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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Letter from the Producer, XIII (07/08/2011)

From the Lodestone:


Hello everyone! Yoshi-P here with
another post for all you FFXIV-ers.

I apologize in advance for the
brevity of this letter, but wanted to inform you all right away that we are
planning to release patch 1.18 on July 21 (PST).

All that’s left is the
balancing and debugging of the two instanced raids. (There’s no guarantee all
future instances will fit the definition of “dungeon,” and it’d just be
ridiculous and flat out wrong to call something that isn’t a dungeon a dungeon,
right? But even a small party of people can raid a given location, dungeon or
otherwise. Just sayin’.) But things are preeetty tight, so there may be a 1- or
2-day delay.

Sorry to all of you who are waiting, but
we want to make sure the debugging is done right before releasing this content,
so bear with us just a bit longer. That’s it for now. Time to get back to

See you soon! '

It seems we have another 2 weeks ahead of us. Hopefully 1.18 will be ready for us by then.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

[patch1.17c] Patch 1.17c Notes

From by NOC_EU 6/15/2011

' [patch1.17c] Patch 1.17c Notes

Fixed Bugs
  • Measures have been implemented to address the recurring server failure issue
    occurring in market areas.
  • Measures have been implemented to address the issue wherein viewing the
    linkshell member list may cause the client to crash.
  • The following bugs have been addressed:
    A bug wherein the enemies "Prince of Pestilence" and "Unknown Soldier" may
    neither be seen nor targeted despite appearing on the minimap.
      A bug wherein the location of one's retainer may change following server
        A bug wherein the journal entry may not be updated for the quest "A Piece of
        History." '

        Letter from the Producer, XI (6/14/2011)

        Here is a sample video of auto-attack to be implemented in Patch 1.18.

        The original post from the Lodestone can be found at:

        Looks like they're burning the midnight oil over there!

        Sunday, June 12, 2011

        Star Wars: The Old Republic

        One of the best looking MMOs that's coming out within the next year or so seems to be Star Wars: The Old Republic.

        I played Star Wars Galaxies for about a year or so but it didn't live up to my expectations at all so away I went. However, I do think there were several positive aspects of the game. This seems to be a similar, but much better version of SWG and hopefully it will have less headache in it as well.

        There are many trailers to watch and a lot of info about it over at and you can even sign up to be a beta tester there. While watching one of the E3 videos featuring Dallas Dickinson's commentary, he explained a lot about the online partying system, battle system, character progression and dialogue during quests. You can even 'teleport' back to the last place you bound yourself to (ie. a specific outpost, city, etc) after finishing a quest deep in a monster's lair, for example.

        From what I saw during the E3 video trailer it looks pretty awesome.

        All hail to MMO awesomeness!!

        Friday, June 10, 2011

        My Opinion of The Witcher 2

        This is a really great game if it was newly released in the early 2000s. However, from the lack of abilities, skill tree, options for 'doing stuff' to the redundant sword swinging the same way as a 90s hack 'n slash, I felt this game is very much behind the curve of new millenium gaming.

        Though it does provide somewhat of a decent visual experience, I couldn't help to feel that there is something very lacking in the game. There are some quests, there is a main story but character growth (or a lack thereof) makes me feel that this game falls short of what is expected.

        Though it does have a few 'mature' scenes in it and has language consistent that would be used as adults would use in certain situations, I don't think many in my age group would find this game very appealing after spending a few days playing. It most likely will make most feel as if they were ripped off.

        I think I'd rather play my modded version of The Last Remnant or The Last Oddesy.

        Tuesday, May 24, 2011

        [patch1.17b] Patch 1.17b Notes (from the lodestone)

        posted by NOC_EU at 05-23-2011 06:43 PM

        • [dev1035] Target filter cycling has been removed from targeting mode A, and targeting mode C adde.
          /targetmode (/tmode) [subcommand]
          a Activate targeting mode A
          b Activate targeting mode B
          c Activate targeting mode C
          * Activating targeting mode C will set the target filter to ALL.
          * The default targeting mode is A.
        • [dev1083] A new text command has been added which allows players to specify targeting behavior when pressing confirm without a target selected.
          /directtarget (/dtar) [subcommand]
          on  Toggle direct targeting on.
          (Overrides active targeting mode to render all characters selectable.)
          off Toggle direct targeting off.
          (Determines selectable targets based on current targeting mode.)
          Toggle between on and off when no subcommand is specified.
          * The default setting is off.

