The Resonance of Eorzea

Saturday, September 25, 2010

FFXIV Collectors Edition Launches...

... And it's bloody brilliant!  Square Enix also launched the Lodestone which is quite genius on their part.

I must say I'm well chuffed that many of the initial worries (and misgivings) that emerged from the Open Beta were resolved.   Guildleves now have a reduced timer of 36 hours on them, and the lag has eased up very considerably.  To the cheeky sods who figured the game was a write off, I implore you to go bugger off.  Yes mate.

Now, as you are all too well aware, the CE comes with an in-game bonus item which is the Onion helm... and if you played FFXIII (and registered your codes) you also get the Asuran armguards.  A third bonus item are the Hermes shoes and you get those of you currently have an FFXI account that has been active for at least 30 days... or something like that.

I finally creatd my character, got all three items and just wanted to quickly share a couple pics (will upload more from my album later).  A problem though...

I was unable to select the server I wanted (Mysidia), which of course is a load of rubbish because now I can't play with my friends or linkshell/company.

Not the best quality but I had to zoom out to show the Hermes shoes in the lower image.  The Onion helm is ...welll...okay... and serves its purpose for those periods when you need to have a gag and look a little "iffy" to the world at large lol.  Personally wish I could've received the goggles instead but the armguards more that compensates for this.

Next I thought I'd post up a couple links for people who needed a guide on how a few things work on Eorzea (thx again Gina, you're a gem).  BTW people, also be VERY careful and not watch the credits on the main FFXIV game start page... you will have re-install the game due to some glitch/bug.  So say SE until they fix it... you've been warned!  Now on to the helpful links...

Will post more later... need to finish some project stuff so I can go play more.  Be well everyone.

Always everyone, please remember that all the official videos and images from SE were used here strictly for fan purposes; and all the product, system names and/or company logos remain the registered trademarks of Square Enix.  Copyright (C) 2010-2011 SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Final Fantasy XIV Trailer CGI Official Release Opening Cinematic

Straight from the official Square Enix channel (French section)... enjoy this stunning masterpiece!

Note:  As always, readers can simply double-click the video to be directed to the official channel to watch it there.  Alternatively, viewers that need to reduce the volume of my blog's theme-song (so that you can properly listen to the video here) can simply scroll down to the bottom right and adjust the volume on the Mixpod dashboard.

In addition, here is the latest FFXIV commercial that began running in Japan.  Perfect timing considering that SE's Pre-Live event just kicked off.

Wicked advert innit?   Wish we got something similar for Europe and the Americas.   Anywayz, here are also the latest changes to the client prior to the release of the Collector's edition on the 22nd (as compiled by SE during their Pre-Live conference earlier today)

Concerning the things that were talked about during the Prelive Event, there is currently an English translation of The Special Talk Session that featured a panel of the following FINAL FANTASY XIV Development Team members:

Producer, Hiromichi Tanaka
Director, Nobuaki Komoto
Battle Director, Atsushi Okada
Main Scenario Writer, Yaeko Sato
World Concept Planner, Kenichi Iwao
Level Designer, Yusuke Kigoshi

Many topics were discussed including the Battle System, World Concept, Economy, and Guildleves. There are a lot of interesting revelations here, including fixes for some of the things that many players complained about during the beta. The entirety of the translation is included below:

FINAL FANTASY XIV takes place on the world of Hydaelyn, a planet much like another you all may be familiar with. Many of the people on Hydaelyn do not actually use the word ‘Hydaelyn,’ for to understand the concept of a planet, one must first know of other worlds, and most on Hydaelyn do not.

