Bunny Architecture: Final Fantasy XIV Online

By Jim Rossignol on July 15th, 2010 at 11:28 am.


There are a bunch of MMOs on the horizon that we’ve pretty much neglected in the past few months, and one of those is Final Fantasy XIV, with its bunny-ear girls, ludicrous hyperbolic fantasy and science-fiction architecture. There was a trailer at E3 (which I’ve slung below) but also a bunch of details about the game which arrives on September 30th. Interestingly, the game does away with classic level-based experience point progressing, and instead opts for a skill-based system which will, as I understand it, allow a single player to take on different roles depending on the skills they’ve gathered and the equipment they employ. The character will still become more powerful in terms of hit points and mana, however.

The closed beta started last weekend, and it seems that North American applicants can sign up here, and Euros and Japanese here, so you could potentially get a look at it if you were interested.

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39 Comments »

  1. Kommissar Nicko says:

    I want to be excited about this, mainly because Final Fantasy (particularly VII) was part of my formative years. Also, it sounds somewhat interesting. However, two facts hinder my excitement: A) it is an MMO and will invariably be a mess at release, and B) Final Fantasy XI was unremittingly boring. On the latter point, I recall watching my brother participate in “mid-level play” which seemed to consist of him jogging his bunny girl around on a beach waiting to get a group for at least four hours a day.

  2. Handsome Dead says:

    Wonder if it’ll have that same horrendous installation process as XI?

  3. Tei says:

    “Final Fantasy MMO’s.. much like foreign food”
    Anonymous (2010)

    “we heard one evening, under the eye of the imperturbable Paul, a foreign lady ask for a milk chocolate drink to accompany a fillet of sole Cubat, the chefs speciality. Sacrilege! Just as well that Marcel Proust and Boni de Castellane were not here to see that.”
    Simon Arbellot de Vacqueur
    French journalist (1897-1965)

    “The army from Asia introduced a foreign luxury to Rome; it was then the meals began to require more dishes and more expenditure . . . the cook, who had up to that time been employed as a slave of low price, become dear: what had been nothing but a métier was elevated to an art.”
    Livy (Titus Livius), Roman historian (59-17 B.C.)
    ‘The Annals of the Roman People’

    • Colthor says:

      @Tei
      That’s one of the most bizarre comments I’ve read. Bravo, sir.

    • Arnulf says:

      “Watt de Buer net kennt det fritt er nit!”

      Ancient German proverb

      (Rough translation: The peasant disdains food of unknown origin.)

    • Tei says:

      Another weird thing about foreign food or games, is wen insist in you using chopsticks.
      So the problems start before you even eat something, on the very menu you are supposed to control-pad-it.

      The old ff game made me want to pop-out some eyes because the interface was horrible with mouse+keyboard. Yes, the FF old mmorpg don’t speak your mother tongue: mouse + keyboard, but on the most ridiculous way.

      * reads below *
      * sadface *

      Seems the new FF repeat this. So, again, only a elite will play it :-(

    • Arnulf says:

      For a year and a half I played FFXI. Yes, that interface is not very helpful with mouse and keyboard. My personal taste is that the mouse controls are absolute unforgivable. Keyboard works sort of.

      But (there’s always a but, isn’t it?) with a controller, preferably one modeled after the ps2 dualshock that interface suddenly starts to make sense. That was one of the very early things I did, bought a controller and from that point on the game was great. I found a decent group (linkshell) and had my very first very fun and enjoyable MMORPG experience. The group eventually dissolved, I’ve got pressing matters to attend to and I suspended my account.

      I’ve reactivated my FFXI account several times now, and am still playing. A lot more casually, though. I even got to the level maximum of 75. The most recent patch upped that to 80, I’m not sure if I can get that far. They announced that the level limit will be at 99 eventually.

