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Letter from the Producer, I (1/21/2010)


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[align=center]492_7.jpg?b90f9472706794a05c72074d707db90bRejoice, my fellow Roleplayers.


Rejoice in the news that is the results of the FFXIV fan poll, and Square Enix's game plan to get the ball rolling on FFXIV!


Letter from the Producer, I (1/21/2010)[/align]



Greetings adventurers! I hope you are all enjoying your time in Eorzea.


Well, after a brief spell of users on Japan's most frequented forum referring to me as "The Duck," I'm happy to say things have settled down and it seems that "Yoshi-P" is the current nickname of choice.


I apologize for the amount of time I've let pass since my last post. Today I'd like to take the time to thank all of you for the overwhelming number of responses we received to our recent FINAL FANTASY XIV Players' Poll the First!


This post marks the beginning of my new Letters from the Producer series, which I will continue to post regularly on the Lodestone up until the launch of our official FINAL FANTASY XIV forums. Together with this first letter, I have also decided to make public the results of the first player poll, as well as include information concerning future plans for the game. The post is a bit lengthy, but I hope you all take the time to read it.


FINAL FANTASY XIV Players' Poll the First â Results & Anaylsis


The recent players' poll was available only to users possessing a Square Enix account. We received a large number of completed questionnaires from players in all regionsâJapan, North America, and Europe. Here I would like to take some time to go over each of the questions and their responses, and attempt to explain what the results may mean.


1. Which online games have you played before? (Multiple answers accepted)


There is a large amount of data to go over here, so I suggest opening it in "another window" for ease of viewing. The majority of FINAL FANTASY XIV players polled have a history of playing FINAL FANTASY XI, which is a result we here at Square Enix were certainly happy to see. To us, this serves to illustrate the loyalty and passion of FINAL FANTASY fans, and both the development and management teams were truly moved by this result!


This also tells us that the majority of responses to questions dealing with gameplay (from 5 onward) are the opinions of players with experience playing FINAL FANTASY XI. And so it will be operating under that premise that we will be examining the poll responses.


By the way, questions 2 and 4 were included to provide referential data to the management team, and I will not post their results here. Suffice it to say, we are hardly in a position to be providing this kind of useful information to any would-be rivals...^^;


As for the third question, the most common answer was fourteen titles, with roughly 2% of pollees having played over twenty FINAL FANTASY titles. There isn't much to say here other than thank you!


5. How do you spend most of your time in Eorzea? (Choose only one)


Battle (including levequests and behests) 47.5% 64.2% 65.1% 69.4% 71.8%

Gathering (Including levequests) 6.7% 4.9% 5.4% 2.8% 3.9%

Synthesis (including levequests) 35.6% 22.9% 20.1% 21.1% 18.3%

Socializing 6.4% 3.1% 3.4% 2.7% 2.2%

Other 3.8% 4.8% 5.9% 4.0% 3.9%


Much as we expected, the vast majority of players are spending most of their play time engaged in battle-oriented content, with synthesis activities coming in second. I cannot help but be concerned over the 4.6% result for socializing. This leads me to believe that in its current state, the game is lacking group-oriented goals and means of communication. Rest assured we will be addressing this issue together with the battle system.


