27 Jul

Video of the Week: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Trailer

FFXIV, Games, MMOs by Tramell

Ever since the poor release of Final Fantasy XIV back in September of last year and the restructuring of the team, there was constant talk of a revamp for the game dubbed Version 2.0. It wasn’t long ago that Square Enix released new screenshots of Final Fantasy XIV version 2.0 to the public shortly after E3 to start the PR hype for the rerelease of the game that will transition in beta sometime in September. With the release of the new trailer, a proper name has been given to 2.0 in the form of, A Realm Reborn.

A trailer and screenshots can be found below showcasing some of the new CGI being made for the game. I’ve also included some of the screenshots showing off the new engine, monsters, and UI features found in the new version of the game.

For current players, a new blog post was added today detailing some of the discontinued features that will not carry over to a Realm Reborn. The item to summon a legendary Goobue mount will no longer be available. Guild Marks will be cut from the game as well as, some achievements, character history on the lodestone and reviewing current cutscenes.


21 Apr

Continuous Improvement and Rewarding Loyalty [FFXIV]

FFXIV, Games by Tramell

It has been a while since I’ve spoken about Final Fantasy XIV. Ever since they announced they were making major changes to the game leading up to version 2.0, I decided to watch from the sidelines and monitor the progress of the game.

For a while now, they have been introducing a lot of content to the game. This includes a healthy amount of quests, so players did not have to grind it out in the wilds since there was nothing else to do once you completed the daily quests from the levequest system. On top of that, they introduced dungeons for mid and high level characters; each has their own story to tell. Notorious Monsters have made a comeback and drop unique loot. Also, avatar battles are in the game. So far, it is just the Ifrit and Moogle fight, with Garuda on the way. A number of quality of life adjustments have been made to the game.

Players can now have their own personal inn similar to the mog houses of old as well as, an armoire to store gear and the marketing system is drifting closer to that of an Auction house. The retainer system is slowly becoming an element of the auction house.


04 Oct

One Year Anniversary Q&A [FFXIV]

Event Coverage, FFXIV, MMOs by Tramell

Today, Square Enix held a live Q&A livestream for the anniversary Final Fantasy XIV. We all know that the game isn’t doing very well but the new team has made great strides to making the revisions needed to make the game a success. The trend continues with Producer Naoki Yoshida(Yoshi-P), answering fans question about the upcoming patch, game mechanics, and future content.

Q: Will you make it possible to remember the set actions when switching classes?

A: In an interview the other day I mentioned it would be during 1.19, but it seems like it just barely won’t make it and it is planned for 1.19a.

Q: When will the map will be renewed for XIV? I’ve been waiting for long time…#XIVLive

A: We’ll answer in next live event we hold! However, let me show you something as we are on Live. This is the dev. document about Gridania. As you can see, it’s a very major change! In any case, let me give you more details in the next live event!


11 Jul

Final Fantasy XIV: Dzemael Darkhold Sneak Peak

FFXIV, MMOs, News by Tramell

The Lodestone has been updated today with a sneak peak into one of the dungeons, Dzemael Darkhold. Initially constructed to combat the dragonkind but recently there have been reports of foreign troops occupying the Darkhold for unknown reasons and from the video it looks like it up to the players to find out why. Video below the break


30 Jun

Final Fantasy XIV: Battle Reform

FFXIV, MMOs, News by Tramell
Square Enix Logo Thumbnail

The information is steady flowing for the upcoming 1.18 and 1.19 patch. This time we get some more meat on the auto-attack implementation. Being introduced for the Disciple of War and Magic only (The Hands and Lands will still be reduced to throwing rocks :P), the auto-attack system will remove the stamina gauge and adding recast times to skills across the board. Some basic attacks will be removed such as the Pugilist’s Heavy strike and the Gladiator’s Light slash as these were the basic attacks and are redundant while some of the secondary basic attacks like Broad Swing for a Marauder will have recast timers like all the other skills. Along with skill reductions and recast timers, some effects will perform differently such as Speed Surge from the Lancer will decrease the auto-attack delay where as previous it increased your stamina gain. The one change that caught my attention was that the basic attacks for the mages will have a recast timer applied to them and even though I don’t really play a mage that often, I hope that doesn’t mess up their solo routine or gimp them in some unforeseen way.

Going forward with the 1.19 patch and beyond they will keep implementing new tweaks, changes, and revisions. Some of the features and changes that are on the table are animation tweaks, new algorithms for attack delay and further tweaking and development of some of the skills obtained via quests and guild marks. Attention to details is always important when you are working on something the player is going to see every waking moment. I would love to see some new visually stunning animations for some of the skills and if the Auto-Attack video is any indicator I can’t wait to see what they do to visually improve combat. Also I’m curious to see what they do with the skills obtained via guild marks and quests because those skills are different forms of basic attacks and I wonder how they are going to fit it in especially since some of those skills define the class; What would a Maruder be without Broad Swing that had the ability to AoE at will or Pugilist without Light Strike to keep their evasion up. As usual everything remains to be seen until they stop talking ab out it and release the patches to the masses.

