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#1 Jul 20 2009 at 8:52 AM Rating: Decent
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Veteran of both FFXI and WoW here.

Ive been reading all the FFXIV info and though I'm anxious for its release, I'm worried that SE may try to cater to the solo-play individual too strongly.

I loved many things about ffxi's lvling system. The major point being that you lvled up with other players. If you stuck w. a job, you actually got to know a good number of other players, as you usually fell into a group of people who lvled at about the same speed as you, so you grouped with them several times. Reputations were able to be built because of this. WoW lacked this aspect. Ok, dungeons did offer group stuff, but questing was generally the main lvling tactic. Because of this, I often felt like i was playing a solo rpg with an instant message function to my RL friends who were also online.

I think if certain problems were solved (camps being overtaken or overly difficult to get to, no one lfg, players being JP ONLY, or even must have BRD) the current (or past...i stopped ffxi a couple years ago) lvling system is really quite fun and I hope that SE doesnt steal the "massively-multi-player" our of its new mmorpg....

quick fixes: More camps for groups, language-specific and multi-lingual servers, and faster travelling.

i dont feel like solo-questing is what an mmorpg is about
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#2 Jul 20 2009 at 9:15 AM Rating: Decent
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This is a pretty hot topic, but I tend to agree. I've played a few quest based MMO's and I always lose interest in leveling. I much prefer actively researching and finding a leveling spot, building a party, and leveling with 2-5 other people. I just can't get into "Go kill 10 boars. Ok, here's 1000 exp. Now go kill 10 spiders. Ok, here's 1000 exp." I know exp parties have disadvantages, but they're much more fun and engaging than "Go kill 10 (insert mob here)".
#3 Jul 20 2009 at 9:30 AM Rating: Decent
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I believe the whole casual aspect is getting blown out of proportion. Especially with no info to go off of besides what the devs said. I still believe "casual" means ways to get rewarded "experience" but at a really slow rate. Think of difficulty over time.

Grouping = highest "experience" possible, medium/high risk, small amount of time to achieve

Solo = Moderate/Average/above average "experience", high risk, medium/high amount of time to achieve

Casual = Low/Moderate "experience", low risk, slow/medium amount of time.

There will just more avenues to take instead of always grouping when time is limited. Still get "experience" but it comes down to sacrifice of how much over time.
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#4 Jul 21 2009 at 6:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't think you have anything to worry about, SE have always produced games that provide a challenge for a group of NPC characters (in terms of none MMO) and for a group of players. I see no reason for them to stop that now, but you honestly can't expect everyone to play together all the time for everything. This is where they went wrong in FFXI and perhaps put off a lot of potential subscribers. Including something for everyone is not going to spoil the game for anyone group... I have faith.
#5 Jul 21 2009 at 8:32 AM Rating: Decent
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solo MMOs like WoW and Lord of the Rings online quickly get boring because they are so solo oriented.
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#6 Jul 21 2009 at 5:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's only natural that MMO devs would study WoW and see what made it so successful. They would want a piece of that pie.

Personally, I don't think S-E is looking for a success equal to that of FFXI -- they want a bigger impact on the scene this time around. Which is why an increased solo-friendly & group-friendly presence has to be included. Something that anyone, regardless of knowledge or (lack of) personal experiences with MMOs, would be able to pick up and enjoy from the outset. FFXI is still regarded as 'exclusive' and 'demanding' by the mainstream gaming press in a weighted comparison to the WoW juggernaut...and while it has taken major strides over the years to be more casual-friendly, I'm thinking that FFXIV could perhaps do well to shun that image.
#7 Jul 21 2009 at 6:25 PM Rating: Good
insanekangaroo wrote:
solo MMOs like WoW and Lord of the Rings online quickly get boring because they are so solo oriented.


It's only boring if you can't make the transition from leveling to end-game. If you have difficulty making friends or haven't developed the skills and knowledge of the game to function in a quality end-game group, of course it's going to be boring. Most of the people who complain about WoW being boring at end-cap have little/no end-game experience. LOTRO end-game was pretty weak when I hit the level cap when I played. The end-game community was very cliquish and for the most part, they might as well have not been there for the amount of interaction you would have with them. WoW is a fair bit different. Heroics, raids, and PvP are end-game in WoW. If you aren't doing those things, your options are to farm or level an alt. Ya, that's pretty boring. Best to actually get involved with content appropriate to your level, then comment on whether or not it's fun/boring.
#8 Jul 21 2009 at 6:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Fun and boring varys from person to person. Anything solo is boring to me, thats why when I buy a new game I hop straight online. Other people might like to play solo and that is perfectly fine. I just hope they don't make it so solo friendly that it kills the group aspects of the game. Its a simple fact that in order to have a healthy group system, the solo aspect has to be lesser then the group aspect. If a person can do somehting solo at the same pace or close to the pace as a group then they wouldn't bother grouping up.
#9 Jul 21 2009 at 7:07 PM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
Fun and boring varys from person to person. Anything solo is boring to me, thats why when I buy a new game I hop straight online. Other people might like to play solo and that is perfectly fine. I just hope they don't make it so solo friendly that it kills the group aspects of the game. Its a simple fact that in order to have a healthy group system, the solo aspect has to be lesser then the group aspect. If a person can do somehting solo at the same pace or close to the pace as a group then they wouldn't bother grouping up.


We've been through this before. If you like to group, find other people like you. If you can't find people like you, it means you're in the minority, and a game can't be catered to suit the minority.
#10 Jul 21 2009 at 7:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
We've been through this before. If you like to group, find other people like you. If you can't find people like you, it means you're in the minority, and a game can't be catered to suit the minority.


Not true that could mean your the minority on that server. Many factors could tie into it as in what time are you playing, what server are you on, what job you are, and your reputation among other things. In FFXi people couldn't find parties and grouping was forced upon you, so imagine trying to group all the time when you can solo at the same pace. Yes we have been over this already, anything made easier will be the majority this doesn't mean you need to cater the game around it to become successful. I didn't say don't add soloing, in fact I said its perfectly fine, but just don't go overboard where it kills the group aspect.

You are not catering to "many types of people" if you kill the group aspect of the game. You can make soloing possible but keep the group aspect by making it at a slower rate. This is not as easy as the majority wins so ***** the minority. Its actually smarter to keep both instead of killing one of them. Its a fact that people would rather not deal with the time and other people if they can go at the same pace solo.

Edited, Jul 21st 2009 11:24pm by HocusP
#11 Jul 21 2009 at 9:15 PM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
Quote:
We've been through this before. If you like to group, find other people like you. If you can't find people like you, it means you're in the minority, and a game can't be catered to suit the minority.


Not true that could mean your the minority on that server. Many factors could tie into it as in what time are you playing, what server are you on, what job you are, and your reputation among other things. In FFXi people couldn't find parties and grouping was forced upon you, so imagine trying to group all the time when you can solo at the same pace. Yes we have been over this already, anything made easier will be the majority this doesn't mean you need to cater the game around it to become successful. I didn't say don't add soloing, in fact I said its perfectly fine, but just don't go overboard where it kills the group aspect.

You are not catering to "many types of people" if you kill the group aspect of the game. You can make soloing possible but keep the group aspect by making it at a slower rate. This is not as easy as the majority wins so ***** the minority. Its actually smarter to keep both instead of killing one of them. Its a fact that people would rather not deal with the time and other people if they can go at the same pace solo.


Developers don't kill the group aspect. Players do. EQ and FFXI used concepts based around a theory that an MMO should be group-centric, with the same logic applied by group aficionados: "If you want to solo, why play an MMO?" Then time told the story: if you're paying to play a game, why should the way that game is tuned prevent you from enjoying your time in it because nothing happens unless you can find other players who want to do the same thing? I've yet to see an MMO where there hasn't been substantial group content to enjoy if that's your thing. Whether or not people actually take part in that content is entirely up to them. Something as straightforward and fundamental to an MMO as leveling a toon is not something that should require a group. Take all of the xp parties in FFXI and make that entire process highly viable as a solo option and you'll find that FFXI didn't have much more group content than any other MMO.
#12 Jul 21 2009 at 10:53 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
. Take all of the xp parties in FFXI and make that entire process highly viable as a solo option and you'll find that FFXI didn't have much more group content than any other MMO.


Well, that would pretty much destroy most of what people liked about FFXI and grouping though.


Quote:

Developers don't kill the group aspect. Players do.


So very, very true.

I think there must be some middle group between a WoW-version of 'solo all the way' (mostly made that way because of players) and the FFXI attitude of 'group only'.


