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  1. #1
    Community Rep Zhexos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XLIV (05/18/2018)

    We are pleased to present the full digest of the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XLIV! If you missed the live stream, or if you just want to watch it again (and again), check it out below!

    * Don’t forget to select 720p option to watch the video in HD!

    Patch 4.3 Special Part II

    Patch Trailer

    We revealed the action-packed Patch 4.3 trailer at the start of the stream, so if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check it out and prepare for Patch 4.3!

    Patch Release Date

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    Patch 4.3—Under the Moonlight arrives on Tuesday, May 22!
    This is yet another dense patch with a lot of moving parts, so we’ll be performing a 24-hour maintenance starting the day prior, on Monday, May 21.

    4.3 Features
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    The new Doman Reconstruction system will feature NPCs that purchase items from you for a higher price than normal, but there will be a weekly limit. These items will be used by the Domans as resources for their reconstruction, and as they progress further into the reconstruction, the items can be sold to them an even higher rate. There will be a new story surrounding this as well, so please look forward to it!

    The next Ultimate-level challenge, the Weapon’s Refrain (Ultimate), will release in Patch 4.31, which is scheduled two weeks after the release of Patch 4.3.

    During our previous Letter from the Producer Part XLIII broadcast, we introduced a new housing feature called guestbooks. However, this feature allows not only guests to leave a comment, but also allows the owner to leave their own message as well. As this can also be used as a way of communication between Free Company members, we decided to rename the feature to a more fitting name, "message books."

    Job Adjustments
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    We’re going to cover the reasoning behind the upcoming adjustments, but for the full details on each adjustment, we ask that you check out the patch notes.

    Dark Knight
    We are aware of the feedback we received globally, and understand that we need to make adjustments to this job. However, adjustments to the fundamentals of a job requires a good amount of time. For this reason, it would be difficult to make these adjustments during the patch series, and we won’t be able to address all the feedback we have received at this time. Please note that we will make as many adjustments as we possibly can.

    There have been a lot of comments to adjust the frequency of Dark Arts usage, but for these changes we haven’t made any major adjustments to Dark Arts. Instead we have made overall adjustments to increase their offensive/defensive capabilities and usability.

    Samurai will be receiving an effect to reduce their enmity in Patch 4.3. Therefore, we have introduced a similar effect for monk. However, there will be a damage trade-off for lowering enmity.

    In addition to the previously mentioned enmity reduction effect, we made adjustments to increase their weapon skill potencies.

    Black Mage
    We have reduced the delay before character movement for both Aetherial Manipulation and Between the Lines to increase the usability of these actions.

    We have increased the ease of use for pets. This is something you would probably have to try out to actually notice the difference.

    We have decreased the casting time for a number of astrologian's offensive spells so that they are able to execute defensive type actions during the global cooldown period. In addition to this, we have made improvements to usability for Aspected Helios, and Lightspeed’s MP cost reduction.

    Beast Tribe Quests - Namazu
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    During the broadcast, we showed off the new settlement for the upcoming Namazu beast tribe quests. We actually expanded the field and also prepared a new aetheryte as well. As usual, as players progress through the quest series, the settlement itself will change over time. What was shown during the broadcast was the settlement at around its third progression stage.

    The Namazu beast tribe quests can be used for leveling Disciples of the Hand and Land from level 60 to 70. The mount available from exchanging the Namazu tribe currency is very unique, so make sure to check it out in the video!

    Housing-related Updates
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    Along with the new message book, we showed off new furnishings. Of the new furnishings we showed off, there are a few based on the Furnishing Design Contest entries too.

    In regards to message books, as a preventative measures against spam and malicious comments, we explained that players may leave messages on one message book per day per character. Please check the patch notes for more details regarding this.

    In Patch 4.3, we have increased the number of aquariums that can be set as well. Players will be able to place multiple aquariums next to each other. Please note, due to graphics-related issues, aquariums cannot be placed on top of one another.

