Letter from the Producer, VIII (04/14/2011)
Well, I don’t take ill very often, but last week I was sidelined with a pretty nasty fever. Maybe the breakneck speed and hectic schedule we’ve been keeping since the end of last year finally caught up with me.
But I’m all good now, and back in action with the dev and ops teams.
In my last letter, I touched on the upcoming holiday event, but it looks like there have been some misunderstandings popping up, so today I’d like to talk a bit about the development team and its workflow.
The dev team is actually split up into a bunch of smaller teams, each dedicated to a certain facet of the game. Off the top of my head, there’s the scenario team, the world settings team (including seasonal events), the item team, the crafting and gathering team, the battle team, the level design team, the art team, the character team, the BG team, the UI team, and so on and so forth. Each team focuses on certain game content or a particular system, and all teams’ tasks are ongoing simultaneously. There are VFX, animation, and cutscenes as well, so quite a few teams. Within each, there are staff members whose job it is to carry out the tasks of each patch, and others who focus on the large-scale elements and core of the game.
When deciding what goes in a patch, we meld together my raw ideas with the team leaders’ proposals and move forward from there, checking up on the status on a daily basis.
So in my last letter when I announced we’d be prioritizing the upcoming seasonal event in 1.17, it didn’t clandestinely imply we’d be halting other tasks in other areas. No need for worry there. Some players are also voicing concern over the difference between patch content and the more fundamental changes planned. The latter, such as overhauling the battle system, are planned for the long-term and don’t coincide with the pace of our regular patches. They are designed in parallel with other large-scale changes, such as new events or UI revamps, and we only begin testing their implementation after careful consideration of both specs and cost. This is why the whole process takes time. Of course, that isn’t to say we don’t want you to see any visible changes during this period. We are implementing the things that can be implemented, and can be done so quickly. I hope I can squash these and any further misconceptions in future letters and forum posts.
To sum up, we’re updating those aspects of the game whose priority is high, and which can be updated relatively easily, while more radical and profound changes, such as those revolving around latency, auto-attack, battle, the Armoury system, the job system, dungeons, movement, modes of transport—these are currently under development on their own, completely independent schedules.
That’s the first time I dropped word of the new job system, isn’t it? Just sayin’. (Eaaasy, I’ll be posting about it on the forums soon enough.)
Well, there are still a lot of problems that need solving, but for now I hope you can all just look forward to the forthcoming egg hu— Errr, egg-themed festivities.
Last up for today, the release of the Lodestone page detailing the Grand Companies of Eorzea was delayed a bit due to the earthquake, but will be up tomorrow. Under the direction of Akihiko Yoshida (no relation), the art team has done an amazing job, as always. The Grand Companies will do the nations of Limsa Lominsa, Gridania, and Ul’dah justice as their stalwart representatives, and related content such as quests will begin to go live in patch 1.17. We’ll also be seeing the rulers of each of the companies come forth. A historic set of events is primed to take place in Eorzea, so be sure to keep a sharp eye out!
The Grand Companies of Eorzea page on the Lodestone will be updated and expanded regularly as game content is developed, so be sure to check it out from time to time!
That’s all for this letter. See you next time and/or on the forums, k? Laters.
Seems like he's trying to shut up the complainers and dangle some juicy info in front of us.
Edited, Apr 13th 2011 2:43pm by XenoKrates