Final Fantasy XIV Knows How to Party

Square Enix‘s, Final Fantasy XIV was one of E3 2009‘s biggest surprises.  The game literally came out of no where being announced as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. FFXIV will follow in the Final Fantasy XI online heritage with new details emerging on the party systems and more.

Via Zam‘s Final Fantasy XIV portal comes a whole new list of details that have been translated and summarized from a Japanese interview.

Active Mode & Passive Mode – Active Mode is largely the “battle-ready” state, while Passive Mode is traveling and performing other tasks. These modes will not be 100% limited to only those situations, however. There may be times when you want to keep up Active Mode to quickly move from fight to fight, or even remain in Passive Mode during an encounter depending on your role.

Healing – Players will be able to heal (i.e. rest to recover HP) only when in Passive Mode. If you switch to Active Mode, perhaps to do battle, the effect of healing will end. It is possible to heal mid-battle, but only after switching back to Passive Mode first.

Preemptive Strike! – Both players and monsters will have Active Mode and Passive Mode. If a player gets into Active Mode and attacks a monster still in Passive Mode, they can score a Preemptive Strike. This will be an advantageous way to start a fight, though there were no details on what actual effects it might have. And be careful, because enemies can Preemptive Strike players as well.

Flexible Party System – Magazines earlier this month quoted the developers as saying a 6-8 man party would be average. However, in the complete version of the interview, they seem reluctant to pin down any number at all. While Final Fantasy XI ended up locking on 6 as the magic number for party size, Final Fantasy XIV aims to be much more lenient. You can start an adventure with 3 people, add on a fourth along the way, or even go forth with a band of 6 or more.

The Price of Flexibility – It may sound like the larger the party, the easier content will become, but the developers assure us that will not always be the case. Not to mention, there will be less treasure to go around if a giant group all go together. It is also mentioned that players who receive tons of help all the time will have a hard time growing as players. This does not appear to indicate any actual penalty, but rather the experience of the player behind the screen. They follow up saying they hope adventurers find excitement in the challenge, and thus bring appropriate groups for quests instead of overwhelming ones.

Going it Solo – Being able to solo will factor big into the world of Eorzea, and the developers reveal that they are working hard to make a game that does not impede the solo player. Naturally, since enemies can appear in parties, there will be difficult, or even insurmountable challenges out there. However, Iwao in particular finds a certain romantic image in the lone adventurer, and hopes to accomodate that playing style to the fullest.