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Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter 53 Summary; Job Adjustments, Q&A and more By Raptorchan on August 7, 2019 at 4:24 PM

During the fifty-third Letter from the Producer Live, Naoki Yoshida and Toshio Murouchi answered some questions submitted by the Final Fantasy XIV community and revealed some new and upcoming changes to the game, provided some insights into development and much, much more more.

This Summary will contain spoilers for Shadowbringers.

  • During the launch of 5.0, there weren’t as many problems as previous expansion launches. The number of players was also at it’s highest.
  • Not all adjustments to jobs could be finished in time for 5.0, but they will continue to make adjustments. Yoshida plans to discuss some of these upcoming changes in the letter.

Job related Q&A:

  • Ninja: As it is now, Ninjustu and Murda combinations are being disrupted by global cool downs, which causes timing chunkiness, among a bundle of other problems. The team acknowledges that the way the Job plays needs to be adjusted, however, they could not finish and test for bugs in time for 5.05 due to system changes. They are considering revamping the Mudra system to include two paths, similar to Dancer, as well as an overall balance to their damage, with increases and decreases to potencies where its necessary.
    The playstyle for putting Mudras together will remain the same, but they will not be weaved between cooldowns. An example provided was: Use a combo > use ninjutsu > return to combo. The full combo rotation is also been taken into consideration due to the number of buttons required to press. They hope to have the adjustments complete for 5.1.
  • Samurai: The team is aware that Shoha ability doesn’t see much usage and want to adjust it by 5.1, but the current setup for Samurai is intentional for now. They are also hoping to allow Meditation stacks to be accumulated through different means.
  • Summoner: They wanted to have Summoner rely a lot less on Damage over Time abilities, and acknowledge that Ruin is a problem at the moment. They are hoping to have adjustments in by 5.1.
    • The current priority for adjustments right now is: Ninja, Samurai, then Summoner.
  • Bard: They definitely feel the songs for Bard could have more utility, but this is a bit tricky to achieve when considering the balance between the three ranged-physical DPS. They wanted Bard to rely a lot less on utility and focus more on damage output without removing the core of their identity. For instance, Bard’s buffing ability would take away from Dancer. Dancer’s buff output is high, balancing out their low damage output. Machinist was also designed to have the highest damage output to compensate for low utility. Bard is meant to be the middle road between these two jobs. Yoshida admits that its difficult to balance Bard immediately, but the team will continue to discuss how further to balance the Job. They also noticed a comment regarding the Soul’s Voice gauge making the same sound effect as Pitch Perfect, they will be fixing this so the sounds are different.
  • Astrologian: Due to the amount of feedback on the official forums, Astrologian was adjusted for Shadowbringers. This is what led to the simplification of the card system and the removal of the lesser used cards, as players didn’t want “useless cards.” They want to keep with this simpler system, but appreciate any and all feedback.
  • Warrior: The team currently doesn’t have enough data to determine if Warrior needs further adjustment or not, and are carefully watching Savage raids to see how much the Job is utilized. This doesn’t exclude the job from future adjustments, and they have noticed some of the feedback asked for a damage increase. Yoshida is considering the idea of extending the duration of some skills, like defensive buffs.
    • For tanks overall: Yoshida doesn’t believe there are any differences between tanks that could be considered “major disparities,” which is why there were no tank adjustments in 5.05.
  • Scholar: For specific Fairy abilities, they are looking into the idea of adding the effect’s of the fairy’s spells to tooltips.
  • Q: Is it possible to implement a suitable item level requirement for dungeons? Sometimes players enter a dungeon with a very low item level.
    • A: “We understand the issue and are discussing it. Simply setting an item level may create new problems, so we’re trying to come up with a different solution.”
  • Q: Are there any future plans for PvP?
    • A: Yoshida says there are too few actions in PvP right now, and the plan is to increase them to 16 when the next big PvP update is released. A new Frontline map is also planned to be added by 5.15, and the new season for Feast is being adjusted as well. Further information about these additions and changes will be revealed at a later time.
  • At the end of the Job related segment of the Q&A, Yoshida asks that players frame their questions and concerns in a civil way without the use of strong language. The developers are trying their best to provide the player base with the best experience they can.

