Ask the Devs (Oct. 15)

Square Enix addresses several hot topics in their next "Ask the Devs!" segment.

With the gaming media in the midst of stirring up a Category 5 hurricane of criticism over the state of Final Fantasy XIV, the development team has been releasing segments of their "Ask the Devs!" series with a rather promising regularity.

In this next segment, they address hot issues such as the User Interface, Market Wards, and Teleportation Cost. Read on for the full details, hot off the press from the Lodestone!

Discuss this on the ZAM forums!

The development and management teams continue to address the questions and concerns of the community in an ongoing FAQ.

The topic addressed this time around is the upcoming version update.

User Interface

Q. Exactly what type of adjustments or additions to the user interface are being planned?
A. Since the game's official release, the development team has continued their efforts in designing various new features, as well as retooling and improving existing ones. Currently, we are focusing on addressing the issues about which players have been most vocal, and are pleased to announce several key changes set to be implemented as soon as next month. The following is a partial list of what we have planned:


–Inventory Sort Feature
The late-November version update will include the addition of a feature that will allow players to sort their inventories.

–Menu Navigation
We are currently working on methods to make navigating the game's menus simpler and more efficient. In the forthcoming version update, we will focus on improving the Actions & Traits menu, starting by automating the selection of main/off hand.

In addition to the aforementioned improvements, the following adjustments are also planned:

Map
  • Players will be able to scroll their maps via dragging the mouse
  • A player's current coordinates will now be displayed on the main map
  • A player's current coordinates will now be displayed on journal maps (as long as the player is in the same area)
  • Players will be able to relay their current coordinates to others using the text command
  • The area name will be added to journal maps
  • A journal map feature will be added to the main map
  • The log window will no longer be hidden when maps are displayed

Log Window and Chat
  • New tabs will be added to the log window
  • Players will be able to open multiple log windows
  • Controller functionality will be added to the log window
  • Players will be able to use Ctrl+R to send instant replies to /tells
  • Players will be able to change chat modes via menu options
  • The Home and End keys will now function in the chat log
  • For players typing multi-byte characters, starting a new message with "/" will automatically switch the typeset to single byte
  • Players will be able to adjust the font color for various chat modes
  • Adjustments will be made to the transparency of the log window when unfocused
Menu
  • A Loot List icon will be added
  • A Loot List option will be added to the System Menu
  • The general layout of several menus will be adjusted
  • Previously completed quests will now appear in players' journals

Targeting
  • Adjustments will be made to target priority when using the Tab key to cycle through nearby targets
  • When targeting a party member, a target mark will now appear next to the target's name in the party member list
  • Players will be able to target party members via the party member list
Keyboard Settings
  • Several new functions will be added to the keyboard, such as a key used for targeting NPCs
  • Players will now be able to re-map all functions to any key (other than Esc)
Looking beyond the late-November version update, the team is also working on introducing drag and drop functionality to the Equipment & Gear and Actions & Traits menus, map markers indicating the location of party members, a method to initiate message input in the chat log without having to press the space bar, and more.
Markets and Retainers

Q. Today's maintenance introduced several changes to the Markets. Are there further changes planned?
A. The Markets have been a hot topic since the game's release, and today's maintenance was the first step in making this feature better suited to the needs of the players. With that step we saw the introduction of a one-click targeting system, making it easier to access a retainer's list of wares. We also saw a renaming of the wards combined with a reduced-tax system aimed to promote a more organized distribution of goods, therefore making it easier for players to find the items they seek.

For our next step, we plan on introducing additional features to make navigating the Markets even easier. These include the implementation of a search feature that will not only help players locate items in a Market district, but then display an icon next to the retainers who have those items, reducing the hassle of having to look through the inventories of retainers who may not have what a player seeks.

Return and Teleport Cost

Q. Return and Teleport have made travel within Eorzea quick and easy, but it seems like I am always running out of anima. Are there any adjustments being planned?
A. Yes. The first adjustment, which increased the speed at which anima regenerates, was implemented during a recent maintenance. The second adjustment, planned for the late-November version update, will see a significant reduction in the amount of anima required to teleport or return. To be specific, the cost for Returning will be reduced to 1, and halved for Teleportation to one of up to three "favorite" aetheryte destinations designated by the player.

Battle Balance

Q. What is the development team doing in the way of balancing battle?
A. Without straying from our original stance to provide players with a feasible means to play solo, we are working on improvements to the battle system that will make party play just as rewarding. One of the reasons players have little motivation to form a party is because there are currently few battles that require contriving a detailed plan of attack. To rectify this, we are currently conducting adjustments to areas such as enmity distribution rates and Battle Regimen effects. We will also be introducing several powerful creatures that will be better suited for party-based battles.

Monster Placement

Q. Where are all the monsters?
A. At the time of release, server load issues limited the number of enemies that could appear in areas where large amounts of PCs gathered, such as aetheryte camps situated near city-states. To alleviate this, we have increased the number of servers. This, combined with the fact that players are moving away from these areas and have begun to spread out over the world, will now allow us to increase the number of enemies roaming the realm.

Guildleves

Q. What changes and additions are planned for guildleves?
A. In the late-November update, we will be adding a new feature that allows players to adjust levequest difficulty after activating the guildleve. Furthermore, we will also be adding a feature that will allow players to abandon local levequests after accepting them.

The mid-December version update will introduce many new guildleves; among them special faction leves that pit players against deadly notorious monsters.

Synthesis

Q. What kind of changes are planned for synthesis?
A. The late-November patch will see adjustments to the required ranks and difficulty levels of various existing recipes, ensuring that players will have a better chance to successfully create items when reaching the optimal skill level.

For the mid-December update, we will be adding several new recipes, including ones for crafting new gear. In addition, we will be introducing a new feature that will allow players to select recipes from a list of recently crafted items and recipes learned through levequests, and set all of the appropriate ingredients with the touch of a single button, thus making repeated synthesis of a single item a snap!

Server Load

Q. The lag in some areas is lowering UI and battle response times, making it difficult to play. Why is this happening?
A. Even if a World server is not crowded, a large number of players gathering in a single place would increase server load, adversely affecting gameplay. To alleviate this, we have pinpointed heavy-traffic areas and split up their processing duties over multiple servers, reducing the chances that a single server will become overloaded.

Comments

Post Comment
updates
# Oct 15 2010 at 11:12 PM Rating: Decent
9 posts
It's called faith and patience, and I knew SE wouldn't let us down.
Granted, some of these things would've been nice at the beginning, but I am happy to hear they are listening. I've seen great potential for this game since the beta. For people that are impatient, do you have any idea the of what's involved in the process of coding all this stuff? It takes time, have faith and wait a bit and I promise you will be rewarded. Oh, and don't listen to the WOW fanboy's on G4. =)
updates
# Oct 16 2010 at 12:54 AM Rating: Good
Scholar
Avatar
***
1,888 posts
I would say these changes are the most needed ones. Though the crafting menu need a change, too. Too many clicks to craft anything.
But its a start. And a great one.
updates
# Oct 15 2010 at 11:33 PM Rating: Decent
8 posts
I concur!!! ^^
Post Comment

Free account required to post

You must log in or create an account to post messages.