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    Yoshida on Stormblood - Jobs, Roles, and PvP - Famitsu Interview Translation

    Initial translation of the Famitsu interview (let me know if anything looks off, and I'll be taking a second look myself to make minor edits/adjustments). I'll look at some others to see if there's anything else worth translating. Not a whole lot of explicitly new info here, but some insights into why some of the changes were made and the mindset behind their approach.

    Source: https://www.famitsu.com/news/201705/31134240.html

    -----

    Other Stormblood Info:
    Game Watch Interview: https://www.bluegartr.com/threads/13...ew-Translation
    JP Tooltip Translations and Famitsu Job Highlights: https://www.bluegartr.com/threads/13...su-Dengeki-etc.)

    -----

    In San Francisco in the USA and Hamburg, Germany, preview events for the next FFXIV expansion pack, Stormblood, were held. Among them, Famitsu's FFXIV coverage team took part in the event in Germany and had the change to interview producer and director Naoki YOshida at site. Because our time was limited, we focused mostly on job- and role-related questions at this time. You'll get a good feeling for the major changes to the battle system that will be coming with the release of Stormblood.


    All tank jobs can be used as main or off-tank

    We got the impression that for tanks, main and off-tanking can be done with all three of the jobs. Specifically, there seem to be a lot of actions that are made more effective by switching stances during battle. Was this intentional?

    Yoshida: To me, tanks have the job of keeping control of the targets. However, we receive lots of opinions from players saying "I want to do more DPS!" so we are conscious of that. In order to be able to actually make adjustments side-by-side for all tanks rather than just say we're trying to do it, we intentionally chose to not implement a new tank in Stormblood. However, that doesn't mean we are encouraging constantly switching stances because the job gauges are halved when you switch. Since staying in the defensive stances doesn't make use of the gauge, it may be seen as less engaging, so it's set up to motivate you to make use of each stance.

    I see.

    Yoshida: When we developed Heavensward, we put a lot of time into dark knight, but without a new tank being introduced this time we were able to focus on balancing the existing tanks. Warrior has long stood as both an excellent off-tank and had very high solo performance. That's the reason so many people like it, so with that in mind, we made adjustments to dark knight and paladin. In the end, we're doing as much as we can to allow for you to choose the job you like the best.

    Up until now, there was a strong feeling that you must have a warrior as your off-tank. Because of that, I get the impression that you focused on adjustments regarding paladin's performance as an off-tank. Is this a good evaluation of what you've tried to achieve with paladin?

    Yoshida: That's right. We discussed until the very end whether the new paladin AoE ability should have the effect of increasing enmity. For example, when you're playing through instanced dungeons it might seem useful to have the enmity up effect, but when a bunch of reinforcements appear in high end content, it would then be hard to use that new ability when you're off-tanking on paladin because of the enmity effect.

    Yeah, that would be true.

    Yoshida: With that line of thinking, we decided it would be better to not add enmity. Instead, we left Flash to be exclusive to Paladin. When you're trying to gain hate on two or more enemies, use Flash, and then the AoE attack once enmity is stable. On the other hand, when you're using Paladin as an off-tank, you can be more comfortable using the AoE skill in battle. We really did get deep into this type of adjustment.I think you might not notice some of these finer adjustments until you participate in various level 70 content, but hopefully you think about them at that point.


    Feel free to participate in instanced dungeons as a healer

    The changes to healers seem to be more of an evolution. The changes seem to be smaller (in a good way), and I think they are getting a lot of beneficial adjustments in the form of getting rid of accuracy, changing the specification of Cleric Stance, and replacing offensive spells with higher tier ones. Was this the intent for these adjustments?

    Yoshida: I recognized that folks who used healers in raids were already used to the risk involved with stance switching using Cleric Stance between DPSing and healing. I expected to perhaps see some feedback from those folks, but I'll address that later.

    I understand.

