StoryMen are wont to suffer
And forget wherein they've sinned
Ne'er bearkening black on tragedies past
Lest the Twelve might humble them
Countless moons have waxed and waned since wandering tribed from across Hydaelyn first arrived in Eorzea and settled its untamed lands. The benevolent deities who ruled the empty continent and its surrounding islands were impressed with the resilience of these primitive men and women, and in an act of mercy, each saw fit ti ensure their welfare.
These gods and goddesses soon came to be known as the Twelved, and the villaged thrived in their light until the land was bespeckled with several independant city-states. Though, where man walks, strife follows, and for generations, these tiny nations carved out a history of blood and betrayal built upon broken oaths and the sunbleached boned of the fallen.
However, the fate of the land would soon change... (read more at http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/
The game takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea. What we know so far is that there are 4 major city states, presumably 3starting cities and one independant nation, much like Final Fantasy XI: Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, Gridania, and Ishgard.
*note: what you saw in the alpha videos (http://video.mmosite.com/default.php?controller=resource&action=play&id=13639
) took entirely on the southwest island. The map you see when he opens up the map is for that small island only.Limsa Lominsa
"No man may tread upon me, for I am the sea." -77th Admiral of Limsa Lominsa, N'bolata Tyata
On the southern coast of the island of Vylbrand, under the shadow of ancient cliffs worn by the relentless onslaught of the Rhotano Sea, lies the marine city-state of Limsa Lominsa. Said to be blessed by the goddess of navigation, Llymlaen, the city is spread out over countless tiny islands, each connected by brilliant ivory bridges. It is this that has earned her the name the "Navigator's Veil" from traveling bards who have witnessed the city's beauty from afar... (read more at http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/
Everyone here is after something - fame, notoriety, power, money. Me? I'll have the whole bloody lot." - self-made Lalafell and former Syndicate Member, Cicidoa Sosodoa
The bustling commercial hub of Ul'dah sits amid the desolate desert landscape of southern Aldenard. The city is organized strategically around the dome-shaped citadel at its center. Its towering fortifications and protective outer walls are visible for malms in all directions, and serve as a stark deterrent to would-be besiegers... (read more at http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/
"Each tree, each shrub, each leaf, each blade of grass - we treat them as our own sons and duaghters. And for that we are loved by this wood." - master conjurer and prophet, O-Guna-Por
In the eastern reaches of the Aldenard landmass, home to vast, dense woodlands and coursing rivers, lies the forest nation of Gridania. The cityscape is a mosaic of labyrinthine waterways and great wooden structures, so gracefully constructed they seem a part of the surrounding environment... (read more at http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/
- Diversity in Numbers -
Boasting the largest population in Eorzea, the Hyur came from neighboring continents and islands in three great migratory waves. With them they brought a sophisticated technology and complex ethos tempered by the breadth of the outside world. They rapidly became a driving force behind cultural progress, and are now widely attributed with spearheading advances in Eorzean civilization.
One of the Hyur's strengths is the staggering variety of languages and social institutions they exhibit. This is said to account for their firm conviction in individual freedoms, though it also results in a relative lack of solidarity and group cohesion.
Two distinct groups now exist among the Hyur - Highlanders, denizens of mountainous areas, and Midlanders, who reside in lower elevations.Elezen
- Noble and Refined -
The Elezen are a traditionally nomadic people who in former times claimed sole dominion over Eorzea, their presence predating that of the other races. Believing this prominence to be ordained by the gods, they came to develop an esteemed sense of honor and pride.
Their chracteristically tall, slim physiques and elongated limbs are part of a successful adaptation to the land's various environments. Indeed, it is said that their highly sensitive ears can discern the squeak of a field mouse at a distance of up to several malms.
The Elezen perceived the immigration of the Hyur as tantamount to invasion, and as a result the two share a past plagued by warfare. At present, however, they can be seen coexisting peacefully, the exception being the reclusive Duskwight Elezen.Lalafell
- More Clever by Half -
The Lalafell were originally a group of agriculturalists inhabiting the fertile islands of the south seas. With the introduction of transmarine commerce, they soon found their way to Eorzea via trade routes. They are now one of the more populous races and are well established throughout the region, though they remain averse to cold climates.
