The director of Final Fantasy XIV, Naoki Yoshida, recently expressed his admiration for the chaos and freedom found in the nineties MMO game, Ultima Online. However, he acknowledged that implementing such elements directly into FF14 would “break” its players. In an interview at the Final Fantasy Fan Festival in London, Yoshida explained that while each MMO has its own appeal, simply copying Ultima Online’s chaos would not work for FF14. Instead, Yoshida emphasized the need to adapt and tune the game to maintain its unique focus.
Yoshida specifically mentioned Ultima Online as an MMO that would not work within the FF14 universe. Ultima Online, created by Richard “Lord British” Garriott, is considered one of the pioneers of MMORPGs. The game allowed players to commit crimes, including assassinating other players, which led to a sense of chaos and freedom. Yoshida recognized the early days of Ultima Online as a source of inspiration but also acknowledged that trying to incorporate its mechanics into FF14 would likely disrupt the established community.
Yoshida expressed his desire to create a sense of chaos in a game similar to Ultima Online, but he doubted the appeal of a massively multiplayer online game where complete chaos reigns. Despite the popularity of lawless survival games like Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved, Yoshida speculated that today’s market would not embrace such a game. He also noted that creating chaos in FF14 would risk alienating the existing FF14 community, which has come to expect a certain level of structure and order.
While Yoshida did not specifically mention which games he looked to for inspiration, he stated that FF14 needed its own adaptation of the chaos found in Ultima Online. The challenge lies in finding a balance between chaos and structure while keeping the essence of FF14 intact. Yoshida emphasized that he and his team are actively working on arranging and tuning the game to incorporate elements that can create a similar sense of freedom without overwhelming the players or disrupting the community.
As the director of FF14, Yoshida understands the importance of constantly evolving and adapting to the changing landscape of MMOs. While Ultima Online may have been groundbreaking in its time, the gaming industry has evolved significantly over the past few decades. Yoshida recognizes the need to create a game that can resonate with today’s players and markets, without disregarding the fundamental experiences that make FF14 unique.
While Yoshida’s desire to channel the chaos and freedom of Ultima Online into FF14 is ambitious, he acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead. It is not enough to simply copy the mechanics of a beloved MMO game; instead, FF14 requires careful thought and consideration to ensure that any new elements added fit cohesively with the existing gameplay. Yoshida’s dedication to creating a unique and enjoyable experience for FF14 players is a testament to his commitment as a game director and his passion for the MMO genre.
The task of introducing chaos to Final Fantasy XIV is an intricate one. Naoki Yoshida’s aspiration to capture the spirit of Ultima Online while remaining true to the current FF14 community and gameplay exemplifies his dedication and vision. As the director continues to refine and tune FF14, players can look forward to new and exciting experiences that strike a balance between chaos and order. The future of FF14 holds promises of adventure, freedom, and the unruly beauty that chaos can bring when crafted with care.