I think group quest limit breaks are one of the ways to rectify this, you simply can't progress a certain skill/weapon/magic/whatever level without grouping up to advance after a certain point. Solo all you like, but at some point you need to come into contact with another non-NPC to keep playing. The ability to switch jobs and the level sync system would be crucial to this however, to avoid having new players left behind without the ability to progress.

I would like to ultimately see a system initiated where the developers highly encourage group progress, but allow soloing in the meantime when you can't find a group. I hear alot of WoW players say that the grind to max level is when you are supposed to learn your talents/spec/how-to-play, but lets face it, without grouping along the way you end up with players in a group for the first time and no idea on how to heal/tank/damage/ranged/pull etc. You shouldn't have to learn how to do a basic group task for the first time when you are already at the highest level.

Solo play is awesome, but it should be an aspect of the game that you utilize only if you can't group, or if you just choose to play that way.
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#13 Jul 22 2009 at 5:56 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Developers don't kill the group aspect. Players do. EQ and FFXI used concepts based around a theory that an MMO should be group-centric, with the same logic applied by group aficionados: "If you want to solo, why play an MMO?" Then time told the story: if you're paying to play a game, why should the way that game is tuned prevent you from enjoying your time in it because nothing happens unless you can find other players who want to do the same thing? I've yet to see an MMO where there hasn't been substantial group content to enjoy if that's your thing. Whether or not people actually take part in that content is entirely up to them. Something as straightforward and fundamental to an MMO as leveling a toon is not something that should require a group. Take all of the xp parties in FFXI and make that entire process highly viable as a solo option and you'll find that FFXI didn't have much more group content than any other MMO.


Developers know this so they control this. You are missing the point completely, the game doesn't have to be as group oriented as FFXI. You can make leveling up possible solo, just at a slower rate (not as slow as ffxi solo), but not as fast as grouping either. This way people can solo that have huge time constraints and people that can group still get the benefits of grouping up. This would not kill any of the aspects, the people with minimum time could solo at a reasonable pace, and the ones with more time could group at a faster pace. If you make the paces the same or real close then you will kill the group aspect of the game.
#14 Jul 22 2009 at 6:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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Speaking in regards to FFXI and group-centric leveling:

It wasn't the group-orientated leveling system of FFXI that was a problem or made it frustrating, it was multiple aspects that had nothing to do with the system actually being "group" orientated.

First and foremost, class balance. With the number of classes in FFXI and the varying roles (arguably more DPS than Tanks/Healers), this created a problem. In order for a group to start, you needed the right number of players and the right roles (1 tank, 1 Healer, 4 DPS). With so many DPS classes (compounded by needing 4 per group, I'm sure), you ended up with two problems out of this. With less healer & tanking classes than DPS classes, player preference on tanks & healers weren't established while player preferences for DPS were...and heavily. This leads to classes with less-than-desireable DPS output or abilities left out in the rain due to preference to other DPS. This was a primary reason BST was so popular...and later, the challenging DRG solo setups. So when creating groups, if you didn't have your (few and far between) healer & tank, but a plethora of DPS...you wait, and wait, and wait in LFG. Likewise, if you're a DPS that isn't desired (ie. DRG, for a while it was DRK, etc), you're going to wait, and wait, and wait in LFG.

To fix this, SE needs to create a better balance of classes/jobs (the way most other MMO's that have followed do) to allow even for player-preference in any specific role (Tank, DPS, Heal) to allow for non-player-preference for more than 1-2 classes. Ideally, this would mean (out of the gate) 3-4 Tanking jobs, 5-6 DPS jobs, 3-4 Healing jobs...instead of say 2 Tanking jobs, 6-8 DPS jobs, 2-3 Healing jobs. Likewise, the classes have to be well balanced within their roles on a comparative basis while still maintaining signature & unique abilities that make them fun & exciting to play. This is the primary plague of any MMO, regardless of a PvE or PvP orientation. Class balance makes or breaks a game on so many levels.

Second, time-to-level (TTL) and experience loss (EL). For "average" FFXI players, it took some time to get to the level cap (75) compared to other MMO's. This was restricted and compounded on other factors (ie. see my first point). Any problematic issues stemming from class balance runs over. Non-preferred DPS classes take longer to level. Period. Same with Tank & Healing roles that aren't preferred. Furthermore, a more gradual and natural feel to level progression (ie. 1-75) was worked on at different points in FFXI through adjustments, but needs to be there from the start in FFXIV. This issue is further compounded with "EL" through consistent playing of the same job. You would be forced to enter back into group play to maintain your level cap after so many deaths. This isn't necessarily a bad thing except on a mental level. Mechanic-wise...it's fine. But when you "feel" like you never really achieve and maintain the level cap, it weighs again end-game risk taking (mentally) and the desire to group after losing a level. The newer systems (ie. Merit Points, etc) were a GREAT step in making end-game grouping relevant for means other than maintaining your level cap. This needs to be there out of the gate, also or "EL" needs to be absent in FFXIV. All or nothing here...because the medium just sucks.

Third, is camped area's for leveling parties. This got extreme at some points in FFXI, whereas if FFXI had open world PvP...certain area's would have turned into battlefield's of dead groups from fighting over pulls (Bibiki Bay comes to mind...). The world has to have an expansive zone set that allows for predetermined leveling groups as well as sliding-scale mob spawn regeneration based on kill rate (ie. the rate at which they're removed from the game world). This is something Blizzard implimented in WoW during TBC (expansion) to help fix issues with heavily camped area's where people were leveling or killing specific mobs for quest(s) (ie. item drops, etc). This is something every MMO developer should consider coding into their games to help with adjusting player population & area popularity without patching the game every month based on new population and area data.

IMHO, FFXI had the most comprehensive and interesting combat/grouping scheme I've seen in a game. The idea of requiring groups to overcome mob NPC's is fantastic, and is great for building community & reputation (as well as controlling it from a player-level). Add to this the skillchain system (which also needs to remain, IMO) and other combat specific mechanics (ie. Rogue threat-transfer, etc) and combat in FFXIV has the possibility to be extremely rewarding and fun.

But, as mentioned already, there should be the accessibility of Solo/Casual play...just with lower Exp rates and lessening risk compounding with a longer time difference to gain levels (as seen with low to mid lvl BST in FFXI).

Another thing FFXI did very, very well is their level cap. Unlike WoW and other MMO's that have increased the level caps with multiple expansions...FFXI did not after they adjusted to the level 75 cap and maintained progression through gear & content rather than level. Ironically...grouping never went away...and in fact increased at end-game levels once additional point system(s) (ie. Merit points) where added. SE found the way to keep grouping purposeful and fun, while not being forced to increase the level cap and simply use a sliding scale for adjusting each end-game content addition from the previous point without readjusting for 5-10-15-etc new levels of stats & abilities. Quite smart of them, IMO.

Long story short: Groups are great...provided the mechanics are their to ensure it stays interesting, effective, and purposeful as well as fun and exciting.
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#15 Jul 22 2009 at 7:02 AM Rating: Good
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ForgottenOne wrote:
Veteran of both FFXI and WoW here.

Ive been reading all the FFXIV info and though I'm anxious for its release, I'm worried that SE may try to cater to the solo-play individual too strongly.

I loved many things about ffxi's lvling system. The major point being that you lvled up with other players. If you stuck w. a job, you actually got to know a good number of other players, as you usually fell into a group of people who lvled at about the same speed as you, so you grouped with them several times. Reputations were able to be built because of this. WoW lacked this aspect. Ok, dungeons did offer group stuff, but questing was generally the main lvling tactic. Because of this, I often felt like i was playing a solo rpg with an instant message function to my RL friends who were also online.

I think if certain problems were solved (camps being overtaken or overly difficult to get to, no one lfg, players being JP ONLY, or even must have BRD) the current (or past...i stopped ffxi a couple years ago) lvling system is really quite fun and I hope that SE doesnt steal the "massively-multi-player" our of its new mmorpg....

quick fixes: More camps for groups, language-specific and multi-lingual servers, and faster travelling.

i dont feel like solo-questing is what an mmorpg is about


Why are you assuming there will be camps for groups like there are in FFXI?

Anyways, soloing or grouping for experience points should both be viable. I personally enjoy grouping together with people but there are times when I prefer soloing. If I have several hours to spend playing I would try to look for a group to level with or do a dungeon. While LFG I would be soloing.

