A Cornucopia of Fresh Content of the FFXIV!

Wow! Ever since the big announcement at VanaFest 2010 regarding the start of beta for Final Fantasy XIV, we all have been waiting to hear any new tidbits from Square Enix. Tonight, the floodgates have opened once more to a plethora of new and amazing information!

First off, some news straight from Famitsu thanks to our friends over at Zam. The new details include a development team interview discussing everything from battles and tactics, to the use of elements and how they’ll effect a character. Finally they end with a closer look at each of the new jobs and some of the new abilities they’ll bring to the field, including the newly unveiled Conjurer and Thaumaturge!

Battle wise according to the development team, the first big difference between XIV and XI is pacing. Rather than fighting a single prolonged battle and then resting, characters can expect to be facing off against multiple foes in a short period. Since apperently MP doesn’t heal up through regular rest (this is handled through Aetheryte), conserving your resources will play an important part in battle. Personally, it’ll be interesting to see how exactly this will work in-game.

Also, the development team discussed positioning in the field of battle. As you may suspect from the image above, your melee jobs of course will be manning the front lines of battle, while ranged attackers and mages keep safely out of range. They also hint that their positions relative to the enemy will play  an important part of combat (perhaps setting up opportunities such as sneak attacks and flanking perhaps?)

Next up in the interview, the dev team talks about elemental affinity and how it will affect characters. As you know, in FFXI, elements not only represent the ability to resist magic and abilities of a certain element, but are also closely tied with attributes (strength representing fire, ice for intelligence, and so on…) Final Fantasy XIV will continue this tradition, but will also take it to the next degree as a characters affinity for a specific element will directly impact how they grow and develop. Perhaps even a player organization of fire dwellers? *laugh* Who knows, it could very well happen.

Lastly in the interview, the dev team gives us our first up-close look at the professions and how they’ll play in the realm of Erozia. One thing of particular interest for all professions is that TP will play an important role. Whether a sword-swinger or a spell-slinger, every action will generate this valuable resource for players to work with.

Gladiator – A master of arms, Gladiators serve as both the bastion of defense for a party, as well as a solid source of offensive power. Able to equip a wide variety of weapons and armor, this job will certainly be a popular roll early on.

Lancers – Masters of the polearm, these valiant heroes strike from a short distance and maintain a large sphere of influence around the battlefield. Their extended reach will allow them tactical options unavailable to close-range melee combatants while keeping them safely out of harms way.

Pugilist – The classic hand-to-hand combatant, Pugilists stand toe to toe with their foes and pound them into submission with savage ferocity. Although generally straightforward in battle, Pugilists will have a number of unique stances (think classic martial arts styles and such) which they’ll use to punish their foes. Down right fierce if you ask me. =)

Archer – The tried and true huntsman of Erozia, these ranged attackers stay outside the fray at a distance and pepper their foes with lethal arrows. Distance and positioning will be key for these rangers to make the most out of their varied abilities.

Marauder – When subtle blows & magical mayhem won’t do, the Marauder uses a more straight forward approach… brute force! These heavy hitting melee combatants may be slower than others, but their signature battle axes deal awesome blows to their wicked foes. Against multiple foes, the Marauder can also sacrifice some of their brute strength for faster strikes.

Conjurer – A disciple of magic & master of the elements, the Conjurer can bring forth a cornucopia of powerful magics to the fray. From offensive magic, to defensive and healing spells, the Conjurer can both sooth the aches of a party, and place plenty more pains upon their foes.

Thaumaturge – While the Conjurer is more an all-around mage, the Thaumaturge excels in blowing stuff to smithereens. They specialize in area-effect magics both destructive and dangerous, quickly turning the tide of any battle in their favor. The development team has noted though that they will be paying particular attention to this job and are asking players for their input during the beta phase (something I’d be more than glad to give in the near future).

Lastly, we also got a quick glimpse at the newest crafting and gathering professions, two that go hand in hand with one another, the Blacksmith and the Miner. The Miner of course digs up ore and other precious metals from the land, while the Blacksmith turns those ores into weapons and armor of all shapes and sizes. While they will have only limited abilities in terms of combat, they’ll have certain traits valuable to all professions (maybe Blacksmith is the new treasure hunter?

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