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

    Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LVIII Digest (05/01/2020)

    We are pleased to present the full digest of the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LVIII! 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!

    On the Impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on FFXIV Service and Development
    We began the show by explaining the impact of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on FFXIV's service and development.

    Before we go into detail on the development situation, we’d like to share a letter that we received from a player.

    Greetings, I'm a doctor in charge of outpatients infected by the novel coronavirus.

    I began playing FFXIV a few years ago, and before the pandemic I’d occasionally log on and play with my friends.

    I read the announcement that you would be adopting a remote work structure during this pandemic. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Although the news often mentions the medical system being on the verge of collapse, in reality, the collapse has already begun outside of public view, such as the treatment of a large number of infected patients being put on hold due to hospitals being full.

    My daily life consists of going between home and work, and I fall asleep as soon as I'm home. What keeps me going are the messages of encouragement I receive from the friends I met in FFXIV.

    Even though they are worried about contracting the virus, they’re still able to communicate through FFXIV and other social media, comforting and joking with each other while enduring the stay-at-home lifestyle.

    Our job as healthcare workers is to protect the well-being of our patients, and similarly, I believe FFXIV has been immensely helpful in preserving emotional well-being by providing a platform for players to connect during this crisis. Thank you for always looking out for our emotional well-being.

    I’m also personally supported by FFXIV every day.
    I often wonder if I’ll be able to survive this crisis, and when I see the diminishing supply of protective gear, sometimes I feel that I’m not going to make it.

    Though I’m always worried, through Yoshida’s report on the current situation, I saw that everyone on the FFXIV service team is working hard to maintain the smiles on players’ faces, and I strongly felt the desire to return to Eorzea.

    I’ll have to try harder, don’t I? Thank you for your report and encouraging message.
    We’d like to express our gratitude to anyone working in healthcare, retail stores, pharmacies, public transportation, or battling against the threat of the novel coronavirus worldwide.

    The FFXIV service and development teams will continue to do our best to keep the world of FFXIV going, so we hope you’ll be able to laugh and play in-game as you enjoy yourselves to the fullest.

    Regarding the Development Situation of Patch 5.3

    As mentioned in a previous announcement, Patch 5.3 was originally scheduled to be released in June. When we switched to working from home, roughly 70% of Patch 5.3's development was complete, but we hadn’t started the producer/director checks (where Yoshida checks aspects of the content, before balancing adjustments) planned for early April.

    As for the voice recordings for each language, our voice actors were able to record from home, so the Patch 5.3 voice recordings are complete.

    We’d like to provide a brief explanation of the FFXIV’s development environment before we talk about the current situation.

    Each development team member has their own local server, which is mainly used to test the content or program that they are working on. After performing a basic debugging process on the local server, the new content and programs are implemented into a server used by the entire development team.

    Making sure that work environments can’t be accessed from outside is a common security practice with companies in Japan, and FFXIV’s development had also used this structure until now.

    FFXIV’s development tools are secured tightly and require authentication from the office’s server to start up. As a result, when we started switching to working from home, even if developers took their PCs with them, they couldn’t access the local server from outside the company network.

    It’s been about 2 weeks since we started working from home, and we are currently testing to see if we can use development tools outside of the office without compromising security, so that we can foster a remote development environment. However, working from home entails two other issues which must be resolved.

    The first issue concerns uploading to and downloading data from the overall development server. The overall development server is typically updated almost every day, with the immense amount of data transfers made possible through the company’s high-speed network infrastructure. We need to confirm how much of these updates can be handled by our home networks, which we’d like to test in a short time frame to have a development environment ready as soon as possible.

    The second issue is the work environment for individual staff members. The PCs used in development generate a lot of heat and noise, making it difficult to find space to set them up. This in turn affects other family members living in the home, and is limited by the level of internet service they have or the electricity available to each household. We must speak with each staff member to resolve these issues with varying work environments, and find out how much of their typical development process can be maintained. (One reason this can be a strain is that the average Japanese home doesn’t have much space.)

    Based on these factors, our current estimate is that Patch 5.3 will be delayed by at least a month compared to our original schedule. With that said, there are still factors we have yet to confirm that could cause additional delays, such as whether we’ll be able to do a balancing test for the Patch 5.3 alliance raid.

    However, it’s important for us to enjoy the development process ourselves, especially during times like these, so we’ll continue to do our best to deliver an amazing patch! We’re planning to update you on the development situation through the Developers’ Blog or other text-based means.

    Patch 5.3 Special Part 1

    We covered some of the upcoming content that will be implemented in Patch 5.3.

    Patch 5.3 - Reflections in Crystal

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    The patch logo is still in development, so for now we’d like to share just the title.

    New Main Scenario Quests / New Instanced Dungeon

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    The Shadowbringers storyline enters its conclusion. Before you begin the Patch 5.3 main scenario quests, you’ll need to have completed the Crystal Tower quest series and “My Little Chocobo” quest. With the Crystal Tower series’ relevance to the main scenario, we decided to make it a requirement.

