One of the most controversial aspects of the first two phases of the beta of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (of which you can read my own hands-on preview here) was the global cooldown shared between actions. It literally split the community in half and caused an enormous amount of internet mudslinging between the two camps.
Looks like the camp against it won this war, at least in part, as Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida shared in an interview on the Japanese gaming site Game Watch.
So far everything was limited by the global cooldown, but abilities will now have individual timers. Weapon skills will still fall under the global cooldown but you will be able to use abilities in between. I think it’s going to be busy.
While the timer for the global cooldown is still going [between weapon skills] you can still use other abilities. For instance, if a character is a gladiator his DPS is not a concern, as his role is holding enemity. As a monk, on the other hand, you can run to the side or behind the enemy and buff yourself to increase evasion or giving yourself haste, and you’ll be able to do that while keeping the attacks going.
If you miss a combo you’ll need to restart from scratch and rethink your strategy. Your damage over time will change depending on that.
Situational and positional attacks have also been given a revamp to make battles busier and more tactical.
At the beginning new players are limited in the amount of skills they have. They will earn more as they level up. We made sure to keep under control the number of battles you need to level up, and after that’ll happen you’ll receive new abilities, but you won’t necessarily use them always in the same order, as you’ll learn skills that you’ll use in between those that you already have. You will also notice that damage will increase depending on position.
For instance the first attack may need to be used from behind the enemy, and the second of the combo from the side. You’ll first go behind the mob, then move to the side to use the second attack. Then you’ll have to watch for the mob using his own weapon skill and dodge before you deliver the third weapon skill to complete the combo. On the other hand you can decide to skip the third weapon skill and restart from the first to increase the buff it provides. If you take too much enemity you can use “Feather Foot” to increase your evasion, and after dodging you can deliver a counter ability.
The game seems to have been very successful preorders-wise in Japan, as Yoshida-san expressed satisfaction because the Collector’s Edition sold out “instantly”. He also mentioned that he’s not worried about The Elder Scrolls Online launching at the same time, as the style and graphics are different (Editor’s note: the question was asked before the announcement of ESO‘s delay to next year).
In addition to that he specified that phase three of the beta (that kicks off tomorrow) will last about a month, while the beginning of phase four is not set in stone, and will depend on how smoothly phase three goes. Early access will be about five days long.
Everyone that previously played Final Fantasy XIV will be able to access the upcoming beta and see the result of all the changes with his own eyes. Is your body ready? I know mine is.