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    Yoshida on Stormblood: Dengeki Interview Translation

    This interview was from Dengeki at the Hamburg event and had some unique lines of questions compared to the other two, especially around future info releases, gathering/crafting (not much info there, sorry), and some specific questions about stats.

    -----

    Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, the latest expansion pack for FFXIV, releases on June 20. This article contains our interview held during the media tour with Naoki Yoshida, the game's producer and director. We asked him questions with particular emphasis on the main scenario and on jobs and other changes.

    Since there are a large number of new players for a variety of reasons, please tell us what you’re planning to do in FFXIV with Stormblood during the 4.0 series.

    Yoshida: With the extensive amount of new content, even though it may not be "Reborn," it will still feel like a new start. Honestly, about two months ago I was thinking more generally about what lies ahead for FFXIV, but right now I'm just concentrating on getting the final master complete, so I can't really put words to it (laughs).

    Are you making any developmental changes based on the responses to the American and European media tour or the producer letter live?

    Yoshida: No, there are just parts that aren't finished yet (laughs). We're almost done with battle-related adjustments, but those with the quests are just now reflecting my feedback. I'm actually checking the one that reflected those changes now during this media tour. There are a lot of system adjustments and overhauls being made with Stormblood, because we want to strongly emphasize the feeling that FFXIV can continue to grow.

    I've talked about player life cycles often in the past, but I think this is a great time to get into FFXIV as I think it will provide a good indication for the future development. After the original game, and then A Realm Reborn, I feel like this is now the third cycle. The 4.0 series will be a time where all the players who have continued to support us, will meet with all the new players that will be coming with this third cycle, so there will be a mix of old and new players, and I hope we can develop a strong community based on that.

    I didn't really feel this way about Heavensward, but Stormblood really feels like A Realm Reborn with regards to all of the new aspects like battle and other content.

    Yoshida: Yeah. For MMORPGs, you need to strike a balance with stability and changes. Being stable is important to keep players for a long time, but they may also get tired without changes. With four years having passed since A Realm Reborn, things may be feeling stale, so by changing up elements that players have gotten used to, things will feel fresh again. That doesn't mean this is like a ARR-lite, Stormblood will still stand on its own, but I think this is good timing to make these changes. That said, PvP will feel "Reborn" (laughs).

    After getting the chance to play it, everything really did feel quite new. Even the existing jobs changed more than I had expected, so I think people will feel like it's all fresh.

    Yoshida: Well, since everything was already set up for level 70 in the media tour, you didn't see the gray icons with the red slash like I talked about in the producer letter yesterday. However, when existing players log back in once early access starts, when they see all the gray icons, they might feel like "wow, maybe it really has changed a lot." (laughs)

    I was already able to play on the level 70 jobs, but once you get all of the actions available, will it be close to the total number of actions in Heavensward?

    Yoshida: Yeah. By the time you learn all actions up to level 70, it will be around the same as the current number of actions at level 60. That's only half the story, though, as you'll see that some things have changed dramatically.


    Media Tour and Producer Letter Live Impressions

    Although it's not quite over yet, how has the media reaction and general response been from the USA and Europe events and the producer letter live?

    Yoshida: We got a lot of questions asking what we were trying to accomplish with all of the big changes. In North America in particular, we got a lot of people wondering if this meant FFXIV was becoming a more casual game.

    On the first day of the tour in North America, I mentioned that Heavensward was like a new game, whereas Stormblood introduces a lot of adjustments and changes. As an expansion pack, it felt to me like the volume of content in Stormblood was normal, but even though we've talked about a lot at the three different Fan Festivals, there were still a lot of new things that people didn't recognize.

    I told them "of course it contains more content than Heavensward, but that wasn't meant to be part of the appeal," to which they responded "huh??" (laughs) They were a little confused why it's not something we had talked about before. Because of that, I changed the presentations a bit starting on the second day. Another thing from the media tour is that we heard a lot of opinions from people that they want challenging content for four people. Many people felt that the difficulty of Palace of the Dead after floor 180 was quite good, so they were interested in more of that. I really felt that the demand for difficult content that can be enjoyed by four players is higher than it was before.

    So based on the community feedback, would you like to add content for less than 8 people that's still challenging in difficulty?

