This year at E3 I took part in a round table interview of Naoki Yoshida (aka Yoshi-P) director and lead producer on Final Fantasy XIV. Also at the table were the fine folks from Gamer Escape. Read on for what Yoshi - P had to say about what he and his team has in store for FFXIV.
Yoshi-P sat down to the table and thanked us for attending. He also briefly gave a synopsis of what has transpired over the past year since the previous E3. Like we say every year. Thank you for taking time out of your busy E-3 schedule and allowing us to answer your questions. At last year’s E3 we were getting ready to start our beta. Since then we’ve had a successful launch and we’ve had some big patch updates under our belt and we have millions of users playing the game so we’re really excited with what this year has brought us. We want to continue to grow our already large community. This summer we’ll be going into the China market and we also have other regions planned so we can grow the community and the game.
MMORPG: You talked about different regions. Is Latin America one of those regions?
Yoshi - P: We’re definitely considering South America/Latin America as a place for expansion of the game and we are currently looking into what languages would benefit the project most and what languages are most needed.
One of the things that causes pauses is that we’re deciding if we want to add these new regions to our global version or make them separate versions. The biggest thing is that the game is currently being developed in Japanese and then translated into English. From there, having to go to another language might delay the development and patches. If you’re working with a global version you have to wait for that one language before you can release the other languages. A lot of other MMOs are developed in English and it starts in English and you can go to other languages and it doesn’t have that extra step. Working out the logistics of starting in Japanese and then going to these other languages is it feasible to include them in the global version? Or do we have them in their own versions?
We have recognized that right now Latin America and South America game communities are getting larger so we understand the need to get our game out to these regions.
Gamer Escape: What will be the sub classes for Ninja and are you considering going back and including Rogue abilities to existing Jobs?
Yoshi - P: Right now the battle team is working on balance so they’re still deciding on which actions and jobs to connect that with. If we tell you now and release that now then the battle team is going to get upset with us. It’s coming in 2.4 so it’s still a ways off and that’s why we can’t say anything right now.
MMORPG: Can we expect to see Ninja possibly be an evasion tank like in Final Fantasy XI, or will it strictly be a DPS class?
Yoshi - P: The design plan we have is to make Ninja strictly DPS, not like a tank. It will have a very unique role in the upcoming Frontline PVP maybe as a scout type of class where they can use their stealth abilities to scout for their teams.
There is always the image of a Ninja. When people think of a ninja, they don’t think of out there on the frontlines, they think of something more stealthy, hiding in the shadows and coming out for that one critical hit.
Gamer Escape: Can we get some more information on how Stealth and Ninjitsu will work? Will they have similarities with Pugilist forms or something like Aetherflow charges?
Yoshi - P: It won’t be like Pugilist where you put together combos. Creating one ninjitsu type of spell will use multiple hand gestures, these mudra. You take these and combine them to make one ninjitsu spell that will be cast in battle. It will be making different combinations of these to make different ninjitsu to handle different situations in each battle. Having the player think constantly during battle is what we want to do.
There will be spells that enhance the player as well as enfeeble the monster. You’ll want to use a certain spell depending on the phase a boss is in so instead of using your hand technique it will be more thinking about “ok this time in the battle we’ll need this type of spell” and so we want the player to strategize that way.
MMORPG: So far you have made difficult 8 man encounters, you also have 24 man encounters that are available through the Duty Finder. Are there plans to make encounters that are available for 24 man that are not put together through the duty finder?
Yoshi - P: Our current 24 man content is Crystal Tower and yes you can make a party of 8 but it matches to get the full 24. We have gotten feedback from all around the world so it’s something we’re working on. We planned on having it in for 2.3 but it was pushed back. We currently have it planned for the 2.35 patch.
Gamer Escape: Do you have any updates for us regarding the Gold Saucer? We heard you wanted to get a few activities in and that it would be sometime after 2.3.
Yoshi - P: It’s still going to be sometime after 2.3. However what’s going into the Gold Saucer has already been finalized. We have the artwork up and we believe that once we’re able to show the artwork that the players will be pleasantly surprised. Everything is ready to go to start production and we hope to have it released soon, but again it will be after 2.3.
And we’re not limiting ourselves to what was in FFVII, we’re going to use the whole Final Fantasy knowledge base and hopefully get a lot of different type of mini games that you’ve seen in other titles as well as FFVII.
MMORPG: Can we expect to see changes to the Mog Station to make it more convenient for the end user?
Yoshi - P: This is something we are definitely working on, we know a lot of players aren’t satisfied with the system. The truth of the matter is there are a lot of legal hurdles that we have to cover. It’s a daily battle with our legal department. Personally, we want to take off a lot of the steps to make it easier but because we’re using personal information, there are lots of laws in different countries that restrict the movement of that information so working with our legal to find a solution that makes it easy but also covers those laws is the biggest hurdle right now. It’s definitely something we’re working on though.
When I go to the legal team I say “well other games its not that difficult with what they have, it has to be easier and why can’t we do this” and the legal team says “well what they’re doing is dangerous and they could get busted”. So we’re trying to find some good middle ground.