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    Yoshi-P Interview Translation Project (4Gamer Translation, Complete)

    For those who keep an regular eye on the Dev Tracker, Foxclon recently posted this (click for link) post which provide links to interviews Yoshi-P gave to three different gaming websites - 4Gamer, GAME Watch and Famitsu. Naturally, they're all in Japanese. As I read them I noticed there were quite a bit of information contained that haven't been exposed to the English speaking community, so I thought I'd translate them and share.

    Because they are quite long, I'll be doing the translation in steps and edit this post (with the 4Gamer interview) and the next one (with the GAME Watch interview) as I go along - but as I had noticed Reinheart started working on translations for the other two, I will post the complete translation of the 4Gamer interview in this OP and provide links to Reinheart's translation in my second post instead.

    With that said, here I go:

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Gamer
    2011年10月14日,スクウェア・エニックスはMMORPG「FINAL FANTASY XIV」(PC / PS3,以下,FFXIV)に関する発表を行った(関連記事)。その内容は,2011年11月下旬~12月上旬にFFXIVの有料サービスが開始されることに加え,その約1年後の2012年第3四半期に新たなサーバークライアントシステムによるFFXIVが投入されるというものだ。
    In October 14th, 2011, Square Enix made a massive announcement over their MMORPG title "Final Fantasy XIV" (for the PC/PS3). Within it, they announced their intention of billing customers for the game sometime during late November or early December of 2011, and also announced that they will be introducing a brand new FFXIV for players to pay a year late, sometime during the Third Quarter of 2012.

     有料サービスの継続と新システムの投入を同時進行するというのもかなり大胆な施策だが,そのロードマップまでもが公表されたのだから,極めて衝撃的である。
     こうした前代未聞の発表の真意はいったいどこにあるのか,そして今後のFFXIVは何を目指しているのか。FFXIVのプロデューサー兼ディレクターを務めるスクウェア・エニックスの吉田直樹氏に聞いてみた。
    It is rather unprecedented for a company to continue offering services to their game while at the same time creating, in essence, a new game to replace the old. But not only did they do that, they had also released a detailed Road Map for the future ahead.
    What is their intentions behind these announcements? Where is the future of FFXIV headed to? To receive answers to these questions, we decided to ask Square Enix's FFXIV Producer/Director, Mr. Naoki Yoshida.


    相次ぐアップデートで新体制の信用を築き,並行して進行していた「新生FFXIV」開発
    -Building Trust with the customer base with the new updates under the direction of the new Development Team, and the parallel development of the 'New FFXIV'-

    4Gamer:
     本日はよろしくお願いします。2011年10月14日に,有料サービス開始の告知をはじめとして,FFXIVに関する大きな発表が行われました。その意図するところなどを,改めて教えていただけますか?
    4 Gamer:
    Thank you for your time today. It seems that you made a big announcement on October 14th, 2011 concerning billing as well as other important announcements. Would you like to tell us your intentions of making them?


    吉田直樹氏(以下,吉田氏):
     順を追って説明させていただきます。まず2010年12月に運営/開発チームの体制変更があって以降──とくに12月中は,FFXIVに関する問題を全方位的に洗い出しました。プレイヤーの皆さんには何度かお伝えしていますが,その結果,サーバーとマップ,そしてUIについては全面的に作り直さなければ,10年スパンで品質の高いサービスを提供することは不可能であることを判断したのが,そもそもの始まりです。
    Yoshida Naoki (will refer to Yoshi-P beyond this point):
    I will answer these questions step by step. First, after we switched over to the new Development team on December of 2010, we went over all the major problems that were plaguing FFXIV. We went over this quite extensively the whole of December. We have already let our player base know this, but as a result of these discussions we had decided that unless we completely overhaul the server, the map and the UI, it will be impossible for us to offer our services in this game 10 years from now. That's how it all began.


    4Gamer:
     4Gamerでもインタビューなどを通じて,吉田さんの発言を取り上げてきました。
    4Gamer:
    We at 4Gamer picked up these things through your earlier interviews with you too.


    吉田氏:
     しかし,そう判断してもその時点で,もちろん今現在でも遊んでいる方がいらっしゃいます。僕は,その多くのお客様がFFXIVのみならず,今後のスクウェア・エニックスにとって大切なお客様だと捉えていますし,その意識は運営/開発チームはもちろん,会社の上層部も強く認識していました。
     そこでプレイを続け,応援してくださる方々がいる限り“絶対にサービスを停止しない”こと,そして“ゲームとして一定の品質が達成できることと,作り直しのための徹底した計画ができ上がるまでは絶対に有料サービスに移行しない”こと,この2つのポリシーを決めました。これが2011年1月。つまり我々はこの10か月近く,現行のFFXIVの運営とアップデート,MAP全域を含む,いくつかの根本的な作り直しという,2つの案件を同時進行していたことになります。
    Yoshi-P:
    However, even if we had come to that decision, there are of course players who continue to play this game to take into consideration. I consider these players as very important customers not only for FFXIV but for Square Enix as a whole, and these sentiments were shared by not only the Management/Development Team, but also our higher ups in the company.
    Therefore, we had decided as long as there are players who continue to play the game and support us, we will: 1.) never terminate the game and 2.) Reach a set standard of quality with the current game and continue to offer the game for free until we had an extensive, workable plan to rebuild this game. These two decisions then became our policy. We reached this decision on January of 2011. So, this means these 10 months since January, we had been working in not only providing a steady stream of updates to the current game but at the same time were reworking the basic, key aspects such as map revision that would be implemented in the new FFXIV.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。しかし根本的な作り直しの件について,具体的な話が表面に出たのは先日の発表が初めてですよね。
    4Gamer:
    I see. But this reworking of the game from the ground up, it seems that this was first brought up to our attention only after your announcement just earlier.


    吉田氏:
     現在までの進捗を含めて,まとめてご報告,というのは確かに今回が初めてですが,プレイヤーの皆さんには,公式フォーラムを通じて,MAP/サーバー/UIに関しては,根本的に作り直しています,とはお伝えしてきました。
     ただ,新システムも含めて,今回発表させていただいた規模であることを,これまで意図的に伏せてきたのは事実です。新体制スタートの初期段階で「運営もします,作り直しもします,しかも同時並行です!」と表明してしまうと,どちらか一方の──この場合は,主に現行の運営の手を抜くのではないかと,プレイヤーの皆さんにご心配をおかけしてしまいかねません。あとは「絶対無理だろう」とも。
     とくにFFXIVは,あれだけ大きなインパクトを残して,ある意味でローンチに失敗したわけですから,それを払拭するためには言葉よりも中身,ゲーム内容と開発姿勢でしか信用を回復できないだろうと考え,これまでも全力でアップデートを重ねてきました。
     我々が“今いるプレイヤーの皆さん”のために全力を注いでいることを,その“今いるプレイヤーの皆さん”に少しでも感じていただけていれば,とても嬉しいです。
    Yoshi-P:
    Indeed, this is the first time we made an official, complete announcement over our reworking of the game, but we have communicated to our playerbase that we were working on Map/Server/UI revisions before.

    However, it is true that we have been relatively vague over how were were going to accomplish this task, including how we were going about with the new FFXIV. We came to this decision because, if we had, from the start, announced that "We will continue to provide updates to the current game, but at the same time we're also making a new and improved FFXIV!", our customer's opinion over this topic would be mixed at best. It'll cause the playerbase to worry over issues such as "Is the Development team really capable of doing this? Wouldn't they slack off making updates for the current game in favor of the new FFXIV?". Worst case, they might think "Bah, impossible." and lose faith.
    FFXIV, when it was first released, made a huge impact - which unfortunately for us was largely negative. Our FFXIV launch was essentially a failure. To wipe off that impression, the only thing we could do as developers was though the building of trust with our releases of new in-game content and our new Development stances. We have been working our hardest to accomplish this.
    If I can get the message across to our playerbase that we are giving it our all for them, that will make me happy.


    4Gamer:
     たしかに,2つが同時進行していたとは感じさせないアップデートが行われてきたと思います。
    4Gamer:
    Indeed. Looking back, it's kind of hard to believe you had been working on these two projects in sync with the amount the updates you've made to the game.


    吉田氏:
     それらアップデートと同時並行で,新しい描画エンジン,新しいサーバー,新しいUIの設計と開発を進めてきました。
    Yoshi-P:
    We had also been working on the implementation of a new graphics engine, new servers and plans and designs for the new UI in parallel to all that.


    4Gamer:
     というと,吉田さんの「寝てない」という発言も……。
    4Gamer:
    So your statement of "Not getting enough sleep" is...


    吉田氏:
     そうですね,全力でのアップデートと新規設計が並行なので(笑)。
     また新生FFXIVについて,これまで発表しなかった理由を別の角度でご説明すると,お客様と,当時新体制と呼ばれた我々の間に,信頼関係を築かせていただく必要があったからです。おそらくお客様にとっては,いきなり新体制と言われてもピンとはこなかったと思うのです。そもそも新体制を率いる僕自身が「ファイナルファンタジー XI」(以下,FFXI)のスタッフでもありませんでしたし,これまで開発者としてメディアの取材を受けることも避けていましたから。
     今回は,スクウェア・エニックスとしても,ひいてはオンラインゲーム業界としても前代未聞のことをやるわけですし,知らない人間が出てきていろいろ説明しても簡単には信じていただけないだろうなあと。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yeah, I've been giving it my all with these updates and new designs. *laugh*
    If you'd allow me to explain our hesitancy over announcing these plans until now from a different angle, it was necessary for us to build a level of trust between the new Development team and our customers. Just because the game is under new management doesn't mean the customers will be instantly relieved. It also didn't help that I, who was never involved in the development of FFXI and had little to no exposure to the media, be suddenly named as the man responsible for the new FFXIV team.
    This sort of undertaking is unprecedented for Square Enix, and even possibly the online gaming industry, so it was only natural for us to think that if a new guy like me suddenly started babbling out promises we wouldn't be trusted so easily.


    4Gamer:
     たしかに,これまでの実績や人となりが分からないまま,体制の改変時にこれが発表されていたら,誰もが不安を感じたでしょうね。
    4Gamer:
    Indeed you have a point there. You were a relative unknown in the industry before, so I suppose it's natural for everyone to be worried if such announcements were made at start.


    吉田氏:
     そうですね。ある程度の実績を重ね,かつ僕ら自身が実現可能な計画を立ててからでないと,「絵に描いた餅」「スクエニが大ボラ吹いてる」などと言われてしまいかねません。
     そこでアップデートを重ねつつ同時並行で進めていた計画と進捗を,皆さんに披露できる形になった時点で発表しようと決めたのです。
    Yoshi-P:
    Exactly. First we had to build up trust and provide some proof that we can do these things. If we don't come up with a realistic plan, people will just say "SE is spouting empty promises again".
    This is why we decided to continue working with updates to the current game while cooking up the plans in the background, and we decided the time was ripe to make the announcement since we felt that we came up with a presentable plan.


    4Gamer:
     そして,この10月に満を持して発表ということになったわけですか。しかし新体制とはいえ,人的リソースは限られていたわけですよね。どのように並行作業を進めていたのですか?
    4Gamer:
    And so you felt that this October was when you decided the plan was presentable. However, even when you say you're under new Development, human resources must've been stretched. How did you managed to do everything in parallel?


    吉田氏:
     開発人員規模については,当初から相当な人数がいましたので。ひたすら現行の運営に携わるチームと,新生FFXIVの計画およびコーディングを進めるプログラマー中心のチームに分けました。橋本率いる社内のテクノロジーチームの全面協力も得ています。その上で,僕を含めたコアメンバーである,橋本や髙井,皆川,松井,河本達や,ゲームデザインチーム,仕様の根幹に関わるスタッフは,どっぷり両方に関わっています。
    Yoshi-P:
    Well, we had lots of human resources at disposal from the start. We simply divided into two teams: one in charge of management of the current game, and another team - mostly programmers - who were in charge of making plans and do the coding for the new FFXIV. We also have the full support from Hashimoto's Technology team within the company too. In addition, core members in our Development team such as Hashimoto, Takai, Minagawa, Matsui, Kawamto and myself, as well as the team involved with game design and game features are heavily involved in both teams.