FINAL FANTASY XIV takes place in a realm known as Eorzea.
  • Eorzea is one of three continents that make up a giant land mass.
  • Eorzea consists of Aldenard and its surrounding islands.
  • Aldenard is connected to the land mass containing the other two continents via a land bridge,
  • Eorzea contains several independently governed city-states, like those found in ancient Greece.
  • And just like those in Greece, the ones in Eorzea have a long history of war and alliances.
  • The few that have lasted longest are the thalassocracy of Limsa Lominsa, the commercial sultanate of Ul’dah, and the forest city-state of Gridania, which some users have commented reminds them of an ancient Japanese polis.
  • However, the powerful and aggressive Garlean Empire has begun their slow advance on the city-states, making the current situation in Eorzea similar to the months before the Persian Empire marched on Greece.

City-state Scenarios

[ Limsa Lominsa ]
Limsa Lominsa is a sprawling port city ruled by pirates and brigands. After the appearance of the legendary island “Swallowtail Roam,” a battle begins brewing over a treasure found there, and the player gets caught up in the action. Into whose hands will the treasure fall?

Main NPCs

  • Appears in the opening cutscene.
  • Her origins are unknown.

Carvallain & Rhoswen
  • Carvallain is cunning and cool-headed.
  • Rhoswen is hot-blooded and ruthless.
  • Both are captains of powerful pirate crews, and both hate the other.

  • Guildmaster of Wawalago’s Pullers--the Fishermen’s Guild.
  • An eccentric and lewd old man who uses the player to his advantage.

[ Gridania ]
The player angers the forest and travels to Gridania to remove his woodsin. There the player gets caught up in the story of a boy named Khrimm who insists elementals-beings thought to rule the wood-and sets out to find the truth. Will his findings overturn the beliefs of all Gridanians?

Main NPCs

Yda & Papalymo
  • Appear in the opening cutscene.
  • For some reason, Yda hides her face behind a mask.
  • Both Yda and Papalymo’s origins are unknown.

  • Appears in the opening cutscene
  • Is one of the most powerful conjurers in Gridania
  • Is of a strange race known as the Padjal

  • A race rare in Hydaelyn.
  • Assist the five races in their communication with the elementals

  • Leader of the Gods’ Quiver (the Archers’ Guild)
  • Through events in this guild, the player learns of the beast tribe known as the Ixal.

[ Ul’dah ]
The player is caught up in a terrible accident during a city-wide parade. One of the people who perish in this accident was carrying a terrible warning to Ul’dah. To learn of this warning, there are those who would seek forbidden magicks to allow them to speak with the dead...

Main NPCs

  • Appears in the opening cutscene
  • Is a talented bard of unknown origin

  • Appears in the opening cutscene.
  • Is a goldsmith from Esthaime’s Aesthetics (Goldsmiths’ Guild)

  • Helps run the Platinum Mirage casino
  • Is polite, yet stern.
  • Appears in the Pugilist class quests

  • Lovable daughter of the owner of Amajina & Sons Minreal Concern
  • Is smothered in affection by her family

[ Ishgard ]
The Knights of Ishgard are fighting a holy war with an ancient race of dragons, and are currently refusing contact with those they call ‘unbelievers.’ These defenders of the mountain realm appear in several different quest lines.

[ Guilds ]
  • Not all guilds are found in each city-state.
  • Class Quests can be performed by joining guilds and fulfilling certain prerequisites.
  • Class quests will not only earn players rewards, but through their stories, players can also learn more about each individual city-state.
  • In addition to regular rewards, completing these quests will earn players guild marks which can be used to purchase special items from that guild.
  • More items will be made available for exchange in the near future.

[ Other ]
  • Unlike the starting rings in FINAL FANTASY XI, there will not be any equipment that is received by choosing a certain race in a certain city-state.
  • The scenarios have been designed so that most can be completed by solo players or, at the most, by small groups.


[ Enmity in Party Battles ]
For Open Beta we adjusted the amount of enmity received when using magic and abilities. However, we are not yet done, and will continue making adjustments up through and after the game’s release. We realize adding new quests, equipment, abilities, monsters, etc will directly affect the current balance, and therefore will continue making adjustments throughout the course of the game’s lifespan.

