We’re pleased to present the full Q&A digest from the Producer LIVE Part IX! If you weren’t able to watch the live stream, or if you just want to watch it over and over again, check it out below! Please note that there will not be subtitles added the LIVE letter.
Don’t forget to select the 720p option to watch the video in HD!
Due to the technical difficulties, there is a 12-minute gap between the half time and the start of the housing part.
Letter from the Producer LIVE Part IX Q&A
Q: What kind of plans do you have for warrior, dragoon, and other class/job adjustments?
We’re hearing a lot of talk saying that warrior is weak compared to paladin, but there are a couple of points I’d like to go over, so I’ll go over them one by one.
First, I’d like to talk about the boss monsters in the Binding Coil of Bahamut Turn 1 and 4. We designed them so that even tanks could not withstand their attacks when they have buffs stacked; however, at the moment only paladin is able to survive through a method we had not thought of. Our original vision for this was that players would clear these encounters by properly removing enemy buffs or kill them all before it got to the point where they would one-shot players.
Since this is content that has already been released and strategies have already been established, we won’t be making adjustments to these encounters. Instead we’ll be looking into making adjustments to warrior so they can withstand this like paladin is able to.
Next is the matter of warrior’s stun. Unlike the paladin’s stun, which is tied to the global cooldown, warrior can use stun at any time, which helps maintain stacks of wrath. However, there are times when you need to use stun consecutively, or the timing is difficult due to its activation time. Because of this, it would seem that players have a negative impression of warrior’s stun. We’ll be making adjustments in patch 2.1 so that warrior’s stun is more useful, which should help address the disparity between warrior and paladin.
There’s also the matter of Wrath and the use of Inner Beast. I believe that a lot of players are using Inner Beast to self-cure when taking a large amount of damage, but after becoming infuriated with five stacks of Wrath, players receive a 15% curing bonus, so instead of using Inner Beast right after taking heavy damage, I think it would be better to wait for heals from a white mage or scholar.
In addition to the curing bonus, Wrath has other benefits as well. For example, while Paladin certainly has high vitality and HP, we’ve worked to balance them with Warriors based on the amount of damage they take and the amount of HP they’re healed for. However, we’ve made these adjustments bearing in mind that warriors have Wrath active. This is what makes the job difficult to use effectively. Using Inner Beast spends all stacks of Wrath, which makes it difficult to use Inner Beast right after a combo, and then build the stacks back up with the following combo. With that said, from a healer’s perspective, although warriors can heal themselves right after taking heavy damage, once they use Inner Beast they don’t heal themselves well, giving the impression that they lack defense.
These are a few of the factors contributing to the problems we’ve seen with warrior. While we’d like you all to continue experimenting with uses for Wrath up until patch 2.1, we feel effective use of this skill is a bit difficult, so we’ll be making adjustments in patch 2.1. There are several other aspects of the job that will be adjusted, but rest assured that warrior will become stronger come December.
As I explained in a previous Letter from the Producer LIVE, we’ve balanced content so that it can be cleared on any job; however, depending on the content, there will always be aspects that certain jobs are more suited for than others. Comparing ranged DPS and melee DPS, for example, there are many situations where melee DPS will have to move more frequently than ranged DPS to avoid attacks. There are also many encounters such as Titan where phase changes will wipe combos, or they may change in the middle of stacking a combo. Comparatively it’s much easier for ranged DPS to deal damage in these situations, so we will be making overall corrections. Specifically, we will be enhancing all melee DPS in patch 2.1.
Regarding dragoon’s jump abilities, the game recognizes you as being in the spot where the action was initiated, and it’s not possible to move while in the jump animation. When fighting hard mode Titan, for example, this causes problems when he uses Weight of the Land while dragoons are in the middle of a jump, or they may land as Titan prepares to use Landslide.
Jump is the star ability for dragoons, so we understand the feedback asking to make it so you are invulnerable while using Jump. However, if we simply made dragoons invulnerable, considering the future content we’ll be adding which involves dodging enemy attacks, everyone would just play dragoon and use Jump at the same time to avoid damage, so we won’t be doing this. With that said, we’re planning to reduce the animation lock after using jump abilities, which should improve their overall use. However, there will definitely be situations where timing is essential to avoid being hit by enemies, and there will be no change to this aspect of combat.
