Greetings everyone!

We're pleased to present the full Q&A digest from the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XVII! If you missed the live stream, or if you just want to watch it again (and again), check it out below! Please note that there will not be subtitles added the LIVE letter.
Don't forget to select the 720p option to watch the video in HD!

Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XVII Q&A

Q: I've noticed a lot of the systems recently introduced to the game require a lot of time to complete (The Hunt, Zodiac Weapons, etc.). Do you plan to focus on such time-consuming systems and features in the future?
A: Considering that both patches 2.2 and 2.3 introduced new systems to the game that require considerable amounts of time to complete, I understand how it may appear that the game's direction is steering toward overly time-consuming activities. However, just as I've mentioned in previous interviews, we consider FFXIV: ARR to be akin to a theme park, and we're working to provide a wide variety of activities for players to enjoy. However, due to scheduling issues and circumstances surrounding implementation, we've been prioritizing the implementation of party-based challenges utilizing the Duty Finder whenever possible. As a result, we were a step behind in implementing systems that make use of the open world, or those that require time but can be completed at one's own pace. With the introduction of Zodiac weapons followed shortly after by the Hunt, it may seem as though we're shifting focus toward time-consuming systems, but rest assured this is not the case, and we plan to strike a balance with party-based activities as we move forward.

Also, when it comes to major patches, we plan things out on a yearly basis, and there are a lot of plans for instanced encounters based on the premise that they will be implemented with every major patch. In between these periods, the development team has been proceeding to plan various systems and features based on feedback from players, and they are calling this "adlibbing." The largest system we have planned for the future is the Gold Saucer, but it won't be skewed one way or the other with regard to what types of activities will be made available.

Q: Instead of only having the Binding Coil or extreme primals battles, can you add more things to do for casual players? In the future, how do you plan to balance the prevalence of end game encounters with other aspects of the game?
A: Generally speaking, end-game in an MMORPG refers to systems and features that are constantly updated, and thus never have an ending. For example, Frontlines, which was implemented in patch 2.3, allows you to progress and grow with the accumulation of Wolf Marks, so it doesn't really end at any given point.. What I'm trying to say, is that end-game does not refer specifically high-level encounters. Another example is housing. Due to the shortage of available plots, we're working to add more land to accommodate players, but we're also looking to add more furnishings, as well as new undertakings to be challenged together with free company members. I think casual is a somewhat subjective term, as it varies for player to player, but the largest system we have planned at the moment would have to be the Gold Saucer that I mentioned earlier. Our plans for this have progressed quite a bit. Additionally, the new class, rogue, and the new job, ninja, will be implemented in patch 2.4, and the growth elements surrounding this are considered one part of the casual content we have planned. Once you reach level 50 and procure high item level equipment, naturally you'll be able to challenge the more difficult encounters in the game, but the journey to reach this point is the where your character grows, and is a core part of the game's progression. We'd like to implement new features and encounters with various directions and difficulty, offering varying motivations for players.

Q: In patch 2.4 you'll be introducing a Japanese-esque job, ninja, but will you be adding other Japanese-esque elements to the game such as furnishings or culinary recipes?
A: We've already released some, but the Doma have not officially begun trading and not all of the Doma have migrated over, so we won't immediately implement a large amount to take up 1/4 of Eorzea's world-view. However, we will gradually increase the amount of trinkets and furnishings bit by bit. Additionally, I've already completed my checks for this, but the home base for ninja will be a guild that is located in each city-state and it will be a bit different than what everyone has seen up until now. At a glance it's a building that blends in with the scenery of Eorzea, but it has a different feel when you enter. I was really particular about my checks, and we'll be integrating it very nicely with the lore.

Q: In the future, will we ever be able to go to the "Chocobo Forest" that is mentioned in the information for the "Draught Chocobo" in the minion guide?
A: When you say "Chocobo Forest," I believe you are imagining the secluded land from past FINAL FANTASY games where chocobos live. From a lore standpoint, the chocobos in FFXIV: ARR are raised in Ishgard and only the males are exported to the rest of Eorzea, but naturally there is in fact an area where chocobos congregate together and we are in the process of developing this as we speak. However, it's quite a bit different than what you've seen in past FINAL FANTASY games. We're looking into various ways to make use of chocobos.

