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What about FFXI made you keep playing? Do you like gambling?Follow

#1 Oct 02 2009 at 7:41 AM Rating: Decent
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This has probably already been posted so I am sorry if this is just a repeat.

When I look at FFXI I often find myself confused as to why I played as long as I did. The game is nearly a constant grind, money is hard to get, and so is a lot of good gear. When you take a step back, the leveling is slow, the combat is really slow, the game itself is slow. The thing is, none of this really bothered me. It may have been because FFXI was my first MMO, but I didn't want to stop playing until I eventually hit endgame drama/bullsh*t.

I think I have some small idea why. Gambling is known to be addictive. At first glance the game doesn't seem to be all that chance oriented, but if you really look it, the entire game is a lottery. While all MMOs are, I feel FFXI has some of the highest levels of this gambling aspect.

The reason why this is so true is because of the pacing of the game.

In WoW you're character throws attacks quickly, so much so that misses don't mean all that much. Think back to the beginning levels of FFXI. Skill ups start quickly as they should, but then they become hard to get nearly just as fast. When you get skill ups after that initial surge they mean a lot. If you are the kind of gamer I am, you look for them. Seeing a .1 is nice, but seeing that .3-.5 makes you feel great. Because of the slow pacing, all the accomplishments made are amplified.

Building TP for a weaponskill is another example.

The biggest thing that kept me playing was NMs. This may be the best concept in a game ever (from a time sink point of view). It also happens to be psychological warfare (Argus anyone?). Casinos use a similar concept. For example, you have a row of slot machines. All the machines are hooked up to a computer. The computer only allows for, say, a 3% chance at payouts. People play all day thinking they are getting closer and closer to hitting a jackpot. Their chances never change. The same is true of drop rates from NMS in FFXI. Most of the time the drops rates aren’t as low as 3%, but the concept remains the same. You are playing slots. My heart was racing every time I was killing an NM.

Here is where it gets warfare-ish.

Instead of being like a true slot machine that you can walk up to and put time (and money) into, you have no guarantee that you will even see the slot machine (BCNMs are the exception). In fact, there are a few other people in the room that also want to use this machine. It also happens that the slot machine can appear anywhere in the room at any time. Only one person gets to use it when it does appear.

You roll on low odds twice.

%chance to claim NM
%chance to get drop

This is genius from a developer's point of view. The 'payout' for the person camping the NM gets more and more desired after every failed attempt. When you finally succeed, there is an asplotion of feel good juice all over your brain. Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment. "I beat all those people, I worked hard to get this, I'm gonna be rich, omfg my E-peen grew a few inches".

If SE did this on purpose, they have people with psychology degrees walking around their office torturing little children and recording their reactions for use in their MMO time sink techniques. They may also happen to have pointed hats and the ability to cast Fire II.

Overall, I just feel like I was playing so long because every little thing I did meant something in a brain chemistry kind of way. Not that I didn’t have fun doing it though.

Will we see similar tactics make a return in FFXIV? Will they be the same and just less time consuming? Is SE finally sick of torturing little children?

Edit: Made more FFXIV related :)


Edited, Oct 2nd 2009 12:29pm by ELodius
#2 Oct 02 2009 at 8:16 AM Rating: Good
That's great, and I'm happy for you, but this should probably go in the FFXI forum.
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#3ELodius, Posted: Oct 02 2009 at 8:21 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Your name stinks.
#4 Oct 02 2009 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
ELodius wrote:
Your name stinks.


HAR HAR HAR HAR
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#5 Oct 02 2009 at 8:50 AM Rating: Decent
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I really like your point of view. You're right on everything.

For FFXIV, I think that they plan of using the same "gambling euphoria" concepts. It will be as heavy as it was in FFXI, but they'll add a lot of casual content (Guildleves for example) to hide it.

I think SE learned from FFXI that this "gambling ephoria" will keep the hardcore people playing (the current crowd of people still playing FFXI for example) and the mass of casual content will keep the casual players and kids playing.
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#6 Oct 02 2009 at 9:01 AM Rating: Decent
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That post is way too long for me to actually read so I'll just answer the questions in the topic.

