Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
I think I might be right about my theory that SE is switching back and forth from basic/advanced regarding their Q&A sessions.
Expect a "basics" Q&A next time, people. Great info this round though!
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who notices that some "Ask the Devs" are labeled with "My First Q&A" and some are not.
Wow... at best, that is some of the worst misinformation I have ever seen, at worst, it's blatant propaganda. The screenshot clearly shows Japanese characters written in a mix of Kanji and Hiragana converted to Katakana and Hiragana with some Kanji thrown in. If I had to guess, they had some intern writing up the flavor text who used a few wrong phrases which needed to be converted back to the classic ones. The original author's evidence that it was made in China is sketchy and reaching. It doesn't even make any sense to outsource an MMO, since ultimately most of the work will have to be done in house after release. Ultimately, I see no real evidence of that statement, unless there is a money trail I do not know about. (Not to mention Square Enix, and Japan in general do not have the greatest relationship with China, if they were going to outsource anywhere it would probably be Norway.)
On topic, they seem to be really trying to reach out to the community here, providing some basic information that has long been the source of controversy in FFXI. Whatever the reason, I am very glad to see them making the effort, hopefully we'll see more like it in the future. It would certainly be quite an irony if it turns out they did not know the stats were not "plugged in" so to speak and discover it after seeing the response to this Ask the Devs though. Edited, Nov 5th 2010 7:58pm by Hulan
Glad someone else realizes the people spreading this rumor are full of it. I can try to explain this better, but it's not likely to stop anyone from spreading the rumours now that they're already out there.
The simple explanation is that the development team, which includes many people from FFXI's development team, just love kanji (Chinese characters in use in Japanese). If you compare FFXI to any other FF game, and pretty much any mainstream game in general, it uses far more kanji, much of which is made up entirely (i.e. the kanji may be in use, but the compounds are not words in either Japanese or Chinese). They use both more kanji for things that wouldn't normally use it, as well as just more kanji in general (meaning antiquated ones).
More to the point, in many instances where a normal modern game would use an English
term instead of a Japanese one, the devlopers decided to use a pseudo-Chinese term instead. If anyone reading this doesn't know any Japanese, the first thing you have to understand here is that English is incredibly popular to use in video games (and comics and other things). It's not like any of these words were going to be in Japanese; they would already be written by the Japanese-speaking developers in a foreign language - English. So their line of thinking is basically that English is overused for exotic-sounding names, and the other language that their Japanese audience would both think of as exotic but also be able to understand somewhat would be Chinese. You can also think of using Chinese/kanji as being to Japanese what Latin is to English - it's often the root for more scientific and scholarly terms for things, so it sounds "smart."
I think the biggest one people have latched onto is the whole thing with chocobos. But it's not like they renamed chocobos entirely, they just named a few chocobo-related things like the item "chocobo feather" using more kanji. So the bird itself is still named "chocobo" but the feather was named "馬鳥の羽根" (horse-bird feather, the idea being that a chocobo is a bird that serves as a mount) for flavor. "馬鳥" isn't even the Chinese name for chocobo (which is 陸行鳥, "earthbound bird"), and it was obviously made up by some Japanese guys who thought it would sound cool/smart/whatever.
The fans did react negatively to such extensive use of kanji/Chinese, partially because it's harder to read and partially because it's just not cool like English is currently. It can also be difficult to know how the devs decided their made-up kanji compounds are supposed to be pronounced, while the same problem doesn't exist for English words which are written phonetically. If you don't know how to pronounce something, you may not be able to type it, and probably wouldn't be able to auto-translate it at all in Japanese. The people who actually think it's some kind of conspiracy/cover-up are a vocal minority (we are on the Internet after all).
The main issue here is that when some people deliberately try to spread false information across a language barrier, their audience has no way of knowing better. I don't blame people who continue to spread it not knowing any Japanese (or Chinese) because they really have no way of knowing the whole story. It's unfortunate that it's so easy to fall victim to this kind of propaganda, but it's also interesting to watch. Edited, Nov 5th 2010 7:24pm by TheMoreYouKnow