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re: Yoshida on Patch 3.3 Content - Famitsu Translation


Famitsu interview inside posted and translated on BG forums

Last edited by Vackashken on Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:07 am; edited 1 time in total


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re: Yoshida on Patch 3.3 Content - Famitsu Translation


Translation of Famitsu interview with Yoshida regarding patch 3.3 content. Also touches a bit on the rest of the patch 3.X series. There were other interviews released yesterday, so I'll take a look through those as well. The interviews were held in mid-May, probably after one of the producer letters, but the news stories were presumably embargoed until yesterday.

If you see anything that looks like it's missing, it probably is, so let me know about it and I'll review.



The next major update for Final Fantasy XIV, "Patch 3.3 Revenge of the Horde," will be released on June 7, 2016. Earlier, we had a chance to speak with the title's producer and director Naoki Yoshida about the highlights of the new content that will be added in this patch.

This update will of course include new high difficulty battles, such as the extreme Nidhogg fight, as well as a large amount of casually-oriented content such as the the Aquapolis treasure dungeon. We asked Yoshida questions from a number of angles that should be of interest to players of all kinds.

Prior to the interview, we should note that the reporters were asked to watch a preliminary version of the patch 3.3 trailer prior to its completion. Although we referenced the trailer a few times in our interaction with Yoshida, please note that the references were based on the provisional version, so there may be cases where the actual imagery was different.

This title had been determined since Patch 3.1.

What's the background to the patch title "Revenge of the Horde" [[JP: something like "Last Moment's Roar"]]?

Yoshida: Since we had decided that the Dragonsong War would end with patch 3.3, I had ordered the staff to use the words "Last Moment [[JP]]" and "Revenge [[EN]]" in the titles. For the Japanese title specifically, I had the imagery in mind of the last roar echoing through the heavens. On the other hand, "Revenge" was a word that I really wanted to use once in a patch title (laughs). For the English version, we wanted to grab your attention with questions like "whose revenge?" In fact, when we spoke with Koji (Michael Christopher Koji Fox, English localization lead) to decide on the title, he resisted a bit as he was surprised I wanted to use that word (laughs).

How did you refute that?

Yoshida: I said "even 'Star Wars' used that word, so please use it" (laughs). Koji pointed out that it takes more than just powerful and easily understood words to come up with a phrase that's favorable for the general public. We always have this discussion (laughs).

Did you say anything else to Koji?

Yoshida: Yeah, I said "try to use 'revenge' anyway" (laughs).

(Laughs) Was the title for this patch determined earlier?

Yoshida: We had already decided the title for patch 3.3 by the time patch 3.1 was released. By the way, we've already decided on the titles for patches 3.4 and 3.5.

Enjoy the side quests to reminisce on Heavensward

Since the story is reaching a climax, will there be more quests than in a typical patch?

Yoshida: Actually the number of main scenario quests is a bit lower than usual. However the cutscenes and voiced scenes are quite lengthy. Also, after you've finished with the main scenario of the series, there will be a number of side quests which will allow you to reflect on the Heavensward story, so there will be more of those.

What will that be like?

Yoshida: It will be something like going through a journey reminiscing about the Heavensward story. There will be about five quests that are all connected, following the road to how the story got to this point. Since these quests aren't required, you can play through them whenever it's convenient.

Will there be events or battles included?

Yoshida: There will not. Because it's meant to be a retrospective on the journey, the idea is to touch on the player's memories.

Of course, through the hardships of our journey we encountered and parted ways with a number of people.

Yoshida: The way each player felt about those moments is likely different, so the aim is to let everyone look back on those experiences.

Will a lot of the new content be associated with the main scenario?

Yoshida: Sohr Khai and the Nidhogg battle are closely related to the main scenario. Although I mentioned that the number of quests was reduced, it's because of some of these trade-offs. However, even though there are fewer quests, the drama in the main scenario is quite long. The scene after the Nidhogg battle is particularly long, so you should set aside some time to enjoy that.

Will there be any large-scale events like the mayhem in Ul'dah in patch 2.55?

Yoshida: Nothing to that extent, but it will still be quite lengthy this time. Because of that, the amount of cutscenes and voice work is more than that of a typical patch.

So the adventurers' success has had an impact on the cutscenes and content.

Yoshida: The successes of the warriors of light don't necessarily extend to the beast tribe quests of moogle group or the dragon and human exchanges. Once we get to the finale of the Ishgard story, all of the different elements like these will be included.

Estinien is one of the main threads of the story.

Is Estinien still a key player in the main scenario?

Yoshida: Estinien's body was attacked by both eyes of Nidhogg and he has now become possessed by Nidhogg's spirit. How the characters (including the warrior of light) approach him is one of the main elements.

