Source: Game Watch Interview - Article dated 06/13/2013 -

Actual Interview per Game Watch article was done 05/30/2013

 http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/interview/20130613_602879.html

――βフェーズ3では、バトルシステムも調整されるということですが、方向性としてはどういう風に変えたのですか?

In beta phase 3, battle system will go through some changes, what direction did it take for the changes?

吉田氏: これまで全部が「グローバルクールダウンタイマー」に支配されていたのですが、アビリティは単独で動作し、ウェポンスキルはグローバルクールダウンが起動していますが、間にアビリティを挟んでバフを維持したり。だから、忙しくなったと思いますよ。

Y: Up until now everything was taken control by GCD but abilities will now move on it’s own (timer) Weapon skill will have GCD but you can use abilities now in between so you’re going to be busy.

――常に何らかのアクションを入力しているような戦い方が可能になったと?

So now it’s possible to fight while constantly using some type of action?

吉田氏: 序盤はまだそこまでではないですけれど、スキルを覚えてくると、どうコンボを分岐させよ うかとか、立ち位置もすごく重要になります。例えば戦っている最中にヤバイと思ったら、敵を一気に倒すために「ファイトオアフライ」みたいなアビリティを DPSを上げるためにウェポンスキルの合間に使ったり。

Y: In the beginning it’s not that much, but as you learn more skills, it will be very important to decide the positioning and what type of combos to use. For example if you feel you’re in danger, you can use abilities such as “Fight or fly” (probably different naming in English) to increase DPS defeat the mob at once before the weapon skill.

――ウェポンスキルの合間に使うというと?

What do you mean by using in between weapon skill?

吉田氏: そのウェポンスキルのタイマーが回っている間にアビリティを使って、要は単位時間当たり の無駄をなくすという考え方です。たとえば、このキャラは剣術で盾なので、DPSほどは複雑じゃないんですよ。敵をホールドするためのクラスなので。モン クとかになってくると、サイドやビハインドを周りながら、セルフバフを維持しつつ、回避率をあげてさらにヘイストが自動的にどんどん掛かり続けていくの で、攻撃をうまく継続し続ける。それをミスるとまた最初からコンボが繋ぎ直しになるので、たぶん考えなしにやるのと、考えてやるのとでは、時間当たりの DPSにかなり差が出ます。

Y: While the timer (GCD) is still running, you use the ability in between, it’s basically to use up the available time wisely. For example, this character is Gladiator and is Tank, so it doesn't have much DPS. The classes role is to hold the enemy. Now if this was a Monk, you will run around to the side or behind the enemy and buff yourself while increasing evasion to increase haste effect, so you’ll need fight while continuing to keep the attacks going. If you miss, you’ll have to start over again so you’ll need to think over. The DPS will change when looking over duration.

――そうなると一気に忙しくなる感じですね。

If that’s so, seems like it’s going to be much busier

吉田氏: ただ当然ですが、冒険の序盤、レベルが低いうちは手数が限られます。レベルが上がるごと にやれることは増えていくのですが、1レベル上がるまでの間の戦闘回数は見積もってあるので、レベルアップすると次の1手が足されて、こいつって123と 使うんじゃなくて、1と2の間に入れるんだねと、で1、3、2というのを覚えていく。しかも、これよく見ると背面から攻撃したほうがダメージが上がるんだ と。

 で、2段目が側面になっているので、背面で1段目を入れて、側面に回って2段目を入れて、モンスターがウェポンスキルを使うために足 を止めたのを見て、回避しつつ側面に回ってコンボの3段目を入れる。でも次は3を連発するより、DPSは低いけど1段目の自己強化バフを維持した方が徳に になるから……とか。モンスターのヘイトをとってしまったら、途中でフェザーステップで回避率を上げて、回避した直後に使えるカウンターというアビリティ があるので、回避したのをみたらカウンターを使えるので、カウンター使ってみたいな感じになる。

Y: At the beginning new adventurers are limited with amount of available skills, this will increase as you level. We checked into how much battles you need to go through in order to level up to the next level, from there you’ll learn new skill but it’s not something you learn and use in that order. You’ll learn skills that may in go between the skills you have already learned. You’ll also learn in time that the damage will increase from specific position. So say first move needs to be used from behind the enemy and 2nd being from the side, you’ll first go around the mob, run to the side and use 2nd then watch the mob to stop to use weapon skill to dodge and put in the 3rd combo, or instead of 3rd combo you may want to use the first skill again to increase the buff...  or if you take in too much hate, use feather step in between to increase evasion and right after dodging to put in a counter ability, so you’ll have many different options. (reworded)

――忙しくなるだけでなく、戦術性もかなり高くなってますね。ここまで手数が出せるとパーティーだけで無く、ソロでもかなり楽しめるバトルになりそうですね。

So not only does it get busier, it will require lots of strategy.  If you can perform that much looks like the battle can be enjoyed not only with a party but with solo also.

吉田氏: そうですね。以前、記事にも書いていただきましたが、ソロではじっくりたくさんのクエス トをやりながら、そのクエストの中でプレイの方向を、自分のクラスの基礎を覚えてダンジョンにいって、あとギルドオーダーで初めてのパーティープレイを やってみて、誰かが盾でターゲットをとってくれていれば、自分は自由に動けるわけで、なるほど自分はこうやってダメージをたくさん出せばいいんだと。まあ ステップバイステップで覚えていってくれればいいかなと。

Y: Yes, previously we have mentioned this but for solo we want players to play through quests and while doing so deciding your character's class, then learning the basics for that class from there. Next you can get into dungeons and or playthrough guildhest to learn party play. Through parties you’ll learn about individuals roles on how tanks can take hate for you while you do your things. You’ll learn them step by step and that’s completely fine.

――都合何度目かのバトルシステムの変更と言うことになりますが、初心者でも迷わず楽しめそうですか?

The battle system will change again but will it be something beginners can enjoy without getting confused?

吉田氏: ええ、序盤は大丈夫だと思います。そこはきっちり調整しました。そのためのフィードバッ クをいただいたので。ただ、やっぱりコアゲーマーだと物足りない。序盤がたるい。ただ同じスキルを順番に従って使ってるだけだと。なので、そこはメリハリ がつくようにスキルの習得順番を入れ替えたり、あとは発動条件を変えたりしました。ただ、レベル1から順々にやっていくぶんに関しては、手数は最初1手し か出ないので、問題ないです。で、手数が2手になったら、1、2の順番で使ってと。で3手目が入ったら、これは1、2、3じゃなくて1、3、2の順番なの かあと。試行錯誤が生まれるわけです。

Y: Yes, for beginning it shouldn’t be a problem. We carefully made adjustments there. That is the reason why we received feedbacks. For core gamers they felt it was bit lacking, where beginning was dull, just spamming same skills in same order. So we made adjustments by rearranging the order you obtain the skill, and changed the usage requirement. But if you play from level 1, you only have 1 skill at beginning, so it isn’t a problem, once that increases and becomes 2 you’ll learn to use it 1 > 2, then once you learn the 3rd skill you’ll find out instead of 1>2>3 order the 3 comes in between becoming 1>3>2.

――キャスター系の職業はジョブとしてどのように進化しているのですか?

How are the caster jobs progressing?

吉田氏: 先日公開したジョブアクションムービーではわかりにくいと思いますが、幻術士と黒魔導士 に関しては、アストラルファイア、アストラルブリザトという属性がありまして、ブリザド系の魔法を使い続けると、自分の属性がブリザドに傾き、ファイアを 使い続けると自分の属性がファイアに傾いていきます。そうすると自分の周囲にファイアの玉が回るので、見た目ですぐにわかります。アストラルファイアの状 態では、ファイア系のダメージがどの魔法を使ってもガンガン上がるんですけど、その代わり消費MPがもうめちゃくちゃ増えていきます(笑)。

 で、スタンスチェンジというものがあって、それがアストラルファイアレベル1、レベル2、レベル3とあって、例えば2回ファイア系の 魔法を使うとアストラルファイアレベル2に自分の属性が傾いているのですが、そこでスタンスチェンジのアビリティを使うと、自分の属性がブリザドレベル2 へ移行するのです。ブリザドを積んでいくとダメージは安定する代わりにMPの回復速度が尋常じゃなく速くなるのです。

 だから例えばMPの残量をみて、限界までファイア使った直後に属性転移でブリザドの方へ切り替えると、すごいスピードでMPが回復し ていきます。ブリザドを唱えることでダメージは継続して出しながら、MPが戻ったらファイアを積みなおしたり、途中にサンダーでDoTを入れたりという感 じなので、たぶん「旧FFXIV」をプレイされていた方には、感覚的にかなり違うと感じるんじゃないかと思います。

Y: It may be hard to tell by looking at the job action movie we released earlier but for Conjurer and Black mage there are elements called Astral Fire and Astral Blizzard, and if you continue using Blizzard type spells your element becomes Blizard based, and if you use Fire based you’ll become more Fire based. You’ll be able to tell right away by the fireballs circling around your character. With that state your fire damage from any damage will increase, however your MP usage will also increase a lot. Also there is something called Stance Change and there is Astral Fire level 1, level 2, level 3, for example if you cast 2 fire type spells you’ll have Lv2 Astral Fire element on your, while in that mode if you use stance change it switches to blizzard level 2 so you can add on blizzard spells with a cost of much faster MP regen. So you can look at the remaining MP and cast Fire till your MP is near depleted and then switching to blizzard, by doing that the MP will recover at really fast speed. You can cast blizzard to keep the continue damaging the mob and once the MP is regained to switch to Fire, then put in Thunder for DoT. For those that played 1.x FFXIV may feel that it has changed.

