world moved toward the fall of Dalamud in the original FFXIV, the storyline became much more dramatic. Will you build towards a climax like this in New FFXIV?

    When I took over development, there were four important keywords that I put in place. One of these was "REBUILD" which we've already accomplished with the rebirth of Eorzea, but some of the other keywords like "FUN" and "LIVE" are still key elements. For example, with Thancred and Yugiri in patch 2.2, we were able to incorporate the presence of a new class and job in the storyline. Although we don't plan to destroy the world again, there will be a fairly dramatic build-up toward the expansion pack. You'll start to see some of this in 2.3.

    Have you built some foreshadowing in?

    Yeah. Even in the dialogue from the main scenario at the start of A Realm Reborn, there were some elements of foreshadowing already included. When Bahamut emerged from Dalamud in the original FFXIV, if you look back on it you'd see that a lot of it was hinted at in advance. A lot of thought has been put into the dialogue of Alphinaud and the design of the various characters and the foreshadowing will begin to come to fruition soon.

    As the world grows it seems like we're having a lot more early patches.

    It would be tough for the staff to push any harder than they are now, and still keep up with the development work for 3.0. However, we're going to try to keep the pace somehow by pushing out as much content as possible with the major and minor updates each month.

    It's no small task to keep up with the patches on this basis without breaking some of your commitments.

    I'm glad you said that.



    The current plan is to ultimately catch up the game to become a second generation MMORPG.

    Maybe it's just my personal impression, but I feel like you're forced into certain things with New FFXIV. Serving as both the director and producer, are there any conflicts between the two that make your job difficult?

    In my nearly 20 years in the gaming industry I've never encountered even the smallest game where the producer and director didn't clash in some way (laughs).

    For a movie, the director is responsible for the coming up with movie itself while the producer is responsible for the production in general. Is this not the same sort of thing with games?

    Well, there are individual differences with different people. Of course, there are always clashes about budget, but it will depend on the combination of the people.

    So with New FFXIV, do you think it's good to have a variety of content with people doing things their own way?

    I think New FFXIV is close to a second-generation MMORPG in terms of not having wasted content. It helps to keep the development time short by only putting in content that is needed. I think MMORPGs will be becoming third generation in their efforts pretty soon, but I think user-created content will play more of a role when that happens.

    And nothing is wasted?

    The original state of the game was something that even busy fans of the FF series from all around the world would be able to play over a long period of time for a couple hours a day. The biggest difference from first generation of MMORPGs is whether or not leveling is central to the experience.

    There are some people who like to spend a lot of time leveling up, but with that kind of game, there isn't a lot of opportunity for crossing paths with others who are outside your level range. So when people progress slowly, they tend to remain in the low level content with other people progressing slowly, separate from the people who are leading the pack. So that players for each style don't suffer, a lot of different equipment needs to be added, and to keep people feeling active and connected, other types of interaction need to be encouraged, like the summer festival.

    So you mean this kind of thing is easier in a second generation MMORPG?

    We can't just work on whatever we want to and we have to manage with the future in mind, so there are certain things we still can't afford to do right now. With all of the entertainment choices this day and age, with less of a focus on leveling, it will let people focus on other types of content and make it easier for new players to join. This was also true to some extent in the original FFXIV, but MMORPGs can also fail if the content isn't good enough of if the systems affect enjoyment of the game.

    Indeed, there are a lot of MMORPGs which aim to innovate and still fail.

    I think it's great to try, and it's something that we'll challenge ourselves to do more with New FFXIV now that we have all the systems in place. Without a solid base, even if you're innovating with design, it won't matter, and it might actually hurt the game if you overreach. Some MMORPGs have tried this and couldn't keep their service up so they had to stop operation.

    You may have a lot of playing customers who may stop their account for a couple of months at a time but come back when large patches are added, and I wonder if their overall playtime in the end is actually longer with this structure. Once again, we know not everything we do is perfect, so we are constantly analyzing our work and reading all player feedback to challenge ourselves to move forward.

    Are there also a lot of non-vocal players that you need to consider?

    That's right. One part that's been hard for us to grasp is that the appeal isn't huge for Japanese people who normally play other games. At the same time we have players who played FFXI who want another great experience who have become valued customers.

    A first experience with a MMO can be difficult.

    It's a big undertaking, but we'll continue to challenge ourselves to incorporate as much as possible.

    The stuff like the Saga of the Zodiac Weapons is there to take up the players' time.

    Still, compared to the old days of MMORPGs, I think older games were a lot more masochistic. But nowadays, if we try to incorporate this type of content, it will be tough for the many players who have many other real life commitments.

    After collecting all their Atma, some people got burnt out.

    At the E3 interview it was also said that people were taking a break because of this. Personally, I think there's never been a better time to keep playing, but in this day and age it's tough, so we'll keep relaxing the requirements of content over time so that you can play at your own pace.

    Additionally, we're a bit worried about the community being held back a bit from growing by how easy it is for solo people to do everything in Duty Finder.

    We would like to increase the opportunities for people to play together in the community more. I hope people play often together with members from their FC, but we need to encourage this more in the future. For example, in patch 2.28, we added the ability to participate in expert and high level roulettes as a party. This was just one small step of many, but this goes towards the goal of being able to play together with members of your FC. We'll also be adding things such as company crafting for the FC.

    Will you be increasing elements for FCs to play together in the future?

    If we suddenly change things now and say please do everything with your FC, we might get a lot of backlash, so we'll be working on this little by little. I want to encourage everyone to play with the community more, so instead of suddenly focusing on restricted groups, we'll add these elements over time.

    Any last message for fans of the game looking forward to patch 2.3?

