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

#52 Feb 23 2010 at 10:10 AM Rating: Decent
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Urgh reminds me of the horrible skill parties I had to get Hexastrike, "you're a white mage so heal us !!" :Z

I don't think it will work like hit something to gain skills (god i hope not, if thats the case I will be playing a melee or tank class), I think XP will be replaced by SP which you spend on weapon skills as you see fit.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 11:15am by Diakar
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#53 Feb 23 2010 at 10:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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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.


Experience with SE's design tells us this will not be the case. They don't make large worlds large just for the sake of it being big. There are quests to be done in certain areas, resources to be harvested, mobs to be exp on, missions to do, NMs to be found. Plus, people love to explore.

Looking back at it all now, I find that XI's world and travel design were really not all that bad at all. Granted, I played every mage with travel options so my view on that may be a little skewered from other people's... But if I had to pick between XI's design and a large world of the same caliber that's (overly) easy to entirely skip, I will pick XI's design.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 8:26am by Osarion
#54 Feb 23 2010 at 11:50 AM Rating: Decent
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In terms of travel, FFXI just wasted a LOT of time.

When I started playing, I ran back and forth to the Dunes from Bastok numerous times. Hours wasted. For me, back then, I didn't care - I was psyched about the game, the Dunes were where the groups were, and I WANTED to be in a group! I don't think I would stand the same timesink today.

Until you reach L40-something and BLMs get Warp II, you had to walk back to town after every XP party. That seemed okay at the time ... but it seems horrible to me now. I mean, I'm a busy guy IRL and I like to squeeze every minute of "gaming" I can get out of my day. Having to break up a party 20 minutes before I have to go so that I can walk back to town is not ideal.

The travel options that do exist in FFXI come into play too late. There are teleport spells, warp spells, warp scrolls, guard-tower teleports, etc. None of those, however, are available (or easily discoverable) by newbies.

On another note, in terms of "slow combat"

I don't mean SLOOWWWW like FFXI. I do want it to be interesting and fast-paced. I just don't want to be spamming buttons like WoW. There is some thought, reactivity and strategy to the "mashing," but in the end, it's just stressful, hard on the wrist, and ultimately boring. FFXI's DD classes were FAR more boring. However, when I think about all of the interesting combat systems in the various FF games I've played over the years, I hope that SE comes up with a solid, fun, brisk, well-paced but NOT spammy combat system.

I've watched some gameplay footage on YouTube but there is nothing that really explains or demonstrates the combat system, so I'm left hoping for something awesome, unique, revolutionary ...
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#55 Feb 23 2010 at 12:00 PM Rating: Decent
Jordster wrote:

In terms of travel, FFXI just wasted a LOT of time.

When I started playing, I ran back and forth to the Dunes from Bastok numerous times. Hours wasted. For me, back then, I didn't care - I was psyched about the game, the Dunes were where the groups were, and I WANTED to be in a group! I don't think I would stand the same timesink today.


I learned about warp scrolls fairly early on, but I felt cheated at times when I'd head out to the Dunes for xp, spend 2-3 hours with my flag up because DD were available in abundance but tanks/healers were not and then be left with the choice of spending CP for the scroll having not earned any or running back (and risking aggro on the way out and losing xp having not earned any). It would have been no big deal if there weren't other things I would have preferred to be spending my CP on, but in the end it came down to an unnecessary expense for a basic function.

Quote:
On another note, in terms of "slow combat"

I don't mean SLOOWWWW like FFXI. I do want it to be interesting and fast-paced. I just don't want to be spamming buttons like WoW. There is some thought, reactivity and strategy to the "mashing," but in the end, it's just stressful, hard on the wrist, and ultimately boring. FFXI's DD classes were FAR more boring. However, when I think about all of the interesting combat systems in the various FF games I've played over the years, I hope that SE comes up with a solid, fun, brisk, well-paced but NOT spammy combat system.

I've watched some gameplay footage on YouTube but there is nothing that really explains or demonstrates the combat system, so I'm left hoping for something awesome, unique, revolutionary ...


I think SE realizes that if you're talking about throwing parties at swarms of enemies, the FFXI pace of combat just isn't going to work. I expect casters to have a pace determined by their MP and threat as they are in most MMOs, but I also expect to see more diversity in the role of Joe Average caster. I think it will be the tanks/melee dps that see the most "revolutionary" changes to combat when comparing FFXI to FFXIV. TP seems to be shaping up like a TP/Rage hybrid where you accumulate it when you land successful hits but your abilities require static amounts of TP to use instead of all of it. That in of itself creates some interesting possibilities, and the shown limitation of 10 actions available on your hotbar suggest a greater diversity of abilities. All the right tools...just have to see how they're brought into play.
#56 Feb 23 2010 at 12:06 PM Rating: Decent
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AureliusSir the Irrelevant wrote:
All the right tools...just have to see how they're brought into play.


Amen.

I enjoyed your retort in defense of the large-scale world.

I felt so cheated when I bought Age of Conan. A world of instances. No thanks. Despite some travel flaws, the world in FFXI was immense, and felt alive. Wherever I went, I ran into people. Whether I was killing bees in Gutaberg as a newbie, or trying to solo a Hornetneedle in whatever that temple was called, I always ran into people - and in a lot of cases made friends with people just because we were both in the same place trying to do something similar. I really think over-instancing takes away a lot from the entire idea of an MMORPG.

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#57 Feb 23 2010 at 12:07 PM Rating: Decent
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FF11's travel system was terrible, at the very least give us a hearthstone or some way for anyone to port back to town... without the need of a blm or blowing yourself up.

Even as a Whitemage I found it time consuming.

Town teleports would be a nice addition, I'm hoping the crystals will be numerous enough to make travel fairly easy perhaps one in each area (may end up being the equivalent to outpost warps).