When Estinien killed Nidhogg, he took his eye, and it seems like that might have been a mistake.

Yoshida: Yeah, how about that (laughs). You'll see elements like that in the scenario. However, I think in the end your interpretation might change.

The trailer seemed to show a significant part of the story.

Yoshida: That's to get you to look forward to it when you see it in the main scenario (laughs).

Is there anything that wasn't shown?

Yoshida: The stage for the bridge event scene is longer, so you can't completely predict that from the video.

Will the continuation of the Warring Triad quests also be independent from the main scenario this time?

Yoshida: The conditions for those quests are independent, so you can play it before the main scenario. This time, the story will progress as the warrior of light with Y'shtola, Krile, and Urianger come face to face with Regula van Hydrus. About half of the Scions are involved, so please stay tuned as they will become more involved in the Warring Triad story.

Regula van Hydrus previously lost to the Warrior of Light in the Aetherochemical Research Facility so we'll find out what he's been doing since.

Yoshida: He appeared briefly in the scenario of patch 3.2, but he will begin his move in earnest starting from now. The scenario will also go into detail about why he did not re-enter the Aetherochemical Research Facility.

How is Unukalhai involved?

Yoshida: You'll be together.

Will we find out his identity soon?

Yoshida: A small hint will be dropped. You'll start to get to the bottom of it here.

The extreme Nidhogg battle will reward weapons!

It seems Nidhogg transforms during the battle.

Yoshida: It transforms into something (laughs).

It may be difficult to save that person after the transformation.

Yoshida: Well, he can't be saved without removing Nidhogg... (laughs)

With dragons showing up as reinforcements, will this be another bloodbath like those who showed up to fight in The Aery?

Yoshida: Yeah. They were originally under Nidhogg's control. In the cutscenes, you can see the Steps of Faith where the dragons have launched a fierce attack and the entire army is there to defend. In the desperation of that battle, only the Warrior of Light will be able to head off Nidhogg.

The battlefield is the Steps of Faith at Ishgard?

Yoshida: Yes. When Heavensward began, the player was heading towards Ishgard on this road. The imperial capital is just beyond the gates.

What would happen if you lose?

Yoshida: It's not a battle like that. In this situation, you've been cornered and this battle is for everything.

Personally, I thought the balance was tuned just right for the extreme Sephirot battle. What will the feeling be like this time?

Yoshida: I also thought the extreme Sephirot battle was just right. Speaking as the director, we're aiming for the balance to be along those lines, but we're still doing fine-tuning right now so I can't describe it yet.

What is the reward?

Yoshida: It's a weapon. Since the item level will be higher, you should try to win these to help with completing savage Alexander Midas.

Will the normal Nidhogg battle be particularly difficult?

Yoshida: Based on my check today, it shouldn't be that high (laughs). [Editor's note: coverage is from mid-May 2016]

From the video, I was reminded of the final turn of Final Coil of Bahamut. Is the extreme Nidhogg battle reminiscnent of that that?

Yoshida: Speaking about extreme Sephirot, it was sort of easy to describe it positioned as a kind of "Titan 2," but this time it's a bit harder. Adjustments are currently being carried out by the staff, but the main project staff previously served for a while as assistants in battle planning for the primals. Since they were excited and full of energy, I expect that this battle will have a new kind of feeling to it.

By the way, can you fall?

Yoshida: By now I wonder if we should just describe fights by whether or not you can fall (laughs).

Lore Weapon strengthening items will be obtainable in the future in the Weeping City of Mhach

What is the idea behind the Weeping City of Mhach?

Yoshida: With Void Ark last time, the degree of difficulty was pretty low and the mechanics were a bit tiring and monotonous, so there was talk among the staff to try to change things up. Instead of increasing the difficulty of the boss battles, we're introducing mechanics that use the full area of the arenas, and we want to have conscious roles for each party in the alliance. This won't necessarily be for all of the bosses, but we wanted an emphasis on those two points.

Can you give us any example?

Yoshida: For example, when the first boss drops a nest during the battle, all of the adventurers need to go on top of the nest, but alliance A in particular, for example, will need to do another action. For the second boss, the role of the individual players in the alliance rather than the alliance units will be of more importance. On the other hand, with Ozma (the sphere), you can see that fight looks quite different from anything before. There are other mechanics not shown in the trailer footage, so please stay tuned. For Calofisteri, which appeared last, previously Echidna had you move along diagonals and to the center, so we thought about how this impacted players other than tanks and you will have to pay more attention to the boss this time.

Is there no hint to how to get through the mechanic?

