For those who would like to know what we covered in the podcast but do not wish to listen, here is all of the information we cover (minus the discussion of course). This is a collection of information taken from numerous interviews, rewritten and translated to make it easier to understand. Please keep in mind all of these topics are subject to change as the game is still in alpha, but based on what I could understand from the interviews this information is correct.
Gather four people, get in a grand company, go to the grand company counter, apply for a free company, and it will be created. At that time you will have a shared box with optional configurable permissions. By completing content your free companies level increases and you can create a unique emblem and expand other features. Allying with another company allows you to share a forum and other options.
You can also join a company as a guest to try out the company and see if you like it or not. Also you can invite low level players, and by helping them you can get points and special items. You can only have one free company at a time to prevent issues regarding these items.
By requesting permission from a grand company, a free company can become a subsidiary of that grand company. Despite the fact that free companies are subsidiaries of grand companies, you do not need to be members of the same Grand Company in order to create or join one. They also plan on making it possible to place your free company's crest on certain equipment. Current LS features will be carried on to Free Companies and it will be possible to delegate leader rights. As for Linkshells, in A Realm Reborn they will be treated as chat channels.
Gil Cap Reduction
There will not be a gil wipe though the cap is being cut to 1/10th of its original value; instead of 1 Billion its 100 Million. Your gil, NPC buy and sell prices, and gil received from quests will be cut to 1/10th of its original value, as should market ward prices. Everything is being scaled down proportionally.
Items sold at single digit gil will be adjusted or destroyed in 2.0. For those items that will be destroyed the gil will automatically be returned at 1/10's of current value. In 2.0 archer will not require arrows because of the gil adjustment. This is the only reason behind it. There are no other intentions of deleting players gil.
Players will purchase the land and also the right to own a house. Once you build a house, players will be able to create their unique house by selecting from a list of parts. Also, players will be able to place furniture created by Disciples of the Hand and build a chocobo farm in their yard. Concept art clearly depicts entire zones that will be dedicated to housing. Each housing zone looks similar to a neighborhood, with a layout, plots, and gardens ready to be claimed. Each city will also have their own housing style to fit the look of the city and surrounding areas.
Control options in A Realm Reborn not only change how you control your character, but also how the user interface is presented to you. Using a keybaord and mouse in A Realm Reborn will be very different from what we're used to in Final Fantasy XIV, though if you are familiar with other MMORPGs you may feel more comfortable. Like World of Warcraft, RIFT, and many other MMORPGs, A Realm Reborn will be adopting the 'Global Standard' for keyboard and mouse controls. Having an original keybind doesn't make a game fun, and trying to learn a new game with a unique control scheme can be stressful. In order for an MMORPG to succeed the bare minimum requirement is a standard set of controls, and changing them for the sake of being unique isn't the way to go every time. However, if you perfer the original Final Fantasy XIV controls you are free to swtich to them, but the default keybind setup will be based on World of Warcraft and RIFT.
When playing on PC you have the option of choosing either a keyboard and mouse, or a controller as your control method. On the Playstation 3 you will not have this option, and will be limited to to using a controller because of the memory distribution. Just like the keyboard and mouse in A Realm Reborn, the controller will also function differently from Final Fantasy XIV. When playing with a controller the hotbar becomes a hybrid interface called Cross Hotbar, however there are no details on this feature at the moment.
When starting a new character the first quests you’ll encounter are tutorial based to help you understand the new systems in A Realm Reborn. For example there is a specific method for controlling the camera, and by learning how to use it you will complete a quest. There are ten categories that a new player will need to go through, once completed you will obtain gear to help you get started. By following the quests, not only will you understand the story and gameplay, but you can also obtain items that will help you on your adventure.
For completely new players who start A Realm Reborn for the first time, you will eventually be comfortable with the gameplay and interface around level 15. This is also an ideal level to start setting up a party and trying out dungeons for your level. If you don’t get sidetracked too much and focus on the main quest progression, it will probably take around 30 hours to reach level 15. Progression was planned at this rate to make sure the concepts and features of A Realm Reborn are fully understood. If early progression happened too fast it could make later parts more difficult because of the lack of experience. Instead of cramming essential information all at once, it is spread throughout levels to help you remember concepts better. If you play for two hours a day it should take roughly two weeks to complete, of course if you’re playing just for efficiency you could get through much faster.
