I was really touched by all of the messages from "The Rising". I had a great time collecting and reading them all. With my tokens, I bought a lot of "A Realm Reborn Red", which is a bottle of champagne.
I'll surely pop a few bottles on any clears I manage to get!
I wanted to write a response to some of the letters, so here it is! Yes, I know, the chance that anyone from SE reads my blog is zero. This is just for fun. Besides, like one of the letter-writers wrote, I believe in miracles!
* * *Medium Bottle, Message I"The mighty walls of Ul'dah were not built by one man. There were those that hewed the stones, and those that polished them. Those that carried them, and those that stacked them one atop the other until they reached the towering height you see today...
And it is not just the walls. Much of what you see in the world is, in fact, the sum total of the blood, sweat, and tears of countless men and women whose names and faces you will never see.
But there is one more who is essential to truly realize the creation of these wonders...and that is you. For without you, all the efforts of those nameless artisans would mean nothing at all.
And so we speak in unison when we say...thank you. Always remember that you are the reason we devote ourselves to our craft.
The Nameless Artisans of Eorzea"
The sheer length of the credits that play at the end of the MSQ is evidence of how many people paid in blood, sweat and tears to tell this amazing story.
Some are well-known among the players and rightfully praised, such as Soken's music compositions or Ishikawa's writing for the MSQ, but their work would not have been possible without an army of other hardworking developers from many disciplines.
One of the things I rarely hear people talk about is the success of Shadowbringers early access, and the network engineers and other technical staff who made it possible.
During early access, I rarely faced login queues of over 100. There was almost no emergency maintenance, and the servers were responsive outside of a DDOS attack on Sunday. The huge crowds of players did not result in any lag at all.
It is unheard of for a major MMO expansion launch to be this smooth, and I don't know how they did it.
By contrast, I was watching some streamers play WoW Classic yesterday, and like 6 hours of the stream was just waiting in queue to log in, lol.
I appreciate all your work, and while I may not know every brick you have laid, together you have certainly built a mighty city worth being proud of.
* * *Medium Bottle, Message II"A little bird tells me that Eorzea is a land where many a bard and minstrel plies their trade.
“Oh, what I would not give to visit that far-off land and hear their strummings with my own ears!” Such is the vain dream I hold in my heart each day, as I sit in this dark room, pounding away against a great machine of levels, dials, and blinking lights.
Countless sounds have been given life in this cold, dank place. Perhaps you have paid special heed to them, but doubtless many of you have not. There is no shame in this─on the contrary, this is proof that they have formed part of the natural fabric of this world.
And yet, at some point in your adventures, if you could pause for even a fleeting moment to take in all the sounds of the living world around you, nothing would give us greater pleasure.
An Artisan of Acoustics"
While the Artisan is underappreciated, I think their work makes a big impact on us every day, such as the iconic "SCHING!" sound when Duty Finder has made a party for you. I swear, if you trained a parrot to make that sound IRL, I would jump. The same sound is used when the limit gauge fills. (Hurry up, Healer LB3 or we'll wipe!!!)
When I am not busy using sprint and rushing every dungeon as fast as I can to give my healers anxiety attacks and make dps players grow white hairs, I do pause from time to time to enjoy the ambience of the natural world around me.
Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail that is added. I remember when I was finishing the HW MSQ, pacing in the Singularity Reactor while waiting to do the level 60 MSQ trial, I realized that when you walk over the fleshy growths in the room, your character's footsteps change to a squishy sound!
Even in the heat of battle, I enjoy the Artisan's work. One of my favorite sound effects is the brutal "SCHRRRINGGG!" of PLD's Goring Blade. Failing to refresh this is a large dps loss, so it is always extra satisfying to hear that sound effect and know that I have used it just in time before being forced to disengage from the boss to do mechanics.
Another of my favorite sound effects is Hallowed Ground. When Hallowed Ground is active, attacks on you are deflected with a soft "tink" sound effect. It is funny to be fighting a horde of monsters and hear the constant "tink tink tink" sound. Or, when the raid boss autoattacks you, and all you hear is a puny "tink", it just enhances the feeling of being invincible.
The Artisan's work is literally a matter of life and death for me now, because in E3S I rely on listening for Leviathan's Maelstrom sound effect to tell where the safe spot is. It's faster than using the camera, and it works even if Leviathan appears behind me.
Don't worry, Artisan of Acoustics. We don't discuss it very often but I definitely appreciate your work!
* * *Medium Bottle, Message III"To those who make a living in the world of the stage, audience reactions are everything. Each joyous cry, each shed tear...we feel it with you, our audience, and then some.
Even when the reviews are harsh, we do not look away. We listen to and reflect upon your every word, each time vowing to use it to provide more powerful and effective performances going forward.
There are times when the poets and playwrights ask more of us than we feel capable of providing, but never do we back down from a challenge. Everything we do, we do it for you─and we thank you for being an ever-appreciative audience.
Yours in gratitude,
A Humble Stage Director"
I think this is written by the Battle Content team, which makes dungeons and raids.
Well, I am just a noob, who knows nothing and has little experience, so you need not fear harsh reviews from me, muhahaha!
I have noticed that the arenas in FFXIV are almost always flat, level circles or squares. I read that in the Coils of Bahamut Turn 5, the uneven ground terrain caused bugs with certain attacks, allowing them to be cheesed. Ever since then, I suspect that for technical reasons, all battles have been limited to level ground.
Other times, the design of encounters is constrained by job balance reasons. I noticed that there are very few mechanics that can be cheesed by PLD's Hallowed Ground and Cover in the current tier, and suspect this is deliberate, to balance the advantages of the various tanks.
When you consider limitations such as these, it's amazing that the battle content team continues to produce high quality battles that are startling in their creativity.
You would not imagine that fighting a boss on a flat featureless rectangle could be very interesting, but after being spanked by Voidwalker over 50 times I know from experience it's trickier than it sounds!
I've enjoyed all the dungeons and raids in Shadowbringers and I'll definitely do my best to experience everything you made!
* * *
And of course, there's Mr. Yoshida himself, the Producer who showed up to thank the player in the event.
I admit, I don't always like all of Mr. Yoshida's decisions. I disagree with SE's TOS and harassment policy, and I think it's a little bogus that we have HP meter and enmity meter but not DPS meter. Yes, I know Yoshi-P is sick of hearing about this one, I'm sorry!
But I know that it is impossible for him to please every player, and in the end, he must make decisions in the best interest of the playerbase as a whole.
When one sees the unbelievable amount of effort he pours into the game, one has to respect him.
I struggle to think of anyone at the executive level in this industry who is as passionate as he is right now.
Mr. Yoshida, please take care of your health. I'd like to enjoy you and your co-workers' game for a long time to come!