6. What is your biggest expectation for the newly restructured development team?


An overhaul to fundamental gameplay aspects 73.7% 72.0% 72.6% 67.3% 57.5%

An accelerated version update schedule 15.0% 16.6% 16.3% 23.6% 29.9%

Increased communication with the players 11.3% 11.4% 11.1% 9.1% 12.6%


7. Which of the following issues you would like to see addressed first? (Choose only one)


The Armoury system 6.0% 3.8% 4.0% 1.9% 3.6%

The combat system 34.0% 15.3% 16.5% 17.2% 13.3%

The user interface 7.4% 9.7% 10.6% 8.9% 6.9%

Server response times 6.8% 5.6% 7.4% 9.2% 13.8%

The markets system 7.2% 14.4% 11.3% 3.4% 9.3%

Maps 3.3% 0.4% 0.7% 0.8% 0.5%

Guildleves 3.0% 3.7% 4.5% 4.4% 4.0%

Lack of in-game content 28.3% 44.5% 41.7% 50.9% 46.8%

Other 4.1% 2.6% 3.3% 3.3% 1.9%


8. Which of the following would you like to see implemented first? (Choose only one)


More story-based quests/mini-quests 43.7% 37.0% 40.1% 42.2% 39.5%

More notorious monsters (NMs) 2.0% 2.1% 1.9% 2.9% 2.7%

More levequests (including new varieties) 4.2% 7.3% 7.8% 1.9% 2.8%

Player vs. player content (PvP) 4.6% 3.0% 4.2% 3.7% 3.5%

Large-scale player vs. environment content (PvE) 9.3% 11.0% 11.3% 21.2% 14.5%

Expanded tutorials 1.2% 1.3% 2.8% 2.3% 3.5%

Auction House 22.7% 26.3% 22.0% 17.2% 19.8%

Other 12.3% 12.0% 9.9% 8.4% 13.8%


Let's take a look at questions 6 through 8 together.


An overhaul to fundamental aspects of gameplay was by far and away the most common response. But an accelerated version update schedule and increased player communication are certainly not to be discounted, as each comprises over 10% of the total results. The responses to these questions have left quite an impression on us, and we will continue to be making numerous improvements to these areas in accordance with your continued feedback.


The issue that players would first like to see addressed is a general lack of game content, followed by changes to the battle system. Looking further, it seems that the type of content most strongly desired is quests and miniquests, accounting for about 40% of the responses. The auction house has also made a solid showing among the responses, no doubt due in part to the fact that, as previously mentioned, many of the pollees are or were FFXI players. My initial reaction was to interpret this as players stating that they want more adventures in Eorzea! More gil and loot!


In line with this, I believe that significant changes to the battle system are necessary to create a style of combat that lends itself to the enjoyment of quests and miniquests. Following that logic one step further, it is equally necessary to bring about significant changes to the user interface to create a UI that lends itself to the enjoyment of the battle system. After all, there is no point in making thorough improvements to battle if the response and usability of the interface isn't capable of conveying those improvements to players.


In line with the above results, we will be bringing quests and miniquests to Eorzea sometime after the beginning of February. Along with this, all of the changes being worked on during the end of last year and the beginning of this year to improve the games playability and user-friendliness will also be released around the same time.


Though the next version update will introduce a relatively small number of changes, preparations are already underway to bring further improvements in the near future via a number of smaller-scale patches, including the release of quests and system-side adjustments. At present, we intend for something new to be released about twice a month. Overhauls to the battle system and user interface will also be ongoing, which will make it easier for the players to enjoy the new quests and content being released. The small-scale, system-oriented updates that will be carried out can best be thought of as the necessary groundwork for the battle system revisions.


We will also be looking in earnest at the possibility of implementing an auction house, as well as continuing to improve the functionality of the item search feature. Once prioritized changes to the battle system have been made, we will continue to balance and adjust guildleve and behest rewards, as well as improve overall user-friendliness. I realize there are many things, but for me the first order of business is to create the FINAL FANTASY feeling. To have players take part in engaging quests that place them in a struggle against an impending crisis that threatens their world. To have those players combine their strength and fight alongside one another. I still can't help but wonder what that ominous four-line poem might portend for Eorzea in the coming year...


9. What do you find most appealing about FINAL FANTASY XIV? (Choose only one)


World & lore 22.7% 26.4% 27.6% 33.2% 24.5%

Graphics 49.2% 35.5% 32.3% 15.6% 44.2%

Gameplay 3.4% 10.3% 8.9% 7.3% 0.7%

Cutscenes 1.2% 5.3% 7.1% 2.8% 13.3%

Sound 1.8% 1.2% 1.7% 1.0% 6.1%

Online services 0.5% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.6%

The FINAL FANTASY name 9.1% 13.0% 15.6% 35.6% 4.6%

Other 12.1% 8.1% 6.8% 4.4% 6.1%


I'm personally of the opinion that the two most popular responses, graphics and the game world, are the main attraction for all FINAL FANTASY titles. I also believe that the number of players who chose the game world option is a strong reason for the aforementioned demand for additional quests and miniquests.


