The Final Fantasy XIV Devs Gave Their All For Shadowbringers


It’s been a protracted street for Final Fantasy XIV. Many people who know Square Enix’s MMORPG are conscious that it needed to reinvent itself again in 2013, which subsequently saved the sport and led to overwhelming success. But that wasn’t sufficient. The FFXIV crew has outdone itself with the most recent growth, Shadowbringers, which has cemented the sport as one of many biggest tales instructed within the long-running franchise. And it additional disproves the notion that FFXIV is just the MMO that bears the title of a well-known RPG sequence.

Having been a number of months faraway from the launch of Shadowbringers, I had the chance to briefly correspond with FFXIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida for a fast look again at the way it got here to be and what the longer term could maintain. This contains what the Trust system of AI companions has achieved for the sport, what a streamlined model of the bottom recreation will appear to be, and the way it matches into the subsequent console era. But extra importantly, he spoke to the imaginative and prescient that the writing crew delivered to life–namely Natsuko Ishikawa, who led the Shadowbringers narrative and obtained a standing ovation during the game’s PAX West 2019 panel after merely introducing herself–a second that spoke to how she and the crew nailed its storytelling, but in addition how a long-running MMO can leverage its deep lore to make an influence on its gamers.

Alphinaud and Alisaie enjoying diplomat for the Scions.
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We’re nonetheless within the early days of Shadowbringers as a complete. At Tokyo Game Show 2019, Yoshida-san outlined what you’ll do with New Game+ in the upcoming 5.1 patch due in late October. More notably, him and Nier sequence creator Yoko Taro talked about what you can expect from their collaboration, which might be a 24-player Alliance Raid, directly tied to Nier Automata, as a part of the October patch. You could need to take a look at our full review of FFXIV Shadowbringers to get a greater concept of why it is so properly regarded, and since having AI companions performs an immense position within the growth, you may need to examine why the Trust system matters more than you may think.

If there’s one takeaway from this alternate, it is that the crew gave their all for Shadowbringers. Not solely that, Yoshida-san has the utmost confidence that, no, they would not have achieved something in a different way for this growth. The following interview with Yoshida-san was carried out through e-mail, facilitated and translated by Square Enix.

Narrative is without doubt one of the most essential issues in FFXIV, particularly for Shadowbringers. How concerned have been you with the story’s creation and what kind of route did you present the writing crew?

The first step is creating the general recreation design for the growth pack. With Shadowbringers, after we had accomplished the bottom design part, I supplied three preliminary instructions to the event crew:

1) The story might be set within the “First.” 2) The darkish knight would be the “main job.” (i.e. changing into the Warrior of Darkness would be the most important goal) 3) We might be implementing the Trust system, so the story ought to focus on an journey with the members of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

I steered a setting by which the world is roofed in mild, and night time will solely return when the Sin Eaters are defeated. In that occasion, Ishikawa was capable of easily implement this idea into the story. – Naoki Yoshida

With this route as the muse of the narrative, Natsuko Ishikawa, who oversees the principle situation, and Banri Oda, who oversees lore creation, had a number of discussions and created a plot. We then have what I name a “scenario writing camp,” the place we take the bottom plot which was created and add particulars to it over a interval of three days. Aside from Ishikawa, Oda, and myself, we even have two of our extra skilled situation writers be part of on this writing camp.

The total construction of the story is shaped throughout these three days, however even after that we do make adjustments. For instance, I steered a setting by which the world is roofed in mild, and night time will solely return when the Sin Eaters are defeated. In that occasion, Ishikawa was capable of easily implement this idea into the story. Additionally, Vauthry didn’t exist within the preliminary plot; because it felt like we have been lacking a definitive goal to defeat on the midway level of the story, I requested the crew in the course of the situation writing camp so as to add a hideous antagonist like Jabba the Hutt to the story.

Under my instruction to align our gameplay expertise ideas with the principle situation, our situation lead, lore creation lead, and lots of different workers give it their all to create the perfect narrative doable. As a director, I devoted myself to actually simply directing the sport, however as the event crew has proven nice development, I really feel that my position in growth isn’t as vital as earlier than. 😛

Now that the Trust system has been broadly used, is there something that has significantly shocked you about reception from gamers? Is there any suggestions that you simply want to consider transferring ahead?