Yoshida: It can be a bit hard to understand from just looking at it, so yes there's a hint.

That's a relief (laughs).

Yoshida: For the 24-person raid dungeons, we make the third boss the most flashy, and the final boss is balanced so that you should be okay if you can defeat the third boss.

Anything unusual about the bosses this time around?

Yoshida: Ozma is basically a defense mechanism created by the mages of Mhach. It has a lot of different forms, more than you'd usually see in a MMORPG, so stay tuned for Ozma.

Will the reward equipment be obtained once per week like before?

Yoshida: It will be weekly again this time.

Will upgrade items be available?

Yoshida: At release, upgrade items for lore armor and accessories will be available. The material to upgrade weapons will be added as we progress a bit in this patch.

So you'll be able to strengthen one piece of lore armor or accessory every week.

Yoshida: At the time of the patch release, yes.

Facing Hraesvelgr in Sohr Khai

Will we be facing off against Hraesvelgr in Sohr Khai?

Yoshida: Yeah, you will be.

But you won't defeat him since he's not our opponent...?

Yoshida: I think it's impossible for the dragons to settle their resentment with humans in the span of one human generation. Even Hraesvelgr has a long-standing grudge. Sohr Khai will be his opportunity to settle that.

I see.

Yoshida: Ratatoskr, the sister of Nidhogg and Hraesvelgr who was killed in an act of betrayal by humans, once lived in Sohr Khai. Perhaps from that you can guess why this site was chosen as the battlefield.

Hullbreaker Isle (Hard) is completely under Maelstrom control?

Yoshida: Yeah. The idea is that the roaming animals in the area are training targets.

So that's why Storm Marshal Eynzahr is waiting for us at the end.

Yoshida: It's like that. In addition to the Maelstrom, there will be other pirates tied to the Galadion Accord.

Will the tiger be implemented as a mount?

Yoshida: It won't be this time. We'll consider it based on demand, but it might be difficult to make it fly (laughs). Since Fenrir will become a flying mount in patch 3.3, we want to see the reactions to that.

Earn large amounts of gil in the Aquapolis!

Will there be a quest available to unlock the Aquapolis?

Yoshida: There isn't. The entrance will open normally to players who hunt with Timeworn Dragonskin Maps.

How often will you be able to take part?

Yoshida: Since Timeworn Dragonskin Maps are only available once every 18 hours in the first place, that's about the pace we anticipated. The probability of opening the dungeon when you complete the map is about 50%, so you should be able to enter with a pretty high frequency. The idea is that you can team up with a party of about four players using recruitment, and if you all have a map you should be able to enter Aquapolis once or twice. By the way, how far you can advance into the area is determined by chance when the map is used.

Will the results of the search also depend on luck?

Yoshida: Yeah. Big treasure crates will be placed one by one in the rooms, and as you annihilate the monsters that appear and open them you'll earn their contents.

Are the monsters pretty strong?

Yoshida: I think you should be able to quickly beat them in a full party. In a light party of four, the combat should take about five minutes. There aren't a lot of mechanics to avoid, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

How long does one entry take?

Yoshida: When the map owner opens the door to the next floor, the play time will extend as you progress further, so it depends on luck.

So the results will vary greatly depending on how lucky you are.

Yoshida: That's right. Not only the doors, but it will also depend on whether you encounter rare monsters along the way. Since you can obtain quite high amounts of gil as rewards, this is content focused for people who prefer battle content. There are also various materials that can drop, including new ones, so you might want to sell those.

Will materials for the next set of gatherer and crafter equipment also drop there?

Yoshida: I don't want to say any more now because it could impact the economy (laughs).

(Laughs) What other rewards are available besides materials?

Yoshida: We've also added minions that had been set as rare drops in instanced dungeons. We've intentionally added items that were hard to get until now. In that sense, the goal is not only to get rich quick.

How should you gather participants?

Yoshida: If you want to recruit others, please use the shout or Party Finder functions. However, the entrance to the Aquapolis disappears after about 10 minutes, so please take note of that.

So it's unlikely that players will stick to a particular party set-up.

Yoshida: As long as you have a healer and a tank, I think you can take anything after that.

Can you change jobs once inside?

Yoshida: It's possible. We want to make it easy for players to gather up and rush inside.

It's likely that players will participate in this freely using party finder or shout.

Yoshida: Since the gil reward can be high, it's good to team up with others. The gil pays out to each person individually rather than being divided up among the players, so there's no loss with more adventurers involved.

And even if you don't have a map you're still entitled to rewards.

Yoshida: Yeah. If you get lucky and beat rare monsters, you can obtain materia ranging from tier III up to tier V.

Sounds like you might fill up with rewards.

