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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
ARR FFXIV Logo
ファイナルファンタジーXIV: 新生エオルゼア
Fainaru Fantajī Fōtīn: Shinsei Eoruzea
Developers Square Enix Product Development Division 3
Publishers Square Enix
Release dates
PC and PlayStation 3
Flag of the United States/Flag of Canada August 27, 2013
Flag of Japan August 27, 2013
European flag/Flag of Australia August 27, 2013
PlayStation Network
Flag of the United States/Flag of Canada August 13, 2013
PlayStation 4
Flag of the United States/Flag of Canada April 14, 2014[1]
Flag of Japan April 14, 2014[1]
European flag/Flag of Australia April 14, 2014[1]
Steam
Flag of the United States/Flag of Canada February 17, 2014
Flag of Japan 2014
European flag/Flag of Australia 2014
Genre MMORPG
Game modes Massive Multiplayer Online
Ratings CERO:CERO CAges 15 and up
ESRB:Ratingsymbol tTeen
PEGI:PEGI 1616+
Platforms Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
For the old version of the game, see Final Fantasy XIV (1.0).

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, also known as Final Fantasy XIV, is the relaunched version of the fourteenth installment of the Final Fantasy series and the second, after Final Fantasy XI, to be an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game).

The original version of Final Fantasy XIV received heavy criticism at launch in 2010, prompting an official apology and the replacement of its development team. In October, 2011 Square Enix announced the game would be relaunched as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, an entirely new version rebuilt from the ground up. A Realm Reborn would carry over the original game's setting, lore and story, but feature a new client, server structure, graphics engine, interface, terrain, and content.

The original version of the game, termed Version 1.0, received its final update in November 2012 and its service concluded that December. Alpha testing for A Realm Reborn commenced in November 2012, with beta testing following throughout the first half of 2013. The game officially relaunched on Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 platforms on August 27th, 2013, and then officially launched on the PlayStation 4 on April 14th, 2014.

The first expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, will release in Spring 2015.

GameplayEdit

Character CreationEdit

XIV Character Creation Screen

The new character creation screen in A Realm Reborn.

Character creation in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is typical of most MMORPGs. There are five races to choose from:

  • Hyur - The typical "Human" race found in most MMOs, reminiscent of the Hume of Final Fantasy XI.
  • Elezen - The typical "Elf" race found in most MMOs, reminiscent of the Elvaan of Final Fantasy XI.
  • Lalafell - A race of diminutive folk reminiscent of the Tarutaru of Final Fantasy XI.
  • Miqo'te - Feline humanoids reminiscent of the Mithra of Final Fantasy XI.
  • Roegadyn - Hulking giants reminiscent of the Galka of Final Fantasy XI.

The customization is detailed enough to make a unique character without going too deep in details. Players can adjust height, facial features, voice, hair, facial hair, and other features. They choose their character's birthdate from a mythical calendar of 12 months of 32 days each and pick a "Guardian" or deity of sorts (see The Twelve), which will modify some elemental resistance stats.

Finally, players choose a starting class. Each class has a city-state base, and the game begins in that city-state.

Currently, there are nine classes and three city-states to choose from:

Unlike the other classes, Rogue is not available at character creation. Those wishing to play one must first level to 10 in another class and then change classes. Those wishing to unlock rogue as soon as possible are recommended to choose either Marauder or Arcanist so they start in the same city.

Characters from version 1.0 will be allowed to re-customize their appearances once. This includes the character's name, race, sex, date of birth, starting class, starting city-state, height, hair, face, bust size, etc. A second re-customization can be earned via veteran rewards, called the Fantasia, and is the only redo available to characters created in 2.0. Additional Fantasia may be purchased from the Square Enix shop for a fee, as of patch 2.28.

By completing the quest "Beauty is Only Scalp Deep," players can also call the aesthetician to any of the inn rooms. This allows players to tweak more basic aspects such as hairstyle, hair color, and face paint for only 2,000 gil without needing to use a Fantasia potion.

Basic GameplayEdit

After the player has created a character, the game will start in one of the three city-states depending on the character's starting class. The player cannot change class until finishing the level 10 class quest of their starting class.

Doing the Main Scenario quests will help the player gain EXP, Gil, items, an airship ticket, an ability to use the inn room, permission to do Guildleves, hire Retainers, and be able to join Grand Companies of Eorzea.

The player can choose between playing with mouse and keyboard or play on a gamepad. The skill HUD will adapt on the player's selected choice.

Hotkey BarsEdit

A Realm Reborn on the PlayStation 3 and Playstation 4 versions have a unique interface for gamepads called the Cross Hotbar that has two sides. When the player holds down Playstation-Button-R2 the right half of the bar is highlighted. There are eight total buttons that can be used: X-button, Square-button, Triangle-button, Circle-button, and the Playstation Dpad Neutral. The same thing happens if the player uses Playstation-Button-L2, but it is with the left side. There are eight in total different hotbars the player can change by holding Playstation-Button-R1 and selecting them.

The player can use the standard twelve-slot hotbars found in most MMOs by playing with the mouse and keyboard on the PC-version; the player can have multiple hotbars on screen simultaneously and bind different key commands to control them. The Playstation 4 version also supports mouse and keyboard control, however the Playstation 3 version does not.

