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Define "Hard"Follow

#1 Jan 12 2010 at 4:17 PM Rating: Decent
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As somebody who played FFXI, and now play Wow, but is most definitely considering coming back to play the new version of FFXIV, I find it interesting how many people think Wow is easy.

Granted, a great deal of Wow is indeed easy. Some of it so much so that it definitely has completely obliterated any sense of achievement. A great example of one thing FF crushed Wow on (in my opinion), is the crafting system. I nearly maxed leatherworking before leaving, and I was 2nd best on the server at the time I left, just couldn't get the mats to fully max it out. The whole crafting +1 thing was interesting as well. I'm a 450 JC in Wow with every epic cut, but even though I am the only player on the server with every cut, I also realize that any other player could accomplish it with relative ease should they desire.

Howver, while it is indeed easy to get to level 80 in Wow, a very limited portion of the player base and/or guilds have successfully managed to complete anything that has been set to "hard" mode. Thus they do have something set aside for the population of Wow that doesn't want to coast through endgame content.

I sense that some FF players will say, well, the Wow casuals still get to see the same endgame content that the hardcore guys do. True, but Wow never competed with FF in terms of the storyline content. It's just beat up things, get loot basically.

So where is the balance. How does FFXIV allow the casual gamer to have a far more enriching experience in FFXIV then they did in FFXI?

There were definitely things about FFXI I really enjoyed, but there were too many deal breakers that made Wow more enjoyable to play for me.

I hope this new version balances things out.
#2 Jan 12 2010 at 4:36 PM Rating: Decent
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It's an interesting problem, because I'm not sure that people always understand the nuances of a game being "easy" or "hard".

In a deep game, like FFXI was (and presumably, FFXIV will be) there are different tiers of accomplishment. There is typically the accepted level of accomplishment, where a player has achieved enough to equip himself well and hold his own in a group. Then there are tiers for players above and beyond this level.

Now, here's where the nuance comes in. If you make it too easy to achieve the top tier, then it loses its mystique. Players don't look at it with the same wonder that many of say, FFXI inspired with its ultra-rare gear. (I still remember the awe that I felt at the hard-earned equipment that certain Japanese players ran around with). The flip side of this is that if you make it too hard, then players lose interest. It's a tough balance to maintain.

The issue gets more complex when you adjust how requisite this top tier is to attain. If the equipment here isn't really necessary, and adds just a small boost that only the most serious of players would care about, then I think you've got the perfect balance.

Edited, Jan 12th 2010 5:44pm by Eske

Edited, Jan 12th 2010 5:46pm by Eske
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#3 Jan 12 2010 at 4:43 PM Rating: Decent
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To add to what I said before:

The funny thing is, is that I really would have thought that FFXI struck a good balance with making the ultra-rare gear not 100% necessary, so that if you couldn't afford it, you'd be ok.

But people still sometimes freaked out about what were really some minimal differences in equipment. I remember seeing players freak out when someone didn't have say, an extra +1 AGI (that cost like 14 million gil) on one of their earrings, for example. Things that really wouldn't make or break anyone's exp party, y'know?

It's tough, dunno if I'd want the job of laying out the equipment bonuses for an MMORPG.
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#4 Jan 12 2010 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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#5 Jan 12 2010 at 4:51 PM Rating: Good
Hard equates to rewarding in the final fantasy universe. It also means time sink lol.
#6 Jan 12 2010 at 4:54 PM Rating: Decent
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I hope they make the endgame really hard that you would either have to be very coordinated to even entertain the idea of winning.

I think for a PVE game to stay alive, developers must constantly ensure that the content is difficult so people have something to strive for.
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#7 Jan 12 2010 at 5:08 PM Rating: Good
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I think we need to separate hard into two categories:

Difficult and tedious. Much of XI's content crosses the line from being difficult to being tedious. Fighting Gobbue could be difficult, especially if you pulled two of them. Getting them to drop tree cutting was tedious. Fighting mobs was difficult...having the fight last 6 hours is tedious. Crafting was tedious and frustrating, but not difficult (which is why probably very few went this path). As long as SE can find that fine line between difficult and tedious I think we are good.

In terms of end game content, WoW has done a pretty good job of making things difficult. Without appropriate gear and skill you will not win a fight. Now, it is pretty easy strategy and for the most part a race to stay alive, but still many can't comprehend how to do it.

In terms of everything else WoW gives it to you. It is neither difficult, rewarding, or tedious. With very little help and almost no WoW knowledge I have geared myself to be ready for ICC25 in a very short time. The only thing keeping me going is the fact i've never had a raid guild and never once completed a raid in its entirety. Crafting and stacking myself with gold are two other things i'd like to accomplish, but for the most part without any guilds I have rocketed to the top of the DPS charts because of the lack of difficulty (it is still tedious at times because it requires my time and effort).
#8 Jan 12 2010 at 5:13 PM Rating: Good
I briefly tried to explain in the SW:TOR forums how FFXI was different from other major MMOs out there. One of the things I said right off was that FFXI was a "difficult" MMO.