The short, round builds of the Lalafell belie an incredible agility, and their seemingly feeble legs are capable of carrying them long distances over any terrain. Many among them are also known for possessing highly developed and cunning intellects.
The Lalafell place a great deal of significance on familial bonds, but are by no means unfriendly to outsiders. This is evidenced by the fact that they continue to share prosperous relations with all of the other races of Eorzea.Roegadyn
- Size Matters -
The Roegadyn are a maritime people whose largest concentrations are found in northern seas, by way of which they came to Eorzea.
They possess enormous, muscular builds and are known for the cultural emphasis they place on competition and unflinching courage, through tender, introspective individuals can also be found.
Roegadyn in and around the Limsa Lominsa area are typically seamen putting in at port, but many have also settled permanently becoming mercenaries, bodyguards, or even pirated by trade. Far away, deep in the mountains of Ul'dah, live mountain clans of reclusive Roegadyn known as the Hellsguard, said to have mastered the magical arts.Miqo'te
- A Tribe of One -
During the Age of Endless Frost, as the seas turned to ice and passage over them became possible, Eorzea saw an influx of foreign fauna to her shores. This in turn brought the hunting tribes which subsisted upon them, the modern descendants of whom are today known as the Miqo'te.
Since then, the Miqo'te have diverged into two physically distinguishable groups--the diurnal Seekers of the Sun and the nocturnal Keepers of the Moon. Both groups share a suberb olfactory sense and powerful leg musculature, results of a long evolution geared towards hunting and predation.
Comparatively few in number, they maintain an insular group mentality, tending to avoid contact with the other races. Many individuals lead isolated lifestyles, even when residing in the more populous cities.
Armoury System"To discern the true nature of a man, one need look no further than the palm of his hand." - from Treatise on the Principles of Self-Actualization, RbyLoygg Bbirlonoyn
The Armoury system is one of the foundations of the Final Fantasy XIV experience, simultaneously being both the impetus behind character development and a key factor determining individual gameplay.
By merely equipping any of a variety of weapons or tools, players can instantly change their active skills, thus enabling them to dramatically alter their style of play as well as their character's outward appearanceDisciplines of War
Fighters are weapon-masters who live for battle. In English, they will be called "Disciples of War" and have open to them various classes that excel at physical damage. Disciples of War will be able to equip a broad range of weapons, such as swords, spears, axes, katana, daggers, bows and more.
Disciples of Magic
The enduring popularity of the bow is a testament to its elegant design, but this simple weapon would be of little worth without the surpassing skill of those who master it -- the archers. Projectile techniques such as high-angle fire enable archers to assail their foes with deadly precision even at great distances.
Constant assessment of the battlefield enables them to carefully determine the most advantageous ground from which to loose, as well as the nature of the arrows best suited to their enemy. Together with the longbow sentries of the Elezen military, the shortbow hunters among the Miqo'te are widely regarded as the most skilled with a bow. The guild's teachings cover a variety of projectile weapons, down to the simplest throwing rock.
Archers possess a situational awareness in combat which allows them to assault enemies from great range while simultaneously providing support to their companions.
Though weak at close range limited by their quivers, an archer's expertise in positioning and arrow selection can easily determine the outcome of battle.
The strategy of the lancers is to outrange and fluster opponents with their long, two-handed polearms, peppering them with a barrage of thrusting attacks. They are trained with a number of weapons, giving a diversity to their attacks that makes them extremely versatile combatants.
In former times, the longspear saw the most widespread use, due in great part to the influence of the proud lancer legions of Ala Mhigo. Since then, the guild has greatly expanded its armories to include a variety of weaponry, such as the throwing javelin.
By utilizing the long reach of their polearms, lancers are able to deal devastating damage from a position of relative safety.
The battle tactics of the lancers afford them numerous advantages, such as avoiding the ire of enemies and enhancing the attacks of companions.
