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My hopes ... No instances ... No "levels" ... Slow combatFollow

#1 Feb 19 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Decent
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For those who don't know me, I was formerly an avid FFXI player. For years, I've been playing WoW. I've tried just about every new game that has come along in between. At the moment, I'm entirely bored with the genre. FFXI is a lost cause to me, due to the incredible timesinks and extremely dated UI, but it still has a spot in my heart. It was a great game for it's time. Notably, it is one of the few games on the market (still) enjoying significant commercial success without the benefits of a shiny new IP (LoTRO, STO) and without being a WoW clone.

I am looking forward to FFXIV more than any other game since WoW. I hope it brings everything I (we?) loved about FFXI into the modern MMO era. Here are a few specific thoughts:

1. No instances. Well, at least not beyond the level that instances were implemented in FFXI. IMO nothing takes away from the excitement of crawling down into a dungeon the way instances do. It takes away from the excitement when you go through a portal into a world with just your party, where you won't run into anyone, and where the environment is always the same. I remember diving deep into dungeons in FFXI that scared the crap out of me ... No instance in WOW has ever held that excitement.

2. Skills, not levels. This is an exciting feature to me. If each job has it's own skills, and you increase them by using them, it would be a nice departure from the WoW clone model. The "start as a L1 warrior and grind quests until you're a L80 warrior" model is, in my mind, old and stale. Skill-based leveling, on the other hand, has barely been seen since the days of UO and preNGE SWG.

3. Slow combat. Wait, what? You want your combat to be slow? Yes. I do! Why? Because after playing WoW for 5 years, I want to relax. WoW's combat is great at what it is - it's fast paced, and exciting at times. It's responsive and smooth. However, at the end of the day, it ends up often involving twitch reflexes. You don't spend much (if any) time planning your next move, you just go from spamming one button to the next. I miss the days of laying on my couch with a PS2 controller, contemplating my moves as I briskly (but slowly, by WoW standards) scrolled through my menu of macros deciding what to do next. I'm looking forward to taking FFXIV to my couch via PS3 and 52" TV, and I really want it to be more of a classic adventure MMO than an in-your-face combat MMO. We have enough of those, already.

Overall I'm psyched for XIV. Now to wait patiently for my beta invite ... ;)

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#2 Feb 19 2010 at 12:50 PM Rating: Decent
Jordster wrote:
1. No instances. Well, at least not beyond the level that instances were implemented in FFXI. IMO nothing takes away from the excitement of crawling down into a dungeon the way instances do. It takes away from the excitement when you go through a portal into a world with just your party, where you won't run into anyone, and where the environment is always the same. I remember diving deep into dungeons in FFXI that scared the crap out of me ... No instance in WOW has ever held that excitement.


About all we've seen is confirmation that guildleves will involve instances to some degree, but that's not to say that all guildleves will be instanced.

Quote:
2. Skills, not levels. This is an exciting feature to me. If each job has it's own skills, and you increase them by using them, it would be a nice departure from the WoW clone model. The "start as a L1 warrior and grind quests until you're a L80 warrior" model is, in my mind, old and stale. Skill-based leveling, on the other hand, has barely been seen since the days of UO and preNGE SWG.


I'm looking forward to seeing how that pans out as well. SE released a standalone turn-based strategy RPG a year or so ago that involved a no-level character progression system where your characters developed based on how you played them. The NPC characters still had certain restrictions on how you could progress them, but the sky was the limit for your main character. I think that using that game (The Last Remnant) as reference, about the only thing that might be tricky would be presenting a concise means of comparing your progress to that of others for the purpose of forming groups of roughly the same degree of progression, but I'm sure SE can work it out.

Quote:
3. Slow combat. Wait, what? You want your combat to be slow? Yes. I do! Why? Because after playing WoW for 5 years, I want to relax. WoW's combat is great at what it is - it's fast paced, and exciting at times. It's responsive and smooth. However, at the end of the day, it ends up often involving twitch reflexes. You don't spend much (if any) time planning your next move, you just go from spamming one button to the next. I miss the days of laying on my couch with a PS2 controller, contemplating my moves as I briskly (but slowly, by WoW standards) scrolled through my menu of macros deciding what to do next. I'm looking forward to taking FFXIV to my couch via PS3 and 52" TV, and I really want it to be more of a classic adventure MMO than an in-your-face combat MMO. We have enough of those, already.


SE said they want combat to be more cerebral than FFXI, which is still rather cryptic. They have said, however, that there will be no auto-attack in FFXIV...that melee classes will be required to queue their "normal" attacks in the way that you might trigger any other ability. That would probably define the pace of combat in terms of player activity around the swing speed of your weapons in addition to whatever other special abilities you might bring into play. Anything else that might more clearly demonstrate what the actual combat system will be like is probably a ways off, since SE has said that they plan on using the beta to refine and finalize the combat system.
#3 Feb 19 2010 at 1:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Agree with everything you said, I am currently in a state of boredom with WoW, and have kind of always hated the twitch mechanic's especially in the newer content, like you I have played many different MMO's none of which hold my attention for long.

Although I want to say that FF11 required more skill to play than WoW im not sure that is accurate, but it sure felt like I mattered more and was actually participating and not just spamming a button.

I get the feeling that levels will just be replaced by skill and the concept feels basically the same to me, I don't want to see skill tree's that's for sure, I'm kind of hoping its an off shoot of FF9's weapon/armor skill system.

WoW is all about aggression and being the best, having the best gear etc (it's kind of like an FPS in sheeps clothing), where as FF11 for me at least was all about comradery and helping one another, the exploration of new lands and the continuation of a storyline.

The two are like chalk and cheese, of course FF11 had its problems and is very archaic to play these days, I think WoW can teach SE a few tricks and hopefully they are taking some of those on-board but not too much to lose the charm and feel of FF11.

I do hope that they make many of the NM's instanced this time though, perhaps rare spawns whilst partaking in guildleves, that way everyone gets a chance at claiming.

Can't wait for the Beta, assuming I get in >.>

Edited, Feb 19th 2010 2:25pm by Diakar
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#4 Feb 19 2010 at 1:45 PM Rating: Decent
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SE released a standalone turn-based strategy RPG a year or so ago that involved a no-level character progression system where your characters developed based on how you played them.


I've been told that is how FF2 worked, so it is quite an old system. It was also somewhat broken since it meant you benefit from hitting your own team for building up defense.
#5 Feb 19 2010 at 1:54 PM Rating: Good
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Well,
despite the fact your chances for #1 are pretty slim. Maybe I can ease your discomfort a bit?

We've squeezed every last nuance of possibility out of the open world. The open world is static, immutable, frozen forever. But instancing has so much potential for change that's gone largely unexplored.

It opens the door for Triggered Events, which are things that happen to the environment physically or sounds emitted in reaction to your presence. These things aren't possible in the open world, because people not involved in your quest or not at your point in the dungeon can still see and hear (potentially spoiling it for them).

It opens new possibilities with Phasing. Phasing in the open world transforms a small slice of your landscape as related to your progress in a questline, but people who haven't done it can see neither it nor you. An instance has no such requirements for exclusion, permanency (unless it befits the story), or start point (because you don't need to rely on a character flag, change can occur for reasons outside of your quest progress).

So what you inherently lose in not meeting other people, there's so much potential to gain in a world that's dynamically living and breathing. We've always thought of other people as proof that the world is living, only because we never realized how dead the environment itself was.



The speed of combat is something that needs to grow naturally from the battlesystem, not the other way around.
A slow combat system that doesn't have the cerebral aspects to justify the space for thinking will just feel slow.
Speed in and of itself is meaningless.



Edited, Feb 19th 2010 3:50pm by Zemzelette
#6 Feb 19 2010 at 1:57 PM Rating: Good
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As long as there is still a way to advance HP and MP then I'm fine with the skill system.

I too am not fan of instances due to the fact that it takes away the chance of running into people, taking away from the illusion that you're in a living world.

Combat can go either way for me. But it didn't really feel that slow to me in FFXI. As a BLM I had to cast spells at just right time and didn't really have time to plan ahead and as a THF I had to time out my Trick Attacks, Sneak Attacks, and Weapon Skills just right.
#7 Feb 19 2010 at 2:34 PM Rating: Good
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I don't mind instances as long as they're not the dominant aspect of the game. I think FFXI balanced things out quite well in this sense. I played Guild Wars a while ago, and the system there was you never saw anyone else outside of town if they weren't in your party. Every time I played, the world in that game seemed quite dead and barren.
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#8 Feb 19 2010 at 2:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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I have to agree with how instancing really does take away an integral part of an open, expansive world.

