While news regarding Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV has been quiet the past couple of months, an update to the game’s official Web site has revealed lots of new information for eager fans to digest.
Players will get to choose from four different paths, each specializing in a particular form of gameplay. Disciples of War will be comprised of those players who decide to focus as an archer, master of the bow; a lancer, master of the polearm, a la the dragoon; or three other classes that have yet to be defined: gladiator, marauder and pugilist. From the art work for the three mystery classes, the gladiator appears to be a solid tank in heavy armor, as opposed to the marauder, who looks to be focused more on damage due to its lighter armor. Finally, the pugilist will also wear lighter armor, but will battle using claws. However, note that this is only speculation based on the part of previous genre trends.
Another path is the Disciples of Magic, however only the class name of thaumaturge is listed.
The other two paths, Disciples of the Land and Disciples of the Hand, will focus on gathering and crafting, respectively. The only class under Disciples of the Land is botanist, while the Disciples of the Hand may choose to become an alchemist, blacksmith, culinarian, tanner or weaver.
“Players may opt to specialize in one discipline, excelling in a single skill, or they may take a more general approach, making free use of the Armory,” the Web site reads. “The Armory system is one of the foundations of the Final Fantasy XIV experience, simultaneously being both the impetus behind character development and a key factor determining individual gameplay.”
The Armory will allow players to switch weapons and tools out on the fly, thus letting players change their play style to whatever suits their needs. The system promises “flexibility of gameplay and effective use of time at its core,” culminating in two short stories about a warrior and a crafter and how the Armory gives the players a full range of gameplay. It sounds like an upgrade from the job system in Final Fantasy XI, where players had to return to their home to be able to change jobs.
And unlike FFXI’s level-based system, FFXIV’s skill-based system should allow players more flexibility when switching between disciplines and paths.
The site also has a bestiary, which has more than one familiar face listed for Final Fantasy fans to smile at such as cactuar, ahriman and the dreaded morbol.
Final Fantasy XIV is expected to be released for the PC and Playstation 3 in 2010.