After the FRC event, I was curious where PvP stood from the standpoint of the developers. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity for an e-mail interview to ask a few questions about it all. Answers were provided by:
Sota Moriguchi – Project Manager
Hikaru Tamaki – Battle System Designer
Naoki Yoshida – Producer & Director
Hello and thank you very much for taking my questions regarding PvP content in Final Fantasy XIV! I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done and the opportunity to work with you during the FRC events. Throughout the season I’ve worked closely with the PvP community and there are a lot of questions on their minds. So let me begin!
Q. The Feast Regional Championship was the largest event for competitive PvP in FFXIV, organized officially by your team. How do you feel now that it’s over?
Firstly, as this was the first official PvP tournament that the FFXIV team hosted and organized, we are relieved to have finished FRC without any glaring issues. At the same time, I do want to convey my feelings of gratitude towards all of the players that turned it into an exciting tournament for everyone.
This time around, we held the finals at Fan Fest for each region as it was a Regional Championship, but each region had their own unique flavor and everyone used a variety of jobs and strategies throughout the event. As such, I was able to enjoy the tournament as a Warrior of Light myself. Of course, we learned quite a bit from the tournament from the operations side of things as well, so we would like to build upon the experiences we gained next time, if we are to hold an official tournament again in the future.
I was surprised with the amount of passion that the participants had for The Feast, and the enthusiasm from those who were watching the tournament throughout all NA, EU and JP regions. To be honest, there are elements of The Feast that have room for improvement from a competitive content standpoint, and this tournament has made me want to create content that more people will be hyped about more than ever before.
Q. While the players who participated in the event enjoyed it, once every two years seems like a very long time between competitions. Is there any chance we will see more events like FRC that may lead up to various other conventions, maybe not just FanFest?
Tournaments on the same scale as, or bigger than the FRC require long-term planning and will be quite difficult to hold at a regular pace. However, if it was a smaller event, such as “The Feast PvP Team Season” planned to start from the end of May, or other online tournaments, then we might be able to hold them more regularly.
The dev. team is currently in discussion on how to develop and operate future PvP content as we speak, so it would be great if you could continue to give us your feedback.
I would love to hold a tournament bigger than FRC in the future, and would also like to increase the frequency of these events. At the same time, I believe that we need to start by designing the content itself that the events will be built upon.
We now have more people participating in PvP through content such as Frontline and Rival Wings, where the number of concurrent participants is greater and there are less things to worry about. However, I do feel that many people are still hesitant to participate in The Feast due to the amount of responsibility placed on each person, which is unique to content made for a smaller number of players. And there still are many who quickly quit The Feast, having a hard time fitting into the gameplay.
I believe that it is important to create content that people who feel this way will also want to try participating and continue playing.
Q. Is there anything about the current Feast mode that you and your team are looking to change after watching the FRC?
We feel that the matchmaking function is top priority when it comes to making improvements. The addition of dancer in 5.0 makes for six ranged jobs total, when including the magic ranged DPS jobs. It is concerning to us as well that this will make matchmaking harder for ranged jobs.
We are still in discussion on how exactly we will fix this issue, but we would like to be open minded with a broad range of options, such as making it into a role-free system along with improvements made to the rules, or trying new rules outside of the 4v4 system with a new matching algorithm.
On top of that, from the rules’ perspective of The Feast, there are the issues of high responsibility for healer jobs, the difficultly in understanding the rules surrounding medals, the unfairness that you feel towards the heavy medals and light medals, how the winning team stalls the other team right before the timer runs out… etc. There really is no end if we start listing up the things we want to fix, but we do understand there are many areas we can improve upon.
We will continue to investigate what we should do to address these issues.
Q. Most Feast players are concerned about the datacenter split, since the player pool is already so low. Is there anything to be done to make sure the season after the split is active?
