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Define "Hard"Follow

#52 Jan 13 2010 at 3:43 PM Rating: Default
My biggest problem with endgame "Hard" was that it changed a lot. For example:

It was "Hard" to get your Excalibur. It took people years to get their AF2 weapons. Then, new endgame content brought new great armor/weapons. It was still difficult to get, but it was better than all the Dynamis stuff. So you ended up with a good amount of people half way to what now is only a descent weapon. I really hope they re-thought how gear is distributed in FFXIV.
#53 Jan 13 2010 at 4:00 PM Rating: Decent
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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 :)


I've actively participated in that thread; however, I think the subject falls well within the topic outlined by the OP, so if you don't want to discuss it with me here, well, don't, I guess.

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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.


There are exceptions to every rule, and I am speaking in terms of mass appeal, i.e., "normal" psychology. Compulsive disorders for example-- and masochism in particular is a phenomenon that throws a wrench in otherwise good psychological practices, but it's also a pretty awful business model to aim for the niche ********* demographic, at least I would think. Note that I'm not suggesting that there's something wrong with you, just saying very broadly that there is something rare about you that doesn't apply to the vast majority of people who would pick up an MMO.

I also have to confess in frankness that your testimony that it doesn't appeal to you is something I would hold under suspicion until I had actually observed you across settings. Often times people don't enjoy the things they think they do, and vice versa. But everywhere between the possibilities of you not knowing yourself as well as you think, or you just being genuinely unique in some regard, FFXIV should probably remain unaffected by your testimony.

We're also speaking about as broadly as we can in regards to the penalty spectrum, and I don't think either of us would propose the most extreme ends of that spectrum for FFXIV.
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#54 Jan 13 2010 at 4:38 PM Rating: Decent
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A particular + in ffxi was the variety of gear and it's effects.

I liked having certain "standard" equipment (leather, scale, lizard, iron chain) for up to level 30. The equipment was basic and had some basic assets to them, and allowed you to fight mobs effectively.

Then they had special gear. Battle gloves, Martial slacks, etc. This gear wasn't necessary.

while it wasn't necessary, that paladin in yhutunga jungle with a full set of +1 gear taking 5 damage per hit from the mandies and then getting refresh from a bard really did make things go faster.

I guess I should say normal gear = normal mode.

Exceptional gear = easy mode.

gimped gear = fail.

FFXI did really well in making normal, affordable gear (it was easy to get materials for and crafting levels were low enough to craft them somewhat early and cheaply) that allowed you to level up to 30.

After that they did something amazing. They put in centurions gear to be bought with conquest points. CP gear at 30, 40, and 50 was decent gear, and kept you protected, but didn't give you any outstanding stat bonuses. It was the most brilliant idea ever IMO, and allowed me to keep my melee classes geared without spending any money on armor during those levels.
#55 Jan 13 2010 at 5:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Louiscool wrote:


Bad Hard

-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)

-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.

Punishing isn't the same as difficult.

Edited, Jan 12th 2010 7:46pm by Louiscool


I disagree on a these points.

True sight mobs were pretty fair, and helped create better agro avoidance, especially for those who went through Promyvion. Monsters having True Sight and Sound, are annoying, though, becoming needless time sinks, depending on where they are.

Exp loss is interesting, as most systems don't actually work as a deterrent. I think some form of significant penalty needs to exist, as death needs to have some form of meaning, at least, to me.

Now this is one that I definitely disagree with. I feel this is what seperated FFXI from other games. It actually made you feel like you were making signifcant progress on your character, and felt like an actual achievement, as opposed to just being another quest. They really helped to make my character feel like it was actually growing as an adventurer. Definite plus. Only problem I can imagine, is the lack of information on what to get, and where to go.

Well, FFXI is a heavily group based game, and in the days when many people were at these ranges, I believe that these quests helped create bonds between players, and I personally believe that the community aspect fostered by the forced group play style is infinitely preferable to the lone wolf community aspect of other games.

