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Letter from the Producer, XLVIII (07/25/2013) Follow

#1 Jul 25 2013 at 5:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yoshi-P wrote:

Hello again to all of you eagerly awaiting FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn. With only a month left until release, the office is a bedlam of system schematics, game designs, and empty Red Bull cans. Even so, I couldn't go another minute without sending out my forty-eighth letter!

First, I'd like to thank everyone who participated in phase 3 of the beta test. Although character data had to be deleted at the end, players tested every nook and cranny of the game, providing us with a great deal of feedback. The development team and I can't thank you enough for all your help.

As we continue to address all the feedback from phase 3, we're squashing out a few final bugs, and making some last minute adjustments to the end game battles.

Completing the main scenario will get players to level 50, but the adventure doesn't end there. Being an online game, there'll be regular updates to continue the story. So even if you reach the level cap shortly after release, there's no reason to think you've hit the top. Considering all the plans we have for the game, you may want to get comfortable and prepare for a long stay in Eorzea.

Let me use the phase 3 Ifrit battle as an example. Although this battle is a level 20 encounter in the main story, after reaching level 50 you can take on a harder version. Anyone looking to earn weapons from the primals will have to overcome these higher level fights.

The various encounters we've created were designed with a hierarchy in mind, and as players progress through each tier, they'll naturally collect an optimal set of gear for that tier. All jobs were equipped with this optimal gear when we conducted our tests. We've calculated the maximum DPS for these battles down to the decimal, but it's up to you guys to show us what you're made of and reach for that level of precision.
(We've used debug commands to monitor DPS during our tests, and the numbers are intense.)

Because these fights are so tough, it wasn't enough to play with just the battle team and myself. Thankfully, we managed to reel in a few dedicated gamers from the other departments to help with our testing. (Thank you so much guys!)

With that said, I think it's time for a long overdue dose of screenshots.
Screenshot

Titan—the indomitable mountain! You got a glimpse of him during the Crystal's Call trailer, but soon enough you'll have the chance to go toe to toe with this gargantuan fiend. You'll encounter him first during the main story in a four person battle, but in hard mode you'll need eight players to take him down. Just wait until you see the extreme mode battle we're working on.

I somehow managed to stay alive to take screenshots, but with all my running around, there was no time to actually try and defeat him. I was about to get serious, but then came the fist.
Screenshot

Before I knew it, I'd fallen out of the ring just like everyone else. We're all pretty serious gamers so it was a bit of a shock. Trying to keep straight faces, we couldn't help but laugh as he took us down one by one.
Screenshot

We even toned it down a bit because we thought the damage may be a little high. Or so I thought.
Screenshot

Translation wrote:

(Anonymous A): Tumult damage was reduced by 15%.
(Anonymous A): But I thought that'd make it too easy, so I also raised its ??? 20%.
(Anonymous B): Hahahaha.
(Producer Director): rofl
(Anonymous A): That's all.
Screenshot saved.
(Producer Director): I've got to get this
(Producer Director): in the next Letter from the Producer.

We'll be making adjustments to really push these fights to the brink. A perfectly timed level 3 limit break just might be the difference between victory and defeat
Screenshot

Here's another high level dungeon for four players. Naturally we've covered up a few things to prevent spoilers, but you guys seem to have a knack for figuring things out. This is sure to be another exciting life and death battle, and Demon Wall is only the mid-dungeon boss! Who or what could be waiting at the end?
Screenshot

I know players from Version 1.0 are curious about their relic weapons, and this picture may give you an idea of what's in store for that quest.
(The quest name in parenthesis came from a debug command, so no need to decipher it.)
We hope you'll enjoy the changes we've made in your quest to acquire the ultimate weapon.

As a gamer, I use a lot of different keyboard and gamepad setups at home, but all of our tests for FFXIV: ARR have been done using a standard gamepad. Checking how difficult it was to finish battles and how much DPS we could put out, we'll do final checks and double checks of everything once gamepad performance is where we want it.

Although we're making a product, it truly is a pleasure to be engrossed in this game all day. Final adjustments to the later battles are well underway, and soon everyone will be having as much fun as we are, and then some.

Thank you again to all the players around the world who took the time to test our game, and to the players from Version 1.0 who've supported us from the beginning. Release day is on the horizon, and we'll continue to give it our all to provide you with a great gaming experience.

I have to go for now, but I'll see you all soon in my eighth LIVE letter. Until next time!



