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  1. #21
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    2.51 is the real patch, can't wait for it.

  2. #22
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    Do we know when 2.51 is coming out yet btw?

    Edit: Late February, Okay.

  3. #23
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    1 month to get all lucis / current content done (which that should be done by now or weekend) Then we'll all be living in the Gold Saucer :3

  4. #24
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    Dengeki interview. Some more new info dropped here. Gotta run, will edit when I get home... I see the formatting is a bit f'ed up in parts.

    -----
    Source: http://dengekionline.com/elem/000/000/991/991969/
    -----

    The latest update in the Square-Enix operated MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, patch 2.5 Before the Fall, was delivered today, January 20.

    The 2.X series started with "A Realm Reborn" in August of 2013. To lead up to the spring sale of 3.0, the culmination of the 2.X series was split up into three parts - patch 2.5 part 1 and part 2, and patch 2.51 which will be delivered in late February.

    Producer and director of A Realm Reborn, Naoki Yoshida, discussed the main attractions of the patch as well as upcoming additions.

    Patch 2.5 will lead up to a climax before the expansion pack, Heavensward.

    Patch 2.5 is finally the last chapter in the patch 2.X series. Please tell us about the theme and main attractions.
    Yoshida: The story of A Realm Reborn so far has had a complex definition of justice; those who are in power came to be so with different ideals of justice. Whether or not this justice is what they are searching for or not is what will mark the ending of the story for now.

    Since the story will lead up to Heavensward, not everything will be settled. Things may even end violently for some. Take note of the position each character in the scenario is placed at the end of the Reborn series. A lot of the foreshadowing from the past will come to fruition.

    The new dungeon visited during the main scenario is "Keeper of the Lake," but we never expected Midgardsormr to appear as a boss.
    Y: Although some of the development team was worried how we would implement Midgardsormr, ultimately I think we did a good job of integrating him with the storyline. From the time 1.0 launched, Midgardsormr was visible at the Keeper of the Lake at Lake Silvertear in Mor Dhona.

    When you go through the tower, it will be an important part of the journey to Ishgard. Please watch the cutscenes carefully when you first go through the dungeon. It will also mark a major turning point for the Warrior of Light.

    Will the Ascians also be involved with the story later on with Ishgard?
    Y: In patch 2.5 the rift between the Warriors of Light and the Ascians will grow even larger.

    Was a new Ascian shown in the patch trailer?
    Y: He was one of the many Ascians that were seen during the ending of 2.0. They have also been behind the scenes along the way when the beast tribes summoned the primals. Also, there is a set background behind each of the Ascians which will be revealed over some time.

    Was the huge dragon at the end of the trailer Nidhogg?
    Y: No, it was neither Midgardsormr nor Nidhogg. That scene will be in part 2 of patch 2.5, so there will be more to see when that content is released.

    It seems like it would relate to the Battle of Ishgard content that you mentioned.
    Y: It will be something to look forward to.

    Poetics equipment upgrade materials will be available in a Crystal Tower series weekly quest.

    One piece of patch 2.5 content a lot of players have been looking forward to is the World of Darkness. Please tell us a bit about that.
    Y: Since the Crystal Tower series' story will be completed in this update, it will come to a proper ending. There are those who might be expecting a certain degree of difficulty from the last boss, but to balance it so everyone can enjoy it, it will be similar to before.

    When we saw the final boss from FFIII, Cloud of Darkness, in the trailer, we were shocked at how big the Particle Beam was (laughs).
    Y: We compared the sprites from the NES version of FFIII so we produced the size to properly match the ratio between the player and the Cloud of Darkness. However, when we were doing some final checks and we saw all the people and the camera pulled back, we said "Yeah, let's make it bigger," so we eventually scaled it up to about 1.25x.

    For the dungeon BGM, I think the people who played back in the day have some expectations of the song that will play during the fight against the Cloud of Darkness.
    Y: Once we reproduced these aspects of FFIII with modern technology, we went through the atmosphere and treatment of each boss so please take a look at the wide variety that we incorporated, even down to the smaller battles. We think A Realm Reborn has attracted FF fans of different generations, so I hope you enjoy this old story.

