Japan brings us the latest Final Fantasy XIV information this week with another look into the alpha demonstration from Gamescom. Just when you thought it has been examined to death, the crew at Famitsu manage to bring to light a few more things fans may have overlooked.
At Gamescom, Final Fantasy XIV Producer Hiromichi Tanaka gave a tour of Guildleve, wherein he had to defeat a number of Dodos and the Puks that appear afterwards. Guildleve will be a system of quests that make up the bulk of Final Fantasy XIV's game play. Now we get to take a closer look at how the Guildleve system works and how a typical quest progresses.
Once an adventurer receives their Guildleve from the town guild, they approach the Aetheryte to begin. In this case, Famitsu took on the "Puk Extermination" Guildleve that Tanaka demonstrated. However, there were two other Guildleves available. One required players defeat monsters called "Nut Eaters" and collect 5 Lemming tails. Nut Eaters are particularly agile and would flee from the player, encouraging cooperation with other players in order to trap and kill them. There are many factors that go into each quest that may not be apparent from the stated criteria alone.
This window contains the details of your selected Guildleve. You can review the clear conditions, time limit and rewards here. The objective of this particular Guildleve is to defeat Dodos and Puks.
Players can use the field map or compass in the bottom-right corner to locate their targets. As Tanaka stated, the alpha lacked some functionality, but the final game will show the locations of certain enemies on the map during Guildleve. This makes it easy to find your goal and is a welcome change of pace from the endless camping required of Final Fantasy XI.
Here are Dodos, one of the targets required of this Guildleve. Battles do not require a special encounter sequence like many RPGs, but rather take place immediately right on the field.
Players attack the enemy by selecting commands from the Action Bar located in the bottom-center of the screen. When defeating your enemy, a counter will pop up to show you how many of your targets have been subdued, and how many remain.
Now that the required number of Dodos have been defeated, the player must find the Puks that have popped as a result. This is a case where the intended target of the Guildleve will not pop unless certain conditions are met. Once all required monsters are defeated (i.e. Dodos and Puks) the Guildleve will be complete.
Once all the conditions of the player's quest have been fulfilled, a Warp Point will spawn right before you. The Warp Point will transport the player back to the Aetheryte where the Guildleve began. Warping back is instantaneous and allows the player to keep on enjoying the game without having the action broken up with excessive travel time. Considering how expansive the field areas appear to be, this is quite the welcome addition.
We have heard a lot about the battle system, and Famitsu reviewed it as well. Above is a picture they provided of the layout with the labels translated. The player selects which action or ability they wish to use and it registers to their right-hand or left-hand gauge, depending on which hand holds the associated equipment. For example, a sword may use the right-hand gauge, but a shield held in the left-hand would use the left-hand gauge.
If the Action Gauge is full, the command will activate. If not, it will activate once the Action Gauge is stored to full. If the player has a full Action Gauge and does not activate an ability, they will begin to store up their Power Gauge. This gauge will increase the strength and accuracy of your techniques. There will also be a TP Gauge that will affect your techniques in unique ways. While the Action and Power gauges increase over time, the TP gauge increases when you land an attack or are struck by the enemy.
To wrap up the article, there were some excerpts from Famitsu's interview and Gamescom. Here are the key points they decided to include:- The battle system is designed to be more aggressive and keep the player involved in the action. This is why the user must select commands for every action instead of simply having an Auto-Attack function. In addition, the Action Menu is fully customizable and allows the player to easily adapt to all kinds of situations.
- Final Fantasy XIV is about 40-50% complete in its current state. Therefore, the version that was displayed at Gamescom is something that is still quite early in the development process, but the developers feel it is important to get user feedback as early on as possible. There are still many aspects of the game that are unfinished, and they wish to continue featuring parts of the game as they design them. They are hoping to get some form of beta testing running soon.
- The main point of Guildleve is to provide light, enjoyable content. This does not mean all quests will be simple, however. Also, as an entry in the Final Fantasy series, the core of Final Fantasy XIV will be its story.
- While players in Japan may not be getting their hands on the Alpha version shown at Gamescom, the developers wish to make available another "development version" similar to that presentation. However, it will not be at a convention like before, but rather a focus group or something they will recruit users for.