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Letter from the Producer Live starts on the hour. Learn what's left to come in the 4.5 series as well as a Q&A session with Ayumi Namae. Stay tuned! #FFXIVFanFest2019
Will start shortly, briefly delayed. Tune in here: twitch.tv/finalfantasyxiv
Here we go, it begins!
The gang's all here!
Yoshida apologies for the delay, some technical difficulties.
The first half of the PLL is the Patch 4.5 content, and the rest is the Q&A with our special guest.
We're already up to PLL 49?! Next is going to be 50! Foxclon comments how hard it is to read the roman numerals at this point.
Patch 4.55 February 12th, 2019 - Just a few days after this fanfest.

Patch 4.56 Late March 2019
Patch 4.57 - This is when the NA and EU data center merges happens.

Patch 4.58 - Various adjustments before 5.0 release!
Rival Wings - Hidden Gorge (PvP)
These Gobtrains will be running through the center of the map running people over.

The train stations hold cargo for buffs and other items.
Don't stay too focused on one thing, or the trains might speed on by and run you down, deal damage and knock you away.
(sorry forgot an image)
You might recognize this guy from Alexander (perhaps you were wrecked by him at some point).

They'll join the team that shows their strength when they're not just attacking people at random.
Yoshida wanted to play Rival Wings on stage but because the test servers are all moved over to 5.0 he can't show it on screen because it has new jobs, UI and even the title screen is changed over to say Shadowbringers. Instead we will see some pre-recorded video.
Hmm... this is just a screenshot not a video. You might not see this Stormblood logo for much longer so you better look at it while it lasts (buying time for technical difficulties)
Looks like they have to skip it for now? Will they be able to come back? I suppose let's move on to Hydatos.
"Hey everyone it's me Director and Producer Yoshida here with our first topic-" (pretending none of that ever happened)
Eureka: Hydatos
...huh?! We're hearing word that the PvP video works now... "Really?!" -Yoshida
We're getting Alexander to rewind time for us!
The red and blue are the cores for each team. You can see where the trains run through the area as well as the Mercenaries you'll encounter and fight.
Yoshida says they've done a lot of play testing and say it's a lot of fun.
The amount of mechs stay the same, but they've introduced a system so the mechs can be destroyed and then come back much more quickly.
Now for the next topic that we DEFINITELY don't know is coming... Hydatos!
Now to switch to the PC for some live footage.
Here we are, time for some debug commands... Monsters will avoid me and now I'm invincible... oh and let's change it to day.
The weather normally isn't this plesant here in Hydatos. You can see a waterfall... rise? The water isn't falling but instead going up!
Hmm what are these beams?
Yoshida turned off his cheats, but now he's dead...
Level Down...
The story here should wrap up nicely and the gear will be leveled up as expected... but what comes after this?
Open Dungeon - The Baldesion Arsenal

This is the big building at the center of the map. Up to 56 adventurers can tackle this at once.
It won't always be accessible. You need to have certain items, be there at certain times, etc.
If you wipe you won't be able to try it again. You might end up leveling down if people die.
How many people play FFXI? What is his name? Absolute Virtue!
You'll have a debuff that restricts resurrective magic which means if you wipe here... there's no coming back!
To clear this content you need trust in your teammates, perseverance to succeed, and a whole lot of time.
This content isn't part of the story, the story is already done at this point. However, for those who really want to tackle this content, this is for you! The game warns you if you really want to attempt it... those who say yes, good luck!
We expect players to spread information they find about this open dungeon with others around their data center; come together to learn and clear this content!
So those are the main features of Patch 4.55.
However, we ARE at fanfest after all, so let's talk about something new.
This game is of course Final Fantasy XIV. A Final Fantasy AFTER XIV has been released... right?
I want to announce something, but I'm worried the video will even work...
Final Fantasy XV Collaboration!
We already have XIV in XV, but now it's time for XV to join XIV. Noctis seems to be on a roadtrip in Eorzea.
We have a lot for players to do between now and 5.0. This is planned to come mid April.
What was that black box thing with four wheels? That's the Regalia, it's a car... with four people riding it?
That's the vehicle Noctis and his bros travel in FFXV. So we created it based off of that design. That must mean then... Can we ride it? It's only for the video you say?!
After showing this and NOT letting it be available... people will cancel their accounts!
Yes! This is one of the rewards from the event! The Regalia as a mount! All four players in the car have a unique pose based on where they sit in the car. Lalafells have a hard time reaching the steering wheel... The first FOUR PLAYER MOUNT #FFXIV #FFXV #FFXIVFanFest2019
Final Fantasy XV Collaboration Live Mid-April, 2019.
Now it's time for our special guest to join the stage for the Q&A section.
Ayumi Namae one of the concept artists for FFXIV will be helping answer questions from the forums.
Ayumi begins by greeting the crowd and hopes to get to as many questions as they can and hope you enjoy the answers!
Q: What exactly does the character concept artist job entail?