Story related Q&A:

  • Q: The story for Shadowbringers was amazing. When did you first start thinking of building up the plot and development that would lead up to the expansion?
    • A: Yoshida admits that the team hadn’t quite figured out their plans for the Warriors of Darkness when they had first appeared in Heavensward, but they knew they wanted to resolve their storyline, as well as providing more depth and character to increase Minfilia’s popularity. The plot wasn’t addressed right away due to the urgency in Doma and Ala Mhigo, after that though, they began to build upon the plot-points that would lead to Shadowbringers.
    • It was also from their desire to build upon Minfilia’s character that the team wanted to develop the Scions further as well, and from there, the Trust System came into play.
  • Q: I like the idea of the Crystal Exarch summoning 7 different players from the rift, and Feo Ul mentions visiting your retainers dreams. Where did you get these ideas?
    • A: Yoshida wanted to note very quickly that members of the Lore and Story Team will be attending gaming events! Banri Oda will be attending Gamescom and Natsuki Ishikawa will be attending PAX West, and will likely elaborate further on this question. But to explain the topic briefly, Yoshida explains that there were important rules implemented by the development team when it came to The First, like how retainers just can’t appear on The First due to how the story plays out, but players still need to be able to access their items. So they decided the players needed some kind of connection to The Source, and Feo Ul was born! Banri Oda will be able to explain in further detail at Gamescom.
  • Q: The changes to character gestures improved a lot in Shadowbringers, and cutscenes have overall been improved on. Can you tell us which parts you focused on the most?
    • A: Yoshida reveals that the improvements to character animations actually began in Stormblood during patch 4.2 and 4.3. The team wanted to provide a better experience during cutscenes, and began improving on dialogue and animation. With the addition of more staff members and as the development for Shadowbringers began, they were able to expand further on gestures in cutscenes and achieve this level of animation.
  • Q: I was amazed when I rode the trolley in Amh Araeng and realized it was the same slope as the one seen in Horizon on the Source. What are some other correlating places between the two worlds?
    • A: Yoshida reveals that it is too early for him to answer this, and would like to save this question for later. “There is still the rest of the 5.0 series of patches to come!”
  • Q: Will we be able to bring Trusts into MSQ dungeons in 5.1 and beyond? I like the Crystal Exarch and want to fight alongside him again. Also, are there any plans to include new NPCs like Estinien and Hien?
    • A: Regarding the implementation of new characters: Many, many people worldwide have been asking for this, and they note that the Exarch is extremely popular. They had considered maybe redoing the dungeons in A Realm Reborn so you can do them with Grand Company leaders, such as taking Raubahn into a revamped 4-man Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium, or to even let NPCs go with you to Primal fights. However, this is rather expensive to implement, and takes very skilled designers to create Trusts, so they cannot add all of them. This system will have to be gradually updated and implemented over time.
    • For the part regarding the MSQ dungeons: Yes! The dungeons in 5.1 will support Trusts, and you won’t have to level them. However, this doesn’t mean that every dungeon will support Trusts (optional dungeons, for instance).
  • Q: Were the sandwiches we received in the MSQ made by the Crystal Exarch? If its hand made I’ll store it safely but if it’s not, I’ll eat them!
    • A: “I don’t know… But it’s okay to eat them, haha.”
  • Q: Are there any plans to expand Emet-Selch’s story? I really liked him!
    • A: Yoshida hints that, while we’ve seen quite a bit of his story already, there are still so many details left to explore regarding his past. “So please look forward to it!”
  • Q: There are a lot of cutscenes during sidequests in Shadowbringers. Which of these sidequests do you (Yoshida) recommend?
    • A: Yoshida admits that there are a lot of quests to choose from, but he did enjoy the quest where the dwarf had issues with his greeting. He liked that it didn’t impact the overall story, and was instead a tale about overcoming one’s rebellious feelings. To him, it made the world feel more alive.
  • Q: Out of all the characters that appear in Shadowbringers, which one is your favorite?
