Hello again, FINAL FANTASY XIV fans. As always, I hope you are all enjoying your adventures in Eorzea.
I have a confession to make—I hate planes. And I'm using "hate" in the strongest sense of the word here. Call me old-fashioned, but I never saw the flight of man as anything but a mathematical impossibility. Just looking out the window, I can tell these wings definitely aren't big enough! And yet here I am, writing my fourth letter at 30,000 feet. Why? Well, because FFXIV is a global endeavor, and after the recent changes to the development team, it's fallen to me to head to our offices in L.A. and London to give everybody the lowdown on the game's new direction, milestones, etc. I'll also be having a couple of interviews with representatives from some fan sites, which I hope will allow players in regions outside of Japan the opportunity to get to know me a little better.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team is safe on Japanese soil, wrapping up preparations for patch 1.16. This patch brings the long-awaited introduction of sidequests, and our localization staff has been hard at work putting their final touches on their translations in order to bring you an unforgettable linguistic experience. We originally intended for 1.16 to go live before the end of February, but unfortunately I had to make the decision to delay its release for a few days to allow our Quality Assurance teams in North America and Europe sufficient time to perform all the necessary testing, rather than rush a release of content that was not of an acceptable quality. I understand your frustration, but ask that you bear with us just a little longer.
Regarding the frequent World crashes affecting many of you, patch 1.15b introduced a measure to help address this issue. While there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of crashes, we're aware the issue has yet to be fully resolved, and so our team is continuing its efforts to improve server stability.
And now for a bit of good news! The official forums mentioned in previous posts are almost ready, with a beta version of the site ready for launch on Tuesday, March 8! Our original plan was to release a preliminary version in March that featured limited functionality, but thanks to the diligence of our web team, it looks like we'll be able to release a beta version that will closely resemble the final product. I'll be writing a message to kick off the forums, and I'm looking forward to reading all your posts. (^-^)v
Turbulence? Really!? Is the pilot trying to make me soil myself!?
To help me forget how much I hate being on planes, let me try and calm my nerves with a couple new concept designs...
Evil armor!? (name definitely not official)
From left to right (more or less):
Widen hemline in cute fashion
Make the ankle slimmer than usual in the vein of Amano
Evil Armor – Finalized
Visor hinge here
Ears extended to sides for Hyur. Back same pattern as front
From left to right (more or less):
Black Mage Armor – Finalized
Hat material is straw or leather or undecided
Elezen male ears
When black, have hat worn low on face
Lower than normal position
Lalafell male ears
Hat in default position, center of the brim is slightly upturned
As some of you may have guessed, both of these are designs for some of the new items I spoke of in my last letter. As stated in the last Players' Poll, we are currently working on class-specific equipment. Though the above designs are finalized, we still have to tailor and model them to each of the five races. So while I can't promise an immediate release, I promise that the wheels of progress are in motion.
For those of you worried that your favorite class or current rank won't be represented—don't be. We're working on more than just high-level gear, and plan to gradually release items for various ranks over the course of the next year. Keep a keen eye fixed on coming patch notes to see if your class is next!
Also, in my next letter I plan to explain the "introduction of new synthesis concepts" bit from last month in a little more detail.
And finally, the second Players' Poll has come to a close. As with the first, the turnout was overwhelming, with tens of thousands of users taking the time to make their voices heard. We've compiled all the data and begun to analyze it, but I've chosen to hold off revealing the raw data and my personal interpretations of the numbers until after patch 1.16 goes live. Please understand, patch content is our top priority, and the decision to temporarily delay the unveiling of the poll results was made in order to ensure the quickest possible patch release. But fret not! The data will be made available in a few days.
That's all I've got for now. Until next time, I wish you all the best in your Eorzean endeavors.
Talk to you all again in a few days! (^-^)
FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer & Director, Naoki Yoshida