Yoshida: Make sure you clear up your inventory before trying this so that doesn't happen.

Tier V crafting materia available from the new beast tribe quests!

What kind of content are the moogle and dragon beast tribe quests?

Yoshida: Artisans from Ishgard will be teaching their craft to the Moogle quest, so they are daily content for crafters. A lot of players used the Ixal beast tribe quests to help raising thsir crafters to level 50, but the Heavensward equivalent has been missing until now. This should help those players leveling from 50 to 60.

Will the basic pattern be similar to the Ixal beast tribe quests?

Yoshida: Yeah. Last time, the story was that you were building an airship - this time the theme is repairing the palace. The moogles have entered into a contract with the dragon Hraesvelgr to repair the palace [[this place has a specific name that I can't think of, and I don't want to call it White Castle]]. But because of the long distance from Moghome to the location, they weren't able to begin the large scale construction work right away. Because of that, the moogles decided to make a base in front of the palace where people, moogles, and dragons can interact.

So there's some kind of history there.

Yoshida: A lot of time has passed since the moogles and dragons had interacted with the human race, so they have decided now to move forward with the repairs and the story goes on from there. Also, players got involved in their cause a bit in the main quest, and hopefully a few parts of this can help shed some of the hatred players may have developed towards moogles (laughs).

(Laughs) I guess players both here and abroad had developed some hatred for the moogles?

Yoshida: I think so. We intended to have moogles appear in Sohr Khai but we were afraid we'd get bashed for that (laughs).

It wasn't shown in the context of Sohr Khai in the trailer, but I did see the elder moogle Moglin.

Yoshida: Yeah (laughs).

(Laughs) Well for me, since a lot of it was just looking for specific points, it didn't feel as stressful as some of the main quest at the time.

Yoshida: It's not good to be looking for specified points so many times in succession like that. We focused on story but gave up gameplay elements too much. The easier ones weren't too bad, but the more advanced ones caused a problem for some people....

Well the moogles have a mischievous personality in the first place, so at least it made sense in the setting.

Yoshida: For the moogles, that mischief is a sign of their affection. In one of the scenes of the scenario for the new beast tribe quests, they may display some excessive affection for the Ishgardian artisans that infurate them (laughs).

Will there be any new kind of currency in these beast tribe quests involved with the Anima weapon?

Yoshida: I think everyone's already gotten started on it by now, but yes there will be items that can be exchanged for goods or "unidentifiable" items.

So when you complete the quest you'll get the exchange item along with experience.

Yoshida: The request cannot be completed unless you are a crafter, so you'll get the experience for that.

Will there be any added benefit for adventurers who have already reached level 60 on all crafts?

Yoshida: As you progress through the story quests by completing the daily quests, tier V crafting materia will be available as set rewards.

So the rate of obtaining those will finally be increased.

Yoshida: Since crafter equipment will be updated in this patch, we decided to include some measures to increase the overall amount of tier V materia. Along with this, we've also adjusted the tier IV materia so that it should be obtained quite easily.

Tier IV materia for crafters and gatherers?

Yoshida: Yeah. You'll be able to use it to enhance your new crafter/gatherer equipment. However, we don't yet know what the degree of difficulty will be when the new [[crafted]] equipment for the next raid tier is added in patch 3.4, so it's tough to know whether you should use tier IV or tier V materia in the overmeld slots.

Anima weapons will progress with a choice in accordance with style

How long will it take to grow the anima weapon to the next stage?

Yoshida: The anima weapon is set to have performance about the same as melding three tier V materia to a weapon of the same item level. Since you can divide up the amount of secondary parameters a lot, it will take a while to get up to full performance.

How can the parameters be allocated?

Yoshida: In order to grow the weapon, items can be utilized as an energy source to extend certain parameters. After obtaining the items, you trade them to a particular person. The type of items that can be delivered is quite large, and you should choose ones that are appropriate to your play style.

That will be appreciated.

Yoshida: The time efficiency will be different for each item, so there are also goods available for people who want to get the enhancement in the shortest possible time. But there will also be a path to completion available for players who want to do this more casually in a day-by-day way and complete it over time.

Will you be able to confirm the parameter allocation before the performance enhancement is complete?

Yoshida: There will be a dedicated user interface which will show the points being assigned and allow for confirmation.

Will it be possible to progress through the trial by completing daily duty roulettes or collecting Allagan Tomestones?

Yoshida: Allagan Tomestones will also be necessary, but it will not grow with those alone....

Did you set the requirements this time based on a certain assumption for time requirements?

