!UPDATE! New information and pictures, preview of developer interview and explanation of "Guild Leave," the new quest system.
We interrupt my regularly scheduled lunch to bring you this breaking news from a conveniently located net cafe. Early scans of what is purported to be this week's Famitsu have found their way online, and they contain shots of the races to be featured in Final Fantasy XIV! Luckily, posters over at Order of the Blue Gartr were on the ball and gathered them up into one thread.
These leaked shots are a weekly occurrence for Japanese magazines. They are usually sent out into the ether to generate hype for the magazines, which come out two days after. This is why the snapshots sometimes can be off-center or blurry. It is really meant to tantalize the reader more than provide a full scoop.
We will be able to see the full article come Friday, but let's take a brief look at what we have in store. Please be aware some of the information contained within may change. There will be an updated version posted once all the facts are in, so be sure to check back!
According to the article, character creation will go much further beyond slapping together race and face. Players will be able to customize a wide range of features, such as hair color & style. Exactly what else will be adjustable is unknown at this time.
There appears to be five selectable races, with male and female Hume, Elvaan and TaruTaru, but only female Mithra and male Galka. A lot of the characteristics of the races are strikingly similar as well.
The Hyuran are said to be the most prolific race of all Eorzea. This is pretty much in line with Vana'diel, as they again appear to take the role of "default race." The article says that they migrated to Eorzea in large number from neighboring islands and continents. They brought with them great technology and innovation that raised the civilization of Eorzea to new heights (quite literally, judging from the trailer). Having immigrated from a variety of lands there is great diversity to be found amongst the Hyuran in terms of language and culture. The two main classifications of Hyuran are "Midlanders" who migrated to lower areas of Eorzea, and the "Highlanders" who migrated into the hills and mountains.
The "Elvaan" of Final Fantasy XIV are called "Elzen." However, the official English spelling is not visible in the pictures. The Elzen are the anscestral race of Eorzea, and have clashed with the Hyuran in the past to defend their homeland. In addition, they are said to possess impeccible hearing, but this could just be a joke. Let us not forget the rumors of Sumo Wrestlers in Final Fantasy XI spread by those clever Japanese players. More information will be avaiable on them soon. The Elzen, that is.
Lalafell are short, munchkin-looking creatures not unlike the TaruTaru of Final Fantasy XI. They are a race of farmers who live mainly near the Southern Sea. They also boast an exceptional degree of intelligence.
The Roegadyn are a muscular race of fishermen that live near the Northern Sea. It appears that some work as hired mercenaries or bodyguards, but others lead a less noble life as pirates. A portion of their explanation is cut off, so I will get into more detail about them upon the magazine's release.
Miqo'te are cat-like people who are again known as fierce hunters. They are mainly separated into "Sunseekers" and "Moonkeepers," the latter of which are nocturnal. Together, the Miqo'te are a minority race in the land of Eorzea. It is rumored that the Miqo'te will be even more cat-like than their Mithran counterparts. More information to come once the full blurb is visible.
Jobs will work on what is called the Armory System. Judging from what we can see, the player can change the growth path of their character by equipping different weapons, and within each path are a set of classes. Again, there may be better details available on Friday, but we can still see a couple of the professions from which we will have to choose.
The path of the Fighter is for those wishing to be adept at wielding great weapons of battle. Classes that represent the way of the Fighter include Fencer and Archer.
The path of the Sorcerer is open to those who possess magical weapons imbued with fantastic power. The picture shows a staff, but it is possible there will be other weapon types available. Classes representative of the way of the Sorcerer include 呪術士 (ju-jutsu-shi), which may be a first for Final Fantasy. The upcoming Four Warriors of Light: Final Fantasy Gaiden on the Nintendo DS will also have a 呪術士 class. It can translate to a couple things, such as witch, shaman or warlock. The second class, 幻術士 (gen-jutsu-shi), literally means Illusionist, but has appeared before as Conjurer in Final Fantasy III, and Caller in Final Fantasy IV.
Now this is interesting. The article says that equipping crafting tools will put you on the path of the Crafter. This would suggest that crafting has been absorbed into the job system itself. No more mid-battle juice? Anyway, by taking a tool, such as a Blacksmith's Hammer, in hand, you are on the path of the Crafter, which contains classes such as Blacksmith and Chef (probably sans hammer).
The path of the Gatherer is activated by equipping harvesting tools. In the example picture, the man is holding a hatchet. He was thought to have horns, but the consensus now is that he is wearing a feathered cap. Classes included under Gatherer are Gardener and Fisherman.
"Guild Leave" will be the main system of quests in the land of Eorzea. The article states you can use a variety of "leaves" to customize your own quests. This use of items to construct the requirements of your task sounds familiar to the Moblin Maze Mongers system in Final Fantasy XI. Each card, or "leave" depicts a patron saint of Eorzea doing a task representative of the goal that card will impose on your character.
The left-most card has a picture of a holy knight named Saint "Danofen" slaying a dragon. It is labelled 勇胆 (yuu-tan) for "Stalwart Bravery" and is used to create a quest wherein you must defeat a fearsome monster.
The middle card depicts a Saint "Toturu" hunting rats. This is labeled 勤勉 (kin-ben) for "Diligence" and assigns a goal of exterminating bothersome creatures to receive the gratitude of others.
The right-most card shows Saint "Moorugin" forging a sword. The object here is to craft bows from branches for the benefit of fellow adventurers.
Information gleaned from Japanese sites indicate a developer interview will accompany all these pretty pictures. It is impossible to confirm these bullet points right now, so anything listed here could change. Here are a few of the more interesting things rumored to be in this week's article:
- The difference in ability between races is said to be less severe than that of Final Fantasy XI
- Battles progress in real-time, but are not action-oriented, i.e. There is more to consider during battle that simply targeting the enemy and wailing away on it
- The Armory System allows for job changing anywhere, so inventory space is of great importance. Therefore, ways to change armor quickly and easily are being considered
- Currently investigating whether to allow all skills to be mastered, or have a see-saw style system like crafting in Final Fantasy XI
- There will be weather effects and night/day transitions. One game day is one Earth hour.
- Final Fantasy XIV will be casual enough that even playing one hour a day is sufficient to enjoy the game.
- The game currency will be gil.