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Gamescom - 4Gamer Interviews Tanaka & SundiFollow

#1 Aug 22 2009 at 7:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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As Gamescom comes to a close, 4Gamer was able to secure a block of time with Final Fantasy XIV producers Hiromichi Tanaka and Sage Sundi. Previously, Tanaka took staff from Famitsu through a tour of the demo provided to attendees at the convention. 4Gamer, however, spent their time prying out details regarding the game itself.

Check out the interview here!

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 3:29pm by Elmer
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#2 Aug 22 2009 at 7:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Hm, sidestepping the race question. I'd like to think that at this point that can be taken as a "yes, there will be something new," because they've pretty quickly dismissed other things. No jumping, no PVP, no pet jobs... they've been pretty loose-lipped with the highly-anticipated features that they won't have.

Or maybe they're too ashamed or afraid of the backlash to admit that there won't be?
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#3 Aug 22 2009 at 7:49 AM Rating: Decent
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I imagine they want to hold some announcements back for TGS, perhaps the new races is going to be part of that? Would be kinda cool to see.
#4 Aug 22 2009 at 7:59 AM Rating: Good
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very suspicious... they are very tight lipped about the race issue. maybe there is hope for new races after all.
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Or maybe they're too ashamed or afraid of the backlash to admit that there won't be?


possibly, but I doubt it. If the races were already finalized, id imagine SE would just get the issue over with and tell us, like they did with pvp and such. The way I see it either the races are not finalized so they cant really talk about it yet, or there really are new races and they are keeping it secret. Or at least I hope...

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 12:14pm by Kurtwp
#5 Aug 22 2009 at 8:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yea, I was thinking it a bit telling myself. I would have to have seen his expression durring the interview, but what immediately comes to mind is the image of Tanaka having this "Not this new race BS again" look on his face. You know, as if hes just so sick of it, and can't understand why people don't like all the features he mentioned about char creation. I would love it to be that they are quickly moving over the subject, because it is gonna be a suprise they reveal later. However, at this point I am leaning towards no. On the other hand, I like the level playing field direction with races and locations and what not. I said it way back in a speculation post some where. If I want to be a Galka mage or a Taru tank, then I'd rather not have restrictions that make me lament my decision. Also, they said no special starting bonuses so you are free to pick any where to start. That sounds nice, but I wonder if they meant pick any starting city or any city period?
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#6 Aug 22 2009 at 8:10 AM Rating: Good
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Another translation from the same interview:

Quote:
When asked if we will see more than the five playable races already announced, Tanaka laughs and says “hmmm, what should we do?”


.... =p
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#7 Aug 22 2009 at 8:11 AM Rating: Decent
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God, what a cocktease.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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#8 Aug 22 2009 at 8:17 AM Rating: Good
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He did basically say the same thing when asked about voice acting in the cutscenes, and that's already confirmed to be included in the game...

**** him for getting me all hyped up about this >_>!
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#9 Aug 22 2009 at 8:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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That made me blow my drink out my nose Kachi. Good Job!
In all seriousness though, you are 100% right. If they really are trying to pay more attention to the playerbase durring the creation of this game, then the more people say they want more playable races the more likely it will be. On the other hand, if they are still out-of-touch or indifferent, then Tanaka will be all "Just STFU and play my game! We made more customization and have different tribes within the races. Isn't that good enough!!!"

LOL, just playin devil's advocate here.
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#10 Aug 22 2009 at 8:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Next stop TGS, but their were a few details in this interview that I found very interesting.

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The interviewer notes that even with the absence of Auto-Attack, the player could simply use the most powerful skill over and over again. However, Tanaka reveals that repetitive usage of one skill will cause the monster to start seeing through your actions, and it will become harder to land your attack. In other words, employing a variety of tactics is the best way to defeat a monster.


This probally happens more with the harder mobs than the easier mobs (assuming easy mobs would die before they adapt). This sounds like mobs adapt based on the skills you use and this could be a huge part in the strategies used vs bosses.

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Another reason they are focusing on solo play is to encourage players to explore all the variety put into the game. If players were forced into parties all the time, they would most likely stick with one weapon and master that. However, when adventuring solo or with small groups, players need to acquire a number of different skills and abilities to be able to survive. The developers hope this will create a rich variety of players and really make each character unique. However, Tanaka admits that growth can come slowly if one focuses solely on adventuring alone. Grabbing a party and working together will help your character improve faster. So, there are positives and negatives to both, which is exactly how they like it.


