Exclusive interview with FFXIV Producer Hiromichi Tanaka
Zyuu- Today, 12:10 PM
In the alpha I wasn't able to jump, will there be jumping in FFXIV? And swimming? Maybe even climbing?
Its going to be the same as in FFXI. So currently there will be no jumping. If its necessary we might add swimming and climbing in the future.
What measures will be taken to combat RMT and botting?
We're going work hard on it, same as in FFXI with the task force. Also for example, at the moment we're trying to add a filter in FFXI to combat it on the spot, instead of waiting for a patch in order to combat the issues. It will be more flexible.
How will the story be told? Powerful story is an essential part of the FF-series, and as far as the producers have said it will be important in XIV as well.
Yes the story is defiantly very important for FF14. We will have high quality cutscenes with voiceovers and fx, please look forward to it.
There will also be voiceovers on mostly every character/npc in the game.
What will endgame be like? Special areas, NMs, etc.
Maybe not from the beginning, but when it comes to a good time we will be implementing some very challenging encounters, among other things. We will have a level cap at the beginning, when it will be unlocked in due time we will release great raid content. We've learned a lot from FFXI and realized what is too easy and too hard.
Exactly how much more casual will FF XIV be than FF XI? Is FF XIV designed to try to appeal to a new casual crowd and leave the hardcore group players in FF XI? Is FF XIV trying to attract both at the same time and try to become the first historical game that successfully combines hardcore and casual aspects?
The first question about the casual aspect. We will have a casual aspect, but we're not going to only target the casual players. Its really a users choice. We will be able to provide a variety of aspects to the game that casual players will enjoy but the hardcore players will enjoy it as well. And also for FFXI and FFXIV we aim to support both players, although FFXIV is using a new graphics engine, so we're providing current FFXI players with an option if they want to play FFXI of course that is fine, but they're also very welcome to play FFXIV.
Hiromichi Tanaka also says that it would be very nice if the players of other Final Fantasy games who never played FFXI would play FFXIV. So that is one of the goals.
So basically they're aiming at the Final Fantasy fans who haven't played MMO's due to having a casual aspect of FFXIV, but also at the same time giving the hardcore MMO players something to enjoy as well.
What about PVP?
We have the same stance on PVP as we had in FFXI, we're having a focus on PVE, but we may introduce some sort of sports-type that might be tied to PVP in the future. What we're worrying about is that we dont want to have any PK'ing or harassment types of activities in the game. So in order to provide a safe environment to everyone and a game to enjoy. So we're not focusing on PVP.
Pay to play or free to play?
The game will cost to play. There's a fee for 30 days each. Currently there are no other plans to offer other options.
No PlayOnline, can you elaborate on the new account features?
We will be using the SquareEnix ID, and also have a system that will be linked to that system.
Is there going to be instanced content?
Guild leaves itself is like instances. Other people will not be able to interfer with you. There will also be instanced raid content, its a type of guild leaves as well. But we cannot tell you how many players it will be yet however. There's also going to be many different types of guild leaves, if you want to play as a casual player it will be fine for instance.
Can you give more specific details about what things can we customize in character creation? I mean things like body size, how many faces will there be available?
Unfortunately we cannot show you the character creation screen yet, but you will be able to change things such as your ears, eyes, hair color, shape of your face. There will be lots of variety.
I'm curious about how advancing in your jobs works. Like will it be a FF Tactics style? Once you've mastered certain skills in a certain job, you unlock another?
It will be slightly different from Final Fantasy Tactics system. You will be gaining abilities by leveling up your skills, but, its not the same as Final Fantasy Tactics. So if you're having a high skill in something it doesnt mean the other one is going to be lower. if you grow in one skill and it gets high, you can still level up your other skills high.
And how will the 'levels' of the mobs work? Does the game have some kinda system in place to adjust mob difficulty based on character stats and current status of party?
Its not going to be changing depending on the players skills. Its fixed. So you get to chose yourself who or what you want to fight.
Auto-run/Auto-follow and Macros saved A LOT of time in FFXI. Could we expect these things (or improved/altered versions) in FFXIV?
Yes it will be in the game.
In FFXI, if you weren't fighting or crafting, there was definitely a lack of things to do. Could we expect more types of things to do in FFXIV? More mini-games, casino, card games like in FFVIII or FFIX, more in-depth gardening/fishing/etc. ?
Yes, we're planning several things so you can enjoy the game, for example the fishing you mention will be a class. But outside of the class system there will be other things to do. For example during FFXI players figured out a way to invent a new game by using the existing system. So that's going to be interesting, we'd like to do that for FFXIV as well. So we're looking forward to what the players will do with our system there.
