View Full Version : More Alpha Footage: A Tour of the Black Shroud in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

11-27-2012, 03:58 AM
Last time (http://home.eyesonff.com/content/2083-first-look-gridania-final-fantasy-xiv-s-alpha.html), we were taken on a tour of Gridania. This time, the development team for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has given us a look at the forested area that surrounds the city-state: the Black Shroud.


The environment looks great, as usual, and you can tell they’ve been really working on immersion. You see the characters jumping over fences, climbing on top of rocks, standing next to a waterfall, and exploring every aspect of the environment. We also get to see an aetheryte camp, which looks pretty cool, and it also has a moogle hot air balloon. At the end, one of the characters explores an underground dungeon area, where the lighting really helps set the atmosphere.

An important feature in this video is that for the first time we see a previously discussed change in action: the world map will only reveal itself by your character actually exploring it. This is to encourage player exploration and discovery of little known parts of the world. Currently this revealing of the map seems to happen in fairly large chunks at a time, but that could be changed between now and the final release. As a huge fan of exploration, I am particularly excited about revealing the full world map.

UPDATE: Part II of the exploration of the new Black Shroud has also been released. Check it out below!


11-29-2012, 05:51 AM
Part 2 of the same location: FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn -- The Black Shroud, Part 2 (Alpha) - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rduwq-Of9Y)

They have a really excellent lighting system.

11-29-2012, 06:40 AM
And since it seems kind of a waste to add a new thread just for a couple images, here (http://imgur.com/a/boXmm) are some leaked screenshots from the Alpha. Apparently the user has been banned already, but A+ for taking one for the team! The new UI is looking absolutely gorgeous.

11-29-2012, 11:57 AM
This is what I'm talking about, this is miles beyond the design of 1.XX. This is the direction they should have taken from the start. It's absolutely stunning!

Del Murder
11-29-2012, 07:43 PM
What are the major improvements that were miles beyond the first version?

11-29-2012, 08:15 PM
Well for starters, it looks like an actual forest, and not a maze generated out of 4 different chunks of pre-made environment tiles rotated in different directions.

Del Murder
11-29-2012, 10:22 PM
Seriously that was v1? Wtf.

11-29-2012, 10:28 PM
Sure was.

To continue, there is now real time environmental shadows, which the first version did not have. Also, areas give a greater sense of freedom, seeing as we now more often can navigate obstacles via the third dimension instead of being stopped by a knee-high rock. The first version felt a lot more claustrophobic. Especially the black shroud, which was in my opinion one of the most terribly designed areas ever put into a final fantasy game.

The general feel of uniqueness is a lot greater now, because there are a lot fewer large copy/pasted areas. Reusing textures is fine, reusing rocks here and there is fine, reusing trees here and there is also fine. However, if you take an entire 20x20x20 meters block of geometry and textures and practically photo-copy it and paste it into the same area just 100 meters away from where it was first used, rotated maybe 30 degrees, that's just... terrible. Almost the entire old black shroud was created in this way, and I am pretty sure I could count the amount of different pieces used using only my fingers, and this is for an area that in real life would be about... I dunno, several square kilometers.

11-29-2012, 10:57 PM
And you thought the Yuhtunga and Yhoator Jungles were bad. (http://www.ffxivmaps.com/img/dungeon-entrance/The-Black-Shroud.jpg)

11-29-2012, 11:00 PM
Yep, pretty much that. Every single place on that map that you think "well that looks copy-pasted" is actually just as copy-pasted when you actually run around in the area itself. I'm not even exaggerating here.

11-29-2012, 11:06 PM
I've updated the article with the Part II video of the Black Shroud that was just released.

11-30-2012, 05:34 AM
I come with more leaked alpha images (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oyeoqvtgixwl2xy/2ESyaW7BYj#/) and the game manual for alpha (http://www.betacake.net/2012/11/29/ffxiv-alpha-testers-game-manual/). Gotta love how alpha testing goes on for a month in Japan without any major leaks, but two days after worldwide alpha testing opens we get the freaking game manual.

Interesting notes from the manual: tab now cycles exclusively through enemies, and Shift+F allows for focus targeting (phenomenal for cooperative efforts). It also includes some good insights into the class-specific gear sets that we can set as well as a look into the new gathering interface (particularly relevant to my interests).

Somewhat out of context, but given the accelerated rate at which we are receiving news about the game (something that was promised by Square Enix after the servers shut down on the 11th), might it be good to have a single thread to dump these sort of incremental updates? I'd feel awfully silly creating a new thread every time a new video from the alpha (or eventually beta) or group of images showed up. Just a thought.

Edit: Also I can't say it enough. This UI is absolutely GORGEOUS.

11-30-2012, 12:50 PM
Is "focus targeting" the same as /assist in ff11?

11-30-2012, 04:33 PM
From what I've gathered, yes, although it looks like anyone can set a focus target, and then anyone can scroll through nearby focus targets.

Axem Titanium
12-03-2012, 04:09 PM
I come with more leaked alpha images (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oyeoqvtgixwl2xy/2ESyaW7BYj#/) and the game manual for alpha (http://www.betacake.net/2012/11/29/ffxiv-alpha-testers-game-manual/). Gotta love how alpha testing goes on for a month in Japan without any major leaks, but two days after worldwide alpha testing opens we get the freaking game manual.

Well there was that Japanese leak featuring a preponderance of creepy upskirts and bust-shots... Priorities, I guess? :P