Actually, I agree with most of your post. I'm so tired of rotations in WoW I could vomit.
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#9 Feb 19 2010 at 2:45 PM Rating: Good
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I'm quite surprised to hear much of this from your Jord, because I know you played WoW for a long time and played it well and because one of the crowd who knee jerks at the thought of anything WoW-like being present in an MMORPG.

1. I can somewhat understand your aversion to instances. I did like clearing the path to go fight my level 25 mission dragon and meeting other players along the way, and we'd group up to help clear the path together. It's not necessarily that instances are bad, but that they remove certain elements of spontaneity, and that spontaneity is something I believe you and I both really enjoy. However instances also make certain things possible that otherwise wouldn't. They guarantee a minimal level of challenge for an area, because you can impose a group size limit and even a level limit, which eliminates zergs and high level help. They also create bosses without the hassle of fighting for claims, which is something I believe very many players prefer.

Instance removal needs to be thought about carefully, because doing so brings a lot of good and a lot fo bad to the table.

2. I'm not fond of skill based leveling, and I'm not sure why anyone would be. I did it in Oblivion and it was awful. I did it in RF Online and it was awful. What I really don't like are grinds, and quest grinds can be as up grinds as straight up killing monsters. If you have skill based leveling, then I think you still get a grind, and often a more boring one. Instead of killing 1000 crabs either solo or in a group, grinded or part of a quest, you instead spam 1000 sword strikes.

3. I don't mind slow combat with the trade off of increased thought requirement, but often MMORPGs that are slow are just simple slow. In FFXI meleers had almost nothing to do most of the time. It's ok to wait 30 seconds until your next ability, but not if you had already had determined it was the best move to use 3 minutes ago.



You have made me rethink a lot about what makes an MMORPG fun, and I thank you for that.
#10 Feb 19 2010 at 3:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Jord, I agree with your post 100%. XI was more of a living world than any other MMO I've played... WoW just doesn't seem to have any form of personality and Aion is just shocking for anything apart from fluttering around in the sky for a minute or two.

I hope that they can somehow recreate what FFXI had... but I can't put my finger on what it was.
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#11 Feb 19 2010 at 3:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not fond of skill based leveling, and I'm not sure why anyone would be. I did it in Oblivion and it was awful. I did it in RF Online and it was awful. What I really don't like are grinds, and quest grinds can be as up grinds as straight up killing monsters. If you have skill based leveling, then I think you still get a grind, and often a more boring one. Instead of killing 1000 crabs either solo or in a group, grinded or part of a quest, you instead spam 1000 sword strikes.


I hope to heck that they've thought about the failures of FF2's leveling system. Mostly they need to make sure the pacing of the new abilities and the way the ability tree is spaced. In FF2 often times you get 3 new spells at a time, all three of which needed to be leveled up before you advanced to the next part of the game so you spent hours running around casting the spells on low level monsters* catching them up to your other spells. The real kick to the balls was you got Super-Excellent-Spell-of-Doom when you wer 98% through the game and you needed to go level it up before the final boss (well you didn't really but why would they throw in your last spell with so little of the game to go).

I'm sure they have been thinking about the failures of FF2's system and how it relates to this current system. But frustration after replaying FF2 last year ... I couldn't help but jump to the conclusion that I needed to go to Japan to prevent skynet Square from repeating it's previous mistakes.



* I played the FF2 that was fixed of the select bug that allowed for super quick leveling of abilities
#12 Feb 19 2010 at 3:17 PM Rating: Good
Zemzelette wrote:
Well,
despite the fact your chances for #1 are pretty slim. Maybe I can ease your discomfort a bit?

We've squeezed every last nuance of possibility out of the open world. The open world is static, immutable, frozen forever. But instancing has so much potential for change that's gone largely unexplored.

It opens the door for Triggered Events, which are things that happen to the environment physically or sounds emitted in reaction to your presence. These things aren't possible in the open world, because people not involved in your quest or not at your point in the dungeon can still see and hear (potentially spoiling it for them).

It opens new possibilities with Phasing. Phasing in the open world transforms a small slice of your landscape as related to your progress in a questline, but people who haven't done it can see neither it nor you. An instance has no such requirements for exclusion, permanency (unless it befits the story), or start point (because you don't need to rely on a character flag, change can occur for reasons outside of your quest progress).

So what you inherently lose in not meeting other people, there's so much potential to gain in a world that's dynamically living and breathing. We've always thought of other people as proof that the world is living, only because we never realized how dead the environment itself was.



The speed of combat is something that needs to grow naturally from the battlesystem, not the other way around.
A slow combat system that doesn't have the cerebral aspects to justify the space for thinking will just feel slow.
Speed in and of itself is meaningless.



Edited, Feb 19th 2010 3:50pm by Zemzelette



This^^. That's pretty insightful. It's about time developers started to utilize the technology at hand. SE revolutionized the RPG industry with FF 7 ... let's see it one more time with FF XIV.

Edited, Feb 19th 2010 4:17pm by Tenfooterten
#13 Feb 19 2010 at 4:03 PM Rating: Good
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I agree that instancing is not a demon, and if implemented in revolutionary new ways it might be okay.

For anyone who's never played WoW, the World of Warcraft is filled with dynamic instances full of "events" and bosses that everyone gets to do with their own little party. It was AWESOME the first few times I experienced it. Back in 2004 I thought to myself "FFXI never had anything this exciting!" Eventually, though, the excitement fades. The events are repeated each time you do the instance. They fail to live up to the dynamic world that is found in good single player games, and at the same time they don't provide much in terms of immersion.

FFXI's limited instances are a good model because a lot of them are located way in the depths of a world dungeon. For players trying to do the L25 dragon boss (or at least to me, when I was an FFXI newbie in 2003!), it is thrilling to crawl your way through the dungeon, eventually get to the burning circle, and only at the end join an instance in order to kill the boss. Of course, when higher level players have to come all the way down to the same spot to do their BCNM fights or whatnot, it's just a timesink.

I'm eager to see what SE does in FFXIV. I really hope they find a way to take the good from game-world dungeons, and the good from instancing, and make something that is ... well ... revolutionary. I've played so much of the same-old same-old that if FFXIV is not somewhat revolutionary, I think I might have to hang up my MMORPG hat. And that's a problem, cause I'm addicted to MMORPGs :P

Oh I thought of something else. There is one rarely mentioned, large-production-budget game that created itself around the idea that instances were bad. That game is Vanguard. The game failed miserably, but it had nothing to do with content. It had to do with early release and an EXTREMELY buggy experience, for which players left and never returned. But anyway ... Instead of instances, they had large world dungeons. They had LOTS of dungeons (something like 30 at launch) and each one was filling with quests, mobs of differing difficulty levels (many took a group to kill), bosses, dynamic content like bridges that moved and terrain that shifted, and even boss room doors that locked you in and others out for a short time. It was really cool, and due to the fact that the game had a death penalty similar to old EQ, it was scary and thrilling to crawl your way deeper into a dungeon. Just something to think about ... I know there are a zillion holes you could poke in it, but in concept it was very cool and a lot of fun.


Edited, Feb 19th 2010 5:07pm by Jordster
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#14 Feb 19 2010 at 4:48 PM Rating: Decent
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I hope that they can somehow recreate what FFXI had... but I can't put my finger on what it was.


This.
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#15 Feb 19 2010 at 7:16 PM Rating: Decent
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i...dont want "slow" combat, but id be fine if they found the happy medium between WoW and FF11. maybe make it common to use a skill every 10s instead of the 30ish for FF and the 1.5 for WoW.

skills? eh...im on the fence about this one. its a different kind of grind, but if they do it right it might work out. hard to say, but whether its skills or levels wont determine whether or not i play the game.

instancing is a great idea. i think the way WoW did it was pretty good; make the open world dynamic and all-encompassing, and put the dungeons/isolated quest areas in their own instance.

its also good to see you jord. one of many familiar names im pleased to see again.
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#16 Feb 19 2010 at 7:30 PM Rating: Decent
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I have an idea for the instancing point that the OP made. It involves the open world concept with no instance, but still retains the idea of a group signing up to complete a dungeon. My example is going to involve an LFG concept that WoW is currently using because I think it's amazing.

Have multiple random events for dungeons. Group signs up for a dungeon and you show up with 1 or more possible scenarios to enact/defeat. Like the escort quests in FFXI. Maybe add an event where you have to goto a random location and a boss will appear for your group and your group alone. A timed escape event? A gathering event, or a kill this many of this quest. The sky is the limit for creative developers.