For those players who have high level characters being brought from Final Fantasy XIV, you will be able to complete these early quests as well which is highly recommended. The battle system and user interface navigation has changed a lot, because of this it may take time to get used to.
You are able to jump while running through fields, and even while riding on mounts. There are no zones in A Realm Reborn where you are required to jump to get access to an area. Because A Realm Reborn is not an action game, jumping will not be required for players who do not enjoy it or are not good at it. Jumping was simply added to make traveling throughout each field easier and more enjoyable.
For the battle system in A Realm Reborn the focus is on an instantly gratifying experience, fast kills with good progression to the combat that leaves you feeling accomplished. Currently in Final Fantasy XIV you do not have access to weapon skills or abilities when you enter combat because of the limitations of TP. In A Realm Reborn you will enter combat with TP already, so you can use all of your weapon skills and abilities immediately. This will make combat faster and more exciting, allowing you to defeat monsters using around five weapons skills. When applied to time in-game, each battle should take roughly 20 seconds. When questing in A Realm Reborn however you will not receive experience by killing monsters, the system is designed to reward experience after the quest is completed.
Gear Sets are special inventory expansions that allow you to create entire sets of armor that you can easily switch between based on your class or job. Equipment that is placed in a Gear Set will not show up in your inventory, however new equipment obtained while adventuring will be placed in your inventory. Initially you start with one Gear Set to switch between two classes, and as you learn the armory system you can complete quests to increase the amount of Gear Sets available.
Currently in Final Fantasy XIV there is a large seemless world to explore, however in A Realm Reborn zones familiar to Final Fantasy XI players will be returning. The world will be broken into regions, and each region will be broken further down into zones. For example the “Forest Region” outside of Gridania will be broken into four or five sections, allowing for a more natural forest design instead of a frustrating maze. Zones also allow for more dramatic environmental reveals and area changes, leading you towards a seemingly beautiful area that ends in a different environment than expected.
When you first reach an area you will see many quests available indicated by exclamation marks. By following these quests you will learn the story and game systems while leveling in a natural progression. As a new player following the quests you can reach level 8 quickly, and also helps teach the new style of play in A Realm Reborn. Starting out you may feel as though you are being limited in what you can do, however it is easy to get over-whelmed so direction is in place to help progression.
There are three major story arcs in A Realm Reborn, the first being the battle against the Garlean invasion. This is the story that carries over from Final Fantasy XIV, and will continue as the major plat line for A Realm Reborn. The second story arc is the battle against the Primals, which not only affects Eorzea but the entire planet of Hydaelyn. The battle isn’t just against the Primals though, the Beastmen Tribes are the ones fueling this war. The final story arc focuses on the 7th Umbral Era, and will naturally progress to the next expansion. Why did so much destruction happen? Why is the world in this state? Is the 7th Umbral Era over? These questions are the focus on the third story arc, and answers will be received throughout the year until the next expansion is released.
In Final Fantasy XIV the progression method was based on the leve system, however in A Realm Reborn the preferred approach is following the quests. The quest system is the only progression method until you graduate from beginner at level 10, at which point you will be able to take on leve quests. Leve quests are repeatable daily-style quests which are more suited for players who do not wish to read standard quests. There is a lot of content to choose from, and A Realm Reborn is designed so obtaining experience isn’t done by one method. For those players who want to gain experience efficiently its best to do as many different things as you can.
In A Realm Reborn there is a wide variety of opportunities to experience content, including solo, in parties, or in a combination of the two through public scenarios. Around level 20 you will start to utilize the Content Finder feature, which will help you find other parties running content suited for groups. Usually if you cannot find specific content on the Content Finder, it is probably more suited for a solo experience. If you aren't looking for specific content, then upon login or when changing areas you will be shown recommendations of various types of content that is suggested for your class and level. Ten options will be shown, offering about two hours of gaming content for you to choose from.
Limit Break System
Limit Break is a new party battle system that replaces battle regimen. Limit Breaks are charged as your party participates in combat, slowly filling the gauge until the Limit Break is available. Using a Limit Break will require the entire party to coordinate together to decide who will use it. The entire party contributes towards the same gauge, so if someone uses the Limit Break it will empty the gauge entirely.
Regular combat will increase the Limit Break gauge normally, however by playing exceptionally well you can increase the gauge much faster. This feature is called ‘Fine Play’ and rewards party members for healing or blocking at the right time, however there are adjustments being made so ‘Fine Play’ is not required to enjoy Limit Breaks. For comparison sake, the gauge system is very similar to the Limit Break system in Final Fantasy 7.
