Quick interview that Famitsu did via email with Yoshida after the Frankfurt fan festival to get a bit more information.
Red Mage to use INT as its main stat, equipment to be caster-type! E-mail interview with Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida
On February 18th and 19th, Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2017 in Frankfurt was held in Frankfurt, Germany. After the first day had come to a close, a joint Q&A session with media gathered from around the world was held, but it was tough to get a chance to sit down and have an interview with Yoshida. Because of that, after I had returned, I sent a note over to Yoshida requesting an email interview. Yoshida politely accepted, and we asked 10 questions in total. We could easily have focused just on battle-related questions, but we tried to be as broad as possible and also asked about world setting and system-related concerns, taking all players into consideration.
Before Heavensward was released, you had mentioned in an interview that it doesn't seem right to view the strength of the Garlean empire in the same league as that of the ancient Allagan empire. For the Warrior of Light, who has now defeated many Allagan defense mechanisms, Garlemald may seem a little lacking. Might there be some mightier enemies at Garlean disposal that still remain hidden?
Yoshida: I don't want to get into that background now. However, by magic skill alone, the Garlean empire surely has a more superior military force than any nation in Hydaelyn. Additionally, they have also have rich and developed arts and literature. Undoubtedly, even with the Warrior of Light, there aren't many nations that could compete alone with the Garlean Empire if they were seriously committed to an invasion. However, the fall of Doma and Ala Mhigo were not only due to the overwhelming difference in their armed forces. This is something that will be explored more in the story of Stormblood.
The continent of Othard seems to be united with a theme of "harmony." Although it conveys Japanese culture to people overseas, when you consider those players, what ideas did you put the most focus on?
Yoshida: I didn't really consider much how overseas players would look at it. Kugane is rather large, and it wouldn't really feel like much of a fantasy if we were just focused on historical Japan. If we wanted to reproduce Edo, for example, we'd be better off making a separate game that focused on that. The idea of "harmony" was based on reality, and with that, I kept in mind that with the various countries of Hydaelyn there will be cultural exchanges with Kugane which will result in a mixed world view. For Othard as a whole, I feel that it's more of an Asian region than exclusively Japanese. In any case, keep in mind that Hydaelyn is a fantasy world, not a reproduction of reality.
With the text on the updated world map, there seemed to be several city-states besides Kugane and Doma. Is there a small-scale player-focused town among those like Revenant's Toll and Idyllshire?
Yoshida: Of course, we've created a number of smaller encampments, but it will feel a bit different than before. After you clear 4.0, these will continue to be involved in the 4.X series, so please aim to clear the main story first!
Also on the world map, we saw Old Sharlayan was added. I'm interested in the history of the Sharlayan home country, including how the Isle of Val disappeared. Is this something that will be touched on in Stormblood?
Yoshida: The Isle of Val, which is said to have disappeared, will be somewhat of a focus in the 4.X series. Although we had planned to include Sharlayan as a starter town in the original FFXIV, it was a bit hard to get there.... I think Sharlayan may become a focus pretty soon.
With the Eastern region being added, will there be equipment like kimonos implemented that can be worn by jobs other than samurai?
Yoshida: We'll be releasing equipment that isn't bound to specific classes like glamour equipment. Additionally, the items from the new raid and instanced dungeons will be consistent with the design. As we get closer to the release of 4.0, I think there will be more opportunities to show screenshots of some of the new equipment.
With the addition of Shirogane as another housing area, will it also include apartments? If so, will it be possible to move apartments?
Yoshida: The apartments were already actually shown in the movie we released during the keynote lecture. The huge building in the center of Shirogane is the apartment building. As far as moving is concerned, we're focused on getting that settled for player and FC housing, so unfortunately apartment moves will be a bit further down the road.
Will entry into the new Omega raid be delayed for a certain period of time after Stormblood's release like what was done with Alexander?
Yoshida: Yeah, that's what we'll do. The new weekly restricted Allagan Tomestones and certain new 4.0 crafter-produced items will also be released a few weeks after the release of Stormblood. In the interim, please focus on enjoying the new storyline and leveling your jobs without worrying about rushing.
You're adding two different DPS as the new jobs, and there has been some concern that this will impact matchmaking speed for leveling up since there are no new tanks or healers. What are your thoughts on that?
Yoshida: As I mentioned at the keynote, based on data from the release of Heavensward, most players first focus on leveling their main job. There are many people that are focused on getting into raids and earning the new Allagan tomestones, so they concentrate on leveling up their main jobs first, and then look at playing the new jobs as additional jobs. For those who start off right away with the new jobs, I think they will have already been playing DPS roles in the past. Aside from all that, FATEs will have their experience values adjusted, and Deep Dungeon has role-free matchmaking, so I think people have several other options for leveling up besides relying on instanced dungeons. Deep Dungeon in particular is currently the most efficient content for leveling up, so I think that will end up being the most crowded.
During the keynote, you mentioned that samurai would share equipment with monk (Striking?) - can you tell me which job will be used for red mage's equipment?
Yoshida: I guess there's no reason to hold this back anymore so I'll answer - red mage will use INT gear, the same as casters. For players interested to play red mage, I think you'll be able to start off smoothly by collecting caster equipment now.
Regarding the samurai "sen" forces, with the Setsu, Getsu, and Ka states, is this similar to monk's different "Fists" stances? Or is it something more like ninja's ninjutsu?
Yoshida: No, "sen" is a unique system different from the others. It's somewhat closer to the monk type, but totally different from ninjutsu.
So that's our e-mail interview. There are still many things I'd like to hear after the information that was released in Las Vegas, Tokyo, and Frankfurt. Honestly, I was prepared for a bunch of "no comment" replies on the new jobs, and was surprised that some new information was revealed. Famitsu will continue with various coverage on Stormblood as we get closer to release.