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How To Make Sure Final Fantasy XIV Doesn't SuckFollow

#1 Jun 17 2009 at 10:38 AM Rating: Good
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There's a lot of input for SE floating around here on how to make sure FFXIV isn't just FFXI 1.5. We want a lot of changes! I'm writing a seven-part series for game blog site Somnambulant Gamer entitled "How to Make Sure Final Fantasy XIV Doesn't Suck". Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are already up, and can be read here:

www.somnambulantgamer.blogspot.com

Been a {long time} since I've been around these forums. With FFXIV coming out, I'm sure I'll be back a lot more. Okay, back to Vana'diel...

Update: Part 6 has been added! Here is a link, should you feel the need to click one.

http://somnambulantgamer.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-make-sure-final-fantasy-xiv_27.html

~Hiro



Edited, Jun 28th 2009 4:28pm by Hiroken
#2 Jun 17 2009 at 11:02 AM Rating: Good
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I just finished the first part of the series, and so far it's very good. If nothing else, it's an entertaining and interesting read on what to ditch and keep in terms of FFXI fundamentals for FFXIV.
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#3Karelyn, Posted: Jun 17 2009 at 11:10 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I know that Square has said that FFXIV will not be a direct sequel to FFXI.
#4 Jun 17 2009 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
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So bad story, good battlesystem? I'll take it

Edited, Jun 17th 2009 9:16pm by Hyanmen
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#5 Jun 17 2009 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
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Wait Wait Wait!.. FF4 had a sequel... That was.... oh wait... Yeah I hope it's not a sequel..
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#6 Jun 17 2009 at 11:34 AM Rating: Good
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So far, the 4 articles really hit home for me. Especially the points about character development; introducing personality traits, gaining "exp" for everything you do, and being able to share actual EXPERIENCES with other players.

Whichever MMORPG can do that for me is the one I'm buying next.
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#7 Jun 17 2009 at 11:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Thanks Hiro, I'll be sure to include your other series' parts in next week's round-up!
#8 Jun 17 2009 at 11:45 AM Rating: Decent
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I just read your first part and I was agreeing with you up until I read "How to revolutionize it". There are several problems that crop of if you only have 3 people in a party. The biggest of which is if you have a tank, healer and dd (as you implied with a later comment) only half the server will be able to be in groups. It's hard enough in FFXI getting 1 tank and 1 healer for 4 dd imagine how it would be like with you make those three leftover dd find other tanks and healers. Another problem is it's just too small scale for an MMO and I guarantee people wouldn't like it.

I'm not even going to address the turn based system you suggest...it's just too ridiculous.
#9 Jun 17 2009 at 6:16 PM Rating: Default
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What is so bad about FFXI part 2? FFXI with better graphics and effects, expanded spells and abilities, more customization, more balance, and more jobs would be a perfect scenario. The thought of no xp grinding scares me actually.
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#10 Jun 18 2009 at 3:59 AM Rating: Decent
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I just wanna see less time running about (oh dear god this game has too much running about), in fact less timesinks altogether, especially for lower level players. and please DEAR GOD fix the inventory. The ability to actually alt-tab the stupid thing on PC without it dying would be a plus, maybe even support addons like wow does, there's a lot about UIs that any game can learn from wow (yeah whatever, commence flaming, it's well designed and you know it :P).
#11 Jun 18 2009 at 4:05 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
there's a lot about UIs that any game can learn from wow (yeah whatever, commence flaming, it's well designed on paper and you know it :P).


Fixed. Even Blizzard admits they gave WoW's users too much freedom on the interface. I'd love to see things inherently modifiable -- like speed/filter settings on the chat and combat logs; maybe allowing the user to create a few tabs like in WoW. Also, being able to set new sorting schemes on items would be sweet. Changing the colors/skins of your menus, maybe.

One of the things I hate about WoW's interface restrictions (or lack thereof) is Deadly Boss Mods; it makes the whole game a snooze. You read the alert, act accordingly. No unpredictability, no surprises (unless the mod doesn't work), no problem. Anyone who can read can beat the toughest boss (provided they spent countless hours beforehand raiding for a few pieces of gear). Things like that turn a game into a job.
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#12 Jun 18 2009 at 4:19 AM Rating: Good
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I started with the entry on the job system. I found it odd, because the article begins with laying out what you believe are the falws with FFXI's current job system, many of which I agreed with. You then say that the core idea is fine, which I also agree with, but most everything should be thrown out.

The problem I see is in the second half of the entry. You end up putting back things that you had thrown out earlier, which seems strange to me.

For example, you say that subjobs are silly for forcing players to level over again in the same areas as before. You want those thrown out. But then you immediately go on to suggest that players should be forced to level over again in the areas as before, to meet prerequisites for an advanced job (in your example a level 20 warrior and level 15 whm are required to obtain paladin). You just put back in exactly what you took out.

After that I think you go on to put the functionality of the subjob back into the game, without addressing the core problems. You suggest letting jobs borrow abilities from other jobs they leveled up, which is basically a subjob.

Your job implementation feature is mostly cosmetically different from subjobs, but functionally incredibly similar.



You entry on Combat doesn't seem to hit the core issues of the system. I think the idea of adjusting combat prowess--such as the whm healing better when the defender is having trouble--based on situations is rather interesting, and adds a much greater dynamic. Howver, I think this is more an ancillary feature. It might be a great addition to combat, but I don't feel you addressed the core of how combat should work in FFXIV.
Edited, Jun 18th 2009 7:20am by Allegory

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 7:23am by Allegory
#13 Jun 18 2009 at 4:57 AM Rating: Good
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Kharmageddon wrote:
One of the things I hate about WoW's interface restrictions (or lack thereof) is Deadly Boss Mods; it makes the whole game a snooze. You read the alert, act accordingly. No unpredictability, no surprises (unless the mod doesn't work), no problem. Anyone who can read can beat the toughest boss (provided they spent countless hours beforehand raiding for a few pieces of gear). Things like that turn a game into a job.

I think the worst part is that for a while Blizzard started actually designing fights, intentionally knowing people used Omen Threat Meters and Deadly Boss Mods.

A fight where you need four tanks, one in first, second, third, and sixth place on aggro? Why the **** not! Everyone already has Omen!

...
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#14 Jun 18 2009 at 4:58 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
The problem I see is in the second half of the entry. You end up putting back things that you had thrown out earlier, which seems strange to me.


I think the stance on the subjob system was "throw it out for a fresh start", like a windows operating system. You know you're keeping some key features, but a complete overhaul lets you get a fresh perspective. I don't think the tone was to go in a completely new direction.