We often hear opinions that Titan is too hard, but looking a people who were participating in the Titan Challenge we held at multiple events, not only dragoons, but everyone in general had their cameras zoomed in quite a bit. I believe this is because in FFXI and FFXIV 1.0 you couldn’t zoom out very far, but in order to dodge different attacks in high level encounters in FFXIV: ARR, it’d be best if you zoom your camera out to the maximum distance.
Also, as a melee DPS, I think it’s difficult to avoid bomb boulders while focusing on your attacks, but ranged DPS and healers can maintain a fair bit of distance and there may be other players in your party who are good at dodging, so if you don’t know where to go you can follow these players to stay safe. Of course it’s important to memorize the patterns, but quick decisions are also critical. Furthermore, there have been requests to boost magic defense, but we’re looking into this carefully.
I’m sure that after adjusting dragoon, the frequency with which Jump is used will increase, but please keep an eye on the battle, because if you use it too much you may find yourself in trouble. However, we’ll be making it easier to dodge enemy attacks after using it, so please take this as an improvement to Jump.
Overall Job Balance
Naturally each job has their own identity, and depending on the content there will be slight advantages and disadvantages. Up until hard mode Ifrit, we’ve balanced content so it can be cleared without the use of cross-class abilities; however, by using certain cross-class abilities, the difference in damage between certain jobs becomes much more noticeable as battles drag on. With that said, we will be making adjustments to the average amount of damage jobs deal in various encounters.
Regarding stacked party compositions, it’s actually more beneficial to have different jobs in the party to help fill your limit break gauge faster. There are a lot of situations where you can use level 3 limit breaks, so if you have a strategy that calls for limit breaks at certain times, it’s be more advantageous to make parties with different jobs.
Although we’ve noticed that certain jobs are favored in certain instances over others, we will continue making adjustments moving forward based on the idea that all jobs can contribute to encounters. In regards to bard, though their recast times are long, they are able to deal large amount of damage in a short period of time, and we feel that this is a bit too strong of an advantage for battles where enemies change phases.
Q: There’s a lot of unfriendliness between players who are matched together with the Duty Finder. What kind of countermeasures are you looking into for this?
First, I believe a lot of players who are looking to quickly and efficiently clear dungeons are recruiting members via shout with requirements that people have powerful gear such as Garuda or relic weapons. Since the Duty Finder matches people without first checking their goals, there are a lot of breakdowns in communication, and we’re considering a number of changes in 2.1 to allow players to recruit party members with certain requirements. For example, we’ll be making it possible to recruit members through a bulletin-board system. There will be a list in the window, and you can indicate the content you want to run and add a comment. Other players can look at this list, request a party invite, and join the group. The recruitment list will also list which roles have been filled and other important party details.
Also, for the players who are recruiting members, the recruitment screen will have a list of choices you can check such as: “first timers welcome,” “taking our time,” “please stick around until we beat it,” “going after loot,” “playing for the story and will not skip cutscenes,” etc. You can check off any options that fit you goal, and recruit members. Similarly, the players who are searching the recruitment list can check these options and search for specific groups. For example, if you want to progress through the main scenario you can check the boxes that apply and search for parties with the same goal. We hope this will make it easier to form parties with people on the same server.
We also plan to update the Duty Finder. As there are a significant number of updates planned, we’re considering focusing on this during the next Letter from the Producer LIVE. One particular addition I’d like to briefly mention is random matching. This is a matching feature that will let you join instances at random after choosing one of several categories such as “leveling dungeons,” “high-level dungeons,” “main scenario primal battles,” etc. By using random matching, you’ll be able to obtain Allagan tomestones once a day for each category. After selecting a category for random matching, you will join whichever instance has the fastest matching speed. This feature will also make it easier for new players who are progressing through low level dungeons and story primal battles to be matched up.
Furthermore, we will be adopting an MVP voting feature, so you can vote on the player who you feel did the best job in the dungeon and they will receive MVP points. By accumulating these points, you will be able to exchange them for equipment and mounts.
