Square Enix's latest MMO has earned its status as a "Final Fantasy" this week with its first huge controversy: Surplus points and the fatigue system. Fan communities are torn amongst conflicting news reports and waves of speculation, but Director Nobuaki Komoto has come to bring us all together again. In a post titled "Regarding Character Growth Balance in Beta 3" on the Japanese beta site, Komoto sets out to explain the controversial system in detail and put the rumors to rest. Unfortunately, controversy exists in overseas countries as well, as Producer Hiromichi Tanaka was quick to note, so we have provided an English translation below.
The translation of Nobuaki Komoto's comments begins here!
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We'd like to thank all the beta testers for their cooperation during the closed beta test. We have received your valuable opinions and feedback and will do our best to incorporate them into the open beta and official release versions of the game.
Now, we have received a lot of questions and opinions from everyone today, and we would like to give you some answers regarding character growth balance in beta phase 3.
First, the concept was to achieve a balance which would allow those with little time to enjoy FFXIV to get more out of their play time, and above that, create a game that does not force you to spend long hours playing it. To that end, we implemented Guardian's Favor, which adds a bonus to Guildleve, and makes it easier to level in shorter amounts of time.
To balance this out, we came up with a hypothesis regarding what amount of skill points and experience one was likely to earn in an hour. Think of this as a rate at which a player can fight battles, do Guildleves or skill-up.
Then, using that supposed amount, we made it so you can earn 8 hours worth of skill points and experience at 100% of this rate. The subsequent 7 hours' worth will gradually see one's attainable skill points and experience points fall to 0.
The limitation on the amount of points you can attain is set on a weekly timer. Once it passes a week since you first began leveling a particular skill, the limitation resets to zero. After it resets, it will come into effect again once you begin work on that skill once more.
Even if you are hit with this limitation during a one-week period, its detrimental effects decrease if you do not level that particular class. You can even recover back to the full 100% rate of point acquisition, so you do not always have to wait the full week for the limitations to go away.
The skill points you do not gain are instead saved as Surplus Points. Each class has its own amount of surplus points, so you can try out a new class if surplus points begin appearing in your log window.
However, each class does not have its own amount of experience, so playing a different class will not mitigate the declining experience point rate.
This is the system as currently implemented.
In truth, this system was not just put in during phase 3 of the beta, but has been implemented from the start. However, we have received many opinions saying the system explained above is not what actually appears in phase 3 of the beta. There are several reasons for this.
- Around the time of beta phase 3, it became possible to play for longer periods of time, thus increasing the amount one could play in a single week.
- In beta phase 3, Guildleves received a boost in skill points and experience points awarded to encourage party play.
- The skill points and experience gained from defeating enemy parties as well as weaker single enemies was lowered, though due to a bug, did not take affect initially in beta phase 3. This was fixed during beta phase 3.
The biggest culprit behind this issue was that last bug, which allowed players to gain more skill points and experience than we expected, causing the limitations to come into effect much quicker. Of course, not adjusting the limitations in accordance with the boost to Guildleve was a problem as well.
The lack of explanation regarding these adjustments was a mistake on our part for which we sincerely apologize.
The numbers behind these limitations are all still under development, and we plan to adjust them according to player feedback in an effort to make them less severe. In particular, we are considering making the decline in points less drastic and are already hard at work on it. Also, as the limit on experience carries over through class changes, we plan to lessen its effect compared with the limit on skill points.
At the very least, we promise players will not be hitting the limit as quickly as they did at the start of beta phase 3.
Also, I would like to address one other thing below:
The reduction in what you acquire from gathering is based on the actions of that particular class and is unrelated to limitations on leveling. We are also in the process of adjusting this and plan to make changes based on player feedback.
Surplus points currently have no use. However, there are opinions saying preparing some kind of reward would be good, but that's just giving people something else to strive for, which misses the whole point of this system. We want to take our time and thoroughly investigate this issue.
Now, the open beta test will include more than just the above adjustments. As we stated before, awarding more skill points for party play is also an important topic we plan to address, so we hope you enjoy testing out what we come up with.
Lastly, as director of this title, I wish to deeply apologize for the lateness of my comments due to my absence while attending Gamescom. In addition, articles written during my trip contained much speculation, outdated information and mistranslations which only invited more confusion. In the future, I will do my best to make direct, official statements in a timely manner. I humbly ask for your understanding regarding this matter.
See you in the open beta!
Final Fantasy XIV Director