This post may look the same -- but it's not! Dengeki magazine also put together an interview with the developers from Final Fantasy XIV, and got their comments on each class as well! The editors over there love to publish their comments whenever possible, so you can see them interspersed throughout the interview. They are centered and marked with a 電 for Dengeki. Keep in mind, their comments are pure speculation.
Alright, let's check it out!
Discuss on the ZAM Forums!
Special Q&A with the Developers!
- How long is the beta test set to last?
A: That has not been determined yet. It will be adjusted as we go along.
- How much of the game can players enjoy during the beta test?
A: Our goal is to start out with the bare essentials and maintain game balance as we build, so less than half of what you'll find in the final game will be available. Starting with the alpha version, which is the very first step, it's safe to say almost no content will be in the game yet. Starting there, we are hoping it will be easier to take in and apply user feedback and suggestions.
- Can you tell us the recommended specs for the alpha/beta and Windows versions?
A: At this stage, we are still optimizing everything, so the alpha test may actually require a more powerful CPU than the final version. The graphics card must support DirectX9, so even cards that are a few years old should be alright. If you have over 512MB of VRAM, you'll be OK. We will give you more details regarding this on the beta tester site.
- Will the beta test begin on PS3 and Windows simultaneously?
A: First, the alpha test will be Windows only. The time period for the beta test hasn't been set yet.
電Editor: It's starting soon!
電Writer: I wonder if the alpha will be done in a month.
電Editor: If the alpha test finishes in a month, then I predict the beta will last about half a year. I wonder if the Windows version will be easy to play with a controller?
- How exactly will FFXI players be able to transfer their Friend Lists and other aspects of their community to FFXIV?
A: We have no details on that at this time. We want to make it so friends from FFXI can move to the same world/server and adventure together.
- Will we be able to play as the 9 classes that were presented this week? When starting the beta test, will we be able to choose from a set of different classes?
A: Yes, that's right. While all the aspects of each class may not be available at first, you will be able to play as them.
- Will there be classes in the beta that have not been announced yet?
A: As of right now, that is undetermined.
- What type of players are these 9 classes geared towards?
A: The basic ideas each class encompasses are as follows:
Gladiator: The hero who wants to protect the weak. The party's great protector. The all-purpose melee.
Pugilist: The fighter on the front lines. The thrill of thinking on your feet and switching stances. The vanguard attacker. For players who love paying attention to the details of battle.
Lancer: Using range to your advantage. Requires good judgment of battle conditions. The party's last resort in a pinch. For people who enjoy the tactical side of battles.
Marauder: A macho attacker with massive power. The party's trump card. For people who love waiting for the perfect opening to strike.
Archer: A sniper who plays it cool, aiming for the perfect shot. The party's shortstop. The lone wolf.
Conjurer: Party support that can change between attack, defense and healing based on the situation. For players who want to do it all.
Thaumaturge: The party strategist, who controls the battlefield through manipulation of status effects. For people who enjoy deep strategy.
Miner: A Disciple of the Land, who deals in metals but cannot wear most equipment. For those who want to get rich quick, and enjoy the labor it takes to do so.
Blacksmith: Uses metals to craft weapons and armor. Requires training. For those who enjoy doing business and dealing with customers.
電Writer: I'll be so happy if you can choose between those 9 classes from the beginning!
電Editor: The Disciples of War have close combat and ranged attackers. Think the starting weapon will just be a short sword?
電Writer: I think they'll sell weapons for other classes at stores!
電Editor: I bet you'll see different weapons sold in different city-states.
- Will players be able to choose between different tribes, such at the Miq'ote with Sunseekers and Moonseekers?
A: In the beta test, you will be able to choose between a limited number of tribes.
- What kind of characteristics will different tribes have? Will it be something like Sunseekers having brownish skin, but Moonseekers, being nocturnal, having whiter skin tones to select from?
A: Yes, like that. But more than just skin tones, there will be a theme or style distinct to each tribe, and from within that you will also have a wide variety of skin tones to select from.
- Will that level of customization in character creation be available in the beta test?
