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  1. #1
    Community Rep Voltenyne's Avatar
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    Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LVII Digest (2/14/2020)

    We are pleased to present the full digest of the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LVII! 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 5.2 Special Part 2

    Continuing from the previous LIVE letter, we covered more of the upcoming content that will be implemented in Patch 5.2! We showed gameplay for certain sections, so be sure to check out the video.

    Echoes of a Fallen Star Trailer



    We kicked off the broadcast by revealing the trailer for Patch 5.2.
    Patch 5.2 is scheduled to release on Tuesday, February 18.

    Regarding Mods and Third Party Tools

    (00:12:42)

    Near the end of last year, inappropriate screenshots that were created using mods and the usage of third-party tools in endgame content became a hot topic, so we went over these topics to provide our stance as the development and operations teams.

    Before the matter of whether mods are allowed or not, posting inappropriate screenshots using mods violates simple public decency, so please don't do it. Not only will you face risks such as account suspension, you may even face penalties in real life.

    In addition to this issue of decency, we are aware that there has been constant debate over whether mods are allowed or not. “Mods” refer to the addition of graphics and maps that do not exist in the game, or data that alters the game’s programming. Installing and playing with these is a violation of the FFXIV Terms of Service. As such, our answer to “Are mods allowed?” would be “It’s prohibited by the Terms of Service.”

    In some cases, there have been games where mods improved their gameplay value and led to growth in their community activity, and the developers officially endorsed the mod. Situations like these where the players, community, development and operations teams respected each other brought about this “mod culture,” which we believe isn’t something that should be broadly categorized into “good” or “bad.”

    Next we’ll move onto third-party tools. As a premise, the use of third-party tools is also prohibited by the FFXIV Terms of Service. As such, like mods, if we were asked whether using third-party tools is allowed, our answer would be “Please don’t use them.” However, what would be considered a “tool” will vary for each person, making it extremely difficult to draw a line. The developers also do not have the right to confirm what kinds of applications are installed on your computer or smartphones, and do not have the right to ask you to refrain from using certain applications.

    Suppose we were asked “Are we allowed to use FFXIV and voice chat programs at the same time?” Voice chat doesn’t directly interact with FFXIV’s data, and whether it should be considered a third-party tool is ambiguous, so it’d be difficult to provide a definitive answer. Even ACT, which calculates damage values based on the battle log displayed in-game, is difficult to determine as a tool or not and would be considered a grey area.

    With that ambiguity in mind, the development and operations teams have taken the stance of “Please don’t use third party tools.” This is because using third-party tools puts that player’s account at risk.

    We understand some of you would like us to clearly define what’s allowed, or simply prohibit all tools. However, it is impossible to individually verify an infinite number of applications and software, and we cannot determine what would be considered “all tools” due to the ambiguity of what constitutes the definition of a “tool” in the first place.

    However, calculating another player’s DPS and posting that information online to shame them is clearly harassment and warrants a penalty. That would be an issue even before we consider whether using tools is allowed or not. Additionally, we often receive requests for an official damage calculation tool, but we would never implement one. The reason for this is because it may become the root of many disputes within the community.

    Finally, we’d like to explain our policy on plugins, such as those for ACT. In the category of plugins, there are some malicious ones that negatively disrupt game balance or fraudulently manipulate memory. Some examples include the plugin that automatically placed waymarks that was widely talked about in the community, and the plugin that placed self-made graphics on invisible AoEs to make them appear to be visible. Keep in mind that these have an extremely high risk of resulting in a penalty. The development and operations teams have been working on the system side to prevent these types of malicious plugins.

    Tools, reporting wars, penalties... these wouldn’t be relevant to you if you were enjoying the game normally. We’d like for players to enjoy the game itself, and we also would like to enjoy working together with our players as we develop the game.

