I want to get a feel for the what everyones thoughts are on the first FFXIV expansion. This is ofcourse pure speculation at this point:
FFXI got ROZ about one year out from release. Will (Should) FFXIV get the same treatment?
I don't think so. I think if the dev team has shown us anything it's that they're still struggling to flesh out the main game and that every resource available to them is hard at work making fixes or filling in the gaps everyones been complaining about. At the same time, how long can they wait till early adopters of the game start getting bored and wanting new stuff (on the scale of an expansion) to grind their teeth on.
I think they really need an expansion late this year, but given their resources, it'll be difficult to fix everything AND release a worthwhile expansion until sometime 2012.
ROZ added a completely different storyline, two major new islands and some new zones on the mainland (and other stuff I'm probably forgetting). What should FFXIV add?
IMO, Eorzea (the mainland and la noscea) feels a lot smaller than Vanadiels main continent. I think the first expansion will probably add Ishguard, expand on it's story and give us a couple of new zones around the continent. Future expansions IMO will be a lot more about new islands (with multiple zones and their own storylines like TOAU).
EDIT: Just wanted to add that ROZ also added a good amount of what is still considered end-game content to FFXI. I believe the first expansion for FFXIV may have the same effect in shaping what will be FFXIV's end game.
Would retailers carry an FFXIV expansion at this point or would SE be forced to release them as download only (like the add-on scenarios)?
I think it'd be difficult to justify a PC only expansion for any retailer. Who knows how many players are left playing at this point. And given that only a portion of the playerbase buys the expansion at release (Cata had 3 million sales in the first month but that's still a far cry from WOW's ~12 million subscribers) I think retailers like gamestop or bestbuy would have a hard time dedicating shelf space to what may be a very nieche title.
On the other hand if they timed it with a ps3 release (PC expac, PS3 full game + expac on same disc) it may change the stakes a bit. But again, this all depends on whether they even have much resourced devoted to developing an expansion right now. PS3 version has already been pushed back to an unknown date, this may further delay the release. So I guess the final question should be...
How much of their resources do you think they have devoted to fixing the main game and how much on developing a new expansion?
I think at this point last year they would've planned for most of their developers to be working on the expansion. Given the current climate though, I can't help but think that they've probably had to divert much of those resources to fixing the main game. The expansion is probably on a back burner for now, SE's priority atm seems to be of the games survival, not long term support.
Edited, Jan 15th 2011 12:14am by Nutchoss