Quote:
After that I think you go on to put the functionality of the subjob back into the game, without addressing the core problems. You suggest letting jobs borrow abilities from other jobs they leveled up, which is basically a subjob.


The key differences in that article are that when you start a new 'class', you get taken to a whole new area (if I remember the post correctly). So while, yes, you are leveling again from the bottom, you're seeing new/fresh content. The other thing that separates the suggested system from the current one is that the more jobs you level, the more customizable your overall character becomes. The example in the article was something along the lines of a THF having abilities from a warrior and a white mage -- something the current system doesn't allow. Being able to take specific abilities (or schools of abilities) from the classes you level gives MUCH more incentive to level multiple jobs.

You end up with the same type of concept (like in the operating system example), but with a lot more flexibility and replay value.

Quote:
I think the worst part is that for a while Blizzard started actually designing fights, intentionally knowing people used Omen Threat Meters and Deadly Boss Mods.

A fight where you need four tanks, one in first, second, third, and sixth place on aggro? Why the **** not! Everyone already has Omen!


I couldn't agree more. Blizzard ended up giving the players so much freedom they limited the content they could put in the game. That's why I hope SE takes a serious note when deciding how "open source" they want to make their game.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 9:02am by Kharmageddon
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#15 Jun 18 2009 at 5:01 AM Rating: Decent
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A fight where you need four tanks, one in first, second, third, and sixth place on aggro? Why the **** not! Everyone already has Omen!


Wow, that's really tough to handle o_0;
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#16 Jun 18 2009 at 5:08 AM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen wrote:
Wow, that's really tough to handle o_0;

I kinda exaggurated... I can't think of a four tank fight which had that much threat management to it...

But there are quite a few bosses with 2-3 tanks, wherein the order of "Who has the most hate?" or "How much more hate does one tank have than another?" and even requiring specific tanks to switch places with each other on the threat list with a very small margin of timeframe (five seconds or so?) within which to do... (Actually, now that I think about it... a ridiculously large number of untauntable bosses, required 2-3 tanks to switch primary-aggro)

I swear a few of those fights seem like they would be genuinely impossible to do without a threat meter.

I'm just waiting for Blizzard to impliment a boss which requires two tanks, and he oneshots the tank if the person with the most threat, has more than 5% threat than the person beneath him...

...

Yeah... I genuinely wouldn't be surprised.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 9:09am by Karelyn
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#17NeithanTheWronged, Posted: Jun 18 2009 at 5:16 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Your ignorance is astonishing.
#18 Jun 18 2009 at 5:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Karelyn wrote:
Hyanmen wrote:
Wow, that's really tough to handle o_0;

I kinda exaggurated... I can't think of a four tank fight which had that much threat management to it...

But there are quite a few bosses with 2-3 tanks, wherein the order of "Who has the most hate?" or "How much more hate does one tank have than another?" and even requiring specific tanks to switch places with each other on the threat list with a very small margin of timeframe (five seconds or so?) within which to do... (Actually, now that I think about it... a ridiculously large number of untauntable bosses, required 2-3 tanks to switch primary-aggro)

I swear a few of those fights seem like they would be genuinely impossible to do without a threat meter.

I'm just waiting for Blizzard to impliment a boss which requires two tanks, and he oneshots the tank if the person with the most threat, has more than 5% threat than the person beneath him...

...

Yeah... I genuinely wouldn't be surprised.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 9:09am by Karelyn


Switching places in threat is as easy as using your Taunt ability.
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#19 Jun 18 2009 at 5:22 AM Rating: Good
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Your ignorance is astonishing.


Woah, clever AND constructive. Impressive.
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#20 Jun 18 2009 at 5:25 AM Rating: Good
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NeithanTheWronged wrote:
Karelyn wrote:
(Actually, now that I think about it... a ridiculously large number of untauntable bosses, required 2-3 tanks to switch primary-aggro)

Switching places in threat is as easy as using your Taunt ability.

ORLY?

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 9:27am by Karelyn
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#21 Jun 18 2009 at 6:09 AM Rating: Decent
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Hm, yeah I guess maybe not quite as freeform as wow mods are, I'd agree you don't want them making the game too easy. But I think any mods at all would be an improvement. Even if SE made optional extras integrated themselves it'd be nice, stuff like auctioneer and even little stuff like the feral druid mana bar was a godsend in Wow, and even basic tweaks to the UI made it much more comfortable to play.

That reminds me, FFXIV totally needs a more user friendly auction house system (search function, anyone?)
#22 Jun 18 2009 at 1:34 PM Rating: Good
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Awesome read, look forward to the rest. :3
#23 Jun 19 2009 at 10:03 AM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
I started with the entry on the job system. I found it odd, because the article begins with laying out what you believe are the falws with FFXI's current job system, many of which I agreed with. You then say that the core idea is fine, which I also agree with, but most everything should be thrown out.

The problem I see is in the second half of the entry. You end up putting back things that you had thrown out earlier, which seems strange to me.

For example, you say that subjobs are silly for forcing players to level over again in the same areas as before. You want those thrown out. But then you immediately go on to suggest that players should be forced to level over again in the areas as before, to meet prerequisites for an advanced job (in your example a level 20 warrior and level 15 whm are required to obtain paladin). You just put back in exactly what you took out.

After that I think you go on to put the functionality of the subjob back into the game, without addressing the core problems. You suggest letting jobs borrow abilities from other jobs they leveled up, which is basically a subjob.

Your job implementation feature is mostly cosmetically different from subjobs, but functionally incredibly similar.

You entry on Combat doesn't seem to hit the core issues of the system. I think the idea of adjusting combat prowess--such as the whm healing better when the defender is having trouble--based on situations is rather interesting, and adds a much greater dynamic. Howver, I think this is more an ancillary feature. It might be a great addition to combat, but I don't feel you addressed the core of how combat should work in FFXIV.
Edited, Jun 18th 2009 7:20am by Allegory

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 7:23am by Allegory



You definitely make some good points here, and I do backtrack somewhat when talking about the subjob system. Kharmageddon sifted through my nonsense and broke it down a little more.(Much appreciated!)

In sum, I hate the subjob system the way it is, but I like the job system and the ability to use traits/abilities from other jobs. Self-indicting rhetoric was not planned for the original post, but I pulled it off anyway.

As for combat, Square Enix has pointed out that they already have a new combat system in the works--or there are at least rumors of it. This doesn't mean that it doesn't merit writing ideas about, but I guess I'm eager to see what they've come up with. Perhaps I'll revise that article after part seven is finished and tidy it up a bit, so keep an eye out.


Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read, and thank you for all the comments and critiques. You are why I do what I do.