    Yoshida: Yeah. I heard even the instanced dungeons should be tougher. We got a lot of this feedback, so I'd like to seriously take this into consideration once I get back to Japan. I also feel like we can take this feedback into account when we develop "Deep Dungeon 2."


    About the Story

    I'd like to ask you a few questions about the story. In the Revolutions video that was released the other day, I was surprised to see that a considerable number of story scenes were included - are there scenes included from the core of the story?

    Yoshida: Of course, I can't really answer that (laughs). Just imagine it from what you saw and I think you'll enjoy it. We just relocated the American data center on May 15 and implemented restrictions with transfers to overcrowded worlds in preparation for 4.0, so we're finally ready for 4.0.

    Because we knew the servers were going to be down for an extended period with server maintenance, we were trying to show our appreciation by putting out that video with more details that we usually would, and hopefully give some indication of the direction of the story.

    As 4.0 came closer and we started the media tour, more and more information started coming out, the media reports will get released at the end of May, and then it will just be two more weeks until things get started, so we wanted to build up the anticipation to a climax.

    I think the story of Heavensward is kind of a road movie with a more intimate atmosphere of traveling with close companions, and it was popular. Compared to that, what kind of feeling does the Stormblood story have? With Ala Mhigo and Doma setting the stage, will those play major roles?

    Yoshida: The atmosphere is similar. Final Fantasy games are often focused on friends traveling together from the beginning, so we kept that in mind. However, the distance spanned in this journey is much farther than last time. And there are many characters who will appear, so it will be kind of like a "party member exchange" depending on where you are in the story.

    So in that way it's like Final Fantasy IV where different members accompany you at different times.

    Yoshida: Yeah, we intentionally made it like that. For a certain part of the scenario, the situation will focus on a certain character, and as you move forward the leading role will change. In one part it's Yugiri, and in another it's Gosetsu... it will be that kind of feeling, but even though the story still has a traveling feel to it, I think the character development is well done.

    I was particularly impressed with the graphics this time, which you also discussed in the presentation. I'm sure there was a lot of thought put into this with Heavensward also, but was there anything in particular you wanted to express this time in that regard?

    Yoshida: For Heavensward, in the Ishgard regions, with the mythical beasts we know as dragons, I wanted it to look like the place where dragons live is a land that no one has seen before.

    Now in Stormblood, the story focuses more on people and their conflict. Where values and a clash of values come into play, things are definitely moving in the direction of being closer to reality, so we wanted to provide an image of reality but with a sense of wonder.

    You can't go there on today's media preview, but with areas like the Azim Steppe and Yanxia, there's a very pleasant feeling when it's sunny out. Since the large plain is the first area you'll step into, we spent a lot of time making fine adjustments such as the way the grass reflects and disperses the light during sunny weather. For example, think of how a freshly trimmed lawn reflects the sunlight, it will have that kind of look. In Yanxia, we were conscious of things like the distinct look of the rock pillars, or the way turbulence affects the hazy clouds that drift around them.

    So while Heavensward was more of a high fantasy image, this seems like more of a natural fantasy, that you wouldn't be too surprised to see in reality.

    Yoshida: Yeah, that's right. To drive home the fantasy element, we shifted the utilization of color a bit.

    Walking around the city of Kugane, I felt like the place was alive more than I had in any other locations.

    Yoshida: The event team and the folks in charge of placing the characters in the town put in a lot of hard work. As they go about their business, you'll see some fine details, and we developed a lot of animations to make it feel more lively. We've been making good on that commitment with patches leading up to this one, but I feel like our efforts are gradually building up.

    When I played through the dungeon Shisui of the Violet Tides today, I kind of got the image of Ryugu-jo [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%ABg%C5%AB-j%C5%8D]], so were you trying to include fantasy elements in that sense as well?

    Yoshida: Some of the members of foreign media said "it's a funny joke in those places where there's a gimmick that turns you into an old woman," but then I told them that it was actually a reference to the Japanese tale of Urashima Taro, and they were like "oh!" (laughs). There are elements of Eastern culture like that included which we've grown up with, but should be interesting and appealing for players overseas. There are many other things like that, so please look out for them.

    About the Jobs

    When looking at the difficulty level, I felt like battles in the first dungeon could be cleared pretty easily. Is that what you're going for with leveling dungeons?

    Yoshida: Yeah. In Heavensward, the first dungeon Dusk Vigil was actually a bit tough, so we took that into consideration. Also, we had to factor in the large action adjustments that each job is getting this time.

