Lead Battle Planner Akihiko Matsui reveals key overhauls to FFXIV's battle system.
Lead Battle Planner Akihiko Matsui has finally revealed the blueprint for upcoming changes to Final Fantasy XIV’s battle system – and the list is extensive.
Some of the information in the Battle Reform Blueprint was already common knowledge, such as the implementation of auto attack and the desire to continue catering to solo players. However, Matsui’s blueprint for the FFXIV battle system changes has lifted the curtain from other upcoming revisions, such as how quests for unlocking traditional Final Fantasy jobs will be acquired by ranking up existing classes.
“Having read the blueprint, there is bound to be more than a few players who feel that we’ve only recited a handful of things common to all MMORPGs,” Matsui says in the closing statement of his blueprint. “There may be others still who are saddened - perhaps even piqued - that elements they felt made FINAL FANTASY XIV unique will be going to the cutting block.
“I would like to clarify here that the battle team’s overarching objective is to lay a solid foundation upon which to build new elements - elements that will bring out the best in FINAL FANTASY XIV,” he said.
Read Matsui’s post about the FFXIV battle system changes in the Square Enix FFXIV Forum.
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The earliest we can expect to see the first of the battle system changes is likely to be Patch 1.18. The Battle Reform Blueprint states that two types of dungeons will be implemented with the patch, which is scheduled to be released as early as mid-June. FFXIV producer Naoki Yoshida recently said a small content patch might be released before Patch 1.18, but there have been no indications of a smaller, earlier patch containing any substantial changes to the game.
Many players have criticized the current battle system of Final Fantasy XIV as being tedious and mindless. The most widespread complaint is that most battles are won by spamming the “1” button, which repeatedly triggers a character’s default attack. Other players refute this claim, saying the mix-and-match nature of skills for each class can result in more strategic battles.
Players have also criticized the battle system for not providing dynamic party play, and for having a bland class system with little room for specialization. The lack of eye-popping animations while casting magic or using abilities and weaponskills has also been a sore spot among players.
Matsui’s Battle Reform Blueprint addresses all of these concerns and more, emphasizing the need to create skillful party play above all else.
However, Matsui seems to understand that some players may be disappointed in the changes. Topics such as auto attack (which will be implemented) and whether to remove physical levels (which will apparently stay, but attribute points will be earned by ranking up classes) have stirred passionate debates on FFXIV fan forums.
“A period of great change is underway, and we ask you to bear with us,” Matsui’s closing statement on his blueprint says. “FINAL FANTASY XIV is dear to us as it is to our fans, and there is simply nothing we would love more than to see it flourish into everything it can be. And to see this wish become reality, we promise to spare no effort in delivering the ultimate battle experience to players.”