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Seesaws and merits in FFXIFollow

#1 Aug 08 2009 at 2:00 PM Rating: Decent
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A little essay, if you will. Basically I'm going to explain how I would have done the merit system differently in FFXI, and from that you can imagine how the same principles could be used in FFXIV to implement a seesaw that "works."

To summarize, there's been talk about seesaws in FFXIV. We have no idea what kind of seesaws they might be, but an example that's easy to relate to is the merit system in XI. You can't merit the **** out of every job; you have to pick the way you want to balance things.

As I talked about in another thread, the problem myself and a lot of other players have with merits is not that it limits you to being teh uber at one or two things, but that it's so difficult to change your mind down the line. You can waste many hours of work by deciding to change your merits from one job to another... you have to start all over.

But then what's the alternative? Because if you allow people to switch freely, then you may just as well allow them to merit everything as much as they want. In that way it becomes an AP (BLU) system, which isn't terrible, but it does completely remove the seesaw.

A couple of obvious solutions are to allow players to retain, let's say, half their merit points. Not a complete loss, but a sacrifice you'll think more than twice about. Or allow players to do it, let's say, only once a month. Nothing unreasonable about that.

But What Would Kachi Do? (Look! I'm an allegory for Jesus!)

I would have made merits quested. You complete a certain quest, your reward is a merit. Certainly not as easy as simply requiring 10,000-50,000 xp from a programming standpoint, but a helluva lot more fun for the player. The 10,000 xp could still be a requirement, whether to accept the quest, or complete it, or just set the merit. But if you change your mind, all you have to do is quest the merit you want to replace it with, no loss of experience. And meriting becomes more than just grinding.

So this is one way in which SE could implement a decent seesaw for FFXIV. Players won't have access to everything at once or be able to change from god melee to god mage in the blink of an eye, but they won't be pigeonholed into whatever they picked initially if they change their mind. And it won't be a huge pain in the ***, but rather something that blends seamlessly into the gameplay content.

You know, or something.
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#2 Aug 08 2009 at 2:15 PM Rating: Good
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To be honest... see-saw doesn't bother me too much. In fact, I support it. I really don't like the idea, as you mentioned, for someone to be able to switch from god tank to god dps on the fly. Hybrids in WOW started to really **** me off, especially druids and paladins, who were able to fill in every critical role especially with the advent of dual speccing. When you let players be the master of all trades, it leads to cookie cutter builds and that elitist min-max playstyle that destroyed WOW's community. It's like everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too all on one Ubermensch straight out of Nietzschian fantasy. I miss the old days of DnD Version 2 or EQ where people had to specialize in a job and hybrids were jack of all trades but not masters. Granted, hybrids are a whole other subject we could debate on, but that's for another thread.

Of course, I just want to play ranged magic dps of some sort (Possibly a ranger, we will see) so I don't really care if I'm forced to be pigeonholed to "Spec" for those skills to be competitive.
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#3 Aug 08 2009 at 2:20 PM Rating: Good
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Something kinda like the AA System for EQ2, when you discover a new area, complete a quest or a variety of other tasks that aren't just mindlessly grinding mobs to death, you'd gain points towards an alternate advancement system, enhancing stats/granting class unique moves, etc?


edit: On Seesaws/character balancing....
I think that for a game like FFXIV, it'll be unnecessary. I imagine you'll be limited in what you can do based on equipment, ala EvE Online.

Edited, Aug 8th 2009 3:23pm by Catt
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#4 Aug 08 2009 at 2:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
To be honest... see-saw doesn't bother me too much. In fact, I support it. I really don't like the idea, as you mentioned, for someone to be able to switch from god tank to god dps on the fly.


Maybe you're thinking of something different from what I'm talking about, but are you also saying that you don't like being able to change jobs in your MH in FFXI?
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Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#5 Aug 08 2009 at 2:47 PM Rating: Good
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I just hope meriting doesn't involve doing the exact same thing over and over for years of time. Seriously, hundreds of merits later, still lacking hundreds, all from THOUSANDS of hours of killing little pink birds, in the exact same place, in the exact same way, over and over and over.