    Depending on the job, once you got to level 60 the skill rotation was changed. For this time, we've decreased the difficulty of the dungeons starting at level 61 to be considerably lower than those in the 3.X series, and with the increasing level of each dungeon, you'll feel like the difficulty is gradually going up, and will return to normal as you get close to level 70.

    Regarding the jobs, for the general idea, were you looking at the adjustments to make it easier for beginners to understand and remember?

    Yoshida: At the very least, we wanted to make the difficulty of operating jobs more easily understood and simpler than it is now. It's often misunderstood, but simple and easy are not the same. At level 70, I think there will be quite a lot of new elements to get used to as you use the jobs more.

    When early access starts, there may be people who are comparing level 60 jobs for 3.X to the level 60 job actions at 4.0, and be thinking "what happened to the actions?!" However, this is now the level 70 cap era, so you'll be playing at that level most of the time. Of course, development will continue after we reach level 70, but don't panic once you start playing while you're still level 60.

    Before I tried it out, I thought it was becoming more casual, but no one in all of the Japanese media commented that they thought it was easier after they actually tried it out, so I'll have to think about what I said before (laughs).

    Yoshida: (Laughs) If there was no room to improvise or try out new things, it wouldn't be fun. But we've made it so the entrance into the battle system is gentler and it's easy to get used to it. My goal was to shape the battle system into one where you have a room to improvise.

    In the 3.X series, there were a lot of actions with which if you made one mistake in your rotation, your DPS would suddenly fall. Because of that it felt too stressful, rather than feeling like you could improvise, it just felt too difficult. I think there are some people who liked this feeling, but only a limited amount. If we kept going in that direction, it would be a game that really only hardcore players could play.

    This time, by simplifying the system, as it becomes clear where you can improve, the good players will continue to get better and difference will come out, but it will be easy to understand.

    Since red mage isn't a job for beginners to start with, I got the impression that you've raised the bar a bit for starting.

    Yoshida: That wasn't a goal we had in mind, but we did have the basic assumption that those getting into one of the new jobs have already completed the basic foundation of FFXIV. To become one of the new jobs, you need to have one job that's at least level 50. However, since the media are starting all the way at 70, it probably feels different from what players will experience.

    Which was the most difficult job to adjust?

    Yoshida: If you mean for balance... well how do you mean it? I think the opinions would differ among the staff that worked on it.

    For example, for the three tank jobs, warriors had very high solo performance and were top choice as off-tanks. They had a lot of self-healing ability and burst power, so that job already felt close to complete for us.

    But that's what's great about warrior. And since so many people use it, rather than trying to push warriors back, we instead focus on what puts warrior in the standing it's currently in, and supplemented the weaknesses of paladin and dark knight on that basis. There were tough decisions that had to be made. Black mage has seen a lot of adjustments since I've touched it, so even I may have a hard time (laughs).

    Playing through them all, it definitely felt like bard received the most changes.

    Yoshida: Machinists and bards, both, they almost feel like new jobs... sorry about that!

    It definitely had much more bard-like impression where you'd have to switch up the songs to use it most effectively.

    Yoshida: Elements like attack speed, buffing yourself, resetting recasts, and other various effects will occur. And as before, there's still the buffing aspect, so hopefully you find bard to be more fun. I think it has the image of being an upgrade from the 2.5 version, along with a lot of new features.

    On the whole, rather than keeping busy with switching different status effects, I felt there were many jobs that were adjusted to give more of a feeling of constantly being strengthened while maintaining a certain status.

    Yoshida: Basically, it's set up so that even branching combos have no meaningless branches. If you perform the basic rotation, there will be a certain minimum DPS that you'll deal. We want the room for innovation and strategy to play the biggest role for growth, so we've made considerable adjustments even to the combo routes.

    In that sense, each job has become more straightforward. You don't have to think about a lot of extra things. However, the finer point is that we've changed the impact of spontaneous decision-making, and where to use certain actions.

    It sounds like there will be some research going on among players for a while.

    Yoshida: I think that's one of the fun aspects to expansion packs, so don't rush to any conclusions while you're leveling up and deciding what will or won't work; I think it'll be better if you wait until you get to the first raid and then strategize. It's a big wave of content that only comes once every few years, so I hope you can take your time and enjoy it.