I think they should do away with class spell teleports/warps, its time consuming to find a whitemage/black to teleport you around and most of the time they don't want to bother and it can becomes seriously annoying when you get someone spam you to teleport them, "time to hide my status ... uhh wait i can't look for a party if i hide my status ... d'oh"

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:11pm by Diakar
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#58 Feb 23 2010 at 12:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Diakar wrote:
FF11's travel system was terrible, at the very least give us a hearthstone or some way for anyone to port back to town... without the need of a blm or blowing yourself up.

Even as a Whitemage I found it time consuming.

Town teleports would be a nice addition, I'm hoping the crystals will be numerous enough to make travel fairly easy perhaps one in each area (may end up being the equivalent to outpost warps).

I think they should do away with class spell teleports/warps, its time consuming to find a whitemage/black to teleport you around and most of the time they don't want to bother and it can becomes seriously annoying when you get someone spam you to teleport them, "time to hide my status ... uhh wait i can't look for a party if i hide my status ... d'oh"

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:11pm by Diakar


They DEFINITELY have made the travel system better in the last year or 2. I think 2 years ago they lowered the level limits on outpost warps to a level you would actually be in that area (10 for the dunes, 18 for qufim, etc)

I mean everything they they add to XI and adjust leads me to believe that they are really on the right track for XIV. The band-aids are nice but I'm interested to see what they can do with a fresh new game.


The tp fighting from videos seems liek something I want. When I played WoW for a time to take a break from XI, the only thing I really liked was getting abilities earlier and having things to do in combat.

Nothing like spending 20 hours to get to 15 on THF before you even get a usuable ability (sneak attack). So boring.

A happy medium would be nice.
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#59 Feb 23 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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Louiscool wrote:
Diakar wrote:
FF11's travel system was terrible, at the very least give us a hearthstone or some way for anyone to port back to town... without the need of a blm or blowing yourself up.

Even as a Whitemage I found it time consuming.

Town teleports would be a nice addition, I'm hoping the crystals will be numerous enough to make travel fairly easy perhaps one in each area (may end up being the equivalent to outpost warps).

I think they should do away with class spell teleports/warps, its time consuming to find a whitemage/black to teleport you around and most of the time they don't want to bother and it can becomes seriously annoying when you get someone spam you to teleport them, "time to hide my status ... uhh wait i can't look for a party if i hide my status ... d'oh"

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:11pm by Diakar


They DEFINITELY have made the travel system better in the last year or 2. I think 2 years ago they lowered the level limits on outpost warps to a level you would actually be in that area (10 for the dunes, 18 for qufim, etc)

I mean everything they they add to XI and adjust leads me to believe that they are really on the right track for XIV. The band-aids are nice but I'm interested to see what they can do with a fresh new game.


The tp fighting from videos seems liek something I want. When I played WoW for a time to take a break from XI, the only thing I really liked was getting abilities earlier and having things to do in combat.

Nothing like spending 20 hours to get to 15 on THF before you even get a usuable ability (sneak attack). So boring.

A happy medium would be nice.


Must be nice now that they've addressed those issues. I quit long before any of them were implemented. I remember, right at the NA release, my friend accidentally started his character in San'doria, when the rest of us were in Windy. A player from our LS ran all the way out there to get him, then they both ran all the way back. I think they died like 6 times en route, and it took them a whole day.

PS: Just realized what I sound like there. "And it was snowing! And they went barefoot! And it was uphill both ways! Bah, humbug!"

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:32pm by Eske
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#60 Feb 23 2010 at 12:37 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
They DEFINITELY have made the travel system better in the last year or 2. I think 2 years ago they lowered the level limits on outpost warps to a level you would actually be in that area (10 for the dunes, 18 for qufim, etc)


Too little too late springs to mind though, although I never saw the need for restriction in the first place, you were still required to do the outpost run prior to getting an outpost warp which I also found silly and time consuming.



Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:38pm by Diakar
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#61 Feb 23 2010 at 1:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Diakar wrote:
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They DEFINITELY have made the travel system better in the last year or 2. I think 2 years ago they lowered the level limits on outpost warps to a level you would actually be in that area (10 for the dunes, 18 for qufim, etc)


Too little too late springs to mind though, although I never saw the need for restriction in the first place, you were still required to do the outpost run prior to getting an outpost warp which I also found silly and time consuming.



Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:38pm by Diakar


Not really...

It's a common convention in MMOs these days. You have to get somewhere once the natural way, and then you can fly/port there. Makes sense. If you don't walk there at least once, there is no sense of a "world" around you.

WAR is a perfect example. You could fly to any other area from any flight master, assuming you were high enough level to go to said area. The problem was, the game really had no connection between it's various parts, and as a result, it always felt like a series of map levels rather than an actual living world.

While it's clear that FFXI's system is way too time consuming and dated, I don't want to see it fly to the other end of the spectrum. You know, the youth of today who want everything "RIGHT NOW. I SAID RIGHT NOW! JUST GOOGLE IT!!"
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#62 Feb 23 2010 at 1:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Diakar wrote:
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They DEFINITELY have made the travel system better in the last year or 2. I think 2 years ago they lowered the level limits on outpost warps to a level you would actually be in that area (10 for the dunes, 18 for qufim, etc)


Too little too late springs to mind though, although I never saw the need for restriction in the first place, you were still required to do the outpost run prior to getting an outpost warp which I also found silly and time consuming.



Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 1:38pm by Diakar


You say too late as if no one was playing 2 years ago or still playing.

It was definitely a "finally" situation, but the next 2 years were great. Then add in that they made the game more solo friendly and I was zooming all over the place for farming, zooming back to level, then zooming back for a party invite. No warp scrolls necessary.
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#63 Feb 23 2010 at 1:46 PM Rating: Default
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I agree with the reference to WAR totally.