I played FFXI for two years but later switched to WoW. Leveling in FFXI was too repetitive back when I played and I wish there was more variety to it. In WoW you can solo or you can group up to do quests and instances but it's often faster to just solo. I hope FF14 strikes a balance between these two.
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#16 Jul 22 2009 at 7:15 AM Rating: Good
Shazaamemt wrote:
I think group quest limit breaks are one of the ways to rectify this, you simply can't progress a certain skill/weapon/magic/whatever level without grouping up to advance after a certain point. Solo all you like, but at some point you need to come into contact with another non-NPC to keep playing. The ability to switch jobs and the level sync system would be crucial to this however, to avoid having new players left behind without the ability to progress.


I can't say I'm too keen on that for the same reason as I'm not too keen on forced grouping at any other stage of the progression process. If you reach that barrier and can't find a group in a timely fashion, you're stalled.

I'm not going to be going into FFXIV with the attitude that if I ever have to wait longer than 5 minutes for a group that I'm going to label the game as bad and cancel my subscription. I just think SE has to be exceptionally careful about where and how they implement forced group content (if they implement it at all).

Quote:
I would like to ultimately see a system initiated where the developers highly encourage group progress, but allow soloing in the meantime when you can't find a group. I hear alot of WoW players say that the grind to max level is when you are supposed to learn your talents/spec/how-to-play, but lets face it, without grouping along the way you end up with players in a group for the first time and no idea on how to heal/tank/damage/ranged/pull etc. You shouldn't have to learn how to do a basic group task for the first time when you are already at the highest level.


My experience in WoW is that it only takes a couple of 5-man runs at the level cap to learn how to execute your role to a basic standard. If it takes much longer than that, chances are fairly decent that that person is just always going to be mediocre (there are exceptions, of course.) Simple game is simple. The people who want to learn will.

Quote:
Solo play is awesome, but it should be an aspect of the game that you utilize only if you can't group, or if you just choose to play that way.


Well, ya. That's the whole idea. Lots of people duo/trio in WoW. RL friends, couples, people who just prefer to have someone else around while they do this or that. It's extremely viable and folks have a lot of fun doing it. The huge benefit is that they duo/trio in content tuned to be manageable by a solo player so they never have to worry about having the right job combinations. They just pick the classes they like and go. If they find that tag-teaming at-level mobs one at a time is a bit dull, they can just go find mobs a little higher in level or focus on the higher level quests they pick up. They can do a lot of group quests as soon as they accept them without having to wait around to find a group.

Extend that viability to a full party. Now, you default to higher level zones and higher level quests and go nuts. Or, instead of questing on the world map (content tuned for solo), you just run dungeons all the time. And before anyone pipes up with, "Ya, right...running the same dungeon over and over again would be real fun Smiley: oyvey," let me just say that if your dedicated band only wanted to run dungeons, they'd typically only have to run a given dungeon a handful of times before they had leveled to the point where they could take on the next dungeon. Not only that, but I'd rather run the same dungeon 5-6 times for some great loot and diversity than stand in the same spot for 3 hours ganking crabs or colibri.

As I've said before, I very much hope that there's an abundance of group content throughout FFXIV. The only thing I take issue with is the idea that solo content is still treated like an afterthought. Group-centric no longer fits with the MMO genre. There are plenty of ways to make group content attractive without making solo content dull or inserting barriers into the progression process that can stall players for extended periods of time.
#17 Jul 22 2009 at 7:27 AM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
Developers know this so they control this. You are missing the point completely, the game doesn't have to be as group oriented as FFXI. You can make leveling up possible solo, just at a slower rate (not as slow as ffxi solo), but not as fast as grouping either. This way people can solo that have huge time constraints and people that can group still get the benefits of grouping up. This would not kill any of the aspects, the people with minimum time could solo at a reasonable pace, and the ones with more time could group at a faster pace. If you make the paces the same or real close then you will kill the group aspect of the game.


I'm not missing the point. This has already been addressed. If solo options aren't reasonably comparable to group options, people will feel like solo is not really viable. Remember what I said about that before? If player A wants to solo because of time restrictions, inability to find a group, or they just don't feel like dealing with random people that day, they should be able to progress at a rate that is rewarding. If, on the other hand, they should find themselves in a group they should ideally leave that group feeling like it was worth the hassle but not with the feeling of, "zomfg that was just so much better than the benefits of solo play that soloing suddenly seems pointless."

Again, your idea seems to be based around the notion that you need an MMO developer to force people to cooperate and play the game the way you think it should be played. When MMO developers start forcing people down narrow paths because the benefits of any other option are second rate, they're in trouble. SE does not have the luxury of tapping a market consisting largely of EQ vets and first time MMO players this time around. There is going to be a large segment of players coming over to FFXIV from other MMOs (not just FFXI) who will toss the game out the window if they get the impression that solo play is just included as filler content between groups.
#18insanekangaroo, Posted: Jul 22 2009 at 7:29 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) i am not talking about end game. im talking about the main part of the game. i have never actually made it to end game, because of the boredom.
#19insanekangaroo, Posted: Jul 22 2009 at 7:33 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) why dont you just go play WoW?
#20 Jul 22 2009 at 7:34 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
But, as mentioned already, there should be the accessibility of Solo/Casual play...just with lower Exp rates and lessening risk compounding with a longer time difference to gain levels


Exactly...Its not forced grouping if you can solo at a reasonable rate, but still leaving the benefits of group leveling. My guess is going to be, they will add new ways to grow your character so you can solo at a reasonable rate (like quests and campaign stylish things), but still make grouping a faster rate. This way people with time constraints or people that like to solo still feel like they are progressing at a reasonable rate. Then the people with more time still feel like grouping has benefits and still provides you with a reason to group. I say add more ways because its simple that a group will kill mobs way faster then a solo player, but if you add more ways to grow like campaign stylish things and quests, then you could solo at a reasonable rate.

If you could solo at a reasonable rate then it wouldn't feel pointless. There are benefits that comes with soloing, that do not come with grouping. These benefits is just not as easy to see as the exp difference a group gets. These benefits consist of you being able to work at your own pace, you don't have to deal with other people, you can start and stop when you want to, and you dont have to play to anybody's standards. If you could solo at a reasonable rate then people would not think soloing is pointless, they would think "Hey I can solo at a reasonable rate and go at my own pace and at my own standards". Now look at the reverse of this, grouping comes with negative effects. People will say "why group when I can solo at the same rate and get the benefits of soloing". Its not about the right way of playing anything, its about the underlying benefits that you fail to realize. Because, soloing has these benefits then the extra rate benefit of grouping evens it out.




Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 11:47am by HocusP
#21 Jul 22 2009 at 7:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
...when creating groups, if you didn't have your (few and far between) healer & tank, but a plethora of DPS...you wait, and wait, and wait in LFG....

...To fix this, SE needs to create a better balance of classes/jobs (the way most other MMO's that have followed do) to allow even for player-preference in any specific role (Tank, DPS, Heal) to allow for non-player-preference for more than 1-2 classes. Ideally, this would mean (out of the gate) 3-4 Tanking jobs, 5-6 DPS jobs, 3-4 Healing jobs...



:x
While I'm all for more options, sadly, adding more tanking and healing classes wouldn't result in more tanks and healers.

The problem is, more people are interested in DPS classes than they are Healer and Tank types. Every MMO since the dawn of time has had an overabundance of DPS players with a Healer and Tank shortage. As soon as you make party play centric to level progression, you make that a problem.

I can't speak from the tank perspective, but I play a Healing type in every MMO I try, and I just don't think the answer to this is easy. You could take the WoW route and make more healing classes than god, use the FFXI option and make Healing increda-overpowered with travel-related incentives, or follow in Darkfall's footsteps and make the entire thing class-less. But somehow all this just ends up accomplishing is the same number of healers playing; they just come in more flavors, are too integral to character progression and promote extended looking for group times, or not integral enough and become purposeless due to the rise of the plate-mages.

To get more Healer and Tank players, you'd have to attract people from the "defeat my enemy" camp to the "help my friends" camp. I can't even begin to imagine how you'd go about that.


Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 11:49am by Zemzelette
#22 Jul 22 2009 at 7:51 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
The problem is, more people are interested in DPS classes than they are Healer and Tank types. Every MMO since the dawn of time has had an overabundance of DPS players with a Healer and Tank shortage. As soon as you make party play centric to level progression, you make that a problem.