A: There will be a limited number of faces and hair styles to choose and beyond that, only hair, skin and eye colors will be selectable. More detailed changes to the face will not be available yet.
- Are there bonuses based on one's selected race and city-state? And if so, will tribe selection also affect them in any way?
A: At this stage, we haven't planned any such bonuses, but we will consider it if the many players ask for them.
電Writer: He said only a limited amount of tribes, but I'd be thrilled if they got them all in. We know we'll be able to select our tribe, at least.
電Editor: As someone who likes character creation, I'm hung up on the "limited amount" for customization. The final version could take me 2 hours just to get my character the way I want. I hope my name isn't taken in the meantime...
電Writer: You probably can't use a name if someone on the same world/server has it. Why not just slap together a character to hold it for you while you make your main one?
- Out of the weapons and classes presented so far, there are still some weapons from FFXI (great sword, scythe, staff) which we haven not seen yet. Will they appear in FFXIV? If so, what classes might they be added to (e.g. great sword on Gladiator?) Will all weapons be on separate classes?
A: I cannot tell you when, but those weapons will definitely appear in FFXIV. As for which classes they will be associated with, I'll have to ask you to wait and see.
- Before heading out on an adventure, you can change your class at whim, but are there any limitations to this? For example, only being able to carry 3 weapons, and thus change between 3 classes, at once.
A: At this stage, there are no limitations in place. However, there is the possibility we may adjust this as we go forward.
- Can you change classes in battle? If it's only possible when not in "battle mode," could one just sheathe their weapon and then change classes?
A: In FFXIV, there is a Passive Mode, wherein you recover HP as you move, and Active Mode, which is when your weapon is in-hand and you are poised to fight. Players can only switch classes while they are in Passive Mode.
電Writer: So, you can recover HP while moving, huh.
電Editor: I wonder if the recovery rate improves in you are standing still, sitting or otherwise relaxing?
- Generally, how many members should a party consist of? Will there be Alliances?
A: Basically, we're thinking 6-8 people. However, we also plan to make the game flexible, so you could have a little more, a little less, or even go solo and still be able to adventure when you like. Of course, we are also planning challenges that will require the strength of an Alliance, as well as party vs. party elements. Essentially, we're look to add aspects to battle beyond simply the exchange of damage.
First, you secure a distance from the enemy based on your method of attack; maintaining this is an important element of battle. Its effect on damage and accuracy are a given, but there will also be additional effects that have a chance of going off at the proper distance (for example, with a lance, stopping the enemy's movements temporarily). For Disciples of Magic especially, there are areas of effect to consider with their magic. Conjurers have a circle shape and Thaumaturges have a cone shape. You always have to consider where you are focusing your attack. In addition to all this, you are keeping track of the enemy's movements and where they are facing.
In other words, the 3 main factors in battle for FFXIV are distance, area of effect and orientation. An expert player must always consider these things during a fight.
電Writer: FFXI was mainly just one monster versus a party, but for FFXIV, it sounds like the basic structure is party vs. party.
電Editor: I wonder if having a Disciple of the Hand, or other non-battle focused class, still increases your party count?
電Writer: With all the focus on positioning and maneuvering, it almost feels like a real-time simulation game.
- One of the Gladiator's abilities says it "gets the enemy's attention." Is this similar to instantly generating enmity?
A: In FFXIV, we call it the "hostility factor" and the ability you mentioned raises this value. [Elmer Point: I'm sure they'll have a nice term for this. It's 敵視率 (teki-shi-ritsu), lit. viewing as hostile (敵視) + ratio/factor (率)]
- Do the Gladiator's Roaring Sword and Pugilist's Whistle generate different amounts of this?
A: Similar techniques may have different ways of working. For example, even the same technique may generate different amounts of hostility depending on a variety of factors. Effectively controlling hostility is an aspect of the game all players need to think about. We hope you enjoy testing out these abilities in and figuring out what works the best in which situations.
電Editor: Ah, could it be provoking from a higher elevation could generate more hostility?! It sounds like provoking right after a weapon skill could heighten the effect as well.
電Writer: Sounds like a fighting game (laughs)
- Can players use Guard or some other defensive command? Or will this activate randomly?