But its one thing to get a flight path in say WoW when you are questing in an area, and something completely different to go from Jueno to Windurst to pick up a outpost quest to run back to Qufim, especially if you don't have access to the airships yet or god forbid a Chocobo, why can you not visit the OP when you are levelling there and get access to it.

Saying that traversing Bubuirimu to Valkrum with no deaths when you are lvl 10 does give you a sense of accomplishment lol, talk about character building :|
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#64 Feb 23 2010 at 1:49 PM Rating: Good
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Too little too late springs to mind though, although I never saw the need for restriction in the first place, you were still required to do the outpost run prior to getting an outpost warp which I also found silly and time consuming


It makes perfect sense, of course you have to travel there at least once before you can just teleport there. Its silly to let you just teleport anywhere in an open world, even though you never been to that area. It definitely ruins the feeling of a world when you can just teleport or fly instantly to any place in the game, especially if you never even been there.

It also make sense to have to gain access to better ways to travel as you level. It provides more rewards while you level up your character, then just getting a little stronger. Its called progression, as you level you unlock more convenient ways to travel.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 2:52pm by HocusP
#65 Feb 23 2010 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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I'm really late on this thread, but I might as well get it in. The SaGa franchise (a very underrated RPG series from SE) has always had a non-level-based leveling system, where your stats are raised after each battle semi-randomly based on what you do during battle. For instance, using magic heavily will cause the character to raise magic-based stats. Early in the thread, FF2 was mentioned, and SaGa is similar to that (for good reason; the director of FF2 went on to create the SaGa series), but of course is much more refined.

I don't think FFXIV will follow the exact system used in SaGa, but something similar probably isn't too far off. FFXI borrowed many things from SaGa, and I'm expecting XIV to borrow even more, especially for the battle system. SaGa is traditional turn-based, though, so we know it won't be exactly like that, but the heavy emphasis on different weapons and weapon skills is what defines the series (well, next to the incredible music at least).

The reason I bring up SaGa is that people have been talking about this non-level-based system as if it's some new, not very explored idea. Just reminding everyone that this has been done quite regularly, by SE even, and has worked out very well for the series. All in all, I'd say not to worry about it; however XIV's leveling system works, I'm sure it will be awesome.
#66 Feb 23 2010 at 3:54 PM Rating: Decent
Jordster wrote:
AureliusSir the Irrelevant wrote:
All the right tools...just have to see how they're brought into play.


Amen.

I enjoyed your retort in defense of the large-scale world.


Let's you and I just come to an understanding. The only thing preventing the universe from collapsing is our childish resentments for one another. I ran into the same thing with Theo on these boards a few weeks ago, so just be a sport, stop being so reasonable, and insult me already.

Geez.

Smiley: sly

Quote:
I felt so cheated when I bought Age of Conan. A world of instances. No thanks. Despite some travel flaws, the world in FFXI was immense, and felt alive. Wherever I went, I ran into people. Whether I was killing bees in Gutaberg as a newbie, or trying to solo a Hornetneedle in whatever that temple was called, I always ran into people - and in a lot of cases made friends with people just because we were both in the same place trying to do something similar. I really think over-instancing takes away a lot from the entire idea of an MMORPG.


I wasn't impressed with AoC. I downloaded the free trial a good while back, rolled my character, took off her shirt, killed some baddies and then ran out of things to do without having really encountered anything at all that would compel me to pay for a retail box + monthly sub. It's been that way with most MMOs of late. I just resubbed to LOTRO the other day, played for about an hour and logged out. I think my only shot at getting back into that game for any length of time at all would be to play one of my alts because trying to get back into the swing of things on a level 50 character whose action bar bloat makes WoW's action bars seem like an NES controller in comparison is a bit much. I've even given Aion slightly more than a passing glance, but you know how me and PvP get along.

SE has a great opportunity. How much they (and we) get out of it depends on how much of what they've said is actually shaping the way they're developing the game and how much of it is just lip service.
#67 Feb 23 2010 at 4:00 PM Rating: Good
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Could NOT agree more on the issues of instances. Instances just seem so stale to me, and they take away from the idea of the game as a world for you to explore simultaneously with other players. As someone who plays wow, where EVERYTHING (endgame at least) is instanced, it's just ridiculous. The only time you ever leave town is to head to an instance.
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#68 Feb 23 2010 at 4:16 PM Rating: Decent
Cirvantes wrote:
Could NOT agree more on the issues of instances. Instances just seem so stale to me, and they take away from the idea of the game as a world for you to explore simultaneously with other players. As someone who plays wow, where EVERYTHING (endgame at least) is instanced, it's just ridiculous. The only time you ever leave town is to head to an instance.


Instances are a functional necessity. They dramatically cut down on those situations where you wind up in a group that ends up wasting a ton of time just trying to find a spot that isn't overcamped. It also does a decent job of helping to segregate groups from solo players which is not entirely desirable from a social perspective but from a perspective of game mechanics, it works quite well. "Exploring with other players" is all well and good until you can't get anything done because other players are beating you to the punch at every turn.
#69 Feb 23 2010 at 4:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Over populated camp zones can easily be solved by separate channel filters which quite a few MMO's do these days.

It's still a type of instancing but on a much bigger scale and I really like the idea of it, would have worked wonders in FF11.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 5:21pm by Diakar
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#70 Feb 23 2010 at 4:39 PM Rating: Good
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I don't know about the whole no "levels" deal. To me, it just sounds like a different kind of progression with the same basic concept as leveling up. That's fine. As long as there's clear character progressiona I'm a happy guy and it might be cool to see it portrayed differently than a number by your name.

