Final Fantasy XIV, also known as Final Fantasy XIV Online, was 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). Revealed at E3 2009, the Collector's Edition was released worldwide on September 27, 2010, with the standard release following a week later.
Final Fantasy XIV received heavy criticism at launch, 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, alternately termed as Version 1.0 officially and "Legacy" by fans (after the promotional campaign prior to the game's closing), received its final update in November 2012 and its service concluded that December.
The Character Creation system allows a greater depth of customization for the player than Final Fantasy XI; players can choose color palettes, hair styles, and face types after selecting a race and clan. Within these choices players can make detailed adjustments to facial features such as eye, nose, and mouth shape. Players can decide to add aesthetic features such as scars, tattoos, tribal paints, and jewels if they wish. Different races have nearly the same stats and develop equally, so all races can play on all classes without a penalty.
Players are required to submit a first and last name for their characters after customization. NPCs will address the characters accordingly throughout the game either formally or informally.
Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG similar to Final Fantasy XI, featuring a new system of class growth that gives players more freedom in choosing quests. Final Fantasy XIV focuses on character growth, expanding upon the job system used in Final Fantasy XI, and features a more involved story, including cutscenes with voice acting, and more complex and varied quests. The game is intended to appeal to players who play on their own and do not form large parties, but the option to play cooperatively with others is still present. The game does not include a voice chat option, and is limited to text chat only.
Leveling and PartyingEdit
To level up, players must acquire Experience Points by performing various actions (killing monsters, crafting an item, gathering, etc), which counts towards the total. Leveling up a class increases the player's base stats (strength, vitality, mind, dexterity, intelligence and piety) for that class, and also unlocks new skills, traits, increases the number of cross class abilities that can be used and determines gear effectiveness, attribute caps, gatherers' number of max gathering tries from a single node and ability to gather from higher rank nodes and crafters' ability to craft higher leveled items, which often have a minimum rank to attempt.
For Disciples of Magic and War the most efficient way to earn skill points is to Party. A Party is a group of players working together to bring down foes. The game uses a 'bonus' experience system to give more skill points based on the number of members in the party and their levels. For optimal results, an ideal party must have all members within 5 levels of each other, and is limited to a maximum of eight members.
A party consisted of 3-7 members is called a "light party", while a party with 8 members is a "full party". A light party receives the "Camaraderie" buff, increasing HP and MP by 5%, as well as magic and physical accuracy. A full party receives an even stronger version of the buff, with HP and MP increased by 10%.
The game has a player search feature that allows players to see other players online, filter by several statistics and see those willing to party (marked as Seeking Party). Players flagged as Seeking Party can set up a Preferred Class, which will determine the level displayed when searched.
The player search also displays other information such as online status (Online, In a Party or Seeking Party), all class levels, current location, language, search comment and Grand Company affiliation.
Players can get bonus experience points by linking and chaining monsters.
Monsters are automatically linked when attacked by stronger parties, calling out other nearby monsters for help. The number of reinforcing enemies is based on the difference in strength between the enemy and the player it has engaged; some stronger monsters do no link. Another way to earn experience bonuses is to kill monsters of equal or higher level than themselves within a specific amount of time; this time becomes smaller for every successful chain.
Another factor is the difficulty of the monsters fought. More skill points are awarded the bigger the gap in player rank and monster level, up to a maximum of 10 ranks difference. Similarly, skill point gain is sharply reduced should the player/party fight a monster of weaker level.
When in a Party, monsters' aggressive actions are determined by an Enmity system. Almost every action taken during a battle generates Enmity, commonly referred to as "Hate"; whoever possesses the most Enmity will have the monsters' attention, and subsequently be attacked. Various classes have Enmity control abilities, allowing players to either increase Enmity against themselves (moves such as the Gladiator's Provoke) or decrease (moves such as Chameleon from Archers), as well as traits that increase or decrease Enmity generation.
On patch 1.19, the Physical Level was removed, and Class Rank was renamed to "Class Level".
Players can use certain weaponskills in a specific order to grant special bonuses depending on the skills used. These combos are individual, and a player's combo does not affect another player's combo.
Not only will a successful combo grant the player the bonus indicated, but TP cost will be waived for the weaponskill used to execute it. For a combo to be valid, however, the weaponskill in question must be used with the class or job to which it belongs.
For example, with the following skills, certain combos can be executed:
- Weaponskill 1 - Deal physical damage to a single target. Damage increases by 20% when executed from the front.
- Weaponskill 2 - Deal physical damage to a single target, increasing enmity. Combo: Weaponskill 1 Bonus: Enmity+50%
- Weaponskill 3 - Deal physical damage to a single target. Combo: Weaponskill 1 Bonus: Damage+20%
- Weaponskill 4 - Deal physical damage to a single target. Inflicts gradual HP reduction when executed from behind. Combo: Weaponskill 3 Bonus: HP reduction +25%
Individually executed, the above weaponskills will have only their regular effect and possible positioning bonuses.
