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Of AHs, Crafting, and End-gameFollow

#1 Jun 06 2009 at 12:34 AM Rating: Good
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I understand this might upset a few people, but this is my opinion. I think it is being pretty reasonable and fair as well. Just know I formulate a lot of this from the fact that I hate the AH and Crafting. So here is my opinion on how some things should be integrated into FFXIV. This is just an example, because I have no way of knowing if some of this will even be applicable.

First, there are three categories of items: consumables, common items, and ra/ex items. All consumables and common items can bought from NPCs. The ra/ex items have to be gotten from solo, group, and large-scale events: such as quests, missions, BCNMs, and end-game content. The ra/ex type items will be the “uber1337zomg” gear, as it should be. This means the common items will be just as it sounds like: decent for its “level”, but nothing special. The reasoning behind this is that I think it’s wrong to be able to “buy” your way into awesome gear. You should have to earn it through skill, effort, time, and strategy. Otherwise people like Frodo Baggins could have just paid for a bullet train to Mt. Doom, and made his way into the volcano free of all worry thanks to the Armor of Invincible and the Wand of Uberkill he bought from the AH for 50 million gil before he left.

Now concerning how to make money, we will say four ways to make everyone happy: trade skills, crafting, farming, and maybe certain other things like BCNMs. You will be able to buy consumables and common items from the NPCs for set prices that are reasonable for there level. As an example, imagine top tier armor pieces costing 100k gil, but with a reasonable amount of effort you can farm that amount within a month. It could take a lot less time, if you are a hard-core player.

Now another way that could be just as profitable as farming but different, could be trade skills like fishing. This would satisfy people that don’t like farming or crafting. Some people, strange as it sounds, like virtual fishing and what not for hours. The other way is crafting, for those that don’t like farming or trade skills. This is my favorite part, because it puts some controls on the AH. First, make the crafting system just as intricate and challenging as it was before, if not more so. However, in accordance with craft level, let people be able to buy all there crafting materials for dirt cheap (never runs out either). That way they can sell the same items on the AH as you can get from the NPCs. However, they won’t be able to go over the NPC price, if they expect to sell anything. On the other hand, if it takes say 1k gil to make a top tier armor piece, you can still put it up for less than the NPC price and make a killing. This all seems pretty reasonable to me. It satisfies the things people like to do such as crafting, but doesn’t allow for abuse of the AH. At the same time, the separation of common items from ra/ex items makes people have to get the really good items the way they should have to get them: earning it.

The last part covers the ra/ex items. A big problem I had with FFXI was the relationship of effort/skill vs. reward. You camp KA for 2 years and get jack, yet another dude gets the belt the very first time he claims and kills KA……….. Here is another: Join a Dyna shell but because of the waiting list to get the item you want and the god awful drop rates, you never get it. Why? Because even though you always went to Dyna for 2 years, the shell broke before you could get the item. These are just some examples of things that have happened to people I know.

Here is the fix: all quests, missions, BCNM type things, and end-game content will reward you appropriately based on the skill/effort/time/strategy it took you to defeat it. There will be no random 24hr or 72hr NMs. There will just be time frames on when you can do events such as daily, weekly, 2 times a week, monthly maybe, you get the idea. We saw this with things like Salvage and Assault. SE just needs to elaborate on it a bit more. As for drop rates……. ***** drop rates. If you have the balls and skills to beat it, you should get your reward. So while I am suggesting 100% drop rates, this would be according to the difficulty level. Easier = meh, harder = good, incredibly hard = awesome, AV types = congratulations, your new gear just broke the game (kidding about that last part…… sorta). So yea you can get it 100% of the time, but that’s IF…… IF you can beat it. I think this would work well with a lot of situations, but not all.

The other things (and I am stealing this from another post I read in the FFXIV forums) is to treat them like Einherijar’s (sp?) ampoules system. This would take care of SE’s hard-on for making things take forever. If something is just too good to be able to get it right off the bat, then let it take time as you build points from successful runs to “buy” the items. This way you are working towards a goal and you can slowly but surely see your effort paying off. Again, this gets rid of the .000001% drop rate and/or not being sure if you’ll ever get the item because your 50th in line for it.