Gladiators specialize in the handling of all manner of one-handed blades, from daggers to longswords, be they single or double-edged, straight or curved. A defining characteristic of the guild is its emphasis on diverse combat tactics, training its members to bring their martial skills to bear in any situation.
As such, there are practitioners who marry sword with shield, seeking to defend their fellow companions. Others opt for an empty off hand, choosing instead to focus entirely on their sword arm. The gladiator's proficiency with blades also extends to those hurled at range, such as throwing knives.
With their versatile slashing and stabbing attacks, gladiators are adept at dispatching a wide range of opponents.
When armed with sword and shield, they are unmatched at their ability to defend others, as their diverse talents enable them to focus the enemy's wrath upon themselves.
The marauder is a combat specialist whose weapon of choice is the greataxe -- a fearsome arm emblematic of Eorzea's pirates. Their approach to battle is one of brute force, relying on strength and steel to crush enemies and sunder weapons.
They are highly sought after for their ferocity and intimidating presence, and are often employed to hunt down monsters plaguing the land, or to turn the tide of battle between warring nations. Throwing axes such as the francisca supplement the marauder's arsenal, making them fearsome adversaries even at range.
While stationary, marauders are able to generate a solid base from which they are able to carry out devastating attacks.
The strength of marauders lies in their ability to control timing and distance to maximize the efficacy of their blows.
The path of the pugilist is one of incessant training aimed at mastering the traditional techniques of hand-to-hand combat. Though they command formidable power when unarmed, they are wont to use metal, leather, and bone weaponry to maximize their destructive potential.
Their preference for fighting at close-quarters makes negotiating distances an absolute necessity. Many among them accomplish this by using throwing weapons such as the chakram to momentarily daze their enemies while they move in for the kill.
Masters of offensive and defensive stances, pugilists continuously adapt their fighting style to best suit their companions as well as their enemies.
Pugilists compensate for a lack of reach and defense with their high maneuverability and cunning techniques that fluster opponents.
Sorcerers wield vessels of magic imbued with great power and harness sorcery to harm and heal. These "Disciples of Magic" will be adept at striking foes with destructive spells and assisting their allies with soothing cantrips. One vessel of magical power that has been revealed is the Staff, with others expected to follow. The way the articles refer to these "weapons" makes it seem that magical weapons will play much less of a physically offensive role, and rather boost the user's powers.
Disciples of the Hand
In the hands of a skilled practitioner, thaumaturgy can be a force of terrifying destruction. At the heart of this school of magic lies the ability to call forth and command the latent aether within oneself through deep introspection.
To then mold that aether into sorcery, the thaumaturge makes use of a scepter or staff, within which is housed a medium- a natural stone imbued with magical properties. The guild is centered at the Arrzaneth Ossuary in Ul'dah, within whose hallowed walls are said to reside powers of life, death, and the beyond.
Thaumaturges are unparalleled in their powers of destruction, eclipsing even the Disciples of War.
By enfeebling enemies and enhancing their allies, thaumaturgy can prove to be an invaluable asset, particularly in battles of attrition.
Conjury calls upon elemental forces present in nature and concentrates them to a potency at which spells can be weaved. Through practiced meditation on the essences of creation, conjurers draw forth and absorb aether from their immediate surroundings. A wand or cane made from unworked wood is then utilized to focus the aether until it manifests as the desired spell. The seat of the Conjurers' Guild lies at the Stillglade Fane in Gridania, where the voices of Eorzea's elementals are said to be the most powerful.
Conjurers are trained to coax metaphysical forces forth from the elements which comprise all of creation, allowing them to weave powerful spells.
Attuned to the essence of all things around them, the conjurers' intimacy with all forms of being enables them to shift between both offensive and defensive magic as needed.
Crafters drive the manufacturing and production side of Eorzea. By equipping various tools, one can enter a number of trades. So far, only two have been revealed, but it is expected they will include many more. Final Fantasy XI, for example, allowed players to practice woodworking, blacksmithing, goldsmithing, clothcrafting, leathercrafting, boneworking, alchemy and cooking.