    Yoshida: By now, I think a feeling has developed that healers have to participate in DPSing in instanced dungeons. Even if it's just a silent pressure, it is there. Because of that feeling, there were some players who may have felt anxious about joining as a healer. For someone like me who isn't focused about clear time, I'm fine as long as we can clear it. And I'll try to take things more slowly if I see someone who might be new. However, it's been getting more and more difficult for healers, which I'm sorry about. On my personal account, I play all the roles, and I like to have the feeling that I can play through instanced dungeons on my favorite role.

    Since things are more serious in raiding, on the other hand, you'll definitely want to DPS for the first clear. As item levels go up and you're after repeat clears, the roles may shift. (laughs)

    I see.

    Yoshida: That said, sometimes when I'm participating in instanced dungeons, I'll queue as tank or healer because the matchmaking is so fast, but in the case of healer, although attacking itself isn't hard, I feel that the stance switching narrows the field of players who are interested in healing. When looking at the data, even though many players have healers at the appropriate job level, they won't be participating as healer. When considering the reasons for this, it seems that there are two main ones - it's too much work, and being asked to DPS.

    There are many who feel that way.

    Yoshida: So we decided to calculate healers' attack magic potency based on MND. Since you no longer need Cleric Stance, you can Holy whenever you feel like it. After stunning the enemies with Swiftcast Holy, you can then catch up with heals. With this increased level of comfort, the number of people participating in instanced dungeons as healer will definitely go up.

    It certainly looks like that.

    Yoshida: We consider the leveling activities like instanced dungeons and end-game content like raids separately. We'd like people to be able to use healers in a more casual sense in instanced dungeons. With that in mind, we made a point of simplifying the role. On the other hand, you're really asked to push the role in end-game content. And in reality, it's likely that you'll need to look at elements besides just healing in those situations depending on your job composition and the skill level of the members. I understand very well that there are players who enjoy and have been doing well with the stance switching to attack and immediately back to healing. However, rather than changing stances back and forth, now you can use that spare moment for other role actions you might have set. I'm not saying you'll be doing a lot more things than before with the new role actions, but that will definitely be an area where players can improve.

    Using Rescue to draw an ally to your location fits that description, doesn't it?

    Yoshida: In the caster role actions, one is included that allows you to transfer your MP to other party members. If your party's healer isn't good with MP management, you can give them MP from a black mage, who has an unlimited pool of MP, during phases of a battle where you can't attack. Because of that, you have some leeway with MP, and you might decide to change your role actions up on healer so you remove one with an MP recovery effect and change it to something else for the situation. Also, if you have a margin with MP you can use it for further DPS. We've also made adjustments to the MP consumption for each action to because all this talk about making it easier to DPS doesn't mean anything if you don't have the MP necessary.

    So you should feel comfortable throwing out one attack here and there.

    Yoshida: Yeah. You'll save a lot of time and effort without turning Cleric Stance on and off. With the addition of role actions, you'll have a number of other actions you can take instead of the stance switch, so that will be one place to demonstrate your skills.

    I see.

    Yoshida: It's likely to be misunderstood, but making things simple and clear is not the same as making them easier. Because things will be simpler and more easily understood, differences in skills and setups will start to appear, so a healer looking to get more active in things besides just recovering HP will really shine in those areas.

    While playing, I felt like it would be important not just for healers, but also for other roles to swap role actions depending on the content. Because of that, I felt that it might be useful to have a preset function to save role actions so that you can swap more easily - do you have any plans to implement that?

    Yoshida: We'll wait and see on that. I really don't know how long it would take without getting into it. With the new raid strategies, etc., that pop up, I'll wait to see the feedback.


    Melee DPS balance adjustments based on Dragoon

    Next, I'd like to ask about melee DPS. You've said it on numerous occasions, but it was obvious at a glance that there was a decreased emphasis on controlling the duration. For dragoon in particular, you could maintain Blood of the Dragon by simply hitting the highlighted icon and connecting the combo.

    Yoshida: The idea is that maintaining Blood of the Dragon isn't something you'll have to be forcing consciously since it will be incorporated into the attack rotation.

