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More News From the FFXIV Beta

Learning the ropes of combat... click to enlarge

Hey Guys,

Checking out the news from Game Informer yesterday inspired me to check back in with FFXIVCore and see what’s new. For those of you that don’t know, Square-Enix majorly favors Japan when it comes to releasing new information and the guys over at the site are great with translating it all and scanning in the new screenshots.

I’m glad I took the time to stop as there’s a ton of new information out of Fumitsu (magazine and website), as well as a developer Q&A, that they’ve brought up for us. A lot of it is pretty new and not yet highlighted by the mainstream news sources. There’s a lot to read through but for the time deprived, I thought I’d put some of the biggest points up here for you to get on the quick.

Again, like all things with the beta, it’s all open, and likely, to change before launch. Check out some of the images I’ve attached though. They’re courtesy of 4Gamer and are taken directly from the testers. Also take notice that these are all legal, non-NDA breaking links and images. Share as you like 🙂

(Thanks to SteveManly for the translations!)

Character Creation

“To start with, you have to select your race. Once your character is made, you can choose class, birthday, and your guardian deity. I wonder what changes the guardian deity will bring around in the game. Then you decide your character’s name. You can make surname and first name.”

Chinese New Year, FFXIV Style... click to enlarge

Progression

From the Q&A:

Q. Is there no concept of “level” for the player characters?
A. There is a “physical level” that is related to the stats such as HP, MP, strength, intelligence, and so on, but your main skill’s rank is going to be more important.

Yep, sounds like Fallen Earth.

Instancing

Q. Instanced areas were used everywhere (they are automatically created during things like cut scenes). Why was this done?
A. We wanted to give players the freedom to play when they want to play instead of having to wait in line. This concept also lead us to create guildleves. The first thing we decided was to try to use instances as often as we could.

And the site…

“There is one more feature about FFXIV: instanced areas. An instanced area is a private place which is automatically made during events in towns. Only you and your party members can go there. Therefore, you can enjoy cut scenes apart from noises or crowdedness of the town.“

I’ll admit, I’m not too enthusiastic when I hear the developer said they used instances “as often as they could.” Instances segment the community. Yet, if it works similarly to WoW’s phasing, or just during cut-scenes, it may not be a problem at all.

Back, Jelly Fish! Back, I say! ... click to enlarge

Combat

“In FFXI, battles took place through an auto-attack system, but in FFXIV, you will be selecting each action from your action menu”

“The move will activate when the gauge is full. If a player chooses not to use the move, a second gauge, the “effect gauge,” begins to fill. The effect gauge has three levels. With each level the gauge fills, attack power goes up at the cost of a little accuracy.“

It sounds a little like the FF13 battle system, minus the paradigm shifts. The “effect gauge” should add an extra level of strategy to the game, too. But wait, it gets better…

“When fighting a powerful opponent with your party, you can use a system called “battle regimen” to link your attacks with the attacks of other members in your party. This has a chance to add special effects. …The effect changes depending on the order and the skills used, so I’m looking forward to finding the best combinations.”

Schweet, even more strategy, ala LotRO’s fellowship maneuvers! The combat system has me really intrigued in how different it’s approaching what we’ve come to see as a staple of MMO game play.

It’s also important to note that this is one of the first modern AAA MMOs that’s building systems that encourage you to group. Now, now, don’t flashback to FFXI’s grind quite yet. They’ve said that the game will offer options for all kinds of players, including soloers like myself.

Still, it’s nice to see grouping being supported from the ground up rather than in a handful of quests or raid encounters.

Back at shore... click to enlarge

On the Beta

Q. How long do you expect the alpha and beta tests to last?
A. The alpha test is a low-population test that we’re running on one server only. The server’s name is “Shadowlord.” The test will last for four hours in each region (Japan, Europe and North America) and take place three days a week. After we’ve tested the stability and the load the servers can take, we will be moving into Beta test phase one (B1 –Manly). B1 will be the same as alpha, but take place on multiple servers.

After that, we’ll start Beta test phase two (B2), which will reflect the feedback we received from our testers.

…The PS3 testing will also start from this version. From B2 we plan on increasing the number of world servers used and increase the servers’ load slowly to a few hundred thousand people to get ready for normal service.

A few hundred thousand. You know what that means? Complete and utter frustration when all my friends get in and my streak continues. If I was a tester though, I think I’d want in on the PS3 version, since that’s the one I intend to play.

Anyhow, that’s pretty much the beans for now. We’ve been waiting for a new information and we’ve got it. Things are looking good for FFXIV. Now, about that release date…

1 comment

  1. We Fly Spitfires

    Feeling pretty excited about FFIX. I don’t want to take part in the beta though – I’ve kinda sworn off betas – but I’ll hold out until it’s released. Now the big question: PC or PS3? 🙂

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