FFXIV: ARR – Excerpt and Cleaned Up GameWatch Interview – Credit Lodestone Forums

Gamewatch JP Translated Interview on Final Fantasy XIV: A Real Reborn

[source] Interview taken 30MAY2013 (Translated by Reinheart)

In beta phase 3, battle system will go through some changes, what direction did it take for the changes?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Up until now everything was taken control by GCD, but abilities will now move on individual timers. Weapon skill will still use GCD, but you can use abilities now in between, so you’re going to be busy.

So now it’s possible to fight while constantly using some type of action?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
In the beginning it’s not that much, but as you learn more skills, it will be very important to decide the positioning and what type of combos to use. For example if you feel you’re in danger, you can use abilities such as “Fight or Flight” to increase DPS before the weapon skill, and defeat the mob using a more powerful strike .

What do you mean by using in between weapon skill?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
While the timer (GCD) is still running, you can still use the ability in between, it’s basically to use up the available time more wisely. For example, this character is a Gladiator and plays as a Tank, so it doesn’t have much DPS. The class’ role is to hold the enemy. Now if this were a Monk, you would run around to the side or behind the enemy and buff yourself while increasing evasion to increase haste effect, so you’ll need fight while continuing to keep the attacks going. If you miss, you’ll have to start over again so you’ll need to think over. The DPS will change when looking over duration.

If that’s so, seems like it’s going to be much busier

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
At the beginning new adventurers are limited with amount of available skills, this will increase as you level. We checked into how much battles you need to go through in order to level up to the next level, from there you’ll learn a new skill but it’s not something you learn and use in that order. You’ll learn skills that may in go between the skills you have already learned. You’ll also learn in time that the damage will increase from specific position. So say the first move needs to be used from behind the enemy and a 2nd being from the side, you’ll first go around the mob, run to the side and use 2nd then watch the mob to stop to use weapon skill to dodge and put in the 3rd combo, or instead of a 3rd combo you may want to use the first skill again to increase the buff… or if you take in too much hate, use “Feather Foot” in between to increase evasion and right after dodging to put in a counter ability, so you’ll have many different options. (reworded)

So not only does it get busier, it will require lots of strategy. If you can perform that much looks like the battle can be enjoyed not only with a party but with solo also.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes, previously we have mentioned this but for solo we want players to play through quests and while doing so, deciding your character’s class, then learning the basics for that class from there. Next you can get into dungeons and or play through guildhest to learn party play. Through parties you’ll learn about individuals’ roles on how tanks can take hate for you while you do your things. You’ll learn them step by step and that’s completely fine.

The battle system will change again but will it be something beginners can enjoy without getting confused?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes, for beginning it shouldn’t be a problem. We carefully made adjustments there. That is the reason why we encouraged receiving feedback. For core gamers they felt it was bit lacking, where beginning was dull, just spamming same skills in same order. So we made adjustments by rearranging the order you obtain the skill, and changed the usage requirement. But if you play from level 1, you only have 1 skill at beginning, so it isn’t a problem, once that increases and becomes 2 you’ll learn to use it 1 > 2, then once you learn the 3rd skill you’ll find out instead of 1>2>3 order the 3 comes in between becoming 1>3>2.

How are the caster jobs progressing?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
It may be hard to tell by looking at the job action movie we released earlier but for Conjurer and Thaumaturge there are elements called Astral Fire and Astral Blizzard, and if you continue using Blizzard-type spells your elemental aspect becomes Blizzard-based, and if you use repeated Fire-based magic you’ll become more Fire-aspected. You’ll be able to tell right away by the fireballs circling around your character. With that state your fire damage from any damage will increase, however your MP usage will also increase a lot. Also there is something called “Stance Change” and there is Astral Fire level 1, level 2, level 3, for example if you cast 2 fire type spells you’ll have Lv2 Astral Fire element on your, while in that mode if you use stance change it switches to blizzard level 2 so you can add on blizzard spells with a cost of much faster MP regen. So you can look at the remaining MP and cast Fire till your MP is near depleted and then switching to blizzard, by doing that the MP will recover at really fast speed. You can cast blizzard to keep the continue damaging the mob and once the MP is regained to switch to Fire, then put in Thunder for DoT. For those that played 1.x FFXIV may feel that it has changed.