How would I define hard? I guess it'd be the things that differentiate FFXI from the rest. Granted some of these things have changed slightly but for the most part:

1. You need groups to level
2. You need groups to do almost all major missions.
3. Said missions themselves can be hard as **** (CoP anyone?)
4. Earning gil is not easy. Not impossible, but certainly not easy
5. The "Con" system of FFXI is scaled differently from all other MMOs. Here, an even match really is more like a tough.
6. Progressing through a craft is insanely expensive and time consuming

Just to name a few. Oddly enough? These are just a few of the things that make me LOVE ffxi. Smiley: grin
#9 Jan 12 2010 at 5:19 PM Rating: Good
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I always thought WoW's approach of differing levels of difficulty for the same content was a nice way to sidestep all the subjectivity inherent in the problem. There's something to be said for a system that lets every type of player experience the content. The reward structure can be managed any way you please, so it only presents a problem in terms of rewards being overly available if the devs have designed it to be so.

#10 Jan 12 2010 at 5:33 PM Rating: Good
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Hard for FFXI is defined to me as, "The developers are sociopathic and/or not human." Because much of FFXI's design wasn't to challenge player skills and reward appropriately, but to stack the deck in favor of the computer-run world, and savagely punish the player for losing. FFXI is really a 'hard' MMO because the dev team gives absolutely zero **** about the players. If they cared, they'd have realized at least a year after launch that Sand Bats in the Valkrum Tunnel aren't 'fun, rewarding gameplay', but rather a huge ****-block smacking a new player in the face and screaming, "You will take your XP loss, and you will like it!"
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#11 Jan 12 2010 at 5:55 PM Rating: Decent
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To add to what I said before:

The funny thing is, is that I really would have thought that FFXI struck a good balance with making the ultra-rare gear not 100% necessary, so that if you couldn't afford it, you'd be ok.

But people still sometimes freaked out about what were really some minimal differences in equipment. I remember seeing players freak out when someone didn't have say, an extra +1 AGI (that cost like 14 million gil) on one of their earrings, for example. Things that really wouldn't make or break anyone's exp party, y'know?

It's tough, dunno if I'd want the job of laying out the equipment bonuses for an MMORPG.
I don't think this was the problem. I very rarely encountered someone fussing over a party member not having that "little extra" in the gear. I think people created this problem for themselves by wanting all the "best" gear, and then they complained about how much harder to get it was. Perhaps I never noticed because I always had the leet gear, after a year or so of playing.

I mean, if SE makes two items: Earring1 and Earring2

With stats:
Earring1: AGI +10 - takes 3 hours to get, all in all
Earring2: AGI +12 - takes a couple days to get, if you're lucky

And Earring1 is a solid piece of gear, meaning "with this on you are not gimped."

Some people will endlessly complain about Earring2 being too hard to get. Not one party will expect everyone to have this Earring2 but these people will always say "Earring2 is too hard to get, and you can't get into parties without it so it's all pointless."

To appettize the "hardcore" playerbase, SE needs to include these hard to get items. They don't even have to be that much better, they just have to be hard to get; this is the only thing that draws such a crowd. I feel like they did their best to comply with the casual playerbase, and people still complained. Often times these 1337 items aren't even that much better. They are simply symbols of the extra effort the player put in, but still people will say "it's not a job, no item should be that hard to get."

I don't understand why many people feel this game was designed to appeal to them alone. MMORPGs aren't like regular RPGs, where the only thing limiting you is how much time you have and even that can be spread across very long spans because the game isn't constantly changing. There's player competition in MMORPGs and you can't keep trying to level the playing field.

All I know is, I'm looking forward to the game starting. Should be interesting.
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#12 Jan 12 2010 at 6:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Little to no instant gratification. Being 0/15++ on runs, whether they be BCNMs, missions, etc. The need for solid strategy and next to zero room for ***** ups. If it takes work and dedication to be good and successful in the game, then chances are it will be seen as "hard" to those who want that instant gratification.

If you see everything as an attainable goal, then there's nothing hard about it, no matter what the degree of attainability is for your goals.
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#13 Jan 12 2010 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
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Good Hard:

-Attaining Mythic weaponskills through climbing Nyzul Isle Assault to the tippy top and then doing ws's over and over.

-Getting a craft to 100 and being one of a handful of people on your server to do it.

-Leveling a difficult to fund job like ranger, ninja or corsair (did rng and cor)

-completing difficult missions with a smaller than normal group. My example is completing the rank 5-1 and 5-2 missions with 3 members, all blue mages. It was me and 2 friends rotating our sleep spells on the never ending swarm of skeletons and using our blunt damage spells on the main baddies. An amazign sense of accomplishment and fun. Also completing CoP missions like the Mammett fight using a less than ideal group and me as corsair as our primary refresher and main party healer with a pld kiting mammetts and a whm healign him.

Basically using perfect teamwork to accomplish difficult goals.

Bad Hard

-Waiting for 6 different JP midnights and 2 full weeks for conquest to tally just to finish a corsair AF piece because of a stupid Lamie skeleton Key

-True Sight/Sound/Smell mobs

-Exp Loss (I still think there should be a penalty to dying but exp loss creates a hostile environment where people are afraid of new techniques and strategies because of exp loss)

-Impossible to make gil.

-huge hurdles to new players. Examples: Subjob Items, Kazham Keys, Airship Pass, Chocobo Liscense.

-EVERYTHNG requiring grouping. Things like Artifact Armor shouldn't require that I gather 6 members to step on different switches in alteppa just to open a door.

-stupidly hard drop rates of keys to open AF chests and other stupidly hard things rlated to getting AF. DRG af body piece was particularly annoying.

Punishing isn't the same as difficult.

