Dengeki E3 2010 Interview
Translation by Savalithos. Source: http://news.dengeki.com/elem/000/000/271/271381/
*Dengeki’s interview with Mr. Tanaka tells us a fair amount of things we already know, but toward the end it tosses some fresh information out there. For the sake of brevity, I’ve excluded anything rehashed.
-I imagine there were many requests regarding the user interface. Have there been any changes made?
Tanaka: Aside from a revamped main menu, we’ve added a chat filter and changed the log system. We are also testing out being able to have multiple chat windows open.
-Are there other means of communication aside from chatting?
Tanaka: We have plans to include a macro palette, which you could use to combine skills and messages to make communication a little easier. Beyond that, we are working on a system where party members can tell which enemy their leader is attacking.
-Would that be something like highlighting the monster’s name or putting a number above its head, etc.; something that stands out?
Tanaka: You’ll have to wait and see! We are currently testing various methods of communication to prevent party members from splitting up during battle.
-Are there any battle system elements that will be upgraded from beta onward?
Tanaka: Some of it has been included in alpha, but there is the Battle Regimen skill chain system. We are preparing a bagful of situations where well-coordinated party play using this along with the aforementioned communication tool will be integral to success.
-So will group vs. group battles be more frequent than not?
Tanaka: Many monsters act on their own right now, but there were plans for group situations such as one male beast among a harem of females, for example. The majority of guildleve fights, in particular, will probably have monsters in parties together.
-Crafting, Bazaars, and Community Systems
Are there any new systems planned for beta?
Tanaka: Weapons and items will lose durability. You will not lose a weapon because of it, but its battle potential will drop to the point where it will probably be useless. Since repairs will be necessary, we have increased the number of gathering and crafting classes. The next big planned addition would be retainers, hirable NPCs. For example, in FFXI you could not run your bazaar if you logged out. In FFXIV if you hand your items over to your retainer and set them up in the marketplace, you will be able to sell your goods even if you log off. Other than that, we have plans for linkshells but are unsure of when they will be ready for implementation.
-The Start of Beta
Will beta bring with it more areas to explore?
Tanaka: If we add even more, we are not sure how large the size of the beta download will become. We will test it, but it might be difficult.
-So the main hub will still be Limsa Lominsa?
Tanaka: We might have to test other areas as necessary, but currently we plan to conduct beta only around there.
-How large will the finished product be?
Tanaka: We have yet to confirm anything and are still adjusting things.
-What will the recommended specifications for the finished Windows version be?
Tanaka: First we will announce specs for beta. Right now graphics boards, as opposed to CPUs, are causing bottlenecking, so we would like to optimize that more.
-Then beta will start…?
Tanaka: We would like to start it in July at the latest. We will make separate announcements regarding the PS3 version.
-You had said that cross-regional servers would be implemented mid-beta. When, exactly?
Tanaka: Alpha servers are technically already cross-regional but are segregated only by time. If everything is stable, we would like to have them running nearly around the clock from the start of beta.
-Are there plans to increase the number of testers in beta on a large-scale?
Tanaka: There are already ten alpha servers, and testers number in the tens of thousands. For beta, first we would like to move all those players over. If all is well after that, we plan to add more testers. The improvements that make beta what it is would not have been possible without the voices of our alpha testers. Therefore, I would like everyone to experience beta and provide feedback in hopes that the game will improve even more. Of course we will continue to make adjustments after the official release, so do not hesitate to tell us what you think.
All the little details are filling in. Still a little vague on the durability and whether or not stats will degrade with durability loss or whether it will be a case of "note broken = works normally, broken = doesn't work at all".
Also starting to fill out the marketplace system. SE seems to have figured out that allowing players to remain logged in 24/7 even when they're not actively playing the game is just a waste of server resources. I guess my only question now would be whether this "marketplace" will function akin to a bazaar farm where you have to check every player/retainer to see what's for sale, or whether shifting your goods to your retainer to sell will add them to a centralized list similar to an auction house. I'd prefer the centralized method personally. Otherwise, shopping just becomes a chore.
Also hints that the "party vs. party" combat will not be a "each pick a mob and GO!" scenario like some have suggested might be the case. Good news for tanks and healers, maybe not-so-good news for the more damage oriented folks.
Edited, Jun 18th 2010 11:56am by Aurelius