――自分でリスクを取って魔法にメリハリが付けられるという点では「FFXI」の学者っぽい感じもありますが、普通にファイアを撃つだけじゃなくて、そこにいろんな戦術があるのはおもしろいですね。

You’ll take in the risk on your own, but will make the spells stand out,  it’s kind of like FFXI’s Scholar, so it looks interesting where you are able to come up with a strategy instead of just casting fire.

吉田氏: でも理解できないと、ぜんぜんダメージが出せなかったり、MPが頻繁に切れてしまうだけ になってしまう。だから、そうならないように、序盤からクラスクエストを通じて立ち回りを説明したり、属性が2つあるということや、最初はブリザドしか使 えないのでMPが切れることはないとか、バトルチームが相当細かく調整してくれています。ファイア覚えてファイア連発していると、MPが切れるようになる ので、スタンスチェンジを使ってこの2つを随時切り替えるんだねということを覚えてもらう。魔法やアクションを覚える順番に、相当意味を持たせています。

Y: But if you don’t understand it, you might end up not being able to deal much damage, or run out of MP so to make sure that doesn’t happen, through class quests we’re explaining the roles and let them know that there are two elements. At first you can only use Blizzard so you don’t run out of MP, the battle team made careful adjustments. If you learn fire and just spam fire, you’ll run out of MP so you use the stance change to switch between the two. We made sure there is a reason behind why you learn those actions in that order.

――フェーズ3ではクラス、ジョブというのが1つの大きな遊びどころになってきますね。

In Phase 3 being able to play class/job is one major point.

吉田氏: そうですね。まずはクラスで慣れてもらって、その上位のジョブを目指していただければと。

Y: Yes, first would like players to get used to class, then aim for higher jobs

――クエストがジョブによって難易度に隔たりがあるという意見が多いですが、その辺りは今回調整しているのですか?

There were comments saying that depending on the job the quest difficulty is different, were any adjustments made?

吉田氏: それもできる限り調整はしました。あとF.A.T.E.で幻術士が貢献しづらくて報酬が もらいにくいということがあったのでそこも調整しました。F.A.T.E.はどうしてもかなりの人数でやることになるので、モンスターのHPを増やしたと ころで、瞬殺されちゃうやつは瞬殺されちゃうのですが、いくつか改良を加えています。たとえば、幻術のエアロをキャストじゃなくてインスタントにしまし た。ターゲット即発動で、これで少なくとも最低限の貢献はとれます。あと、回復を貢献度の中に入れたので、ヒーラーも貢献しやすくなっています。

 今回は単純なクラスバランスだけじゃなくて、各コンテンツにおけるクラスバランスというのを考えた上で調整しましたが、そこはやはりフィードバックをいただいたからこそです。今回のβテストを実施したことにより、現時点で修正できているので。

 プレーヤーの皆さんの中には、ご要望をβフェーズ3送りにしたものというのがすごく多く感じられたと思うので、「本当にフェーズ3で そんなに多く入るのかよ?」と思ってらっしゃると思いますが、フェーズ1、2の間も、フェーズ3を併走してじっくり開発していたので、ほとんど入ってま す。

Y: We made as much adjustments possible.  There was also comments saying Conjurers had hard time obtaining contribution points to get the reward during F.A.T.E. so we made adjustments there as well. For F.A.T.E. you’ll be doing it with many people so even if we increased the HP of the mob it will still get killed instantly, so we made some tweaks. For example we changed Conjurers Aero to instant spell. By doing this you’ll get the minimum amount of contribution, also by healing you’ll also get contribution so it should be easier for healers to get contribution points.

Many of the players may of felt that everything was being pushed back into phase 3, thinking “This much stuff really going to be in phase 3?” but we have been developing on phase 3 while phase 1 and 2 was running so it’s really in there.

――今回バトルバランスがかなり調整されますが、ジョブ間のバランスについてはどのように考えていますか?

Battle balance has been modified this time around but what do you think about balance between jobs?

吉田氏: 例えがしやすいのがモンクと竜騎士なのですが、同じく近接DPSというロールですが、格 闘は自分の型というものが存在します。これを使うと1の型、1の型の状態じゃないと使えないアクションがあって、それを使うと2の型が発動して、2の型か ら使えるものが2つあってというように、どのルートをたどるのかというのがあるのと、ポジションがあるので、それをずっと回して1、3、4、7、8といっ たけど、2週目からは1、3、5、6でまた1に戻してみたいなのが、ポジションとシチュエーションによって変わる。それをきっちりするとDPSとアタック スピードがどんどん速くなるというクラスです。だから序盤立ち上がりは遅い。けど、ずっとそれを維持できると凄い。

 一方、竜騎士はすごくスタンダードな近接DPS。ただ特定位置からのコンボがかなり多くて強力なので、やりすぎるとすぐにヘイトを とってしまう。あとはビハインドからじゃないと効果が出ない技とか。遠距離かつビハインドじゃないと使えないジャンプとか、敵のビハインドから走りながら スキルを使うと、飛び掛って、直後足払いをしてスタンしてからとめてサイドに回ってコンボを入れて、さらに自分のアビリティを使って、最後ドラゴンダイブ という流れ。だから、典型的な近接DPSで、流れをカッコ良く決める竜騎士、モンクはさらにそれをどうチェインさせて回していくかというところで、同じく DPSを出すクラスなのですが、立ち上がりの速さが違うのですね。そこは好みだと思います。あと今回の竜騎士は飛びまくりなので、中二気質のある人は楽し いんじゃないでしょうか(笑)。

Y: Easiest one to compare is Monk and Dragoon, their roles are both close range DPS, but for Monk they have something called Style. There are actions that can only be used while you’re in that specific style and by using that action it could switch to another style to use the next action. It will be where you can go through different position/actions in order 1>3>4>7>8 for the first round but 2nd round going 1>3>5>6 and going back to 1. By doing that correctly the DPS and attack speed will increase. So in the beginning it will be slow, but if you can keep it going it will be amazing. (Note: Just think of it as fighting game continuing combos).

Dragoon on the other hand is much more standard close range DPS, you stand in specific position to deal big damage with combo’s but if you do too much you’ll take hate easily. Also there are skills where you have to use from behind to deal the additional effect or jump where you need to be behind the mob and far away at same time. Or skills where you’re running in from behind and jump and stunning the mob with floor sweep then dealing combo from the side, then using abilities leading up to Dragon Dive. It’s standard close range DPS but made it where it looks cool for Dragoon, while Monk will require to think about how to keep the chain going, they are both same DPS but have different ways to be played. It’s up to the players style. Also this time Dragoon will be jumping a lot so some may enjoy that (laugh)

――過去の「FF」シリーズの再現という意味では、竜騎士には飛び上がったまましばらく落ちてこないジャンプもあるのですか?

To bring in previous FF series, are there any jumps for Dragoon where they jump and not come down fora while?

吉田氏: さすがにそこまでは(笑)。それ、飛んだまま帰ってこないし、みんな全滅して「なにして んだよ」と。よくあるじゃないですか。過去の「FF」でも飛んでたら、みんな9999ダメージ食らって死んで、竜騎士だけ最後に残って、「で、どうするん だよこれ」って。さすがに、このリアルグラフィックスの中でそこまではやってないです(笑)。

Y: Nothing like that (laugh) If you jump, and not come back there might be situations players will be wiped except for you and them telling you “What the hell are you doing?” Even in the old FF series after jumping and other party members take 9999 and died, you only got that dragoon left and end up saying “What the hell am I going to do with this?” With this much reality in graphics we haven’t done this (laugh)

――チョコボを始めとしたバディのスキルはどのようになっていますか?

How are the buddy skills, like the one for Chocobo?

