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FFXIV is 65% CompleteFollow

#1 Apr 27 2010 at 8:51 AM Rating: Good
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Final Fantasy XIV, the second online game in the Final Fantasy universe, is currently sixty-five percent complete development. An new Famitsu interview with Square Enix reveals that both the PlayStation 3 version and PC versions of the game are progressing smoothly. The MMORPG was announced last year at E3 for a simultaneous worldwide release on both PlayStation 3 and PC in 2010. With seven months left to go in the year, do you think it’ll make it?


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Edited, Apr 27th 2010 7:57am by IRequiiem

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Square Enix has been staging an alpha test for Final Fantasy XIV over the past few weeks. While the test is limited to a few participants, major Japanese sites like Famitsu.com and Impress Watch have been permitted to post impressions complete with screenshots.

The print version of Famitsu got even greater insight onto the game through a four page interview with producer Hiromichi Tanaka and director Nobuaki Komoto in this week's issue. The two FF MMORPG VIPs provided an update both on the alpha test and development in general.

Tanaka began by issuing an apology to test players for some of the problems Square Enix has been having with stabilizing the servers. They're gradually fixing things through updates, he said.

So what's with all the issues? Tanaka explained that based off experience with FFXI, they anticipated a 50% simultaneous connection rate for the game. However, the Japanese test players turned out to be extremely hardcore FFXI fans, and the access rate was higher than expected. Compared to Japan, North America and Europe did not have as much of a problem with servers going down.

One of the fixes they made came in an April 15 update, which extended the login wait time 10 minutes and added the ability to see how many people are waiting to connect.

It may be hard to believe, but the FFXIV development staff is actually being told to avoid logging into the game. Komoto explained that Square Enix is doing this in order to allow more test players to log in to the game.

Tanaka is an exception, though. He sits in front of his computer just like everyone else when testing starts. If you see a player named "Azagba Tanaka," that's the FFXIV producer.

Explained Tanaka, while the development staff can see the play logs, it's difficult to get a feel for the actual play state of the players. Tanaka acts as a representative, investigating how things are actually going by logging in for himself.

The two were asked to provide an updated schedule for the alpha and beta tests. They're currently at the first step, explained Tanaka, where they're seeing if they can run three tests a week. They're aiming to make the game stable enough so that players can get in a proper play session.

As for how long the tests will run, Komoto said that they originally had a time frame in place, but ended up encountering greater server stability problems, forcing them to extended this a bit. They'll decide what to do once players have built up their characters a certain amount.

Regarding that character growth, Tanaka said to expect character data to get wiped out mid way through the alpha test. The reason for this is that they have two different patterns for character growth speed that they want to try out. Once they've gathered enough data for the current pattern, they'll wipe out the player data and try out the second pattern.

Test players should get used to having their data wiped, as this is something that will happen repeatedly during both the alpha and beta tests.

Asked when the game will switch from alpha to beta, Tanaka wouldn't give a clear answer. The next step for the game, he said, will be to expand from the current single world to multiple worlds, and to also increase the test player count many times. They'll call this phase of the test either beta 1 or alpha 2. They'll switch to the beta naming when they feel they've readied a version of the game that more closely resembles the final product.

Plans are also in place to allow players worldwide to log in and play together, rather than the current region-separate alpha tests. Tanaka said to expect this change to happen when the game switches to 24 hour operation.

Outside of the alpha and beta testing components, the magazine quizzed the two on general development for FFXIV.

The game's graphics production is currently complete. The planning and programming sides of the game have some final tuning work left.

Even though he said the graphics are complete, there will be some presentational changes. The town of Limsa Lominsa, for instance, will see some major lighting changes.

Asked to give a percentage completion, Tanaka and Komoto went back and forth a bit but decided on 65%. They tossed out numbers as low as 10%, though, with Komoto explaining that this figure represents the amount of FFXIV that can be seen in the alpha test.