I really feel the response from the followers is what we have been aiming for in creating this method, and it appears gamers have actually embraced it. We have obtained suggestions relating to the Trust system, however sadly as a result of complexity of the system’s mechanics, it could be tough to easily add on new capabilities. Instead of including new options and capabilities to the Trust system, our objective right now is to create further content material that gamers can get pleasure from using the Trust system.

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Are there any points to those early days of Shadowbringers that did not pan out as anticipated? Anything you’d do in a different way?

No. This is the case for each growth pack, however the growth crew, the operations crew, and I really feel that we’ve got given our all in creating Shadowbringers, and it’s the fruit of our labor. I actually consider that we achieved one thing nice, to the purpose that I really feel karma would strike if I have been grasping and requested for something extra. So no, there may be nothing I might do in a different way. Of course, it was plenty of exhausting work, so in that sense I don’t know if I’d need to undergo it once more, both…lol.

Players will at all times have one thing to say when it comes to job changes and balancing. At launch, Astrologian in all probability had probably the most rivalry. After tweaking issues, the place do you stand on the present steadiness between jobs?

As the gameplay expertise is completely different for every job, it’s tough to easily evaluate the roles aspect by aspect; nevertheless, as of patch 5.08, I really feel that there’s extra of a statistical steadiness between every of the roles in a selected position.

There are extra changes which must be made on the subject of total management and really feel, particularly for Ninja and the Summoner which we’re within the means of adjusting in Patch 5.1. I don’t really feel that the present job steadiness is ideal as is, and in the long run every participant will assume in a different way about what the right steadiness is, so in that sense we could by no means attain perfection.

That being mentioned, transferring ahead we are going to proceed to make changes as vital, so please maintain an eye fixed out for future updates.

As you lately revealed plans to streamline the principle situation in A Realm Reborn, are you able to give us any perception as to which components you’re seeking to abridge? Do you have got a tough concept of how the streamlined model would possibly evaluate to the present questline when it comes to quest numbers or playtime?

I’m conscious that there’s a nice sense of anticipation relating to these changes for A Realm Reborn. However, I really feel that the group would possibly set their expectations too excessive it doesn’t matter what I say this far out, so I want to chorus from going into any particulars. In normal, we plan to simplify some quest aims, omit any pointless quests, and pace up the stream of the ARR most important situation.

How has the success of FFXIV modified the way forward for the Final Fantasy model, or modified Square Enix?

The smartest thing to return out of this success is that Square Enix’s relationship with the followers and gamers has grow to be stronger. I believe that many individuals who beforehand felt that Square Enix or the Final Fantasy model have been segmented now really feel as if issues are extra open and accessible. I’m glad that FFXIV has grow to be a place to begin for us to additional increase the Final Fantasy sequence, along with the followers, as comrades.

FFXIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida.
FFXIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida.

I do know you are requested this many instances, however the place are you (and the crew) at when it comes to bringing FFXIV to different platforms (Xbox One or Google Stadia)?

You’re proper. I’ve been requested this so many instances that possibly we should always have a template reply created for this!

Joking apart, my route has by no means modified from the start after we began with A Realm Reborn: try to have as many individuals play FFXIV on a number of platforms. Secondly, I need to permit individuals to play with their buddies with none cross-platform limitations. I’m nonetheless in dialogue with Microsoft and Nintendo to make this a actuality. If there are any updates, the followers would be the first to know, so please maintain on tight.

Additionally, we’re testing out the sport not solely on Stadia, however on numerous cloud streaming providers. However, with FFXIV being a server-client MMORPG, it’s not as simple to port to a cloud service as different standalone or P2P titles. My impression to date is that enjoying the sport will nonetheless rely closely on the community setting the participant is utilizing.

How do you see FFXIV transitioning into the subsequent console era? Is the character of the upcoming consoles making that extra easy than, say, going from PS3 to PS4?

Similar to my earlier response, the identical idea drives this as properly, which is having as many individuals play FFXIV on numerous platforms. I hope to be proactive in making the sport appropriate with subsequent era consoles. I assume that there wouldn’t be too many points since we’re porting the sport to a more recent platform.

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