    新設計の「新生FFXIV」の登場により現行サービスの改修コストはどうなる?
    -With the arrival of the 'New FFXIV', what of the costs already dedicated to the current game?-

    4Gamer:
     新生FFXIVについて,これまでどのようなアプローチで開発を進めてきたのでしょうか?
    4Gamer:
    What kind of approach did you take with the development of the new FFXIV?


    吉田氏:
     これも何度か表明しているのですが,現開発体制では運営も根幹の作り直しも,「事前計画」をとても大事にしています。とくに新生FFXIVにあたる部分は,テクニカルディレクターの橋本の方針により,少なくとも2011年3月までコーディングを禁じていました。僕自身の目指すゲームのデザインと思想を実現するサーバー群およびゲームエンジン,グラフィックスコアの設計が終わるまでは,一切コーディングを進めてはならない,と決めたんです。橋本のマネジメント技術の凄さですね。開発も焦る気持ちを抑えて,本当によく計画や見積もりに協力してくれました。
     3月まで……というか今もですが,ひたすら僕がスタッフに向けてFFXIVの未来のビジョンを話し,仕様を決めていました。例えば「こういうサービスを提供する。だからサーバーの設計は“ワールドレス”でなければならない」と説明し,設計をしてもらい,コストを割り出し,スケジュールを引いていったわけです。
     そして2011年4月以降,計画にゴーサインが出たものから,順次フルコーディングに入っています。最初に設計をし尽くして,ほぼ手戻りのない状態で進行していると言えます。
    Yoshi-P:
    I had explained this several times before too, but under the direction of our new Development team, we treat the 'planning phases' very, very seriously in order to reword not only the game itself, but how we manage the game. This was and is especially true for the new FFXIV. Under the direction of our Technical Director Hashimoto, we had decided to suspend all new coding/programming until March of 2011. We had decided that until we had a solid plan that would allow us to do what we wanted to do, until a plan was laid out to solve issues such as servers, game engine and graphics core came into light, no coding/programming was allowed. Quite the impressive management technique by Hashimoto. We at the Dev team took a step back so to not rush things and contributed well into planning everything out.
    Until March... well, I guess it's still true even today, but I continued to explain and convince our staff about my vision for FFXIV in the future. For example, one time I explained to my staff "I want to provide a such and such service, so the server must be designed in a way that will allow for 'worldless' content.", and then come up with plan, determine costs associated with said plan, and then draw up a scheduled to implement the feature.
    After to 'Go' sign lit up after April of 2011, we're at full-coding mode. Because we made a very detailed plan beforehand, everything is going very smoothly.


    4Gamer:
     今,“サーバーはワールドレス”という言葉が出ましたが,先日の発表の中でも重要なキーワードの一つと捉えています。ぜひ,あらためて教えてください。
    4Gamer:
    You mentioned servers being worldless just now. I feel it's one of the centerpieces to the earlier announcement. Care to elaborate on that topic further?


    吉田氏:
     MMORPGを長期にわたって運営するには,10年間のサービスに耐え得るサーバー設計が重要です。現行のFFXIVもFFXIも,一つのゲームサーバー群を一つのワールドと位置づけていますが,これから先10年間のサービスに耐えうるためには,ワールドの境界線を越えられる設計にしておかなければ駄目だろうと考えました。
     とくにMMORPGの場合,プレイヤーごとにゲーム進行スピードの格差が絶対に生じます。そこにはプレイヤーヒエラルキーが存在し,トップ集団のプレイヤーは最前線を突っ走ります。しかし,あとからゲームに参加するプレイヤーもいますし,そもそも多くのプレイヤーはトッププレイヤーほど,ゲームプレイに人生や生活を捧げないものです。つまり,トッププレイヤー以外の多くの人達には,いわば“置いてけぼり感”が生じるわけです。
    Yoshi-P:
    In order to continue operating a long-term MMORPG, it is necessary to design servers that can withstand at least 10 years of service. FFXI and the FFXIV of now treat one game server clusters as one game world, but when one takes the future into account, I believe it is necessary to design servers that can 'jump' the boundaries of different worlds.
    In an MMORPG, different players play the game at different paces. This creates player hierarchy, and hardcore players are the frontrunners of the pack. However, there are always players that start playing the game at a later date, and you also have to take into account that casual players will never be as dedicated to the game as hardcore players are. This in turns creates a feeling of being 'left behind' among many players who aren't frontrunners in the game.


    4Gamer:
     その結果,「今更始めるのもなあ」というような発言をする人もいますね。
    4Gamer:
    And I suppose there are players who say 'Meh, why start this game from scratch now when everyone's so far ahead ahead?'.


    吉田氏:
     ええ。それに加えて,MMORPGでは古いコンテンツほど人が集まりにくくなる傾向があります。そうなると,せっかく新たにゲームを始めても,一緒に初期のコンテンツを遊んでくれる人がいないという状態が生じてしまいます。
     そうした状態を避けるためには,各ワールドからコンテンツの参加希望者を募ってマッチングするという強力な仕組みが必要となります。初期段階から複数のワールドから人を集められるサーバー設計にしておかなければ,3~4年の間はともかく,その先は厳しくなるでしょう。
     しかし,これを現状のサーバー設計で実現するためには,レスポンスやデータ周りの問題などもあり,不可能なことがわかりました。なので,僕の思想に基づくサーバー設計に現在のサーバーを修正とすると,果たして何か月かかるか,その一方で一から作り直すとどうなるか,サービスを止めない前提で双方のコストを出したわけです。その結果を見比べた上で,運営を続ける以上はクリティカルな部分は改修を行いつつ,並行してサーバー設計は根本からやり直そうという判断を下しました。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. On top of that, it's only natural in an MMORPG that the older the content is, the harder it is to gather people to play with. When that happens, say when you start the game afresh, situations where you cannot find people to play with in early content will become commonplace.
    In order to avoid such situations, it's ideal have a strong matching system where you can party up/join up with other people who are looking to do the same thing from multiple worlds. If we don't design the servers to handle such a system, it might be fine for the first 3 to 4 years, but after that it will most definitely be difficult.
    However, if you ask us if such a system is possible with our current servers, taking into account issues like response and data we found the answer to be no. Then, by considering various factors such as the costs of planning/implementing such a system, how long it'll take and if it's ultimately worth doing such a thing alongside providing services to the current game and compare it to the pros/cons of giving up and keeping the current servers as is. In the end, we came to the decision that while we'll make further corrections to the current critical issues, we will rebuild the server system from the groud up to make various other features possible.


    4Gamer:
     そこで気になるのが,現行バージョンの扱いです。現行バージョンに今あるコンテンツや,あるいはこれから改修/実装されるシステムなどは,新生FFXIVに生かせるのでしょうか?
    4Gamer:
    And that brings me to the next question: How are you treating the FFXIV of now? Can you implement the current content, as well the content you have planned out, into the new FFXIV?


    吉田氏:
     まず誤解しないでいただきたいのは,「新生」という単語のインパクトは大きいですが,現在のFFXIVも新生FFXIVも基本的には同じものです。今のアップデートで実装しているバトルシステムの根幹設計やコンテンツ,グランドカンパニー,そのほか皆さんからのフィードバックをいただいたすべてのものが,新生とも言えます。その中でクライアントが「新生」に差し変わるタイミングで「開発コスト」として見れば,無駄になってしまうものもたくさんあります。
     例えばUIは,新生FFXIVでは新UIエンジンを使った新しいものになります。一方でサービスを続けている以上,今のお客様にも不便な思いをさせるわけにはいきません。そこで現行のUIも改修を続け,プレイヤーの皆さんからフィードバックをいただき,またアップデートで調整して……それはこれまでと全く変わりません。
     そしてその後,いただいたフィードバックを取り込んだ上で,UIを全部新UIに置き換えます。
     では,そのUI差し替えまでにかかった「改修の開発コストはどうなる?」と聞かれたら「捨てます」という答えになります。並行して全部作り直しているので。それが,我々がサービスを続けることの意味であり,本当に嘘偽りのない気持ちで,運営/開発チームとしても会社としても不退転の覚悟をもって続けているということになるでしょうか。
    Yoshi-P:
    A common misconception I would like to clear up here is that, while the word 'new' implies that everything will be changed, the old FFXIV and the new FFXIV are essentially the same games. The battle systems already in place and will be in place in the future, Grand Company, etc... it is all the feedback we've received from the playerbase that be used and be reflected in FFXIV is what I call 'new'. But on the other hand, when we do switch over to the new FFXIV, you can say that from a developer cost standpoint that some of the time we've dedicated into the old FFXIV will be wasted.
    Take the UI, for example. Under the new FFXIV, the UI will be totally revamped and be replaced with the new UI engine. However, this doesn't mean that we're slacking off in improving the UI we have now lest we make our customers feel unsatisfied with our product. Therefore, we will continue to make improvements to the current UI by reflecting on customer feedback, and continue to provide updates. Things like that won't change.
    And then, by taking all the feedback we've received up to that point into consideration, we will replace the old UI with the new. But if you ask: "But what about all the resources you've spent in making the old UI?" the simple answer is "We're throwing it away". We're remaking everything as we go along, because I feel that is the stance we must take in order for us to continue provide services, and express our sincerity as Management/Developers - even our sincerity as a company as a whole - that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make a satisfactory product.


    すでに始まっている “二度と体験できない物語”
    -The experiences you can't experience anymore after are already beginning-

    4Gamer:
     それでは2011年末に有料サービスを開始することについて教えてください。なぜ,新生FFXIVを発表するのと同時に,有料サービス開始の発表を行ったのでしょうか。
    4Gamer:
    Well then, we'll like to move onto our next topic, which concerns the start of billing near the end of 2011. Why did you decide to make this announcement now at the same time you released information about the new FFXIV?


    吉田氏:
     新生FFXIVのクライアント開発は,アートワークも含めて非常にいいスピードで進捗しています。サーバー,UI,マップとプレイヤーの皆さんが心配している部分を新生FFXIVとして根本から解決できる見込みが立ちました。
     その一方で,現行バージョンもパッチ1.19によって,「ファイナルファンタジーのMMORPG」らしい内容が,ようやくお見せできるようになったと思います。また,その「らしさ」を今後もどんどん実装できる下準備も整いましたので,これからは「改修」は少なく「アップデート」の比率の方が大きくなるかなと。MMORPGは,ゲームプレイだけでなく,付加サービスも含めて,総合クオリティと考えていますので,パッチ1.19時点では,個人的にこれでまだ50%くらいかなと思っています。ただし,課金を開始させていただくタイミングは,次回パッチ1.20がリリースされた後になります。パッチ1.20では,最低限までの残り50%のうち,大きな要因であるPCサーチとマーケットの競売システム対応を始めますので,また一段階大きく「サービス」の面を向上させることができると思っています。そして,これからも莫大なコストと人的リソースをかけ,全力で皆さんに対するサービスを続けていきます。
     そこでぜひ,体制変更以降のこれまでの実績とパッチ1.20以降,今後のパッチ内容,ゲーム内容を皆さん自身の目で確かめて,課金の是非を決めていただけたらと思っています。
    Yoshi-P:
    The new FFXIV client's development, artwork included, is proceeding at a very nice pace. We can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to revisions like the server, UI, maps, and lot other issues that's got the playerbase worried.
    At the same time, the current FFXIV has also reached a threshold where we've begun to show the "Final Fantasy-ness" in this MMORPG with the release of patch 1.19. Further groundwork to show this "Final-Fantasy-ness" is also already in place, so expect to see more of this in the coming updates compared to simple in-game revisions. I treat an MMORPG as an MMORPG not only on the basis of gameplay but also on the basis of basic, should-be-implemented services/features, and I feel we're at the 50% mark at the point we released 1.19. However, we won't start billing our customers until after patch 1.20 is released. With patch 1.20, we plan on tackling issues such as PC search and adjustments to make a better market ward system and eventually auction house system, which will be key features necessary in filling the other 50% so that we can provide better services to our customers and so this game could be in its minimal state. We won't be shy in spending/using vast amounts of costs and human resources to accomplish this task.
    Therefore, we would like to ask our playerbase to take into account our work we've put in thus far, as well as looking into the content that will be offering in patches 1.20 and beyond to decide if they want to pay in order to continue playing this game.


