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Final Fantasy 14 - Interviews - 4Gamer Interview With Tanaka And Sundi

4Gamer interview with Tanaka and Sundi

27th August 2009

4Gamer.net recently sat down with FFXIV producer Hiromichi Tanaka and Global Online Producer Sage Sundi at Gamescom in Germany. The interview contains a lot of good information that sheds some light on the little we know of FFXIV.

  1. What is the status of the development and what would be the payment method?
  2. How would you cope with the underlying issue of MMOs regarding the competition of the speed of player progression and new content from developers?
  3. The FFXI team is most possibly very loaded in developing FFXIV. How are you handling this?
  4. How does the battle system work?
  5. Won't the players just abuse the commands and spam them?
  6. Is weapon switch available during battle?
  7. How does the Guildleve system work?
  8. How long will the Guildleves take to complete?
  9. Are there other races than the 5 announced?
  10. Are there any story difference among the 5 races?
  11. Will be special rewards for picking a race and corresponding starting location?
  12. Given the equality among the races, will PVP make it into the game?
  13. Will there be different kinds of camera angles?
  14. That's a bit unusual in an MMORPG.

Q. What is the status of the development and what would be the payment method?

The development team is looking at current and future technologies and has been doing so since the beginning of development. This includes modifying the game to support multi-core CPUs and finding more ways to broaden the game's compatibility. The issue of multiple consoles for FFXIV is not that important because they would all share the same content. We regard the need for stable and secure servers for the game very carefully.

Anniversary system is where you pay for a certain amount of days and then pay again once the days are over. It is still unclear if FFXIV will follow FFXI's 30 day payment system.There is a very large possibility that the same anniversary system used in FFXI will be used for FFXIV as well. The possibility of micro transactions is not that appealing for fear of consumers having no more interest in the game after obtaining all the premium items, causing them to play the game for a shorter amount of time.

The "anniversary" payment system will keep players interested in the game for a longer period of time and this system would benefit SE and the player more. Optional servers are a definite possibility. FFXI server transfers and other optional services may also be on the table.

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Q. How would you cope with the underlying issue of MMOs regarding the competition of the speed of player progression and new content from developers?

This is why the Guildleve system is considered as the pillars of the game. There are Guildleves that can be completed over and over again and players can return to past content. A variety of traditional missions and quests and new content will be featured on the game, both of which would be possible to take may you be alone or with others. The system is made in a way that would offer the player much customization. How players of FFXI used job combinations to change the system of the game is an example.

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Q. The FFXI team is most possibly very loaded in developing FFXIV. How are you handling this?

The teams are separated and the teams work independently. This time, for FFXIV, Tanaka says that he is taking the back seat and allowing the young people to work. Sometimes it is hard not to do it himself, he says, but that he does it anyway so that the young developers can grow.

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Q. How does the battle system work?

Sundi takes over and explains that the action menu at the bottom of the screen is where you can store your abilities and macros. You will develop and learn new skills through a weapon. Weapons are freely changeable and they are the very focus of the battle system. Changing the equipped weapon will change the abilities registered on the menu. For example, switching to a staff will change the skills on the menu to magic skills. Tanaka explains to us that there are many different gauges. He elaborates on the TP gauge, saying that it will influence the power and accuracy of an ability depending on how full it is.

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Q. Won't the players just abuse the commands and spam them?

Enemies have a built in AI that will render techniques weaker after a specific number of times used. This will force the player to combine different combinations of skills.

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Q. Is weapon switch available during battle?

Weapon switch is only available outside of battle. Even though you cannot change during battle, you no longer have to return to your mog house to change jobs or weapons anymore. Strict party roles like in FFXI will be avoided and a diverse play style will be available. There is a large emphasis on solo content to allow the player to explore the diversity of the game. Although playing only solo can slow the growth of your character, making the game party oriented would likely make players stick to one weapon and not try new things, missing out on a lot of content.

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Q. How does the Guildleve system work?

The Guildleve system is the heart of content in the game. Version updates will be increasing the number of Guildleves available to the player. The development team is currently working hard to create this content. There is still not much details on how to team up for large Guildleves at this time to increase the Guildleve limit.

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Q. How long will the Guildleves take to complete?

Guildleves, depending on the content, can range from a 30 minute completion to Guildleves spanning to multiple days. The development team is not just appealing to casual gamers, but also to the FFXI core players. This is so that FFXI players won't be alienated by the game.

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Q. Are there other races than the 5 announced?

Tanaka laughs and side steps the question, moving on to talking about the different levels of character customization that will be available. The skin, eyes, hair, and facial details will be customizable. Different factions will exist within each race.

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Q. Are there any story difference among the 5 races?

The only difference at this point is aesthetic. There may be some differences at some point but not right now. The starting point will not matter for the races as the player has the ability to choose whichever starting point they want.

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Q. Will be special rewards for picking a race and corresponding starting location?

No, players can choose what they want because they want to, not because of items.

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Q. Given the equality among the races, will PVP make it into the game?

FFXIV is a PVE game, not a PVP game. If the inclusion of PVP ever comes, it would be in the form of sports or games like it was in FFXI.

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Q. Will there be different kinds of camera angles?

The alpha version of the game uses the third person perspective. Shoulder type perspective like that on a third person shooter game is being worked on.

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Q. That's a bit unusual in an MMORPG.

Complaints of not being able to see what was in front of a character when the camera was positioned directly behind them were received.

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Source FFXIVCore

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