    I think the primary reward here will be equipment, what's the item level number?
    Y: It will be 120.

    Will the equipment from World of Darkness be able to be enhanced?
    Y: No, you will not be able to continue to strengthen them. For people who already have the highest IL equipment, this is something you can glamour to what you already have, and I think people will also be able to utilize this to equip additional jobs.

    Will the poetics equipment upgrade items be found in a treasure chest after defeating the boss like in Syrcus Tower? You mentioned that they would be separate from the armor lotting restriction?
    Y: No. There will be a new weekly quest for completing Labyrinth of the Ancients, Syrcus Tower, and World of Darkness, and they will be added as rewards for that. There will also be a bit of story to go along with the quest to repeat them.

    Will we be able to get Encrypted Tomestone, Carboncoat, and Carbontwine all from the start?
    Y: Like with Syrcus Tower, we'll be increasing the availability with each patch. Since the item level of a weapon is most directly linked with increasing strength, we first plan on adding Carboncoat as a reward, and then add Encrypted Tomestone and Carbontwine later. Carboncoat and carbontwine will also be increasingly available through other content besides Crystal Tower, so we wanted to take the whole balance into account.

    You previously announced that crafters would be able to make new weapons using materials available in World of Darkness. Is this material obtained from a separate treasure chest from the equipment?
    Y: The material for fabricating Crystal Tower weapons isn't from World of Darkness, it'll be added to Labyrinth of the Ancients and Syrcus Tower. It will be a guaranteed drop from a specific boss in each. There will also be other ways to obtain this item. The item will also be available from the weekly quest, so please don't hesitate to lot on the equipment items you want to obtain from World of Darkness.

    By the way, will the role configuration be the same as it was in Syrcus Tower with one tank?
    Y: Yeah. To match the degree of difficulty, we've designed it to be similar to Syrcus Tower based on player feedback.


    Keeper of the Lake is about the same length as other dungeons.

    So once again you'll be added three new instanced dungeons with this patch. Will they be about as long as each other with the same degree of difficulty?
    Y: The challenge level will be about the same for each expert dungeon added. Seeker of the Lake is part of the main scenario with Midgardsormr as the main boss. However, that doesn't mean he will be the last boss of the 2.5 series.

    Will the length of the dungeon be similar to Praetorium from the 2.0 main scenario?
    Y: No, it should be about the same length as other normal dungeons.

    In Wanderer's Palace (Hard), it will mainly be a battle against the Mamool Ja. This is the first time they'll have appeared as enemies outside of field areas.
    Y: Because the Mamool Ja are a beast tribe that have come to Eorzea as mercenaries, we wanted to combine that with the presence of tonberries in the dungeon. The atmosphere of the dungeon should feel like an upgraded version of the normal Wanderer's Palace.

    Are there any new gimmicks where you'll be chased by something?
    Y: Since the challenge this time is to go through the dungeon and help the tonberries, the tonberries are being chased by the Mamool Ja.

    For FFXI players watching the patch trailer, I'm guessing a lot of people felt some nostalgia seeing those enemies.
    Y: Hopefully it will put a smile on the faces of people who played FFXI. A lot of our staff previously worked on FFXI themselves.

    Earlier you mentioned that the Mamool Ja are another beast tribe, so is it possible that in the future they may be worshipping a primal?
    Y: It's possible, but we haven't really thought about that yet. If there is a chance for the Warriors of Light to travel to their homeland, it might be something we look into at that time.

    What about Amdapor Keep (Hard)?
    Y: For those who were playing a lot immediately after A Realm Reborn was introduced, I think you'll have a lot of memories of this dungeon. Because of that, we tried to change things up with the tempo and the mechanics in the dungeon. Personally, this one is my favorite of the new dungeons.

