naoki yoshida

The most popular Massively OP MMO articles of 2017

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!

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Final Fantasy XIV plans patch 4.2 for late January, with glamour storage, more housing, and new content

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.

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst MMO developer quotes of 2017

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.

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Wisdom of Nym: Classes, job, and the Armoury System in Final Fantasy XIV

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.

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Naoki Yoshida confirms that housing purchase changes are coming to Final Fantasy XIV

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.

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Naoki Yoshida apologizes for Final Fantasy XIV housing mess, outlines future plans

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.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood dungeons in review

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?

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Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida on Stormblood’s release, AI issues, and MMO history

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, the 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.

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Final Fantasy XIV plans a 14-hour broadcast for its anniversary

Another year of Final Fantasy XIV is coming to a close as the game celebrates another anniversary on August 27th. But there’s still plenty more to come, and fans can tune in for the game’s next long-running anniversary stream starting on September 1st at 11:00 p.m. EDT, then running for 14 hours straight. So you may not want to watch the whole thing in one go; it’ll have previews of the upcoming patch 4.1, discussion about the development history for Stormblood, celebrity guests, and so forth.

Of course, this will likely coincide with another in-game event which we haven’t yet heard about; until we do, you can tide yourself over with another piece of fiction in the ongoing Tales from the Storm series highlighting tales surrounding the events of Stormblood. (As always, be fairly warned that there are spoilers.) Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the anniversary broadcast as August winds down.

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Final Fantasy XIV details some of the balance changes coming to the game on Tuesday

The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV arrives tomorrow, and everyone who has been following the game knows that it’s bringing the new weekly Allagan Tomestones of Creation into the game. But it’s also bringing some other stuff in the form of balance adjustments, something detailed in the most recent Letter from the Producer LIVE with producer (and director!) Naoki Yoshida. All healing jobs are seeing some adjustments, with Scholar singled out for some far-ranging changes like reworks to Excogitation and Indomitability and the re-introduction of Miasma II.

Yoshida also discussed changes coming to tank jobs, Black Mage, Machinist, and Dragoon. He also discussed some of the game’s upcoming content, such as plans to implement a new Alliance Raid roulette for content such as Crystal Tower and Void Ark and new separations of congested areas in the open world. You can check out the full letter for more hints about the future, but you can also just wait until tomorrow; a lot of this will be in patch 4.05, after all.

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E3 2017: Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida on Stormblood, design, and themeparks

Since there were so many early access issues with Stormblood, I figured I’d try to give you Final Fantasy XIV players a little something to chew on while Square-Enix smooths out the rough edges and handles today’s launch. Building on Massively OP’s Eliot Lefebvre’s recent interview with Naoki Yoshida/”Yoshi-P” at May’s Final Fantasy XIV event, we sat down again with him for a chat at this year’s E3. And while I haven’t personally spent nearly as much time in the game as a vet like Eliot, I’d heard that Yoshida was very much a gamer’s developer, so I was looking forward to talking with him about not just the game, but game design.

He did not disappoint.

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Wisdom of Nym: The Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood early access experience

There have basically been two attitudes throughout the past weekend with Final Fantasy XIV’s early access to Stormblood. Here, we’ll run it like a Tumblr meme; tag yourself appropriately in the comments:

  1. “Wow, all of this stuff is really cool!”
  2. “A system error occurred during event movement.”

I spent Friday and Saturday stuck in the latter, but Sunday I moved on the the former. But I can’t really talk about this early access period without talking about the server errors, what may have been causing them, and what should be considered when discussing them.

Because, make no mistake, this was not a fun weekend to be trying to play FFXIV much of the time. It was often dizzying in its frustration, and it was made all the worse because there’s always a communication gap with the game despite the best efforts of the staff. This in and of itself is something I really should write a column about, but that’s not today’s column.

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Final Fantasy XIV hits a major instanced roadblock in Stormblood early access

Everyone knows there are going to be issues with an expansion on launch, and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is no exception. Players have hit up against a pretty nasty one, however, even beyond the usual matters of queues and server loads; something seems to be causing issues with instanced content, including a very early part of the main scenario that’s causing huge population bottlenecks around one questgiver.

Producer and director Naoki Yoshida has been doing his best to keep players updated, but at this point getting past this early instance is largely a matter of clicking for entry repeatedly and hoping to not get the now-dreaded error message stating that the instanced battle could not be started. It’s not exactly surprising that the game would have some issues with early access, but players are left unable to progress beyond the first two areas of the expansion without some appreciable luck (and the instance servers aren’t at their most stable even for other purposes). The issue is being addressed, so keep your eyes peeled for updates when the logjam is finally broken.

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