We are in a bit of an information lull for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Memories of the last media tour are fading, the benchmark videos have been deconstructed, and the last producer's letter has been analyzed in detail. One aspect of FFXIV:ARR that players are looking forwards to is the FATE system. FATE stands for Fully Active Time Event and represents the Square-Enix take on dynamic content.
In the recent Video Producer's Letter embedded above, Yoshida demonstrates a couple of FATE iterations. For an example, see the 1:05:33 mark of the producer's letter. In one example, the players have to fend off waves of rushing Goblins. In the video, FATE appears both on the mini-map and zone map (1:06:59) and appears to have context sensitive pop-up text for each FATE (in Japanese, so I can't be certain). In the second demonstration (1:09:25), the heroes are working together to take a fort from bandits. Entering a FATE area prompts the player with a large splash screen message and gives the player a set of objectives for the FATE. Players appear to work together to complete the FATE, regardless of whether or not they are in a party.
To the casual viewer, this appears to be very similar to the Dynamic Events experienced in Guild Wars 2. Indeed, I have seen comments here at MMORPG and at other public discussions suggesting that FFXIV is simply taking the dynamic content idea from ArenaNet and deploying it in their game.
While it is true that there are similarities in the concepts, it bothers me that people credit GW2 for inventing dynamic content. That's a bit like crediting Apple with inventing the smart phone. In both cases, the companies in question deserve a lot of credit for mainstreaming their respective idea, but in no way did either company originate the idea for which they receive so much credit. Smart phones were around a long time before the iPhone and dynamic events were around a long time before Guild Wars 2.
In this column, I want to review the history of dynamic events and look at some of the aspects of this surprisingly old MMO game element. Over at EorzeaReborn I continue the discussion by examining how to put the dynamite into dynamic content.