The alpha test is currently for PC players only. But the PS3 version of the game is being developed parallel to the PC version, assured Tanaka. They're aiming to have both versions begin service at the same time.


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Edited, Apr 27th 2010 5:36pm by IRequiiem
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#2 Apr 27 2010 at 9:03 AM Rating: Decent
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http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?game=268&mid=1272295800185694642&num=25&page=1

so imagine 65% would wouldnt seem like a far off guess considering the remaining alpha and upcoming betas. so im putting my faith in the twitter message on the about link lol
#3 Apr 27 2010 at 9:05 AM Rating: Decent
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15% since Gamescon (in 8 months)? Thankfully development is hardly a linear process eh? ;P
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#4 Apr 27 2010 at 9:06 AM Rating: Good
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IRequiiem wrote:
15% since Gamescon (in 8 months)? Thankfully development is hardly a linear process eh? ;P


That was "graphically 50% complete".
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#5 Apr 27 2010 at 9:08 AM Rating: Decent
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That was "graphically 50% complete".


works for me ;D

Edited, Apr 27th 2010 8:09am by IRequiiem
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#6outzaidurz, Posted: Apr 27 2010 at 9:10 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) haha don't make me laugh. 50% of the time the monsters don't spawn due to overload. 2 weeks ago the servers had to be shut down due to the clients sending corrupt character information (and some characters had to be deleted). I wont even mention the lag.
#7 Apr 27 2010 at 9:13 AM Rating: Decent
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haha don't make me laugh. 50% of the time the monsters don't spawn due to overload. 2 weeks ago the servers had to be shut down due to the clients sending corrupt character information (and some characters had to be deleted). I wont even mention the lag.

The list of fatal system critical errors is long. But hey we are still in Alpha so... I guess this is called smooth in Japan.


maybe it's just nothing beyond their expectations and so they will be able to get a hold of resolving the issues in no time?
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#8 Apr 27 2010 at 9:26 AM Rating: Good
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progressing smoothly.


haha don't make me laugh. 50% of the time the monsters don't spawn due to overload. 2 weeks ago the servers had to be shut down due to the clients sending corrupt character information (and some characters had to be deleted). I wont even mention the lag.

The list of fatal system critical errors is long. But hey we are still in Alpha so... I guess this is called smooth in Japan.


Bugs and errors are fully expected. When you're encountering the expected, things are going smoothly.
#9 Apr 27 2010 at 9:46 AM Rating: Good
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Keep in mind, the game was supposed to be 20% done at alpha. 65% probably means they are at alpha stage for the other 2 kingdoms or so, and have a little bit of extra content that has cleared the finished code board.
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#10 Apr 27 2010 at 9:52 AM Rating: Default
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Yea, just because it isn't running smoothley doesn't mean it's not moving in the right direction. Excusemy spelling I
on the iPhone. I was originLly hoping for an end of summer releae date but Ima be swamped with class so SE please take ur time and make me da baller game.
#11 Apr 27 2010 at 10:28 AM Rating: Decent
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Because server problems often are as severe as gameplay problems and much harder to fix, am I right?

It's not as smooth as it could be, but if the servers are the only problem so far I'd say it's going way better than expected.
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#12 Apr 27 2010 at 10:33 AM Rating: Good
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I was just thinking... If they started in 2005 and are 65% done now... That means the game should come out in 2013? Jokes aside, most MMOs are never complete. All they have to do is finish the leveling content, and introduce endgame via a patch a month or few after release.
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#13outzaidurz, Posted: Apr 27 2010 at 10:42 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) they really should rephrase it to "65% of alpha content complete". the game is faaar from being able to support an open beta.
#14 Apr 27 2010 at 12:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Not to sound like doom and dirge but at this point I highly doubt FF14 is going to be released this year. Q1 2011 sounds like the earliest. MMO development tends to be full of snares that cause even an experienced team to delay.

