The original Final Fantasy XIV was a total bust. FFXIV Version 2.0 promises to be better. Much better.
Version 2.0 will feature a complete redesign of the game's current repetitive maps. "The current maps in Final Fantasy XIV are not only massive, but allow for seamless passage across wide expanses of the realm," wrote the game's producer and director Naoki Yoshida. "In order to maintain this seamlessness, however, we were forced to heavily reuse assets, resulting in static, repetitive areas."
It will feature the implementation of a new graphics engine as well as a new server that should mean faster performance. What's more, Yoshida added, "Our new graphics engine will allow us to maintain a high level of graphic quality while allowing us to optimize the game for play on the PlayStation 3 system."
The game's new graphics engine will also cause graphics to render differently than in the current version. Thus, Square Enix is allowing players to re-customize their avatar's race, gender, and appearance.
Currently, FFXIV's new server system is up and running internally. Square Enix is in the process of putting the final touches on the party and friend system. The goal is to have all basic system features done by Feb. 2012. After that, Square Enix will start work on a worldless party matching system as well as porting all current player data. The goal is to have all this completed by Mar. 31, 2012.
The game's user interface has been fully redone, and the in-game community content has been expanded. The new UI will boast newly redesigned windows, and Square Enix plans to have full support for keyboard and mouse users as well as multi-window capability and stress-free drag and drop. The new UI even opens the door for user-made add-ons.
Square Enix also wants to strengthen the player community with in-game community options, in-game mail, player housing, PvP content, and a revamp of the retainer system and markets.
For detailed road maps of how Square Enix is planning to implement these changes, check out the gallery above. Also, there are tables that detail planned upcoming changes. These change, of course, could change.