Hey everyone! As some of you may have seen from the French and German forums, a few members of the community team were sent to do some planning and discussion on upcoming things related to FFXIV. While we were there, we were also able to sit down and speak with Yoshida, in the middle of one his busiest days this year apparently, about a few questions gathered from the forums and some of the topics we've seen pop up here and there.
Going to start off with the English interview, and add the French and German questions and answers tomorrow.
Without further ado...
Yoshida: I prefer damage dealers and tanks. The former gives me a sense of watching over the battle and 'wearing down' the enemies, which I enjoy. A damage dealer on the verge of death appeals to me when playing PvP, too. Tanks on the other hand are aware of hate levels and their surroundings which allows them to be strategic and adapt their play style. I tend to play as all the classes though! (laughs)What role do you enjoy playing the most in a party, tanking, healing, melee damage dealer, or ranged damage dealer and why?
Yoshida: I'd probably burst the balloons and bring it down to the ground! (laughs) I'd like to gradually make these things on my mind possible in the future.If you were taking a stroll through the deserts of Thanalan and a trio of NM Goblins flying on Bomb Balloons attacked you from above, what would you do?
Yoshida: The term 'monster' can cover quite a wide range of things, but if I had to choose I'd say the great Malboro. They just create so much impact when you see them. My second choice would probably be chocobos!What is your favorite Final Fantasy monster and why do you like it the most?
Yoshida: Central Mor Dhona, where the remains of the fallen airship can be seen. The place oozes with a sense of adventure. I'm hoping to create more places like this when we revise the map - and make sure there's plenty of content to compliment them!What is your favorite zone in FFXIV?
Yoshida: If I could be any race but stay as myself in the real world, it would have to be Hyur. I just like the idea of doing my best as an ordinary citizen, although as a player using a character...I would pick Lalafell. (laughs) They're hard to target in PvP and have tons of charm, too. (laughs)If you could be any of the races in FFXIV, what race would you choose and why?
Yoshida: At the moment? Instanced Raids. After 1.19 comes out, I'd have to say Materia crafting and the Ifrit battle!Upcoming content that you're working on that you're most excited for players to see/play?
Yoshida: That would be our new 'conductor' plan. The point of our discussions is to consider fundamental revisions such as how characters access each part of the game content and how they develop after they're created, the level they need to reach to obtain mounts, etc. We're also planning the mount system based on this idea so I suppose this 'conductor' approach is our current hottest topic.What's the hottest debate going on amongst the development team right now? (that you can tell us about!)
Yoshida: All I can say is that we are not emphasising jumping with the jump key as a means to cover vast distances on the map or an element that must be used during battle strategies... Maybe it's easiest to say it will just be like the jump you generally see in MMO's.Jump. We've pretty much confirmed it is coming. What further details can we wrestle out of you about it?
Yoshida: The process of commissioning new equipment/weapons is largely split in two. The first is 'what's required from a game design point of view', e.g. it goes without saying an ultimate weapon players can only get when reaching the maximum level for a certain job should look unique. The other side entails 'equipment in the form of a reward' for 'content' that players must aim to clear. For both cases, a full time Item Team was established and they are accepting offers from the whole project. As there are so many unique designs that are essential to game planning, the production costs really add up. We then proceed with commissioning reward-based equipment after we decide whether it should be made with existing adjustments + parameters built-in or by redesigning the look. The character design team are the ones who get the actual request. Akihiko Yoshida's team creates the artwork used for character modelling and then modelling work starts based on this. Work proceeds to sculpting and when it's ready, it takes about 6 months to create one full set of equipment that maintains FFXIV's high standards of graphics. We can't get a good supply of these items ready if we don't establish a long-term plan for creating them. This is the most important part. Finally, the staff responsible for each content adds the items to the in-game item database and we're done!Can you run us through the typical creation of a new piece of armor/weapon, etc.? Where does it start, then who does it go to, and where does it end up. Basically from start to finish.
Yoshida: Just like creating items, there are also two processes for quests and scenarios. The flow is different for quests that form the basis of the game. The series of scenarios and quests that we call main quests are designed to be directly related to the plot. The person in charge of the scenario scripts the plot, and after I check and make further adjustment requests, this step repeats itself. The content staff then commission what quests are needed for the patch update and the World Settings Team also provide their ideas. Everything is mapped out and work on the script begins once I decide what order to prioritize the work. In the meantime, the Scenario/World Settings Teams get the text ready for what will become the actual script and the Quest Team continues to implement it. Once the text is done, the Localization teams handle the translation in tandem with the work flow and the content is released after tests and debugging on actual equipment. The workload progresses mainly as 'per-diem management'. Incidentally, we're currently getting planning and plot details organized for patch 1.19!How about the same as the above, but for quests/missions?
Yoshida: While not 100% definite, we're probably going to go with Materia crafting.Have we decided on "Materia" being the final name for the upcoming system?
Yoshida: Definitely teleportation. Commuting to work is such a waste of time...What in-game related feature/item do you wish you could use in the real world?
Yoshida: If we're talking about FFXIV, then 22 hours straight. I can get by on 2 hours sleep, but if I don't sleep in a bed I'm exhausted the next day. By the way, I sleep 2-3.5 hours on average - it's been like that since taking this job. (laughs) If we're talking about since I started working in the games industry, then I once had a 96 hour marathon. At that time, I didn't sleep a wink for 96 hours. (loud laugh)What's the latest longest stretch you've been in the office while finishing a deadline, or before a major milestone?
That's it for now, check back tomorrow for the French and German questions!