Leveling and PartyingEdit

Duty Finder

The Duty Finder menu in A Realm Reborn.

There are two main methods of seeking parties: the Duty Finder and the Party Finder. The Duty Finder is a dedicated party search system in A Realm Reborn for undertaking instanced duties. It allows the player to form an allocated party with other players, including players from different worlds on the same data center. The Party Finder, while limited to current server, allows recruiting with more varied and specific criteria (such as participating in FATEs).

Players may also manually invite party members at any time.

Free Companies are the new guild system in A Realm Reborn, taking the place of Linkshells that are now simply chat channels for various player purposes. To register a new free company, the player must be level 25, aligned with a Grand Company, have at least four starting members, and 15,000 Gil. However, any player may join an existing free company regardless of level by applying for, or being invited into it. Unlike Linkshells, a player may only belong to one Free Company at a time. Free Companies offer several unique ways to play with an established group of players, including a shared housing system and special bonuses.

Battle SystemEdit

FightingEdit

Using skills on a A Realm Reborn is an easy learning system. The player has four different battle bars to watch: HP, TP, MP, and (in parties) the Limit Gauge.

  • HP stands for Hit Points and determines how close a player is to being K.O. HP is governed by the Vitality attribute.
  • TP stands for Tactical Points and is used for Melee attacks and physical commands like Sprint. Most skills under this category are instant cast and you are able to run and cast with no cast timer (still has a cool down timer though). Players are set at a fixed maximum of 1000 TP, and cannot be increased by any means.
  • MP stands for Magic Points and is used for magical attacks (EX: Fire, Blizzard). Although most of these skills have a casting time, there are some instant spells that can be cast while moving. Spells with a cast time require the player to stand still until the casting is complete. MP is governed by the Piety attribute.

Limit BreakEdit

Main article: Limit Break (Final Fantasy XIV)
FFXIV Black Mage Limit Break

A Black Mage using a limit break.

A Realm Reborn implements a limit break system for parties in place of the Battle Regimen system found in Version 1.0. Each party has a limit gauge that increases as actions are taken during battle. When at least one section of the gauge is filled, a limit break may be activated by a party member, emptying the gauge. The effects of the limit break are dependent on the class or job of the character who triggered it, while the strength of those effects is based upon how many sections of the limit gauge were filled when the limit break was triggered. A tank class will increase the defense of the party with his Limit Break, a healer or Archer/Bard will use a healing effect that can raise at level 3, a physical DPS will unleash a powerful attack on one target, and a magic DPS will loose an area blast.

The rate at which the limit gauge is filled changes in response to the conditions of battle. Executing certain skillful maneuvers, such as inflicting the Stun status effect on an enemy, can make the limit gauge rise more quickly. Conversely, the death of a party member will cause the limit gauge to decrease by a certain amount. The limit gauge will also fill more slowly if multiple party members are using the same class or job at one time.

Crafting SystemEdit

SynthesisEdit

Crafting is initiated through the Crafting Log, provided materials are available in inventory. Players must use abilities to advance the progress and quality of the crafted item. Increasing progress gradually leads to completion of the item, while increasing quality increases the chance of a HQ (high quality) product and increases EXP gained. While performing actions, the materials Durability will gradually decrease; if it reaches zero, crafting fails and materials may be lost.

At each step, the materials may be in one of four states: Normal, Good, Excellent, and Poor. Good and Excellent will provide bonus to quality gained if the relevant skills are used at that step. Poor occurs right after Excellent, and will penalize any quality gains, but does not affect progress or other skills. Some skills can only be used while in Good condition.

Synthesis is governed by three stats:

  • Craftsmanship: Affects how much progress is increased by when using corresponding abilities.
  • Control: Affects how much quality is improved by when using corresponding abilities.
  • CP: Stands for Crafting Points and is used for various skills during synthesis. Players must manage this so it doesn't deplete too quickly, and some abilities can restore CP in certain conditions.

Materia MeldingEdit

By completing the appropriate quest, players can also meld Materia on to crafted gear. Melding requires the appropriate materia as well as appropriate grade of carbonized matter, by a crafter of the appropriate class and level. Most crafted equipment will have at least one slot available for melds. Note that special gear awarded from quests, dungeons, raids, or trials cannot be melded.

Overmelding can also be performed by unlocking the "Advanced Melding" ability, which enables extra materia to melded onto gear. This process may fail, costing the materia regardless, making it financially risky.

Players lacking the necessary crafting skill can "Request Meld" from another player, provided they possess the required items. The interface enables a tip in gil to be given for services rendered.

RepairsEdit

While most players can pay certain NPC menders to repair their gear, crafters can use Dark Matter to perform the repairs manually. Starting with Patch 2.28, players can perform repairs regardless of current class as long as the associated Disciple of the Hand class is high enough. Manual repairs will increase current durability by 100% (up to 199%), allowing them to go longer without needing repairs. To perform repairs, the crafting class must be at least ten levels lower than the item's required level.