    Additional Waymarks and New Save/Load Feature

    (00:40:02)

    As a result of our countermeasure against the plugin mentioned above, as of Patch 5.2 you will no longer be able to place waymarks once a battle has commenced. However, implementing only this would cause a loss of functionality for many players for what a small group of plugin users did. To counteract it, we increased the number of waymarks to eight to lessen the need for re-placing the waymarks during each phase. We will also be adding new features that can save and restore waymark positions per content. This means you’ll be able to save and replicate the position of waymarks that were placed by other players as well. We showed this off in the gameplay as well, so be sure to check it out.
    (6)

  2. #2
    Community Rep Voltenyne's Avatar
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    Upcoming Content and Features in Patch 5.2

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    (00:51:07)

    This time, the main scenario is quite lengthy and includes a very shocking revelation.
    Therefore, if you’re thinking of progressing through the main scenario first, we recommend that you take your time to do so and focus on it instead of doing it in between other content.

    The new dungeon, Anamnesis Anyder, is unlocked towards the latter half of the main scenario quests due to how the story unfolds, so please keep that in mind if you want to unlock Duty Roulette: Expert as soon as possible.

    The new quest series for upgradeable equipment is named Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr. The size of the content is too large to be played alongside other content in Patch 5.2, so it will be implemented in Patch 5.25.

    Aside from Ruby Weapon, there is another trial related to the Save the Queen storyline, which we’ll be keeping a secret until then. You’ll be challenging it solo during the storyline, but there’s also a version that’s about the same difficulty as Extreme trials which you’ll be challenging with a full party.

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    We showed a screenshot of the interior of Anamnesis Anyder. Its appearance changes drastically from the beginning, middle, and end of the dungeon, so please look forward to it. You’ll also perceive it quite differently when you visit it after completing the main scenario.

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    With these updates, we’ll really be diving into the key aspects of the Ishgardian Restoration content. There are many stages this time around, and the Diadem will be returning as a gathering area. As there’s a lot to do in Patch 5.2, we plan to implement this in Patch 5.21, which is estimated to be about three weeks after the release of Patch 5.2.

    We will also be adding Expert Recipes for hardcore crafters. With Expert Recipes, the condition of materials will frequently change with each step, so you’ll be constantly planning out your next action as you craft. With this, we’ll also be implementing a simulator that will show you how much progress/quality an action will increase.

    Your rank in the ranking system is based on the restoration points you’ve earned, and items from the Expert Recipes will yield higher points. Crafting items from these Expert Recipes could be quite a challenge, so we’ve prepared some less expensive recipes to practice on.

    We’re also currently developing a new feature aimed for Patch 5.3, which will allow you to practice a recipe without consuming any materials.

    For the ranking system, the rankings will begin with the release of Patch 5.21 and will be limited to a 10-day period. We’ve prepared special titles as a reward for making it into the rankings.

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    The crafting system update in Patch 5.2 won’t be as drastic as the changes implemented in Patch 5.1; however, a number of actions will be removed or have their effects adjusted.

    For fishing, it’ll be easier to notice when you’ve hooked a fish.

    Two major changes will be made to the materia system, the first being the removal of class requirements that differ per gear for melding materia. With this change, for example, you’ll be able be meld materia onto any equipment even if you only have culinarian at level 80. Secondly, the spiritbonding system will be changed. Materia can now be extracted from fully spiritbound gear without losing the original item, and instead will now only reset your spiritbond.

    New chapters, such as Chronicles of a New Era quests, will be added to New Game+.

    The maximum rank for free companies will be increased to 30. The main benefit of these higher ranks will be an increased company chest capacity.

    Cinder Drift

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    (01:06:57)

    We showed gameplay footage for the beginning of the trial, which you can watch in the video. Something we weren’t supposed to show may have been revealed onscreen...

    The battle against Ruby Weapon is part of The Sorrow of Werlyt, which includes stories pertaining to Gaius’s past. The Sorrow of Werlyt series will continue in the future so please look forward to it.

    Job-Related Adjustments

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    (01:11:41)

    There aren’t very many adjustments to jobs this time around. The main one is probably red mage. Its damage is somewhat lacking compared to other magic ranged DPS, so we’ll be giving it a straightforward damage increase. Both single-target and AoE damage will be improved.