    So the three new dungeons will make up the expert roulette and the existing expert ones will be transferred to the high level roulette.
    Y: Yes, that's the plan. However, since we are starting to have too many dungeons in the high level roulette, we're considering how to reorganize them for the release of 3.0.

    Looking back to Sastasha (Hard), out of the expert dungeons from last time, there was an impression among some less experienced players that this one took the longest to clear because of the Kraken boss. With this dungeon being moved to the high level roulette, do you have any concerns with the large level disparity in the different dungeons?
    Y: The expert dungeons from patch 2.4 were all designed to be cleared in about the same time if the mechanics are understood. In other words, four people who are used to the dungeons should be able to clear them all quickly. The design is also set so even people who aren't familiar with the design should be able to pull through the fights without much trouble. However, in that case, the clear might take longer. Actually, if you compare them to the expert dungeons up through patch 2.3, the difference isn't very significant.

    If you take your time, there should definitely be less wipes. By the way, speaking of Sastasha (Hard), we've seen some cases where Captain Madison doesn't stop shooting his target.
    Y: In that battle, when the captain started shooting, a lot of people didn't really think about how to stop it so they thought it was a difficult fight. In fact, that was even a concern we had during playtesting. Because we were struggling with the adjustments, we added some hints to the dialogue lines that the captain speaks during the battle.


    What lies ahead with the Agent of Enquiry quests?

    There are many fans of the Agent of Enquiry quests, but you've announced that this patch will bring the end of that series. We saw a few scenes in the patch trailer, but I have no idea what's going to happen (laughs).
    Y: Yeah, we didn't really show much of the story in that video (laughs). Stay tuned to find out how Enkidu is involved.

    Will Enkidu be present in the Gilgamesh primal battle?
    Y: Although he will now have eight weapons instead of one, it will still be just Gilgamesh.


    The Odin primal battle will be on par with the hard Ultima Weapon battle

    One of the highlights from the Fan Festivals was the Odin primal battle, but now it's going to be a quest in the main scenario? What about its degree of difficulty?
    Y: Odin will be added separately from the main scenario. As far as the difficulty goes, it will be about the same as it was to fight the hard Ultima Weapon at the time of patch 2.1. People were able to fight him at the Fan Festival, but we adjusted it at that time so that about 50% of people trying would win on their first attempt, so naturally we've made it more difficult. It will be a bit easier than the extreme Shiva battle.

    When it's added, will it support duty finder from the start?
    Y: Yes.

    Since the difficulty is set low, was the item level of the equipment available also set conservatively?
    Y: It's not really about the item level. The equipment isn't really practical to use, but it will be enjoyable for glamours. Since we divided the original Odin armor into separate pieces, you'll be able to glamour them separately. The items will be different from the ones you can get from the Odin that you battle in the field. We've prepared new equipment even for jobs that can't equip armor.

    Are you planning to add an extreme trials roulette?
    Y: No, it's not so simple. We do want to implement an extreme primal roulette soon, but some people might be afraid of something like Ramuh extreme where the mechanics are pretty complex.

    Will Odin's story be told along with the battle?
    Y: A little of his story will be told and it will continue later with the "war gods" [[toshin]] in Heavensward, so this will just be a part of it.

    Although we heard there would be another battle, what's the ??? battle that you talked about in the list of content for Part 1?
    Y: This is a significant element of the main scenario, so please wait for the patch to go public. Please look forward to it because it will be a major climax for Part 1.


    Gold Saucer will be implemented in patch 2.51.

    For Manderville Gold Saucer being implemented in patch 2.51, will there be any special entry conditions?
    Y: From a developer's standpoint, we wanted this to be something everyone could enjoy, so it's just one simple quest to clear. The quest is basically "go there," so everyone should be able to enjoy it immediately.

    For the chocobo racing to be added, will it be the current chocobo companion or a new chocobo?
    Y: It will be separate.

