Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida looks to be attempting to take the grind out of Final Fantasy. In an interview recently posted on the French gaming website, JeuxOnline, he sat down during Japan Expo last weekend and talked a bit about character progression in the upcoming 2.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV. What he’s planning for the leveling system of 2.0 is decidedly different from what others may have imagined, especially veterans coming from FFXI.
“When I started working on XIV, I wanted to make the changes straight away but we couldn’t because there was a lack of contents, and also the system wasn’t ready,” Yoshida said, “but for the 2.0 version I want to make sure once you complete contents, you will get the key to level up your character, so completing content is a key to leveling up in 2.0 version.”
“Completing the quests, getting rewards, huge experience points, or completing a dungeon and getting experience points, that’s going to be the key thing to level up your character, not like at the moment where you have to do monster camping or farming, that’s not going to work in 2.0.” But Yoshida made it clear that it’s not just about content for lower level players.
“For the level 50 players, of course they can try out the new main scenario of 2.0 and complete the battle against the Garlemald Empire, or try out the new Crystal Tower content; so, you can start trying out the end content if you want to, or, of course, if you can try the new scenario from scratch, there’ll be several options given to players.”
If it’s true that Yoshida is looking to remove the concept of camping from the game, he risks alienating quite a few veteran players who may prefer doing things that way. But it’s highly likely that Yoshida’s target audience isn’t veteran FFXI players, and he could be looking to capture more of the audience that’s already used to WoW, SWTOR, and other similar games.
The real issue comes down to choice. Why remove camping and grinding from the game when it’s a perfectly reasonable alternative means of character progression for many people? Forcing players into a quest based system seems a bit heavy handed. Some players may not want to limit themselves to questing, and shouldn’t be shoehorned into it.
If this is really Yoshida’s plan.
It seems more reasonable that grinding and camping will still exist, but questing will be a more efficient way to gain levels. Far more reasonable than dragging an arguably large portion of the existing player base kicking and screaming into questland. Whatever the case, we’ll find out more about this in the days leading up to 2.0.
In addition to talk about character progression, Yoshida also mentioned that many of the main quests and the main scenario will feature full voice acting. He also confirmed that Relic Weapons will be upgradeable in the future. There’s quite a bit more to read in this interview, and you can check it out in its entirety at JeuxOnline.