    The designs of each of the job gauges are each quite distinct from one another.

    Yoshida: Yeah, there were a lot of retries as we went through that. The UI designs of the job gauges we're implementing were handled by a number of staff members, and in the end the designs all came out differently.

    When lead designer (Hiroshi) Minagawa was planning for it, there were a number of different ideas flying around, like planning for a "Final Fantasy Tactics" or "Tactics Ogre" style, or a style that takes the image associated with each job into account, or going for a simplistic style. After my first check, it was like "wow, the design themes are way too different for each job!" (laughs)

    As the battle team and UI designers went over each of the elements, the battle team came up with requests about which elements should be managed for each job, and the UI team would decide what the scope of the UI was for each job based on that.

    On top of that, I gave my own opinions on what I felt the job gauge's motif should be for each job. For example, the design of the bard gauge was completely different from what's in the game now, but we changed from there after thinking if you consider playing and performing music, the gauge should obviously be a musical staff.

    The designers did worry quite a bit about how elaborate or how simple to make the designs. As a result of that, we decided to exclude "simplicity" as a keyword in the first concept for job gauges, and that simpler designs for the job gauges could be added as a different mode. We unified on the idea of job gauges with a graphical style which represent each job.

    So based on feedback in the future, you could implement a simple version and allow players to switch?

    Yoshida: We're already working on that, and you'll be able to switch whenever you want.

    It seems that everyone has a different opinion. One opinion is that since it doesn't show debuffs it's actually increasing the number of things you need to look at, but another is that the emphasis is on making it easier for beginners to understand what they need to pay the most attention to....

    Yoshida: As one example, black mage's Astral Fire and Umbral Ice are very difficult to explain. But with the job gauge, you can see images of flames or ice, and understand at a glance. I think things like that are good.

    When it's blue, you have the ice attribute, or if it's orange, the fire attribute.... the merit of the dedicated gauge is that you don't have to be focused on just a small buff icon, but with the gauge you can just catch the status out of the corner of your eye which should be helpful for all players.

    Is it possible that you'd introduce a UI to increase visibility of debuffs in the future?

    Yoshida: There are too many debuffs, it would be impossible. The best we could do for now is to try to make it clearer with the icons to show duration and which debuffs can be erased by Esuna. It varies from content to content, and it's something your whole party needs to see, so there really aren't other options. The job gauges are only visible to you, so we can only go so far with that.


    Actions

    Related to actions, there were changes to skills like Raging Strikes and Blood for Blood limiting the jobs that could use them, and the functionality of Cleric Stance has changed significantly. Will it still feel the same way it was before with all the jobs dealing balanced DPS?

    Yoshida: Well, it depends on what you mean by "the same feeling as before." First off, the battle calculation formula coefficients have all changed significantly from level 60 to level 70. It will be more along the lines of the change in all the jobs as we moved from 2.X to 3.0.

    Of course, the level 70 balance isn't based on the current rotation with the level 60 job actions, but it's based on having the level 70 job actions. Each job was adjusted in comparison with one another at level 70, rather than making any adjustments based on the level 60 period. With the increasing level, the total DPS will definitely be higher than before.

    I was quite surprised with the change in specification to Cleric Stance. Personally, it made me happy because I felt like it was a pain in the neck and it made me avoid being healer.

    Yoshida: That's why we wanted to make big changes for healers, including removing accuracy and the change to the healer damage calculation formula. Outside of high-end raids, I think this will make it more comfortable to be on healer. To clear instanced dungeons as quickly as possible, there's a certain feeling like healers should be attacking too.

    Because of that, Cleric Stance is almost essential, as is stance switching, which can be troublesome and also lead to death when you make a mistake, so it could feel like a hassle to play as a healer. For those who want to start FFXIV fresh, that's not a good feeling. By making that obsolete, we were able to change the attack calculation formula to be based on MND so that you don't need to switch "stances."

    This is not a change that's meant to say "we want you to attack as a healer," but rather one to make you more comfortable in making the choice to attack.

    With the role actions this time, I think there will be a lot of different ideas. It's one area where players can show some individuality, and customize depending on what they want to do.

    Yoshida: Instead of that, I think there will also be those who set it up based on the content. I think compatibility with party members, like with MP support, will be taken into account as well, so I feel like there will be a variety of different ways people use this.

