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Story, Cutscenes, MechanicsFollow

#1 Jul 18 2009 at 3:33 PM Rating: Good
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I've played a lot of MMOs, with FFXI being my favorite, but something I liked about WoW was that NPCs actually did things in-game in reaction to your quest, instead of just the screen fading to a cutscene and then back to normal. Those who've played WOTLK may remember quests in Northrend, where the Lich King would appear, talk to you, and do various things as if it were a cutscene, but it was all in-game.

Now, WoW didn't have a story or quests as interesting as many of FFXI's cutscenes, but I liked that they tried to do something similar but in the interactive game world, where you could still control your character, instead of a cutscene. It cant hurt to borrow a few good elements from other games. Square did that when they created the first Final Fantasy. Square did it again when they created FFXI.

I know a lot of FFXI players get insulted and laugh when they hear TOR's claim of being the first "story-based MMO", but they released a trailer recently showing their version, and I hope Square has something more interactive/compelling than FFXI's cutscenes in mind for their next generation MMO. Would you complain if FFXIV's story/cutscenes unfolded in a way more like this?

http://www.swtor.com/media/trailers/video-documentary-3
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#2 Jul 18 2009 at 4:03 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah I just saw the recent thing on The Old Republic MMO with the full voice overs. I wish them best of luck on that as it would be innovative if they can pull it off as much as it seems they are aiming for. I also wish for less instanced cutscene stuff if they can pull it off, but all in all I just want to feel part of something bigger and that 'you' are the story. If they want to do FFXI style cutscenes again in the sense that its all instanced, I hope they at least make the NPCs in the game more dynamic where they showcase stuff that you actually have accomplished and don't just have the same repetive dialogue like all your accomplishments didn't actually mean much in the bigger picture XD, its like you were a ghost.

Also more interaction amongst other NPCs is a must in this new MMORPG. They need to have NPCs that go around on their own schedules so towns and environments feel more alive. Perhaps add in the thing they were thinking about early on in FFXI where mobs would actually interact with other mobs in the game whether for agressive reasons or just interact in a way thats believable (Maybe have a large creature get scared off by a small mouse or rabbit for comic affect once in a while to really liven up a zones aesthetics XD).

Id love them to go the Old Republic Route but I just feel it would be a logistical nightmare for updates if they intended to do the cross-region servers again. Imagine voice overs being asked to be done for every update and this is under the conclusion it will only need to be done once (probably english if they do it, since most of their audience will be english with EU and NA combined plus the Japanese don't seem to have a problem with dubs, at least it seems that way with the international releases they have over there XD) more voice overs complicate it further, I mean they have a hard enough time getting normal code stuff working on time much less have it finalized enough to hire voice work done just before an update. But if they go that route, at least I can conclude that it will be awesome the first day of release and I will be aprehensive the rest of the subsequent updates heh.
#3 Jul 18 2009 at 4:07 PM Rating: Default
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Wouldn't really do anything for me, and I'd still rather not have voice acting. It rarely turns out well in video games.
#4 Jul 18 2009 at 4:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Wouldn't really do anything for me, and I'd still rather not have voice acting. It rarely turns out well in video games.


Same for me, and they would have to hire people for every update and every expansion. It usually doesn't work well in regular games and you dont even have to worry about updates and expansions. If star wars pulls it off then more power to them, but its not worth the hassle to me.
#5 Jul 18 2009 at 4:33 PM Rating: Decent
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croythegreat wrote:
Also more interaction amongst other NPCs is a must in this new MMORPG. They need to have NPCs that go around on their own schedules so towns and environments feel more alive. Perhaps add in the thing they were thinking about early on in FFXI where mobs would actually interact with other mobs in the game whether for agressive reasons or just interact in a way thats believable (Maybe have a large creature get scared off by a small mouse or rabbit for comic affect once in a while to really liven up a zones aesthetics XD).


Having NPCs moving around and doing things alone would be a huge improvement to immersion. As far as the TOR thing, it wouldn't have to be voice-acted. What really appealed to me was how NPCs recognize if you're in a party, and who/what you're in a party with, and the general interaction of it. I do feel like a ghost in FFXI, doing quests and mission... my character is just silently shadowing the REAL heroes, like he's watching a play. I'm watching my character watch Prishe save the world, or watching my character get ordered to go pickup Shantotto's dry cleaning.

Edited, Jul 18th 2009 8:34pm by ihatetaru
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#6 Jul 19 2009 at 9:08 AM Rating: Good
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To be honest, WoWs style which you mentioned, imo, is better suited for FPS games. For example it's used extensively in Fallout 3, and the option is usually there to just mull down the guy you're watching.

Cut-scenes are pretty much an essential in an RPG, the whole point in them fading to black is to indicate that the scene is in fact cut.

