We're pleased to present the full Q&A digest from the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XV! If you missed the live stream, or if you just want to watch it again (and again), check it out below! Please note that there will not be subtitles added the LIVE letter.
Don't forget to select the 720p option to watch the video in HD!
Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XIV Q&A
*The video introduces The Striking Tree (Extreme) battlefield.
Upon entering Frontline, players will start off at the landing for their Grand Company. Players will arrive here by airship. We're currently in the Immortal Flames outpost. Until now I've said that Frontline is a battle split between three powers of influence, and these three powers are the Twin Adders of Grindania, the Maelstrom of Limsa Lominsa, and the Immortal Flames of Ul'dah.
Frontline takes place in an area known as the "Borderland Ruins" which is located in the Carteneau Flats. My character here belongs to the Immortal Flames, so I'm at the Immortal Flames outpost. After a certain amount of time passes, this gate will open and the PvP battle will begin.
The Carteneau Flats, where tragedy struck during the "End of an Era" trailer, is the battlefield for Frontline. This outpost also serves as a respawning point for players that are defeated out in the field, but you won't be able to return here after leaving. Once you drop down, you have no choice but to fight. In the field you'll also be able to ride mounts, and what I'm showing you right now is a PvP reward, the warsteed mount. You'll fight on this field split into three groups of 24. Players will be matched in alliances, where they can communicate with one another, use signs and waymarks, etc., just as they would in the Crystal Tower.
Each city-state will have a main outpost, which cannot be attacked by opposing teams. Players can earn points by defeating other players, but the main focus of Frontline is the occupation of territory. With that said, players will want to keep an eye out for key locations such as outposts and ruins. They will be marked by a flag, and by entering the area near these flags and remaining there for a certain amount time, you can take over and occupy the area. In total, there are six key locations, and while you can occupy them to generate points, an opposing team can also take them from you. On the screen you can see that I'm alone inside of this flag area, but if an enemy enters, the area will become contested. If multiple opponents enter the area, it will begin to lean in their favor, and once the gauge is completely full, it will be taken over. We hope players enjoy strategizing over whether they want to protect their outposts or go out to claim others. Monsters will also occasionally spawn in the area, so your primary ways of earning points will be to not only defeat opponents and occupying strongholds, but defeating these monsters as well. When time is up, the group with the most points will be declared the winner.
I said that this was a 24 vs. 24 vs. 24 battle, but we've made some significant changes to the Duty Finder, and if it seems like it's going to take too much time to match, the Duty Finder will automatically scale down to 16 vs. 16 vs. 16, and again to 8 vs. 8 vs. 8. The system will calculate queue times internally and automatically make changes based on the number of players waiting to join, so players should have no problems registering via the Duty Finder. It's been designed so that no matter the time of day or how many people are available, it will be possible to queue for matches.
For Frontline, we've implemented a new system referred to as "item level sync." We're still making final adjustments as to whether we will sync to item level 80 or 90, but if you wear equipment that is higher than this, it will be synced automatically. Additionally, the morale stat utilized in the Wolves' Den will not be used here, and fights will take place on a completely even playing field. However, you'll still be able to use PvP actions, and I believe this is where differences will develop. In the future we may utilize item level sync for different types of battles such as time attacks.
A: For the initial implementation of chocobo raising, a free company estate will be required to raise your chocobo. However, in a future update we will be unlocking certain chocobo raising features via the chocobo porters in each of the three city-states, allowing anyone to raise their chocobos.0:21:50
Q: I heard that we'll be setting up stables at our houses and raising our chocobos there, but does that mean you can't raise your chocobo if you don't have a house?
Additionally, there have been a lot of requests to allow players to reset any points already allocated to companions, and this will be possible in patch 2.3. You'll be able to reset the points by using a certain item, and this is not related to housing or chocobo raising, so anyone can do this. There were some concerns that points would be lost when you reset them, but don't worry. You'll get them all back and can re-allocate them to any actions you like.
