The latest Radio Mog Station live broadcast took place on January 9th. The guest for this installment of the Final Fantasy XIV-oriented news podcast was none other than Naoki Yoshida, the game’s director. Yoshida, or Yoshi-P as he is referred to, made a plea towards FFXIV players to stop being so toxic towards the game’s developers during the broadcast.
I’m thankful and grateful for players to tell us that we should do this, or this should be that and whatnot, but verbal abuse is something we wish would stop[…][T]here are new players who join this game[…]this also means they are players who experience Endwalker as their first expansion, so it’s a given that there will be mistakes and errors here and there, but after 11 years of journey with players up to this point it does make me feel that the language used ended up a little overboard there. I mean, I can take it, even though it doesn’t make it less bad, but staff members will feel really down after getting those words when they gave their absolute best into trying to create something[…]everyone can enjoy[…]So I have only one request to every player out there – please imagine that you’re speaking face to face with a developer[…]and imagine how they’d feel before sending your feedback over, and I’ll be happy if people can do so politely. This doesn’t help anyone, neither the staff members nor the players either. This will completely drain away their motivation and worse[…][O]f course I don’t mean everything should be given praise. Mistakes are mistakes of course and they should be notified, but I’ll appreciate it if everyone can give careful thought in their thoughts and feedback before sending them overA rough translation of what Yoshida said during the Mog Station Stream by u/elevenmile from r/FFXIV.
There is naturally a lot to unpack here. But what needs to be really underlined is that Yoshida is talking about the Japanese fanbase. Well, he is Japanese, and a lot of people on his development team probably do not speak English. Neither do they read feedback in that language. And this makes matters that much worse.
Japanese culture is very non-confrontational and even apologetic. Their work ethic and social space heavily promote bottling up your emotions. But at the end of the day, these emotions need an outlet. That is why the Japanese internet tends to be very… not nice. As anonymous social media let you take out your frustrations on random “targets” plastered all over Twitter and other parts of the internet.
The source of the frustration seems to be a mixture of things. First up is the delay of Endwalker expansion, which Yoshi-P blamed on himself and even cried during the announcement. Then the long queue times following the release of Endwalker. Which is the direct result of the latest global chip shortage. Square Enix reportedly set out to build more servers to increase capacity but was unable due to mentioned shortage.
And lastly, we have balance changes in-game. People who invested heavily into the Samurai job are unhappy with balancing of their class in patch 6.0. Which made this melee DPS class more spell-cast-heavy than some magic classes in the game. Summoner was singled out as an example of a job that now does less spell casting than Samurai.
This then combined with the lack of quality of life changes that the Japanese community asked for. And on that topic user vSwifty from the mentioned Final Fantasy 14 Reddit had more to say. According to his comment, the Japanese community gave Square Enix plenty of constructive criticism about the Samurai job. Criticisms that were then not addressed in the patch at all. Further fuelling the outrage.
So it seems that the community indeed had some things they were unhappy with. But the course of action they took in displaying their qualms is simply unacceptable. The statement made by Yoshi-P seems really tame in spite of how toxic the JP FFXIV community can be. Glad it did not get to him. Harsh words and death threats are a quick and easy way to get your developers to resent your community.
A great example of this is the back and forth Riot Games often has with their League of Legends community. In 2020 during a dispute over the balance of a certain character developer infamously tweeted that Riot has “over 200 collective years of game design experience”. A phrase that quickly turned into a community meme. With videos such as this one getting almost 2 million views on YouTube. But this is only one example. The community criticizes Riot Games relentlessly, which no doubt sparked unanimous resentment in-company for their own players.
A fate which disrupts communication with players and development in many ways. And one that I do not wish upon any online videogame community. So let us hope that Final Fantasy XIV players do not keep digging that hole.
Speaking of which. While it is important to note that the Japanese player base is the source of this “scolding”. It is equally important to understand that the English player base tends to also be problematic in its own way.
Xenosys Vex is a Twitch streamer with almost 100 thousand followers who built his career on Final Fantasy XIV. Supposedly Yoshi-P has seen his and other toxic FFXIV streamers and seems like he is not cool with them. And you cannot really blame him.
“Xeno’s” content consists of him drowning in sweat while raiding in FFXIV. And then immediately cussing out players who did not play said raid perfectly down to the pixel. And having meltdowns that someone might not understand how a new mechanic works. Which is an extremely unreasonable thing to get upset about. After all, not everyone plays 14 hours a day of FFXIV like him.
There are other bad actors in the English streamer scene of FFXIV who ruin the fun for everyone. But that is not the point. The point is to remember to be civil while submitting any kind of feedback if you actually like the game. Because it just might turn out that the devs do not like you. Yoshi-P is an amazing director with a lot of passion, it would be truly a shame if the toxic side of the FFXIV community extinguished that flame.