Letter from the Producer, XIV (07/20/2011)
Hello everyone! Yoshi-P here with another post for all you FFXIV-ers.
I’m sorry to have kept you waiting so long, but patch 1.18 will finally be going live this week! This version marks the beginning of big changes being readily visible on-screen, such as the auto-attack feature, as well as a number of others, both big and small. It took a while to get it all ready, but we hope you all enjoy this first wind of change sweeping across Eorzea!
Japan’s been baking hot, with Tokyo getting up to just over 30°C (86°F) lately. But everyone knows what it means when summer hits… Beaches! Pools! Swimsuits! Events!
And so we’re preparing some festivities for Eorzea to really bring the heat! Here’s a li’l sneak peep for those of you taking the time to read this letter...
Yup, you just saw a Roegadyn dude in a swimsuit. Try unseeing that! Hold on, before you start flaming the forums, g’head and click on the screenshot to see an alternate-gender version.
What better way to celebrate summer in Eorzea!? Rumor has it that the coming festivities, entitled Firefall Faire, are going to feature a certain type of FF monster known to heat things up…
I get that it’s not summer everywhere (tilt of the Earth’s axis and whatnot), but never mind all that. It is summer all over Eorzea. So let’s get this party started!
I outlined a lot of new changes in my twelfth letter, and have seen a lot of posts on the forums about them. I ‘m going to pick out a few of those topics from the barrel and talk about them here.
Play However You Like
For 1.18, we’ve decided to get rid of the fatigue system after so many of you voiced your displeasure with it. Also, on a related note, we’ll be changing the way guildleves work in 1.19 to do away with the feeling that you’re somehow being penalized for not filling the daily quota of levequests.
We’re also going to be balancing in-game means of transportation. Our main focus will be on the already existing anima-based teleportation system, but new forms of high-speed travel are on the way as well.
All of this means big changes to the game’s balance, aimed at giving players the freedom to play however they like. I know there are players out there who are too busy irl to spend a lot of time playing during the week. No problem! Use your anima to get you where you need to go. Maybe you have more time to play on the weekends? Great! Mount up and travel around Eorzea with your companions on chocoboback, or grab an airship! This is the kind of freedom I want you to have—the freedom to choose your own style of play. And it is going to be a major focus of FFXIV’s development from here on out.
The Future of Ranking Up
Ever since I posted on the forums, we’ve been receiving feedback from players worrying about whether or not we’re going to be nerfing the ranking up process. The simple and emphatic answer to this, just as I posted in the forums, is no.
FFXIV is an MMORPG. But before the MMO-ness, it’s an RPG at its core. So it goes without saying that it should be fun to see your character develop and grow. There should be clear-cut goals, and a sense of accomplishment when you achieve them. No need for worries on that front!
I don’t want there to be a huge loss of skill points imposed for dying, or for players to have to grind 5–6 hours a day for 8 months to get to the high ranks. I do think ranking up should take longer in MMOs than in non-MMOs, but I plan to make the process both possible and enjoyable for players willing to invest the time, even if they’re solo, and even by doing quests and guildleves.
Public Areas and Party Play
We’re hurrying to bring in adjustments to enemy distribution, respawn timers, linked-enemy bonuses, and party bonuses to make skill point awards in public areas even tastier when playing in a party. Regarding linking, the current specs for fixed “enemy groups” will see large-scale changes towards a system more capable of addressing the combat potential of parties.
In attempting to cover the expansiveness of some zones, the current distribution of enemies left some wide gaps between them. This is another area high on our list of priorities that will see heavy adjustments.
Putting together a party isn’t all ponies and rainbows—there’s the time and effort spent getting the setup right and traveling to a camp, the risks involved when battling strong enemies, and so on. It’s an investment on the part of players, and we’re going to make sure skill point awards reflect that. More instanced raids are on the way, as well. I hope you’ll enjoy choosing between light and full party raids based on whatever kind of groups you find yourself in from day to day. And don’t forget about public dungeons, because we sure haven’t!
Derp, looks like I got a bit carried away there, and now I’ve gone and written a wall of text. Well, look forward to 1.18! In my next post, I hope to talk about 1.19 and have some more details for you on the changes in store. Until then, enjoy summer in Eorzea! And don’t forget to keep rocking those swimsuits even after the faire is over! (Square Enix and its affiliates are in no way liable for raid wipes resulting from adventurers entering boss fights armored in bathing suits.)
Alright, that’ll do ‘er for me. Talk to you next letter, or on the forums. See you soon!