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#1 Jun 28 2009 at 6:49 PM Rating: Good
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I personally liked the fact that FFXI required you to form parties. I liked that the jobs were so highly specialized that you had to work with others to kill difficult mobs. It made sense to me that damage dealers like Blm and Sam couldn't solo difficult mobs because they specialized in damage output at the expense of their physical defense, and that Pld didn't take as much damage as other classes, but couldn't deal out as much damage either. In earlier games in the Final Fantasy series, your damage dealers wouldn't last long without Cure, and your healers would die pretty quickly without a tank. I liked that FFXI chose to keep this dynamic.

But with the announcement that FFXIV will cater to casual/solo players, I wonder how much this dynamic will change. To be honest, I can't really imagine a soloing Whitemage, or maybe I just don't want to. Damage dealers who don't take much damage themselves or mages with high defense would seem imbalanced, but non-specialized classes who do everything moderately well would seem a little non-Final Fantasy.

One solution would be to let players hire "mercenaries." If you're a Whitemage, for example, and you want to level up on some mobs but don't have time to find a party, you could head to the local tavern and hire an npc damage dealer. Or, if you're a Warrior you could hire an npc healer. Maybe there would be a deposit and then the npcs would collect half the gil and items dropped from the mobs killed. This would allow SE to keep the jobs highly specialized, and could also eliminate all the time spent trying to put a party together. More casual players could rent one or two computer controlled party members, kill mobs or complete quests, then log off whenever they were done playing without feeling guilty for breaking the party up early. There would still be incentive to party with actual players, as humans would be more skilled than npcs (not counting Valkurm Dunes of course).

Any other ideas, or are highly specialized classes pretty much over?
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#2Skeptic, Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 6:56 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Me either my friend..me either.
#3 Jun 28 2009 at 7:01 PM Rating: Default
Oh like in Guild Wars?!
I don't know, it could work possibly, but it would go against the whole cooperation ideal no?
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#4 Jun 28 2009 at 7:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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akirussan wrote:
But with the announcement that FFXIV will cater to casual/solo players, I wonder how much this dynamic will change. To be honest, I can't really imagine a soloing Whitemage, or maybe I just don't want to. Damage dealers who don't take much damage themselves or mages with high defense would seem imbalanced, but non-specialized classes who do everything moderately well would seem a little non-Final Fantasy.


FFX is a great example of a game in the Final Fantasy series that didn't have explicit roles. Each character started out with a general hint of what role to use them for, but you were totally free to build whatever kind of skillset you wanted, with limit breaks and (to a lesser extent) weapon restrictions being the only other factors that might influence what you used each character for. Explicit roles are not a hallmark of Final Fantasy overall.
#5 Jun 28 2009 at 7:16 PM Rating: Good
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Good points...

I guess this is what I'm afraid of:

A Monk runs up to a mob and starts smacking away. His health gets low so he casts Cure III. The mob is almost dead so he casts Stone II.

It just doesn't seem like a "role-playing" game if we are able to play several different roles at the same time. I realize that real specialization requires parties, and that SE is moving away from this.

AurelisSir wrote:
FFX is a great example of a game in the Final Fantasy series that didn't have explicit roles.


Final Fantasy VI allowed each character to learn all spells also, and the only thing that distinguished them was weapon choice and one special ability.

Maybe it's just a matter of personal preference, but I liked the class mechanics of FFXI better...
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#6 Jun 28 2009 at 7:20 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:

Maybe it's just a matter of personal preference, but I liked the class mechanics of FFXI better...


This.
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#7 Jun 28 2009 at 7:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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akirussan wrote:
Good points...

I guess this is what I'm afraid of:

A Monk runs up to a mob and starts smacking away. His health gets low so he casts Cure III. The mob is almost dead so he casts Stone II.

It just doesn't seem like a "role-playing" game if we are able to play several different roles at the same time. I realize that real specialization requires parties, and that SE is moving away from this.

AurelisSir wrote:
FFX is a great example of a game in the Final Fantasy series that didn't have explicit roles.


Final Fantasy VI allowed each character to learn all spells also, and the only thing that distinguished them was weapon choice and one special ability.

Maybe it's just a matter of personal preference, but I liked the class mechanics of FFXI better...


It's one thing to want to see things done a certain way...it's another thing to justify that wish based around something that's not entirely relevant. If FFXIV ends up being more freeform/diverse than what you would prefer, I'm not going to give you a hard time if you don't like it. I would, however, shame you with malicious glee if you justified your distaste with a statement to the effect that it's not enough like Final Fantasy. The job archetypes have evolved so much since the first Final Fantasy that they are no longer necessary in order to preserve the genre.
#8 Jun 28 2009 at 7:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Hiro has a suggestion in the essays linked to his thread about tacking on abilities like FFV did it and I had some similar ideas in a thread called Character Building done Right? Here's How (or words to that effect). In short, my idea was that your stats would be based on the skills you selected. So the Monk akirussan described could cast Cure 3 or Stone 2, though neither would be particularly powerful, and he couldn't do either much unless he loaded up other abilities which gave him MP. And having either of those spells rather than abilities that boost his strength and HP makes him weaker most of the time. In other words, you wouldn't make those choices if you were looking to party, but if you were soloing due to playing at an odd hour of the night, or didn't feel like dealing with people, they'd make sense.