    • A: Of the new characters, Yoshida really liked Runar both because the voice actor did a good job and because they got to see a new side of Y’shtola because of how much Runar cares for Y’shtolda. He was also fond of Thancred’s character development and was particular about how “cool he looked” when he collapsed after his battle, even when no one was technically there to watch. He also really enjoyed Urianger’s character, and was moved when he comforted another character, showing his gentler side. He also mentions that all the voice actors did a fantastic job this expansion.
  • Q: I love the Shadowbringer background music, which one took the most effort in creating?
    • A: Soken chimed in during the letter to answer this, and revealed that it was the Shadowbringers main theme. He had to make three different versions of the song, and was still working on it during the three FanFests. He also admits that the lyrics “One brings shadow, one brings the light” were the only lyrics the song had for the first two versions, and that, in the two fanfest trailers, it was actually him whispering the line at his desk so no one else in the office heard him.
  • Q: When reading the second Encyclopedia Eorzea, I found that the lion statues in the Lost City of Amdapor were made by someone from a different world. Is this refertring to the Sin Eaters on the First?
    • A: “We already had the story planned when the second lore book was being made, so it was planned for you to go back and read it after Shadowbringers.”
  • Q: I was surprised by the Warrior of Light’s imagination when doing the Eden raids. Why did Leviathan and Titan look so different?
    • A: “The Warrior of Light hasn’t done Leviathan since patch 2.2-ish, so they probably thought things like ‘Did he have two heads? Was there water falling from above…? Oh he did dive across a deck though” and then probably got mixed up with another fight when it came to the platform. For Titan, the Warrior of Light probably just had a lot of flashbacks about falling, and when they thought about falling rocks, they got Titan mixed up with goblin tanks”
  • Q: When is the Beast Tribe quests coming?
    • A: Patch 5.1.
  • Q: I really enjoyed the Crystalline Mean questline. Will it continue in the future?
    • A: Yoshida thinks it’s complete for now. They may expand on it later if there are a lot of requests for it, but for now there are no further plans.
  • Q: What are the “La Hee” lyrics from the Raktika Greatwood about?
    • A: Soken says he will “leave it to your imagination.” He then admits he has no idea what they mean, and seems to think it’s a fairy language made up by Koji Fox.
  • Q: Machinist’s Automaton Queen is really cool, but the job quests don’t explain much about why it exists. Could you add a story related to that? And for the Scholar’s Seraph?
    • A: Yoshida thinks Oda-san may answer this question, but describes that he’s personally fond of the theory he saw on Twitter that the turret tried it’s best and turned into the automaton.
  • Q: There was mention of Namazu in a Raktika Greatwood questline, but we haven’t seen any Namazu on the First. Will they appear later?
    • A: Yoshida explains the Namazu appeared 12,000 years ago, and that on the Source they avoided extinction because of the Warrior of Light. So maybe the Namazu weren’t so lucky on the First? “Maybe the giant beavers ate them?” He goes on to say that there is always a chance for survivors, so maybe Oda-san knows?
  • Q: Is the dancer in the opening movie Ryna? Will we see her in the Dancer artifact gear later?
    • A: Yoshida wanted to see the storyboards back in September 2017, and when they were drawn up, they only intended to show the new jobs and races. But over time, they made Lyna similar to the Viera in the movie. It wasn’t intentional, and he’s not sure what’s in store for her as a character.
  • The music in the Tempest not changing during combat was intentional. Since players were underwater, it made sense for things to be calmer and more silent. Unlike other areas too, the entrance is bright, but gradually becomes darker the further in you go, giving you a sense of danger. Yoshida notes this may be further discussed at PAX West.
  • Q: There is a noticeably tall building in the south of Amaurot, will we ever get to go there?
    • A: “The entire city is a mirage, so you can’t go there. To be frank, we haven’t even made it. Please think of it as due to the limitations of its architect (and the development team).”
  • Q: Is there anyway to tell dwarf genders apart?
    • A: “No there isn’t. There’s no need to. That’s how it’s intended.”
  • Q: What does meol taste like?
    • A: “I don’t know… It depends on the person I think. I thought of it as bread when I first saw it, so maybe a sweet bread, since it’s so delicious.”

