Square Enix is rolling back on recent balance changes to PvP in Final Fantasy 14.
Previous patch 6.11a included numerous balance adjustments, particularly to the black mage job, in addition to removing the automatic inactive log out.
However, following negative feedback from fans, producer and director Naoki Yoshida has admitted the team got the adjustments wrong.
"We have received a great deal of feedback regarding these changes, and in hindsight, I believe we went too far with our adjustments," said Yoshida in a new Lodestone post. "For this, I apologise."
The balance changes mostly concern the Crystalline Conflict mode added in patch 6.1.
Yoshida explained that the team strives to keep the win rates for each job at 50 percent. If a job shows win rates far above this (or below), the team will investigate.
Any balance changes are implemented "in a way that preserves the distinctive characteristics of the job in question".
Similar investigations are done on job usage rates. "However, unlike our stance on win rates, our goal is not to equalise the rate of job usage - we believe players should choose their jobs based on personal preference, which naturally fluctuates," said Yoshida.
"Instead, what we look for in job usage rates are instances of extreme bias that may indicate a particular job is 'easier' or 'harder' to use, which in turn may implicate a greater underlying issue."
One difficulty for the team, though, is the tight schedule for each patch which must be detailed in advance. That means balance adjustments in the most recent patch (24th May) were based on old data - specifically from 6th May.
At this point, Yoshida explained, the black mage job was exhibiting the lowest usage and win rates. He even battled against black mages himself to investigate the issue: "my personal impression after countless Crystalline Conflict matches is that, in the hands of a skilled PvP combatant, the black mage has more than enough potential to excel in battle."
As such, recent changes will be reverted in the next patch - releasing 7th June - to restore balance.
Adjustments are also coming to Final Fantasy 14's other PvP mode - Frontline - in patch 6.18.
Said Yoshida: "Our miscalculation in the PvP balance adjustments has caused a great deal of frustration, as evidenced by the overwhelming feedback we have received. However, I believe such feedback is indicative of PvP's unprecedented popularity."