    4Gamer:
     新生FFXIVという,作り直すための今後の見通し確定と,現行運営の引き続きのアップデートによるサービス面の向上。この双方があって有料サービスに踏み切るということでしょうか。
    4Gamer:
    So you're saying that you've come to the decision of billing because you've finalized your plans for the new FFXIV as well promised to update the current FFXIV with new content?


    吉田氏:
     FFXIVはとにかくスタートから色々ありましたので,有料サービスの開始前には,一度全プレイヤーの皆さんの課金自動更新を停止します。その段階でFFXIVをプレイしていただき,新生の計画全体に目を通し,その上で今後も「面白いからプレイしてやろうじゃん」と思っていただけた場合,あらためて自動更新開始の手続きをお願いする形となります。敢えてこうした段階を踏むのは,この10月の発表を知らないままサービスに対価を払ってしまう方がいないようにするためです。
     また,パッチ1.20公表後や実装後に課金のアナウンスを行ったのでは,課金実施までに日が浅すぎ,告知の面でお客様に不利に働く場合もありますから。運営/開発チーム,そしてスクウェア・エニックスの覚悟を全部知った上で,FFXIVというゲームを続けていただけるのであれば,非常に嬉しい限りです。
    Yoshi-P:
    With FFXIV going through a lot after its initial release, before we actually implement billing we will suspend the automatic payment option on all player accounts. We ask the players to see/experience the content we offer at that point of the game, look over our plans for the future, and if the players decide "Hey, this is kinda fun. I guess I'll play.", then we ask them to switch automatic paying back on. We decided to take this step as to avoid charging customers automatically who were unaware of this October announcement when billing stats happening.
    Also, had we announced our intentions for billing this game at any later date, the timeframe between the announcement and the timing of billing would've been too short and put our customers at an disadvantage. With letting the playerbase know of our - the Mangament/Development, and the company of Square Enix - commitment to the game that is FFXIV, it will please me greatly if the players decide to continue to play and enjoy this game.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。このタイミングというのは,パッチ1.20を含めた今後の動きを,プレイヤーにじっくりと見てもらいたいという意図があるんですね。
    4Gamer:
    I see. So you're saying that you timed this announcement with hopes that players would see how the game is developing from patch 1.20 onwards.


    吉田氏:
     とはいえ,ローンチに失敗したMMORPGタイトルが,そのあと復活したケースはアイテム課金制へ切り替えた場合を除いて例がありません。我々は,そこにチャレンジしているわけですから,既成概念に捉われていたのでは,絶対に成功はしないでしょうし。
    Yoshi-P:
    With that said, never before had an MMORPG been revived after failing at launch - the exception being the games that decided to incorporate Item RMTing. That's what the challenge here is. If we stick with the norm, we will never succeed.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。しかし,有料サービス開始から新生FFXIVの投入まで,1年近く期間がありますよね。その期間,アップデートはもちろんですが,プレイヤーを十分に楽しませる施策が必要になるかと思うのですが。
    4Gamer:
    I see. But it's almost a year before the new FFXIV comes rolling along. Seems to me you'll need to implement not only updates, but a way to keep players entertained until that time.


    吉田氏:
     はい。コンテンツもこれまで同様にガンガン実装していきますし,これまでの1年を通してシナリオ的にもいろんな仕込みをしてきましたので,今後,新生FFXIV投入によるリローンチまでは,2度と体験できないようなサービスを用意しています。簡単に言えば,1年がかりで超巨大な季節イベントをやるようなイメージでしょうか。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yep. We will of course continue to implement various content to the current game, but we've also implemended several scenario-related gimmicks over the past year so we plan on offering services you'll never be able to enjoy ever again. To pit it mildly, it's like we're doing seasonal events, only that this one is a year long.


    4Gamer:
     そのイベントの終わり,展開をもって新世界が開けるといった感じでしょうか?
    4Gamer:
    So depending on what happens with those events, at the end it will lead into this new world?


    吉田氏:
     うーん,新世界といってもエオルゼアはエオルゼアですから。マップはすべて作り直しますが,地名は同じですし,逆にその変化に驚いていただくというか。
     この1年がかりの超巨大季節イベントでは,1年をかけて「第七霊災」とは何なのか,なぜ世界が変わるのか,そして冒険者であるプレイヤー達はどうなるのかを描いていきます。逆にいえば,この先の1年間をプレイした人にしか体験できないシナリオとなります。
    Yoshi-P:
    Hmm... well, you say it's a new world, but Eorzea is still Eorzea. We will be remaking all maps, but the names for the areas/features will still be the same, so it's more like letting the players experience a changed world.
    In this year-long 'seasonal' event, we plan to spend a whole year on letting the players find out what the "Seventh Umbral Era" really is, provide explanations to why the world is changing, and what will happen to the adventurers of before. To put it in another perspective, this scenario can only be played and enjoyed by people who choose to play the game over the next year.


    4Gamer:
     リローンチを逆手に取った,と言うと少し意図が違うかもしれませんが,非常に面白い試みだと思います。
     その一方で,現行プレイヤーが気になるのは,有料サービスで1年プレイした結果が,新生FFXIVにどこまで生かされるのかという部分でしょう。
    4Gamer:
    That's an interesting thing you're attempting there. It's like you're taking full advantage of the re-launch. On the other hand, surely the current players must be wondering if any of their accomplishments over the course of next year would have any sort of impact in the new FFXIV, yes?


    吉田氏:
     データのワイプはまったく考えていません。それは以前お答えした時点で前提として計画に含まれていましたから,揺らいでしまうと計画全体が破綻してしまいますよね。
     いかに高いハードルであろうがサービスは止めない,止めない以上はデータのワイプもしない。それができないのであれば,サービスをストップして作り直したほうがいいという結論だったわけですから。
    Yoshi-P:
    If you mean wiping characters, then no. I said this before, but I haven't even given that topic a thought. When we first tackled the task of remaking the game, one of the fundamental principles was never to wipe character data. If we change that now, the entire plan will fall upon.
    No matter how high the hurdles, we decided to never stop FFXIV service. And as long as we don't stop the FFXIV service, we will never wipe character data. If we couldn't do that, our conclusion would've been to stop service altogether in order to remake the game from scratch.


    4Gamer:
     つまり,初めてのインタビュー,2011年始の発言のすべてが,これまでのアップデートと,今後の新生FFXIVにつながるものだったということですか。
    4Gamer:
    So you're saying your statements you made in our first interview at the start of 2011 was foreshadowing of the updates to come and the new FFXIV?


    吉田氏:
     ええ。年始には「FUN」「LIVE」「REBOOT」「REBUILD」という4つのキーワードを掲げました。このうちREBOOTはサーバーの,REBUILDはグラフィックスエンジン/UI/マップの作り直しを意味しています。LIVEは,もうすでにゲーム内では始まっていますが,“今しかないライブ感”をもってプレイしていただける環境を提供することです。
     そして僕達自身,これまでにない大きなチャレンジの中で,楽しめないと辛いだけになってしまいますし,プレイヤーの皆さんにも「開発/運営チームはクレイジーだなあ」と,ゲームももちろんですが,色々な側面でFFXIVを楽しんでいただけたら,というのがFUNです。2度とあってはならないことですが,2度とないからこそ徹底的に楽しもうという意味を込めています。2011年1月1日には,僕の中でこれらのことをほぼ決めていました。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. We listed up four key words when the development of FFXIV was put in our hands: "Fun", "Live", "Reboot", and "Rebuild". "Reboot" indicates our server overhauls, whereas "Rebuild" indicates our Graphics Engine/UI/Map overhauls. The "Live" you can already see in the game, but this aspect will only continue to be improved upon within this year by implementing features you can only experience now.
    As for "Fun", I personally find this undertaking quite challenging and fun, but it'd be quite the bummer for me if players didn't share my same sentiments. I'd rather see the players think: "Damn, the Dev team is crazy in doing all this" and laugh while saying that. "Fun" is letting the players enjoy FFXIV from all different angles. This sort of undertaking will never happen again, but because it won't be happening again, I wanted players to squeeze out every "Fun" in the game. I decided this was how I was going to do things on New Years of 2011.


    4Gamer:
     もちろん新生FFXIVのことは知りませんでしたが,現行FFXIVがリローンチと言えるタイミングの有料化をするのではないかと考えていたので,今回の発表は意外でした。
    4Gamer:
    We of course were unaware about this new FFXIV, but we had all thought that billing would be only implemented after the current FFXIV re-launched, so this announcement was a little unexpected.


    吉田氏:
     繰り返しにはなってしまいますが,この10か月,ゲームの底上げもある程度進み,これからもそれは全力で続けます。今回発表させていただいた新生と比べると,至らない部分は当然まだあり,その点では心苦しくもあるのですが,開発が現行バージョンに掛けているコストは,いずれ全部捨てるつもりでやっています。プレイヤーの皆さんは,その上でこれから1年間,一生で一度しか体験できない物語も含め,最新のコンテンツにも,目新しいアイテムにも触れていただけます。プレイをしてもらった上で「面白いじゃん」と思っていただけた方に,サービス対価のお支払いをお願いできればと考えています。
    Yoshi-P:
    Again it's a repeat of what I said earlier, but during the past 10 months, we've managed to up our quality of the game by a significant margin compared to what we started with, and we plan on giving it our all to continue this trend. Of course, compared to the new FFXIV, these updates might seem like it's insignificant, but we would like to say that all the costs we're spent on developing the current FFXIV will, once the new FFXIV comes along, will be literally thrown in the trash bin. That's the sort of thing we're trying to do here. For the players playing the current FFXIV, they will get to touch/experience/see not only the ever-evolving storyline in the following year, but also various other new content and items. If they play it and decide "Hey, this game's fun!" and is worth paying for, then I would like to ask them to pay for our services.


    シームレスマップを撤廃し,冒険してワクワクするようなFFらしいゾーンマップに再構築
    -The abolishing of seamless maps and the implementation of zone maps with exciting FF-style fun and adventure-

    4Gamer:
     それでは,新生FFXIVがどういうものなのか,具体的に教えてください。
     まずマップですが,現行バージョンではどこを見ても似たような景色になってしまうという問題がありました。
    4Gamer:
    Moving on. Let's talk about what the new FFXIV is going to be like.
    First off, maps. Under the current version, people say everywhere you go, it looks the same.


    吉田氏:
     現行のマップがどうしてああなってしまったのかというと,いろいろな意味を含めて,シームレスだったからこそというところが大きいです。それくらいストリーミングやシームレスというのは,ゲームを作る上で難しいテーマなんです。
     シームレスマップは,グラフィックス的に世界が繋がっている感覚を抱いていただくためのものです。その一方で,マップはゾーンごとにゾーンサーバーで管理しています。そのため,グラフィックス的にはシームレスでも,ゾーンとゾーンの間には見えない境界線が存在します。古くは「ウルティマオンライン」でも,その境界線上にモンスターが並んでしまうという現象がありましたが,それがFFXIVの現行バージョンでも,同じではありませんが,似たような問題が発生しています。
     とくに,境界線を挟んだバトルでは問題が発生しやすくなっており,それを解消するためには,ゾーンサーバー間通信が徹底できている必要があるのですが,これは本当に技術的に難しい。また,グラフィックス的には,順次メモリの中を読み変えて切り替えるというストリーミング技術が必要です。結果,チップのインスタンスという概念が生じ,プレイしているとさっき見た景色がまた出てくるというケースが頻発してしまったんです。
    Yoshi-P:
    If I were to give one primary reason why the current maps are the way they are, I would have to answer it's because they were seamless. Seamless, streaming games are a difficult theme to tackle when we make games.
    Seamless maps are, in essence, a way for players to enjoy the graphics of the game and see the gaming world naturally flow from one place to another. But with that said, maps are still divided into different zone-specific servers. Because of this, although on the flipside they appear seameless, invisible zone-lines still exist. To name an ancient example, "Ultima Online" had issues where monsters are converged on the zone line, and while it's not exactly the same, the current FFXIV also has this problem.
    This is especially apparent should one choose to fight battles where the invisible zone-lines exist. To solve this issue it is necessary for the zone servers to exchange information at fast speeds, but the technical aspects of making this possible is very difficult. As a result, instanced 'chips' float to the surface, and thus cases like where the scenery you saw earlier would be seen again not so far away come to light.