I'm not getting back into this on this thread, but this is not true. I remember a time when tanks were not hard to find at all. The problem is the people that wants to level the 2 tank jobs has already done so, and there are no other options to level. Adding more options would not completely solve the problem but it would help the problem in a major way. Remember FF is not like any other MMO, you can level all jobs on 1 character, so other games do not count here. In other mmos yes more people would rather pick a DD job, but that is because they is stuck with that job forever, in FFXi where you can change jobs easily, more options would add a ton of more people playing those jobs.

Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 11:52am by HocusP
#23 Jul 22 2009 at 8:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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HocusP wrote:
Remember FF is not like any other MMO, you can level all jobs on 1 character, so other games do not count here. In other mmos yes more people would rather pick a DD job, but that is because they is stuck with that job forever, in FFXi where you can change jobs easily, more options would add a ton of more people playing those jobs.


^ This is much along the lines of what I'm thinking of. FFXI has very little distribution in the way of role-specific job except DPS. This needs to be fixed for FFXIV. It all boils down to job balance...and not just from a mechanic standpoint (homogenizing roles). Balance is important when the quantity of available jobs per role is considered, because without variety or available differences between role-specific classes, you lose the possibility of that job existing within a players ********

The other important thing is giving each job an ability to function in multiple aspects. With SE stating outright they're planning on have solo/casual play be more "available" in FFXIV, chances are this problem will be taken care of as well. For classes in specific roles to be able to function in a solo/casual way "outside" those roles, they need some abilities that make them interesting and effective on both sides of the coins. So, a Tank job for instance, would excel in group play at holding aggro and mitigating damage, but would still have a variety of abilities that would cater to solo/casual play so that the class can "operate" in both area's...so to speak.

Like I said, job/class balance makes or breaks a game. If it's not done right, there's no point in playing it.

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#24 Jul 22 2009 at 8:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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We're talking about two different things.
Your talking about longevity of the pool of Healer-players, I'm talking about size.

I'm a Healer-type. Players B and C are DPS types who started at the game's release. Player X is a DPS who started a year later. Playing a Healer-type at release allows me to heal for Player B. Adding more Healing classes for me to tool around with might even give me a chance to heal for Player X.
But this doesn't do diddily for Player C.

If folks were willing to play all roles equally, the playerbase would have been chopped into 3rds around the roles at the beginning, and because a group only needs 1 healer and tank and 4 DPS - there would have been an overabundance of healers and tanks. As it was, there was kind of "just barely enough" and that only got worse as time progressed (for exactly the reason you explored).

You also have the sticky wicket of players not being particularly homogeneous. While some players like to stay within a single role, there are those who switch. But because DPS accounts for the majority of the playerbase and yet the support roles they would switch into remains somewhat statically low, we're probably looking at a higher gravitation to DPS than we are Support.

While I do think focusing on longevity is beneficial, because longevity doesn't address the whole of LFG problems, the pool of healer and tank players is naturally low, and doesn't always have perfect retention; if we could somehow attract more people to Healing and Tanking fundamentally we would alot to alleviate the LFG problems.

Of course, this is all kind of pipe dream, because I have absolutely no idea how.




Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 3:40pm by Zemzelette
#25 Jul 22 2009 at 8:49 AM Rating: Default
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It effects everything and comparing other games to this really doesnt work. You don't know how many people would play heal/tank jobs if they didn't have to make another character, have a new name, no gil, use new armor, and do all the quests over again. There a ton of people that is curious or that want to play other roles but will not simply because its too much work to build up an alt character. There is also a ton of people that would like to play as a dd one day, and then a tank the next day.

In an FF MMO where all of these things is possible, more options would bring a ton of people to these roles. The ability to job change at a wimp has made every single job in FFXI a played job, and this would continue with more options. This would not completely solve the problem, but it would make it much less of a problem and be a major upgrade.
#26 Jul 22 2009 at 10:12 AM Rating: Good
after playing ffxi for a qwhile... i have to say i love the partying, they'll probably keep it the same. The only bad things were the time sinks such as waiting and getting to the leveling spot. They'll hopefully eliminate this and put different time sinks in like taking longer to level.. So even though it takes longer to level up(more xp, whatever new system is) It will allow people to actually play the game, fun.
#27 Jul 22 2009 at 11:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:

You don't know how many people would play heal/tank jobs if they didn't have to make another character, have a new name, no gil, use new armor, and do all the quests over again.


But don't we?
Isn't FFXI an example of this?


#28 Jul 22 2009 at 11:57 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
But don't we?
Isn't FFXI an example of this?


No not actually, like I said it wasn't hard to find tanks at the beginning years of the game (as in Na release years). FFXI is not an accurate example of this because it only has 2 tank jobs and same for healers. We have no accurate example because there isn't a mmo yet that lets you switch jobs and has more then the two tank options to choose from. If you add options along with the switch job function then it would help a lot.


Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 3:59pm by HocusP
#29 Jul 22 2009 at 12:19 PM Rating: Decent
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I think that groups are the reason that I think FFXI was a better MMO than all the others. The group system had an infastructure that was based upon your desire. It was also a place where people can make friends that would help them later on, you could find a linkshell that you fit into, and re-group with people from the past. It is also a place to learn from people and help noobies. If a DD is doing something wrong and you tell him how to better himself you are doing a service to everyone he/she parties with. You can also learn tricks that you never knew. Overall its funner to be with people. Everyone knows that it takes 2 to tango but 6 to party (lol i msde that up).
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#30 Jul 22 2009 at 12:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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::blink::
I think your venturing a wee bit into the dangerous soft science territory. Like, "you haven't been to Mars, so how do you know you can't breathe the (lack of) atmosphere?"

There are observable patterns of behavior that are entirely relevant to build an opinion around. We've seen lacking Support Role numbers in an MMO where changing your job on the fly is an option (FFXI). We've seen lacking Support Role numbers in an MMO where many options for the 3 standard roles have been given (WoW). We've also seen lacking Support Role numbers in the genre as a whole over the scope of nearly two decades. So I don't think I'm going out a limb by saying the Support Roles numbers might be lacking just because nobody's actually suffocated on Mars.

It's not that I'm against more options (or group play)
I just think this is an inherent flaw in the system I really wish some genius game designer would fix.



#31 Jul 22 2009 at 1:14 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
There are observable patterns of behavior that are entirely relevant to build an opinion around. We've seen lacking Support Role numbers in an MMO where changing your job on the fly is an option (FFXI). We've seen lacking Support Role numbers in an MMO where many options for the 3 standard roles have been given (WoW). We've also seen lacking Support Role numbers in the genre as a whole over the scope of nearly two decades. So I don't think I'm going out a limb by saying the Support Roles numbers might be lacking just because nobody's actually suffocated on Mars.


You have seen it in 1 mmo where you could switch jobs that didn't have many options and is now 8 years old. You have not seen it in a game where you can switch jobs easily and had many options so you don't know. You are skipping over the fact that earlier in FFXI life it wasn't much of an issue. Now that the game is 8 years old, its a huge problem because people have been there and done that. Games where you can't switch jobs (so basically every other game), do not count. The one game (ffxi) where this is possible did not have many options, so there really isn't an accurate example. We are sure that in FFXIV there will be a switch job function and they wanted to expand on the job system. If they provide more options then it will be way less of a problem in longevity and in present terms.
#32 Jul 22 2009 at 1:37 PM Rating: Decent
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The fact that it devolved into a horrible situation is something we both basically agree on, and how to solve this issue of longevity with class variety is also something we basically agree on, so there's no point in retreading that.

Examining FFXI: the Early Years only reinforces my point.

While your approaching it from the perspective that there used to be more Support players, so whatever made them all go away is the culprit and error to fix. I'm approaching it from the perspective that even these early numbers displayed the expected ratio disparity, before longevity even had a chance to become an issue.

I contend, the crux of the problem is that DPS seems to attract more players than Support does. I'll suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on the point of everything not occurring in a ******* vacuum scientific analysis, and because we disagree on something so fundamental, this argument can see no resolution.



Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 5:53pm by Zemzelette
#33 Jul 22 2009 at 1:59 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
While your approaching it from the perspective that there used to be more Support players. I'm approaching it from the perspective that even these early numbers displayed the expected ratio disparity, before longevity even had a chance to become an issue.

I contend, the crux of the problem is that DPS seems to attract more players than Support does. I'll suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on the point of scientific analysis. Which means, of course, this argument can see no resolution.


