Friday, May 22, 2009

Morning in Vana'diel: The Rapture Cometh!

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! This morning we consider the end of times and what it means for FFXI.

You might have heard of SE's next MMO project if you don't live in a box. We really don't know much at all about this project besides the fact that it is codenamed Rapture and that they are using the Crystal Tools engine to design the game. That is the same software engine that is being used for FFXIII and it's siblings. Those are the only concrete details we have on the game itself so far, but there has been some other information about it's development. For example, it has been stated that the FFXI team is also working on this new MMO, and that it will not be Final Fantasy XI-2 or Final Fantasy related. This information is rather old though and there has been little confirmation besides random comments during unrelated interviews. There have been several pictures released over time of FFXII renderings using Crystal Tools which are supposed to depict this new MMO, but those should be discounted as just tests and demos of what Crystal Tools can do, in much the same way as this old picture.
The really funny thing is the rampart and mostly false or baseless speculation involved with Rapture. SE has dispelled many of these online myths but rumors and uninformed internet "media" still report things like the death of FFXI, Rapture being FFXI-2, or game design decisions. Don't believe the hype. The real truth is that we don't really know that much, but that should be resolved pretty soon. It has been heavily speculated that SE is going to reveal Rapture at E3 this year. While I still have my doubts (like why reveal your flagship MMO in the US instead of Japan?), it looks like there is some evidence that this might be the case.

I have no doubts about the life of FFXI, because MMOs basically never die, but if the same team is now working on two games instead of one, what does that mean for FFXI? Will content slow down? Does it explain the lack of content in Wings? Does it explain the completely unambitious and underwhelming "expansion scenarios"? Assuming resources were shifted to Rapture in the short term to prepare it for a demo at E3, will things start ramping back up in FFXI? Tell us what you think of Rapture, what it means for FFXI, and what you think of the situation!

Why bring this up two weeks before E3? I am going on vacation all next week! That means when I arrive back it will right around E3, and we will probably have some solid information on the situation finally!

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