A: We covered a lot of this in the dev panel yesterday. To describe briefly, we take text based description and turn it into artwork to express this information. We take this limited info and expand on it.
A (cont.): We narrow down this limited information to create the final result that you see in game.

Yoshida wishes that he could provide more information. It's easy to give a basic idea, but they have to create tens or hundreds of images which takes a lot of time and energy.
(cont.) Then they have to pick only just one out of these many images and it feels like such a waste and so he feels bad.

Ayumi says that it's part of her job and she enjoys it nonetheless. Being able to experiment with many things allows her to try new things.
(cont.) It's fun to be in the creative process of taking what she knows already and researching new ideas.
Q: Do you do any additional research when creating concepts for legacy Final Fantasy jobs like a Black Mage compared to something new to XIV like Astro.
A: I try to retain that element of history in these legacy jobs. For example the Paladin would be very heroic versus something like Dark Knight who is more like an anti-hero. The Paladin is very proper and pristine. She takes these ideas to build on new concepts.
A (cont.): Final Fantasy is such a long series, and because the Paladin is such a long running job, people expect things like white and blue colors for the job.
Yoshida tends to give very bland information like "I want it to be iconic but new". Perhaps with Shadowbringers however it might be a time to reconsider those classic elements with such a big tonal shift.
Ayumi says that with this new AF set the design rules are a little more free with how they can design them.
The existing jobs in XIV we retained a lot of those classic elements, but with new jobs like AST we focused on concepts like the moon. A lot of focus goes into the character from the bust up, so we pay attention to things like headgear; things in your eyeline.
It sounds like we can see some new designs introduced now! Ayumi wasn't expected to show something so soon, but let's go ahead.
There is a pretty stark difference between male and female this time around. The female has a very "witch" like appearance. Up until now the BLM gear felt very worn and used. This design they went for a more smart and clean look, like a mature Harry Potter look.
Yoshida has many orders on what goes into Black Mage because it is his main job after all. Yoshida felt that because the original BLM gear had a very FFIX Vivi feel, he rewarded her by giving her free reign over the 5.0 design.
Ayumi is very happy to hear the crowd applaud for this design as she was quite concerned over the reaction. She is worried what people would think about that the male and female seem identical. She's very happy to hear people have such a great response over it.
It ties into being able to reallocate development resources as well to get the most out of the assets.
It seems that Urianger has a variation of the gear seen here. We hope to see some cosplays of Urianger in the future with this outfit.
Q: How do you implement things like capes and dye color for various gear in an MMO with such limitations?

A: It's true with an MMO you are very restricted. We have to be mindful of many characters being rendered at once.
A (cont.): It is the challenge for us designers to work around those limitations to find a way to depict our ideas in a rich way and maximize what we can, and that's where the challenge of our job lies.
A (cont.): There was mention of dyeable parts in the question. In terms of what elements dye and what don't. Instead of having the 2D artists guess what limitations need to be done, the 3D creation is made first and then determined from there.
Yoshida mentions deciding on what colors to pick is a difficult thing to do because of the differences with lighting in game where the teams can check in game to determine which dyes are the best to use. Yoshida gets to make the final decision though and sometimes he disagrees.
Ayumi mentions that she designed Ilberd in his white mask. That was one of the first cases where an NPC was given a cape that was very knightly.
To get technical: They usually don't model capes in game with bones. The 3D modeling team doesn't want them to add bones to the cape. However, there is a skirt hem with bones so she hoped that they could link that movement to the cape to allow for some movement.
Many people will not enjoy the stiff feeling of the cape, she felt that it didn't flow ideally enough, but being able to adapt to an MMO means to tackle this challenge and adjust it for Ilberd's cape. Looking at this she thought maybe that could go into the Paladin AF.
From there she went to the 3D modeling team to get their approval to allow for the blue cape to be approved to have similar movement for their AF gear.
Yoshida wants to talk about bones more. In order to move things like the bangs of my hair to move you need to add bones. However, in am MMO we limit on how many bones you can have. You have to take bones away from other parts to make it work with this limit.
However, there are no bones to the cape with Ilberd's cape and the Paladin AF gear. We were able to repurpose the bones from the skirt that aren't being used to go into the cape since the skirt bones aren't being used. Now hopefully you should know how much work goes into this.
Q: You have worked on FFXI and FFXIV. What are some similarities and differences between these two games when designing gear?