When it comes to acquiring Allagan tomestones, we realize there are only a handful of options for obtaining them at the moment, but in patch 2.1 we’ll be adding three new dungeons, extreme mode primal battles, Crystal Tower, beastmen daily quests, and treasure hunts, all of which will allow players to obtain Allagan tomestones. Although there are currently a mix of players who want to run through content efficiently to obtain tomestones and those who want to progress at their own pace which causes tension in Duty Finder parties, we feel this problem will be resolved when we add more methods to tomestones.
Q: Regarding Odin and Behemoth FATE Congestion, Display Issues, and Server Crashes
In a single grid, a maximum of 100 characters will be displayed. Since NPCs and monsters have display priority, the monsters themselves do not actually disappear, but once more than 100 players enter a grid, certain characters are no longer displayed. The system was set up to hide objects from other grids, so even if hundreds of characters gather, stress is not placed on your PC.
However, there is one problem. If, for example, Behemoth is in a certain grid, and the amount of characters in that grid exceeds 100, no matter what happens he will always be displayed within that grid. However, there is no display priority for adjacent grids. In short, if you’re not positioned in the same grid as Behemoth, you won’t be able to see him when the area is crowded with hundreds of players. If you move to the grid where Behemoth is located he will always be displayed, but once he moves to a different grid he will disappear again.
As a countermeasure, we will be implementing a special system that monitors the display priority for zones as a whole. This system will ignore normal display priorities when special monsters or objects appear in zones, allowing them to be seen regardless of what grid they’re located in. However, we have to approach this carefully, so there are no plans to implement this until patch 2.1.
Also, when more than 800 players congregate in certain areas, a large amount of latency is generated, and the server is designed to automatically go down; however, since this situation has occurred so often, we’ve setup player limitations for each area as a countermeasure to prevent server crashes. With these countermeasures in place, Behemoth and Odin will display properly so that players can defeat them, and as more and more people obtain their rewards, the number of people focusing on them will gradually ease up. With that said, getting these enemies to display properly will be our highest priority.
Regarding the Economic Condition of Eorzea
In Regards to Cheating
A: We take cheating very seriously, and plan to do everything we can to ban cheatersas we continue to address this issue. As subscription based games are on the decline, RMT are gathering by the masses in the games that a lot of people are playing. Because free to play games already have items you can buy for real money, RMT cannot make money off of these games.
Right now, the most notable form of cheating is the use of bots that automatically defeat enemies, gather materials, and warp around. Warp cheating is a game of cat and mouse due to the fact that once we perform countermeasures, they find new methods, then we implement countermeasures against this new method, and they find yet another way to do it, but we are proactively addressing this. As for other types of bots, we are placing importance on not making false accusations, so we’re carefully handling each report made with thorough investigations, and we’re cracking down on hundreds of accounts every day. We will not be changing our stance on this, and moving forward we’ll be bolstering the ranks of our Special Task Force. There are a lot of you who wonder why the character you just reported hasn’t been punished yet, but in order to prevent unjust punishments, we need to gather the facts and address each report with the utmost care. We appreciate your cooperation.
There are users who have been streaming while using illegal third-party tools, and even though we’ve addressed this making them no longer useable, there have been reports of players who are still able to use them. Honestly, this is an obstruction of our operation. Players who see this kind of behavior are becoming increasingly worried, and although we tried to play down the issue at first, we will take steps to address this before it gets out of hand. We do not permit the streaming or posting of videos with players using illegal tools, so please avoid doing this.
Regarding the Operations of FFXIV
Q: How do you plan to address network lag in Europe
A: We’ve been receiving a lot of feedback on the EU forums about trouble with ISPs and network setups using WiFi. I believe information has already been shared by the European Community Team, but we would like players experiencing these issues to post further details that indicate the network card they are using, their provider, and any other pertinent information regarding their connections. Once we can define the issue, we would like to contact European providers to address connectivity problems, and we appreciate your cooperation in helping us.
Q: Are the number of people logging in decreasing?