Indeed I agree that DPS is the more attractive choice when people pick jobs (thats a fact pretty much). The only difference I have is to what extent is it "what people like to play" vs "options people has to play with". I think options pay an important factor along with what people wants to play. I think options play an even bigger part when you have the ability to change jobs. I just think when people gets the opportunity to play as many roles, that people would like to play all the roles to a point. With ffxi it was like people would say "well I want to play a tank role today but I don't want to play pld, and nin is too expensive". With more options people could find a job thats maybe not a pld but not as expensive as a nin either.

People have mood swings, and a lot of people don't just want to play as one role everyday that they play. More options would just help people find something that fits them in every role. Like tanks for instance, nin and pld both just didn't fit good for some people so they just rule out tanks. Same as whm and rdm just did not fit for some people so they just ruled out healing. Now if war and mnk don't fit for you in DPS you also got rng, thf, and drg, etc. Options would just provide people with at least one job that fits for them in each role, but this only works in a game where you can switch jobs. You can have 100 jobs in a game but if I had to pick one job and stay with it, then a DD job would be my choice. But, when you can change jobs, its about finding a job that fits you in every role.



Edited, Jul 22nd 2009 6:12pm by HocusP
#34 Jul 22 2009 at 5:24 PM Rating: Decent
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I think FFXI has a pretty decent balance between group and solo viability right now, at least in the low-mid levels. Soloing will net you solid and reliable XP/hour (even outdoing a mediocre group), but a good party will surpass it (even including the time it takes to form up and get rolling). I'd like to see a similar balance carried over to FFXIV; soloing is a viable and reliable means to advance, but a good group is better.

I'd also like to see a much less "metagamey" means of advancing your character. Both typical questing and mob grinding share the same mentality: Advancement is the goal, X is the means to achieve it. It'd be nice to see a system that was more goal- or accomplishment-based, where your character advances naturally as you work to achieve whatever goals you've set for yourself.
#35 Jul 22 2009 at 8:52 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:

I'm not missing the point. This has already been addressed. If solo options aren't reasonably comparable to group options, people will feel like solo is not really viable


At the same time, if solo and group options are equally viable to every aspect of the game (save end-game of course), then the reason to even attempt to group is gone.

From most players perspective:

If I can solo at the same rate and quality as I can group, then why should I look for a group at all? Looking for a group and learning party mechanics that constantly change and require me to gear for certain roles is far more challanging and time-consuming than just playing solo all the way to max level.

That's the ethos that predominates the majority of the WoW playerbase until they hit level 80. Yes, some friends and couples like to duo/trio the whole way up, but that's the minority.

Quote:

My experience in WoW is that it only takes a couple of 5-man runs at the level cap to learn how to execute your role to a basic standard. If it takes much longer than that, chances are fairly decent that that person is just always going to be mediocre (there are exceptions, of course.) Simple game is simple. The people who want to learn will.


All true, but it still reinforces my statement that this type of gameplay leads to players learning how to group after hitting max level, and not learning their group roles before getting to the maximum level. I kinda liked the fact that in FFXI having max level was an instant indicator that you at least knew how to play your job.

'Simple game is simple' yep, it is, but some of us (and I think you as well) want a little more than the old 'simple game is simple'. I don't want to have to tell a tank that defense plays a role in his tanking ability when I am in a high level dungeon. (and that happens in WoW)


Quote:
The only thing I take issue with is the idea that solo content is still treated like an afterthought. Group-centric no longer fits with the MMO genre.


That 'group-centric' no longer fits with the MMO genre is a failure on the part of the MMO developers. Solo content SHOULD be treated as less important than group content. If it isn't treated as such, then we might as well just play Diabolo-esque games that require no subscription fee.
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#36 Jul 22 2009 at 9:21 PM Rating: Decent
Shazaamemt wrote:
Quote:

I'm not missing the point. This has already been addressed. If solo options aren't reasonably comparable to group options, people will feel like solo is not really viable


At the same time, if solo and group options are equally viable to every aspect of the game (save end-game of course), then the reason to even attempt to group is gone.


Again, I've addressed this. Repeatedly.

Base charactter progression isn't the end-all be-all of reward for participating in content. Gear rewards can be used as incentive. Currency can be used. Story can be used. It doesn't have to all boil down to how quickly your character progresses. FFXI players stuck in the "xp/hour has to be better blah blah rah rah" seriously need to just get over it. What a disappointment that such a significant segment of players has been conditioned to think that xp/base character progression is the most important part of a game such that it should matter who gets how much faster. Worry about the content. Worry about the itemization. Worry about the story.

Worry about what matters and adds flavor and diversity in the game. If you like to group, group. That's all you need. You don't need to QQ and **** and moan about "omfg what if solo is too good and nobody wants to group?!!?!?!?1111?!?!?!"

ffs...

Get. Over. It.
#37 Jul 22 2009 at 11:11 PM Rating: Good
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As a soloist even when I know I could do much better joining a group I choose to play solo anyways and join only groups for much difficult quests or missions. If it can be soloed I'll be soloing it.

When they say group play is not emphasized it doesn't mean group play will be less potent. Even when solo play will be a better method of xping a large number of players will still want to group because its their preference.
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#38 Jul 23 2009 at 4:16 AM Rating: Decent
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Onotheo wrote:
When they say group play is not emphasized it doesn't mean group play will be less potent. Even when solo play will be a better method of xping a large number of players will still want to group because its their preference.


Yes, no, and maybe all rolled into one. I cannot speak for anyone else, however I prefer group play in the leveling scenario. However...you have to understand that the game that embraces solo leveling scenario's is going to result, more than likely, in a playerbase that also embraces this ideal and follows it. I hate that when I level a character in WoW (which I've done quite a few times, and still do), I'm literally forced to solo a majority of the low-to-mid level content...and even most upper pre-heroic/raid content because no one really cares to do anything. Lower level instances are moot due to the ease of solo leveling. Not only can you level without even getting into a group for Group-orientated world quests, you can completely bypass all dungeon & group orientated content flat out and still maintain a leveling pace that is, blistering, to say the least.

I think anyone who has more than 6 months experience or 1 level 75 character in FFXI at any point in time will argue that the grouping system is fine, but the negative aspects need to be addressed (time and limit in focus). Soloing should be something possible to help lower downtime without trumping group exp values. It's perfectly acceptable to say "Oh, I'm going to LFG but in the meantime I can go get some acceptable XP soloing some beastmen for drops & gil" and then drop everything you're doing once an invite arrives. This is something, especially in the early life of FFXI...that just wasn't possible. You just sat there with your thumb up your **** waiting for an invite and either crafted or watched TV due to the lack of the program being windowed.

Aurelius wrote:
FFXI players stuck in the "xp/hour has to be better blah blah rah rah" seriously need to just get over it.


It's annoying that people see things this way...I agree. Whenever I leveled in FFXI, I didn't care about how much XP that was pulled in...although fast paced & efficient groups were always a bonus. I liked the mechanics enough to simply care that everyone knew what they were doing and the group simply efficiently chugged along at whatever pace. There was nothing better (in group leveling) than a smooth, efficient machine running at whatever pace. It made the time pass quickly and made the group enjoyable. Pull, build up, WS's to skillchains, mob dies, puller leaves, rinse repeat. Repetative? Yes. Enjoyable? Heck yes, especially when it moves like a well oiled machine. In the early FFXI, you had to enjoy this, because once you got to 75, after a few Sky/Dynamis events you were back to barely maintaining 75 or being level 74 and had to get your buffer back.

Edited, Jul 23rd 2009 8:17am by Ryneguy
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#39 Jul 23 2009 at 5:42 AM Rating: Default
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FFXI players stuck in the "xp/hour has to be better blah blah rah rah" seriously need to just get over it. What a disappointment that such a significant segment of players has been conditioned to think that xp/base character progression is the most important part of a game such that it should matter who gets how much faster. Worry about the content. Worry about the itemization. Worry about the story.

Worry about what matters and adds flavor and diversity in the game. If you like to group, group. That's all you need. You don't need to QQ and **** and moan about "omfg what if solo is too good and nobody wants to group?!!?!?!?1111?!?!?!"


Some people actually like endgame and would prefer to get their fast so they can enjoy the game as much as people that like the earlier things. I enjoy the story and did every mission on ffxi (and many quests), but everybody doesn't have to play like that. Who is you to tell people what they should care about when its them playing the game? They are worrying about what matters to them, and that is the pace of player progression.

