Last week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Naoki Yoshida in London. Besides getting answers for different questions, we also had the opportunity to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. We passed on a great number of your questions to Mr. Yoshida. Here is the whole interview!
JPGAMES: So first of all thanks for having me, I am a representative of JPGAMES.DE, a German fanpage, which dedicates itself to Japanese Video Games. We tried to find some questions, which we want to pose to you. We asked a lot of Final Fantasy Fans of the whole series, but also fans who played Final Fantasy XIV (Version 1.0) and also people, who are new to it.
So let’s start with our first question, which deals with the gameplay: Would you like to tell us more about the Limit Break System?
YOSHIDA: So, as you may be familiar with the Final Fantasy VII system, in which each character had their own gage that enables you to use their special Limit Break attack (Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, depending on your choice), with Final Fantasy XIV in contrast, the party itself will have a common gage, which everyone will be contributing. When the players cast a nice healing or dealt a critical damage, for example, the gage will start to be filled. The effects will be different depending on which class it is used by. For example the one you will see at the end of the Trailer: the Black Mage is using it and he is using „Lv.3 Meteo“, but of course if a different class or if a different job uses it, there’ll be a completely different effect. So it’s more like the Limit Break of FF VII, but in a party scale.
JPGAMES: We also wanted to know, if there will also be former jobs, which we got to know from Final Fantasy XI. For example, the Blue Mage was quite popular amongst the fans. Will there be more job classes in the future?
YOSHIDA: Of course not only from FF XI, but from the previous Final Fantasy Series as well. There are a lot of unique jobs in the Final Fantasy Series, so you can expect a lot of interesting classes. From Version 1.0 the new one we are implementing to A Realm Reborn to start with, is the Summoner. But also there could be classes like Dark Knight, Samurai, Thief and Ninja.
JPGAMES: Would you like to tell us more about the FATE System?
YOSHIDA: So this FATE System stands for Active Time Event and is a new type of Quest System. The normal quests or subquests are usually for solo play, but FATE is more like a Real Time Quest, which can happen anywhere in the world and the players, who are there at the time, when it happens, can automatically join without any hassle and you don’t need to have a party. For example, there could be like a huge monster attacking the player in the field or the NPCs are being attacked by robberies. Then you can sort of fight against the monsters and robbers and help the NPCs.
JPGAMES: Talking about playing on your own and partying with others… What do you think is the ratio the game can offer? Is there a certain balance between solo play and party play? Is it easy to switch between playing on your own and playing with people together?
YOSHIDA: First of all as the basical, we have a lot of solo contents and you can play in the way you prefer to. For example the FATE,we mentioned earlier, everyone could join in it, when it happens. But after it happens, the other players can just go their own way. So you don’t have to stick to party battle or anything like that. And up to Lv.15 you don’t need to have any party experience, that’s how we designed it for the early stage of the game.
Also talking about the party system, there’s of course a time, when you need to join a party to complete the Main Story Scenario. So at that time you don’t have to sort of actively go and see players by shouting or calling in the world by yourself. We are implementing as system called Duty Finder, which is like a content finder. The system can automatically find suitable members for your own party – automatically not only from the server you are playing on, but all the different worlds, all the different servers, so it’s going to be very easy to party. And the system also sort of makes sure, that it’s a good balanced party. So you just need to place a request like ‚This is a dungeon I want to try out.‘ and then the Duty Finder will automatically do it for you. So you can enjoy a party experience in a very easy way.
So if you want to play in party, that’s absolutely fine. You can enjoy the Party Play a lot. But also if you prefer to play on your own in the Solo Mode, that’s absolutely fine as well. When we talk about the ratio, it just simply depends on the player’s preference.
JPGAMES: So today you mentioned in the presentation, that you are a big fan of the Gold Saucer from Final Fantasy VII and you also want to implement it into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Do you have any certain ideas for Mini Games? Will there be for example a Card Game, which we know from other Final Fantasie Games and will there be official tournaments, which take place in regular time periods?
YOSHIDA: There will be something like the Gold Saucer as you experienced it in Final Fantasy VII. It’s sort of a casino. Also there’s a Housing System. This is a feature, in which you can raise a Chocobo.
JPGAMES: So another question, which was asked, is about the latest trailer: You can witness the end of the former World of Final Fantasy XIV. Our community asked, what purpose did Atomos serve? Will it be further explained in A Realm Reborn?
YOSHIDA: With A Realm Reborn there will be a dedicated content to Atomos and there will be a dedicated content to Bahamut, called Labyrinth of Bahamut. So you will be able to find out what happened to it and why – the mystery behind it will be solved by going through the dungeon.
KEN: (adds and states more precisely) So Bahamut is a central theme and you might find out about Atomos as part of this theme.
JPGAMES: A lot of Final Fantasy Fans from our Community loved the music by Nobuo Uematsu in Final Fantasy XIV (Version 1.0). Hence, they are asking, if there will beany any opportunity to listen again to his music within A Realm Reborn in future, because there’s a lot of new music in the newer version.
YOSHIDA: Some music will be remaining in A Realm Reborn. Some will not be there. Going through the updates there’s a plan to ask Uematsu to compose new music as well. So please look forward to it!
JPGAMES: Will there be Trophies for the Playstation 3 Version?
YOSHIDA: Of course there will be a trophy for the PS3 version as well, but in the game itself there’s a lot of achievement, you are going to work for. And of course there will be different requirements and depending on the achievements, you can get some rewards. There will be the PS3 Trophy itself, but there’ll be more in game achievements.
JPGAMES: Do you think there will be enough challenging content for hardcore players?
YOSHIDA: (laughs) There’ll be loads!
JPGAMES: Can you tell us about one or two challenges?
YOSHIDA: For example the Crystal Tower. That’s something that maybe Lv.50 Players need to try out – those who completely the Main Scenario. You will need 24 players to challenge this content. And the other one, The Labyrinth of Bahamut, is something that those players, who can actually complete the Crystal Tower, can sort of try out. So these two are really going to be challenging and you can call them hardcore In Game Content.
JPGAMES: Are there any plans on how the traveling will work in A Realm Reborn? Not only by the Etherites. Will there also be Airships or Ships? Or something new?
YOSHIDA: Yes definitely, with the main storyline you will sort of need airships and also a ship. But not only prepared ships and airships. During the update we will implement a system, so you can build your own ship or airship with your own guild. You can make your own version.
JPGAMES: Today you told us in the presentation about the PvP Feature, which is totally new for a Final Fantasy Game and also the Final Fantasy Online Games. Would you like to carry on and tell us more?
OSHIDA: So PvP is Player versus Player. And we are going to implement two types of PvP for A Realm Reborn. There will be 4vs4 and 8vs8 player. Besides that there is also something like a Warzone in which a party can conquer a castle.
JPGAMES: If you think about Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in ten years or like even longer and you are given opportunity to just imagine and dream, what do you think this game will be like in the future? What do you really want to realize in maybe 10 years, or 15 years, or even 20 years?
YOSHIDA: We would definitely like to see as many players possible enjoying this game. And also let’s say, it is like 15 years from now and at that point I would like players talking about it, say: ‚This game is 15 years old, but still a top quality game‘. That’s something I would like to aim for, I hope that’s the case, especially with the graphic side.
Specially MMOs, when you see them after a few years time, they could look old. But we will make sure and we will do our best to keep the latest quality. So whenever you will look like at it, it will look like a new, brand new game.
JPGAMES: Thanks to you, Yoshida-san, for giving us the chance to pose our questions.
YOSHIDA: Thank you very much.