(Second of two parts)
[In the previous installment, we detailed the initial hardscrabble existence of FFXIV.]
Unloved and unwanted, shunned by those it so eagerly wanted to please, FFXIV was in a quandary: should it just slink away with its tail between its legs or make itself better—way better—than it was?
Wisely opting for the latter, FFXIV set its sights high, aspiring for a magical transformation, the ultimate MMO makeover. With fairy godmother Naoki Yoshida and a new dev team firmly in place, changes have begun to reveal a thoroughly transformed, much-improved new game.
A Realm Reborn has a brand new engine and powerful new graphics that are supposedly optimized to run on lower end PCs. (Me and my ancient dinosaur of a PC will be the judge of that!) Yoshida says the “our new engine is very scalable so when new technology comes out we can easily scale to meet its capabilities.” (Yes, we think he was alluding to the PlayStation 4, too.)
Other goodies include a new UI, additions to existing races (Miqo’te males, Hyur Highlanders, Roegadyn females are among the rumored additions), improved gameplay and a Limit Break system for parties (replacing the Battle Regimens), updates to the job system and the armoury system, plus many more the team is keeping a lid on.
What about characters already created on the original FFXIV? Will they be lost once the reboot launches? The good news is that characters in the current game will be brought to ARR, and an in-game storyline will cover the transition.
Speaking of the transition, Yoshida said during this year’s Gamescom that there will be no overlap between FFXIV and A Realm Reborn, explaining that “Basically what’s going to happen is that the current story is still continuing now, but some day in the near future — and we’ll make sure we tell the players what day that is — something is going to happen in the story, and at that time, the servers are going to shut down.”
Letter from the Producer
Yoshida (or Yoshi-P, as he is fondly called by players) has been busy at the forefront of the redesign of the game, but he has also made himself a visible, approachable, and confidence-inspiring presence to players and fans of the game. He has released several missives to fans, the latest of which is below:
It’s an hour and a half-long video; if you want to skim the transcript, there’s a copy on the official forums, here, and we’re reposting a couple of points below:
Q: Will there be a gil wipe or changes to the currency in A Realm Reborn?
A: Well, we said before that we wouldn’t be wiping anything. However, we are thinking about reworking currency denomination. …ammunition is currently being sold from one gil each.
Our plan is to reduce the denomination of gil by one digit. This reduction will apply to the entire game economy, from the amount of gil players have to prices. So, an item currently sold at 3500 will go down one digit to 350 gil etc.
This doesn’t mean that players will lose money. Rather, areas of the game with unnecessarily large numbers will be pared down and rendered more manageable.
Q: Are there any plans to increase the level cap? If so, when?
A: At the launch of A Realm Reborn, the level cap will still be 50. We’re already planning to implement a lot of content specifically for level 50.
The current plan is to increase the level cap with the next major update after launch. We will also be updating the content to reflect the increase in level cap. So the level cap increase will happen. It just won’t be happening at the launch.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to give you a time frame on when it will occur. Please note that the battle system is completely different in ARR, so even if your character is already at level 50, there’s a lot to re-learn.
FFXIV: A Realm Reborn is still in the final stages, and this story is by no means over, but for now it seems this Cinderella story is right on track for its happy ending.