In retrospect, a lot of these things worked wonderfully at the peak of FFXI lifetime, but with practically the entire population having at least 1 level 75 job, and the lack of new players, some of these just aren't feasible, based solely on population purposes. However, the core ideal behind them I agree with, and certainly wouldn't have enjoyed FFXI anywhere near as much had they not been around.

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#56 Jan 13 2010 at 5:56 PM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
Can't agree with this...


I'm not sure I agree with your disagreement. It sounds like your personal opinion is that death losses don't add any merit to the game, but I do feel otherwise. I've always found that if there's a real risk inherent in my character dying, that my adrenaline goes up that much more when I'm on the brink.

I know I keep harping about EVE, but in that game, when you died, you lost EVERYTHING. It sure made for a lot of tension, even when you weren't in combat. My heart would really race when I entered battle in that game. I know that if there wasn't much of a death penalty, then I really wouldn't care that much. The steep death penalty makes the lows that much more low, and the highs that much more high. That's a good thing in my opinion, though I can perfectly understand feeling otherwise.
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#57 Jan 13 2010 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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My definition of "Hard" would be fighting Mother Brain without using Justine Baily cheat or the first time facing Mike Tyson in Punchout. Those were "Hard" but great moments.
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#58 Jan 13 2010 at 6:06 PM Rating: Good
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I don't think Kachi's saying death penalties don't add merit, but more the fact a severely punishing merit is only appreciated by a very select few who coincidentally think you need more than just the simple defeat to teach someone a lesson. Even without EXP loss, defeats in XI could mean lost claim, a time out, gil lost in tools/med/food, and of course, time.

I guess it's one thing to kick a guy in the nuts, but another to grind your heel.
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#59 Jan 13 2010 at 6:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
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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.

Snip


The thing about EXP loss is that the mechanic seemed MUCH more geared towards extending the amount of time a person played (to obviously increase revenue) than it was for creating a scary feeling.

Obviously there needs to be a downside to dying. Losing 2500 EXP (the exp loss cap)because we wanted to try something new with Kirin is NOT the best way to do it.

****, I regularly died 2-3 times in run just doing the established techniques. I've died 6 times in einherjar once, in a single run eating Raise 1's. Then I have to go level for 2-3 more hours just to get that buffer back..


There's a better way to make monsters scary. WoW did ok with the armor damage but it wasnt enough because money flows like water in that game. Maybe a weakened period where you can't gain any skills/exp to discourage it? I know it's trading one exp loss for another but you wouldnt lose exp when doing a mission or quest.

Quote:


True sight mobs and other stuff


Actualy I agree abotu true sight. It's sound like Wamoura, Porogogo and Soulflayers that were the worst. It doesn't help that they gave true sound to some of the most deadly mobs in all of Vanadiel either.

About the grouping thing though.. I LOVE that most things requires grouping but certain things should have been solo too. Examples of great solo activities:

Maat Fight
Limit Breaks (many)
Fellow NPCs
Fellows and their limit breaks
Fields of Valor


When it comes to artifact gear, I viewed them as interesting mini questlines related to your job. In terms of the quests, it never made sense to have party members with you. It's my job. We aren't working together for mutual gain, it's only MY gain. You guys get to die 3 times on the walk through Caedarva Mire / Arrapago Reef to fight these 2 pirates from my Tricorne Hat.

When it comes to missions and other quests that everyone can do, absolutely grouping yes. But job specifc things? Soloable please. Make it tough as nails like a Maat fight though. I'll buy 50k in meds and things for the fight if I can solo it.


Edited, Jan 13th 2010 7:35pm by Louiscool
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#60 Jan 13 2010 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
...it's also a pretty awful business model to aim for the niche ********* demographic, at least I would think.


Agreed. Torchlight has an option for that set, so it's a fun game (albeit a very dumb kind of fun) whether you're interested in that or not. If it were the only option, it'd be a pretty niche game, and I'm not even sure if I'd have bought it or not.

Kachi wrote:
I also have to confess in frankness that your testimony that it doesn't appeal to you is something I would hold under suspicion until I had actually observed you across settings.


