Update from Matsui (credit to Slycer on BG for translation)

By the time most people read this I hope the official translation of Matsui’s post will be out but Slycer (a member of the Blue Gartr forum) has been translating Japanese Dev Tracker posts because they can appear earlier than the English ones.

Slycer’s post is here 

What I have read, even at this stage is enormously encouraging. Details behind the cut!

Progress Report (Sorry to Keep You Waiting!)

Hello, it’s Matsui.

As always, thanks for continuing to play Final Fantasy XI.

A lot of time has passed since the last time I posted here, so I’d like to first apologize for that.

*Changes to Vana’diel over the past 2 years
*How our players feel about the game
And your questions about
*What’s going on with the development and management teams
*What’s the status on development progress
*What’s the path moving forward

We understand each of these situations, and I wanted to develop an organized response to this. There have been many challenges over the past few months and I needed more time to develop my response because of this, but at this point I can’t fairly ask for any more time. So, as an interim report, I wanted to discuss what we’re working on now, and what we’re planning on for the future.

The Roadmap
We are truly sorry that there have been such significant delays from the roadmap that was previously published. There were two reasons for this.

One was because the schedule was published before the announcement of “Seekers of Adoulin.” The impact of the development work on Adoulin was much greater than we initialy forecasted.

The other is that the man hours it took to review the projects and feedback from the forum was also greater than the initial forecast.

I am considering creating and publishing a modified version of the roadmap through March 2013. Beyond that, we need some time so that we can both determine the real workload and redefine our development policies. It is important that we firmly establish this development plan for the new fiscal year and keep our players from becoming disappointed.

We understand that our players have been inconvenienced by this and may have some bitter feelings over it, but please give us a little more time.

The Current Situation
I’m happy to read all of the player feedback that we get, not only from the forums, but also from Twitter or directly from our players.

One of the concerns raised with content, for example, is that people are not able to form up large enough groups to participate.

While there is by no means a small amount of content and a lot of content requires a party or more, I believe that there are a lot of contributing factors as to why people have found it difficult to act as a full party.

Right now, there is very little content to play at a casual difficulty level, and for some players it has already run out. We’ve also received many suggestions from players who focus on the content with a higher degree of difficulty that they often have no reason to log on or they have little to do when they are on. A lot of this is because of poor item performance or unnecessarily difficult item acquisition.

Development Policies
So it’s easy to understand, the main theme behind redefining our policies will be the following items:
*Content Design
*All Jobs
*Determining Item Performance
*Reward Distribution

First off, for players below level 99, we want you to become level 99 first. We are considering adjusting the level 95 limit break so that it can be done even solo. For players who have already become level 99, I would like to provide play situations of all varieties (solo/group, casual/difficult, etc.), and this will be the basis for new and adjusted content.

Once the top groups have exhausted the difficult content, we must also go in and make adjustments so that other players can come out with some reasonable success rate.

For example, strengthening players with additional equipment or job adjustments is one of the methods that we can use to directly reduce the difficulty of all content. Of course, those in the top group might be a little disappointed by this, but there is the assumption that at that point there will already be a new challenge with better rewards in place.

Also for existing content, to redefine the difficulty of getting the rewards, we will consider adjustments to the number of people required and the content’s intended level range in order to meet the needs of whatever the current status in Vana’diel would require. This is especially true for adventurers who are just coming back now after a long break.

For the performance of items, the fact that the level will not continue to raise from 99 is one important factor that we would consider. There will be a need in the future to have both items that provide minor performance upgrades, as well as ones that provide significant upgrades.

As far as how to actually distribute rewards, we got a lot of feedback about this on the forum with respect to how we use low drop rates to adjust compensation to content difficulty. I believe we would like a point-based distribution method to be the standard method added for all situations.

For other things, we got a lot of feedback that battles at level 99 are just not well-balanced in general. For example, we need to make major adjustments to the processes related to enmity generation, and I suspect that there are issues with the TP system as well.

Now that I’ve outlined all of these, once we have a staff discussion based on player feedback, we will decide the timing of specific content introduction for the next fiscal year. Of course, since final decisions are not yet made, we are more than ever looking for player feedback here.

In Closing
We get a lot of Twitter feedback and I know a lot of you are looking for a lot of interaction there. I can tell you that I would be stuck to Twitter all day in order to do that, so I’m sorry if feedback is a little slow.

That said, with things a little calmed down, I would like to take more of a look there, as well as to take more notes based on the forum feedback and hopefully respond more here as well.

I’m still only learning as the new producer, but I can tell you that I will try my hardest so that we can together build a Final Fantasy XI that is loved by everyone. We ask for your continued cooperation and participation in the future.

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Categories: ffxi, game mechanics, updates

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