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Final Fantasy XIV: Gamescom Interview

Chris Morell's Avatar + Posted by Chris Morell on Aug 26, 2009 // Senior Social Media Specialist

Many of you have been asking about Final Fantasy XIV since its announcement a few months back at E3. During my Gamescom Cologne stay, Square Enix invited me to a small roundtable discussion (along with some new friends at ZAM) with Final Fantasy XIV producer Hiromichi Tanaka and Sage Sundi. Our 30 minutes flew by, but we definitely got to some good stuff, which you can read in its entirely below.

Final Fantasy XIV producers


PlayStation Blog
: You recently talked at E3 about how the game closely relates to Final Fantasy XI. How have the monsters and races changed from FF XI to XIV.

Hiromichi Tanaka
: Because we’re using a new graphic engine, the graphics are really different from FFXI and you can see more details on both monsters and races. Regarding the races, to encourage people to shift smoothly from FFXI, you will see very similar types of classes. But if you actually make your own character, you’ll be able to select your own colour of hair, skin, eye color, shape of your face, etc. There will be a wide range of variety to customize.

PSB: After E3, you mentioned there might be a way to transfer your name over from FFXI. Is that still planned – are you still working on that? Is there a plan on how you’re going to do it?

Tanaka: It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we would like to give incentives to the players. First of all, FFXI has 32 worlds, and they may have the same name across different worlds, as I’m sure you know. Each name in each world has to be a unique; there can’t be conflicts with other players. However, when we have FFXIV, we still don’t know how many worlds there’s going to be yet, but players might have the same name if they all move to the same world, so there may be conflicts. So, to avoid that, what we’re trying to do is add a surname to their name, so players can keep their main name, but they can add something else to their surname – that way players with overlapping names can keep their names from FFXI, but they can add something on to it to make it unique.

PSB: You mentioned that the combat system will have less of a team play aspect. Can you elaborate on that, and how it’s different, and how much progress you’ve made in the past few months since it was announced?

Tanaka: For FFXI, the system was job based, so that’s why they had a party to make the most out of each job. This time it’s not going to be a job based system, it’s going to be an Armoury system, so it depends on which weapon you use and you can switch your class. That allows the player to use a different ability or skills. You can also join a party, that doesn’t mean you have to play solo, but it will allow you to play solo as well, because you can fight against monsters and you can change to a healer to heal yourself. So there will be more variety and it depends on what you plan on doing for that day.

PSB: The leveling system was described as not being experienced based. Can you explain exactly what kind of system you’re working on, and if it’s been completely defined?

Tanaka: This time it really depends on the Armoury system. It’s going to depend on how much you use your own equipment and weapons. The more you use it, the more the skill will go up of your class, so that’s the way you will get to higher levels for the class – the skills. You’ll also get abilities. It’s not going to be like if you fight more monsters, you’ll get more level ups, like similar to the experience system. Of course, if you fight against monsters, you will get some skill points, but it will help more if you attend to Guildleves. So that will be a more efficient way to hone your skills and ‘level up’ your character.

PSB: Are they any games that you have been influenced by that have done the online experience particularly well, even if outside of MMOs?

Tanaka: We don’t have any specific title that we’ve been influence by or have done research on, but if we should say one title it would be Final Fantasy XI as we are trying to achieve something different from FFXI. Even though the game worlds may seem and look similar, the game and how we are going to expand it will provide a totally different game experience.

On the other other hand, we listen to the community, and of course they have much experience in MMOs. In that sense, we receive from and keep up with the MMO-based community.

PSB: Are you still planning a spring 2010 beta?

Tanaka: We can’t really say any certain timing, because the launch is planned to release is 2010. So that means in springtime there will probably be something at that point. We are trying to work as soon as possible, so as soon as preparation is done, there could be something earlier than 2010.

//Add Your Own

108 Comments

51

+ MrBeatdown on August 27th, 2009 at 12:09 am said:

@48
First, processing power required for trophies vs music is irrelevant. EA hasn’t gone back to add trophies to several of their titles and they seem more than happy with the shoddy job they did on Orange Box. They’re the reason many of their games are inferior to today’s games. Therefore it makes no sense for EA to bet the entire company’s future just to prevent a Harry Potter game from looking more inferior.