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#24 Jun 19 2009 at 10:25 AM Rating: Decent
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nice. you accomplished to write a five chapter novel based entirely on wild speculation. rate up.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 8:26pm by insanekangaroo
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#25 Jun 19 2009 at 10:52 AM Rating: Decent
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People probably have said this already... but..

Make traveling to camps easier, period.

I don't know how many times I've frustrated pickup parties when I had to wait for 15min airships or zoning in/out of multiple locations just to get to the camp. Many times I've been replaced for random players who will not wait for 10 min. on a 6th.

Why can't we have portals? You know, like Diablo style. A portal spell enchanted on a scroll, one time use only.

SE, I want my instant portal spell so I can get to my ******* party's camp on the fly.

/rantoff
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#26 Jun 19 2009 at 11:29 AM Rating: Good
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Hiro -

When you get a chance, you should really look at this post and consider putting more material in Part 5 of your series.

edit: fixed.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 3:30pm by Kharmageddon
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#27 Jun 19 2009 at 12:38 PM Rating: Good
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Kharmageddon wrote:
Fixed. Even Blizzard admits they gave WoW's users too much freedom on the interface. I'd love to see things inherently modifiable -- like speed/filter settings on the chat and combat logs; maybe allowing the user to create a few tabs like in WoW. Also, being able to set new sorting schemes on items would be sweet. Changing the colors/skins of your menus, maybe.


Blizzard has also locked out functions of the UI's API when they've felt that users had too much control in one area or another, so it's not like they're afraid of taking freedom away from users or anything. In any event, FFXI already had filters/tabs for chat and stuff. Extra sorting options would be nice though. And there were already different colour schemes available, though the ability to use RGB values like in other FFs would be neat.

Quote:
One of the things I hate about WoW's interface restrictions (or lack thereof) is Deadly Boss Mods; it makes the whole game a snooze. You read the alert, act accordingly. No unpredictability, no surprises (unless the mod doesn't work), no problem. Anyone who can read can beat the toughest boss (provided they spent countless hours beforehand raiding for a few pieces of gear). Things like that turn a game into a job.


There are limits to the amount of information that a human being can keep track of; about 7 items, give or take a couple. By having DBM keep track of the boss' abilities and warning us when they're being used, we can focus on other tasks and just react to the warnings. Otherwise, we're keeping our own internal counters on when the boss will use X ability next, which can distract us from more immediate concerns, like the fact that our health is low and we should probably use our healthstone, or we're standing in fire, or we're about to pull threat.
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#28 Jun 19 2009 at 1:11 PM Rating: Good
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One thing that I'd like to see that I've been reminded of as I pick up Warhammer online again: Make tanks much better. For various reason, tanks in FFXI were only slightly better at tanking things than any other melee. The margin was so small that you could basically discard tanks for another DD in 90% of situations. In WAR tanks are amazing enough that fighting hard mobs without one is basically suicide. In FFXI an every-day melee will take maybe 120% of the damage a full fledged tank would, and probably be able to make more hate if they really wanted. In WAR, a front-line DPS will take at least 50-60% more damage than a tank, and a back-line player much more. They get extremely powerful abilities, such as a permanent buff on a party member that absorbs 50% of their damage and hate and gives it to the tank. SE needs to not be afraid of making tanks extremely good at their jobs.
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#29 Jun 19 2009 at 7:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Kharmageddon wrote:
One of the things I hate about WoW's interface restrictions (or lack thereof) is Deadly Boss Mods; it makes the whole game a snooze. You read the alert, act accordingly. No unpredictability, no surprises (unless the mod doesn't work), no problem. Anyone who can read can beat the toughest boss (provided they spent countless hours beforehand raiding for a few pieces of gear). Things like that turn a game into a job.
Fast paced combat can sometimes require a way to keep track of things. Granted, I've never been into mods that keep respawn timers for trash, but I at times need the ocassinal beep sound to tell me a boss is casting their one-shot ability, either because there's too much going on during the fight (movement fights are a total pain because of this) or the spoken line from the emote gets mixed in with all the other sounds during battle.

The funny thing is that blizzard has been developing their encounters with most mods in mind since TBC. You can have all the mods in the world, but it won't make Illidan, Kil'Jaeden or any of the Ulduar bosses easy as cake.
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#30 Jun 21 2009 at 1:17 AM Rating: Decent
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From http://somnambulantgamer.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-make-sure-final-fantasy-xiv_11.html

Quote:
FFXI's job system is one thing about FFXI that absolutely needs to stay, but also needs to be reinvented and revolutionized

Contradiction.

Quote:
The nice thing about the job system is that it doesn't need to be revolutionized

But you just said it needed to reinvented and revolutionized.

Quote:
Adding a subjob involves leveling a second job in the exact same @#%^ing place a player just leveled their first job

Where players level is their own choice. SE have more than one zone to use at each level, just because players go back to where they know that isn't the fault of the developers.

Also if you're trying to make a serious argument try to avoid resorting to swearing. It only makes you look immature. You resorted to alot of profanities when there was really no need for it.



Edited, Jun 21st 2009 5:17am by Valega

Edited, Jun 21st 2009 5:18am by Valega
#31 Jun 21 2009 at 12:18 PM Rating: Decent
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I really like this series you're writing. I don't agree with all your points, but they're very good topics for discussion. I'm going to write my thoughts as I read them here.

Um, some of my quote tags don't appear to be working. Use your imagination.

Quote:
Final Fantasy XI's combat is obtusely boring.

It's really not. Let me rephrase: it can be, but it is generally not. Example: playing BRD when they don't let you pull: more boring than almost anything in gaming. Playing BRD when they do let you pull: great fun.

There are subtle differences in the job you play, how you play it, and who you play it with that make the game either the most boring game around, or one of the most entertaining games around. People always say how much they like their static parties, but my god I hated mine. I got bored so fast. Same rotation every pull, no difficulties, nothing interesting happened. We use to meet once a week for 5 hours, and that was way, way too much of that. But when I played my BRD or THF, doing the random party setup thing with random people, it was always an adventure. There was always something different about every party, and that made it fun. So for this point, I'll say: if you are playing the combat right, it can be very, very fun.

More importantly: if you thought the combat was so boring, why did you play it? I guess endgame or something? I dunno. That's a lot of time you still have to spend doing something you think is boring.


Paraphrase: less crabs, more manticores.

I agree in a sense. I don't mind fighting crabs, but I do wish you could tell a steelshell from bubbly bernie. But really, there has to be some overlap. There just can't be fifty million types of monsters, the developers would die of exhaustion. I do think they could tone down their usage of the crabs, but the way FFXI was made, they kind of needed a stock monster that could be used for EXP parties of many levels.