So overall you still get boss loot potential, open world concept with lack of ways to grief the chosen group and a plethora of different events in each dungeon to keep them interesting after the first or second run through. Even for mission based quests like in FFXI could still be added to those areas without compromising anything else by using the phase technique discussed by Zemzelette.

Some instancing I would LIKE to see in the game would be a lot like the hunting event in final fantasy IX. Where they released monsters in the town for groups to hunt down. The person who hunted the most won of course. The only reason I chose an instance for this case is simply because towns are the backbone of all the commerce in thegame. Shutting it down for a hunting event would benefit nobody.
#17 Feb 19 2010 at 7:53 PM Rating: Good
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WAR had open dungeons that had bosses along the way to an instanced final boss. Along with a questmaster at the beginning of the level they also had public quests inside of the dungeons. They also usually had different paths in the dungeon for different level (or skill) ranges. They weren't ideal really but the concept was really solid.

One thing I'd like a game to consider is how players are dealt with after a dungeon is complete. In WoW often times things behind you had started respawning so you ported out, or they had a little "back door" you wandered out of. In FFXI you wandered all the way to the bottom of a dungeon earning so many bat ears that you should never be bothered by a bat again only to repeat the process on your way back out. I'm sure they could come up with more flavourful way end a dungeon than "I defeated the boss time to port!" A !aggro buff for x time after you complete it so you can wander around. A cutscene that tells a story and puts you at the beginning. Really anything beyond "time to port."

Edited, Feb 19th 2010 6:53pm by baelnic
#18 Feb 19 2010 at 10:56 PM Rating: Good
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Jordster wrote:

3. Slow combat. Wait, what? You want your combat to be slow? Yes. I do! Why? Because after playing WoW for 5 years, I want to relax. WoW's combat is great at what it is - it's fast paced, and exciting at times. It's responsive and smooth. However, at the end of the day, it ends up often involving twitch reflexes. You don't spend much (if any) time planning your next move, you just go from spamming one button to the next. I miss the days of laying on my couch with a PS2 controller, contemplating my moves as I briskly (but slowly, by WoW standards) scrolled through my menu of macros deciding what to do next. I'm looking forward to taking FFXIV to my couch via PS3 and 52" TV, and I really want it to be more of a classic adventure MMO than an in-your-face combat MMO. We have enough of those, already.


I agree with all your points, pretty much. I just wanted to highlight this one because it's going to be an even bigger deal for me. In trying other MMORPG's after I left FFXI, I've realized that I like a slower pace to my combat. I enjoyed FFXI and EVE, which skewed more to the side of pre-planning and macro strategy, rather than twitchy micromanagement, which was my experience in WoW, Vanguard, and RoM.

I hate having to spam an attack button, and I hate having abilities that refresh every 10 seconds. It's just my personal opinion, but I feel like, if they know that I'm going to need to have these abilities going constantly, why not have them done automatically?
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#19 Feb 20 2010 at 1:53 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I hope that they can somehow recreate what FFXI had... but I can't put my finger on what it was.

this
Is why quitters come back
and why some find it hard to leave.
Its special. nuff said.

I hope mage play is the same as far as combat speed but the DDs need a makeover.
at least take away the unrealistic delay on weapons ffxi has.
I don't think ffxi is slow but some of the classes are slow in there particular roles some more than others.

skill based leveling is something I am looking forward to and one of the only reasons I am moving from ffxi at all.
It seems like less of a stress on the fact that im starting over from scratch on a new game.
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#20 Feb 20 2010 at 2:22 PM Rating: Decent
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I hope that they can somehow recreate what FFXI had... but I can't put my finger on what it was.


I've thought about this a lot, but I think the answer is youth in the individual. At least that's how I feel it did it for me. I hope that's not true though, or I'll never get that feeling again lol.
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#21 Feb 20 2010 at 3:28 PM Rating: Decent
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GuardianFaith wrote:
Quote:
I hope that they can somehow recreate what FFXI had... but I can't put my finger on what it was.


I've thought about this a lot, but I think the answer is youth in the individual. At least that's how I feel it did it for me. I hope that's not true though, or I'll never get that feeling again lol.


Read this post I wrote when I was "game depressed"

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/269603/MMORPG-the-Drug-Why-you-might-never-be-happy-again.html
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#22 Feb 20 2010 at 5:47 PM Rating: Good
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I believe it has less to do with any type of drug effect and more with beginning to see the flaws and problems in a game. Most people I know had their best MMORPG experience with the first or second MMORPG they played.

When I first started playing MMORPGs, I didn't understand them. I played them like I would a single player RPG. In single player games there is usually a level cap, but it is often not worth reaching. There isn't a reason to level up to 99 in FFIX or FFVIII. You also don't play solely to reach the end of the game; content is strewn throughout. Almost no one would want to skip directly to the end of an RPG they had not played through before.

I had fun in FFXI and early on in WoW because I didn't understand that much of what I was doing was pointless. In single player RPGs it is usually a good idea to explore. I had fun exploring areas in FFXI and WoW, but after a time I realized this was pointless. I wasn't going to discover anything useful or beneficial, and I learned that there were guides online telling me exactly where everything important was and thus also that all the other places had nothing of value in them.

Bard became my main job in FFXI, but it was an accident. After failing the summoner quest I decided to do an easier one, the bard, and while messing around with the job it just kind of stuck on me. I didn't think about how easy or hard it would be for me to find groups. I didn't think about how overpowered or underpowered the job was. I didn't think about what I would be doing end game. I just played it because I had fun in the moment. But now I can never go back to that. I understand that some jobs can be gimped, I understand that some jobs can be not very useful end game, I understand that jobs can change from being fun to unfun. Now when I play MMORPGs I research what I intend to play. I look at all the classes and all their abilities and figure out which one has the most desirable traits. Unfortunately that somewhat kills the job for me. I already know what I'll be doing end game, I already know how strong my class is and exactly what it does and how to play it. There is no mystery. There is no discovery.

It's akin to enjoying swimming all your life and then someone telling you that little kids pee in the pool. You now know and understand what you've been playing in, and you can't unknow it. Suddenly swimming isn't as fun.
#23 Feb 20 2010 at 6:08 PM Rating: Decent
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3. Slow combat. Wait, what? You want your combat to be slow? Yes. I do! Why? Because after playing WoW for 5 years, I want to relax. WoW's combat is great at what it is - it's fast paced, and exciting at times. It's responsive and smooth. However, at the end of the day, it ends up often involving twitch reflexes. You don't spend much (if any) time planning your next move, you just go from spamming one button to the next. I miss the days of laying on my couch with a PS2 controller, contemplating my moves as I briskly (but slowly, by WoW standards) scrolled through my menu of macros deciding what to do next. I'm looking forward to taking FFXIV to my couch via PS3 and 52" TV, and I really want it to be more of a classic adventure MMO than an in-your-face combat MMO. We have enough of those, already.


I do understand what you mean, and I wouldn't exactly want the combat to be "slow" but I don't really want to see a button mashing system either.
Sadly I'll admit to more than a few late nights solo-ing or in a party with my DRG where I fell asleep on my couch controller in hand.
At the same time I've been victim to the player who uses a DD-job and presses attack and walks away.
Ideally, I'd like to see a system that requires user attention, but not micro management. Maybe something that rewards your attention to detail? For instance, remember Super Mario RPG? If you would tap your attack button again at the right moment you would critical attack. Maybe in FFXIV if you could do something timing wise it would lower your special ability timer. So you could use a stronger attack again, faster.
The same could be done with magic, if you use certain spells in order, or tap your confirm button at the correct time then you use less MP.
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#24 Feb 20 2010 at 6:10 PM Rating: Default
I think it isn't something to try to understand just accept it as a good ting and enjoy it or if it interferes negatively then squash it.
I have a passionate addiction if u will, I don't let it get out of hand, nor can i pinpoint the source of the attachment i have towards FFXI but its there and I like it therefore I speculate on FFXIV and the only possible heir to the throne and hope its everything in my dreams and more. dreaming is free so why not.
This is off topic though hopefully the rest of the posters don't delve into this all further.
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#25 Feb 20 2010 at 8:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
I'm quite surprised to hear much of this from your Jord, because I know you played WoW for a long time and played it well and because one of the crowd who knee jerks at the thought of anything WoW-like being present in an MMORPG.

1. I can somewhat understand your aversion to instances. I did like clearing the path to go fight my level 25 mission dragon and meeting other players along the way, and we'd group up to help clear the path together. It's not necessarily that instances are bad, but that they remove certain elements of spontaneity, and that spontaneity is something I believe you and I both really enjoy. However instances also make certain things possible that otherwise wouldn't. They guarantee a minimal level of challenge for an area, because you can impose a group size limit and even a level limit, which eliminates zergs and high level help. They also create bosses without the hassle of fighting for claims, which is something I believe very many players prefer.