Again these are all my opinions, and just me trying to take a reasonable stab at some issues from FFXI that I would rather not see in FFXIV. Sorry for the long post, though. Is this plan perfect? Nope. So please feel free to poke holes in it, but try to be constructive. Oh, and useless reasons to not like it because you are greedy and want to make a gazillion gilz by exploiting the AH, or because you like to buy your way to eliteness are not acceptable.
#2 Jun 06 2009 at 2:05 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
So please feel free to poke holes in it, but try to be constructive. Oh, and useless reasons to not like it because you are greedy and want to make a gazillion gilz by exploiting the AH, or because you like to buy your way to eliteness are not acceptable.


It's a pretty good post, but I have few things to - if not disagree, comment on.

The endgame part in particular is something I need to talk about:

FFXI gear progression is horizontal in endgame, not vertical. If you implement a new event, monster, or battle it will not be replaced by other events in long time if not ever. That is why there is a problem in the "reward based on skill/effort" part of the post. While the effort or skill used to do the event may correspond to the rewards at first, as the game develops the events may get easier and easier. You could see this in FFXI by looking at sky gods, Kirin, Jailers, and Kings.

Now, even if the reward is good for the first few years, when players get more and more experience and jobs get buffs, the fights become easier. However, the rewards will be still very good, and SE releases sidegrades or minor upgrades over time. This means that it's still good to do the event.

So what happens is that the rewards actually become too good for the skill/effort used. There's things SE could do about it.. either make the monster harder, or lower the reward to correspond the new skill/effort ratio. What would be the playerbases reaction however? The fight they used to fail before but started winning and got better when time went on, suddenly got back sent to square one and have to create new strategies and fail again. Or if the drop rates were changed, the reaction might be even worse.

SE doesn't want this to happen, so they need to create some kind of block for players, be it low drop rate or some other way. If they have to go to one extreme, which would be better, to make drop rates too low at start or too high? If they're too low they can be adjusted later (Like silver sea remnants salvage), but if they're too high they will still need to be adjusted, but the reaction is reversed. Nobody likes a nerf, everybody likes a buff.

Another thing is the "points" like ampoules system. They could make it like that, but it should still take just as long as if they were a random drop rate to get. There shouldn't be any chance for the item to drop before you have enough points, or it'd mean that the drop rates were suddenly upped (which could be achieved by just upping the drop rates in the first place). And if they made both possible to happen (get points OR get random drop), both need be twice as hard to get. Double the ampoules, Half the drop rate. Some people would like it to be this way, but the advantages aren't as clear as you'd think in the end. You can't go 1/1 on drop, but you can't go 0/200 either.

Other than that I don't have anything to add. What do you think?
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#3 Jun 06 2009 at 2:07 AM Rating: Decent
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double post.

Edited, Jun 6th 2009 5:00pm by Hyanmen
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#4 Jun 06 2009 at 3:07 AM Rating: Good
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I'm an AH lover, they have to keep that, but it doesn't have to be 1:1 like FFXI's lol
#5 Jun 06 2009 at 5:04 AM Rating: Default
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triple post

Edited, Jun 6th 2009 4:59pm by Hyanmen
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#6 Jun 06 2009 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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I like what you had to say Hyanmen, and thanks for your comments. There definately needs to be some sort of ballance. I think I kind of know where you are coming from. I could see some "ease" creeping in as well as FFXI presented new endgmae activities. However, do understand I don't want an easy button either. I just don't want to have ridiculous drop rates. One thing is I guess they could maintain activities in different categories get harder and harder. Like rank 1 quests vs. rank 50 quests or some such? And I still like the points idea, but you are right. It needs to be somewhat hard. This is why some gear would take only a few runs to get but others would take a year? maybe 2? I don't know to be honest. It just seems like there should be some decent way to ballance out a skill/effort vs. reward relationship. ........ Remind me never to be a game developer. It would be fun, til I went postal from the stress lol. On the other hand, depending on just how different the new game is, my post might be 100% irrelevant.

#7 Jun 06 2009 at 8:02 AM Rating: Decent
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Haha yeah I know, it's really hard to do it right. I guess that a good way would be to do just what you said - make some artificial limit to how many times you can do the event per week for example (time frames).

