The producer-director of ARR has spoken several times today. He explains the schedule and content of the next updates, reviews the adjustments planned for the warrior, the synthesis of high-level objects and gives his opinion on the gain of memoquartz.
Updates: planning and content
The initial goal was to provide updates every 2 / 3 months. We therefore deduce that 2.1 is late! Yoshi explains the delay: the popularity of the game and the influx of players that came with it were above expectations. As a result, the team had to prioritize connection issues, the creation of new worlds and the stabilization of servers. With all these unforeseen events, the schedule is 4 weeks behind schedule.
The team uses a so-called "branching" working method: they work on several versions of the game at the same time. Yoshi goes into more detail on what the teams are currently working on:
(1) Update 2.05 (current version)
-> Same version as the one online.
-> Allows checking of bugs detected by players.
(2) Updates 2.2-2.3 / Development version for PlayStation4 (future)
-> First line of development.
-> Implementation of 2.2 and programs for the PlayStation4 version.
(3) Update 2.1 (near future)
-> Elements of (2) which will be implemented in 2.1.
-> Development of the content and the 2.1 system.
-> Allows the correction of errors and the adjustments of 2.1.
There are other branches, especially for testing, but for simplicity, I will not discuss them here.
If we add the content under development to branch (1), we get branch (2). In order to fix the bugs and make the necessary adjustments in Update 2.1, we need to detach these game elements from those for the future, which gives us branch (3). It is therefore in this form of branches that we manage the versions of the game.
Because of this organization of our work, we have to create a special version of the game before update 2.1 to check that everything works as we want and to make the final touches before going live (note: the 2.1 branch is already created at present).
This allows us to avoid a situation in which elements of 2.2 and 2.3 would create errors in the elements of 2.1, causing a rather chaotic management of the updates.
After the official release of FFXIV: ARR, we had to make several changes, fixes and additions to the program at level (1) to resolve issues with managing large connections or to create new Worlds, while we were in the process of developing 2.1. As a result, the creation of branches (2) and (3) has been delayed.
However, we will be able to return in the future to a cycle of an update every 2 and a half to 3 months as we see fit.
With this "branched" working method the team can bring us a very large 2.1 update with varied content, rather than offering small minor updates implementing certain elements as they arise and requiring in the end more working time.
For more details, you can post from Naoki Yoshida below:
One of the great merits of the "branch" method of working is the ability to avoid mixing up game elements and programs when carrying out large-scale simultaneous development of different versions.
2.1 is quite an extraordinary size for an update. It includes a lot of varied content for the MMO that is FFXIV: ARR, and we felt it was essential to upload them all at the same time.
We could have created a bunch of small 2.1a / 2.1b / 2.1c updates by uploading content as it's ready, but 2.1 contains game elements that take quite a long time. development or which involve various tasks:
- Housing and its interface
- The Wolf's Den (PvP) and its interface
- Changes to the mission tool
- The team search function
Separating these elements involves high risk for the programs that manage them.
To ensure the safety and stability of these small updates, we would therefore have to create branches each time to correct errors and verify the final versions, which would have required around 7 to 12 days for each of them. they.
This would have the effect of delaying the final release of all elements of 2.1 from 2 to 4 weeks, and for this reason, we preferred to go shorter and do a single patch.
I know that many of you are rather looking forward to changes to existing functions or adjustments to jobs.
Note, however, that the improvement of these functions is linked to the source code of the server. Likewise, job adjustments require checking the balance between the various jobs, and if we don't test their effects on new content, chances are you will be disappointed when it goes live.
Some of you have also expressed your fear that the number of players will decrease due to the wait.
We are well aware of this risk and we do not fail to follow the discussions taking place on the official forum. However, rather than uploading the content one by one and causing an imbalance in the game with congestion, we prefer to keep a medium-long term vision by releasing them all together and thus ensuring you a greater enjoyment of the game. .
With this 2.1 we are working on a lot of elements of the game, and this will partly facilitate the division of updates for the future. We will look at the situation after this update and decide on a possible adjustment to our patch management, but in the meantime, please wait a little longer.
I assure you that we will offer you a lot of things in terms of combat, crafting, harvesting, PvP, housing and even elements of single player play.
Crafts: synthesis of high-level objects
Currently craftsmen can create equipment limited to index 70. Yoshi explains this choice and puts forward several arguments:
- the instances must arouse the interest of the player: they must not be neglected in favor of craftsmanship.
- the best equipment should not be within everyone's reach and should represent a challenge.
- do not encourage RMT by inciting them to monopolize and control the market for resources essential to manufacture the best possible equipment.
So that the craftsman doesn't feel left out, 2.1 will allow them to use their skills and craft items for PvP and residential areas. For 2.2, a "pattern" system will give one object the appearance of another. Craftsmen will also have a role to play here.