This sounds like a great middle ground between solo play and group play. Solo play allows you to become more diverse because you will need more skills, in order to solo effectively. But, group play still has its rewards because you progress at a faster rate. This has been a hot issue on these forums, and thats how I think it should be. This leaves the benefits of group play (so it doesn't disappear), but also gives you benefits for soloing. On top of the benefits soloing already has, I think a faster rate for group play is justified. I'm glad they have said this, so we can debate about the next topic, and leave the group vs solo play topic to rest.

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Guildleve, which was demonstrated at Gamescom, will become the core activity of Final Fantasy XIV, according to Tanaka. It's greatest merit is that you can enjoy it over and over again. Up until now, players would progress through a series of quests or missions, effectively "consuming" these activities until there was nothing left to do. However, Guildleve will allow players to repeat similar quests to their heart's content.


Guildleve is the core and probally the most important activity when it comes to progress. This is very important, and I'm glad they talked about this system. The way this system is explained, it seems like you will always have something to do within the system. They also stated that more of these task will be added through version updates.

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There will be quests that take less than 30 minutes to complete, all the way up to epic missions that span a couple days. Guildleve is all about customizing the game to one's own style.


Sounds great, thier will be casual tasks and hardcore tasks. I'm assuming that their will be plenty of casual and hardcore tasks in this system. The word epic, usually gets me excited for something huge.

Quote:
When asked for more specific information on the actual quests, Tanaka is unable to divulge too much more. However, he explains more about the system, saying that there is an upper limit to the number of Guildleve one player can acquire at a time. If you want to play beyond that, you may have to help other people with their Guildleves. Sundi explains that players can freely aid each other on quests, even if one player does not possess the particular Guildleve being fulfilled.


Their is a limit on how much you can do at one time. I like the fact that you can still progress by helping other people. This promotes teamwork and people working together for a common goal.

All in all, this was a great miny interview, and I can't wait for TGS.
#11 Aug 22 2009 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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I'm kinda interested to hear if we'll have normal quests around at all, or will there be 'only' guildleaves available? And if there'll be only guildleaves, will they have a story/cutscenes included or is it more like Fields of Valor in FFXI type of thing.
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#12 Aug 22 2009 at 10:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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I like that he talks about an equal playing field for all races, because with XI they seemed to completely lock the 5 races into place with the back story. If it's not quite so rigid for XIV, then that seems to me to be a sign that even if they don't have more than the five to start, then it'll be easy story-wise to add more races with expansions to other regions than Eorzea.
#13 Aug 22 2009 at 11:26 AM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen wrote:
I'm kinda interested to hear if we'll have normal quests around at all, or will there be 'only' guildleaves available? And if there'll be only guildleaves, will they have a story/cutscenes included or is it more like Fields of Valor in FFXI type of thing.


I'm very interested in the answer to this.
#14 Aug 22 2009 at 11:46 AM Rating: Good
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Or maybe they're too ashamed or afraid of the backlash to admit that there won't be?

Heh. I think if they were wasting that much energy worrying about it, they'd just implement the **** things.

New races are a sure thing, I would bet.
#15 Aug 22 2009 at 12:06 PM Rating: Decent
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I really liked this interview. Squeezed some more good info out of the devs.

I'm glad we'll be able to freely choose a starting city. Limsa Lominsa, here I come! :D

That said, I'm pretty sure it will be just one of those three cities. With the way the official site is set up and how MMO's go, you start in a designated starting city only. Imagine starting in Jeuno, and running out to find some very high level mobs for your level 1 character to just look at.

I would also like to know how regular quests and/or missions work in XIV, or if they'll even be in. I mean, I would think we'd need a sort of mission structure for the kind of strong story (in terms of MMO's) that Final Fantasy promotes. Unless they had some of those epic guildleves be consumable, i.e. one-time use only to go fight a great evil like the Shadow Lord.

And finally, about the races... well, this is kind of playing devil's advocate I suppose, but think about how difficult it would be to model and animate an entirely new race. They'd have to have some unique stances and such with how they wield weapons and attack, considering the base races all do things a bit differently. And that would be for every weapon type. Then they need to go and tailor armor models and textures specifically for this new race, especially if they have some very unique, defining characteristics (read: Gria and wings for torso armor or their horns for helms/caps). And since all of the races now are more or less equalized, the only true defining difference between them would be appearance.

Then you'd have to program in some NPCs of that race in, as well as some story/background to flesh things out a bit so it's not like they're just some extreme minority to which only the players have access. All for some horns and wings. And with the way it goes these days, it's a lot harder to add content of the same quality when you're dealing with a high-spec HD visuals game.