吉田氏: バディが使えるようになったら、コマンドが用意されるので、こ れをクロスホットバーに入れて使う形になります。例えば「ついてこい」という命令だったら、単にフォローしてくるだけ。「帰還」は文字通り帰ります。「フ リーファイト」はオレが戦うから、お前も自由に戦えという。「装備変更」は、βフェーズ3では単純なUIを入れたのでテスト的にお使い下さい。

Y: Once you can use Buddies, there will be a command for it, by putting this in the cross hotbar you’ll be able to use it. For example there are commands such as “Follow me” which simply follows you. “Return home” is just that and returns home. “Free Fight” command will let them know that you’ll fight so fight along freely. “Equipment change” we have a simple UI in there for testing so please use it.

――バディは、プレーヤーが殴らない限りは自分から勝手に殴りにはいかないのですか?

Buddies, won’t attack the mob unless the player attacks?

吉田氏: β3ではいかないです。ただ、正式サービスの時には、自分が回 復役をやっているときに、「お前行け!」というのはできます。アタッカースタンス、ディフェンダースタンス、ヒーラースタンスというのがあるので、このス タンスを切り替えて命令してください。で、成長要素としてはポイントを稼いで、アクションを覚えさせます。アタッカースタンスのアクション、ヒーラースタ ンスのアクション、ディフェンダースタンスのアクションというのがあるので、それぞれポイントを消費してとっていってもらいます。ヒーラースタンスでケア ルまでのチョコボを育てるのか、ケアルラまでにしたいのかというのは皆さんで決めてください。ただ、ケアルラまで取っちゃうと、その分アタッカースタン ス、ディフェンダースタンスに割り振るポイントがなくなります。

Y: In phase 3 it won’t. However at the timing of official service, it’s possible to do something like I’ll do the healing so go and fight! There are stances for attacker, defensive, healer so you can command through these stances. Also for growth feature you can learn actions through points. There are actions for these stances, so by using these points you can learn them. You can make Chocobo learn cure from healer stance and get it up to where it learns Cure-ra, it’s up to the players to decide. However if you take cure-ra you won’t have enough points to put into attacker/defensive stance.

――ポイントは上限があるということですか?

So there is a limit on the amount of points?

吉田氏: あります。全部はとれないです。全部取れたらそれこそ成長させる楽しみがなくなっちゃうので。ただ、スタンス切り替えはどれでもできます。

Y: There is. You won’t be able to obtain all of them. There is no fun in it if you can obtain all of it. However you will be able to switch through any stance.

――チョコボ用のステータス画面もあるのですか?

Is there a status screen specific for Chocobo?

吉田氏: あります。ですが、フェーズ3では成長要素を入れていないので公開していないです。そこまで入れてしまうと、さすがに正式サービスと同等になってしまうので(笑)。

Y: There is. But, we don’t have the growth feature in phase 3 so we haven’t released it. If we put that in it’ll become same as the official service (laugh)

――バディは複数持てますか?

Can you have several buddies?

吉田氏: 将来的には複数持てるようにするつもりです。

Y; in future we’re planning to be able to hold several.

――自分がバディのマウントに乗って、後ろから別のバディについてきてもらうのは?

How about I’m mounted on a buddy while having another buddy following from behind?

吉田氏: それは無理です。1対1にしているので。バディを呼ぶとミニオンが帰還するという仕様と同じです。常に1対1です。それにペットまで呼べたら、もう大行列じゃないですか(笑)。それこそさすがにメモリやキャラ表示数が破綻します。

y: that’s not possible since we have it 1 on 1. By calling a buddy, your Minion will return as well, same thing.  It’s always 1 on 1. If you’re able to call a pet along with that, you’ll have a row of pets following you (laugh) that will break the memory or go over the limit for character display

――それではペット(召喚獣)とチョコボ(バディ)の組み合わせは?

Alright then, how about pet (summon) and Chocobo (buddy) combination? 

吉田氏: 召喚士や巴術士のペットは大丈夫です。

Y: Summoner and Arcanist's pets are OK.

――βフェーズ3で「旧FFXIV」キャラの引き継ぎテストも行なわれるということですが、これはこれまで「FFXIV」で作成された全キャラクターが対象ですか? 中には1人で何人も作っていた方もいると思いますが。

It is said that in phase 3 you will be testing data import from previous XIV, is this for all the characters that was created in XIV? I believe there are few that made couple characters under one account (reworded)

吉田氏: はい。βフェーズ3の間は特に制限なく、何人でもテストできます。ただし、正式サービスが始まったあとは、課金コースがスタンダードとエントリーがあるので、エントリーにしちゃうと1キャラのみになってしまいますが。

y: yes. There isn’t any restrictions in phase 3, you will be able to test as much. However at the timing of official launch, there is different subscription plans such as standard and entry, so if you have it on entry course, you only can use one character.

――みんな適当なところでログアウトしていると思いますが、どこからスタートするのですか?

I think everyone logged out in different areas, but where will they start? (reworded)

吉田氏: それは全部調整しています。みんな特定の場所から始まるようになっています。それに関してはストーリーが絡むので、さすがにまだちょっとお話できないですが。

Y: We made adjustments on this one. They will all start from a specific location. For this one it will involve story so we can’t talk about it yet.

――「旧FFXIV」キャラが持っていたリンクシェルはどうなりますか?

What’s going to happen to the Linkshells previous FFXIV characters had? 

吉田氏: リンクシェルは引き継ぎますが、今回データセンターがβフェー ズ3から日本のデータセンターと海外のデータセンターに分かれます。そのテストも開始になるので、旧レガシーワールドも日本か海外かのいずれかに分かれま す。ですので、皆さんにはワールド移転申請受付を行ないますので、移転したい場合には移転していただくことになります。ご面倒をおかけしてしまうのです が、移転に際しては、最大限のサポートをさせていただこうと思っています。リンクシェルのリーダーが移動した場合、リーダーは移転先ワールドにリンクシェ ルを持っていくことはできませんが、移転元ワールドに残ったリンクシェルは自動的に違うプレーヤーにリーダーが移動します。そのままステイしている場合は 維持されます。

 あとフレンドリストは、今回「新生FFXIV」のフレンドリストって自分で勝手に登録するタイプではなくて、例えば僕が中村さ んをフレンド登録したかったら、フレンド登録してもいいですかというメッセージが飛ぶので、中村さんが「いいよ」と押してくれないとフレンド登録してもら えない仕様になっています。「旧FFXIV」ってそうじゃなかったんですよ。僕が一方的に中村さんをフレンド登録できたので。「旧FFXIV」のフレンド リストに関しては、新生引き継ぎ時に、フレンドリクエストを全員に送信する前の状態になっていますので、改めて申請をしてもらうことになります。だから名 前変えちゃうと「こいつ誰だっけ?」ってことになってしまうので、そこは気をつけてくださいというところではあります。

Y: We will transfer over the Linkshells, this time the data centers going to split starting phase 3 with Japan and NA/EU. That test will also start, so previous Legacy Worlds will also be separated between Japan and NA/EU. So we’ll have wolrd transfer, if you would like to transfer we will need everyone to send in the transfer request. I apologize for the inconvenience this will cause but we’ll try our best to support. If the Linkshell leader decides to move the leader will not able to carry over the Linkshell, the remaining linkshell will be passed onto another player automatically. If the leader stays then it will remain the same.

Also for friend list, unlike previous XIV where it automatically added players to friend list, it will require approval. Say I wanted to add you as a friend, first it will send a message to you asking for approval and until you press “Okay” the friend list registration won’t be completed. Previous XIV wasn’t like that, I was able to add you to the friend  list without any approval, so we made it where it sends the request first. So if you change your name, people may wonder “Who is this?” so please be careful.

――装備もアイテムもお金もすべて持った状態になっているのですか?

Will it start with all your equipment, items, and money? 

吉田氏: はい。ただインベントリに入りきらなかったものとかは、専用のNPCが預かっています、そのNPCから引き出してください。

Y: Yes. But for those items that didn’t fit in the inventory, we have a specific NPC that holds those items so please get it from them.

――ちょうど「新生FFXIV」と同時期に北米で「The Elder Scrolls Online」がリリースされそうですが、あちらは吉田さんがコアプレーヤーだった「Dark Age of Camelot」のチームが開発していますが、因縁の対決と言う感じですね。

Looks like TESO is releasing around the same time as XIV ARR, that game is developed by the team that did Dark Age of Camelot, which you played hardcore. Looks like it’s a fateful match.