For more details, you can read Yoshida's post below.
Synthesis of high-level objectsHello to all FFXIV players, here Yoshida.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and requests with us regarding the addition of high level item recipes. I take the liberty of writing this post to give you an overview of what I have seen about the current situation, and to explain to you what we have planned in response and the ideas we have for the future.
Synthesis of high-level objects
Currently, the maximum item level in FFXIV versions 2.0-2.1 is 90 (we are planning slight adjustments depending on how many people have obtained these items). This level corresponds to objects that can be obtained mainly in two ways: in the most difficult instances of the game and through "point" systems such as the exchange of mythological memos.
At the same time, the item level of synthesizable gear is capped at 70, which at first glance may seem like a big difference compared to what can be rewarded or traded. However, there is a system that allows you to improve synthesized objects to get closer to higher level objects: crimping, in particular advanced. Our idea was to make it possible to face the toughest challenges with synthesized equipment.
But it also means that we must imperatively limit these objects, so that they do not become equivalent or superior to the best objects obtained by other means.
Here are the reasons.
Maintaining the interest of participating in combat bodies
An important motivation of the players is the gain in power (of course, this is not the only one). Obtaining rewards in the form of weapons / armor is a major reason to participate in all PvE ("player versus environment") content.
If equally powerful items can be obtained through crafting, then the motivation for those items will decrease, as many players will start to think that it is easier to buy powerful items with gil, rather than to measure up to difficult instances.
Of course, this is a bit of an extreme example, and a lot of people might just be hesitant between doing an instance of combat or saving, since these items would cost a lot of money.
Ultimate items don't have to be for everyone
There is another great principle that we want to respect: the most powerful objects of the moment are not made to be accessible to everyone. At the time of versions 2.0 - 2.1, the best items are Allagan sets earned by completing the Bahamut Labyrinth, in other words dependent items of a difficulty level that does not make them accessible to all players.
They are "ultimate" for those who manage to obtain them; as for the others, they can wait for an adjustment of the difficulty or be satisfied with objects a little less good like those obtained via the memoquartz.
Synthesizable equipment is also available to make it easier for players to finish these instances. In future updates, new high-level recipes will become available at the same time as the item level is increased, which will maintain this balance between hard-to-obtain "ultimate" items, and more accessible synthesizable items.
We haven't seen a major update yet since release, so things may seem frozen to you, but with future updates the item level will gradually increase and provide new opportunities for Craftsmen to stand out. . The class / job level will stay at 50 for a while, but the item level will increase, which will make equipment an important part of character development once at max level.
The differences in playing time between players will also become more marked over the updates. The styles of play will widen the gaps between players on this linear axis which is the "power" of a character. Competition for profit, which is currently fierce due to the small size of the market, will also subside over time.
Thanks to all this, the usefulness of the crafts will be guaranteed, even without crafting items that rival the equipment of maximum item level. In any case, this is our perspective.
Measures against RMT (sale of currency / game items for cash)
Some of you were wondering if bringing high level materials into the Labyrinth of Bahamut for example, and adding recipes for high level items to craft with them, wouldn't allow those items to keep a high price tag. while ensuring a profitable activity for artisans. I understand that the idea behind this is to say that it would be one more option to make money by investing time, since these items would be worth a lot.
This is of course technically possible, but in the end it comes down to allowing high level items to be purchased with gil, and that would undoubtedly cause an increase in RMT activity in these instances.
We of course aim to completely eliminate RMT activities from the game; every week we close thousands of accounts and take large sums of money out of circulation. But tell yourself that we already have this level of RMT even though players find that at present there is "no demand for synthesized items".
We guarantee that in the future we will do everything possible to eliminate RMT activity from the game. But allowing the purchase of high level items in gil would not be without consequences. Indeed, here are the risks posed by the implementation of this idea:
- Monopolization of materials: the characters making RMT will do the dungeons in a loop in order to obtain the materials in question in large quantities ("farming"), thus permanently occupying these instances.
- Market Manipulation: With their financial resources, they will buy all of the high level items offered for sale in order to drive up prices and make a profit.
- Proliferation of spam (advertising messages): they will be even more aggressive in promoting their illicit gil sales services.
We want to avoid these perverse effects, and these risks are of course an element that we have taken into account in our thinking. What is more, in this case, there is a chance that the gil sellers will see their clientele increase, which would cause a vicious cycle further favoring their business.
We once considered putting minimum / maximum limits on money, or only allowing auction house purchases through non-transferable currency, but that would have been too difficult a system to learn to play normally.
