of Final Fantasy XIV
fame was at this year’s E3, and that means interviews with the man himself. One of those interviews from VGR
brought up the question of whether or not the game could possibly arrive on the Nintendo Switch, which prompted some excitement about the idea that it might come to the platform. After all, Yoshida says that he would like that!
Except that this isn’t a new answer; it’s the same answer that fans have been getting since the last hardware generation when people were asking about the game arriving on the Xbox 360. It’s always been the same answer.
The team behind FFXIV insist on the game having full cross-play compatibility between all platforms it can be played on (so console players and PC players are on the same servers) and no additional monthly fees beyond the subscription. Those two requests long prevented it from appearing on Xbox consoles (as Microsoft didn’t like the idea of the game not requiring an Xbox Live subscription or cross-play with PlayStation users), and they’re likely the same things holding back any Switch port. So we remain in a world where you have to play on your PlayStation 4 or your desktop.
; thanks to ChaosConstant for the tip!
Sometimes reasonable ideas don’t quite work out. Final Fantasy XIV‘s
latest loot change is an obvious example of that; the developers wanted to solve a problem wherein loot from Alliance Raids is a great way to gear up secondary jobs, but it can be awkward to choose between running on the job that needs the loot and is undergeared or your fully-geared job that doesn’t need it. So the loot rules were changed to greed-only through all Alliance raids.
Unfortunately, this solution ran into one major problem wherein players absolutely hated it for several reasons, glamour collecting and general counterintuitiveness among them. Producer and director Naoki Yoshida posted that in response to player feedback the system will be reverted with the next hotfix, returning to the usual need/greed system for all Alliance Raid content. Which means that you will have to choose between taking the undergeared job or just pray you’ll get the loot you want once again, although with the latest Alliance Raid the problem is more frequently forgetting how to divide by three.
It’s easy to miss one of the worst bits of news about the next Final Fantasy XIV
Live Letter because it’s tucked in the very bottom of the announcement
. But there it is, plain as day. No more translations on the forums, just the important points on Twitter. That
isn’t going to be annoying as hell from start to finish, I tell you what. It’s not like we don’t already have hasty and inaccurate translations floating around with at least something to point to, but now we can be sure that there’s even less
to offer a common reference point!
The irony is that the next Live Letter is coming about a week after the PAX East panel in which one of the major points of discussion was in ensuring that the experience for all players across the world have the same reaction to the game. For the most part, that’s correct; it’s something that Square-Enix in general and Naoki Yoshida in particular has worked hard to ensure. But when it comes to the Live Letters, it’s a principle that doesn’t even pretend to get followed, and it leads to a simmering frustration that might be best served by leaving the whole thing out for good.
I think Naoki Yoshida has severely overestimated how much I wanted to chase after a Scorpion Harness again.
One of the things that I mentioned way back when about the Diadem was that it felt like a Final Fantasy XI zone in Final Fantasy XIV. We don’t know all of the details about Eureka yet, but what we’ve learned so far definitely seems to indicate that it’s meant to be a similar experience. Heck, the visuals alone are doubling down on that; you can’t add in gear that’s specifically meant to look like the Scorpion Harness without inviting comparisons to the original Final Fantasy MMO.
We don’t know nearly as much about Eureka as we might like to know, but we do know something, at least. So let’s review what things we do know, speculate about the stuff that fills in the gap, and start considering what the experience of exploring this new zone will feel like, yes? I’m excited, at least.
Players of Final Fantasy XIV
are still knee-deep in exploring the game’s most recent patch, but you won’t have to wait until the next major patch for some new content. The most recent live letter from producer Naoki Yoshida covered a large number of player questions, but it also showed off the upcoming exploration content of the Forbidden Land of Eureka
. It’s a whole zone to explore, but it’s also a very different sort of zone compared to other regions of the game.
Players will be tasked with exploring the region and gathering powerful items to enhance gear and unlock new gear, including appearances based on familiar items from veterans of other titles. Doing so will also allow you to improve your elemental properties based on the new Magia Melder system, which lets players steadily improve elemental affinities whilst bringing different properties into battle. Check out the full letter translation for more details, or take a look at the archived video from the livestream just below.
One of my favorite things to do every year is drill down the top articles on the site for our readers. I don’t mean the most controversial, the most fun, the most important, or the most commented-on; I mean the single articles that actually brought in the most hits. And what I find most interesting is that most “popular” aren’t always the ones we expect! As we’ve noted before, a well-timed link from a major website – Reddit, Fark, or a game dev – can elevate an entire month. (That’s why we’re so grateful when our fans share our work across social networks!)
Just remember that the list favors posts made early in the year (and in some cases, evergreen articles from earlier years) as later pieces haven’t had as much time to percolate, so when you do see big articles from December on a list like this, that means a popular post indeed!
