Exclusive Q&A: Naoki Yoshida Details FFXIV’s New Mentor System

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Exclusive Q&A: Naoki Yoshida Details FFXIV’s New Mentor System

Hello, everyone!

Things move fast with Final Fantasy XIV, and we’ve already arrived at Patch 3.2, which will be hitting the servers of our critically acclaimed MMO in less than two weeks. More and more content is flowing into the game, but what’s great for our experienced players can be confusing for beginners, who may be daunted by the huge breadth of content they have to scale. To help them brave this challenge, Patch 3.2 will introduce the Mentor system – and we had the exclusive opportunity to ask Naoki Yoshida, the Producer and Director of Final Fantasy XIV, some questions about it.

Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward Patch 3.2

Q: Thank you for taking the time for this Q&A, Mr. Yoshida. FFXIV is a global phenomenon with players in Japan, Europe, North America, Korea and China on PS3, PS4, PC and Mac. To support and offer players constant content updates, you must be a very busy man! Do you get any sleep at all?

A: Hello, PlayStation.Blog readers! I’m Naoki Yoshida, the producer and director of FFXIV. Luckily (?) I got the flu on 5th of February, so I’ve been stuck at home since then! :p But as we were in the middle of the final checks on Patch 3.2 content, I asked to be given access to the development servers from home and worked “comfortably” checking the new content from there!

Q: The mentor system is going to be introduced in Patch 3.2, which hits the FFXIV servers on the February 23rd. Can you tell us roughly what the mentor system is and why you have chosen to implement this feature?

FFXIV: Naoki Yoshida

A: “Mentor” is a special status for experienced players, who are only able to call themselves mentors after obtaining certain achievements and meeting certain criteria. Mentors are players who support beginners who have just started their adventures in-game and answer their questions from the standpoint of a seasoned veteran. Mentorship is also a new element to help those who role play and to further enhance the player community. With the arrival of Patch 3.2, a special chat channel called the Novice Network will be added to each world. This chat channel can only be used by mentors and new players who have played the game for less than 40 hours. The purpose of this channel is to offer a place for new players to ask mentors about the game and for mentors to give answers to their questions. To eliminate the prospect of any malicious RMT (Real Money Traders) from invading the chat channel, we made it so only mentors can invite new players into it. On top of that, when a mentor and new player form a party, they will both receive an experience point bonus. In addition to this, a special duty roulette called “Duty Roulette: Mentor” that is only available for mentors will be added. This roulette will grant a priority on matching mentors with new players or players who haven’t beaten the specific dungeon or trial yet.

MMORPGs offer a huge amount of content and gameplay systems, so I can imagine how playing one could potentially be overwhelming for some players, especially when they play an MMORPG or online game for the first time. However, the introduction of the mentor system with this new patch enables veteran players to proactively support those who have started the game recently, creating an opportunity for both veteran players and rookies to meet and get to know each other. Now is a very good time for anyone who hasn’t played the game before to begin! To any experienced players out there, I’d love for you all to support our new players. I’m also ready to be a mentor on my personal character.

Q: That’s pretty cool, and I’m sure many new players will appreciate this. So, how will I, as an experienced veteran adventurer of Eorzea, be able to sign up to be a mentor? Are there any tests or trials I have to master, to test my mettle?

A: As I mentioned earlier, players need to obtain certain achievements to be a mentor. Requirements for those who are geared towards battle content are:

  • At least one level 60 job in each role of tank, healer and DPS
  • To have completed a total of more than 1,000 dungeons and trials and…
  • … to have received 300 or more commendations

If your expertise is more focused on gathering and crafting, your requirements will be:

  • At least one level 60 class in both a crafting and gathering class
  • To have crafted over 100 collectables, and…
  • … to have gathered 300 collectables

By fulfilling either one of these two requirements, you will be able to become a mentor by speaking to a certain NPC.

Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward Patch 3.2

Q: Sounds like quite a challenge! Will I get any benefits from becoming a mentor?

A: The basic concept behind the mentor system is to allow players the ability to volunteer their time, which can also be seen as a form of role-playing. However, mentors will also be able to get special achievements and titles after you use the mentor roulette at certain number of times. In the future, we also plan to add special rewards after obtaining certain achievements.

That being said, we made the amount of rewards for mentors small to reduce the number of players who may become mentors purely to get their hands on rewards. I think the biggest reward for a mentor is that they can see how new players grow and become fully-fledged adventurers! Well, at least I’m looking forward to witnessing these moments!

Q: Well, good deeds are best rewarded with a smile! Now, imagine I am a completely new player who has just logged into the game for the first time. Will the game introduce mentors to me? How will I find them?

A: Players out in the field or in towns have a name-plate above them and mentor characters will have a crown icon next to their name, so it will be easy to spot them. New players have a sprout icon next to their name instead. :) By just being in the Novice Network channel, you’ll see many mentors logged in so feel free to simply ask them some questions. They will answer your questions wherever they are and they may even run to your aid!

Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward Patch 3.2

Q: Ah, easy to pick up then. So, now I’m a new player with a mentor. How does that influence the way I play? Is it possible to reward or rate my mentor for giving good advice?