Our current issues and the future
As I explained above, as it is, we haven't seen a big update yet and the item level margin is small. Many players are satisfied with the items obtained during normal leveling, which means that the crafted items have a reduced lifespan and are not attractive enough to be purchased by most players.
In particular, the relative trivialization of relics makes the demand for high-level weapons disappointing, a problem of which we are fully aware.
Rest assured that we won't be just cranking up the item level with Update 2.1. We are planning to introduce items related to the PvP system (Wolf's Den) and housing, which should generate new demand for crafting products.
For version 2.2, we plan to set up a system of "patterns" (provisional name) which will allow one object to appear like another. This will once again guarantee a new activity for the artisans. You can be sure that we will not stand idly by, and that we will ensure that the interest in crafts is maintained.
Finally, be aware that we are constantly thinking about the demand and the economic benefits for artisans when we develop game elements, whether it is PvE, PvP, housing or high-level instances. We don't think in terms of "how to make ultimate equipment", but rather "where the business opportunities will be right now" in an ever-changing world like Eorzea.
Yoshi details in a long topic (which the more curious can read below) why the number of mythological memorquartz is limited per week: they wanted to avoid widening too big a gap between casual and hardcore gamer. But no matter what type of gamer you are, you find yourself looping through the same instance to get those famous memos.
For 2.1, several means will be made available to you to collect your memo-cards:
- Barbarian quests : allows you to obtain daily solo memos.
- Treasure hunt : allows you to obtain various materials, but also sometimes memoquartz, by playing alone or in a small team.
- Random mission : allows you to obtain experience points and memoquartz by carrying out a random mission.
- Lighthouse of Sirius : allows you to obtain memos and pieces of equipment.
- Two dungeons in brutal mode : ditto.
In addition to these activities, Yoshi recalls the rest of the content of 2.1:
- Housing : allows you to taste the joys of craftsmanship and harvesting.
- The Wolf's Den : allows you to compete against other players in PvP.
- Crystal Tower : allows you to play with 23 other players simultaneously.
- Beautician : allows you to change the appearance of your character.
- Primaries in extreme mode + others : allows you to obtain special items.
- Epic : allows you to discover the rest of the main scenario.
- Side quests : allows you to discover new characters.
- Bahamut Maze : allows you to rub shoulders with the toughest monsters in the game.
Commentary on the planned changes for Allagan tomestones
This is Naoki Yoshida, producer / director of FFXIV: ARR.
There is currently a debate around the limit on the number of Mythological Allagan tomestones that can be obtained each week. Opinions are divided and I have decided to step in to briefly present the changes that will be made in the next update. I warn you, this post is quite long.
Concept of progression
The design of FFXIV is unique to MMORPGs, that is, it is not based on a single axis like traditional games, but on several. One of the major axes is that of fighting. This is precisely the one that interests us here.
In FFXIV: ARR, the game elements related to combat (such as dungeons or clashes against Primevals), have a determined level which defines the difficulty of the mission as well as the damage inflicted by the enemies.
If the characteristics of each class / job are determined in the same way, players who have reached the maximum level (50) can continue to increase their power by equipping themselves with higher quality items.
I explain it below, but the time it takes to obtain these items, whether opening treasure chests in high-level dungeons or exchanging Allagan tomestones, is quantifiable and commensurate with the investment of the player.
To summarize the general idea:
- The player completes the main scenario quests to reach level 50.
- When the maximum level is reached, he looks to improve his equipment.
- To do this, he accomplishes missions intended for his current level of equipment.
- As his equipment level increases, he can perform more difficult missions.
We have adopted this progression pattern so that everyone can play at their own pace and so that no one feels wronged. Of course, this is a concept and we are aware that not everything is perfect.
Between version 2.0 and 2.1
When FFXIV: ARR was released, we predicted it would take around 1 months for the fastest to get through the Bahamut Labyrinth, and around 2 months for a good chunk of players to have access to it.
So I asked the teams to make sure that players who repeat dungeons with Mythological Allagan tomestones as a reward take about the same time as those taking the Bahamut Labyrinth challenge to get level 90 gear.
This is how we decided to impose this limit of 300 mythological memos per week. Be aware, however, that we plan to increase this number to 450 in 2.1.
Why did you impose restrictions?
There are several reasons for this.
As you know, in MMORPGs, the gap between players can grow very quickly. Let us take a concrete example. A and B both start playing on August 27. If A plays 2 hours a day and B plays 5 hours, A will have 14 hours less play compared to B after only one week. If we extend this period to five weeks, we already arrive at 105 hours. After ten weeks, that makes a difference of 210 hours!
