Square Enix has released their fan-powered Q&A on their E3 website for Final Fantasy XIV. The questions were submitted by Square Enix Members and answered by none-other than Final Fantasy XIV Director, Hiromichi Tanaka.
Q: What measures will you put into place to promote class balance?
A: There are four different class disciplines: war, magic, land and hand. Disciples of War and Disciples of Magic are the only ones who can effectively engage in battle. One way we have balanced different weapons (and in turn, classes) is by giving them varying attack ranges. This is also similar for the Disciples of Magic. They will most likely be long-range attackers, but their roles in each battle will be determined based on how other party members are positioned. On the other hand, due to their lack of firepower, Disciples of the Hand and the Land will not spend much time engaged in battle.
Q: Will there be summoners in this game?
A: Currently, there is no summoner class, but avatars (summons) will have a key role in the story, and there are several plotlines surrounding these beasts.
Q: How will chocobos be implemented in FINAL FANTASY XIV?
A: Players will be able to ride chocobos as usual, but they will also appear in ways new to the FINAL FANTASY series. Please look forward to seeing how in the final release.
Q: Will there be a rank system and/or rank missions in FINAL FANTASY XIV?
A: There will be quests that coincide with the main storyline, but they won’t be tied to the levels or ranks.
Q: Are you planning on adding more job classes in future expansions? Will there be a level cap?
A: There will be more classes announced after the service starts. For the beta version, there will be a level cap, and there will also be a level cap at the start of the service.
Q: What is the most important thing you believe was missing from FINAL FANTASY XI and you worked hard to make sure it is implemented in XIV?
A: The armoury system and guildleves are two major improvements from FINAL FANTASY XI. In XI, players had to join a party in order to do most everything, but it was often very difficult to find the appropriate members to form an effective group. The new armoury and guildleve systems allow players more flexibility.
Q: What will be the major differences between FINAL FANTASY XIV and other modern day MMORPGs besides the fact that it will be in the FINAL FANTASY style? What will set this game apart from the rest?
A: [Tanaka] There are two main differences. One is the armoury system, which allows players to switch their classes based on the type of equipment they are holding in their hands. This unique system gives players unlimited flexibility to customize their character by allowing them to combine actions and abilities learned from all different classes. The second is the guildleve system, which provides players with an array of short quests that require approximately 30 minutes to complete. This allows players to efficiently manage their time if they have limited time to play the game or if they want to adventurer solo.
[Kurosawa] In a broader sense, being a FINAL FANTASY game, XIV will have a great storyline, beautiful graphics, and breathtaking sound effects and music.