    So people who have raised their chocobo companion won't have an advantage?
    Y: If we were to incorporate the chocobo companions we would need to decide how their rank would play a role. Because of the inheritance mechanism with the generations for racing chocobos and stronger chocobo offspring from higher rank parents, we would have to figure out how to overcome that hurdle as well. It's easier to think about them as different things; the chocobo companions are battle content and the competitor chocobos are sophisticated birds that have to be developed differently.

    Can anyone participate in races?
    Y: Yes. Developing race chocobos will happen when the chocobos earn experience at the end of each race. When the rank goes up, the chocobo's parameters increase. Other parameters can also be increased through training. After developing a chocobo to suit your style gradually, then breeding the chocobo after retiring it when it has fully ranked up, you can transfer some of those attributes to the offspring. The way the skills and capabilities change is meant to be enjoyed over many generations.

    Can you change the chocobo's feather colors?
    Y: They will start as the usual feather color, and they will change by breeding. We hope to let players get whatever colors they want, but there will be a genetic element to it.

    Will it be possible to breed a chocobo with a friend's chocobo?
    Y: When patch 2.51 is released, you'll be able to either breed a male and female chocobo that you have developed yourself, or breed your own chocobo with a high-status standard chocobo by using Gold Saucer points. We have future plans to allow breeding with friends' chocobos, but initially players will just be able to do this individually.

    Does this have any relationship with free companies?
    Y: No, it's unrelated. You can enjoy this even if you aren't a free company member.


    Other Patch 2.5 highlights that weren't in the trailer

    I'd like to ask about some elements of the patch that weren't shown in the trailer. First, about Allagan Tomestones, you announced that the supply of Soldiery tomestones would grow. Can you give us a feel for the changes?
    Y: Yes. On the whole, there will be about 1.5x as many tomestones put out. If you think about what we did with Mythology in the past, we're taking the same approach now. We've also added a fairly large bonus of tomestones to Frontline roulette, so that should be another good candidate for earning them.

    Tell us about the new Frontline mode.
    Y: In this patch, we're adding a new Frontline mode that gets rid of the base capture concept to focus completely on defeating other players to earn points. There will be monsters that appear at certain times that provide certain buffs and benefits, and other new mechanisms that will appear such as the ability to get a consecutive kill bonus. The limit break system is also replaced by the "adrenaline" system where individuals can accumulate and utilize their own personal limit breaks.

    Will you be increasing the maximum PvP rank?
    Y: No, this will be increased with Heavensward. However, we've added a new achievement with an associated special reward.

    By the way, for players who have now experienced how fun PvP is in Frontline, you previously mentioned that you would carry out some adjustments with Wolves' Den to give them more confidence to participate and avoid one-sided matches. Do you have any adjustments planned?
    Y: Right now, we're planning some new Frontline modes and maps for patch 3.0. Once we're able to further expand the popularity of PvP, we'll then plan for some Wolves' Den adjustments. Since the way battles go is quite different between Frontline and Wolves' Den, we also need a mechanism so that new and veteran Wolves' Den players aren't matched against each other. For example, if we made a separate ranking, it would make it simpler for people to enter afterwards. We would plan something like a seasonal rank that would reset so that it doesn't stay the same forever. It'll take some time, so right now we're focused on spreading the fun of PvP with Frontline.

    Tell us about the Aetherial Wheel.
    Y: You can think of it as a way to obtain enhanced versions of company actions. You will pick a wheel and a wheel stand to energize a crystal which will get a buff which can then be given to the Free Company.

    Will players need to take some action to activate it?
    Y: You charge the energy at the stand, and once the wheel has completely filled with energy, it will be activated if you reinstall it on the stand as a charged wheel. It's possible to prepare several charged wheel and then activate them later on.


    Poetics upgrade items will be added to The Hunt, with Encrypted Tomestones to come later.

    Is anything new planned for The Hunt?
    Y: Since we are adding poetics equipment upgrade items as rewards, I expect a bunch of people returning to it. Similarly with World of Darkness, the items which you can obtain will be added with each patch.

    Will the number of logs needed be the same as before?
    Y: No, you'll need more to get poetics upgrade items than you did for soldiery upgrade items.

