Deadgye, I'm going to try to address your points, but you'll agree that it's a lot to cover. I'm going to gather that on the topic of realism/cosmetics, we are basically in agreement and there's no further need to discuss it.
All good ideas, but would work exactly the same with gear. What you described you not wanting though is exactly what vertical progression gives. In a horizontal progression you're not going to replace your gear when you get new ones. A lot of the old ones are going to stay worthwhile. In a vertical progression when you get new gear, old gear is completely replaced. And if you can't gear-swap, all old gear is going to be worthless. Let's take my leaping boots for example. They were pretty overpowered and lasted me from when I got them(24) to 73. At that point I replaced them with the better dragon boots. (Vertical progression.) And even now at 75 I use them. But I don't use them for everything except TP like I used to, I only use them for solo TA. (Horizontal progression) Without gear-swapping, they would have been worthless and replaced much, much earlier. I probably wouldn't have even bought the dragon boots.
Ok, see vertical gear progression is another thing altogether. No, I do not want fully vertical gear progression per se, though I honestly don't think that gear should be that important in the end. I know lots of games that are purely skill and strategy based, and people play them hardcore for years just trying to make themselves better players, having lots of fun while doing it. In that sense, there is no need or advantage to make a game where player progression is based heavily on acquiring gear or gaining levels. See, I honestly don't even care if gear provides any stats whatsoever (aside from weapons, I guess), or even if level is less important than player skill.
But much of that is contingent on a system where certain equipment becomes available at a certain level anyway, which is not necessarily a system XIV will use. Probably, but not by necessity.
Anyway, as I've said, I'm fine with a similar system that does employ that kind of progression through materia/cards/etc.
Aye, I've stated that it's not implemented that well. I'm hoping that I can look forward to equipping a bunch of gear and then defining that as a certain "set" in game, and that with a simple /equip set "Trick Attack" I would automatically swap into that set without my character blinking. And I'm hoping that we have plenty of inventory space to allow us to do this easily. I'm fine with them using "materia" or something else.. but if they do it needs to work just the same way.
I would like a system like that as well, but also significantly more complex, if that's going to be one of the defining strategic elements of the game. If materia interact with materia near them to create various effects, etc. that would satisfy me. Not unlike how they do in FF7 and Crisis Core.
Personally, I don't want a game that's only about what you do and has nothing to do with what you have, because then no matter how much you improve your character it's not going to matter.
Well that will never really happen, because then it's not even really an RPG. But I would like to see it SUBSTANTIALLY downplayed. And in a skill based game, there's always room for progression. It's just that you are progressing as a player, rather than doing things that are mundane for you to progress your character. The former is far more rewarding and challenging.
But a balance between the two would be great. Take thief in ffxi for example. It depends heavily on gear. If you don't have different equipment setups you're likely going to fail in comparison to other thieves.. but it only relies heavily on skill. If you can't coordinate yourself and etc, you will fail in comparison to other thieves. The good thieves are the ones who are both skilled and both geared.
See, I would prefer if there were not a huge difference between the well-skilled thief with poor gear and the well-skilled thief with uber gear. At least provided a game where actually acquiring the gear doesn't actually take so much skill as patience, luck, lots of time, and people willing to help you. Now in a game where the best dagger is obtained by winning a very challenging solo fight, I don't mind if there's a big difference in the gear. But in a game where you spend a lifetime in Dynamis to get the best knife, I'm not as big a fan.
That's a possibility, but I have a feeling that people would be even more ****** off by having to carry a whole bunch of gear sets for each different type of mob they fight and/or introduce than to have to carry a smaller bunch of gear sets to cover everything. I'd personally go with the 'monsters change tactics and therefore require a gear chance mid-battle' thing more than having different monsters require different things. One could say that ffxi already had the latter. If I was fighting colibri I needed to max out on haste while still keeping acc and attack strong. But if I was fighting kirin I needed to max out on acc and attack while not really caring about haste.
See, I would just prefer if they require a change of tactics. When it gets down to a few simple stats, it just becomes too predictable to me. Making monsters more reactive is the answer to this, and in most cases this needs to be about the use of various abilities, not gear swaps. I mean, it's sad to me that a game can become so predominantly about the swapping of gear and really not have a whole lot to do with the use of abilities, but particularly as a DD in FFXI that's the reality.
