Our plan, from the beginning, was to make the best Final Fantasy game available...rather than going from 'we want to make the best MMO,' we want to make the best Final Fantasy game and THROUGH that, use the MMO genre.
I don't know about anyone else, but when I play FFXIV I will most likely be comparing it to other mmorpgs, not FFVI, FFVII, etc. So I've been wondering how FFXIV will measure up to some of the mmorpgs coming out in the near future. I'm especially interested in Aion: Tower of Eternity, which is currently in closed beta.
While some of the early reviews are mixed (as usual), it looks Aion offers significant improvements over FFXI (and potentially FFXIV) in three specific aspects:
The crafting system in Aion also allows players to use dyes and other modifications to create one-of-a-kind armor and weapons.
Suggestion for SE - I'm not saying 30 sliderbars are mandatory, but 24 faces and 5 hairstyles alone are not going to be enough to keep FFXIV competitive. If the developers are set on keeping all five races from FFXI, they could at least impliment age customization (as suggested by the background image on the official site): for each race, players could choose "prodigy" (~15 years old), "prime" (~25 years old), or "elder" (~55 years old) ages for their characters.
Also, it seems like players have been requesting customizable armor for too long for SE to leave it out this time around.
Suggestion for SE - I always laughed when I saw a Goblin Ambusher standing way out in the open in Valkurm Dunes instead of...you know...ambushing things. In FFXIV, SE could have mobs hide behind trees or boulders, or lie in wait for unsuspecting players in tall grass.
Your character might also slow down slightly when running uphill or through thick grass/swampland, and speed up slightly when running downhill. Or, SE could impliment slight accuracy and damage penalties when fighting uphill, and grant slight accuracy and damage bonuses when you have the higher ground on your foes. All of this would make it feel like you are actually interacting with the environment and traveling through a world instead of just running around on top of it.
There has also been some speculation about the reintroduction of the Geomancer job. A Geo might be able to conjur sandstorms to blind enemies while fighting in the desert, use elemental magic on specific days of the week, or access water-based spells while fighting near lakes or rivers.
Basically, the environment should influence your experience in a given zone, but for the most part (unless you are crafting or leveling Smn) in FFXI it doesn't.
I am totally digging the Ranger class. For me, the strategy of playing the Ranger is what I like the most. Carefully planning how to take down enemies that are higher level than my character and that will push me to my limits as a player is almost an art form. Picking the line of sight that I should pull an enemy from, then selecting and laying the Ranger specific traps is part of the challenge. Once everything is set, my character pulls out her bow and hits an enemy from range, triggering the traps as the enemy get closer. When my opponent is at melee range, the dual daggers come out. The planning that goes into taking down something stronger than your character is totally worth it when you win.
Also, at level 20 the native limitations of each job can be overcome somewhat through the use of up to 5 "Stigma Stones" which allow characters to use job abilities and spells belonging to other classes (think of a main with access to five abilities/spells from different subjobs). According to NCSoft, this system means that a character's "play style is not limited to only what that class can do."
Suggestion for SE - I have heard a few posters recommend a "Blue Mage-like" point system, where you are granted a number of points (depending on the level of your main) that you can "spend" on traits/abilities/spells you acquired while leveling other jobs. Example: a Thf main could spend his ability points on Boost and Subtle Blow from Mnk, and Store TP from Sam (of course, higher level spells/abilities will require more points).
I realize there are a lot of suggestion/speculation threads floating around right now, but I would be curious to hear which ideas you would like to see SE "borrow" from the next generation of mmorpgs.
Edited, Jun 24th 2009 11:55pm by akirussan