Its not as simple as if you like to group then group, because again you fail to realize, soloing has underlying benefits and grouping has underlying negatives. The faster pace just accommodates for these positives and negatives. It is true, if soloing is the same pace then it will be a solo game (or at least progression will be), because once again soloing has underlying benefits.
#40 Jul 23 2009 at 8:43 AM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
Quote:
FFXI players stuck in the "xp/hour has to be better blah blah rah rah" seriously need to just get over it. What a disappointment that such a significant segment of players has been conditioned to think that xp/base character progression is the most important part of a game such that it should matter who gets how much faster. Worry about the content. Worry about the itemization. Worry about the story.

Worry about what matters and adds flavor and diversity in the game. If you like to group, group. That's all you need. You don't need to QQ and **** and moan about "omfg what if solo is too good and nobody wants to group?!!?!?!?1111?!?!?!"


Some people actually like endgame and would prefer to get their fast so they can enjoy the game as much as people that like the earlier things. I enjoy the story and did every mission on ffxi (and many quests), but everybody doesn't have to play like that. Who is you to tell people what they should care about when its them playing the game? They are worrying about what matters to them, and that is the pace of player progression.


Then worry about the pace of character progression without doing so at the expense of other players. You'd be a lot better off (and would seem a lot less selfish) by saying, "I hope it doesn't take 6 months to level character to the cap so that I can get involved in end-game" than you would be by saying, "I hope you have to group to progress at a reasonable rate."

See the difference?

One statement references your desire to see the game tuned in a way that allows you to access the content you enjoy the most within a reasonable time frame. The other statement imposes penalties on people for not playing the game the way you like to play it.

Quote:
Its not as simple as if you like to group then group, because again you fail to realize, soloing has underlying benefits and grouping has underlying negatives. The faster pace just accommodates for these positives and negatives. It is true, if soloing is the same pace then it will be a solo game (or at least progression will be), because once again soloing has underlying benefits.


And statements like that simply demonstrate your ignorance for how solo/group balance works in other games. Solo play is solo play. The progression is decent and the other rewards (ie. gear) are mediocre. The gear is good enough to keep you moving forward, but if you take the time out and run some group content, you get better gear. Better gear means better performance in combat. Better performance in combat means faster kills and/or higher survivability. Faster kills/better survivability means better performance in the solo aspect as well as the group aspect. Base progression in group content is just as fast as it is in solo content...faster if you're in a good group.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you tune group play to be far and away better than solo play as "incentive" for people to group, you end up with bad/mediocre players progressing faster in groups than skilled players can solo. You're rewarding mediocrity, and that's just stupid. The only way to maintain a balance is to reward success equally at a base level whether you play solo or prefer to group, and then add layers of incentive for group play to account for the added time required to assemble the group and the added coordination required for that group to be successful. Layers. Not simply everything.
#41 Jul 23 2009 at 9:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I hope you have to group to progress at a reasonable rate."

See the difference?

One statement references your desire to see the game tuned in a way that allows you to access the content you enjoy the most within a reasonable time frame. The other statement imposes penalties on people for not playing the game the way you like to play it


I said solo should be a reasonable rate just not as fast as group play. The difference is the definition of reasonable rates is different from person to person. My reasonable is definitly not as slow as FFXI solo, but not the same as group play either.

Quote:
And statements like that simply demonstrate your ignorance for how solo/group balance works in other games. Solo play is solo play. The progression is decent and the other rewards (ie. gear) are mediocre. The gear is good enough to keep you moving forward, but if you take the time out and run some group content, you get better gear. Better gear means better performance in combat. Better performance in combat means faster kills and/or higher survivability. Faster kills/better survivability means better performance in the solo aspect as well as the group aspect. Base progression in group content is just as fast as it is in solo content...faster if you're in a good group.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you tune group play to be far and away better than solo play as "incentive" for people to group, you end up with bad/mediocre players progressing faster in groups than skilled players can solo. You're rewarding mediocrity, and that's just stupid. The only way to maintain a balance is to reward success equally at a base level whether you play solo or prefer to group, and then add layers of incentive for group play to account for the added time required to assemble the group and the added coordination required for that group to be successful. Layers. Not simply everything.


We are talking about strictly level progression here, of course you will need a group to get good gear. When I say the game will be a solo game, I mean when you level everyone will be doing it solo. I don't mean you will get good gear solo. You end up with skilled players that know how to play in a group, and not solo players that just know how to survive by themselves. Assuming a solo player is more skilled then a group player is not right. As someone else said at least in FFXi people at cap knew there jobs, but in WoW its a lot of noobs at the cap (I forgot who said this). Skills level has nothing to do with group or solo, you just keep ignoring the benefits you get when you solo and the negatives you get when you group. That faster pace just makes up for these imbalances. I would like it where grouping still has a benefit to group, but where soloing is possible at my idea of an reasonable rate.

#42 Jul 23 2009 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
I said solo should be a reasonable rate just not as fast as group play. The difference is the definition of reasonable rates is different from person to person. My reasonable is definitly not as slow as FFXI solo, but not the same as group play either.


And my question is, why should you care? And the only answer put forward is that if you can progress solo at a base level roughly on par with what you can achieve in a group, people will be less inclined to group. So I say no, and if you'd played an MMO other than FFXI for any length of time you'd understand. Layers of reward above and beyond base progression are what create the incentive for group play beyond just the appeal of working in a group.

Quote:
We are talking about strictly level progression here,


No, we're not. We're talking about progression as a whole. You may want to restrict the conversation to base progression. I don't. I'm talking about a balanced system where everyone can feel like they're progressing well regardless of whether their interests/schedule lead to frequent grouping, with additional layers of rewards for participating in group content.

Quote:
When I say the game will be a solo game, I mean when you level everyone will be doing it solo. I don't mean you will get good gear solo. You end up with skilled players that know how to play in a group, and not solo players that just know how to survive by themselves.


If group play in an MMO is so much more challenging for you that you need all that practice to be able to function well in a group, maybe a solo game is more suited to you anyways. Group play is rarely more difficult than solo play. Group leveling in FFXI was a joke in terms of difficulty. There was nothing you learned in an FFXI xp party that would help you in FFXI endgame so much that you needed dozens of hours to practice it. In fact, the dull zerg of FFXI group leveling did more harm to the playerbase than good, and pre-nerf CoP proved that better than any argument I could put forward.

Quote:
Assuming a solo player is more skilled then a group player is not right.


I've made no such assumption. I have, however, said that a skilled solo player should always progress faster than a crappy/mediocre group. That narrows the window for tuning in terms of base progression rewards for the two different approaches/avenues of developing your character so that no, you aren't going to be progressing faster in a group that's tripping over itself trying to execute on faceroll fundamentals. You'd actually have to execute with some measure of skill and coordination to outstrip the solo player, and rightly so.

Quote:
As someone else said at least in FFXi people at cap knew there jobs,


********* No bloody way is that an accurate statement. I knew no shortage of level 75 players in FFXI that were fundamentally clueless about anything beyond zerging. I knew no shortage of dps jobs in FFXI that couldn't manage threat, tanks that couldn't build threat, and healers that went to pieces if they had to do anything more than stand in one spot and spam heal the tank.

Quote:
but in WoW any MMO its a lot of noobs at the cap


FTFY

Quote:
Skills level has nothing to do with group or solo, you just keep ignoring the benefits you get when you solo and the negatives you get when you group. That faster pace just makes up for these imbalances. I would like it where grouping still has a benefit to group, but where soloing is possible at my idea of an reasonable rate.


I'm not ignoring the benefits of solo. That's why games with truly viable solo components can be labeled as flops and still generate as many if not more subscribers as FFXI. Solo play as a genuinely viable alternative in an MMO works. Forced grouping does not.

All I want is for FFXIV to be successful, provide enjoyment to as many players as possible regardless of their preferred playstyle, and last for a good, long time before the decline starts. FFXI's decline started 3-4 years ago and it has since plateaued with the additions SE has made to accommodate a more casual style of play. Had they not made those changes, I'm fairly certain FFXI's net population decline would have continued. I don't feel the need to "barely" accommodate solo play to preserve group play because I know from first hand experience that you don't need to restrict solo play to maintain group play as an entertaining and viable option.

And that's really what it boils down to. My experience > your supposition, and always will be. So unless you're prepared to offer a balanced argument based on personal experience centered around equal inclusion as opposed to selective exclusion of different kinds of players, I don't really see much point in arguing this with you anymore.
#43 Jul 23 2009 at 11:37 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
And my question is, why should you care? And the only answer put forward is that if you can progress solo at a base level roughly on par with what you can achieve in a group, people will be less inclined to group. So I say no, and if you'd played an MMO other than FFXI for any length of time you'd understand. Layers of reward above and beyond base progression are what create the incentive for group play beyond just the appeal of working in a group.