    So it's not a passive synergy like the ones from before, but one you'll need to communicate about.

    Yoshida: Since that could be a nuisance, you might want to just go with a basic set, but if you're in a raid party, you might want to put actions that work well with each other, so there will be choices like that.


    Stats and Parameters

    With regards to stats, we're losing accuracy.

    Yoshida: It might be a big shift, so I hope it turns out OK (laughs).

    Will this have the most influence on summoner and scholar [[not sure why he mentioned summoner here, he may have misspoke]]?

    Yoshida:Yeah. Since we were able to do that, we were also able to change the healer's damage calculation to be dependent on MND.

    Please tell us a bit more about the new secondary parameters Direct Hit and Tenacity. With Tenacity in particular, the damage reduction and increased damage dealt effects sound quite impressive.

    Yoshida: Well, I think it will be an important parameter... but we're changing a number of things about the calculations for level 70 tanks, so I don't want to say anything about what the emphasis should be for level 70 tanks.

    I'm afraid to even say it would be a good choice for materia melding (laughs). Then people could end up saying "Yoshida said it would be a big deal so I bought it, but it sucks!" (laughs). Rather than people making purchase decisions based on advanced information, I want you to be able to try them out for yourselves first. That's one of the fun parts to MMORPGs, as long as it doesn't take you bankrupt (laughs).

    If you already have a Heaven's Eye Materia V melded to your equipment, will it automatically get replaced with the one for Direct Hit? Also, you mentioned Direct Hit would only included on DPS equipment, but if you meld materia with it, would it also have an effect for tanks and healers?

    Yoshida: All jobs have a chance for direct hits to occur. Even healers can get a Direct Hit when they attack. So when Heaven's Eye Materia melded on equipment from patch 3.57 and before is replaced with Direct Hit, there will of course be a positive impact on direct hit occurrence.

    But... it's not much of an impact. Since healers don't have a very high direct hit rate in the first place, even with the melded materia it still would be low.

    So it wouldn't be a complete waste, but you have no plans to add it to future equipment.

    Yoshida: There won't be any Direct Hit on future healer equipment, so with the base level being so low, it won't help much even if you meld to it.


    PvP

    Moving on to PvP, there will really be some significant changes. Were these changes because PvP was becoming too difficult so you wanted to make it more casual as compared to the PvE actions?

    Yoshida: No, but after thoroughly looking into it, we ultimately decided to make PvP simple at the start and easy to understand so that players at least get into it casually and then develop more and more.

    Also, to increase the amount of people playing PvP, I wanted people in free trials to be able to experience it. There are a lot of play elements in Feast and Frontline that are wasted because of the feeling that it takes too much time to get into them.

    Another aspect of this was to help speed up the expansion of Feast. If you're trying to do a play-by-play for a live game, it was really challenging with all of the different skills and actions, so as we are moving in the e-sports direction we wanted help out that community as well.

    From 4.0, PvP will be accessible during the free trial?

    Yoshida: Yeah, it will. By the way, you'll also get experience for your jobs, so when you go back to PvE your level will go up.

    So starting from Stormblood you can also do PvP to level up.

    Yoshida: Yeah. For example, if someone loves PvP and starts a free trial to try out FFXIV's PvP, they can get into it at level 30. Since the stats are all fixed, you can join PvP even if your job level is low. Then, if they feel that it's interesting and they want to take part in ranked matchmaking, they may consider activating their account.

    As you continue PvP your job level will increase, which will also help you get through the main scenario. Just to confirm, as you'd expect, you can't participate in ranked matchmaking during the free trial.


    Gathering and Crafting

    You haven't revealed anything about the direction for gatherers and crafters - will they still be able to cross-utilize additional actions?

    Yoshida: Yeah, it's just the additional actions for battle classes that we got rid of.

    What will be changing for gatherers and crafters in 4.0?

    Yoshida: Since 3.0, we've made a lot of corrections in areas that needed improvement, and we'll keep moving forward with those types of adjustments. There won't be any new systems or major system changes, but we did conclude that there is no need for a weekly restriction anymore, so there will be no weekly limit on scrips.

    We're starting with the current situation, removing weekly restrictions which will make it easier to switch Specialists. We wanted to firm up this cycle with 4.0. We'd also like to focus on more content that involved NPC like the customer trade system introduced in 3.5.