[ Recovering MP ]
Our original plan was to make MP management an important factor in the game, and we designed the game so players would have to carefully consider when and where to use MP. Rather than having weak spells that can be used over and over for minimal damage, we wanted to make magic powerful-something that delivers a single strike of massive damage and can instantly change the tide of a battle.
While maintaining this concept we will not only be conducting adjustments on existing methods to refresh MP (such as Aetheryte, abilities, and magic spells), but also plan on adding new methods.

[ Battle Regimens ]
Battle regimens work to broaden battle strategies for parties, as well as make it easier to form parties. Unlike the skillchains of FINAL FANTASY XIV, battle regimens are not only for dealing damage, but also can be used to produce the following effects:
  • Lowers a target’s physical defense (normal attack -> normal attack)
  • Lowers a target’s magic defense (normal attack -> magic attack)
  • Increases a target’s casting time/raises MP costs (normal attack -> magic spell)
  • Lowers a target’s TP progression/raises TP costs (normal attack -> weaponskill)
  • Maintains the effectiveness of class abilities when used by different classes
    (magic spell -> magic spell (both from same class))
    (weaponskill -> weaponskill (both from same class))
  • Increases player damage
    (weaponskill -> weaponskill -> magic spell (weaponskills from different classes, finishing spell is optional))
    (magic spell -> magic spell -> weaponskill (spells from different classes, finishing weaponskill is optional))
For example, when fighting a monster that has high physical defense, a regimen which will lower that defense is effective. On the other hand, when fighting a monster that uses magic attacks, a regimen that slows casting time and increases MP cost is recommended.

[ Part Damage ]
On some monsters, players will be able to damage individual parts such as arms and legs. For example, vines can be cut from morbols, and horns and tails can be struck from monsters that have them Parts can be damaged by using certain weaponskills while standing in certain positions.

The effect will not only be visual, but will accomplish the following:

  • Weaken the monster
  • Prevent the monster from using its special attacks
  • Allow the player to obtain the damaged part

[ Notorious Monsters ]
  • Soon Notorious Monsters will make their appearance in FFXIV.
  • Most will appear different from regular monsters.
  • Some are so large they will make regular morbols seem small.

[ Post-Release ]
In addition to what was announced here today, we are also planning massively multiplayer battles.

There currently exist several class abilities which may have players scratching their heads as to how they are to be used. Many of these were designed with PVP in mind. While we cannot reveal much regarding PvP now, we have some exciting announcements planned for the near future.

Crafting and the World Economy

In MMOs, we realize that crafting and the world economy are both extremely important gameplay aspects. This is why we went out of our way to make independent crafting classes rather than simply have crafting skills attached to other classes. We have designed a system that will allow players to feel like their actions (crafting, gathering, buying & selling through bazaars) are directly affecting the economy.

The Effect of Player Status on Crafting & Gathering
A player’s physical and elemental statuses greatly affect crafting and gathering. There are many hints within the game that reveal which statuses affect which aspects.

[ Crafting ]
Attributes: Works in conjunction with the type of tool used to affect synthesis quality
Elemental: Affects the occurrence rate of “god sends,” as well as synthesis stability

[ Gathering ]
Physical: Affects the number of items harvested, as well as the drop rate
Elemental: Affects the type of crystals that can be obtained during gathering

[ Parley ]
Parley is a method other than battle in which players can obtain items. Players choose ‘topics’ and then play a game using painted tiles. If you defeat your NPC opponent, you earn the right to exchange the items you have for those you need. If you do especially well, you can obtain even greater rewards.

[ Market Wards ]
We do not want the extent of a Disciple of the Hand/Land’s stay in Eorzea to be about simply putting the items he creates/gathers up for auction, which is why we have envisioned a bazaar-driven economy in which players can be creative in the methods they use to sell their wares. To better achieve this, we are currently working on ways to increase a players’ ease of using the markets by adding additional features, as well as tweaking existing ones.