Q: When are patch 2.38 and 2.4 planned to be released? Also, can you tell us anything about patch 2.4?
A: We're planning to release patch 2.38 around the time of Tokyo Game Show, so it'll be in about one month. We have a lot planned for Patch 2.4, and the addition of a new job makes it that much tougher, but the development team is working as hard as possible to ensure that you won't have to wait too long, so please hang in there.

In regards to details about patch 2.4, we'll definitely be implementing Shiva. During the Letter LIVE today we're sure to receive a lot of questions on a wide range of topics, and I think you might just get a few hints of what's to come in 2.4. Additionally, we're in the midst of the 14 hour live stream, and you never know when the camera might catch something. There's also a lot of the development team here with us today, so they might be able to share something with us as well. We're planning to begin releasing information on patch 2.4 around Tokyo Game Show, and we'll continue to release information from that point onward.

Q: Is there anything you can tell us about the expansion?
A: Well, we've finalized the title and the art is coming along nicely. The team has created mock-ups of the fields using rough polygons so we can check movement and make sure the areas are spacious enough for when we create quests, as well as FATEs where there are large monsters. If there are no problems with this, then the BG team will produce it and the art team will create the art alongside them. The mock-ups have been completed for all of the fields and the work on the maps is moving along at a very rapid pace. We've also completed architectural checks for some of the dungeons as well. We'd like to share details with players globally at the same time, so please wait for Fan Festival to hear details about the expansion.

Q: Is there anything you can tell us about the new race?
A: The animations have just about been completed, and we've finished checks on skin patterns. Currently, we are working on the mass production of face variations. We'll be announcing the new race when a certain NPC finally reveals their face.

Q: Currently the Gilded Magitek Armor is the final achievement reward when you obtain 500 commendations, but do you have any plans to add more achievement reward items in the future for the commendation system?
A: We're planning to add more, and creating the resources to do so. We're still discussing whether we will release them in patch 2.38 or in patch 2.4, but we are proceeding with our preparations, so go ahead and start collecting a lot of commendations.

Q: Will clearing the Binding Coil of Bahamut be required to experience certain parts of the expansion?
A: The Binding Coil of Bahamut is an extremely difficult series of duties which offer players the most challenging encounters present in the game. The Binding Coil of Bahamut will conclude in patch 2.4 and a new series of end-game encounter will begin in the future. With that said, their stories are not related in any way, so it's not required that you complete one before trying the other. This would cause difficulties for new players who join after the fact, and it's inadvisable to continue the same series of end-game encounters over the course of several years. Plans for the successor to the Binding Coil of Bahamut are coming along quite nicely, so please look forward to the new challenges we have in store for you.

Q: We've already had collaboration events for FINAL FANTASY XIII, FINAL FANTASY XI, and Dragon Quest X, but will there be other collaborations in the future for Square Enix games or those from other companies?
A: For FFXIV: ARR, the difficulty in hosting collaboration events stems from the fact that service is operated not only in Japan, but in America, Europe, and soon in China as well. It would also be hard to host a collaboration that only comes across to our Japanese audience. We're thinking of things we can link on a global scale as much as possible, so first I'd like to start with collaborations with titles from our own company. Also, another important point we consider when making our plans is whether it's interesting for the two worlds to be tied together, or whether a past FINAL FANTASY game will be seen as interesting again when you actually play through the event. We already have an idea for a collaboration event to follow the LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII event, and while we're fairly certain we can setup this event, we still need a bit more time. It's definitely not impossible to implement.

