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Final Fantasy XIV Patch 3.4 Special Part I

Greetings, everyone!

As you can see from the patch illustration, the Warriors of Darkness are playing a key role in the story this time, so much so that they can be considered the leading characters! Now that the Dragonsong War has concluded, Patch 3.4 will begin to reveal the story surrounding the Warriors of Darkness, and also touch on key points pertaining to the very foundation of FFXIV. The title of Patch 3.4 is "Soul Surrender." The Japanese title for this patch is "Carrier of the Soul," and this has a direct connection to the story. The "soul" here can be thought of as one's soul, or the soul formed from feelings or thoughts. Those who will carry these souls will be introduced during the story. Compared to all the previous patch titles introduced since A Realm Reborn, we had a really hard time deciding on this patch title. We were able to decide on the Japanese patch title fairly quickly, but it took a while to decide on an English title that didn't sound like a copy of another product.

The main scenario quests will revolve around a certain pair of siblings and there will be different lines of text based on whether or not you have cleared the Binding Coil of Bahamut. Rest assured, you can enjoy the story even if you have not completed the Binding Coil; however, since you'll be able to see the normal version from the Unending Journey, we recommend completing the Coil of Bahamut story line using the undersized party option, so you'll get to see the other unique version. 

 

*While lines from certain characters will differ based on your clear progress in the Coil of Bahamut, rest assured that the overall story itself will not change.

Please look forward to all the side story quests we have in store!

 

Battle System Updates

Recast Time Reset Upon Wipe

Players from around the world have been requesting this feature for some time. When challenging raids and trials, timers will now be reset when the party is wiped. However, if we find instances of this being abused in any way to take advantage of a battle, then we may disable this feature.

 

Auto-attack System Changes

Currently, when playing as a melee DPS, auto-attacks are executed while standing within 3m and facing within 90 degrees of your target. However, differences in player skill can result in rather large gaps in DPS values, which is why we will be changing the way this functions so that auto-attacks are executed based on the range requirement only. The directional requirement will be removed and you will be able to execute auto-attacks regardless of what direction your character is facing.

 

*The auto-attack range for ranged DPS will not change from 25 m

*If a ranged DPS job is within 25 m of the target, auto attacks will occur in all 360 degrees

 

Changes to Face targeting System

In relation to the auto-attack system changes, face targeting will also be adjusted. It will become inaccessible while moving, and can only be used when standing still. With this change, for casters, your character will face the direction of the target's current position and follow the direction automatically. However, please note that there may be times when this won't happen correctly due to server communication.

 

We would like to point out that until now, some mechanics required players to stand still or face away from the target to dodge specific mechanics; however, because auto-attack will be active regardless of which direction you're facing, players will not be able to simply turn around to dodge. Rest assured, you can still sheathe your weapon, or cancel targeting to dodge these mechanics. 

 

Certain Trials will be added to the Raid Finder

We have received lots of feedback regarding this as well. The raid finder will feature extreme trials, including the newest extreme trials. In Patch 3.4, the trials from the Minstrel's Ballad: Thordan's Reign onward will be added to the raid finder.

 

Addition of a Countdown Feature

While this wasn't mentioned in the slides, there are players who use macros to count down before fights, and we have decided to introduce an actual feature for this. A countdown has been added under Party in the main menu, where you will be able to set the countdown timer up to a maximum of 30 seconds. Once the countdown reaches the 5 second mark, a visual countdown will be displayed, followed by "START."

 

New Raid Dungeon – Alexander: The Creator

A new Raid dungeon, "Alexander: The Creator" and "Alexander: The Creator (Savage)" will be added. The new raid is themed around "time," and will conclude the Alexander series. Please look forward to it! 

 

New Trials – Containment Bay P1T6

Containment Bay P1T6 and Containment Bay P1T6 (Extreme) will be added. 

This is the second installment of the Warring Triad series, and players will face off against Sophia, the Goddess. We've put a lot of effort into the graphics, and we're hoping to show it off during the Tokyo Game Show 2016, so stay tuned!

 

New Dungeons

Two new dungeons, Xelphatol, and The Great Gubal Library (Hard) will be added. 

Those familiar with lore may be familiar with the name Xelphatol. Players will mainly encounter Ixal in this dungeon. Give it a try and find out why adventurers are entangled once again with the Ixal! 

