[04/09] FFXV PAX 2016 roundup: skill tree, a peek at a dungeon, and progression design detailed

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It's PAX West season and Final Fantasy XV has its own panel. Footage from the latest build of the game has been demoed - albeit with some technical hiccups. The footage covers a variety of missions and side content that players can expect to stumble across, from Chocobo racing to the infiltration of a Niflheim base and a flashy confrontation with a certain dragoon character.


The game may be an open world, but it is certainly not devoid of dungeons. One particular dungeon that appears in the footage is known as Balouve Mines, a dimly-lit subterranean environment populated by goblins and undead samurais. The team notes that these mines are inspired by a real location in Japan. This is a dungeon that can be accessed fairly early in the game, if a player fancies the challenge.

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As you may notice in the above GIF image, environment hazards are definitely a risk that players will have to take into account. Not only can your fire spells in arid, grassy environments potentially cause a destructive blaze, but steel will certainly conduct electricity. Just look at poor Gladio.

Driving mechanics have been altered since Gamescom, as noted by Tabata and the team. While this still does not mean that you can play fast and loose with road rules and pretend to be in a Grand Theft Auto game, it will allow a little more leeway of freedom for players who wish to manually control the car.


A skill tree system has also been revealed.

Director Hajime Tabata and lead game designer Wan Hazmer discussed the Ascension system. Each character will have their own skill tree with a pool of Ability Points (AP) to share between them. Ability Points will allow players to unlock skills for use in combat and will allow flexibility with regards to play styles.


Finally, let's discuss how the game roughly works on a more general progression level.

FFXV has been touted my games media as being open world, but that's a half-truth. It will not be an open world in the conventional sense as its western competitors.

“To go back on the more linear part of the game… It actually transfers into that linear part of gameplay when the story ramps up and gets into its final stages,” said Tabata in an interview with Dualshockers. “Rather than the latter half of the game, it’s very close to the end of the game so to speak.

“After the train segment, the whole structure of the game completely changes. You cannot go back and forth on the world map between the two parts. That said, there is a gonna be a menu function that allows you to access the earlier areas that you roamed around in the earlier parts of the game.”

That said, the train segment doesn’t signal the end of the game. Tabata teases there will be much to look forward to – though he’s keen on keeping that a secret for now.

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