I think the way FFXI made use of instances was perfect. Things like BCNMs and assault were brilliant. I hope to see that return in FFXIV in more ways than one. However, I believe the idea of having an entire world instanced save for hub towns is a terrible idea. This works for Guild Wars, but FFXIV will be a different type of game entirely. I wouldn't even consider Guild Wars an MMO, much like most don't consider Phantasy Star Online to be an MMO. I want to be able to run into random people or stumble across someone doing something interesting while out in the field.

As someone who primarily played mage or support jobs, I enjoyed the pace of the combat in FFXI. Mobs were usually alive long enough where you could actually make a decision on whether to perform one action or another. I prefer that than just going around curb stomping every mob in the zone with the same skill rotation. Speaking of rotations, this is something I definitely don't want to see in FFXIV. Different mobs should require different tactics to beat to where you need to adjust your strategy depending on what you're about to engage. I feel FFXI did this well in certain areas, but I would like to see it used to an even greater effect. I digress, but I feel the pace of the combat could be increased slightly as that's what the MMO market tends to prefer these days.

I don't think travel in FFXI is much worse than any other MMO. Although, I had nearly all the outpost warps, WHM with all the teleports, BLM with Warp II and BRD for Mazurka :P. I do think FFXIV would benefit from some sort of infinite reuse home point item.
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#71 Feb 23 2010 at 5:29 PM Rating: Default
Diakar wrote:
Over populated camp zones can easily be solved by separate channel filters which quite a few MMO's do these days.


Separate channel filters? As in chat channels?

If there aren't enough mobs to go around, there aren't enough mobs to go around. It was a common occurrence in FFXI where you'd join a group and do a /sea of all viable zones that your party could go for xp and find them loaded with people. Instancing addresses that.
#72 Feb 23 2010 at 5:39 PM Rating: Decent
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No zone channels, Aion uses it extensively, Runes of Magic uses it in high population area's from what I remember.

Basically people in channel 1 are separate from channel 2 although they may be in the same area you can't see them or them you, mobs are separate as well, you can still chat and be in parties with people of other area's you just can't see them until you change to the same channel they are in.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 6:39pm by Diakar
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#73 Feb 23 2010 at 5:42 PM Rating: Good
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While in a certain location, you can willfully hop from one instance of it to another by changing the "channel" your on. You can avoid big crowds this way, but your always able to switch so you don't have to worry about not being able to see your friends.

Guild Wars and Aion are good examples of games that use them pretty effectively in Cities and Starting areas.


/edit: bah. Your speedy Diakar. :x


Edited, Feb 23rd 2010 6:43pm by Zemzelette
#74 Feb 23 2010 at 8:53 PM Rating: Good
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AureliusSir the Irrelevant wrote:
Diakar wrote:
Over populated camp zones can easily be solved by separate channel filters which quite a few MMO's do these days.


Separate channel filters? As in chat channels?

If there aren't enough mobs to go around, there aren't enough mobs to go around. It was a common occurrence in FFXI where you'd join a group and do a /sea of all viable zones that your party could go for xp and find them loaded with people. Instancing addresses that.


Maple Story uses them too. It's like a further splintering of a server.

And it sucks. No, please no channels..
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#75 Feb 23 2010 at 10:33 PM Rating: Good
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Regarding instances: I would hate for any of the actual world to be instanced. I thought phasing was a good and bad thing in WoW; good because it added a sense of dynamic realism, that the world changed with you. Bad because at the same time it took away from the sense of realism wherein you run into few, if any people while in a phase other than the very first or very last.

As far as instances in general, I thought WoW had a good balance of mid-game dungeons that you could go through as part of quests, or just for loot. Arguably it detracts from the realism, but many aspects of FFXI (Nyzul, BCNM) benefited from "instancing" (even if it wasn't a "true instance" and other aspects (Dynamis, Dragon's Aery) would be heavily improved if they were. At the same time, instancing the whole world (like Guild Wars does) is an abysmal idea. It completely abolishes the concept of socialization for the sake of convenience.

The problem FFXI ran into (which was partially player-created and partially design flaw) was that, point blank, some areas were just better to camp than others, and some areas were just preferred over others. Everyone crowds into Valkurm and leaves Buburimu empty. Everyone fights Colibri from 55-75 because they're just leagues easier than anything else. "Popular camps" in "common zones" -became- popular camps in common zones through a combination of lack of easy alternatives. Ask "Where do I go at 32?" in FFXI and 95 out of 100 people will say Garlaige. 5 might say Yhoator/Bibiki. Or, "Sync to 20/25 and go to Qufim/Yuhtunga". Ask "Where do I go at 32?" in WoW and (depending on faction) you'll get any combination of Hillsbrad/Arathi/Stranglethorn/Desolace/Thousand Needles from a number of people. There are several viable options, and if any are "better", the difference is minor at best. And when you do go quest in SV or Hillsbrad or TN, you might actually run into other players there. If you go XP in "off the beaten path areas" in FFXI (Middle of Delkfutt's Tower, Jugner Forest, Ifrit's Cauldron), never mind convincing 5 others to give it a try, you'll probably never see anyone.

I think WoW had a really nice balance of providing multiple zones to level in, none of which were vastly superior to others, and combined it with instances for dungeons. FFXI had inherent leveling bottlenecks where everyone flocks to the same place. At the same time, while I'll admit I like the convenience of the dungeon finder tool porting me to instances, I dislike what it has removed from the game. Firstly, the bulk of the people you meet, you'll probably never see or hear from again, since they aren't even on your server. Secondly, the "killing trash outside the instance" part. I -like- killing things with a group for the sake of killing things with a group. The term "trash mobs" really gives away the truth behind the way some people look at it: They don't want to kill mobs, they just want xp and loot. Killing mobs is just a "necessary evil" and a "grind".

