Yoshi-P Explains Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Reaper Job; “It’s Not a Pet Job”

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Reaper

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker producer and director Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) has explained more about the Reaper Job, including it not being a pet-class.

The first day of the festival revealed the release date of the Endwalker expansion, the first look at the Reaper Job, Male Viera, and more. Alongside the already revealed Sage (a healer role), the Reaper is a Melee DPS job that appeared to be a pet class (much like the Summoner and Scholar). It was explained during the Digital Fan Festival livestream the class would be a heavy melee class akin to the Dragoon.

However, during an interview with Famitsu (translation: DeepL), Yoshida explained more about how the new Job worked. Explaining how the Final Fantasy series has been around for 35 years, there were still many Jobs to be introduced. The Final Fantasy fan wiki notes over 60 recurring Jobs.

Yoshida noted that he wanted to avoid losing a Job’s defining traits by making it fit MMORPG gameplay. “What we must focus on is whether or not the game experience is interesting. If we force the implementation of a job that will remain in everyone’s memories, and the result is a job that feels different from the memories, it won’t be good for ‘FFXIV’ and it will be disrespectful to the original job.”

“That’s why I’m thinking that not only this time, but in the future, there will be more original jobs.” Possible implication that Endwalker will not be the game’s final expansion aside, the Sage and Reaper are explained to be Jobs that will be unique to Final Fantasy XIV. Though the Sage and Necromancer jobs have appeared in the series before, this means they will play differently in XIV.

Yoshida explains the team had received many requests from the west of a job that wielded a scythe; which prompted the team to ask themselves “What if we could create a new game experience by incorporating a job with a sickle into a job unique to FFXIV?” Wanting to give it a unique twist, this lead to the Reaper.

Yoshida explains he came up with the idea that as the player fights alongside the “avatar,” it would raise a gauge that would eventually lead it to possessing the player. Yoshida then apologizes for the “chuunibyou idea” and laughs. Roughly translated as “Eighth Grader syndrome” in translated anime and manga, where characters have grandiose delusions of special powers, and sometimes “edgy” concepts.

“I was able to embody the feeling of maximizing one’s tension as the battle continued with the ‘Reaper,’ so I thought this was a good idea,” Yoshida explains. “After that, we tested to see if this idea would really work as a system, and it went surprisingly smoothly, so it was a unanimous decision.”

Famitsu asked if scythe-based skills from Final Fantasy XI would return, such as Guillotine and Cross Reaper. Yoshida stated “We’re currently in the process of making adjustments while creating the techniques, but many of us from the “FFXI” development team are also working on ‘FFXIV’, so naturally we have a lot of respect for them.”

“I think that the ‘FFXIV’ team has been respecting the jobs and actions that have appeared in the series up until now, while also rearranging them for ‘FFXIV,’ so we’re working on the game in the same way as before.” Jobs based off recurring classes have many new skills in Final Fantasy XIV not seen in other games.

When asked if the Avatar was different to the Summoner’s Egi or the Machinist’s automatons, Yoshida definitively stated it was not a pet-based class. “FFXIV’s policy is to change the game experience for each job, so if someone asks, ‘If it’s not a pet job, is it a machinist?’ I’d say ‘No, sir.'”

Yoshida explains that while there is only one kind of Avatar due to “restrictions of graphics and regulations [of texture and polygon count],” the appearance of each Avatar fusion with the various races will be different. We see a possession in action during the Reaper’s reveal trailer, with what seems to be a Hyur woman gaining a red aura, pointed nails, and red eyes.

“We’ve done our best to keep the individuality of the player’s character intact,” Yoshida explains, “so we hope you’ll look forward to it.” It seems the characters clothes remain unaltered when possessed.

When asked if the Reaper would be pure DPS or synergistic (such as providing buffs or debuffs to aid allies), Yoshida explained that while the direction was decided, he was not at a stage where it could be revealed.

Yoshida also explained that, as he stated after the introduction of Viera and Hrothgar in patch 5.0, “we were really going to stop adding new [player] races to ‘FFXIV.'” However, fan requests for male Viera, female Hrothgar, and another beastial race outside of the Miqo’te came from the world over. The graphics team had stated “If Mr. Yoshida wants to do it, we can’t do two races, but if it’s just one race, we’ll give it a try.”

When asked if there would be male Viera NPCs, Yoshida explained “Of course, I’m not saying there’s no possibility. However, because they’re so rare, people haven’t seen them until now. (laughs) I think it’s important to make sure that they can appear in the world of FFXIV in a way that is consistent with the setting.”

Yoshida also stated that Endwalkers was set to be a larger expansion than Shadowbringers; with voice acting and cutscene amount set to be the largest ever. This also comes about as NPCs will join you in dungeons and some quests, and as such will speak out in key scenes. He also explained the celestial dragon Vrtra will also play a key roll to the story, and “the existence of humans and dragons is essential to this scenario.”

He also explained how the Hydalen and Zodiark story line is coming to an end in Endwalker due to being influenced from other works. “When I watch an anime or a movie, there are times when I come across a work that I think, “How much better would this work have been if it had climaxed here? Of course, I know that there are circumstances, and being an otaku, I dig deep into those circumstances as well.”

Yoshida had originally expected the storyline to conclude around patch 7.0, but thanks to the foreshadowing in Shadowbringers, he felt he reached a level of tension that a pay-off needed to happen. “I felt that you had reached the same level of tension that I had felt as a consumer, and I thought, ‘I don’t think I need to cool down my heated up feelings here.'” After this, with patch 6.1 and onwards, “a new story will start.”

In earlier news Masayoshi Soken, the composer for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, revealed during the Digital Fan Festival 2021 that he had been battling cancer through 2020. He had asked to continue working even while being treated, and did not tell the development team. His cancer almost in full remission.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker launches November 23rd.

Final Fantasy XIV is available to Windows PC, (via the SE Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, and coming soon to PlayStation 5, and Xbox One. A free trial is available. In case you missed it, you can find our Shadowbringers expansion review here (we can’t recommend it enough!)

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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