Yoshida: Well, with the Alexandrite in the Zodiac saga for example, it was easy to figure out the amount of time based on the number of Alexandrite needed. This time, the calculation is based on building up the parameters. Since there are a number of different ways to do this, I think pattern will vary with play style.

About how much time will it take to complete?

Yoshida: You can think of it along the lines as collecting the Alexandrite for the Zodiac weapon. By the way, when you acquire the energy source from delivering particular goods, there could be a bonus. Usually you will receive three points from a source, but it can jump to five points.

Is the bonus completely luck-based?

Yoshida: Yeah. If you receive the bonus, you can get two more points in strengthening the parameters than usual, so the goal will be shortened by that amount.

How can you redistribute the parameters?

Yoshida: It will be possible to redistribute after you clear, you'll need to reset the points you want to reallocate. [[not sure I really understood this correctly]]

Will the items required for exchanging for the energy source remain a secret until the patch is released?

Yoshida: Yeah. Some of the items that can be exchanged are tradable, so the market price would be affected if we announced it earlier (laughs). It's also possible that we might change things around after publishing this.

How much stronger will the Anima weapon become after the parameters are fully allocated?

Yoshida: Since the parameters, including tier V materia, can be set based on player taste, they should be quite useful. I should also note that the completed weapons will have new graphics.

Yoshida explains the matchmaking rules of Raid Finder

Is Raid Finder being positioned as a raid version of Duty Finder?

Yoshida: It's like a Duty Finder where you can set certain conditions. For example, you can set the purpose as clear or practice and then apply to participate to match up with other players with the same purpose.

Is it possible to use the Raid Finder to participate in other content besides savage Alexander Midas?

Yoshida: It's only intended for the most difficult raid, which currently corresponds to savage Alexander Midas.

Will all of the rules for usage and other information be displayed on the Raid Finder screen?

Yoshida: Yeah. Of course, since conditions will be checked, such as whether or not players have already cleared, depending on whether conditions are met, you may not be able to click the participate button. We did not add any more conditions to prevent the matching time fraom taking any longer - we thought the current amount would be sufficient. For the most part in conventional party recruitment, the three primary goals are practice runs, late phase practice, or clear parties. Raid Finder has provisions for each of these, and we didn't want to tune it any more finely as that would reduce the amount of people available for each condition and make matchmaking difficult.

Are the players you can be matched with the same as with normal Duty Finder?

Yoshida: Yeah, matching will be within each data center.

How will party roles be configured?

Yoshida: For "practice," it will be a combination of two tanks, two healers, and four DPS. The tanks and healers will have no job restrictions, while the DPS slots will be split as one melee DPS, one ranged physical DPS, one ranged magic DPS, and one wild card (any DPS). Since it's practice, priority is given to making a match. For parties with "clear" set as their purpose, taking accumulation of the limit break gauge into account, it will be matched so that each job is different in the party.

So with tanks, for example, you wouldn't have two warriors?

Yoshida: Right, they'd always be different jobs.

Same for healers?

Yoshida: None of the jobs will overlap.

What did you mean by "Wild Card"?

Yoshida: The Wild Card can overlap with any of the others. Since the priority with "practice" is to reduce waiting time rather than get a perfect quality party organization, the matchmaking rules are set differently than having "clear" as the party's purpose.

Can you have two casters in the same party?

Yoshida: That's possible. With further restrictions, matching would take longer, so I'd appreciate player feedback. For example, if players would rather not have any restrictions on DPS for practice, we could make changes.

Producing HQ versions of the new Gathering and Crafting equipment will be "quite tough"

Since you can obtain it from crafting, will it be difficult to create the gathering and crafting equipment?

Yoshida: I think making the HQ versions will be quite tough. We'll also be adding new top tier accessories in common to the different classes, so it's likely that they will be traded for a high price on the market. That said, players who have near perfect equipment from patch 3.2 should be able to try it if they can acquire the materials. There will also be new equipment that you can get in exchange for certain items, so you can choose which types you find useful.

So the breadth of gear available will be quite wide.

Yoshida: It will be along the lines of what was available in patch 3.0. As I mentioned earlier, there won't only be crafter-produced equipment, but also new items from the token exchange system, so you can pick depending on your play style.

Will they be positioned the same way as with 3.0?

Yoshida: The ones exchanged for through the token system have a higher item level, but materia cannot be overmelded. If you're willing to go for the challenge of overmelding, you can use the crafter-produced equipment.

Will new Rowena tokens be added for gatherers and crafters?

Yoshida: Yeah, that will happen (laughs).

Enhancing bard for wider usage

At the NicoNico Super Conference 2016, you mentioned you would be making some balance adjustments for bard and ninja in patch 3.3. What did you ultimately decide to do?