If you think you'd prefer to fight a manticore as opposed to a crab, I am not on your side. I don't need huge disgusting things to fight to keep me interested. For me, I know the Final Fantasy number=pain system so well that the fear of the damage a crab might do to me makes me much more scared of it than I am a manticore.

Given that the development team needs a limit on the amount of monsters they produce, I think it's necessary that they keep the ratio of normal looking monsters to ultra-badass looking ones about the same. If south gustaberg were covered in malboros instead of lizards, you cheapen the coolness of the malboro, and you also make the death rate of newbie players increase by 900%.

That said, I don't completely disagree here. Crabs don't need to be *************-where. They could mix it up, but there do need to be more crabs than there are wyverns.

Quote:
Notorious Monsters (or 'Named Monsters', more generically',) should not just be a little larger than their standard counterparts. They should scare me so much you'd think I had lady parts. *

I'd agree to a point. Leaping Lizzy could really use some horns or like, bigger legs. You know, for leaping. I think they chalk this fault up to PS2 capabilities. If they had a different model for every NM, maybe the PS2 couldn't handle it. I don't really know, maybe it could and they were just lazy. But yes, NMs should look different. I don't really need them to all be scary looking, but they should at least look different from their placeholder. Different color, different features, whatever. Make emperor look like he's related to the other flies, but just cooler.

Quote:
There isn't too much of Final Fantasy XI's combat that should be kept. The skillchain system, with improvement, could stand the test of time.

I'd keep a few things from FFXI's combat system. Mainly, the difficulty level. For all its faults, FFXI is hard, and there are real consequences for dying. Everybody whines about leveling down in FFXI, and really, that's one of the points I like most about it. When you die, it's truly a tragedy. Not only do you have to go back to your HP (assuming you don't have a raise coming) but you also lose EXP. It made the game feel a lot more like an adventure, that it was much more immersive. Certainly more immersive than any other MMO out there.

Secondly, I'll agree that the SC system could be kept in some fashion. I think it's important to make party members work together to achieve the greatest results. Of course you're already working together because you're in a party, but I want to see more of the Sneak attack-trick attack, more emphasis on skillchain magic burst. Really, I hope they change how the players work together. If they kept skillchains as they are, meh. Been there done that. Have you ever played crystal chronicles? How if you combined magic with a friend at the same time, you'd get a different effect? That was really cool. I'm just saying, there are other ways they could go about it, and have it still be great.

Two hours: I'd like to see them put in limit breaks in some fashion, like in the old games. They do need to make it so they are powerful, but also not usable all the time. Actually, there is a way they could make them usable pretty often, without being overpowered. For instance, you could have a gauge that fills slowly over a 2 hour period. You could use your limit break any time in that 2 hour period, but if you used it before the gauge was full, you wouldn't get the full effect. Maybe mighty strikes would only last a couple seconds, maybe perfect dodge wouldn't dodge every hit, hundred fists would only grant 5% haste, that kind of thing. And then when you used it, your gauge would reset to 0. They could have it fill in different ways like in FFX also. Like maybe if you were a tank type you could have it fill by amount of damage you take, or if you were a BRD you could have it fill by buffs you cast, THF could be number of hits you do, whatever. But I think they need the trademark limit break. They did an ok job with them in FFXI, but I think they could do better (wtf Mijin Gakure?)


Party size

I'm going to disagree with your statement that 3-4 is the magic number for party size. I think they got it pretty right with FFXI with 6. A party size of 3 lends itself more to staticing, and as I said before, staticing is so boring I could cry. Staticing is what makes FFXI boring for me (that and standing in jeuno flagged up, but that's another story). 6 is a good number, but they truly need a better way to find people to party with, and have more things to do while you're looking for a party. I could even see a situation where you could have sort of a dynamic party size. Where your party could grow and shrink basically as much as you wanted, and people could just enter and exit as they pleased (pending the party leader's approval for entry of course). But say someone has to leave, it doesn't need to be the end of the party. I got sick of "oh the WHM has to go, I guess that's it for us." I'd love to see an adventuring group of like 15 people, and they would just run around killing stuff and doing quests all day and night, where somebody would leave, maybe someone else would come in and take their place. Maybe late at night there would only be like 2 people out there. I don't know what kind of system would need to be implemented to make something like this work, but I think it would be really interesting. No maximum party members, no minimum. But more importantly, there would not be a penalty for not having the recommended number of people. I guess that lends itself to soloing, but I don't know. There are a lot of things they could do.

Quote:
Combat needs to be turn based, but in today's world, it also needs to be fast-paced.

I wouldn't mind a turn-based battle system, but I think real time works better in an MMO. They'd have to do it just right.

Quote:
Next, Characters need to interact on a combat-based level and there need to be real reward for this.

Your ideas in this section are interesting, but they will serve to make the player lose an amount of control of their character, or they will serve to make the player exploit those bonuses. If the tank gets an ATK bonus when the healer is at low HP, just leave the healer at low HP all the time. That kind of thing. I know that was just an example, so it's not really a big deal. If they put limitations on it, like say you could only get the buff once for every time the healer drops below 50%, or something like that.


On to Section 2:

Quote:
These kinds of quests are okay, when given from random NPC's for small rewards; But a big, important, main quest needs to grab you at the very beginning and not let go.

Agreed. FFXI kind of took an odd approach with its story, and put its least interesting quests first. I can understand the logic here, being that "The story's progression should be analogous to your character's progression." This makes sense, but doesn't make for a good beginning of the story, and as I have said before, the beginning of the story is one of the most important parts. There is no necessity to make boring storyline points. "Get a lizard egg for the president's aide so he can have a snack" does not belong in the main storyline. Sidequest? Sure. I went to find the cucco lady's chickens in Zelda, too. No reason I couldn't get the guy a lizard egg. But as part of the main storyline? No. No thank you. The main (unskippable) part of the story needs to be epic from start to finish, and there's no reason it shouldn't be.

Quote:
Branching dialogue trees, seen in games like Mass Effect, go a long way toward customizable stories

No they don't. Branching dialogue trees are just a slap in the face. They say "we're not going to give you a truly customized storyline, but we'll try to make you think we are." If my choice does not affect what happens at the end of the game (or at least the outcome of the cutscene, my god) don't even give me a choice.

Quote:
You create a character. Along with physical traits (more on character creation in parts three and four of this series), you choose personality traits. Are you a more physical or mental person? Do you prefer cities or the great outdoors? Are you serious or silly? Disciplined or mischievous?

