Famitsu Site Updates: Developer Q&A, Battle

Shared by Glen

So, here is a very informative article about FFxiv and some of the systems that are being tested. The one I am most excited by was : “Aside from a few exceptions, most moves were useable cross-class, and the moves were still pretty strong even when used by a different class, so this will probably really open up character development”


Famitsu’s website came out with a couple articles last night (Japan time).

The first is an interview with the developers about alpha and other aspects of the game, and the second is about battle. Hope you enjoy them!


Update 1: Developer Q&A Article
Update 2: Battle and guildleve report
Update 3: Battle Regimen

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Developer Q&A session

Q. How long do you expect the alpha and beta tests to last?
A. The alpha test is a low-population test that we’re running on one server only. The server’s name is “Shadowlord.” The test will last for four hours in each region (Japan, Europe and North America) and take place three days a week. After we’ve tested the stability and the load the servers can take, we will be moving into Beta test phase one (B1 –Manly). B1 will be the same as alpha, but take place on multiple servers. Since we’ll also be testing different speeds of character growth, we’ll be going through a few data wipes, as well. After that, we’ll start Beta test phase two (B2), which will reflect the feedback we received from our testers. From B2, servers will run 24 hours a day and the product will be much closer to the finished version. The PS3 testing will also start from this version. From B2 we plan on increasing the number of world servers used and increase the servers’ load slowly to a few hundred thousand people to get ready for normal service. Finally, the few weeks right before we begin service, we’ll hold an open beta test, but only Limsa Lominsa and its surrounding region will be playable. This is under a fifth of what will be playable in the final version.

Q. Why did you give characters last names?
A. The two same names are impossible, but having the same first name or last name as someone is possible. This way, the probability that your name will be taken by someone else is greatly lowered, and players coming from FFXI will be able to use the names they’ve grown to love. We’re working on a way to use the /tell private message command without having to type the full name each time.

Q. Are there differences between the starting city-states?
A. The story starts in different ways in each starting area. The buildings and stores each have their own flavor and the user-friendliness of the opening may differ from starting area to starting area depending on each player’s play style.

Q. Instanced areas were used everywhere (they are automatically created during things like cut scenes). Why was this done?
A. We wanted to give players the freedom to play when they want to play instead of having to wait in line. This concept also lead us to create guildleves. The first thing we decided was to try to use instances as often as we could.

Since the scenario planner, Ms. Satou, came up with the idea of “reliving the past,” we thought this would also go well with instanced areas and went ahead with the idea from there. Personally, I like the concept which also appears in FFXI, that we’re all in the same world but no one sees it the same way. The only problem is, in FFXI, you only get that feeling during the cut scenes, and that was a little disappointing. We felt that instances would make up for this really well. Finally, one of the main concepts of the FF series is that each new numbered game needs to produce a new feel, like an entirely new “grammar.” We’re hoping to achieve that through instances.

Q. Are there aggressive monsters that will attack you without being provoked? How about powerful enemies with no relation to the story that the players can hunt?
A. Of course! However, in the alpha test, to keep from obstructing the testers, there are only a few aggressive monsters in place.

Q. Is there no concept of “level” for the player characters?
A. There is a “physical level” that is related to the stats such as HP, MP, strength, intelligence, and so on, but your main skill’s rank is going to be more important. We wanted the armory system, the special system where players chance their weapons or tools to change their class, to stand out.

Q. The battle is command-oriented, but will the time it takes to use a command differ from weapon to weapon?
A. Yes. Furthermore, we will be adjusting this timing based on the alpha testers’ feedback.

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Final Fantasy XIV alpha test battle system

It’s all in the timing

In FFXI, battles took place through an auto-attack system, but in FFXIV, you will be selecting each action from your action menu, and the timing will be very important. A character is normally in passive mode, with their weapon sheathed, but they switch into active mode by drawing their weapon. In active mode, the action menu opens when an enemy is targeted. When you select the move (attack, magic, weapon skill, etc) that you want to use, the action gauge (the gauge that shows how much time must pass before you can use the skill) begins to fill. The move will activate when the gauge is full. If a player chooses not to use the move, a second gauge, the “effect gauge,” begins to fill. The effect gauge has three levels. With each level the gauge fills, attack power goes up at the cost of a little accuracy.

You can control when you attack, but you need to pay attention to the distance between you and your enemy, because you can’t use the attack if your enemy is out of range. Some moves will allow movement while action gauge is filling. By putting away your weapon, you enter passive mode. In passive mode, your HP regenerates and your movement speed increases compared to active mode. Perhaps players will sheathe their weapons between fights and take time to chat between battles until they heal their HP.

Enemy’s party strength is viewable via the colored icon next to an enemy’s name. There are five colors: red is “incredibly tough,” orange is “very tough,” yellow is “tough,” green is “even match,” and blue is “easy prey.” Without a party, I tried challenging an enemy that appeared red to me and got the pants beat off me in a few hits. I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be going after green enemies alone, while taking on yellow to red monsters in parties.

Learned moved are useable by placing them in the action menu, and one page of the action menu holds up to 10 actions. In the alpha, there were two pages available for use, so you could set 20 actions. Aside from a few exceptions, most moves were useable cross-class, and the moves were still pretty strong even when used by a different class, so this will probably really open up character development.

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When you take a mercenary guildleve, it tells you your target monster. There are a few rare guildleves, too.

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If you get in a tough spot, you can run away in passive mode to restore HP.

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If you are defeated, return to the Aetherite using warp. You’ll be in a weakened state for a period of time.


A regimen for strategy

When fighting a powerful opponent with your party, you can use a system called “battle regimen” to link your attacks with the attacks of other members in your party. This has a chance to add special effects. Here’s how it works:

  • Decide the order of attacks by discussing it with your party
  • When your turn in the regimen comes, press the button next to the action meny to change to regimen mode, and select your move.
  • When all members have entered their moves, someone presses the button to activate the regimen.
  • Depending on the actions and order selected, effects may be added.

Moves in battle regimens do not need any special properties. For example, a gladiator’s slashing attack and a marauder’s axe attack gave the enemy a “physical defense down” status effect. The same effect was produced when the marauder changed to pugilist and used a regular punching attack. The effect changes depending on the order and the skills used, so I’m looking forward to finding the best combinations. In this experiment, we only used regular attacks, but it still lowered the enemy’s defense. Battle regimens using elemental attacks and magic will surely have even more powerful specialized effects.

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For battle regimens, first you need a party. It’s better to party with people with the same aims as you for more efficient battles.

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The effects of the battle regimen are stronger when more people take part in it. Try adding as many people as you can.

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You can check the moves in the regimen by looking at the icons stacked on top of each other. Try using it after your party has set a good number of commands.

Action and strategy in spades
This is how the battles play out now, but we’re still just in alpha testing. Recently, there are many action-style MMORPGs, and while this is great for action-packed battles, it’s difficult to link skills with your allies, and sometimes party play just isn’t as fun. However, in FFXIV, I felt both action and strategy have a strong presence. I am really excited to see what the testing will bring out in this game!

Source is Famitsu.com

3 Comments on “Famitsu Site Updates: Developer Q&A, Battle

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