        Fixed Bugs
        • The following bugs have been addressed:
          • A bug wherein a party currently engaging a notorious monster could receive the benefits of items from other parties.
          • A bug wherein gnats did not link under certain circumstances.
          • A bug wherein players could not undertake certain duties in the sidequest "Seashells by the Seashore."
          • A bug wherein pressing Ctrl + T to scroll through the /tell history would skip the most recent recipient.  '

        Thursday, May 19, 2011

        Battle reform blueprint by Akihiko_Matsui on 5/19/2011:

        Battle Reform Blueprint

        Dear fans,

        It is with pleasure that I announce the release of the battle reform blueprint.
        My apologies to have kept you waiting for so long, but due to my primary patch commitments,
        this document has been longer in the making than intended.
        But without further ado, please allow me to take you through the blueprint and explain in
        detail the planned changes and the driving force behind each of them.


        Lead Battle Planner

        Reform Concept

         •Fostering Skillful Play

        Creating a battle system that fosters skillful play.
        The above is, in a sentence, the rationale behind the coming battle changes. Not
        exactly the punchiest catchphrase around, but perhaps there’s kindly a soul out
        there who could word it better. */poke Yoshi-P*
        To elaborate, we are
        aiming to address issues such as the following:
         ◦Victories coming with little reliance on skillful play.

         ◦Lack of information needed for skillful play.

         ◦No sense of accomplishment even with skillful play.

        In light of the above, our objective is to implement a battle system that rewards
        player effort and innovation in such areas as equipment, hunting grounds, and party
        structure. Lastly, in conceiving these changes, we have kept one fact close to heart:
        simply making enemies stronger does not equate to an environment that fosters and rewards
        skillful play.



        Dungeons, the proving grounds for parties, will be released in 1.18.
        We will be implementing two types to begin with, with future updates to usher in
        additional maps and battle concepts.
        This content takes the form of raid
        missions in which players slash and burn their way through a labyrinthine area
        before finally squaring off against a formidable final foe. Dungeons are
        intended to push teamwork to the limit, and players can expect a level of
        satisfaction (and spoils!) befitting the challenge.
        To coincide with the
        addition of dungeons, a number of actions and skills will receive tweaks ahead
        of time, the details of which will be released at a later
         •Notorious Monsters

        We will continue to introduce new NMs on a regular basis, although
        numbers may be modest for patches boasting large-scale features such as
        dungeons. Players can look forward to engaging in more epic struggles and
        acquiring spectacular


         •Skillful Partying

        Alongside our ongoing endeavors to make solo adventuring ever more
        rewarding, we are also injecting effort into making full-fledged partying more
        enjoyable. At the heart of this undertaking is a series of plans to draw out the
        uniqueness of each class (details in the Armoury System section below).
        It goes without saying to those familiar with MMORPGs, but the masterful
        manipulation of the following facets of battle is the cornerstone of effective
         ◦Enmity (hate) control, which governs the enemy’s attack target.
         ◦Crowd control (CC), the act of rendering enemy groups incapable of

         •Enmity (Hate) Control

        Following review, we have deemed the current algorithm unnecessarily
        complicated, and as such have decided to simplify the system as follows:
         ◦Damage will convert to enmity at a one-to-one ratio (in most cases)
         ◦Players will have the means to examine their own current hate

        A hate conversion formula will be applied to
        actions that target friendlies or do not inflict damage.
        Furthermore, a player’s enmity will be made constantly visible as a percentage
        of that of the party member being attacked. A feature whereby players may examine
        hate values for all party members is also under consideration for a future
         •Crowd Control (CC)

        As crowd control tactics are expected to gain in prominence with theintroduction of
        dungeons, a host of adjustments is being planned centered around the following:
         ◦The reforming of crowd control methods
         ◦Tweaks to crowd control actions and their distribution among

        •Solo Play

        Solo play is the preferred choice of those short on time, and we
        intend to preserve the balance wherein adventurers can take on foes of the same
        rank unaided. Even as we work to further accentuate the uniqueness of each
        class, we will make it so that all classes are capable of ranking up via solo