A: As FFXIV: ARR is a subscription based business model, naturally there will be players who will not play anymore once they finish the main scenario. MMORPGs that launched after 2008 with a subscription based model retained a maximum of 35% of their users during the first month of subscriptions. However, FFXIV: ARR has surpassed this number by a wide margin. That’s not to say that we’re satisfied with our current figures, and we’d like as many people as possible to subscribe and play the game. My plans with FFXIV 1.0 were the same, but we would like to first deliver exciting and fun content to all the players who are playing the game. With a steady income from monthly fees, we can then continue to provide constant updates, and by doing this, players who once left will likely return. I feel it is extremely important to continue to do this for subscription based MMORPGs these days, and we’ll be making sure to see this through.
* In-game footage of the housing area from Limsa Lominsa is shown in the video.
Q: What are the requirements to own a house?
A: You will need to increase the rank of your free company to the point where you have permission to buy a house. After this you just need to buy the deed to the land and house.
Q: Will there be any maintenance fees or other costs for housing, besides the cost of the land and house?
A: In older MMOs, such as Ultima Online, there was a house maintenance fee you had to pay weekly, but in FFXIV: ARR we decided against this system. Similarly, these older MMOs also had a system where your house would break down if you didn’t log in after a while in order to have you continue your subscription, but this is a thing of the past and we won’t have any system like that.
Q: Can you take out a loan?
A: We’ve been asked this a lot, but there are problems with how it would be collected, repayment, and other such aspects that would just make it too similar to real life, so we’re not planning to have this at the moment.
Q: How much land are you planning to implement within a housing area instance?
A: Thirty houses can be built within one instance. There will also be multiple levels for an instance. There will be a bunch of land with the same geography, and you can purchase the land that is unoccupied.
Q: Please show us the flow from buying a house up to arranging furniture.
A: The general flow will be as follows.
*This is demonstrated in the video.
A house will not be built when you purchase your land. Once you buy the deed to your house, you can preview what kind of house you would like to build from the housing menu. When you select your deed, a confirmation window will appear asking if you are sure you want to build the house, and if you select “Yes” your house will be built. It’s an extremely simple process. Right after you build it, its appearance including doors and windows, will be standard, but by performing various actions you’ll be able to swap out parts of the house.
Changing Exterior Parts
If you select the exterior from the housing menu, you’ll see options that allow you to change the house’s outer appearance and purchase additional exterior parts, which are sold in stores. When opting to change the exterior, a specialized screen similar to the equipment screen will appear for your house. In the upper portion of this screen, the various parts of the house will be displayed, and you can change them out by dragging and dropping just like when you’re equipping your character. The parts will feature preset colors, but you’ll be able to change them. Additionally, the lower portion of this window contains optional aspects, and you can customize the settings of various parts such as lamps that shine at the entrance and roof decorations. This is where you set up all of your house’s exterior parts, and we’ll be preparing a ton of them, so be sure to try them all out and create your dream home.
Placing Garden Furnishing
Next up, we have the garden layout. From the housing menu, you can select an option to place garden furnishings to organize garden-related objects. By selecting the items you wish to place from your inventory, you can drag them directly to a desired location. Then you can switch to rotation mode and adjust their orientation. We decided to split the positioning and rotation because a single interface for both would become a bit complicated. The garden objects you placed will then appear in the garden object list. Naturally, you’ll be able to sit down on the benches that you place and jump on top of objects as well.
* In-game footage of the Small size house from Lima Lominsa is shown in the video.
Q: Could you explain how exactly gatherers and crafters will impact the exterior/interior of a house?
Q: Can you change the music that plays inside your house?
A: While it won’t be in patch 2.1, we have plans to introduce a jukebox. By crafting one of these and placing it in your house, you’ll be able to play your favorite FFXIV: ARR music. I’m sure you would all like to be able to change the music depending on your mood, or play a free company member’s battle theme before they run off to a dungeon, so we’d like to make this happen.
Q: Will we be able to store items within the furniture?
A: This will not be possible. Currently, the placement data alone has a saved data volume that is unusually large, so trying to implement storage would cause the saved data to become even larger. This doesn’t mean that there are no plans for this in the future, but as all of your data is periodically written into the backend database, increasing this too much is directly linked to the risk of data rollbacks. This is very dangerous, so we’d like to proceed with caution. We plan to release housing first, and after we’re sure that everything is running smoothly and expand to individual housing, there is a possibility that save data space can be expanded further.
