E3 '07: Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess Impressions

Time will be on your side in the latest expansion to the online Final Fantasy world.

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The online RPG Final Fantasy XI has been around in some form or another on PCs and consoles since 2003, but despite its age Square Enix is still adding new content to the gameworld. The fourth expansion pack for Final Fantasy XI, Wings of the Goddess, is due out before the end of 2007, and we sat down with some of the creators of the game at E3 07 to find out the latest.

In a roundtable session with Square Enix planner Koichi Ogawa, software development senior VP Hiromichi Tanaka, and producer Yasu Kurosawa, the three executives confirmed what the game's first official trailer hinted at--that time will play an integral part in Wings of the Goddess.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

The new expansion will take players back 20 years in time--putting them smack in the middle of the Crystal Wars, the event which so irrevocably shaped Final Fantasy XI's world of Vana'diel. Many of the "new" areas to be added in Wings of the Goddess will actually be current locations in the gameworld as they were before the Crystal Wars, as well as new monsters that only existed in Vana'diel's past (including earlier versions of beastmen). The Square Enix execs declined to shed any more light on how the time-travel storyline will play out in the game, although they did cryptically say that the past won't simply be a parallel world for players--how a character performs in the past will apparently affect events in present day Vana'diel.

Other gameplay-specific details were light on the ground, but we did manage to find out that Wings of the Goddess will feature 30 new areas (including completely new ones mixed with Vana'diel past locations) and several new jobs for characters. With the game already out for several years, high-level players are fairly common in the gameworld--Wings of the Goddess will cater mostly to these players, with roughly 70 percent of new quests tailored specifically for the higher echelon.

Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess is set for a simultaneous release for the PS2, Xbox 360, and PC in Q4 2007.

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