Letter from the Devs Vol. 5

Hello everyone, It's Ichikawa, producer of FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER, here again with another installment of Letter from the Devs. February was a full month with the FFVII collab and the start of Season 2. We hope that everyone has been enjoying the new content so far. We expect that a lot of you have been testing out the new Dragoon style and Teleport materia and learning new ways to utilize them. As always, we appreciate all the feedback we receive from you and use it to help us improve the overall experience of the game. In this edition of Letter from the Devs, I'll be sharing information on upcoming content and balance changes. I hope you'll find it interesting, so once again, I ask that you stick with me through to the end.

Stability Improvements

Let's start off by addressing stability issues. After releasing the update on 2/16, which included a number of stability improvements, we have confirmed a reduction of approximately 16% in the total number of crashes. While this is a step in the right direction, we recognize that we still have a lot to do and apologize for the stability issues that we haven't been able to address yet. In the latest update we will perform the following measures to address the asset loading problems and unnecessary image data storage issues that are a major contributor to stability issues. -Reduced asset loading speed to alleviate memory stress -Introduced texture loading restrictions for devices with a smaller memory capacity -Increased frequency of removal of unnecessary data As a result of these measures, some players may experience occasional drops in framerate due to more frequent loading. We will be monitoring the situation carefully going forward and make adjustments when necessary.

Bahamut Fury

Bahamut Fury from CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII- will appear on the training field in standard matches from 3/17 until 3/31! He's even stronger and tougher than the usual Bahamut, and may prove to be a challenge even for a full team.

The boss field that surrounds Bahamut Fury will be different from usual—players will be unable to damage each other when inside it. We hope to create an environment where players temporarily set aside their rivalries to fight together against this extra challenging boss. Additionally, special challenges will be available during this period, and defeating him will earn you a special title.

New Skins

Alongside Bahamut Fury, we'll be adding skins based on the outfits that Zack and Tifa wear in CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-. There will also be banner and gun skins, so I hope you look forward to these new additions.

Special login bonuses will be available too, so don't forget to log in!

Mentor System

Seasoned candidates can scout new players to take under their wing with the new mentor system. "Seasoned candidates", who are players who have played at least 15 matches and have had their account for at least seven days, can serve as a mentor for up to 10 new players. "New players" are any players that do not fulfill the above two conditions. By searching for a new player's name or ID, a seasoned candidate can send a request, and after the new candidate accepts, a mentor partnership will be formed, granting great rewards for both players. Rewards will also be granted when the new player joins a certain number of matches!

With this new system, we are increasing the friend limit to 110. We hope this system will encourage you to invite friends who haven't yet started to play FF7FS, and create an environment where seasoned players can more easily mingle and share advice with new players!

Gameplay Data

With the balance changes and additions with Season 2 came plenty of opinions and feedback from players on social media, livestreams, and videos. This time I'd like to show you data regarding the usage rates of the Dragoon style and Teleport materia. Style Usage Rates

Style Total Ranked Matches Standard Matches
Solo Team Solo Team Solo Team
Warrior 15.50% 17.56% 13.65% 17.77% 17.46% 17.21%
Sorcerer 5.16% 13.08% 4.90% 13.41% 5.43% 12.55%
Ninja 7.99% 14.31% 7.96% 14.87% 8.01% 13.42%
Monk 6.26% 11.94% 6.03% 11.37% 6.51% 12.85%
Ranger 5.32% 12.32% 4.88% 12.16% 5.78% 12.57%
Dragoon 59.78% 30.80% 62.58% 30.43% 56.81% 31.40%

First, let's look at the usage rates for all styles. We can see that the new Dragoon style is overwhelmingly the most used, likely in large part due to there being a "play as a Dragoon" challenge as part of the update. In solo mode, usage rates are almost as high as 60%, so perhaps many players wanted to get a feel for it on their own first. Materia Possession Rates