10. Which of the following would you like to see implemented into the Lodestone? (Choose only one)


Official forums 20.8% 29.8% 30.2% 22.7% 29.1%

Posts by the development and operations teams 36.4% 28.4% 28.0% 22.2% 24.6%

More in-depth Q&A posts 8.4% 7.8% 6.3% 10.5% 2.6%

More in-depth play guides 12.7% 17.6% 19.0% 22.6% 29.3%

More features for individual and linkshell/company pages 12.4% 11.9% 11.6% 15.0% 7.7%

Other 9.2% 4.5% 4.9% 6.9% 6.7%


I'm very grateful for the fact that posts by the development and operations teams was the number one response to this question. In fact, this Letters from the Producer series is a direct result of this. In addition, we will begin a beta phase for the official FFXIV forums in all four languages (Japanese, English, French, and German) around the beginning of March. If all goes well, the forums should be up and ready for public use sometime in early April. I hope you are all looking forward to the forums as much as you are the changes to the game!


11. Would you welcome changes to FINAL FANTASY XIV that would drastically alter the rules already set in Eorzea?


Yes 82.0% 91.1% 89.5% 55.0% 65.5%

No 18.0% 8.9% 10.5% 45.0% 34.5%


It seems this question started a wave of panic among players about whether or not character data would potentially be wiped. For the definitive answer on that, please see my response to a player's letter below. As for the results, 85% of players answered in the affirmative. This is something that will be in the forefront of my mind when making decisions concerning future updates to the game. I promise to do everything in my power to address as many of the players' demands and desires as I can.


Thank you again to all those players who took the time to complete our poll. I hope that I've been able to appease those of you thinking, "Come on, Yoshi-P. Give us some specifics!" (Sorry, the fact that I haven't up until now is probably more a personality issue than anything else...^^;) Below is a list of changes and additions, some of them already underway, that will be introduced to the game in future version updates. And for those of you who might have been wondering, this list is by no means comprehensive.

Category Planned Current Tasks Future Tasks

Quests Tutorials for new players Planning and implementation of tutorial quests Introduction of additional quests

Quests revolving around the danger facing Eorzea Planning and implementation of quests Introduction of additional quests

Public company quests Planning of public companies and related quests in Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, and Gridania Introduction of additional quests

User Interface (UI) Improvements to the log Changes to behavior of windows when moused over

âRemoval of auto-log activation, addition of ablitity to target behind log -

Automated show/hide feature

âLog hidden after certain period of inactivity -

Revision of text colors by message type

âBrighter system messages for easier reading Increased log tabs

Increased color customization by type

Improvement of dialog windows

(ex. market area selection) Changes to increase the amount of on-screen data to reduce the need for multiple pages Revisions to page advancing

Conversion to specialized windows

Improvements to journal usability Changes to consolidate all current quests and levequests on one screen Ongoing changes

Additional list entries

Changes to speed up text scrolling, increased further for prolonged scrolling Addition of a feature to change pages using a gamepad

Adjustments to window size and scrolling position

âConsolidation of levequest details on one screen â

Character jump feature Examination of the implementation of jumping Implementation following completion of a favorable examination

Increased visibility of combat damage display Use of distinct colors for player and enemy damage â

Adjustments to prevent overlapping of combat text

âFINAL FANTASY-esque changes to number pop-up animations â

Increased usability of maps Examination of increased refresh rates for more responsive maps Implementation of chages

Subsequent increase in the number of points and icons pictured on maps

Improved minimap usability Addition of PC field-of-view display on the minimap Quest NPC directional indicator

Improvements to camera usability Changes to prevent random reset of camera distance settings Changes to allow camera distance settings via gamepad

Changes to notification windows Changes to window placement

Reduced intrusion of windows when engaged in combat Changes to increase the specialization of windows

Improvements to targeting mechanics Changes to allow targeting by type (PC or NPC) when targeting with a gamepad Examination of target indicator customization

Guildleves Improvements to guildleve-related information Command-based display of time remaining until guildleve renewals â

Additional information when exchanging guildleves â

Revision and balancing of local leve issuing conditions Ongoing revision and balacing

Balancing of guildleve rewards Changes to less popular guildleves in line with reward balances Further release of new guildleves following balancing

Items, Synthesis, and Gathering Adjustments to item condition values Adjustments to lower the rate at which item condition deteriorates Ongoing balances in line with player feedback

Higher visibility of the optimal rank of items Changes to the color of item names to convey the disparity between optimal rank and a player's current rank

âCurrently assessing costs of implementation Color categorization of item names

Reassessment of the gear affinities Introduction of gear with rank requirements to create player-oriented goals Further changes to gear affinities