Edited, Jan 12th 2010 7:46pm by Louiscool
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#14 Jan 12 2010 at 6:48 PM Rating: Decent
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There's a difference between hard and dumb luck.

There's a difference between hard and not obtaining something because your LS disbands, some one kicks you out for some dumb reason, you can't be online because of real life and miss your chance, or because some one in game simply deems you and your hard work unworthy of something you rightfully earned for whatever reason.

There's a difference between hard and shouting for 2 weeks to try to complete a single mission with no avail.

There's a difference between hard and standing in one place for hours on end doing absolutely nothing.

There's a difference between hard and stupid, and I hope this time around Square Enix realizes the difference and is more fair to people. I want a hard game, but I don't want to waste time either.
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#15 Jan 12 2010 at 7:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Although I hated it at the time, I think it is a good thing that MMO's have a test that have to be passed in order to attain a certain level or skill. In the case of FFXI, limit breaks. I have played games where people just keep pulling and killing until they achieve top level but never really acquire any true skills with the job they were playing. This is the "hard" that I can appreciate.
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#16 Jan 12 2010 at 7:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Hard to me is the length of time it takes to complete something, the longer that "something" takes the harder it becomes.

Edited, Jan 12th 2010 9:24pm by KeeperOfTheStaff
#17 Jan 12 2010 at 8:55 PM Rating: Decent
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#18Humster, Posted: Jan 12 2010 at 9:09 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Hmmm....
#19 Jan 12 2010 at 9:21 PM Rating: Good
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1). FFXI was a grind for levels
2). FFXI was a grind for gear
3). FFXI was a grind for crafting <<< Hard
4). FFXI was a grind for missions

All of these things took a long, hard time to achieve. I played WoW and I achieved the highest tier at the time (9) in 6 months, full set. The gameplay in WoW was more compelling/fun but the time/vs reward factor was god awful. The game was watered down in difficulty to suit more casual players. But I do agree that some sort of balance needs to be found.
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#20 Jan 12 2010 at 9:22 PM Rating: Good
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Atkascha wrote:
.....................
If you see everything as an attainable goal, then there's nothing hard about it, no matter what the degree of attainability is for your goals.


Kinda agreed with you...

Took me close to 2 mths to get my Black Belt quest done.

During a time where the items only drop from HNMs. ( I think 3 other BCNMs do drop those items, memories cloudy (>...< it was 6 years ago )

Without a LS to help me out. I literally have to go and buy the items off grps who don;t need the items at all.

**** those memories......

And because of the above, I left the game shortly after and gave my account away. Kinda pointless in the end.
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#21 Jan 12 2010 at 10:19 PM Rating: Good
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I don't like something that's "hard" because you can spend forever doing it and get nothing out of it. Speaking on FFXI I absolutely HATED HNMs. Spending what seemed like hours in an empty space with dozens of other players so we could watch other people kill stuff, just a horrendous waste of time IMO. Nyzul Isle on the other hand I enjoyed. It had difficulty, but even if you didn't get the 'special item' you were still making progress.

I liked WoW because in that game if you put in the time you know you're going to get something out of it. You're always making progress and it was rare for me to feel like I put in this enormous amount of my time and got basically nothing from it.

If there's one thing I want S-E to keep in mind while they develop FFXIV it's that idea of 'progress'. There should never be a time when someone gives it their all, does everything right, and still leaves completely empty handed. That's like a punch in the face, especially to a casual gamer who may not have the time/resources to waste like that.
#22 Jan 12 2010 at 11:03 PM Rating: Good
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Seems to be somewhat of a universal agreement that time sinks don't correlate fairly to difficulty. And really, that'd be the big point of not wanting XIV's difficulty to be centered around.

Overall, SE just needs to keep on the ball designing content around the player trends. Looking at XI, we see Utsusemi becoming the crutch, too many things vulnerable to an army of DRKs with SVing BRDs, or just throwing a bunch of BLMs at something. Really, a lot of this could've been avoided with more intelligent mob AI and overall design, but there's also the player angle where no job should be left behind just because it's not another. That lends itself to creating a player-born difficulty not unlike the "elitist" mentalities demanding the best of the best gear or you're gimp.

I'm also of the mindset that XIV needs to do a better job of not forcing people to resort to websites for figuring out how to get everything done. Clues are important, be it for a quest/mission or just a boss. There is a middle ground between "Go fetch Y" and "Y is at K-7 in Z zone by the true sight mobs". Such should be our hints.
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#23Falasi, Posted: Jan 12 2010 at 11:43 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Most ppl define Hard as "It need a full group". Sure its hard to find a group that can help you get your Item but how hard It can be to find a group in which someone need something and each person help the other get whatever he want. I dont know honestly but I always try to help ppl and when I needs something in return, I end up with my online friends helping me as none of my RL ones plays FFXI or on the same server. Same goes for exping as if you cant get a group of ppl to level with you you can start your own party or set a static. This is coming from someone who leveled RNG after the nerf, DRK when loldrk and THF as 1st job pre-Assassin.
#24 Jan 12 2010 at 11:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Having played both FFXI and WoW, I find their difficulties to be as follows:

First off you need to realize something about a key difference in WoW and FFXI. In FFXI, beginner is level 1-20, mid game is 21-60 or so, and end game can be from 40-75 depending on your gear needs. In WoW beginner is 1-10, mid game is 11-79 and a lot of 80, and end game is 10 and 25 man end content raids.