      Anyway, I got sidetracked. My enjoyable experience with FFXI led me to pre-order FFXIV. I’ll give SE the benefit of the doubt. I’ve read that the game in its current state isn’t ready at all. But still… at least I got a controller I hope will be a good fit for the interface. As far as I know the original plan was to release the PS3 version and the PC version simultaneously. Seems, even SE doesn’t trust in its own capabilities here.

      Fingers crossed.

  4. Baka says:

    Having been able to take a short look at the closed beta (4 hours testing per session atm, weren’t there bosses in FFXI that took twice as long?) I have to say this game is probably catered to a very specific Final Fantasy Crowd.
    It was rather unacessible, felt like controlling a behemoth and the combat was very, very undynamic.
    I don’t try to depreciate the game, am rather trying to say it’ doesn’t want to be a mass market WoW-clone. That makes it at least interesting.

  5. Xercies says:

    I really liked Final Fantasy XI, there was something about its levelling and party mechanics that made it a much closer community then the other MMOs like WoW. Sure you could be waiting hours for a party…but when that party came oh boy was it really fun. And when you saw the same people again and again and being in parties with them it was really a nice experience.

    Anyway hopefully they try to kind of copy that while also fixing things that were broken. But from what I have heard this is more like there trying to do WoW with a different levelling scheme which is quite disappointing.

  6. pipman300 says:

    needs playable moogles

  7. littlewilly91 says:

    So skills as in actually getting good at the game or your character getting a new Skill like being able to set fire to his/her farts?

    Clarity people!

  8. The Pink Ninja says:

    “There are a bunch of MMOs on the horizon that we’ve pretty much neglected in the past few months”

    It’s because there are tons of the damn things but they’re all basically a poor kid’s WoW

    Except just as expensive.

    • Wulf says:

      That used to be true, but your information is now outdated, really. There are MMOs which are realising the folly of copying the World of Warcraft approach, and as time goes on, we’re seeing more and more MMOs which are straying away from the path. Some may have a similar setting, but that’s about it.

      Comparing these newer MMOs to World of Warcraft is like comparing acid to soap, they’ll both clean you, but one of them is actually pretty nice, and won’t absolutely destroy you in the process (or your social life, at least).

      Admittedly, there are some hangers-on, but looking at the latest releases and upcoming MMOs, things are looking far more interesting than they ever were. I’m particularly interested in Guild Wars 2, because it promises delights unbeknownst to the MMO; like being able to respond to NPCs and getting a reputation based on your responses, dynamic events, the whole personal story thing (which SW:TOR is doing too, but not to quite the same granular extent), and mechanics which only Champions Online can bear any similarity to.

      The most promising thing about Guild Wars 2 is that there won’t be a bloody ! anywhere, and that’s always a good sign. A very good sign.

    • jsdn says:

      So, FF is the acid? I wish FF would take some hints from WoW. For Instance, I’m not too happy about having to pay extra for more than one character slot. I’m also not too happy about the horrendous mouse control.

    • Jake says:

      Quite a lot of people really liked cleaning themselves with acid, and have yet to find a soap that has anything like as much depth.

      Guild Wars 2 does look very good, but at this point in time no other game has compared to WoW in terms of long term appeal and overall quality. Let’s wait and see how good these other games are before claiming that they will make WoW obsolete, after all Warhammer, Conan, LoTR and Aeon were all heralded as WoW killers.

  9. Teliach says:

    After some testing on this game i can say this is the first MMORPG that i had to give up based on the user interface, is completly horrendous, and barely playable with a keyboard+mouse.

    Can’t imagine anyone playing this, not even going to the is a good or bad game, is basically unplayable unless you are a mashocist or play with a controller and love menus.

    Fun fact, there is no keybinds and you can’t keybind anything.

  10. R. says:

    FFXI was quite possibly the most godawful, hateful gaming ‘experience’ I’ve ever had the misfortune to briefly inflict on myself. I would be very wary of anything cooked up by the same minds behind it.