But anyway, I'm not making an argument against new races here. Just giving a little perspective. I doubt there will be a new race in the base game at launch, but there's still some hope for the future, i.e. expansions to new lands and such.

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 3:06pm by Caes
#16 Aug 22 2009 at 12:22 PM Rating: Decent
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On the other hand, there are at least a few games with more races and just as much graphical detail. If they can do it, I don't see why SE couldn't.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#17 Aug 22 2009 at 12:27 PM Rating: Decent
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If having more races means the animational detail will suffer... I'd rather not have new races at all.
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#18 Aug 22 2009 at 1:17 PM Rating: Decent
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It's the reverse for me. I'd rather have more options and a broader world than having the small details perfected.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#19 Aug 22 2009 at 1:20 PM Rating: Decent
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It all depends on what you consider 'small detail' I guess... I just can't look at any MMO with sh*tty animations, makes my eyes bleed..

For example the animations on the XIV vids made me cringe.. but I think (hope) it's only an issue because it's alpha.

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 9:22pm by Hyanmen
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#20 Aug 22 2009 at 2:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
....but think about how difficult it would be to model and animate an entirely new race. They'd have to have some unique stances and such with how they wield weapons and attack, considering the base races all do things a bit differently. And that would be for every weapon type. Then they need to go and tailor armor models and textures specifically for this new race, especially if they have some very unique, defining characteristics...


Quote:

If having more races means the animational detail will suffer... I'd rather not have new races at all.



:::raises eyebrows:::

I think you folks are confusing design with the degree of effort required to create it in 3d space.
A grandiose design isn't necessarily difficult to create, and a generic design isn't necessarily easier.

When people go about making assets, they take from what is already existing.

Elezen are a simple design. They have a similar body-type to Hyur and so, they can use alot of the same armor or armor that has been marginally altered. Which is why you see Elf archetypes and Human archetypes paired together in alot of MMOs, because it's a shortcut the player-bases accept under the guise of tradition.

Lalafell are a simple design. But they don't have a similar body-type to Hyur, they're far shorter and stubbier. SE had to downsize each and every armor model and armor texture and/or texture that is pretending to be armor to fit them. Moreso, they had to design the environment in such a way a shorter PC couldn't fit in a place they weren't supposed to or unable to traverse places because of their stature.

Gria is a more complicated design. But if they have a similar body-type to Hyur, they would enjoy much the same benefits Elezen do. They would only need special concessions made for it's chest armor and head armor.
This is basically the same situation Miqo'te are in.






Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 6:37pm by Zemzelette
#21 Aug 22 2009 at 2:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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At what point are the tiniest details even viable though? If most of your userbase won't even be able to handle the highest setting details, then why spend so much effort on it? More races seems to have more immediate appeal. But yes, I think it matters what you mean by the little details.
#22 Aug 22 2009 at 2:47 PM Rating: Good
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Players will be able to craft their avatars in more detail than ever before, with skin, eyes, hair-style and face being adjustable.


One thing I so enjoyed in an RPG is a wonderful character creation system. FFXI's is one of the best. I can only imagine whats instore.

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The main goal behind the battle system was to allow freedom of playstyle. Players can easily go solo, as demonstrated by the demo, or they can join up with a number of friends.


I'm excited about this topic as well. It allows more freedom and time management imo.


On a previous interview they stated everyone will get a chance to demo the game, can't wait. ^_^
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#23 Aug 22 2009 at 3:26 PM Rating: Good
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Caes wrote:
I really liked this interview. Squeezed some more good info out of the devs.

I'm glad we'll be able to freely choose a starting city. Limsa Lominsa, here I come! :D

That said, I'm pretty sure it will be just one of those three cities. With the way the official site is set up and how MMO's go, you start in a designated starting city only. Imagine starting in Jeuno, and running out to find some very high level mobs for your level 1 character to just look at.



Well if you think back to FFXI, we have 3 starting cities you could begin in, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's several options in FFXIV. Not to mention that it was stated you'd have a choice as to your starting location.

Caes wrote:
I would also like to know how regular quests and/or missions work in XIV, or if they'll even be in. I mean, I would think we'd need a sort of mission structure for the kind of strong story (in terms of MMO's) that Final Fantasy promotes. Unless they had some of those epic guildleves be consumable, i.e. one-time use only to go fight a great evil like the Shadow Lord.