Disciples of the Land
Masters of Science and Nature, the devilish and the divine, alchemists ensure their livelihood through the transmogrification of mundane materials into wondrous wares--from curative concoctions to potent potables. Upon conducting their symphonies of commixing and combining, distilling and decocting, the impossible waxes possible, and miracles are born.
The Eorzean school only recently came to be recognized in scientific circles as a valid branch of alchemical orthodoxy. It is based on fundamental principles originating in the Near East tradition, but draws heavily upon esoteric elements of both Lalafellin herbalism and Miqo'te occultism as well.
Oft covered from head to toe in soot and sweat, blacksmiths forge their livings from red-hot steel, ever coaxing the unyielding metal into submission with their tireless poundings. Whether it be smelting an ingot in the fires of a city forge, or hammering the dents from an adventurer's breastplate at a remote aetheryte camp deep in the wilderness, their work knows no boundaries--making smithing one of Eorzea's most widespread professions.
The roots of smithing can be traced back to Hydaelyn's bronze era. It was during this period that a system of prenticeship was established, ensuring the methods of this art would be passed along to future generations. And while these basic techniques have survived the ages, countless different branches of smithing, including gunsmithing, have emerged in recent years, further broadening the scope of this ancient trade.
Whetting appetites from dawn until dusk with prowess of pot and pan, culinarians provide more than simple sustenance. Armed with a cornucopia of ingredients from across the realm, and versed in methods from the far corners of Hydaelyn, these master chefs help adventurers maintain their strength on the battlefield, bringing truth to the age-old adage that the road to victory truly does run through one's stomach.
Although an established trade far before recorded history, it wasn't until half a century ago when Limsa Lominsan admiral and self-proclaimed gourmand, Ghuolskyf Bhaldwaensyn, known by the masses as "Mastcleaver," put forth a thalassocratic decree proclaiming the culinary arts as a guildworthy craft. Henceforth, it has been recognized across Eorzea as a legitimate member of the Tradescraft Society -- its recipe compendiums now grace the shelves of every librarium in the realm.
Contrary to popular belief, a tanner's skills are not limited to the mere boiling and dying of pelts and skins, but also encompass those of an armourer and clothier, for a true leatherworker would never entrust his hides to the hands of another. Perhaps a tanner's most arduous and time-consuming task is procuring the various coats and furs necessary for his trade, which is the reason why many who choose this profession tend to dabble in hunting and trapping as well.
The Elezen have long been known for their skill in leathercrafting, yet for centuries their techniques were heavily guarded. However, when dwindling numbers of guildmasters were threatened with the disappearance of their immense wealth of compiled knowledge, Elezen leatherworkers set aside pride and reluctantly began revealing those techniques to a select few. As a result, the quality of Eorzean-made leather improved significantly, creating an increased demand for products using the superior-quality material.
From fiber to thread, thread to cloth, cloth to dress, and path of a tailor literally weaves its way from basic beginnings to extravagant ends. And while this alone can prove a long and arduous journey, a weaver's work spans more than just the spinning of strings and the sewing of seams. Those who wish to excel as clothcrafters must also stay attuned to the latest fashion trends, ensuring their custom are never scoffed by their peers for looking anything less than posh.
Just as the Spinner, Nymeia, spins the fate of all Eorzeans, the warp and weft of a weaver's work, too, have been known to alter the course of destinies both large and small. Perhaps this is why so many of the realm's tailors pay homage to the fickle goddess.
Gatherers will cover most of the HELM activities of Final Fantasy XI. These include, but may not be limited to, Hunting, Excavating, Lumbering, Mining and Fishing. By taking a tool in hand, players can improve their skills in a variety of professions.
The Miner's Guild is responsible for the excavation and handling of Eorzea's mineral wealth, be it ores, fossils, precious stones, or otherwise. It should come as no surprise, then, that their most eager customers are the ream's blacksmiths and goldsmiths.
To fully master the advanced techniques developed by the great mining nation of Ul'dah, miners must undertake a wide range of tasks, from the meticulous prospecting of the most minute deposits to large-scale civil engineering. The guild staunchly subscribes to the theory of continental drift, and as such many among its ranks for their patron deity Oschon, the Wanderer. The primary tool of the miner is the pickaxe.