    Furthermore, we’re planning to hold another Make it Rain event in June, and players will be able to purchase mini-games found within the Manderville Gold Saucer as furnishings for their house. You can earn MGP from these furnishings as well. If you’re curious about how to obtain them, it may be a good idea to start saving up on MGP! During the broadcast, we showed off the monster toss furnishing.

    The Weapon’s Refrain (Ultimate)
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    We showcased just a small fragment of the battlefield for the upcoming extreme difficulty content, the Weapon’s Refrain (Ultimate). THE PRIMALS version of the soundtrack is used for this fight. As we don’t want to spoil the fight, we’ll leave the rest for players to experience themselves.

    Based on the feedback we received from the Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate), we have shortened the overall duration of the fight. As for the difficulty, we made adjustments so the tempo of the battle itself is much faster. Depending on who’s playing, what they consider to be difficult may differ, so you can’t compare these two fights; however, we’re confident that fight itself is fitting for the name “Ultimate,” so please look forward to it!

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    We showcased gameplay and presentation slides to cover the characteristics of Heaven-on-High.

    Unlike what you see from the outside, Heaven-on-High is very spacious inside. This will be explained as you progress through this storyline. We traveled a bit into it, so be sure to check the video. This time, there’s a chance that you’ll enter large rooms that encompass the entire floor.

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    Some of you may be worried that Hydaelyn may be in danger if we’re having Warriors of Light summoning primals as they please! Rest assured, this will be covered in the story! Players will find the summoning stones needed for primal summoning from silver chests.

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    We made adjustments to how rewards are exchanged in the Deep Dungeon as the previous method required you to sacrifice a large chunk of your aetherpool progress. This made it difficult to do for those who were still challenging the Palace of the Dead. For this reason, we have changed the flow for reward exchange for both Deep Dungeons in Patch 4.3. Additionally, players will be able to obtain a certain mount that has been requested in the past from Heaven-on-High. And like Palace of the Dead, the final floor of Heaven-on-High is very unique and memorable.

    Additional Updates
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    Performance Action Updates

    During the show we played some of the new instruments, and also showed the new UI, which allows players to assign keys for all musical notes.

    We also made overall adjustments to latency and sound quality for the instruments as well. In addition to this, music notes can be long pressed to continuously play that tone until released.

    In the future, we’re considering to add percussion instruments.

    Color Filtering Settings

    We are going to be introducing full-screen color filtering options in the Accessibility Settings in the System Configuration.

    We looked into various studies, and added color filtering options based on three types of color blindness. We made color adjustments to Area of Effects in the past, and other various adjustments for color blindness, but we will continue to strive to make it possible for more players to be able to experience the game.

    The Feast Adjustments

    Players will not only be able to view the party list for both their allies and opponents, they will also be able to see what types of enhancements and enfeeblements each of the players have. This can be seen in the spectator view as well. We will also be making adjustments to the map based on the feedback we received from everyone.

  2. #2
    Community Rep Zhexos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    The Feast Regional Championship 2018

    The Feast Championship is officially moving forward!

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    We will follow up with further details such as the rules and regulations later.
    We are looking forward to seeing everyone create or join PvP teams and participate in this grand event!

    * All tournament details (including procedures, eligibility, and prizes) are preliminary and subject to change.

    Special Guest Section
    Guest: CEO of Algebra Factory, Game Designer, and Writer Yasumi Matsuno

    In the second half of the show, we talked to Yasumi Matsuno, CEO of Algebra Factory and renowned game designer, about the second installment of Return to Ivalice, Ridorana Lighthouse, and also asked some questions gathered from the community.

    Ridorana Lighthouse
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    During the show, we briefly showed the starting area of the Ridorana Lighthouse.

    There are a lot of development team members that worked on FINAL FANTASY XII and FINAL FANTASY TACTICS who are now working on FFXIV. Similar to the Royal City of Rabanastre, they were very particular with the fine details of this raid, so be sure to check them out!

    Matsuno: For the first installment of the series, the Royal City of Rabanastre, I imagined the scenario being somewhat tight and compact, similar to the Shadow of Mhach series. However, when I actually tried playing it myself, I realized that I wanted some more oomph, and overall more volume, and so that was my focus on the second installment. Additionally, this time we referenced aspects related to Ivalice, such as the word "Dalmasca," which is mentioned in the main scenario quest.