The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV
will arrive in late January according to the most recent live letter from producer/director Naoki Yoshida. Of course, players don’t have to just sit back and shrug about “eh, sometime in January,” as the letter also covered some of the features coming along
. New dungeons? Yes, two of them, including a hard mode for the Fractal Continuum. The new Sigmascape portion of Omega, improvements to Perform actions, a new set of PvP adjustments… oh, and new storage for chocobos and a whole new system for storing and using glamours. That’s new.
The new system will allow you to save “glamour ensembles” that you can swap to if you’ve already prepared the setup, with all glamours being compiled to work under a single type of prism instead of different types split by crafting discipline. Up to 200 of your most frequently glamoured pieces will be eligible for storage. There’s also the promise of new housing to be released a week after the patch is released, with more information about purchasing changes coming before the patch goes live. And then there are new tomestones, the new Eureka land to both explore and improve equipment, the Ananta beast tribe quests… there’s a lot of stuff. You know, like most FFXIV patches.
As for the further future… we did just get a fanfest site promising a fanfest in November of next year. So, you know, start your speculation engines.
Think of all the wacky things devs have said in public in front of gamers and journalists this year.
Now imagine what gets said behind closed doors!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to select the best (and worst) developer quotes from the year and reflect on what we’ve learned from them. Let’s dig in – we’ve got some whoppers.
Here’s how this column got written. Last week, I was talking about new potential jobs based on weapons rather than on jobs that have existed in Final Fantasy
in the past. The very first comment on the article was this wonderful bit by NobleEinherjar
, which was a bipartite comment that started off by discussing the sharp limitations of the Armoury System and the whole “weapon = class” system in Final Fantasy XIV
. It was a nice digression that I thought deserved a response.
About halfway into writing that response, I realized that I was already most of the way to writing a separate column. So now we have this here.
See, there’s an interesting point to be made about the rigid nature of jobs, the limitations that they impose upon the game’s systems, and perhaps most importantly how we got here in the first place. Especially when you consider that when the game launched, you had a class without any particular restrictions on what it could equip, much less with any jobs at all.
There is definitely a problem with how housing is handled in Final Fantasy XIV
. The good news is that something is definitely being done about it, according to a recent interview with producer and director Naoki Yoshida
. Bad news? We do not yet know what that something is, aside from the rather vague “planning to introduce new processes to the plot purchase specifications” that he offers. So we’ll just have to wait until we get a bit closer to patch 4.2 to find out all of the details.
Yoshida has more to say about 4.2’s upcoming content as well, including the fact that there are no real plans for more Disciples of the Hand or Disciples of the Land to be added in the future as well as the hope to use the upcoming Eureka to produce battles different than what we see in the field or in dungeons presently. Check out the full interview to get an idea of what the team is working on for the next major patch, even if that’s a few months away now.
If you missed this particular bit of drama, here’s the TL;DR recap. Final Fantasy XIV
releases patch 4.1, which includes the new housing wards. Those wards are gone before the first hour has passed, meaning that the vast majority of people who wanted something for housing didn’t get anything. A light is shined, yet again, on the fact that housing in the game has serious design issues
for availability. Clear on all that? Great, now you can appreciate the official response from director Naoki Yoshida
No, this is actually a good thing.
Yoshida’s response explains, in no uncertain terms, that the team vastly underestimated the number of people looking forward to housing in Shirogane and will be working to add additional housing plots for the game’s next major patch. There’s also the implication that sales and even structure for these plots may be notably different, as the team is reviewing a great deal of feedback to prevent the Shirogane issues from showing up again. To avoid speculation, nothing will be announced on this until it is ready. While it’s too early to say exactly what form this will take, it seems clear that the complaints about how badly housing has been handled will result in some changes.
Have I really not talked about the dungeons of Stormblood
yet? That’s unexpected. Usually I would have mentioned them by now, I talk about these things a lot. Yet here we are and I haven’t really given a deep look at any of the dungeons through the leveling experience up to the top. It is, frankly, a shocking realization, and it’s all the worse that I spent a lot of time thinking (and working on) columns on more esoteric elements of Final Fantasy XIV
before remembering this obvious one.
So let’s correct this now and talk about these dungeons. The level range for things was adjusted after my initial preview, and we have a similar leveling arrangement to how things were in Heavensward, but I honestly like this batch more. Part of it is familiarity, sure, but I remember feeling like the first two dungeons in Heavensward were kind of clunkers even when they were new, compared to really enjoying the heck out of everything in Stormblood. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high points and low points, but… well, let’s just get to it, yes?
After all this time, I’m sure some of you forgot that my original E3 2017 interview
with Final Fantasy XIV’s
Naoki Yoshida was supposed to have a part two. That’s OK, since, well, the team’s been a bit busy since then
. With the expansion out and some fires smothered
much loved game director finally was able to get back to some of my questions.
Naturally, the first question I had to ask was how Yoshida is feeling about Stormblood following early access, launch, and the release of the first content patch updates. For now, he said (through translators) that he’s relieved but that the expansion had “an unexpectedly high number of new and returning players [who] came back to the game, which caused some issues and frustration.” One of them was the DDOS attack, for which he again offered apologies.