吉田氏: 僕去年のE3で、「ESO」の方にお会いして、「DAoC」の話で盛り上がったり、「FFXIV」がんばってね、という感じなので、因縁の対決というのはちょっと(笑)。

Y: During last year’s E3 I met the ESO people and we talked about DAoC and they were like good luck with FFXIV so it’s really fateful match.

――そうだったんですか。しかし、今年はおそらく色んな意味で風景が違うんじゃないですか?

I see. However, doesn’t it look like this year it’s going to be different?

吉田氏: どうなんでしょうね。グラフィックスの方向性がお互い違うので、双方あまり気にしていない気はします。

Y: Not sure. Both our direction in graphics is different so I’m sure we’re both not worry about each other.

――「FFXIV」も日本語のボイスが入ってぐっとコンシューマーゲームっぽくなりましたね。

FFXIV now has Japanese voice and looks more like a consume game

吉田氏: そうですね。パッドで遊べるMMOって僕らだけですからね。

Y: Yes. We’re the only MMO which can be played with a gamepad.

――そういえば、祖堅さん(新生FFXIV」サウンドディレクター)がライブのテスト放送でサントラを発表しましたね。

Soken (FFXIV ARR Sound Director) mentioned about sound track during the test broadcast.

吉田氏: 2つあって、1つは「旧FFXIV」の「Before Meteor: FINAL FANTASY XIV Original Soundtrack」っていう、全104曲入りのBlu-rayディスク。CDじゃなくてBlu-rayなんですが、サントラにあわせた音楽企画のブ ルーレイがレーベルとして新しく出ます。なんでCDじゃないんだよってところですが、もう入らないのですよ。CDだと8枚組とかになっちゃって。さすがに 8枚組だと製造原価が高くなって1万超えのサントラになってしまうので、泣く泣くBlu-ray。ただその代わり音質にはめちゃくちゃこだわったので、マ スタリングの時に本当にデータ取り込むだけで8時間かかっちゃってというくらい渾身の一作です。MP3ファイルも全部入れてあるので、Blu-rayの再 生環境があって、なおかつ音のいい環境がない方は、そこからMP3データをモバイルに落としてもらって、移動中はそれで聞いてくださいというのが1つ。も う1つは、コレクターズエディションに6曲入りのミニサントラが付いてくるので、そのマスタリングを同時に2つやっていて、どっちも完パケました。

Y: There are two, first one which as the previous XIV tracks called “Before Meteor: FINAL FANTASY XIV Original Soundtrack” which has total of 104 tracks in a Blu-ray disk. Instead of a regular CD but will be done as a Blu-ray label. Some may ask why wasn’t it done on a regular CD!? but it wont fit. For regular CD it ends up with something like 8 CD’s and the cost for 8 CD’s is pretty high, the actual CD will cost over 100 bucks, so we chose Blu-ray. However since it’s on Blu-ray we were able to be more particular with the audio, for mastering it took about 8 hours just to load the data. We have all the MP3’s in there so you’ll be able to listen in Blu-ray environment t same time for those without those environment they can transfer the MP3 files to mobile device and listen to them while on the go. The other one is the 6 track mini sound track that comes with the Collectors Edition, so we’re doing mastering for both of these at the same time.

――ちなみに「新生FFXIV」の総曲数は何曲くらいなのですか?

How many tracks are there for FFXIV ARR?

吉田氏: ごめんなさい、カウントしてなくてですね。サントラの収録数よりは多い数だと思います。異常ですね(笑)。

Y: Sorry, I haven’t counted. I believe it’s more than the sound track (previous XIV) it’s abnormal (laugh)

――MMORPGって、BGMはそれほど重視していないタイトルが多いように思いますが、そのなかで「新生FFXIV」は異常ですよね。

Looks like there isn’t much MMORPG’s out there that takes in BGM as important, but with that FFXIV ARR is abnormal

吉田氏: こことここは共通でいいって言ってるのにどんどん増えるんです。

Y: I’m telling them this part and this part is fine, but they keep on making.

――やはり祖堅さんが作ったのが一番多いんですか?

Soken san is making the most?

吉田氏: 祖堅が一番多いですね。

Y: Soken is making the most.

――あとは水田さんと植松さん? この3人?

The others are Mizuta san and Uematsu san? These 3?

吉田氏: 「旧FFXIV」の曲も多少使っているのでもう少しいます。

Y: We’re using some of the previous FFXIV tracks also so there are some more.

――「新生FFXIV」は、和田社長という支援者の存在が大きいプロジェクトだと思いますが、今回和田さんが社長を退任することで、「FFXIV」にどういった影響が出ることが考えられますか?

For FFXIV project there was support from President Wada, but with his resignation what kind of effect will FFXIV take?

吉田氏: 影響はまったくないです。

Y: Nothing has been affected.

――まったくですか?

Nothing at all?

吉田氏: はい。ハウジングおじさんがしばらく登場しなくなっただけです(笑)。

Y: Yes. We just don’t have Mr. Housing appearing for a while (laugh)

――しばらくってハウジングおじさんはまだ登場するのですか?

For a while, so does that mean Mr. Housing is coming back? 

吉田氏: また出てくれると思いますよ。

Y: I believe he’ll come back.

――松田新社長は?

How about President Matsuda?

吉田氏: 今後のお楽しみと言うことで!

Y: Please look forward to it!

――今回発売日を8月27日と発表されました。発売時期的には予想通りでしたが、発表のタイ ミングはちょっと予想外でした。私はE3後にβフェーズ3がスタートして、PS3版もひっくるめてサーバーが安定してきてから、満を持して発表するのかな と思っていました。発表を知った際、「リスク取ったなあ」と思ったのですが、このタイミングで発表した意図はなんでしょう?

You announced release date of 8/27. The release timing was as expected but the announcement timing was unexpected. I was thinking phase 3 was first going to start after E3 then once server stability was confirmed with the PS3 version it was going to be announced. When I heard of the announcement I was thinking to myself “He’s taking some risk” but what’s the reason behind deciding on this release timing?

吉田氏: もちろんそのリスクも理解した上でなのですが、例えば受注、そ れからマスPR、それから印刷物もそうですし、E3のSCEAさんのプレスカンファレンスの後ですと、PS4がメインに来て、いまさらPS3かよという、 ネガティブな声がでてしまうこともありますし、大々的なことをやろうと思うと、正直、発売日を決め、告知をしないと何もできないのです。

 あとはやっぱり世界中のディストリビューターさんが、「いつ出るの?」、「本当に出るの?」、「いつ発表するんだよ?」という 心配があって、発売日が決まらないと受注もしてくれないし、すべてが発売日の告知にかかっているんですね。じゃあ、E3の後にざわざわしている中で、そこ で発表したところでじゃあどこまで注目が集まるの?というところが大きかったです。

 ただ僕は、やっぱりまずは触って欲しい。僕自身、昼夜問わず触ってきて、もう大丈夫だという確信がありますし、後は本当に細かいフィードバックをいただいたところを地道に調整していけばいけるだろうと。

Y: This was decided with those risk in mind, for example for mass PR and printing, and ordering if it’s done after the E3’s SCEA’s press conference the PS4 will come first and people will say, you’re going to bring up PS3 now!? and feel negative about it, also if we don’t announce the release date we can’t make major/final decisions.

Also lots of distributors around the world is worried about when it’s going to be released, or if it’s the real deal, or when it’s going to be announced. If the release date isn’t decided no one will make orders, so it all depends on this release date announcement. But if we make this announcement right after the E3 we won’t know how much it will attract, so that was another big point.

For me, I want players to first try it. I’ve been playing day/night and I feel confident that it’s good, so what’s remaining is to take in detailed feedbacks and make adjustments and it should be good.

――ちょっと意地悪な質問をさせてください。まだPS3版は1度もβテストをしてないわけで すが、βテストって本当になにがあるかわかりませんよね。これで大きなトラブルが発生したり、過去の事例のように吉田さんが「ここは絶対に気に入らない」 ということになったらどうするのですか?

Let me ask you this, since you haven’t tested the PS3 version not even once, you won’t know what’s going to happen during the beta test. What if some major problem occurred and ended up where you didn’t like it, what are you going to do?

吉田氏: 頭を下げて発売を延期しますよ。だってそれほかのゲームでも一緒ですよ。このゲームに限らずです。

Y: I’ll bow down and delay the release. This is same for any games, not only this game.

――その通りですが、オンラインゲームではそのリスクがある程度あるうちは、なかなかリリース時期を発表できないのではないかと思ったのです。

That is true, but for an online game, since there is that risk, I believe most of the time the release timing isn’t announced early.