I don’t care what Super Secret says. It simply makes no sense. People have money invested in EA. Investors aren’t going to let EA shoot itself in the foot over something so trivial. How stupid of a rumor does he have to post for you to stop believing him?

If EA stops supporting the PS3, they lose all profits that they generate on PS3. It would also destroy the EA Partners program. What developer in their right mind would sign a publishing agreement with EA if they knew EA would refuse to fund or publish a PS3 version? Dropping PS3 support would cripple EA. Sorry, but it doesn’t matter what Super Secret says because it certainly isn’t enough to make me abandon simple logic.

Second, my “stupid features” comment was in regards to EA allegedly being willing to drop support for PS3 over it.


52

+ PyramidHeadd on August 27th, 2009 at 12:17 am said:

Aw yeah long time FFXI player


53

+ tenklo on August 27th, 2009 at 12:18 am said:

yea more new about this game loved the first one…. i do got a question about it though is this going to be monthly pay game like ff11 or going to be free….either way first day buy… like all final fantasy titles…. hate to be a trophy w***** but will there be trophy on the ps3


54

+ zeldaguy on August 27th, 2009 at 12:25 am said:

I really hope the beta starts up this year. That would just be amazing.


55

+ TakiFuGu on August 27th, 2009 at 12:33 am said:

@11

That’s how much the charge for FFXI MMO monthly.


56

+ SpitworldZero on August 27th, 2009 at 12:45 am said:

NICE!


57

+ poweredbyzen on August 27th, 2009 at 2:23 am said:

limited edition final fantasy bundles please! :D


58

+ Onna76_NL on August 27th, 2009 at 4:02 am said:

“That allows the player to use a different ability or skills. You can also join a party, that doesn’t mean you have to play solo, but it will allow you to play solo as well, because you can fight against monsters and you can change to a healer to heal yourself. So there will be more variety and it depends on what you plan on doing for that day.”

So this mean I can play on my own in the game? If so… Total win! Then I’m really gonna buy the game!


59

+ SpiritThief on August 27th, 2009 at 4:09 am said:

This is why I play Guild Wars and will only move onto Guild Wars 2. monthly fees are total BS.

You know they will have one.


60

+ ffhnod on August 27th, 2009 at 4:13 am said:

I am a big Final Fantasy Fan but on FF XIV I have to past because its online RPG like XI – the only FF-Game I didn’t played so far.

And i saw the guys playing FFXIV, the good thing is the total german language, but the graphic and the gameplay (just running around killing some squirrels and rabbits) wasn’t stunning at all

Looking forward to FFXIII


61

+ Senju_Karim on August 27th, 2009 at 4:20 am said:

No work Chris! Nice to see SE on the blog. Is there any way to organise something for maybe FFXIII or Dissidia in the future from SE (Well Dissidia’s already released but.) I’m sure alot of us would really like to ask them a few questions.


62

+ BlooodyCow on August 27th, 2009 at 4:24 am said:

@35 clupula668
hahahhahahah…..
So I basically owned you with my two previous post, so you retreat to insulting me by saying I support Guitar Hero? Sorry, but I prefer my Rock Bank (just need one more guitar to complete the entire band set, only have one guitar, drums, and mike), and if you like, you can add my BlooodyCow account, not my actual account with 15 platinum trophy and 1204 trophies overall, and I would get on RB for you.

As for this “cause,” this guy/gal has been right so far on every from firmware 2.8, the PS3, and firmware 3.0 with very minute details over 3 months ago. He/She has been right about every thing with his/her prediction over three months ago. Do I believe what he/she is saying? I am not too sure on this one, but the guy/gal is 3 for 3 so far.


63

+ Korbei83 on August 27th, 2009 at 4:43 am said:

Final Fantasy XI was greatly inspired by the original Final Fantasy and the seminal classes therein. Aside from the number of players in a party, the party aspect of the two games are very similar. Balance is necessary for the best results and at a certain point you can unlocked ‘Advanced Jobs’ much like the class change in FF1.