I'd suspect many people who play WoW would be perfectly content if all the trash mobs were removed from instances and nothing but bosses remain. Can't say I haven't wished it myself at times, but I still think the necessity of grouping up to kill things for the sake of -grouping-, not the sake of the kill, the loot, and then leaving, is what made FFXI great to me. The dungeon finder in WoW, while nice, has taken what remained of the concept of "5 people working together to fight through a dungeon" to "Me and 4 other people that I'll have to compete for loot, fighting things as a group for no other reason than because I can't kill them solo, otherwise I would."

Don't put in ways to port to these instances directly like Wow's dungeon Finder does, but at the same time, don't make them 30-45 min headaches like FFXI had. Ideally, the travel time to get from -any- starter city to any zone or instance dungeon should be 5-20 minutes. Outpost NPCs were a great idea, but suffered from the lack of advertisement; new players had no clue why they were there or what they were for. Imagine all the wasted hours that could have been saved if they just included a "Helpful Tip" on the login screen saying "Take Supplies from (name) in (Area of Sandy/Windy/Bastok) at (pos) to the Outpost Guard at the western border of H-7 in Valkurm Dunes and you can teleport back and forth between the two zones." Just THAT ALONE would have saved your average player dozens of hours walking back and forth from their home nation to/from Selbina. Keep the OP guards, but introduce a tutorial when the game is released that mentions them and what they do. And don't tie them to being nation-specifically available per week or whatever becomes the 14 version of Lastok will never have them there, either :p

Regarding soloing vs partying in general: On one hand, I think FFXI's initial "You need to party in a group of 6 if you want to level up" was too heavyhanded, and WoW's "You can solo to cap and never have to group" is too weak. I think that partying should be a strong part of the game throughout the bulk of the game, and that no one should be able to solo their way to endgame, but at the same time, it should be balanced with soloing options, and the group enforcements shouldn't be so harsh as what FFXI made them. Break out of the traditional FFXI Healer/Tank/Refresh/DD/DD/DD setup and get into what SE (probably) wanted FFXI to have: groups of 2-4 people can take on challenges. Maybe one isn't a healer, but they have a few healing spells that will work. Maybe none of them is a tank, but a plate wearing melee should be able to take the hits well enough. Incorporate challenges as part of leveling that one person can't do, but 2-4 players of any class makeup can, and make them an integral part of leveling. It -makes- you group, so that you can't treat the game as "A single player game that I play with other people" but it doesn't make you spend your playtime waiting for a group, or getting passed over for a group because "We need a tank, not a Dragoon" or "We need a healer, and you're not specced resto".

Back to instances: Coming from FFXI to WoW, I couldn't get my head around the idea of doing dungeons while you level up. It just never made sense. Ever since I've gotten used to it, it's something I like and hope to see in 14, something previous FF games had somewhat had, but 11 didn't. Sure there were "Dungeons" in FFXI, like Garlaige or Crawler's Nest or Toraimarai Canal... but the only reasons you ever went to a "dungeon" were to XP or as part of a quest, or to kill an NM there. Re-imagine an FFXI where Boyahda Tree was re-made into an instanced area, with 5 bosses in it that all drop R/EX loot. You get 6 people together (traditional Tank/Heal/Refresh/DD/DD/DD maybe) and you fight your way through Boyahda Tree, and maybe you get some spiffy loot. MMM was a good idea that, if implemented properly, could have been this. Assault/Nyzul/Salvage are good examples of the fact that SE -can- build an instanced area where you form a party and kill a boss and get loot. Extend it one step further, put FFXI "Dungeon" sized instances in, and implement them like WoW's dungeon instances, on top of the same non-instanced world that FFXI and WoW both had. Oh, and get rid of zone lines please, now that you can't play the "PS2 Limitations" card anymore.

In the end, I play MMORPGs because they're Multiplayer and they're RPGs. I look at it as playing an RPG with other people. It's like playing Legend of Dragoon or Final Fantasy 12 or Chrono Trigger, and so what if Marle has to afk or Basch outrolls you on that spiffy sword of doom +1 or Rose needs help with a quest you just got done doing... that's the whole point. It's a game I'm playing WITH other people, not a game I play by myself, "Oh, and I guess other people are on there too". If I wanted to solo my way to the end in a world empty of anyone but me, I'd play a single player game. Conversely, if I want to spend hours waiting for a group so that we can fight with other groups over a limited supply of XP fodder, I'll go back to FFXI. Take what vanilla WoW had in a world with instances, combine it with what FFXI had in great story and gameplay, set teh difficulty bar somewhere between the two, and you'll have a great game.
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#76 Feb 23 2010 at 10:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Louiscool wrote:
AureliusSir the Irrelevant wrote:
Diakar wrote:
Over populated camp zones can easily be solved by separate channel filters which quite a few MMO's do these days.


Separate channel filters? As in chat channels?

If there aren't enough mobs to go around, there aren't enough mobs to go around. It was a common occurrence in FFXI where you'd join a group and do a /sea of all viable zones that your party could go for xp and find them loaded with people. Instancing addresses that.


Maple Story uses them too. It's like a further splintering of a server.

And it sucks. No, please no channels..


Typically speaking, in games with channels, people only jumped when they wanted to. Quite possibly the only real reason is to be left alone or get whatever done as quickly as possible if they can solo it. For those genuinely interested in "running into others in the wild" then such like-minded people can just stay in Channel 1 or whatever they call it. The benefits of these, however, are quite obvious in the fact they multiply the number of mobs for EXPing, farming, or possibly even NM presence.

