In a video interview published by Famitsu, Square Enix has revealed a few more details on its next MMO, Final Fantasy XIV - including the surprising revelation that it will not feature experience points or a levelling system.
"This time, there will be no experience points or level system," said producer Hiromichi Tanaka in the interview, which you can watch on YouTube or read about on Scrawl. "It will be a different system altogether."
FFXIV's director Nobuaki Komoto told Famitsu that Square Enix wants "people who may never have tried an online game before have the freedom to try many different things and tackle any number of quests and grow naturally from their experiences... That's our priority: players enjoying the process of character growth."
Komoto hinted at the way character advancement might work when he discussed the game's job system. Considered a strength of Square Enix's last MMO, FFXI - which allows players to combine character classes, and expand them with sub-jobs - it will return, but in a new form based around the weapons and equipment players choose to use.
"We believe the main factor behind Final Fantasy XI's lasting appeal is the job system," said Komoto. "However, the system will become something completely different. The focus here will be on weapons. Your weapon will determine how you play. Your weapon will determine how you fight.
"We want to afford players enough variety to choose a different way to play on any given day. If they could practice one skill one day, they could work on another one the next," he added. This seems to suggest a skill-based advancement system, similar to Ultima Online's.
The interview touched on several other topics: according to Komoto, FFXIV will offer good possibilities for both solo and group play; the music will be composed in its entirety by FF stalwart Nobuo Uematsu; the setting will be "high fantasy" but more modern than FFXI's, with more advanced technology; the races will be familiar to FFXI players, but carry new names and other changes.
"You can trust that we plan to create a world of new possibilities that redefine the MMO. I hope you're looking forward to everything we have in store," Komoto concluded.
We hope to have more on FFXIV from gamescom later this month. The game is due for release on PC and PS3 next year.
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