吉田氏: でもそれを言っていたら、どのゲームタイトルも発表できないで すよ。だって別に「新生FFXIV」じゃなくても今までマスターを上げてきたゲームの中で、発売日を告知してからS級のバグが出て「どうする?」っていう シチュエーションはいくらでもあったので。バグがとりきれて、疲労困憊の中、予定通りのスケジュールで発売したものもあれば、こんなのありえないと延期し たこともある。それはゲーム業界にいたら当たり前のことだと思います。

Y: But if you say that, you won’t be able to announce any game titles release. Even if it’s not FFXIV ARR if it’s a game that went through mastering, if there is a S rank bug after announcing the release date, what do you do? there are many situations like that. There are those that were able to be debugged and released on time, and those that were delayed. If you’re in gaming industry that is natural.

――なるほど。

I see.

吉田氏: すべてのバグが取れてから発売日発表するゲーム会社はないと思 いますし、それは意地悪というか、さすがに質問がおかしいですよ(笑)。さすがに2,000時間連続プレイして、1回ハングしましたというなら僕は流しま すよ。だけど2時間プレイした中で4回ハングしましたってなったら、それはS級だろ絶対に直せよと。それが修正できないんだったら発売延期するしかないと いうのは、どのゲームでも当たり前で、「新生FFXIV」に限ったことではないので。

Y: I don’t think there are any gaming company out there that releases the release timing after all the bugs are taken out, that question is is not right (laugh). If we played 2000 hours continuously and if it hangs just once I’ll let it go. However if it hangs 4 times during a 2 hour play, that’s S rank problem and I’ll tell them to fix it. If that can’t be fixed we have to delay the release, this goes for any game, and not only FFXIV ARR.

――その通りですね。吉田さんはそう回答すると確信してました(笑)。私自身そうですが、やはりその回答を聞いて安心するプレーヤーさんは多いと思いますよ。なぜなら「旧FFXIV」は、それで大失敗しましたからね。

That is true. I knew you were going to answer it that way (laugh). This goes for me also but there are players that would see that answer and feel relief. That’s because previous FFXIV failed big time on that one.

吉田氏: うーん、本当に信用していただく、というのは難しいことですね。

Y: Hmmm, so that means it’s really hard for them to really trust us.

――吉田さんは百も承知だと思いますが、ゲーム業界は、吉田さんのような考えがある一方で、 クオリティをちょっと妥協してでも、発売を優先させるという判断もあるわけです。とりわけ、吉田さんはスクウェア・エニックスのコーポレートエグゼクティ ブでもあるので、会社的にこれ以上納期は遅らせられないという判断を下してもおかしくない。ただ吉田さんは、これまで見てきていて、そういう人じゃないだ ろうなと。

I’m sure you know this but there are those that think like you in the gaming industry, on the other hand there are those that hold back on the quality but priorities on releases. You are Square-Enix’s corporate executive so as a company it wouldn’t be surprising if it was a decision as a company to avoid any further delays. But looking at you until now, I felt that you were not that type of person.

吉田氏: そう思っていただけているのであれば、それは開発者として幸せなことですね。

Y: As a developer being told that is a blessing.

――しかし、ということは、PS3版のバグフィクスは、もうすでにかなり終わりつつあるわけですか?

But, does that mean the bug fix for the PS3 version is pretty much nearing it’s end?

吉田氏: そうですね。たぶん起きるとしたら、表示限界に達したときに、 僕らの社内テスターと開発人数を総動員したテストですら、カバーできかったようなシチュエーションが発生したときでしょうね。だからこそのβテストなんで す。ただ、それ以外は本当に細かいところまで来たので、大丈夫じゃないかなと。

Y: Yes. If something were to happen, like if it goes over the display limit, there was a situation when this happened when we tested with our in-office testers and development teams, that is why we have these beta tests. But aside from that we really working on close details now so I think we’re alright.  

――じゃあ例えば街に数百人一気に集まってもクラッシュしないわけですね。

So for example, if few hundred players all gathered in town, it won’t crash right?

吉田氏: ええ、そのレベルのバグはもう取っています。その状態で、どうしたらというケースバイケースが僕らじゃとりきれないものをテストさせていただきたいんですよ。

Y: Yes, we already taken care of that type of bug. We want players to test in that situation to see the bugs case-by-case.

――コレクターズエディションはさっそく売り切れ続出でしたね。

Collectors Edition was sold out instantly.

吉田氏: あれはほんとに嬉しかったですね。

Y: I was really happy about that.

――追加生産の予定はあるのですか?

Do you have plans on additional production?

吉田氏: いや、豪華で足の長い商品ばかりで、作るのが大変なんですよ。 再生産しようと思ったら3カ月くらいはかかってしまうので、追加はあまり考えていないですね。あとは市場に余らせたくないという意図もあります。それはや はり「旧FFXIV」があったからなのですけれど、とにかくその尻尾を捕まえて叩きたいという方もいらっしゃいますし、それくらい恨み節な方がいっぱいい らっしゃるので。まあそれだけのことをしてしまったのだからなのですけれど、「やっぱり余ってるじゃん」とか、「ワゴンになってるじゃん」というのをとに かくやめたいから、コレクターズエディションは即予約完売でいいよねという想いがあります。本当に下げられない値段まで下げて、とにかく触ってもらうこと を重視しようと。だから価格も1年半くらい前から決めてたんですよ。

Y: No, it’s really hard to make this. If we wanted to reproduce it will take about 3 month so not really thinking about addition. Also we don’t want to the market to hold (onto extra copies) this was due to what happened in previous XIV, but we want to have people with grudge against say stuff like Look see it’s left over just like previous XIV, it’s not selling, that’s why we said it’s alright to just do it with reservation orders only. We really lowered the price as much as possible, and wanted as much players to try it. We were already decided on the price around year and half ago.

――βフェーズ3は何人ぐらいの規模を想定していますか?

How many players are you expecting in phase 3?

吉田氏: 同時接続者数のキャパシティ5,000のワールドが「旧FFXIV」のレガシーワールドが開いたところで35です。途中で人数を見てもう少しワールド追加できる状態にはしています。

Y: With one world with 5,000 simultaneous connection capacity with Legacy worlds together will be 35. We are planning to check the amount and have enough room to increase some more worlds.

――おーー、βとは思えない規模ですね。

Oh wow, can’t believe that much for beta.

吉田氏: テスター登録自体は70万人以上になるので、これぐらいじゃないと(笑)。

Y: We have over 700,000 tester registrations so we need this much (laugh)

――フェーズ3の実施期間なのですが、8月まできっちり2カ月間やるのですか?

For phase 3 duration, are you going to do 2 month fully till August?

吉田氏: そこまで長くありません。

Y: It’s not that long

――それでは6月14日からいつくらいまで?

Then from June 14th till when?

吉田氏: だいたい1カ月くらいを想定しています。

Y: We’re thinking about a month

――予定通りに行けば7月中旬で閉じることになりますが、そこから再開発に入るような形ですか?

So if it goes as planned then it will end around mid July, so from there you’ll go back to redevelopment?

吉田氏: いや、もう現状で上がってきたフィードバックをそのまま見なが ら。ここからはもうどちらかというと運営に近いですね。僕ら運営チームは必ず朝に前の日のQA報告を確認したり、プレーヤーからのフィードバックを見た り、運営朝会というものでチェックしてるんですが、修正するか、するとしたらいつ? ホットフィックスにするのか? などを即時判断しながら進んでいるの で、まあたぶん同じような状態に突入します。まあフェーズ1もフェーズ2も、ずっとその朝会をやってきているので、僕がこのフィードバックは対応するけれ ど、これはフェーズ4送りだとか、これは正式サービス、これはパッチでいいよというのがあって今の状態があるのです。最後の詰めに入ります。

Y: No, once we received the feedbacks. From here on out it’s more towards the operation. Our operation team checks the QA report from previous day every morning, and checks players feedback, and also checks the morning meetings, if we are going to fix, they talk about when? If it needs to be done as a hot fix? They make those decisions and moving on forward, so we’ll probably go in the same way. We did the same during phase 1 and 2 also, so like this feedback, we’re going to address this one but it’s going to be pushed to phase 4, or at launch, or patch. It’s currently setup that way and heading towards the last part.

――それではオープンテストとなって、誰でもプレイできるようになるフェーズ4はいつからやるのですか?

Then when will phase 4, the open beta test where anyone can play start? 

吉田氏: まだ決めていないです。なぜなら、まだフェーズ3をやっていないからです。

Y: We haven’t decided yet. That is because we haven’t started phase 3 yet.

――フェーズ3次第ということですか。

So it’s up to phase 3 then.

吉田氏: はい、それこそバグが出たりする可能性があるので。

Y: Yes. That is because there is possibility of bugs.

――フェーズ3が順調に7月中旬に終了したら、フェーズ4はいつぐらいになりますか?