Q: It would be awesome if there was a community event where we could design an item and the winner of the contest would have the item implemented in the game.
A: I believe this could be possible to implement through the forum, but we'll have to talk to the character team to decide on just one thing. When it comes to the specifications for character equipment in FFXIV: ARR, they're extremely strict. In fact, they probably have the strictest regulations in the whole world. While it's become much easier since we got rid of the waist equipment designs we had in 1.0, it's extremely strict when it comes to where the graphics cut-off and what portions are covered up, so if we were to have an equipment design contest, even if there were designs that, from a player's perspective, look good, if they don't meet the specifications for FFXIV: ARR we will be unable to implement them. Due to this, if we were to have a contest where we ask for equipment design submissions, we would either have to have the development team modify the entries so that they can be implemented, or release a detailed set of specifications and have players submit entries based on the given design limitations. However, for the latter case, more than likely only pros would submit entries, so we're having a tough time deciding between the two. Due to these restrictions, our design content in the past revolved around accessories. As we've been receiving requests to hold both, it might be good to try and hold one.

Q: Can you tell us anything about Fan Festival?
A: I think FFXIV: ARR may be the first MMORPG for a lot of our players, so it may be hard to imagine what all an MMORPG fan festival entails. Both the North America and Japan Fan Festivals will be held over the course of two days, while the Fan Festival taking place in Europe will be one day long. The schedule and activities will be different for each day of the North America and Japan Fan Festivals, so think of them as two-day long events. They will house a couple thousand players and it will kick off with a key note speech delivered from yours truly talking about the future of FFXIV: ARR. Additionally, we'll be holding stage events that everyone will be able to watch, which will include a cosplay contest. Other than activities that utilize the stage, we'll be holding floor activities that will differ for each region. FATE icons will suddenly appear on the floor, and there will be activities to participate in by forming parties with the people around you, and there are also plans for riding a behemoth mount. You'll even have the chance to try out new game features before they're implemented. It's going to be a really large scale event. We've prepared gifts for everyone attending and there will be a plenty of merchandise on sale as well. Tickets for the fan festival in Japan will be going on sale last, and we're aiming for around the time of the Tokyo Game Show, so keep your eyes peeled.

Q: Do you have any plans of opening up another Eorzea Café in an area other than the Kanto region of Japan?
A: We'd like to continue operations as long as possible, so we're going to look into this as we monitor the conditions of our first location. For now, we'd like to focus on expanding in Akihabara.

Q: Do you have any plans of holding another player survey like you held for 1.0?
A: At that time the official forum didn't exist, and there was no real opportunity to garner direct feedback from players. As major, large scale revamps were necessary, we conducted these surveys to hear honest feedback, but as we now have the official forum we do not plan on holding these surveys anymore. As we continue having Q&A sessions during the Letter from the Producer LIVE, we make certain decisions based on the discussions that take place afterwards on the official forum, community sites, SNS, and other locations, so it's almost as if we're conducting a survey with each Letter LIVE. As I would like to see what players are concerned about, and ultimately what aspects of the game to look at carefully before releasing content, I feel that it's important to continue streaming the Letter from the Producer LIVE.

Q: Do you have any plans for releasing a new soundtrack?
A: We haven't decided whether we will be bundling the whole 2.0 series and the expansion pack music together just yet, but plans for a new soundtrack are in the works.

Q: Do you plan on holding another census for FFXIV: ARR?
A: We had a census last year at Tokyo Game Show and we are planning to have one this year as well. We'll be analyzing even more specific data and think everyone will enjoy it quite a bit, so please stay tuned for a special panel at Tokyo Game Show.

Q: There is no Roegadyn within the main group of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. Will we ever see one in the future?
A: Maehiro: Yes, you will. They will play a large role.

Q: In North Thanalan, for example, there's an NPC that mentions a strange train. Do you have any plans to implement quests based on the stories of NPCs such as this one?
A: In the future, while I don't know if it will be picked up as a lore-based quest or the riddle solving-type quests, we are planning to continue to add nice lore stories that can be explored like the Delivery Moogle quests that were added in patch 2.3, and we'd like to tell stories about the lore through quests as much as possible.