Edited, Jul 25th 2013 7:54am by Szabo
#2 Jul 25 2013 at 6:01 AM Rating: Default
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testing only on gamepads can be a bad thing.. intense fights with gamepads can be dull and slow on keyboard.. really wish they would test on both.
#3 Jul 25 2013 at 6:03 AM Rating: Decent
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This is exciting.
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#4 Jul 25 2013 at 6:04 AM Rating: Good
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I love that the dev team are paying attention to player's concerns about endgame content. They're aware of the talk going around on the different forums, for sure. I'm hoping for a lot of challenging content as they promise here.
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#5 Jul 25 2013 at 6:21 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks for posting this... that looks really cool... I can't wait to actually start playing!!!
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#6 Jul 25 2013 at 6:29 AM Rating: Good
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silverhope wrote:
testing only on gamepads can be a bad thing.. intense fights with gamepads can be dull and slow on keyboard.. really wish they would test on both.


They likely do, but the public concern is that Gamepads would be out-shined by KB&M to the point where you would pick one above the other. The development team's job is to make sure that doesn't happen. If that makes it boring for some, then so be it, as it would be better boring a few individuals than upsetting a large amount of controller users by making the PS3 players inferior by default.

Something to keep in mind, the game will be balanced around the controller. It has to in order to be a multiplatform game.
#7 Jul 25 2013 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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Keyboard will still have the typing advantage, as well. I've always felt some have had unreasonable expectations demanding keyboard use be like some kind of piano symphony performance when WSAD+Mouse is rather ergonomically skewed to the left hand. But that's another topic some just seem to avoid with the whole "dump $100+ on extra hardware!" line.

Either way, usual hope there's good gear progression outside the dungeon/raider sphere.
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#8 Jul 25 2013 at 7:10 AM Rating: Excellent
There have been few games I have personally played on PC where I have NOT been able to play solely on Keyboard/Mouse because of how much better using a controller was... Dark Souls being one of them. Lol... I am not worried in the slightest about FFX|V being 'nerfed' on Keyboard/Mouse. As long as they let me bind my keys however I want, I can manage just as well if not better. The gamepad is very very important considering the PS3 market is what got hurt the most by FFX|V's delay.

But that's me.
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#9 Jul 25 2013 at 7:27 AM Rating: Good
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I understand why they test the gamepad more just thought they would wanna balance the two together so like you said people would just play what they like.

Many posts on the beta forums from people who switch to gamepad cuz the game feels more alive and fast paced than KB+m. Its a hard thing to balance . If you make it faster for kbm than its to fast for gamepad if its good for gamepad than its to slow for kbm.

Some people want ffxi style slow combat zone want wow/ year speed .
#10 Jul 25 2013 at 7:31 AM Rating: Decent
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silverhope wrote:
testing only on gamepads can be a bad thing.. intense fights with gamepads can be dull and slow on keyboard.. really wish they would test on both.


With any decent interface, KB&M will always outperform a gamepad, so the game must reasonably be tuned for the gamepad. Playing on PC is going to be in some cases "easy mode" but that's the downside of playing a game that works on both PC and console. If it's too easy you could always play on a gamepad. I got a a wireless Xbox 360/PC gamepad on Amazon for 35 bucks. Works great with FFXIV.

Edit: Also, none of us really knows whether or not other developers or testers are using KB&M to do content. We just know that the screenshots we see from Yoshi are gamepad, but as the lead producer I'd say he's almost obligated to play the game that way, since that interface is relatively new compared to the PC interface.


Edited, Jul 25th 2013 9:35am by KarlHungis
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#11 Jul 25 2013 at 7:45 AM Rating: Good
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silverhope wrote:
I understand why they test the gamepad more just thought they would wanna balance the two together so like you said people would just play what they like.

Many posts on the beta forums from people who switch to gamepad cuz the game feels more alive and fast paced than KB+m. Its a hard thing to balance . If you make it faster for kbm than its to fast for gamepad if its good for gamepad than its to slow for kbm.

Some people want ffxi style slow combat zone want wow/ year speed .

Where do the developers state that they would test gamepads more than keyboard and mouse?

As far as I know the producer always stated that he's a keyboard and mouse type of player. Additionally he's making a point in testing the same content also on a gamepad to make sure that those players are not left behind. To construct a bias to gamepad players out of this is not fair.

And that leads me to a personal pet peeve. Warning, rant incoming. Why is it that frantic combat is seen as superior over tactical combat?!? I've even seen the argument that APM ([player] actions per minute) are used as measuring tool for gauging fun and/or success in a game! (On reddit, not here) I'm shocked. This is bounding on ridiculousness.

Ok, enought. Sorry about that last bit.
#12 Jul 25 2013 at 7:47 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
and as players progress through each tier, they'll naturally collect an optimal set of gear for that tier. All jobs were equipped with this optimal gear when we conducted our tests. We've calculated the maximum DPS for these battles down to the decimal, but it's up to you guys to show us what you're made of and reach for that level of precision.