There are also hoardes of technical limitations in what/where/who can come into the equation. Take Lilisettes action scene in the most recent WoTGs mission; it simply would not be possible if the scene took place within the game, it'd span too much area to follow and require orcs to just randomly stand there for about a minute. I'd rather see a cool action sequence then watch some NPC just stand there speaking to another one.

I'd just like to add, one thing I like about SE as a whole, is that they don't do silly little featurettes like this where they brag about how 'innovative' their features are, as if they are Gods gift to the planet. Developers ALWAYS come out with the same old crap using the same old buzzwords like "Feel", "immerse!", "Engaging" "rich", "we felt", "art" frankly, it's priceless.
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#7 Jul 19 2009 at 12:19 PM Rating: Excellent
Well I don´t mind if NPCs act more on there own. But I don´t really wanna loose the cutscenes. They look so spectacular and they are the Key of the Story. Thats why I play Final Fantasy XI. For the Story and Cutscenes. If the Cutscenes are missing there is no point in buying Final Fantasy XIV for me.
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#8 Jul 20 2009 at 4:43 AM Rating: Good
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Cutscene separation from the in-game real-time play is one of the things I felt was well done in FFXI. As in all Final Fantasy titles, the cutscene serving as major storyline and plot-driven progression gives the story a more fleshed out feel, without messing with the mechanic of in-game real-time NPC's. And while NPC immersion through task-orientated AI is nice...it's not required for the storytelling portion, IMHO.

It would be nice to see NPC's doing things other than just standing there like inanimate cardboard posterboards or animatronic dolls. Giving the world a more living feel would be nice, and something I'm sure at this point in time with MMO's is nearly required...so I'm sure something like that is on SE's plate for FFXIV. I would expect to see a much more fleshed out, living world in-game, but I do hope they retain the classic Final Fantasy cutscenes.

There are certain things that are branded into such franchises as Final Fantasy, and storytelling is one of them. It's what makes games unique, and what makes Final Fantasy so appealing to those that are fans of FF in general. A lot of my memories of FFXI focus around the story through the cutscenes, not the gameplay (not to say gameplay should suffer).
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#9 Jul 20 2009 at 6:17 AM Rating: Decent
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I personally liked the CS's in FFXI, it adds to the story book feel to have a compelling narrative. However I also really agree with some of the other posters that have said that it would be a great improvement to be more than just an observer in the missions.... Having my Char speak in CS's would be a nice touch also, instead of being the mute charity case that the major NPC's let tag along as they save the universe.... there is nothing worse than kicking seven shades of **** out of some major badass storyline villan whilst keeping some NPC alive, saving the universe and then the CS shows said NPC that you had to dedicate a healer to keeping alive getting all the glory.

#10 Jul 20 2009 at 7:17 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I personally liked the CS's in FFXI, it adds to the story book feel to have a compelling narrative. However I also really agree with some of the other posters that have said that it would be a great improvement to be more than just an observer in the missions.... Having my Char speak in CS's would be a nice touch also, instead of being the mute charity case that the major NPC's let tag along as they save the universe.... there is nothing worse than kicking seven shades of **** out of some major badass storyline villan whilst keeping some NPC alive, saving the universe and then the CS shows said NPC that you had to dedicate a healer to keeping alive getting all the glory.


Cutscenes is what makes the name FF mean so much to its playerbase. As far as the hero thing goes, my opinion is that its just how SE usually does FF games. I can remember a lot of FF games, where its not all about you being the hero, but its more about people helping you along the way and the people in your party. They usually don't make games where you just save the world and you are the hero. The games are usually about a main character that really doesn't even want to be the hero, and is sucked in to the storyline. Usually the main character is a clumsy innocent guy and saves the world with the help of others, but not being looked at as a hero. I think this will continue, and you will save the FFXIV world through the help of others (npcs) that will get the glory.

Edited, Jul 20th 2009 11:18am by HocusP
#11 Jul 20 2009 at 7:38 AM Rating: Decent
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THe way they handled CS in FFXI added a bit more dramatic effect to the story. you had differnt camera angles, zooms and pans. was much more cinematic. I never played WoW but it sounds like the CS played from what ever angle you had your player camera currently in.

TOR CS while pretty impressive with all the voice over and things. I hate to think about how long it would take BioWare to add new content. Just think about it. 8 classes each with their own story line, with multiple paths, add in grp quests with multiple paths. do the VO work. Maybe you woudl see content update twice a year. or possibly in just one paid expansion.


Doing this with FFXIV would be dibilitating since it's a worldwide game. which means all regions would release at the same time. JP NA GER and FRE translations + VO would be too much $$ and too much time to get the projects out the door.

What would be cool. is each race had thier own language (or took a real world lang. per race) and had VO work and just the subtitles would be translated for each region.

Taru = JP kids
Hume= NA
Elvann = French
Galka= German
Mithra= meow meow.

lol whatever.
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