FFXIV seems to share similar parallels to FFII in that there is no level system. Stats will raise in small increments much more frequently than a level jump. Which stats increase will be directly related to the weapon equipped. A sword or axe will increase your physical attributes. A staff or wand will gradually increase your magical attributes.

I think it will work out well. It will also allow players to more easily occupy their time. If you’re not having any luck on your main discipline, you can easily switch to something else for the time being until something comes up. Very much looking forward to jumping into Vana’diel Mk. II!!!


64

+ clupula668 on August 27th, 2009 at 5:23 am said:

@61

Until I see more actual proof other than just some random guy on the internet, I have no reason to believe them.

Second, I don’t believe you’ve done anything in two previous posts other than complain. I wasn’t surprised to see you jump on the bandwagon, because it looks like you’re always looking for somebody to boycott. While I personally will not support Activision, after all their shifty business dealings (and I’m telling you, this has their fingerprints all over it), I am not constantly on the hunt for companies to complain about. That is all I ever see you do.

Third, while I guess it’s better to support Rockband than Guitar Hero (oooh, but what about your new found EA hate? Going to have to trade the game in, now?), I prefer real guitar, in a real band, on real stages, on a real tour. A game of it can never compare. I guess those games are good for people who can’t actually do that, though.


65

+ Chuckbait on August 27th, 2009 at 5:29 am said:

Well said, “comment 50″


66

+ ADR143 on August 27th, 2009 at 5:30 am said:

cool thnx


67

+ clupula668 on August 27th, 2009 at 5:31 am said:

Back on topic, I certainly hope there is no subscription fee, like on FFXI. That would pretty much be the only thing that would stop me from buying this. No problem paying for the occasional DLC, but I will not pay extra just to actually play.


68

+ Gringo234 on August 27th, 2009 at 5:51 am said:

This will be my first MMO game.

I really wanted to play XI, but I just didn’t have the time for it or internet connection on my PS2 and I was going to join late that’s something I don’t like to do. This will be a day one for me. I could have all the fun and get to know some cool player on day one without feeling late or left out.


69

+ BlooodyCow on August 27th, 2009 at 6:15 am said:

@63 clupula668
I am not too sure that you read my post correctly. Here I would basically sum up what I been saying for the pass several post regrading EA “I am not too sure on this one, but the guy/gal is 3 for 3 so far”
I am not going around making threads on this topic because it seem somewhat odd to me. Do I believe what he/she is saying? Like I said, I am not too sure on this one. He/she been 3 for 3 so far. I will still be supporting EA until this is proven to be 100% correct.
Before you accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon, you should have read my post more carefully because I am no way jump on anyone bandwagon.


70

+ cowboyd21 on August 27th, 2009 at 6:18 am said:

LMAO finally some of you guys realities that sony have nothing to do with all these features you want it’s the game developers and company so go blog and post your comment to them please . As for the so called wink wink console war LOL SONY DIDNT LOSS MICROSOFT DIDNT WIN HAVE ANYONE HERE SEE WHAT THE WII DOING . My god some of you fanboys on both sides need to get your facts right and get some air.


71

+ MiltonMafia on August 27th, 2009 at 6:25 am said:

I’m not sure i believe all this about EA. But can i throw some fuel on the fire. Didn’t Peter Moore leave M$ for EA. Just sayin. lol


72

+ Nagash_MalKaVian on August 27th, 2009 at 6:53 am said:

wow, I need to play this game. I played 3-4 years FF11, now I need my next-gen MMO. =)


73

+ reson8er on August 27th, 2009 at 6:54 am said:

Off topic: There seem to be a few very negative comments on this blog. I understand everyone has an opinion and “it’s the internet” but really, insulting people for your opinion doesn’t make you right or wrong. Let’s keep things civilized. If you know how much work and effort went into even the smallest of games, you’d surely think twice about being so rude.

On Topic: As a long time FFXI player, I have both excitement and trepedation to FFXIV.

It looks fantastic but with so many changes taking place to the formula that made FFXI so enjoyable for me (e.g the Job & Leveling system). I’m wondering if there will be the same sense of community that was created within FFXI.