    Because of that, I was consciously looking for other elements that were simplified. However, when looking at the new samurai job, I got the impression that there are a lot of things that you need to manage to play it to its fullest - is that the intent?

    Yoshida: Yeah. It's meant to be an extremely strong job. I mentioned it on the producer letter live, it's a difficult job, but it has great potential.

    Although the mechanisms are easily understood on the surface, when you start thinking about how to use them most efficiently, it is really deep.

    Yoshida: Where do you consume Keniki to use Hissatsu, and what kind of Hissatsu do you use... I think there will be differing takes on things like that.

    It also had a good set of AoE attacks. It should fit right in to instanced dungeon play. Was that also a goal with the samurai job design?

    Yoshida: We've added a number of jobs now, and especially with players going to instanced dungeons as part of their daily routine, it's definitely something we think about when we add a new job.

    Certainly that makes sense.

    Yoshida: The first reason is that since it's a new job that a lot of players will want to use in instanced dungeons, it would be better to have more AoE attacks. However, more importantly, the samurai is designed in such a way that they will always need to be conscious of Keniki and Sen. We were conscious to make it so that players aren't just repeatedly hitting a powerful AoE attack, but going through more of an AoE attack rotation. In order to properly use the AoE attack rotation, you'll have to think about the resources you accumulate using AoE attacks alone, and consider what kinds of attacks to use so that you're not wasting resources.

    We'll talk more later, but there certain areas where we've looked back at the new jobs we implemented in Heavensward and made decisions to make the new jobs somewhat stronger this time because it took a while for the new jobs to truly shine with Heavensward. It might be necessary to remind people that samurai need to remain conscious of their rotation as opposed to focusing just on strong hits in instanced dungeons. It will be tough to keep that standing in end-game content, but it's intended to be a highly challenging job.

    It should be fun to think about what the most efficient attacks will be for each content.

    Yoshida: I think it's good to have jobs included for pro players. It's a type of melee job that gets better and more capable the more you play it and get used to it - it's packed with potential. The only simple part of it is moving around (laughs).

    It definitely felt like there was room for players to develop their skills on samurai. On the other hand, the impression we got on monk is that the skill rotation won't change much, but I was surprised to find out that the effect of Shoulder Tackle changes depending on the stance. What was your goal with these changes?

    Yoshida: With respect to adjustments for existing melee DPS, we used dragoon as the standard. Based on that, we decided how to make adjustments for party synergy and difficulty of operating the job. It would be better for the action rotation to remain fairly simple as you get towards the top end of existing jobs. However, when extending DPS, situational awareness should become more important than technical skill of operating the job. Monk has become one of the jobs that more closely matches that direction.

    I see.

    Yoshida: It may be a bit difficult to understand without actually using it in game content. I'll tell you a bit because I want to hint at the rotation. This time with monk, we wanted to focus more on the Fists element, and the element type is reflected in Shoulder Tackle. It was important that you could see the impact of each type when you fight by switching between the three types. Originally with monks it was enough to get used to the fixed rotation, but when you enter a new battle with the associated uncertainty, you need to make quick decisions about things like whether to use Chakra or whether to keep going with the DPS rotation. Your DPS will grow if you excel at that, so I think monk should be rather interesting.

    It did look good during our time with it.

    Yoshida: It feels good to use. Where DPS used to fall apart at breaks between phases, it's now designed to be able to sustain if you play it well, so, as usual, it's a job that can excel based on the skill of the player. There are also synergies that you'll need to think about how to use to their fullest potential.

    So even though the first impression is that the action rotation hasn't changed, it may feel entirely different when you actually take it into content.

    Yoshida: The intention of the overall adjustments for DPS was that you'll be able to put out a decent amount of DPS, and all jobs will be raised, without much change what you've done before. However, the differences in player skill should become more apparent because with the simplified and clarified elements, there will be more room for players to come up with ways to further improve.


    Ranged DPS jobs will feel almost new

    So next I'll ask about ranged DPS, but in a nutshell, it feels like they've been completely screwed with (laughs).