    [-Stanislaw's note: Since he's dealing with technical, mechanical aspects here I'm not 100% sure if the above translation and any other related translations beyond this point is correct. Stuff like this is much harder to translate. My apologizes for this.-]


    4Gamer:
     シームレスマップというと夢があるというか,無条件で良いものと思ってしまいがちですが,まだまだ課題が多いわけですか。
    4Gamer:
    I suppose while seamless maps seem great in principle, hurdles remain to implement this feature in its fullest aspect.

    吉田氏:
     個人的にはそう思います。ゲームを企画/開発する上で非常にハマりやすい部分かなと。
     またFFXIではある程度チップは使っていますが,ストリーミングとゾーンチェンジでの一括メモリ入れ替えを組み合わせて,上手にマップを再現できているのですが,FFXIVではゾーンチェンジする機会が少なく,結局,同一チップによるメモリコストを削減せざるを得なかったのです。
     加えて,ローディング画面を挟まないということは,リアルな距離感まで作らなければならないという意味でもあります。結果として出来上がったのは,繋がっている感や広大さは感じられるものの,コピーしたような景色ばかりが出てくるマップになってしまいました。ですので新生FFXIVでは,シームレスマップを撤廃します。
    Yoshi-P:
    I think so too. As a person in charge of planning/developing games, issues such as these come up often.
    In FFXI we use some 'chips' in our maps, but because of streaming and zone changes we can exchange memory at ease and create high-quality maps. In FFXIV however, opportunity's to change zones are few and far in-between . As a result, we were forced to create more 'chips' in order to shave off memory issues.
    Furthermore, because we don't have the "Now Loading" screen between most of our zones, it comes necessary to create realistic 'depth' between zones. Thus, as a result, while we succeeded in presenting large, extensive, seamless maps that are connected smoothly, scenery all over looks as if it were copy-pasted from elsewhere. Because of this, in the new FFXIV, we will abolish seamless maps altogether.


    4Gamer:
     これはまた大胆な変更ですね。
    4Gamer:
    Quite the drastic change there.


    吉田氏:
     ええ。ローディングがあっても,大きくダイナミックなマップが形成できた方が大切だと考えました。
     例えば山を登る場合に,シームレスマップだと本当にふもとから頂上まで移動しなければならなくなります。でもプレイヤーはゲームで山登りがしたいわけじゃないですよね。実際には,山の頂上にあるダンジョンや大鷲の巣のようなコンテンツに挑戦するための過程でしかないわけです。
     また,きちんと山道を再現しようと考えると,メモリの都合上,通路に近い構造となります。ただの通路では退屈ですからモンスターを配置するわけですが,そうすると今度は通路が狭くなってすり抜けができなくなり,いちいちバトルする手間が発生します。モンスターがいないならいないで,やっぱり退屈になってしまいますし。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. Even with the loading screen, we've come to the conclusion that it's more important to create large, dynamic maps.
    For example, when you attempt to climb a mountain in a seamless map, in most cases you will literally have to climb from the ground floor and up. I don't think everyone wants to climb mountains when they're playing a game. All they really want to do is experience the actual content present on top of the map like, say, a Falcon's Nest that's located on the very peak. Climbing then becomes an unnecessary task that needs to be done before players get to tackle such content.
    Also, if we try to actually implement the road towards the mountaintop, because of memory issues the road will be more like a narrow corridor than an actual 'road'. And because a narrow corridor is just that, narrow, so monsters will have to be packed in tightly. And because they have to be packed in tightly, it will then be difficult for players to slip by noticed and thus be forced to fight the monsters. While we can solve the problem by not putting monsters alone the road altogether, this in turn creates another problem in being a rather boring journey climbing towards the top.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。ゲームとして収まりのいい擬似的な山道が作れないわけですね。
    I see. So you're saying that it's hard to create a natural-feeling path up the mountain in the game with the current technologies.

    吉田氏:
     そうなんです。これがゾーンなら,山道に入ったらローディングを挟んですぐに山の中腹に出られるようなダイナミックな演出が可能になるんです。
     シームレスマップはオープンワールドのゲームで没入感を演出できますが,MMORPGでは必ずしも面白くなるわけではありません。オープンワールドのゲームは,その範囲内が実は限られるからこそ,遊びを詰め込めます。MMORPGの場合,あまりにもフィールドが広大すぎて,遊びの密度を徹底できない。そこで思い切って止めてしまおうという結論を出しました。圧倒的に製作スピードも速いです。
     その代わり,一つのゾーンにつき,行ってみたくなるようなランドマークを3つと,最低3つの遊びを入れて,完全に設計のやり直しを図りました。レベルデザインチームとマップ製作担当スタッフが一緒に,白地図に周辺レイアウトを決めて,僕が確認して,それぞれの方角に対して目に見える巨大なオブジェクトを設置しています。目指したのはプレイヤーがワクワクできる,ファンタジー要素の強いマップです。今はもう粗いポリゴンでモックアップを作り,実際にゲーム内で歩いてみて広さの確認をしたり,モンスターキャンプの位置を想定してみたりしています。
    Yoshi-P:
    Exactly. If we switched the system over so zones are separated by loading screens, we can let the players start from, say, halfway up the mountain path, and the continuing path upwards will be more dynamic.
    Seamless maps are a great way for players to experience the 'open world', but just because it can doesn't mean it's always a good thing. Because there are limitations on seamless maps, content in turn then becomes limited. In an MMORPG, worlds can become vast, wide places, and consequently content becomes spread out wide along the map and far in-between. This is the reasoning behind our drastic changes. Not only that, it makes developing new maps at a much faster pace than before.
    As a tradeoff for shifting over to this new zone system, we plan on implementing at least three different Landmarks people might want to explore per zone, as well as at least three different content people can enjoy per zone. The level design team and the staff responsible for making maps will, by working together, create the basic surrounding layouts, to which I then confirm and then set up giant objects players can from far away. What we tried to do here is to create maps that stir up the sense of exploration within players, maps with strong Fantasy elements. As it stands now, we're already created basic polygon maps, walked within it and checked how big they really are, and are in the process of determining where and what kind of monsters we should place in this map.


    4Gamer:
     拝見したイメージアートの中には,これまでのマップでは見たことのないものもありましたね。例えばグリダニアだと,樹海のようなイメージだったのに,取り残されたような建物があったりして,もう少し開けた森のように見えます。
    4Gamer:
    I've taken a look at your concept art, and I noticed there were many things in there we haven't seen before. Like Gridania, the image before was that it was a super-thick forest, whereas here I see it's more open, with ruins scattered here and there.

    吉田氏:
     はい,森の中に遺跡を配置したりしています。新しいグリダニアには,森を森らしく作るというコンセプトがあります。メリハリをつけてバランスよく配置して,全地域を俯瞰したときにただの通路にならないように,それぞれのゾーンを作り込んでいるという状況です。樹海を作るなら,フィールド奥の高レベル帯にするのがいいだろう,というようにですね。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. We are indeed placing ruins inside the forest. The basic concept/goal for the new Gridania is to feature a forest that looks like an actual forest. Spice things up here and there, keeping the overall balance in mind, and when the times comes when we replace all our maps, we are trying to ensure each zone won't be simple roads you pass through but zones with all different unique flavors. Like, if we wanted to implement thick forests like the one we have right now, we should make it a high-level zones. Stuff like that.


    4Gamer:
     ちなみに新しいマップでは,現行バージョンの要素はどのくらい継承されるのでしょうか。
    4Gamer:
    By the way, how much of the old map will we see in the new?


    吉田氏:
     アウトラインをトレースしている部分もあれば,ストーリー上の解釈によって地形が変わった部分もあります。
    Yoshi-P:
    There are some maps where we traced the outline, but there are maps where the terrain has changed completely due to certain events we'll see in the coming story.


    4Gamer:
     現行プレイヤーには今のマップに愛着を持っていて,新マップでガラッと変わってしまうと寂しいと感じる人もいると思うんですよ。そういった愛着はどこまで持ち込めそうでしょうか。
    4Gamer:
    I feel there are some players who've grown attached to the current map, and are wary of how drastic the changes might be in the new maps. Will you be addressing this issue at all?


    吉田氏:
     まったく別の地域になってしまうわけではありませんから,「ああ,この要素は前のマップにもあったよね」というところは残したつもりです。むしろ,「本当はこうだったんだ」と思っていただけるかもしれません。
    Yoshi-P:
    It's not like we're completely changing the overall look and feel of the world, so our objective is for players to leave certain aspects to make the players think: "Ah, this feature, I recognize this from the old map." Rather, they might even think: "Aha! So this feature was for this purpose!"


    4Gamer:
     新しいマップやグラフィックスエンジンで,どんな景色が広がるのかとても気になります。
    4Gamer:
    You're making me really curious on how the scenery will change with the implementation of new maps and the new graphic engine.


    吉田氏:
     たぶん「あの場所がなぜこんなことに!」というところも出てきますよ。ただ,そういった変更は,今後1年間のシナリオを追いかけることで理由が分かるようにしています。例えば新マップには,リムサ・ロミンサの海上にコロセウムがあるのですが,それが存在する理由とか。山岳地帯の一部は雪山になり,ベヒーモスが棲みついていたり……というのもそうですね。一つ一つにFFXIVとしてのエピソードがあり,冒険してみての驚きが存在するように作っています。
    Yoshi-P:
    There even might be areas where you might go: "Why did area become like this!" However, if one decides to continue playing the current game, they will be rewarded with an explanation to the reasons behind why such areas have been transformed to the state they are in the new map. For example, in the new Limsa Lominsa, there exists a massive Colosseum over the the ocean. Players will know the reasons behind why it exists. Other examples include why part of the mountains have become covered in snow, why this area became the lair of the Behemoth, etc etc. Each change we're making to the map has an FFXIV backstory behind it, and if you continue to play and explore the current game, you'll get to experience the surprises behind it.


    UIには1ボタンで装備を変換可能にする「マネキン」機能を追加。カスタムUIの制作も可能に
    -New UI feature: "Mannequin", a feature that will allow players to switch their entire equipment arsenal with a single click. UI Customization will also become possible.-

    4Gamer:
     次に,ゲームプレイの基盤となるUIについて教えてください。
    4Gamer:
    Next comes the basic features of gameplay: UI. Tell us about it.


    吉田氏:
     プレイヤーの皆さんに向けて一度お話しているのですが,まず「マネキン」と呼んでいるアーマリー特化のシステムを作っています。これは,マネキンに自分の装備を着せておいて,クラスを変えたら1ボタンで全身その装備にスイッチできるという仕組みで,装備アイテムをインベントリと切り離してしまおうという狙いもあります。
     またクエストなど試練をクリアすることで,マネキンの所有数を増やせるような遊びも考えています。
    Yoshi-P:
    I have already communicated to the playerbase over this topic, but we are further strengthening our Armory system by implementing a new feature we're calling the "Mannequin". How this system works is, you equip equipments on your Mannequin, and when you change classes you can click/press a button and instantly equip/switch all of your current equips with equipments you've equipped on your Mannequin. Our aim here is to separate equipped items with inventory space.
    We also have plans on featuring activities/quests/missions where by completing them, you increase your Mannequin allowance.