Even if the drop rates were low, you could do so many things at once that in the end you could get equipment at a fairly decent rate.. Not from one event, but everything included you would make progress.

Of course that would be time consuming, especially if they make the events last too long (Dynamis). So what if SE made lots and lots of events like Einherjar where the time limit is 30minutes and the "cooldown" period is around 3 days? 30mins-1h should be alright for one event, and if you only had to do them twice a week you wouldn't get burned out like if you camped Kings every day. And if there's enough of same type of content the 3 day wait wouldn't feel like such a long time, since you'd have other things to do during the waiting period.

Or give some "intermediate" rewards instead? That might be viable too. Einherjar has ampoules for example, but the real rewards come from Odin? Something like that to keep people interested while working on getting the real reward might be enough. Then you wouldn't have to mix the already "low" drop rate with collecting points at all, since the rewards are of a different kind. Just a little something to feel like you're getting stuff out of doing things repeatedly ;).

Adding some random factor like Nyzul Isle and Salvage helps in keeping things fresh as well, I hope SE uses that factor in XIV endgame.. When things aren't so pre-scripted all the time, it might take longer before the event becomes a bore.
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#8 Jun 06 2009 at 8:10 AM Rating: Decent
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I've never actually played any endgame in a mmo (as im a casual player), but I think that your suggestions would make the endgame more boring. What is the fun and excitement of killing the bosses if you are absolutely sure that you will get the super-gear after killing it, say 20 times. That would make it more of a job. There has to be some kind of chance element for it to be exciting.

Edited, Jun 6th 2009 6:11pm by insanekangaroo
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#9 Jun 06 2009 at 8:14 AM Rating: Decent
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Dude, you are speaking my language! Sure smaller events like BCNM types and missions would be pre-scripted.And I wouldn't have an issue with that as long as they don't make x "job" set up THE way to do it. Diversity and strategy, yes please. But as for more endgame type thingers, I have to agree, less time sinks, and more freedom. I freakin loved Nyzul Isle, it was so much fun.
#10 Jun 06 2009 at 9:28 AM Rating: Decent
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While I agree I have most certaintly ran into people with grave misfortune of never being able to find a group, these people join linkshells and get used as a body never getting what they want. If they make a new hnm system it should be soley on rewarding all participants. Drops are fine, they are great actually more incentive.

I think possibly handing all HNMS, or Boss fights some kind of key item as a "souvenir" and being able to save them and trade them in later so you can pick a piece of gear or weapon or item that you prefer or maybe even randomize it who cares as long as you have a chance at something great.

I feel one of FFXI's more serious problems was the pitting linkshell mates against others. Or just player against player through scarce, rare, drops that people can be the first in line to get then jet, leaving a lot of people with wasted time and no item.
#11 Jun 06 2009 at 9:50 AM Rating: Decent
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If consumables and common items are available from NPCs and everything else is ra/ex what goes in the AH? It doesn't seem like anything does. One very important thing to have in a game is an AH and at least a halfway decent crafting system. One of the biggest reasons Warhammer Online crashed and burned is because they spent all of their time on their "living cities" and no time on the crafting and AH systems. Heck, the AH wasn't even operational when the game was released and the crafting system, while interesting, was seriously flawed with too many interdependencies.
#12 Jun 06 2009 at 10:15 AM Rating: Decent
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IMO crafting should be regulated through the crafting guild. Example: crafting items should be purchased from the guild itself and then they have to be sold back to the guild for "inspection" purposes or something after being crafted to receive their money from the guild. The guild would then place the items on the AH for a price.

1) Crafter buys items to be crafted for 100 units of currency.
2) Crafter sells items back to the guild for 300 units of currency.
3) Guild sells items on the AH for 400 units of currency.

Depending on the Supply & Demand, costs could fluctuate. If these items are in surplus, then the guild would then pay less for them, but if those items are in great demand, then they may pay more for them.

Now to allow direct transactions from crafters to players,

1) Any item that a crafter can sell directly to a player must get crafting items that are rare.

I think this would allow specific items to be either received via the crafter farming for those items, or the player that wants the item farms for the item.