To clarify a bit: I think the penalty for failure should reflect the overall game. If I'm playing something like Repetitive Evil 76, I expect the penalty for dying to be a lot harsher than if I'm playing a Super Mario Brothers game. For a mostly-serious fantasy MMO, I think the penalty needs to lean a lot more towards serious than superficial.

Kachi wrote:
We're also speaking about as broadly as we can in regards to the penalty spectrum, and I don't think either of us would propose the most extreme ends of that spectrum for FFXIV.


Also agreed. I personally would prefer something like a scaling Weakened status, where you are very weak immediately after being raised, then it wears down to a "you can function as long as you're careful" level over five minutes or so.

One thing I would like to see eliminated is the whole "home point" thing. Getting my *** handed to me if I ***** up is fine with me; having to spend another 45 minutes getting back to where I was to try it again is not.
#61 Jan 13 2010 at 8:15 PM Rating: Decent
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No death penalty? Enjoy ur trolls constantly training
#62 Jan 13 2010 at 8:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Westyle wrote:
No death penalty? Enjoy ur trolls constantly training


Which, doesn't happen in games without death penalties. Even without a death XP penalty, players will still learn a fear of dying from just not wanting to lose, or the public shame of having their named corpse on the ground for all to see.

As Seriha so wisely said: You don't need to rub the heel in.
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#63 Jan 13 2010 at 10:10 PM Rating: Decent
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CapnCrass wrote:
One thing I would like to see eliminated is the whole "home point" thing. Getting my *** handed to me if I ***** up is fine with me; having to spend another 45 minutes getting back to where I was to try it again is not.


I played Vanguard briefly, enough to know that this is one thing I agree wholeheartedly on. Corpse runs suck. Bad.

Even though I'm in favor of a penalty for death- (side note: notice how I couldn't say "I'm in favor of the death penalty" there? hehe) -this is one thing that I agree with others on. I draw the line at forcing a location change because you died, especially considering that sometimes it could take upwards of an hour to make it back to your party's location again. There are plenty of other viable alternatives.
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#64 Jan 13 2010 at 11:01 PM Rating: Decent
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More reraise options, death penalty the same but with no leveling down.

Quote:
My biggest problem with endgame "Hard" was that it changed a lot. For example:

It was "Hard" to get your Excalibur. It took people years to get their AF2 weapons. Then, new endgame content brought new great armor/weapons. It was still difficult to get, but it was better than all the Dynamis stuff. So you ended up with a good amount of people half way to what now is only a descent weapon. I really hope they re-thought how gear is distributed in FFXIV.


Seriously? Relics are still the best weapons in the game. Hecatomb is still pretty much top tier, and if not directly below it. FFXI did a wonderful job of keeping old equipment useful. Everything, however, did become way to specialized.

Edited, Jan 14th 2010 12:10am by Deadgye
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#65 Jan 14 2010 at 12:13 AM Rating: Decent
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i think guild wars handled death penalties excelently, you get sent back a maximum of a 5 minute walk to a safe area, but usually less than a minute walk, and are progressivly weakened with each death. only thing i didn't like was that if you end up dieing to a boss after clearing the zone, you pretty much have no hope of winning because you can't remove your death weakness.
#66 Jan 14 2010 at 1:11 AM Rating: Good
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Deadgye wrote:
More reraise options, death penalty the same but with no leveling down.

Quote:
My biggest problem with endgame "Hard" was that it changed a lot. For example:

It was "Hard" to get your Excalibur. It took people years to get their AF2 weapons. Then, new endgame content brought new great armor/weapons. It was still difficult to get, but it was better than all the Dynamis stuff. So you ended up with a good amount of people half way to what now is only a descent weapon. I really hope they re-thought how gear is distributed in FFXIV.


Seriously? Relics are still the best weapons in the game. Hecatomb is still pretty much top tier, and if not directly below it. FFXI did a wonderful job of keeping old equipment useful. Everything, however, did become way to specialized.

Edited, Jan 14th 2010 12:10am by Deadgye


Speaking on over specialized equipment...

