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Final Fantasy 14 - Interviews - Dengeki Interview Tanaka And Kawamoto

Dengeki Interview Tanaka and Kawamoto

11th September 2009

Another day and another interview. This is a particular long one but contains some very useful information if you wish to read it all. If you don't, your in luck because here is a brief summary of the main points:

  • Graphics are only 50% complete
  • Rings, Gauntlets and (maybe) weapon damage will appear in real time
  • FFXIV will be seamless to the extent of one region in FF11
  • Weather will affect your character
  • Positioning in battle is important
  • Chocobos for transportation is still under debate
  • The skill of the blacksmith will determine weapon durability

Dengeki (below: DG): Thanks for your work in Germany. We were pleasantly surprised that there was a playable version available there; we didn’t think there would be one.
Hiromichi Tanaka (below:HT): Thanks to Kawamoto’s hard work, we were just barely able to make it out in time.

DG: First, can you tell us what the biggest difference between FFXI and FFXIV will be?
Nobuaki Kawamoto (below:NK): It’s got to be “guildleves.” There’s a goal, and you gather people to achieve it. That would be the greatest difference at this time: the possibility of enjoying a different way to play. The next would be the changing of abilities by simply switching weapons through the “armory system.” You could say it’s like we took the idea of the FFXI system and developed it even further.
HT: In the same way, though the characters shown up to this point were made to resemble those in FFXI, an even greater degree of variation is possible this time around.

DG: Will neck and waist equipment be reflected in the graphics?
NK: We’re still deciding on what things will be represented graphically that we didn’t show in FFXI, but there may even be things shown that weren’t in FFXI.
HT: There was even talk about making ring graphics! (He laughs)
NK: We’re still discussing which areas will appear.

DG: Is it true that movement between areas will be seamless?
NK: This information has often been mistranslated, saying things that no matter how far in the world you go, there will be no fade effect. This isn’t the case. The areas are now wider (about the size of regions in FFXI), but there is a bit of loading between those areas. Even so, just because the areas are wider doesn’t mean the monsters will chase you as far as you can go.

DG: But there’s no difference between the residential areas and the battlefields?
NK: I guess the only real difference between those areas are whether there are enemies present or not. There are cities, of course, but just like the way Aetherite is placed everywhere, there will also be areas set up to gather and talk to other players outside of the cities.

DG: Can you unsheathe your weapons in cities?
NK: Yes. In FFXI, it was not possible to auto-attack in cities, so you couldn’t draw weapons. In FFXIV, though, if you want to draw, you can.

DG: Will weather’s effects on your character be portrayed realistically?
NK: We’ve aimed for realism with the weather, so even if you’re excited to be in an area at first, after a while you may feel that you don’t want to go there anymore. Consequently, weather will have an effect on your character, but it will be more of a game-related aspect. However, there will not be elemental weather like the kind seen in FFXI.

DG: The message “attack from the right” appeared on the battle screen, but will elevation have any effect on battle?
NK: We thought this time we’d like to try and have a battle system where positioning was important, but because the areas in which using elevation in battle are limited, we decided not to get that specific.
HT: Getting into the best position to fight an opponent (camping, perhaps) is very important in this game. If we added elevation into it, it would probably most likely be abused.

DG: If camping comes into play, won’t there be lag issues?
NK: Thanks to my experience with FFXI, I think I’ve been able to learn the games limits in areas like that, so I think it will be all right.

DG: Aetherite seems to be a very important structure in this game, but would it be best to think of this as a method of transportation?
NK: Its primary function is a gathering spot. It is where adventures begin and adventurers gather. Transportation is its secondary function. Since it’s a warp point, people will naturally gather there. That’s the image we’re going for.

DG: So will players be able to use it for transportation between cities, transportation to battles, to guildleve starting points, and so on?
NK: That’s right.

DG: I’m sure chocobos will also be a form of transportation, but then how would you separate when to use each of the two?
NK: We’re still considering whether or not to use chocobos as transportation. Chocobos are, after all, a symbol of the franchise; we’re trying to bring them into the game in a way the players will accept and enjoy.

DG: Weapons will deteriorate, but will characters age?
NK: We hadn’t thought of that! (He laughs) They won’t age, but you may be able to change their hairstyle.

DG: This is something you’ve been thinking about putting in the game?
NK: Changing hairstyle, yes. We haven’t put any thought about changing faces, however. If we went that far, players wouldn’t know what to focus on to identify a character. We’re taking players’ ideas into account and carefully considering them during the creation process.

DG: About the NPCs having English voices during cut scenes: will most of the game have voice acting?
NK: No, and not even all the cut scenes will be voiced. We’ve limited the voice work to scenes that have a certain level of importance to the plot or where we want you to focus on the video. Basically, when we want you to focus on the video instead of reading, we thought it’d be better to add voice, even if it’s in English.

DG: Will all the voices be in English?
NK: I think people have the impression that there’s a lot more voice used in the game than we actually have planned. We’re continually adding to the story, so translating and recording all these additions would take a lot of time. We’d like to keep a steady pace for the version-ups. With the current proposal and what we’d be able to do with our time constraints, we came to the decision not to voice the entire game.

DG: Now that weapons have durability, will it be represented graphically?
NK: It’s under consideration. We’ll decide after we’ve tried a few different things.