Early Game: Both are easy in these level ranges. Note, WoW is easy for pretty much every level until end-game. FFXI is easy only in the beginning levels, which is the way I think it should be. WoW is tedious in the level 40-60 range. FFXI is fairly fun and not tedious until about level 20 as long as you have no desire to travel.

Mid Game: WoW 80 (5 man heroics and normal mode raids), FFXI 20-40: Both games are challenging to the unitiated and fairly easy to experienced, skilled and geared. FFXI is down right tedious in this level range mostly because of the inability to find groups, the insane travel time for the group to get together, and the unreasonable requirements for gear/jobs combinations (because of job unbalances, and gear availability being decimated by RMT). WoW is fairly easy at this point which I do agree with because of one simple fact; end game players (even with the ability to level down) don't want to redo old content (And with the insanely low drop rates in FFXI especially, players are absolutely sick of certain areas). I would much prefer to go through the mid-game content of FFXI than the mid game content of WoW IF I could find a group quickly and easily AND could get my gear without camping a spot trying to snipe a kill from a bot all day (camping is NOT FUN! Sitting, staring at your screen all day is NOT FUN!). FFXI may as well be micro transaction based with all the money going to chinese gil farmer bots for anyone that is employed.

End Game: WoW 80 (End game 10 and 25 man hard modes), FFXI 40-75: WoW has very challenging end game hard modes. I still don't understand how people say WoW is all easy (it is other than hard modes though). Less than 5% of the players can successfully complete 10 and 25 man hard modes before they become obsolete because of new content. Heck, even some previous content is insanely difficult (Killed Yogg +1 yet? I thought not). The big difference between WoW and FFXI here is that in WoW the rewards for the hardest content are not necessary since there is ample easy content that is almost as good as the hard content. In FFXI they avoid having to release new content by making players farm areas for sometimes years as they attempt to get gear that is a significant upgrade from regular gear. Not only that, but early level gear can last well into the highest levels. This is tedious, not hard. The fights that are acutally hard in FFXI eventually become easy (minus bad luck) since you did them 100 times before (I bet all of you know your way around sky better than your own home).

Crafts: Crafting in both games suck. In FFXI it is expensive, extremely tedious, and a good means to **** players off through crafting nerfs. In WoW it is so easy that it may as well be something you pick from two drop down lists at character creation. Crafting in WoW is easy and not at all tedious. Crafting in FFXI is insanely tedious and easy-hard (hard when you need to get something from a difficult fight, but usually it is just tedious as you camp out or try to find a group).

All in all, FFXI is a Tedious game with varying amounts of difficulty from easy to hard. WoW is not at all tedious and overly easy until end game (which is not mandatory content). FFXI is a much more interesting world with far better story and depth than WoW, but the tedium is a game breaker for me which is why I will pick WoW over FFXI any day (but oh boy, I will be one happy camper if FFXIV is FFXI minus the tedium and has proper customer support with more content).
#25 Jan 13 2010 at 12:34 AM Rating: Default
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One thing I especially hated about WoW's "difficulty" was that they pretty much "cheated" when it comes to MMO development. They sort of just said.. well if this is too easy, here's a button to make it -insanely- difficult. Not unlike the final 2 spec ops missions in Modern Warfare 2. Essentially, they made everything in the game so easy anyone could do it, then they had a few things that no one could do and called it a day. No real middle ground there.

Things I found to be challenging and fun in FFXI would be something like CoP missions. I've heard a lot of people hated them, but when I did them (2006), they were quite fun. I had a couple of bad experiences where we had to turn around or we lost, but that added to it. One time a guy left our party stranded halfway through a floor, but you can't really blame that on bad game development, that's just someone being a jerk. The Ninja job quest was quite fun/challenging, too. Of course, the third time through it with a level 75 PLing you, it wasn't much fun. But the first time with a full party of other level 30s was quite the adventure.

In FFXI things that I found to be less difficult and more tedious were perhaps things like "Fame" and the Summoner quest. I found that even though I'd finished some pretty lofty quests, my fame level was too low to get some other quests so I'd have to repeat minor quests over and over to build it and that was no fun. Summoner quest was just tedious as ****. Killing all those blobs or whatever they were... (it was years ago and I'm currently not thinking too straigt /wink)

Anywho...
Yep.
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#26 Jan 13 2010 at 1:14 AM Rating: Good
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You know what I DON'T want to ever see again?

Dynamis-type endgame.

It's TERRIBLE. It's the Laggiest crap I've ever experienced, you have 32+ members who can;t tell what they're hitting because of lag, and any melee never really feels like what they are doing matters unless they parse.

Then you have the most random, terrible god awful drop system that requires a seperate points system maintained by the ls that rewards attendance above all else.

How many times has the Ninja body piece dropped while the 1 guy in my ls who wanted it so badly wasnt around? EVERY time. Once it dropped 4 times in 1 run. But NEVER NEVER have I even SEEN Blue Mages body piece drop in the same dynamis.

Of course it dropped when i wasn't around though.

I hope they continue with the system they have in place for XI that's point based like Assault or Einherjar.
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#27 Jan 13 2010 at 1:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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Accessibility has nothing to do with difficulty. Making content hard to attempt, especially because it requires a great deal of tedium rather than skill, is generally a very bad idea. Low level, accessible content can be hard too (for example, COP Promy was relatively hard), which is fine as long as it's not a barrier to the rest of the content.