A: Actually, both are true. There will be a Defend command that lets you actively defend yourself, and also players with a shield equipped will automatically block some attacks provided they have improved their skill with a shield to an extent. [Elmer Point: The command is called 防盾 (bou-jun), which is defense(防) + shield(盾). Will non-shield carrying classes get something else?]
電Writer: There will be a Defend command! I can't wait!
電Editor: Sounds pretty effective to be able to manually guard yourself right before an enemy weaponskill goes off.
- What's the difference between Hand-to-hand range and Extra close Range?
A: They are largely the same. We more wanted to show the difference in style between the two classes. For example, consider defense. Extra close range is about protecting yourself with a shield, heavy armor and maxing out physical defense. Hand-to-hand range focuses more on parrying and evading attacks. Offensively, they have different styles as well.
- Do enemies have TP?
A: They do. Enemies have various different ways of building TP, and there will be types that if you cannot put them down quick, will become very dangerous.
電Editor: Ooh... I wonder what those different ways of building TP could be. What is there besides hitting or being hit?
電Writer: It could mean enemies will have abilities to instantly gain or lower TP.
- Do you still have to remain still while casting spells?
A: We are planning to include a number of spells that can be cast while moving.
電Editor: In FFXI you couldn't move an inch while casting, but now there will be spells that let you move and cast! Beautiful!
電Writer: Hmm, I bet it will be impossible with some of the more powerful spells, though. Sounds like it will be possible with stuff that enhances movement or other lighter cantrips.
- How does a Gladiator differ between when they have a shield equipped and when they do not?
A: When a Gladiator does not have a shield equipped, they forgo their defensive power in exchange for a better offense. Also, there are certain abilities and weaponskills that require a shield to be equipped.
- Please tell us the difference between slashing and piercing.
A: Depending on the enemy type, different attacks will be more effective. We are still adjusting this aspect of the game but generally, big, muscle-bound enemies are weak to slashing, and enemies equipped with armor or a shell are weak to piercing. Also, slashing does better damage while piercing has better accuracy.
- Gladitors have three options: piercing, slashing and guarding. Does this mean there will be something like a piercing button, slashing button and defense button that you select each turn?
A: You can select a new command each time.
- It seems most classes have some kind of ranged attack, but will Gladiators get one?
A: We're considering a way for Gladiators to throw their sword.
- Lancers have piercing, slashing and blunt attacks, but does this depend on the weapon they are using? Will it be a command you can freely select like with Gladiator?
A: The idea is that at first, you can only do piercing attacks. As you grow and improve, techniques that allow for slashing and blunt attack will become available.
- You say by "bringing the enemy close" a Lancer can strike both at once. Is there some way to physically bring the enemies together in such a way.
A: We just mean that if two enemies happen to be close enough together, a Lancer can use that to their advantage and strike them both with the same thrust.
- The weaponskill Overrun says if you don't incur any enmity, you get extra high-speed strikes added to the attack. Does this mean you can always attain the added effect by attacking from behind the enemy?
A: It's more like a Sneak Attack that procs when the enemy is not in battle mode.
- With Offensive Stance and Defensive Stance, does the stance change based on the abilities you use?
A: When you select a command, you can decide upon either one based on the position of the Effect Gauge. Moving it towards Offensive is good for attacks and moving it towards Defensive is good for defending. Once a stance is deepened to its maximum point, there will be other abilities that become available.
- Chakra says it consumes TP to heal one's HP, but can the effect be changed by the amount of TP it consumes?
A: The effect does change based on the amount of TP it uses. You cannot choose the amount yourself, but there will be levels to its effectiveness.
- Why does Pugilist have Steal?
A: We wanted to prepare several different avenues for each class to grow. Think of it as a way to put one's skills to a more sinister use.
- Will the damage from Tackle improve the farther away from the enemy you start?
A: Yes, having a running start increases the damage.
- Marauders can store up power to unleash an AoE attack. Can they do this with regular melee attacks, or is it only reserved for weaponskills?
A: Basically, storing up power will make regular melee attacks into AoE attacks. Storing up power will have other special effects on weaponskills.