Honestly, it's not much different than the zones themselves being really big. Only times problems arise here is when mob placement isn't very good and people wind up gravitating toward select points for ease of access or use. Undoubtedly, such locations will be found as the game matures, but instances (even if limited to select areas or activity) aren't a bad thing.
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#77 Feb 24 2010 at 12:25 AM Rating: Decent
So in other words, channels are a full scale version of what is referred to as phasing in some other MMOs. Not sure how I'd feel about it in a mostly PvE game. It makes perfect sense as an alternative to instancing in a game where an equal focus is on PvP. You don't necessarily want everyone "hiding out" in PvE instances if you're supposed to be preserving a PvP atmosphere. If the world is large enough and the majority of the mobs in that world are tuned to be fought solo, open area channels most likely wouldn't be necessary. It's only when you start forcing solo players to share the same space with a significant number of groups that you start to run short on space/mob resources.
#78 Feb 24 2010 at 6:15 AM Rating: Decent
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Mob shortages and the like are going to be very obvious with the game's beginning since everyone's at the same starting point. When Aion came out, the initial starting area had 10 channels for people to disperse around, and typically speaking, you wouldn't find yourself wanting for mobs or gathering nodes if you picked another channel. Meanwhile, since the last campaign is a short dungeon crawl, hanging in 1 was useful since there was a good chance other people might've been working on it, meaning the amount of mobs between you and the end goal could've been fewer and ultimately safer.

The next zone had something like 7 channels, but at this point, anything over 5 seemed like overkill and NC later reduce them to 5 and then 3 in subsequent patches. Not sure what the newbie area's at at the moment. Areas where PvP takes place have no channels, however, since naturally it limits the odds of running into people of the opposite faction if rifting or in the Abyss. Each side has two zones you can rift into, and the Abyss itself is another large zone. Each faction also has another 2 channel PvP-free area, but the level ranges they accommodate aren't that high (19-27 and 43-50 to be more specific).

Personally, I've never been a fan of the player stampede, where zones become obliterated with the release of new material. Sure, you may make a new friend, but as much as people lament about public/general chats, the odds are just as high if you've brave enough to ask a question and glean a worthwhile response from the drivel. If someone took the time to answer you seriously, you could even try talking to them in pages if things are still unclear. Who knows, they may come out to help. Otherwise, I find myself reminded of ACP's launch and how goblins in the Jeuno zones basically became HNMs, and it was like that for a couple weeks. Not fun, and not a mechanic you wanna introduce new players to... even if they are familiar with MMOs.
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#79 Feb 24 2010 at 10:41 AM Rating: Good
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"Channels" are just sharded instances of zones.

That is what Age of Conan does. Runes of Magic uses it, too. It's the same over-use of instancing that I oppose.

A better solution, to me, would be to have a vast, shared world. It would include enough space and enough mobs that it wouldn't become crowded. Unlike FFXI, there will hopefully be a LOT of ideal leveling mobs, and so you won't find a camp of crabs with 2 groups for each crab spawn. If one area is full, a group can just move over a bit. I heard that zones in FFXIV are going to be rather large, so hopefully the entire world will be shared, without feeling too crowded.

As for dungeons, I liked FFXI's world dungeon experience. If there are going to be bossfights, then put the bossfight - and ONLY the boss fight - into an instance located at the depths of the dungeon. One example comes to mind (and please correct me on the details here... it's been a while since I played XI). For the rank 6 (?) quest where you have to kill the Shadowlord, you have to dungeon crawl deep into the scary Castle Zval Bailey(?). Once you get to the end of the dungeon, the boss fight takes place in an instance. To me, that is the best of both worlds. No waiting/spawn camping.
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#80 Feb 24 2010 at 12:06 PM Rating: Good
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Jordster wrote:
As for dungeons, I liked FFXI's world dungeon experience. If there are going to be bossfights, then put the bossfight - and ONLY the boss fight - into an instance located at the depths of the dungeon. One example comes to mind (and please correct me on the details here... it's been a while since I played XI). For the rank 6 (?) quest where you have to kill the Shadowlord, you have to dungeon crawl deep into the scary Castle Zval Bailey(?). Once you get to the end of the dungeon, the boss fight takes place in an instance. To me, that is the best of both worlds. No waiting/spawn camping.


Well, the biggest differences between a dungeon crawl through Zvahl to get to the Shadow Lord vs a dungeon crawl through a given WoW instance dungeon would be:

1) People don't (in most cases) fight their way through the dungeon to get to the boss in FF, they just load up on Powder and Oil (or get their RDM or WHM to do it, or sub NIN) and only actually fight something they accidentally aggro.
2) No one looks at fighting through Zvahl as a way to get XP while en route to the Shadow Lord, they just want to get to SL and fight him and move on.
3) Besides coffers, NMs, and a small handful of quests (actually, I can only think of one; the one where the guy casts escape on you), Shadow Lord is the only reason most players have to come here (BM 9-2 is another).

Compatitively:
1) In WoW, you have to fight your way through as a group to get to the end, an actual dungeon crawl.
2) In WoW, running dungeons for XP and loot would be an actual leveling option.
3) Most WoW instance dungeons have multiple bosses, and the entire zone's trash mobs have changes to drop BoE blues and greens (albeit a rare chance on the blues), possibly even purples (albeit EXTREMELY rare). FFXI's mobs have their own individual loot pool. No matter how many Demon Pawns you kill, they're never gonna drop some spiffy piece of armor or weapon. If anything, people will only farm the mobs that drop anything worthwhile (Coffer key mobs, NMs, etc).

So let's consider a WoW-ized version of Zvahl:
- Instanced portion begins when you enter the castle instead of the Throne Room.
- All the mobs are True Sight/True Sound. You have to fight.
- There are a couple more minibosses thrown in. The layout is so expansive that you could probably fit 4-6 more minibosses in there easily, all of which would have decent loot pools. ****, you could drop all the NMs in there to level 55-60 and make them always up; they drop loot as it is.
- People could decide in their 55-60 range if they'd rather just camp somewhere and kill birds or if they'd rather run Zvahl for xp and loot. Personally, I'd rather fight my way through Zvahl than fight more Colibri, assuming the xp was comparable.
- The Demons, Orcs, and everything else in there would actually have a reason to actively be killed on a regular basis, as opposed to now where the only things that die are mobs with desirable loot pool, and then only every 15 mins until they drop the item the person is killing them in order to obtain.