Q: I find it hard to get a party via Duty Finder for fights like Cape Westwind, The Striking Tree (Hard), and The Whorleater (Hard) because there are no important reasons for completing them a second time. Is there any way you could add rewards to give people incentive to participate?
A: I believe that this content is a good way to earn 100 Allagan tomestones of mythology in a short amount of time. However, we're in a time where players are more focused on the Hunt, and I think that it's not as efficient as it's harder to get matched up, so I'd like to address this in the future by making adjustments to the rewards and the Duty Roulette categories. At some point we may just address this by wrapping up all that content into one bundle and having long-term benefits for playing them.

Q: Is there any additional information you can share about the Gold Saucer?
A: Well, I can tell you that chocobo racing will be implemented at the same time. Triple Triad will be implemented as well, but this isn't something that will just be contained in the Gold Saucer, as it can be played in other places throughout Eorzea. In regards to chocobo racing, we'll most likely be making it possible to train your chocobos at the same time for parameters such as stamina and speed. Also, being able to ride a chocobo and race it with your character in control is a new endeavor for an MMORPG. For Triple Triad, we'd like players to have fun by, for example, obtaining cards from Minfilia or discovering which NPCs in what locations possess cards. Besides chocobo racing and Triple Triad, Gold Saucer will have other mini-games such as a basketball shooting game and there may just be Gold Saucer Active Events that start out of the blue.

Q: Do you plan on separating the entry restrictions for the regular Binding Coil of Bahamut and savage mode?
A: First, we'll be adding the Second Coil of Bahamut (Savage) to the Duty Finder in patch 2.4. We'll also be adding the regular the Second Coil of Bahamut to the Duty Finder in patch 2.4, which means you'll be able to access both without having to go to Fallgourd Float. We'd like to decide on whether to add a savage mode for the conclusion of the Binding Coil of Bahamut in the future based on everyone's desire for a challenge, but we're still looking into whether to make it separate or to remove all the restrictions for savage mode to make it a challenge players can undertake for an achievement reward.

Q: Can you make it so elite marks randomly spawn in dungeons to boost the attractiveness of instanced dungeons?
A: I believe you are asking to make it so they have random occurrences in addition to a fixed reward, but this is quite difficult. While this isn't a bad idea, people generally won't devote time to something without guaranteed results, and I'm well aware that you all are opposed to anything that's a waste of time, a sentiment which is much more prevalent among players than before. If we were to implement something like this with players not knowing the general spawn rate of elite marks, I expect that we would start receiving feedback asking us to implement some sort of indicator to notify players when an elite mark has spawned in a dungeon. Additionally, if we don't make elite marks spawn with a high enough frequency, I don't think players would enter dungeons with the aim of finding elite marks. Also, when it comes to rewards, we've been setting difficulty levels and potential loot based on the probability for obtaining rewards after completing a dungeon three times. If we were to implement the requested system, static parties would undertake dungeons and would likely leave if there was no elite mark present, or leave after defeating an elite mob and obtaining a reward. Due to these scenarios we would have to add countermeasures so you cannot obtain rewards unless you clear a dungeon and the amount of time spent on the work for all of this would not match the effect received. However, I do understand what everyone is saying and we will take it into consideration for the future.

Q: I would like to see new duties that require a full party and/or alliance. Can you implement something along the lines of a combination of hunts and guildleves?
A: This sounds like something really close to the current Treasure Hunts. I believe the request is for a derivation of the Hunt where the meat of the duty can be undertaken by a large number of players free from the interference of others. This is not a bad idea, and while the implementation of a new game system would be required to make this happen, we will take it into consideration.

Q: Will you ever release Ultima Weapon (Extreme)?
A: This is something we are asked every now and then. There have also been requests to have a Cape Westwind (Extreme) as well, so better yet, what if Rhitahtyn sas Arvina rode in Ultima Weapon and we called that Ultima Weapon (Extreme)? We have the resources so it wouldn't be very difficult, but it's all about how to balance it. However, our current project schedule is full, so we are going to need a bit of time to look into this.

