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Gamescom - Famitsu Interviews Sage SundiFollow

#1 Aug 20 2009 at 5:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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After chatting with Hiromichi Tanaka over a lively round of puk extermination, Famitsu sat down with Sage Sundi, who returns to Final Fantasy XIV to once again offer global user support.

Read the article here.
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#2 Aug 20 2009 at 6:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Good Signs:
- The fact Customer Service is a part of their media barrage at all is a step in the right direction.
- Manpower has been expanded and is the backbone of any good customer service.
- "Looking into improvement" is always nice to hear.

Nuetral Signs:
- The Special Task Force having a hand in discussions and being carried over from XI doesn't exactly assuage fears of the not-so-intelligent banning bots. Although, because they appeared as a economical measure and the funding looks to be hearty enough to include more Manpower from Day One this concern is undermined.
- The fact we have Community Sites in lieu of Official Forums makes me wonder if the global customers will get brushed under the rug under the guise of the language barrier again. Although, this is undermined by the Linkshell Communities proposal and Sage Sundi's assurance that he wants to tap into the web more. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding on this one.

Bad Signs:
None actually. The whole thing was a surprisingly good PR move from SE.

#3 Aug 20 2009 at 7:29 PM Rating: Decent
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I like that they're not even considering segregated servers. "A step backwards" is well phrased.

Thanks for the info Elmer.
#4 Aug 20 2009 at 7:42 PM Rating: Good
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I had a good feeling.
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#5 Aug 20 2009 at 8:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
- The fact we have Community Sites in lieu of Official Forums makes me wonder if the global customers will get brushed under the rug under the guise of the language barrier again. Although, this is undermined by the Linkshell Communities proposal and Sage Sundi's assurance that he wants to tap into the web more. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding on this one.


Community sites actually sound WAY better to me than official forums.

For one thing, you can have an actual discussion on community sites. From what I have seen of Official Boards (mostly WoW's, some others), they OFTEN degrade into a human pool of filth that barely discusses anything of value.

Furthermore, you have a huge "bandwagon" effect when everyone is accessing info from the same place.

For example, let's consider Bob. Bob plays a Sorcerer and went to the O boards looking for info about a specific skill. While there, Bob saw many threads complaining about various sorcerer events (the fact that they have mp, the fact that they got "less love" in the last patch, their casting range and more).

Suddenly, Bob is finding problems with his sorcerer--problems that never bothered him before. Soon, things he even liked are now dislikes.

Granted, this is a vastly exaggerated thing. But, people tend to complain more than they praise. By making a place where EVERY player is likely to go, then you are just spreading the complaints of all players.

Community sites do the same thing, but not as badly. And there is more likely to be real dialog there, because the user base is smaller. This means real problems are more likely to be reported and the "omg there was one more change to fighters" stuff won't be so prominent.

Plus, I'd prefer SE spend more time on GMs in game than forum administrators when (and let's face it) community sites do it better.

[EDIT]

And this seems even better to me for regional consideration than an O-board.

A multi-lingual forum would be almost impossible. Therefore, SE would need to create and hire administrators for as many languages are officially supported. That automatically alienates all other languages or those that aren't so skilled in one.

Community sites, however, can be supported by SE from MANY more languages than they can actually aid.

I have a good feeling here.

Edited, Aug 21st 2009 12:26am by idiggory
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#6 Aug 20 2009 at 8:59 PM Rating: Decent
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To the Admin:

Speaking on the subject of community relations with premier sites, in recent months it has become apparent we need to have a more open dialog between SE community relation when it come to issues. Maybe in Tokyo you can twist their arms and make them say uncle >.>

But seriously I would like to see FFXIV start off on the right foot when it comes to community problems like billing, customer service, RMT, hidden patch fixes/breaks, and so on. Personally I would like to go as far as having a assigned person for every class that can relate concerns to the respective counter parts on the the dev team.
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#7 Aug 20 2009 at 9:13 PM Rating: Good
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#8 Aug 20 2009 at 9:22 PM Rating: Good
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dyvidd wrote:
To the Admin:

Speaking on the subject of community relations with premier sites, in recent months it has become apparent we need to have a more open dialog between SE community relation when it come to issues. Maybe in Tokyo you can twist their arms and make them say uncle >.>

But seriously I would like to see FFXIV start off on the right foot when it comes to community problems like billing, customer service, RMT, hidden patch fixes/breaks, and so on. Personally I would like to go as far as having a assigned person for every class that can relate concerns to the respective counter parts on the the dev team.


