Hello again adventurers!
It was a little over two years ago, back in 2016, when Yoshi-P asked the dev. team:
"Can you guys see if we can put mahjong in FFXIV?"
Those were his words! FFXIV and... mahjong? Well, this was a request from the director and producer himself, so naturally the dev. team began to look into it. It required a bit of extensive investigation though, as FFXIV is a global game and regulations differ across regions.
Sure, it may seem like a harmless addition, but different countries and cultures have different perceptions on games that could be considered "gambling". This is why Yoshi-P's original idea to implement poker in FFXIV hasn't come to fruition yet, but he's thinking about putting it in one way or another...
When we found that we could indeed add mahjong to the game without legal or rating concerns, the UI team got very excited - "We'll do it!", they shouted. (Or so Project Manager U tells us!)
But they didn't want to make it from scratch, as this would be time consuming and resource intensive. Instead, we licensed another company's mahjong game engine to begin development. Amidst the server backup configuration, world visiting, and other system overhauls, the dev. team quietly prepared a new activity to play: "Doman Mahjong".
And now we're finally going to put it in the game! With various modes against NPCs and other players, this game will have plenty of options. It'll also be easy to pick up, even for newcomers (or so they tell me... I've never touched mahjong before this!)
Are you a newbie like me? Don't worry, the rules of mahjong are actually pretty simple.
The head of the project made a great tutorial. They were always going back and forth thinking "Oh, they won't want to read this long paragraph", or "There's too many words to remember here", always trying to return to the mindset of a beginner to make it as understandable as possible.
We also had some people come try it out, but we kept hearing things like "... I don't understand what's on my screen" and "I'm not sure how I won", and so on and so forth... So we implemented a feature for beginners.
Beginner Friendly Functions & Settings
This feature will offer recommendations on which tiles to discard, etc. Ask and you shall receive!
Dangerous Tile Marker
In mahjong, it can be risky to discard a tile, as your opponent may claim it and strengthen their own hand. These markers will indicate which tiles are high risk to discard.
Highlight a tile in order to display its name.
Explaining the Win Conditions
The results screen will display the yakus of the match (a yaku in mahjong is a certain pattern or special condition where a win is declared. Think: "poker hand"!)
More About Mahjong
You'll be able to play Doman Mahjong with NPCs, or party up and play with your friends! While you're playing against other players, you'll be able to chat normally and use emotes, as if you were sitting down at a mahjong table IRL.
The entry level NPCs will be a Moogle, Mandragora, and Spriggan. Yoshi-P has revealed that the moogle is the strongest of the three!
Curse you, Moogle!!
I'll get better in time... Sooner or later, I'll be the one calling "Ron!"... I hope.
Here are the NPCs available for Intermediate and Advanced.
Okay, first of all, where in the seven hells did a Behemoth learn how to play mahjong?? Second of all, how is he even holding his tiles?
We ran into a few odd bugs while designing this content, such as:
・Players couldn't win with the Kokushi Musou hand at first draw
・The result screen stopped showing up correctly after 255 continuous wins (Surely, it was the Moogle who tested that one)
・After "Chi", the hand might change
・While queuing for a four-player match, the four players would be placed in a match by themselves instead
Honestly, at first I didn't understand any of this. I'm still very much a novice, but I think I've come to understand the gist of things! I mean just look at this hand, it's hilarious.
With the help of our diligent QA team, and the suddenly very eager to help dev. team, I think we nailed this new addition to the Manderville Gold Saucer.
Try your hand at Doman Mahjong with Patch 4.5, releasing in just a couple more days!
Until next time,