I would prefer that you don't simply input your character traits, but they could be decided via the story. At random points in the story, you could be asked a question, and your answer to that question might determine part of your trait in a certain area. Or, even better: you are given a task, and how you go about accomplishing that task determines part of the trait. Say, again, with the lizard egg thing. The aide asks you for the lizard egg, and there are several ways to acquire it. One, you can go kill lizards, two, you could maybe steal one from the house of somebody in town, or three, maybe um... buy it on the AH. Ok not the best example, but you see where I'm going with this. If you killed the lizard, you would gain points in a physical capacity, stealing would probably get you mental, and AH would maybe make you more serious? I don't know, but you get the point.

Quote:
For example, if you chose "Mental", "Cities", and "Silly", you might start the game as an apprentice in a magic shop in a big city, with a boss who doesn't like you very much. This, of course, could lead you down the path of a Mage when your Adventure begins.

This seems at odds with your note that the story needs to grab you from the beginning and not let go. But it's just an example I guess, I get the picture.

Quote:
Add in dialogue trees for all NPC's and you've got yourself a custom storyline, something that's never been done in an MMO. This is all "If X, then Y" simple stuff--but implemented much more often, and in the right places.

I wouldn't mind dialogue trees for just normal NPCs, but not on the main storyline. They're fine if you're just developing relationships with the NPCs around the town. But what of the MMO aspect of the game? Talking to NPCs is a fairly single-player aspect. Think about this. What if the NPC would say something different to you if someone on your friends list had already been to talk to them recently? Say I'm on your friends list, and I encounter an NPC that gives me a choice to be rude to them, and I take it. Then the next day, you happen to go talk to the same NPC, and they say to you, "Oh I know, you, you're friends with that Antime boy! We don't take kindly to your types around here." That kind of thing. Or if I was nice to him, he would be nicer to you. The end result in terms of item rewards from quests should probably be the same (you don't want to be paying for my mistakes) but it could add an extra element of community to the game.

Quote:
Obviously, with all this storyline customization, players are going to have vastly different goals--if one player needs to kill enemy X, but another player doesn't have that mission, what's the draw in helping him?

EXP. Pure and simple. You help another player? You reap the benefits--what's more, you get to witness a part of their story. If that player reaches his goal, player 2 who helped him should get to see what unfolds when he arrives. Hear the dialogue, see the reactions, and maybe give his opinion to his new friend on what should be done next.

What if, upon seeing the path your friend is taking, it modifies your own path? Maybe you see that your friend is trying to rid the world of a great evil that you hadn't noticed, would you not alter your course to aid them?

Your thoughts on story are great, but I think they may be unrealistic in terms of what can actually be done. The level of customization you are implying seems impossible. I don't know, maybe it can be done. It would be cool if it was, I'll say that.

I'll add one note about story: I think FFXI didn't present its story very well. In the beginning, I didn't really care about the story, not because I thought it was bad, but because there was such a long time between each cutscene that I'd run across. It took me a long, long time to get to rank 6 from rank 5 the first time I did it, and by the time I got to the appropriate level and had the party together, I'd forgotten a lot of what was going on in the story. I think that's a point they need to work on, is reminding the player that they're in the story, and why they're leveling their job other than "to be super badass."

Onto part 3

I loved Valkurm Dunes. I don't know what everyone's problem is. When I first got there, I loved it. Loved every minute of it. Loved the exploration and the sense of danger, loved meeting new people. I remember I saw a 40 WHM and I was so amazed. I remember looking at people who had subjobs and thinking how cool they were. Loved. Valkurm. Dunes.

Quote:
And subjobs? Scrap 'em. We can do better than that.

I thought the subjob system was actually quite interesting. But you're right, they should do something else. I'm just saying, subjobs were valid, and pretty cool.

Keeping the job system:
Yes, and also no. If you don't want to select a job from a list, the issue becomes: how are you going to change jobs? I could envision a system like FF7's materia where you equip different items to revamp your party role, but if you want to keep the "job" system (WHM, BLM, SMN, etc) things can't be that broad. A BLM has specific things that it can do, and specific things it can't do. A system like materia or junction is simply too customizable to really have anything to do with the traditional job system.

That said, I don't think they need the job system in general. My favorite battle/stat management system was the junction system of FF8, where you could customize your stats and abilities based on your equipment (equipment in FF8 being GFs and magic, not gear). FFXIV could be customizable to the same degree, but with restrictions. This ties into what we were talking about earlier with character traits chosen via the storyline. If say your character had a high mental stat, you could more easily equip or learn something like Fire 3, but it would be more difficult for you to wield a Greataxe. As I have heard so far of FFXIV's battle system, they are implementing something like this, where the weapon you choose determines your stats. Or something like that.

Onto part 4

Quote:
Monsters are rated against your level from easiest, "Too Weak", to most difficult, "Impossible to Gauge"

Just a quick note. So many people say this. "Impossible to Gauge" isn't the hardest monster, "Incredibly Tough" is the hardest monster. Impossible to Gauge is just that: impossible to gauge. Meaning you can't tell how hard it is. It could be too weak, it could be incredibly tough. You have no idea. Stray Mary is Impossible to Gauge, at lv 25. I can beat her. Nearby, I find Steelfleece Baldarich who also checks as Impossible to Gauge. I beat Stray Mary, so Steelfleece should be just the same difficulty.

[quote]Yes, you get to complete the storyline. Yes, you potentially get some cool items. Yes, you get a sweet-*** cutscene; but ******* it, you just fought and defeated the King of Dragons. And that doesn't count as "experience"?![/quote]
I absolutely agree with this, or at least, what you're implying here. Storyline landmarks need to yield similar results in your experience points. Fighting a crab should not give you more experience than fighting the shadow lord.

[quote]One reason World of Warcraft is so successful is because Blizzard was one of the first developers to hang up that thorny hat. WoW players are given experience points for every quest they complete. In Final Fantasy XI, when you die, you can lose three hours' worth of EXP. In WoW, you just have to go find your body and climb back into it. Death in WoW is a deterrent against shoddy playing, but it isn't a punishment.[/quote]
FFXI's design far surpasses that of World of Warcraft in almost every way. Outside of PvP and the economy, WoW has absolutely nothing on FFXI, and that includes death penalties. FFXI's death penalty is harsh. Yes, it is very harsh. Not only do you feasibly lose a half hour of travel time getting to wherever you are, you lose precious EXP. But that's what gives FFXI its sense of danger and adventure. WoW is very prominently a game. FFXI strives less to be a game and more to be an immersive world. Does this make it almost unbearably hard? Yes, but that's what makes it great. It's partly the difficulty that makes it so much more immersive and interesting than WoW. WoW will always be the more successful game, because it caters to the whims of its fanbase. They simply give their players anything they want. Trainable Ice Block? Here you go! Cheapened leveling? No problem! Ulduar too hard? Why not nerf it?