Q: What happens when you have a house and you disband your free company?
A: Unless you completely dismantle the house you will not be able to disband your free company.
Q: Will there be ways to Return straight to your house?
A: We are planning to implement a feature where you can place an aetheryte at your house and set it as a home point to teleport and return to. We’re cutting it really close, but we’d like to have this in for patch 2.1.
Q: Will we be able to place bulletin boards and signs in front of our houses?
A: We have plans to implement a feature in patch 2.2 that allows players to leave comments on a bulletin board.
* In-game footage of the housing area from Ul’dah is shwon in the video.
Q: Will we be able to garden at our houses?
A: We have plans to allow you to place a croft in your garden and harvest various items from it in patch 2.2. The other day I was asked if my vision was: A – anyone can casually grow things of almost no value; or B – plant rare items, harvest from them, and then use them to grow other things together. I answered B.
Q: Can you make an area in your housing area to practice battle skills and calculate damage?
A: There are already various locations around Eorzea where wooden dummies have been setup, and we’re considering allowing these to be placed inside of your homes as well. While it won’t be available in patch 2.1, we don’t expect it to be that far in the future.
Q: If all of the Large size houses are taken, will you be adding additional instances with L size lands right away?
A: We’ll be sure to add new instances as we keep an eye on the land that is being taken. Our goal is to keep unused land to a minimum, so we’d like to check each instance one by one and add more once they reach a certain percentage.
Q: As there are differences in economies from World to World, will the housing costs differ by World?
A: It will not be different. The price of the buildings will be a fixed amount, but the land will be sold in an auction-like system and start at the highest price. As time passes, the land that has not been sold yet will decrease in price. With that said, players on newly added Worlds that do not have that much gil in circulation can wait for these prices to come down. The price will be reduced every six hours.
* In-game footage of the Small size house from Ul’dah is shown in the video.
Q: Will we be able to place furniture outside of the house?
A: This will not be possible. Garden furnishings are meant for the garden and housing furnishings are meant for the house. They have been specifically set into two different categories so that benches and other items that are similar to housing furnishings can be distinguished easily.
Q: Will it be possible to stack furniture or place objects on top of furniture?
A: Yes, it’ll be possible to place objects such as lamps on top of tables and what not. The amount you can place and what you can place is limited, but you’ll be able to place objects on top of suitable furnishings such as tables and desks.
Q: Will we be able to see the sunlight coming through the windows and also be able to view the scenery from within a house?
A: We’ve made adjustments for the amount of light that enters though the windows, but you will not be able to see the scenery outside. I understand there have been requests for this, but there are a lot of other houses outside and a lot of people passing by, so if we were to make this possible it would cause an increase in the limitations for the objects that can be placed in your houses. We decided to prioritize allowing you to place as many things in your house as possible.
Q: Can you expand to an M size or L size house from an S size house?
A: This is not possible. You would have to tear down your house and build a new one on open land. The reason for this is due to the fact that these houses are shared and the objects that are inside and outside of the house don’t belong to one single person, so you can’t change it back into a deed until you completely disassemble the house. Once you resolve what belongs to who, you can take down your house and then rebuild a new house.
Q: Will we be able to sell our houses (including the furniture)?
A: This will not be possible. You can only trade the deed, so you would have to revert your house back to a deed to do this.
* In-game footage of the Large size house from Ul’dah is shown in the video.
Q: Will you be able to have individual rooms in your free company house?
Q: Will you add any feature to prevent FC members from taking the furniture?
A: In the housing permissions settings you can indicate which rank members can do certain things with furnishings.
Q: Are you looking into mini-games or other elements where free company members can gather and play?
A: I think some staff members are starting to think about a card game…
Q: What type of facilities will we have access to within a housing area other than the market board and retainer?
A: First, you can have a crafting workshop in your house to be used by any crafters in your free company. Also, in the event you need a large amount of low level materials for crafting, we’re planning to make it possible to place NPCs in your house that would sell these materials. We’ll be adding on to features such as this over time.
Q: What are the advantages of making things in your underground workshop?
