Here comes Beta

SE just finished a promotional campaign for FFXIV 2.0 and released three videos, as well as a Live Letter from the Producer and the Benchmark Tool.  This is all set up in anticipation for the Beta testing that is to begin this Monday, February 25th.  All legacy members are invited to join in the first phase of the closed Beta test.  I am a legacy member, and while NDA may have something against disclosing anything on the BETA, I can still disclose that I am excited for the recent media that we are seeing about the release of 2.0.


This first video shows the same thing players will see if running the benchmark program.  It is basically a mash-up of cut scenes similar to what will be seen in the game, as these are in the same style as cut scenes I remember from 1.0.  However, as with 1.0 the graphics from game play and the cut scenes tend to be very similar and I hear 2.0 has been reworking their engines to make it so what you see in game play and what you see in the cut scenes look even more similar.  Where other MMORPGs might have elaborate cut scenes that feel very surreal to the normal gameplay, having ones that match the gameplay closely can help keep the player feel like it is happening all in one living, breathing world.

 

This second video really got me excited – because it not only shows the quality of gameplay, but also shows how much the world of 1.0 has changed, and to my relief, how much it has stayed the same.  The graphics are as beautiful as they were in 1.0 and SE didn’t cheapen anything or cut back on any of the graphic styles for their new engine.  My fears of cartoonish faces and choppy animations were put to rest.  Many of the same locations still exist such as the city of Ul’Dah and the landscape around Limsa Lominsa.  Everything still has great lighting, sounds, and environmental elements that make the world of Erozea feel to fresh and beautiful compared to other MMORPG’s I have played.  It’s not just a game, but a living and breathing world worth visiting time and time again.  The PS3 version doesn’t match the capabilities of a fully tricked out PC – but I do think it has a nostalgic console gaming feel with the less than crisp graphics.  And when the PS4 comes out, this game will be easy to port over and gain back those missing details.  Nothing is said about the PS4, but one can imagine…

I did notice they are hiding the UI from the gameplay video, so does that mean they have some nice changes in store for us in the coming months?  Hmm…

 

And finally the third video I enjoyed recently was this one showcasing the gamepad controls.  I was very impressed with how easy a gamepad will work with FFXIV 2.0 and how simple it looked to operate.  Looking on how the interface is, I really do see myself using a gamepad in the future.  It might be easier to keep my eyes on the screen knowing where all the buttons are by feel instead of constantly having to glance down at the keyboard and make sure my fingers are on the right buttons 🙂

 

ImageI must say that after all was said and done with these recently released videos, with Beta coming up, and with all the news and PR going around with 2.0 recently that I am more excited than ever about the changes being made.  There is not one thing I am upset about after all I am hearing about 2.0 and I look forward to seeing more changes and plans for the future.  I know a lot of things I am hearing in the press releases and on the forums have been designated as being considered for a later patch or future updates, but starting at launch there should be quite a few new things to explore.  I can’t wait to dive in.

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