The facts as they were presented
Eorzea Prelive gave us a lot of new information to sift through, so let's get straight down to brass tacks. Part one of our Eorzea Prelive covers the facts as they were presented. How will Final Fantasy XIV change between now and the retail version? What things will be added for adventurers to enjoy? Square Enix has been kind enough to provide a summary in English of all those nitty-gritty details. We present it to you below, interspersed with pictures direct from the event!
Discuss this in the ZAM Forums!
The Special Talk Session featured a panel of the following FINAL FANTASY XIV Development Team members:
Producer, Hiromichi Tanaka
Director, Nobuaki Komoto
Battle Director, Atsushi Okada
Main Scenario Writer, Yaeko Sato
World Concept Planner, Kenichi Iwao
Level Designer, Yusuke Kigoshi
The following topics were addressed:
Battle System, World Concept, Economy, Guildleves
(Announced features are still under development, and may change before and after release)
The World of FINAL FANTASY XIV
FINAL FANTASY XIV takes place on the world of Hydaelyn, a planet much like another you all may be familiar with. Many of the people on Hydaelyn do not actually use the word ‘Hydaelyn,’ for to understand the concept of a planet, one must first know of other worlds, and most on Hydaelyn do not.
FINAL FANTASY XIV takes place in a realm known as Eorzea.
* Eorzea is one of three continents that make up a giant land mass.
* Eorzea consists of Aldenard and its surrounding islands.
* Aldenard is connected to the land mass containing the other two continents via a land bridge,
* Eorzea contains several independently governed city-states, like those found in ancient Greece.
* And just like those in Greece, the ones in Eorzea have a long history of war and alliances.
* The few that have lasted longest are the thalassocracy of Limsa Lominsa, the commercial sultanate of Ul’dah, and the forest city-state of Gridania, which some users have commented reminds them of an ancient Japanese polis.
* However, the powerful and aggressive Garlean Empire has begun their slow advance on the city-states, making the current situation in Eorzea similar to the months before the Persian Empire marched on Greece.
[ Limsa Lominsa ]
Limsa Lominsa is a sprawling port city ruled by pirates and brigands. After the appearance of the legendary island “Swallowtail Roam,” a battle begins brewing over a treasure found there, and the player gets caught up in the action. Into whose hands will the treasure fall?
* Appears in the opening cutscene.
* Her origins are unknown.
Carvallain & Rhoswen
* Carvallain is cunning and cool-headed.
* Rhoswen is hot-blooded and ruthless.
* Both are captains of powerful pirate crews, and both hate the other.
* Guildmaster of Wawalago’s Pullers─the Fishermen’s Guild.
* An eccentric and lewd old man who uses the player to his advantage.
[ Gridania ]
The player angers the forest and travels to Gridania to remove his woodsin. There the player gets caught up in the story of a boy named Khrimm who insists elementals─beings thought to rule the wood─and sets out to find the truth. Will his findings overturn the beliefs of all Gridanians?
Yda & Papalymo
* Appear in the opening cutscene.
* For some reason, Yda hides her face behind a mask.
* Both Yda and Papalymo’s origins are unknown.
* Appears in the opening cutscene
* Is one of the most powerful conjurers in Gridania
* Is of a strange race known as the Padjal
* A race rare in Hydaelyn.
* Assist the five races in their communication with the elementals
* Leader of the Gods’ Quiver (the Archers’ Guild)
* Through events in this guild, the player learns of the beast tribe known as the Ixal.
[ Ul’dah ]
The player is caught up in a terrible accident during a city-wide parade. One of the people who perish in this accident was carrying a terrible warning to Ul’dah. To learn of this warning, there are those who would seek forbidden magicks to allow them to speak with the dead...
* Appears in the opening cutscene
* Is a talented bard of unknown origin
* Appears in the opening cutscene.
* Is a goldsmith from Esthaime’s Aesthetics (Goldsmiths’ Guild)
* Helps run the Platinum Mirage casino
* Is polite, yet stern.
* Appears in the Pugilist class quests
* Lovable daughter of the owner of Amajina & Sons Minreal Concern
* Is smothered in affection by her family
[ Ishgard ]
The Knights of Ishgard are fighting a holy war with an ancient race of dragons, and are currently refusing contact with those they call ‘unbelievers.’ These defenders of the mountain realm appear in several different quest lines.
[ Guilds ]
* Not all guilds are found in each city-state.
* Class Quests can be performed by joining guilds and fulfilling certain prerequisites.
* Class quests will not only earn players rewards, but through their stories, players can also learn more about each individual city-state.
* In addition to regular rewards, completing these quests will earn players guild marks which can be used to purchase special items from that guild.
* More items will be made available for exchange in the near future.
[ Other ]
* Unlike the starting rings in FINAL FANTASY XI, there will not be any equipment that is received by choosing a certain race in a certain city-state.
* The scenarios have been designed so that most can be completed by solo players or, at the most, by small groups.
Enmity in Party Battles
For Open Beta we adjusted the amount of enmity received when using magic and abilities. However, we are not yet done, and will continue making adjustments up through and after the game’s release. We realize adding new quests, equipment, abilities, monsters, etc will directly affect the current balance, and therefore will continue making adjustments throughout the course of the game’s lifespan.
Our original plan was to make MP management an important factor in the game, and we designed the game so players would have to carefully consider when and where to use MP. Rather than having weak spells that can be used over and over for minimal damage, we wanted to make magic powerful─something that delivers a single strike of massive damage and can instantly change the tide of a battle.
While maintaining this concept we will not only be conducting adjustments on existing methods to refresh MP (such as Aetheryte, abilities, and magic spells), but also plan on adding new methods.