I will tell you why not: because it cheapens the experience of the game, and pulls the player from a point of true immersion in the story and the game as a whole into a realm of complete disconnection from their motivation. If everything is easy, there is no point in playing. If you aren't afraid to die, there's no reason to avoid it. In FFXI, there is almost no circumstance where you say "It's fine I'll just die." But that happens all the time in WoW. If you die, no big deal. Doesn't even matter. Couple gold, quick run back to your body, and you're right back where you left off. There is no immersion in that, and no feeling of danger, anywhere in wow. In FFXI, it is almost an emotional event when your character dies because the consequences are so severe, but in WoW, it's just annoying. Dying once is barely a setback. Dying twice is is annoying. Die three times, and you are no longer having fun, and you are thinking "this game is not fun." In FFXI, that's not how it is. You aren't even thinking about the fact that it is a game. You may be frustrated if you die three times, but each death is a learning experience. You don't hate the game. It's like dying to the Midgar Zolom in FFVII. You go into the fight the first time knowing you'll die, because you know you'll forget to put elemental-fire on your armor, or forget to be in the back row, or whatever. Generally, there is always some way you could have not died, and you learn from your mistake. In wow, you are free to make the same mistake over and over and over because you just don't care, you just begrudge the game's poor design and move on, seeking the next phat loot. It's superficial and pathetic. WoW has two aspects which are better than FFXI: the economy and the PvP. I call the economy better because RMT do not cripple normal players' fun, and I call PvP better simply because blizzard thinks about PvP. PvP in FFXI was an afterthought, and I have no problem with that, but WoW's pvp is still better.

[quote]Square Enix needs to toss the idea that they can't reward players with EXP for things like simple quests, storyline missions, finding treasure, raising a chocobo, even crafting an item. They don't have to be large amounts of experience points--but giving the player gameplay options is never a bad thing. As it stands, doing anything but grinding is a moral dilemma, since most other things don't net exp. For a level 10 player, they find themselves thinking, "Well, yeah, I'd like to try out synthesis...but I should probably level up first."[/quote]
On this point I'll agree. It can really detract from other aspects of the game when your only way of gaining "real" exp is to go grind. Now I'm not saying grinding is so terrible (if it's fun. I loved grinding on FFX, but hated it in XII), but there are so many aspects of the game that you don't get to experience until you've hit max level. I'm not sure what the solution to this is, because the FF formula is basically built around the EXP system, but gaining EXP from the storyline would be a start. Or, they could give leveling less of a weight in the game. What I mean by that is: make leveling just as difficult, but take less time. In older FF games, it was not uncommon to gain one level every couple fights, if you were fighting the right monster. Now, I'm not saying we need to gain a level that often, but having closer goals would make things more fun, and less taxing overall. I played FFXI for a good 4 years, and I still didn't experience everything there was to experience, because I spent most of the time leveling. Now, I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the time I spent leveling, but I could have seen more of the game, and maybe even not lost interest in the game, had the leveling process been more analogous to one of the single-player FFs like VI or IX.

[quote]Also, the fanfare music when we level up! Everyone likes the fanfare.[/quote]
Yes.

[quote]Give us fifty faces, a hundred hairstyles, twenty colors, tattoos, scars, eye patches, jewelery--there are literally dozens of character-appearance choices players could make that don't have to infringe on gameplay.[/quote]
I personally don't need all of this. My character was very distinguished, mostly by what I did, how I acted, and how I played. I wouldn't complain if they let us choose from a lot of different hairstyles and such, though. I just want my character to be something I want to look at, or at least, don't mind looking at. I could never play a tauren in WoW. They're just ugly. I don't want that to be my character. As long as the character looks okay, I don't mind being kind of limited on my customization options. You don't get to choose what you look like in real life. I suppose you also don't look exactly like some people in real life, and I guess that's your point, but it doesn't really matter. You can pick your character out of a lineup by the gear they're wearing, most times. But again, I wouldn't complain if they gave us a lot of choices.

[quote]When creating a character, let the player pick personality traits. Things they love. Things they hate. Weather they find pleasant. Whether they're outgoing or reserved, clumsy or precise, curious or content. Fears. This could be done via questionnaire, sliders bars, or random select for the impatient.[/quote]
Again, I think this would be more interesting if it were implemented via extracting information about your character from choices you make in the game, rather than simply saying "I'm scared of spiders" at the beginning. Say you get killed by lots of spiders, maybe your character starts becoming afraid of spiders. What this would mean from a combat perspective, I don't know, but you get the point.

[quote]We, as players, want to be thrust into an experience. Your first day on the job, a huge rat might break into the basement. Your boss hands you a big kitchen knife and tells you to go kill it. If you do, you get some exp for killing it--and then a few more for completing your duties.[/quote]
This may just be an example, but it should be noted: this is boring. I do not want to do this. I can kill a rat with a knife in real life. There is no reason to start the player out with something so simple, no reason to start off as a lowly worker. I agree that the player wants to be thrust into an experience, but the example you're describing sounds less like jumping headfirst into a cold lake and more like an old man easing slowly into a warm bath. There is no reason that your first mission can't be to protect the city against invading yagudo. You could be dropped into the world in the heat of battle, and have some NPCs asking you what you want them to do. I'm just saying, you don't have to start out doing menial tasks. An epic game can be epic right from the beginning. This is a mistake a lot of games make. It is important to teach beginners how to play, but that doesn't mean they have to be bored out of their mind while learning. It's the difference between Kingdom Hearts 2 and Final Fantasy VII. FF7's beginning is my idea of being thrust into the game, KH2 is one where you're eased in, and you're bored the whole time. I don't remember enough about KH2 to go into more detail than that, but let's just say I remember being very bored.

[quote]In Final Fantasy XIV, what if you got EXP depending not just completing a mission or quest, but a range of exp, based on performance? If you win, but just barely, maybe you get 75 exp. If you kick the **** out of it in record time, maybe you get 100. If you lose, maybe you still get 10.[/quote]
Yes, this sounds good, but it would have to give you exp also relative to your current stats. If you're currently level 50 and turn in the lizard egg in 12 seconds flat, you shouldn't get 9001 exp. The fact that you're level 50 should offset the fact that you did so well on the mission.

