A report on the upcoming FF XIV A Realm Reborn gameplay broadcast!
This article is based on the Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn alpha version game play live broadcast that took place on December 26th 2012 on niconico.
The three participants were Hiroyuki, known as the creator of 2chan and currently an administrator of niconico.jp, “Higeoyaji”, a niconico live broadcaster, and Naoki Yoshida, the producer of FF XIV A Realm Reborn. The broadcast was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, and to discuss the new designs and format of Final Fantasy.
Alongside the discussions, the live gameplay demonstration was quite interesting. Three different computers with “High,” “Mid,” and “Low” specs were used by the participants, and to illustrate their discussion of the game. Even with FF XIV being a new game still in development, each PC was able to handle the game – a point that Square Enix producer Naoki would stress.
Corei7 3.5GHz / GTX680 / Windows 8 Pro(64bit)
Corei5 750 2.66GHz /RADEON HD5750 / Windows 8 Pro(64bit)
core2Duo 3.0GHz / Geforce 8800GT / Windows 8 Pro(64bit)
Above are the specs of the PCs used during the broadcast, with the low-end PC boasting standard specs for online gaming about 5 or 6 years ago. Despite the low-end label, there was no issue in playing and enjoying the game. The broadcast itself gathered many of the alpha testers online and caused some minor lag issues, but the graphics were enjoyable and at first glance it was difficult to tell apart from the high-end PC. A closer comparison would reveal that there was a slightly lower framerate, with the graphics perhaps moving not as smoothly on the low-end. However, this had no overall impact on playability. Would this hold up during a battle, with more intensive graphics?
Often, gameplay becomes twitchy and effects can be lost during fights, when many things are happening at once. In order to test this, our group ventured into a dungeon to defeat a boss. Higeoyaji lead with a spear, Hiroyuki used the bow from the rear, and Yoshida acted as the healer. Together they were able to successfully defeat the boss without incident. There was no noticeable disruption in graphics or gameplay, and no effects seemed to disappear. These results show that the game will be accessible to casual players with a wide range of computing power.
After the adventuring was done, a large group of alpha testers arrived to celebrate…and to offer the producer some food. In return a few giant monsters were summoned, but did not last more than a few seconds to the over 1000 players gathered. Our three adventurers were not even able to see the monsters on screen! In response the game master became a little competitive…
Summoning 3 level 50 monsters, each capable of defeating a player with a single blow, the game master called on the players to challenge him but no one would succeed. With the gameplay effectively over, Yoshida mentioned that those are not possible to defeat at this current stage.
The discussion continued, however, and there were some special announcements by Yoshida, the Square Enix producer of FF XIV.
The first was the plans for add-on capabilities, allowing users to mod the game with functions such as interface customization, item interaction, and improving the graphics on their system.
The next announcement was the unveiling of 7 new equipment designs! Please see them below!
Miqo’te Male Default Armor, Roegadyn Female Default Armor
Hyuran Female Default Armor, Armorer Armor
Some Fanservice from the team!
Finally, there was an announcement of the β test schedule, revealed on the official site on December 27th! α testers will unconditionally be able to participate in the β test, and players of the old FF14 will also be given priority. Players who had played for over three months will be able to participate from phase 1, while players who had joined less than 3 months prior to the discontinuation will be able to join from phase 3. There will also be an open β for new players as well!
With new information and gameplay footage, this broadcast was perhaps a belated Christmas present for many fans.
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