Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest | London Keynote
The Opening Ceremonies and Keynote have concluded at Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival London! What big new announcements did we get in the EU today?
Read on for a full list!
As with Fan Festival Las Vegas, the Opening Ceremonies began with the Heavensward CG, which did not feature any new footage. Afterwards, Director / Producer Naoki Yoshida took the stage in authentic Black Mage garb and dove right into some feedback-based announcements.
EU Data Centres
Based on latency-related feedback, Square Enix is in the planning stages of opening a dedicated European data centre. With content such as The Navel and The Binding Coil of Bahamut, which require fast reactions to avoid instant death, SE feels that the time has come to finally commit to true European servers. More information on this will be made available in the future.
Clarification on New Optional Services
Player feedback to the new “Optional Services,” also known as the “cash shop” by fans, was swift and specific, and Yoshida wanted fans to know that he stands by the commitment he made in Las Vegas. There will be no pay to win – at all – period. He framed the services as a way to give back to the fans, not nickel and dime them. The profits generated, he says, will enable them to create even more minions and vanity items in-game, as well as tackle ambitious projects such as the European data centres and the expansion of housing wards.
There was also a less-than-clear comment about how items such as new minions will not be exclusive to Optional Services. Some took this to mean that the items may be available in the game, as well, but it may simply be a promise that while some items will be cash shop exclusive, that doesn’t mean they will be any less committed to developing other such items to be released in-game. Clarification on this comment will come as soon as possible.
Some Review about 3.0
A quick summary of the big announcements from Las Vegas was made. The new expansion will begin in Ishgard and introduce the new level-cap of 60. There will be expansive new zones, new crafting and gathering content, a new series of high-end raids, and many, many new dungeons. After this, Yoshi-P dove right in to the new announcements he had for the London festival.
REVEAL #1) Flying Mounts
Take your adventure to new heights! In Heavensward, you’ll be able to take off and land anywhere you like in 3.0 zones. There will be no launch platforms, there will be no landing pads, and there will be no pre-determined flight paths. Your mount can simply take to the skies at whim, and exploring floating islands in this way will be essential to the new expansion’s open world, and maybe even its dungeons, as well (maybe).
Of course, you can’t talk about flight without talking about true black chocobos. This will be the first flying mount most players acquire, but the team has six in development, with a seventh possibly to come. A single-rider airship mount was shown, and it was said that another of these flying mounts would be very important to the story. The latter, Yoshida said, would even have a detailed figurine in the Heavensward Collector’s Edition. A not-so-unimportant side note, in 3.0, even old mounts will be receiving a boost in mount speed, as well.
REVEAL #2) New Beast Tribes and Primals
The first new beast tribe to be announced was a large, blue, bird-like race called the Vanu Vanu. Images of their architecture and visual style were shown, including their own aetherytes on the new floating continent. The Vanu Vanu worship the primal Bismarck, a sky-whale that will be fought in a unique way, “perhaps using an airship,” Yoshida said, to cheers. “Perhaps the railings could collapse!” he added, to panicked groans.
The second and final beast tribe revealed in London was the Gnath, a diminutive, insect-like beast tribe with heads reminiscent of domed hats. The primal of the Gnath is a Final Fantasy original creation specific to XIV. Unlike Bismarck, Ravana, an enormous insectoid creature wielding many large swords, will be fought more conventionally and should feel like taking on a very powerful warrior.
Yoshida took a moment to show off both of these primals’ CG models, meticulously crafted by someone whose entire job for the last three years has been to sculpt visuals for the game. “If these models are so detailed, why can’t we turn them into merchandise?” Yoshida asked. “Well, we can, and that’s something we’re looking into!”
REVEAL #3) New Jobs(sss)
By this time, Yoshida had removed the top of the black mage outfit to reveal the Batman shirt that he acquired in Las Vegas, and officially announced the addition of the Dark Knight job to the game as of version 3.0. FFXIV’s third tank, Dark Knight will wield a two-handed greatsword and the power of darkness in battle, relying on parrying and dodging to avoid damage. No base class will be involved with Dark Knight, and players will be able to dive right into the job when Heavensward is released.
A second new job … will be revealed in December at Fan Fest Tokyo. Although Yoshida could not comment on the new job’s identity, he did remove his Batman tee to reveal the 007 logo across a third shirt. He then took a moment to stand around making gun-like poses with his hands. You know, just a guy hanging out and talking about some of his favorite movies, such as The Man with the Golden Gun(nnn).