DG: Having to learn how to take care of your weapon is a really interesting idea.
NK: Though I said that “Aetherite” existed as a meeting point, it is also a place where blacksmith and adventures can meet up. It would be a burden to go back to the city to fix, but maybe there is somebody who can fix it at “Aetherite”. I’d like to offer users places to encounter.

DG:Are you going to introduce something like “Search Comment” in FFXI as means of communication?
NK:Yeah. I’d like to keep things established in FFXI. There are other things in mind too.

DG: Do you think you’d introduce systems like signs of craftsman seen in other games?
NK: I’d think about introducing after seeing how people like them after they played for a while.

DG:Can we fix in shops? I have image that fix is done by blacksmith players.
NK: If there is nobody, then maybe. It would be horrible if there were nobody to fix it (he laughs).

DG:Not only weapons but do shields also break?
NK: Both of weapons and shields are consumption articles.
HT:It’d be difficult to exchange items which are broken or exhausted between users. The price of new and consumed ones will be of course different.
NK:Items may not be fixed depending on the skill of blacksmith. But it never happens that item will be broken because of that.

DG:Customizing colors of armament would be possible by craftsman?
NK:Yeah, craftsman can design colors to sell more. There will be more items which have same ability but are different colors. A lot of color variations already exist.

DG:Can you put emblem on?
NK: I’d like to make it happen someday.

:Because of “Armory System,” we can’t attack if we become craftsman? Like, attack with sewing materials?
NK: Not sure about sewing materials,lol But, we are planning to make minimum abilities for battles at least. Of course it is not much compared to their own professional ability.

DG:So then it is not that we can’t do anything other than our profession, though we are quite specialized with each class?
NK:No. It’d be important what kind of ability should be added.

DG: Is there no places like moghouse due to the introduction of “Armor System”?
NK:In FFXI, Moghouse functioned as a place for job change. However, since you have to go back to town for it, there are too many people in town. That’s why we introduced “Aetherite”.

DG: Then, “Aetherite” will replace Moghouse?
NK: yeah, right.

DG: Are there normal houses?
NK:I think so.

DG: Is there places like pub where adventurers gather?
NK: Adventurer’s Guild, where you can get Guildleve, would function like that. You can get many Guilleaves and go to Aetherite to play for days, or you can play at Guildleve with other uses.

DG: Guildleve is shown as a card. Is it like item that you can possess?
NK:There is a frame only for Guildleve. It is more like a plate than a card. You can regard it as a pass which shows what you can do on that field.

DG: If someone has Guildleve, others can play with him?
NK:yes. You can join even if you don’t have it. There are some special Guildleve that is only accessible when you cleared certain conditions.

DG: Is it possible to play the game without using Guildleve?
NK:Guildleve is like hunting in FFXI. So it would be very everyday thing like hunting monsters to level up. It is not, of course, mandatory though.

DG: Are there Guildleves to skill up like hunting MN in FFXI?
NK:Yes. You can brush your skill up by just playing Guildleves. Just heightening level has no end. That’s why there are time limits and uses have to change with other users from Aetherite.

DG: How long does Guildleve for one player take?
NK:30 minutes for one Guildleve.

DG: Can you get Guildleve in many places or only at a certain place?
NK:Only in Adventurer’s Guild. But as I said, you can play Guildleve even if you don’t have it, so you can just log in an off the Aetherite too.

DG: Will there be official events in public?
NK:That’d be fun, though we are not sure about it at this second yet.

DG: Is Security Token necessary?
HT: You need Square Unix ID, but not security token.

DG: At the event in Germany, mouse and keyboard were used. What would it be like to play with controllers?
NK:It would be similar to FFXI.

DG: Can we change the font size like window’s sizes?

DG: Window mode would be added in Window’s version?
NK:Window mode would be basic rather than full screen.

DG: What are Mikotte’s ears parts( places hidden in hairs) like?
NK:Only upper ears, same as Misla.
HT:But the edge of eyeglasses are not on upper ears,lol oops, please don’t ask me about it anymore.

DG: Does Rugadin have a tail?
NK:Rugadin was created as a new creature in this world.

DG: The action scene looks so smooth!
NK:Yeah, I thought the smoothness of action scene was very characteristic of this game. Expression changed a lot by the shift of Misla to Mikotte.

DG: The emotion scene in the movie is from event scene? Or from during usual play?
NK:The movie with all the creatures are from Emote.(えもーと)
HT: FFXIV is all made with emotion capture.

DG: Can you change facial expression during game?
NK:Facial expression accompanies action.

DG: Can we ride on Rugadin with Emote?
HT: Leader has been saying that,lol
NK:It’s difficult how to express it,lol

DG: Is motion with combination of characters possible?
NK: It’s very challenging, but it’d be fun as a means of communication.

DG: Seems like there is no auto-attack, isn’t it difficult to chat?
NK: I can’t deny it. As for the auto-attack, you can think that there are more weapon skills.

DG: Can we move like auto-attack by using Macro?
NK: We are still considering about it. Might be difficult to play Macro.

DG: Any another interesting news about FFXIV?
NK:We have shown what Guildleve is like and how expressive the species are. I’d like to show “armory system” next. There are also another secrets coming out.
HT:The graphic part is not completed yet, even 50 percent. So please check out the graphic side from now on too!

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