Materia and limit breaks? No, this isn’t about Final Fantasy VII for PC. Square Enix is adding both of these features to Final Fantasy XIV. We talked about the materia system before, limit breaks were revealed at Gamescom.
Parties will share a Limit Break meter that fills up when you fight monsters, producer/director Naoki Yoshida explained to 4gamer. You can speed up the meter with "fine play" defined as well timed healing and blocks. Basically, if you play nice and work together you can do more Limit Breaks. Like Final Fantasy VII, the Limit Break meter has multiple levels. Each Limit Break’s effect changes depending on which job activates the move too.
Yoshida wants to keep Final Fantasy XIV’s battle tempo "speedy." Players start battles with whatever TP they have stored up so you can use weapon skills and abilities right away. He’s trying to balance fights so you can defeat one monster with five weapon skills in just 20 seconds. Because combat is lightning fast killing mobs isn’t the primary way to earn experience points. Players will earn a lot of experience by completing quests.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will have a tutorial-like system to teach players the basics while they gain their first levels. Yoshida estimates it would take around 30 hours to get to level 15. A server stress test is slated for the fall following with a Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn beta test in winter 2012.