Limit Breaks have various levels associated with them that will allow adventuring parties to begin using Limit Breaks at mid-level ranges. Limit Breaks have multiple levels such as 1, 2, and 3, linking your ability to use higher level Limit Breaks directly to your characters progress. Presenting Limit Breaks at a somewhat low level allows players to get used to the Limit Break system by giving access to the Level 1 Limit Break.
Unlike Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy 7, Limit Breaks in A Realm Reborn are not restricted to specific character jobs as there may be situations that affect game balance. However, even if every job uses the same Limit Break the effects will be different depending on the job that triggers it. The effect isn’t separated by Disciple of War/Magic but by each job, for example if Warrior and Paladin use the same Limit Break the effect will be different.
Primals and Summons
In A Realm Reborn the Primals are a primary enemy. The land of Eorzea is located on the planet Hydaelyn, which is given life through the ether energy provided by the mother crystal. Beastmen Tribes believe in specific Primals as their deity, and wish to summon the Primals to fight their wars. When a Primal is summoned they feed off of the planets energy, draining the ether from the Mother Crystal. If the Primals are summoned by the Beastmen Tribes the planet itself will be destroyed, and in A Realm Reborn the goal is to prevent that from happening.
By defeating the Primals in A Realm Reborn you can to harness their power in various ways, depending on the method of engagement. Aside from the encounters while progressing through the story, there will also be much harder Primal battles that Free Companies can work towards. When progressing through the story you can obtain some power of the Primals for the new Summoner class that will be available in A Realm Reborn, which uses the power of the Primals in creatures that will fight by your side. By completing the more difficult Primal battles, the entire Free Company will earn the right to summon the full power of the Primal. This form of summon works very similar to the Limit Break system, filling up a gauge through combat and unleashing the huge attack. For comparison, think of the summons from Final Fantasy VII.
The Crystal Tower is a popular location from Final Fantasy III, however in A Realm Reborn it will be presented as a new type of raid dungeon that is completely unique in design. Originally in the Final Fantasy III version of the Crystal Tower you could not save your progress, however because this is an MMORPG changes need to be made so it can be enjoyable for all players. At the launch of A Realm Reborn the Crystal Tower will be the first goal for many high level characters, though it may take a long time to complete. The Crystal Tower is broken into phases that are completed individually, and as you progress through each phase you ascend higher and higher into the Tower. As updates are launched for A Realm Reborn, more phases will be added to the Crystal Tower, increasing the height of the tower and adding more challenges.
Player vs Player
There are two kinds of PVP scenarios that players can look forward to in A Realm Reborn. The first is an arena style colosseum where you fight a monster that is controlled by another adventurer. Battles start with a “Ready Go!” style similar to a tournament fighting game such as Dragon Ball Z Butoukai Tenkaichi. For the release of the colosseum the combat options will be 4 vs 4 and 8 vs 8 to start off. (Note: This particular translation is a bit rough, it could be players versus other players or players versus monster controlled players)
The other PVP experience is much larger in scale, with the aim of having as many players as possible battling at the same time. The focus of this PVP scenario is to battle on a large map and try to take over the enemy’s castle. This mode is unique however, in that it requires at least three teams with a minimum of 8 players each. To make a comparison is it very similar to the type of battle you would see in Dark Age of Camelot.
Though there are a series of quests that explain the reason for PVP, you do not have to participate in PVP as a requirement for quests.
Currently in Final Fantasy XIV the Imperials use the Garlean Empire machines as weapons, however Magitek Armor will be available as mounts as well in A Realm Reborn. The speed of the mount will remain the same as the current Chocobo, this way people will not choose mounts based on speed but rather by preference. Magitek Armor may be customizable by players as well, but the plans are still forthcoming and the design team is very excited for it. To obtain the mount you will need to complete a series of quests that are present in the storyline. Magitek Armor should be ready at the launch of A Realm Reborn.
The Golden Saucer will be a Las Vegas style experience, allowing you to play poker between players, bet on roulette, and enjoy original games as well. You can imagine the atmosphere will mesh well with the attitude of Ul’dah, where wealth equals power. With PVP content and the Housing System taking priority over the Golden Saucer, it will not be available at the launch of A Realm Reborn.
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