New information about Final Fantasy XIV's world, races, and gameplay has come to light thanks to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. Eorzea contains at least three large towns: the desert Ul'dah, the forest Gridania, and the sea port, pirate-filled town Limsa Lominsa. The game will have weather changes and a day to night system with one real-time hour equaling a single game day.
All of the races from Final Fantasy XI are returning, but have slight modifications and new names. Hyur are the new Humes and are the most common race in Eorzea. Even among themselves, they are divided into two groups: those who moved from the outer islands into lower areas and those who live in the higher regions.
Elezen are taking the place of the Elvaan, though little has been revealed about them as of now. Galka have been replaced by the tailless Roegadyn race. They are seafairing folk from the North who are often hired as mercenaries by other races. Filling the role of the cute little race are the Lalafell. This replacement for the Tarutaru are a highly intelligent race who are typically farmers in the South of Eorzea.
Finally, in place of Mithra are the Miqo'te, a race divided into two groups: sunseekers and moonguardians. As with the Mithra, men are rare for this race. According to Square Enix, racial differences are not as major in FFXIV, however the difference of gender is important, likely due to equipment playing a major role in job classes. In terms of customization, players can modify character features such as face style, skin tone, eye color, and hair color or style.
As stated before, levels and experience are not the game's focus for progress, equipment is. Players can change equipment on the fly in order to change their job. This means players wearing fishing gear will be fishermen, but can quickly equip a staff to become a mage. These weapons are key to character development and having the ability to change between jobs mid battle should hopefully work toward the goal of making the experience more solo friendly.
It is stated that item resistance or durability will be decreased with use. How all of this will work in battle is still to be seen, though combat is not action-oriented. It's a modified real-time system from Final Fantasy XI's style of play, meaning that fights no longer require parties to engage a target and attack.
Missions will have a larger focus in Final Fantasy XIV, and players will need to go to guilds to receive permits to access them. These quests will typically take thirty minutes or less to complete and will give players the option of deciding how many people can assist in these diverse missions.