There are no separate resources x _ X Only one bigass pile of money that is divided to different departments and as surprising as it sounds when the Race department doesn't get enough resources to make a new race, they'll have to tweak the existing ones instead.
At the same time the Important Gameplay Features department has more money to work with so they can make a new "Chain Skill" system along with "Sorcery Blast" for the combat system that will make it that much more interesting.
Not to be blunt, but, I'm afraid you're gwrrrrong
Game development 101: Time is the main concern. But it's not just one big glob of time everyone "takes" from, it's X months for each
of the hundred+ employees here. So dev time on something like races would be varying chunks of time from a number of folks; mostly the artists by far, with diminishing needs from programmers and designers. So each person has their own private "resource". Money is not a factor
as far as the creative team is concerned (especially not when you're self published like SE) because it's all handled upstairs and already spread out to cover their wages and expenses over the development period; they're employed there for the length of the development cycle and they don't get paid more to do Mithra bikinis than they do Marbol teeth or whatever
. It's very unlikely that more money will be spent on hires or out-of-house work because of this stuff, and even if it were, none of this matters because perhaps the most important thing to a good development team is:
Even if, for some reason, an inordinate amount of time (and money somehow, even though that's not a concern) were to be spent on races it's 99.9999991% unlikely that it would ever, ever touch
vital or central gameplay because a clear and present basic necessity of development, whether you're a noob or an old hand, whether you're working alone or on a 200 man team, is prioritizing.
They aren't just running around doing whatever strikes their fancy; there is a centralized list of every task they've got to do prioritized by importance, and they get done in that order, period
. Even if there might be a time concern about a new race or multiple races, well, they're way, way, way
further down the list than the effing Battle System
New races wouldn't be competing with central gameplay systems or existing race animation quality for time. They would be more likely be on the list near adding in a few extra enemies or a quest or two, maybe near putting in a freaking mini-game or something.
So no, no matter how effing crazy things get, the push and pull on the issue would practically never be "New Races or good Core Gameplay?" The very idea is a gross exaggeration, to put it lightly. Wall of Text, Chapter 2
On the "aesthetics VS gameplay" issue, which is, again, ridiculous because the two are not
at odds with one another. I'll take Hyanmen's statement one step further and say that people who are entirely concerned with gameplay and think aesthetics don't matter at all
are also shallow (by the dictionary definition, "Lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge", and insisting that only the mechanical function of something in a video game
matters is certainly lacking in emotional wholeness and knowledge of the human psyche), and if anyone here thinks that any major, well-made game would be even remotely
similar in quality and enjoyment whether it sported box-and-circle MS paint doodles or professional painterly illustrations as long as the gameplay was up to par is not only wrong, but I daresay quite naive.
To back up for a moment, I will say, I do think that in a game, gameplay
is more important if
you've got to choose. But aesthetics are an incredibly integral part of that gameplay; they're an integral part of the experience, they're absolutely vital for reward structure and extremely important for characterization. For one, we are uncontrollably creatures of multiple senses, and uncontrollably creatures of socialization and attachment. How their character looks matters to each and every player whether they know it or think so. Players that wave off character generation quickly still look at their character for hours on end and take it in, consciously or not, and players that just smash random at character creation will still see the world and experience
in a better light if they like the way their characters look. Indeed, every single moment you spend in-game will be modified by how much enjoyment your character gives you.
People become attached to their characters, and they'll do so at a faster pace if they like and/or identify with their characters. And players who are attached to their characters are more likely to continue playing a game.
And the average player does care, even if they don't voice their opinion or only think about it now and then. The average player will spend some amount of time in chargen, they will be happy when they get a nice looking weapon or piece of equipment, and they will balk when they're forced to wear subligar. And for every moment they're actually thinking about it there's a thousand others where, without giving it conscious consideration, their character just seems
cooler or lamer, the character is more like or less like what they want to see or want to represent them, and that matters. That adds up.
So yeah, core gameplay should come first. But there's no sane way that it wouldn't. So that's a moot point as far as I'm concerned. People want choices that reflect their identities, or their avatars, or even just what they like to look at. And that's important too. For every player that would've picked male Mithra, or Viera, or whatever
, SE is losing them a margin more on attachment rate and each risks ending monthly payments earlier on than they would have.
No, obviously, SE can't make everyone happy. But asking for a new race or even some genders or something
is hardly being unreasonable, and for many people FFXI's choices were lackluster to begin with.
Now don't make me come back here and have to post on this kind of thing again.