Q: Will you continue to add quests and duties that rely on FATEs moving forward?
A: We've improved the frequency of certain FATEs that didn't occur as frequently for the Zodiac Weapon story as much as possible, and it's not the case that the development team desperately wants to have FATE requirements. Since FFXIV: ARR is an MMORPG I feel that it would be a bit different if we were to make it so players could completely control when everything happens. While I can't guarantee that we won't add quests that make use of FATEs in the future, we understand everyone's thoughts on the matter. The development team has been holding discussion recently about FATEs.

Q: Currently, once you complete the Coil of Bahamut, you are unable to challenge it until the reset. If we are in a FC or LS with more than 8 players, it's hard to sync the progression of everyone in the FC/LS. Is there any way you could change the once-a-week system so that we could help out our fellow FC/LS members?
A: We've been receiving this question since launch and it's not that we haven't looked into it, but at the moment we don't feel it's something we need to act on right now. For example, if 4 people have cleared it and decide to help 4 others that have yet to clear it who weren't going to lot on any equipment, there wouldn't be any issue if it is just for the clear. However, the development team has adjusted the stats on the reward items for players who were able to clear duties of this difficulty, and there is a concern that there would be item level inflation as there is a possibility that these rewards would fall into the hands of players that should not be obtaining them yet. Again, it's not that we haven't looked into this─we've certainly been thinking about this type of system, but this is not an issue where we can give an immediate answer.

Q: Can you perform fine tune adjustments to PvP and have Hot Fixes with a higher frequency?
A: We'd like to proactively make adjustments to PvP specific values as often as possible.

Q: Can you tell us about any plans in the future for additions or expansions to the Wolves' Den?
A: A lot of players are getting involved with Frontline, and even players who previously were not interested in PvP are participating in greater numbers. The current concept of the Wolves' Den is a place for people who want to improve themselves and become even stronger in PvP. We'll be making adjustments to Frontline including the addition of new maps and rules, and we'd like to see more players motivated to get better at PvP. However, if we make adjustments to both Frontline and Wolves' Den at the same time, it would become a bit too fragmented and we're concerned that matching might become difficult. For this reason, we'd like to focus on Frontline first and once the number of these motivated players increases further we'd then like to add rewards, rankings, and a season system to the Wolves' Den. We'd like to proceed carefully so that those players who are really interested in PvP because of Frontline aren't discouraged because they try the Wolves' Den and get defeated immediately.

Q: You've already announced ninja to be a new DPS job, but are there any plans to add a new tank or healer job?
A: For the 2.0 series, only the rogue and ninja in patch 2.4 will be added. Please wait for information to be released in the future regarding other roles. I'm thinking it will be around October 17th...

Q: I love the blue mage job that appears in the FINAL FANTASY series. Will the blue mage job ever be implemented in FFXIV?
A: I think that blue mage is an interesting job because you can learn spells from enemies, but honestly I don't think that it really fits MMORPG party settings. If anything, I think it would work solo and it would be really fun to implement it as a job where you go around and learn abilities from every monster, so I'd definitely like to try and do this, but I'm concerned when it comes to playing in a party players would put up barriers if you haven't learned certain abilities. Additionally, in the event you are able to use abilities forever once you learn them, the difficulty of learning abilities would be high, and we wouldn't be able to balance the system so it wouldn't revolve around procuring your abilities instead of equipment. This wouldn't be practical enough to fit in an MMORPG party setting and conversely if you are swapping in only certain abilities you've learned, the true image of a blue mage would diminish, so this is something that I am concerned with.

Q: In a previous Letter from the Producer LIVE you mentioned that you might be making changes to the class/job system in 3.0. Can you tell us about this?
A: Right now there is no information I can share. However, at the least, I can tell you that the level cap will be increased and in addition to the growth granted by increased levels, there may be a few other changes in the future as well. There definitely won't be any large-scale changes to the system you've seen up until now, but there may be some aspects with new elements that don't follow all of the current rules of the game.