    4Gamer:
     細かいところですが,装備変更の速度はどのくらいでしょう? 現行バージョンでマクロを組むと,1か所ずつ変更で非常に時間が掛かりますけれども。
    4Gamer:
    It's a small issue, but how fast can you switch between equipment sets with this system? Under the current system you can create macros to switch between equipment sets, but long only does it take a long time writing such a script, you also have to switch one item at a time.

    吉田氏:
     全身一括で切り替わるので,さほどストレスではないという感じでしょうか。これは現行バージョンにもすぐ導入したいくらいのシステムなのですが,現行のUIがスクリプトでがんじがらめになっていて,根本から作り変えないことにはどうしようもない部分です。申し訳ありません。
    Yoshi-P:
    The equipment changes are simultaneous, so our aim is to alleviate stress. If it were possible we would like to implement this system in our current version of the game, but the current UI is so entangled with various scripts we had to overhaul the entire thing to make this system possible. For this, I apologize.


    4Gamer:
     Add-on,つまりカスタムUIの対応についても言及がありますよね。これは以前のインタビューでお聞きしたように,プレイヤーが作成するものも使用できるものですか。
    4Gamer:
    You also mentioned Add-ons and UI customization. We asked this in our earlier interview, but would it be possible to use player-made Add-ons as well?


    吉田氏:
     はい。そういったAdd-onに関しては完全対応する予定です。そのために,UIのスクリプトエンジンも完全に入れ替えます。
     我々としては,ここまでは(モンスターなどの)ヘイトの状態をデフォルトUIで見せるけれどもこれ以上は見せない……というようなポリシーの線引きをします。とはいえ,パケットとしてはデータを流しておくので,それを利用してAdd-onを作りたい人はどうぞ,というスタンスですね。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. We plan on implementing full support for Add-ons. For this reason, we had to completely overhaul the UI script engine.
    When it comes to the default UI, for example, we will show the Monster's hate level in a such and such way, but because we'll still be passing the packets of data along to our players, the playerbase may feel free to create Add-ons that further improve such a feature.


    4Gamer:
     言語はXMLになるんですか?
    4Gamer:
    What kind of language do you plan on using? Will it be XML?


    吉田氏:
     もう少し簡単にいろいろできるよう,Flashを考えています。
     Add-on導入は最終的に自己責任での導入,という形となりますが,やはりゲームを遊んでいるとヒーラーならではの,タンクならではのUIを使いたくなりますよね。世界中にいるプロフェッショナルがゲームを気に入ってくれれば,プレイヤーのために特化したUIを作ってくださるわけですから,非常にありがたい概念ですよね。
     今回,UIを入れ替えることにしたのも,Add-onの意義とそれによって形成されるコミュニティを重要視したからです。
    Yoshi-P:
    To make things easier, at the moment we're thinking of using Flash.
    Ultimately, using Add-ons will be decisions individual players have to make, but Healers might want to use UI tailored specifically for healing, whereas the Tank will want to use UI tailored specifically for tanking. If professionals around the world take interest in creating codes for Add-ons for the sake of UIs who want to improve their performance, I'm all for it.
    Another reason why we decided to overhaul the UI was to create this additional sense of community for Add-on use and creation.


    4Gamer:
     では,ポピュラーになったAdd-onを公式認定する予定はありますか?
    4Gamer:
    Do you have any plans on making very popular Add-ons official?


    吉田氏:
     うーん,それは権利上の問題で,少し難しいかもしれません。ただデフォルトのUIに,そういった人気UIの機能を盛り込んでいく可能性はあります。
    Yoshi-P:
    About that... it might be a little hard to do because of copyright laws and such. However, it is certainly possible we'll incorporate aspects of popular Add-ons to our default UI.


    4Gamer:
     昔から,ポピュラーなAdd-onの機能をデフォルトUIに組み込むケースはありましたしね。人気があるということは,それだけプレイヤーが使いたいという意味でもありますから。
    4Gamer:
    There have been many cases of official development teams incorporating aspects of popular Add-ons to their default UI indeed. After all, if it's popular, it's an indication of just how much the players want it incorporated into the game.


    吉田氏:
     ええ。海外のMMORPGでは当たり前の文化なんですよね。ただ日本ではPCゲームがあまり一般的でなかった事情もあり,まだまだご存じない方も多いです。そこで用途や意図などをきちんと説明し,理解を得た上で新生FFXIVをグローバルでの王道に押し上げていきたいという意図もあります。
    Yoshi-P:
    You're right. This is the norm for MMORPGs overseas. However, in Japan PC gaming isn't exactly common, and many others are unaware such features exist. Therefore I would like to explain in detail why we're adding such a feature and gather up a degree of understanding beforehand so we can push forward our global vision of FFXIV.


    「新生XIV」にはPvPコンテンツも登場。PvEとは切り離された独立コンテンツに
    -The new FFXIV will introduce PvP content. An entirely different content separate from PvE.-

    4Gamer:
     それでは新生FFXIVの新コンテンツ「PvPフロントライン」について教えてください。
    4Gamer:
    Please explain this new "PvP Frontline" content you have planned for the new FFXIV.


    吉田氏:
     大規模PvPコンテンツは,サーバーレスポンスや描画の関係から現行バージョンでは実現が難しいものの一つです。とはいえ,パッチ1.19から新しいバトルに導入したフレームワークには,PvPに必要な計算要素やヒットチェックを組み込んでいるんです。また新生FFXIVのクライアントに合わせて,すべてのキャラクターデータの持ち方を同一のデータ構造にしたことで,簡単にPvEをPvPに置き換えられる設計となっています。
    Yoshi-P:
    As it stands with our current server response timers and graphic draws, massive PvP content are features that are very hard to implement. With that said, with the implementation the new battle framework we introduced in patch 1.19, the groundwork for PvP calculations and hit checks are already in place. In conjunction, when we transfer over all character data from old FFXIV to the new, because we had laid out the groundwork it will be easier for us to make adjustments to both PvE and PvP content.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。しかしPvPとなると,遠くの敵プレイヤーを素早く視認できるかどうかも大きなポイントですから,サーバーと描画に課題の残る現行バージョンでは,やはり実現が難しいですね。
    4Gamer:
    I see. But when it comes to PvE it becomes important for players to spot enemy players early on, so with server issues still persisting it must be hard to implement such features in the current version.

    吉田氏:
     ええ。逆に,そうしたクライアントの制限が緩和される新生FFXIVでは,PvPを好む人ほど,よりハイエンドPCを用意する傾向が強まるのではないでしょうか。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes indeed. While we are loosening up the hurdles in the new FFXIV, I suppose it's becomes a natural trend for people who love and pursue PvP content wanting to play the content with high-end PCs.


    4Gamer:
     たしかに,いかにデータを早く読み込み,ラグがなく表示できるかは,対人戦でのキモになりますね。逆にラグが多少あるくらいのPCで,索敵していた人もいましたが(笑)。
    4Gamer:
    Yes, I suppose one of the key aspects of PvPing is the ability to operate under the lowest lag possible. On the other hand, I see some people who take this in the other direction and purposely play under laggy PCs to utilize such advantages associated with it. *laugh*


    吉田氏:
     敵か味方のデータが読み込まれたときの負荷を索敵に利用してましたよね(笑)。ちなみにPvPは,大規模なPvPフロントラインと,コロセウム型の狭いマップで少人数で戦うものとの2種類を用意しています。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yeah, like taking advantage of laggy PCs to stress the opponent's data so others can take advantage of. *laugh* While we're on this topic, I will like to say we have two different types of PvP planned: PvP Frontline, where it will be massive, and the Colosseum-style map where a smaller number of players may fight it out with each other.


    4Gamer:
     コロセウムは,いわゆるスポーツライクな個人戦ですよね。もう一方の大規模なPvPフロントラインは,おそらくグランドカンパニーによる3すくみの大規模戦争,RvRなどで表現されるものになると思うのですが,このマップは通常マップとは切り離されているんですか?
    4Gamer:
    I'd imagine the Colosseum will be a sports-like, 1v1 PvP content. As for the massive PvP Frontline content, I'd imagine it being a three-way battle between the different Grand Companies and be expressed through RvR, but will this be taking place in a separate map, away from the others?


    吉田氏:
     グランドカンパニーが絡むかどうか,RvRかどうかは濁しておきますが……。ええ,MAPは通常フィールドと完全に切り離されます。というのはデータ上,PvPを好むプレイヤーは,アジア地域を除いた世界全体と日本を合算しても全プレイヤーのおおよそ15%くらいの割合でしかないので。
    Yoshi-P:
    I cannot confirm nor deny if Grand Companies or RvR's will be involved here, but... yes. The map will be made separate from the rest of them. According to our data we have in hand here, players who prefer and enjoy playing PvP worldwide (excluding most of Asia aside from Japan) is 15%.


    4Gamer:
     まあ,対人戦は好きな人はとても好きだけど,という類のコンテンツですよね。
    4Gamer:
    So people who love PvP can play it, but it won't be the type of thing where it'll be the core aspect of the game.


    吉田氏:
     そうですね。PvP独自のラダーや成長軸,そして報酬は用意しますが,これらの要素は完全にPvEとは切り分けて,PvPをやりたくない人には必要のないものに設計します。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. We will of course set up ladders unique to PvP and rewards associated with PvPing, but none of these features will be necessary for people who want to focus on PvE alone.


    4Gamer:
     逆に,PvPメインでレベルを上げていくこともできるのですか?
    4Gamer:
    Will it be possible to level up through PvP?


    吉田氏:
     できます。ただしある程度のレベルがないと,PvPコンテンツには参加できないので,最低限のエオルゼアのルールを知ってからご参加ください,という感じです。それ以降はPvPのみでも,レベルは上がるようにしたいと思っています。
     その一方では,自分ではPvPをしないプレイヤーであっても同じ勢力のPvPプレイヤーを支援できる要素も入れたいと考えています。例えば,勝利側の勢力のみがアクセスできるコンテンツを用意するとかですね。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. However, you have to reach a certain level before you can participate in PvP content, so one must familiarize themselves with basic Eorzea rules before participating in such activities. Afterwards, we would like to make it so players will be free to level up though PvP alone.
    Additionally, we would also like to implement features where even if one were a player who doesn't participate in PvP, they can support other PvP players who share the same allegiance. For example, content that's only accessible by the forces that had won.


    4Gamer:
     PvPは好きじゃないけど「うちの勢力の頑張れ!」みたいな(笑)。
     ところで個人的には,現行バージョンでのキャラクターの移動も含めたスピード感は,あまりPvPに向かないと感じています。新生FFXIVでは,リファインがなされるのでしょうか?
    4Gamer:
    So kinda like: "I don't like PvP, but go team go!" *laugh*
    Slightly off-topic, but it seems to me that character speeds seem rather slow to make PvP enjoyable. Will you be addressing or refining this in the new FFXIV?


    吉田氏:
     これからアクション部分の改修を加え,パッチ1.21でジョブシステムを搭載します。それ以降「Ever Quest」でいうところのSoW──Spirit of Wolfの概念も必要だろうと。マウントに乗らなくても,キャラクターのスキルやアビリティよってスピードを可変したり,パーティ全体の速度を上げたりということができるようにしていきたいな,と。
     僕自身,「Dark Age of Camelot」のプレイヤーでしたから,そうしたPvP周りはきちんと実現したいところです。
    Yoshi-P:
    In addition to further revisions to actions, we will implement the Job system in patch 1.21. Afterwards, I feel features like EverQuest's SoW (Spirit of Wolf) or something similar should be considered for implementation. Things like, by use different skills and abilities, affect the speed of characters, or things like increasing the speed of all character in your party.
    I was a player of Dark Age of Camelot myself, so I understand the necessity those sort of PvP aspects and would like to implement them.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど,先日の「FFXIVプロデューサーレター LIVE」で話していた吟遊詩人がその役割になるんでしょうかね……。そういえば,PvPでチョコボに乗ることはできるんですか?
    4Gamer:
    I see, I see. I suppose those roles will fall into the hands of the Bard you've annouced in the earlier "FFXIV Producer Letter LIVE"... by the way, can you ride Chocobs in PvP?