Say phase 3 ends smoothly in mid-July then when will phase 4 start?

吉田氏: フェーズ4は「完成したのでやりたい人は全員触ってください」っていうものなので、フェーズ3の結果次第ですね。

Y: Phase 4 is something that’s finished and for everyone to try it out so it’s all up to the result of phase 3.

――コレクターズエディション特典のアーリーアクセスは大体5日間という話ですが、オープンβもだいたい1週間くらい?

It was said the early access bonus from Collectors Edition is about 5 days, but open beta is about one week?

吉田氏: 短めにはなると思いますが、期間はまだお答えできないです。

Y: Might be short but I can’t answer on the duration yet.

――仮に発売直前ということなら、オープンβ(フェーズ4)とアーリーアクセスをなぜ分けたのですか?

Then say if it was right before the release date, why did you separate the open beta (phase 4) and early access?

吉田氏: オープンβはあくまでも世界中の人に試してもらって、アーリーアクセスは予約特典です。アーリーアクセスを全員にしないのは、ご存知のとおりサーバーラッシュの波を分けたいからです(笑)。

Y: Open beta is for everyone around the world to try it out, and early access is a bonus for pre-order. Not everyone is getting early access, and as you know we want to split the wave of server rush (laugh)

――オープンβではキャラクターのワイプは行ないますか?

Are you going to wipe character data in open beta?

吉田氏: オープンβはオープンなので、よほどクリティカルなバグがなければワイプはしない予定です。データ系のバグがない限りはワイプせずにそのまま正式サービスに移行します。

Y: Open beta is open so as long as there isn’t any critical bugs we are planning not to wipe. As long as there isn’t any data type of bugs we aren’t going to wipe and transfer to official service.

――でもオープンβでキャラワイプがないとしたら、アーリーアクセスのメリットが減りませんか?

But if you’re not going to wipe character data during open beta, wouldn’t that lower the merit of early access?

吉田氏: そうですかね?

Y: Is that right?

――オープンβでキャラクターを作って、そのキャラクターでそのまま正式サービスで遊べるなら、わざわざコレクターズエディションを購入してまでアーリーアクセスに参加する意味が薄れてしまうかなと。

You make character during open beta, and if you can play that character in official service, there isn’t much reason to purchase the Collectors Edition and participate in the early access.

吉田氏: 3~5日のアドバンテージは、MMORPGの場合、一刻も早くプレイしたい人にとっては大きいと思いますよ。

Y: I believe 3-5 days advantage for MMORPG is pretty big for players who want to play right away.

――なるほど。実質的にOBTからスタートダッシュする流れになると思いますが、それはそれでかまわない?

I see. So looks like people will dash start from open beta but you’re okay with that?

吉田氏: はい。構いません。

Y: Yes that is alright.

――あとはフェーズ3以降で予期せぬトラブルが起こらず、8月に無事正式サービスを迎えられたらいいですね。

Hope there isn’t any unexpected trouble post phase 3 and be able to meet the Augusts official service.

吉田氏: そうですね。これだけのボリュームで、これだけ複雑なシステムをできるだけ簡易に、それでいて描画は限界までやっているので楽しみでもあります。

Y: Yes. I am also looking forward to see what’s going to happen with this much volume, and trying to make this much complex system as simple as possible, at same time rendering at a maximum limit. (reworded)

――今回は、PS3版にフォーカスしたインタビューをさせていただきましたが、「当然、俺はPC版で遊ぶぜ!」という人も多いと思います。推奨PCだったり、推奨のゲームパッドだったり、この辺りの発表はいつ頃を予定していますか?

This time we focused on the PS3 version in the interview but I believe there are many that will say “I’m of course going to be playing on the PC version” when are you going to announce the optimal PC or optimal gamepad information?

吉田氏: もうまもなくです。まもなく6月に入れば情報が出てくると思います。

Y: Almost. Once we get in June those information should come out. (note this interview was done May 30th)

――今年はHaswellとGeForceの700番台が同じタイミングで出てくるので、その組み合わせによる推奨PCがどんどん出てきそうですね?

This year we got Haswell and GeForce 700 series coming out around the same time, so we’ll have lots of optimal PC’s with those setup?

吉田氏: ですからまもなくです(笑)。

Y: I’m telling you almost (laugh).

――βテストフェーズ3に向けてユーザーさんにメッセージをお願いします。

Please give us your comment for the players waiting for beta test phase 3.

吉田氏: ここまでの2年半は、本当に濃すぎて長かったし、皆さん本当に お待たせしました。PC版、PS3版それぞれいいところがあると思います。メリットデメリットいろいろあると思うのですが、MMORPGがこのスケール、 このクオリティで、特に日本の場合だと国産で遊べるチャンスはもうそう多くはないのかなと思うので、ぜひβで触っていただいて、表示周りをもうちょっと NPCを優先して表示して欲しいなとか、手触り感をぜひフィードバックしていただければと思います。「面白かったよ」なのか、「ここ飽きたわ」なのか、そ んなフィードバックでかまわないので、どんどんいただけると最後の調整に役立てることができると思います。

Y; This 2 and half years, it was really long time, and I really have made you wait a long time.

I believe both PC version and PS3 version has it’s good parts. There may be merit and demerits as well but I believe to be able to have  a MMORPG with this scale and quality, especially for Japan I don’t think there isn’t much chance to play a domestic game like this so I would like you to please try it out, and leave feedbacks such as want to see NPC display priority to increase and what you felt. It’s alright if it’s just feedback saying I Like it or Got bored of this, just give us as much feedbacks so we can use those for final adjustments.

――ありがとうございました。βフェーズ3楽しみにしています。

Thank you, looking forward to phase 3.

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Cleaning up (removing JP text)

Same thing as above so don’t bother reading.

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Source: Game Watch Interview - Article dated 06/13/2013 - http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/interview/20130613_602879.html

In beta phase 3, battle system will go through some changes, what direction did it take for the changes?

Y: Up until now everything was taken control by GCD but abilities will now move on it’s own (timer) Weapon skill will have GCD but you can use abilities now in between so you’re going to be busy.

So now it’s possible to fight while constantly using some type of action?

Y: In the beginning it’s not that much, but as you learn more skills, it will be very important to decide the positioning and what type of combos to use. For example if you feel you’re in danger, you can use abilities such as “Fight or fly” (probably different naming in English) to increase DPS defeat the mob at once before the weapon skill.

What do you mean by using in between weapon skill?

Y: While the timer (GCD) is still running, you use the ability in between, it’s basically to use up the available time wisely. For example, this character is Gladiator and is Tank, so it doesn't have much DPS. The classes role is to hold the enemy. Now if this was a Monk, you will run around to the side or behind the enemy and buff yourself while increasing evasion to increase haste effect, so you’ll need fight while continuing to keep the attacks going. If you miss, you’ll have to start over again so you’ll need to think over. The DPS will change when looking over duration.

If that’s so, seems like it’s going to be much busier

Y: At the beginning new adventurers are limited with amount of available skills, this will increase as you level. We checked into how much battles you need to go through in order to level up to the next level, from there you’ll learn new skill but it’s not something you learn and use in that order. You’ll learn skills that may in go between the skills you have already learned. You’ll also learn in time that the damage will increase from specific position. So say first move needs to be used from behind the enemy and 2nd being from the side, you’ll first go around the mob, run to the side and use 2nd then watch the mob to stop to use weapon skill to dodge and put in the 3rd combo, or instead of 3rd combo you may want to use the first skill again to increase the buff...  or if you take in too much hate, use feather step in between to increase evasion and right after dodging to put in a counter ability, so you’ll have many different options. (reworded)

So not only does it get busier, it will require lots of strategy.  If you can perform that much looks like the battle can be enjoyed not only with a party but with solo also.

Y: Yes, previously we have mentioned this but for solo we want players to play through quests and while doing so deciding your character's class, then learning the basics for that class from there. Next you can get into dungeons and or playthrough guildhest to learn party play. Through parties you’ll learn about individuals roles on how tanks can take hate for you while you do your things. You’ll learn them step by step and that’s completely fine.

The battle system will change again but will it be something beginners can enjoy without getting confused?

Y: Yes, for beginning it shouldn’t be a problem. We carefully made adjustments there. That is the reason why we received feedbacks. For core gamers they felt it was bit lacking, where beginning was dull, just spamming same skills in same order. So we made adjustments by rearranging the order you obtain the skill, and changed the usage requirement. But if you play from level 1, you only have 1 skill at beginning, so it isn’t a problem, once that increases and becomes 2 you’ll learn to use it 1 > 2, then once you learn the 3rd skill you’ll find out instead of 1>2>3 order the 3 comes in between becoming 1>3>2.

