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On localization and such (SE post, and a good one IMO)Follow

#1 May 08 2012 at 10:12 AM Rating: Good
3,825 posts

Hello all,

For those of you who don't frequent the Localization forum, this is Fernehalwes, one of three members who make up the FINAL FANTASY XIV English Localization team stationed here at Square Enix headquarters in Tokyo.

First off, I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to voice their opinions here in the forums. I know it sounds cliche, but we truly do appreciate all the feedback we get, whether it be positive or...not-so-positive. An MMO is a living being that grows and evolves with every patch. And just as the game evolves, so too do those of us working on it. Knowing what issues concern you, the users, helps us to evolve in the right direction.

When it comes to the overall writing style employed in the game, it looks like there's a clean split between those who enjoy it and those who find it either overwhelming or overbearing (or a combination of both).

There does appear, however, to be one thing that a majority of you agree on--and that is that there is a tendency for most NPCs to fall into the trap of over-exposition, and how this can, at times, seriously bog down the game's flow.

Currently (in the pre-2.0 scheme of things), when text arrives in our hands, the Japanese has been finalized (meaning the story content is set, the cutscene is done, and the number of tags (or in other words, the number of 'text advances') has been fixed). While decisions on individual characterizations, speech patterns, word choice, etc. are left to us, there are certain things we are powerless to change--one of those being the number of tags used. If the original Japanese uses 10 tags explain that you need to go fetch 5 hippogryph hides from the Coerthas highlands or nana won't survive the winter, we also must use 10 tags...even if it is much more natural to do so in 2 or 3. There is always the option to simply cut text and see that each tag is shaved down to one simple sentence, but doing this puts us at the risk of leaving EN version users in the dark on certain story points that may or may not be relevant in the future.

The LOC team, however, hasn't been completely silent on this issue. We have voiced our concerns regarding dialogue length, as well as relayed to the higher-ups user opinions found in this and similar threads (the "Brevity is the Soul of Wit" post being the first to come to mind). And, while I don't believe that XIV will ever be called 'light on text,' I do genuinely believe that some changes are in store for 2.0. There are those among us who realize that while there is a place for a good, meaty yarn, there is also a place for quick, concise storytelling.

In the meantime, the LOC team will continue to tweak our own writing styles, knowing that though we cannot please everyone, we should always be making an effort to please as many people as possible. And if that includes removing a handful (alright, a barrel-full) of apostrophes from Limsa Lominsa's pirate-speak or polishing the speech patterns of a major character, then so be it

Now only if I could have said that all in one paragraph instead of seven...

Thank you again, everyone, for your continued support, and we look forward to your future comments.
FFXI:Sylph - Perrin 75 Hume THF; Retired (At least from my use any way)
EVE Online:ScraperX; Retired
WAR:IronClaw- Peryn SW;SkullThrone- Grymloc BO; Retired

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