A: If you and your mentor form a party and go into a dungeon, both of you will gain more experience than usual. This will also happen when you participate in Full Active Time Events (FATEs), which appear in the open world. Also, a lot of mentors will be knowledgeable about the combat basics of the class, job and role that you play, so just ask them if you are unsure of something and they’ll give you great advice. When you get closer to mentors, they may also invite you to a Linkshell or Free Company that they are already a member of.

If your mentor does a good job, please be sure to thank them! We believe your words of gratitude and encouragement will mean more than any in-game rewards, and make their mentor status something to be proud of.

Q: That’s awesome – will that work together with the recruit-a-friend program? If my friend is a mentor, that is. Can new players with the free trial use it as well?

A: If you are certified to be a mentor, of course. All players with a playtime of under 40 hours can benefit from the mentor system.

Q: Sounds like an impressive new feature that will make life much easier for new players! But that’s not the only thing which will help them that’s coming in Patch 3.2, is it? What exactly is the “Hall of the Novice”?

A: The Hall of the Novice is a place for new players to do some training and to earn knowledge of the game systems before moving on to dungeons. It features two elements: One is a series of challenges that allow you to train and play, and the other is a building packed with helpful NPCs that offer game tips. Both are available for players when they reach level 15, just before you enter the first dungeon while doing the main scenario. Just follow the main scenario and you will be guided there eventually. With the training mode, you will be able to learn the basics of playing in a party for each of the three roles: Tank, Healer and DPS while learning the ropes as you play. After completing the training modes, you will be rewarded with cool gear, so I recommend that you first clear all the content the Hall of the Novice has to offer before you enter the first dungeon.

Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward Patch 3.2

Q: Well, that sounds like a fantastic addition to the game that will make it easier for new adventurers to find their way in Eorzea. Thank you once again for taking the time to speak to us. We’re looking forward to Patch 3.2 and beyond!

A: The development team is in the middle of making final adjustments to content ahead of the release of Patch 3.2, the first major content update in 2016. Our only enemy is influenza! :P We’ll do our best to get through this tough time and deliver the new update to you all. Thank you everyone and see you in Eorzea!

So, what did you think of that? As a veteran, will you be helping new players as a mentor? As someone who has never played before, do you plan on signing up for the free trial, or are you even considering buying the game straight away on PlayStation Store? Let us know in the comments!

Comments are closed.


  • Plan on starting the game this summer so a mentor would be nice as the game seems particularly PC like (aka ridiculously nerdy). I haven’t played an MMO in years.

    • I could form you up a refer code that would give you some bonus items, including some feathers to trade in for some good lvl 50 weapons and armor if you decide to start a subscription after the trial. The refer code will be valid for 120 days, just hit me up on PSN if you want one.

    • He’s basically trying to use you for the recruit a friend rewards.

    • You’ll get 10 measly feathers to trade in for Armor that’ll go obsolete within a few dungeon runs/levels of being able to equip them and meanwhile he gets a crap-ton of stuff. Mounts emotes, gear, etc etc.

    • Or maybe I was legitimately offering because I myself was referred and the armor tided me over until I decided to get Heavensward.

    • You can use refer codes from other players. Don’t believe people saying that “you are beeing used”. The recruit a friend program is aimed at getting more players into the game by giving out items to the newbie and his recruiter, it’s a win for everyone. Here is the list of everything you and the recruiter could get. http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/special/friend_recruit/

      It’s definitely better to enter the game through this program than on your own. It does not give you incredible stuff but it’s still better than nothing. It could also be a good way to make your 1st friend ingame who could teach you the ropes.

  • Also will trophies ever be added to Heavensward?

    • Nope. If I had to guess, I would think that they just couldn’t find a balance of stuff worth putting trophies in to make it worth while.

      I mean what are they going to do? Give you story trophies, give you Alex trophies? Alex is so easy. Give you trophies for grinding all jobs up to level 60? That would be brutal. Crafting? Ugh.

      The expansion just doesn’t lend much to trophies. Stuff is either really grindy, or incredibly easy. The really hard stuff is there, but it’s like “quit the game in frustration” hard, and then the echo comes and makes it so much easier, and… eh…

      The thing with FFXIV is that it adds content over several months, and you have to be subbed for 6 months just to get the Levequest rewards from the first game. It would be trivial to get the Heavensward platinum before the ARR one. So I think that’s why they didn’t do it. Too polarizing.

  • Wow, the requirements to be a mentor will take a long, long time to fulfill. For perspective, I’ve been playing 3-4 hiurs a day for 5 weeks and only just hit level 51 with one character.

    I get why it’s set up this way, but letting only the most seasoned players mentor will prohibit people like me who would otherwise mentor, as it will take many many months (years?) ti fulfill those requirements.

    • Letting only the seasoned players mentor is the whole point, if you only have a character at 51, you probably don’t have enough knowledge of the game to teach other people, you need to have extensive knowledge of every instance,class and mechanics of the game. I qualify as a mentor and I’ve played for around a year and a half.