Instance removal needs to be thought about carefully, because doing so brings a lot of good and a lot fo bad to the table.

2. I'm not fond of skill based leveling, and I'm not sure why anyone would be. I did it in Oblivion and it was awful. I did it in RF Online and it was awful. What I really don't like are grinds, and quest grinds can be as up grinds as straight up killing monsters. If you have skill based leveling, then I think you still get a grind, and often a more boring one. Instead of killing 1000 crabs either solo or in a group, grinded or part of a quest, you instead spam 1000 sword strikes.

3. I don't mind slow combat with the trade off of increased thought requirement, but often MMORPGs that are slow are just simple slow. In FFXI meleers had almost nothing to do most of the time. It's ok to wait 30 seconds until your next ability, but not if you had already had determined it was the best move to use 3 minutes ago.



You have made me rethink a lot about what makes an MMORPG fun, and I thank you for that.
This. I especially hated skill based leveling in in RF, where it literally was just "use this ability a bunch of times for great justice" and nothing more. Please god don't let this game turn into that. D:

Also Jord, I like your title, although it clashes with mine and this upsets me. :|
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Thank god I stopped playing MMOs.
#26 Feb 21 2010 at 12:12 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
This. I especially hated skill based leveling in in RF, where it literally was just "use this ability a bunch of times for great justice" and nothing more. Please god don't let this game turn into that. D:


This sort of reminds me of Legend of Dragoon. After you did a certain button sequence a number of times you "mastered" that attack and moved onto the next (more powerful) one. I don't think I'd like to see something like that utilized as the new way to "skill/level" up.
However, I could be very happy with that for greater skill-chain or special attack damage.
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#27 Feb 21 2010 at 12:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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I agree with a lot of what you said. I'm no fan of Instances, unless their as single rooms. Let the last room in the dungeon be an instance so every party gets their own boss to fight, but there is no reason at all to instance the whole dungeon, just make it bigger so there is plenty of room for everyone(Crawlers nest comes to mind). I find that instances make dungeons feel less an area for exploration and more like a pause in gameplay to farm xp. Anyone who's played City of Heroes knows about the AE Debacle(I'll explain it if you want, just ask), and Instances just feel like AE farms.

Quote:
I hope that they can somehow recreate what FFXI had... but I can't put my finger on what it was.


As for this, there are 2 things I think that gave 11 the amazing feel it had.

#1 was the 1 character aspect.
All of the other MMO's I've played had class systems that meant if you wanted to play any specific class it required it's own toon. So every time I log on to one of these I see a thousand new characters I've never seen before. I'm lucky to party with the same toon twice. Whereas in 11, Everyone, regardless of class, was playing the same toon. So every time I logged in I saw the same faces, partied with the same characters, helped the same guys finish quests. Seeing all those familiar faces for a few years on end added a feeling of "Home" to 11 that no other game can match without adopting a similar system.

#2 Final Fantasy.
I, and I'm guessing a lot of others, came to 11 not because it was a new MMO, but because it was a new Final Fantasy. As a Final Fantasy game it had all those familiar final fantasy aspects. Mogs, Chocobos, the music, text interfaces, Airships, Cid, everything we've come to expect to see in every Final Fantasy, all making us feel right at home on yet another adventure to save the world.

I think these 2 things are big players in what made 11 the magnificent game it was. And because Final Fantasy itself is one of my "things" then 14 is the only MMO that can possibly have a chance to recapture what 11 had.

Just my opinion.

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#28 Feb 21 2010 at 1:31 AM Rating: Default
I'm not sure "slow" is the best descriptor for what you're getting at. Cerebral works, but I would imagine you could have cerebral button mashing. What I'd prefer not to see is a combat system that involves waits for no particular reason. If we're talking about a system where you're queuing normal melee attacks for melee classes, it makes sense that if you queue a melee attack you'd have a wait based on your weapon speed between one attack and the next.

If it comes down to a case where the combat system at mid-high levels still feels a lot like spectator mode combat with occasional interaction, I'd say SE would have blown it. It looks like something akin to the TP system will be returning but the tweaks that have been mentioned sound like they'll make for a more interactive experience than what was present in FFXI. Not using all of your TP when you use an attack that requires TP would be an example of that. It brings in the aspect of resource management instead of a flat build -> dump TP scenario. What little we've been told says that SE is giving themselves the tools to create a more dynamic combat system...it's just a question of how they choose to use them.

Frankly, after having played an enhancement shaman in WoW for the last half of the most recent expansion, something just a tad slower would suit me just fine. In the end it comes down to balance...feeling involved throughout the process from the beginning of a fight to the end without always feeling like you could be doing better because you're missing procs by a split second or having to resume a botched rotation after a forced move or the need to insert an interrupt or a dispel somewhere at a "bad" time. Something like that would work for me.
#29 Feb 21 2010 at 11:47 AM Rating: Good
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I too agree with everything the OP has stated.

As far as leveling, I'm not scared, I know SE will give us a a good system to level our characters up. Whatever the system may be I'm sure it will be a good system, especially with the little bit of information we do have.

I too am not a favor of instances. If I wanted to be alone (or with the small amount of people in your group), I would play a single player game not an MMO. I could understand making the last part of the dungeon an instance fight, so everyone gets the chance to fight the boss, but if the whole dungeons are instanced it would take a lot of the appeal off the game. Part of what made FFXI so memorable was seeing the same people, and not knowing who you were going to encounter while your group was out on their trip. Instances do have its advantages like allowing more people a chance to fight the bosses, but it also have a lot of negatives like making the game feel like a single player game just with your group playing too instead of a huge MMO. I think instances and open world could be juggled to have a nice balance between the content if done properly

I too am in favor of a slower combat system. You don't need to be hitting a button every half of second just to have a interesting and good fighting system. I would much rather think about abilities and such then to feel like I'm playing Tekken or something. The word "slower" of course have different levels involved, and in the way I'm meaning it, I don't mean driving miss daisy slow. I think it should be a little faster then FFXI (which it probably will since no auto attack), but definitely not as fast as other MMOs. Cooldowns that come back in 5-10 seconds tops turn into a spam fest.
#30 Feb 21 2010 at 12:08 PM Rating: Good
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HocusP wrote:
I too am not a favor of instances. If I wanted to be alone (or with the small amount of people in your group), I would play a single player game not an MMO. I could understand making the last part of the dungeon an instance fight, so everyone gets the chance to fight the boss, but if the whole dungeons are instanced it would take a lot of the appeal off the game. Part of what made FFXI so memorable was seeing the same people, and not knowing who you were going to encounter while your group was out on their trip. Instances do have its advantages like allowing more people a chance to fight the bosses, but it also have a lot of negatives like making the game feel like a single player game just with your group playing too instead of a huge MMO. I think instances and open world could be juggled to have a nice balance between the content if done properly


I agree with the instance issue completely. I remember running into people after quitting for months in the most random zone ever and it made me feel like I was in a community.

One of the things I hope that FFXIV maintains is the idea of actually having to heal or something to get back your mp/hp. I hated how in AoC my mp/hp would magically begin to fill as I was walking around and my bars would rush to full within seconds. This might work in a majorly PvP-based MMO, but I don't want to feel like my character is invincible in FFXIV. I liked the idea of auto-regen and auto-refresh that came with some jobs, and I do want to see the healing process speed up a little, but I don't want it to be as easy as it was in AoC where as long as you weren't in direct combat your hp/mp would come back in minimal time increments. As lame as it may sound, I want to feel like an adventurer, not someone plowing through a videogame.
#31 Feb 21 2010 at 3:37 PM Rating: Default
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When it comes to skilling up, SE has already remedied that by grouping sets of skills together, at least when it comes to spells. We have healing magic and elemental magic that should skill up all spells in that group and not individual spells.

Too me an open world is merely novelty that hardly adds any substantial elements to the over-all game. Guild Wars did a good job of having hub towns to meet up with a bunch of peeps until you leave and enter an instance with whatever party you formed, be it NPCs or other players.

I always felt that open worlds made my pursuits trivial since everyone and there dog are doing the exact same thing, how does this make anything I do interesting at all? Then theirs the issue of balancing the difficulty of mobs due to the possibility of exploiting the power of numbers. Apparently the more players we're allowed to team up with the more insanely difficult they have to make bosses or obscure the methods of defeating them becomes, or the lower the EXP.