SOUNDS ALOT LIKE COMMUNISM TO ME. Workers/Classes representing themselves. Nonsense! I say the weak classes perish and the strong ones prevail.

But I hope their billing and customer service is alot better... I will say though they improved alot compared when the first started FFXI...customer service was non-exsistent. They need better systems in place for hacked accounts, I think they have something in there now that wasnt there when I played but it was a little stupid. When it says you live in so and so and then 5 minutes you log in , in China...they should be a red flag to them and there should be no arguement about it.
#9 Aug 20 2009 at 9:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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@idiggory

Oh yes, Oboards are almost universally cesspits.
But you know, the kind of folks that make it so horrid don't go away without Oboards, they just don't congregate conveniently. ;p

What courts the "sweeping under the rug" feeling is the fact an Oboards is more an overture to the fanbase than a valid form of communication. It's the universal, "we're listening, we promise." Abandoning this means either their sidestepping the illusion for something genuinely effective, or disregarding our opinion is such a foregone conclusion they can't even be assed to go through the motions.

The illusion is your talking to developers, the reality is your concerns are being filtered and summarized through QA. Going through fansites to talk to a foreign developer is like adding a middleman, to a process that already had a middleman, and a little bit of translation fuzziness on the side. Even your very legitimate concern about being being banned for being double billed has to filter through so many steps it never really gets to the ear of somebody with clout. The semi-legitimate small stuff never has a chance.

FFXI suffered for it's sense of detachment, how often have you heard people say "SE isn't paying attention", "SE doesn't care", or "doesn't know what going on in their own game"? This has more to do with our perceived feeling of distance (made all the worse by SE's Japanese business penchant for silence, which is one of those "if you can't overcome this culture quirk for the sake of the global market - hire someone who can do it for you" things) than gamebreaking concerns. They were annoyed SMN was broken, and NIN wasn't being treated as the tank we'd made it become, but what elevated that to frustration was the sense they were being ignored.

Now, would an Oboards magically fix all this? Not really, no.
Is it an absolutely necessary component to accomplishing a more unified or unified feeling community? Also, no.
It might be the easy ticket to help people's feelings, but if SE still turns a blind eye and maintains a stony silence all the overtures in the world can't help.

Edited, Aug 21st 2009 1:41am by Zemzelette
#10 Aug 20 2009 at 11:51 PM Rating: Good
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I agree that regionalised servers may not be best. In XI I had alot of difficulty in the first couple of years due to a small number of EU players scattered amongst all the servers and had difficulty doing things involving people (read: everything, but I was an awesome farmer :D). This got alot easier with release of proper EU versions of the game and thus, I believe this problem will be minor with the targeted global release of XIV.

One thing I really hope doesnt happen though is having servers all the way in Japan and maintenance constantly eating into my prime time gaming, the latter especially.
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#11 Aug 21 2009 at 4:33 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I agree that regionalised servers may not be best. In XI I had alot of difficulty in the first couple of years due to a small number of EU players scattered amongst all the servers and had difficulty doing things involving people (read: everything, but I was an awesome farmer :D). This got alot easier with release of proper EU versions of the game and thus, I believe this problem will be minor with the targeted global release of XIV.


I'm also very happy to hear there are going to be world servers again. I am a night owl and I play late on weekends. On most games that I've played it is dead past 2 or 3 AM after the west coast goes to bed.
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#12 Aug 21 2009 at 7:24 AM Rating: Decent
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I still think of pros and cons regarding regional and international servers.

Pro International:

- always "prime-time" no matter what time you come online
- meeting people from different cultures is always interesting
- more people on the server as I don't think FFXIV will fill up dozens of server that easily^^
- its never a bad idea to go on practising english(for non english native speakers like me)

Con International:

- pretty much the only thing, having different regions on the same server can end up in cultural bad behaviour, like single group of people ruining the reputation of complete countries
- if FFXIV will go on with endgame like FFXI, meaning no instance based zones etc, the population that is most present on the server will be the one that will probably rule the endgame, meaning others who want to be "among the best players" will be forced to play outside of their timezones etc.