    For gatherers, we'll simply be increasing the gathering locations in the ocean and underwater, so you'll be going to various places to collect things. For fishers in particular, you'll be able to go spear fishing with a variety of new things to catch, so I hope you enjoy that.

    Will there be a new offhand tool added?

    Yoshida: Yeah, we'll be adding harpoons. We talked about this in the 35th producer letter live, but for crafters, we've also enhanced the benefits of being a Specialist and given bonuses to Specialist actions. We want to really enhance the advantages of becoming a Specialist.


    Squadrons

    Earlier, you've mentioned that we'd be able to play together with our squadrons. Is there any update to that schedule?

    Yoshida: We'd like to implement that with patch 4.1, so we're working on setting up dungeons so that Warriors of Light can go through them with their squadrons.

    After the end of the Heavensward scenario, some rumors popped up that fellow NPCs would actually try to avoid attack AoEs....

    Yoshida: About that... well is it OK if I let you in on a little trick? For the event battles in FFXIV, we have two kinds that we program. Some of them have a detailed script, and some of them are just coded with generic actions.

    There's been a lot of rumors that NPCs will be avoiding AoE, etc., and this is something that we tried to do well in many event battles, so please check it out.

    On the other hand, some of the event battles for 4.0 are designed generically so that they won't avoid AoE attacks. As far as putting this to use in squadrons, we've been doing what we can, but when we saw all the comments on the internet like "even event battle NPCs are avoiding AoEs, this must be prep for squadrons!" we were thinking "oh man, we'll try our best...." (laughs)

    So the squadron level cap won't change with 4.0?

    Yoshida: Yeah, it'll be with the next content update.


    Future Information Released

    You haven't talked about things like raids at all yet, so will this come up at E3?

    Yoshida: Yeah. At E3 we'll clarify the road map and provide a schedule update for the 4.0X series. I think we'll talk about the schedule for release of the raids and patch 4.05, and the content that will be included. And right at the end, we'll probably have the patch notes reading for Stormblood.

    I think the patch notes reading will be very long this time.

    Yoshida: There are so many changes this time, but we don't want to spoil too much, so I issued instructions to keep things concise. Also, we won't be reading word for word or it would go on forever (laughs).

    The job section alone would take a few hours (laughs).

    Yoshida: I gave instructions like "we just need one line of info for this" or "just show the UI here and end it" to considerably decrease it. Otherwise it will feel like reading a book. The summarized details about the job changes will be set up on a separate page, so read it carefully.


    A message to continuing and new players

    For those who recently started, those who are planning to start soon, or those who left and want to come back, tell them how they can enjoy FFXIV and what 4.0 has in store.

    Yoshida: We're removing the time limit from the free trial, and soon you'll be able to participate in PvP during the free trial as well. With that, you can get into FFXIV at your own pace, so it's easier to get started.

    With all of the refurbishments, we're issuing a strong response to all of the areas that were difficult to understand. The new guide function for the main scenario will make it easier than ever before to continue moving through the main scenario, and should help out those who are wary about getting into an online game.

    For the players who have stopped for a variety of reasons, with 4.0 coming, it'll feel like a big "Ready, Set, Go!" moment, and I think that's a good time to get back into the game.

    Also, for players who felt that it was difficult to get to level 60, we've made adjustments to smooth the ramp in difficulty, so you'll feel that you're getting stronger as you step through the levels. There are a variety of things to enjoy, so I really hope you'll try it out.

    Lastly, what surprises does 4.0 have in store? Please give us a message for all of the active Warriors of Light.

    Yoshida: Well, your first surprise will be a lot of gray icons (laughs). You've heard it, but it'll still be a shock. Rather than feeling like "oh, this is gone..." there should be a lot of excitement for a new start with figuring out all of the new actions and how to use them.

    It will take some time to get used to the significant changes all of the jobs received, but you'll be able to do this gradually while going through the main scenario and the instanced dungeons. I hope you take your time to enjoy the story of Stormblood, adapt to your new job, and prepare for the end-game content that lies ahead once you reach level 70. Also, unless you want spoilers, don't watch too many videos on the internet for a while (laughs).

    If you have any issues with early access, please contact us on Twitter or however else as our support staff will be monitoring and will take action quickly. Even if you have no issues, we'd love to see even a single word of feedback from you about Stormblood when you have a break (laughs). With Heavensward, Toshio and I were in our room trying to lead things from the USA, and we watched all night but hardly saw any comments....