I had a similar thought about Mercenaries in Hiro's thread. You could hire as many as you want, for some fee based on the level of the hire, and they would take the same cut of xp and loot another player would, so they'd be inefficient compared to live players, but available in a pinch. My further limitation would be to make them clones of your character limited to whatever level you had achieved in the class you're looking to hire. I'd probably also want to limit they're level to yours at the time of hire and equip them apprpriately for that level.

I think this would be more useful if something like FF12's gambit system was in play.
#9 Jun 28 2009 at 10:59 PM Rating: Decent
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I've been playing FFIV lately, and that might be influencing my nostalgia for more strictly defined classes.

While reading through Hiro's latest blog, I noticed that he mentioned items like potions as a viable alternative to having a healer in your party. There are a few sections in FFIV where you find yourself without a healer, and you do end up depending on Cure items to get you through until Rosa/Porom/Tellah join.

I guess maybe a better question at this point would be do you want the classes in FFXIV to be as specialized as they are in FFXI, even if that means they will be dependent on other players with specific jobs, npc mercenaries, or specific healing items?
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#10 Jun 28 2009 at 11:06 PM Rating: Default
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righteousfury wrote:
Hiro has a suggestion in the essays linked to his thread about tacking on abilities like FFV did it and I had some similar ideas in a thread called Character Building done Right? Here's How (or words to that effect). In short, my idea was that your stats would be based on the skills you selected. So the Monk akirussan described could cast Cure 3 or Stone 2, though neither would be particularly powerful, and he couldn't do either much unless he loaded up other abilities which gave him MP. And having either of those spells rather than abilities that boost his strength and HP makes him weaker most of the time. In other words, you wouldn't make those choices if you were looking to party, but if you were soloing due to playing at an odd hour of the night, or didn't feel like dealing with people, they'd make sense.


This scenario only holds true if the monsters in the world are similar to WoW, where you have non elites for solo and elites for group. If the world is built up as FF11 with all mobs pretty much being elite that monk need to have powerful healing spells at his disposal to be able to heal himself or he will die pretty fast. If the world is build similar to WoW then a monk doesn’t really need healing since he can bash through the mobs with little dmg to him and with almost no downtime.
#11 Jun 28 2009 at 11:26 PM Rating: Default
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akirussan wrote:
I've been playing FFIV lately, and that might be influencing my nostalgia for more strictly defined classes.

While reading through Hiro's latest blog, I noticed that he mentioned items like potions as a viable alternative to having a healer in your party. There are a few sections in FFIV where you find yourself without a healer, and you do end up depending on Cure items to get you through until Rosa/Porom/Tellah join.

I guess maybe a better question at this point would be do you want the classes in FFXIV to be as specialized as they are in FFXI, even if that means they will be dependent on other players with specific jobs, npc mercenaries, or specific healing items?


The problem with making healing potions as viable as a healer only opens up the door to misuse them in harder content. If every player has potions that give as much benefit as a healer then if you have a raid with 18 people, which have "potentially" an additional 18 healers with them in terms of potions. And if you nurf the potion that will let you only be able to help you a small bit then they will be useless to replace a whm. One could argue that you can put heavy restriction on certain potion so that you can only use it in single mode, but this can still be misused in situation, simply leave the party raid, drink up and rejoin. You might say put a super special restriction so that when you are in situation x y z followed by condition a b c only then you are allowed to use this potion. As you can see in the end its simply gets too complicated to not to be able to misuse it. WoW had similar problem with overlapping healing potions with fast global cool downs until they fixed it a few years back. Although in WoW potions has never been able to replace healers, rather they have a lifesaving function.

Everything you try to input into a game will have its consequences.
I always imagine the game like a huge pond and making a change to it is like thrown a stone in the middle of the pond. You might think that little change that I want or is made is only going to affect a little but in reality the ripple will extend over the entire pond and affect the entire games and most of the time this ripple effect is impossible to predict. Some companies like Blizzard are working 24/7 to fix this so called ripple effect and are very good at it. They try hard to fix asap and have good relation to their player base. Other companies like SE are really not that good and sometimes they don’t even care about broken mechanisms in the game.

Edited, Jun 29th 2009 3:41am by Maldavian

Edited, Jun 29th 2009 4:15am by Maldavian
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