System changes and battle content Q&A:

  • Q: Because of the new coffer system in Eden Savage, pugs have to fight over loot. Are there any plans to change this system?
    • A: Yoshida says that at the moment, there are no current plans to change the loot system for Eden Savage, but the team will continue to monitor the situation and feedback for now. He notes that, while its possible to lose on all loot, it’s also possible to win all the loot too, so it’s a difficult situation.
  • Q: For EX Primals, are there any plans to change the weapon system to a coffer system like Eden? So many jobs makes it harder to get the weapon you want.
    • A: “We discussed this before patch 5.0. We thought perhaps with the current difficulty of extreme trials, you’d probably see what you want within 10 clears… but when I personally ran it 15 times I didn’t see what I wanted, so maybe “it’s not good enough…?” is how I currently feel.” (official translation)
  • When asked if there were plans to make hunts a home world only event because world visitation makes it difficult to see and fight the monster because of how many people are on screen, Yoshida revealed that because its overworld content, it isn’t possible to make it a home world only event. “I think once the expansion calms down and the instanced zones go away, it’ll be easier to see the monster. So just think of it as a festival for now!”
  • Q: Are you going to fix the bug that allows Dragoons to turn while jumping in legacy controls?
    • A: “If it doesn’t become required for players to use in content, then we’ll leave it as it is. If it does, then we will have to fix it. The normal jump will not be changed.”
  • They are looking into increasing the cap for bicolor gemstones, as it is extremely easy to hit cap while you’re still working on fates.
    • They are considering adding Viera and Hrothgar recruits to Squadrons, but were too busy to add it in 5.0 proper.
  • The team is having some discussions to make logograms in Eureka strong enough so players can solo the content. “We’re going to do something about it.”
    • Yoshida explains that the team is working a new feature called “Circles,” which is said to be a less restrictive Linkshell. This will allow players to send out notifications on when certain events are happening. For instance, if a player has a house setup like a bar, they can invite players into that Circle and announce when its open. More information regarding this system will hopefully be coming in the Live Letter for 5.1.
  • Regarding the Meteor’s beard: The dev team knows the beard is very popular, but its restricted to that specific face model unfortunately and it’s a lot harder to apply to other races than people might think. Still, they want to try and add it, but it might take a lot of time.
    • They are planning to gradually add more face and customization options to Viera and Hrothgar, but not as many as other races.
  • When asked if a new Deep Dungeon was in the works, Yoshida responded with “it’s a secret!”
  • Q: I’m looking forward to the Alliance Raid coming out in 5.1, and I’m curious to see what kind of gear we’ll get. Is there a chance we’ll see weapons as well? Even if they’re just for glamour?
    • A: “Actually, I happened to check the models for the rewards today. I provided some feedback, but they were very well-made. We made the decision to make the costumes wearable by both genders, so please look forward to it! A katana weapon would be limited to certain jobs only, so we haven’t planned for them at the moment, but we may consider it if highly requested. I think we’ll have a guest with us for the 5.1 Letter LIVE to talk about YoRHa, so please look forward to it!” (official translation)
  • Q: In Shadowbringers, I really enjoyed that all the quests synced to the player’s level. Are there any plans to make the quests in Stormblood the same way?
    • A: “We would like to, but we’re focusing on New Game Plus right now, so it’s very difficult. We would also like to revamp the quests for A Realm Reborn in patch 5.3.”
  • Q: Will the Monster Hunter collaboration dungeon allow for undersized parties?
    • A: “Yes! Soon!”
  • Q: Can you share with us any information regarding Ishgard and its restoration project?
    • A: “Not yet, that would take away from future Live Letters. But I’ve started seeing that players now want to live in the Crystarium or Amaurot. You keep changing your minds! Though it might be fun to have apartments in those areas.”
  • Yoshida reveals that the team is planning on making the success rate for Desynth 100% guaranteed and will no longer have a leveling requirement, that way it can be used if players have a surplus of supplies. He acknowledges players have spent a lot of money to level Desynth, but thinks these changes are better than players not utilizing the function at all.
    • They’re looking into adjusting the recipes for crafting so the materials are a bit more balanced for all crafters. They want a wide variety of players to try crafting, and will continue to make it a bit easier.
  • Q: My main jobs are all battle-related, and when a new raid tier is introduced I have to ask others for help with melding my materia. However, the success rate is purely based on luck and requires a lot of time, so I feel bad for the person helping. Do you plan on adding an NPC we can do this at?
    • A: “Not sure if it’s what you’re looking for, but we’re considering further ways to make overmelding happen much quicker. Leveling up a crafter isn’t too difficult, so we recommend leveling them up once the expansion has calmed down a bit. We understand that the fun of crafting is hard to convey, so we’d like to make changes to ensure more people can enjoy crafting.” (official translation)
  • There are currently no plans to increase inventory space again. Yoshida admits that, with how congested the servers are right now, adding further inventory slots would guaranteed a server crash. Housing wards are also a concern for this reason, they would like to gradually keep working on it and possibly adding more, but it affects server stability and the team has to be careful.
    • Warriors of Light carry a lot of items, and the server tracks all of those items every time you move into an instance. Just imagine millions of people doing that. It doesn’t mean it an increase will not happen in the future, but for right now, the servers can’t handle anymore wards or inventory slots.”
  • Q: I love Feo Ul! Can we glamour our fairies to look like her?
    • A: “Maybe, but will she listen to you then? She might not heal you unless you listen to her demands…”
  • Q: The dialogue boxes that pop up above NPCs are interesting, but difficult to read. Would it be possible to change the display size or have the text display longer?
    • A: Yoshida explains they are implemented in a way that they won’t strain rendering, but acknowledges that they are hard to read, especially at higher resolutions. He hopes the team can do something, but making the adjustments will be difficult. They will be considering this.
  • Q: Are there plans to make it easier to tell if an attack is physical or magical?