How are the caster jobs progressing?

Y: It may be hard to tell by looking at the job action movie we released earlier but for Conjurer and Black mage there are elements called Astral Fire and Astral Blizzard, and if you continue using Blizzard type spells your element becomes Blizard based, and if you use Fire based you’ll become more Fire based. You’ll be able to tell right away by the fireballs circling around your character. With that state your fire damage from any damage will increase, however your MP usage will also increase a lot. Also there is something called Stance Change and there is Astral Fire level 1, level 2, level 3, for example if you cast 2 fire type spells you’ll have Lv2 Astral Fire element on your, while in that mode if you use stance change it switches to blizzard level 2 so you can add on blizzard spells with a cost of much faster MP regen. So you can look at the remaining MP and cast Fire till your MP is near depleted and then switching to blizzard, by doing that the MP will recover at really fast speed. You can cast blizzard to keep the continue damaging the mob and once the MP is regained to switch to Fire, then put in Thunder for DoT. For those that played 1.x FFXIV may feel that it has changed.

You’ll take in the risk on your own, but will make the spells stand out,  it’s kind of like FFXI’s Scholar, so it looks interesting where you are able to come up with a strategy instead of just casting fire.

Y: But if you don’t understand it, you might end up not being able to deal much damage, or run out of MP so to make sure that doesn’t happen, through class quests we’re explaining the roles and let them know that there are two elements. At first you can only use Blizzard so you don’t run out of MP, the battle team made careful adjustments. If you learn fire and just spam fire, you’ll run out of MP so you use the stance change to switch between the two. We made sure there is a reason behind why you learn those actions in that order.

In Phase 3 being able to play class/job is one major point.

Y: Yes, first would like players to get used to class, then aim for higher jobs

There were comments saying that depending on the job the quest difficulty is different, were any adjustments made?

Y: We made as much adjustments possible.  There was also comments saying Conjurers had hard time obtaining contribution points to get the reward during F.A.T.E. so we made adjustments there as well. For F.A.T.E. you’ll be doing it with many people so even if we increased the HP of the mob it will still get killed instantly, so we made some tweaks. For example we changed Conjurers Aero to instant spell. By doing this you’ll get the minimum amount of contribution, also by healing you’ll also get contribution so it should be easier for healers to get contribution points.

Many of the players may of felt that everything was being pushed back into phase 3, thinking “This much stuff really going to be in phase 3?” but we have been developing on phase 3 while phase 1 and 2 was running so it’s really in there.

Battle balance has been modified this time around but what do you think about balance between jobs?

Y: Easiest one to compare is Monk and Dragoon, their roles are both close range DPS, but for Monk they have something called Style. There are actions that can only be used while you’re in that specific style and by using that action it could switch to another style to use the next action. It will be where you can go through different position/actions in order 1>3>4>7>8 for the first round but 2nd round going 1>3>5>6 and going back to 1. By doing that correctly the DPS and attack speed will increase. So in the beginning it will be slow, but if you can keep it going it will be amazing. (Note: Just think of it as fighting game continuing combos).

Dragoon on the other hand is much more standard close range DPS, you stand in specific position to deal big damage with combo’s but if you do too much you’ll take hate easily. Also there are skills where you have to use from behind to deal the additional effect or jump where you need to be behind the mob and far away at same time. Or skills where you’re running in from behind and jump and stunning the mob with floor sweep then dealing combo from the side, then using abilities leading up to Dragon Dive. It’s standard close range DPS but made it where it looks cool for Dragoon, while Monk will require to think about how to keep the chain going, they are both same DPS but have different ways to be played. It’s up to the players style. Also this time Dragoon will be jumping a lot so some may enjoy that (laugh)

To bring in previous FF series, are there any jumps for Dragoon where they jump and not come down fora while?

Y: Nothing like that (laugh) If you jump, and not come back there might be situations players will be wiped except for you and them telling you “What the hell are you doing?” Even in the old FF series after jumping and other party members take 9999 and died, you only got that dragoon left and end up saying “What the hell am I going to do with this?” With this much reality in graphics we haven’t done this (laugh)

How are the buddy skills, like the one for Chocobo?

Y: Once you can use Buddies, there will be a command for it, by putting this in the cross hotbar you’ll be able to use it. For example there are commands such as “Follow me” which simply follows you. “Return home” is just that and returns home. “Free Fight” command will let them know that you’ll fight so fight along freely. “Equipment change” we have a simple UI in there for testing so please use it.

Buddies, won’t attack the mob unless the player attacks?

Y: In phase 3 it won’t. However at the timing of official service, it’s possible to do something like I’ll do the healing so go and fight! There are stances for attacker, defensive, healer so you can command through these stances. Also for growth feature you can learn actions through points. There are actions for these stances, so by using these points you can learn them. You can make Chocobo learn cure from healer stance and get it up to where it learns Cure-ra, it’s up to the players to decide. However if you take cure-ra you won’t have enough points to put into attacker/defensive stance.

So there is a limit on the amount of points?

Y: There is. You won’t be able to obtain all of them. There is no fun in it if you can obtain all of it. However you will be able to switch through any stance.

Is there a status screen specific for Chocobo?

Y: There is. But, we don’t have the growth feature in phase 3 so we haven’t released it. If we put that in it’ll become same as the official service (laugh)

Can you have several buddies?

Y; in future we’re planning to be able to hold several.

How about I’m mounted on a buddy while having another buddy following from behind?

y: that’s not possible since we have it 1 on 1. By calling a buddy, your Minion will return as well, same thing.  It’s always 1 on 1. If you’re able to call a pet along with that, you’ll have a row of pets following you (laugh) that will break the memory or go over the limit for character display

Alright then, how about pet (summon) and Chocobo (buddy) combination? 

Y: Summoner and Arcanist's pets are OK.

It is said that in phase 3 you will be testing data import from previous XIV, is this for all the characters that was created in XIV? I believe there are few that made couple characters under one account (reworded)

y: yes. There isn’t any restrictions in phase 3, you will be able to test as much. However at the timing of official launch, there is different subscription plans such as standard and entry, so if you have it on entry course, you only can use one character.

I think everyone logged out in different areas, but where will they start? (reworded)

Y: We made adjustments on this one. They will all start from a specific location. For this one it will involve story so we can’t talk about it yet.

What’s going to happen to the Linkshells previous FFXIV characters had? 

Y: We will transfer over the Linkshells, this time the data centers going to split starting phase 3 with Japan and NA/EU. That test will also start, so previous Legacy Worlds will also be separated between Japan and NA/EU. So we’ll have wolrd transfer, if you would like to transfer we will need everyone to send in the transfer request. I apologize for the inconvenience this will cause but we’ll try our best to support. If the Linkshell leader decides to move the leader will not able to carry over the Linkshell, the remaining linkshell will be passed onto another player automatically. If the leader stays then it will remain the same.

Also for friend list, unlike previous XIV where it automatically added players to friend list, it will require approval. Say I wanted to add you as a friend, first it will send a message to you asking for approval and until you press “Okay” the friend list registration won’t be completed. Previous XIV wasn’t like that, I was able to add you to the friend  list without any approval, so we made it where it sends the request first. So if you change your name, people may wonder “Who is this?” so please be careful.

Will it start with all your equipment, items, and money? 

Y: Yes. But for those items that didn’t fit in the inventory, we have a specific NPC that holds those items so please get it from them.

Looks like TESO is releasing around the same time as XIV ARR, that game is developed by the team that did Dark Age of Camelot, which you played hardcore. Looks like it’s a fateful match.

Y: During last year’s E3 I met the ESO people and we talked about DAoC and they were like good luck with FFXIV so it’s really fateful match.

I see. However, doesn’t it look like this year it’s going to be different?

Y: Not sure. Both our direction in graphics is different so I’m sure we’re both not worry about each other.

FFXIV now has Japanese voice and looks more like a consume game

Y: Yes. We’re the only MMO which can be played with a gamepad.

Soken (FFXIV ARR Sound Director) mentioned about sound track during the test broadcast.

Y: There are two, first one which as the previous XIV tracks called “Before Meteor: FINAL FANTASY XIV Original Soundtrack” which has total of 104 tracks in a Blu-ray disk. Instead of a regular CD but will be done as a Blu-ray label. Some may ask why wasn’t it done on a regular CD!? but it wont fit. For regular CD it ends up with something like 8 CD’s and the cost for 8 CD’s is pretty high, the actual CD will cost over 100 bucks, so we chose Blu-ray. However since it’s on Blu-ray we were able to be more particular with the audio, for mastering it took about 8 hours just to load the data. We have all the MP3’s in there so you’ll be able to listen in Blu-ray environment t same time for those without those environment they can transfer the MP3 files to mobile device and listen to them while on the go. The other one is the 6 track mini sound track that comes with the Collectors Edition, so we’re doing mastering for both of these at the same time.