I believe we do need more people to join and enjoy The Feast to invigorate the season. I believe that there are still many who are interested in The Feast but haven’t been able to make their first move. As such, we hope to find ways to help jumpstart their participation, such as by encouraging them to join PvP-related communities for example.
With the introduction of the World Visit System, I believe players are even more connected within the same data center. We are also looking into various activities that will lead to the invigoration of the community.
Since we believe that the sense of comradery has strengthened within each region with the FRC, I hope to be able to help widen that ring of community even further.
I believe we can increase options for players if we are able to further establish competitive PvP content within the world of FFXIV.
This is simply my own personal idea as the person in charge, but for example, we could have a server dedicated to PvP wherein you are able to create a copy of the character you regularly use onto that server. Only the characters copied onto that server could participate in PvP content, and you would have to play on that server if you want to partake in rank matches during the season. Any prizes won by making it into the ranks would then be distributed to the player’s main character.
We would be able to bring together all participants from different DCs together in one place if we realize a system like this. It would be ideal if we can make good use of holding these types of limited time PvP events, so that players can enjoy this alongside their non-PVP activities as well.
Q. Is there any chance all players from a certain region will be able to play against each other on a regular basis? For example: Aether, Primal, and Crystal all playing against each other in Feast queues.
It is physically impossible to match people across data centers with the current structure of FFXIV. If it was technically possible to make it happen, I would love to immediately implement features that will allow for matches like those that you suggested. However, “what we want to do” and “what we can do” are completely separate issues.
As Tamaki mentioned in a previous answer, creating a PvP-exclusive server and copying your characters onto there would be the fastest way to make this happen–but even something like this requires a great amount of preparation and workload. Regardless, we do believe that our top priority is to improve the current matchmaking issues.
Q. Having just one map to play on during a season does seem a little dull after a while. Is there any chance we can bring back more maps in the rotation?
Previous maps were created through a great deal of trial and error, but it might be interesting to increase the variety of maps after establishing clearer regulations from the beginning.
Q. The “push” and “pull” mechanics can be very annoying in PvP, mostly because there is no resistance after being affected by it. Is there any chance we can add a resistance to it?
Since it’s not a pleasant experience to be repeatedly knocked back or pulled, we have decided to add resistance to being knocked back and pulled in 5.0.
Q. Often after players complain that they are hitting a “skill ceiling” early on due to the low amount of actions. Can we please have more actions?
We don’t think that it is an especially big problem at this moment. Ideally, we would like to make the content into something more accessible to everyone and also include more depth, but we believe that depth isn’t always about controls, but is also something that can be achieved by the rules as well.
We are planning to improve PvP actions with 5.0, and if we determine that it is too easy even after those changes, we will look into making further adjustments, including increasing the number of actions.
Q. Lastly, players are wanting to see if there will ever be an 8v8 map which features a simpler mode. While Rival Wings has a lot of different objectives and goals, it can be very overwhelming. Something like Capture the Flag has been requested very often. Maybe a “Capture the Kupo Nut” or “Capture the Chocobo Egg” could be something Final Fantasy may see in the future?
We would like to continue creating a variety of content, since more people can enjoy it without worrying about many things with content that is simple, easy to understand, and one that has a larger number of participants.
On the other hand, there are concerns that if we go that route, our core players may not find enough depth in the gameplay, or people may feel that it is hard for them to overcome situations with their own skills/strengths.
I believe that it is extremely important for players to gain satisfaction by winning through putting in time and effort to make it happen, or winning by using their own strengths and skills, for people to continue to play the content. As such, we would like to aim to construct rules with high competitive elements, while realizing both accessible, casual feeling, and core elements that has enough value for you to put in your time to improve.
We will continue to look into what kind of PvP content fits within FFXIV by utilizing the knowledge that we gained through The Feast.
As such, please continue to send us your feedback!
Again, thank you very much for taking out the time to answer the questions. I look forward to what we will be seeing in the coming expansion for PvP!
Thank you everyone for reading! Until next time.