Square Enix was kind enough to let us join a roundtable discussion about their newest expansion to Final Fantasy XI, Wings of the Goddess. Joining in from Square Enix was Hiromichi Tanaka, senior vice president of software development; Kochi Ogawa, planner for Final Fantasy XI; Sage Sundi, global online producer; Yasu Kurasawa, executive director of Final Fantasy XI, with Michael Fox translating for us.
The talk began with some basic information regarding the expansion. It will include 30 new areas, new monsters to do battle with, and new jobs. While they wouldn't divulge what the new jobs were, they told us that there would be more than one.
From there, the question of how much of the content would apply to new players was asked. Tanaka replied that though approximately 70 percent of the content will be for experienced players, there will be things that will appeal to new players as well. That was followed up with a question regarding changes to the Merits System, and it will continue to be expanded, but not necessarily tied to the expansion itself.
Rather than just add more lands to the map, this expansion instead offers a view 20 years into the game's past, during the time of the Crystal War. When asked about the inspiration for this atypical type of expansion, they replied that they just wanted to do something different from what they had done before. They also said that what is done in the past might affect the game's present. The changes could even include the types of monsters players can fight. It was revealed that monsters can become extinct in Final Fantasy XI.
Another topic included the game systems themselves. Square Enix said that the game will appear on all three current platforms and in all languages, but there was the possibility of a delay for the release on the Xbox 360 due to complications with Microsoft.
The final question regarding how players would traverse through time went unanswered. Square Enix was not willing to reveal that at this time. More details will certainly be coming in the future, possibly at the new Square Enix Fan Fest happening later this year.