    Next up is summoner. We apologize for having to do this, but summoner was doing too much damage so its DoT potencies will be slightly lowered. We considered increasing black mage’s damage to balance things out, but that would’ve required rebalancing samurai and other melee jobs as well, so this time we decided to adjust summoner.

    Regarding samurai, we received feedback that Meditation stacks were hard to keep track of, so Meditation stacks will now be displayed on the job gauge.

    Aside from those, we also made a minor adjustment to warrior.

    On the other hand, we made a large number of changes in PvP. Some additional actions were clearly weaker or harder to use, so we’ve improved the actions that were rarely being used. As for Medical Kit, we adjusted its minimum cure potency as it is difficult to use due to its low values.

    Regarding tanks, dark knight is currently quite powerful with The Blackest Night, so we’ll be adjusting the capabilities of other tanks to be similarly effective. We’ll also be making adjustments to warrior to bring them in line with other tanks in the Feast. On the other hand, Holmgang is an extremely powerful action in Frontline, and the adjustments will affect that as little as possible.

    Next, regarding melee jobs. Monk is powerful in the Feast, but is lackluster in Frontline, so we’ll be making adjustments to balance the melee jobs. Dragoon and ninja are extremely powerful in Frontline, so we’re considering making their effectiveness vary between single-target and AoE.

    Next up are physical and magical ranged DPS. Dancer was too powerful, so we’ll be adjusting its buffs. In terms of balance with other roles, we’re adjusting their damage to be relatively close to melee jobs. We’re thinking summoner is a good standard and will be referencing it as we make various changes.

    The matchmaking algorithm was reconstructed to group teams more equally, and testing has also been completed. It’ll be implemented in Patch 5.2, so please wait until then.

    Qitari Tribe Quests

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    (01:17:17)

    We showed gameplay, which you can see in the video.

    The Qitari tribe quests will take place in the Rak’tika Greatwood and are focused on gathering. You’ll be able to accept them starting at level 70.

    You may have noticed that the Qitari didn’t appear during the Patch 5.0 main scenario. The tribe quest storyline will explain why they weren’t seen, as well as why they’ve chosen to appear now. At first, they lack a settlement, which will progress as the story moves forward. The story itself will also be quite interesting, so please look forward to it.

    There were actually plans to implement Qiqirn tribe quests in the 4.0 series, and this is why the Ziggurat is in the game. However, World Lore Creator/Main Scenario Writer Oda became completely enthralled by the Namazu, and so the tribe quests became about them. Why aren’t there any Namazu on the First? The answer to that could be revealed in these quests. The storyline of the Qitari tribe quests will split off at a certain point. The story is about uncovering the history of the Ronka, a civilization that previously resided in Rak’tika. There will be a point in the story where interpretations of their history will split, and players will be asked to decide what kind of history they had. While this won’t affect any rewards, the storyline will vary depending on what you pick, and we hope it’ll be something you can share and discuss with other players.

    We also showed a new mount related to the tribe quests, which can be seen in the video.

    New Courses in Leap of Faith

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    (01:26:18)

    We attempted the course during the stream, so be sure to take a look at the video!

    Eden’s Verse

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    (01:47:17)

    Eden is about returning the elements to a barren land and restoring it to its lush state, as well as a story of Ryne’s growth. Still having much to learn about the outside world, Ryne is beginning to take her first steps forward when Gaia appears. How these two will resonate with each other is something to look out for.

    We showed gameplay footage of one of the raids, which can be seen in the video.

    When Eden’s Gate (Savage) was released in 5.0, major changes had been made to each job. As the changes took some getting used to, the difficulty of the raids were set lower than the usual Savage difficulty with moderate DPS requirements, among other things. In contrast, Eden’s Verse is balanced to the usual Savage difficulty, so in the beginning you may struggle to clear the fights before time runs out.