Personally I don't know what's so **** hard about this aspect of game design. Look, you scale your content by difficulty so that players can make continuous progress, and make the rewards consistent with that scale (e.g., great gear doesn't drop off of mobs that are harder to claim than defeat). You provide more challenging content to more skillful players, which if the scaling is good, you won't even need new content for those players until endgame. Skip the ???, and profit.
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#28 Jan 13 2010 at 2:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:
You know what I DON'T want to ever see again?

Dynamis-type endgame.

It's TERRIBLE. It's the Laggiest crap I've ever experienced, you have 32+ members who can;t tell what they're hitting because of lag, and any melee never really feels like what they are doing matters unless they parse.

Then you have the most random, terrible god awful drop system that requires a seperate points system maintained by the ls that rewards attendance above all else.

How many times has the Ninja body piece dropped while the 1 guy in my ls who wanted it so badly wasnt around? EVERY time. Once it dropped 4 times in 1 run. But NEVER NEVER have I even SEEN Blue Mages body piece drop in the same dynamis.

Of course it dropped when i wasn't around though.

I hope they continue with the system they have in place for XI that's point based like Assault or Einherjar.


Quoted for epic truth. The Dynamis system can die in the fire, and I have two full AF2 sets, so I'm not complaining because I didn't get loot. I got my loot, and pray for the sanity of a brighter future where the people following in my footsteps are spared the heart and headache of absolutely random drop rates.

Tokens! TOKENS! ******* tokens!
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#29 Jan 13 2010 at 5:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Warne wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
You know what I DON'T want to ever see again?

Dynamis-type endgame.

It's TERRIBLE. It's the Laggiest crap I've ever experienced, you have 32+ members who can;t tell what they're hitting because of lag, and any melee never really feels like what they are doing matters unless they parse.

Then you have the most random, terrible god awful drop system that requires a seperate points system maintained by the ls that rewards attendance above all else.

How many times has the Ninja body piece dropped while the 1 guy in my ls who wanted it so badly wasnt around? EVERY time. Once it dropped 4 times in 1 run. But NEVER NEVER have I even SEEN Blue Mages body piece drop in the same dynamis.

Of course it dropped when i wasn't around though.

I hope they continue with the system they have in place for XI that's point based like Assault or Einherjar.


Quoted for epic truth. The Dynamis system can die in the fire, and I have two full AF2 sets, so I'm not complaining because I didn't get loot. I got my loot, and pray for the sanity of a brighter future where the people following in my footsteps are spared the heart and headache of absolutely random drop rates.

Tokens! TOKENS! @#%^ing tokens!


I'll quote both of these guys and include that Dynamis endgame equates to torture. I'd rather walk uphill barefoot 10 miles to school though a blizzard than play a Dynamis inspired event in FFXIV. We don't need 3~4hrs of lag infested crappy drop rates ever to return to any MMO, friend or foe.
#30 Jan 13 2010 at 6:00 AM Rating: Good
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To add on the anti-Dynamis slogfest, I'd rather not see zone timers be a point of focus, either. If an event could be cleared by a decent group in 20 minutes or so on average, don't just arbitrarily slap a 30 minute timer on it. Things like disconnects or RL calling can have a bad way of automatically turning things into a loss where patient people could just wait 15m or so and then decide if they wanna give up or not instead of the game telling them they're boned.

Some would argue timers bring challenge, and sometimes that is true, but I can think of an event like Salvage where being on the clock paired with limited cell acquisition usually turns things into going with as few people as possible and sometimes people not even getting much unlocked in a run, and therefore being bored to tears. Those looking for speed runs can take the minimalistic approach, but others who don't mind taking their time can do full clears of a floor or even bring those of an unpopular job just for something to do.
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#32 Jan 13 2010 at 7:06 AM Rating: Decent
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I'd rather walk uphill barefoot 10 miles to school though a blizzard than play a Dynamis inspired event in FFXIV.


You just described Dynamis:Xarcabard, except it has more demons.

I never had a problem with lag in any of the Dynamis zones (on my PC anyway), and even though I had 2 complete sets of lolrelic well before I quit the game last time (mostly worthless WAR and halfway worthless DRG for soloing), I just couldn't stand the 3 hours of mind-numbing repetition involved.

The only thing that kept me going at the time was being able to use attendance points to lot Jadeshells and other 100 coins so that I could sell them for profit. I never want to experience anything like Dynamis again.
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#33 Jan 13 2010 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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Lots of hate on Dynamis! Personally, I never actually saw it during my time in FFXI. I never really had much interest in that end game stuff. My Ranger only made it to level 72 or so, IIRC.

The horror stories that I heard about it at the time were enough to keep me from bothering. Instead I just picked other jobs to play as so I could bum around in the lowbie zones. I'll take the mob-trains in Valkurm Dunes over the (often) fruitless grind of Dynamis any day of the week. That probably speaks to things being a bit too "hard" for my tastes around the level where I kept stopping to continue a job. Plus, I just love the spastic lowbie-zone craziness.

Heck, those were some of my favorite times in FFXI. I had a lot of great conversations and laughs while my character was face down in the sand, dead.
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#34 Jan 13 2010 at 9:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Very true about Dynamis. That was the only LS event I never really looked forward to. There was almost zero fun factor for me in there.