A: We're planning to add a feature in patch 2.35 that will allow you to change the color of your chocobo, but you won't directly be using dyes to change their color. By doing a certain something it will be possible to regrow your chocobo's feathers, allowing you to also change their color at that time. While you won't be using dyes, the development team is working on making it so you can pretty much change the feather colors into nearly every dye color that is available.0:25:05
Q: Will it be possible to change our chocobo's feather color using the various dyes that are currently available?
Housing (Private Chambers)
A: No, there are no differences. We've tried to make the arrangement of Grand Company estates true to life where possible, but regardless of the size of your house, there will be no difference in the number of rooms. The same goes for the size of the room.0:26:23
Q: Will there be difference in the number of private chambers or their size based on the size of your house?
We'll let you know about the number of furnishings at a later time. As this is something that is directly related to memory, we're trying our best to increase it as much as possible.
A: Yes, they will, so you'll be able to place a vortex couch or other rare furnishings in your private chambers. However, it won't be possible to use garden furnishings. Your private chamber is a room and doesn't have a garden, so naturally you won't be able to use them, but you'll have access to anything that can be used indoors.0:29:29
Q: Will private chambers have access to all furnishings available for the free company house?
*The video introduces Syrcus Tower with gameplay.
A: Yes, that's what we have in mind. I think it was a good choice not to release the originally planned high difficulty Labyrinth of the Ancients at launch and instead release the adjusted version that was easy to get into in patch 2.1. As I'm sure there are players who are concerned about this, rest assured that the difficulty has been tuned in a similar fashion to the Labyrinth of the Ancients.0:35:58
Q: Has the difficulty of the new Crystal Tower been tuned for easier access, like the Labyrinth of the Ancients?
I'll be sure to update you on our progress at another time.
A: As I mentioned during the previous Letter from the Producer LIVE, they will not all be dropping at the same time. We'll add them gradually as we progress through patches. We're planning to have unidentified Allagan tomestones drop first, and the drop rate will be about 30%. We'll be making adjustments based on the clear rate of the Second Coil of Bahamut and everyone's average item level.0:38:48
Q: What's the drop rate for the unidentified Allagan tomestone, the sands of time, and oil of time?
Naturally we've prepared a story for this chapter of Crystal Tower, and it paints a picture that shows how you arrive to Syrcus Tower. A new character may even make an appearance that you'd associated with Crystal Tower. Also, stay tuned to find out what happens with Nero.
A: Currently we don't have any plans for this.0:42:20
Q: In the future do you have plans to make Crystal Tower accessible in the open world rather than the Duty Finder??
A: Well, I mentioned just before that a new character just may make an appearance, but I can't tell you who it is.0:42:34
Q: Will any characters such as Doga and Unei or the Warriors of Darkness make an appearance in the Crystal Tower story?
Main Scenario/Hildibrand Side Quest
A: He won't be making an appearance in patch 2.3. The case with Gilgamesh has been solved for the moment, but we ended the quest in way that makes his return plausible. Some of you may have noticed, but originally Gilgamesh is supposed to have a lot of arms and a lot of weapons, but in patch 2.2 he only had two. Perhaps he's growing a few new arms?0:46:31
Q: Will Gilgamesh be making another appearance in the continuation of the Hildibrand quest line?
A: In a previous Letter from the Producer LIVE I mentioned that, since our focus was on creating cutscenes that were humorous, we would not be recording voice overs for these quests. However, recently we've been discussing that it would be good to have as there will be players who start later, but I can't make any promises. As we're about to start recording voice overs for patch 2.4 and beyond, it wouldn't happen right away, but it's something that we'd like to add.0:47:58
Q: You mentioned previously that it would be difficult to add voice overs for the Hildibrand cutscenes as you are prioritizing the over-the-top humor, but would it be possible to add voice overs after they've been released?
A: We actually had a plot where his mother made an appearance. However, we felt there were too many characters and made adjustments. She is in the lore though. Also, just as Godbert mentions, Hildibrand didn't take over the family business and left home to work as an investigator so he can see people smile, so something must have happened in the past. If there are enough requests for this kind of story we can look into it and send a request to the scenario team.0:50:38
Q: Do you have plans for a side story about Hildibrand's younger years or having his mother appear in the story?