    吉田氏:
     チョコボの場合は,騎兵戦のような専用コンテンツを予定しています。そのために,いずれチョコボを成長させられるようになりますし,ゆくゆくはフェローシップとして一緒に戦うこともできるよう設計しています。ファイナルファンタジーにおける“チョコボ”は,ほかのマウントペットとは違う特別な存在ですからね。
    Yoshi-P:
    We plan to implement something akin to a 'mount battle' system for Chocobos. For this reasons, it becomes important for players to raise their Chocobos, and we're designing them in a way it'll eventually be possible for players to fight alongside them as fellowship characters. Chocobos in "Final Fantasy" are a special breed, and different from all other mounts and/or pets.

    コンテンツごとにワールドから参加希望者をマッチングする「コンテンツファインダー」
    -Content Finder: A feature that will draw players together from different servers and match them accordingly-

    4Gamer:
     そのほか,新生FFXIVの特徴的なシステムはありますか?
    4Gamer:
    Are there any other important features in the new FFXIV you'd like to share?


    吉田氏:
     インタビューの冒頭でお話したワールドレスな設計思想に基づいて,「コンテンツファインダー」という機能を大きな柱として搭載します。
     例えば,パッチ1.18で実装した「ゼーメル要塞」を遊びたいプレイヤーがいるとしましょう。導線となるクエストを一通りクリアし,ゼーメル要塞に一度でも足を踏み入れていることが前提ですが,コンテンツファインダーを起動して,自分の職業やレベルなどを入力したリクエストを送ると,サーバー側が異なるワールドから同じようなプレイヤーをマッチングしてくれるんです。これはダンジョンだけではなく,イフリート討伐戦のようなコンテンツでも同じです。
    Yoshi-P:
    I've already mentioned 'worldless design' at the start of the interview, but yes. We plan on introducing a feature we call "Content Finder" and this will be one of the prime features of the new FFXIV.
    For example, let us say that there are players who want to experience the content in Dzemael Darkhold we implemented in patch 1.18 and see what they have to offer. Naturally, one will have to fulfill the requirements to enter the dungeon first beforehand, but one may then activate the Content Finder feature, type up a request detailing your levels and classes, and the server will match up players from different servers who would like to participate in said dungeon. This feature isn't exclusive to instanced dungeons, but also instanced fights like Ifrit Fight.


    4Gamer:
     異なるワールドからマッチングするということは,今までどおりワールドは複数あるわけですね。そして,コンテンツ上を“ワールドレス”にマッチングするための機能がコンテンツファインダーでと。これはPvPでも機能しますか?
    4Gamer:
    You said this will match up players from different servers, so I guess this means multiple servers will continue to exist. So I gather Content Finder is the feature that will allow players to match up though this 'worldless' design. Will this work for PvP too?


    吉田氏:
     PvPの場合は,ワールドのナンバー1を決めたいと考える人もいますよね。僕自身,オンラインゲームのヒエラルキーは,ワールドごとのヒエラルキーでもあると捉えていますから,PvPは敢えてワールドレスにしない方が面白いかもしれません。
     そういった線引きは,その時々のコミュニティやコンテンツのサイズを見ながら,臨機応変に決めていくことになります。そしてそれが,今の世代のMMORPGに必要な運営スタイルかなと。
    Yoshi-P:
    When it comes to PvP, there are people who liked to determine who's number 1 in their respective worlds, right? Personally, I find online gaming hierarchies should in principle be based on which server they're on, so it might be more entertaining to not set up PvP as worldless.
    By no means we have come to a solid conclusion over this matter, as we have yet to draw the line. If the demand for it is high, then most likely we will implement it. Being flexible is a valuable asset in order for us to compete against other MMORPGs of today's generation.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。せっかくワールドレスというシステムがあるわけですから,将来的にはワールドごとのPvPラダー上位5名ずつとかで,ワールド対抗戦みたいなイベントもできそうですね。
    4Gamer:
    I see. So you're saying that because the worldless design in already in place, you could in essence implement a feature where the top 5 players of each world will be able to compete with other top 5 players in other worlds.


    吉田氏:
     ええ。ただワールドレスでは,ワールド間でアイテムがやり取りされてしまわないよう気をつけなければなりません。そのため,各アイテムにはホームワールドの記述が必要となります。こういったことはあとから拡張できないので,最初の設計段階で組み込んでおく必要があるのです。
    Yoshi-P:
    Exactly. One thing we have to be careful about the worldless feature is that we have to make sure items can't be traded freely through it. Therefore, we are implementing a system where we hard code each item's ID with the server it originated from. This is one of many examples of features that can't be added at a later date, so it was necessary to work this into our plans for the game's overhaul.


    4Gamer:
     なるほど。そうしたつぎはぎが生まれないように,新生FFXIVは3か月以上もコーディング禁止になっていたわけですか。
    4Gamer:
    I see. So that's the reason behind you took the time to plan everything out and stopped with the coding on the new FFXIV for nearly three months.


    吉田氏:
     そうです。とりあえずあればいいということではなくて,目指すサービスがあるから,それに向けて最初から組み込んでおかなければならないわけです。そのために430セルくらいのエクセルシートを作って,4週間くらいをかけて将来的に必要な要素を──それこそスマートフォンとの連動に至るまで──書き出して,運営/開発チームの全スタッフに「これからのFFXIVはこうなる」と説明していた時期もありました。
    Yoshi-P:
    That's right. Just because the feature is there doesn't mean all is well. Because we're aiming for a high standard of service, everything has to be planned out from the very beginning. Early in the development phase, we even created a 430 cell-long Excel spreadsheet listing up every feature we want/can implement for FFXIV in the future - even obscure stuff like being able to do FFXIV-related stuff with smartphones - and wrote it all out and explained to our Management/Development team and the entire FFXIV team, hammering out details on how FFXIV from now on will be.


    4Gamer:
     全員が,新生FFXIVの世界やシステムなどについて,同じ意識と概念を共有できるようにですか。
    4Gamer:
    You did this so everyone will be on the same wavelength when it comes to implementing things like backstory and systems to the new FFXIV?


    吉田氏:
     ええ。質疑応答も徹底して,最長16時間,40人くらいずつ7くらいのセクションに分けてやりました。とにかく何となく作るのではなく,現世代のMMORPGで,ファイナルファンタジーの名前を冠していて,グローバルに展開するなら,あって当たり前なサービスをまず徹底する。その上で,ファイナルファンタジーらしいコンテンツを搭載していく。それが何かをひたすら説明しました。
     その中には現行バージョンで優先的に実現しなければならないものもあります。いずれ新生FFXIVに移行すれば捨てることになる改修もあります。いずれ捨てると分かっているものに全力を注げと言われても,普通ならやる気は出ませんが,サービスを続ける上で必要なことだからと,一つ一つ説明しました。その結果,今は全員が納得して,プレイヤーの皆さんの方を向いて開発を進めています。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yep. We even put a lot of work into quality assurance as well. Our longest meeting lasted 16 hours, and we divided them into 7 different sessions with about 40 people participating in each of them. We weren't just satisfied with a 'simple' product. What we want to create was a next-gen MMORPG that proudly held the title of Final Fantasy, and if we were to provide these services on a global scale, what we wanted to do was to provide as many services possible so there's something for everyone. And above all, implementing features that are Final Fantasy-like. It took a lot of convincing.
    Among the features we want to implement, there are many features we want to implement to our current game. There are some aspect where it'll go to waste once we switch over to the new FFXIV, but just because we're throwing it away later doesn't mean that we should half-bake everything. I admit, it's not something that's exactly highly motivating, but I explained that this was an important, necessary thing in order for us to continue operating the way we do. As a result, our Development team as a whole are convinced this is what we have to do for the sake of our playerbase.


    PS3版も「新生FFXIV」と同等かつPS3ならではの内容にするべく鋭意開発中
    -The development of the new FFXIV on the PS3 and the content within-

    4Gamer:
     それではPlayStation 3版についても教えてください。PS3版でも,新生FFXIVとほぼ同時期にβクライアントが配布されるとのことですよね。つまり,PS3版は新生FFXIVと同等の内容になるのでしょうか。
    4Gamer:
    Well then, let's move onto our next topic about the PS3 version. You told us you'll be distributed Beta clients for the PS3 at the same time the beta version of FFXIV for the PC comes out. So does this mean feature in the new FFXIV for the PC be featured in the PS3 version as well?


    吉田氏:
     これもインタビューなどでお話している通り,PS3版がPC版の単なる劣化移植では意味がないんです。PS3上で動く,ファイナルファンタジーの最新作といえるクオリティを出してこそですから,当然,新生FFXIVの設計時点でも視野に入っています。
     また現行バージョンに採用されている,キャラクターの同時描画数にリミッターをかける仕様はMMORPGとして変更すべきと思っています。というのはMMORPGの面白さに一つに,数多くのキャラクターを同時に表示させることがあるからです。ハイエンドPCを使っているプレイヤーなら,限界まで表示させてほしいと思うところですよね。
    Yoshi-P:
    This is something that I again answered in an earlier interview, but it's pointless if we put out a PS3 version that ends up being the lower-quality version of the PC version. The important thing here for us is to create a quality PS3 product we can proudly state as the latest Final Fantasy title available on the market. Our goal here was of course taken into consideration when we planned everything out for the new FFXIV.
    One major change we have planned to accommodate this is the plan to forfeit the current limits that are in place when it comes to loading lots of character on-screen. This is because I feel it's important in an MMORPG to display as many characters as possible at the same time. This especially holds true for people with high-end PCs. I'm sure they'd like options where they can bypass the limits in place.


    4Gamer:
     むしろ,限界まで表示させるためにハードを増強する人もいます。
    4Gamer:
    People might even adjust their hardware to accommodate such limit bypass.


    吉田氏:
     ええ,僕がそうです(笑)。メモリもグラフィックスカードも買い替えるから,全部表示させてくれ,と。
     ところが現行バージョンの仕様ではそれができません。せっかくプレイヤーの皆さんが,プレイヤーイベントを実施してくれて,スクリーンショットを撮っても,描画制限でキャラクターが全員は映らない。プレイヤーも以前に比べれば,増えてきてくれているのに……。物凄くもったいない。そこで新生FFXIVの描画エンジンは,できるだけ多くのキャラクターを表示できるように,キャラが増えると1フレームずつ落ちるような,可変フレームレートで設計して欲しいとオーダーしています。PS3版も同様です。あとはプレイヤー自身が,環境に合わせてエフェクト表示数や,クオリティをコントロールできるようにしようと。
     それでいて,一つ一つのコンテンツ──インスタンスレイドや,あるいは真イフリート討滅戦のようなパーティ向けのコンテンツを,PS3でも適したパフォーマンスで楽しめるよう,きちんと設計し直しています。
    Yoshi-P:
    True indeed. I'm one of them. *laugh* I'm perfectly willing to overhaul my memory/graphics card, so I would like to see this limit bypassed.
    However, given how the current version is set up, this currently cannot be implemented. I find it sad when players host a player-driven event and, when it comes time to take screenshots, discover that because of the system limitations they can't take a screenshot with everyone inside. Compared to what we started with, we have a much larger playerbase now too... it's such a waste. Therefore, our plans for the new FFXIV is to implement a system where for systems who are unable to handle massive amounts of characters on screen to automatically adjust FPS - as more characters come on screen, the FPS automatically goes down by one, and when characters leave the screen it goes back up. Something like that. The PS3 too will have this feature. We will then let the players decide what kinds of settings they feel are the best to play this game at through quality customization.
    And with that in mind, we're optimizing and designing everything so every content will run smoothly even on the PS3 version, from instanced Raids to party-content like the Ifrit Battle (hard).


    4Gamer:
     PS3版のUIのAdd-onはどういう扱いになるのでしょう? さすがに自作できるということはないでしょうし。
    4Gamer:
    What will you do for UI Add-ons for the PS3? The playerbase can't creates those for the PS3, can they?