There were many Summons in FFXI, but for an online world, I never felt there were enough. What Summons can we expect to see in FFXIV and will there be more variety than in FFXI?
We can't really mention which summons will be in. But what we can say is that some is going to be really important in the storyline. It's not going to be included in the game like FFXI. At the moment we don't really have a class, a pet class / summoner. Not at the moment at least. So it will be implemented in the game in a different way. Please check back with us in the future.
Will there be Samuari's in the game, what about the free roaming? What about the freedom in the world, exploration?
We won't have the samuari as a job, because we don't have a job system. And we don't have a class like the Samuari. But it depends on how you're going to select your skills and developing your character. So when you reach a certain skill and/or gain certain skills, you will have a title for yourself. It may be Samuari or may not be - we cannot tell you that yet. So please look for an announacement in the future.
How large will the in-game world of Eorzea be in comparison to the in-game world of Vana'Diel? As in actual space the characters may move around in.
We can't really compare to the current world of Vana'Diel since it's been expanding a lot. But if we compare to the original Vana'Diel, this time it may be the same or slightly smaller, however as you can see there will be a much more detailed world, in terms of graphics and content. So it's unlikely you will notice that it might be slightly smaller than the original Vana'Diel world.
One thing to note is that FFXI used its own system, this time Final Fantasy XIV is going to be seamless. No zoning! Just like in World of Warcraft.
You'll be able to walk from the city to the battlefield without any zoning.
Is the Economic situation of FFXIV going to be mainly player based with Auction Houses or non-player based with NPC ran stores?
We can't go into details about this just yet. We're very sorry about that. This question is better suited to be asked in a couple of months time. However, it's going to be not the same as with auctionhouses, but something very interesting.
Also, this time the weapons are going to be worn out, a durability system. So you will have to repair them and it will cost money.
When is the beta? Any more info?
We dont have any specific time at the moment. But this current version here at Gamescom is an alpha version. And before we start the beta we're going to have another version, a developer version, this time we're concentrating on guild leaves, next time we're going to be concentrating on something else. When it's ready we'll start the beta version. And of course since we're going to launch the game in 2010 it should before that... so. The beta is not going to be in the far future *laughs* We want to do it as soon as possible.
In World of Warcraft, you can now pay a very small fee of in game currency at a Barber Shop and change the face, hairstyle, facial hair, and hair color. Will we see this in FFXIV?
At the moment we're not thinking about it. If we have a lot of requests from the players it might get added at a later time. Not at the launch time at least. In the future perhaps. Also we don't think changing the skin color or face shape is going to be added at all. But maybe hair color.
Can we expect exp loss?
We're still adjusting and discussing this. It may or may not be an exp-loss when you die in FFXIV. But it will be a lot less than it's in FFXI. However, as said we might not include an exp loss at all in FFXIV. In the alpha version we have exp loss currently, but this is still being adjusted, since it's an alpha version. So it's not decided on.
Is the characters we played in the alpha version yesterday buffed?
[They all start out and laugh then proceeds to say]: yes, they're very buffed.
Will the class/job system go into more depth and branch out into different combinations. Or is a wider variety of jobs not yet released and still currently in development?
It's not a job system anymore. We call it classes now. It depends on what weapon you use. And again, we're calling it a class system in FFXIV this time, so it's not a job system. This new system will allow for a lot flexibility, and also because you can switch weapons between the battles (not during battles) this is giving you much more variety. Although this is not something super new in the history of MMO's, we've seen it before in games like Ultima Online and Meridian 59 (editors note).
[We're now at the end of our 45 minutes time with Hiromichi Tanaka and we get told there's only space to ask one more question, I show them all the questions I have left and we all laugh, because there's lots left to still ask, however we're offered to ask them through email, so expect more information to go up in awhile from now]
Will the Linkshell system still be called "Linkshell"?
We can't go into details on that just yet, but it's not going to be called Linkshell anymore. However, it's going to be something very interesting. You'll be able to join a kind of organization, but we can't say more on that right now, you'll be able to have different aims and focuses. It'll be very interesting.
We're not done with analyzing this just yet, but it's going to be fairly high since FFXIV is going to be on HD on Playstation 3.
Edited, Aug 20th 2009 9:42am by GrandScale
Edited, Aug 20th 2009 10:02am by GrandScale
Edited, Aug 20th 2009 12:01pm by GrandScale