Does that just mean that the gear you get from quest rewards was ok enough to fight the game in? I hope he has the crafters in mind cause its tough selling stuff you can just get from rewards, thats why i really think HQ crafted items and materia melded items will be hot demand, i hope, one more question if you put the time into makeing the best gear you can for that tier, do you think it will show in these fights? or make them to easy maybe?
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#13 Jul 25 2013 at 7:56 AM Rating: Good
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Just because Yoshi P is using a controller on PS3 doesn't mean that the whole team was using one during any given battle test they do. Its logical to assume that they would split the platform use evenly so that they are testing both at the same time. Screen shots of other fights have shown him using a PC with controller hooked up as well. This team knows what they are doing, and I trust them not to do lopsided testing.
#14 Jul 25 2013 at 8:35 AM Rating: Default
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Arnulf wrote:
silverhope wrote:
I understand why they test the gamepad more just thought they would wanna balance the two together so like you said people would just play what they like.

Many posts on the beta forums from people who switch to gamepad cuz the game feels more alive and fast paced than KB+m. Its a hard thing to balance . If you make it faster for kbm than its to fast for gamepad if its good for gamepad than its to slow for kbm.

Some people want ffxi style slow combat zone want wow/ year speed .

Where do the developers state that they would test gamepads more than keyboard and mouse?

As far as I know the producer always stated that he's a keyboard and mouse type of player. Additionally he's making a point in testing the same content also on a gamepad to make sure that those players are not left behind. To construct a bias to gamepad players out of this is not fair.

And that leads me to a personal pet peeve. Warning, rant incoming. Why is it that frantic combat is seen as superior over tactical combat?!? I've even seen the argument that APM ([player] actions per minute) are used as measuring tool for gauging fun and/or success in a game! (On reddit, not here) I'm shocked. This is bounding on ridiculousness.

Ok, enought. Sorry about that last bit.


My personal observation has been that games that require the player to think always fall to the wayside to games that require the player to act as fast as they can. People don't like to figure things out for themselves. They don't want to slow down to assess the situation before going in. The want the ride, they want it now, as fast as they can process it, and when they're done they want more of the same. Think the difference between Skyrim and Morrowind. **** a lot of players don't even bother with quest text or cutscenes. Thats why when I hear that a game is announced to be "designed for a wider audience" I know that means it will be a fast paced hallway with quick-time events and short cutscenes to tell the story. No exploration or planning required.



Edited, Jul 25th 2013 10:38am by reptiletim
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#15 Jul 25 2013 at 9:14 AM Rating: Good
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If I'm not mistaken, he just mentioned at least two Endgame events that were not in 1.0. Sounds like there will be a primal fight with Titan, and the dungeon with the Demon Wall as the mid-boss.

Of all the concerns flying around, I was thinking the lack of new Endgame content at release seemed to be one that could most effect longevity and short-term subscription rates. (Although the lack of customizable PS3 controls is a close second.) So it's good to see that some new Endgame content is planned to be available at release.

I support fully the game being tested/scaled to what is possible with the controller only. Still, there is no reason that PS3 users could not be given the exact same input options.

I used a Mouse+Keyboard+Controller on both platforms, and they all worked fine, except for the lack of PS3 software support for the Mouse User Interface.

Edited, Jul 25th 2013 11:21am by Gnu
#16 Jul 25 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Default
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silverhope wrote:
testing only on gamepads can be a bad thing.. intense fights with gamepads can be dull and slow on keyboard.. really wish they would test on both.


You do realize thegame is cross platform right? They like in XI will likely cater more to the console than the PC crowds. Nothing wrong with this, its not like the combat system could be gamed by the pc crowd very much with all the GCD's.

Anyone notice that Yoshi was generally admitting that people will reach 50 quickly? Not saying that is bad, just an interesting note.
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#18 Jul 25 2013 at 9:20 AM Rating: Decent
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I cannot wait to see thread after thread of "this or that is too hard" b.c the whole beta people have been complaining about it being too easy.
#19 Jul 25 2013 at 9:24 AM Rating: Default
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Hmm so youll reach level 50 by the end of the story... thats good to know when youre leveling your first job to 50 but what about multiple jobs? how do you get that second, third fourth or fifth job to 50? surely you cant start over and complete teh story on each job?

I like how theyve pretty much confirmed difficult battles. What i DONT like however is difficult battles being the same thing we fought before just on "hard mode" (yes i know about crystal tower and bahamut but still) come on SE show a little creativity, this IS coming from a company whos made 15 sequels to a franchise (more if you count spin offs and direct sequels) with completely new stories and worlds in each with none being connected to the other, so theyve proven theyre VERY familiar with being creative. (or is diverse teh right word to use?)