[quote]Say you're at level 10 in 'alchemy'. Craft a level 1 item, you get 1 exp. Level 2, 2 exp. Level 3...? 3 exp. Crafting at your own level gets you double the exp of that level--so a level 10 item would get you 20 exp. It isn't much, but it's satisfactory on a basic level. That while a player focus on one thing, the experiences therein are still benefiting his character.[/quote]
I actually don't mind the separation of job and craft. I think that the things you craft should be useful to your job in some way, but that you shouldn't really get exp for your job while leveling your craft. You say things should make sense. If I take a class in painting, I don't also learn fencing.

[quote]If your character did completed a quest for an NPC, and that NPC pops up from time to time in the pub, he buys your character a drink if your character is present--and other players witness this.[/quote]
The problem with that is that there are so many people doing the same quests that he'd be buying a lot of drinks. He'd never want to go to the pub, because he'd spend all his money on buying drinks for the people who had helped him. It could maybe happen to an extent, though. Maybe if you did the quest, and then waited a long time, went to the pub and saw the NPC, he would greet you as an old friend.

[quote]When you created your character, maybe it came to light that he had a fear of snakes. Fight snakes, and maybe he misses a lot. Fight enough of them, and maybe he conquers his fear and gains an accuracy bonus against them.[/quote]
Not a bad idea. Again, I think the "input fear here:" thing is lame, but having fears would be fine. Maybe you die to lizards a lot of times and develop the fear, and the accuracy loss vs. lizards, but then overcome your fear and become even more powerful against them for having been afraid. Also: Sheep beat lizards. If you were afraid of lizards, maybe you could go fight sheep and eventually understand how the sheep fights, and thus be able to beat lizards. Just a possibility.

Finally part 5

[quote]And another thing! The same NPCs are standing in the same places, 24/7[/quote]
What I wouldn't give to have Zelda-style NPC events. Different shops open at night, different NPCs around, different quests to do. NPCs that move around from place to place like they actually have lives. I'm reminded of Majora's Mask. While not as amazing as ocarina of time, it was truly great, and all the NPCs had true character. They all had lives and personalities. I would love to see that in FFXIV.

[quote]Also, I know you two are close, but...zones need to go. Zones were really cool back in the day. We didn't mind because they made playing technologically feasible. But today, zones are tired...and they make you look old, too. No more borders, okay?[/quote]
At this point it's more of a stylistic trademark than an oversight. I don't mind zones. Elements of the game you describe as wanting remind me more and more of WoW, and the last thing I want is a wow clone here.

[quote]Honestly, I'm reticent to say more about that--if I have faith that you'll change one thing for the better, it's your graphics.[/quote]
This is one of the absolute last points I would fault FFXI for. The size of the world, the intricacies of the characters and NPCs, weather effects, all were top of the line for the PS2, especially when FFXI was released.

Furthermore, graphics are not just about polygons and texture resolution. They are about style, and the graphical style of FFXI is top notch. It is a cohesive world, and it all looks as if it was real for that world. Nothing looks out of place, nothing looks sterile. You are not going to sit there and tell me that this looks bad. Even the screenshot you posted doesn't look bad, especially considering the capabilities of the PS2. You've got the depth map shadow on the ground from the chocobo, mountains of various shapes and sizes in the background. And don't even talk to me about the spell effects. The spell effects of FFXI are great, especially compared to warcraft (which seems to be the new standard for comparison). WoW's spell effects, character designs, environments, and overall style have absolutely nothing on FFXI. Nothing.

That said, I think they'll be increasing the technical quality of the graphics for FFXIV, so the polygon counters can still be happy.

As a whole, I think the FFXI world is well done. There is quite an overuse of those bone looking structures, but whatever. It still was a very fun and immersive world.
#32 Jun 21 2009 at 11:55 PM Rating: Decent
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If they had a different model for every NM, maybe the PS2 couldn't handle it. I don't really know, maybe it could and they were just lazy.

I hate when people accuse developers of being lazy just because they don't do something they want. Maybe it isn't a limitation of the PS2 but more likely a limitation on time constraints and man power. How many NMs does FFXI have? If each of of those needs modelling individually from placeholder mobs, skinning, animating, texturing, how long is that going to take? How many people need to be working on that? I read in one interview that they spent a month making the vampire boss. Doing something like that for every NM simply isn't viable, as cool as it would be to have. Maybe you don't need to spend that long on each one but accoring to http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Notorious_Monster there's around 2,242 NMs. However much time is spend individualising each one its going to take a long time to do them all.
#33 Jun 22 2009 at 3:32 AM Rating: Decent
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I think the PS2 really limited what the Devs could do. Although the new CS in WoTG are very **** impressive. I almost **** myself when I saw the NPC spike a mob though the face with his weapon. Anyways, I agreed with a lot of Hiro's viewpoints. He seemed to think FFXII was good enough for FFXIV to copy a few things. FFXI Off-line otherwise known as FFXII was a solid title for sure. I couldn't believe they ripped off Star Wars and FFXI's engine and warped them to Ivalice.
#34 Jun 22 2009 at 3:38 AM Rating: Decent
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@Antime: I don't have it in me to address all of your points, but the first one leaps out at me.

FFXI's combat really was boring, and I've said this for a very long time. I kept playing because I enjoyed experimenting with things that made the combat more interesting (which ultimately involved far more effort than worthwhile for a temporary solution to subpar game design), and because I really liked my LS and the missions.

Combat in FFXI was just not active OR strategic enough. A job like BRD is pretty active, yes, but how often are those actions just the same things over and over? For a long while I played as a SAM/rng, and that's an -incredibly- active job that requires quite a bit of judgment... but in the end it's still all very simple. There's little to no interaction with the mob, and the strategy for killing most mobs is basically the same.

So there were several jobs that weren't active enough-- you just sat and watched until you had a timer up or TP. And most jobs required little or no personal strategy. You didn't have to think much about what you were going to do, because you already knew pretty well how the fight would go down. Sure, there were unexpected links and such, maybe a TP move you had to look out for, but if you didn't learn to expect the unexpected pretty quickly, well, you probably weren't a very good player.

I've said elsewhere... FFXI was like checkers. I'm ready for chess. Speed chess, preferably.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#35 Jun 22 2009 at 4:21 AM Rating: Decent
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COR/DNC is close to the other end of the spectrum. Too much to do.

Samba, Waltz, Step, Flourish, roll, melee in melee gear, ws in ranged gear. At these moments you really feel that the GUI is pretty poor for handling many actions at once. In this case I'm usually using 3 macro pallets with a total of like 30 macros. (Not all at once, but a lot of it)

While I do hope XIV is more active, I hope they also have a better system for accessing the actions.
#36 Jun 22 2009 at 4:49 AM Rating: Decent
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That, and I really wish combat was a little more than just moving around and selecting macros.