My favorite online games have been Phantasy Star Online and Monster Hunter which are very notable instanced games but are no longer up (PSU was garbage). Back when these were the only games I could play since I didn't own a PC I use to clamor for a more open-world environment. Later down the line When I got a PC I got a play quite a few MMOs and in the end I'd have to say theirs way too many cons than pros to open-world games.

I personally liked the idea of being able to complete tasks with a handful of people, or solo if you were strong/skilled enough. No need to form guilds (unless you were pretentious) since these days I don't play online games to make friends, I play for my personal enjoyment. I like the variety of being able to form pick-up groups to tackle a mission/dungeon run since thats where I get my satisfaction of variety. Making friends online these days is like having a cellphone where you prolly don't make many calls but people are calling you up all the time when they are bored but you are busy.

Instanced games also provide much more variety and flexibility than open-world games. Jobs can be updated to their full potential in instances rather than kept relatively gimped due to their potential of being over-powered due the fact if a large number of over-powered jobs get together then a nerf bat will be swung at some point.

We are not allowed to have too much fun in open-world games.

#32 Feb 21 2010 at 11:34 PM Rating: Good
baltz wrote:
Too me an open world is merely novelty that hardly adds any substantial elements to the over-all game. Guild Wars did a good job of having hub towns to meet up with a bunch of peeps until you leave and enter an instance with whatever party you formed, be it NPCs or other players.


Guild Wars has been heavily criticized for its focus on instancing over open world content. Instancing has a variety of benefits. For one, developers can create one instance and accommodate hundreds of groups within that instance without the concern of overcrowding and the resulting competition over spawns. It's an extremely powerful tool for multiplying the playability of developed content or, to put it another way, it's a lot easier to develop an instance that can keep hundreds players occupied through iteration than it is to develop enough static open-world content to achieve the same goal.

That having been said, fully instanced MMOs cater to a minority crowd. Nothing creates an environment that feels like a vast, living world like a...vast world. For most people, gathering at a hub before you port of to your instance of choice is the antithesis of the immersion offered by wide open spaces. As a game progresses and people shift from exploration -> specific goals involving specific content, the ability to port here and there is usually quite welcome...largely because there's a sense of relief at having been able to bypass the trip you've made dozens of times already through the...vast world.

Quote:
I always felt that open worlds made my pursuits trivial since everyone and there dog are doing the exact same thing, how does this make anything I do interesting at all?


Compared to having your own little space of the world and the illusion of doing something nobody else is doing?

Quote:
Then theirs the issue of balancing the difficulty of mobs due to the possibility of exploiting the power of numbers. Apparently the more players we're allowed to team up with the more insanely difficult they have to make bosses or obscure the methods of defeating them becomes, or the lower the EXP.


FFXI is proof that's not the case in all but a small handful of encounters. I'm not quite sure what the rationalization is behind your statement...I just know it's not true.

Quote:
I personally liked the idea of being able to complete tasks with a handful of people, or solo if you were strong/skilled enough. No need to form guilds (unless you were pretentious) since these days I don't play online games to make friends, I play for my personal enjoyment. I like the variety of being able to form pick-up groups to tackle a mission/dungeon run since thats where I get my satisfaction of variety. Making friends online these days is like having a cellphone where you prolly don't make many calls but people are calling you up all the time when they are bored but you are busy.


Playing an online game with such a powerful aversion to interacting with other players is sort of counter productive. If you want a standalone game, there are a number of pretty decent RPG titles on the market now. You may prefer to gather random people to help you get done what you want to do, but no smart MMO developer is going to cater to that kind of anti-social approach to MMO gaming.

Quote:
Instanced games also provide much more variety and flexibility than open-world games. Jobs can be updated to their full potential in instances rather than kept relatively gimped due to their potential of being over-powered due the fact if a large number of over-powered jobs get together then a nerf bat will be swung at some point.


That made...no sense at all. Not only because it was extremely difficult to read, but because instances have absolutely NOTHING to do with job balancing. It doesn't matter if you're in an instance or the open world...class balance is class balance and has absolutely nothing to do with where the group is.
#33 Feb 22 2010 at 2:19 AM Rating: Good
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AGGRESSIVE RETORT


Hear, hear! Agreed on all points.
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#34 Feb 22 2010 at 3:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Wow... I think that's the first time I ever rated one of your block-by-block responses up! Thanks for that ... I was basically thinking 3/4 of those things as I read it, but was way too lazy to reply. Scrolling down and seeing your reply was ... Perfect :)
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#35 Feb 22 2010 at 5:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Guild Wars has been heavily criticized for its focus on instancing over open world content. Instancing has a variety of benefits. For one, developers can create one instance and accommodate hundreds of groups within that instance without the concern of overcrowding and the resulting competition over spawns. It's an extremely powerful tool for multiplying the playability of developed content or, to put it another way, it's a lot easier to develop an instance that can keep hundreds players occupied through iteration than it is to develop enough static open-world content to achieve the same goal.

That having been said, fully instanced MMOs cater to a minority crowd. Nothing creates an environment that feels like a vast, living world like a...vast world. For most people, gathering at a hub before you port of to your instance of choice is the antithesis of the immersion offered by wide open spaces. As a game progresses and people shift from exploration -> specific goals involving specific content, the ability to port here and there is usually quite welcome...largely because there's a sense of relief at having been able to bypass the trip you've made dozens of times already through the...vast world.


I don't see what makes these "vast open worlds" so interesting. Everyone spends their time in Jeuno, and White. THE HUB TOWNS. Most of the time all the zones are barren. At least this was the case before FoV was released, and people actually have a reason to spend any time in the zones and even Idle out there. Cape Terrigan is always populated these days and normally no one goes out there. When FoV was introduced Monster Hunter immediatly came to mind since thats exactly how Monster Hunter plays, accept you are not restricted to doing missions once and hour. before FoV FFXI was just like guildwars, accept the players made it like that rather than the developers.

Quote:
Compared to having your own little space of the world and the illusion of doing something nobody else is doing?


Theres potential to have the NPCs acknowledge my exploits that effect their "lives". MMOs do not have this potential due to the fact they are dealing with an open world. All of the games key battles are instanced, all the BC/KS and such are instanced. SE is doing very little to justify an open world other than allowing the headaches of said open worlds to exist which is my core point. There are no substantial benefits to the player of being in an open world.

Quote:
FFXI is proof that's not the case in all but a small handful of encounters. I'm not quite sure what the rationalization is behind your statement...I just know it's not true.


Did you forget about Absolute Virtue and Pandemonium Warden already? These were SEs answers to combat the power of numbers that they are incapable of addressing. SO they had to create mobs they require specific obfuscated methods of defeating. These are the flaws of a game where you have to deal with a large number of players, creating mobs that can stand up to the power of numbers where the methods of defeating them were/are obfuscated.

Quote:
Playing an online game with such a powerful aversion to interacting with other players is sort of counter productive. If you want a standalone game, there are a number of pretty decent RPG titles on the market now. You may prefer to gather random people to help you get done what you want to do, but no smart MMO developer is going to cater to that kind of anti-social approach to MMO gaming.


Its not anti-social, I've been in plenty of LSes where peeps absolute did not feeling like helping getting these retarded missions done. They had no incentive to do so. If this were an instanced game like Monster Hunter, they'd be like "ok sure" since the missions in MH are largely fun to tackle and there are monetary/material gains. In Monster Hunter you can solo, but its definitely more fun to play with other people. If you can't gather peeps you can at least take solace in that it only means that as long as you have the skill it only take longer rather than being utterly impossible.

Plus instanced games can allow for more action-oriented play-mechanics rather than timed auto-attack BS for the sake of easing server congestion of button inputs. Also you can't call this game smart since FFXI was their first MMO and it was of course based on the dated Everquest. Also FFXI is one of the least popular of the mainstream MMOs out there, so its extremely niche, not smart.

Also playing offline RPGs would be much more anti-social than prefering to play with random people. Beign able to play with random people would make me much more social than sticking to a core group of "Friends" which sorta contradicts the point you were trying to make about what makes oen anti-social. Especially since pick up groups allows for more variety and exposure to other players playstyles and personalities. Basiclly getting to know more of the players on the server. :P

Quote:

That made...no sense at all. Not only because it was extremely difficult to read, but because instances have absolutely NOTHING to do with job balancing. It doesn't matter if you're in an instance or the open world...class balance is class balance and has absolutely nothing to do with where the group is.


Thats probably because you have limited experience with instanced games. My earliest tastes of online adventure games were instanced. During those days I sued to which those games were much bigger till I finally got into playing MMOs. After playing a bunch of MMOs all they have done was prove to me how much better instanced games were in contrast. Mainly due to them being much more streamlined and fun they are. So far the only thing you expressed being better about MMOs were that they feel "open and alive" which is is much higher in subjectivity than the points I've made. This game was largely dead until FoV and level Sync were introduced.