Weaponskills 2 through 4 each offer a combo bonus. For instance, performing 2 immediately after landing 1 will grant the player Enmity+50%. Furthermore, the TP cost for performing 2 will be waived.
In the case of the above weaponskills, the following two combinations form combos:
- 1 → 2
- 1 → 3 → 4
All bonus conditions must be fulfilled for a weaponskill to be considered valid in a combo. For this reason, 3 → 4 alone do not form a combo, as 1 is a requirement for 3.
There are four base disciplines, each dividing into several classes. Each class has its own weapon type, and changing classes is as simple as changing weapons, which is referred to 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.
Due to the nature of the Armory System, there is no restriction for using equipment, as the player can use any equipment on any class at any level (except shields that are limited to some classes), and the game scales down the gear based on the difference between current level to the gear's "Optimal Level" - the level where it will provide its full stats.
Some gear may have "Favored Classes". While they can be used by everyone, using in any class that's not the favored will incur a stat decrease, even if the player's level is at or above the Optimal Rank. This system helps changing classes on the fly, as the player is not forced to have completely different equipment sets for every class he plays. Due to player feedback, class and level restricted items have been implemented, with most end-game gear requiring specific classes and levels to be equipped.
Note: The favored class and optimal level systems have been mostly retired- while some gear still exists with these characteristics, most new equipment now requires certain classes or jobs, much like in Final Fantasy XI.
|Disciple Type||Class||Weapon||Job Advancement|
|Disciples of War||Archer||Bow and Arrow||Bard|
|Lancer||Spears and Lances||Dragoon|
|Pugilist||Claws and metal knuckles||Monk|
|Disciples of Magic||Conjurer||Wands||White Mage|
|Disciples of Hand||Alchemist||Alembics||N/A|
|Disciples of Land||Botanist||Hatchets||N/A|
Introduced in patch 1.21, classic Final Fantasy jobs appear as types of specializations inside the armory system. Upon reaching a certain level 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 severely 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 "silly" things like a Thaumaturge who can heal can prove useful). Jobs change the player's base stats to help fulfill its intended role.
- Paladin, requires Gladiator level 30 and Conjurer level 15. Can use Marauder and Conjurer abilities.
- Dragoon, requires Lancer level 30 and Pugilist level 15. Can use Pugilist and Archer abilities.
- Monk, requires Pugilist level 30 and Lancer level 15. Can use Lancer and Archer abilities.
- Bard, requires Archer level 30 and Conjurer level 15. Can use Conjurer and Thaumaturge abilities.
- Warrior, requires Marauder level 30 and Gladiator level 15. Can use Gladiator and Pugilist abilities.
- White Mage, requires Conjurer level 30 and Gladiator level 15. Can use Gladiator and Pugilist abilities.
- Black Mage, requires Thaumaturge level 30 and Pugilist level 15. Can use Pugilist and Archer abilities.
- Summoner, an upcoming job of A Realm Reborn, will be available to Arcanists.
- Scholar, an upcoming job of A Realm Reborn.
World & LoreEdit
In Eorzea, towering mountains dominate the north, their peaks forever lashed with icy winds; to the south, a bleak expanse of unforgiving desert holds sway. These inhospitable lands hold irresistible lure for man and monster alike: the currents of Aether that run through the realm. 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 last Umbral Era, all the elements had been represented, it was believed the current 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 Realm Reborn relaunch will take 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 organizations tasked with defending the land. Adventures join these organizations to further their goals and ambitions, while at the same time helping keep the peace over Eorzea.
Eorzea's main enemies consist of the Beastmen races and the Garlean Empire. Beastmen 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, multiracial (though Hyruan-dominated) nation hailing from outside of Eorzea. They seek to conquer the land and its Aether, which powers their Magitek Armor.
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, reaving and pillaging.
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.
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, it is the sultan who 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 patron deity of the city, and two great halls devoted to his two aspects can be found in the eastern and western sections of the city.
Grand Companies of EorzeaEdit
These are the groups being formed by the City-States to combat the coming and current threat of the Garlean Empire.
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.
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. 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, however.
There are five playable races resembling those from Final Fantasy XI. Each race has a new name and their appearance has been altered; additionally, each is divided into two clans. The "missing genders" for some races (Female Roegadyn, Male Miqo'te and Female Highlander Hyur) will become available upon the PlayStation 3 release.  A recent player's poll presented the possibility of mixed races (Miqo'te-Lalafell, Hyur-Elezen), though nothing is confirmed as of yet.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, and similar to the Mithra.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Fifteen 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.
Final Fantasy XIV's soundtrack is composed entirely by Nobuo Uematsu, the first full musical score he has composed for a Final Fantasy game in ten years, since Final Fantasy IX. Not all songs added on later patches have been composed by Uematsu, being compositions or remixes by Naoshi Mizuta, Masayoshi Soken, Ryo Yamazaki and Tsuyoshi Sekito.