Materia Overall Possesion Materia Possesion in Final Phase
Fire 1st Fire 1st
Blizzard 2nd Cure 2nd
Cure 3rd Blizzard 3rd
Thunder 4th Gravity 4th
Gravity 5th Thunder 5th
Aero 6th Aero 6th
Bio 7th Teleport 7th
Blind 8th Bio 8th
Teleport 9th Blind 9th
Raise 10th Raise 10th
Comet 11th Comet 11th

Next is materia. The new Teleport materia was added alongside the new Dragoon style with Season 2. It may appear just from the numbers that not many players are using Teleport, but considering its rarity and that it's not as universally applicable as damage-dealing materia, I think its usage rate is actually fairly high. Of particular note is that its usage rate increases in the final phase, which indicates that players who use it are using it effectively. Causes of Kills

Cause of Kills Kills Kills Rank Difference
Before Adjustment After Adjustment Before Adjustment After Adjustment
Lethal Gaze (AR) 51053 45471 1 1 0
Combat Rifle Mod 2 (AR) 7867 17450 7 3 4
Dissent's Bane (SMG) 5994 11013 11 7 4
Spear - 9838 - 8 New
Shinra Type B Assault Rifle (AR) 4149 6960 14 10 4
Executioner Gamma (SR) 6878 5832 9 12 -3
MP-60 Type A (SMG) 3603 5529 15 13 2
Mark 5 Sniper Rifle (SR) 6071 5168 10 14 -4
Megaflare - 4424 - 16 New
Spin Attack - 3904 - 18 New
Flare Thrower (SP) - 1837 - 24 New
Infernal Cannon (SP) - 1483 - 26 New
Flare Breath - 1369 - 27 New
Cyclops Roar (SR) 3358 799 16 32 -16
Umbral Strikes - 474 - 43 New
Bahamut - 338 - 46 New
Dragon's Favor - 36 - 67 New
Aura Effect - 35 - 68 New
Umbral Inferno - 31 - 69 New
Overkill - 16 - 71 New
Divebomb - 8 - 75 New

Causes of Damage

Causes of Damage Damage Damage Rank Difference
Before Adjustment After Adjustment Before Adjustment After Adjustment
Lethal Gaze (AR) 19334956 17185499 1 1 0
Combat Rifle Mod 2 (AR) 3073466 6632195 7 2 5
Dissent's Bane (SMG) 2111327 3662621 10 6 4
Spear - 3323417 - 7 New
Executioner Gamma (SR) 3824283 3193077 5 8 -3
Shinra Type B Assault Rifle (AR) 1812284 2876785 9 12 -3
Mark 5 Sniper Rifle (SR) 3270450 2732881 6 11 -5
MP-60 Type A (SMG) 1142311 1711056 21 14 7
Spin Attack - 1711008 - 16 New
Megaflare - 1507450 - 20 New
Cyclops Roar (SR) 2315201 1076019 9 24 -15
Infernal Cannon (SP) - 687736 - 28 New
Umbral Strikes - 664176 - 31 New
Flare Breath - 538130 - 37 New
Flare Thrower (SP) - 460782 - 39 New
Dragon's Favor - 56465 - 61 New
Umbral Inferno - 31212 - 66 New
Overkill - 25026 - 67 New
Divebomb - 18707 - 69 New
Aura Effect - 6809 - 72 New

Finally, let's take a look at the newly added weapons and updated existing weapons. The stats for existing weapons changed as expected for the changes made, and in particular the Combat Rifle Mod 2 more than doubled. Dissent's Bane, which had its base damage increased also went up, while sniper rifles, which had their damage decreased over long distances, went down. The spear (used by the new Dragoon style), Bahamut, and the new unique weapons also ranked highly.