As far as I am able to imagine, the leves will be like private escapades a person/group are able to go on. They'll probably incorporate item rewards that increase based on the level of the leve, thus creating a competition free way for people to kill big mobs (as opposed to HNM competition in FFXI).

I'm also assuming that by progressing through missions, players will be able to unlock higher level leves, which in turn would offer higher level rewards.


I guess I'm picturing the leves would act kind of like a Moblin Maze Mongers type of activity, although I don't neccessarily like it if it eliminates all form of player competition. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
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#24 Aug 22 2009 at 3:28 PM Rating: Good
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I am confused as to the obsession with new races.

It's such empty content, and let's face it, completely impossible to do at the moment for the initial launch of the game.

New races mean new areas, new NPCs, new stories revolving around the race.

It's not just a modeling and animation resource drain. It would be a huge resource drain, and that's something I don't think people understand. There's not a 'make new race button.'


Maybe for an expansion.



Quote:
At what point are the tiniest details even viable though? If most of your userbase won't even be able to handle the highest setting details, then why spend so much effort on it?


Because in a year or so, most of the userbase WILL be able to handle the highest settings. This is a smart move, especially with MMOs, which have an enormous life cycle.

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 6:07pm by Kirbster
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#25 Aug 22 2009 at 3:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Zemzelette wrote:
:::raises eyebrows:::

I think you folks are confusing design with the degree of effort required to create it in 3d space.
A grandiose design isn't necessarily difficult to create, and a generic design isn't necessarily easier.

When people go about making assets, they take from what is already existing.

Elezen are a simple design. They have a similar body-type to Hyur and so, they can use alot of the same armor or armor that has been marginally altered. Which is why you see Elf archetypes and Human archetypes paired together in alot of MMOs, because it's a shortcut the player-bases accept under the guise of tradition.

Lalafell are a simple design. But they don't have a similar body-type to Hyur, they're far shorter and stubbier. SE had to downsize each and every armor model and armor texture and/or texture that is pretending to be armor to fit them. Moreso, they had to design the environment in such a way a shorter PC couldn't fit in a place they weren't supposed to or unable to traverse places because of their stature.

Gria is a more complicated design. But if they have a similar body-type to Hyur, they would enjoy much the same benefits Elezen do. They would only need special concessions made for it's chest armor and head armor.
This is basically the same situation Miqo'te are in.






Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 6:37pm by Zemzelette


But that's why I said to achieve the same quality in content, not just graphical design, would require more than the equivalent of copy and pasting new body parts onto a roughly similar body type. Granted, the Gria would be similar to Hyur or Elezen in body type, but that's just the point; what is the point? Especially if there's much less of a difference between races this time around.

To achieve the same level of quality or parity in the animations, SE would have to make new animations, and SE would have to rework existing equipment a bit. Now, don't get me wrong, I know you don't have to model a new piece of armor from scratch to give it holes for wings or horns. But even in XI there's slight differences in armor based on race that do not necessarily have to deal with drastically different body features.

On top of that, if the Gria had wings that weren't just aesthetic, then they'd have to take into consideration flight or hovering and how it affects navigation through the environment. That would give Gria a leg-up. As you noted, they have to keep in mind Tarutaru when designing the game world. So either the wings would be useless or that would require reworking the world and giving the Gria a potential advantage when the races are supposed to be generally equal.

And all of it still means they need to flesh out the background of the Gria, as well as put in Gria NPCs. Now, I'm not saying all of this is impossibly expensive in terms of time, manpower or processing power, but in the end if the result is just putting wings and horns on a Hyur, I can see why SE was at least initially reluctant to consider the need for new races in Eorzea.

I'd still love to see a new race or two in an expansion. But as it is, judging from the alpha build, I saying they don't have that kind of time to do it right now.

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 6:37pm by Caes
#26 Aug 22 2009 at 4:17 PM Rating: Decent
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I was watching a video that had a Lalafell and I just couldn't stop laughing my *** off at how funny their running animation is. Oh man, just too funny.. XD
#27 Aug 22 2009 at 4:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Pikko wrote:
At what point are the tiniest details even viable though? If most of your userbase won't even be able to handle the highest setting details, then why spend so much effort on it?


Because in 2 years that technology will be affordable for the average consumer. As time goes by it will be the standard install base... and eventually called outdated and bland by the time a new FF online series is released. It will help the longevity of the title.
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#28 Aug 22 2009 at 6:04 PM Rating: Decent
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It's such empty content, and let's face it, completely impossible to do at the moment for the initial launch of the game.