Everyone was starting to think the game was dead due to how difficult it was to form parties in the low levels, how does this make the world feel "alive"? New players during that prolly that no one played this game anymore because of that. starting nations were very empty before the teleport NPCs and FoV was introduced.

You seem to lack the perspective to take this issues into consideration. Tho I prolly didn't elaborate very well.

In instanced games, as a new player, its extremely easy to find people to play with. FFXI isn't even a good example of a good MMO anyway since you have to either be aware they you need a guide to play this game, or have someone hold your hand throughout the game.

Edited, Feb 22nd 2010 6:43pm by baltz
#36 Feb 22 2010 at 6:35 PM Rating: Good
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baltz wrote:
stuff


To me, heavily instanced worlds just plain don't feel as "real" to me. It's not a quantitative thing. I think that's the biggest between our two stances, and one that probably can't be bridged.
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#37 Feb 22 2010 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
1) I thought the new dungeon finder tool would hurt the immersion on WoW, but I haven't found that to be true at all. I'm finding that it leaves more to the imagination, and actually helps with the feel. I'm realizing that flying across the world to a dungeon wasn't that realistic in the first place. Strangely enough, being instantly teleported there makes the world feel bigger, not smaller. Your imagination fills in the parts where you trek out with a caravan through the snow, camping in the wilderness along the way. It makes the game flow more like an epic story than the standard.

Considering that FFXI announced this system with the crystals before WoW ever let slip news on the dungeon finder, I'm not worried, I think it'll work peachy keen.

2) I think this is already pretty set. I have a little trepidation- I'm glad they're trying new things, but there's always the risk it'll fall flat: a la Final Fantasy 2 which used a pure skills system and people didn't like it as much. Final Fantasy 8 they tried doing away with equipment basically and instead having items do effects. I thought that was horrible. So I'm a little anxious, but so far it sounds interesting at least.

3) Meh, I want faster combat than FFXI. I could take a nap inbetween doing anything. The current problem with WoW isn't that combat abilities move too fast, it's that people (and mobs) do too much damage compared to how much HP everything has, so it feels like everything is at much higher speed. That's something their fixing though. I want combat to be fast enough to somewhat resemble a realistic looking fight.
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#38 Feb 22 2010 at 7:45 PM Rating: Decent
baltz wrote:
I don't see what makes these "vast open worlds" so interesting. Everyone spends their time in Jeuno, and White. THE HUB TOWNS. Most of the time all the zones are barren. At least this was the case before FoV was released, and people actually have a reason to spend any time in the zones and even Idle out there. Cape Terrigan is always populated these days and normally no one goes out there. When FoV was introduced Monster Hunter immediatly came to mind since thats exactly how Monster Hunter plays, accept you are not restricted to doing missions once and hour. before FoV FFXI was just like guildwars, accept the players made it like that rather than the developers.


Let's not let FFXI's broken mechanics be the basis for argument against large worlds. If travel options in FFXI had been more functional and...dare I say it...entertaining, in conjunction with a greater variety of things for solo players to do in the field, the hubs wouldn't have been nearly so packed all the time. Give players adequate travel options and plenty to do outside the hubs whether they're in a group or solo and you start to see more heavily populated areas.

Quote:
Quote:
Compared to having your own little space of the world and the illusion of doing something nobody else is doing?


Theres potential to have the NPCs acknowledge my exploits that effect their "lives". MMOs do not have this potential due to the fact they are dealing with an open world. All of the games key battles are instanced, all the BC/KS and such are instanced. SE is doing very little to justify an open world other than allowing the headaches of said open worlds to exist which is my core point. There are no substantial benefits to the player of being in an open world.


WoW has phased content where open world areas change based on your actions. It's an interesting concept that isn't without its flaws, but you don't need to segregate the world into instances to achieve what you're talking about. And again, you're expounding the benefits of an illusion, because other people can do what you've done, you just can't see them doing it because it's instanced. That was your point...that seeing other people doing what you were doing trivialized your exploits. You have to pretend that nobody else is in a difference instance of the same content for your illusion to hold up, otherwise you realize that you just feel like a unique snowflake because your denial preserves your illusion.

Quote:
Quote:
FFXI is proof that's not the case in all but a small handful of encounters. I'm not quite sure what the rationalization is behind your statement...I just know it's not true.


Did you forget about Absolute Virtue and Pandemonium Warden already? These were SEs answers to combat the power of numbers that they are incapable of addressing. SO they had to create mobs they require specific obfuscated methods of defeating. These are the flaws of a game where you have to deal with a large number of players, creating mobs that can stand up to the power of numbers where the methods of defeating them were/are obfuscated.


Those would be the small handful of encounters I was referencing. Those are exceptions, not the rule. I'm sure you're intelligent enough to not use exceptions to argue the standard.

Quote:
Its not anti-social, I've been in plenty of LSes where peeps absolute did not feeling like helping getting these retarded missions done. They had no incentive to do so. If this were an instanced game like Monster Hunter, they'd be like "ok sure" since the missions in MH are largely fun to tackle and there are monetary/material gains. In Monster Hunter you can solo, but its definitely more fun to play with other people. If you can't gather peeps you can at least take solace in that it only means that as long as you have the skill it only take longer rather than being utterly impossible.


I know. I played FFXI, too. And you know why most people were so averse to helping? Because it was a pain in the ***. It took too long, it required digging through mog houses for appropriate gear to account for level caps and I don't know of anyone who didn't get burned at least once arriving at the circle only to find someone was missing the requisite mission and they had to wait 30+ minutes for them to go get it and get back. That's what we call "broken". It's an absence of thought on the part of the developer around what impact it has on the playerbase when they have to spend more time waiting than playing the game. And SE has acknowledged that FFXI had too much waiting, but they're still creating a vast, open world in conjunction with instanced content for FFXIV.

Quote:
Plus instanced games can allow for more action-oriented play-mechanics rather than timed auto-attack BS for the sake of easing server congestion of button inputs. Also you can't call this game smart since FFXI was their first MMO and it was of course based on the dated Everquest. Also FFXI is one of the least popular of the mainstream MMOs out there, so its extremely niche, not smart.


WoW is 90% open world content throughout the entire leveling process and only shifts to instances as mainstay at end-game. WoW is an example of developers using both options to create the sense of a vast world while recognizing that beyond a certain point, players don't want to spend an hour every session just getting to/from where they want to be. Even though you can now be ported directly to an instance using the LFG tool, all of those instances have an entrance somewhere in the world that makes sense. Try not to limit your argument to FFXI only...there are other MMOs (see also: the majority) that feature vast worlds to bomb around in and explore.

Quote:
Also playing offline RPGs would be much more anti-social than prefering to play with random people. Beign able to play with random people would make me much more social than sticking to a core group of "Friends" which sorta contradicts the point you were trying to make about what makes oen anti-social. Especially since pick up groups allows for more variety and exposure to other players playstyles and personalities. Basiclly getting to know more of the players on the server. :P


Ya, you want the benefits of other players without the strings. I get it. Do you want a golf clap?

Quote:
Thats probably because you have limited experience with instanced games. My earliest tastes of online adventure games were instanced. During those days I sued to which those games were much bigger till I finally got into playing MMOs. After playing a bunch of MMOs all they have done was prove to me how much better instanced games were in contrast. Mainly due to them being much more streamlined and fun they are. So far the only thing you expressed being better about MMOs were that they feel "open and alive" which is is much higher in subjectivity than the points I've made. This game was largely dead until FoV and level Sync were introduced.


Again, let's not let FFXI be your only source of comparison.

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You seem to lack the perspective to take this issues into consideration. Tho I prolly didn't elaborate very well.


If all you've played is FFXI and instanced games, I'd say you're the one that lacks the necessary perspective.
#39 Feb 22 2010 at 8:30 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't disagree with your overall post, Aurelius.
But I want to play Devil's Advocate for a minute. Isn't phasing in the open world everything you hate about an instance?

That shortcoming is the fact only other players who are on the same stage of the questline can interact with you while your in the phased space. It's similar insomuch your segregated from the rest of the server.

I'd almost accuse of it being worse. These quests are mostly solo-oriented because group play would be difficult in light of the irreversibility of your stage. So, despite your common goal with other players, you end up acting alone. Although it's certainly possible to coordinate a group effort for progressing through the quest line, you'd better not leave anyone behind, as your physically incapable of lending a helping hand to folks outside of your stage.