    Yoshida: Sorry, they're almost new jobs (laughs).

    On machinist, you've added the "heat" mechanic. What was the idea behind that?

    Yoshida: Similar to bard casting, previously there was a risk associated with casting which we've now reversed. Since we've made machinist a bit easier to handle, it's fun to be able to move around and fight with style. Machinist was at a point where all of the machinist actions, along with the enemy's actions, the turret, and additional actions like Hawkeye and other abilities that affect DPS with different recast timers made it difficult to know what to do and when to do it. It's worth noting especially for machinist that the removal of additional actions will make a significant difference.

    Another issue was that there was a long period of downtime which could be a bit boring to get through in battle after unloading everything with Wildfire, so to go along with reducing the number of things to manage and making the job easier to understand, we added the heat gauge to add another thing to consider besides just Wildfire.

    So that was the intent.

    Yoshida: I think the challenge of the job has changed. With the removal of the casting time to raise damage, we added the heat gauge. It will be fundamental to the job to maintain a high heat gauge without overheating. The feeling should be like a temptation to overheat to achieve burst damage, but with an associated disadvantage of doing so. You can use Flamethrower as an AoE attack, but it will be more important to use it to manage the heat gauge.

    The effect of bard's songs have also been changed a lot.

    Yoshida: Yeah. The action to support the party to recover MP and TP of party members can now be set as a role action, so we've eliminated the need to have that same effect for both jobs. With that, we were able to give a bit more flexibility to each. Without providing the effects of MP or TP recover to both bards and machinist, the rate of utilization of one or the other might be biased, so that was one constraint we had to work with for ranged DPS.

    That would be the case.

    Yoshida: By making those common, we were able to add some specialized elements for each job to take their place. Additionally, by eliminating the cast times and the way these elements are intertwined, machinist became a totally different job. To be honest, we didn't really have a choice but to make the adjustment. For bard, it might have been easier to envision because there was originally no casting, but that wasn't the case for machinist, so I'm sorry to have made the sudden change.

    It's hard to envision the change, so it may be a bit confusing.

    Yoshida: If I had to say something about it and just said it's different than you might imagine, it might cause you to think about all sorts of things changing compared to the current level 60 job. So I think it will be better to actually try out machinist. You can say the same for other jobs as well, but you can't really compare the current level 60 job to the way it was when Heavensward was implemented.

    Indeed, that's true.

    Yoshida: If you're to compare, you should look at the current level 60 vs. the new level 70. Anyway, there will be a lot of new things to figure out when Stormblood launches. With Heavensward, the patch 2.55 rotations changed due to the new actions that were implemented and it eventually become a job that differed by level 60. However, Stormblood includes many changes even at level 60 that will continue up to level 70, so I think the experience will be quite different.


    Casters have been changed so each stands out.

    Then we have casters. It felt like both black mages and summoners have had their firepower increased. It's also been made much easier to maintain Enochian on black mage, and summoner just has to manage one DoT. On the other hand, it took quite some time with red mage to understand the mechanisms in place. However, once we grasped the system, it was less confusing.

    Yoshida: That may be because you dove right in at level 70 during the test. It might be a bit difficult to understand right away without starting at level 50. The test versions you played were done just for the media tour, but since you're looking for optimal solutions right off the bat, it might seem a bit confusing (laughs).

    It may have been a bit too much (laughs).

    Yoshida: It's a job that places value on movement that other jobs haven't had previously, and looking at some of the reactions from the media overseas, many are saying red mage offers a new game experience with some cool movement integration.

    With this, there are now three caster jobs, but each one is unique.

    Yoshida: Yeah. The black mage is more of a fixed turret, while summoner attacks come from multiple sources while spreading DoTs and summoning Bahamut for big damage. Red mage works to manage their black and white mana and jumps in to perform a combo, then jumps back out. I think each of them is interesting with a different flair.

    I was surprised to see that red mages had the ability to cure normally (with a good amount of recovery). They even had a raise. Summoners can also continue to use Resurrect.

