Nearly a month ago, fans erupted online following word from Final Fantasy XIV producer/director focused on the possible introduction of jumping potions in the near future. The feature is already available in China and Korea and has been a success, helping to stay player retention.
When looking at an overseas expansion, Yoshida hopes these items will make it easier for newer players to catch up with the rest of the community.
Speaking with Famitsu (via Blue Gartr), Yoshida provided a little more insight to his current policy and his feelings after reading some of the forum discussion surrounding the topic.
“As I mentioned earlier, I want to boost the participation level of new players, so right now I’m leaning 7:3 in favor of implementation,” Yoshida told the magazine. “We’re still reviewing the opinions and data from China and Korea.
“If you don’t have time to level up when you start playing the game, you won’t be able to play along with those who invited you when expansion packs released. The height of climbing the mountain rises steadily over time. Even after we adjust the climbing route to make it easier to climb, it doesn’t change the overall visual impression of a huge undertaking. You might start climbing and realize it feels very comfortable, but look up at the summit and it still seems far away.
“Also, I think there are many people who can’t get into their second or third jobs because they have very little time to play. There may also be people who just want to start one of the stories over again, like the Heavensward story. In any case, it’s not a potion that puts you at the top. It advances you, but you still need to aim for the top with your own feet. I think we need to adapt for the needs of the current times.”
After reviewing some of the discussions over on the official forums, Yoshida feels like people are taking this news at an “all-or-nothing” approach. “Their premise is that everyone will use these if they are implemented, but by introducing a jumping potion, we’re only looking to increase the range of options,” said Yoshida. “We won’t be strongly encouraging players to use them when they begin, and there won’t be any problems with starting without using them. I released the specifications of the Chinese and Korean versions to the forum, so I would like to take the discussions a step further.”
He also notes there are many people worried that players won’t learn proper skill rotations as an effect of using jumping potions – which again, isn’t the entire picture here. “Even if we introduce a jumping potion, its effect will only bring you to the previous level cap, so you’d still have to level from 60 to 70 on your own. In the course of that process, you should have adequate time to master the rotation, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much if you want to try end-game content. However, of course, there would be some confusion in the level 60 range, so I think some players are worried about that.
So how exactly does the jumping potion work in relation to the main story? Yoshida explains: “Right now, there’s only a potion that completes the main scenario through patch 2.55. When Stormblood is released, I think it would be best to add a second potion that clears all the way up through 3.55 so that players will be able to choose from the two. It would be like a potion for season 1 and a potion for season 2, so to speak.
“I don’t intend to have jumping potions for different levels, but I think it makes sense to split the scenario into “seasons.” Either way, this is also a point of concern. By the way, if you use a potion to skip through patch 2.55, all the instanced dungeons added from the 2.X series are set as cleared, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to use Duty Roulette.”
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is due out for PC, PlayStation 4 and Mac on June 20, 2017. For more information on the upcoming expansion, including its hefty Collection’s Edition, head here.