You’ll take in the risk on your own, but will make the spells stand out, it’s kind of like FFXI’s Scholar, so it looks interesting where you are able to come up with a strategy instead of just casting fire.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
But if you don’t understand it, you might end up not being able to deal very much damage, or run out of MP so to make sure that doesn’t happen, through class quests we will be explaining the roles and let them know that there are two elements. At first you can only use Blizzard so you don’t run out of MP, the battle team made careful adjustments for this. If you learn fire and just spam fire, you’ll run out of MP so you use the stance change to switch between the two. We made sure there is a reason behind why you learn those actions in that order.

In Phase 3 being able to play class/job is one major point.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes, first would like players to get used to their initial class, and then aim for higher jobs

There were comments saying that depending on the job the quest difficulty is different, were any adjustments made?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We made as much adjustments possible. There was also comments saying Conjurers had a hard time obtaining contribution points to get the reward during F.A.T.E. so we made adjustments there as well. For F.A.T.E. you’ll be doing it with many people, so even if we increased the HP of the mob it will still get killed instantly, so we made some tweaks. For example we changed Conjurers’ Aero to an instant spell. By doing this you’ll get the minimum amount of contribution, and also by healing you’ll get contribution, so it should be easier for healers to get credit.
Many of the players may of felt that everything was being pushed back into phase 3, thinking “Is this much stuff really going to be in phase 3?” but we have been developing on phase 3 while phase 1 and 2 was running, so it’s really in there.

Battle balance has been modified this time around but what do you think about balance between jobs?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Easiest balance differences to contrast is that of Monk and Dragoon; their roles are both close range DPS, but for Monk they have something called “Style”. There are actions that can only be used while you’re in that specific style and by using that action it could switch to another style, to use the next action. It will be where you can go through different position/actions in order 1>3>4>7>8 for the first round but 2nd round going 1>3>5>6 and going back to 1. By doing these rotations correctly, the DPS and attack speed will increase. So in the beginning it will be slow, but if you can keep it going it will be amazing. (Note: Just think of it as fighting game continuing combos).
Dragoon on the other hand is much more standard melee DPS, you stand in specific position to deal big damage with combos, but if you do too much you’ll take hate easily. Also there are skills which you have to use from behind to deal the additional effect, or jump where you need to be behind the mob- and far away- at same time. Or skills where you’re running in from behind and jumping to stun the mob with floor sweep, and then dealing another combo from the side, then using your abilities leading up to Dragon Dive. It’s standard melee DPS, but we made it where it looks cool for Dragoon, while a Monk will require to think about how to keep the chain going, they are both same general DPS potential, but have different ways to be played. It’s up to the players style. Also, this time the Dragoon will be jumping a lot- so some may enjoy that (laugh)

To bring in previous FF series, are there any jumps for Dragoon where they jump and not come down fora while?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Nothing like that (laugh) If you jump, and do not come back, there might be situations players will be wiped except for you and them telling you “What the hell are you doing?” Even in the old FF series after jumping and other party members take 9999 and died, you only got that dragoon left and end up saying “What the hell am I going to do with this?” With this much reality in graphics we haven’t done this (laugh)

How are the buddy skills, like the one for Chocobo?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Once you can use Buddies, there will be a command for it, by putting this in the cross hotbar you’ll be able to use it. For example there are commands such as “Follow me” which simply follows you. “Return home” is just that and returns home. “Free Fight” command will let them know that you’ll fight so fight along freely. “Equipment change” we have a simple UI in there for testing so please use it.