Overall though, judging from how XI has changed over the years, I think Square has learned a lot and are on the right track with their systems for XIV.

Thanks for bringing it to the PS3!


74

+ LokeSTL on August 27th, 2009 at 7:18 am said:

Could care less about XIV. Should have separated the MMOs from the main games. Can’t wait until SE gets their heads out of their asses. Opportunities for success that you’ve missed:

1) Infinite Undiscovery
2) The Last Remnant
3) Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Not to mention all of the cash you could have made by just releasing your PSone classics on the PSN.

Wonder why your games are selling as well as you’d hoped? No, it’s not because you aren’t releasing “Western style games”. IT’S BECAUSE YOU RELEASED THEM ON THE WRONG CONSOLE. Your fans are over her…OVER HERE.


75

+ BlooodyCow on August 27th, 2009 at 7:21 am said:

@73 LokeSTL
It useless dude, S-E is probably bending over right now with all the Money MS is throwing at them.


76

+ reson8er on August 27th, 2009 at 7:24 am said:

#73

Well the consensus was that 2 of those 3 games weren’t so hot. Be glad you didn’t waste money *hoping* they would be.

I agree with you that SE should release more games on PS though, 100% agree, just doesn’t bother me that the ones we didn’t get were forgettable.


77

+ BlooodyCow on August 27th, 2009 at 7:29 am said:

@75 reson8er
Try all three weren’t HOT. All three of those games are BAD dude. It shows the direction S-E is heading this generation. I personally do not think they know what direction they are heading.


78

+ reson8er on August 27th, 2009 at 7:57 am said:

@BlooodyCow

I hear ya dude, the company seems to be at a crossroads, they are trying to evolve beyond their RPG roots this gen but can’t seem to muster a breakout hit.

Making RPG’s take a long time especially this gen with the leap into HD. I miss the SE of old, Einhander, Brave Fencer Musahi, FF Tactics, Busihido Blade (Man I would love to see this game brought back) To me, this was SE’s golden age, when they tried their hand at innovative and interesting games, that weren’t necessarily RPGs, but were nonetheless good games.


79

+ Crotin on August 27th, 2009 at 8:08 am said:

I was waiting for the question:

Blog: “Now that the price is $299, will you start bringing all your new games to PS3?”

S-E: “Yes, of course, PS3 is the greatest system of all time!”


80

+ LokeSTL on August 27th, 2009 at 8:24 am said:

@75 & 76

I couldn’t care less about other peoples opinions of the games. Popular opinion these days is that anything but action combat is outdated. Most of the complaints about TLR were technical issues that could have been fixed in the PS3 release. Even if all three sucked, I would still have had the option to play them on my PS3. I would rather play an average/mediocre SE RPG on the PS3 than none at all. Despite the reviews, I would have bought all three day one at full price. In fact, I still would.


81

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on August 27th, 2009 at 8:38 am said:

I heard this game is coming for the XBox 360 and Jack Tretton lied.


82

+ KazeEternal on August 27th, 2009 at 8:47 am said:

@80
He didn’t lie, he said “for 2010″, he never stated it wasn’t timed exclusive. Also the X360 version is not confirmed and has been only stated as a potential option. Keep in mind that MS is getting in the way of it being ported to Xbox not Square or Sony.


83

+ wU-sOLdiEr210 on August 27th, 2009 at 8:48 am said:

sounds good! Just waiting to apply for a beta test for the ps3


84

+ depward on August 27th, 2009 at 8:56 am said:

I’m excited. FFXI was my first MMO and it was perfect timing for me: came out when I was in college ;)

Now that I’m doing the daily grind, I don’t have the time like I used to dedicate to FFXI. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like the team really is changing some elements and taking lessons learned to FF XIV.

I’m excited for it! Thanks for the interview.


85

+ zombie9 on August 27th, 2009 at 9:28 am said:

Square-Enix rulz!!!!
Is there a monthly Fee that is the Question? If there is I will pass. :( But PS3 only and it looks great. I probly will end up checking it out though.:)


86

+ gus_xl on August 27th, 2009 at 9:50 am said:

“We are trying to work as soon as possible, so as soon as preparation is done, there could be something earlier than 2010.”