    吉田氏:
     個人で作るのは無理ですが,世界的に需要の高いAdd-onであれば,開発/運営チームで総力を結集して可能な限りその機能を再現します。おそらくPC版はマウスとキーボードに特化しているものが多いでしょうが,それをゲームパッド用に最適化するということですね。
    Yoshi-P:
    No, they can't. However, if the demands are high worldwide concerning a particular Add-on, we have plans to replicate the features in the Add-on and optimize them for the PS3. For the PCs versions I'd imagine most Add-ons are designed specifically for the keyboard and/or mouse, so what we'll be doing is re-designing them for the gamepad.


    4Gamer:
     ちなみに,以前に配布されたPS3版のβテスト優先抽選権はまだ有効ですか?
    4Gamer:
    By the way, you distributed priority tickets to the PS3 version beta test a long time ago. Are those still valid?


    吉田氏:
     はい。一度お約束したことですから,当然有効です。権利をお持ちの方で,PS3版のβテストに参加したいという方は応募していただければ優先で抽選させていただきます。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. When we distributed those tickets we made a commitment, so they are still considered valid. As long as they apply for the PS3 version beta test, those in possession of priority tickets will be prioritized for the beta test.


    「新生FFXIV」ではゲーム序盤の導線を大きく変更。よりストーリーに沿った進行に
    -Massive revisions planned for the early game in the new FFXIV. Players will follow the story more-

    4Gamer:
     繰り返しになりますが,現行のプレイヤーからすると,これまでの蓄積がどこまで新生FFXIVで活用できるかが最大の問題だと思います。これは通貨やアイテムなどの資産だけでなく,プレイ経験やコンテンツも含めてです。
    4Gamer:
    This might sound like I repeat of what I asked/pointed out earlier in this interview, but from the perspective of players who are currently playing this game, I think it's important for them to know how their experiences/accomplishments will carry over to the new FFXIV. Not just issues concerning valuables such as in-game currency and items, but play experiences and existing content.


    吉田氏:
     例えば新生以降のFFXIVにも「ギルドリーヴ」は存在します。僕は以前からギルドリーヴはメインコンテンツではないと表明していますが,そうはいっても仕事などで日々を忙しく過ごしている現世代のMMORPGプレイヤーにとって,毎日何も考えずにギルドカウンターに行っても,何かしらやることがあるというシステムは重要です。ただ,モチベーションの波が存在しますから,淡々としすぎているものにならないよう注意しなければなりません。これまでプレイヤーの皆さんのフィードバックもいただきつつ,調整を施してきたものが「新生ギルドリーヴ」になる,と思ってください。またゼーメル要塞なども新生FFXIVにちゃんと移植されます。
    Yoshi-P:
    For example, Guildleves will still exist in the new FFXIV. I've mentioned before that Guildleves will no longer be the primary content/focus for FFXIV, but I feel it's also important for casual players who are busy with normal stuff like work to have things they can casually walk up to a guild counter and do on their free time. Still, motivation is a fluid thing, so we need to be careful to make such content not-so monotonous. We will continue to monitor and take in player feedback, so think of the 'New Guildleve' system in the new FFXIV as a reflection of all the feedback we've received. Other content like the Dzemael Darkhold will also be transferred over to the new FFXIV.


    4Gamer:
     ですが現行バージョンでは,プレイヤーにギルドリーヴがメインコンテンツとして捉えられていましたね。
    4Gamer:
    But it seems the players have this impression that Guildleves are the primary content in FFXIV in the current version.


    吉田氏:
     先ほど指摘したように,とりあえずやることがある,というコンセプトは間違っていなかったと思っています。ただ,導線が何から何まで,ギルドリーヴ一択になってしまったのが問題だったかなと。
     MMORPGのプレイヤーは,どうしても効率を求めがちになります。今やパーティを組むことすらコストなのに,ギルドリーヴ以外では,それに見合うだけの報酬を提供できていなかったわけです。例えば,ギルドリーヴをこなすより何倍も稼げる狩りポイントがあるだけでも全然違ったはずです。もしくは大量のクエストを用意して,一つ一つストーリーを読みながら潰していくだけでも,楽しめるし成長もできるという環境を作れば,ギルドリーヴ一択にはならなかったでしょう。
    Yoshi-P:
    Like I mentioned earlier, the concept of 'having things to do on your free time' isn't exactly wrong. What went wrong at start was that we tried to make Guildleves the focus of everything.
    MMORPG players tend to pursue efficiency. Before, with it being so hard to start/join a Party, it wasn't really that effective to gain respective rewards from everything else except Guildleves. For example, had we introduced content that provided much better rewards than a single Guildleve would've probably meant a lot for the state of the game. Another alternative would've been the implementation of a string of quests, and by finishing their respective tasks and reading up on the lore they offered along the way would've not only made the game more enjoyable, but provide an alternate method for character growth. If we had done that from launch, the game probably wouldn't have been so Guildleve-focused as it is now.


    4Gamer:
     そのあたりも,当然,解消していくわけですね。
    4Gamer:
    You have plans to address this issue?


    吉田氏:
     ええ。導線から作り直して,今のようにまず冒険者ギルドに入ったらギルドリーヴへ誘導するのではなく,新生FFXIVの目標は,ギルドに初めて入ったときは全てのNPCの頭上に“?”マークが付いているようにしたいなと。それらのNPCが提供するクエストを一つ一つクリアしていくと,エオルゼアの歴史やゲームの目的/ゲームシステムの基礎が分かるし,序盤はそれだけでレベリングができるわけです。
     アーマリーもレベル10までは解放しないように変更する予定です。つまり最初に選んだクラスをレベル10にしてクラスクエストをクリアして,初めて別のクラスを選べるようになるわけです。そこでマネキンも一つ手に入りますから,それまでのクラスの装備を登録して,新しいクラスでのプレイを始められます。
     そこまで行くと冒険者ギルドからようやく半人前と認められ,ギルドリーヴを発行してもらえるといった感じです。
    Yoshi-P:
    Of course. We plan on starting this revision from the moment you start the game. Right now, after you join up with your Adventurer guild you're then lead to do Guildleves and pretty much left all alone after that. Our objective with the new FFXIV is so when new players enter the Adventurer's guild for the first time, he/she will see "?" marks over every single NPC within the guild. By accepting and completing these quests these NPCs have to offer, not only will you familiarize yourself with how the game works, but also receive background information on Eorzea's history and future goals as a player. Doing all these quests will also provide you exp, so you can easily level up a few levels from doing those alone.
    We also have plans to change the armory system so they won't be unlocked until a player hits level 10. What we therefore are asking new players to do is to raise their first selected class to level 10 by completing various quests, complete their respective class quests, then finally be allowed the freedom to change into other classes at will. You will also receive a single Mannequin at the same time you complete these quests, so you can dress up your Mannequin with the equipment you had until now and start leveling a new class with other equipments.
    Once players reach that point, then they can go to the Guildleve counter and finally be treated as a member in the guild and be issued Guildleves they can then complete.


    4Gamer:
     とてもRPGらしい展開ですね。
    4Gamer:
    That's a quite the classic RPG-like progress chart you have there.


    吉田氏:
     とくに序盤はMMORPGではなく,RPGとして,これまで皆さんがプレイしてきたゲームと,できるだけ感覚差がでないよう,王道と言っていただけるゲーム進行を目指しています。まずは街の人々の困りごとを解決していく中でゲームシステムを覚え,レベル10までストーリーに沿ってクエストをこなしていく。そこまではだいたい7~8時間で,サクサクレベルが上がるように。そこを越えるとできることが増え,ダンジョン探索のクエストも登場する,そして初めてパーティを組んでみる……というような導線を考えています。
    Yoshi-P:
    That's our aim and goal for the early game - we want this game to feel like an classic, old-school RPG rather than a MMORPG at the beginning while keeping the transition from an RPG to an MMORPG as natural as possible. What a new player will first do is solve the little problems members of your city-state would like solved, slowly understand how the game and system works, and of course follow though with the main story until about level 10. We're looking to adjust this so this takes about 7~8 hours to do, making early level-ups easy. Afterwards, several features will then be unlocked and you will be exposed to more things you can do with your character. Quests that involve exploring dungeons will also be implemented. And from there, perhaps you may even form your first party... that's the kind of flow we're trying to implement.


    4Gamer:
     新生FFXIVではクエストを追っているとレベルが上がっていくというわけですか。ある意味,レベルを上げるとストーリークエストが発生する現行バージョンとは逆ですね。
    4Gamer:
    So you're saying that during the early game, you gain levels through questing. In a way you can say's it's the exact opposite from how the current game is set up: you gain levels, and THEN you accept the main story quests.


    吉田氏:
     はい。ここは現行バージョンでも変更したい部分ではあるのですが,サービスを続けながら導線を変えるというのは,膨大な作業量が発生して非常に困難です。そこで新生FFXIVのタイミングでの変更となりました。現行プレイヤーの皆さんの大部分は,もう初期導線を通り過ぎている方ばかりですしね。
     とは言っても,現行バージョンでもパッチ1.19でUIのチュートリアルを導入しましたし,メッセージももっとストーリーや機能が分かりやすく,誤解を招かない表現に微調整しています。こうした修正は,今後もFFXIVに興味を持ち,新規にプレイを始めてくれた方のために,各アップデートで地道に続けていきます。
     とくに何の説明もないままリテイナーを雇えてしまうとかですね。あれも本来であれば,レベル10くらいまでプレイして,専用のクエストをクリアするくらいにしてから利用すべきコンテンツですよね。きっとその方がリテイナーに対する愛着もわくと思いますし。パッチ1.20では,せめてリテイナーそのものの説明チュートリアルは入れたいと話しています。
    Yoshi-P:
    Yes. This is something I would liked changed in the current version of this game too, but if we try introduce such drastic changes in line with our current updates and services, it becomes difficult if only because of the severe workload associated with such changes. This is why we decided to wait until the new FFXIV to incorporate these changes. After all, most players who are currently playing this game are far past the early stages of the game.
    But having said that, it's not like we're completely ignoring early game in our current version. We introduced UI tutorials in patch 1.19, and we will continue to introduce adjustments and changes in order for the players t better understand the story and gameplay features. We feel these steps are important in keeping new customers interesting with the current game, and we will continue to follow up with further improvements.
    Take the hiring of retainers for example. As it stands now, you can hire an retainer immediately without a single explanation as to what they can do. If I had my way, I would make retainers an unlockable feature at level 10 after completing an associated quest. I feel this will make the players feel more attached to the retainers, as well. I would at least like to implement a full tutorial for retainers and what they can do in patch 1.20 and we're seeing if it can be done by then.


    エンドコンテンツ拡充とコミュニティ強化にも注力し,プライドを持って遊べるゲームを目指す
    -The strengthening of Endgame and Community, building a game one can play with pride-

    4Gamer:
     新生FFXIVで気になるのが,いわゆるエンドコンテンツをどうするかという課題です。先ほどのお話だと,サクサクレベルが上がることにより,今まで以上にコンテンツの消費速度が上がってしまうと思うのですが。
    4Gamer:
    One thing that's got me curious for the new FFXIV is what you plan to do for the Endgame. From what you've been telling me up to this point, it seems that's it's because easier for players to gain level, and thus people will go through/consume content at a rapider pace then before.