Well, to be fair, finding out what to use is far from easy. There's a lot of complicated math that goes into it. <.<; It does NOT just take 5 minutes to figure out what's best, and you can't do it even if you're an idiot. You first consider your enemy, and then consider the rest of your gear, and then factor in everything.. fstr, dstr, cratio, pdif, level correction, haste, delay, etc. And then you only know what's best on that one enemy, sometimes it's actually too close to call so you don't know. Sometimes it's actually worse for you because of your other gear. It's not going to always be best. I never use my optical hat vs colibri or mamool, but against jailer or hope or something else I just might. There is no "this is the best". There is only a "this is the best for this specific enemy", even though there sometimes isn't even that. FFXI just has too many cookie-cutter mobs, not cookie-cutter setups. If I want to merit.. I'm going to be either fighting mamool ja or colibri. This is a problem with the game and not with the equipment swapping. If ffxi had many more viable enemies to fight then there would be a plethora more equipment setups.
That's half true. It takes one or a few people a lot of complicated math to figure these things out, they post it on the internet, and THEN any idiot can figure it out in five minutes.
And complicated math is not exactly your average person's idea of fun, either.
You can't have a game without work. Why? Because work isn't timesinks and bullsh*t. Work is challenge. And some challenges DO require time. (Airships are a timesink, I'm not arguing that things like that are good.) In FFX if I wanted to get all the best weapons in the game, I needed to do a sh*tload of work. I needed to dodge 200 frieking lightning bolts in a row? Was it worth it for me? No, so I didn't do it. Was it worth it for other people? Yes! When I wanted to get tidus's best weapon I had to complete the chocobo thingy with a time or 0.0; Was it hard for me to do it? Did it require a decent amount of work? Yes. But it was fun to do! And it felt like I actually accomplished something when I did it. There were also times that I almost broke my controller though. (those @#%^ing birds cheat)
Alright, look, I'm not going to get into a semantics debate about what "work" means, but I will tell you what it means to most people, and it's not what you've just described. I did all that stuff in FFX too, and to me that's not analogous. You're talking about freaking minigames! What's analogous is fighting the same enemies over and over to level up so that you can beat a boss.
My brother plays Rock Band for hours nearly every day. Does he "work" at it? Sure, but the whole time he is playing Rock Band. He never picks up the guitar and says, "*sigh* I need to work on this song." Because it's not boring to him, or to most people. A-button mashing? That's a freaking running gag. And ****, for as boring as most of the gameplay is in XI, I -wish- I could just mash an A-button and get it over with.
The distinction you need to grasp here is that not all work is challenging. Working in a factory assembly line is work, hard work. But it's not challenging. It's just tedious.
We agree that things that are annoyingly repetitive need to be changed, but there aren't many things that actually fit the bill.
Well on that, I disagree with you. There is plenty of repetitive content in FFXI. Really, almost every battle in FFXI is repetitive. Dynamis? Jesus, that's never fun and interesting, I don't care how big a pull it is. Sky gods get boring really quick too. Same for sea. There's tons of repetition in FFXI by virtue of having to do the same battles over and over, neverminding how similar so many battles really are.
I spent plenty of time working to get better in FFT. I had to go multiple extra battles to level jobs to unlock other jobs. I have to redo certain boss battles many times because I was unable to steal his gear before killing him. I never felt like fft was wasting my time, but in truth it was only a video game that was doing nothing other than wasting my time. I knew this and continued to play because I enjoyed the challenge, I enjoyed the work, and I enjoyed the storyline,etc.
I agree. FFT was a great game, and FFXI is no FFT. I never felt like I was working in FFT. Every battle was different from the last. But basically this all comes down to the fact that the gameplay in FFT was far superior to the gameplay in FFXI. If FFT were made into an MMO, it would stomp XI into the ground.
To get certain materias you needed to master every single materia of that color. Stuff like that for example.
Yep, hated that. By that point, I had already done this sort of thing in half a dozen other games.
But there aren't really any fights like that that I can think of.
Every fight is like that when you have several people who need a rare drop from that boss for their gearswap macro. And even setting that aside, like 95% of the fights are pretty cookie cutter fights.
So you pretty much have the choice of being casual and having crappy/mediocre gear and kind of enjoying the game, or getting that gear, but having no real fun while doing it. I eventually started to play more casually because grinding out the "fun" fights was super boring, and that did help. But it didn't change the fact that most battles were basically the same, and what differences they did have were pretty simple and didn't challenge me as a player.
We're simply saying that we want maximization. As it stands, no one has offered any viable alternative to gear swapping other than rehashed, glorified, gear-swapping redundancies.
Oh, well no one really asked me. I can give you one. It'll have to wait though, especially considering that I don't even care all that much about maximization.
I mean, unless you're going to argue that any kind of maxing system is essentially gearswapping, which I guess you could. Edited, Jul 9th 2009 11:55pm by Kachi