Buddies, won’t attack the mob unless the player attacks?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
In phase 3 it won’t. However at the timing of official service, it’s possible to do something like “I’ll do the healing so go and fight”! There are stances for attacker, defensive, healer so you can command through these stances. Also for growth feature you can learn actions through points. There are actions for these stances, so by using these points you can learn them. You can make your Chocobo learn cure from healer stance and get it up to where it learns Cure-ra, it’s up to the players to decide. However if you take cure-ra you won’t have enough points to put into attacker/defensive stance.

So there is a limit on the amount of points?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
There is. You won’t be able to obtain all of them. There is no fun in it if you can obtain all of it. However you will be able to switch through any stance.

Is there a status screen specific for Chocobo?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
There is. But, we don’t have the growth feature in phase 3, so we haven’t released it. If we put that in it’ll become same as the official service (laugh)

Can you have several buddies?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
In the future we’re planning to be able to support several.

How about I’m mounted on a buddy while having another buddy following from behind?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
that’s not possible since we have it 1 to 1. By calling a buddy, your Minion will return as well, same thing. It’s always 1 to 1. If you’re able to call a minion along with that, you’ll have a row of them following you (laugh) that will break the memory or go over the limit for character display

Alright then, how about pet (summon) and Chocobo (buddy) combination?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Summoner and Arcanist’s pet is OK.

It is said that in phase 3 you will be testing data import from previous XIV, is this for all the characters that was created in XIV? I believe there are few that made couple characters under one account (reworded)

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
yes. There aren’t any restrictions in phase 3, you will be able to test as much. However upon official launch, there are different subscription plans such as standard and entry, so if you have it on entry course, you are restricted to using one character per world server.

I think everyone logged out in different areas, but where will they start? (reworded)

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We made adjustments on this one. They will all start from a specific location. For this one it will involve story so we can’t talk about it yet.

What’s going to happen to the Linkshells previous FFXIV characters had?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We will transfer over the Linkshells, this time the data centers going to split starting phase 3 with Japan and NA/EU. That test will also start, so previous Legacy Worlds will also be separated between Japan and NA/EU. So we’ll have wolrd transfer, if you would like to transfer we will need everyone to send in the transfer request. I apologize for the inconvenience this will cause but we’ll try our best to support. If the Linkshell leader decides to move the leader will not able to carry over the Linkshell, the remaining linkshell will be passed onto another player automatically. If the leader stays then it will remain the same.
Also for friend list, unlike previous XIV where it automatically added players to friend list, it will require approval. Say I wanted to add you as a friend, first it will send a message to you asking for approval and until you press “Okay” the friend list registration won’t be completed. Previous XIV wasn’t like that, I was able to add you to the friend list without any approval, so we made it where it sends the request first. So if you change your name, people may wonder “Who is this?” so please be careful.

Will it start with all your equipment, items, and money?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes. But for those items that didn’t fit in the inventory, we have a specific NPC that holds those items so please get it from them.

Looks like TESO is releasing around the same time as XIV ARR, that game is developed by the team that did Dark Age of Camelot, which you played hardcore. Looks like it’s a fateful match.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
During last year’s E3 I met the ESO people and we talked about DAoC and they were like good luck with FFXIV so it’s really fateful match.

I see. However, doesn’t it look like this year it’s going to be different?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Not sure. Both our direction in graphics is different so I’m sure we’re both not worry about each other.

FFXIV now has Japanese voice and looks more like a consume game

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes. We’re the only MMO which can be played with a gamepad.

Soken (FFXIV ARR Sound Director) mentioned about sound track during the test broadcast.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
There are two, first one which as the previous XIV tracks called “Before Meteor: FINAL FANTASY XIV Original Soundtrack” which has total of 104 tracks in a Blu-ray disk. Instead of a regular CD but will be done as a Blu-ray label. Some may ask why wasn’t it done on a regular CD!? but it wont fit. For regular CD it ends up with something like 8 CD’s and the cost for 8 CD’s is pretty high, the actual CD will cost over 100 bucks, so we chose Blu-ray. However since it’s on Blu-ray we were able to be more particular with the audio, for mastering it took about 8 hours just to load the data. We have all the MP3’s in there so you’ll be able to listen in Blu-ray environment t same time for those without those environment they can transfer the MP3 files to mobile device and listen to them while on the go. The other one is the 6 track mini sound track that comes with the Collectors Edition, so we’re doing mastering for both of these at the same time.