    Players will be notified of these progression requirements at certain points during the main scenario. For instance, if you recently started FFXIV and are progressing through A Realm Reborn, a popup asking you to complete the Crystal Tower quests will be displayed before you begin the Heavensward main scenario.

    The new instanced dungeon, The Heroes’ Gauntlet, will be unlocked through the main scenario.

    New Tribe Quests: Dwarves

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    These tribe quests will be for Disciples of the Hand classes, and the settlement will be located separately from the Dwarven community. We’ll be going over these quests in more detail in part two of the Patch 5.3 preview.

    New Chronicles of a New Era Quests: Sorrow of Werlyt

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    Recently our solo instanced battles have been quite elaborate, and this one is no exception! There won’t be a new trial this time, as the resources for that were allocated into the main scenario.

    New Trial / Extreme Trial

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    Who you’ll be facing off against is still a secret. Please look forward to it!

    YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Chapter 02

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    The name of the new alliance raid dungeon is the Puppets’ Bunker, which may seem familiar if you’ve played NieR:Automata before. You’ll see some brand-new mechanics in there!

    Job Adjustments

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    Both PvE and PvP will receive job adjustments as necessary. We’d like to go into further detail during the second part of the Patch 5.3 preview.

    Daily Challenge: Frontline will now include all Frontline campaigns, as was highly requested. In our current situation, we can’t implement fixes or updates immediately, so please wait until Patch 5.3.

    Resistance Weapon Quest Updates

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    The Bozjan Southern Front will be a special instance where you’ll be able to play with many other players. While it bears similarities to The Forbidden Land, Eureka such as an exclusive leveling system, it’s a new sort of content with its own new features.

    Weapons can be upgraded through two methods.
    One involves upgrading them as you progress through the Bozjan Southern Front, while the other involves upgrading weapons through different means. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be required to progress the Save the Queen storyline.

    Crafters & Gatherers / Ishgardian Restoration / Skysteel Tools Updates

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    Trial Synthesis will allow you to practice a crafting recipe without consuming materials, enabling you to practice your rotation for expensive recipes without worry.

    In order to completely differentiate tradeable items from turn-ins, collectable turn-in items will be exclusive to the collectables system.

  2. #2
    Community Rep Zhexos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Updates to A Realm Reborn

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    The A Realm Reborn main scenario has been streamlined overall, while maintaining scenes featuring important characters who are relevant later on.

    Roughly 13% of the quests will be removed in this revamp, which may not seem like a lot. In addition to this, however, we’ve greatly reduced the number of steps featured in many quests (such as going to a specified location, or talking to certain NPCs several times), making the story experience much smoother.

    The content that was added in between Patch 2.1 and 2.2 was being developed before we received player feedback, and the quantity of quests was determined based on the time it would take to complete them all. This resulted in many tedious and roundabout quests in the 2.1 and 2.2 main scenario. For this section, we cut out anything that wasn’t directly relevant to the story.

    If you’re progressing through A Realm Reborn when Patch 5.3 is released, you may run into a situation where a main scenario quest you’d accepted is no longer available. Should this happen, the next step in the main scenario will be displayed for you.

    The amount of EXP gained during the main scenario will be increased so that you won’t have to do side quests in order to progress. We plan on eventually applying this change to quests in Heavensward and beyond. As a note, if you use the Tales of Adventure: A Realm Reborn optional item to complete the main scenario, all Crystal Tower-related content will be unlocked but not marked as complete, so you’ll still need to complete them.

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    Flying mounts will be allowed in A Realm Reborn areas. This revamp was very expensive in terms of development manpower cost, but the Level Design Team worked on it whenever they could throughout the development of Patch 5.0 - 5.3.

    We believe seeing veteran players flying around will serve as motivation for new players to keep going, so we wanted to implement this at the same time as the A Realm Reborn main scenario revamp.

    Additionally, A Realm Reborn was not designed with flying mounts in mind, so the Sound Team graciously reimplemented the ambient sounds for these areas from scratch. We also did our best to make sure there weren’t any unexpected sounds while flying through the air in these areas, but we didn’t have enough time to do a fully detailed check before Patch 5.3, so we’ll be fixing any issues as discovered.

    Unreal Trials and Faux Hallows

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    In Unreal Trials, not only are primals scaled up to level 80, but they are also re-balanced accordingly. If we were to keep introducing new Unreal Trials, we’d have to spend a tremendous amount of cost to re-balance every trial all over again when the level cap is increased in the future. As such, our solution was to change the featured primal with each patch.

    Some members of the development team felt that Titan deserved to be the first Unreal Trial, but Titan’s difficulty on release was around that of current Savage fights, which we felt was too difficult for the first Unreal Trial. Instead we decided on Shiva, as she had recently made a sort of appearance in Eden’s Verse.

    Miscellaneous Updates

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    In addition to the points listed in the slide, we’re also considering making it so that only augmented versions of previous tomestone gear is available for purchase.