Final Fantasy XIV GamesCom 2009 PreviewBy Andrew Pfister - Posted Aug 21, 2009
The lines on the show floor at Square Enix's booth were too long, so I didn't get the chance to get my hands on Final Fantasy XIV, but I did get the chance to sit in on a roundtable interview with global online producer Sage Sundi and game producer Hiromichi Tanaka.
The game itself was running in the background, but whoever was playing was just running around in the pretty (but empty) open field, so little insight was gained from a gameplay perspective. But we did hit on a few topics of interest to MMO fans looking forward to Final Fantasy XI's successor.
Why no Player vs. Player combat? Because the team wanted to focus primarily on designing the best possible PvE (player vs. environment) game they could. Should the playerbase start requesting PvP at some point down the road, the team is definitely open to the idea -- and it would likely come in the form of arena-based competition. Sorry, gankers.
Encouraging group play throughout the game? The game's switchable skill system means that it's unlikely that you won't be able to find a complementary team to take on quests...versatility and adaptability will be a key.
Cross-platform play between PS3 and PC players? Yep.
In-game voice chat? Nope. At least, not right now due to voice chat not being a standard "everyone has it" feature on either the PC or PS3 platforms. But like PvP, they'll evaluate player feedback as the game starts to take form.
Lessons learned from Final Fantasy XI? Learning from player feedback was highly important, and it's something they're carrying into Final Fantasy XIV -- including building an even larger team of GMs (game masters) to support the playerbase.
Continued support for Final Fantasy XI? They don't have a certain end-date yet for shutting down Final Fantasy XI and they don't intend on actively forcing or encouraging Final Fantasy XI players to make the jump to Final Fantasy XIV. They want players to have the option to do one or the other (or both)...but do admit that all good things must eventually come to an end.
Chocobos coming back? They will for sure, but not necessarily as a mode of transportation. On that point, the duo was intentionally vague.