Once again, Square-Enix is throwing its hat into the MMORPG arena. Their first MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, was highly successful to its target market and once again, it seems like they have another success on the horizon.
However, many people still have countless questions about the game and its various mechanics, such as the Armory system, Guildleves, Linkshells, Companies, and so on. So today, I would like help everyone out by answering a few of these questions.
How is Final Fantasy 14 different from 11?
Well, at first glance you will begin to see many similarities. All of the old favorite races are back with a well-deserved facelift thanks to the new Crystal Tools engine. There are a few differences though, such as different “tribes” having different general appearances, Highlander Hyur are more muscular than Midlanders, Seekers of the Sun Miqo'te are lighter skinned than their Keepers of the Moon relatives, and so on.
The nations have the tried-and-true luster that the nations from XI had, while taking full advantage of the new graphics engine. Instead of feeling like just a trade hub like in most games, they feel like places you could actually stand to hang out in, and explore. However, they bring plenty of new things to the table. Each city is significantly larger than in XI, and have plenty of interesting landmarks to explore.
The combat system is far different than what was in place for FFXI. From the E3 press reports, we see that instead of the traditional delay system which FFXI relied on, they have implemented a faster-paced combat system in which you have to press a key in order to attack, as long as your character has enough stamina to perform. Technique Points are making a return but are handled differently this time around. Instead of saving up Technique Points, using a Weapon Skill, and then having to recharge entirely, you can now save up Technique Points to unleash your skills. Technique Points are said to have much more of an effect on battle this time, but we have yet to see the full use of them. Hopefully, more will be revealed when the NDA is lifted during the Beta phase, and if not we will have more information come launch
Of course, I'm sure we'll see the return of some old favorites, such as favorite equipment styles (Subligar, I'm looking at you), hairstyles, emotes, and monster types, but its looking like Square-Enix has not even began to slow down on their creativity.
What is this Armory system that I've heard about?
The Armory system is FFXIV's answer to the traditional class system. It is split into four categories: The Desciples of War, Disciples of Magic, Disciples of the Land, and Disciples of the Hand. Each disciple will have certain class archetypes that will be the basis of your initial class, however, things will change over time. Instead of being stuck with a single class after character creation, you are able to switch your role on the fly by simply changing some armor and your weapon. Say, if you wanted to be a straight tank, you would wear full plate armor and carry a sword and shield (the path of the Gladiator), or if you wanted to be traditional ranged fighter, you would don some leather equipment and carry a bow (the path of the Archer). However, you are not obligated to stick to any one role. One thing that Square-Enix has been pushing with this game is freedom of choice. Want to wear plate armor but still be able to cast Blizzard on someone? Theres a way you can do that. This game is more about freedom of class than being restricted by it. Of course, there will be limitations to this, such as you can only allocate so many skills at one time, and you have to of course obtain a certain level of skill with the other paths.
What are Guildleves?
Guildleves are basic quests that you can pick up at any time. Rewards range from gil to various kinds of equipment. These quests will more than likely be the backbone of many peoples adventure, as they can be taken alone or in a group with ranging difficulties. Of course, the tougher the quest the greater the reward. Many people look at them similar to how many MMORPGs have daily quests that can be done. However, they seem to be much more in-depth, allowing for more dynamic play-styles such as solo, small group play, or even to full 15 member group quests. Another interesting fact is that you will be able to share these Guildleves with group members, in order to create your own dynamic campaign. This gives a certain air of player-driven storytelling to the game, and will more than likely attract some of the Sandbox gameplay crowd.
Why isn't there more information on how the game will play?
Simply put, Square-Enix has always been a bit stingy on how much information they release about their games. Most information can be found on the newly updated Final Fantasy XIV site (http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com) and various fan sites. More information will be sure to come once the NDA is lifted during the beta phase, and as we inch closer to launch. I know how you feel, I want to know more as well.
Well, that's all for now. As more information becomes available and more questions come, I will be posting Q&A part 2. If you have any questions about the game, feel free to shoot me a message here on the forums and I will do my best to answer them in Part 2.
Until then, may your chocobos be friendly and may the tonberries keep their distance.