(reposting, hopefully with word-wrap -- since the parent isn't legible on mobile. Feel free to edit parent and I'll nuke this version)
We're pleased to present the full Q&A digest from the Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XX! If you missed the live stream, or if you just want to watch it again (and again), check it out below! Please note that there will not be subtitles added to the LIVE letter.
Don't forget to select the 720p option to watch the video in HD!
Letter from the Producer LIVE Part XX Q&A
To start off, let's take a look at the updated title screen. As you can see, this screen will be changed to a Heavensward themed one when you install the expansion.
Q: How long will the main scenario be?
A: Starting with Patch 3.0, the main scenario will focus on the Dragonsong War, and it will have roughly the same volume as A Realm Reborn at Patch 2.0. If you don’t skip the cutscenes, and factor in the amount of time you'll spend leveling up, it'll be about 50 hours of gameplay. Similar to A Realm Reborn, the main scenario will have a finale, but the story will be updated continuously in Patch 3.1 and beyond.
Q: Story-wise how much time has passed since the end of Patch 2.55 and the beginning of Heavensward?
A: While there is no specific mention of how much time has passed in-game, it’s about a few days to a few weeks after the events that took place during Patch 2.55. You can think of this time as the time that passed while Haurchefant was speaking with the people of House Fortemps, and the expansion begins when the Warrior of Light’s entry to Ishgard has been approved, so it’s not like months have passed.
Q: Will there be any special quests or requirements in order to level up beyond 50?
A: No, there will not. Once you register Heavensward, the level cap will be increased and you can start to earn experience points. You won't have to complete any special quests.
Q: Could you give us details about the naming conventions for the Au Ra? Will the naming be Japanese-based like Yugiri?
A: We've already announced that players will be able to select Au Ra as their character’s race, but we haven't talked about the two clans, the Raen and the Xaela. The Raen have been closely related to the people of Doma for a long time, and they use naming conventions based on Japanese. On the other hand, the Xaela are a nomadic clan, and their naming conventions are unique. We’ll be releasing the rules for making names in the future to give our hardcore lore fans the opportunity to pick suitable names.
We'll be adding new job quests. For the new jobs, we'll implement job quests from level ?? to level 60, and for our existing jobs we’ll have quests from level 50 to level 60. Please look forward to seeing what’s become of the characters you met in previous job quests and what kind of story these new quests will unravel. Disciples of the Land and Hand classes will also have quests added for level 50 to 60. Please don’t forget to accept these quests while you're leveling.
The new field areas that will be introduced in Heavensward are roughly 50-100% larger than the areas you've experienced up until now. Including Ishgard and the mysterious floating continent, there will be 9 new areas added, so you can imagine how much larger the world is going to be. Some of you have been wondering if the floating continent would be an instanced dungeon, but it is in fact a field area, so please be sure to check it out.
We’ll also be adding new high level FATEs to each of these new areas. New mounts will also be added.
We’ll be introducing flying mounts, and it will be possible to freely take off and land. You’ll also be able to fully control them on x, y, and z axes. However, you’ll need to "attune" to areas first, so you won't be able to fly around as soon as you obtain a flying mount. Think of as you needing to explore each area beforehand. It will be possible to fly in every area except Ishgard.
It will not be possible to fly in A Realm Reborn areas, as the maps were not originally designed to allow for flying. We might address this one day, but for now we would like to focus our efforts on adding new areas.
Q: Please show us a flying mount and how to control it.
A: *The video shows gameplay footage of a flying mount in use.
You’ll have full control over your mount on the x, y, and z axes, and by continuously holding the jump button, you’ll be able to ascend. However, there is a limit to how high you can fly. By pointing the camera downwards you’ll descend, and once you reach the ground you will land. All of the flying mounts have the same controls, and I think you’ll be able to get used to them quite quickly. Also, while you're mounted, if you fall from a cliff or high spot, you'll automatically begin to fly.
What I’m showing you right now is the beginning area you'll visit in Heavensward.
Q: How fast are flying mounts?
A: Internally, the development team uses a special measurement for speed. Including all pre-existing mounts, movement when on the ground has a speed value of 0.9. When flying, mounts will have a speed value of 2.0, so it’s about twice as fast as on the ground. I still feel there is room to increase this value further, and I’m thinking about implementing something to possibly increase flight speed.
Q: Do you plan on making it so our chocobo companions can become flying mounts?
A: Yes, we have plans to do this. There will be a special quest, and by clearing it your chocobo companion will be able to fly.
Q: Do you have plans to make the ahriman, bomb palanquin, and other existing mounts into flying mounts?
A: While it won’t be at the launch of Heavensward, we do plan on addressing this. We’ll need to create the takeoff and landing animations for each one. It will be a gradual process, but you’ll be able to fly with them eventually.