Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Important Announcement for Final Fantasy XIV Fans

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of FINAL FANTASY XIV.

While more than two months have passed since the official launch of FINAL FANTASY XIV service, we deeply regret that the game has yet to achieve the level of enjoyability that FINAL FANTASY fans have come to expect from the franchise, and for this we offer our sincerest of apologies.

After thorough deliberation on how to meet those expectations, it was decided that the most viable step was to approach improvements under new leadership and with a restructured team.

To realize this vision, and in doing so, provide our customers with a better game experience, we have assembled our company's top talent and resources. Taking over the role of producer and director is Naoki Yoshida, a passionate individual for whom customer satisfaction has always taken top priority. Not only is he one of our Group's most accomplished and experienced members, Naoki Yoshida is also a charismatic leader possessing the skill to bring together and effectively helm a team which encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. We also welcome several new leaders handpicked from other projects to work with the existing talent on FINAL FANTASY XIV.

We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service. It is because of this that we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining FINAL FANTASY XIV's new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time.

Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011.

The FINAL FANTASY XIV team is working hard to bring our customers an unparalleled adventure, and we ask for your continued understanding and support as we march ever diligently towards that goal.

President and CEO, Yoichi Wada

The development and management teams would like to make an announcement regarding personnel changes.

[Organizational Changes to the Development Team]
To improve the service of FINAL FANTASY XIV, Square Enix has made the following changes to the development team:

Managerial Changes

Naoki Yoshida

Section Leader Changes

Assistant Director
Shintaro Tamai (FINAL FANTASY X, Front Mission 5: Scars of the War)

Lead Game Designer

Lead Combat System Designer
Akihiko Matsui (FINAL FANTASY XI)

Technical Advisor
Yoshihisa Hashimoto (Next Generation Game Engine Development)

Lead Programmer

Senior Concept Artist
Akihiko Yoshida (FINAL FANTASY XII, Vagrant Story)

Lead Artist

Lead UI Designer/Lead Web Designer
Hiroshi Minagawa (FINAL FANTASY XII, Vagrant Story)

These members will make up the development team's new core-a core dedicated to ensuring we achieve a level of enjoyability that will more than satisfy our customers. Under a schedule of more frequent version updates, the new leaders and their respective sections will strive for continued improvements to FINAL FANTASY XIV service operation and development.

[Extension of the Free Trial Period]
As stated above, the newly restructured team's top priority is to bring about improvements to the game's enjoyability, and therefore we have decided to extend the free trial period until we can provide a plan that outlines a level of enjoyment that will satisfy both us and our customers. When we are confident that we have reached that goal, we will notify our customers immediately.

[Future Version Updates]
At present, the development team is putting the finishing touches on the previously announced version update, which is still slated for release in mid-December. In addition, there is one more version update scheduled for release before year's end. Details on the content and dates of these updates will be released in the near future.

[Delay of the PlayStation 3 Version Release]
Although the release date for the PlayStation 3 version of the game was previously announced as late March of 2011, we regret to inform that this date has been changed.

The PlayStation 3 release will be delayed until we are confident that the game has reached the level of enjoyability and service befitting the FINAL FANTASY name for users on all supported platforms. We offer our sincerest apologies to any fans anticipating the PlayStation 3 release, and humbly ask for your continued patience and understanding as both the development team and Square Enix as a whole strive towards making FINAL FANTASY XIV a truly enjoyable and unforgettable adventure.

[New Development Team Policy]
I would like to take this opportunity to greet all of you—those currently playing FINAL FANTASY XIV, those who have taken a respite from playing, and those awaiting the PlayStation 3 release—and offer a brief word by way of an introduction.

No doubt there are very few, if any, among you who have ever heard the name Naoki Yoshida. To be sure, I have never been in the fore on any of the titles I have worked on in the past. I am, however, honored and privileged to work alongside many talented and inspiring colleagues, and with their support have enjoyed making games for a number of years. I am aware that a great many people will think the responsibility of leading FINAL FANTASY XIV is far too large a task for someone so unknown. After all, even my very best may seem no more than a drop in the bucket when considering the sheer scope of FINAL FANTASY XIV. But working together with me are the very talented and very capable development and management teams, whose dedication and motivation are unwavering. I would like to ask you to please put to rest uncertainties that you may have.

Now, more than ever, myself, the development team, and Square Enix as a whole, are committed to furthering our efforts to provide a quality service.

Everything we do will be for our players and customers.

FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer/Director, Naoki Yoshida

First of all, I would like to apologize for our inability to fully satisfy our users with the initial release of FINAL FANTASY XIV. I take full responsibility for the game's current situation, and have therefore made the decision to step down from my role as producer. A number of concerns that have been voiced by users, such as the design of the user interface, availability of tutorials and game content, and battle system functionality, represent key issues that must be addressed. While improvements are already well underway in many areas, we were unfortunately not able to incorporate player feedback as quickly as we would have liked. We are aware, however, that in many cases, addressing these issues will call for a reworking of game elements. As these changes are our first priority, they will be commanding our full attention and efforts. It is to that end that we have put a new organizational structure into place for the development team. Under this new system, FINAL FANTASY XIV will see changes and additions in line with the desires and expectations of players. Though no longer producer, I will be continuing to support the development team in other capacities, and personally hope that you will continue your adventures in the realm of Eorzea.