    In patch 2.3 there will be a lot of new play elements like The Hunt and new crafting elements like desynthesis. You can casually go into the new Syrcus Tower of Crystal Tower with 24 people, get 72 people together for Frontline, or try and take on the new savage version of the Second Coil of Bahamut. From casual to hardcore, there are elements for everyone. For those who have taken a break or haven't played yet, there will be even more PR moving forward from patch 2.3, so please look forward to it!

  2. #2
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    First part's up, getting lunch and will translate more later. It's not a particularly long interview, that's about 1/3 of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slycer View Post
    I do not think we will add any really difficult content for 24 people.
    Not that Dynamis was "hard" but this makes me think we won't ever see anything like it. Kinda sad about that in a way.

  4. #4
    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
    You were cold as ice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutriss View Post
    Not that Dynamis was "hard" but this makes me think we won't ever see anything like it. Kinda sad about that in a way.
    I just had a sad myself. I hope he changes his decision.

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    The Defense is ready, Your Honor
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    I dont think Dynamis is out of the question, but then again, I dont think dynamis was "hard". It was long, boring, tedious, but it wasn't hard. The only challenges were stunlocking things long enough to win, and getting enough members earlier in the game's life when not everyone was stacked with gear.

    You didnt have to move and dodge like you do with this game. Stun this or it kills us. Stun that or it kills us. That was the difficulty.

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    The way I read it was kind of a direct response to the question about a savage version of CT, that we won't see anything like that. That doesn't really exclude the possibility of 24-man "hard" stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slycer View Post
    The way I read it was kind of a direct response to the question about a savage version of CT, that we won't see anything like that. That doesn't really exclude the possibility of 24-man "hard" stuff.
    Ah, okay, that's nice then.

    Also, obligatory "Thanks Slycer!".

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    Added frontline stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slycer View Post
    The main story is at a halfway point in patch 2.3
    Guess this confirms 2.5 and probably 2.6. Honestly it's not really a surprise, even if 2.4 is a month late, that's November, and at much as they've been saying "no xpac in 2014" you'd be a fool to think it meant they'd deliver in February.

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    Good that they get that the game need more pure FC content. Its coming, and I can't see behind the scenes so I won't armchair and scream at them to overhaul everything and introduce nothing but FC content.

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    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
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    Essentially this means Rocl is right and the expansion will land around June/July/August 2015. Good enough for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slycer View Post
    Will you be increasing elements for FCs to play together in the future?

    If we suddenly change things now and say please do everything with your FC, we might get a lot of backlash, so we'll be working on this little by little. I want to encourage everyone to play with the community more, so instead of suddenly focusing on restricted groups, we'll add these elements over time.
    You're already focusing on restricted groups, Yoshi-P. 8 man cliquesstatics. People would play with each other more if you changed Coil hard lockout to a loot lockout like CT. Something like you can only lot items on your first run of the week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qeomash View Post
    You're already focusing on restricted groups, Yoshi-P. 8 man cliquesstatics. People would play with each other more if you changed Coil hard lockout to a loot lockout like CT. Something like you can only lot items on your first run of the week.
    that would still promote run selling, which i'm pretty sure is something they don't want.

    what they could do is if 4 or more people have already cleared that week, the chests just don't spawn. it's not like they don't know how to code weird spawn conditions for stuff.

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    You would still have the issue of lockout cliques forming.

    I don't think run selling is the issue; it would be trivial to make the encounters so that if everyone isn't contributing, the party wipes. Given that Earthen Fury or Tidal Wave don't auto-wipe you if someone fell out of the arena, I doubt merc'ing is an active dev concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spider-Dan View Post
    You would still have the issue of lockout cliques forming.

    I don't think run selling is the issue; it would be trivial to make the encounters so that if everyone isn't contributing, the party wipes. Given that Earthen Fury or Tidal Wave don't auto-wipe you if someone fell out of the arena, I doubt merc'ing is an active dev concern.
    if that's not a concern, that would be the only reason why Coil doesn't work like CT, 1 loot per player per week.

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    Having a CT system would mean getting one useful item for every player every turn. Coil rewards 2 random items for 8 players every turn. The difference between the two loot systems is pretty huge.

    Anyway, I don't think they specifically give a crap about players selling wins. What they do care about (explicitly said by Yoshida in that E3 interview) is limiting the rate of acquisition for items and limiting accessibility, so I don't see the Coil lockout/item systems changing anytime soon.

    Maybe if Savage Coil becomes a difficulty mode in its own right with a higher ilevel then they'll stop caring about normal Coil and then they'll just turn normal mode into a glorified 8man CT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by solracht View Post
    limiting accessibility
    Normal Coil does this just fine as it is; the hardest part of Coil is keeping a static together. Work scheduling changes, school, and RL shit since 2.2 have utterly destroyed my static twice after reaching Turn 9 a couple weeks after 2.2 dropped; pretty much just consigned to quitting or taking a break until an expansion drops or something (unless it's more of the same, then lolfuck lolno). PUGing 6, and if i'm lucky, 7 and/or 8 on a weekly basis is not appealing nor desireable.

  18. #18
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    Well yes, normal Coil does that just fine because its lockout is specifically designed to do that.

  19. #19
    I trusted Zet and this is what happened
    Eleven owes me $40 bucks

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    12,358
    BG Level
    9
    FFXIV Character
    Kaslo Essyx
    FFXIV Server
    Famfrit
    FFXI Server
    Carbuncle

    I would have loved to see Savage coil simply drop "Savage" gear. (ie "Savage High Allagan Earrings of Fending) that were 5 ilvls higher than the normal item.

  20. #20
    D. Ring
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    4,849
    BG Level
    7
    FFXIV Character
    Raldo Volca
    FFXIV Server
    Balmung

    Dye-able coil gear. That's all I'd ask for really.

    or like... the ability to pick what drops.

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