DesynthesisEdit

Players can also perform Desynthesis on equipment, fish, and other certain items to break them down into components, including rare items not obtained in any other circumstance. This is possible once the associated Discipline of the Hand is at least level 30 (regardless of current class). Desynthesis is handled by its own skill rating (per discipline), which affects the chance of success and is increased by successful desynthesis.

Gathering SystemEdit

Gathering is performed by reaching the respective node in the field, which brings up a list of items to retrieve, along with the chances of success and the frequency of a high-quality item being obtained. As items are gathered, nodes will lose "health" until it is depleted. Individual nodes will refresh as others are depleted.

Fishing is a more straightforward (but completely random) process, that simply requires casting line at a body of water and waiting for something to bite. Unlike other classes, consumable bait is required to fish.

Gathering is governed by three stats:

  • Gathering: Affects how likely an item can be successfully harvested or fished up.
  • Perception: Increases the chance of obtaining a high-quality item. Without the use of abilities, the chance is capped at 15%.
  • GP: Stands for Gathering Points and enables certain abilities to aid in gathering. Not used by Fishers. Maximum GP is set at 400, but unlike TP, it can be increased with better equipment.

Armory SystemEdit

ClassesEdit

There are four base disciplines, each divided into several classes. Each class has its own weapon type, and changing classes is as simple as changing weapons; this is known as the Armory System. Classes can be changed at any time, except during a battle. The player can use most skills on any class after learning them, but skills are scaled with the current class level.

Players can use all skills learned by their current class, and set up other classes' skills based on his or her current max level. The maximum number of cross-class skills that can be used is capped at 10 for a level 50 character with no soul crystal equipped.

Disciple Type Class Weapon/Tool Job Advancement
Disciples of War Archer Bows Bard
Gladiator Swords and macuahuimeh Paladin
Lancer Spears and lances Dragoon
Marauder Two-handed axes Warrior
Pugilist Claws and metal knuckles Monk
Rogue Knives and daggers Ninja
Disciples of Magic Conjurer Wands and radicals White Mage
Thaumaturge Clubs and staves Black Mage
Arcanist Grimoires Scholar
Summoner
Disciples of Hand Alchemist Alembics and mortars N/A
Armorer Raising hammers and pliers N/A
Blacksmith Cross-pein hammers and files N/A
Carpenter Handsaws and claw hammers N/A
Culinarian Skillets and culinary knives N/A
Goldsmith Chaser hammers and grinding wheels N/A
Leatherworker Headknives and awls N/A
Weaver Needles and spinning wheels N/A
Disciples of Land Botanist Hatchets and scythes N/A
Fisher Fishing rods and bait N/A
Miner Pickaxes and sledgehammers N/A

JobsEdit

FFXIVJobArtwork

Introduced in patch 1.21 of the original version, classic Final Fantasy jobs appear as types of specializations inside the armory system. Upon reaching Level 30 in a class, players can do a quest unlocking the use of a job obtaining a soul crystal, carved with the deeds of past warriors.

Setting a job on top of one's class limits the use of cross class abilities (can only use half the usual number—max of 5 skills at level 50—and only from specific classes) but allows the use of powerful job-specific abilities and equipment. The main advantage of using a job will be the possibility of specializing on a role (like tanking as a Paladin) for high level party play, while using the regular classes will be advantageous while playing solo or in smaller parties (where things like a White Mage who can heal can prove useful). Jobs change the player's base stats to help fulfill its intended role.

The level 30 class quest for the main class (e.g. Gladiator) has to be completed to unlock its respective job quest(s) (e.g. Paladin). It's not mandatory to complete the class quest at level 15 for the required subclass (e.g. Conjurer), simply reaching level 15 will suffice.

SettingEdit

World & LoreEdit

Final Fantasy XIV is set in the world of Hydaelyn. Players can explore a realm of Hydaelyn known as Eorzea, though there are many other distant landmasses with numerous civilizations.

Eorzea

The Eorzean Realm.

In Eorzea, towering mountains dominate the north, their peaks lashed with icy winds, and to the south, a bleak expanse of unforgiving desert holds sway. These inhospitable lands hold lure for man and monster alike: the currents of Aether. Aether is a magical substance that flows through the planet and everything living on it. It can be used in a number of ways, including fueling magic, powering machina, aiding in crafting, and allowing instantaneous teleportation through Aetheryte Crystals. This valuable substance can start wars, as different organizations and races compete for control over it.

Eorzea is said to cycle through prosperous Astral eras and disastrous Umbral eras. Eons ago the land was inhabited by gods and goddesses, which the wandering tribes that settled the land called the Twelve. The gods blessed the tribes that came to the savage land with welfare and prosperity, in what is known as the First Astral Era. The tribes began fighting with each other, and war tore Eorzea apart. The gods and goddesses vanished, starting the First Umbral Era. There have been six such eras of calamity since the First Astral Era ushered in the age of man. Each of the Umbral catastrophes has, in turn, borne the characteristics of one of the six elements.

With the end of the Sixth Umbral Era, all the elements had been represented, and it was believed the Sixth Astral Era would last into eternity. With the end of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0, and the fall of Dalamud, a period known as the Seventh Umbral Era has started. The unleashing of Bahamut has destroyed much of the land, and numerous other dark omens signal great suffering to come. The A Realm Reborn relaunch takes place in this Seventh Umbral Era.