 

PvP Updates

Duel Mode

We've received numerous requests to implement dueling from the North America region, and so we're pleased to announce the addition of a duel mode in Patch 3.4! With this mode, it will be possible to battle 1 on 1 against each other in a public area located at the Wolves' Den Pier. You'll be able to request a match via a menu subcommand, and when accepted, a countdown will start and the battle will begin. In fact, others would be able to watch the duel.

 

This new location has areas where you can break the enemy line of sight as well, so players can utilize this to practice certain strategies for PvP. We're hoping this new feature will invite those who aren't familiar with PvP to try it out, and also use this as a starting ground to get familiar to PvP before stepping foot into the Feast. You can also hold community tournament events with this, so we're looking forward to seeing black mage only tournaments and more! 

 

Dueling can be done while waiting for a match in a Duty Finder as well, so be sure to give it a spin!

 

Custom Matches

Another feature which was requested many times was the ability to hold custom matches. The custom match mode can be used for practicing PvP as a party, or again, to hold community-driven events. In order to engage in a custom match, two parties will need to be formed, and have the party leader from one group request a match with the other party. Once accepted, both parties will enter an instanced area to begin a match. Using this mode, it will be possible to hold up to five consecutive matches.

 

Spectator Mode

Along with the above features, we're also introducing a spectator mode, which will allow players the ability to spectate matches. In this mode, players will be able to see important information such as the players' buffs, HP, MP, TP, and Adrenaline Gauge for each of the players engaged in the match. There are 8 cameras placed at the center of the map, and players will be able to switch to each of these cameras and spectate from different angles. Along with this, by clicking on a specific player's character name, you'll be able to spectate from the viewpoint of a player engaging in the match. However, please note the spectator mode coming in Patch 3.4 will require party members engaged in the match to actually invite players to spectate. We understand this is a bit cumbersome, and are currently working to see if we can add a mode where players can see a list of ongoing matches, and be able to choose which match to spectate from on that list. We ask for your patience as we continue working to improve this new feature.

 

We'll go over the specific UI for the spectator mode coming in Patch 3.4 at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show 2016, so please be sure to be on the lookout for that as well.

World rankings will be implemented along with a concept revolving around scores. Your ranking will be displayed based on the score you have accrued. 

 

The story of Deep Dungeon will continue up to floor 100, allowing you to progress through content with a play experience matching that of the Deep Dungeon up until now. However, from floor 101 and beyond, it will be challenging unless you enter with a solid party. With that said, you will be able to obtain a higher score when playing solo, so we'd like everyone to think of this as part of the challenge!

 

In addition, the cap for the Aetherpool gear rewards will increase, and other rewards will be available, so this update should give you something to look forward to. In patch 3.45 only the new floors will be added, and we’d like to gather everyone's feedback to aid the creation of Deep Dungeon 2 in future.

 

Grand Company Updates

New Grand Company Content - Squadrons

Grand Company squadrons will be introduced in Patch 3.4. This content will be a type of simulation game that can be enjoyed solo, and will involve assembling volunteers and creating your own squad. In later updates, we're thinking of adding content which you can enjoy by bringing your squadron to dungeons.

 

* Please note the English term is "Squadrons" and not "Platoons" as listed in the presentation.

 

New Grand Company rank

A new Grand Company rank will be available.

 

New Gear

New gear will be available for exchange.

 

New Features Planned for Patch 3.4

Wondrous Tails

Players will venture through this content with a charming Miqo'te girl from Idyllshire. Adventurers will tell tales of their adventure to her in order for her to create something, and is meant to add another layer of enjoyment for players. The nutkin in the screenshot is hiding information that has yet to be released.

 

Gold Saucer Updates

Triple Triad

Specialized rooms, which can be accessed via the Duty Finder, have been added so players from the same data center can more easily challenge one another to a game of Triple Triad.

 

Lord of Verminion

This will now be supported by the Duty Finder.

 

Jumbo Cactpot

Players will be able to purchase up to three Jumbo Cactpot cards with different numbers each week.

 

Housing Update

Apartments

Apartment-style housing will be added. These apartments will have a shared lobby and chocobo stables, which can be accessed by all tenants. Each ward will have one apartment, and it will cost 500,000 ffxiv gil for a room.