A: You’ll be able to build airships and go adventuring with them. We were stuck on deciding whether to go with boats or airships, but we decided to go with airships first. We’d also like to do boats, but for now crafters will be able to gather together and build airships in these underground workshops. We’d like to introduce this before the first expansion.
Q: Are there any plans to implement any seasonal exteriors for houses (snow-themed exterior during Christmas, witch-themed exterior during Halloween, etc.)?
A: While I don’t want to rule the idea out, I would first like to focus on the implementation of additional housing parts. I do love the idea of seasonal exteriors, but I would prefer something like a blacksmith or armorer-themed exterior which can be then used to sell actual equipment. However, for a house like this, you would not be able to swap out the exterior housing parts. If we made these exteriors customizable, implementation dates will be pushed back due to the vast number of housing parts we have to take into consideration. Please keep in mind that I still like the idea of seasonal housing parts, but I think players will get bored of them, and would have much more fun with content that can be enjoyed for a longer period of time.
We do have plans to implement additional housing parts. While we have many ideas regarding seasonal items, we are currently discussing which ones players will enjoy the most.
* In-game footage of the housing area from Gridania is shown in the video.
Q: When will the chocobo farm be added?
Q: Are there fish in the bodies of water in the housing areas?
A: Yes, so get your bait and fishing rods ready!
Q: Will there be any way to you breed animals that drop materials so we can harvest them?
A: Currently we do not have plans for this. There would be a number of problems such as how to design the AI, or how to handle animals if players don’t attend to them. However, as we previously mentioned, the development team has brought up ideas such as being able to release all your minions within a house.
Q: About how much furniture will we have access to when the housing system is implemented?
A: In patch 2.1, without including the exterior parts of a house, there will be about 220 furnishings to choose from (40 exterior furnishings and 180 interior). Please note that this only refers to the initial numbers and more will be added through future patches.
* Video introduces concept art of furniture and equipment.
* In-game footage of the Medium size house from Gridania is shown in the video.
Q: Will we be able to place mannequins within the house so that we can equip them with our armor?
A: The current plan is to implement that feature after patch 2.2.
Q: Will there be frames in which we can place art? If so, will it be possible to take a screenshot and place it within the frame?
A: Yes, there are frames which you can place artwork in. Please check out the various artworks our art team has prepared for you!
As for the screenshot feature, we previously had a request for players to be able to design their free company crest by using screenshots and we stated that it would be difficult to judge what images can and cannot be allowed to be used. Therefore, we currently have no plans for players to be able to use screenshots.
Q: Let’s say we place walls within a large room to separate them into smaller rooms. Will we be able to place doors within the walls?
A: While you will be able to place walls, you will not be able to place doors. After carefully reviewing factors such as collision detection and allocating space for the door to swing open, we determined that it was too difficult to implement doors within the walls.
Q: Can you set individual entrance restrictions for L size houses that have two floors and a basement?
A: No, you cannot.
Q: Will there be a system that allows free companies to collect gil from their members when buying a house?
A: No, there will not.
Q: Can you place an Ishgardian wartable in your house like the ones found in Coerthas (Dragonhead)?
A: We decided to add this based on the community’s feedback.
Q: Will we be able to change the wallpaper and flooring design?
A: Yes, you will.
* Video introduces examples of the wallpaper and flooring design.
* In-game footage of the Small size house from Gridania is shown in the video.
Q: Will there be any interesting furniture such as lights you can turn on and off, cabinets you can open and close, etc.?
A: Yes, you will be able turn the lights on and off. In addition, there will be furniture that is interactive. While there won’t be a great deal of interactive furniture due to the challenges of creating them, we will increase the number of interactive furniture pieces in future patches.
Q: Will we be able to place an aquarium in our houses?
A: While there are currently no plans to implement an aquarium, I’ll be sure to forward the request to the person in charge. We’d first need to have designs drawn up for the aquarium, then create a translucent appearance that’s as realistic as possible, so it’s quite difficult.
Q: When will individual housing be implemented?
A: It will be around half a year after patch 2.1’s release. Currently, we are split between implementing a personal room within a free company house or personal housing. Since the decision will have a huge impact on how many additional servers we’ll need to prepare, we have to carefully consider the balance of the housing system. We believe it will take roughly six months to have everything planned out and prepared.