Three major city states exist within Eorzea: the bustling commercial hub of Ul'dah, the forest nation of Gridania, and the marine city-state of Limsa Lominsa. Each state hosts a Grand Company—economic and military organization tasked with defending the land. Adventurers join these organizations to further their goals and ambitions, while simultaneously helping keep the peace over Eorzea. Two other city-states also exist: the reclusive Holy See of Ishgard, which has been continually warring with Dravanian Horde, and Ala Mhigo, which fell to the Garlean Empire twenty years ago.

Eorzea's main enemies consist of the Beast Tribe races and the Garlean Empire. The Beast Tribes are a group of intelligent but monstrous clans, whose ideals and objectives clash with the humanoid races, while the Garlean Empire is a magically weak but technologically advanced, cosmopolitan (though Hyuran-dominated) nation hailing from outside of Eorzea who seeks to conquer the land and its Aether, which powers their various technologies, including Magitek Armor and Airships. In addition, threats from the Void frequently trouble the realm, including mysterious shadowless agents.

City StatesEdit

Limsa LominsaEdit

Limsa Lominsa Flag

On the southern coast of the island of Vylbrand, under the shadow of ancient cliffs worn by the relentless onslaught of the Rhotano Sea, lies the marine city-state of Limsa Lominsa. Said to be blessed by the goddess of navigation, Llymlaen, the city is spread out over countless tiny islands, each connected by sturdy bridges of iron and wood construction, earning her the name the "Navigator's Veil" from traveling bards who have witnessed the city's beauty from afar.

Limsa Lominsa is a traditional thalassocracy, with power lying in the hands of the ruling party and its leader, the Admiral. Its economy is driven by shipbuilding, fishing, and blacksmithing, but the majority of wealth comes from the lucrative shipping industry.

To maintain the safety of its maritime routes, the city employs a formidable navy known as the Knights of the Barracuda. However, even in the waters nearby the city, pirate bands run rampant, raving and pillaging.

GridaniaEdit

Gridania Flag

In the eastern reaches of the Aldenard landmass, home to vast, dense woodlands and coursing rivers, lies the forest nation of Gridania. The cityscape is a mosaic of labyrinthine waterways and great wooden structures, so gracefully constructed they seem a part of the surrounding environment.

The Gridanian emphasis on natural harmony has led to its preeminence among Eorzea's city-states in trades such as forestry, agriculture, carpentry, and leatherworking. Gridania is home to the Wood Wailers, a militant band of polearm-wielding sentries charged with the protection of their homeland.

The favored goddess of the citizenry is Nophica, the Matron, but great faith is also placed in the wisdom of the Seedseers—young oracles who guide the nation based on the will of the forest's elementals.

Ul'dahEdit

Uldah Flag

The bustling commercial hub of Ul'dah sits amid the desolate desert landscape of southern Aldenard. The city is organized strategically around the dome-shaped citadel at its center. Its towering fortifications and protective outer walls are visible for malms in all directions, and serve as a stark deterrent to would-be besiegers.

Visitors from every corner of Eorzea come to Ul'dah to partake of the city's famed recreation, most notably the fighting arenas and gambling halls. Ul'dahn culture is known for its affluence, and the nation's wealth comes from its abundant mineral resources and prestigious clothcrafting industry.

Historically, the sultan claims sovereignty over Ul'dah, but true power is wielded by the Syndicate, an elite group of six of the most influential and richest members of society. Nald'thal is the city's patron deity and two great halls devoted to his two aspects are found in the eastern and western sections of the city.

IshgardEdit

In the central region of Abalathia's Spine, that great mountain range that spans Aldenard from east to west, can be found the forbidding highlands of Coerthas and the Holy See of Ishgard. The archbishop of the church, while leading his people in the teachings of Halone, the Fury, rules also as the nation's sovereign.

Ishgard's formidable army of knights wages constant battle against its mortal enemies, the dragons. Faced with ever more aggressive attacks from its serpentine foes, as well as an unprecedented spell of bitter cold, the theocracy's days are dark indeed. Matters have grown so grave as to prompt the archbishop and his advisors to consider throwing open the heretofore sealed gates of Ishgard and calling for outside aid.

Ala MhigoEdit

The highlands of Gyr Abania in the eastern reaches of Aldenard were once under the control of a martial nation known as Ala Mhigo. It was, perhaps, the historically conflicted nature of the territory that forged the country into a significant military power.

Even as this aggressive nation sent its forces to conquer in the west, it repelled repeated attempts at invasion from the east. In the Year 1557 of the Sixth Astral Era, however, it finally fell to the incursions of the Garlean Empire. From that time onwards, the country became merely another imperial territory under the governance of its usurpers. Though the people of Ala Mhigo once revered Rhalgr, the Destroyer, as their patron deity, any such religious observance has since been forbidden by the controlling authorities.

Grand Companies of EorzeaEdit

Main article: Grand Companies of Eorzea

These are the groups being formed by the city-states to combat the coming and current threat of the Garlean Empire, as well as clashes with the beast-tribes.