Aquarium

As it is difficult to implement transparent objects in an MMO, it took us a while to add this feature but we are pleased to announce the addition of aquariums. They will come in several different sizes, with the bigger aquariums being able to accommodate a larger number of fish. Maintenance will be necessary, but hopefully well worth the effort, as different varieties of fishes players can put in them will gradually increase with future patches.

 

Orchestrion

A playlist feature has been added to the Orchestrion.

 

New Furnishings

We will be introducing wall-hanging cabinets, as well as Calca and Brina dolls. 

* Video showed images of the new housing furnishings.

 

Using the W Cross Hotbar (WXHB)

Lead UI artist Hiroshi Minagawa explains the new W Cross Hotbar (WXHB) feature in this segment.

Yoshida: Initially, the W cross hotbar was not meant to be a default feature, but was instead developed for level 60 players who wish to use actions quickly. This has resulted in a rather complex tool. 

 

Minagawa: The basic cross hotbar was developed so players can play up to level 40 with just one cross hotbar set. For levels beyond that, players would need to begin cycling through their hotbar sets, or use the expanded cross hotbar, which can be activated by holding down both the right and left triggers. The W cross hotbar was designed for situations where you would need to use more actions, such as during PvP where you don't have enough room in the standard hotbar.

Minagawa: It's hard to explain, but the speed at which you press the buttons is similar to Morse code as short taps are followed by longer taps (double tapping and holding). Please note that the W cross hotbar won't activate unless players hold down on the second press

 

* The video above shows how to activate the W cross hotbar.

 

Keeping the W cross hotbar open

Distinguishing between hotbars

Expanding the W cross hotbar from 4 to 8

Yoshida: With the default settings (4 button mode), the W cross hotbar is activated using the right trigger or left trigger and pressing the face buttons; however, when you expand this to 8 button mode, you can assign and execute actions using both directional and face buttons. 

 

Positioning the double cross hotbar

Minagawa: By setting the W cross hotbar display to ON, the expanded hotbars will display at all times, and players will be able to position them to view their recast timers. To prevent any players from experiencing difficulties in activating the W cross hotbar, we have added a calibration setting─a feature not dissimilar to that of the double-click setting on computers. By default, the W cross hotbar is set to activate after 0.25 seconds but this setting will allow players to adjust this to up to a maximum of 1 second.

 

Yoshida: I'm sure players use various types of gamepads, and depending on the type of gamepad, certain buttons may be harder to press. As such, we encourage players to use this feature to calibrate their gamepads.

 

Minagawa: Also, by turning on the setting to automatically return to the standard cross hotbar after the W cross hotbar input, you can make it go back to the standard cross hotbar.

 

Yoshida: Take for example the actions Protect and Raise. Since these are both actions which are generally only used at the beginning of a fight, it might be useful to register them on the double cross hotbar. This goes for me as well, but I'm sure there are lots of players who may need to use several actions in quick succession, so if you're the type that does this, it may be easier to keep this setting off.

Exploratory Missions 

We have received lots of feedback regarding exploratory missions, and are pleased to announce that we'll be releasing a new exploratory mission in Patch 3.5. In addition to this, we have made adjustments to the existing exploratory mission, including changes to the matching requirements to enter. The spoils exchange rate will also be adjusted, so I recommend those who currently have spoils to use them before Patch 3.4. The new item level 235 equipment will be aetherial gear.

New Allagan Tomestone of Scripture

The new Allagan tomestones will be called scriptures, and the new tomestone equipment will be fashioned in the style of Sharlayan gear. Along with this, we are introducing a new raid dungeon in Patch 3.4, so we will be introducing newly crafted equipment as well. This will include not only gear, but weapons with the same item level.

 

*Video shows images of new gear planned for Patch 3.4 release.

 

Minagawa: While we don't have any pictures on hand to show you, our UI team is currently working on new features for the group pose command, which we are planning to release with the Patch 3.4 update. We will be announcing details in the patch notes, so please look forward to it!

 

Yoshida: I was checking Group Pose yesterday, and a lot of new features have been added, including some independent UI functions. For example, players will be able to now pause their character poses and also adjust field depth.

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