Though the full tracklist is still to be released, rearrangements of the series' "Main Theme", "Prologue" and the "Victory Fanfare" have been confirmed. There are said to be 82 tracks in total for the game. The complete soundtrack is not yet available for sale, but a selection of the game's tracks have been released in two volumes named Final Fantasy XIV / Field Tracks and Final Fantasy XIV / Battle Tracks.
The game's vocal theme, "Answers", is sung by American musician Susan Calloway, also known to Final Fantasy Online fans as a vocalist of Distant Worlds from Final Fantasy XI. She is also the vocalist for the Distant Worlds concert CDs and has performed live in a few of the concerts.
Originally codenamed Rapture, the game was first mentioned in August 2005, although few details were revealed between that date and 2009 apart from a concept video (now outdated), various statements concerning the platforms of the game (the Xbox 360 was considered at one point), and the fact it was developed with the Crystal Tools engine. Hiromichi Tanaka stated there were no plans for an Xbox 360 version, but he did say at the that Square was still talking with Microsoft. A X360 version did not materialize during the lifetime of Legacy.
Final Fantasy XIV was originally directed by Nobuaki Komoto and produced by Hiromichi Tanaka, with art design by Akihiko Yoshida. Because of the game's bad reception, Komoto & Tanaka were replaced by Naoki Yoshida as the new combined director-producer..
After the announcement, a number of "letters from the producer" were posted on the Lodestone website, outlining future plans for the game, as well as official polls asking players what features they want to see or previous MMO experiences, often receiving tens of thousands of answers.
An official forum was launched on March 8 to increase the communication between the dev team and players. Everyone can see the posts on all four languages, but only players with an active Final Fantasy XIV account can post. Official Final Fantasy XI forums were also launched that same day.
After November 1st, no progress in 1.0 was saved. The servers went offline on December 31st, 2012.
Relaunch: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornEdit
A new age is upon us...and we fight, to make it ours.
To complete the cycle of modifying the game after the initial reception, Square Enix announced a "2.0" update of the game named Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. A Realm Reborn is not an expansion pack, but an entire reworking of the game built from the ground up. The project's Alpha testing began in November 2012, with a final release scheduled for sometime in 2013.
The Chinese Mainland version will be available from a yet to be announced date in 2014.
Final Fantasy XIV's original release received a level of negative reception unusual for the franchise. Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot rated the game 4/10, or "poor". GameTrailers rated it 4.2/10. Rory Manion of GameSpy rated it 2/5, or "fair". Charles Onyett of IGN rated it 5.5/10, or "mediocre". Cheat Code Central rated it 4.2/5.
|Producers||Hiromichi Tanaka (2005 - 2010)|
Naoki Yoshida (2010 - 2012)
|Directors||Nobuaki Komoto (2005 - 2010)|
Naoki Yoshida (2010 - 2012)
|Assistant Director||Shintaro Tamai (2010 - 2012)|
|Lead Game Designer||Nobuaki Komoto (2010 - 2012)|
|Senior Concept Artist||Akihiko Yoshida (2010 - 2012)|
|Lead Artist||Hiroshi Takai (2010 - 2012)|
|Lead Combat System Designer||Akihiko Matsui (2010 - 2012)|
|Lead UI Designer/Lead Web Designer||Hiroshi Minagawa (2010 - 2012)|
|Lead Programmer||Hideyuki Kasuga|
- Internal testing builds are still called "Rapture", the original codename used for the game.
- Despite Titan's moves and animations being one of the first to be done (even appearing in the promotional trailers), and that he was planned to be one of the first Primals to be fought, his actual in-game appearance was "postponed" due to the earthquakes that hit Japan in early 2011, and in practice was essentially cut from 1.0; he would not appear until A Realm Reborn.
- All server names were originally named after previous Final Fantasy towns; this has changed after March 2012's server merge, and servers are now named after famous mythological weapons from the series such as Excalibur. According to Naoki Yoshida, this change is due to planned additions of content based in Worlds from previous titles.
- ↑ http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/891-Missing-Genders-A-request-for-Male-Miqote-Female-Highlander-and-Female-Roegadyn?p=86669#post86669
- ↑ Lodestone website 2010/12/10 changes announced on the dev team
- ↑ http://game.163.com/13/1008/11/9ALMMLBJ00314J6L.html
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/finalfantasy14/review.html
- ↑ http://www.gametrailers.com/game/final-fantasy-xiv/11432
- ↑ http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/square-enix-next-gen-mmorpg/1127142p1.html
- ↑ http://pc.ign.com/articles/112/1123824p1.html
- ↑ http://gamerescape.com/2011/10/19/gamer-escape-interview-with-naoki-yoshida-the-truth-is-out-there/
- Official Final Fantasy XIV Website
- Official Final Fantasy XIV American Website
- Official forums
- Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone
- Wikipedia article
- Official First Trailer, E3 2009 (YouTube Video)
- FINAL FANTASY XIV 東京ゲームショー2009 トレーラー（日本語版） (TGS2009 Trailer) (YouTube video)
- First Letter From The Producer Live (with english subtitles) (YouTube video)
- Second Letter From The Producer Live (with english subtitles) (YouTube video)