Q: Currently, the summoner job is a DoT-focused job, but I want them to be more of a pet-focused job. Are there any plans to change the design of the summoner job?
A: Having a debuffer role is important, so this would be difficult. When it comes to making the pet aspect flashier, regardless of whether we branch the job out more or add higher tier pets when the level cap is increased, a large gap in player skill will develop based on pet control. At launch there were many players who were starting their first MMORPG and we received a lot of feedback that controlling pets was difficult. We've made pets and companions as easy to use as possible, and we've made the system such that you can focus on controlling your pet without having to worry about their defense due to the fact that their parameters have been simplified. Because of this we would like to avoid making them exceedingly technical.

Q: When are you planning to add the next step in the Zodiac Weapon storyline? Also, what's the item level of the next upgrade?
A: The item level is still a secret, but we are planning to release the next step in patch 2.38.

Q: After enhancing our Zodiac weapons, I'd like to glamour them with the Zenith or Animus look, so could you add some replicas of these items?
A: It might be possible to address this by making it so you can obtain a replica without any stats from Jalzahn.

Q: With the Novus version of the Zodiac Weapon, we are able to attach a desired set of stats to the weapon. Will the stats ever be reset in the future when they are upgraded?
A: No, they will carry over and build upon the stats of your Novus weapon.

Additionally, we've been receiving questions from both players and other teams internally asking if you should hold on to alexandrite after you've upgraded to Novus, but if you have a lot I don't think you'll end up using them. However, I can't make any promises as we assess the situation, but reading the future developments is one of the thrills of an MMORPG.

Q: Do you have any plans to ease the difficulty of obtaining cosmetic gear such as the swimwear that was released in patch 2.3? They are very difficult to obtain at the moment.
A: There are occasions when I slip on data checks, and I think that the current difficulty is a bit too high. The item team has also been mentioning that it's too high. Overall, I feel that the acquisition of cosmetic equipment right after it's been implemented is a bit too challenging. I'd like to gradually reduce this difficulty as we move forward, and make it so this type of equipment is spread around as quickly as possible. I feel that swimwear is also currently too difficult to obtain, so there's the possibility that we'll make adjustments since the amount in circulation can't be estimated due to its acquisition through Big Fishing.

Special Guest: Lead Programmer Hideyuki Kasuga
Titles worked on: PlayOnline, FINAL FANTASY XI, Dirge of Cerberus: FINAL FANTASY VII, GAME BRAIN, Gyromancer, FINAL FANTASY XIV, FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn

Q: Can you tell us what you are in charge of currently?
A: Kasuga: As the lead programmer I'm in charge of everything engineer-related. I personally make decisions on everything related to areas that require technical setup or any large technological tasks that need to be done. I also assign employees, estimate workloads, and handle scheduling. Recently I haven't been doing the actual implementation, but I receive all the bug investigations, any problems that arise, and tasks for the new platform, and then I estimate the workload and decide whether or not the solution is feasible.

Yoshida: From that explanation, you might think that he simply receives my requests and then supplies an estimate of how long things will take, but when it comes to programmers, each task will affect the subsequent scheduling. Just before he mentioned new platform and other tasks, but he receives requests related to the graphics engine as well as server related requests all at once, and assigns people to them as he has a good grasp on the overall capabilities of all the programmers. He is very aware of how much code can be written and how long things would take depending on who he assigns as the lead programmer. There isn't a programmer that covers every aspect of the title.

Q: I have enough gil to purchase land, but there aren't enough open spaces. When are you planning to add more land? Also, is there any information you can reveal about personal housing?
A: Kasuga: At the moment all I can say is that we are looking into it, but we're at the point where Yoshida will make a judgment call.

Yoshida: First, we'll be adding land in patch 2.38, and it will then be possible to purchase personal housing, but the issue of how many plots to add will be under discussion until right up to the last minute. Just the other night we had a meeting which included Kasuga about even more additional plots and what kind of plans they have in order to accommodate them. At the same time we've been looking into whether we can increase the number of plots by juggling our graphic resources. Currently, we're working out all the parameters and then we'll be deciding how to do it and at what time based on the results.