A: Of course both XI and XIV being MMOs there are similar restrictions when designing characters. With XIV we have newer technology so we can do more.
A (cont.): There is also a different in the design flow for XI and XIV in how things are created. In XIV anything that needs change in color, the art team handles that task. In XI her task was to make models for anything brand new things only.
A (cont.) I would only focus on creating new pieces of gear, nothing that was just a slight variation of existing gear. For example Corsair AF she would handle the base design and look, for any other repurposing the rest of the team would change or repurpose this "base".
Yoshida will explain things further. In XIV we start off with the 2D creation of design. Then it goes to the 3D modeling team where they model and texture it. The model and textures are done by one team.
In XI they split this task of texture and modeling by two separate people because of their limitations. For XIV someone like Ayumi would design a Chocobo for a shirt as well as a Moogle variation as well for example.
Yoshida asks which AF from XI did Ayumi work on? BLU, COR, PUP, DNC, SCH as mentioned in the dev panel. After she designed those she moved onto FFXIV.
Q: One of my favorite things to do in XIV is to use glamour prisms. What sort of outfit would you recommend?

A: I don't think I should recommend a specific outfit, but the users come up with so many interesting ideas on different websites that I like to bookmark.
(cont.): I visit these sites like I would the news in the morning to see what new outfits people have put together. I designed many of these outfits myself, but it's so nice to see people take these different pieces and combine them together. It's nice to see what people create.
Yoshida says so if you see someone access your glamour site from SQEX offices around 10 AM then you know who it is!
The Q&A section is now over, and onto a few announcements to wrap up the PLL.
First up is the fanfest, obviously we're already almost through the second one, the final one in Japan is on March 23rd to 24th this year. Yoshida mentions that they're 0% through creating the next power point.
Fan fest in-game items available now on the mog station.
Ultima, the High Seraph figure, Yoshida even has in person. Available for the first time here at the EU fan fest.
The green parts are cast together with pieces of clear and opaque material as one separate piece. This figure is worth more than double what the price is.
Gold Saucer Cactpot Party board game. Yoshida has one of these as well.
The rules are very simple, but a very deep game. Here are some of the parts to the game.
Final Fantasy XIV Chronicles of Light, a short novel.
Art of the Revolution - Eastern Memories -
Blank again...
Ayumi says the day before she left Japan to come here she collected comments from the staff members. She hopes the artbook with its focus on 2D will give a look into what the art team's creative process compared to the game in 3D.
Piano Collection
Finally, the Shadowbringers Preorder Special Broadcast: A dedicated stream focused on the collector's edition doing an unboxing, showing the in-game items, etc.
A team will move front on stage to say their goodbyes from the PLL.
Some final words from everyone, starting with Ayumi.
She asks if the crowd was able to get an understanding of what the art team does? We had a lot of announcements to 5.0, a lot of these tasks for 5.0 are mostly complete! Once she returns home, she will start work on 5.1 material!
She will work really hard to bringing content to the players to enjoy moving forward and she thanks everyone!
Koji is still stuck working on 5.0 and Yoshida jokes that Ayumi spoiled that there is going to be a 5.1.
It just shows how early the art team gets to work. They have such a large team, and because of the art team specifically they're able to move forward at the rate they do.
Even though the fanfest focus is on 5.0, but we have a lot of great content coming with 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, the XV collab and more so we have a lot to look forward to up to the Shadowbringers release so thank you!
That is a wrap for the PLL!
In another 30 minutes they will have another Q&A session, this time from members at fanfest for Yoshida.
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