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JE 2014 : Naoki Yoshida's Interview (ENG)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn


Square Enix say YES to Japan Expo. July 07th 2014, Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn came back to Japan Expo thanks to Square Enix France, Square Enix Europe and Square Enix Japan.

As last year, Yoshida gave us a very good time as you can see in the video. Laughter and reactions from Yoshida-san made it very memorable.

Like a real globetrotter, all year you travel all around the world to meet and talk to journalists, to the players.
This is the third consecutive year that you come to Japan Expo in France, is Japan Expo an important event as part of the communication of FFXIV ?

Yes it’s very important to us.
Japan expo shows all the Japanese cultures, sub-cultures and everyone who’s coming here is interested in Japan or the Japanese people here as well. It’s a great oppotunity to talk about FFXIV to the audience who don’t know Final Fantasy XIV, but also it’s great to meet our XIV community at Japan Expo as well.
France has a very big subscriber base among the FFXIV Community, it’s very important to us.
Rather than having a FFXIV dedicated event only, it makes sense to come to Japan Expo to get the opportunity to meet and to share with the community.
And therefore I will probably see you again next year

Ramuh is coming in a few days, Shiva too has been shown completing the list of the strong primals. Some players were surprised to see Siren and Diabolos as dungeon bosses while they were summons in previous FF titles.
How do you choose among the numerous summons of the Final Fantasy saga, which ones have the potential to be a Primal in FFXIV and which ones will stay as “simple” bosses.

We have a list of all the summons which appear in the previous Final Fantasy titles.
Out of that list we already have pinpointed which are going to be the Primals for sure and then we also have a list that we still haven’t decided if they are going to be Primals or if they are going to be dungeon boss.
For the later Summons, it really depends if there’s a best timing, if there’s a good opportunity then we might turn them into Primals. Also sometimes it might make sense to use them as Boss of a dungeon.
For exemple we released the Lost City of Amdapor dungeon. It really made sense to use Diabolos as a boss because of the storyline and for the atmosphere of this dungeon.
We though he would be really suitable so that’s why we decided to make him as a dungeon boss.
So there are some that we have a clear mind that they are going to be Primals, but for the others it’s still something that’s being considered.

You mentionned that Shiva will complete the Primals but there’s going to be expansion packs so there will be future opportunities to meet different Summons as well, we don’t know how but Shiva was one of the last one that was really really obvious that we needed in the game as a Primal.

There’s the expansion pack and also future updates so you will have many opportunities to meet other Summons as well so please look forward to it.

Shiva is the Ice Primal and in the E3 trailer she was seen before the huge wall of ice located at the west end of Central Coerthas. In the first version of the game, this ice wall did not exist and we could go to the Western Coerthas.
Will we be able to return one day to the other areas of Coerthas ? To the Western Coerthas beyond the ice wall or to the Eastern Coerthas with the Griffin Crossing Bridge where we fight Gilgamesh ?

It’s quite related to the core part of the storyline so I really can’t say yes or no at this stage.
FFXIV is a MMO but it’s very story focused as well so I totally get it that you want to know about these informations but at the same time I want to keep some surprises for everyone.
Even for 2.3 patch there are many surprises that I haven’t mentionned yet so for some things we want everyone to be surprised at the same time.

Sorry but this question I can’t make any comment.

To stay with the Primals subject, will Odin’s story be developped ?
He’s full of mysteries and we don’t have a lot of informations on him. Sometimes he even appears as a Lalafell

This is really related to the mysteries and the secrets of Odin. This actually shows that the last player to attack Odin was a Lalafell.
The setting that, why the last person to hit him gives his appearance to Odin is related to the storyline about Odin so it will continue to develop. This is not the end, we will have a Odin story focused at some time.

Several players were disappointed to see a character as charismatic as Gaius van Baelsar being defeated so easily in the Praetorium. This does not go well with his status and the place he occupied in the Garlean Empire. Can we expect to see one day, a new battle against Gaius? One which would honor the strength he should have had ?
We know that the Wandering Minstrel is capable of many things.

Actually, to tell you the truth, there was a plan to have another battle related with Gaius but at the moment our focus is on other stuffs. There’s many other things that we have to prioritize at the moment so our focus is on other ideas and plans.
I'm thoughtfully aware that Gaius is extremely popular among the players, we see all the feedbacks from our players.
I know some people will say “Rather than joining one of the three City-states Grand Company I would have rather joined the Empire”, I know some people even think that way so I do definitely want to try to focus on their storyline among the Empire as well.
But that being said I’m quite against the idea of having a dead person coming back so if it’s made, I can’t or promise or guarantee it’s going to be happening the way you might want, but there might be some kind of way for you to get the oppotunity to fight against him one day.