The only way I think a Dynamis type event would be acceptable (at least to me) would be if each Dynamis area -required- you to split into groups and be coordinated. Only then can I see it becoming fun.
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#35 Jan 13 2010 at 9:40 AM Rating: Good
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If you thought it was terrible to do Dynamis as a DD, imagine what the tanks and healers went through on that scale of things. I secondary tanked as WAR/NIN, and keeping handle on an off-tank and maintaining a higher hate level than the healers, and the sleepers and their targets was not fun. DD could take a breath. The people with active and preemptive assignments burned out fast.

Edit: Mind, if there was a suitable reward at the end of the Dynamis run to make your effort worthwhile, yeah, it wouldn't be so bad. But you could put forth a nightly effort that surpassed the quotient of a tank and DD for a dozen merit parties, and get jack and ****.

Therein lies the 'hard' of FFXI: Reward does not scale with effort AT ALL.

Edited, Jan 13th 2010 10:49am by Warne
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#36 Jan 13 2010 at 10:24 AM Rating: Decent
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#37 Jan 13 2010 at 10:39 AM Rating: Default
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Good hard I equate to Demon's souls or Monster Hunter. In those games you know why you were killed and being killed makes you a better player. Things are hard and you need to get better at the game instead of getting better equipment. Skill > Gear basically.

Bad hard is everything bad in FFXI. Dynamis' random specific job drops. I absolutely hated the way that the bosses in Nyzul Isle didn't drop anything sometimes. You only had one try per day. How relic weapons were completely unattainable by casual players. How you needed 2-3 hours to get anything done. You couldn't log on a bit and do something. You didn't accomplish anything for weeks, nothing to prove you played during that time. The need for some items for some fights and running out of those items meant all the work to get there meant nothing and you had to do it all over again. The list goes on and on. FFXI lost its fun for me on the 30th time repeating the same nyzul floor and getting nothing at all.

Hope FFXIV does it better. Assault tokens and the ones in wow really help, hope they add them.
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#38 Jan 13 2010 at 11:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Accessibility has nothing to do with difficulty. Making content hard to attempt, especially because it requires a great deal of tedium rather than skill, is generally a very bad idea. Low level, accessible content can be hard too (for example, COP Promy was relatively hard), which is fine as long as it's not a barrier to the rest of the content.

Personally I don't know what's so **** hard about this aspect of game design. Look, you scale your content by difficulty so that players can make continuous progress, and make the rewards consistent with that scale (e.g., great gear doesn't drop off of mobs that are harder to claim than defeat). You provide more challenging content to more skillful players, which if the scaling is good, you won't even need new content for those players until endgame. Skip the ???, and profit.


This sums up how I feel exactly. I'm not a fan of artificial timers or limited attempts unless there is a really good reason for it. This is what I consider "hard":

1. Not tank and spank (fight requires movement or something other than pressing 112 112 112 while standing in one spot)
2. Boss has cooldowns/AoEs that will kill the tank/group if they and the healers are not on their toes.
3. Boss has different phases so you have to pay attention to what is going on and react accordingly.
4. If the group is properly geared and doing everything right they a) should find it to be moderately challenging and b) they shouldn't be killed by RNG more than 10% of the time.

That's how I feel. In WoW most bosses meet those criteria until DBM gets updated and the bosses get nerfed so you can just 112 112 112 them to death.
#39 Jan 13 2010 at 11:26 AM Rating: Default
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ShadowedgeFFXI wrote:
Warne wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
You know what I DON'T want to ever see again?

Dynamis-type endgame.

It's TERRIBLE. It's the Laggiest crap I've ever experienced, you have 32+ members who can;t tell what they're hitting because of lag, and any melee never really feels like what they are doing matters unless they parse.

Then you have the most random, terrible god awful drop system that requires a seperate points system maintained by the ls that rewards attendance above all else.

How many times has the Ninja body piece dropped while the 1 guy in my ls who wanted it so badly wasnt around? EVERY time. Once it dropped 4 times in 1 run. But NEVER NEVER have I even SEEN Blue Mages body piece drop in the same dynamis.

Of course it dropped when i wasn't around though.

I hope they continue with the system they have in place for XI that's point based like Assault or Einherjar.


Quoted for epic truth. The Dynamis system can die in the fire, and I have two full AF2 sets, so I'm not complaining because I didn't get loot. I got my loot, and pray for the sanity of a brighter future where the people following in my footsteps are spared the heart and headache of absolutely random drop rates.

Tokens! TOKENS! @#%^ing tokens!


I'll quote both of these guys and include that Dynamis endgame equates to torture. I'd rather walk uphill barefoot 10 miles to school though a blizzard than play a Dynamis inspired event in FFXIV. We don't need 3~4hrs of lag infested crappy drop rates ever to return to any MMO, friend or foe.


Indeeeed. In fact, I stopped going to dynamis and just doing Einherjar because it was AT MOST a 30 minute lag fest adventure and not 4 hours of pain, even though the prizes weren't as good and my shell barely won.


Abotu bosses and hard, I totally agree about that. Good examples are the CoP Mammett fight, the different dragons, and afew other fights but more just requires more BLMS or Drks with Kraken Clubs ;;

Edited, Jan 13th 2010 12:41pm by Louiscool
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#40 Jan 13 2010 at 12:09 PM Rating: Default
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ashikenshin wrote:
Good hard I equate to Demon's souls or Monster Hunter. In those games you know why you were killed and being killed makes you a better player. Things are hard and you need to get better at the game instead of getting better equipment. Skill > Gear basically.