    Yoshida: While discussing with the staff how to handle red mage's ability to cure and raise, the idea of white and black mana came up as a way to match the FFXIV setting. As a result, and to make red mage still feel like it comes from the FF series, we wanted to retain the essence of the job utilizing white and black magic with increased support capacity.

    Although Physick has a greatly reduced effect on summoner, the red mage's Vercure is intended to be used normally, right?

    Yoshida: Yes, and red mage has Dualcast so they will be able to recover very quickly.

    In the test version, it healed about 5,500 at IL290. With Dualcast we were able to recover more than 10,000 HP really quickly.

    Yoshida: If a healer is unable to help, red mage does have significant recovery capability.

    For example, it might be used instead of a healer in something like a primal battle?

    Yoshida: I wonder if that could be done. They have no AoE heal. At one point, I did test healing with a white mage and astrologian and DPS with a summoner/red mage combo. No matter how much the healers stayed out of the fight, the recovery kept coming. But then we weren't able to attack at all, so it took quite a while to get through the content (laughs).

    So you never died, but the battle never ended (laughs).

    Yoshida: I think there are many different ways a red mage can be active in battle, but it definitely is capable of helping with recovery.

    Speaking of which, can you give us any firsthand pointers on mastering black mage?

    Yoshida: For black mage, the use of Triplecast and Foul (a powerful AoE spell that you can use by maintaining Enochian for 30 seconds), will be crucial. Maintenance will be easy since Enochian will be refreshed by either Astral Fire or Umbral Ice. So we've reduced that feeling where your DPS drops significantly when you can't use Fire IV. This has changed the concept of battle in a number of ways, but the most obvious change is that it will bring up the bottom performers and reduce the disparity. However, depending on how you use Triplecast and Foul, there's considerable room for improvement at the upper end, so there are definitely ways to continue to improve in a raid situation.

    The effect durations of Astral Fire and Umbral Ice are 13 seconds, and Transpose has a recast of 12 seconds. In other words, you'll be able to maintain Enochian even as you're moving through an instanced dungeon.

    Yoshida: Yeah, there's a one second difference. In the past, you wouldn't get to move without Astral Fire or Umbral Ice ending, so it might be a bit confusing at first. It will be common to be in the Enochian state, so it will noticeably impact DPS if you carelessly let it end; however, Enochian's recast is 30 seconds, so restoring DPS will be much easier. In that situation, it might be good to get your DPS back up quickly with Triplecast. Including Swiftcast as well you can do four consecutive casts.


    You can participate in PvP even during the free trial

    There are many other things I'd like to cover, but let's move on to the next topic. PvP. I think you had previously mentioned that you'd like to have a free trial for PvP, so is that happening?

    Yoshida: We went through the current situation thoroughly and came to the renovation plans that you've now seen. I actually wanted everyone to be able to participate in PvP from level 1, but with classes still in the game currently we would then need to include classes in PvP which would make it more difficult to balance, so we intentionally avoided that.

    I see.

    Yoshida: We actually thought to automatically switch a class with a job when someone enters PvP even if they don't have the job stone, but as we got further down that path, since the content doesn't even start until you can get to Wolves' Den, players will really need to be accustomed with basic operations of FFXIV anyway by that point, and by leveling up through the main story you'll probably be close to level 30 by the time you get to Wolves' Den. At level 30, players on a free trial would also be able to participate in PvP content, so we decided to reduce it to that level. This led to the idea that we didn't need to create a separate free PvP trial.

    So that's how that came about.

    Yoshida: Previously you had to worry about which equipment was best to use in PvP - now you should be able to enjoy it more without having to worry about optimizing your stats. As far as retaining individual differences, you'll still need to think about selection for your main and passive actions, so there will still be an element of customization.

    Can you say more about that?