Camp Revenant’s Toll in Mor Dhona is evolving with every upddate. However a new player discovering the game today won’t be able to witness the evolution of that camp. We think it’s a pity because the evolution of this camp is linked to the main storyline with the installation of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn (Akatsuki no ketsumei) here.
In many MMO some areas and places evolve individually with each player, based on his progress of his story and quests.
Wouldn’t it be possible to have a similar “phasing” system in FFXIV so that even a new player can witness the evolution of the world as he goes along the story ?

First of all, technically it’s possible.
It is possible but unlike a stand alone game, this is a MMO so it is definitely possible to come up with a “if this happens > this happens”, “if someone does this, this happens”, that kind of if-scenario we can come up with it and it’s not too difficult to come up with these ideas.
But if we are going to do it, I believe we have to have a variation of results and it’s not something that can be made just once. It has to be related to several contents, not only one.
It needs to affect all the different contents, to not have only one surprise but I think it have to continuously amaze and surprise. All the different variations need to pe prepared.

Maybe for the first time players might really get surprised but we don’t want to end it with just one surprise we need to have this continuously added to the game.
But that surprise will be a personnaly surprise, not like everyone is going to be surprised with this “if > then” kind of content.

So again although it’s technically possible I’m not sure if the end result makes sense for the amount of manpower and cost we need to spend in order to make this kind of content. So the cost and balance is something that we’re carefully considering so rather then spending all this manpower and cost on this kind of content which only a limited amount of players would be surprised, I think it makes more sence to put this manpower on other contents that bigger amount of players can get excited with and enjoy.
We can do it but have different priorities at the moment.

Actually it’s not that we are not doing anything, we have similar content in the game already.
The houses related to the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
They begin at the Waking Sand, then they spread all over Eorzea then they come back and form the Rising Stone in Mor Dhona. That’s part of the storyline and all depends on the flag each individually player has.
For some player everyone still in the Waking Sand but for other players those characters have already moved on to the Rising Stone.
So we already have an element of “if a person does this, the result is like this”.
Imagining if we made similar things over all the part of the adventure, does it really make it exciting ?

We just thought that it would be nice if the new players could witness the evolution of this camp and see Revenant's Toll getting bigger and more lively.

For the houses of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, this is related to individuals flags in the game. But for Revenant’s toll that is more related to all the players activities, more larger scale activities.
What happend in the past is what you see now. We intentionnaly didn’t make it change individually for each and every single player.
So if you join now it’s already quite large, but the older players who helped, who remember : “It used to be really small but we worked so hard to get allagan tombstones for Rowena and trying to make it rich and trying to expand the camp”, that’s something that they can tell to the new players as a memory and that’s the reward to show our appreciation to the players who joined earlier.

There’s a lot of gil sellers or RMT (Real Money Trading) in the game. We’ve seen it again, here, during the Leviathan Battle Challenge.
Even though you take some actions and ban a lot of accounts every week, they always come back.
Is it really impossible to get rid of them for good and how far is the game economy affected by their activities.

First of all, we’re doing our best and doing everything we can, but I don’t want to just talk about dreams, I want to talk about reality, and in reality it’s impossible to get rid of them at 100%.
One of the big reason why I think it’s impossible to get rid of them is because this is their business.
They’re not doing just for fun, they are living with the money they get from RMT activities so the seriousness of this RMT activities is real.
This is so serious, it’s not just a side business they are making it for their life.
That doesn’t mean we are going to forgive them, it’s a totally separate discussion.

The reality is, because we have millions of players that makes it makes it a big opportunity for their RMT activities.
If we only had 10 000 players then the number of players who would potentially buy from RMT would be much small but because we have a large subscriber base there’s more potential for the RMT to get some people tempted to get their gils from real money.

To explain what kind of actions we take against them, we check all the text in the spams the RMT are sending and we figure out what kind of algorithm is hiding behind and we add it to our own and update our filter, so if it detects any sort of text it gets automatically filtered.
We have already implemented many of these texts to target them but the RMT have found out that they could get through certain filters by putting « WWW » and then, after the « WWW » each letter have a space between them . This is how they get through the particuliar setting that we set.

If we wanted to prevent this particuliar one then we would have to run a new program to check out all the text after the WWW including the spaces if this is actually an URL We need to run a new different type of program in order to take out that one.
Technically it’s possible but that is going to put a lot of stress on the chat server so it’s going to affect the players who are using the chat at the same time.