    Yoshida: All the NPC dialogue aboard the Prima Vista was created by Matsuno, and depending on your progression, their dialogue changes, so be sure to go back and check it out. The cutscenes for the Ridorana Lighthouse were made at a high level of quality to ensure that they’d hold up even against those found in the main scenario quests.

    Matsuno: As for the difficulty, when I participated as a tester, I felt the difficulty of all the bosses were close to that of Hashmal in the Royal City of Rabanastre. It may be difficult for first-timers, but the fights themselves were quite fun.

    Yoshida: For Hashmal, players needed to pay attention to graphical elements, such as Hashmal’s movement rather than icons or markers. So in that sense there are many enemies similar to Hashmal. Personally, I would like players to enjoy the story surrounding the new Au Ra character that will be introduced. This character was created by Matsuno personally by using the character creator.

    Q: I would like to hear some behind the scenes stories surrounding the development of the Return to Ivalice series!
    A: Just for this question, I quickly created a document detailing the development timeline for Return to Ivalice, so please check it out.

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    Q: Last year, during the 14-hour broadcast you mentioned that if someone asked you to include Agrias in the series, you may not do it because you like to troll players. Since then, I haven’t asked to introduce her at all, but… I want to know, can we expect her in-game soon?
    A: As you all know, the Ramza and Alma that appear within FFXIV are different from those from FFT, and the actual FFT characters haven’t appeared in the Return to Ivalice series. If we were to introduce Agrias in FFXIV, I believe players are looking forward to seeing the actual her, and not a remodeled version of her as a Hyur. In that case, we would need to prepare unique graphics just for her, which would increase the amount of resources required.

    Q: I like how the crew members of the Prima Vista are all unique. Do you have any plans to add a side story quests using these characters?
    A: We have no plans to add side story quests for them. However, their dialogue does change depending on your progression, so I will try and add as many variations possible.

    Q: The Royal City of Rabanastre was packed with fun mechanics. Can you give us some insight to what kind of mechanics we can expect in the Ridorana Lighthouse?
    A: When it comes to battle design and mechanics, I'm just a Warrior of Light like you, so this question would probably better for Yoshida to answer.

    Yoshida: There is no route splitting, but there are lots of mechanics involving movement. We paid special attention to the boss mechanics, so please look forward to it!

    Q: As a FFXII fan I would like to go up against Yiazmat! Could you implement it as a boss?
    A: Hmm, we already finished making the raid...

    Q: How do you decide on which bosses to implement?
    A: Bosses are decided during the overall plotting phase of the development. On that point, Director Amemiya (guest creator Keita Amemiya), who’s in charge of the boss designs, is paying close attention to the original story, as well as the comments from the community. You'll find bosses designed by Amemiya in the Ridorana Lighthouse again, so please look forward to it.

    Q: Is there anything from the Royal City of Rabanastre dungeon and the story of Return to Ivalice so far that the players haven’t noticed yet?
    A: I think everyone noticed everything, so I don’t think there’s anything particular yet to be discovered.

    Q: Ramza’s hairstyle and Alma’s clothes are cute. Please give it to the players!
    A: I would like it, too. Let’s ask Yoshida.

    Yoshida: I would consider this at some point, but for now I’ll show off the gear that players will be able to obtain from the Ridorana Lighthouse.
    * During the show, we showed some of the gear available from the Ridorana Lighthouse.

    Q: I would like to see mechanics that are similar to those seen in FFT, or other SRPGs, where players have to move using grids!
    A: Let's ask Yoshida.

    Yoshida: It may be difficult to do grid style, but the other day I received development resource material that Matsuno made for FFT from Hiroshi Minagawa. It’s phenomenal to see a Planner putting this much effort into the details and specifications.
    * During the show, we showed some of the development resource material for FFT.

