Preview E3 2010 – Final Fantasy 14

The many worlds of Final Fantasy have been deep and exciting but none so as much as Final Fantasy 11.  After seven successful years and a steady list of players it was inevitable that sequel was on its way.

Announced last year at E3 2009 Final Fantasy 14 will bring us to the world of Hydaelyn to a land called Eorzea.  Eorzea is a world that was first inhabited by gods and goddesses, which the wandering tribes started calling the Twelve. The gods blessed the tribes that came to the savage land with welfare, but the tribes began fighting with each other, and war tore Eorzea apart.  Fifteen years before the events of the game, metal-clad warriors invaded Eorzea with flame-spewing weapons and colossal airships. The army, called the Garlean Empire, took over the mightiest of the six city-states, Ala Mihgo, by force. The other city-states united their power to defend themselves, but just as fast as it had arrived, the imperial army was gone again. A new era began at Eorzea, known as the “Age of Calm”, which the city-states spent by building up their defenses and training their armies. Before, the cities had hired mercenaries for their inner wars, but now they trusted only professional soldiers, leaving the sellswords unemployed and restless. To keep them from causing harm and steer their energy into helping others instead, the city-states founded a network of adventuring guilds.

The tech demo showed us what the game could potentially look like. The demo began in the port city of Limsa Lominsa, a pirate town that is conveniently perched on a cliff, so we were able to stop at several vista points to take in the view. As we watched the sun set below the horizon and the light reflects off the crystal blue waters, it was quite a sight to see.   With the familiar races and similar locals there’s definitely a distinct FFXI feel to the city, a decision made to ease the switch from the old game to the new.

The game will feature no Experience point or level system, instead using a skill progression that will give players more freedom in choosing quests, which exist more like the WOW set of quest instead of the rare quest that existed in FF11.   The game is intended to appeal to players who play on their own and so do not form large parties, but the option to play cooperatively with others will still be present.

The job system, which is also known as the armory system, is now closely linked with crafting. Your role depends on what weapons you’re using, and by crafting the weapons that you need, that will direct you down the path of one of four disciplines.

When exploring the world you can be in a passive or active stance.  One allows you to regenerate health and run faster the other is needed in order to engage an enemy. By using a controller while playing you are able to easily pull up a menu and toggle between the different spells at our disposal. There’s a stamina bar, similar to that of Final Fantasy 13, which allows you to cast spells but if it dips below a certain threshold, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge before you can use another skill.

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