For exemple we could say that if there’s a WWW we could consider it as a spam but it’s possible that it could sanction players as well.
In Japan you may know already, instead of using LOL they use W (Warau) to express laugh. So if you’re laughing exceptionnaly loud then you put as many W as you want to.
But if we have this RMT setting the person wouldn’t be able to chat it would just automatically be filtered, so it’s really tricky.

The reason why myself, as the producer, I can explain so much in details is because i’m fully aware that it is a serious topic, and the team and everyone who works on the game is too, so we really take this seriously.
We work as a team and we are updating all these filters and checking out updated algorythm they have in the system.
And also we even sent out one of our guys as an agent to get IN the RMT company and destroy it from the inside.

So we are doing all sort of actions, we are banning all their accounts but again, because this is the way they make money for a living it’s very serious for them and they will just always come up with new ideas and we will come up with new ideas to prevent them but it will definitely continue.

That’s why they will try to come up with all these ideas for their business, so they will continue to do that and we will definitely seriously try to stop it and get rid of them as much as possible but again, this is a endless war, I don’t think they will give up at any stage, they will continue to try to target players, that’s the reality.
We will continue to do our best so we would like for you to please trust us and we’ll do our best.

While using the Duty Finder, the DPS wait a very long time. Sometimes they wait so much that they get AFK and are not in front of the screen when, finally, the party is complete and they miss the validation.
Even with the many bonuses given to the players playing the “rare” roles, the DPS are sometimes waiting a lot.
With the Ninja coming as a new DPS, we fear that the waiting time for them is not going to be any shorter.

I have been taking the numbers on all the servers and in reality I see the waiting time getting shorter, occasionally even the DPS get the rare role bonuses so this situation is definitely getting better, especially with the changes and ajustments we made in the 2.2x patch series.
I do see more tanks actually, but I think the healers are still lacking.
In order to solve this problem I think giving more bonuses to encourage players to play the rare roles is the best approach we can take. Otherwise the next step we have to take is just to limit the players logging in as a DPS but because everyone wants to play as a DPS that’s the tricky part.

Ochibi : As a White Mage, when I switched to a DPS class such as Archer or Summoner, I often wait 20 minutes.

Actually 20 minutes is quite short. In World of Warcraft you might have to wait even longer.
If you initially starting playing as a healer and then if you moved on to DPS I can imagine you’re feeling it’s rather long to get into parties compared to when you did it as a healer.
But personnaly I have been playing Black Mage and it used to be like 40 minutes to 60 minutes waiting time but these days it’s like 15 minutes so I do definitely see it getting better.
I think there will be different points of view depending on how long you have been playing DPS.
If you started recently you might consider that what you have now is very long but if you have been playing DPS for a while now I think you do notice that the waiting time is getting shorter.

Talking about the Ninja, I do agree and I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be the case that when the Ninja comes out, the waiting time is going to get longer but that’s because everyone wants to play the Ninja role and that’s exactly what we want the community to enjoy, so that’s why we’re bringing out this new class and new job.

So it’s not sure that the players will want to try this new class and job because of the waiting time.
I think that there are quite a few people out there saying “I want to play Ninja but I don’t want to wait too long so YOU should play tank” and that’s not fair.


If everyone want to play Ninja I think, why don’t join a Ninja party of 8 players and then go to FATEs, you could still gain some experience points.
Of course we will add more rare role bonuses to the duty finder as well.
I want you to enjoy this new content.

Actually talking about that while you’re AFK you miss the noise, the Cha-king noise, we received a good idea from one of the media who attended to the E3 interviews, he was saying “If you just make it sound once, it’s so easy to miss it, so can you please keep it going or have a music that runs for the 45 seconds until it get cancelled, as long as it keep going there’s more chance I might hear it and come back to my desk."

Also one advice I would like to give to the players in case they haven’t done so already, please check the option tickbox to make sure the sound from FFXIV will come up even when the game window is not active.
Because when you’re web browsing and you have XIV in the background, unless you have this box ticked you can’t hear the noise so make sure you have this box ticked that will definitely help to notice the noise if you haven’t done so already

Interview by Sheron974ff_fanatics and Ochib[i] for Finaland.

Transcription and translation by Sheron974.

Correction by Toulal.

Video editing by Ochib[i].

We also wish to thank the entire team of Square Enix for organizing the interview and for their excellent work. We also thank Naoki Yoshida for his good humor and his availability despite his busy schedule. Finally, a special thanks to Staz and Midori for their valuable assistance.

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