Post FRC Interview with Naoki Yoshida

Hello all! Hope you are enjoing 5.0! French gaming media, JeuxOnline has posted there interview with Yoshi-P yesterday! Here is what they had to say.

JeuxOnline: The Feast Regional Championship was a first in terms of competitive PvP championship organized on every data center, do you think you will reiterate this on an annual basis?

Naoki Yoshida: We’re looking back over the tournament and carrying out a post mortem with both things that went well and perhaps also things that could have been improved, as this was indeed the first time we challenged ourselves with something like this. Of course, we are thinking about holding further official tournaments, but we are still in the process of discussing the scale and cycle of this. I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of those that helped hype up the FRC!

JeuxOnline: During the FRC, we had the opportunity to see different teams from 4 to 6 players each, do you intend to keep this team’s composition for the future?

Naoki Yoshida: This time around, using FRC as a basis, we intended to secure a degree of freedom for members by allowing a total of up to six, not just four in a team. This party number structuring is also something that is undergoing a post mortem going forward towards any further tournaments. That being said, I don’t easily foresee us reducing the amount any further than this going forward!

JeuxOnline: Considering the Twitch audience and the public at the Paris Fan Fest, the vast majority of the viewers seemed to enjoy a lot the show, did you expect such a result?

Naoki Yoshida: For something like PvP, just by looking at the faces of those playing it close by, or if it turns into a climactic match with exciting grappling between teams, we are confident that it will no doubt give birth to some excitement. And of course, we had the MC and commentators give us their extremely devoted support, along with the community teams too. It definitely went above and beyond what I imagined in terms of how big it was hyped up, and I think that is all down to the players and the teams. Thank you all so much!

JeuxOnline:During the US championship, the viewers created a “confrontation atmosphere” between the Aether & Primal data centers. Do you fear the same thing will happen following the announcement of the new data center “Light”?

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Naoki Yoshida: Well no, there is always a chance that competition will arise, but that’s the case not just for PvP but at any time within the online gaming world in which people cross people. On the other hand, there is also the very high chance that a wonderful relationship of cooperation will also arise; and I think this is equally the same, regardless of the addition or not of a DC. In fact, the important thing becomes ensuring that we think about exactly how we lead to a resolution when a form of competition does indeed arise, and what kind of support we should provide on our side.

JeuxOnline: In terms of “metagaming”, we saw the same jobs used by the players during the championship, do you analyse this data in order to adapt this “metagaming” to the next seasons of the Feast?

Naoki Yoshida: Yes. Both during the FRC and outside of it, we are constantly checking the data on the winning ratios of jobs participating in matches from all over the world and very detailed numbers separated by job, which helps us greatly when making our adjustments to balance. This time around, we made every effort to maintain the balance and not make any major adjustments to it from after the FRC preliminaries ended all the way to the finals. This is the result of taking into consideration the stress from not being able to take enough time out for practice, as well as not wanting to see a break in the balance just before the finals to the extent possible. We are currently taking the development of 5.0 as our top priority, but when that starts to calm down we will focus on making adjustments to balance of PvP content next.

JeuxOnline: We saw that the US & EU Fan Fest casters (+One, Frosty & Bar) are actually quite skilled PvP players, can you tell us how the collaboration with them started?

Clément from SE’s Community Team: It started when we started planning FRC around early 2018, but rather than simply hiring professional shoutcasters, based on their good track record of their activities within the community, and above all their ability to provide commentary based on their knowledge and passion for FFXIV, we decided to go for members from the community instead, to give it a more organic vibe. Frosty and +ONE had already commented together for some fan-made tournaments so they had a good pace/style already. It was only natural that they were commenting for the Fan Fest in Vegas.Meanwhile for Europe, we didn’t have any such duo, so I had to find alternatives. For the semi-finals, I asked Bar if I would be interested, as I knew he is quite passionate about the Feast but couldn’t participate to the FRC. He agreed and we commented the semi-finals together. However, I couldn’t commentate for the finals in Paris, so I asked Frosty and +ONE if they were interested – and they agreed! So we had them as the main duo and Bar as the game analyst. They made a great trio and provided dynamic, fun and easy-to-understand commentaries for all games. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them again – you guys rocked!

JeuxOnline: Do you think it would be possible to have some French or German casters for future championship? Clément from SEE’s Community Team: Logistics would be quite challenging, but as long as we can manage them, I don’t see why not. Since the European Fan Fest and FRC are global events, we went for English language only this time – and I believe it will still be the case in the future. But if there’s a demand for shoutcasting in French or German from the community, maybe we’ll consider it…

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JeuxOnline: According to some viewers, the different matchs seemed quite difficult to understand because so much things happened that the beginners couldn’t see. Would it be possible to add some visual indicators in order to help beginners to better understand the different matchs? (as the inclusion of the timer for example) Naoki Yoshida: As this is also a problem of the game speed, I think that is would be necessary for us to make adjustments to the game balance before resolving it with changes to the UI. It’s also a big burden that we’re entrusting with all of the casters that handle the commentating of the matches. JeuxOnline: The Feast Regional Championship was spread across several months in order to have different categories (qualifications, semi-finals & finals). Do you think a “Loser bracket” system would allow more players to participate to the next competitions?

Naoki Yoshida:For us, the FFXIV team, it was the first time trying out this kind of thing this time around, and we decided to implement it with as simple a set of rules when doing so as possible. Going forward, as we will be more used to the operations behind it, we do have ideas to power things up, like a Loser Bracket, or holding the preliminary stages in a hall, etc.

JeuxOnline:The 2018 FRC winners received several rewards including 1 trophy, 3 years of free subscription and an official title. Do you think that proposing other rewards, even with less value, would attract more players for the next championship?

Naoki Yoshida: There are various issues with rewards, that are tricky to resolve. As the global service that is FFXIV, we expand this service out across the entire world with fair rules, however there are various large differences to the laws of each country when it comes to any products or the total sum of prize money connected with e-Sports. I myself of course want to prepare much grander rewards, but in Japan, this isn’t always permitted under the law. I consider it as a bad thing to have a huge difference in scale amongst each regional tournament when it comes to prizes and prize money. This is indeed an unbelievably annoying issue indeed.

JeuxOnline:Players are already holding several non-official tournaments, what is the position of Square Enix concerning these events?

Naoki Yoshida:Not only are we very thankful, but ideally we would also like to create some kind of support program if it were at all possible. And of course, for those doing this, please do operate whilst ensuring to closely follow gameplay agreements and laws.

JeuxOnline:On a long-term basis, which means do you think would be best to use in order to promote the FRC?

Naoki Yoshida: I think that has to be the proof that FFXIV is a game that is not all just about PvE, but is in fact played by those that make use of it based on a variety of different values – and that’s really big in terms of informing anyone of the future potential to expand it. In order to do that I think we need to increase awareness and invite more sponsors.

JeuxOnline: During the championship, the public was able to watch a PvP presentation video made by a passionate fan, do you think this kind of presentation could be used again by Square Enix on a regular basis in order to present the next content?

Naoki Yoshida: I also saw that, and not only was it very well put together but the work done there really helped from our point of view as well. It’s pretty tough to make a video of that level on a more official basis, but I consider it something that we should challenge ourselves with. The quickest way may be inviting the creator to join the FFXIV team

Here is the website that hosts this article! French version is also posted. https://ffxiv.jeuxonline.info/actualite/56503/interview-frc-2018-naoki-yoshida-nous-parle-jcj-final-fantasy-xiv#eng