Final Fantasy XIV's release date and some details on the pricing structure, one of the concepts we've been introduced to is that of the retainers. Any veteran of Final Fantasy XI is all too familiar with the "mule" characters that would dot cities; they were all but required for serious players, used for additional storage, and parked as a never-closing bazaar whilst the player wasn't active. Rather than forcing players to pay for a second character, Square-Enix is apparently letting the practice be fully realized by the game in the form of your retainer.
A new translated article helps explain a little more about what a retainer's role will be. Adventurers will be allowed to choose one retainer for free, with the selection process running similar to Final Fantasy XI's adventuring fellow. Your retainer can be called at various points through use of a special item, and allows you to set up a storefront that will run while you're offline. A retainer will also provide extra storage, serving as combination mobile bank and assistant. Take a look at the full article for more details, as well as more shots of the beta client for Final Fantasy XIV in action.
More information on Final Fantasy XIV's retainers
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