Revision of battle loot and quest rewards Ability to obtain weapons and armor via battle loot and quest rewards Implementation in line with quests

Changes to item stack sizes Examination of increased stack sizes from 12 to 99 Implementation of increased item sizes after finalization

Increased pace of gathering actions Changes to the frame rates of action animations to speed up gathering â

Market Areas Improvement of market area connectivity and stability Reduction in the frequency of market area crashes Ongoing improvements to market area stability

Improved usability of the item search feature Addition of prices displayed together with search results Examination of ability to search by specific item names

Examination of an auction house system Final examination of retainer and auction house systems Initial planning following final decision

Battle System Ability to toggle display of head gear Ability to toggle head gear to allow display of character faces -

Revisions to party-based skill point acquisition in parties Improvements to skill point acquisition for parties â

Changes to enmity calculations Revisions to enmity algorithms Ongoing revisions to enmity algorithms

Revision of crowd control actions Revision of crowd control actions for each class to improve party-based play Implementation of changes after finalization

Changes to enemy group dynamics Introduction of enemy group variability, as well as enemy group highlighting to enhance combat visibility â

Changes to claiming/engaging enemies Examination and implementation of changes to claiming and engaging enemies Ongoing balancing of skill point acquisition following initial changes

Balancing of enemy attributes Changes to enemy attributes and drops Ongoing balancing as necessary

Addition of beast tribes Release of beast tribe monsters as both roaming and quest-related enemies Further implementation in line with new quests

Revision of enemy sizes Optimization of enemy size for ease of play â

Design and release of notorious monsters Release of notorious monsters Further implementation in line with new quests

Conversion of roaming monsters to notorious monsters Implementation after finalization

Armoury System Changes to actions for Disciplines of War & Magic classes Further changes to enhance class uniqueness Initial implementation of partial changes

Changes to class names Possible introduction of traditional names such as paladin, monk, white mage, etc. Announcement of further changes as they arise

Company System Introduction of public companies Introduction of public company leaders in each city-state Announcement of further changes as they arise

Introduction of public companies in Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, and Gridania to combat the threat to Eorzea Announcement of further changes as they arise


Currently, the above changes, together with other adjustments and additions I have planned, are at about a 30% state of completion. There is still quite a lot to be done, especially when considering that more things will be added to the list. These posts that I will be making will continue to contain a list of planned changes, as well as updates on their current status.


Items on the above list will be removed once implemented, with dated notifications being given in separate posts. Changes that have been newly planned or are currently undergoing testing will be added as they arise.


By no means have the changes announced by the team up through the end of 2010, including planned adjustments and additions to the Lodestone, been abandoned. I will personally be determining which of these are necessary, and when an implementation schedule becomes clear, I will add it to the list above. I'll have to ask you all to make due with these posts of mine until the official forums are up and running. I'd very much like to be able to put the official forums and further community-based changes on the list by the time of my next post...


As I mentioned previously in the poll analysis, examination and planning of changes to the battle system, and related changes to the Armoury system, are proceeding at a very rapid rate, as we would like to implement them as soon as possible. In particular, I would very much like to continue incorporating player feedback into the adjustments being made to the claiming/engaging system, and finalize it it the near future.


Also, please look forward to further news regarding the public company system (not the official name...), as I will be releasing more details on it soon!



Just amazing news.


Looks like we have a lot to look forward to. Quests and mini-quests coming early February. Everything from changes to experience gain in groups, to the possible addition of jumping, to an actual auction house. They're even contemplating bringing back traditional class names. {Paladin}, {Can I have it?}


Oh, and did I mentioned we'll finally be getting the ability to hide headgear?

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Wow, lots of huge news. Looks like they're aiming to give us 2 small updates every month for a bit. The addition of official forums may be interesting if nothing more than seeing the impact it'll have on fan sites. Though like most official forums, it'll probably be a cesspool of non-stop whining >.>


Too much goodness to post about though. All in all, this is the announcement I've been personally waiting for all month ^^

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Possible introduction of traditional Final Fantasy type names for jobs would be nice.


Adding a jump? Err... dunno... guess its all a game of wait and see, stuff sounds interesting, but I suppose we just have to keep our fingers crossed for it.


The game has HUGE potential, just hope it all works out.

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