Like I said; I never really understood the concept of "instanced dungeons" before WoW, but comparing FFXI's take of a dungeon, which feels somewhat dead with people only S/I through there on their way to something specific and then leave, or just using them for camps (poor camps at that, considering the 15 min respawn times on mobs), versus WoW's take of a dungeon, where there's a reason to go there, a reason to kill the stuff there, and then inherently a reason to come back (for more loot and/or XP), I've found I really like instance dungeons in WoW. Really, when's the last time you've gotten to the end of Zvahl, killed SL, and said "Wanna go again?" and did it over? I won't hold my breath for an answer to that one :)

WoW's world feels bland to me, but they keep you coming back to the same areas because nearly every zone in the game gives you a reason to go there, and nearly every dungeon in the game gives you a reason to go there. FFXI's world has always felt much more vibrant and such worlds have always been givens in SE RPGs; Chrono Trigger/Cross, Mana/Seiken Densetsu, previous (and following) FF games have always been worlds where you'll at least be visiting 80-95% of the world at least once, and they're great worlds, but the real shame in FFXI is that many individual zones didn't have much replay value. There are so many nicely designed zones in FFXI that stagnate because there are only half a handful of reasons to go to most zones, and unless a given zone happens to be an XP spot or hold a desired NM, you're never going to go there except for a quest or just passing through.

When's the last time you went to Dangruf Wadi? Unlocking BLU and THF AF, maybe.
When's the last time you went to Uggalepih? Throat Stab aside, there are a couple missions and NMs here, but no one actually fights their way through the place for its own purpose.
When's the last time you went to SSG that didn't involve an NM, Coffer, NIN quest, or "just passing through to Norg"?
When's the last tile you went to Halvung? Most people step inside and use escape to get out as fast as possible, or just use the portal to skip it altogether. "Let the JPs free the prisoners, we can't be bothered to do that".

There are so many zones in FFXI that people at SE have spent hours and hours across many days and weeks into designing and tweaking, and in the end, the bulk of the player base want nothing more than to get through them as quickly as possible, and then never to come back. I've done every piece of AF that exists in Garlaige; hours spent behind one door camping three coffers, with no reason to be there other than to get the coffer and then leave. Think of how much life could be breathed into FFXI if Garlaige was instanced, you could fight your way through the dungeon as a group, and when you opened the coffer, you get your AF, and the rest of the group gets some piece of gear to go with it, plus toss in a few NMs your group can kill on the way. You've instantly added a reason to be there, a reason to come back, and a reason to help people with their AF quests besides "out of the goodness of your heart".

So yeah, give me FFXI's world with WoW's dungeons.
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#81 Feb 24 2010 at 12:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Let's imagine that sneak/invis didn't exist. That changes everything.

Sneak/Invis should, at best, be able to help you sneak by mobs near your level. The fact that you can load up on powder (or just be the right job) and walk through zones full of mobs 20 levels above you is just another example of how dated FFXI is. It simply shouldn't be that way.

Take out the ability to trivialize and walk past the occupants of a dungeon, and your whole argument is pretty much moot.

I don't want to play WoW again. The instances are cool, but to me and to many others, that format has become stale. I do completely agree with you in terms of the FFXI world being more vibrant.

As for reasons to return to old content, WoW is terrible at that, too. Most zones are 100% useless once you've leveled through them. FFXI does a lot better of a job making every zone useful in many ways so that players will keep coming back.

The loot in FFXI is definitely something that needs to be worked on. I'm not asking for loot pinatas like WoW where covering yourself in epix and epeen jerking to your GS have become paramount to the entire experience. But FFXI's drop rates were degrading to human life. If it takes 2 minutes to kill a single mob, make it drop something useful! It doesn't have to always be uber loot, but have every mob drop a crafting material, some coins (not 23 coins ..), with a chance to get something good. Kinda like WoW, but without going overboard.
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#82 Feb 24 2010 at 12:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Seriha wrote:
Mob shortages and the like are going to be very obvious with the game's beginning since everyone's at the same starting point. When Aion came out, the initial starting area had 10 channels for people to disperse around, and typically speaking, you wouldn't find yourself wanting for mobs or gathering nodes if you picked another channel. Meanwhile, since the last campaign is a short dungeon crawl, hanging in 1 was useful since there was a good chance other people might've been working on it, meaning the amount of mobs between you and the end goal could've been fewer and ultimately safer.

The next zone had something like 7 channels, but at this point, anything over 5 seemed like overkill and NC later reduce them to 5 and then 3 in subsequent patches. Not sure what the newbie area's at at the moment. Areas where PvP takes place have no channels, however, since naturally it limits the odds of running into people of the opposite faction if rifting or in the Abyss. Each side has two zones you can rift into, and the Abyss itself is another large zone. Each faction also has another 2 channel PvP-free area, but the level ranges they accommodate aren't that high (19-27 and 43-50 to be more specific).

Personally, I've never been a fan of the player stampede, where zones become obliterated with the release of new material. Sure, you may make a new friend, but as much as people lament about public/general chats, the odds are just as high if you've brave enough to ask a question and glean a worthwhile response from the drivel. If someone took the time to answer you seriously, you could even try talking to them in pages if things are still unclear. Who knows, they may come out to help. Otherwise, I find myself reminded of ACP's launch and how goblins in the Jeuno zones basically became HNMs, and it was like that for a couple weeks. Not fun, and not a mechanic you wanna introduce new players to... even if they are familiar with MMOs.


First of all, Aion was a failure for many reasons. Channels were one of them, in my opinion. It makes for a disjointed world, and a lot of players are principally against it.