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solo MMOs like WoW and Lord of the Rings online quickly get boring because they are so solo oriented.


This is why you should, or I should care. There is a reason people consider these games "solo mmos" and that wasn't even my quote. I and the people posting on here do not want another solo MMO, its that simple.

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If group play in an MMO is so much more challenging for you that you need all that practice to be able to function well in a group, maybe a solo game is more suited to you anyways. Group play is rarely more difficult than solo play. Group leveling in FFXI was a joke in terms of difficulty. There was nothing you learned in an FFXI xp party that would help you in FFXI endgame so much that you needed dozens of hours to practice it. In fact, the dull zerg of FFXI group leveling did more harm to the playerbase than good, and pre-nerf CoP proved that better than any argument I could put forward.


Its not about being more challenging, its more about the negatives that comes with grouping and the benefits that come with soloing. The extra pace makes up for the benefits you get when you are soloing. Pre-nerf CoP was great, my linkshell was one of the first to reach sea and we did it rather quickly. This has nothing to do with grouping or soloing, its more about the casual players couldn't find help to do them.

Those game havern't had the longevity FFXI or EQ has had either so lets see if they can manage years from now. Having close to the same subcriptions of a 8 year old game isn't a big accomplishment. If they last 8 years then great but I doubt it.

I have experience with tons of real life friends that tell me in WoW and in most games most people level up solo or duo. Not just WoW but I have friends that play almost every main stream MMO, and they say the samething for most of them. That most people level up solo or duo with a real life buddy. Then you use common sense and you can see that the benefits of soloing outweigh everything about grouping (when leveling) besides the pace.




Edited, Jul 23rd 2009 3:47pm by HocusP
#44 Jul 23 2009 at 12:00 PM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
This is why you should, or I should care. There is a reason people consider these games "solo mmos" and that wasn't even my quote. I and the people posting on here do not want another solo MMO, its that simple.


That's a subjective opinion. There's more to an MMO than leveling, and if people don't want to get involved in all the other stuff and just level, of course they're going to get bored. That's their own choice to level and then sit on their thumbs and ignore all of the other content. If you compare the amount of time I spent bored out of my mind in FFXI to the amount of time I've spent bored in WoW (or throughout the leveling process in LOTRO) and you'd see that it's sort of a dumb statement to make. "Boring is OK as long as it's interspersed throughout the leveling process in large doses. Boring is bad when you can have endless gobs of fun while leveling but then get to the cap and have to shift gears to keep progressing."

Pfffffffffft.

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If group play in an MMO is so much more challenging for you that you need all that practice to be able to function well in a group, maybe a solo game is more suited to you anyways. Group play is rarely more difficult than solo play. Group leveling in FFXI was a joke in terms of difficulty. There was nothing you learned in an FFXI xp party that would help you in FFXI endgame so much that you needed dozens of hours to practice it. In fact, the dull zerg of FFXI group leveling did more harm to the playerbase than good, and pre-nerf CoP proved that better than any argument I could put forward.


Its not about being more challenging, its more about the negatives that comes with grouping and the benefits that come with soloing. The extra pace makes up for the benefits you get when you are soloing. Pre-nerf CoP was great, my linkshell was one of the first to reach sea and we did it rather quickly. This has nothing to do with grouping or soloing, its more about the casual players couldn't find help to do them.


There you go with the flip-flopping again. You made the statement about challenge in groups. I responded to it. Now you say it's not about challenge.

Get a grip. Seriously...keep your own arguments straight and you might actually come up with a winning one.

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Those game havern't had the longevity FFXI or EQ has had either so lets see if they can manage years from now. Having close to the same subcriptions of a 8 year old game isn't a big accomplishment. If they last 8 years then great but I doubt it.


Longevity my ***. A game's real "longevity" is measured by how long it goes before its population takes a nosedive. EQ is proof positive that within any MMO's population there will be people who will play the game long after it has become functionally obsolete relative to newer alternatives. I don't hate on EQ players for continuing to play the game, just like i don't hate on FFXI players for continuing to play, but to use the length of time from initial launch to now and say, "That thar is a fine example of longevity" is pretty lame. There are people who will buy a game, try it, and set it aside never to play it again. There are those who will buy a game, enjoy it for a period of time, and then set it aside when something newer comes along. There are people who will buy a game, play it for a period of time until they are so completely bored with it that they never want to play it again. And then there are people who will buy a game, play it for years and years and years despite anything else that comes along for reasons of their own. EQ players consist of the latter. FFXI players are getting very close to it. FFXIV will be the title that pushes them over.

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I have experience with tons of real life friends that tell me in WoW and in most games most people level up solo or duo. Not just WoW but I have friends that play almost every main stream MMO, and they say the samething for most of them. That most people level up solo or duo with a real life buddy.


And I've had first-hand experience where people level up with a fairly balanced mix of solo and group content. Again, my experience > your supposition based on what other people have told you.
#45 Jul 23 2009 at 12:35 PM Rating: Decent
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AureliusSir the Irrelevant wrote:
Quote:
I have experience with tons of real life friends that tell me in WoW and in most games most people level up solo or duo. Not just WoW but I have friends that play almost every main stream MMO, and they say the samething for most of them. That most people level up solo or duo with a real life buddy.

And I've had first-hand experience where people level up with a fairly balanced mix of solo and group content. Again, my experience > your supposition based on what other people have told you.

And then you have people like me who leveled up almost exclusively in 5 man dungeons.

Seriously. I had done enough instances while going from 70 to 80 in WotLK, that I only had to complete two and a half zones of quests (Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, and half of Dragonblight), mainly because I wanted to complete those quests before they stopped giving EXP.

By the time I reached level 80, I had hit a lot of 5 man dungeons. *pulls up my Armory Statistics* These are the correct numbers, because I have never ran a non-heroic after hitting level 80...

4 Ingvar the Plunderer kills (Utgarde Keep)
4 Keristrasza kills (The Nexus)
2 Anub'arak kills (Azjol-Nerub)
4 Herald Volazj kills (Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom)
2 The Prophet Tharon'ja kills (Drak'Tharon Keep)
6 Cyanigosa kills (The Violet Hold)
5 Gal'darah kills (Gundrak)
1 Sjonnir the Ironshaper kills (Halls of Stone)
5 Loken kills (Halls of Lightning)
2 Ley-Guardian Eregos kills (The Oculus)
4 King Ymiron kills (Utgarde Pinnacle)
3 Mal'Ganis defeated (Caverns of Time: Stratholme)

...

Solo content is boring meh. I did the same thing when going from 1-70 on this character. The only solo content I do is stuff to keep me occupied while I build a party.

Edited, Jul 23rd 2009 4:36pm by Karelyn
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#46 Jul 23 2009 at 12:58 PM Rating: Default
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That's a subjective opinion. There's more to an MMO than leveling, and if people don't want to get involved in all the other stuff and just level, of course they're going to get bored. That's their own choice to level and then sit on their thumbs and ignore all of the other content. If you compare the amount of time I spent bored out of my mind in FFXI to the amount of time I've spent bored in WoW (or throughout the leveling process in LOTRO) and you'd see that it's sort of a dumb statement to make. "Boring is OK as long as it's interspersed throughout the leveling process in large doses. Boring is bad when you can have endless gobs of fun while leveling but then get to the cap and have to shift gears to keep progressing."


The quote you put up there of mine didn't say anything about boring. I was saying it is a reason people consider these games "solo mmos", rather you refuse to acknowledge that or not.

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There you go with the flip-flopping again. You made the statement about challenge in groups. I responded to it. Now you say it's not about challenge.

Get a grip. Seriously...keep your own arguments straight and you might actually come up with a winning one.


You brought up challenges way back when you said a group makes people get to cap and just know how to zerg. I responded to that remark and then you bring up CoP like that has anything to do with grouping or soloing. People did CoP just fine before it got nerf'd, the casual players didn't because they couldn't find a group to do them.

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Longevity my ***. A game's real "longevity" is measured by how long it goes before its population takes a nosedive. EQ is proof positive that within any MMO's population there will be people who will play the game long after it has become functionally obsolete relative to newer alternatives. I don't hate on EQ players for continuing to play the game, just like i don't hate on FFXI players for continuing to play, but to use the length of time from initial launch to now and say, "That thar is a fine example of longevity" is pretty lame. There are people who will buy a game, try it, and set it aside never to play it again. There are those who will buy a game, enjoy it for a period of time, and then set it aside when something newer comes along. There are people who will buy a game, play it for a period of time until they are so completely bored with it that they never want to play it again. And then there are people who will buy a game, play it for years and years and years despite anything else that comes along for reasons of their own. EQ players consist of the latter. FFXI players are getting very close to it. FFXIV will be the title that pushes them over.