    Well, everyone was enthusiastic about playing (laughs). Many people will be taking the day off, too.

    Yoshida: Even a few words would be very encouraging, we'd be happy to read your impressions (laughs).

    Thank you very much!!

  2. #2

    Yoshida: I think that's one of the fun aspects to expansion packs, so don't rush to any conclusions while you're leveling up and deciding what will or won't work; I think it'll be better if you wait until you get to the first raid and then strategize. It's a big wave of content that only comes once every few years, so I hope you can take your time and enjoy it.
    Yeah, BG. Jeez
    :D

  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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    Won't stop anyone from rushing like mad men to 70, lol.

  4. #4
    Chram
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    Which was the most difficult job to adjust?

    Yoshida: If you mean for balance... well how do you mean it? I think the opinions would differ among the staff that worked on it.

    For example, for the three tank jobs, warriors had very high solo performance and were top choice as off-tanks. They had a lot of self-healing ability and burst power, so that job already felt close to complete for us.

    But that's what's great about warrior. And since so many people use it, rather than trying to push warriors back, we instead focus on what puts warrior in the standing it's currently in, and supplemented the weaknesses of paladin and dark knight on that basis.
    lol

  5. #5
    Brokage
    Pens win! Pens Win!!! PENS WIN!!!!!

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    Getting the patch notes at the end of the live letter on Tuesday will be nice. But I imagine the servers will probably be going down a couple days early. I don't remember how early they went down for HW though. Was it on the Tuesday leading up to early access? Anyone remember?

  6. #6
    The Fucking Voice of Actually

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    http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodest...ba56e0645473da
    Jun. 18, 2015 2:00 a.m. to Jun. 19, 2015 2:00 a.m. (PDT)
    * Completion time is subject to change.
    If it's the same as last time, the game will be down all of Thursday next week.


    And to follow up, the next maintenances were on these dates, and all were 4 hours or less, unless otherwise noted.
    Jun 22
    Jun 24
    Jun 29
    Jul 6 (3.01)
    Jul 8
    Jul 13
    Jul 14 (Emergency 2h maint)
    Jul 20 (3.05)

  7. #7
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    I think he meant the patch notes reading at the end of E3 not at the end of the live letter (Thursday is the last day of E3).

  8. #8
    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 Edelweiss View Post
    lol
    I fucking love it. WAR is that job that no one can touch haha.

  9. #9
    Brokage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slycer View Post
    I think he meant the patch notes reading at the end of E3 not at the end of the live letter (Thursday is the last day of E3).
    Oh that makes more sense. The way I read it (at 1am last night I should mention), made it seem like the notes were gonna be released at the end of the live letter

  10. #10
    Relic Horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sho View Post
    I fucking love it. WAR is that job that no one can touch haha.
    Pretty sure he's laughing because the devs did literally the opposite of what that quote says, they actively went after WAR's strengths/mechanics.

  11. #11
    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
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    Quote Originally Posted by solracht View Post
    Pretty sure he's laughing because the devs did literally the opposite of what that quote says, they actively went after WAR's strengths/mechanics.
    Hah, I take back some of my scoffing. For me it is a small difference of opinion -- WAR is still going to be very much used, even though they took away Bloodbath. They simply made it inline with PLD & DRK instead of the maximum insane beast it has been for all of 3.0. Can't have role buffs without losing something for it. We don't even know how the damage is going to be, but it also sounds like they really wanted to keep WAR going at least on Fell Cleaves.

  12. #12
    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
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    Actually after giving it some real thought, the stance changes to the WAR is gonna sting the most and actually hurt the job's flow. I wonder if its indicative of fights actually needing tanks to properly in defense stances for 4.0.

  13. #13
    The Defense is ready, Your Honor
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    Quote Originally Posted by solracht View Post
    Pretty sure he's laughing because the devs did literally the opposite of what that quote says, they actively went after WAR's strengths/mechanics.
    As of a 3-month old build, sure that isn't the finished product, sure.

  14. #14
    a p. sweet dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by solracht View Post
    Pretty sure he's laughing because the devs did literally the opposite of what that quote says, they actively went after WAR's strengths/mechanics.
    They didn't directly nerf anything about WAR other than removing the Storm's Path debuff which clearly had to go. They associated a cost to switching stances through the meter but every job with multiple stances is now penalized for swapping in the same way. But boo hoo poor WAR I guess.