    Q: There are a lot of elements from FFT and FFXII in Return to Ivalice, but do you have any plans to include elements from FFTA? Also, I’m waiting for the next sequel for FFTA!
    A: Let's be sure to tell Matsuda, the CEO of Square Enix, that you want a sequel. As for elements from FFTA... hmm. I did request to make the poms for something blue. Also in regard to FFTA, I served as producer, and Yuichi Murasawa was the director, so I believe that is his game. He’s currently part of the FFXIV development team.

    Q: I feel a lot of the stories and dialogue you write touches the player’s emotions. What do you keep in mind when writing your stories and dialogue?
    A: Recently, a lot of the dialogue ends up being voiced, so I read them out loud and carefully check to make sure it doesn’t sound weird. On the other hand, when we didn’t have any voice overs, I was careful on how the text itself was displayed, such as the balancing between the Kanji and Hiragana.

    Some ask me how I come up with certain lines of dialogue, such as Argath’s line "Animals have no God!!" There are times where the characters seem to move on their own and the dialogue just comes out… So in this instance, it may just be Argath himself saying it…that’s how I feel. There are times where I try really hard to think of dialogue on my own, but those tend to get overlooked. (Laugh)

    Q: What kinds of novels, plays, or games have inspired you?
    A: When I was still a child, we didn’t have any video games, so novels and manga were my main form of entertainment for me. Out of those, I used to read many novels by Hoshi Shinichi and Ryotaro Shiba. As for plays, I tend to read them before actually watching them, but I was influenced by Shakespeare. When I arrived to Tokyo, mini theaters used to be the trend, and so I used to watch plays by Noda Hideki, and Kokami Shoji.

    I feel game development is similar to plays, you have to figure out how to deliver the game with the restrictions in place, especially when you’re developing for specific hardware with restrictions. I used to imagine a play while developing a game.

    Q: What is the the most important thing you keep in mind when developing a game?
    A: I am careful to remember the feeling as a player. I remind myself to ask "how does this story feel?" or "what kind of UI would be easy to use?" I also tend to get 3D motion sickness, so I try and ensure others don’t get motion sick too.

    Q: Aside from the story, what do you like about FFXIV? Yoshida seems like he’s always worried, so please cheer him on!
    A: There are a lot of things I can praise. Graphics for one, and while this is story-related, I really liked how Alphinaud loses confidence in himself during the 3.x series. When I found out Yoshida wrote this part himself, I really praised him.

    Yoshida: I think I am the person with the most feelings towards Alphinaud within the development team. For that reason, there may be a lot of instances where I instruct others to use specific dialogue, instead of having them come up with something on their own.

    Q: Is there anything you want to point out to Yoshida?
    A: When you're fighting Pazuzu inside the Forbidden Land of Eureka Anemos, there are times where I can’t see my own party members because of the huge crowd. This makes it hard to target your own party members, but it looks like this is being adjusted in Patch 4.3.

    Other than that, if I had to say something, it would be the fact that there is no confirmation displayed when you’re selling unique items to a NPC, at least for the shop inside Eureka.

    Yoshida: We found an issue with the party member display prioritization we’re planning to implement, and due to that we’ll only be applying the adjustments to Eureka areas at the release of Patch 4.3. Please note that we will gradually apply this to public fields and such later.

    Q: Outside of Return to Ivalice, if you were able to get involved with the development of FFXIV, what type of content would you like to develop?
    A: I would like to get involved with development if there was the chance to tell some type of stories like the liberation of Dalmasca, as I have fond memories surrounding Dalmasca.

    Q: Are there any games you’re looking forward to playing?
    A: There are a lot, but as a fan, I’m really looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2.

    Q: In the past, you have recreated the bacon bread from FFXIV, and I thought your cooking skills were wonderful. Is there any type of food you would like to see implemented in FFXIV?
    A: All the food in FFXIV looks delicious. We’re seeing a good amount of Japanese food now, so I would like to see more ethnic type of food tied in with Thavnair lore next.

    Q: What is the one thing that motivates you to work?
    A: The reaction from the players. Their comments, including criticisms, give me energy.

    Q: If Yoshida asked you to direct FFXIV, would you take the position?
    A: I would not. I think helping out here and there on scenarios is just about the perfect amount of involvement.