Tuesday, October 06, 2009

FFXIV News: FFXIVCore Follow-up Interview.

FFXICore has posted some very interesting follow-up questions from their original meeting with the FFXIV many months ago (I know, shocking that SE took forever to do a follow up). The questions and answers are up my alley when it comes to what I am looking for when it comes to FFXIV information. I don't care about the storyline or the monsters we will be fighting. I don't even care about the job system or how you level up. Those are things that you do first when making an MMO, and if they don't work then the game won't work, and SE's track record when it comes to these aspects of the game is very good.

I am much more interested in the day to day aspects of how the game will work. Will I need to use macros? Will I use mouse and keyboard or only keyboard or a game controller? What will linkshells/guilds be like? Other technical aspects that I want to know about while other people are drooling over pretty pictures and storylines, I am kicking the tires and checking the oil.

There are a few interesting notes that stand out. There is no self-directed flying as of yet, and honest that doesn't mean a thing to me, but I know people will be screaming about how Aion has flying just like they screamed about WoW having jumping when it first came out. (A side note to people that are playing Aion: You are playing a very, very pretty but completely recycled Korean MMO, and prettiness does not an MMO make.)

There will be quests similar to AF and Limit Break quests, which to me is very important to the overall progression of the initial gameplay and it gives people the sense of accomplishment even if they haven't really accomplished anything major in the game. It definitely breaks up the grind.

The combat system will be something completely new and revolutionary. Excuse me if I don't have the same enthusiasm that SE has about this, but it is very rare when things are truly new and revolutionary in video games. I have no concern that it will be too much like WoW, because SE has been making MMO's longer than Blizzard and while they have definitely borrowed concepts they don't really seem interested in borrowing their formats.

Finally, it should be noted that the economy in FFXIV probably wont be the same as FFXI and that is a good thing. To combat RMT they are likely going to make many more things Rare/Exclusive, and it seems like they are going to handle crafting in a different manner than they did in FFXI. What does this mean? Who knows, but I doubt you are going to see the imbalance in prices that you see in FFXI.

The entire set of follow-up questions below the break:

From FFXIVCore:

Awhile ago I attended Gamescom in Germany and got to interview the Square Enix team about Final Fantasy XIV. I was limited to 45 minutes of time, but they gave me the chance to email a couple of questions that was left from the FFXIVCore.com community which they promised to answer in due time.

Well, that time has come and I present you with a mini interview (twelve questions and answers), answers are courtesy of Square Enix and the questions asked are from the community here at FFXIVCore.com. Enjoy!

Q1: Will we be able to fly somehow either by ourselves free roaming or scheduled transport airships like in FFXI?

A: At present, we have no plans for free-form aerial movement for players. We are, however, looking into a number of different types of flying transportation.

Q2: How will player run guild/linkshells work? What features can we expect and what benefits can a guild/linkshell get through progression if any?

A: For the time being, we are still keeping this information secret. But, we are very adamant about creating an entirely novel system.

Q3: Will the races hold the same benefits as they did previously in FFXI, or will the stat bonuses be different and play a larger role? In addition, will faction choice play a bigger role? In FFXI we had separate mission lines and friendly competitions such as ballista. Will we see something similar or something dramatically different than FFXI system for different factions?

A: The bonuses among races will be of a different variety than those seen in FFXI. But players need not be concerned with this when choosing a race based on aesthetics.

There is also an element of freedom in that players will not pledge their allegiance to a single city-state. This means that the guildleves or skills available will differ region to region, which all being accessible. Of course, this applies quests as well.

Q4: Will the artifact story line quests return for each class from FFXI? If not, will similar quest lines carry on a system of “right of passage” such as limit break quests?

A: Character development along the lines of the Armoury system and skill levels will incorporate familiar concepts from FFXI as well as entirely new elements.

Q5: What do you expect the cap level to be in FFXIV at the start and/or at the end?

A: This has yet to be decided. We will be setting the level cap after looking at the Beta phase results and other considerations.

Q6: Will there be a cooldown timer or anything that limits how often we can change class?

A: There is no real concept of static "classes" in the traditional sense. Rather, there may be somewhat of a restriction placed on the changing of weapons or tools mid-combat.

Q7: Will there be something like a Mog House? Maybe this time around we will have an actual HOUSE, and not a little tiny room!

A: Nothing is set in stone yet. There are a number of possibilities that we are still looking into.

Q8: Limit Breaks were powerful combat moves featured in several Final Fantasy titles. In FFXI we saw Weapon Skills and Magic Burst. Do you have any plans to include a similar system in FFXIV?

A: This has not been decided at this time. But it's safe to say that players can expect to see a completely new and revolutionary system.

Q9: Are there any plans to add female Roegadyn and male Miqo'te?

A: Well, the character model designs are finished... But further details regarding their implementation have yet to be decided.

Q10: Will this FFXIV be more "new person friendly" than FFXI was? (Once everyone had been playing for years, it was hard for new people who started to be able to play, even with the "level sync" system that was added in later. Not to mention, finding armors/weapons in the Auction House was nearly impossible for new players. Barely anyone used the "mentor" system in FFXI either, or rather, there were barely any hosts.)

A: We are developing in-depth introductory tutorials for new players. We are also designing the game while keeping in mind those users who enjoy playing solo, as well as those who can only log in for short periods of time. There will also be plenty of content for newcomers.

But, on the other hand, there will also be complex battles requiring large numbers of people for players more interested in content of that nature.

Our main goal is really to create a variety of ways in which to enjoy the game.

Q11: Will mobs actually drop armors/weapons like most MMOs or is FFXIV going to be like FFXI where you can only obtain these in Auction House or Crafting, or Raids?

A: The complete details of this are still undecided.

As in FFXI and other MMORPGS, some monsters will drop armor and weapons. However, items that drop in this manner are always a target for RMT exploitation. So to avoid any kind of player exclusion, most instances of these drops will yield items which cannot be passed between players.

To put it broadly, there will be a number of ways available to obtain a number of different items.

Q12: Is crafting still going to be an integral and value added portion of the game and somewhat prohibitive so that a selected dedicated few will feel like they are part of the economy and adventuring aspects? (Crafting and not adventuring usually keeps me hooked)

A: Players who wish to do so will be able to fully enjoy the game using only their crafting skills.

The same can be said not only for those wishing to specialize solely in synthesis of items, but those who prefer combat or the gathering of materials as well. All of these types of players will be important to the game world.

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