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How Does Digital Theater Work And Rehearse In FFXIV?

Leon Green

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Digital Theater is a growing field in online games, especially in FFXIV. From Curtain Call Theater to A Stage Reborn, the culture of Digital Theater is growing stronger and stronger. Of course, it is not just FFXIV that is doing it. Fallout 76 is also inviting Wasteland Theater Company and others to participate.

At this stage, FFXIV players have established a relatively complete community, which includes sports events, community festivals, museums, etc., and the most important thing is that there is a theater club covering many performing companies. This is what we call a Digital Theater.

How Does Digital Theater Work And Rehearse In FFXIV?

Today, let’s talk to several experts in the FFXIV theater community: Stanzek Rosyasch and Soso, to learn how these virtual companies prepare and rehearse, and how to adapt real stories into the settings of Etheirys.

How To Rehearse In Digital Theater?

Recently, a Sherlock Holmes classic, A Scandal in Bohemia (localized in Etheirys as A Scandal in Aldenard), was performed at Firebird Theater in FFXIV. Stanzek Rosyasch plays an assistant named Watson in it. Coincidentally, we’re going to be discussing how they’re going to prepare for the role in a digital theater roundtable.

Interestingly, we entered the chat room in advance. Rosyash entered the chat room, and his first words were: “Sorry, I’m late!” The quiet chat room suddenly erupted in laughter and the atmosphere became lively. He explained that out of respect for everyone’s attention, the chat room is usually very quiet, but this does not mean that it is always so serious. So Rosyasch often acts as the one who makes jokes, and small mistakes will become inside jokes, which will be easier to accept.

When rehearsing, you may have a wire on your head at any time, which will be very stressful. Rosyasch also said that this kind of fun helps to relieve the pressure of rehearsal. For Rosyasch, rehearsals are done on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday afternoons and evenings. However, he also explained that the most important step in balancing the focus of the production and his own work is to group the scenes to be performed. In order to give the actors a place to rest for the night, they may not be performed in the order they will be performed on stage.

Rosyasch also gave an example of sometimes asking what rehearsals involve. Someone would jokingly tell him to wear a skirt, and then on the day of the performance, all the actors would show up wearing the same skirt. This is a bit ridiculous! Besides this vignette, performers can obtain more equipment by trading FFXIV Gil, making their outfit closer to the character.

As for the content of rehearsals, their nature is obviously different from that of real theater rehearsals. Although it is less nervous to face a large audience, it is still much more difficult in other aspects. One of the biggest challenges in FFXIV is cues and timing. In the real world, this kind of drama performance is usually logically understood by the actors and involves a certain element of natural movement in the timing. Performances in Etheirys require super densely choreographed time precision, and there is no logical or natural instruction that can be easily remembered. So let’s throw the next question: what is it based on?

What Are Macros?

Macros in games allow players to coordinate actions, lines, expressions, and other personalized performances. If performers in Etheirys were to work together like in the real world, the timing would become very tight. Without precise timing, the desynchronization of macros would become more and more serious until the next macro appeared. This is what Soso explained to us. From this, we can see that macros are one of the most important tools for performers in the game.

Ordinary players may use macros when they want to do two actions together, such as Swiftcast and Resurrection. But performers who use macros to achieve three synchronizations of lines, expressions, and actions, Digital Theater also takes the use of macros to a new level.

Each macro can only have 15 lines, and at least half of these 15 lines are used to control expressions. In addition, actors may use some macro instructions to start a countdown so that their actions can be performed correctly. Some echoes are also used to help actors remember their next step or remind them to perform an action outside of the macro.

This means that FFXIV often needs dozens of macros for a full performance. This is also a problem if people leave macros for HUD features or other conveniences for players. A player can use up to 200 macro slots, so this is very limited for performers in FFXIV. Soso emphasized that this is not just a problem for actors, but also for writers to adapt to the limitations of the macrosystem.

Ultimately, rehearsals are about preparing performers to be watched by an audience. Although there is no similarity between this and real-world performances, the rehearsals of FFXIV performers are also a full reflection of their own technical knowledge or skills.