        Auto-attack and
         Other Systems

        We will be implementing auto-attack. As the workload for this is
        expected to be considerable, however, the feature will be introduced in stages
        alongside revisions for other systems.
        For the first stage, we will implement the core mechanics of auto-attack and perform provisional
        adjustments to the accompanying damage algorithm. The next stage, planned to take place
        after the aforementioned crowd control and action/skill revisions, will involve a fine-tuning of
        the auto-attack algorithm. Other algorithms will also undergo revisions, which will be explained
        further below. In so doing, we hope to further draw out the unique flavor of each weapon.
        At this same time, we will also carry out motion and other graphical revisions to accommodate

         •Action Bar

        We realize that having to reequip gear and reset actions every time
        you change class is a source of chagrin. Although we are unable to indicate a
        timeframe, discussions are underway with the UI team on ways for players to
        retain equipment and action data for each class.
        As battle revisions encompass not only tweaks to areas such as classes, items, and monsters, but
        also entail improvements to user interface, we wanted to share with you this aspect of our plans
        as well.

         •Battle Regimens

        We are afraid to inform you that work on the Battle Regimen system has been postponed, as
        adjustments and additions alone will not suffice to address problems. There is a need to rework
        the system from the ground up, and we will lay the foundation stones after other changes have
        been seen to completion.

         •Battle Attribute Allotment

        When it comes to battle, class rank should, by logic, be more important than physical level. The
        reality of the situation, however, is that attribute point allotment is dependent upon physical
        level, something that is causing complications in our endeavor to improve the battle system.
        In the recent battle poll (thanks to all who participated), we learned that a considerable number
        of players would be willing to forgo physical levels, but wanted to retain the ability to
        customize characters through attribute allotment. Armed with this knowledge, we proceeded to
        formulate the optimal solution. The decision: attribute point allotment will no longer
        accompany gains in physical level, and will instead occur when characters rise in class rank.
        Although the amount in frequency of points awarded will be lower than previously, players will find
        that each point will have a more profound effect.

        In light of changes planned for the Armoury System, the need to revise algorithms has arisen. At the
        same time, we will also carry out the changes below in order to streamline areas made overly complicated.
         ◦Abolishing the rounding formula based on standard rank values *1
         ◦Optimizing the value ranges for the influence of attributes *2

        Many in-game elements are known to influence algorithms, and we are working on identifying them all
        regardless of the extent of their impact. We believe that the above changes will allow players to more
        keenly feel and appreciate the myriad benefits offered by magic and equipment, which will lead to a new
        depth of enjoyment in attributes.

        *1 The algorithm whereby values associated
        with rank are rounded up or down to be as close to the standard as

        *2 The system whereby enhancing statuses
        (whether obtained through attribute allotment, equipment, or magic) are
        influenced by incremental sets of


        Actions will undergo major revisions, along with both the underlying mechanics and conditions.
        By major revisions, not only do we mean the tweaking of effects and potency of existing actions - we will
        work from the ground up to redesign and reassign actions based on clearly identified class roles. We will
        also make a number of changes as part of our reexamination of how actions are equipped and the character
        requirements for doing so. First, actions learned by each class will be set to the action bar by default
        when playing as that class. Also, we will be making some actions settable on any class, while other
        "class-defining" actions obtained at higher ranks will be usable only by that class.

        The job system - that series-defining trademark - will be implemented in FINAL FANTASY XIV (details such
        as specific jobs TBA). Quests to unlock each job will become available once you have reached a certain rank
        in the corresponding class. Rather than being advanced versions of classes, we would like players to think
        of jobs as specialized playing styles optimized for partying. While playing as a particular job will render
        you unable to equip certain actions of other classes, you will be compensated with access to exclusive
        actions, which can be acquired through quests. In practice, players will find the existing classes
        effective when playing solo or in certain party setups. Jobs, however, will shine in party situations where
        specific skill sets are demanded. Now, you didn’t hear this from me, but there are also rumors
        circulating that quests for obtaining job-exclusive equipment are also in the pipes. We at the development
        team are currently hard at work on the job system, and expect to have details to share with you soon.