[ Retainers ]
We are aware of the amount of time it took to buy items from retainers, and so we have been working diligently to make this system quicker and smoother by the time of release. Also, we are looking into ways to make it easier for players to buy and sell items through retainers.

[ Inventory Response Time ]
We are fully aware that inventory interface response speed needs to be improved.
At the time of release, we hope to have made significant improvement, and plan to continue our work after release as well.


[ Open Beta GLs ]
First, we would like to apologize to all of the Open Beta testers for the frequent client side errors that occurred during levequests. We are working hard to make sure all the problems are solved by the time the game is officially released.

[ Retrying Levequests ]
Levequest targets give players many times more EXP and skill points than normal monsters (even if not using guardian aspect). To prevent some players from taking advantage of this system by completing most of a levequest, failing on purpose, and then trying the quest again immediately, we have made it impossible to retry a levequest immediately after failing it. However, this does not mean players are not allowed to retry levequests. By returning and talking to the NPC who issued the quest, players can gain the opportunity to retry the quest objectives.

[ Guildleve Issuing ]
Currently, players must wait 2 earth days before being reissued a leve. However, we planning a significant reduction in this wait.

In conjunction with this change, we will also be shortening the amount of time anima takes to recharge.

Guildleves have been designed with several different features that allow for players to cooperate with others to complete the corresponding quests. For example, ‘leve linking’ allows two players with the same leve to join their guildleves to receive a reward bonus. ‘Leve sharing’ allows people without a leve to participate in a party with a person who does.

The level recommendations on guildleves are a loose guideline for solo players. We encourage players looking for a challenge to join up with other adventurers and try their hands at more difficult leves.

[ The Future of Guildleves ]
We are planning the implementation of many different types of guildleves in the near future.

First, several high-level leves will be introduced. Among those will be leves with not only new rules, but new monsters and new operation locations. Also, to answer the demand from our players, we will be introducing guildleve-based NM battles shortly.

We also ask that our players try out the Faction Leves that were introduced in Open Beta and are only accessible by special means. These leves are different from regular ones, and often involve exciting battles and interactions with NPCs. The rewards are also much better.

In addition, we are currently working on several new ideas such as leves in which Disciples of the Land and Hand must cooperate with Disciples of War and Magic to complete certain tasks.
  • The following is a list of some of the things we have planned for the upcoming release:
  • Implementation of a hardware mouse feature
  • Introduction of discounted monthly fee payment plans (3-month plan in Japan/ 3 and 6 month plans in North America and Europe)
  • Raising of the level cap to 50
  • Adjustment of the Armoury System UI so player abilities will not reset when changing classes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eorzea Video #7 and Surplus System Detailed

Been a fairly busy week on my ends... tinkering with a couple new programs for college and also managing to secure a few moments of Open beta play (long story, I promise you I'll update with pics and images and yada yada when I get a moment).

BTW, Open Beta does end on September 19th, so hopefully, we'll all get a few more exploration done before then.  Besides, TGS (Tokyo Game Show) starts on September 16th, so we'll see if SE surprise us yet again with something.

That said though, lots of videos to brings you wonderful readers up to date on a few things... first up is the seventh video in Square Enix's Eorzean video series.  Though short, it does have one of my favourite artists in the  Final Fantasy universe (Yoshida) explaining the character creation stuff.

Note:  As always, readers can simply double-click the video to be directed to the official channel to watch it there.  Alternatively, viewers that need to reduce the volume of my blog's theme-song (so that you can properly listen to the video here) can simply scroll down to the bottom right and adjust the volume on the Mixpod dashboard.

Next up is a truly wonderful video elegantly made to thoroughly explain the EXP surplus system that had so many people's knots in a bunch.  I guarantee that after watching, you'll have a greater understanding of the system and how it revolutionizes how to keep both casual and hardcore players happy.

Finally, I got an email from a friend pointing me in the direction of Tank That's FFXIV blog on wordpress which contained a couple lovely videos containing a walk through Gridania.  Nicely done and I always appreciate great initiative taken by other players to just show various elements of the game.  Just had to spread the word here for people to check out her vids on her blog and on youtube... I found them quite impressive.