Bad hard is everything bad in FFXI. Dynamis' random specific job drops. I absolutely hated the way that the bosses in Nyzul Isle didn't drop anything sometimes. You only had one try per day. How relic weapons were completely unattainable by casual players. How you needed 2-3 hours to get anything done. You couldn't log on a bit and do something. You didn't accomplish anything for weeks, nothing to prove you played during that time. The need for some items for some fights and running out of those items meant all the work to get there meant nothing and you had to do it all over again. The list goes on and on. FFXI lost its fun for me on the 30th time repeating the same nyzul floor and getting nothing at all.

Hope FFXIV does it better. Assault tokens and the ones in wow really help, hope they add them.
Uh.. you really think every player should have access to the absolutely most powerful weapon for their class, a few of them actually drastically changing the way you play a job - or have a huge influence in certain fights?

:S

And yeah, fights that required skill + precise teamwork were the best. If you can't do this, they shouldn't nerf its a complete no-brainer... if you can't beat the fight, maybe you should play another game. It sounds bad and I know I'm going to get rated down, but I suppose I'm just in that sorta mood. :/
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#41 Jan 13 2010 at 12:14 PM Rating: Decent
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LordFaramir wrote:
Uh.. you really think every player should have access to the absolutely most powerful weapon for their class, a few of them actually drastically changing the way you play a job - or have a huge influence in certain fights?

:S

And yeah, fights that required skill + precise teamwork were the best. If you can't do this, they shouldn't nerf its a complete no-brainer... if you can't beat the fight, maybe you should play another game. It sounds bad and I know I'm going to get rated down, but I suppose I'm just in that sorta mood. :/


Yeah the relic weapons were too hard even for hardcores whatever I don't care too much about them.

I play hard games all the time, and hard doesn't equate gimmicky. If you need to farm in order to do the fight thats a gimmick and it makes it suck bad.

Like I said skill > gear.
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#42 Jan 13 2010 at 12:32 PM Rating: Decent
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First of all, I want to thank everybody for some really intelligent and well thought out responses.

One thing I noticed in the thread on several occasions, was how difficult it was to get a group together. One of the biggest improvements Wow has done was create a tool that allows you to put a random group together, that includes a tank, heals and dps, and ensures the group is geared well enough to complete the instance. (Doesn't guarantee anybody is skilled enough, but that's another story.

Is this something FFXIV might incorporate into some of their instances to allow casual players less frustration in gathering groups perhaps?
#43 Jan 13 2010 at 12:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Everybody wants the game to reward players based on skill over time spent.

IMO, the only to do this is to make incredibly hard bosses, bosses that will wipe your average LS again and again, maybe up to 20+ wipes b/c you simply don't have the coordination for it, or people give up because it's so hard.

To defeat these bosses, you would need very precise timing, within a 1 or 2 second window of reaction time to not wipe, and coordinated healing, and specific kite paths.

These bosses would require LSs to act as one unified body. Mistakes during battle should be heavily penalized.

B/c of the high difficulty, LSs will take a very long time to figure out how to defeat these NMs and SE now has a meaningful timesink.

I think the least difficult boss should be Tiamat/Jorm/Vrtra level, about how difficult they were when they first came out, and get progressively harder.

Edited, Jan 13th 2010 1:58pm by odinpingpong
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#44 Jan 13 2010 at 1:02 PM Rating: Default
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You guys were just doing it wrong. Limbus was always decent, einherjar was always great, gods/popped thingies were always good even though it took long. And dynamis, dynamis was fun as well. Do you know why dynamis was fun? Because I was the puller and I pulled like I was trying to wipe us.
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#45 Jan 13 2010 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
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One thing that I certainly DON'T want to see, though, is zergable bosses. I'd rather have ALL bosses REQUIRE you to employ a strategy to beat them over a certain period of time.

Sure, zergfests can be fun and dandy. But it comes down to whether your team has uber gear or not. It only requires minimal skill.

Beating bosses should require skill and strategy as the main focus, equipment second.
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#46 Jan 13 2010 at 1:18 PM Rating: Good
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Just to add to the above. I know that SE didn't mean for bosses to be zergable and that players just kept finding ways to do it one boss after another. But SE sure as **** didn't do anything about it.

Right before I retired, Kirin, Vrtra, Bahamut, and a few other NMs turned out to be all about zerging.

Took out all the fun.
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#47 Jan 13 2010 at 2:13 PM Rating: Good
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Uh.. you really think every player should have access to the absolutely most powerful weapon for their class, a few of them actually drastically changing the way you play a job - or have a huge influence in certain fights?


They probably shouldn't have made weapons as broken as relics for starters. There was generally too wide a gap between a relic weapon and the best reasonably obtainable weapon. That aside, yes, I think every player should have ACCESS to the weapon if they are willing to put forth a -reasonable- amount of effort. The bigger issue with relics is that they are absolutely no indication of player skill, only player's willingness to waste inordinate amounts of time (or cash). It was generally dumb to create ultimate weapons that would never be surpassed, and would be difficult to obtain even over a period of years.

I don't think it's a great idea to include obscenely powerful weapons that only a very small number of players will ever get, by design. You provide those kind of compulsive completionists with trophy items. What might have been forgivable would be to at least make relic weapons a sign of insane skill, rather than insane wasted recreational time.