    吉田氏:
     一つにはお話したPvPがありますし,またレイドコンテンツも拡充していきます。これは新生を待たずとも,現行バージョンでも同じ方針です。
     大規模PvEも予定していますが,キャラの最大描画数を踏まえると新生FFXIVでの導入が妥当かなと思っています。ですので,現行バージョンではゼーメル要塞のような,フルパーティ単位でのアタックコンテンツをどんどん実装していこうと思います。また,現行バージョンではサーバーの問題があって,コミュニティのサーチ機能が非常に弱いです。パッチ1.20では,なんとかPCサーチの実装にトライしていますが,この先しばらくは1LS(リンクシェル)単位くらいで挑戦できるコンテンツをメインに据えていくこととなるでしょう。
     新生以降は1年がかりでアップデートしていくレイドコンテンツも予定しています。
    Yoshi-P:
    There's the PvPing that I talked earlier for people to do, but we will of course continue to implement more raids. Players need not wait for the new FFXIV to see this happening, as we plan to implement more content to our current version as well.
    We also have plans to implement massive PvE content, but, like I mentioned earlier in this interview, there's that character display limit issue to worry about. So we're going to have to wait for the new FFXIV before such content can be implemented. Therefore, our plans for endgame content in the current version involve more raids like the Dzemael Darkhold where it's possible to complete with a full party.
    Also, because of various server issues at hand, community search is weak at best. We are trying to implement PC search for patch 1.20, but our main focus will be on content that can be challenged in a single-LS scale.
    After the new FFXIV comes along, we have plans of adding raid content that will be updated along the whole year.


    4Gamer:
     プレイヤーコミュニティの大幅強化も今後の予定として掲げていますが,具体的に何かお考えですか?
    4Gamer:
    You have listed in the outline here that you have plans to strengthen the player community. Care to elaborate on that further?


    吉田氏:
     「フリーカンパニー」というLSとは異なるコミュニティを導入します。これは平たく言えば自分たちで組織,「カンパニー」を設立するという遊びです。
     カンパニーにランクを導入し,これはカンパニーのみで挑戦するコンテンツを用意し,それをクリアするとカンパニーポイントが上がってランクも上昇していくというものです。新生FFXIVでは,カンパニーランクとハウジングを連動させていたりもします。
    Yoshi-P:
    We plan on introducing a "Free Company" system that is separate from the LS system we have now. Think of it as creating your very own Grand Company. We assign each company ranks, then offer content based on rank, and when your Free Company completes these tasks they receive Company points and increase your rank. In the new FFXIV, we're thinking of linking Company ranks and housing together.


    4Gamer:
     ちなみにハウジングというのは,FFXIのモグハウスのようなものではなく?
    4Gamer:
    When you say housing, it's not the same thing as the Mog Houses of FFXI, are they?


    吉田氏:
     ちゃんと外観はあります。見目麗しいハウジングゾーンをプレイヤーのみんなで作れるようにしたいとモックアップ製作中です(笑)。
    Yoshi-P:
    We've even got outer appearances this time around where players can pool resources and work together on customization. Playing around with mockup housing zones right now. *laugh*


    4Gamer:
     土地争いとかどうなるんだろうと思いましたが,専用ゾーンになるんですね。
    4Gamer:
    I was worried how it'll going to turn into a land grab, but it seems you're creating a specific zone for it all.


    吉田氏:
     巨大なカンパニーがプライドを持てるように,広くてお金が掛かるような場所もあれば,こぢんまりで良いよというプレイヤー向けの場所もあります。これもある意味,エンドコンテンツといえます。
    Yoshi-P:
    We've got something for everyone. A large Company with lots of money can create a large base for themselves, but for players who prefer smaller, tidy zones, we have that too. In a way, I guess you can classify this as Endgame content.


    4Gamer:
     どんな家が建てられるのか楽しみですね。ところで,公式サイト「The Lodestone」におけるコミュニティ性の強化はいかがでしょう?
    4Gamer:
    Looking forward to what types of houses we can build. By the way, any word on how you'll improve the community aspects in the official "Lodestone" website?


    吉田氏:
     もっとコミュニティを繋ぐ機能を強化します。LS同士がコミュニケーションを取れるようにとか,The Lodestoneを使ってLSやフリーカンパニーを探せるとかですね。このあたりの強化は,すでに計画して順次進めていますので,インゲームをフォローする形で,どんどんアップデートしていきます。また,インゲームのプレイヤーを称える要素として,ラダーの掲載を始めています。パッチ1.19では,週単位にグランドカンパニー内でもっとも貢献した上位20名とか,デイリーで最も活躍したプレイヤーなどを表彰するページを用意しています。
     またパッチ1.20ではアチーブメントを300種類以上用意します。これは日々コツコツ達成していただける遊びとして,特別な報酬も用意しました。是非楽しんでもらいたいなと思っています。
    Yoshi-P:
    We do have plans on strengthening the community aspects. Like introducing ways for different LS's to communicate with one another, or using the Lodestone to search for an LS or a Free Company you want to join. We've already got the plans to turn these features into reality, and we will be working in tandem with in-game updates to provide these services.
    We've also set up the basics for a 'Ladder' in an effort to give recognition to players who have accomplished various tasks. In patch 1.19, we've listed the weekly Top 20 players who have contributed the most to their respective Grand Companies, as well recognize our top player of the day.
    In Patch 1.20 we also plan on releasing the achievement system, and we've got over 300 of them for players to do. We've set this up as things people can slowly do over time, and we've even set up special rewards for players who decide to do them. I hope players can look forward to and enjoy this feature.


    4Gamer:
     それでは,最後にあらためて今後のFFXIVの展開,そして新生FFXIVに期待している人に向けて,メッセージをお願いします。
    4Gamer:
    Well then, in closing I would like to ask what kind of message you would like to send to the FFXIV playerbase, as well as your plans and intentions for the future of FFXIV.


    吉田氏:
     こうやっていろいろお話していると,「全部やるとはいっても,本当にできるのか」と言われてしまうこともあるのですが,実際,しっかり設計と計画はしていますし,今のところ非常に順調です。
     繰り返しになりますが,僕たち開発としては,例え今の改修作業が,あとで捨てることになるとしても,“今いるプレイヤーの皆さん”のために全力を注いでいます。僕が心配なのは,現行プレイヤーの皆さんがFFXIVをプレイしていることで,余計なストレスを背負っていないかということです。
     ようやくFFXIVもMMORPGとして,それなりに形にはなってきましたが,ローンチ直後しか知らない人からは「まだ,あんなゲームやってるの?」などと言われているんじゃないかなと……。我々開発チームはそう言われても,立場上,あとはゲーム内容と誠意を持った対応で,お応えしていくしかないのですが,現行プレイヤーの皆さんには,何も落ち度がないのに,いろいろ言われてしまう状況については大変申し訳なく思っています。
     今回,これだけの発表をしたことで,現行プレイヤーのみなさんに「ほらな,FFXIVは面白くなってきてるし,その先さらに上に行くよ!」と少しでもプライドを持っていただけたら,本当に嬉しく思います。これまで,どこか妥協してFFXIVをプレイしていただいてきた部分もあると思います。我々はプレイしてくださっている皆さんのために,ずっと先まで計画し,開発を続けていますし,それを絶対に成し遂げる覚悟です。まずはこういったさまざまな要素を持つFFXIVをお楽しみいただきつつ,ぜひ,我々を信じてプレイしてくださると嬉しいですし,我々もそれに応えるべくこれからも全力で頑張ります!
     新生FFXIVは,プレイヤーの皆さんのために開発しています。皆さんがプレイを続けてくださっているからこそ,我々も開発を続けるモチベーションを保てます。ぜひ,今後もFFXIVに期待してください。
    Yoshi-P:
    After explaining all of this, I'm sure some of you thought: "You say you're going to do all this, but can you really do this?". I would therefore once again like to assure the playerbase that we indeed have solid plans and structures in place and so far the work is proceeding very smoothly.
    I'm repeating myself again, but even if it means we'll be throwing out all the implemented improvements we're putting in place for the current FFXIV in the end, we are doing everything we can to improve the current state of the game for the players who continue to play. The thought that's got me worried the most are the thoughts that people might be experiencing stress from playing the current FFXIV in its current state.
    FFXIV is finally starting to shape-up into a playable MMORPG, but for the people who know nothing about FFXIV except for the failed launch might look at people are who are playing the game now and say: "What, you're still playing that shitty game?" When us, the Dev team, hear such comments, we can't say anything back as it was our sole responsibility for releasing the game in that state. However, this doesn't hold true for the players who play this game as they hold no responsibility for the state of the game. To be blamed for something they have no control over is something that pains me greatly.
    With this announcement of FFXIV's complete renewal, it is our hope as the Dev team the players can take pride in playing FFXIV by showing others these revision plans and say: "See? FFXIV is finally shaping up to be something fun, and it's only gonna get better!" I personally feel that until now, we were asking players to compensate for playing this game in its current state. To ratify this, I feel it is our duty and responsibility to give it our all when it comes to planning and developing the game for the sake of our players who have been loyal, and we are absolutely determined to achieve these goals. Our first order of business is to get the players enjoy all the aspects FFXIV has to offer now in hopes our players will continue to play this game, and we will give it our all as to meet the expectations of our playerbase.
    We are developing the new FFXIV for the sake of our players. Because our players continue to play our game, our motivations remain high. Please, except nothing but good news for the future of FFXIV.


    4Gamer:
     ありがとうございました。
    4Gamer:
    Thank you very much.

    Postscript: Please be aware that this is by no means a complete, 100% accurate translation. I had written out all of this in (mostly) one sitting and thus had not gone back over the script that much to do extensive edits, so there's bound to be errors, typos and mistakes all over the translation. I would go fix them, but my motivation is completely drained after finishing this behemoth piece of work (aka: I'm lazy. =P). I hope I have everyone's understanding over this matter.

    - Stanislaw
    (61)
    Last edited by Stanislaw; 10-18-2011 at 01:02 PM.


    Stanislaw | Durandal Server

  2. #2
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    Famitsu Interview Translation by Reinheart, first half:

    Link (click here)



    Famitsu Interview Translation by Reinheart, second half:

    Link (click here)



    GAME Watch Interview Translation by Reinheart: (incomplete as of October 17th, 11:49PM GMT)

    Link (click here)
    (17)
    Last edited by Stanislaw; 10-18-2011 at 08:51 AM.


    Stanislaw | Durandal Server

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    We believe in you!
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  4. #4
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    Betelgeuzah's Avatar
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    What a massive project you decided to undertake.

    Thank you in advance.
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  5. #5
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    Munba's Avatar
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    Omg.. that is stratospherically long °_°

    Good luck in translation and REALLY THANK YOU for this
    (0)

  6. #6
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    Nuru's Avatar
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    Thank you so much in advance! I'd definitely help out if I knew how. ;-;
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    Going to grab some shuteye for a few hours as I'm on the verge of falling asleep and I'm starting to notice massive slowdowns and inaccuracy in my translations. I apologize for the delay I'm causing. I'll be sure to get back to it ASAP as soon as I wake up.

    Till then.
    (8)


    Stanislaw | Durandal Server

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    nRosenberg's Avatar
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    Oh my God, my respect for Square-Enix and especially Yoshi-P goes up a ton after reading this! Thank you for your hard work, SE, Yoshi-P and team, and of course Stanislaw!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi-P:
    A common misconception I would like to clear up here is that, while the word 'new' implies that everything will be changed, the old FFXIV and the new FFXIV are essentially the same games. The battle systems already in place and will be in place in the future, Grand Company, etc... it is all the feedback we've received from the playerbase that be used and be reflected in FFXIV is what I call 'new'. But on the other hand, when we do switch over to the new FFXIV, you can say that from a developer cost standpoint that some of the time we've dedicated into the old FFXIV will be wasted.
    Take the UI, for example. Under the new FFXIV, the UI will be totally revamped and be replaced with the new UI engine. However, this doesn't mean that we're slacking off in improving the UI we have now lest we make our customers feel unsatisfied with our product. Therefore, we will continue to make improvements to the current UI by reflecting on customer feedback, and continue to provide updates. Things like that won't change.
    And then, by taking all the feedback we've received up to that point into consideration, we will replace the old UI with the new. But if you ask: "But what about all the resources you've spent in making the old UI?" the simple answer is "We're throwing it away". We're remaking everything as we go along, because I feel that is the stance we must take in order for us to continue provide services, and express our sincerity as Management/Developers - even our sincerity as a company as a whole - that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make a satisfactory product.
    Amazing response.

    Good night!
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    Thank you, Stanislaw! Nothing else to say; just thought you deserved tangible appreciation.
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