Of course, MMORPGs are games that have a lifespan of several years, and the more time passes, the greater the gap between casual and regular gamers grows. This is completely normal, but it can be problematic for the following reasons:
- The integration of new players becomes difficult
- Motivation of casual gamers is dropping rapidly
- The community divides into small groups
To address these issues, early MMORPGs made it so that enemies almost never leave items. The chances of obtaining it were so low that it was often necessary to repeat the same mission dozens and dozens of times.
Times have changed since then and it is difficult to ask players to log on for more than 2 hours a day without creating a frustration which can lead to the outright abandonment of the game in the short term. The old method forces players to repeat the same content indefinitely until you get the object. In addition to fatigue, there is the stress of not knowing if you will have the object at the end of the mission.
To get around this problem, we had the idea of implementing this system of "tokens" which imposes a limit (in this case 300 Allagan tomestones of mythology per week) but which makes it possible to have the coveted object without fail when the required number is reached.
Since the number of tokens obtained at the end of a mission is known in advance, players know that by repeating dungeon Y X times, it will take Z days to achieve their ends. At the same time, it is also possible to perform high-level content offering random rewards in treasure chests.
Also, whether you get loot in the Labyrinth of Bahamut or collect Mythological Allagan tomestones, you can collect level 90 equipment.
The advantage of this system is that occasional players can also obtain level 90 equipment by playing a few hours a day (over a longer period of time than regular players who, for their part, will not hesitate to rub shoulders with the Labyrinth of Bahamut in addition to normal dungeons). This is the foundation of the FFXIV: ARR game system.
While we are asking players to master a job as well as some actions from other classes to complete high level missions, we are not thinking of imposing conditions requiring the player to have multiple jobs at maximum level. Again, this is not to disadvantage casual players.
The problem with version 2.0
The biggest problem with FFXIV version 2.0 combat content is that the system offers very little variety to the player. For now, it boils down to a vertical progression of upgrading your equipment to access more difficult missions.
This lack of choice forces players who do not necessarily share the same motivations to team up despite everything. I have no doubt that some would prefer to collect memoquartz solo, or have an option allowing them to choose teammates who want to take their time, or who on the contrary want to finish the dungeons as quickly as possible. The new features of Update 2.1 should correct these flaws and provide more options.
Here is an overview of the elements that will be added:
Barbarian Quests: Allows you to obtain memo-martz on a daily basis in solo.
Treasure hunt: allows you to obtain various materials, but also sometimes memoquartz, by playing alone or in a small team.
Random mission: allows you to obtain experience points and memoquartz by carrying out a random mission.
Accommodation: allows you to taste the joys of craftsmanship and harvesting.
The Wolves' Den: Lets you compete against other players in PvP.
Crystal Tower: allows you to play with 23 other players simultaneously.
Sirius Lighthouse: Allows you to obtain Memo-Martz and Equipment Parts.
Two dungeons in brutal mode: same.
Beautician: allows you to change the appearance of your character.
Primaries in extreme mode + others: allows you to obtain special items.
Epic: allows you to discover the rest of the main scenario.
Side quests: allows you to discover new characters.
Bahamut Maze: lets you grapple with the toughest monsters in the game.
As you can see, all types of play are represented, from crafting to PvP.
These different elements of the game will bring the diversity that is currently lacking, and players in search of greater power will have even more choices than before to achieve their ends.
I encourage those who have gathered all of the Bahamut Labyrinth gear to try their hand at PvP while we wait for the arrival of the new chapter which will be unveiled at the same time as Update 2.2.
Reasons for relaxing restrictions in 2.1
As I wrote above, the methods of obtaining memoquartz being relatively limited, players have no choice but to repeat the same dungeons over and over. Of course, if there are people who don't mind, there are others who feel cornered.
A. Players who have reached the limit
-> Find themselves with nothing to do.
-> By raising the limit, they could take care of themselves by increasing the level of other jobs, for example.
B. Players cornered by the limit
-> Have no choice but to perform team missions, want to go as fast as possible.
-> Feel aggrieved if they cannot reach the weekly limit, think that they will be left behind by others.
We believe that by relaxing the restrictions ahead of the release of Update 2.1, Type B people will feel even more cornered than before.
From our point of view, the only way to effectively remedy this problem is to implement new game elements in order to increase the means of obtaining memo games.
Originally, we planned to release this update during the month of November. We are deeply sorry for this setback, but the problems following the release of FFXIV: ARR caused us to fall behind schedule. We preferred to give priority to server stability before adding new game elements. Note that in addition to the content mentioned above, this update will offer improvements to the interface as well as many adjustments to the game. system level. I can assure you that the wait is worth it. A little more patience, we are almost there!
Finally, I want to clarify that I also wrote an article explaining why we cannot split the 2.1 update into several parts. I invite you to read it if the subject interests you.
A day rich in all kinds of feedback!