Lastly he mentioned "(The quest name in parenthesis came from a debug command, so no need to decipher it.)" Did anyone catch what it was? because I didnt.
#20 Jul 25 2013 at 9:25 AM Rating: Default
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Mopdaddy wrote:
I cannot wait to see thread after thread of "this or that is too hard" b.c the whole beta people have been complaining about it being too easy.


Well duties certainly were too easy, as a marauder I just spammed one aggro skill in the boss fights, even Ifrit. Id have liked some more mechanics thrown into the fights, usually they just have one (like the dps check on the Ifrit fight) or some adds easily nullified.
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#21 Jul 25 2013 at 9:28 AM Rating: Default
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Mopdaddy wrote:
I cannot wait to see thread after thread of "this or that is too hard" b.c the whole beta people have been complaining about it being too easy.



I dunno about you but Im literally gonan **** my pants in excitement when and if i EVER see "FFXIV" and "too hard" in the same sentence, after all thats been one of my main complaints.... i.e nothing on teh level on CoP difficulty pre nerfs in FFXIV. Id LOVE to have to try a fight 10+ times before winning, that alone would make it GOTY for me and disprove iit being "just a casual game" like so many (myself included) think.


oh and the content would actually have to be hard not just some crappy player who thinks its too hard then I go in there in beat it in one try lol. (im sure weve ALL had those experiences and think "umm no this isnt hard at all.. YOU just suck"
#22 Jul 25 2013 at 9:29 AM Rating: Good
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DuoMaxwellxx wrote:
Hmm so youll reach level 50 by the end of the story... thats good to know when youre leveling your first job to 50 but what about multiple jobs? how do you get that second, third fourth or fifth job to 50? surely you cant start over and complete teh story on each job?

I like how theyve pretty much confirmed difficult battles. What i DONT like however is difficult battles being the same thing we fought before just on "hard mode" (yes i know about crystal tower and bahamut but still) come on SE show a little creativity, this IS coming from a company whos made 15 sequels to a franchise (more if you count spin offs and direct sequels) with completely new stories and worlds in each with none being connected to the other, so theyve proven theyre VERY familiar with being creative. (or is diverse teh right word to use?)

Lastly he mentioned "(The quest name in parenthesis came from a debug command, so no need to decipher it.)" Did anyone catch what it was? because I didnt.


I think you're taking that a bit too far... They mentioned examples and you're already upset...
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#23 Jul 25 2013 at 9:30 AM Rating: Default
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DuoMaxwellxx wrote:
Mopdaddy wrote:
I cannot wait to see thread after thread of "this or that is too hard" b.c the whole beta people have been complaining about it being too easy.



I dunno about you but Im literally gonan **** my pants in excitement when and if i EVER see "FFXIV" and "too hard" in the same sentence, after all thats been one of my main complaints.... i.e nothing on teh level on CoP difficulty pre nerfs in FFXIV. Id LOVE to have to try a fight 10+ times before winning, that alone would make it GOTY for me and disprove iit being "just a casual game" like so many (myself included) think.


oh and the content would actually have to be hard not just some crappy player who thinks its too hard then I go in there in beat it in one try lol. (im sure weve ALL had those experiences and think "umm no this isnt hard at all.. YOU just suck"

Well you won't be playing long anyway to complain things are too hard.
#24Ehllfire, Posted: Jul 25 2013 at 9:33 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Even if they launch hard, they wont stay hard. Eventually they will get nerfed in difficulty, it happens in every game.
#25 Jul 25 2013 at 9:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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DuoMaxwellxx wrote:
Hmm so youll reach level 50 by the end of the story... thats good to know when youre leveling your first job to 50 but what about multiple jobs? how do you get that second, third fourth or fifth job to 50? surely you cant start over and complete teh story on each job?

Your first job will likely get exp from a combination of the following:
  • Main line quests
  • Side quests
  • Class specific quests
  • Hunting Log
  • Battlefield Levequests
  • Geldhests (or however it's spelled)
  • FATEs
  • Dungeons


You can do the side quests for the other nations, so you could save those for a 2nd and 3rd class (probably one whose guild is in that city). You could do those side quests from the other nations on your first job. But the rewards for those quests make it better to use on a class that's at the level that those quests were designed for.

Other than the main line quests and side quests for each city, the rest is repeatable (each class has its own hunting log). The exp that you don't get from not being able to repeat the main story line and city specific side quests, you can make up by doing additional levequests, FATEs, dungeons, etc.
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#26 Jul 25 2013 at 9:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hmm so youll reach level 50 by the end of the story... thats good to know when youre leveling your first job to 50 but what about multiple jobs? how do you get that second, third fourth or fifth job to 50? surely you cant start over and complete teh story on each job?


Yeah, remember that doing the class/job quests will require going through the other nations, so you'll naturally be presented with multiple other sidequests along the way, too. I'm sure SE will be continuing to add in new quests with each patch, too, which was the case with version 1.
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