It's no less empty than minor graphical improvements, nor is your summation that it's completely impossible at the initial launch credible in the least.

It's actually a lot less empty. Look, I don't know how many times or ways I'm going to have to say this, but 1) character creation is about letting players make a character they want whether because they identify with it or just like it, and adding to that, 2) a lot of people did not find any of the existing races in XI very appealing.

Quote:
New races mean new areas, new NPCs, new stories revolving around the race.


No? New races can be easily added to the existing areas-- for all we know they already are. New NPCs... so? Once the models are made, making a new race NPC is no harder than making an old race NPC. The race would need some backstory, yes, but it's not the undertaking you're imagining.
Quote:

It's not just a modeling and animation resource drain. It would be a huge resource drain, and that's something I don't think people understand. There's not a 'make new race button.'


Gee, how insightful. I never thought of it like that /sarcasm.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#29 Aug 22 2009 at 7:00 PM Rating: Decent
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CupDeNoodles wrote:
I was watching a video that had a Lalafell and I just couldn't stop laughing my *** off at how funny their running animation is. Oh man, just too funny.. XD


Yea, when I saw them running I was a bit put off. They look so rigid, kind of how you look when you eat that food in FFXI that turns you into a child. Hopefully this is just because of the Alpha demo though, and as they stated the game is by far more advanced.
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#30 Aug 22 2009 at 7:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Oh, I'm sure if they do include a new race, and it does have extra appendages, it would just be aesthetics. They wouldn't undermine their drive to homogenize the races functionally just to give one a flying or swimming ability out of the blue. I don't think that's something we really need to worry about.

Aren't you (and kirbster) making a rather bold assumption? Who said they were reluctant? Who said it isn't already done? When new race proponents are saying "new" they mean it in the sense of being different from XI, not new in the sense of hot-off-the-presses.

Quote:
Now, I'm not saying all of this is impossibly expensive in terms of time, manpower or processing power, but in the end if the result is just putting wings and horns on a Hyur, I can see why SE was at least initially reluctant to consider the need for new races in Eorzea.


I'm not entirely sure what your getting at here. I can only imagine your going towards to two things: it would be of poor quality or uncreative.

In terms of poor quality of animation: You don't have to start from scratch with animation either. I don't want to go too in depth here. But when you animate the information is recorded as a curve for each coordinate plane x, y, z, in terms of location, size and rotation. Basically the whole of an animation is turned into a series of 2d Graphs. This makes the information transferable (and easily editable), so things like characterization, differentiation and nuance can really be focused on when two different characters of a similar build are doing a similar thing.

In terms of creativity as a whole: Compared to the vanilla selection we're being offered, it's downright exotic. Though, I personally would prefer a little more envelope pushing.

/edit: I just want to make this clear.
I am the last person on the face of this earth who wants to undermine the effort and creativity that goes into the process of making assets. Trust me, I do not mean to make light of this work. It's a process, but, it's not a process that's capable of crippling a company of SE's size.

Edited, Aug 22nd 2009 11:40pm by Zemzelette
#31 Aug 22 2009 at 7:53 PM Rating: Good
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Pikko wrote:
At what point are the tiniest details even viable though? If most of your userbase won't even be able to handle the highest setting details, then why spend so much effort on it? More races seems to have more immediate appeal. But yes, I think it matters what you mean by the little details.


Simurgh would be oh so boring if I couldn't watch those crickets though!
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#32 Aug 22 2009 at 8:48 PM Rating: Good
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Eh, you could say I'm being bold, but I kind of think so of those who say SE's keeping something like an entirely different race under wraps, but that such a race will be ready at launch.

But I am not saying it's impossible, or that it would vastly cripple SE's resources, or that it hasn't already been done. If anything, I'm a pessimist, because it's better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.

I think it would be very irregular for an MMO company to leave a race out of the official announcement of races, unless they specifically say something like, "With more to be revealed." Judging from the recent interviews, it seems like a new race hasn't been on SE's immediate agenda. I'm saying that if it's not on SE's immediate agenda, it's more than likely not gonna happen at launch.

You have a point about animations not being needed to made from scratch either, but there's still more logistics than that going into it all--especially for an MMO. As the game gets closer to beta, and then to release, any developer would become more and more hesitant to add something entirely new to a game that's just beginning to become stabilized. Even something seemingly small. Code can be finicky that way, and even the best of intentions can open up a whole new can of worms. So I'm saying if SE hasn't shown it now, and in interviews the Devs keep acting (in my opinion) like, "Wait--they wanted new races entirely?", then my money's on a new race not being in the game at launch, nor being in the game in it's current build at all.

