Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida Q&A – PlayStation.Blog
From new adventures to long-awaited exploration, the first content update since Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker expansion marks the beginning of a new era for Warriors of Light everywhere. Producer/director Naoki Yoshida answered some of our burning questions about what’s in store for this critically acclaimed MMO. (Have you heard about it? free trial?)
PlayStation.Blog: The Endwalker took the Warrior of Light through an incredibly climactic adventure on an unprecedented scale, completing a chapter that took 10 years to complete! How do you see the future of our Warrior of Light? Doesn’t he deserve a little break? How will you follow such a grand adventure when there is so much at stake?
Naoki Yoshida: I think our Warriors of Light had a little rest, but umm, we in the development team had no time for rest (smiles bitterly). Please look forward to the story that begins with our new adventure, as well as the secrets and goals that will be revealed! I can’t say more. First, don’t forget to see how it all starts in patch 6.1’s story. I believe that the key to continuing these stories is whether they will excite us as developers. If our motivation fades, there is no doubt that it will spread to our players. To prevent this from happening, we always prioritize making it fun and interesting for us as developers to create (new stories and content).
You have expressed a desire to make XIV more accessible to single player. How do you combine the idea of MMO, multiplayer and single player? What is your design philosophy and how do you approach these changes while staying true to the MMO aspects?
The answer is simple; My concept is to make the most of FFXIV’s characteristics as a story-driven MMORPG and make it so that you can only play the story alone. So, “get married” is not quite the right expression, and I want to lower the entry barrier for those who are afraid of MMORPGs or are not good at multiplayer games. Of course, I will be happy if the players are satisfied with the passage of the story alone, or if during their travels they discover the pleasure of multiplayer and MMORPG, encouraging them to try out different types of content.
The upcoming Myths of the Realm alliance raid will heavily focus on some long established lore about Eorzea. What do you think of some of the theories put forward by players about the deities and patrons of Eorzea? Will our chosen deity finally have an influence in character creation that goes beyond knowledge of scents?
Of course, I look at the theories that players put forward, and it seems that some of them may not be far from the truth. (laughs) This alliance raid is about the very existence of the Twelve and their true nature. However, the deities chosen at character creation… will not affect your status (during battle). Our players have nothing to worry about.
Among some of the changes you announced in your 10 Year Game Plan, the graphics update has got a lot of people excited! How do you approach a project of this magnitude and what are your main directions?
I focused on those players who have played FFXIV for a long time and have become very attached to their avatar. I don’t want them to think, “My character used to look better!” or “That doesn’t look right!” with this update. The beauty of graphics depends not only on the method used, but also on the perception of the person, so I simply strive for “the evolution of graphics from the point of view of FFXIV”. To this end, we created many test data packages, and the artists, engineers, and I discussed and decided on the approach to update the shaders, lighting, and textures that we will use. Finally, it’s a question of the (creative) direction of the game, so it also depends a lot on my sensitivity to the “yes, it works!” judgment.
Many players are incredibly excited about the upcoming release of Dragonsong’s Reprise Ultimate. These are very long and difficult fights that are an ode to a certain story arc in XIV. What was your design philosophy for the Dragonsong arch? How do you balance complexity so that the content is as complex as possible, yet accessible?
This time the idea was to turn the Dragonsong War story from the 3.x patch series itself into an Ultimate Raid. Completing an Ultimate series raid does not necessarily reward players with powerful weapons or other such items. What the players will get is a shiny weapon and a title, in other words, a challenge for themselves, as well as a sense of satisfaction and pride in winning. With the exception of the world’s first race, that’s why I think duty is worth it in itself, because there’s a sense of challenge rather than focusing on how fast the group gets it done. When it comes to complexity…we don’t really mean accessibility. (laughs)
Thanks for reading, Warriors of Light. To learn more about Final Fantasy XIV, including the latest Endwalker expansion, visit playstation.com.