A: I think it may come as a surprise that a new job is being implemented before the expansion, but this served as foreshadowing and is tied to rogue and ninja, so be sure to check out how the main scenario develops. We're currently in the midst of creating the job quests.0:51:35
Q: In patch 2.2 Yugiri and Thancred showed off a new style of fighting; was this a teaser for the new job?
A: In the Hildibrand quest for patch 2.3 someone everyone is familiar with will make an appearance but it will be different than the Gilgamesh twist. We'd like to create stories with guest appearances that fit the FFXIV: ARR lore, and once they're ready I'll be sure to share more details.0:53:19
Q: Will other famous characters from the FINAL FANTASY series make an appearance in the game?
A: This is something we're currently working on actually, and the book will contain art as well as other references. The cover will be nicely decorated, and the price may get pretty high. The lore reference materials for FFXIV: ARR are quite extensive, so we may release it in a series. If there is an update, we'll let you know.0:54:52
Q: Are there any plans to release art that's been shown during Letter from the Producer LIVE in the form of an art book?
A: As mentioned during Letter from the Producer LIVE: E3 Edition, it's an eternal bonding between two characters and gender does not matter, so nothing will be affected.0:55:46
Q: If you use a phial of Fantasia after you join in an eternal bond with another player and then change your gender, will anything happen?
A: We are looking to see if we can lower the cost.0:56:32
Q: Are there any plans to allow players to freely reallocate Attribute Bonuses, or make this process easier?
A: We have made specific update plans all the way up to the release of the expansion so it's difficult to add this to our plans. During the Letter from the Producer LIVE: E3 Edition, I mentioned that there has been various feedback such as wanting to challenge dungeons solo without level sync, requests to have end-game encounters for light parties, and requests to add dungeons for full parties every patch. These requests come from various groups of the player community. Right now we have a balance between 24-man raids for alliances, end-game encounters for full parties such as the Binding Coil of Bahamut, and casual-style instanced dungeons for light parties. If we focus on light parties, it will be difficult to manage updates for the Binding Coil of Bahamut. Once we implement everything we have currently planned, we'd like to varying things up a bit, so please give us some time on this.0:56:56
Q: At the moment most end-game encounters are for full parties. Are there any plans for light party based end-game encounters?
A: We've been discussing that it would be nice to have something more professional for the Disciples of Hand similar to the class/job system for the Disciples of War and Magic after the expansion is released. With that said, there are no plans to do anything with master recipes anytime soon.0:58:24
Q: Will there be other unique progression elements for Disciple of the Hand classes in the future?
A: "Evolve" from the creators of "Left 4 Dead" has caught my eye. It's a multiplayer shooter where 4 players go head to head against a monster controlled by a fifth player. Also "Fable Legends," the latest installment of the Fable series, interests me as well. This title is also a 4v1-type match where a single player plays the role of game master and gets to set traps or spawn monsters. I've been thinking about how I also like to play games with a game master role, and coincidently there happen to be multiple titles with that sort of feature getting released this year, so I'm giving those titles a close look. Also "Destiny" is currently in the closed alpha test stage, and I'll be keeping my eye on that one as well.1:00:10
Q: For Yoshi-P. Of the other online games appearing at E3 are there any titles that piqued your interest?
At this year's E3, my feelings about how the future of the Japanese game industry isn't that bright became stronger than ever. Many of the NextGen titles that are coming out are taking rights with new and challenging gaming experiences. Also, there are a good number of new IPs coming out as well. AS far as animation goes, Japanese titles often have impressive visuals, but looking at the titles from North America, the entire arrangement of cutscenes is composed like a movie. Looking only at the motions, it may seem somewhat odd, but how the game experience and cutscenes come together is stunning. FFXIV is an MMO and has to be capable of displaying hundreds of characters simultaneously, so it's not possible to compare directly, but in these titles they concentrate everything on the quality and animation control of the 4- or 5-person multiplayer experience. And it's not only the major studios. Small independent studios are also putting everything they've got into single titles. I feel that we should follow that example and continue to challenge ourselves.
With the implementation of Ixali beast tribe quests in patch 2.35, every tribe will have its own set of story quests. By completing all of them, a special bonus quest will be unlocked, so we hope you're ready.