I can assure you all though that FF14 when it is released will be a complete product. It won't be some half-finished abomination like Age of Conan. And it'll run **** smooth too.
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#15 Apr 27 2010 at 3:02 PM Rating: Good
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sixty-five percent complete

And so it shall remain, for the next 8 years.

This will not stop them from a 2010 holiday release, however.

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#16 Apr 27 2010 at 3:58 PM Rating: Good
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outzaidurz wrote:
they really should rephrase it to "65% of alpha content complete". the game is faaar from being able to support an open beta.


Your logic is quite flawed, if you are basing your assumptions on the Alpha client especially. The alpha client(as is) is base concepts and is not feature rich or complete due to the fact SE wants people to test core concepts not 'specifics'. The issues they have now, are server / connectivity issues - something that won't take long to flesh out fully.
#17 Apr 27 2010 at 4:39 PM Rating: Good
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Amazing, can't wait to load this thing up on my PC for the first time....pure excitement!
#18 Apr 27 2010 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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Ummm ... It's nice that they threw us a number but it's pretty meaningless. We can all guess what 65% means, but really without providing metrics, it's meaningless.

It could be in terms of content, meaning the infrastructure is in place and just being tweaked.

It could mean chronologically, in which case we're not getting the game this year.

It could mean in terms of labor-hours, in which case we don't know anything because game devs often hire extra contractors near launch.

It is nice, though, that at least they are tossing us a bone once in a while. I hope this is a sign of good things to come in terms of community interaction / customer support.
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#19 Apr 27 2010 at 5:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Keep in mind, the game was supposed to be 20% done at alpha.


I think you are refering to Alpha having 20% of the final games content, its not the same.

I'm confident we will see a release this year, even if it means they have to launch without any sizable end game content.


Edited, Apr 27th 2010 7:04pm by Diakar
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#20 Apr 27 2010 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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added more substantial source to OP ^^
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#21 Apr 27 2010 at 7:40 PM Rating: Good
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A MMO contain alot of parts and include PS3 progress, thus they have a hard time deciding wat % is completed.

Just some random numbers
(15 out of 20%) Concept and Content
(30 out of 45%) Coding for the game
(15 out of 20%) Graphics and Sound
( 5 out of 15%) Server/Client
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#22 Apr 27 2010 at 10:10 PM Rating: Decent
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What I saw was they were 90% done, but the remaining 10% is 50% of the game. So, wrapping my head around that one, I'm guessing that's mainly quests, leve mechanics, and general story stuff. Obviously, there are still some little tweaks and issues like connectivity, but barring a total rewrite of their connection code, whatever fixes come there should probably be fractional percentages of the whole.

But I can't really put much faith in numbers, either. All it takes is the testers to find something REALLY bad that could set things back, not unlike whatever's halted the Alpha cycle and the connectivity issue. I still think an of the year launch is possible, as things like quests and such don't exactly involve the game to be perfect to at least script and test. I'm also sure they have a "single player" version that allows them work on things without the current network snafus.

Edited, Apr 28th 2010 12:11am by Seriha
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#23 Apr 28 2010 at 3:29 AM Rating: Good
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Does that percentage represent 65% of the amount of total time they predict they'll need for development? Or does it represent 65% of the content in the game? If it's 65% of the total time needed then I can't see them being done this year. If it's 65% of the total content that's done, then finishing this year is feasible depending on how difficult the remaining content will be. Just my two cents.

Ahh nvm, jordster said what I wanted to say and did a better job.

Edited, Apr 28th 2010 5:31am by ffxivgoo
#24 May 02 2010 at 5:21 PM Rating: Good
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I agree that some are reading Way too much into this, though I understand. We're all so excited for any official information that excitement is natural. But they hardly gave an answer that you can plug into a calculator and come up with the final release date. The % mentioned only came up after some serious hemming and hawing, and shouldn't be taken as gospel.