Kasuga: The quick answer as to why it's not so simple to add more land is because of the infrastructure. Compared to our initial plans for infrastructure, the current demand for land has far exceeded what was predicted, and in the event that we decide to go forward with the current infrastructure, we would have no choice but to address the issue with software. And if we were to rely on a software solution, it would be difficult to secure the time required to test everything out, further delaying the release of new land.

Yoshida: Of the ideas we have at the moment, we are trying to make the final decision as to which solution is the quickest and would allow for the most land, as well considering the amount of time and resources it will take. Of course there have been those who have suggested spending millions to enhance the servers, but this would be the last resort for our engineers. We're currently looking into exactly how much we can increase the amount of land with our current resources and we'll be doing this right up to the last minute. If it appears that all other avenues have been exhausted, then I'll make the call to beef up the servers. At the very least, we will be increasing land in patch 2.38 and you'll also be able to start purchasing private housing.

Q: Can you tell us the status of the DirectX 11 client?
A: Kasuga: We've essentially finalized the drawing aspect. We're at the point where we had Yoshida make his first check and we'll be deciding on expressions possible with DirectX 11 as well as how we can achieve expressions that weren't possible with DirectX 9.

Yoshida: The day before I left for gamescom I checked the most recent version of DirectX 11. We still need to decide on how much we can do to make it appealing as well as optimize some of the graphics code, but it's progressing very well.

Q: Reflecting back on the past year, what's the one thing that remained in your mind?
A: Kasuga: The biggest thing that remains in my mind is the times when things were rough. Right after the servers opened, especially during the time for North America's Early Access, there were a lot of problems, and for most of September 2013 I wasn't able to go home at all. I definitely remember those times the most.

Yoshida: At that time the whole company was really worried that Kasuga hadn't be able to go home. During gamescom last year, after every interview I had I was talking to Kasuga on the phone about whether or not to add more servers.

Kasuga: Around gamescom we realized that our infrastructure was lacking, but even though we ordered additional hardware, it took two weeks to set up and as a result we made players wait about a month.

Yoshida: But thanks to Kasuga taking charge during gamescom, he was able to organize the implementation schedule and cost estimations for the teams in charge of infrastructure, and made it so I only had to make a judgment call on the spending, which helped out tremendously.

Q: With loads of characters focusing on hunting S rank elite marks, the monsters often disappear when fighting them. Do you plan on adding any countermeasures for Hunt congestion?
A: Kasuga: While we aren't planning to ease congestion for the Hunt, we've been receiving reports for some time now that there is an issue with the display of elite marks, and we've implemented countermeasures. However, we're still receiving reports that they are not being displayed properly. The development team has confirmed and investigated the issue, and the culprit has just been identified.

Yoshida: It was a bug.

Kasuga: We'll be fixing this in the next patch. I apologize.

Yoshida: Right after implementation we decided that the problem with S rank elite marks needed more attention. After checking on the stress for all servers we applied the same fix that was used for Odin and Behemoth so that they would have the highest display priority, but they still weren't being displayed properly and this allowed us to finally identify the cause.

Q: Please tell us the race, gender, and main job of the character you play privately.
A: Kasuga: I have a male Roegadyn and had been playing as paladin, but since there was a lot of trouble after release I would get phone calls while leveling in dungeons. I was causing too many problems for other party members so I quit playing a tank and switched to other roles.

Q: Do you have plans to implement open-world dungeons like there were in 1.0?
A: Kasuga: If Yoshida would like to do this then we'll think about it. However, after patch 2.35 North Shroud has been congested, and there are concerns that the same conditions would occur in other areas as well if we implemented open-world dungeons.

