Some twitter friends of mine were discussing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn because of the recent trailer reveal, and my name was brought up.
In a nutshell, I suppose it’s time to info dump based on what sources I can remember and what I know about the 2.0 incarnation of FFXIV.
1. FFXIV 2.0 is an entirely new client built from scratch, with a graphics engine that can run on more machines. (More info here)
2. As far as I remember, Naoki Yoshida once mentioned that the focus of the game would be shifted to require less levequest grinding and focus on actual quests with stories. If the design intent remains the same, then 2.0 should have more quests, with leves as a secondary source of experience and items.
3. When FFXIV in its current incarnation “ends,” the data of characters from the old client will be transferred from the 1.0 game into the 2.0 game, though some of it will probably be tweaked for manageability. Character data will not be saved past November 1, 2012, and the FFXIV 1.0 servers will be shut off on November 11, 2012 so they can focus on testing 2.0. (Source)
4. Alpha testing will start off as being for Japanese players only mostly so response to any issues is quicker, but will eventually branch out into other countries. (Source)
5. Gameplay-wise, we don’t know much, though the gameplay has been changed in many ways since FFXIV launch compared to now. I’ve heard that Yoshida does want combat to flow better and be faster, so he’s making sure we start off with a full TP bar rather than an empty one. Also, there’s jumping now, as well as new classes and jobs (Arcanist/Summoner is 2.0 specific, but FFXIV does have jobs for the existing classes which will be ported over)