I would REALLY like it if you couldn't gear swap mid battle. I ould appreciate some difficult choices when choosing your gear, not the old "well this has +11 str but -8 dex alkies.. swap in for ws!" crap.

I hated the 18 macros i had for blue mage for every single type of spell, and the constant blinking between str, str + dex, mnd, mp, int and ws gear..
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#67 Jan 14 2010 at 5:11 AM Rating: Default
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Seriously? Relics are still the best weapons in the game. Hecatomb is still pretty much top tier, and if not directly below it. FFXI did a wonderful job of keeping old equipment useful. Everything, however, did become way to specialized.

I will agree, that some relic weapons may still be better than the newer omfg weapons, but i stand by my post for the most part. IMHO, most of the salvage gear blows AF2 gear away. Please keep in mind, i mean this in general. I am well aware that a few pieces of relic are still (situational) better.
#68 Jan 14 2010 at 6:00 AM Rating: Decent
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I feel that FFXI had you lug around far too much situational "macro swap" gear. As time went on, you'd simply purchase a piece of gear just to add a few more damage to your WS or add a few more MACC% to landing a spell. It became a balancing act with your inventory, mog safe, locker, satchel and storage. I don't mind minimal macro swaps in FFXIV, but nothing like the blink fest of FFXI.

Back to the OP's question, I define "Hard" by any system involving skill to accomplish a task. PW and AV HNM's are more on the impossible scale. I don't consider grinds hard, however they are a huge time sink. The definition of hard shouldn't be one's own patience.
#69 Jan 14 2010 at 6:51 AM Rating: Good
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Hard for me is when a mob doesn't conform to a set of scripts or rules, where actions can't be predicted by an addon and where alternative strategies must be employed other than "tank and spank". Where a mistake can lead to a full wipe and where everyone is required to be on their A game in order to win and not just rely on the gear they have.
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#70 Jan 14 2010 at 7:23 AM Rating: Decent
kyansaroo wrote:
Hard for me is when a mob doesn't conform to a set of scripts or rules, where actions can't be predicted by an addon and where alternative strategies must be employed other than "tank and spank". Where a mistake can lead to a full wipe and where everyone is required to be on their A game in order to win and not just rely on the gear they have.


See, this is what I've been thinking for a long, long time. I've always hated how big boss encounters in many MMORPGs are scripted and can be predicted down to the last detail. WoW is the worst about this.

"Ok guys, at 20% she's going to do the discombobulation resonance move, so go stand by the southeast pillars for exactly 25 seconds and REMEMBER to always look at the ground until the Glo-squirrels come down from the top left balcony and do their ritual nut dance. ALSO unequip your ranged weapons at exactly 10:45 and stand in the Altar of Grishnak until Vorlon the Hallowed blows his horn at 16:47, because you'll wipe us all if you don't!"

I always thought that these encounters should be more 'on the fly' and less predictable. FFXI is a lot better in this regard I suppose. I just hate the whole "Go over here and stand there, then after this happens, do this over there.".
There should be more spontaneity in these games.
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#71 Jan 14 2010 at 1:40 PM Rating: Good
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There's nothing wrong with the idea of strategic positioning in a boss fight, it's just that Blizzard tends to lean it on it a bit too heavily.

The whole game has it's timing metrics planned out like it had one too many cups of coffee, so there isn't alot of strategy via timing; there aren't these moments where you see the attack incoming with enough time to devise a way to counter them with your abilities (not that WoW has many counters/blocks/interrupts, but humor me). WoW is enamored with it's strategy via positioning, where avoiding the attack is planned out in advance via dance routine and all the player really gets/needs is a precursory warning.

At their hearts, they're both solutions to the same question "How do you give the player enough warning before the boss does something so they can avoid it?".

They both have their flaws and their merits. Leaning on timing lends itself to randomness; it means each encounter of a boss is different because the timing and order of the attacks is random, but each boss is generally the same because timing is a binary 'yes' or' no' that can only see so much variety. Leaning on positioning doesn't lend itself to randomness; it means each encounter of a boss is the same because the dance plays out the same every time, but each boss can be different because each requires a different dance and there's alot of variability in movement.

