Last night at the end of the first day of Final Fantasy FanFest Frankfurt Square Enix hosted a first for them. A press conference at the end of a FanFest. Naoki Yoshida, director and producer of Final Fantasy XIV fielded a series of questions from the media.
Towards the end of the Q&A I was able to have a burning question of my own answered. Can players expect a shorter time to kill for inconsequential field enemies?
Yoshida had this to say, “Yes, we do believe in 3.0 some of the regular field battles started to get a little bit long. Probably for 4.0 these battles will get shorter.”
While not a definitive answer it does offer a glimmer of hope. Is this the light at the end of the tunnel for the ludicrously long time to kill on some of the normal mobs we run into while questing? Only time will tell.
That wasn't the only news on the combat front. Yoshida cleared the air on the battle system update. This isn’t an entirely new combat system. We won’t see Final Fantasy XIV reboot and end up with an action combat system or something to that effect. What we will see is the pruning of some skills with redundancies and the possibility of others being merged. As the game grows and new skills are added with expansions they are aware that it gets harder to play the game especially for players that use a controller.
They are also conscious of the difference between players that perform at an elite level and those that take the game more casually. The rotations for optimal DPS have become overly complex. Their intent is to adjust the game so it raises the floor for the more casual player.
Finally they are working on UI enhancements. These are deep in development and probably won’t be ready to be displayed until May. One of the major enhancements they are aiming for is for players to be able to better track their buffs and debuffs.
Combat isn’t the only thing that the developers are looking to enhance. They are also looking for ways to optimize the experience on the PS4. To that end they are already working on a patch for the PS4 Pro that will make the game run better.
Square Enix also didn’t rule out the possibility that we could see FFXIV on the Nintendo Switch. The only caveat is that Nintendo would have to allow cross platform play. We wouldn't see a Switch variant that only plays with other Switch players.