Dont know if this has been posted yet... I kind like the part about dramatically redefine player skill ranks And player levels..Also he talks about never doing a total wipe of the game. This means to me at some point that was on the table... The interview: It seems fair to say that Square Enix would have liked Final Fantasy XIV's launch to go a tad more smoothly. The MMO, which debuted on the PC in September, met with poor reviews and annoyed players worldwide, eventually leading to producer Hiromichi Tanaka's ouster in December. Most of the core development team has since been reshuffled, and the PlayStation 3 port -- originally announced for early 2011 -- has now been put on indefinite delay.
"The decision [to make the team changes] was officially made in late November, although we had been talking along those lines with what are now the core members of the new team," new producer/director Naoki Yoshida told Famitsu in an interview published this week. "I was in a position of responsibility within the FFXIV directorial team, and the state of the game is something that's been concerning me for a long time, so it's not as if this came out of the blue. Ever since we launched last September, we've received a great deal of requests and complaints from players. That certainly played a role in the reshuffling, but there's also the fact that if we're going to call this a Final Fantasy game, then the entire company needs to pitch in and raise the standard of quality."
Yoshida's name likely isn't too familiar to overseas gamers -- outside of his involvement with FFXIV, his main credit in Square Enix is the Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road line of Japan-exclusive arcade trading card games. Since officially taking over as leader of the MMO in December, Yoshida's been actively linking with the userbase via questionnaires and discussions posted on the official website.
How much change does he want out of the game? "My policy is that I'll never do a total wipe of the game," he told Famitsu. "Players have a lot of memories wrapped up in their characters; wiping that out would be unthinkable. It's possible that we'll make adjustments that dramatically redefine skill ranks and player levels, but if so, we would allow players to reroll their parameters."
One possibility that came up in the player questionnaire was implementing an auction house -- a popular feature in Final Fantasy XI that was omitted from the new game. "Up until now, we were too preoccupied with making FFXIV as different from FFXI as we could," Yoshida commented. "However, players plainly need an easy-to-use gameplay system that encourages a healthy in-game economy. If an auction house is that system, then I say we should implement it. Making everything new and original isn't necessarily the right thing all the time."
But what's going to be changed first? "The user interface," Yoshida said. "We can work on other things all we want, but if we don't fix the controls at the same time, then players will be too frustrated to fully appreciate the other improvements. Also, changes to the battle system. Right now, Eorzea is a little too peaceful, isn't it? I'd like to see more chances for players to work together and take down stronger enemies -- more of that Final Fantasy style of play."
How good a leader Yoshida proves to be will be shown in how FFXIV improves and expands in the coming year. In the meantime, though, PS3 owners probably shouldn't be holding their breath for the console port. "I don't think we'll give a firm release date for it until we improve the game's quality," the producer said. We want it up to the point where current players are saying to us 'This is fun!' before we do give one. I promise that we will give PS3 owners a game that's truly worthy of the Final Fantasy name."