TFF Preview #2
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn PreviewPublished on 09.28.2012 by Fuzz
Let's face it... Final Fantasy XIV Online was a disappointment. As much as we all wanted it to be shockingly fun, it just wasn't. It lacked quality in almost every aspect and fell short from the high expectations fans had. Shortly after the initial release, Square Enix listened to their fans and began development of a completely revamped version of the game called "Realm Reborn". The goal was simple; Square Enix wants to "attract the biggest audience possible" while also "winning back the fans they let down". So what exactly is new here? What things were improved? What things were removed? Let's break it down!
One of the best things that came out of this "reboot" is simply the way the developers "listened" and "fixed" player concerns head on. There was little transparency from the player to the company, which is hard to find these days. The fact that Square Enix raised the white flag and said "We are sorry for not meeting your expectations and falling short from Final Fantasy franchise quality, however, we would like to fix this for you - we want to make it right again." The new graphics engine and new field maps were direct results from fan complaints. The mission is to continue to collaborate with fans and the community for future patches and expansions.
Among the most noticeable improvements will be the updated visuals and graphics created by a newly revamped graphics engine. Not one detail is missed in a Realm Reborn - it simply looks fantastic. Everything from the rich forests, tiny ladybugs, to the character models; everything is just smoothed out and better. The PC version of the game will be capable of showing the highest resolution and high-end graphics (currently supports DX9 and DX10, DX11 compatibility is said to come later), as the PlayStation 3 version will be limited due to console hardware limitations... but don't let that scare you console gamers - the game still has the best graphics for the PlayStation 3 ever. Expect to see some new screenshots from the PS3 console sometime in mid-October.
Final Fantasy XIV is going to integrate elements from many other Final Fantasy games in the series. Everything from the jobs in Final Fantasy I, the crystal tower from Final Fantasy III, to Magictech from Final Fantasy VI. Of course, you can count on the traditional chocobos and moogles to make appearances. Developers hope to inspire a since of complete Final Fantasy by using popular themes from across the entire series. This will attract players new and old from the 25 year franchise lifespan. A Realm Reborn is going to be a melting pot of Final Fantasy and developers hope to use these old themes and ideas to release future expansions.
Most of the interface and controls have been revamped to be "easier" to understand, even to the most novice of MMORPG gamers. The goal was to "reduce stress" and have all controls be very accessible in a more traditional MMORPG interface. Character leveling and progression will be "smoother" with a wide range of activities including dungeons and raids. Many of the maps have been removed or completely changed. There will now be a new and improved server structure to better handle congested instances and heavy traffic content areas.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn can best be summarized by lead producer Naoki Yoshida, "Everything has changed pretty much. It's very hard to put a finger on just one particular thing.". This is a very encouraging statement to fans and players, it shows full commitment to quality. Be looking for "Realm Reborn" sometime early 2013 when the game is officially launched for the PS3.
This is only just a few of some of the major changes/improvements happening in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Many fans are excited and looking forward to the new release... Has Square Enix saved themselves from the poor Final Fantasy XIV launch? It certainly looks like it, but we will evaluate again after the official launch. Check back on this page for updates, or be sure to visit the main Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn page for updates and news. You can find the official Frequently Asked Questions thread here.