Speaking of player-driven explorations, readers might also find some very interesting recorded accounts of the exploration of Coerthas (Azury on the ZAM forums and Lynthe on the Eorzeapedia forums).   It was actually through those posts that I found out about the Wyrmking's Perch, Falcon's Crest and Owl's Crest.... wicked innit?  That's about it for now, and I'll be posting more stuff up once I have time.  Be well everyone.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gates of Mysterious Ishgard...

Yep yep... several first known images of Ishgard have began surfacing on personal blogs, Eorzepeadia, Zam and I'll just give a quick thanks to Yekyaa on Order of the Blue Gartr for sharing the one I decided to use below. Apparently, none are presently allowed beyond these gates "until the voice of the Fury is heard"... or something like that.  

Might be that it is the goddess "Halone The Fury" that is being referred to... remember she is the patron goddess of ishgard.   Or it might be SE's mild attempt of humour  just because its Open Beta and we're not allowed to overstep our boundries.   Or... it just might be that the Horn and Hands Syndicate still deem us unworthy to be allowed access.   Dam you, Seventh Eye Diego Athral!

That said tho... gotta admit, those Ishgardian NPC guards are looking sharp in their Lancer armor... and their polearms are looking quite spiffy... only goes to underline how much I still want to experiment with that job class.  BTW, methinks Ishgard is the ancestral home of the Elezen... just a hunch, y' know? (Well... there are two Elezen Ishgardian Lancers glaring at us from the, Ishgard just looks... "ancient")

Here is where things get a little interesting though... can you readers remember when I posted the image below?  Sometime last year during the 2009 Gamescon?    At the time, we all debated on whether it was Ul'Dah or Ishgard.  Well, now that we've seen all the three main starting cities, could it be that it really was Ishy; and that the rear of Ishgard makes a deep gradient into a lower plateau?   Look closely at the image and think about it... plausible innit?  Either that or that image might have been Sharlayan (or maybe even Ala Migho prior to its destruction.  Again, you decide.

Next up is the gorgeous new piccy of the limited Collectors Edition unveiled earlier today by Sage Sundi at the PAX show.  He had initially announced it on twitter and uploaded the image shown below...yep, grogeous.  As stated several weeks ago, the NA version won't begetting a tumbler  (I'm still going to get the tumbler from my EU order heh!) but those adventurer certificates look awesome.

I seriously wonder if anyone will sight him on a level 81 Dark Knight character on FFXIV (remember how he did that on the FFXI beta? lol).   Anywayz, I'll jot more news later after I try to figure out who exactly runs the city of Ul'dah... seems there are those that wish to see it "reformed".  And nope, I cannot add any spoilers... bad form, you see.

In the meantime, thanks again to those who sent emails regarding the tips for starting out in Ul'Dah and Gridania.  Please feel free to use the awesome database at FFXIV Yellow Gremlins ... its an extensively detailed listing of everything related to Eorzea... everything!   Hands down the best ffxiv-related wiki I've seen out there till date... true story.   Also found some great swift 'n' sweet starter guides at FFXIV Origin.

BTW, both Gridania and Ul'Dah have very refreshing stories (I guarantee that Gridania starters will like the "Padjal?" NPC... he's the Gria looking kid in the cutscene... methinks he's much more powerful than he looks)

Speaking of cities, I'm still quite intrigued with TERA Onlin and its concept for its own cities... must admit that though the game is still in closed Beta, it looks quite stunning both visually and with its style of gameplay.  Here's another latest video...

And goodluck to everyone that is still trying to get their keys into the open beta! Be well!

Always everyone, please remember that all the official videos and images from SE were used here strictly for fan purposes; and all the product, system names and/or company logos remain the registered trademarks of Square Enix.  Copyright (C) 2010 SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD. All Rights Reserved