Any mechanic leaned on that heavily gets tired and eventually worked around.
Blizzard's love of positions has an undermining caveat in the form of Add-ons. Old school XI's love of timing has an undermining caveat in the form of Chainspell+Stun. I think an MMO company that wielded strategy via timing and positioning with finesse would be a force to be reckoned with.


Edited, Jan 14th 2010 3:05pm by Zemzelette
#72 Jan 14 2010 at 1:47 PM Rating: Default
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Tenfooterten, Assassin Reject wrote:
Quote:

Seriously? Relics are still the best weapons in the game. Hecatomb is still pretty much top tier, and if not directly below it. FFXI did a wonderful job of keeping old equipment useful. Everything, however, did become way to specialized.

I will agree, that some relic weapons may still be better than the newer omfg weapons, but i stand by my post for the most part. IMHO, most of the salvage gear blows AF2 gear away. Please keep in mind, i mean this in general. I am well aware that a few pieces of relic are still (situational) better.


Well let's look at AF2 peices for my job that were made useless by salvage gear.

Head? Nope, was already meh. Hecatomb was already better, I could only see it useful on fuidama'd sharkbite if you didn't have hecatomb.
Body? lol
Hands? Still used, and only used, for TH.
Legs? Always crap, only useful for steal.
Feet? Good tp gear, dusk was better although very expensive. Used until you either got dusk or homam.

I'd say an overwhelming majority of AF2 gear already sucked, not that it was rendered obsolete.
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#73 Jan 14 2010 at 3:11 PM Rating: Good
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Any mechanic leaned on that heavily gets tired and eventually worked around.
Blizzard's love of positions has an undermining caveat in the form of Add-ons. Old school XI's love of timing has an undermining caveat in the form of Chainspell+Stun. I think an MMO company that wielded strategy via timing and positioning with finesse would be a force to be reckoned with.


I couldn't agree more, though synthesizing timing and positioning tends to cross the blurry line straight into "action" RPG, which scares a lot of people. So I think an important crutch to add to that equation is ability-related strategy that relies heavily on neither timing or positioning. As a simple example, rock-paper-scissor mechanics like that of the elemental wheel. Only preferably not nearly that simple.

FFXI was too afraid to make the game very action-y or very strategic, and ended up not having much of anything outside of preparation and team mechanics.

Quote:
I don't think Kachi's saying death penalties don't add merit, but more the fact a severely punishing merit is only appreciated by a very select few who coincidentally think you need more than just the simple defeat to teach someone a lesson. Even without EXP loss, defeats in XI could mean lost claim, a time out, gil lost in tools/med/food, and of course, time.

I guess it's one thing to kick a guy in the nuts, but another to grind your heel.


I'm not sure to what extent death penalties can add merit. I do think that there are happy mediums, and that FFXI exceeds those mediums. I also think that in a truly challenging game, it's enough to lose a few or even many, many times without having any penalty other than the immediate frustration and wasted time from your loss. If you lose a five minute battle twenty times between halfway through and near the end of the battle with a minute inbetween attempts, then you've just spent over an hour attempting a battle that's supposed to take five minutes.

Now, the conventional thinking here tends to be that you won't get that blood-pumping heart-racing feeling if you're dying that often, but YOU WILL. Maybe more, maybe less, but every time you get close to victory (rather than close to death), you'll get that feeling of anticipation. Whether it's fear of dying, or fear of not winning this time, you'll get that feeling. I make no promise that it would be exactly the same, as I can imagine that a gambler is going to experience that feeling much more when he places a big bet, but he'll also feel a lot worse when he loses.

So I don't pretend to know what merit death penalties will add in addition to the inherent penalties of death. I mean, we're talking about "retrying" as if it's the absolute bottom, when it's not. A death penalty could be that you get less of a reward, or that the game gives you a silver star instead of gold. However, I do accept that there are moderate death penalties that at least don't substantially hinder the enjoyment of a game.
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