    Seriously, fuck that game with a red hot poker pulled straight out of Satan’s fat flaming arse.

    • Wulf says:

      Yup.

      Waiting four hours only to end up grateful that one is able to group with a sociopath who can do naught but make the most horribly racist comments possible isn’t my idea of a good time, and that basically sums up my experiences with FF XI.

      And this is why I hate forced grouping in any game, and thankfully something that recent MMOs are learning to move away from. When your friends are on, you’ll choose to group anyway, and when you’re by yourself you can choose to play solo, instead of forced to group with people who’d have you lose faith in humanity faster than an audience with Sarah Palin.

    • Tei says:

      “Waiting four hours only to end up grateful that one is able to group with a sociopath who can do naught but make the most horribly racist comments possible isn’t my idea of a good time”

      Maybe not, but looks like a good plan for a sit-con.
      All coins have their two sides, except the soloers money, that only have one. I hate forced soloing, aka, forrest-gump style.

      If you don’t give incentives to group, people solo.

    • Count Elmdor says:

      This comment saddens me. I played XI on PS2, but was looking forward to XIV being modernized for mouse and keyboard.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Meh. Some people didn’t like Final Fantasy XI, true, but it’s mostly because they couldn’t get over the console-friendly interface. Once you got over that speed bump, it was actually an incredibly well-executed MMORPG which was truer to understanding its roots to the original EverQuest than the vast majority of its clone competitors. Furthermore, it actually required some degree of skill and perserverance on behalf of the player – this wasn’t a “casual friendly” MMORPG like so many to follow. Personally, I really look forward to trying out FFXIV.

    • Wulf says:

      @geldonyetich

      Except that the ‘skill’ amounted to macros where people used a skill and it would spam that another player would have to use a skill in X seconds, and so it went, with six people crowded around one critter (which looked patently ridiculous when it was a small, barely armoured Goblin-thing) and continuing the chain until it died.

      I was there, maaan. I don’t remember any skill being required. Just timing. It was like QTE: the MMO. Of course, if QTEs == skill these days, then yes, it was a game that required loads of skill.

    • Wulf says:

      “If you don’t give incentives to group, people solo.”

      Incorrect! At least from my own personal experiences. Allow me to rewrite that so that you’ll be able to understand my perspective.

      If you don’t give incentives to group, then people without friends will solo.

      I’ve grouped in every MMO I’ve ever played, ever. In fact, I went from level 1 to 40 with a friend almost constantly at my side in Champions Online, and only rarely did we solo anything, and when we did we just quickly caught the other up. It worked amazingly well. And there are no real incentives to group in Champions Online, yet there we were, grouping.

      Has anyone noticed that grouping starts to sound dirty if you say it repeatedly in regards to a duo?

      …oh well.

      Where was I?

      Oh yes! I’ve played MMOs with groups of up to four people, on and off, and a lot of the time I haven’t had an incentive, I just know people who like to play games, people who are friendly, well socialised, well adjusted, and frankly bloody awesome.

      The only reason why purely optional grouping isn’t the norm everywhere is because you have sociopathic players kicking up a stink when no one wants to group with them. Well, duh. If you’re going to be a douche, then no one’s going to choose to group with you, are they?

      That’s what forced grouping – or incentives that make grouping necessary to be viable – does, it forces you to group with these people who are simply too lazy to be nice. They expect the game’s mechanics to solve their lack of courteousness and charm for them.

      …and thus, whenever I play a game that has forced grouping, bloody invariably I’ll encounter someone who’s clearly not well-adjusted making bigoted, racist, and really disturbing comments. I hate having to deal with them, and if they start going on about how bad gays are for society, then that’s it… team over.

      Grouping should always be optional, in my opinion. If it isn’t, then it’s not a game I want to play.

    • Tei says:

      If theres no incentives to group, no ones group, you have no one to group, and theres not grouping culture, people is disfunctional in a group, and a soloing culture is created that permeate everything.
      Soloing is like a infection, it propagates to everything…. Even a different game!. A grouping game gets the influence a non-grouping game.

