FFXIV Fan Festival 2018: Q&A with Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida


The question and answer portion of the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival actually came before the Letter from the Producer, and as a result it was pinned in a spot wherein players could neither ask about 4.5 content (which would be discussed shortly thereafter) nor about Shadowbringers content (which would not be further discussed at this time). So you might think that players were generally not interested in lining up for this particular panel.

You would be wrong. The line for questions stretched so long in each of the three aisles with microphones that there was no hope of getting through even the majority of player questions. There were clearly a lot of things people wanted to know, even if the upcoming content was still hidden behind a wall of opacity. So while the session had fewer bits to surprise the crowd, it was hardly short on enthusiasm.

The first question was about players using VPNs for decent connection speeds and asking if the developers could address that; however, Yoshida explained that while the team does what it can, much of that comes from the ISP’s end, and there’s a limited amount Square-Enix can do beyond communicating with ISPs. They’re aware that issues exist, but their influence is limited.

Of course, the next question was about open-world PvP, at which point Yoshida began a series of face journeys on stage with each question asked. (It was being played for comedy.) He explained that while it is technically possible, the team just has no plans for it; tests have been done to confirm that it can work, but it’s a matter of having a reason to use that fact.

He looked particularly aghast when he was then asked about how much time has passed since the launch of the game, which he declined to nail down with an official answer. Then he was asked about mixed-race characters, and the questioner alone had to stop her question midway through as everyone laughed at his visible dislike of the question.

It was answered, though. Making characters like that playable? A lot of work. Having them present as NPCs? Far more doable. Please don’t ask about the former.

Moving along, when asked about having glamour plates more closely linked to specific jobs, Yoshida explained that there are three major tasks the team is looking into for glamour plates. First, there’s a need for more storage space in the dresser; second, there’s a need for more glamour plates, period. Last but not least, there’s a need for more areas wherein players can use their plates. The team has to choose which route to go first, but they want to tackle all three.

At this point an informal poll via volume of applause was held to see what players wanted as a first priority; the voting went rather decisively toward “more glamour plates,” which was acknowledged as useful feedback.

With talk of a new race, are there plans to polish the existing racial models? It’s definitely possible because there are some animations or poses that look off, but it’s a question of making sure that the model isn’t changed to be unfamiliar to fans of what already exists. Players who notice things looking very wrong should post information on the official forums.

Players have also noticed that there is a definite weird pattern going on with the big fists in Alphascape 3 (Savage), and so someone naturally asked what the pattern is. His answer started by noting that he asked the designer behind that mechanic, who noted that… there’s a bug in that system. It’s not critical to fix and doesn’t prevent people from clearing, so they’re not eager to tamper with it, but they are paying attention to it.

Are there any plans to consolidate the 2.x quests? Yes. That is definitely a thing they want to do. Unfortunately, that also takes a lot of time and effort to make that work, and it’s a question of when they’ll have the time to do so; it’ll be examined more closely after Shadowbringers is out.

A question about White Mage class identity was answered by pointing out that first, all classes will be adjusted and changed for 5.0. That having been said, the team is aware that some jobs have negative feedback about core mechanics (Machinist was also cited) and so some will require more overall work than others. All of that will be discussed before the expansion launched in detail; they’re deciding if any numbers for 4.5 need tweaking for the last stretch.

Could we make the haunted house which shows up for multiple Halloween events a permanent feature? Probably not, just because it’s a lot of work to make those instances, and adding it into the Gold Saucer raises the question of what players will do for the next Halloween. (Of course, we know we are getting new Gold Saucer content, too.)

One player asked about making telegraphs possible to color on the client side to help with players (like himself) who have colorblindness. Yoshida acknowledged that this is a definite and important issue, and if there are places where players with vision troubles cannot discern telegraphs, post about it on the forums so the team can improve visibility.

Last and debatably least, someone asked about why tanks need to rely on crafted accessories to get the largest possible amount of Strength for high-end raid content. Yoshida’s answer, in short, was that the point isn’t to push for the most DPS; you’re a tank. You’re tanking. Warrior in particular is very close to having DPS at the level of, well, physical DPS; it’s not too high, but it’s a fine line to make sure that it doesn’t go over that line. The developers are working on the best way to tune things so that upgrades feel like upgrades for tanks without pushing DPS into uncomfortable territory.

There was a large number of fans who didn’t get to have their questions answered, but the general sentiment and atmosphere was still positive and eager. While your own questions of personal interest may not have gotten answered, it’s clear that the team is both listening to feedback and wants to get more feedback about areas that might not be immediately obvious. And if the price of that feedback is the occasional face journey for the director and producer, well… that’s the way it is.

Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Las Vegas for Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2018, bringing you expert coverage on your favorite Square-Enix MMORPG!
Square-Enix paid for transportation and lodging for coverage of this event but did not in any way have influence over the content of that coverage. If anyone reads these, did anyone else get a really strong Tool vibe from the background music for the expansion trailer? I’m not complaining, that’s a good thing.


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