Yoshida: Right now, due to the fact that North Shroud serves as the entrance point for the Second Coil of Bahamut as well as the location of the Ixali base it's extremely crowded. When it comes to field areas, we need to consider congestion when creating content. It wouldn't be impossible to design such a dungeon, but the really difficult part is reward balancing. Also, it would very likely be content you couldn't complete with a small amount of people, and conversely, it would be completed quite easily if more than the necessary amount of people were to attempt it. If we were to implement this, just one wouldn't be enough and we would have to implement multiple dungeons at the same time. This kind of content would turn into a massive raid with even more participants than the Crystal Tower, and, similar to the 80-player raids of first generation MMORPGs, it would be easy to find people when it's implemented, but after a while it would be really tough to get the right amount of people together.

When we started developing FFXIV: ARR, there was the question of whether or not we would make dungeons using open-world areas, but we decided to consider it at a later date since that kind of content wouldn't last two seconds if we implemented it without balanced rewards and participation.

Additionally, the congestion in North Shroud is quite rough, so we're currently looking into whether we should implement a system that has been adopted by other MMORPGs for making multiple instances of the same open-world area. The preparations have already been made and we've implemented this into the Chinese version of the game, so we do have some operative results. We'll be testing things up until the last minute to be sure that the concept of multiple open-world instances is clear for players who aren't used to this kind of system.

Q: What kind of aspects are decided first while developing?
A: Kasuga: It depends on the scale. If a task can be addressed right away within the existing flow, then we will decide a lead and go ahead with it. In the case where it's a large-scale task that can't be handled within a single patch, we'll talk to the lead and other related personnel, and then decide on what to do after we see how long everything will take. We also have to set up meetings and decide on the overall flow.

Yoshida: When a plan is proposed, Kasuga estimates the workload regardless of the content and points out potential risks with a very high degree of accuracy, making it so that all that's left for me is to make the final call. For patch schedules as well, he doesn't just make theoretical calculations, he holds meetings, estimates the workload based on previous implementation experience, and talks to each lead individually, so there are rarely any scheduling issues. I don't know what we'd do without him.

Q: When will it be possible to transfer to Shinryu World?
A: Kasuga: It's up to Yoshida to decide when this will be possible.

Yoshida: Looking at the economic conditions, I'm thinking it should be okay to allow transfers relatively soon.

Q: I mainly use a Mac. Do you have any plans of making a Mac version of the game?
A: Kasuga: Leaving aside the question of concrete plans, I was able to check out actual gameplay on a Mac version client yesterday, so the rest is really up to Yoshida.

Yoshida: There are still quite a few graphic bugs, but performance-wise the game runs on a Mac with fairly modest specs. What Kasuga is saying, is that he received a request to create a Mac version, and it ran successfully on the middleware, but he is waiting on my judgment as to whether or not I think the business aspect of it will be successful.

Macs make up a fairly high percentage of all computer sales and the number of Mac users has grown over the years, but their main purpose is generally not to play games. But despite there being a low percentage of gamers on Macs, we can still snag a good share of the market, and we'll be making a decision based on whether it's enough to succeed from a business perspective, what percentage of our current server resources will be tied up, and how much the running costs will be. If it seems like it will be a good business design then I will give the green light, and even if the prospective seems bleak, we'll make a decision after exploring all avenues as thoroughly as possible.

Q: I would like to use the PlayStation®4 second screen support to type text into the PS4 version (a feature that lets you input text remotely).
A: Kasuga: We are not currently supporting this feature at the moment, but if there is a large enough demand then we will look into it.

Yoshida: Both my policy and the policy of FFXIV: ARR is that having a particular feature cannot change the game experience. However, this is a device that we don't normally use, so we'd like to see how much feedback there is from players.

Q: Is there anything you want to tell Yoshi-P?
A: Kasuga: Actually, if there is something I want to tell him, I tell him, so I guess I'll just remind him to take care of himself.

Q: What's the first thing you wanted to fix when the development of FFXIV: ARR began?
A: Kasuga: As there was a lot I couldn't do despite wanting to do various things, I really wanted to just re-do everything, so I guess the answer would be everything.