Source: Battle Reform: Auto-Attack (06/30/2011)

29 Jun

Final Fantasy XIV: Just like all the others

FFXIV, Games, MMOs, News by Tramell

In the latest Letter from the Producer XII post, Yoshida touches upon some of the balancing reforms that will be coming along with the ‘game changing’ 1.18 patch. The post revolves around putting the guildleves in its proper place, to provide an avenue for quick solo content consumption. Previously it used to be a central part of FFXIV gameplay but with the constant addition of quests and other content it no longer fits its previous role in which it didn’t do particular well at. In my opinion having Guildleves serve that short solo content role is a way better fit and a function of what I always thought it should have been. Now, having a new place in the FFXIV world means there needs to be tweaks and balances done to the quests but unfortunately some of that will have to come in a later patch since the primary focus of 1.18 is the raid and dungeon content but he does touch on how they are adding some ‘spice’ to the system.


20 Jun

Final Fantasy XIV: Raids Introduced

FFXIV, Games, MMOs, News by Tramell

Another news drop from the Square Enix team on FFXIV. With the mega 1.18 patch comes new battle content in the form of raids. Yes, raids being introduced in an indication of how far of a leap SE made when releasing the game back in September but regardless let jump into what we know about them. There are two areas being introduced, The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak and The Dzemael Darkhold. The Thousand Maws is an abandoned dungeon that use to house notorious criminals but was closed down three decades ago by Grindania when they deemed it barbaric and unworthy. Now the native life has moved in and the players will have to navigate the endless cells and combat feral beasts to figure out what lies in there. The Dzemael Darkhold is an expansive system of natural caverns turn into a defensive stronghold against dragonkind. Recent word however, is that foreign troops have seized occupation of the Darkhold for an unknown reasons.

The Thousand Maws is designed as mid-level content for a party of four and The Darkhold is being designed for max level players for a full party of eight. The time limit for them is sixty minutes and each one requires you to have a specific quest activated. As with raids they tease a variety of rewards and the way you earn them peaked my interests. You can earn rewards from naturally defeating foes, meeting certain conditions within an area and looting various treasure chests you find along the way. It reminded me of the endgame in FFXI where the way you played and what you had to do change between the events. One example is from endgame event called Salvage where you had to do certain things within a map to pop a certain monster or unlock a certain perk and I would love to see this implemented in the raids and other endgame content they offer. Like they say variety is the spice of life and I would like to see more than your standard progression dudgeons found in other MMOs in FFXIV.


Source: FFXIV Raids Unveiled

14 Jun

Final Fantasy XIV: Auto Attack!

FFXIV, Games, MMOs, News by Tramell
FFXIV Title Logo

It has been very quiet on the FFXIV front since the middle of May, but Yoshi-P has slightly parted the curtain to give us an update on the current development of FFXIV. To much joy perhaps even some sorrow auto-attack has finally being implemented and tested. If you experienced FFXIV combat system you’d know that your regular attacks and skills were mixed into the hot bar and you kind of shimmied back and forth on your D-pad or keyboard to do your rotation of skills. With the auto-attack system we can now focus on the special skills we want to perform without having to keep up with our DPS as well. Though with the auto-attack system there is still plenty of work to be done behind the scenes such as enmity adjustments, skill re-balance so on and so forth before it’s perfect but I’m really excited to see SE really throwing down the gauntlet by saying this is what they are going to do and then doing it in a reasonable manner.


24 May

Final Fantasy XIV: Battle Adjustments!

FFXIV, Games, MMOs, News by Tramell
FFXIV Title Logo

Changes and fixes are still ongoing for Square Enix’s blunderbuss Final Fantasy XIV. Producer Yoshida and other developers have started the rounds on providing information on the upcoming revamping of the combat and armoury system. Everything is been touched in some way, from redesigning the leveling system and associated algorithms, fostering skillful party play, implementing the famous job system, and introducing new PvE content. The core concept for the new battle system is rewarding skillful play and with the current system this does not happen. With the openness of the class system people really don’t fulfill a particular party roll and the overall feel of various encounters is just  tank and spank. Leaving the grind to get very old, very fast and very often. Other issues plaguing this goal is that there a lack of information to invoke skillful combat and not providing a sense of accomplishment. I recall fighting skeletons and you have the ability to avoid some of their moves by immediately strafing around them as they start up a their specials. The game never tells you can dodge enemy moves at all. An example of skillful play not being rewarding is that in the same situation in a party you don’t have to bother to maneuver since in most circumstances there will be people with healing skills equipped and you can just heal through it. As they design the new system they want to address these problems head on and create something enjoyable for everyone.


29 Apr

Final Fantasy XIV: The Road Work Continues

FFXIV, Games, MMOs by Tramell
FFXIV Title Logo

Final Fantasy was released back in September of 2010 and received a less then welcoming reception from the fans and media because of the numerous issues that continue to plague a potentially great game. The situation deteriorated so badly that the president of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada, personally wrote a letter apologizing to fans that the game wasn’t meeting their expectations and that Square Enix was fully committed to improving the game. They immediately showed that commitment immediately restructuring the development team – including a great shift in the upper management – and declaring the game free to play until it met everyone’s expectations.

In the midst of the debacle, they did the one thing they were dreadfully awful at: communicating with their player-base; they released surveys for players to voice their opinions, as well as a steady stream of developer letters that went into great detail about upcoming changes and the progress of development. From the surveys, the players told the developers that their biggest expectation was an overhaul of the fundamental aspects of gameplay; their biggest issue with the game was the lack of in-game content and they wanted to see more story-based/mini-quests in the game first.