Yoshida: Without going into specifics, bard actions will see various adjustments. Even after the adjustments, it still won't be the exact same DPS as machinist. As I've said before, because of the higher level of difficulty to operate machinist, it's intended to put out slightly higher firepower. We're just trying to get away from the idea that bard is weak compared to machinist, so we're closing that gap. It might have to do with the difficulty of DoT management on bard, but we are making adjustments to various parts of the job so that they are closer in firepower.

What about for ninja?

Yoshida: We'll simply be powering up the AoE damage. We're not focusing on enhancing the Ninjutsu. Since the AoE attack power was lower than other DPS, we are working to align it with the others. We did get feedback from players that they wanted the single target power to also be increased, but ninja has a high contribution to overall party damage, so that's a more difficult adjustment to make.

Anything for other jobs?

Yoshida: The performance of the barriers on astrologian will be adjusted slightly.

We see a considerable amount of astrologians now participating in savage Midas.

Yoshida: As it stands now, astrologians with a good command of cards and Diurnal Sect can be quite strong. It's a bit easier to use the cards. It's a bit more difficult when you're using Nocturnal Sect. To avoid high competition for one healer seat, we want to work on that.

So the idea is to get them to coexist better?

Yoshida: We want to have the combination of astrologian and white mage be easier to utilize. For scholars, their fairies are quite strong so it's a bit tough. As far as overall job balance, we consider it with each patch for all jobs, so please don't be too concerned with that.

Any plans to further increase enmity on tanks?

Yoshida: No particular plans at the moment.

It may end up that tanks continue to fight in the attack stance.

Yoshida: Yeah. Since a tank who is going all out with attack can continue to hold the target right now, we don't want to make any adjustments to ease enmity gain any further with specific attacks.

You mentioned that healers will no longer need to worry about accuracy in instanced dungeons. Will this have any impact on raids?

Yoshida: It won't change. Raids are intended to be high difficulty, so if you want to rely on attack-based actions, the thought is that you'll need to stack accuracy.

Since the damage output of healers isn't connected with the clear conditions set for the raid, the idea is that you have to put on certain equipment if you want to focus on attacking.

Yoshida: If attacks would hit regardless of accuracy, things would lean towards healers feeling that they need to attack rather than having a choice. But as it is, if you're aiming for an early clear and the healer isn't putting out DPS, of course you won't be able to beat the boss. If the team decides to make the choice that the healer should be doing damage, the idea is that they will need to reduce their healing performance to gain accuracy.

I see.

Yoshida: On the other hand, we've seen a lot of feedback that accuracy itself is dull so we've talked about getting rid of it. Right now, items can't be designed without including accuracy to some extent. Players work to figure out the accuracy required, and it can be an interesting problem to balance the accuracy until you're always hitting the target, but the preference is divided. Moreover, there are players at the casual level who are not even aware of accuracy so it's gotten to the point where accuracy may not make sense as a parameter.

Will the results of those discussions be reflected in the game at some point?

Yoshida: At least during the 3.X series, we won't be making modifications other than that most attacks will hit in instanced dungeons.

The final chapter of savage Alexander is already in development

I was a bit surprised that you carried out adjustments to the second battle of savage Midas in the middle of the raid cycle.

Yoshida: I certainly had hesitation over that.

For me, I did feel that the second layer was more difficult than the third until the adjustments were made.

Yoshida: I believe it felt that way because the mechanics change completely in each phase. The battle was balanced with the idea that each boss enemy was like one phase of the battle with the overall battle length being the same as usual. However, up until now, you learned the boss and remember a few new things with each phase, so this was quite different from the rest.

Even players that are completely comfortable with the fight can often make mistakes with the height debuff on Swindler. Really the only mechanics on that fight are the height and the number of spheres, but even with that it's still easy to make simple mistakes.

Yoshida: I think the main difference is that after you wipe on that boss you have to go through it again from the first one.

It can take a psychological toll....

Yoshida: We were worried about it at the time, but now it looks like we are good with players clearing the second layer. After I had a meeting to review our options, we decided to lower the hurdle of the DPS check by reducing the HP. Again, it seems like the gap in player skill is widening.

Right now I've cleared the third layer, and I'm working on the fourth now. I'm not sure if I'll be able to clear it... it will be hard work (laughs).

Yoshida: We did cut the DPS checks quite a bit as compared to savage Gordias to reflect a reduction in DPS output while dealing with mechanics.

The balance adjustments seem really difficult to make.

Yoshida: It is difficult to continue to make the high-level content. Looking at World of Warcraft, they've also had a hard time with difficulty adjustments.