      “If you don’t give incentives to group, then people without friends will solo.”

      You forbid my mission to play mmo’s to make new friends, meet new people.

    • Tei says:

      bonus comment:

      Maybe you can say “It don’t affect me, because I have a static group”.

      Well.. great for you, but the community of the game gets destroyed. Your happy happy lalalal group will be one, in the land of the zombie, with people that hardly talk to each another, and forced to talk, will troll, since don’t operate in a human way against other humans. zombies.

  11. Frye says:

    Could be interesting.
    Just started playing FF XII on pcsx2 emulator yesterday, it runs 60 fps on modern hardware. It is not half as outdated as i expected and I am well impressed by the quality of the graphics and voice acting. Cutscenes are among the best i have seen. Only meant to mess with the emulator for a bit but I got a full quality game out of it.

  12. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Guild Wars 2?

  13. Azhrarn says:

    That Square Enix page is odd, I have an account with the Square Enix EU site, but I can’t use that to register for the beta, despite being given the option….

  14. SydneyCarton says:

    Yeah, it’s kind of sad because the world and races looked interesting to me but running my character around felt like controlling a tugboat and there wasn’t an option to switch to anything like default MMO controls let alone rebind my keys. The camera had momentum and dragged behind the mouse instead of moving sharply with it on top of this so it was damn near impossible to get it pointing the way I wanted to.

    On top of this for combat, the game requires you to press a key and wait a second or two to enter “combat mode” before you can even start attacking something, after which you press another key to deactivate combat mode if you want to switch to normal runspeed.

    Bottom line is there could be an amazing game here but I’ll never know it unless they improve the controls. They’re that bad to the point that they will severely impact PC sales. The first game I ended up quitting after the first month for similar reasons, and I could never pick it up to try it again because of all things the Square-Enix account system baffled me. They need to figure out the basic infrastructural details of MMOs.

  15. dethtoll says:

    I only like about 4 FF games (none of them are MMOs). That said, three of those four are part of my own formative years.

    It’s weird to see RPS cover an FF game though.

  16. pipman300 says:

    dear square-enix please make a dragon quest mmo

    yours truly the pipman

  17. Scarves says:

    I’m really looking forward to this, actually.

  18. blargh says:

    Wow.. I’m kind of extremely disappointed now that I’ve heard some of the previous FFXI’s players comments on here regarding the controls of the PC version. I mean, I always knew there was a console version of the game but I always thought it was PC-oriented, at least on PC. I was lead to believe the same about FFXIV since it’s being released first for PC and later on PS3, but now that this was mentioned, I do remember seeing some strange things with the UI and skill selections but I just assumed they were showing off the PS3 version of the beta.

    I appreciate the fact that they’re catering to a wider audience by having the game on console, that’s good, but at least tailor each version around the platform it’s on. I know I can use my gamepad in the game (and I most likely will, actually, one of the thing that have intrigued me about the game is how well it would work with a controller) but I’d also have liked to have decent keyboard and mouse controls should I felt like switching.
    Why is it so hard for developers to implement some kind of dual-UI scheme in a game similar to the one in the first BioShock game? It can’t be that tough, especially when you’ve already got at least one of them done and ready. I’d love it if all games would do that: proper mouse and keyboard support with the UI and controls that complement them, and proper gamepad support with the UI and controls that complement that with the option to switch between both at will.

    I was thinking about pre-ordering this, but now I’m not so sure. We shall see.

  19. BeamSplashX says:

    Is the attack speed still abysmally slow? The first footage of combat I saw made it look like the character forgot what we was doing after every attack and only remembered when the enemy attacked him. What’s the point of real-time combat when it’s markedly slower than turn-based?

  20. QCgamer says:

    Some one got an account FFXIV and dont play with it ?

    make an guys VERY happy : reload@live.ca

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