I mean, speculation is all good and fine, and I would have no problem with the equivalent of "I-told-you-so" if the game launches with a new race (I'd personally salute SE for going that extra mile), but I'm just saying that we should be careful and take the info we've got. For instance, I doubt there will be more than three starting cities; Why release info about only three of them (in such detail, mind you)? Usually if there's more to come, a company like SE would at least have a filler space on the site next to the other cities saying, "Coming soon..."

Oh, and in case anyone thinks otherwise, I'm not arguing. A little debate and speculation is perfectly healthy.
#33 Aug 22 2009 at 9:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Fair enough, Caes.


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Simurgh would be oh so boring if I couldn't watch those crickets though!

...There were crickets? o.o
#34 Aug 22 2009 at 10:23 PM Rating: Good
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Zemzelette wrote:


Fair enough, Caes.


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Simurgh would be oh so boring if I couldn't watch those crickets though!

...There were crickets? o.o


Yes, you needed weather effects on to see them though. They may have been grasshoppers though, I don't care enough to differentiate the two lol.

Edited, Aug 23rd 2009 2:24am by Deadgye
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#35 Aug 23 2009 at 2:20 AM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
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It's such empty content, and let's face it, completely impossible to do at the moment for the initial launch of the game.


It's no less empty than minor graphical improvements, nor is your summation that it's completely impossible at the initial launch credible in the least.

It's actually a lot less empty. Look, I don't know how many times or ways I'm going to have to say this, but 1) character creation is about letting players make a character they want whether because they identify with it or just like it, and adding to that, 2) a lot of people did not find any of the existing races in XI very appealing.


'A lot of people?' Who?

I've heard complaints about the lack of customization in choosing your model for XI, but I've never heard a complaint about the lack of races.

A small sample of vocal people whining on forums doesn't really equate a large section of the potential player base.

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New races mean new areas, new NPCs, new stories revolving around the race.


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No? New races can be easily added to the existing areas-- for all we know they already are. New NPCs... so? Once the models are made, making a new race NPC is no harder than making an old race NPC. The race would need some backstory, yes, but it's not the undertaking you're imagining.


Again, you're very much underestimating the process. It's not impossible, but shouldn't be focused on for the initial launch of the game in my opinion. They should get everything polished, tweaked and optimized, and if the new playerbase just must have a new race, add it in the first expansion with pet jobs.

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It's not just a modeling and animation resource drain. It would be a huge resource drain, and that's something I don't think people understand. There's not a 'make new race button.'


Gee, how insightful. I never thought of it like that /sarcasm.


Had that been the case, you would have understood my concern. I appreciate you informing me of your sarcasm.


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Aren't you (and kirbster) making a rather bold assumption? Who said they were reluctant? Who said it isn't already done?


I won't say that, but just call it a hunch. If they release a new race at TGS we can all be pleasantly surprised. And of course not, you can reuse and edit animation, provided the rig and dynamics are suited for it. But it's still a lot of work that I feel should be going towards more important things.

Caes is right on the money. There's so much more logistics involved in the simplest design decision than the average consumer would think, and even more so if it's a large company.

Edited, Aug 23rd 2009 3:24am by Kirbster
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#36 Aug 23 2009 at 3:12 AM Rating: Default
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Honestly I don't think they're holding back any huge amount of information at all.

This I'm basing on the way they give information about FFXI updates. It always sounds like a lot is going to happen. And it always seems like they're hinting there is more then the bits of information they hand out, but there never is.

I mean they don't even have a pet job... Why would they have some new amazing major game play feature if they're not even done with the basics.
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#37 Aug 23 2009 at 3:17 AM Rating: Good
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This I'm basing on the way they give information about FFXI updates. It always sounds like a lot is going to happen. And it always seems like they're hinting there is more then the bits of information they hand out, but there never is.


That's just you having too great expectations, nothing more.

Pet job isn't part of the basics, it's a bonus feature if even that.

I think we know all basic features there are, but as to how they work we still know almost nothing (we got a bit of info of Guildleaves from GC, but too many things are still unknown to make any conclusions).

How will crafting/gathering work? We got some info about the battle system but there's still million things we don't know about it..
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#38 Aug 23 2009 at 3:18 AM Rating: Decent
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When asked for more specific information on the actual quests, Tanaka is unable to divulge too much more. However, he explains more about the system, saying that there is an upper limit to the number of Guildleve one player can acquire at a time. If you want to play beyond that, you may have to help other people with their Guildleves. Sundi explains that players can freely aid each other on quests, even if one player does not possess the particular Guildleve being fulfilled.