A games longevity is how long the game stays profitable and stays running. By your definition of longevity, every game has pretty much been a failure besides WoW. Longevity is how long your game stays above water and remains profitable because not many companies will shut off a game that is profitable.

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There are people who will buy a game, try it, and set it aside never to play it again. There are those who will buy a game, enjoy it for a period of time, and then set it aside when something newer comes along. There are people who will buy a game, play it for a period of time until they are so completely bored with it that they never want to play it again. And then there are people who will buy a game, play it for years and years and years despite anything else that comes along for reasons of their own.


Exactly and through all these types of people the game still remains profitable. This is why initial success is not considered longevity, because of these types of people. Longevity is just that longevity, and FF and EQ is still ticking and highly profitable. These other games will not be around for probally half as long as FF/EQ has.

You have no experience, the games you are naming most people consider "solo mmos". Ask yourself why people call them this and you will find the answer. If you can solo at the same pace as grouping then it will become the preferred method of leveling.

Edited, Jul 23rd 2009 5:01pm by HocusP
#47 Jul 23 2009 at 1:58 PM Rating: Good
HocusP wrote:
The quote you put up there of mine didn't say anything about boring. I was saying it is a reason people consider these games "solo mmos", rather you refuse to acknowledge that or not.


And it's the reason I say the people who consider them solo MMOs are ignorant. A solo MMO would be one where there was no group content. It would be one where there wasn't even an interface that allowed grouping for solo content. Again, you're just talking out of your **** based on what you've interpreted from what others have told you. I've got direct experience in FFXI as well as other games labeled as "solo friendly," but keep talking. You're not going to convince me that your malformed assumptions have more weight than what I've seen happening in games you haven't even played.

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You brought up challenges way back when you said a group makes people get to cap and just know how to zerg. I responded to that remark and then you bring up CoP like that has anything to do with grouping or soloing. People did CoP just fine before it got nerf'd, the casual players didn't because they couldn't find a group to do them.


No, people did not do "just fine" with CoP pre-nerf. There were PUGs and LS groups running Promyvions non-stop for months...and failing non-stop for months...because they refused to work the strategies that allowed them succeed. I don't ever recall having gone through a Promyvion and not come across several other groups on our way through to the spires, yet when I finally arrived in Sea I became one of the < 10% of NA players who had managed to get that far at the time.

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A games longevity is how long the game stays profitable and stays running.


Do you realize how few active subscriptions it would take for a given MMO to simply keep their servers running and toss out a bit of new content from time to time? Your argument is self defeating when you site EQ as an example of longevity. By today's standards, EQ is a horrible game in every category. Longevity != quality. I can't think of a single mainstream MMO that has pulled the plug on its service. Ever. That doesn't mean that they're all good games by current standards. It just means they're a cash cow for the developers. An MMO charging $15/month to play could afford to stay afloat on as few as 10,000 active subscriptions quite handily. Does that mean it would be a model of success in terms of entertainment value for the MMO gamer population as a whole? Absolutely not. So where do you draw the line in terms of referencing success? Based on the fact that the service is still available? No. Based on the number of years it's been available? No. Based on its appeal to the MMO gamer population at large? Absolutely. Did Super Mario Brothers make Pong a bad game? No. Does that mean every new game should still place heavy reference on concepts found in Pong in order to say they've developed a quality product? **** no.

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You have no experience,


LOL!

That is all.


Edited, Jul 23rd 2009 3:05pm by AureliusSir
#48 Jul 23 2009 at 4:57 PM Rating: Decent
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456 posts
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No, people did not do "just fine" with CoP pre-nerf. There were PUGs and LS groups running Promyvions non-stop for months...and failing non-stop for months...because they refused to work the strategies that allowed them succeed. I don't ever recall having gone through a Promyvion and not come across several other groups on our way through to the spires, yet when I finally arrived in Sea I became one of the < 10% of NA players who had managed to get that far at the time.


Well that was just your server cause my server did cop pre-nerf quite fine. Especially the Jp and the hardcore Na groups. You are confusing being able to find a group of the right people with not being able to beat the missions.

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And it's the reason I say the people who consider them solo MMOs are ignorant. A solo MMO would be one where there was no group content. It would be one where there wasn't even an interface that allowed grouping for solo content. Again, you're just talking out of your **** based on what you've interpreted from what others have told you. I've got direct experience in FFXI as well as other games labeled as "solo friendly," but keep talking. You're not going to convince me that your malformed assumptions have more weight than what I've seen happening in games you haven't even played.


A solo mmo is an mmo where you can level all the way solo at a great pace. These are the mmos where the huge majority either levels solo or duo with a real life friend. In most games the leveling process is the most important and longest part of the game and if you can do it solo easily then its a solo mmo to most people. A bunch of endgame content don't even be in the game at launch, so obviously the leveling up process is the most important part. I don't have to actually play a game to know that solo is the preferred way of leveling in those games. There is a reason they are called "solo mmos" by some people rather you refuse to acknowledge that or not.

When the term solo mmo was first used in this thread by insanekangroo, you didn't even dispute the solo mmo part. You wrote a paragraph about the boring part of his statement so which one is it. Now all of a sudden they are not solo mmos because they have some group content in them.



Edited, Jul 23rd 2009 9:01pm by HocusP
#49 Jul 23 2009 at 5:04 PM Rating: Decent
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HocusP wrote:
A solo mmo is an mmo where you can level all the way solo at a great pace. These are the mmos where the huge majority either levels solo or duo with a real life friend. In most games the leveling process is the most important and longest part of the game and if you can do it solo easily then its a solo mmo to most people. A bunch of endgame content don't even be in the game at launch, so obviously the leveling up process is the most important part. I don't have to actually play a game to know that solo is the preferred way of leveling in those games. There is a reason they are called "solo mmos" by some people rather you refuse to acknowledge that or not.

Yet you are constantly referring to WoW, and in WoW you are generally expected to spend around 5% of your gameplay on leveling.

LOGIC!
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#50 Jul 23 2009 at 5:25 PM Rating: Excellent
HocusP wrote:
Well that was just your server cause my server did cop pre-nerf quite fine. Especially the Jp and the hardcore Na groups. You are confusing being able to find a group of the right people with not being able to beat the missions.


JP and hardcore NA. Right. Representative of the NA community as a whole. Gotcha. Everyone at the level cap knew their jobs because they could kill a crab like nobody's business but only the JP and the hardcore could do something that required planning and strategy. Yes.

Bloody ****...

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A solo mmo is an mmo where you can level all the way solo at a great pace.


No, a solo MMO is an MMO without group content. A solo friendly MMO is an MMO that supports solo play as a viable option for base character progression.

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In most games the leveling process is the most important and longest part of the game and if you can do it solo easily then its a solo mmo to most people.


No, in most games the instanced content and/or the PvP are the most important parts of the game Those are typically areas of the game that require a group, whether it's a duo (arena 2s in WoW) all the way up to a large group (25-man raid or 40-man battleground). You keep thinking in terms of FFXI and trying to convey that as representative of all MMOs. You're just flat out wrong. In FFXI leveling was the longest part of the game. And it was only substantially longer than leveling in more current MMOs because of the ridiculous wait times between groups. Content is the most important part of an MMO; leveling is only the process you undergo in order to gain access to more of that content.
#51 Jul 23 2009 at 6:14 PM Rating: Default
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No, in most games the instanced content and/or the PvP are the most important parts of the game Those are typically areas of the game that require a group, whether it's a duo (arena 2s in WoW) all the way up to a large group (25-man raid or 40-man battleground). You keep thinking in terms of FFXI and trying to convey that as representative of all MMOs. You're just flat out wrong. In FFXI leveling was the longest part of the game. And it was only substantially longer than leveling in more current MMOs because of the ridiculous wait times between groups. Content is the most important part of an MMO; leveling is only the process you undergo in order to gain access to more of that content.


PvP will not be important in this MMO either. Content is added well after the game has been released and is only longer because they keep adding content. Solo friendly mmo, "solo mmo" whatever play on words you want to use, its a reason why they are called this. You didn't dispute "solo mmos" when it was used way back and instead you wrote a whole paragraph skipping it, so why dispute it now? We all know what people mean when they say "solo mmos". There is a reason why they are called this by the playerbase.


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