The Maelstrom of Limsa LominsaEdit

At the heart of the Thalassocratic Navy lies the Lominsan Armada, composed of nine independent squadrons, the First through the Ninth. The Maelstrom is an extension of the First Squadron, expanding its role as armada flagship and granting it power to administer not only the remaining eight squadrons, but the various merchant fleets that navigate the seas off Vylbrand.

With the reestablishment of the Maelstrom, the Admiral has begun the move to invoke ancient maritime law, by which she would promote herself to Chief Admiral, effectively expanding her authority to cover not only state and military dealings, but grant her the power to directly command all ships in Lominsan waters, and freely punish any who disobey. The city-state's pirates are not about to take this encroachment on their freedom without a fight.

Gridania's The Order of the Twin AdderEdit

The Order of the Twin Adder establishes a medium from which the Seedseers can return from their wanderings deep within the Black Shroud and directly oversee not only the safety of Gridania's citizens, but the workings of the local guard, Both the Gods' Quiver, who defend the forest from external threats, and the Wood Wailers, who protect it from internal strife, have expressed their support of this temporary measure.

There are those within Gridania who would question the ability of the Seedseers, whose duties until now have been limited to various ritualistic proceedings, and doubt whether or not they are fit to lead a nation into war.

The Immortal Flames of Ul'dahEdit

Currently, the bulk of Ul'dah's military strength comes from their standing army of mercenaries and the small contingent of the palace guard known as the Sultansworn. To bring order to their ranks and oversee additional wartime training, the Sultana has considered resurrecting the Immortal Flames-an elite force of battle-hardened veterans that once instilled fear in the city-state's neighboring nations during ages past.

This unit would act as a core aspect of the army bolstering its power, and grant more authority to the Sultana and her advisers—something of which those in control of the city-state's economy—namely the Syndicate—are wary.

TransportationEdit

The player characters move quickly from place to place by using Aetherytes, large shards of crystallized aether fused with ancient machinery. These crystals act as teleporters, for a fee. In 1.0, this was limited by the amount of "Anima" points the player had, but in A Realm Reborn, the fee is in gil instead. One can also set three Aetherytes as "favorites", reducing teleport costs to that Aether by half, and one as "home", reducing teleport costs to that Aether to zero. Teleporting to one's home aetheryte for free is limited to once every fifteen minutes, but the player can return there whether this time has elapsed or not as long as they have been KO'd. Players with a one time password attached to their account can set one Aetheryte to be free of charge for teleporting at any time.

Players can also obtain mounts for swift movement within a zone. This includes a chocobo issued from a Grand Company, as well as other exotic steeds and even Magitek Armor. Ferry and airship services can be obtained at the major cities.

Playable RacesEdit

AkihikoYoshida-FinalFantasyXIV

Artworks of the races and various Classes illustrated by Akihiko Yoshida.

There are five playable races resembling those from Final Fantasy XI. Each is divided into two clans. In the game's initial release, there were three "missing genders"—Female Roegadyn, Male Miqo'te and Female Highlander Hyur—but these became available on the launch of A Realm Reborn.[2] A recent players' poll presented the possibility of mixed races (Miqo'te-Lalafell, Hyur-Elezen), though nothing is confirmed as of yet.

HyurEdit

The Hyur are a race not originally from Eorzea, having migrated there and brought their technology with them. They are split into two clans, the Highlanders and the Midlanders. They are similar to Humes from Final Fantasy XI.

LalafellEdit

The Lalafell are a race from the seas south of Eorzea. The race consists of the Plainsfolk and the Dunesfolk. They are similar to the Tarutaru.

Miqo'teEdit

The Miqo'te are a race from Eorzea, and like the Hyur, are not native to the region. Miqo'tes are either Seekers of the Sun or Keepers of the Moon. They are cat-like beings, similar to the Mithra.

RoegadynEdit

The Roegadyn are a race from the seas north of Eorzea. This maritime race is broken into two tribes: the Sea Wolves and the Hellsguard. They are like the Galka, though they lack tails.

ElezenEdit

The Elezen are the race that has lived in Eorzea the longest and co-exist peacefully with the other races. Elezen can either be Wildwood Elezen or Duskwight Elezen. They are similar to the Elvaan.

ActivitiesEdit

GuildlevesEdit

Main article: Guildleves
Guildleve ARR

A Guildleve in A Realm Reborn.

The player character must join a guild to receive Guildleves, decorative cards that hold a quest for the character to complete. The quests can include anything from hunting a specific monster to item collection or negotiation with the enemies. The Guildleves can be completed alone or with a party of other players, with everyone reaping the benefits of the quest. The players can multitask on several leves at the same time.

StoryEdit

This section contains a brief summary of Final Fantasy XIV's lore and story. For a comprehensive explanation of the Final Fantasy XIV storylines, please see List of Final Fantasy XIV Storylines.

Five years before the events of the game, metal-clad warriors invaded Eorzea with flame-spewing weapons and colossal airships. The army came from the Garlean Empire, and it didn't take long before the mightiest of the six city-states, Ala Mhigo, fell under their force. The other city-states united their power to defend themselves, but just as fast as it had arrived, the imperial army was gone. A new era began at Eorzea, known as the Age of Calm, which the city-states spent by building up their defenses and training their armies.

