In the 73rd Letter from the Producer Live broadcast, Final Fantasy XIV director/producer Naoki Yoshida and global community manager Toshio Murouchi revealed new information on Patch 6.25 as well as learning more about the scenario team’s development process and reflecting on the launch of patch 6.2.
We’ve summarized the major information below — check it out!
Reflecting on Patch 6.2
- In Patch 6.2, the trial “Storm’s Crown” featured Barbariccia, but why introduce the Archfiends in this order? Yoshida shares it was mixed up to provide a sense of suspense and wonder about what could be coming next.
- The mechanic where players are snared by hair was difficult to design; they wanted to communicate that you should stay inside the circle rather than move out of its perimeter and be tugged into danger. Players probably attempted that first before finding the solution.
- Pandaemonium Abyssos was also added in 6.2. Yoshida comments he was surprised that Lahabrea had voice lines during his own play test, and that the game’s recent success contributed to a higher budget for more voice acting, which is typically expensive.
- Feedback has been generally positive regarding the staggered release of the Savage difficulty version, and Yoshida thanks players for providing feedback. They were concerned crafted gear wouldn’t sell, but the data they collected reflected an increase in crafted gear sales.
- Yoshida again asks for feedback regarding the staggered release, but so far it looks like this change is preferred and may continue for the next tier.
- The data the team collects regarding job performance following adjustments is different than than players may be collecting. Potency adjustments are on deck for 6.25, and a few more in 6.28. Actions won’t be adjusted until 6.3.
- Crystalline Conflict has been a popular new mode of PvP since it’s release, and job adjustments in this mode are scheduled for 6.28. Paladin’s ‘Guardian’ action will see adjustments.
- Onto Island Sanctuary, Yoshida jokes that he was chastised by players wondering if he knew what “slow life” really means? (The content is intended to be done at one’s own pace.) He comments that international players will play at different paces, while JP players try to optimize.
- International players tend to visit their island every few days, where as Japanese players visit every day, and fill up their factories with tasks.
- The team anticipated that players would want more options to customize the island, so they want to attempt to let you add outdoor housing items — though they can’t confirm a time-frame should this be possible to implement.
- Yoshida acknowledges the system for fashion accessory emotes like the umbrella dance are a little wonky as they share the same resources as regular emotes; they want to revise this but it’ll take time.
- Since they developed ‘Ultimate’ raids and flashy weapons with heavy particle effects as rewards. As these types of weapons proliferate they’ve noticed more players ask for an option to locally disable the effect from other players.
- It’s actually a complicated ask, but as the team works on the graphics alongside the 7.0 revamp they’ll keep this ask in mind and improve their designs.
What’s to Come in Patch 6.25
- Releasing Tuesday, October 18.
- Patch includes Somehow Further Hildibrand Adventures, Weapon Enhancement Quests – Manderville Weapons, Tribal Quests – Omicrons, Variant and Criterion Dungeons.
- North American Data Center Expansion – scheduled for implementation on November 1.
- A new logical data center – Dynamis. Includes four new worlds – Halicarnassus, Maduin, Marilith and Seraph. Why only four worlds for Dynamis? Yoshida anticipates that the launch of 7.0 will necessitate the implementation of the remaining 4.
- Housing lottery will begin on November 5.
Introduction to the Work of the Scenario Team
Special guests include: Natsuko Ishikawa (Senior Story Designer), Daichi Hiroi (Lead Story Designer) and Banri Oda (Senior Story Designer).
- Hiroi also authored almost all of the 100,000+ characters’ worth of Japanese text implemented at the launch of the Manderville Gold Saucer, which he remarks as a painful memory.
- Encyclopaedia Eorzea III is in the works.
- Ishikawa has also taken on more responsibilities, including more supervisory roles between the different teams that contribute to the scenario.
- What does the “Scenario Team” do for Final Fantasy XIV? Turns out it’s a lot!
- Dissecting role quests as an example of their work, the first step is the concept phase. For ‘Job’ quests previously used in the game, the intention was to feature the player’s job in the spotlight and to provide motivation to level other jobs. They’ve resolved these stories.
- A new proposal following job quests included adventurers “in pursuit of fearsome foes gather in a pub on the First.” The outline for what saw implemented in the Shadowbringers expansion.
- The role quests were a way to expand on the lives of Ardbert and his allies and the team found this preferable to the previous job quest format.
- A concept and synopsis are developed, and preliminary references (such as FF11’s Ark Angels as inspiration for the Warriors of Darkness/Cardinal Virtues).
- The Scenario team is led by Hiroi for the patch stories between expansions; the Implementation Team works on the actual in-game scripting, including the placement of NPCs, deploying emotes, and so on. The Global Team was company wide, but now there is a FF14-specific one.
- The story of FFXIV is centered around the Warrior of Light, yet the Warriors of Darkness take place hundreds of years ago in the First. How do you depict that? Rather than telling, they showed you – and to do that the ‘role-playing’ feature was developed and implemented.
- The WoDs’ equipment was also adjusted in various scenes to show that they were making progress during their journeys. As they make a name for themselves their equipment improves.
- To inspire players to play each role quest, it was developed as a mystery that unravels through all four stories. Each role has a piece of the puzzle.
- The truth is revealed when undertaking the finale role quest after completing the job-based role quests.
- Then, in the heavy writing phase – role quests are assigned to different writers. Oda notes that the healer role quest was undesirable due to its complexity, so he contributed himself.
- The plot is constructed, then cutscenes are storyboarded, and then the quest text is written. Usually the writers that are interested in any given quest/scenario are tasked with writing the text.
- Ishikawa notes that she writes her text in Notepad rather than Word or Excel as there’s no conversion of text when moving it to other word processing applications.
- When constructing the plot, it’s first drafted, the team meets, details are filled in, then the scenario lead performs a check, and the lore team/leads perform a check.
- The cutscene storyboarding implementation is then discussed, written, and then checked over by the scenario/lore minders, and then a cutscene reading and implementation meeting is held.
- Quest text is then drafted, a read-through meeting is held, scenario and lore checks again transpire, before moving to in-game implementation.
- The implementation team, as previously mentioned, implements the quest elements in the game. The global team begins localization, and ethics checks are conducted. Further refinement is based on team feedback and adjustments. Additional adjustments are performed by Yoshida.
- Once bug checks are complete, the role quests are implemented into the game!
- Shifting now to Pandaemonium. Hiroi comments that he felt like bringing Lahabrea back as the story hadn’t explored his character in-depth yet. A key word to his story is “family.”
- For Pandaemonium, bosses are decided in consultation with the Game Content team.
- Pretty much every team intersects with the scenario team, as it defines the parameters for bosses, maps, music, and much more.
- Hiroi can’t spoil too much about where Pandaemonium is going now, but wants to take players on a roller coaster of emotions.
- Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2023-2024 is returning! To be held in Las Vegas, London and Japan.
- Grand-prize winners for the Reaper and Sage weapon design contest have been revealed.
- A Furnishing Design Contest will be held once again; details are forthcoming on The Lodestone.
- A correction for the ‘FINAL FANTASY XIV Shawl – Amaurot’ production description: It’s not 50/50 Polyester and Cotton. It’s 50/50 Polyester and Rayon.
- ‘FINAL FANTASY XIV: ENDWALKER — EP2’ is available now. Includes music featured in Patch 6.2.
- ‘ENDWALKER Vinyl LP’ out 12/3.
- ‘FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestral Arrangement Album Vol. 3’ out 12/7.
- ‘All Saints’ Wake’ seasonal event returns Wednesday, October 19th.