My life had different dynamics when I was playing FFXI. I can't remember exactly but I was either a senior in high school or I had just barely come out of high school when I started playing. I had a lot of time and I didn't mind wasting it because I didn't see it as such at the time. Not only that but it was also a lot easier to get a group at the time. So this basically nullifies any problems with time that I currently have and if it weren't for that than I probably wouldn't have continued playing.

Aside from that I think there were a lot of little things that kept me playing. The challenge of the game for one thing. It was a matter of personal pride for me to become the best RDM possible. It wouldn't have mattered if the game was easy. Also the game emitted a FF feel that I really wanted. It had been years since I played a new FF since they switched to the PS. It just had that sort of style that made me want to play. The jobs also had a big part to play. I really liked the RDM and DRG. It just made me happy to be able to play them.

And no, I don't like gambling. Though I don't mind if it stays for FFXIV. In fact, I think they should add a lot more little mini games.
#7 Oct 02 2009 at 9:09 AM Rating: Excellent
ELodius wrote:
Your name stinks.

Trust me, that smell's not coming from my name. Yo quiero Taco Bell, and all that.
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#8 Oct 02 2009 at 10:37 AM Rating: Good
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I started playing with my siblings and some rl friends. People kept me playing, and still do.

I greatly enjoyed accomplishing things with friends; beating hard mobs/missions, etc. It's a lot of fun, it gave me something to do with my family when we are physically apart.

I actually dislike the NM system. I'm not very gear-oriented and generally don't get hung up over not having a particular piece of gear if it comes from a stupidly low drop rate NM. In fact ,the NM system is the worst part of the game for me and something that's a deterrent. Low drop rates go along with this.

No, I don't like gambling. It doesn't do much for me.

The grindy aspects aren't that bad. I generally liked leveling some jobs to 75 and practically everything I leveled was in a static with one of my friends and/or siblings. Ditto for making gil. It still is somewhat of a source of entertainment for us, coming up with various gilmaking schemes.

The biggest source of fun for me is finishing a mission or defeating a boss-type NM; whether or not I get any gear out of it.
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#9 Oct 02 2009 at 3:06 PM Rating: Decent
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Since 2006ish it was the new avatars that kept me staying a bit. Kind of makes me suspect SE knows this since they are taking like 4 years to add them.

Of course my whole life has revolved around waiting on the next update for the obvious SMN fixes. But at least it is a lesson learned. Never ever play a MMO class rated "sucks" by the playerbase, because the company will never fix it.

So now it is bandwagon job or bust. Where bust means quitting if I'm not up to playing the bandwagon job.
#10 Oct 02 2009 at 8:41 PM Rating: Good
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ELodius wrote:
*Title*


What makes me keep playing? I enjoy the game. The things FFXI does well it does light-years better than any other MMO (and almost any RPG in general) I've played. The challenge being, well, challenging, the setting and setting mechanics (weather/calendar day, mob aggro mechanics, etc.) being so well-developed, and the flexibility of the job system are all some examples of the things that make me like the game.

In short: I put up with the grind and the lottery because I enjoy the rest of the game so much, not the other way around. There's a reason I won't ****ing touch BLU, no matter how awesome it is.

ELodius wrote:
The biggest thing that kept me playing was NMs. ... My heart was racing every time I was killing an NM.


I love hunting NMs. However, for me at least, the chase is better than the catch by a longshot. With two exceptions so far (JEJ and Scroo Yjuu the Abhorrent), I hunt for sport. Those two I hunt out of hatred.
#11 Oct 03 2009 at 4:23 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I love hunting NMs. However, for me at least, the chase is better than the catch by a longshot. With two exceptions so far (JEJ and Scroo Yjuu the Abhorrent), I hunt for sport.


Well, that's exactly what I think the OP meant. It is a hidden gambling mechanic that makes you enoy those hunts. You're competing against other campers, having x% of chance of claiming the NM makes it exciting and thrilling. You're gambling (betting your play time for having a chance at claiming, then having a chance at drop), but you don't realize it.

Edited, Oct 3rd 2009 8:26am by ChinookFFXIV
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#12 Oct 03 2009 at 7:07 AM Rating: Good
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ChinookFFXIV wrote:
Well, that's exactly what I think the OP meant. It is a hidden gambling mechanic that makes you enoy those hunts.


