Every two years since 2013’s relaunch, Final Fantasy XIV fans have gathered in huge conventions spread out across the world, allowing players in North America, Europe and Japan the chance to get a first tantalising peek at what’s coming in the MMORPG’s next content-rich expansion, as well as participate in championships, challenges, and tons of other community activities.
This year, of course, things were a little different. The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2021 was purely digital, allowing all players across the globe to partake in this special event simultaneously. There were live concerts, cosplay contests and other digitally friendly activities. As ever, the convention kicked off with the Keynote presentation, which revealed a wealth of new content coming to the game’s fourth expansion Endwalker. As is now tradition, the game’s director and producer Naoki Yoshida had an extra special treat for fans to reveal the second new job introduced in the expansion: the creator took to the stage dressed up as a Reaper.
With the Digital Fan Festival now finished and Yoshida back in civilian clothes, we took the opportunity to talk to the creator about the Reaper job, Endwalker’s music, the brand-new male Viera race, and more.
The second new playable job you have revealed, Reaper, is brand new to the Final Fantasy series. How did you decide to go for this job and where did you find inspiration from? Can you tell us a little bit about how Reaper will play, and what will differentiate it from the other melee DPS jobs?
Just to start things off, thank you for taking the time to conduct this interview! Now, onto the questions.
Whenever we brainstorm ideas for each new job in Final Fantasy XIV, our base concept and goal is to make sure that each job has a unique gameplay experience. In this case, before we even reached the stage of finding inspiration, we first looked at the overall job composition and distribution, and from there decided that we wanted to add a melee DPS. It is after that when we looked to come up with ideas as to what kind of job we wanted to make.
Many players around the world, especially those from the West, had been requesting the addition of a job that uses a large, two-handed scythe—we used the idea of a two-handed scythe weapon as a base, and started brainstorming ideas for new jobs from there. I asked several game designers who are involved in the creation of new jobs to take some liberties and submit their ideas—we discussed those ideas to make our decision.
One idea that came up was to utilize not only the player’s own aether, but to combine it with a different source of aether to fight in battle. It was from there that we came up with the idea of a grim reaper from the scythe aspect, and fro