Hiromichi Tanaka

Original source can be found here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Notorious Monsters - Drake's Misfortune - Final Fantasy XIV

An alchemically enhanced biological weapon prototype spawned deep within the bowels of the Amalj'aa stronghold of Pagl'than, Zanig'oh is far more dangerous than its scalekin cousins in the wild, or even those drakes trained for war by the beast tribe, and therefore has been deemed an imminent threat to the royal sultanate of Ul'dah. Spikes affixed to its four legs keep the creature in constant pain, multiplying its ferocity on the battlefield, while powerful wards branded into its already-thick scales serve to further increase its resistance to even the most potent of magicks.
Operation: Bloody Scales
The past moons have seen a significant rise in the number of armored caravans being laid to waste by some terrible, unidentified foe. According to intelligence gathered by agents of the Horn and Hand, most of the bodies found among the wreckage have been inflicted with a profuse number of bites, cuts, and burns akin to those found on victims of drake attacks. Some of the victims, however, exhibit bane-sores of a differing variety—these coming from what appear to be swords or spears. This has led the Brotherhood of the Broken Blade to believe that these unfortunate incidents are not merely random attacks by wild creatures, but precisely orchestrated assaults by the Amalj'aa to disrupt the flow of goods into Ul'dah. Brave volunteers are sought to embark on a mission to prove once and for all that the desert tribe is behind the attacks.
Levequest Location
Broken Water
Those who are successful in slaying Zanig'oh will be rewarded with a special item known as an Allagan runestone. There are a dozen in all, each representing one of the twelve deities who watch over the peoples of Eorzea. Rumor has that in Ul'dah resides a young trader named Rowena who seeks these rare stones and is offering pieces of finely crafted equipment in exchange.
The following is an example of some of the items available for barter:

Buccaneer Attire
These fashionable accouterments crafted from lightweight, water-resistant materials are the perfect accent to the active lifestyle of today's modern swashbuckler.

Favors: Disciples of War
Optimal Rank: 47
Runestone Required
  • Buccaneer's Tricorne
    • Defense 53
    • Magic Defense 68
    • Evasion 18
    • Resilience 61
    • HP: +24
    • INT: +3
    • Elemental Resistances: +24
Allagan Runestone - Azeyma
  • Buccaneer's Shirt
    • Defense 85
    • Magic Defense 80
    • Evasion 35
    • Resilience 50
    • MND: +1
    • PIE: +2
    • Gathering: +18
    • Craftsmanship: +20
    • Elemental Resistances: +33
Allagan Runestone - Althyk
  • Buccaneer's Boots
      Defense 36
      Magic Defense 59
      Evasion 36
      Resilience 47
      DEX: +1
      Elemental Resistances: +15
    • Defense 36
    • Magic Defense 59
    • Evasion 36
    • Resilience 47
    • DEX: +1
    • Elemental Resistances: +15
Allagan Runestone - Menphina
  • Buccaneer's Sash
    • Defense 17
    • Magic Defense 17
    • Evasion 8
    • Resilience 17
    • Perception: +14
    • Elemental Resistances: +6
Allagan Runestone - Thaliak
* The aforementioned items are still under development and may change before the time of their release.

Mini Q&A
So far you have only mentioned NMs featured in levequests. Will there be any notorious monsters freely roaming the fields and forests of Eorzea?
Most definitely! And a topics post covering these new NMs is on its way.

Original source can be viewed here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Notorious Monsters - Where the Buffalo Roam - Final Fantasy XIV

Tarbh Uisge
One of the last great buffalo of Vylbrand, Tarbh Uisge was captured while still a calf by an ambitious mummer and trained to entertain audiences around Eorzea. Repeated application of stimulatory and suppressive magicks, however, have slowly eaten away at the beast's sanity, rendering it violent and unpredictable. After its capture nearly a decade ago, Tarbh Uisge was imprisoned on a remote island in the Rhotano Sea and soon forgotten by all...
Wanted: Tarbh Uisge
Not long ago, Mathistien of the Cloven Hoof and his traveling grotesquery was one of the realm's most popular exhibitions. People would flock from all around the countryside to see such spectacles as the two-headed nannygoat, the hairless phurble, and the show's main attraction—the colossal Tarbh Uisge. However, it was not until after the giant creature broke loose from its fetters and trampled through Limsa Lominsa, starting a fire that destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed countless innocent citizens, including two high-ranking thalassocratic officials, that it was revealed that Mathistien was actually an assassin for the Zer'maat Five. Needless to say, the mummer was promptly arrested and exiled to a lonely island prison in the Cieldalaes, where he has remained in solitude for the past ten years...or so we thought, for lately there have been rumors that the assassin has fled his island prison and is not only back on Vylbrand, but has brought with him his loyal pet, Tarbh Uisge. Azeyma's Shields is certain that this is the work of the Zer'maat Five, and will stop at nothing to recapture this dangerous criminal and bring him back to justice.
Levequest Location
Those who are successful in slaying Tarbh Uisge will be rewarded with a special item known as an Allagan runestone. There are a dozen in all, each representing one of the twelve deities who watch over the peoples of Eorzea. Rumor has that in Ul'dah resides a young trader named Rowena who seeks these rare stones and is offering pieces of finely crafted equipment in exchange.
The following is an example of some of the items available for barter:

Templar Armor
Worn by Ishgardian temple knights who have pledged their lives in service of the Fury, this suit of stunning silver plate and chain is an breathtaking display of master craftsmanship.

Optimal Rank: 49
Runestone Required
  • Templar's Chain Coif
    • Defense 67
    • Magic Defense 56
    • Evasion 12
    • Resilience 63
    • HP: +30
    • DEX: +3
    • Elemental Resistances: +18
Allagan Runestone - Byregot
  • Templar's Haubergeon
    • Defense 130
    • Magic Defense 78
    • Evasion 28
    • Resilience 63
    • STR: +8
    • DEX: +4
    • Elemental Resistances: +23
Allagan Runestone - Rhalgr
  • Templar's Sollerets
    • Defense 50
    • Magic Defense 50
    • Evasion 20
    • Resilience 52
    • STR: +1
    • Elemental Resistances: +12
Allagan Runestone - Llymlaen
  • Templar's Tassets
    • Defense 17
    • Magic Defense 16
    • Evasion 7
    • Resilience 16
    • HP: +14
    • MP: +6
    • Elemental Resistances: +7
Allagan Runestone - Halone
* The aforementioned items are still under development and may change before the time of their release.

Original source can be found here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Beginner's Guide to Eorzea - Final Fantasy XIV

This week's Q&A session seeks to assist newcomers to Eorzea by covering the basics of setting actions to the action bar.
Read the Q&A.

The Version Update Is Here! - Final Fantasy XI

We are proud to announce the arrival of the December version update, featuring "Heroes of Abyssea," the third installment in the Abyssea series of battle area add-ons. Not to be outdone, the Wings of the Goddess expansion also takes center stage with the concluding missions to its emotion-charged storyline.

Other notable additions include the raising of the level cap to 90, a plethora of new job abilities and spells to accompany this increase, additional storage features, charming job emotions, and the list goes on.

Read on to peruse the list of changes in its entirety.

Additions and Adjustments Galore! - Final Fantasy XI

Along with the wealth of other new features previewed in this space, the soon-to-be-released version update will usher in a host of additions and adjustments to existing content such as Trial of the Magians, Walk of Echoes, and Abyssea areas. Even old favorites like Dynamis and Einherjar will see drop rate adjustments and other refinements designed to make them more rewarding than ever!

Read on for the details.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ask the Devs! - Faction Leves - Final Fantasy XIV

The development and management teams continue to address the questions and concerns of the community in an ongoing FAQ. The topic addressed this time around is faction leves.

Faction Leves
What are faction leves?
Faction leves are special types of guildleves that are obtained in exchange for a currency known as faction credits. Faction levequests are typically more difficult than their regional levequest counterparts, but offer greater rewards.
How do I earn faction credits?
Faction credits are awarded upon successful completion of regional levequests. Players can learn which of the factions credits will be awarded by viewing a guildleve's details before accepting it.
What are the prerequisite conditions for undertaking a faction leve?
A rank 20 faction leve, for example, can be purchased by a rank 10 player with at least 100 credits with any faction. Players should keep in mind, however, that faction leves are counted together with regional leves. This means that a player who has already ordered the maximum of 8 regional leves cannot obtain a faction leve until the next guildleve reset.
I thirst for more faction leves. They will be mine, or I will see this Eorzea turned to ash! What must I do?
When ranks 10, 20, and 30 are attained, the number of faction leves recommended for ranks 20, 30, and 40 that are available to a player will increase, respectively. In addition, completion of these levequests serves to unlock still more faction leves.

November Version Update
My regional levequest ended all of a sudden while I was in transit. Why did this happen to me?
In order to improve server load-balancing and alleviate lag, the November version update introduced a system that splits existing areas into several sub-areas. As a result, the effective "ranges" of regional guildleves have become smaller, and some players may be exiting a levequest's area without intending to do so. We apologize for any inconvenience this change has caused.
* Click on the map to enlarge it.
* The portions outlined in red are the borders of the area.

Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks

Limsa Lominsa Upper Deckss

Lower La Noscea

Eastern La Noscea

Western La Noscea


Central Forest

North Forest

West Forest


Central Thanalan

Eastern Thanalan

Western Thanalan

Original source can be found here.