Posted by Xenor Vernix on Jun 08, 2012 - 01:00.
This week in Los Angeles is E3 and it seems Square Enix have been busy showing off the upcoming FFXIV V2
, due to be released towards the end of the year. After a poor launch nearly two years ago and the change of production team the game has been rebuilt from the ground up with the new director and producer Naoki Yoshida leading the way. The game utilises an entirely new graphics engine and incorporates user interfaces designed independently for PC and PS3 to maximise the different control methods.
The new user interface will be fully customisable and contains a number of new features to help make life easier. We noticed the action bars now have 12 actions per line rather than 10, utilising the two keys to the right of the 0 for the extra 2. Two action bars are visible on screen and it appears you can move them anywhere and even make them vertical. One of the bars has an S beside the number keys, perhaps indicating you can use those with the shift key. You can now add items to your action bar for quick access to potions and such. The inventory system will be overhauled for faster access and grouped into bags. The little dots in the bottom right are an indicator of your inventory bags, how full they are and the kind of items they contain. Gil is also visible on screen.
A World Reborn
When it comes to Eorzea, the regions have been redesigned to be more immersive and better looking in general. Many people criticised the regions in V1 for being too much of the same, especially for The Black Shroud
which felt more like a maze of tunnels than a forest. V2 will feature one of the best looking forests ever seen in a MMORPG as its replacement. While the regions will be seeing big changes, the cities will only be given minor changes such as making them more accessible. The cities were never bad to begin with anyway apart from the accessibility issues.
So how is this going to factor into the lore? The on-going story in V1 is about the upcoming Seventh Umbral Era and an impending disaster that is about to unfold with Dalamud (a satellite in orbit) being drawn towards the planet. Such a disaster would explain the regions changing in the way they will.
What may be more difficult to explain in the lore is that Yoshida has stated that the game will be doing fan service by incorporating elements from previous Final Fantasy games. So far we have seen materia and Dalamud which bring back memories of Final Fantasy 7
, with Dalamud representing Meteor. In the future we can expect to see Magitek Armour (FFVI), Ivalice (FFXII, Tactics) and elements of FFXIII's world to appear in some form. The Crystal Tower from FFIII is expected to make an appearance in V2 too.
It's no good having a shiny game without things to keep you playing it. That's one of the failings of the original. But we need not worry in FFXIV V2 because Yoshida plans to make sure a large amount of content is available from launch. Some of this will be ported over from V1 with some upgrades while a lot of new content is planned too. Keep in mind there is still content updates to come to the current game too.
Chocobos are expected to form a bigger role in FFXIV V2
. Rather than being just mounts, they can be raised in your personal stables and used in battle to fight with you. You will also be able to customise which role they play in battle and even use them for item storage. Player housing is also something that will be available.
Summons were mentioned again, and while the info on them may not be new it is worth mentioning. In FFXIV V2 summons will exist once per world, rather than every player having access to them at the same time as is the case in FFXI. When a free company defeats a summon they will have control of it until they use its power, or until two weeks passes. When either of these conditions are met the summon will be available again for any free company to pick up. When a summon is used the whole world will know about it via a worldwide weather effect.
Crafting appears to be getting another overhaul, with CP (Crafting Points) being introduced. The idea behind this is that you can strategically use your abilities rather than just use them whenever you want in the current version. Crafting classes also appear to be getting some form of artefact armour (AF).
When it comes to end-game content we can expect new raids that require 24 players. Forming a group this size may sound difficult but they are planning to implement a content finder to help with this. We believe it has been mentioned at some point that the content finder will allow you to play with people on other worlds too.
The Road Map
is scheduled to go into alpha testing in September with a beta following shortly after. The PS3 beta
will begin around the same time. At some point during the transition from V1 to V2 the current servers will be shut down while Square Enix transfers our characters and data over to the new servers. This could take up to a month, however the game will be back in free to play status during this time.
We will have a deluge of new FFXIV V2 info starting from around August, but until then the company have released a variety of stunning screenshots showing off V2 art, regions, the UI and battles in action. These can be viewed below or in our ever expanding FFXIV screenshot gallery
which now includes 756 screenshots!
Square Enix aren't the only ones planning a massive overhaul in the coming months. We are planning the same for FFXIV Info
as most of the V1 content is going to be out-dated. We plan to bring in our new crafting pages with updated recipes this weekend, begin updating other content pages and add a section for primal fights and dungeons. Moving forward we will implement character signatures and better community features to give you more reason to become a member
We thought we'd finish off by adding a few links to interviews which some of the larger gaming websites were able to get from Yoshida.
Gamer Escape Interview
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