    Yoshida: Rather than switching equipment to improve stats, you now have to look at passive action selection to get a similar improvement, so you can still make personal adjustments. The people who have seriously been involved in PvP before may be thinking the customization is going down and that there are too few actions to make use of player technique. However, since the actions are entirely different from PvE, there will be considerable room for players to dig into the system, research, and innovate. For example, Piercing Talon on dragoon deals more damage at lower enemy HP, so it will be more of a finishing blow. Although many of the actions will have the same appearance, the effects will be different, so it will be fun to discover. It will also be necessary to work as a team with other players, so it should be a lot of fun. I've been playing with the development team and it's been hard to stop (laughs). In the end, I had to say "hey, aren't you guys still working on raid adjustments??"

    So the developers are enjoying it as well (laugsh).

    Yoshida: You'll be able to enjoy all of the PvP elements besides ranked matches during the free trial, so please check it out.

    Are you planning on adding new rules to PvP content?

    Yoshida: I was planning on including a new large-scale PvP with the implementation of Stormblood, but we couldn't get it out in time. It's not Frontline, but it's not a totally new category either. It will be a content where there are two forces fighting each other with some new mechanisms involved, so there will be a lot to it.

    I'm getting excited just hearing about it (laughs).

    Yoshida: It will feel fairly new in FFXIV. We're planning to release it with patch 4.1, so we'll talk more about it and show some images and discuss the rules once things calm down after Stormblood is released. It should be exciting, so please look forward to it.

    Will you continue to add new rules in the future?

    Yoshida: I've been going over this with the development team as far as whether we need to continue to add new rules to Frontline. We don't have any different maps with the same rules so far, so I wonder if we already have enough rule types for now. However, if the new PvP content with the different forces turns out to be popular, there's a possibility that matchmaking could become dificult if we add more rules, so as we get towards patch 4.1 we might do something like have the Frontline rule rotate on a weekly basis.

    So it would change each week?

    Yoshida: Like this week's would be Seal Rock, next week would be Fields of Glory, etc. I wonder if this would get a bit boring, though.

    I think with the renovation of PvP, there will be a lot of new players who want to give it a shot. It would be a waste to spread all those players out to different types of content, so it was certainly a concern I had.

    Yoshida: We expect most people to go to PvE content initially, so we'll use that period to make the major changes to PvP. The players who go into PvP right from the start are really the core players, so we'll be valuing the feedback they provide highly and make adjustments based on it during the preseason.

    Please give us a closing message for the readers.

    Yoshida: The launch of FFXIV's latest expansion, Stormblood, is finally almost here. For those who are starting the game fresh, we've added lots of new features to help like guide functions for the main scenario, expanded experience bonus, and other ways to support beginners. We're expecting a lot of new players so I hope you can all have fun together.

    For active players, it's been a while, but early access is almost here! FFXIV will feel refreshed with a packed new story and lost of new content, major renovations to the battle and PvP systems, and new jobs and job actions. It might be a lot to take in at first, but please try leveling up to 70 and see how you like it. There are high expectations and lot of uncertainty, but it's an excitement that only comes around once every few years, so we truly hope you enjoy it!

  2. #2

    <3 you are so frickin fast, thanks!

  3. #3
    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
    You were cold as ice.

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    Thanks breh! So fast we don't even have to light the signal anymore!

  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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    Oho Slycer bro! A friend of mine on my server pointed out another Famitsu article that needs that sexy touch:

    https://www.famitsu.com/news/201705/31134234.html

    Way longer than the aforementioned one here.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sho View Post
    Oho Slycer bro! A friend of mine on my server pointed out another Famitsu article that needs that sexy touch:

    https://www.famitsu.com/news/201705/31134234.html

    Way longer than the aforementioned one here.
    I'd seen that one... my guess is 95% of the info there is already published between the Gamerescape articles and the other info from various Youtube channels, but I can take a look through it. They do have all of the JP tooltips for each new action, not sure if those are any different or offer any clearer explanations than the English ones.

  6. #6
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    The thread on r/FFXIV mentioning the differences between JP tooltips and English ones has shown some pretty big discrepancies. Would really appreciate getting some more clarity since some of the differences (like MCH overheat) are substantial and completely change how people were viewing the new mechanics.

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