Balance Adjustments

Looking at how things are in Season 2 at the moment, we're planning two separate waves of balance adjustments. The first wave is coming 3/17 and will consist of the below adjustments. ▼Dragoon Adjustments -Divebomb attack with Sky Predator will have area of effect increased -Ability to turn when gliding with Sky Predator improved -Marker placed with Dragon's Ire will display for marked player as well ▼Infernal Cannon Adjustments -Charge laser base damage increased -Decreased time to charge attack -Ammo increased to 300 -Homing laser can be fired when at less than 10 ammo ▼Flare Thrower Adjustment -Range doubled ▼Gravity Adjustment -Movement speed reduction lessened after effect activates ▼Chocobo Adjustments -Motion after performing chocobo kick changed -Added preparation movement when performing chocobo kick in the air -Removed ability to get off of chocobo after performing a chocobo kick until idle position -Chocobo stamina will decrease when taking damage -Chocobo kick damage adjusted (damage against players decreased, damage against monsters increased) ▼Bomb Launcher Adjustment -Adjustment to delay between shots ▼Summon Bahamut Adjustments -Umbral Inferno normal shot adjustments (area of effect increased, speed increased) -Divebomb adjustments (speed increased, cooldown time adjusted)

Feature Updates

▼Dealing with Reduction of Firing Delay when Changing Guns Changing your equipped gun right after firing will still be possible, but there will be an appropriate delay until the next shot is fired. ▼Option to Disable Camera Control with ADS Button Ability to turn camera control with ADS button on or off. ▼Display SOLDIER Prime Conditions on Ranking Details Screen

Error Corrections

-Helicopter UI does not display correctly after briefing -Summon and monster Bahamut hitbox not aligned with visuals -Using Rush to enter Gravity field incorrectly removed ability to perform actions before movement completed -When Bahamut uses Megaflare and reaches 0 HP at the same time, progression stops -Certain non-default voice clips incorrectly played in Japanese -When holding the Megaflare button as Bahamut and it reaches full charge as you reach 0 HP, screen changes to Megaflare aiming screen -Error preventing use of auto run with a controller -Unable to move Megaflare button to customized position -Red and blue death boxes appear green from a distance -Able to Teleport inside a vault with Teleport in certain conditions without a Vault Key

Next Update (Planned for 3/31)

We are planning the following for the second wave of balance adjustments. ▼Dragoon Adjustments -Camera when using Sky Predator can be moved left and right -Improve ease of landing melee attacks ▼Summon Bahamut Adjustments We plan to make adjustments to make the summon live up to the name "Bahamut" with the next update. The first wave includes several buffs, but we will consider other adjustments, including a buff for Megaflare. ▼Gravity Adjustments We're aware of the issues with the Gravity materia currently ongoing. We want Gravity to continue to be an effective tool at hindering enemies but also want to ease the difficulty in avoiding it. The first wave of balance adjustments includes an adjustment to the movement speed reduction inflicted by Gravity, but we are also planning the below for the second wave. -Adjustment to movement speed when Gravity activates -Decrease area of effect -Improve situation regarding immobility when Slow and Gravity effect stack ▼Ranger Control Adjustments Due to the risk of making yourself defenseless while using this ability, we are considering improving the usability and attack strength of the slug-ray deployed when using the ability.

And that concludes Letter from the Devs Vol. 5. It's been about half a month since the start of season 2, so we're beginning to see more areas that we can work to improve. Along with making balance changes, we will also work to squish bugs to provide the best experience possible. We have seen comments on social media about things getting fixed/adjusted in ninja updates, but we would like to take this opportunity to reassure players that we don't fix or update anything in secret. However, there is the possibility that when adjustments or fixes are made, they have an unintended effect on other aspects of the game. Going forward, as we have done thus far, we will continue to notify players regarding updates in our Letter from the Devs. Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank our official Ambassadors for all the work they have been putting in to help our community thrive. I personally enjoy watching the content you put out and often find myself binging on the latest recommended videos into the early hours of the morning and having to suffer from lack of sleep the following day! In the Ambassador–dev team exchange we held the other day, I was able to hear lots of great feedback and words of encouragement. I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say this, but your support is greatly appreciated and gives us the motivation to strive to provide even better content. My hands are starting to get a little tired, so I think I'm going to finish up here! See you again in Letter from the Devs Vol. 6!