There may be some flaws in my ideas, but I think this could stop a lot of straight undercutting from competitors.
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#13 Jun 06 2009 at 10:15 AM Rating: Good
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The idea of a crafting system thrives on the notion that there are components that can be gathered by anyone (ie. mob drops) and components that can only be made or gathered by someone with a particular profession. (One of the interesting things about FFXI was that all you had to do to mine was go and buy some picks, etc.) If you make it so that you either buy things from a vendor or get them from a mob but they're rare/ex, the crafting system...and the auction system...are going to fail. The entire economy is going to fail.

Game imposed price caps on items are just a recipe for disaster. Navigating a game economy is quite often a mini-game within an MMO. Demand defines the price, not game developers.

Most MMO players hope to see a free market economy and a well developed crafting system in a new game. It adds variety and flavor.
#14 Jun 06 2009 at 10:35 AM Rating: Default
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Yog, reread my OP. The answers to your questions are in there. Crafters can make consumables and common items and sell on the AH. Its just that they wont be able to exploit it, because they couldn't go higher than what the npc would sell the same item for. If done right they could still have all the fun of crafting (supposing that the crafting system is just as challenging and intricate if not more so) and stll make a profit. Some people might not like it because they want to make uber armor, but that just gets back to what I said about ra/ex should be earned not bought. Thats just my opinion. On the other hand, I just thought of a major problem >:/ People could still do like they have done in FFXI, and just pay a LS so they can tag along to get them kitty pants or what not in events that had instant results. Arrrgggh @$%*! Well, at least a points system would be somewhat protected from this tactic.

Insane, the fun and excitement of the randomness you refer to is not fun to me. I do not like the words luck and chance at all. That is like hiring me to do a job and rolling the dice at the end of the day to determine my pay rate for that day. Sure it might come up $12/hr, but then again it might come up $1/hr. You talk about it feeling repeatitive like a job? FFXIs current end-game events already feel like a job. I used to do events seven days a week with my LS. Part of me loved it for the people, the adventure, and the oppertunity to help my LS buddies. But part of me hated it, due to the huge time sinks, with sometimes nothing to show for it. Try telling a thf he should enjoy the excitement and fun of the insanely low drop rate on Thief's Knife before the update. I know people that tried hundreds of times, and got the claim pretty often too, yet never got the drop. I know 2 people that got it 1/1. So while I can see where you are coming from, at some point there needs to be a good ballance to properly reward you for your effort and skill. I still don't have a perfect answer to that, and thats why i'll never be a game designer.
#15 Jun 06 2009 at 10:39 AM Rating: Good
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AmsaimSutavarg wrote:
Insane, the fun and excitement of the randomness you refer to is not fun to me. I do not like the words luck and chance at all.


An element of randomness is core to the heart of any RPG, online or offline. It's good to have systems in place that allow you to set goals and work towards them (ie. accumulating currency/points for fixed-cost rewards), but an MMO where everything was laid out for you in a neat, orderly progression would get rather dull. Those brief moments between downing a boss and seeing what it dropped this time are very exciting. The key is, the developer has to tune the game for an appropriate balance so that the players feel like they have a decent (but not always guaranteed) chance to get what they're looking for.
#16 Jun 06 2009 at 10:46 AM Rating: Decent
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An element of randomness is core to the heart of any RPG, online or offline. It's good to have systems in place that allow you to set goals and work towards them (ie. accumulating currency/points for fixed-cost rewards), but an MMO where everything was laid out for you in a neat, orderly progression would get rather dull. Those brief moments between downing a boss and seeing what it dropped this time are very exciting. The key is, the developer has to tune the game for an appropriate balance so that the players feel like they have a decent (but not always guaranteed) chance to get what they're looking for.


I agree. You wrote it much better than I did. ^^
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#17 Jun 06 2009 at 11:03 AM Rating: Default
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Guaranteed drops + all items available from NPCs = an MMO that won't last long

There would be no point in farming money or crafting, and even if you did your money would be practically useless. Some simple things such as potions or armor with simple stats should be available for low prices from NPCs but there has to be that urge for people to forge and gather.

No matter how hard something is in an MMO people will eventually find a system to beat it and when they do, EVERYONE will be going after it. If it is a 100% drop then everyone will have it and there will be nothing special about that item.