Guildeves= Campaign OPs

I'm not sure what SE doesn't just give us a point of reference instead of all the mystery. Guildeves seems to include Assault, Campaign OPs, and all misc quest systems to pull it off.

I'm disappointed in reading the IGN announcement that there won't be any in-game voice chat. No PvP sucks too.

http://ps3.ign.com/dor/objects/823994/final-fantasy-xiv-online/images/final-fantasy-xiv-online-20090821002808582.html?page=mediaFull

The pics shows a screen shot of the gameplay. If you look at the far right, you'll see a battle compass similar to FFXI. You'll also see a TP, MP, and LP bar. I'm not sure, but the LP bar might be "Life Points" instead of HP. The character is fighting a few mobs at once so it's possible his HP was dropping.



Edited, Aug 23rd 2009 6:29am by ShadowedgeFFXI
#39 Aug 23 2009 at 7:50 AM Rating: Default
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'A lot of people?' Who?

I've heard complaints about the lack of customization in choosing your model for XI, but I've never heard a complaint about the lack of races.

A small sample of vocal people whining on forums doesn't really equate a large section of the potential player base.


Were you not around when the game first came out? There were many people who summarized the race choices thusly: Humans, a girl-only race, and the ugly ones. I get tired of people who ask "who" rhetorically and then attempt to marginalize all positive examples.

10% is a small sample that does equate to a large section of the player base, just as an example of how that reasoning is wrong. When you say 10%, it's easy to pretend that it's not significant. When you say 50,000 subscribers, well suddenly we're also talking about more than half a million dollars.

You're overstating the complexity of the process when you fail to acknowledge all the subscriptions new races can generate. Eight gender/race options does not reach the point of diminishing returns for a company with the resources and experience of SE.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#40 Aug 23 2009 at 3:04 PM Rating: Good
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Were you not around when the game first came out? There were many people who summarized the race choices thusly: Humans, a girl-only race, and the ugly ones. I get tired of people who ask "who" rhetorically and then attempt to marginalize all positive examples.


I'd been in since the beta, and never heard a thing. And where are you even getting this 10% number?

And you might be right, I might be hoping that people would care more about the actual game than races that I personally find perfectly acceptable.

Regardless, I don't think a new race would have as big an impact on subscriptions as you think it would, and I doubt I can change your mind on the matter.
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#41 Aug 23 2009 at 8:22 PM Rating: Decent
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I'd been in since the beta, and never heard a thing.


Did you avoid the forums at all costs or something? Because I've been around for that long and heard no end of it.

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And where are you even getting this 10% number?


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just as an example of how that reasoning is wrong.


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an example


Christ.

Races are the forefront of an MMO. One of the first things any person looks at when picking up an MMO is "what kind of character can I make?" If they don't see something they like, they typically don't get it. I know people who will pick games solely based on their race options. As races are the face of the game, they have a huge impact on casual buyers as well. Final Fantasy only manages to mitigate this effect to an extent because it carries the name Final Fantasy, which ensures that a number of people will buy it. It doesn't mean that it won't benefit from it just the same as any other game.

So no, "I don't think so," is not going to convince me otherwise.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#42 Aug 23 2009 at 8:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Races are the forefront of an MMO. One of the first things any person looks at when picking up an MMO is "what kind of character can I make?" If they don't see something they like, they typically don't get it. I know people who will pick games solely based on their race options.


I'm not going to speak for "any" potential MMORPG player, but the first thing I look at is class/job choice, not race.

Honestly I would think that SE's decision to eliminate clearly defined jobs will have a greater impact on whether or not someone will decide to buy the game than the fact that there are "only" five races to choose from.

The fact that you feel compelled to resurrect this issue in multiple threads seems to indicate that you were dissatisfied with the racial options in FFXI, or are unhappy with the choices you will have in FFXIV. If so, by your own logic it doesn't seem like you should have "picked up" FFXI in the first place. But you did. If races really are "the forefront of an MMO" and you are clearly unhappy that no new races have been announced for FFXIV, it doesn't seem like you should be planning on purchasing that game either, but here you are.

Are you actually willing to say that you won't buy FFXIV if no new races are announced? If not, then you are either satisfied with the existing races, or race isn't the "dealbreaker" you make it out to be.
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#43 Aug 23 2009 at 9:17 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm not going to speak for "any" potential MMORPG player, but the first thing I look at is class/job choice, not race.


