Today, during the second day of Nico Nico Chokaigi 2 at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo (you can find my recap of the first day here) Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida gave more information on his plans for the game during a series of Q&A sessions held as part of a stage event in partnership with Microsoft and Windows 8.
Without further ado, here’s a recap of some of the information that was shared:
- Phase 3 of the beta test should begin in early June. Yoshida apologized for the delay and said that open beta will come as soon as possible afterwards.
- Preorders of the game should be available for late May, around the 20th.
- Yoshida will talk about the release date of the game next month. It will be during the “hot” period of summer.
- Those that purchased the collector’s edition of Final Fantasy XIV will still get the digital items included in the Collector’s Edition of A Realm Reborn, but not the physical ones.
- There will be 6-7 in-game items in the collector’s edition, one of which will be the helm of the Warrior of Light from the first Final Fantasy.
- Extremely popular voice actress Rie Tanaka (that you can see in the picture above, with a lovely “cat ears” hairstyle) will lend her vocal cords to Gridania’s grand company leader Kan-E-Senna (if you don’t know who she is, you may want to check my FFXIV story recap column here) and primal Garuda.
- A Realm Reborn will support both Nvidia SLI and AMD Crossfire.
- A “Level sync” feature will be added in phase 3. When a player will enter the area of a lower level FATE he’ll be prompted with a confirmation message for level sync. It will be opt-in, and it won’t be automatic, as that could be an annoyance. There will be no need to change equipment, as the stats of the equipment worn at the time will be automatically adjusted to the appropriate level as well.
- Muskets may become usable by players in the future.
- Very large shields (almost as big as a player models) may become available after launch.
- Since Minfilia (again, check my story recap if you don’t know who she is) has become an important character, she’ll have a completely new and sexy costume.
- Composer Naoshi Mizuta said he’d like to participate in scoring A Realm Reborn. Two or three tunes by him may be in at launch. More tracks by various Final Fantasy composers may come after.
- The new President of Square Enix Yosuke Matsuda will possibly appear during an upcoming Letter from the Producer Live broadcast. Probably the one after the next. Yoshida recently had dinner with him. He’s a friendly fellow and a good drinker.
- Yoshida thinks that the global cooldown was a little too long in phase 2 of the beta.
- There will be no Player Killing in the game, just PvP.
- Warriors will change a lot in A Realm Reborn. They won’t be as half-hearted between tanking and damage dealing as in the first incarnation of the game.
- The Fat Chocobo will be introduced with a patch after launch.
- The game is going to launch in the hot summer, so swimsuits will probably be available.
- The plan was to name the servers like classic Final Fantasy monsters like in beta, but people are also fond of the names from the old Final Fantasy XIV, so that option is also being considered.
- Everyone will be able to select the region of the server they wants to play in freely, regardless of where they live.
- Darklight equipment will return in A Realm Reborn.
- Yoshida would really like to make the “Meteor Survivor” polo shirt available for sale to players.
- Battle Regimen will not return in the new game, and will be completely replaced by Limit Breaks.
- Limit breaks up to level 2 will be available in phase 3 of the beta.
- While the new Lodestone will appear with phase 3, Yoshida would like to start testing the smartphone companion app from phase 4, but since the timing also depends on Apple, it may come later with the launch of the game.
- Players will be able to change the interior (wallpaper, flooring, ceiling) of their house, but probably not the exterior, even if there will be different models, to avoid incurring in memory allocation problems.
- There will be no benchmark for the PS3. It’s a console, so it would basically just be like watching a trailer.
- Yoshida would like to introduce a “lore library” in the game.
- There will be ways to share items and currency within a Free Company.
- Phase 3 of the beta will include almost all the character creation options. It’s possible that it will include all of them, but probably a few more will be added for release.
- No starting city-state will give any functional advantage over the other two.
- Jobs will be available from phase 3 of the beta.
- Starting from beta 3 the new chat window will be implemented allowing, between other things, to invite players to a group by clicking on their name.
- Optimization of the PS3 client is pretty good now, and it can display 30 or 40 characters at the same time without straining the engine.
- Ramuh and Leviathan will come after launch, followed by Shiva. Plans are proceeding smoothly for their implementation.
- After release new content will be released at a very aggressive pace via patches.
That’s pretty much all the relevant information I managed to catch (a lot of questions were about Yoshida’s personal tastes, whether about food, games and so forth).
I’m quite sure many will be disappointed by the delay of the third phase of the beta, but with MMORPGs the golden rule is always the same: later is better than rushed, so I can’t say I’m not glad to see that Square Enix is giving the development team enough time to polish the game as much as possible.
Update: Yoshida-san himself posted on the game’s official forums to give us a little more info on the delay of phase 3 of the beta: