In 2002 Square Enix released Final Fantasy XI Online, disappointing most Final Fantasy fans. FFXI aquired quite a lot of players as it expanded and competed with World of Warcraft. For current fans such as myself, the disappointing conclusion was that World of Warcraft beat FFXI outright, and by far.
Square Enix put too much difficulty into FFXI for players to pick it up and start having fun. It took until about level 40 to begin enjoying the game, moving away from the newer players, and start learning more in depth what the game was all about. If you could make it there, you just might get addicted, but its biggest problem was Teamwork. Everything you did in FFXI required help from a group of up to 6, and sometimes larger. With the release of FFXIV sometime in 2010, those ropes holding back Final Fantasy fans will be broken. Final Fantasy XIV will have a lot more focus on single player game play, in fact when it comes to leveling, they will be using an entirely new system that does not contain experience points.
Final Fantasy XIV will take place in a new world called Eorzea. The world itself and the characters within will have nothing to do with Final Fantasy XI and the story line from it. This is an all new game with all the same races and job classes. Races and Jobs will be slightly modified so that each will be unique to the world of Eorzea, maybe we will see a Manthra? If you view the FFXIV teaser site, the first image that comes up after the trailer has a Manthra on the far right end. We just might be getting more races to choose from this time around! If you played FFXI and you want your character in FFXIV to look similar to FFXI, you will be able to customize your character to look very similiar, and you will also be able to import your name from FFXI into FFXIV. I’m not sure how thats going to work, or the purpose of that, but if you have a FFXI account, I would recommend holding on to it, there may be special equipment you get if you import your name from FFXI.
When it comes to character progression, the FFXIV development team has said that a lot of your progression will be focused on your weapon. Square Enix said that hints to the game would be hidden within the FFXIV logo that Yoshitaka Amano created for them. The logo shows a circle of players with their backsides exposed, telling me that a lot of your progression will require teamwork, but the only thing I can assume from the backsides being exposed would be a “Watch Your Back” kind of thing. Maybe in this FF release, you can be attacked from both sides? Or maybe its a hint showing that you can only be attacked from 1 side, as in FFXI? The FFXIV Dev team has also mentioned that the weapon you choose to use 1 day vs the weapons you choose to use the next day can alter your development in either positive or negative ways.
Chocobo’s will come back in FFXIV, but according to Square Enix, they will be used differently compared to the first online game, which used them as mounts to travel faster in outside areas of the world. PlayOnline will no longer be used for FFXIV, original plans when FFXI was released was for Square Enix to release a lot more online content, with connections between games, and an easy way for friends to communicate. Square Enix said FFXI will not go away as long as the support base for the game continues, and a system will be made so you can quickly switch from one game to the other to continue your progression on whichever Final Fantasy game you wish to play.
Final Fantasy XIV will be released sometime in 2010 in four languages, English, Japanese, German, and French. The game will be released in all regions at the same time, on PS3 and for Windows. FFXI was released in Japan 1 year before it was released in the states, and the PS2 version was released 1 year later. This gave Japanese players a 1 year advantage over everybody else, and North American PC users a 1 year advantage over PS2 owners, and yes this did cause some instability within the game world. This initially caused Japanese players to grow an oversized ego towards North American players, since they had been playing for much longer, which in turn rubbed off on the PC users of North America when the PS2 players joined in a year later. For the most part, the ego’s have gone since its been out for so long in each country and on PS2.
Final Fantasy XIV is produced by Hiromichi Tanaka, the same person who produced Final Fantasy I, II, III, and IX. Directed by Nobuaki Komoto who directed Final Fantasy IX and XI. Final Fantasy XIV’s art was directed by Akihiko Yoshida, who also took part in Vagrant Story for the PS1 and Final Fantasy XII. The entire musical score was created by one of the most popular video game composers of all time, Nobuo Uematsu. Nobuo created the music to all of the Final Fantasy games from Final Fantasy I to Final Fantasy XI. I dont know about you, but the music was a total dissapointment in Final Fantasy XI, more specifically, the PlayOnline music. The in-game music for FFXI was ok, but Nobuo has created music of epic proportions that he will hopefully do again for FFXIV. He didnt do very many tracks for FFXI, maybe it was only the good ones?
When can you get your hands on FFXIV? Release is planned for 2010, after the release of Final Fantasy XIII which is planned for spring of 2010. So sometime after Spring of 2010 you can expect to pick up your copy from local or online retailers. Square Enix also plans to start a beta soon, and they plan to keep the beta going longer then they ran the beta for FFXI whicih was 3-4 months. Keep your eyes on the FFXIV teaser site, and maybe you can get your hands on the FFXIV beta!