Battle regimens work to broaden battle strategies for parties, as well as make it easier to form parties. Unlike the skillchains of FINAL FANTASY XIV, battle regimens are not only for dealing damage, but also can be used to produce the following effects:
* Lowers a target’s physical defense (normal attack -> normal attack)
* Lowers a target’s magic defense (normal attack -> magic attack)
* Increases a target’s casting time/raises MP costs (normal attack -> magic spell)
* Lowers a target’s TP progression/raises TP costs (normal attack -> weaponskill)
* Maintains the effectiveness of class abilities when used by different classes
(magic spell -> magic spell (both from same class))
(weaponskill -> weaponskill (both from same class))
* Increases player damage
(weaponskill -> weaponskill -> magic spell (weaponskills from different classes, finishing spell is optional))
(magic spell -> magic spell -> weaponskill (spells from different classes, finishing weaponskill is optional))
For example, when fighting a monster that has high physical defense, a regimen which will lower that defense is effective. On the other hand, when fighting a monster that uses magic attacks, a regimen that slows casting time and increases MP cost is recommended.
On some monsters, players will be able to damage individual parts such as arms and legs. For example, vines can be cut from morbols, and horns and tails can be struck from monsters that have them Parts can be damaged by using certain weaponskills while standing in certain positions.
The effect will not only be visual, but will accomplish the following:
* Weaken the monster
* Prevent the monster from using its special attacks
* Allow the player to obtain the damaged part
* Soon Notorious Monsters will make their appearance in FFXIV.
* Most will appear different from regular monsters.
* Some are so large they will make regular morbols seem small.
In addition to what was announced here today, we are also planning massively multiplayer battles.
There currently exist several class abilities which may have players scratching their heads as to how they are to be used. Many of these were designed with PVP in mind. While we cannot reveal much regarding PvP now, we have some exciting announcements planned for the near future.
Crafting and the World Economy
In MMOs, we realize that crafting and the world economy are both extremely important gameplay aspects. This is why we went out of our way to make independent crafting classes rather than simply have crafting skills attached to other classes. We have designed a system that will allow players to feel like their actions (crafting, gathering, buying & selling through bazaars) are directly affecting the economy.
The Effect of Player Status on Crafting & Gathering
A player’s physical and elemental statuses greatly affect crafting and gathering. There are many hints within the game that reveal which statuses affect which aspects.
[ Crafting ]
Attributes: Works in conjunction with the type of tool used to affect synthesis quality
Elemental: Affects the occurrence rate of “god sends,” as well as synthesis stability
[ Gathering ]
Physical: Affects the number of items harvested, as well as the drop rate
Elemental: Affects the type of crystals that can be obtained during gathering
Parley is a method other than battle in which players can obtain items. Players choose ‘topics’ and then play a game using painted tiles. If you defeat your NPC opponent, you earn the right to exchange the items you have for those you need. If you do especially well, you can obtain even greater rewards.
We do not want the extent of a Disciple of the Hand/Land’s stay in Eorzea to be about simply putting the items he creates/gathers up for auction, which is why we have envisioned a bazaar-driven economy in which players can be creative in the methods they use to sell their wares. To better achieve this, we are currently working on ways to increase a players’ ease of using the markets by adding additional features, as well as tweaking existing ones.
We are aware of the amount of time it took to buy items from retainers, and so we have been working diligently to make this system quicker and smoother by the time of release. Also, we are looking into ways to make it easier for players to buy and sell items through retainers.
Inventory Response Time
We are fully aware that inventory interface response speed needs to be improved.
At the time of release, we hope to have made significant improvement, and plan to continue our work after release as well.
Open Beta GLs
First, we would like to apologize to all of the Open Beta testers for the frequent client side errors that occurred during levequests. We are working hard to make sure all the problems are solved by the time the game is officially released.
Levequest targets give players many times more EXP and skill points than normal monsters (even if not using guardian aspect). To prevent some players from taking advantage of this system by completing most of a levequest, failing on purpose, and then trying the quest again immediately, we have made it impossible to retry a levequest immediately after failing it. However, this does not mean players are not allowed to retry levequests. By returning and talking to the NPC who issued the quest, players can gain the opportunity to retry the quest objectives.
Currently, players must wait 2 earth days before being reissued a leve. However, we planning a significant reduction in this wait.
In conjunction with this change, we will also be shortening the amount of time anima takes to recharge.
Guildleves have been designed with several different features that allow for players to cooperate with others to complete the corresponding quests. For example, ‘leve linking’ allows two players with the same leve to join their guildleves to receive a reward bonus. ‘Leve sharing’ allows people without a leve to participate in a party with a person who does.
The level recommendations on guildleves are a loose guideline for solo players. We encourage players looking for a challenge to join up with other adventurers and try their hands at more difficult leves.
The Future of Guildleves
We are planning the implementation of many different types of guildleves in the near future.
First, several high-level leves will be introduced. Among those will be leves with not only new rules, but new monsters and new operation locations. Also, to answer the demand from our players, we will be introducing guildleve-based NM battles shortly.
We also ask that our players try out the Faction Leves that were introduced in Open Beta and are only accessible by special means. These leves are different from regular ones, and often involve exciting battles and interactions with NPCs. The rewards are also much better.
In addition, we are currently working on several new ideas such as leves in which Disciples of the Land and Hand must cooperate with Disciples of War and Magic to complete certain tasks.
The following is a list of some of the things we have planned for the upcoming release:
* Implementation of a hardware mouse feature
* Introduction of discounted monthly fee payment plans (3-month plan in Japan/ 3 and 6 month plans in North America and Europe)
* Raising of the level cap to 50
* Adjustment of the Armoury System UI so player abilities will not reset when changing classes.