We got the chance to sit down with Final Fantasy XIV's producer/director and global online producer at GDC to talk about the future of the game.
Members of the ZAM team are currently at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff was lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with Final Fantasy XIV Producer/Director Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida and Global Online Producer Sage Sundi to talk about the future of the game.
We discussed various topics, such as the upcoming official forums, the team's plans for new quests, when you can expect to see some battle system changes (as well as a new high-end dungeon), and how you'll earn class-specific armor. Yoshi-P also explains how he hopes to bring both old and new players back into the game. Keep reading after the jump for the full interview!
You can discuss the interview in the ZAM FFXIV forum.
ZAM: Players are really enjoying the regular updates and letters from the producer. We know the developers and community team members will be interacting with players when the official forums launch next week in beta, but to what extent? Can we expect to see a wide variety of responses, or a smaller amount of specific posts?
Naoki Yoshida: Right now we haven't really decided a strict schedule on posts, but they're going to have a daily meeting where they'll get information from each of the regions about what the hot topic is in each region. They'll get that feedback and every day in the morning they're going to have a meeting about it and decide what we need to respond to and from there we'll send out the messages.
Sage Sundi: The hardest part is running a multiple language forum. We have at least six representatives all around the world with different languages. Those reps will collect the data and go to a meeting every day to make sure we respond quickly.
ZAM: Will community members and developers ever reach out and post on fansite forums?
Yoshida: At first we're going to start off with the official forums and see how that goes. But the representatives that we have in each region are going to be checking the fansites as well and report back the information from those sites. If necessary, we'll post on the fansites as well as the official sites.
Sundi: Naoki likes to talk. If you don't put a leash on him, they'll be like 16 Yoshi-P accounts on 16 different fansites. (laughs) We have to hold him back a bit, at least for now. If you don't put a limit on him, he'll just be posting forever.
ZAM: What's the best way for players to get their voices heard?
Yoshida: The biggest thing is we want players to have that debate. If they have something they want to say, just get out there and start debating it. Get on the forums and tell us. In the end, the dev team makes the decision on what to do, but the stronger the voices are from the public, they'll move a topic up on our priority list.
Also, this might seem minor, but it's actually pretty big. Anyone can start a new thread. Make the subject easy to understand. If there are thousands of threads that just say “Help!” then nobody's going to look at them. But if it has specific information so we'll see it when we're going through thousands of threads, those are the ones that will catch our eye.
ZAM: Many players seem to want more quests in Final Fantasy XIV, which is being addressed this week with the addition of sidequests to the game. Can you give us some details on the types and quantities of quests and missions that you're planning to add to the game in the future?
Yoshida: The first thing is that we're going to be adding new quests in almost every patch. We're going to put in more and more quests. That won't be something that will stop in the future. We will continue adding quests in patches from here on out.
ZAM: So this week's patch is getting the ball rolling for more quests?
Yoshida: Yes. And as for the type of quests, up until now it's pretty much been that you have your leve quests where you go up to a counter or you talk to the aetheryte. You're not learning about the people in the world. It's very systematic. So instead of that, we want to make these sidequests more about you talking to the people in Eorzea so you're learning about their lives and the lore and history, and maybe the beasts and the monsters and how they interact with the world. You'll be learning all of this new information and also learning about the coming danger. We have this road map and we plan to release little bits with upcoming patches. It's a very long road map. We have stuff planned, and it's going to be a lot of different stuff. There's so much more to learn about the world. Right now there's this huge world, but there's hardly any information about it.
And while it's not in this patch, we've mentioned a little bit before about Companies. There will be quests tied in with them. These are going to be a big part of what's coming up. It's going to be a new and exciting feature in the game. I'm sure in future topics and letters we'll be explaining more about it. It's one of the things we're really excited about.
ZAM: Players have been excited about the Company system as well. Can you give us any more details on Companies and how they will affect the current Linkshell system?
Yoshida: In some aspect, the Company system will have aspects that are similar to and can link with that Linkshell community. But it's also going to be something larger. It's going to be more of a global type of community on a larger scale. I can't really say much more than that. I can tell you that toward the end of March there will be revealing stuff coming up on the Lodestone.
Before I became producer/director, in the old 1.2 patch notes it mentioned that we will be releasing player Companies. The thing is, we realized that we could bring out player Companies, but then if there's nothing for the Companies to do there wouldn't be any reason to bring it out. We decided to reverse that and first make sure that there's going to be content and stuff for the Companies to do before releasing the Companies. The whole coming danger that's approaching Eorzea is going to play a big part in something for the Companies to do.
Continued on Page 2.