Edited, Feb 22nd 2010 9:41pm by Zemzelette
#40 Feb 22 2010 at 8:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
I'd almost accuse of it being worse. These quests are mostly solo-oriented because group play would be difficult in light of the irreversibility of your stage. So, despite your common goal with other players, you end up acting alone. Although it's certainly possible to coordinate a group effort for progressing through the quest line, you'd better not leave anyone behind, as your physically incapable of lending a helping hand to folks outside of your stage.


i dont think its fair to take an either-or approach to phasing. while its true you can "leave" people behind who arent at the same stage of progression you are, ive found that this can often lead people to wait until their friends are caught up so that they can all continue the journey together. its just a much more adventurous feel when you and your 4-5 comrades plow through an area together, rather than if you do it by yourself.

in essence, i think the potential to leave people behind actually has the effect of making a lot of people take their time with it, so as not to leave any friends behind. thats what ive noticed anyway. regardless, phasing can be very valuable if used correctly (i.e. not overused).
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#41 Feb 22 2010 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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The content can't really support group play without creating eventual choking points.

I myself did some of it socially, but I did other parts alone. There were far more of the mute masses of bodies going through the motions beside me, than large scale clusters. I guess this harkens back to those group play vs. solo play threads, where some folks insisted the option of solo means people are likely to default to it.

Instead of courting that horrible derail, let's settle for contradictory personal experiences instead.


What good is a system that can only be used sparingly?
It's not as though a changing world is something players are vehemently against. It's just the world would be so confusingly fragmented with this particular system it's widespread use isn't feasible. I'm not saying it wasn't a good thing to try, but that sounds like a perfectly good reason to try something else.

Actually, I was more just prodding poor Aurelius with a pointy stick. But that's neither here nor there.

Edited, Feb 22nd 2010 10:50pm by Zemzelette
#42 Feb 22 2010 at 9:53 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:
I don't disagree with your overall post, Aurelius.
But I want to play Devil's Advocate for a minute. Isn't phasing in the open world everything you hate about an instance?

That shortcoming is the fact only other players who are on the same stage of the questline can interact with you while your in the phased space. It's similar insomuch your segregated from the rest of the server.

I'd almost accuse of it being worse. These quests are mostly solo-oriented because group play would be difficult in light of the irreversibility of your stage. So, despite your common goal with other players, you end up acting alone. Although it's certainly possible to coordinate a group effort for progressing through the quest line, you'd better not leave anyone behind, as your physically incapable of lending a helping hand to folks outside of your stage.


I understand your points (or at least I think I do), but the way it was implemented was carefully done for the most part. There were never any group quests required to transition one phase to the next which was smart because as you mentioned, if there had been necessary group quests it would have been possible for players arriving to the area months after the masses to experience inordinate difficulty in getting them done.

The issues with phasing were mostly due to minor technical issues. Delays in client/server updating causing an area you had phased to appear in its original state for a few seconds before fading to its phased state were not exactly common but they did happen, which takes away from the immersion. Gathering nodes were visible (and accessible) regardless of whether or not a particular area was in its initial or phased state for your character, which led to some minor nuisance moments when you'd drop down off your flyer to nab a tasty node only to have it disappear mid-gather because someone in the alternate phasing for the area got the same idea a split second before you. The main inconvenience caused by phasing was another technical one...the summoning stone outside of Icecrown Citadel was in a phased area, meaning that you could have two people in your raid group outside to summon but because one had phased the area and the other hadn't, they couldn't use the stone.

I actually have nothing against instancing as a general concept. I just think that instanced content needs to be incorporated in conjunction with a larger world. I would love a fully open world concept but at the end of the day, it's just not practical. There are limitations on how much open world space a developer can provide, and if the best rewards to be had are found in outdoor areas, mass competition can exclude people from the content. If people get desperate enough to experience the content (or for the rewards), you start running into issues with bot claiming and all those other delightful things that ruined so much of the open-world HNM scene in FFXI. Forced spawns are a solution but then what happens if you've got 5 groups showing up to fight the same forced spawn mob? More waiting. That's bad.

And the solution, though it certainly has the potential to detract from immersion, is to instance the content that provides the best rewards so that you can make it available to everyone and then success/failure and whether or not you get the rewards come down to skill (and usually a certain amount of luck with RNG when it comes to the drops). Not everything worthwhile needs to involve a competition, and there was only a very brief period of time in FFXI's lifespan where you could attribute success in claiming a highly sought after mob to any degree of skill. Even before mass botting between competitive shells became the norm for things like Fafhogg and KB, the NA community was screaming blue murder over mobs "spawning claimed" because of latency issues.

I think SE's main issue with instancing in FFXI was that they didn't allocate enough hardware to properly handle it. It sounds like they're more than accounting for that with FFXIV and their experience with FFXI in conjunction with the opportunity to start over from scratch will hopefully yeild a functional mix of open world vs. instanced content.
#43 Feb 22 2010 at 10:49 PM Rating: Default
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The reason my focus is on ffxi is because outside of it and Guild Wars I haven't played any other recent MMOs. The reason I haven't played WoW is because I don't particularly have a taste for western fantasy/adventure games. The reason I play ffxi is purely cosmetic, I'm sure WoW is prolly a little more fun but I doubt I could stand its visual style. It looks like something That I would prolly produce for a project in my 1st year 3d modeling class, thats how bad I think the style looks.

I'm not familiar with phasing but I think Guild Wars had it too for the brief time I played it so I'm not unfamiliar with the concept. Also its hard not to yearn for this "illusion" I desire since I had already expeirenced it and I was already satisfied with it. If I wasn;t I wouldn't be suggesting that instanced gameplay is worth while.

Quote:

Ya, you want the benefits of other players without the strings. I get it. Do you want a golf clap?


My point is "making friends" shouldn't be a relative requirement to enjoy a network game. Atleast not int eh sense where its practically required, thats not an organic setting for people to form any sort of relations. Making friends should be suplimentary to the nerwork experience. Its like parents makign a play date to make their kids be friendly with each other, thats not an organic relationship being formed.

Quote:
If all you've played is FFXI and instanced games, I'd say you're the one that lacks the necessary perspective.


Thats because out of all the online games that have come from the east (excluding lame korean MMOs which are garbage by default) thats all is all I play. The majority of all games I play are Japanese, the only western games I play are shooters and racing games, and various other competitive games. WoW sounds like a game I'd prolly like if not for the visual style which I know sounds lame.

the instanced games and MMOs I've played were all Japanese so that is why my references are limited. I advocate instanced games so much because when I look back on them, I had literally little or no complaint about them (outside of me wishing they were larger until I actually played an MMO). I've yet to play an MMO to reach the little-no-complaint level, these days a good MMO is based on how little it sucks compared to the competition, and not so much how good it is.

I've brought up a lot of points for my support of Instanced games and you have detracted them. You still haven't really pointed out any objective examples to why open-world gaming is the better route for online adventure games.

I feel that sacrificing "immersion" for enjoyment would work out for the better, since I would think nothing would immerse one better than something enjoyable. Drudging through the inherent flaws of the developers visions is anything but fun considering how much potential this game had when we were imagining what this game would be like before it released.

Quote:
I think SE's main issue with instancing in FFXI was that they didn't allocate enough hardware to properly handle it. It sounds like they're more than accounting for that with FFXIV and their experience with FFXI in conjunction with the opportunity to start over from scratch will hopefully yeild a functional mix of open world vs. instanced content.


Thats something I also see as well.



Edited, Feb 22nd 2010 11:55pm by baltz
#44 Feb 22 2010 at 11:12 PM Rating: Decent
baltz wrote:
I'm not familiar with phasing but I think Guild Wars had it too for the brief time I played it so I'm not unfamiliar with the concept. Also its hard not to yearn for this "illusion" I desire since I had already expeirenced it and I was already satisfied with it. If I wasn;t I wouldn't be suggesting that instanced gameplay is worth while.


The idea is that there should be a good balance between instanced and non-instanced play. It's hard to achieve the sense of immersion that comes from the idea of a vast world where your character lives if you can't actually see that world.

Quote:
My point is "making friends" shouldn't be a relative requirement to enjoy a network game. Atleast not int eh sense where its practically required, thats not an organic setting for people to form any sort of relations. Making friends should be suplimentary to the nerwork experience. Its like parents makign a play date to make their kids be friendly with each other, thats not an organic relationship being formed.


You're right about the "requirement" of making friends. That's where viable solo play comes in...not as a means of discouraging interaction, but so that people still have ample things to do if their usual crew isn't on and they're not having any luck with a PUG.

Quote:
I've brought up a lot of points for my support of Instanced games and you have detracted them. You still haven't really pointed out any objective examples to why open-world gaming is the better route for online adventure games.