  15. #15
    Relic Shield
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    They didn't directly nerf anything about WAR other than removing the Storm's Path debuff which clearly had to go. They associated a cost to switching stances through the meter but every job with multiple stances is now penalized for swapping in the same way. But boo hoo poor WAR I guess.
    Bloodbath is gone and buffs no longer gives stacks/beast gauge. Switching to Defiance for Equilibrium was also very commonly used for progression, nevermind Inner Beast. Their only utility unique to them now is Slashing debuff, which is covered by either SAM or NIN, and switching stances hurts WAR more than the other tanks. I'd say they got a fair nerf.

  16. #16
    Impossiblu
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    Are we ignoring the Berserk nerf too? It's actually worse than FoF for burst now. Sure PLD doesn't have anything to utilize with it, but it's still fucking hilarious.

  17. #17
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    Bloodbath is gone but replaced by the arguably-better-but-definitely-not-worse Rampart. Mitigation buffs generating stacks probably shouldn't have been a thing anyway but it would have made even less sense in the context of the meter and it was also pretty unbalanced that you could build stacks in Defiance and then swap to Deliverance with no penalty to obliterate something with a string of Fell Cleaves. Saying their only remaining party utility is the slashing debuff is a little disingenuous because the only *other* party utility they had was Storm's Path, which had to go.

    Did WAR get buffed? No. Did it get gutted? No. They didn't have their potencies nerfed. They can still MT, they can still DPS/OT, and they can still burst. They just can't do all three at the same time as easily any more.

  18. #18
    Impossiblu
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    I don't think anyone would disagree that Path debuff had to be nerfed/changed/removed, but taking it away and not replacing it?

    Answer me this: what does WAR do for utility besides push up DPS, and do you honestly think that an OT WAR will be pushing enough damage over a Paladin that they'll still be worth bringing? Compare their kit to Paladin and Dark Knight and tell me if there's a discrepancy between party utility and overall value to the party. If you want Warrior to be selfish then they need to do something to be worth the party slot besides party support. Can only hope the PLD numbers get toned down before launch.

  19. #19
    a p. sweet dude
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    I mean Berserk is technically worse potency over time, but it's on a shorter cooldown and WARs still have Maim (which had its duration increased), PLD does not.

    I don't really know how to answer your question, both because I don't play WAR enough to really know, and because we don't know what's changed between the preview and now. I'm not even trying to argue that WAR would be A-okay if everything in the preview went unmodified into release. I just think it's hilarious that the simple prospect of WAR not being king of the hill at the start of Stormblood has so many people foaming at the mouth.

  20. #20
    Relic Horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    They didn't directly nerf anything about WAR other than removing the Storm's Path debuff which clearly had to go. They associated a cost to switching stances through the meter but every job with multiple stances is now penalized for swapping in the same way. But boo hoo poor WAR I guess.
    Having the same penalty mechanic doesn't necessarily mean they're penalized the same way. WAR's resource spenders are used differently than PLD's, they're tied to stances and are on the GCD (unlike PLD's) and WAR's on-demand mitigation skill is tied to their tank stance (unlike PLD's). Going into Stormblood, WAR's gameplay looks incredibly clunky unless the encounter allows you to completely ignore half of your toolkit, which I find problematic. The other tanks don't suffer from this.

    That's a significant gameplay nerf coming from Heavensward and while I'll grant maybe they didn't actively aim to do this (willing to bet they just c+v'd PLD's mechanic on WAR with zero gameplay considerations), it still makes their quote about "not wanting to push warriors back" invalid. Note that I think stance penalties should exist, but they should also be tailored to each tank. That's very much not the way it feels right now.

    There's also more nerfs than what you've listed: MT burst enmity generation and opener DPS are both lower because Infuriate is only usable in combat and Berserk has been nerfed. Not that it'd matter because Unchained now has a huge opportunity cost attached due to sharing recast with Inner Release. Either way, WAR's utility as the pulling tank has been nerfed.

    Storm's Path had to go, yes, but that doesn't mean WAR's partywide mitigation utility also had to go with it: they should've replaced Path with something that couldn't have a 100% uptime but at least competed with PLD party mitigation skills and DRK/PLD's single target mitigation/shielding skills.

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