Just a couple months after the release of Bravely Default: Flying Fairy in Japan, Square Enix and Silicon Studio got busy compiling a list of 100 questions and suggestions for their next game. Dengeki sat down with producer Tomoya Asano and director Kensuke Nakahara to talk changes that were influenced by fans in Bravely Default: For the Sequel, an updated and enhanced version of Bravely Default.
The image below is a look at the whopping list of the “100 questions and suggestions” that were compiled and implemented into the ongoing work of Bravely Default: For the Sequel, along with the actual sequel that is also in development. Dengeki asks about how much of that list has actually already been implemented in For the Sequel.
“About 80-percent of it has been incorporated. This makes up most of what you see on the list.” answers Nakahara.
“And the parts that weren’t implemented—it wasn’t because we couldn’t, but rather, they are subjects we’ve discussed and intentionally left out, so we could use them as an approach to improve in a different way altogether,” adds Asano.
Dengeki then asks the developers to elaborate a little more on the parts that were intentionally left out.
“Well, there is one thing I’d like to talk about. ‘Introduce a visible encounter system,’ ‘make it easier to avoid enemies or fight them when you want to,’ and such feedback, were some of the more dissenting opinions we got,” Asano reveals.
“So, we went with a rather amusing approach with regard to this, and made it possible to choose your own encounter rate,” Asano continues. “While it isn’t a visible encounter, I believe that we will be challenging [that concept] with something experimental; a new method that will keep the comfort while allowing players to fight when they want, and not fight if they don’t feel like it.”
That said, is there a catch to being able to change the encounter rate?
“No, there’s nothing like that. You’ll be able to freely change it whenever you want,” answers Asano with a laugh. “However, if you don’t fight with enemies, then of course your level won’t rise, so you might have trouble during boss fights. On the other hand, you could use this to aim for finishing the game at a low level. By the way, I’ve been playing For the Sequel, and just being able to change the encounter rate makes it very comfortable. It’s almost as if I wouldn’t know what to do without it now (laughs).”
While allowing players to have the comfort of adjusting encounter rates according to their liking was on top of their to-do list, Square Enix and Silicon Studio also had another issue they felt the need to tackle.
“This time, we’d also like to have as many people possible clear the game until the very end,” says Asano. “In fact, according to our research, we got a result showing merely 20-percent of people who played Bravely Default: Flying Fairy actually reached the true ending.”
“We’d love it if parts of the game can be enjoyed, but in the end, a part of us wish for players to enjoy the story until the very end,” Asano elaborates. “So, in addition to allowing the adjustment of encounter rates and difficulty, our goal is to have casual players who stopped playing halfway through enjoy it until the end. I believe that with the various options and difficulty settings, it will also be a game that can be enjoyed by players who are into speedruns, as well.”
The difficulty settings will be based off stat parameters, which will determine how much health and attack power the enemies have. Dengeki ask if “Normal” mode keeps the game exactly the same as the first Bravely Default.
“Fundamentally, yes, but the bosses are a little stronger,” says Nakahara.
“With the new system in consideration, if it was left as the original version, I believe that it wouldn’t be as challenging. Even without the new system, there were many who felt that the fights against Asterisk holder enemies were a little too easy, so we made them tougher. Even if you can’t defeat them, you’ll be able to adjust the difficulty in the middle of the game, so I think that if were to you set it to ‘Easy,’ there wouldn’t be any problems.”
Asano also shares, “During our company playtest, there were some people who configured the difficulty to ‘Hard’ and took out all encounters, and also disabled the gain of experience and money, just to see how far they could get. To those of you who are confident in your skills, please give these kind of play styles a try.”
Bravely Default: For the Sequel will be available on December 5 in Japan, while Europe will be getting the game later this year. North America will see it in 2014.