The hard part is to fill in these gaps with items that run the spectrum of easy-hard, ok-excellent, common-rare; and that spectrum is what will make people craft and farm.
#18 Jun 06 2009 at 11:07 AM Rating: Decent
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some good points.

However i completely disagree with crafting materials. I think that the auction house should be a center for getting crafting materials. I think making all the items available from the vendor is very very bad. We do not want a WoW based world where half the stuff you need from crafting is available from a vendor. With the job system the mats fuel people low leveling.

On top of that things will go ridiculously out of control if you buy everything from the vendor then everyone will have professions regardless of anything because it will be brutally easy to level. The whole point of FFXI was that if you had the determination to level it up and follow through you eventually cashed in. On top of that when you have superior +1 items... if everyone can make them with vendor mats its sooooo pointless.

I also however disagree with the 100% droprate items for NM's. They fixed FFXI towards the end when they made Rare/ex items but before that people farmed up nm's like no ones business since you could make a fortune. I think NM's need to be more random. Faster spawn rate but goals are needed to get to them , like quests or you have to actually search a whole area so its more random.
#19 Jun 06 2009 at 11:34 AM Rating: Decent
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I see where you guys are coming from. I really do. As for the randomness, I have the solution. You want randomness and a lack of 100% drops? Keep the randomness in the challenging events and boss mobs. Like in Einherijar, there was no 100% win. You got completely random mobs thrown at you each time. Also, make boss mobs more challenging, with high AI and make them do completely random things so players have to think on their feet. There will be no cookie-cutter strategy. There will be no set jobs that can kill x boss mob. And also maybe incorporate a lot more things like random dungeon lay-outs, so there is no set way to get to position x. This way the 100% drop rate or points system isnt a problem. The problem is if you can rise to the challenge? Behold, you ask for the excitement and fun of chance and I have brought it forth. Put your money where your mouths are! ^.~

As for the AH and crafting issues, I still hate that they can possibly impede my game play. However, I dont think my idea would fail. People who love to craft will still craft. If the only reason you want to craft is to make money then your doing it for the wrong reason. People will still need consumables, and still need noob armor. The only thing I'd be ok with giving free rain to is cosmetic armor or costumes. This kind of idea would be profitable and ensure that people did craft, as well as use the AH. This way my game isnt impeded by the AH because I can get real armor through skill/effort. However, if I like the armors stats but don't like its looks, I can get costume/cosmetic gear to change my appearance. Crafters craft, AH works, people can make money, and it becomes my choice if I want to spend millions of gilz to customize my look.
#20 Jun 06 2009 at 11:40 AM Rating: Decent
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yup i agree making nm's more random, harder and a strategy would be nice. i must say for 98% of the battles in FFXI no strategy was needed, just brute force. Hence why the story for me was absolutely key and made me love the game.

Crafting... eh. i still think a right balance could/should be found between both of ours. I think it's important to have low level crafting so people can get started but making it too easy is a bad idea. Making the game difficult in many aspects was what drove me to play it so much.
#21 Jun 06 2009 at 1:22 PM Rating: Decent
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nickw wrote:
yup i agree making nm's more random, harder and a strategy would be nice. i must say for 98% of the battles in FFXI no strategy was needed, just brute force. Hence why the story for me was absolutely key and made me love the game.

Crafting... eh. i still think a right balance could/should be found between both of ours. I think it's important to have low level crafting so people can get started but making it too easy is a bad idea. Making the game difficult in many aspects was what drove me to play it so much.


There is one problem with making the NM challenging similar to WoW high end instance. If you check for example Uldar 25 man you will see that the fights are very complicated and very few guilds have cleared all of it. As fights become more complicated and more tiptoe quick response strategy is involved one of the most crucial part is that your latency has to be good to accomplish the task. As far as we know, the servers are in Japan, and trying to beat hard encounters like Uldar 25 man would basically be impossible or at least make is near to impossible with a high latency. WoW has solved this elegantly by having regional servers, but the question is will FF14 follow suit or not? If they will put up regional server this wont pose an issue, but if they don’t I think the EU and NA community would suffer greatly if high end encounters would have similar buildup as WoW endgame instance.
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