When I spoke with players from a group that cleared the fourth battle, they said that although the DPS check was relaxed, the pace of mechanics compared to Gordias did not.

Yoshida: We expect the top players to clear the battles early, and then intermediate players to make their way through naturally as their item level increases, and the calculations are based on that. I think the gap among players is becoming more noticeable.

The top few percent of players are highly skilled.

Yoshida: It's difficult to make adjustments so that it remains challenging but lower players can still clear eventually. I'll do my best in the future to put effort into the balance adjustments.

Are there any further plans to adjust savage Alexander Midas?

Yoshida: There are no plans at the moment, but I'm wondering if we should tweak the numeric settings for the third and fourth battles a bit. That said, there are still an increasing number of players making their way through the battles right now, and as lore strengthening materials become more easily obtained with patch 3.3, I expect this trend to continue in the future as IL continues to rise.

As the IL rises, the firepower goes up.

Yoshida: People tend to focus on DPS, but for the third and fourth battles, it may make sense to add tier V vitality materia to accessories. Skill speed and critical hit rate are good when you're attacking, but vitality materia increase the amount of damage you can take and make recovery easier. I definitely recommend adding tier V vitality materia for players who aren't tanks.

That said, there will still be many players who go after firepower alone.

Yoshida: DPS will be compensated for with the new equipment from the update. Since the 10 IL increase will be a significant improvement in damage output, I think you'd be better off with even a tier IV vitality materia.

What's the status for the last set of Alexander battles?

Yoshida: They're already in production. We're still working on mechanics and pretty far off from deciding the final degree of difficulty. We'll continue to make adjustments as we iterate.

Will there be any updates to the Diadem exploration content in patch 3.3?

Yoshida: With the new exploration content coming in patch 3.4, there won't be much change in patch 3.3. I've seen a lot of requests for gathering-specific matchmaking, but to do so we need to create a new matchmaking system, so we're working on this for patch 3.4.

How much will it change in patch 3.4?

Yoshida: The content will change completely and we're planning to add a new exploration. The content will be driven more tightly on the system side and will have a new direction which really makes it feel like you are exploring.

What kind of things might happen?

Yoshida: When you get to the area you might get an order like "retrieve the goods" that might lead you around the area. We want to create an adventurous and fun feeling. As I said, we'll also be introducing dedicated matching for gatherers so you can team up with only players who have the same goal.

So the content will change quite a bit.

Yoshida: We've gone through all of the feedback we received from everyone, and as a result we've decided to take a hard turn and really focus on establishing the content based on a sense of exploration. We're putting a lot of effort into the production.

The content will be more focused.

Yoshida: Even for selecting goals, rather than leaving it up to players to discuss, we'll be more clearly presenting the goals as part of the content. The basic play elements will still be to search and clear the area. Separate from that, we're also considering a "full area raid" idea.

What do you mean by that?

Yoshida: When it occurs, it will really motivate all of the adventurers around to participate. The development staff has been calling it "Fever Time" (laughs).

(Laughs) So it has the feeling of a large scale FATE?

Yoshida: There will be more of an emphasis on mechanics than a FATE. The challenge will have you dividing up the roles of the different parties or alliances around.

Will these be released together in patch 3.4?

Yoshida: We're targeting patch 3.4. But with the maximum IL increasing in patch 3.4, I'm wondering if it might be better to release with patch 3.5 in terms of how the rewards will be set. We might put this in a similar position to where the next "Deep Dungeon" palace would be. The "exploration content" and "deep dungeons" are new content categories that we want to continue in the future. The exploration content in particular is something that was part of first generation MMORPGs and we have a sense of how we want to implement it in a more current style, so we'll be doing experimentation with that. If it goes well, I think we'll come up with some new play elements, so we want to continue to challenge ourselves in the future with that.

A dedicated quest occurs after the deep dungeon.

The deep dungeon "Palace of the Dead" which will be released with patch 3.35 is a bit different from other existing content.

Yoshida: It will be different from the traditional image of one tank, one healer, two DPS.

Will it be like a separate game with different rules from the outside world?

Yoshida: That's right. Also with regards to the parameters, since attack and defense force are only based on the two pieces, weapon and armor, the calculations used will be different from the outside world.

I think it will introduce its own matching.

Yoshida: Since matching will be regardless of role, you can enter with all four people as DPS, for example.

How do you recover?

Yoshida: You should pretty much be set with natural recovery, but if you bring potions it might be easier.

Can you change jobs inside?

Yoshida: You cannot. Instead, there are a number of items which can only be used in the deep dungeon.

Like what, for example?

