It is currently known that the race types from Final Fantasy XI will be available for character creation in Final Fantasy XIV, however it is not known what stories they will have nor how they will be different. It is also not currently known if there will be any new races.
In March 2010, Square Enix revealed two distinct tribes for each of the five playable races. With a wide variety of character creation choices being touted in Japanese interviews, the different options of tribes seems to support a diverse selection of character models. Read more below about each race and their two tribes.
Noble and Refined
The ancestral race of Eorzea, the Elezen have clashed with the Hyur in the past to defend their homeland.
The Elezen are a traditionally nomadic people who in former times claimed sole dominion over Eorzea, their presence predating that of the other races. Believing this prominence to be ordained by the gods, they came to develop an esteemed sense of honor and pride.
Their characteristically tall, slim physiques and elongated limbs are part of a successful adaption to the land's various environments. Indeed, it is said that their highly sensitive ears can discern the squeak of a field mouse at a distance of up to several malms.
The Elezen perceived the immigration of the Hyur as tantamount to invasion, and as a result the two share a past plagued by warfare. At present, however, they can be seen coexisting peacefully, the excepting being the reclusive Duskwight Elezen.
|Wildwood Elezen||For hundreds of years, this Elezen tribe have inhabited the deep green forests. They are proud of their hawk-like eyesight, and excel in archery. Nowadays, those who have adapted to city life or those who live a nomadic life in the plains often return to the woodlands.|
|Duskwight Elezen||For hundreds of years, the Duskwight Elezen have inhabited dark caves. Developing bat-like ears, they can sense the enemy's movement by the rustling of clothes. Because of this, many Shaders excel in hand-to-hand combat. Turning to thievery in order to sustain their cave-dwelling life, they are despised by the forester as turncoats.|
Diversity in Numbers
A race that migrated from different continents, the Hyur brought with them great technology and innovation that raised the civilization of Eorzea to new heights.
Boasting the largest population in Eorzea, the Hyur came from neighboring continents and islands in three great migratory waves. With them they brought a sophisticated technology and complex ethos tempered by the breadth of the outside world. They rapidly became a driving force behind cultural progress, and are now widely attributed with spearheading advances in Eorzean civilization.
One of the Hyur's strengths is the staggering variety of languages and social institutions they exhibit. This is said to account for their firm conviction in individual freedoms, though it also results in a relative lack of solidarity and group cohesion.
Two distinct groups now exist among the Hyur--Highlanders, denizens of mountainous areas, and Midlanders, who reside in lower elevations.
|Midland Hyur||Among the populous Hyur, the majority is comprised of this great clan. They reside in various regions, and are enriched with a diverse livelihood. From a young age, Midlanders become accustomed to books. Because of this, they seem to have a deep, intellectual society.|
|Highland Hyur||The highlanders dominate the remote, northern highlands. They are the strong, muscular, tribe of the Hyur. After their city-state of Ala Mhigo fell to the Garlean Empire, with the exception of Male Mercenaries, it has become rare to see them in other cities.|
More Clever by Half
A race of farmers who live mainly near the Southern Sea, the Lalafell boast an exceptional degree of intelligence as well as agility.
The Lalafell were originally a group of agriculturalists inhabiting the fertile islands of the south seas. With the introduction of transmarine commerce, they soon found their way to Eorzea via trade routes. They are now one of the more populous races and are well established throughout the region, though they remain averse to cold climates.
The short rotund builds of the Lalafell belie an incredible agility, and their seemingly feeble legs are capable of carrying them long distances over any terrain. Many among them are also known for possessing highly developed and cunning intellects.
The Lalafell place a great deal of significance on familial bonds, but are by no means unfriendly to outsiders. This is evidence by the fact that they continue to share prosperous relations with all of the other races of Eorzea.
|Plainsfolk||The Plainsfolk gather and built villages from the materials of the plains, and have come to be called "The people of the Plains". Their earthly green, flaxen hair resembles vegetation. With their large ears, they can hear even the faintest footsteps of a mole.|
|Dunesfolk||Large, domesticated livestock are made to carry the homes that the Dunesfolk migrate and live in. They live with the movement of the soil, and are called the "People of the Dunes" among the Lalafell. One of their unique features is that their eyes are enveloped by a protective clear film, which makes their eyes resemble a Crystal Ball. On their forehead, a jewel which represents their star of fate is affixed.|
A Tribe of One
A race of cat-like people, the Miqo'te are known as fierce hunters.
During the Age of Endless Frost, as the seas turned to ice and passage over them became possible, Eorzea saw an influx of foreign fauna to her shores. This in turn brought the hunting tribes which subsisted upon them, the modern descendants of whom are today known as the Miqo'te.
Since then, the Miqo'te have diverged into two physically distinguishable groups--the diurnal Seekers of the Sun and the nocturnal Keepers of the Moon. Both groups share a superb olfactory sense ad powerful leg musculature, results of a long evolution geared towards hunting and predation.
Comparatively few in number, they maintain an insular group mentality, tending to avoid contact with the other races. Many individuals lead isolated lifestyles, even when residing in the more populous cities.
|Seekers of the Sun||One tribe of the Mi'qote call themselves "The People of the Sun". The followers of the Sun God Azeyma are numerous, and they are very active in the daytime. They have cold, piercing,, colorful, cat-like eyes.|
|Keepers of the Moon||The other tribe of the Mi'qote call themselves "The Wards of the Moon". They are the many followers of the Moon God Menphina, and many follow a nocturnal lifestyle. Many of the Moon Keepers apply vivid war paint onto their face.|
A muscular race of fishermen, the Roegadyn live near the Northern Sea.
The Roegadyn are a maritime people who largest concentrations are found in the northern seas, by way of which they came to Eorzea.
They possess enormous, muscular builds and are known for the cultural emphasis they place on competition and unflinching courage, though tender, introspective individuals can also be found. Roegadyn in and around the Limsa Lominsa area are typically seamen putting in at port, but many have also settled permanently, becoming mercenaries, bodyguards, or even pirates by trade. Far away, deep in the mountains of Ul'dah, live mountain clans of reclusive Roegadyn known as the Hellsguard, said to have mastered the magical arts.
|Sea Wolves||This Roegadyn tribe is feared as marauding pirates from the northern seas. Nowadays, the number of Seawolves who fare the high seas are becoming numerous.|
|Hellsguard||Residing in the vicinity of volcanic craters, the Hellsguard are a tribe of Roegadyn who are faithful in the "Gates of Hell". They are called the "Gatekeepers of the Flame" . Not only are their bodies hard and tempered, their "fire-walking" asceticism allows them to nurture the qualities of magickal ingenuity.|
|ZAM credits the official Final Fantasy XIV Online site for some of the info in this article.|
NOTE: On the official SQUARE ENIX Teaser Page for 'XIV, there is a conspicuous child in the background image (left side, between the Mithra and the Crystal) that looks a bit like the GRIA race from Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Could this be hinting at another playable race?