How many tracks are there for FFXIV ARR?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Sorry, I haven’t counted. I believe it’s more than the sound track (previous XIV) it’s abnormal (laugh)

Looks like there isn’t much MMORPG’s out there that takes in BGM as important, but with that FFXIV ARR is abnormal

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I’m telling them this part and this part is fine, but they keep on making.

Soken san is making the most?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Soken is making the most.

The others are Mizuta san and Uematsu san? These 3?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We’re using some of the previous FFXIV tracks also so there are some more.

For FFXIV project there was support from President Wada, but with his resignation what kind of effect will FFXIV take?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Nothing has been affected.

Nothing at all?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes. We just don’t have Mr. Housing appearing for a while (laugh)

For a while, so does that mean Mr. Housing is coming back?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I believe he’ll come back.

How about President Matsuda?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Please look forward to it!

You announced release date of 8/27. The release timing was as expected but the announcement timing was unexpected. I was thinking phase 3 was first going to start after E3 then once server stability was confirmed with the PS3 version it was going to be announced. When I heard of the announcement I was thinking to myself “He’s taking some risk” but what’s the reason behind deciding on this release timing?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
This was decided with those risk in mind, for example for mass PR and printing, and ordering if it’s done after the E3’s SCEA’s press conference the PS4 will come first and people will say, you’re going to bring up PS3 now!? and feel negative about it, also if we don’t announce the release date we can’t make major/final decisions.
Also lots of distributors around the world is worried about when it’s going to be released, or if it’s the real deal, or when it’s going to be announced. If the release date isn’t decided no one will make orders, so it all depends on this release date announcement. But if we make this announcement right after the E3 we won’t know how much it will attract, so that was another big point.
For me, I want players to first try it. I’ve been playing day/night and I feel confident that it’s good, so what’s remaining is to take in detailed feedbacks and make adjustments and it should be good.

Let me ask you this, since you haven’t tested the PS3 version not even once, you won’t know what’s going to happen during the beta test. What if some major problem occurred and ended up where you didn’t like it, what are you going to do?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I’ll bow down and delay the release. This is same for any games, not only this game.

That is true, but for an online game, since there is that risk, I believe most of the time the release timing isn’t announced early.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
But if you say that, you won’t be able to announce any game titles release. Even if it’s not FFXIV ARR if it’s a game that went through mastering, if there is a S-rank bug after announcing the release date, what do you do? there are many situations like that. There are those that were able to be debugged and released on time, and those that were delayed. If you’re in gaming industry that is natural.

I see.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I don’t think there are any gaming company out there that releases the release timing after all the bugs are taken out, that question is is not right (laugh). If we played 2000 hours continuously and if it hangs just once I’ll let it go. However if it hangs 4 times during a 2 hour play, that’s S-rank problem and I’ll tell them to fix it. If that can’t be fixed we have to delay the release, this goes for any game, and not only FFXIV ARR.

That is true. I knew you were going to answer it that way (laugh). This goes for me also but there are players that would see that answer and feel relief. That’s because previous FFXIV failed big time on that one.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Hmmm, so that means it’s really hard for them to really trust us.

I’m sure you know this but there are those that think like you in the gaming industry, on the other hand there are those that hold back on the quality but priorities on releases. You are Square-Enix’s corporate executive so as a company it wouldn’t be surprising if it was a decision as a company to avoid any further delays. But looking at you until now, I felt that you were not that type of person.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
As a developer being told that is a blessing.

