The official FFXIV website has a lot more information to accompany the recent announcements. Lore, Gameplay, and World info are starting to be fleshed out and there are a few interesting systems worth exploring.
Being able to switch back and forth between style of play seems like it has the potential to be something really great. The little example of Leroy from the FFXIV website presents a day in the life of a character who started off soloing as a warrior-type, got a group and switched to a caster-type (his best Discipline), and then finished the day by switching to a gatherer then a crafter. These four Disciplines (War, Magic, Land, Hand) seem to be the foundation of FFXIV’s archetype system.
The site alludes to further specialization being available. I’m curious as to the depth of this specialization, and how much playing one Discipline over another can really give you an edge. Allowing anyone to be anything seems like a great way to minimize the necessity of a community or breadth of diversity amongst players. If your full group (let’s say 6 people) can be anything any time, then there would almost never be a need to go outside your little group. Yet at the same time, this ability to play your character how you want and when you want sounds refreshing. The key will be in the implementation and how the specialization works. Afterall, this sounds an awful lot like Darkfall in theory.
I have high hopes for the Crafting and Gathering Disciplines. I want a game to really emphasize the role a pure crafter can play in the world. In Star Wars Galaxies it was not only fulfilling to spend all your time playing as a Crafter from a gameplay perspective, but it was useful to others and lucrative. It was just as realized as any other ‘class’ or role out there. That same type of emphasis can, and should, be in FFXIV if they’re going to make crafting a Discipline capable of specialization.
Out of all of this I just hope that the system will provide a fulfilling experience regardless of how I choose to play. If I want to dabble in this and that then I hope I won’t be penalized by the game for not specializing. If I specialize then I want that time invested (It should be a time investment) to mean that I am something special for having chosen to neglect the other Disciplines. Unfortunately, this means I want the best of both worlds and I have yet to ever see that happen. Therein lie the pitfalls of such a system.
Interesting approach to questing. They’re taking the Discipline system and adapting quests to accommodate. It appears to be a ‘choose your own adventure’ way of questing where you are given tasks by Guilds that must be completed, but given options on how to complete them accompanied by rewards reflecting your choice. Perhaps it will function in such a way that if I’m a crafter and I want to craft the sword instead of taking the sword user approach and slaying the beast for it, then that is my option. Combining Guildleves with members to make bigger and better adventures sounds like an acceptable way to turn solo questing into a group experience – by choice. Sounds to me though like this will require instancing. It might turn out innovative and work, or it might fall short.
They’re stones that teleport you to different areas of the world. Looks like WAR’s flightmaster system, Aion’s teleport system, and all those other sorts of instant travel. I’m afraid that this could pose a great threat to that big open world feeling. If the world is truncated into little regions accessible by Aetheryte then it will be a major let down. Hopefully these are just used to gain access to a few places, or the source of instancing for Guildleves. The cooldown between using them is hopefully a really, really long time.
I will always call them Tarutaru.