Ideally the best weapons just require a high degree of skill that could conceivably be attained by the average person if they applied themself to the task for, I don't know, a hundred hours or so throughout the life of the game. Unfortunately XI was built on a gameplay foundation that allowed for only very little skill. There will need to be more to XIV than the ability to move on an XY axis, gear and job customization, and menu/macro selections.

And mob AI and randomness will be critical here as well, otherwise fights may quickly devolve into recreations of online strategies. This is partly a question of to what extent the skill-based elements of XIV are action or strategy oriented. It's almost always both, but the more it leans towards strategy, the more important it is to preserving the challenge that the same strategy does not work every time.
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#48 Jan 13 2010 at 2:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Louiscool wrote:
Good Hard:

-Attaining Mythic weaponskills through climbing Nyzul Isle Assault to the tippy top and then doing ws's over and over.

-Getting a craft to 100 and being one of a handful of people on your server to do it.

-Leveling a difficult to fund job like ranger, ninja or corsair (did rng and cor)

-completing difficult missions with a smaller than normal group. My example is completing the rank 5-1 and 5-2 missions with 3 members, all blue mages. It was me and 2 friends rotating our sleep spells on the never ending swarm of skeletons and using our blunt damage spells on the main baddies. An amazign sense of accomplishment and fun. Also completing CoP missions like the Mammett fight using a less than ideal group and me as corsair as our primary refresher and main party healer with a pld kiting mammetts and a whm healign him.

Basically using perfect teamwork to accomplish difficult goals.

Bad Hard

-Waiting for 6 different JP midnights and 2 full weeks for conquest to tally just to finish a corsair AF piece because of a stupid Lamie skeleton Key

-True Sight/Sound/Smell mobs

-Exp Loss (I still think there should be a penalty to dying but exp loss creates a hostile environment where people are afraid of new techniques and strategies because of exp loss)

-Impossible to make gil.

-huge hurdles to new players. Examples: Subjob Items, Kazham Keys, Airship Pass, Chocobo Liscense.

-EVERYTHNG requiring grouping. Things like Artifact Armor shouldn't require that I gather 6 members to step on different switches in alteppa just to open a door.

-stupidly hard drop rates of keys to open AF chests and other stupidly hard things rlated to getting AF. DRG af body piece was particularly annoying.

Punishing isn't the same as difficult.


I agree with most of your 'Good Hard' points. However, I do not agree with most of your 'Bad Hard' points.

-Making gil is a lot easier than getting a craft to 100, and if you have a craft at 100, you better have a lot of money hahah.. or you're doing it wrong. ^^;;

-Exp loss, in my opinion, was essential to FFXI. It creates a sense of meaning to life or death in the game. With out it, dying just wouldn't matter and monsters would never seem 'scary'. Exp loss definitely should be 'good hard'. That being said, I have no clue how that will fit into FFXIV.

-Grouping is also a 'good hard' topic to me. If you don't want to group, you might as well play a single player game. Sure getting 6 good people was hard, but you didn't always need 6 people. A lot of the AF quests could be done with one high level and a group of mid 50's.

-Hurdles for new players. Honestly, I can't think of anything that was more memorable than getting subjob items or getting to ride a chocobo for the first time. Yeah it sucked, but when you finally got your subjob, or when you finally rode a chocobo..!!! It was so awesome.
#49 Jan 13 2010 at 2:29 PM Rating: Good
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-Exp loss, in my opinion, was essential to FFXI. It creates a sense of meaning to life or death in the game. With out it, dying just wouldn't matter and monsters would never seem 'scary'. Exp loss definitely should be 'good hard'. That being said, I have no clue how that will fit into FFXIV.


Can't agree with this. If you design your game either artfully or with a whole ten brain cells, you can make death scary without relying on an xp loss. In fact, the worst thing you can do is make the playerbase too afraid of dying to attempt the content you've created for them. In an adequately challenging game, you should expect to die a lot, which goes very badly with being penalized for dying.

As a personal anecdote, I best and most fondly remember defeating the bosses that killed me 20+ times before I beat them. All of them I could just retry from right where they killed me with only a minute or so inbetween. This minimal half a minute penalty didn't make me want to die less. It made me keep trying to win, like I wanted to, rather than discouraging me with a runaround every time I just wanted to FIGHT THE **** BOSS AGAIN LEMME AT'EM. As I've said many times before, if your idea of a good gameplay element is being heavily penalized for dying, vow to slam your nuts in a door every time you die. It will take scary to a whole new level.

The whole "death should be awful" theories is one of many "suspension of disbelief and therefor realism are good" theories that has not stood up to the empiricism of throwing humans with all their psychologies at various games. People like the idea in theory, but they don't enjoy it in practice. Watching your character die, and then having to start over, sucks, with or without xp loss. XP loss is salt in the wound.

Of course in an online environment where you can revive players midbattle, there have to be some limitations, but in general these are very doable without heavy penalties.
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#50 Jan 13 2010 at 3:09 PM Rating: Default
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Kachi, there's a WHOLE other thread dedicated to the question of death and whether or not it should have penalties... Leave your qualms there or start a new one :)
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#51CapnCrass, Posted: Jan 13 2010 at 3:20 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I play Torchlight (a Diablo-alike) exclusively on Hardcore (permadeath), and I find it a **** of a lot more fun than the regular "softcore" game. I do agree that there could have been a better penalty for death in FFXI, but the "Oh, well; just try again!" penalty that most games have doesn't appeal to me at all.
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