Am I out of touch with what people want in an MMO anymore? Not just FFXIV, but all the newer MMOs. Are people satisfied with getting a new mode for the same content? Wouldn't you rather have new content and leave HM as challenging as it is?
So, from reading this thread and threads like this on other game sites it seems people are fine with a story mode, then a bit more difficult HM and then a hard Extreme mode. Why? It's the same content. All they're doing is nerfing Hardmode so causal can say they did something Hard, and making an Extreme for the achievers. Don't we have that now with Story and HM? Wouldn't you rather have the new "dungeon of the Apocalypse" that is challenging and leave everything else as it is? Hell, I'm a casual and would rather leave Hard mode, well Hard. It gives me something to shoot for. i don't want it nerfed so it's then all but gift wrapped for me.
Obviously I don't get it.
I feel like there are a few aspects to this that could be looked over.
The first is that there exists a subset of MMO players who absolutely loathe the fact that a given piece of content loses worth. This can happen with cap increases, higher "raid tiers", new craft recipes, or even basic quests. Sometimes they try to mask this desire under the guise of variety in content, but it still suffers from the risk of monotony if, say, XIV had a random queue and you keep rolling Copperbell Mines every single time
. This can also get irksome if you find a random and rare drop only has one source. Friend of mine did Wanderer's Palace 30+ times for his Darklight Shield, for example. This wouldn't have changed even if we had 2-3 other level 50 dungeons if nothing else dropped it. In fact, it might've become harder for him to get with people being split into other dungeon pools.
Anyway, how content is kept up to date can vary. Hard Modes is one version, and Rift tried this with their leveling dungeons having Expert modes at a given level cap. Some variances took place here like additional bosses, old bosses having new moves, and changes in trash placement. Artistically, this is a lot easier on dev resources because you're not building totally new areas and having to test them implicitly for other "new zone" problems like falling through terrain or glitch exploits. Realistically, it is
lazy and very rarely makes plot sense. XIV tries to buck this trend a bit with the primals and claiming they vary in strength based on crystals the beastmen had accumulated, but I will very much agree it'll get old if we're fighting Garuda Insane when a new cap rolls around. Though, maybe I'm lying a bit, as I would not be against an eventual primal battle royale akin to the Ark Angel fight in XI.
Another aspect is perhaps revamping even the default mode. Dynamis in FFXI stands out here as SE basically chopped these zones in half, maintaining a level 75 version and then a level 90+ version with some added drops to hopefully encourage people to do things. My utter loathing of XI's relic system aside, this method is problematic because one way or another, the level cap will rise again. Do you then split the zone into thirds? Fourths? When does it end? This isn't to say I'm against zones being revised, but I look to it more being toward their original intent. Like in XIV's case, this could mean bosses dropping more tomes, trash actually dropping things, and treasure coffers putting out more loot outright.
To these people, I personally urge them to content go and accept that they have lifespans. Forcing people to do things just because you'd want them to has a bad habit of leading to resentment toward that content for one reason or another. Even without the developer enforced lifespan, player interest is also a factor. MMOs can be notorious about playing catch-up, which is one of those times where "nerfs" are justified because 8-man content of today may have a hell of time actually finding 8 men in the future. So maybe you could do it with 4-5 if you're decent. Not the end of the world even if some demand the same ball-busting aspect of old... of which I'd argue there are ways to achieve that without depriving people from content. They're just never fond of handicapping themselves even though numbers are numbers and you get 2 from 5-3 or 3-1.
And if they're of the mind that a game should actually focus on exclusionary content, then I have no qualms in telling them to outright frick off because there's no justification in 99% of funds generated by their fellow players making that 1% a focus. It's also because we are shoveling money at the devs hand over fist that content needs to come often and for everyone. Otherwise, why are we paying them? I know I'm sick of MMOs that only seem to care about raiders and their twisted sense of progression, but as long as these players are growing up and becoming the future devs of games desperately trying to perpetuate those good ol' days, we'll still have this rift between casuals and hardcores that's literally supported by game mechanics.