    • A: “I believe we answered this before, but we haven’t implemented this yet as it would delay the patches. We often make last minute balance changes, and we might have to change a physical/magical attack right before release. If we were to display this information, we’d have to change the UI whenever we make such an adjustment, which would delay the patch releases. Please understand that we are not intentionally trying to withhold information.” (official translation)
  • Jandelaine will not be available on the First because he doesn’t live there and cannot travel between worlds. They had considered Feo Ul to cut the player’s hair, but realized they wouldn’t have the skill for it.
    • More hairstyles will be added for Viera and Hrothgar. They will still continue to be unique compared to the races of course because of their unique head shapes.
  • They may add something in the future so players can have more options to listen to their character’s voice while in character creation.
  • Q: Can you add a repair NPC inside raid dungeons?
    • A: “Just repair outside.”
  • Q: Are there plans to make an Extreme version of the final Trial in Shadowbringers?
    • A: “It will be added in 5.1.”
  • When asked by a player about missing actions when they level up, Yoshida notes they add to your hotbars automatically, but if it’s still a problem you can pre-set your hotbars in the actions menu. “We spent a lot of money to develop the server backup system for your HUD, so remember to use that too.”
  • Q: Any plans on craftable Gunbreaker and Dancer weapons for past Primals?
    • A: “We don’t have the resources to account for this at this moment in time. The character team might slowly work on these between patches, but it’s not something I can say “Yes we’ll do it.”
  • Yoshida really wants Y’shtola’s Shadowbringer outfit, so they will be looking into adding it to the Mogstation.
  • Dwarf-sized housing items are possible, and they may start to gradually add them, but this is not a definite “yes.” Yoshida will bring the idea up to the team.
  • Q: Can we equip more than one unique ring?
    • A: Yoshida understands why players would want this, but also acknowledges that for balance reasons, they can’t do it.
  • Q: Are there any plans for housing in the First?
    • A: “It’s hard to say, since we don’t know what’s going to happen in the First from here on out… Though, how about an Eden area with meol-shaped houses? Maybe if you’re in the house for too long, you become a Sin Eater? A lot can happen on the First, so I’m not sure people will want to live there. What if another Ascian comes to ruin it?”
  • Q: Are there any plans for more dye variations? Especially for pink, purple and yellow?
    • A: “Adding more palettes might be difficult due to data transfer amount, but I’ll check to make sure.”
  • Q: Is a Feo Ul Minion possible?
    • A: “One might be added in the future at some point. I thought the player opinion on Feo Ul would be more divided, but I’m glad so many people liked them!”
  • Q: Can we get a weapon stand for housing?
    • A: “The point where your weapon is attached to the character model is different depending on the weapon type, which I think would result in frustrating situations where the weapons won’t display the way you want them to. I won’t say it’s impossible, but it’s something we’d have to carefully consider.” (official translation)
  • No roaming minions inside Free Company housing because they would have to program them to avoid other objects in the house. So it’s currently impossible. Instead, they’re looking into the idea of possibly making a “farm” system for players to set loose a bunch of minions in one space.
  • Q: Please make the purple Lakeland trees available as a housing item!
    • A: “This should be possible. Please look forward to it!”
  • Q: Will the Byakko-themed kimono that a “mysterious singer” wore at Fan Fest be added to the game?
    • A: “I don’t think this will be added…”

Announcements

  • Eorzea Cafe will have new limited menu items.
  • Eorzea Cafe will open for a limited time in Yokohama — themed after Limsa Lominsa.
  • Fan Festival in Shanghai, China will happen on Saturday, August 10th.
  • FFXIV will join the Tokushima Awa Dance Festival on Wednesday, August 14th at 18:00 JST.
  • FFXIV will be at Gamescom, and world lore creator/main scenario writer Banri Oda will have a QA session.
  • FFXIV will be at PAX West between August 30 and September 2. Main Scenario writer Natsuko Ishikawa will be in attendance to discuss the creation of the Shadowbringers story.
  • FFXIV will be at Tokyo Game Show between September 12 and September 15. That’s when Live Letter 54 will be as well as another Yoshi-P Sampo.
  • Official Guidebook out September 24.
  • Pre-orders for Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers soundtrack are live. It’s on sale Wednesday September 11. Includes music from patch 4.4 through 5.0 and a Wind-up Suzaku minion.

Source for Official translations.

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