- While storing up power, is it impossible to perform any actions that require movement?
A: Moving cancels the act of storing power.
- The ability Disorient uses the axe to stir up dust or sand to lower enemy evasion. Can this be used in places with no sand, like on a boat?
A: You can still use the ability, but the effect may be altered.
- The weaponskill Fracture makes an enemy weaponskill unusable. Is this a continuous effect or is it more like Stun?
A: It's a continuous effect.
- Brandish and Iron Tempest (both are circular AoE weaponskills) seem to have similar effects, but are the damage types different?
A: The type of damage they do is different, as well as the shape and size of their areas of effect.
- There's a shortbow and longbow, but will there be a crossbow?
A: There currently isn't one, and if it's added, it may actually be given to a different class.
- How many arrows can one carry around on their character?
A: We're still adjusting that, but there will be measures to help you deal with running out of arrows.
- Can Archers make arrows by themselves?
A: Only Disciples of the Hand will be able to make arrows. However, in the future, by putting abilities from a Disciple of the Hand on an Archer, they could attain some limited crafting ability.
- Do abilities like Replenish (fires multiple arrows at once) actually consume multiple arrows?
A: Yes, it consumes multiple arrows. For example, Quick Draw shoots multiple arrows amongst the enemies. If there are three enemies, and you use 10 arrows, the enemies take 3, 3 and 4 hits, respectively.
- Does the weaponskill Shrieker cause any enemy to run away? Or is this only possible during battle?
A: Of course it won't be completely effective against every enemy, but it will work against enemies in Passive Mode.
- Conjurers are able to produce magical effects for the area around their person, but how exactly does this work? To what extent can they boost party members? Are there detrimental effects they can put on enemies?
A: We're still adjusting this currently.
- Besides Shock Spikes, most of the spells have an area of effect. Can these spells hit multiple enemies at once?
A: Most spells do have an area of effect, and they can hit multiple enemies at once. Generally, this makes it very effective to gather all the enemies together within the area. That's how this class was designed.
- So in the same vein, can Protect be cast on all party members at once?
A: Yes, it can be cast upon everyone inside the area of effect.
- Are monsters are associated with different elements?
A: Monsters will again be associated with different elements. So this will certainly play a role in the effects spells have on them.
- The Thaumaturge is said to boast the highest attack power of all classes. What kind of spells will have this power?
A: I'm going to have to keep that under my hat for now. I will tell you that spells are not only based on MP, but there are some that consume TP.
- Does the ability Initiation (shares magical effects on yourself with party) affect all party members?
A: No, only one member whom you select.
- Does the spell Gravity lower evasion?
A: We're still putting it together, but we do plan to have it lower evasion.
- The spell Siphon Magic (absorbs MP from enemies) says it only works on enemies that are unable to take an action. What exactly does this mean?
A: This means their HP has been depleted, and they are defeated.
- Will the spell Siphon Magic work against enemies with no TP?
A: No, it will not have an effect on enemies with no MP.
- Can you keep an eye on the status of party members' weapons during battle?
A: The current plan is only between battles.
- Will a Blacksmith be able to check the status of an ally's weapon whenever they want, or will they need the other player's approval?
A: Requiring the player to confirm every single time the Blacksmith needs to check would be too much, but we can't overlook the importance of player privacy either. We think the best way is to require initial approval from the player, which then allows the Blacksmith to examine them whenever they need to.
- In a party, a Miner can "let fly some pebbles." Does this mean that pebbles will be their only weapon?
A: Currently, that is the case, but we may prepare something else for them to use as well.
- Can they only use pebbles to weaken ore-based enemies?
A: We are investigating ways for them to use items instead of weapons -- for example, using aqua regia (a corrosive compound that dissolves gold) on a gold-based enemy to weaken it.
- You say a Miner can bring "additional income" to the party. Does this mean a single Miner will benefit all members?
A: Yes, that's right. It will add to the treasure pool, and we are still discussing this, but we want to make it so more Miners increases the benefits. However, the trade-off is that battles will be more difficult.
- Can only Miners see mining points?
A: The current plan is to make it that way.