This Week in the Magazines

Now in Tokyo!  Very tired but I can’t turn off the computer until I tell you some of the nifty things from this week in the magazines.  For example….  where does the music for the trailer come from?  Tanaka reveals the answer in the full length version of the interview done with Enterbrain’s Hamamura.  And as always, where does FFXIV sit in the weekly ratings?  Click to find out.

No images this week because….  I’m not at home!

Weekly Ratings
Final Fantasy XIV recovers slightly in the Anticipated Titles ranking, coming in at 19.  Three Square Enix titles are in the lead this week: FFXIII, Dragon Quest X, and the DS remake of Dragon Quest VI.  Titles around FFXIV include Metal Gear Solid for the PSP and the newest Professor Layton game for the DS.

Extras
There are a couple of interesting extras in this week’s Weekly Famitsu.  This week has the last part of Weekly Famitsu’s 4 part series on gaming.  This time the focus is on the past and future of hardware.  In one of the sections, they talked about networking.  In the current generation of consoles, internet access is a given for updates and extras.  How will this change in the future?  One interesting idea involves mobile networks.  Currently in Japan, the network used for cell phones is fairly slow, slower than regular wireless internet.  There are people who think that within three years this could change to where cell phone networks could support high speed connections.  The next step would be to include the same pieces in gaming devices.  Then you could connect from nearly anywhere.

Farther down the line, we might not have to worry about lag during online games either.  The expert they asked said the current way we sent and receive data online leads to lag.  His group is looking into ways they can use light to send and redirect data.  Right now they are hoping to make it a reality in 20 to 30 years.  

Full-length Interviews
Remember the little chat Elmer and I did about the interviews from Famitsu Wave DVD?  Full length versions were released with the latest volume of Vanatsuu.  Vanatsuu is a FFXI mook that comes out every so often and covers what’s going on in Vana’diel along with whatever research they’ve done in game.  It often has special interviews with the developers and other staff as well.  

Since we covered a lot of the information already, I’ll just give you the highlights from the full version.

Tanaka and Hamamura

  • Vana’diel and Hydaelyn are completely different worlds.  Interviewer Hamamura tried to weed out exactly what connection could be between the two.  For example, it makes the joke that Hydaelyn is way in the future and adventures could dig up fossils from Vana’diel but that isn’t the case.  The two worlds are completely separate from each other.
  • No word on if Goblins will be in FFXIV or not.  However, a Cid character will probably make an appearance as he is a standard for the Final Fantasy series now.  Tanaka also says there is a chance we could see Yagudos or Orcs as well.
  • We mentioned it before but he compares the world of FFXIV with FFVI in terms of setting.  It’s not a world of swords and magic, but “high fantasy” according to Tanaka.
  • The graphics and techniques they can use have changed quite a bit.  For example, what they can do with light and shadows.  Tanaka says they’ve put a lot of effort into that this time around.
  • Hamamura tried a couple times to get Tanaka to say if there would be more than the 5 playable races we currently know about.  No luck, sadly.
  • He says they are looking to include some kind of feature that allows your entire linkshell from FFXI to be on the same server together.  Also directed at FFXI players, Tanaka says there is about another year’s worth of stuff for the Altana storyline.  They plan to keep doing version updates about every three months.
  • I want you to go watch the FFXIV trailer right now.  No, really, turn it on.  That music you are listening to?  Tanaka says it is the theme music for Limsa-Lominsa!  The music currently playing on the official site will be used somewhere else in game but he doesn’t reveal exactly where.  Tanaka says the game will probably start with around 100 different tracks.

Director Komoto

  • No update on how many different “weapons” there will be, largely in part because they aren’t sure how broad to define the word.  Certainly there are swords and axes, but can you include a needle or blacksmith’s tools as “weapons”?  That is one of the things they face with the new Armoury System for FFXIV.
  • One of the things driving the Armoury System is the idea of learning abilities on a particular weapon.  Of importance is the fact he says their idea was you could learn an ability on one weapon but still use it when you switch to another.  He’s not sure how much it will be possible due to balance issues but that’s the goal.  You can compare it to subjobs in FFXI.  An ability you learned while leveling another job can also be used if you have a high enough level while its your subjob.
  • They might try to add ways to make it more appealing to help out other players even if you’ve already finished a certain quest or defeated a certain monster.  This reminds me of the keys system they are currently trying out with the add-on scenarios for FFXI.
  • At the end of the interview, he says that it’s important for online games to continue to change and for the players to realize that as well.  He also wants to assure everyone that it’s possible to be a FFXI player and FFXIV player at the same time and to look forward to its release!

That’s all for this week in the magazines.  See ya later!