Latest Final Fantasy XIV Letter Speaks to Gender-Locked Races, Lack of a New Healer & More
The latest Final Fantasy XIV letter from the producer is live on the game's official forums, this time covering a pair of topics that have been generating a lot of discussion in the community: Why a healer is not being added in Shadowbringers and about the gender of Viera and Hrothgar.
The decision was made to add only two new jobs to ensure high quality and balance. The addition of the Gunbreaker and Dancer was the limit of what the developers felt they could do effectively. In addition, the team wanted to add another physical ranged DPS jobs to match the three tanks, three healers, four melee DPS and three magical ranged DPS. Currently, there are only two physical ranged DPS, so the addition brings the job into parity with others.
While no healer will be coming in Shadowbringers, the community's wish for an additional one at some point in the future will be taken into consideration.
Gender of Viera and Hrothgar
Since the announcement that Hrothgar and Viera would be part of Shadowbringers, some in the community have expressed disappointment that each is gender-locked (male Hrothgar, female Viera).
In a Fan Festival keynote speech, I stated that this will likely be the last time we add new playable races to FFXIV. To put it simply, a tremendous amount of time and resources are required to develop one. I’m sure you all understand that a new race will require new faces, hairstyles, bodies, and other assets. In addition to this, they need to be capable of equipping all existing items—this alone requires a massive commitment of resources. Each race has a unique frame and body type, and so every piece of visible equipment needs to be carefully adjusted to display properly on Hrothgar and Viera models. A cursory search will show that FFXIV has around ten thousand equippable items already implemented, all of which must be manually modified by our designers. This is an immediate and unavoidable development cost incurred when adding a new race.
Adding Younger-Looking Playable Characters
In an interesting addendum, the letter also speaks to the request to add young boys or young girls to FFXIV. The answer is simply stated, "This is one request we cannot consider for ethical reasons."
Further expanding on that thought, the team believes that there are moral and ethical issues in games. Presenting children in pain or having them present might allow characters to be used to take sexually explicit screenshots is something developers are unwilling to do. Further, by adding young characters to the game might lead to examination by various review/ratings organizations that could potentially lead to the game being shut down.
Check out the full letter on the Final Fantasy XIV site.
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