I really do hope it's a quest like system as you say to max out a particular job.
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#6 Aug 08 2009 at 2:54 PM Rating: Good
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I like the idea of merits being granted from questing/guildleve or what have you.

I don't remember how the merit system worked in FFXI...I quit several years ago, but I miss it very much.

I, for one, don't like the idea of one person being able to do everything all at the same time. Having to go to your mog house to change jobs was good as far as I'm concerned. I don't think that "let everyone be able to do everything and switch on the fly" is really a good solution to "make more solo content"...which seemed to be solution to "It's too hard/long to find a party."

Anyway, I really like the idea of specializing in one class or set of skills.
Or being a jack of all trades but being mediocre in those skills.

Perhaps using a weapon enough you can gain the ability to LEARN a skill, but to actually learn it and/or improve it, you need to spend AP. Who knows how this will be obtained if it will even exist.

Maybe instead of this, players will be given places to put stat points (STR, INT, etc). So, while you could learn every single skill to the best of it's potential the strength of those skills will be governed by your stat points!

So if you wanted to be more a magic user you would put most of your stats into INT and SPI (wisdom or w/e). You could still learn warrior skills, but your magic spells would be far more effective because of how you decided to distribute your skills.

This way, no one is exempt from learning a skill. Where you put your stat points will determine how effective that skill is.
That is sort of a see-saw system (stats) influencing a no-see-saw system (skills). This is something I would kind of like to see.

The problem?
In FFXI, if you wanted to be a warrior one day and a mage the next you could and you could be great at both. But you couldn't be both at the same exact time. If it was a stat distribution based system you could still be a warrior but not a very good one.

Maybe make stats redistributable at a mog house, like with jobs in FFXI? But I guess that sort of the defeats the purpose of being able to change jobs on the fly, huh?

I just don't know >_>...either way I think someone will be unhappy, but I guess that is bound to happen no matter what.

Edited, Aug 8th 2009 6:57pm by Finaa
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#7 Aug 08 2009 at 3:14 PM Rating: Good
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I'd find it difficult to implement a merit/AP system without it relying on exp or an exp-esque system.
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#8 Aug 08 2009 at 3:28 PM Rating: Good
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The Bardalicious of Doom wrote:
I'd find it difficult to implement a merit/AP system without it relying on exp or an exp-esque system.


Open your mind, broaden your spectrum. Think about it, we already advance our characters through specific fights, quests, and missions, in ALL mmorpg's. It's called Armor, and Items. However, the same type of thing could work in directly advancing your character. For example, doing some long quest, killing a boss or something, maybe it would even take multiple people? At the end you are granted X ability or become better versed in X class.
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#9 Aug 08 2009 at 3:55 PM Rating: Decent
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With crafting jobs having an implementation similar to combat jobs, seesawing is a possible answer SE will look to. It's also the worst possible attempt at solving the issue of being all things at all times. It works entirely against the goal of freedom SE has been claiming.

"We've created a game with a boundless world to explore and intriguing obstacles for players to overcome."
"If players have access to a boundless world, won't they possible bypass your obstacles?"
"That is possible, and to prevent it we've taken our boundless world and created a invisible corridor which forces the player to linearly solve each obstacle. We think we're geniuses."

SE has said they are aiming to give the players more freedom. That the player could would on one set of skills one day and another the next. Adding a seesaw system removes basically all of that freedom. It's basically if FFXI said "Play any job you want at any time, but you can only take one job past 37."

Edited, Aug 8th 2009 7:28pm by Allegory
#10 Aug 08 2009 at 4:08 PM Rating: Good
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I LOL'd at this part, "We think we're geniuses".

That made my day, Allegory. Thank you.

It gave me the mental image of a few of the developers looking in the mirror, before they go off to work in the morning, and saying to themselves "You are a creative genius"!
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