Some of your points are subjective. The rest are wrong. Opinion is one thing...stating things like class balance are influenced by instanced vs. non-instanced content only undermines your credibility.
#45 Feb 23 2010 at 12:03 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Some of your points are subjective. The rest are wrong. Opinion is one thing...stating things like class balance are influenced by instanced vs. non-instanced content only undermines your credibility.


True, I'm just interested in the perspective of what makes an open-world more worthwhile. You brought up the point that their should be a good mix of the too which is makes sense.

To me tho I see an open-world environment as a waste of open space since when I think about it the only reason to make a world open is just for the sense of scale. In any adventure movie or story theirs always the trek to a destination where plot points for running into random fiends or bandits would occur, but not so much for significant encounters, maybe minor plot devices. I feel instanced games basically cut right to the point without the padding or fluff that an open-world inherently offers. I don't really see the value in scale outside of dungeon crawling.

I can see it justified if maybe you could for some sort of encampment out in the middle of a zone where you can maybe pitch a tent and get a fire going. This alone would make an open-world very justified over having to head back to the hub town to log out safely or access ones extended inventory. Basically avoid mechanics that tether the player to the hub towns.

I wasn't particularly sure why I had an aversion to open-world games but I found it in this discussion and pointed out in my last paragraph. I was tryn to see if you or someone could bring up some points that'd help me reach this conclusion. Is there an MMO that has something as basic as camping in it? Since that'd prolly be one of the more basic elements to make having an open world worth while.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:10am by baltz
#46 Feb 23 2010 at 12:42 AM Rating: Decent
baltz wrote:
I wasn't particularly sure why I had an aversion to open-world games but I found it in this discussion and pointed out in my last paragraph. I was tryn to see if you or someone could bring up some points that'd help me reach this conclusion. Is there an MMO that has something as basic as camping in it? Since that'd prolly be one of the more basic elements to make having an open world worth while.


Adequate support for viable travel is all that's needed. There was a raging debate here a few months ago about the concept of a free warp home available from a persistent item given to all new characters on a reasonable cooldown (30-60 minutes). Combine that with a reasonable means to get to your destination and you're set. As I said...you start the game with nothing to get you around but your character's feet and as your scope of destinations expand, so too do your options to get to them. There's no need to try and justify why you have access to your full inventory + mailbox + auction house out in the middle of nowhere if it never takes you longer than 10-15 minutes to get to where you want to be. Make the world vast for the sake of immersion and then artificially shrink it via smart travel options and you get the best of both worlds.
#47 Feb 23 2010 at 12:53 AM Rating: Decent
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I mostly agree with issues 2 and 3, but I'm completely opposite on 1.

I want lots of instancing, especially "phasing". Imo, instancing can fix what I consider near gamebreaking pve flaws.

Generic example:

I'm given a quest to kill some big bad that's been harassing some town, but wind up just locating it's corpse and waiting around with a bunch of others to squash it's respawn. Then I realize I should have burnt the town instead because they are the ones doing the harassing. The big bad just stays in it's own little area and dies repeatedly.

While I surely appreciate the randomness and excitement of an open world, especially if pvp is involved, pve immersion tends to be weak and the game itself can become very static and boring.

#48 Feb 23 2010 at 2:08 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
Adequate support for viable travel is all that's needed. There was a raging debate here a few months ago about the concept of a free warp home available from a persistent item given to all new characters on a reasonable cooldown (30-60 minutes). Combine that with a reasonable means to get to your destination and you're set. As I said...you start the game with nothing to get you around but your character's feet and as your scope of destinations expand, so too do your options to get to them. There's no need to try and justify why you have access to your full inventory + mailbox + auction house out in the middle of nowhere if it never takes you longer than 10-15 minutes to get to where you want to be. Make the world vast for the sake of immersion and then artificially shrink it via smart travel options and you get the best of both worlds.


I don't see how one could prioritize travel time over a justifiable activity/aspect that gives one a reason to appreciate having access to open-world. If the only reason an open-world exists is for the sake of travel time then I have to say that is Sh*tty game design. I don't find wasting the players time good game design int he least, that is just a pure lack of imagination.

To me professional Game design is all about justification of every aspect as much as possible, if not absolutely. If I were to create an open-world, I'd come up with as much justifiable aspects as I could to create value for the players investment in time. creating large areas just for the sake of inducing the sense of scale is lame and pretentious. If thats all you can come up with then I have to say your sense of game design sucks, or you are just creatively lazy.
#49 Feb 23 2010 at 3:06 AM Rating: Good
baltz wrote:
Quote:
Adequate support for viable travel is all that's needed. There was a raging debate here a few months ago about the concept of a free warp home available from a persistent item given to all new characters on a reasonable cooldown (30-60 minutes). Combine that with a reasonable means to get to your destination and you're set. As I said...you start the game with nothing to get you around but your character's feet and as your scope of destinations expand, so too do your options to get to them. There's no need to try and justify why you have access to your full inventory + mailbox + auction house out in the middle of nowhere if it never takes you longer than 10-15 minutes to get to where you want to be. Make the world vast for the sake of immersion and then artificially shrink it via smart travel options and you get the best of both worlds.


I don't see how one could prioritize travel time over a justifiable activity/aspect that gives one a reason to appreciate having access to open-world. If the only reason an open-world exists is for the sake of travel time then I have to say that is Sh*tty game design. I don't find wasting the players time good game design int he least, that is just a pure lack of imagination.


You're not understanding. And I don't care. Re-read what I wrote if you need to. In the end, your preferences are moot. FFXIV will have a vast open world (not entirely seamless, but moreso than FFXI) and it will have instances. That's all I care about.

Quote:
To me professional Game design is all about justification of every aspect as much as possible, if not absolutely. If I were to create an open-world, I'd come up with as much justifiable aspects as I could to create value for the players investment in time. creating large areas just for the sake of inducing the sense of scale is lame and pretentious. If thats all you can come up with then I have to say your sense of game design sucks, or you are just creatively lazy.


The one guy in this thread advocating a fully instanced game in the face of millions upon millions of MMO gamers who are very happy with vast, seamless worlds and my rationale is lacking? You'd best check your logic on that one.
#50 Feb 23 2010 at 9:39 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
If the only reason an open-world exists is for the sake of travel time then I have to say that is Sh*tty game design. I don't find wasting the players time good game design int he least, that is just a pure lack of imagination.


Well, let's break down the term MMORPG.
Massive
Multiplayer
Online
Role
Playing Game

What does that start with?

MASSIVE as in LARGE as in BIGGER THAN THE MAIN TOWN.

I always thought an open world existed for player enjoyment.

As for an open world being because of lack of imagination, I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend, but that is one of the most retarded statements I think I've ever heard.

Lack of imagination is having a system where you can stand in town, pick your missions from a list, click the mission, complete another flavorless kill fest, teleport back to same town, pick a mission from a list...rinse repeat ad nauseum. An open world is a fun and wonderful thing to explore. MMO's are often defined by the worlds they create. I've played almost every MMO out there at one time or another and a rich open world with lots of places to explore is very important for me. I like traveling around, sometimes just hanging in the sky or on a mountaintop and enjoying the vastness of the imaginary world, that imaginative people, who actually have careers in game design and know what they're talking about, have created.

Sorry guy, I often hate to say something is fixed and immutable, but after reading the replies and comparing the pros and cons and what everyone here has had to say, I gotta say, you're wrong, just stop.
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#51 Feb 23 2010 at 9:54 AM Rating: Decent
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Jordster wrote:

1. No instances.

Nyzul Isle was instanced and thank god. Dynamis was not instanced and the "only one group at a time" aspect was TERRIBLE.
Quote:

2. Skills, not levels.

I still don't like this, but that stems from having NO information. If it was like the Elder Scrolls Series, it will suck. I remember spending 2 hours jumping to level my acrobatics, hours swimming into a well for athletics, etc.

I imagine people playing the game much differently than the devs want you to just so we can efficiently level.

Skill up parties were annoying enough if FFXI, but now I get the impression that's all we'll be doing and I'll invite some guy to a party who specalizes in DDIng, for the role of DDing and he'll say "hey can I tank I'm trying to level my poor defense" and he'll be a sponge for mp jsut so he can level Defense.

We had a large enough problem in FFXI with people skilinng up in parties. Some kid only shooting his bow in party on SAM or using his polearm with when his job had a C+ rating in it just to level it.
Quote:

3. Slow combat.

Nah, I want longer fights but faster combat. I want skill spam like WoW but enemies that take longer to kill, like FFXI.
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