No microtransactions in Final Fantasy XIV, but many beta screenshots

There are plenty of contentious issues in the MMO field, but one of the biggest at the moment is microtransactions. Controversy over the C-Store, the $25 "sparkle pony" and subsequent imitators, and the general balance in the burgeoning free-to-play field have made the players of nearly every game form an opinion. But those who detest the practice can take heart -- according to Hiromichi Tanaka, Final Fantasy XIV will not be including any sort of in-game store. That's from a recent interview from, translated by the FFXIVCore fansite community.

According to Tanaka, Square-Enix isn't necessarily opposed to the idea if the demand is present, but absolutely does not want in-game power to correspond to real-world money. He also confirmed that players will be allowed to pick their server at launch, unlike the server roulette present at Final Fantasy XI's launch. If the interview isn't enough to tide you over, the game's beta has been given a brief writeup from Famitsu (translated from the Japanese), and there's an excellent gallery of screenshots available here. There are just over two months until the launch of Final Fantasy XIV, and they look to be an exciting ride.