Tanaka P - The Puk Hunter

At Gamescom, Hiromichi Tanaka held and interview with staff from Famitsu.  We posted translations of his and Sage Sundi's interviews earlier today, but now footage of the discussion is available on Famitsu.com.

While the information is the same, we now can see everything Tanaka was doing while explaining the battle and Guildleve systems, plus get a demonstration of how adjustable the interface will be.  Read on to see the key points revealed in each video!

Episode 1

Tanaka ventures out into the plains of Eorzea in search of Puks to exterminate, but runs a-fowl of an infamous clan of Dodos wreaking havoc.  Revealed in this episode:

  • There is no auto-battle, commands must be selected every time the character attacks.
  • Depending on the combination of commands chosen, the player can activate a variety of techniques.
  • You can draw and sheathe your weapon freely, even outside of battle.
  • The monsters you must defeat for a particular quest will appear on your map during Guildleve.
  • There are two command gauges, one for your right hand and one for your left hand.
  • The player chooses which commands they wish to register to the command gauge from the action icons lined along the bottom of the screen.
  • There will be and Action gauge and Power gauge that increase over time.  You must build these up in order to unleash special techniques. 
  • A TP gauge is also present, which increases by attacking or being attacked.  A full TP gauge will alter your techniques in a variety of ways.
  • Red Lotus Blade is hilarious.  (レッドロータス can be truncated to レタス, which became an amusing way to refer to the Weaponskill in FFXI due to it's dual meaning of lettuce, the vegetable.)

Episode 2

Having toppled the mighty Dodos of the eastern plains and bringing peace once more to the land, Tanaka bravely charges forth to wipe out an infestation of Puks.  Revealed in this episode:

  • The action icons you have at your disposal will change based on your equipped weapon.  If Tanaka chose to wield a Staff, he would have access to magic.
  • As the player increases their skill in a particular weapon, their character will acquire more abilities.  However, the action menu at the bottom is limited to 10 icons at a time.
  • The action menu can be customized to match a player's individual style.
  • The status of party members will appear in the center of the right edge of the screen.  Tanaka waves his hand to indicate their rough position around 0:55 seconds.
  • The interface can be freely adjusted by the player.  Window placement, chat box size and more will be customizable.
  • There will be three different camera views: over-the-shoulder, overhead, and first person.
  • The aim of the battle system is to deliver a more aggressive, engaging experience.  The player will constantly be selecting commands, evolving their strategy and adapting to the flow of battle.
  • The focus has been taken off the strict roles jobs had in Final Fantasy XI to allow players to easily play alone, with a friend or with a group of people.
  • Warp points will mainly be provided for travelling back after completing a Guildleve quest.

The mini-series then closes with some words from Hiromichi Tanaka and Sage Sundi.  Here is a rough translation:

Tanaka: "The fruits of our labor are finally coming to bear, and the development team is working hard to get the game ready. We're planning to let everyone get a shot at a playable version like we have done here in Germany, so please look forward to it."

Sundi: "I know many Final Fantasy XI users are quite worried about what kind of experience they can have in our upcoming MMO.  Making Final Fantasy XIV enjoyable for all users, including Final Fantasy XI players, is our number one priority.  We cannot build a community without considering that. First we address how to satisfy Final Fantasy fans. From there, we will attract other MMO players and develop a community like never before. I believe Final Fantasy Xi players will find their time in Eorzea to be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, and I hope you look forward to it."

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# Aug 22 2009 at 2:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Red Lotus Blade is hilarious. (レッドロータス can be truncated to レタス, which became an amusing way to refer to the Weaponskill in FFXI due to it's dual meaning of lettuce, the vegetable.)



WTF???
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# Aug 21 2009 at 8:14 AM Rating: Decent
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As the player increases their skill in a particular weapon, their character will acquire more abilities. However, the action menu at the bottom is limited to 10 icons at a time.


This line really stood out to me and an LSmate. It could of course turn out to be a non-issue, but it certainly raises the arbitrary-restrictiveness/everythings-a-headache-or-gtfo SE MMO design philosophy flag.

Is this to keep the potential for constant "job" swapping balanced? Or to make the game more approachable for um "casual" (which in this case means bad) players?

Either way I certainly wouldn't present this as a selling point, because I know at least 2 people's immediate reaction to the whole juicy interview was "10 actions only? lame."
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# Aug 21 2009 at 10:43 AM Rating: Good
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That jumped out at me, too. What I immediately envisioned was a plethora of hardcore players running all sorts of parsers with the different abilities and posting the 10 "accepted" abilities for each weapon/skill level to maximize efficiency via specific ability rotations, or what not. The concept of customizing the action bar "to match a player's individual style" is a noble goal, but imo, unrealistic.
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# Aug 21 2009 at 12:00 PM Rating: Good
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Funny, when I hold in control or alt, I only have ten options. He said the BAR was limited to ten, which makes sense, considering 1-0 on the keyboard take up ten slots.

If you think there's only going to be ONE action bar in a game with FOUR different classes and a bragged-about many ways to play, I feel bad for frequenting the same game as you. Don't be so quick to judge next time, and think about these things.
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# Aug 22 2009 at 11:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Funny, when I hold in control or alt, I only have ten options. He said the BAR was limited to ten, which makes sense, considering 1-0 on the keyboard take up ten slots.

If you think there's only going to be ONE action bar in a game with FOUR different classes and a bragged-about many ways to play, I feel bad for frequenting the same game as you. Don't be so quick to judge next time, and think about these things


This dude's got a point.
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# Aug 21 2009 at 1:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Well I'm really thinking of this game as a mix of FFXI with the skill system of FFTA. Remember how each weapon had its own skill which would take certain amount of JP to learn for ever. This will be the exact same thing but there will be a smorgashboard of weapons which can be attained doings guildleaves or doing crazy hard tasks. The harder the tasks the better the weapon or armor, and I hope that weapons that teach really good skills are untradeable so that way when a guys friend going he wont be able to use like Regen V at Lv.1

I think that the way ptys are going to work is gonna be depending on an equal mix of abilities and armor. If there are 3 guysin the party that have learn Provoke the one with the highest 2 will tank or something. Or maybe if the Healer has lost all of his MP some1 can equip a staff and use Cure. This way of fighting is going to Drastically change how the game is going to be played.
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# Aug 22 2009 at 5:59 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm sure there will be prerequisite to being able to weild those elite weapon/armor. So, like in your example, a lv 1 would not be able to cast RegenV. He might/could own the weapon, through bazaar/AH, but wouldn't be able to use it until that prerequisite was met. I don't think every weapon will be rare/ex, but there will be items that aren't sell able too.
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