For those of us who played FFXI, this E3 was a shocker. With the announcement of Final Fantasy XIV for PS3 and inevitably PC as well, fans were excited to finally be able to get the upgrade FFXI so depserately needed.
I played for 6 years on and off but can not begin to tell you the amount of fun I had, the friends I met, and the adventures we went through over the course of that time. I loved FFXI as it was my first real foray into a MMO world.
The game was unlike any other MMO except maybe Everquest where leveling was soley based on grinding. Quests could be done to get items or access to certain areas, but this game was hard, and by hard I mean HARD. You had to have a party at all times passed level 10 if you wanted to progress at all. Leveling took forever, and parties of 6 competent people had to be arranged or a disaster was bound to happen. Forget lossing armor durability, this game punished you for dying. Losing levels, losing experience, losing your mind when there was no white mage to raise you in low level areas. This game made you hate the time you spent adventuring, but when it was good, it was really good.
I had to give it up due to lack of time, lots of games coming out, feeling the need to play those games, and maybe – just the need to move on and wait for another Final Fantasy Online to be born. The wait is nearly over as FFXIV will be out sometime in 2010.
-Update- Check out this blog here for more refined details about the upcoming Famistu article on Final Fantasy FFXIV
The game will not take place in Vana’diel this time. The world of Eorzea will be the setting for this new adventure. Details are sketchy at the moment, but just today some of the races, and jobs were announced to give us a taste of what’s to come. What previous players might find very interesting is that all the races from FFXI will be back but they will have different names this time around. Hyuran (Hume’s), Lalafell (Taru Taru’s), Elzen (Elvaan), Miqo’te (Mithra) and Roegadyn (Galka) will be the new names for the races we grew to love in FFXI. They have said the world of Eorzea will be smaller than the world of Vana’diel, which makes sense with all the expansions, but that it’s similar to Vana’diel but some sort of alternate universe. I am okay with the game as I loved how the races played a deep role in FFXI. Players assumed their roles well. Taru’s, Elvaan, Hume, Mitha, and Galka all banded together, and some had stronger relationships than others. I played a Taru in the game and I found an affinity towards other players of the same race, and made some great friends. Mithra were always fun to poke at, and Galka’s would sit on the little guys for fun. Each had their own way of expressing themselves uniquely and its one of my fondest memories of the game.
They have also released a list of “potential” jobs already. Four jobs have been revealed so far with two sub-classes for each: Fighter (swordsman, archer), Sorcerer (enchanter, warlock), Crafter (blacksmith, cook) and Gatherer (gardener, fishermen). FFXI had sub-jobs you could take on during your adventure. Basically it was your main character class i.e. Black Mage and then you could subclass it with any type (though it was smarter to pick the ones that made sense) i.e. White Mage. Your Main class would be at i.e. Level 40 which would make your subclass at half that i.e. Level 20. This allowed for a player to maximize their class with a little of both. The Black Mage could cast most White Mage spells up to level 20 and have all their Black Mage spells that coincided with the main level 40 job. This make sense yet?
What was great was the job switching anytime you found a Moogle in town. I could easily switch that Black Mage out for my Fighter, as in most MMO’s you can’t switch your job once its chosen. FFXI would allow you to be any job in the game and level them up whenever you wanted. This was easily one of the best features in the game as it allowed for complete customization. Even better if you White Mage was Level 40 and your Black Mage was level 40, when the Black Mage main job hits 42 your White Mage sub job would also jump to 21. Again being half of your current main job’s level. The system was great, but also made sticking with one job a lot harder. Always having to go back and level your sub job in case you became gimped i.e Main Job Level 50/Sub Job Level 20. It’s complicated I know but it’s simple to understand if you played. With the new job system it seems a bit odd but I’m sure it will work out just fine. Again limited information makes it tough to guess.
Ok, so lets talk details that are out there but a bit sketchy.
FFXIV will give players the ability to play the game solo, as well as getting a party of players together.
This is great news for players with little time. I know the hardcore FFXI crowd might be turned off by this but I think its important. A lot of players invest a good amount of time to start off then it slowly dwindles. Players always had to wait for a party which could take players up to 1-5 hours depending. If you had a favorable class ( White Mage, Red Mage, Paladin etc.) then you might find a party a lot quicker. Beastmasters and Dragoons always had a hard time finding a party and this took a lot of the fun away from the game. Depending on what you may be doing or how much time you have FFXIV promises to have something for everyone’s schedule.
Characters will not level up based on EXP from kills or quests. Weapons play a big role into the development about your character.
This is big considering the grind players went through in FFXI. Also I like the idea because I enjoy knowing the weapons I’m using by name, it gives more personality to the game. SE has not disclosed how this works yet but says weapons are going to be the core process behind your characters progression. – Also look at the title of the game screenshot at the top of this post. Notice the weapons surrounding the figure in the middle?
Who will be the familiar figures working on the game that are part of the Final Fantasy Lineage?
It will be produced by Hiromichi Tanaka (Final Fantasy I, II, III, and IX) and directed by Nobuaki Komoto (Final Fantasy IX, XI), with art direction by Akihiko Yoshida (Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII) and a musical score from Nobuo Uematsu. Yoshitaka Amano has designed the logo and is pulling additional art duties as well. – thanks to IGN for this information.
I might add that Vagrant Story is one of the most incredible games I’ve ever played. It is only on the PS1 and has a very distinct art style so I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Also Nobuo Uematsu is creating the entire score and this makes me very happy. I have always gotten the deepest sense of emotion and joy from listening to his musical scores and from the trailer here this game will be no different. This song is epic and I expect nothing less from the genious composer himself.
Graphics especially those of the trailer seen at E3
It has been stated that the trailer used a collection of pre-rendered movies which we all know Square-Enix is famous for, but it also used in game graphics to set up the battle sequence on the boat seen in the trailer. The game looks gorgeous, I’m just excited to see what the user interface will be like and how the game looks in general. Please give me DX10 or even better would be DX11.
Will Chocobo’s be back in FFXIV?
Chocobo’s will be back but they will carry a different role than just being a mount you can aquire in the game.
Those are all the details that have been released now, but its enough to tide you over till more comes out. You can check out the main FFXIV website here and also sign up to their mailing list if you want updates on the game, and possibly even a beta release schedule. I will be on top of this for you guys whenever I find new info out. I have so many fond memories of FFXI that I don’t see any reason why I won’t be playing this one when it comes out. Thank you Square for finally updating your Final Fantasy MMO for the fans.