Pro Regional:

- you will only play with people who are in the same time-zone, so its easier to schedule events etc
- no "players from this country suck, while players from this country are most skilled" blah blah prejudices

Con Regional:

- What if you come from a country where not that many people want to play FFXIV...that would speak against the whole concept of MMO :/
- I for myself got a prejudice as well...players from germany really sucked at FFXI. like 80% were just plain no-skillers...having to play with german gamers would probably annoy me as I am more into the "successfull endgame" thing and it would be taking forever to find a good playerbase...
Well its my prejudice for my own country regarding games...but it never failed me so far xD

Well all in all, I don't mind either way, international or regional servers...both would work I guess.
#13 Aug 21 2009 at 8:47 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
It might be the easy ticket to help people's feelings, but if SE still turns a blind eye and maintains a stony silence all the overtures in the world can't help.


The thing is, I'm thinking they are working REALLY hard not to let this happen.

I mean, just look at the info we have. In the few interviews that have come out this week, one of them is on customer service. A WHOLE INTERVIEW on it. I can't remember the last time people started discussing this so far before a release. ****, I'm not sure I HAVE seen one for all the MMOs I've followed before release...

And, on another topic, I must say. I LOVE the fact that FFXIV's servers won't be regional. LOVE. IT.

As someone who loves culture studies, languages and just meeting people, it is great. When I played XI, I had friends in the UK, Asia, Americas (South, North, Central AND Canada). On the other hand, in WoW, you ended up with friends from around the US, but mostly from the time zone you were in. That was pretty boring...

I definitely agree. Regional servers are a step back.
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#14 Aug 21 2009 at 9:56 AM Rating: Good
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- if FFXIV will go on with endgame like FFXI, meaning no instance based zones etc, the population that is most present on the server will be the one that will probably rule the endgame, meaning others who want to be "among the best players" will be forced to play outside of their timezones etc.

One of the interviews stated that even the larger raids will come from guildleves, and the guildleves themselves will be instanced, meaning people outside your party/alliance can't interfere.

EDIT: I found it in the interview with Tanaka on the FFXIVCore site:

Quote:
Guildleves itself is like instances. Other people will not be able to interfere with you. There will also be instanced raid content, its a type of guildleves as well. But we cannot tell you how many players it will be yet however. There's also going to be many different types of guildleves, if you want to play as a casual player it will be fine for instance.


Edited, Aug 21st 2009 1:04pm by Ralrra
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#15 Aug 21 2009 at 11:12 AM Rating: Decent
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I still wish they'd give the option for regional servers. I understand the pros and cons both ways, but for me there's one pro that outdoes all cons-- playing with people that I actually stand a chance of making RL friends with. It's not exactly the easiest thing in the world to go out and make friends who share the same interest as you, especially when those interests tend to take place in the comfort of your own home (even where I live, a large college town, it's difficult). Odds are pretty good that there are some cool people that live not all that far away, but without regional servers, we're going to end up on different servers and never meet.

I don't have a problem with international servers, or even the lack of regional servers per se, but given the option, I would choose regional. Is it too much to ask for the option?
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#16 Aug 21 2009 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Is it too much to ask for the option?


It'll cost more, you'll need to make sure there's someone to host it, which was a problem with FFXI upon launch, no one wanted to help house the FFXI servers when they were thinking of regional servers.

Option would be nice, but you'll still have people who aren't from your region popping onto it if they notice it has a better economy/less lag etc.

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#17 Aug 21 2009 at 5:11 PM Rating: Decent
I'm definitely down for international servers.

I hope there is a definite universal translator, which will ease the language barriers.

Learning about different cultures is always fun...I've learned a lot more about Japanese lifestyle from long chats and just playing w/ them, even met some Brits(joined a ls, lol had to leave, didn't last long :(}

My open is biased as I really wanna use a universal translator LOL to get in the habit of seeing/reading/memorizing the Japanese characters more.^^;


Edited, Aug 21st 2009 9:30pm by IshiharaTakamasa
#18 Aug 22 2009 at 1:28 AM Rating: Good
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Well like I said before, I too prefer international servers and as I have made alot of international friends I know will be playing XIV Id like to continue that relationship and start new ones.

However please please please dont make every single maintenance slap bang in EU prime-time. I understand its the "lesser evil" but if you're marketing the game to an EU audience that I think its pretty wrong to do them all literally at our busiest time. Surely there is scope for nudging it a few hours either side or, for once, having a concession and not holding it in EU prime time at all.

During the last minipack release when there was a patch a day I had to pretty much write off playing the game for a week.
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