Taking a break from the ol' anime watching this post will focus on the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV, let's start the coffee break.
Final Fantasy XIV is the up and coming MMORPG from Square Enix. Fans of the series may have already played it's earlier online brother, Final Fantasy XI. Like XI, XIV places the player in the role of one of five familiar but new races in lands of Eorzea.
Hyur: The human race of Eorzea, presumably similar to it's XI counterpart (The Hume) in that this race will be a jack of all trades.
Elezen: Elves of the land, akin to that of XI's Elvaan. Long and nimble, the Elezen will excel at ranged and hand to hand combat, based on the clan chosen.
Lalafell: Assuming they are the reincarnation of FFXI's Tarutaru, these mighty-midgets will be the intellectuals of the land, showing a great affinity for magic.
Roegadyn: Brutes in size, these muscle-men are the XIV adaptation of XI's Galka. If you want the bruiser, this is the race for you.
Miqo’te: Cat girls. That's right, like FFXI's Mithra, XIV will have playable cat girls. As you might imagine, these feminine felines will likely be agile and dexterous, boasting skills to match.
[Crafting in XIV]
Like any good MMORPG choices must be given to the player to better immerse them into the world. As far as beta has shown us, FFXIV looks to deliver. No more will crafting be seen as merely a "thing to do" or "the money maker". While these are still true statements, XIV raises the bar in that each crafter will be it's own class with abilities, gears and levels.
[Combat in XIV]
In Final Fantasy XI, combat was somewhat a game of chess. You would lock on to your target, use abilities and your opponent would do the same. Of course there was gear to speed attacks, do more damage and the like, however it never had the free roam feel of say, World Of Warcraft. Though I loved FFXI, FFXIV again sets it's sights on the horizon with a battle system to blow it's previous work away.
Combat in FFXIV is based upon three factors. A stamina bar, MP (Magic Points) and TP (Tactical Points. Allowing for special moves above that of a regular ability). The stamina bar will refill continually, forever, until full. Moves cost a certain amount of stamina and possibly mp to execute. Upon successful attacks you will gain TP, which you can "spend" on special attacks. (Like a spinning piledriver. FOR MOTHER RUSSIA, just kiddin) These elements make XIV feel fast, fluid and best of all, a mix between fresh and familiar for XI players.
[Quests in XIV]
Quests? Everybody loves a good objective to lesson up on pure, mindless grinding to level cap and XIV is here to answer give us just that. XIV is introducing their version of a quest system dubbed: "Guildleves". These "leves"(quests) are given out to the player through various npc driven guilds and factions with differing objectives and goals. The dev team at Square Enix has hinted that the guildleve system will be extremely important to those that wish to participate in endgame raiding.
[So, when is it out, where can I learn more?]
Final Fantasy XIV will go into Open Beta within a mere few days, and will launch at two seperate times. The collector's edition will release with the usual goodies plus launch 8 days early prior to the standard.
CE: Sept. 22, 2010
SE: Sept. 30, 2010.
You can find additional information (I didnt even scratch the surface!) at the official site: FinalFantasyXIV.com.
Or you can head on over to fansites such as FFXIVCore.com
I know I, for one, cannot wait to explore Eorzea.