    As a side note, the members tasked with developing Eden’s Verse are different from those who worked on Eden’s Gate. This means there will be many new mechanics, and we hope you’ll enjoy them.
    (2)

  3. #3
    Community Rep Voltenyne's Avatar
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    Ocean Fishing

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    (01:59:10)

    This is the fisher-exclusive content that we first introduced during our previous Letter LIVE. You’ll be able to participate even as a level 1 fisher. There aren’t many activities like this in FFXIV, and quite frankly this content won’t make or break the game. However, we believe that as we continue to create the world, the existence of some of these types of activities provide a charm to it. We feel that our MMORPG has started to reach a point where we can make this sort of content. We hope it’s something that you can enjoy casually, like while waiting for your raid group.

    We showed some gameplay footage, so you can take a look at what it’s like.

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    The ship sets sail every two hours in real time. There are two different routes, each with three fishing locations. Once you arrive at a fishing location, everyone on the ship will be able to begin fishing. The content is about 25 minutes long after boarding the ship.

    When ocean fishing was first announced, we received requests to allow players to slowly sail around on the ship, like FFXI or FFXIV 1.0. While it was possible, this time we intentionally did not do so. Making it realistic like that would make the content take longer to complete, and thus not something you could do leisurely. On the other hand, we were meticulous when creating the cutscenes, which should be great for taking screenshots.

    Each player can fish from wherever they’d like on the ship. The important part is fishing with other players in the same area, and it should be quite enjoyable to fish together even if you don’t hold any conversations.

    There are NPCs onboard that sell bait and repair your equipment also. As shown in the gameplay, the fish you caught during the trip will be displayed in the Score Overview window. You’ll receive points depending on the type and quality of the fish you caught. Once you’ve returned to port, your score will be totaled and displayed as a ranking. You can also leave early if you’re not interested in scores or something comes up while you’re fishing.

    We’re considering additional routes and random events in future updates. Since we are implementing the base system this time, we weren’t able to create many variations of random events.

    After the ocean fishing gameplay, we also showed the Angler’s print furnishings and Eden’s Verse gear rewards, as well as the winning design of the Ranged DPS Gear Design Contest, so take a look at those as well. As a side note, the winning design will be implemented as a new set of gear, and other roles will also feature gear based on the design.

    Ishgardian Restoration Update (Patch 5.21)

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    (02:24:55)

    Patch 5.1 was just the beginning, and we’ll be diving into the key aspects of the Ishgardian Restoration. This time there will be many restoration stages and Disciples of the Land will now be able to participate as well.

    With this being our first real-time content, there were some points we’d overlooked at the time of Patch 5.1.

    For concerted works, we had set a long waiting period to allow as many players to participate as possible, but this turned out negatively as large groups of players from other Worlds came to participate, causing congestion which prevented players from entering.

    There was also an issue where concerted works occurred late at night, which made participation difficult for those who’d worked hard to turn in collectables. These were the result of oversights by development and operations teams, and we apologize for the inconvenience caused to our players.

    This time, the next step will start as soon as the Stockpile Level is filled, allowing players who are actively contributing collectables to participate immediately. Work or school schedules may make it difficult to witness all stages of the Restoration, but the increased number of stages should provide more opportunities to participate compared to Patch 5.1.

    The Diadem

    (02:30:13)

    We showed gameplay of the Diadem, which has been reborn into an exclusive area for Disciples of the Land.

    Disciples of the Land can enter starting at level 10, and you can use it to level up because you can earn experience there. The content can be played solo, and Mission Ceruleum will no longer be necessary. You’ll also be able to use flying mounts to travel within the area.

    Disciples of the Land can gather required materials for Ishgardian Restoration here. The gathered materials are appraised then processed into materials that can be used in crafting. You’ll also receive Skybuilders’ Scrips upon appraisal.

    You can use the aetheromatic augur duty action in the new Diadem. Using this on a monster will allow you to obtain materials corresponding to the monster. It’s not something you can just use endlessly; a gauge will gradually fill as you gather, and you’ll be able to use it once per gauge bar.