I don't think so, though. I enjoy hunting something uncamped and pointless (like Bigmouth Billy) as much as I enjoy hunting "useful" NMs like the Valkurm Emperor. It's the figuring out the pop times and placeholders, learning where within the area those placeholders are likely to spawn, and the "There she blows!" when they finally pop (and the race to claim if I'm camping against others) that I like. I'd still hunt NMs if I were the only person in the game and they all dropped nothing.

Also: I don't see the claim race as gambling at all, any more than any playing any competitive sport is gambling. Chance rarely determines the winner. Careful observation and planning, teamwork (if you're working with friends), and job/claim tool choice do.

Lastly (and continuing the Moby **** references): I forgot one on the "hunt for hatred" list. Tom Tit-Tat is my white whale. I've spent way too many hours hunting that little ****er, and have only seen him once (someone else was fighting him and I choco'd by). One of these days I'll get the little son of a *****, and it'll probably drive me to madness when I do.
#13 Oct 03 2009 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
CapnCrass wrote:
Lastly (and continuing the Moby **** references): I forgot one on the "hunt for hatred" list. Tom Tit-Tat is my white whale. I've spent way too many hours hunting that little ****er, and have only seen him once (someone else was fighting him and I choco'd by). One of these days I'll get the little son of a *****, and it'll probably drive me to madness when I do.

Would it be bad form to tell you I'm 1/1 on Fruit Punches then?

Mellowy wrote:
Of course my whole life has revolved around waiting on the next update for the obvious SMN fixes.

It's just gotta burn you up that they don't plan on having any pet jobs for the initial release of FFXIV then.
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#14 Oct 03 2009 at 10:56 AM Rating: Decent
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ELodius wrote:

The game is nearly a constant grind, money is hard to get, and so is a lot of good gear. When you take a step back, the leveling is slow, the combat is really slow, the game itself is slow.





This is probably why I played for so long. The difficulty and longevity of everything I did really made me feel like I accomplished something. The strategy needed for combat also brought on a fun twist.

You mentioned the combat is slow, but I'm not sure I fully agree with that. Sure, it may not exactly be real time combat, but I found myself constantly occupied, and many battles I was in were extremely fast paced. I'd say that some Einherjar and Salvage comes to mind for this especially.

As to the slower feel of the game overall, well this was probably the nicest thing for me. I could come home after a long day at work, and just relax in front of my computer with a nice bottle of wine.
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#15 Oct 03 2009 at 11:56 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
It's just gotta burn you up that they don't plan on having any pet jobs for the initial release of FFXIV then.


Not at all. I'm happy they aren't adding crap pets again. Hopefully they'll only add pets if they actually manage to find the formula.
#16 Oct 03 2009 at 1:00 PM Rating: Good
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Ralrra the Flatulent wrote:
Would it be bad form to tell you I'm 1/1 on Fruit Punches then?


Heh. Nope. It actually warms my cold, black heart a bit to know that someone else out there handed the little ****er his ***. TTT deserves whatever punishment he gets.
#17 Oct 03 2009 at 1:45 PM Rating: Decent
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"The next one will drop. I can feel it."

Actually said by someone in my LS about diorite a while ago. Yep, sounds a little bit like a gambler.
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#18 Oct 03 2009 at 1:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Ralrra the Flatulent wrote:
Mellowy wrote:
Of course my whole life has revolved around waiting on the next update for the obvious SMN fixes.

It's just gotta burn you up that they don't plan on having any pet jobs for the initial release of FFXIV then.
Yeah, try being a Beastmaster. And no, it doesn't bother me either. I only played Beastmaster as a way to play on my own time., and not the time of others who wished to invite me. All of my other jobs, and I do mean all of them, were leveled through statics.
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#19 Oct 03 2009 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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I guess I'm one of the few who keeps playing just because it's a Final Fantasy game. This series has been a part of my life since I was a kid. Every other FF game I've taken the time to find everything, max the lvl of every character, and master every minigame. I know it's a grind, and sometimes days of work gets you nowhere, but for the most part it's nothing I haven't inflicted upon myself in the past FF games.
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