    Also, have you reduced the amount of Allied Seals required to obtain other items, such as Soldiery equipment upgrade materials or alexandrite?
    Y: No, we calculated an amount of time to obtain the points required relative to the strength of the items, so we haven't changed it at this time. However, the Alexandrite drop rate has been increased for FATEs, so I think it shouldn't be too hard to obtain these. Additionally, we've also relaxed the difficulty of obtaining a Nexus weapon by multiplying the strength of the light received when clearing content.

    We're glad you're making it easier to obtain Zodiac Weapons. By the way, when you clear the part of the Saga of the Zodiac Weapons added in patch 2.51, will the item level be 135?
    Y: As per usual, I can't answer questions about the item level just yet as that would change the motivation for obtaining certain items. Sorry about that.

    Will we be able to continue to enhance the Zodiac weapons after the release of Heavensward?
    Y: When Heavensward is first released and the level cap is raised, there will also be a large jump in item level. Character development will be the theme for the initial release of the expansion, 3.0. The growth of weapons and equipment will resume in 3.1, so if we do add new content to continue weapon growth, it will be in patch 3.1.

    If you focus on some new growth in Patch 3.1, will all of the hard work done on Zodiac Weapons be wasted?
    Y: It won't be a complete waste, it will of course be taken into account. We are actively working on this to make sure it happens.

    Speaking of Zodiac Weapons, as you complete weapon, the appearance changes - is the old one gone forever?
    Y: We're considering ways to bring them back via glamours. For example, once you complete the last Zodiac weapon, we could set it up so Gerolt can make a model reproduction of the older designs to be used with mirage prisms.

    I'm sure the job balance will be greatly adjusted when Heavensward is released, but do you have any jobs that you plan to adjust during the patch 2.5 series?
    Y: In particular, I think we need to consider Summoner, but we're still working on the adjustments. Originally, we were planning to add new actions to Summoner with Heavensward to adjust MP consumption. However, since 3.0 is still a ways off, we're thinking about other careful adjustments. As we release each piece of content we see which jobs are too strong or not strong enough. We're also focusing on carefully adjusting things for 3.0, so we'd like to make adjustments as soon as possible, but please wait for a bit longer.


    What lies ahead for FFXIV in 2015?

    A bit off-topic from the game itself, there was a hot topic recently on Nico live about whether or not you would continue to serve as both producer and director of the game. What are your thoughts on that?
    Y: First off, producer and director really are quite different roles, so it's an insane amount of work to be able to fulfill both of those roles. I think it isn't usually the case, so it's reasonable to think that we might separate the responsibilities. It would be nice to have a bit of my life back as well (laughs).

    For the development team and the players who are worried about the amount of work I have, I would also like to have the roles separated if we can do so. We are currently looking for someone who can fulfill the responsibility.

    Whether you are the director or the producer, you have to completely understand the game, and it's your job to directly interact with the players. You also need to be able to continue to interact positively with your customers, even if it's painful to do so, as ultimately it's your job to keep your customers having fun.

    Personally, I would like to leave the producing to someone else, because I prefer to be involved in the details of the game development and I think there are many other people in the industry who are better focused on the business end of online gaming. However, if I have no choice, I'll continue as producer as well. Either way it's difficult for me to be the only person in charge (laughs).

    It must be a lot of pressure (laughs). Lastly, tell us about your outlook and hopes for 2015.
    Y: Although it's just the beginning of the year, we're already looking at the release of patch 2.5 in three large parts. There's also Heavensward to look forward to in the spring, which will have about as much content as an entirely new RPG. The release of Heavensward should take us into the summer, at which point we'll continue on with the 3.X series. Last year, we were saying that 2014 was the year of FFXIV, and we'd like to say the same for 2015.

    By the way, how long will it be until you aren't saying "spring" anymore?
    Y: Everyone has been saying things like "Square Enix keeps saying spring! They said spring again! That's all they keep saying!" (laughs). Because we want to deliver a solid release date, please hang on a bit longer for that.

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