    • You need to have a good depth and breadth of knowledge, but you also only need to know things that someone in the first 30 days wouldn’t. So only earlier instances and other basics. I think the best reason for keeping it so exclusionary is to keep it to those who are truly invested in the game. Just my thoughts.

    • There is a lot of content now if your just starting out, please take your time and enjoy yourself. There’s no need to rush to become a mentor. There are still ways to engage in helping teach other players.
      The whole point of these two systems (mentor and training hall) is to help teach new players in a more comfortable atmosphere than “trial-by-fire” or getting yelled at by players who think they know their stuff and immediately assume that newer players do too.

      As Yoshi-P stated, the rewards to mentors will be minimal so there’s no need to rush it. I feel like the impact of these systems will be great for the entire community. Teaching new players who SEEK your advice is extremely rewarding when you see the fruits of that advice being put into practice. You can still help teach new players in your linkshell or Free Company, or by giving friendly advice to folks in lower level dungeons, etc. I can only stress that if you’re trying to give advice outside the mentor system, please do not attempt to give unwanted advice, and please try to keep your teaching polite and friendly. No one likes feeling accused for doing something wrong or told they suck, if you know what I mean.

    • The real issue is that being logged in for 40 hours, is far too low. They need to extend that to 120 hours or main scenario completion for 2.0

      Less than 2 days log in time is just not enough. Especially if someone falls asleep with the game on, wake up and suddenly they’re level 14 with no leaf and got like no mentor time. All because they were exploring, figuring stuff out… no mentor time.

      Even if they are 30-40 that mentor time is gonna be needed.

      If I can’t get mentoring on the collectibles stuff for my level 50 crafting and gathering classes, the whole mentoring system is useless. Finding a PS4 player to help me with my hot bars, and to help me wrap my mind around a system I’ve been too lazy and too busy to mess with… Or a PC player to help me make good macros, and to give a suggestion for crafting layouts…

      The stuff a low level crafter needs to know is basically “Level everything” and “Levequests are your friend, especially ones where you turn in ingots, or lumber, and get logs or the basic ore back, because you’ll get crystals, you’ll get materials, and they’re easy”

  • The biggest problem I see with the Mentor system is that a lot of players might use it just to get the tomes bonus for grouping with new players. I hope they don’t miss the point and be mean to novices, forcing them to speedrun things for their own benefit. We’ll see if a few bad apples is going to spoil the batch or not. Hopefully the rewards will be small enough to discourage elitists from flocking into the Mentor roulette and ruin the game for others.

    • I’m pretty excited about the mentor system. I don’t think we have to worry about the abuse of queues and bonuses, generally the new players require a touch of hand holding and the queues won’t be that fast. On top of that the tomestones you get for newbie content aren’t that relevant to end game, so it’s not like you’ll get extra tomestones of lore for the new 3.2 content.

    • I think the amount of “Elitists” who become mentors will be small. Most of them want to avoid new players as much as possible. I don’t particularly see them joining a program that is specifically there to deal will new players.

    • The trainees have all sorts of tools from reporting tools, the rating tools, the ability to just leave a dungeon, screw up their rotation, not dodge AoEs and blame it on lag spikes because someone’s watching Netflix in another room or something…

      I imagine most people who want the first time tomestone bonuses THAT badly have been shouting for people, or responding to shouts, and probably don’t have 300 commendments, or 3 different classes at level 60.

      Though I could imagine people working on their Animus spamming Mentor stuff.

      If the trainee status stuff is the requirement for being mentored, you won’t see any high end content in mentor roulette, so it probably won’t be a good tomestone earning method.

  • Been playing since beta days on PS3, now having a blast on PS4.
    Can we get some Share Factory Themes for Final Fantasy XIV?

  • Please add Class Zero uniforms to FFXIV.

    • I agree it would be great. But they usually leave these cross-game reference items to either actual in game cross over events like the Lightning Returns/FF13 or Shantotto/FFXI events.

      You CAN take heart in the fact that they are adding Type Zero haircuts in the next patch though.

  • I wish there was an easier way to report spammers.

  • I’m surprised they don’t have a filter with code words for moderation.

  • I’ll be happy to mentor those wanting it over at Gilgamesh.

  • I love this idea, I thInk the Mentor System has great potential… Unfortunately I don’t think it would work as best as it could the way it’s currently laid out. For one I agree that 40 hours is nothing. A newbie “sprout” will barely scratch XIV’s surface in 40 hours. What if a new player spends most of that time grinding or skilling? It’s obvious that it should be based on level not play time. Eventually everyone will “grow up” and there will be nearly no one to mentor over. Secondly the requirements to be a mentor are way too steep. I understand the reasoning behind it but there are players that are fully versed in every facet of the game that don’t have 3 level 60 characters. Why not align like class mentors and newbies? There are few people who fill those requirements and fewer still that will bother mentoring and yet a wealth of seasoned players that would like to but can’t.

  • Stupid investment, waste of time and money.

    First 40 hours of game play…Not sure about anyone else but the only thing I needed to ask in the first 40 hours was where to buy a chicken egg. The game teaches you everything else itself. Yoshi P is so out of touch with what players want from the game it’s unreal. We want some FUN please, fix the Golden Saucer.

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