    Gathering points will appear in a cycle around the Diadem. These gathering points are unique to each player, so you won’t need to fight over them. Additionally, a gathering point where you can obtain rare materials will appear when certain conditions are met.

    We also showed a new mount that will be added to the Ishgardian Restoration rewards, which can be seen in the video.

    Kupo of Fortune

    (02:44:15)

    We previously mentioned there would be scratch-off tickets in Ishgardian Restoration. These will be implemented as Kupo of Fortune.

    You can scratch off one of four spaces on the ticket, and will receive an item based on the mark that appears. The items you can obtain will be different for each card. Some of the items you can obtain include new glamour items and emotes!

    Ishgardian Restoration (including the Diadem and Kupo of Fortune) will begin in Patch 5.21, which we’re planning to implement about three weeks after Patch 5.2.

    Skysteel Tools (Patch 5.25)

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    (02:50:51)

    To put it simply, it’ll be an upgradeable equipment series for Disciples of the Hand and Land, similar to the Zodiac Weapons. You’ll be working with the Skysteel Manufactory in Ishgard to create the legendary tools used by famed artisans of the past.

    Unlike battle jobs, you won’t be given objectives like participating in various duties or defeating a certain number of enemies using the aetheromatic augur. Instead, once you’ve prepared the various required items through crafting and gathering, they’ll build the tools for you.

    This will be only the first stage, so it won’t be as powerful as melding the latest tools. However, the upgrades will continue in later patches, and it’ll become quite powerful by the final stage, so we hope you’ll give it a try!

    You can see how some of the tools look in the video.

    Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr (Patch 5.25)

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    (02:55:24)

    This will be an upgradeable equipment series with plenty of story.

    In the age of the Allagan Empire during the Third Astral Era, the land of Bozja was ruled by a wise queen. This queen was protected by heroes wielding the legendary weapons known as the Blades of Gunnhildr.

    In the present day, the Bozja region is under the rule of the IVth Legion of Garlemald. But the Bozja Resistance, part of the Far Eastern alliance, continues to fight for liberation. It is under these circumstances that Hien requests adventurers to aid the Resistance.

    The storyline is a continuation of the Return to Ivalice quests, so completing them will be a prerequisite to Save the Queen. And as with Return to Ivalice, the scenario is written by Yasumi Matsuno.

    In Patch 5.25, you can obtain the base weapon if you complete a quest that can be completed solo. It also won’t be too difficult to obtain these weapons for multiple jobs.

    The second part is planned for Patch 5.35, which will bring more story and a new type of field content, similar to Eureka.

    In Eureka, upgrade materials could only be gathered inside Eureka itself, but for Save the Queen we’re planning to have other methods to obtain the required items outside of the specific content.

    The new field will have a unique leveling system and a tense atmosphere, and we have plans for a high-difficulty challenge similar to Baldesion Arsenal. Having said that, we removed aspects like fighting over portals, and used the feedback we received from Eureka to develop something new. Please look forward to it!

    Other Updates

    (03:09:44)

    Parasols
    We showed this through gameplay. When you obtain a parasol, it’ll be registered to the Extras category of your Actions & Traits menu. Once we have several varieties, we’ll create a menu and move them there, as we did with mounts.

    As you may expect, the parasol will cast a shadow, and you won’t get wet from the rain if you have it up. Furthermore, you’ll get wet if you enter a puddle, which was actually quite a troublesome process. This realistic feature required trial and error, but it’s finally being implemented!

    Changes to Sale Price of Fieldcraft Demimateria
    We’ll be adjusting the price of fieldcraft demimateria in order to better regulate the circulation of gil in the game economy.
    * See here for more details.

    Fan Festival 2020-2021



    We announced the locations and dates for the next round of Fan Festivals!
    They will be held in San Diego, California for North America, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture for Japan, and London, England for Europe. Further information will be released in the future.
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