Before, the cities had hired mercenaries for their inner wars, but now they trusted only professional soldiers, leaving the sellswords unemployed and restless. To keep them from causing harm and steer their energy into helping others instead, the city-states founded a network of adventuring guilds.

MusicEdit

Main article: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Original Soundtrack

The original soundtrack of Final Fantasy XIV at launch was composed entirely by Nobuo Uematsu, and was the first full musical score he has composed for a Final Fantasy game in ten years, the last being Final Fantasy IX. Not all songs added on later patches have been composed by Uematsu, being compositions or remixes by Masayoshi Soken, Naoshi Mizuta, Ryo Yamazaki and Tsuyoshi Sekito, with most "banner" pieces being composed by Soken. A Realm Reborn uses many new themes as well, most composed by Soken, who is now the main sound director for the game.

A selection of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0's tracks have been released in two volumes named Final Fantasy XIV / Field Tracks and Final Fantasy XIV / Battle Tracks, with the entire official soundtrack of 1.0 released in Before Meteor: Final Fantasy XIV Original Soundtrack, which includes rearrangements of the series' "Main Theme", "Prologue" and the "Victory Fanfare".

The game's vocal theme, "Answers", is sung by American musician Susan Calloway, who is also one of the vocalists to sing Distant Worlds from Final Fantasy XI. She is the vocalist for the Distant Worlds concert CDs and has performed live in many of the concerts.

DevelopmentEdit

A new age is upon us... and we fight, to make it ours.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Game Trailer
FFXIV 2.0 Concept

A conceptual screenshot of the "2.0" update.

In the wake of the disastrous launch of Final Fantasy XIV's original version and the backlash the game received from players, critics and investors[3], Square Enix announced the development of a "2.0" update to the game, titled "A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV" (or "Shinsei Eorzea"/"Reborn Eorzea" in Japanese) on October 14, 2011. A Realm Reborn would be the culmination of the cycle of updates to the game that began after the staff replacements earlier that year. A Realm Reborn was pitched not as an expansion pack, but an entire reworking of the game, rebuilt from the ground up.

The update requires an all new client, currently available for free download for all purchasers of 1.0. It uses a different graphics engine, based on a branch of Square's Luminous technology and drastically redesigns the game world map for ease of use and play and boasts a different server structure which allows for more rapid player action; the new engine is also better optimized for both lower end PCs and the PlayStation 3. The main storyline is modified to fit in with the new Eorzea, but does hit a number of similar plot beats to the original storyline; the new story is set five years after the fall of Meteor and the end of Legacy.

FFXIV PS3 Interface

A screenshot of PlayStation 3 version, showcasing the new UI.

During E3 2012, new information regarding the release for the PlayStation 3 version and the 2.0 revision of the game, along with new screens and artwork of the content for the update, was released. It included concept art for Typhon, a series recurring enemy, Fenrir with a design similar to that of the one seen in Final Fantasy XI, new screenshots of male Miqo'te as a Paladin and another as a Dragoon, as well as many new weapons and equipment. The first gameplay presentation was shown at Gamescom[4], and the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary event on September 1st featured a keynote with Naoki Yoshida.[5]

On July 5, 2012, Square Enix launched a new teaser site, which was constantly updated with information, including a blog with weekly updates concerning everything from teases to new content to the occasional bit of office shenanigans.[6]

The Alpha Test, conducted during the last several weeks of 2012, was an encouraging success. Many praised the Alpha for having far more content than was needed to conduct server stress tests.

Uldah ARR 03

Ul'dah during the beta test.

The Beta Test application site was open from early 2013 until late July of that year, and the A Realm Reborn beta commenced on February 25th, 2013, with testing coming to a successful close on August 19th. Legacy members and players with a Final Fantasy XIII Members Registration Code were given priority for selection in Phase 1 of the Beta, but more testers were invited regularly; Phase 4 was an "open beta" in which virtually everyone who applied before the July cut-off was allowed in, and progress made carried forward into the release game.

This resulted in several problematic errors on the North American server cluster that caused some people to get locked out of the game, but these were largely caused by congestion as the beta shattered player-concurrency records, not just for Final Fantasy XIV but for any massively-multiplayer open beta, anywhere.[7] This necessitated the emergency opening of whole new servers, which were quickly filled.

In July 2014 Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV development team was recorded as saying the team has progressed their planning to about four years into the future.[8]

Major Updates and ExpansionsEdit

See also: List of Final Fantasy XIV Patch Notes

A Realm Reborn (2.0)Edit

A Realm Awoken (2.1)Edit

A Realm Awoken

The first major patch update for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released on December 17, 2013. The main concept of this patch is the further awakening of the Primals. "Extreme Mode" versions of Ifrit, Garuda, Titan, and Ultima Weapon trials were added to the game along with one new dungeon: Pharos Sirius. Two previously released dungeons received a hard mode option; the Haukke Manor and the Copperbell Mines. The first 24-man raid was introduced with the Crystal Tower where players get into one of three full party groups.

Company Housing, Duty Roulette, PvP, Treasure Hunt, new main scenario quests, and Beastman sidequests were added to the game. The Aesthetician NPC allowed the players to change their hairstyle and hair color. Lightning and Snow's hairstyles are also available for players who finished the Lightning Strikes quest.