That’s where I got really excited.


87

+ Reinheart on August 27th, 2009 at 10:10 am said:

Sage Sundi – Huh?
Tanaka – We are working on it?
Sage Sundi – Huh?

Played FFXI for 6 years… I know I’m going to play this again… just this time difference is I’m married… and have a son… lets see how that goes… LOL


88

+ miahdeadbeat on August 27th, 2009 at 10:23 am said:

I want more info… I have played wow and it got old. All my friends lost alot of free time playing that game and now the new expansion is coming out. The thing that bugs me is its so old, which is what makes me really wanna get into this new FF game. But I wonder what they will take from current MMorpg’s. I loved wow’s pvp. Heard that in squares game you can do tournament pvp but no world pvp. Is the trade off better instances and monster battles/ AI?
Also, please let us know when/if we can get into the beta and how… I know alot of us would love to have input on crafting a seamless experience. Everyone gets really excited when you release something with FF in it and the world needs a new and fresh mmorpg. I am in.

How much will the monthly fee be, do you think?


89

+ Tomazina on August 27th, 2009 at 11:02 am said:

Is there going to be a single player story for play on ffxiv or it is just an online MMO?


90

+ Jeigh on August 27th, 2009 at 12:04 pm said:

THAT was 30 minutes? I’m calling BS. I have to wonder how much we were short changed here.

Let me tell you, if they release it on PC first like last time (FFXI) or announce a port to the 360 before or around its launch, they can go fornicate themselves with an iron rod. They’ve already screwed us over enough this generation. Honestly, I’m questioning if I’ll even touch Final Fantasy XIII with the way they’ve treated us.


91

+ Dice_for_Death_ on August 27th, 2009 at 12:22 pm said:

If there’s an online FF that I’ll jump into, it may be this one. Time, media, and previews will certainly help in this decision.


92

+ Abiis on August 27th, 2009 at 12:40 pm said:

Dood! I so wanna be a part of beta testing on this game; I was part of the 360 Beta for FFXI. Surely you’ll give us info on that as soon as it becomes available….?


93

+ TimesTrae on August 27th, 2009 at 4:21 pm said:

That was a fantastic interview. Not just asking real and specific questions, but the preparedness of Tanaka’s answers just keep giving you the idea that this game is souuuuper far along.


94

+ echogridlock on August 27th, 2009 at 7:59 pm said:

@32
Final Fantasy X was ground breaking, but it took them a long time to develop that one as well. Im not saying any new FF games will be of that caliber, but in some cases the ones you wait the longest for, are the ones worth waiting for. If you catch my drift.


95

+ lukeike on August 27th, 2009 at 10:46 pm said:

I have a question! Since the PSN is touted as being free, will this game be free to play online? Or will it be the game that introduces online fees to the Playstation network?


96

+ Animal827 on August 28th, 2009 at 7:34 am said:

I, as many people, am addicted to and love the Final Fantasy series. I have been playing them since PS One. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of MMORPGs, but especially at a monthly price. Isn’t buying the game and the system enough? I would like to see more information about the game.


97

+ latinking54 on August 28th, 2009 at 1:12 pm said:

nice


98

+ ArSEnAL_nAsRi8 on August 28th, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

Might get this, it’ll be my first final fantasy, I never was interested until now. Hope its released earlier than 2010, but even though I dont like bethesda, im ALOT more excited about fallout 3 dlc and the elder scrolls v.


99

+ Mahuyaya on August 29th, 2009 at 1:50 am said:

Im glad they’re changing the game. Maybe it’s a very good thing they are because I was not really thrilled about having to party with people nearly all the time to do a majority of the quests in FFXI. As for taking out experience points… Im not so ready for that but willing to convert to this new armor system thing. Beautiful graphics, not-so-different races…(probably evolved or something slightly different), more solo play (no more shouting for help hopefully) and SURNAMES!


100

+ Mahuyaya on August 29th, 2009 at 1:52 am said:

@ 96

Yes, buying the game is more than enough. Especially if you are getting it for PS3. They should at least keep the price like FFXI and take off that 1.00 each additional character (like WoW, each added char was free!)


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