How many tracks are there for FFXIV ARR?

Y: Sorry, I haven’t counted. I believe it’s more than the sound track (previous XIV) it’s abnormal (laugh)

Looks like there isn’t much MMORPG’s out there that takes in BGM as important, but with that FFXIV ARR is abnormal

Y: I’m telling them this part and this part is fine, but they keep on making.

Soken san is making the most?

Y: Soken is making the most.

The others are Mizuta san and Uematsu san? These 3?

Y: We’re using some of the previous FFXIV tracks also so there are some more.

For FFXIV project there was support from President Wada, but with his resignation what kind of effect will FFXIV take?

Y: Nothing has been affected.

Nothing at all?

Y: Yes. We just don’t have Mr. Housing appearing for a while (laugh)

For a while, so does that mean Mr. Housing is coming back? 

Y: I believe he’ll come back.

How about President Matsuda?

Y: Please look forward to it!

You announced release date of 8/27. The release timing was as expected but the announcement timing was unexpected. I was thinking phase 3 was first going to start after E3 then once server stability was confirmed with the PS3 version it was going to be announced. When I heard of the announcement I was thinking to myself “He’s taking some risk” but what’s the reason behind deciding on this release timing?

Y: This was decided with those risk in mind, for example for mass PR and printing, and ordering if it’s done after the E3’s SCEA’s press conference the PS4 will come first and people will say, you’re going to bring up PS3 now!? and feel negative about it, also if we don’t announce the release date we can’t make major/final decisions.

Also lots of distributors around the world is worried about when it’s going to be released, or if it’s the real deal, or when it’s going to be announced. If the release date isn’t decided no one will make orders, so it all depends on this release date announcement. But if we make this announcement right after the E3 we won’t know how much it will attract, so that was another big point.

For me, I want players to first try it. I’ve been playing day/night and I feel confident that it’s good, so what’s remaining is to take in detailed feedbacks and make adjustments and it should be good.

Let me ask you this, since you haven’t tested the PS3 version not even once, you won’t know what’s going to happen during the beta test. What if some major problem occurred and ended up where you didn’t like it, what are you going to do?

Y: I’ll bow down and delay the release. This is same for any games, not only this game.

That is true, but for an online game, since there is that risk, I believe most of the time the release timing isn’t announced early.

Y: But if you say that, you won’t be able to announce any game titles release. Even if it’s not FFXIV ARR if it’s a game that went through mastering, if there is a S rank bug after announcing the release date, what do you do? there are many situations like that. There are those that were able to be debugged and released on time, and those that were delayed. If you’re in gaming industry that is natural.

I see.

Y: I don’t think there are any gaming company out there that releases the release timing after all the bugs are taken out, that question is is not right (laugh). If we played 2000 hours continuously and if it hangs just once I’ll let it go. However if it hangs 4 times during a 2 hour play, that’s S rank problem and I’ll tell them to fix it. If that can’t be fixed we have to delay the release, this goes for any game, and not only FFXIV ARR.

That is true. I knew you were going to answer it that way (laugh). This goes for me also but there are players that would see that answer and feel relief. That’s because previous FFXIV failed big time on that one.

Y: Hmmm, so that means it’s really hard for them to really trust us.

I’m sure you know this but there are those that think like you in the gaming industry, on the other hand there are those that hold back on the quality but priorities on releases. You are Square-Enix’s corporate executive so as a company it wouldn’t be surprising if it was a decision as a company to avoid any further delays. But looking at you until now, I felt that you were not that type of person.

Y: As a developer being told that is a blessing.

But, does that mean the bug fix for the PS3 version is pretty much nearing it’s end?

Y: Yes. If something were to happen, like if it goes over the display limit, there was a situation when this happened when we tested with our in-office testers and development teams, that is why we have these beta tests. But aside from that we really working on close details now so I think we’re alright.  

So for example, if few hundred players all gathered in town, it won’t crash right?

Y: Yes, we already taken care of that type of bug. We want players to test in that situation to see the bugs case-by-case.

Collectors Edition was sold out instantly.

Y: I was really happy about that.

Do you have plans on additional production?

Y: No, it’s really hard to make this. If we wanted to reproduce it will take about 3 month so not really thinking about addition. Also we don’t want to the market to hold (onto extra copies) this was due to what happened in previous XIV, but we want to have people with grudge against say stuff like Look see it’s left over just like previous XIV, it’s not selling, that’s why we said it’s alright to just do it with reservation orders only. We really lowered the price as much as possible, and wanted as much players to try it. We were already decided on the price around year and half ago.

How many players are you expecting in phase 3?

Y: With one world with 5,000 simultaneous connection capacity with Legacy worlds together will be 35. We are planning to check the amount and have enough room to increase some more worlds.

Oh wow, can’t believe that much for beta.

Y: We have over 700,000 tester registrations so we need this much (laugh)

For phase 3 duration, are you going to do 2 month fully till August?

Y: It’s not that long

Then from June 14th till when?

Y: We’re thinking about a month

So if it goes as planned then it will end around mid July, so from there you’ll go back to redevelopment?

Y: No, once we received the feedbacks. From here on out it’s more towards the operation. Our operation team checks the QA report from previous day every morning, and checks players feedback, and also checks the morning meetings, if we are going to fix, they talk about when? If it needs to be done as a hot fix? They make those decisions and moving on forward, so we’ll probably go in the same way. We did the same during phase 1 and 2 also, so like this feedback, we’re going to address this one but it’s going to be pushed to phase 4, or at launch, or patch. It’s currently setup that way and heading towards the last part.

Then when will phase 4, the open beta test where anyone can play start? 

Y: We haven’t decided yet. That is because we haven’t started phase 3 yet.

So it’s up to phase 3 then.

Y: Yes. That is because there is possibility of bugs.

Say phase 3 ends smoothly in mid-July then when will phase 4 start?

Y: Phase 4 is something that’s finished and for everyone to try it out so it’s all up to the result of phase 3.

It was said the early access bonus from Collectors Edition is about 5 days, but open beta is about one week?

Y: Might be short but I can’t answer on the duration yet.

Then say if it was right before the release date, why did you separate the open beta (phase 4) and early access?

Y: Open beta is for everyone around the world to try it out, and early access is a bonus for pre-order. Not everyone is getting early access, and as you know we want to split the wave of server rush (laugh)

Are you going to wipe character data in open beta?

Y: Open beta is open so as long as there isn’t any critical bugs we are planning not to wipe. As long as there isn’t any data type of bugs we aren’t going to wipe and transfer to official service.

But if you’re not going to wipe character data during open beta, wouldn’t that lower the merit of early access?

Y: Is that right?

You make character during open beta, and if you can play that character in official service, there isn’t much reason to purchase the Collectors Edition and participate in the early access.

Y: I believe 3-5 days advantage for MMORPG is pretty big for players who want to play right away.

I see. So looks like people will dash start from open beta but you’re okay with that?

Y: Yes that is alright.

Hope there isn’t any unexpected trouble post phase 3 and be able to meet the Augusts official service.

Y: Yes. I am also looking forward to see what’s going to happen with this much volume, and trying to make this much complex system as simple as possible, at same time rendering at a maximum limit. (reworded)

This time we focused on the PS3 version in the interview but I believe there are many that will say “I’m of course going to be playing on the PC version” when are you going to announce the optimal PC or optimal gamepad information?

Y: Almost. Once we get in June those information should come out. (note this interview was done May 30th)

This year we got Haswell and GeForce 700 series coming out around the same time, so we’ll have lots of optimal PC’s with those setup?

Y: I’m telling you almost (laugh).

Please give us your comment for the players waiting for beta test phase 3.

Y; This 2 and half years, it was really long time, and I really have made you wait a long time.

I believe both PC version and PS3 version has it’s good parts. There may be merit and demerits as well but I believe to be able to have  a MMORPG with this scale and quality, especially for Japan I don’t think there isn’t much chance to play a domestic game like this so I would like you to please try it out, and leave feedbacks such as want to see NPC display priority to increase and what you felt. It’s alright if it’s just feedback saying I Like it or Got bored of this, just give us as much feedbacks so we can use those for final adjustments.

Thank you, looking forward to phase 3.

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Noticed I changed the name of the doc to part 2...?

Yep there is part 1... I missed... https://docs.google.com/document/d/16NDiY_ros5rh6cgT5AJ1dtenDYqwJJUsyVPIl8F31fY/edit?usp=sharing

working on it gonna take a while, this one is 4 pages long...