Final Fantasy XI Directors Discuss What Changes They’d Like To Make

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In an internally-conducted Final Fantasy XI 10th anniversary interview at Square Enix, Final Fantasy XI director, Mizuki Ito, and associate director, Yoji Fujito, discuss what they wish they could change about the long-running MMORPG.


Ito says he wishes they could add more races to the game, but that this isn’t possible with the way the game was designed from the ground up.


Mizuki Ito: The goddess Altana only created 5 races and it would have been nice to do more with this premise. This design is at the very basis of how the world is presented, so unfortunately we can’t introduce new races… Adding new races would upset the balance of the world and it would be costly from a development perspective as we’d also need to build all the equipment for these new races, but at the very least this aspect could have benefitted from a little more flexibility.


Meanwhile, Fujito says he would’ve liked to see more single-player elements early on in the game’s life, and that for the future, he’d like to up the battle tempo and movement speed.


Yoji Fujito: Thinking back to when we first started the game, I would like to have seen more gameplay that caters to single players. I’m talking about the “3 Nation” missions in particular as perhaps it would’ve been better if you could play all the way up until the Shadow Lord, regardless of your job. We also got universal feedback saying that Synergy should have been made easier for the player. I would also prefer to make Evolith easier to understand by completely changing the system here. Speaking of which, I’d love to see a small increase in movement speed as well as in the battle tempo, especially to make fighting smaller mob enemies a little more fun… the list goes on.


Final Fantasy XI is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, Ito and Fujito say that they have no doubt they’ll be celebrating the game’s 11th, 12th and many more anniversaries for the game in the future as well.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.