Yoshida: One reveals all the masked areas of the map, and another transforms the adventurer into a manticore that can beat all enemies with one punch. Since you become so strong you'll want to rush through the area, but you'll have to take care not to step on a land mine which could cause a catastrophe (laughs).

(Laughs) How many floors are in the structure in total?

Yoshida: At this time the deepest part will be the 50th floor, but we plan to add up to floor 200 later on.

Will there be a dedicated scenario for this?

Yoshida: Yeah. This episode will be "Palace of the Dead." Once people meet certain conditions and clear it, there will be some separate side quests. After you've seen those, you can look forward to the next edition.

So there may be further development.

Yoshida: As we add to the Palace of the Dead, you'll find out more about the truth behind it.

How will armor be strengthened?

Yoshida: When you open a treasure box, your equipment will be strengthened. As you advance, it will be easier to continue if you upgrade the equipment. By the way, potions will also be upgraded in recovery amount and recast time to increase their usefulness, so they will help a lot.

Will the effects and recast changes to potions be exclusively within Palace of the Dead?

Yoshida: They will change throughout the game. However, ethers and medicines that restore MP will be the same as before so as to not affect black mage's DPS.

So it will be useful to have potions available.

Yoshida: Yeah, it will be.

What other items can you use from outside in the dungeon besides potions?

Yoshida: Pretty much anything. You should probably go with a Phoenix Down in case you have four DPS (laughs).

Without a Phoenix Down there's no way to be revived inside?

Yoshida: In the 29th Producer Letter LIVE, we mentioned that there would be various effects that would occur when you touch the ankh. Here you'll finally be able to raise, and all other effects must be obtained from the treasure box.

How can you revive with the ankh?

Yoshida: When you touch the active ankh, an ally without the active battle state will be resurrected.

What's the "game over" condition?

Yoshida: A full wipe of the party. Since all players will exit the combat state when you touch the ankh, you should bring a Phoenix Down.

Since Phoenix Downs have the rare attribute, you can only have one.

Yoshida: That's true, please alternate using them (laughs).

Anything else we should note?

Yoshida: Since traps can appear, please be careful.

Will there be traps you can swing over like in "Shiren the Wanderer"?

Yoshida: Nothing like that (laughs).

When will the next update of Palace of the Dead take place?

Yoshida: It will be around patch 3.45 or patch 3.5.

Patch 3.3 includes content for all players

You gave us an overview of the new elements in patch 3.3, so is there anything in particular you want us to pay attention to?

Yoshida: FFXIV is a MMORPG with a number of different levels of play. Many players have the impression that the odd patches are more casual in nature, and to that end we have content that all players can enjoy like the Aquapolis treasure dungeon. There will also be the deep dungeon Palace of the Dead released in patch 3.35, which is content that novices and veterans alike can enjoy and participate in together as early as level 17. The Weeping City of Mhach will also be added as the new 24-person raid dungeon, and it will also be positioned as casually oriented content.

But there won't just be casual elements, a number of more core elements will be added as well.

Yoshida: The next stage of the Anima weapons will be added with the long journey towards allocating secondary parameters (laughs). The extreme Nidhogg battle will also be quite a challenge with weapon rewards geared for players who might be having trouble clearing the third floor of savage Alexander Midas. Please check that out by all means.

What about in terms of the scenario?

Yoshida: The Heavensward scenario which kicked off around patches 2.3 and 2.4 will celebrate its finale in this patch. Please look forward to finding out out how the Dragonsong War finally comes to a close.

How are you going to approach the new content once patch 3.3 is released?

Yoshida: Well, I'll be focused on the extreme Nidhogg fight. Of course, I'll also be working on clearing The Weeping City of Mhach to get the weekly rewards.

It'll be a patch that can be enjoyed from advanced players all the way down to beginners.

Yoshida: Patch 3.3 certainly has a feeling of going in all directions.

I'm looking forward to its release!

Cirrus Vatem

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re: Yoshida on Patch 3.3 Content - Famitsu Translation


Thanks for this, a lot of information here which I had no idea about (and still reading through eep). It seems the new relic stage is going to work similarly to alexandrite, but not so. I've been saving tombstones for whatever recently but it might be a better idea to hold onto them instead of spending them willy nilly.

I had no idea they were planning on adjusting NIN for next patch. I knew about BRD because of the difference, but considering NIN is quite weak on the AoE side of things it is a welcome change ... of sorts.

As for the new void ark, if it means each alliance are going to have their own sort of role in each battle (kinda similar to past crystal towers during the time of which they were new content), I can only await the chaos that is to come when no coordination is given ... though it is nice that they've realised that void ark itself was a bit bland in comparison to previous 24-man raids so, I'm looking forward to seeing the new one (especiallytheRamiellookingboss).

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