         •Fighting the Good Fight

        Thank you for taking the time to pore over these words. Having read the blueprint, there is bound to be more
        than a few players who feel that we’ve only recited a handful of things common to all MMORPGs. There may be
        others still who are saddened - perhaps even piqued - that elements they felt made FINAL FANTASY XIV unique
        will be going to the cutting block. I would like to clarify here that the battle team’s overarching
        objective is to lay a solid foundation upon which to build new elements - elements that will bring out the
        best in FINAL FANTASY XIV. The marriage of classes and jobs is representative of this endeavor. Whereas the
        ease of play classes offer will find favor with solo and casual party players, jobs will add a new depth of
        enjoyment for those wishing to take on high-level, strategy-rich content. A period of great change is
        underway, and we ask you to bear with us. FINAL FANTASY XIV is dear to us as it is to our fans, and there is
        simply nothing we would love more than to see it flourish into everything it can be. And to see this wish
        become reality, we promise to spare no effort in delivering the ultimate battle experience to players
        On behalf of the team, thank you always for your encouragement and support.

        Wednesday, May 18, 2011

        The Witcher 2

        So far, this looks like a great game. It is for a mature audience and has a pretty decent visual scenes and the storyline also appears good. I have just started out so I'll get back with more details.

        You can bet I'll have some in-game pics and Fraps videos from the actual game play as well as cutscenes.

        Friday, May 13, 2011

        Square Enix's Holdings (SE is reporting losses) Will FFXIV be affected?

        It seems that SE may be chopping off wayard projects and possibly some future game content for certain titles.

        Could FFXIV be on the chopping block? Is it possible that SE would cut FFXIV after already using so many resources (and a lot of time) to revamped the game?

        Most people don't think so and I'm one of them. As much as SE seems to do odd things at times, I'm sure SE wouldn't do something that drastic.

        The report from SE can be found at:

        Monday, May 2, 2011

        Letter from the Producer, IX (05/02/2011)

        From the Lodestone at by Naoki Yoshida on 5/2/2011

        "Well, we are creeping up on Golden Week here in Japan—a weeklong vacation packed with some of Japan’s finest holiday offerings. But for now it’s still business as usual in the office for Yoshida and crew.

        Patches 1.17 and 1.17a are good and done, and we’ve started work on the next patch—appropriately named 1.18.

        1.18 is going to be relatively bigger than previous patches. This means that balancing is going to take more time than usual, and so we’re anticipating a somewhat longer period between patches. Even if we break off some of the content and release it ahead of time in a 1.17b patch (which me might!), 1.18 will still go live sometime in mid-June at the earliest. Sorry for that.

        But good things come to those who wait! Dungeons designed for ranks 30 and 50 are on their way, and 1.18 will see the start of our reworking of the battle system, as we bring in some changes to that area.

        Also, we’re planning to introduce various new encampments that will serve as quest hubs. We’re in the process of testing these now on our development servers, and I strong-armed one of the designers in charge into handing over some screenshots for me to post here.

        From top to bottom, those are encampments in the Ul’dah, Limsa Lominsa, and Gridania regions. In this way, we’re going to gradually increase the number of public areas with quest hubs. We also have some beast tribe versions in the works, but it’s looking like those will have to wait until 1.19.

        By the by, this is still under development, but here’s what the beast tribe equivalent is looking like.

        I’ll continue to drop more details on future patch content on the Lodestone forums, and in these letters as well. Akihiko Matsui, our lead battle planner, will also be posting on the forums in the near future regarding some of the new battle concepts we have planned.

        Come mid-May, the vanguards of the Grand Companies will be the first to brave Eorzea’s newly discovered dungeons. Their preliminary reports will be made available on the Grand Companies page on the Lodestone, so be sure to check it out!

        Instanced dungeons will provide a means to further solidify the bonds of the Maelstrom, the Immortal Flames, and the Order of the Twin Adder. The Grand Companies are large-scale organizations that will play an active role in the events going on in Eorzea as they happen, so be on the lookout!

        In my next letter, I’ll be sure to update the list of game changes. (Sorry it’s been so long...)

        Until then! And for players in Japan, I hope you enjoy Eorzea over your Golden Week!

        Oh, and one more thing, I’ve seen some auto-translations of some of my posts going up on the forums. A recent one concerning synthesis actually starting spreading some misinformation before our official translation came out. I know I post at crazy hours sometimes, and that there are time lags, but ask that you please refrain from posting these translations in the forums. Thanks, and talk to you again soon!"