I know that anything beyond that essentially accounts for "action" though, so I'm not getting my hopes up. A few more elements of aim and timing would be nice though. Since SE has pretty outright said that there won't be much in the way of action, I'm expecting some pretty impressive strategy elements in lieu.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#37 Jun 22 2009 at 9:28 AM Rating: Default
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I've read all five so far, and I have to say I am very impressed. Awesome, detailed points that provide examples of what is being discussed, coming from someone that actually knows the ins and outs of this game.

Keep up the awesome job, and I can't wait for the last two!

These Blogs have been the only thing I've read that has to do with suggestions to FFXIV at all. All these other concepts on the Forums are really killing me lately, and this brings my mind to ease, lol. I rather read on more important topics than Male Mithra and Female Galka, which would both fail imo.
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#38 Jun 22 2009 at 4:39 PM Rating: Decent
My main suggestion to the dev team would be to hire some better translators when reading suggestions from gamers.
Remember "you asked for chocobo racing, we gave you chocobo racing" yeah of course you did dev team, need I say more?
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#39 Jun 28 2009 at 12:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Part Six of the series is up. For some reason, I'm having trouble editing the OP, so here is a link. Thank you for all your feedback, and please continue the discussion!

Here is a delicious link:

http://somnambulantgamer.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-make-sure-final-fantasy-xiv_27.html

~Hiro
#40 Jun 28 2009 at 2:26 PM Rating: Default
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Interesting read, just like the rest. Can't wait for the last Chapter O.O.

Keep it up.
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#41 Jun 28 2009 at 6:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Hiro, I just had some brief thoughts about your most recent essay (please bear with my ignorance). If it's impossible to solo for experience because you can't get experience for the things you can kill solo, woldn't the solution be to change the rates xp are given for enemies? Say, down to 10 levels below your level rather than five as I've read is currently the case.

Maybe it would be better to have the monsters rated by levels in terms of what a solo player could kill rather than assuming you have a party, and then treating a party as being higher level than its members based on their number or composition. Thus two level 10 characters partying would get 100xp for fighting a level 15 monster, as four of them would fighting a level 20 monster (and then apply whatever bonuses you want to incentivise partying).

Or if you need to party for a story quest or something and there aren't enough real players around, 'hire' NPCs to fill the holes. They would cost some initial amount based on their level, then take the same cut of xp and loot as a player, effectively destroying it, and would never be as useful as a person at those positions, so they wouldn't replace real partying, just patch the gaps. Maybe to limit them, use a clone of your character in the desired class/subjob using the minimum of your level in your current job and your achieved level in the clone's job.

Edited, Jun 28th 2009 11:50pm by righteousfury
#42 Jun 29 2009 at 8:13 PM Rating: Decent
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I think your exp ideas are interesting. To my understanding, exp *is* rated by the player. For instance, if a solo player could kill an IT++ monster, I think he would get more than 200 exp. Mathematically, he should get 1200, because 1200/6=200.

As for NPC 'filler' members for quests, I like the thinking behind your ideas. I have some ideas of my own about that which will appear in the final part of this series; it should be up within the next two or three days. Be sure to give it a read.
#43 Jun 29 2009 at 9:04 PM Rating: Decent
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1,218 posts
Combat:

I hated the "running to get HP/MP" mechanic in FFXII, because it led to a lot of ridiculous antics where you'd run around and around, in combat and out, just to maximize your gains and minimize your downtime. Sure, I hop around like an idiot in WoW (for no reason at all) and if I had the option of not sitting down in FFXIV, but I couldn't hop, I'd probably run around in circles like an idiot, for no reason at all.

But I don't like a system that encourages people to run around like an idiot.

If you want players to have steady regeneration that isn't dependent on being stationary, then just give them that. I understand you're trying to encourage people to move around, but players already move around plenty IF they're not tethered to a spot waiting for MP to come back.

I don't know about the emotional reaction system. It would be different, but it just comes down to how it's implemented. The more depth you add to it, the more interesting it can be, but also the more likely it is that players would feel the need to game it for an advantage. "Hey, Mister Black Mage, go get hit on purpose so that I can top off the tank more efficiently, and the warrior gets his provoke back sooner."

I do like the idea of allowing customization in terms of preferred weather. You could take that further for preferred enemy type, terrain, and so on. Again, players would feel compelled to game that though. "Bones merit party in Scary Desert. Only taking players with preferred 'Hot' weather and 'Skeleton' preferred enemy!"


Story: Not much to say here. What you propose sounds awesome, but ultimately I don't think it's very realistic. Also, some people do indeed define themselves by what they do for a living, or what they aspire to do, so "choose a personality and end up with a starting job" will feel very natural for some (like School Guidance Counselors) but not to others. The very first moments that people spend in the world are hugely imporant, so being creative and awesome is a huge plus. Introducing complexity that can lead to instant frustration can be a huge negative. It would be hard to balance those two things without a massive amount of resources devoted.

Edited, Jun 30th 2009 1:12am by KarlHungis
#44 Jun 29 2009 at 9:33 PM Rating: Decent
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1,218 posts
Jobs:

Well, I don't really care for the idea of "elite jobs" I don't want to be forced to play Job X and Job Y in order to play Job Z. If that's the case then I sort of expect Job X and Job Y to kind of suck compared to Job Z, and now every one wants to play Job Z, and no one really wants to play Job X or Job Y (except to get Job Z).

However, the "points" system in place of sub jobs is something I definitely want. In fact, it's the system I proposed the day that FFXIV was first announced. :)

Character Growth:

They're doing away with traditional XP/levels, and that's fine with me. I've never felt that I needed to get XP from finishing a lengthy quest, if it resulted in growth in some other way (a title, a new ability, some loot, whatever), but it's definitely inconsistent to say that killing a crab helps me improve, but not slaying a god. I don't get too hung up on it, and it won't really matter too much in FFXIV, as I suspect that your growth will be based on meeting goals other than filling a bar.

I don't really care too much about overcoming my character's fears or what have you (how many drawbacks can you realistically start with, and how often can you really overcome them in a meaningful way?).

I do like an idea that exists in some other games, where you can take on a certain number of positive traits that aren't directly related to your class or race, based on things you've done in the world. Kill enough wolves, and you have the option of going into your little book of achievements and selecting "wolf slayer" as a trait that gives you some benefit vs wolves. For more depth it might also come with the caveat that wolves naturally fear/hate you more than other characters, which could make it harder to control their aggro.

I'd love if you could earn the right to choose your identity within the world, and that identity helped shape your abilities and the way that other people react to you.
#45 Jul 01 2009 at 3:49 AM Rating: Decent
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