But, does that mean the bug fix for the PS3 version is pretty much nearing it’s end?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes. If something were to happen, like if it goes over the display limit, there was a situation when this happened when we tested with our in-office testers and development teams, that is why we have these beta tests. But aside from that we really working on close details now so I think we’re alright. 48 ppl!? who leaked link!! w j/k

So it won’t crash if few hundred players all gathered in town right?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes, we already taken care of that type of bug. We want players to test in that situation to see the bugs case-by-case.

Collectors Edition was sold out instantly.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I was really happy about that.

Do you have plans on additional production?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
No, it’s really hard to make this. If we wanted to reproduce it will take about 3 month so not really thinking about addition. Also we don’t want to the market to hold (onto extra copies) this was due to what happened in previous XIV, but we want to have people with grudge against say stuff like Look see it’s left over just like previous XIV, it’s not selling, that’s why we said it’s alright to just do it with reservation orders only. We really lowered the price as much as possible, and wanted as much players to try it. We were already decided on the price around year and half ago.

How many players are you expecting in phase 3?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
With one world with 5,000 simultaneous connection capacity with Legacy worlds together will be 35. We are planning to check the amount and have enough room to add some more worlds.

Oh wow, can’t believe that much for beta.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We have over 700,000 tester registrations so we need this much (laugh)

For phase 3 duration, are you going to do 2 month fully till August?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
It’s not that long

Then from June 14th till when?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We’re thinking about a month

So if it goes as planned then it will end around mid July, so from there you’ll go back to redevelopment?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
No, once we received the feedbacks. From here on out it’s more towards the operation. Our operation team checks the QA report from previous day every morning, and checks players feedback, and also checks the morning meetings, if we are going to fix, they talk about when? If it needs to be done as a hot fix? They make those decisions and moving on forward, so we’ll probably go in the same way. We did the same during phase 1 and 2 also, so like this feedback, we’re going to address this one but it’s going to be pushed to phase 4, or at launch, or patch. It’s currently setup that way and heading towards the last part.

Then when will phase 4, the open beta test where anyone can play start?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
We haven’t decided yet. That is because we haven’t started phase 3 yet.

So it’s up to phase 3 then.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes. That is because there is possibility of bugs.

Say phase 3 ends smoothly in mid-July then when will phase 4 start?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Phase 4 is something that’s finished and for everyone to try it out so it’s all up to the result of phase 3.

It was said the early access bonus from Collectors Edition is about 5 days, but open beta is about one week?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Might be short but I can’t answer on the duration yet.

Then say if it was right before the release date, why did you separate the open beta (phase 4) and early access?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Open beta is for everyone around the world to try it out, and early access is a bonus for pre-order. Not everyone is getting early access, and as you know we want to split the wave of server rush (laugh)

Are you going to wipe character data in open beta?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Open beta is open so as long as there isn’t any critical bugs we are planning not to wipe. As long as there isn’t any data type of bugs we going to wipe and transfer to official service.

But if you’re not going to wipe character data during open beta, wouldn’t that lower the merit of early access?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Is that right?

You make character during open beta, and if you can play that character in official service, there isn’t much reason to purchase the Collectors Edition and participate in the early access.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I believe 3-5 days advantage for MMORPG is pretty big for players who want to play right away.

I see. So looks like people will dash start from open beta but you’re okay with that?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes that is alright.

Hope there isn’t any unexpected trouble post phase 3 and be able to meet the August’s official service.

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Yes. I am also looking forward to see what’s going to happen with this much volume, and trying to make this much complex system as simple as possible, at same time rendering at a maximum limit. (reworded)

This time we focused on the PS3 version in the interview but I believe there are many that will say “I’m of course going to be playing on the PC version” when are you going to announce the optimal PC or optimal gamepad information?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
Almost. Once we get in June those information should come out. (note this interview was done May 30th)

This year we got Haswell and GeForce 700 series coming out around the same time, so we’ll have lots of optimal PC’s with those setup?

Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida
I’m telling you almost (laugh).

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