Through The Maelstrom (2.2)Edit

FFXIV Through the Maelstrom

Released on March 27, 2014. The Primal Leviathan debuted as the main boss of the main scenario, with the mysteries of the Allagan civilization further covered. The Lost City of Amdapor was included as a new dungeon, along with Turns 1-4 in the Second Coil of Bahamut (also known as Turn 6-9 by players) dungeon and hard mode versions of Brayflox's Longstop and Halatali. The patch also included new beastmen daily quests focusing on the Sahagin and Kobold tribes. An extreme mode version of Good King Moggle Mog was added, along with the 2nd episode of the Inspector Hildibrand sidequest and the addition of a vanity slot system called Glamor.

Defenders of Eorzea (2.3)Edit

FFXIV Defenders of Eorzea

This update was released on July 8, 2014. Ramuh was introduced as the newest Primal trial in the Main Scenario quests. The 3rd episode of Inspector Hildibrand and the second part of the Crystal Tower debuted. Desynthesis and the Hunt were be implemented as new game systems.

A massive PvP mode called "Frontline" was added that involves three teams fighting against each other, with up to 24 players. Three new dungeons were added: the all-new "Hullbreaker Isle", as well as Hard Mode versions of Tam-Tara Deepcroft and Stone Vigil.

Dreams of Ice (2.4)Edit

FFXIV Dreams of Ice

The Primal Shiva debuted as the main boss of the main scenario quests.[9] Three new dungeons were added, including the Snowcloak, as well as Hard Mode versions of Sastasha and the Sunken Temple of Qarn. In addition, the new Rogue class and its upgrade Ninja were introduced in 2.4. [10] The Final Coil of Bahamut was added and serves as the conclusion for the story of the Binding Coil of Bahamut.[11] The fourth episode of the Inspector Hildibrand sidequests was added in the patch. The Allagan Tomestones of Poetics were also implemented into the game for equipment exchange. Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy were removed from the game and players are no longer able to obtain Allagan Tomestones of Mythology or purchase items with them.

Patch 2.5Edit

The final chapter of the Crystal Tower story arc will debut.[12]

Heavensward (3.0)Edit

FFXIV Heavensward

The first expansion pack of the game was announced by Square Enix on October 18, 2014. It is set to release in Spring 2015.[13]

Naoki Yoshida revealed that the first expansion of the game will let the players fly, and one of the themes will revolve around a "great conflict that spans across millennia."[14]

ReleaseEdit

FFXIV PS4 Bundle

PlayStation 4 and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn bundle.

A Realm Reborn launched as scheduled on August 27, 2013, on both the PC and with the long-awaited PlayStation 3 version. Players who pre-ordered A Realm Reborn got "early access" on August 24.

The Steam version was released on February 17, 2014. Both Standard and Digital Collector's Editions are available.

The PlayStation 4 version was released on April 14. 2014. Players of the PS3 version were able to upgrade to the PS4 version for free.[1]

The limited edition of the PlayStation 4 bundled with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was available in Sony Japan stores, limited to only 1,400 units. The package included a 500 GB PlayStation 4 console with a laser etched hard drive bay cover and a copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on disc.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Game of the Year Edition will be available from November 14, 2014. It will only be available for PC and comes bundled in a printed Book of Diamonds Grimoire box, along with five art cards and 90 days worth of subscription to the game.[15]

Third Party ServicesEdit

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be published in China with full Chinese translations by Shanda Games. Korean server will also be published by Actoz Soft with full Korean translations.

System RequirementsEdit

Minimum Recommended
OS Windows® Vista 32/64bit, Windows® 7 32/64 bit, Windows® 8 32/64 bit, Windows® 8.1 32/64 bit Windows® 7 64 bit
Processor Intel® Core™2 Duo 3GHz Intel® Core™ i5 2.66GHz
Memory 2 GB RAM 4 GB RAM
Graphics NVIDIA® Geforce® 8800 or higher, ATI Radeon™ HD 4770 or higher NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX 660 or higher, AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 or higher
Hard Drive 20 GB available space 20 GB available space
Sound Card DirectSound® compatible sound card DirectSound® compatible sound card
Network Broadband Internet connection Broadband Internet connection
Others DirectX 9.0c
Square Enix account
DirectX 9.0c
Square Enix account

Reception and SalesEdit

Early previews and reception of A Realm Reborn were more positive than reception of Version 1.0 was, with many previews extolling the virtues of the revised game[16][17][18][19][20], and with major news site Destructoid awarding A Realm Reborn a "Best MMO of E3 2013" award.[21]

Among the fan community, A Realm Reborn received some criticism for the difficulties connecting to the game during "prime time" hours in the game's first week or so of service. This was due to unprecedented interest and sales which exceeded Square Enix's projections and led to every server being at capacity before even the end of early access; even the beta was breaking concurrency records,[22] and the game's release saw concurrency go even higher with still greater sales, necessitating significant expansion of the data centers for both major regions.[23]