The engine is done. Graphics production is done - which would suggest all character/mob modeling and areas are complete, though they mentioned some tweaks to come. Server-wise, it seems pretty clear that the word from testers is that there are a number of issues, but that's precisely why they have people testing it. The definitely still have a ways to go with the server and client performing optimally, but nothing out of the ordinary for a major MMO. Considering that this isn't their first time on the MMO front, I doubt any issue so far has seriously delayed the release of the game. The job classes are almost certainly not finalized in all their abilities, and the mechanics that work them. But SE has given out enough official information for us to conclude that each job is down to balancing and not conceptualization.

Best guess about the "65% complete" reference? I dunno. Guildleves perhaps? It's possible. Frankly I don't think the devs know what precisely they were including with their hastily generated, off the cuff number. But the entire process of creating a first class MMO is obviously further than 65% along. Let's wait for SE to say something more concrete before everyone comes up their own "expert opinions" on release dates.

Edited, May 2nd 2010 11:30pm by ascorbic
#25 May 02 2010 at 7:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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I want to play this game as soon as I can just like anyone else but part of me knows I'm gonna be addicted like a crackhead when its all said and done so I hope they don't release it 'til next year sometime (early) just so I can get through my last year at Uni lol...please don't sub-default me :P...
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#26 May 02 2010 at 8:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Remember that a large portion of that 65% consists of making the engine...
#27 May 02 2010 at 8:52 PM Rating: Good
Seriha wrote:
What I saw was they were 90% done, but the remaining 10% is 50% of the game. So, wrapping my head around that one, I'm guessing that's mainly quests, leve mechanics, and general story stuff. Obviously, there are still some little tweaks and issues like connectivity, but barring a total rewrite of their connection code, whatever fixes come there should probably be fractional percentages of the whole.


I pretty much see it this way too. I think any last minute major changes to game mechanics will be discovered in the Alpha. From then on it's just fine tuning and bugwork in the Beta. My Smiley: twocents
#28 May 03 2010 at 2:07 PM Rating: Good
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Alpha won't be where they test mechanics, only stability. Beta1 will be officially looking for feedback on balance and mechanics.
#29 May 03 2010 at 3:52 PM Rating: Good
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Lies, damned lies, and percentages.
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#30 May 03 2010 at 5:04 PM Rating: Good
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What I'm guessing is that they have most of the graphics engine complete, and most of the art assets complete, which is a huge chunk of work. What's left is code to allow you to interact with the world, net code, and scripting all the stuff that makes a world alive. The alpha is apparently restricted to Limsa Lominsa and the area around it, so think of Windurst and Sarutabaruta:

Windurst has tons of NPCs who all need dialogue, enterances and exits to areas, Mog House enterances, fishable waters, Home Point crystals, auction houses, doors, warp Tarus, quests, delivery NPCs, and probably more, all that need to be placed and scripted on top of the actual art assets that make up the city. Sarutabaruta has a few NPCs, outposts, fishable waters, exits, harvest points, and many, many enemy spawns that need to be scripted. This all just to make the areas actually worth visiting. There's still so much more to do...

Enemies need to have their animations match their attacks. They need their attack patterns and pursuit behaviors scripted. Players need the same animation tweaks, plus all the spells and abilities need to be coded, tested, re-coded, tested again, balanced, evaluated, and then perhaps tossed out completely. The player needs to be able to access these abilities, and their costs need to be added and evaluated. All equipment needs to have its attributes added and tested to make sure nothing is broken. Almost everything needs to be tested to make sure it's not broken.

There's your last 35% of work. The bulk of the work is already over, including most of the planning and art, so now it's just down to following the plan and working with what the art guys have made, and just bringing it all together. Anyone ever build a level for Morrowind or Oblivion? It's kind of like that. If you had to make everything yourself it would take months just for one house, but since all the art and scripting language is already there you can actually do it in just a few hours. I think they can get it done by the end of Q4.
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