Which would be another major component to what kind of character you can make, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think race is a big issue for a lot of people.

Quote:
Honestly I would think that SE's decision to eliminate clearly defined jobs will have a greater impact on whether or not someone will decide to buy the game than the fact that there are "only" five races to choose from.


I agree, probably so. But that doesn't make the other issue insignificant, either.

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The fact that you feel compelled to resurrect this issue in multiple threads


It takes two to tango. It's not like it's irrelevant to the OP either.

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Are you actually willing to say that you won't buy FFXIV if no new races are announced? If not, then you are either satisfied with the existing races, or race isn't the "dealbreaker" you make it out to be.


As I've explained before, there is a sizable portion of the fanbase that will purchase this game almost irregardless of the content therein purely by virtue of the name Final Fantasy. Frankly, that includes me as well, but how long I will remain a subscriber could definitely depend on new races/genders.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#44 Aug 23 2009 at 9:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi fancies himself the savior and defender of a large portion of the playerbase that may or may not actually exist.
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#45 Aug 23 2009 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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They do, but by now most of them have exited the fanbase due largely to their experiences with FFXI.

Rest assured that they will invariably return upon the release, for however long.

But no, I'm not trying to be a savior. Just pointing out what should be the most obvious of elements to designing a successful game.

Edit: And I do this because I have a deep and longstanding interest in game design concepts, more so than any personal attachment to this game or any other. I've made no secret of this fact, either.

Edited, Aug 23rd 2009 10:32pm by Kachi
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#46 Aug 24 2009 at 12:55 AM Rating: Decent
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The developers will also be looking at how players use the system, Tanaka says. In Final Fantasy XI, the users would sometimes inject their playstyle into the game and the system would bend and shape into something new and unexpected. Tanaka hopes to see this kind of ingenuity once again, and says the developers may be able to improve the game based on how the players enjoy it.


So they are redoing the same mistakes as in XI? Thinking players choose the style that they enjoy and not the style that is efficient. Jesus, don't they have a single person visiting the suggestions boards? Clearly we are not suggesting things for what we do, but for what we don't.



Their character customization seem to be going in the right direction though. Unless we get a repeat of XI. (I really loved the character creating screen, but disliked that it was just a fake HQ version of what you would get in the end.)
#47 Aug 24 2009 at 3:41 AM Rating: Decent
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The developers would rather players find lasting enjoyment in the game itself, instead of make a mad dash for treasure and quit soon after


just hope they don't take it to the extrem again(now introducing relics/mytics in ff14 <.< )
#48 Aug 24 2009 at 5:45 AM Rating: Good
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The new ZAM interview with Tanaka...

This made me excited...
Tanaka wrote:
Regarding other races, we can't really make any comments at the moment, so please look forward to future announcements.


This made me nearly cry...
Tanaka wrote:
At the moment, for Miqo'Te there's only a female version, and Roegadyn only has a male version - that's their current status.


Then I paused, put two and two together, and suddenly I'm excited again.
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#49 Aug 24 2009 at 9:31 AM Rating: Decent
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Heh, do you think they could really just be saying that they haven't unveiled them because they're not finished yet? Seems unlikely, but I guess it's a glimmer of hope. If anything I think the evident player demand would incite them to make the addition sort of last minute, but I can't imagine that this is a surprise to them. People asked for male Mithra in FFXI up until they said conclusively that they couldn't do it, so surely they didn't think it would be a dead issue now that they can? But then it's SE.

Quote:
So they are redoing the same mistakes as in XI? Thinking players choose the style that they enjoy and not the style that is efficient. Jesus, don't they have a single person visiting the suggestions boards? Clearly we are not suggesting things for what we do, but for what we don't.


This bothered me as well.

And it wasn't just with combat, either. I'm thinking, look-- player run casinos and chocobo races were -not- good phenomena. They were desperate attempts by the playerbase to create content where there was none. Don't extol the virtues of player creativity just because you have gaps and miscalculations in your design. Don't give me a stick and a ball and then consider it a personal triumph that I figured out how to make a game of it.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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.
#50 Aug 24 2009 at 8:24 PM Rating: Decent
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One thing I so enjoyed in an RPG is a wonderful character creation system. FFXI's is one of the best. I can only imagine whats instore.


You really think so? There wasn't much depth to it. It basically boiled down to Option A or Option B.


Edited, Aug 25th 2009 12:24am by EtherealTwilight
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