Reviews have been substantially more positive than ones of the original version with the release currently holding an 83/100 on Metacritic for the PC version, a 78/100 for the PS3 version, and an 86/100 for the PS4.[24][25][26] USGamer gave the game a perfect score, saying: "Square Enix has pulled off the seemingly impossible: rescuing a disastrous flop of an online game without going free-to-play, and creating an incredibly addictive, satisfying experience for both MMO and Final Fantasy veterans in the process. A Realm Reborn is a triumph for Naoki Yoshida and his team."[27] Even sites previously harshly critical of the original, such as IGN, rated the game highly, saying: "Grounded in tradition and learning from the lessons of the games that preceded it, it thrives on the strength of its excitingly varied and flexible class system and highly mobile combat.[...]But considering the stunning reversal of fortune that Square has achieved here, it seems like anything is possible."[28]

The game went on to sell a million and a half copies in its first month of renewed operation, and in its first month where a paid subscription was required, immediately surpassed the concurrent subscriber record of Final Fantasy XI, with over 600,000 subscribers.[29] The game's success was, in part, responsible for a reversal of Square Enix's fortunes from making a loss to making a profit in the quarter in which it was released.[30]

According to Square Enix's announcement, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn reached 2 million registered users in April 2014.[31]

Production creditsEdit

Producers Naoki Yoshida (2010 - present)
Directors Naoki Yoshida (2010 - present)
Assistant Director Shintaro Tamai (2010 - present)
Lead Game Designer Nobuaki Komoto (2010 - present)
Senior Concept Artist Akihiko Yoshida (2010 - present)
Lead Artist Hiroshi Takai (2010 - present)
Composers Nobuo Uematsu (2010 - 2011)
Naoshi Mizuta
Ryo Yamazaki
Tsuyoshi Sekito
Masayoshi Soken
Writer Yaeko Sato
Lead Combat System Designer Akihiko Matsui (2010 - present)
Lead UI Designer/Lead Web Designer Hiroshi Minagawa (2010 - present)
Lead Programmer Hideyuki Kasuga

Packaging ArtworkEdit

GalleryEdit

See also: Final Fantasy XIV/Concept Art

TriviaEdit

  • All party members from the 2.0 concept screenshot are characters from previous Final Fantasy games and Vagrant Story; their free company names and titles are also references to their own games.
  • Square Enix has a Final Fantasy XIV themed cafe in Tokyo named Eorzea Cafe.

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Coming To PlayStation 4 In April 2014 — Siliconera
  2. http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/891-Missing-Genders-A-request-for-Male-Miqote-Female-Highlander-and-Female-Roegadyn?p=86669#post86669
  3. http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/10/16/investor-ragequits-square-enix-over-final-fantasy-xiv-sells-1-of-the-company/
  4. http://www.siliconera.com/2012/07/30/final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-gameplay-will-be-revealed-at-gamescom/
  5. http://andriasang.com/con201/ffxiii_developments/
  6. http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/blog/post/529
  7. http://www.gamingreality.com/2013/08/final-fantasy-xiv-realm-reborn-breaks.html
  8. Square Enix Have Planned 4 Years Into The Future For Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn — Siliconera
  9. http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/191993
  10. http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/topics/detail/3746fd16ede4d432b57aa59d17f2180c677c3a98
  11. http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/181995-Letter-from-the-Producer-LIVE-Part-XVI-Q-A-Updates?p=2287403&viewfull=1#post2287403
  12. http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/181995-Letter-from-the-Producer-LIVE-Part-XVI-Q-A-Updates?p=2287403&viewfull=1#post2287403
  13. https://twitter.com/FF_XIV_EN/status/523519424876531712
  14. http://www.siliconera.com/2014/04/11/final-fantasy-xiv-realm-reborns-first-expansion-will-let-fly/
  15. http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/13/final-fantasy-14-a-realm-reborn-game-of-the-year-edition-revealed
  16. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/408926/previews/10-reasons-final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-deserves-a-second-chance/
  17. http://www.gamesradar.com/final-fantasy-xiv-realm-reborn-preview/
  18. http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/02/21/massivelys-comprehensive-preview-of-final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm/
  19. http://www.dualshockers.com/2013/04/24/preview-final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-early-beta-a-seedling-of-rebirth/
  20. http://www.destructoid.com/a-romp-through-final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-255799.phtml
  21. http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/62309-Destructoid-s-Best-of-MMO-E3-Award-Final-Fantasy-XIV
  22. http://www.gamingreality.com/2013/08/final-fantasy-xiv-realm-reborn-breaks.html
  23. http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/73680-Further-Details-on-Access-Restrictions?p=1111872#post1111872
  24. http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/final-fantasy-xiv-online-a-realm-reborn
  25. http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/final-fantasy-xiv-online-a-realm-reborn
  26. http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-4/final-fantasy-xiv-online-a-realm-reborn
  27. http://www.usgamer.net/articles/final-fantasy-xiv-review
  28. http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/09/11/final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-review
  29. http://www.siliconera.com/2013/11/06/final-fantasy-xiv-paid-subscribers-already-exceeded-final-fantasy-xis-peak/
  30. http://www.siliconera.com/2013/11/05/final-fantasy-xivs-exceeds-square-enixs-expectations-prompts-earnings-forecast-increase/
  31. http://www.siliconera.com/2014/04/15/final-fantasy-xiv-realm-reborn-reaches-two-million-registered-users/

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