That being said, there are obvious release day problems with everyone sharing the same world. There are, however, other solutions:

1. Give pre-orders a 2 day "Head start." This has been done successfully in the past to ensure that part of the crowd is 2 days ahead, and hopefully out of the starter zones.

2. Limit the server capacity on the first few days. Waiting in Q to log in is no picnic, but it's MUCH better than playing an unstable game.

3. Make the zones and content VAST. Make the game large enough for people to be able to spread out. I think we will see more of this as time passes and technology improves. If the world vast, but full of mobs, resource nodes, "content" and scenery, you won't have everyone bunched up. When you start a new character in WoW, you follow a "starting quest line" through a little Level 1-5 area. I played on retail release day in 2004 as well as a few new servers the day they came out. Those zones were almost unplayable. That's because there was just a little sliver of land. No matter how fast mobs respawn, it was never enough. Take out the quest line, or make it more broad. Take the sliver of land and expand it into a zone. Problem solved.
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#83 Feb 24 2010 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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Jordster wrote:
Seriha wrote:
Mob shortages and the like are going to be very obvious with the game's beginning since everyone's at the same starting point. When Aion came out, the initial starting area had 10 channels for people to disperse around, and typically speaking, you wouldn't find yourself wanting for mobs or gathering nodes if you picked another channel. Meanwhile, since the last campaign is a short dungeon crawl, hanging in 1 was useful since there was a good chance other people might've been working on it, meaning the amount of mobs between you and the end goal could've been fewer and ultimately safer.

The next zone had something like 7 channels, but at this point, anything over 5 seemed like overkill and NC later reduce them to 5 and then 3 in subsequent patches. Not sure what the newbie area's at at the moment. Areas where PvP takes place have no channels, however, since naturally it limits the odds of running into people of the opposite faction if rifting or in the Abyss. Each side has two zones you can rift into, and the Abyss itself is another large zone. Each faction also has another 2 channel PvP-free area, but the level ranges they accommodate aren't that high (19-27 and 43-50 to be more specific).

Personally, I've never been a fan of the player stampede, where zones become obliterated with the release of new material. Sure, you may make a new friend, but as much as people lament about public/general chats, the odds are just as high if you've brave enough to ask a question and glean a worthwhile response from the drivel. If someone took the time to answer you seriously, you could even try talking to them in pages if things are still unclear. Who knows, they may come out to help. Otherwise, I find myself reminded of ACP's launch and how goblins in the Jeuno zones basically became HNMs, and it was like that for a couple weeks. Not fun, and not a mechanic you wanna introduce new players to... even if they are familiar with MMOs.


First of all, Aion was a failure for many reasons. Channels were one of them, in my opinion. It makes for a disjointed world, and a lot of players are principally against it.

That being said, there are obvious release day problems with everyone sharing the same world. There are, however, other solutions:

1. Give pre-orders a 2 day "Head start." This has been done successfully in the past to ensure that part of the crowd is 2 days ahead, and hopefully out of the starter zones.

2. Limit the server capacity on the first few days. Waiting in Q to log in is no picnic, but it's MUCH better than playing an unstable game.

3. Make the zones and content VAST. Make the game large enough for people to be able to spread out. I think we will see more of this as time passes and technology improves. If the world vast, but full of mobs, resource nodes, "content" and scenery, you won't have everyone bunched up. When you start a new character in WoW, you follow a "starting quest line" through a little Level 1-5 area. I played on retail release day in 2004 as well as a few new servers the day they came out. Those zones were almost unplayable. That's because there was just a little sliver of land. No matter how fast mobs respawn, it was never enough. Take out the quest line, or make it more broad. Take the sliver of land and expand it into a zone. Problem solved.


Those first two solutions sound like they could risk starting a riot. I'm all for #3, though : )

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 1:49pm by Eske
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#84 Feb 24 2010 at 12:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Jordster wrote:
I don't want to play WoW again. The instances are cool, but to me and to many others, that format has become stale. I do completely agree with you in terms of the FFXI world being more vibrant.


I disagree that the format is completely stale, which is just a difference of opinion, but I do agree that I don't want to play WoW again. I'm currently looking for other stuff to play because I'm sick of WoW and want something to tide me over until FF14; currently playing Allods, which has a UI that looks like a slightly more colorful version of WoW's UI. I'm also hearing that at 20-40, the only leveling options are open PvP areas and if I find myself getting attacked by other players while leveling, I'll be uninstalling Allods. Side note: if you can reccomend any good non-wow, non-ffxi, non-pvp-centric MMOs (F2P or P2P deosn't matter), It'd be aprreciated :)

Jordster wrote:
As for reasons to return to old content, WoW is terrible at that, too. Most zones are 100% useless once you've leveled through them. FFXI does a lot better of a job making every zone useful in many ways so that players will keep coming back.


Well, I could make the argument that if you level multiple characters, you would redo them, but then you could make the counter argument that zones like Valk, Quf, etc become useful for leveling other jobs, so you win on that point, however as a side note I would like to comment that when I play 14, I would like to have one character that is me, like in 11. Not "This is my Hunter, this is my Warlock, this is my Warrior...." It's such a big part of FF games for characters to individually be a "jack of all trades" that I'd hate to see that lost in 14. ****, even people who hated 10-2 would agree that the class changing system was probably the best part of the game (even if it was a pretty princess dress up version of it). But I digress.

Jordster wrote:
The loot in FFXI is definitely something that needs to be worked on. I'm not asking for loot pinatas like WoW where covering yourself in epix and epeen jerking to your GS have become paramount to the entire experience. But FFXI's drop rates were degrading to human life. If it takes 2 minutes to kill a single mob, make it drop something useful! It doesn't have to always be uber loot, but have every mob drop a crafting material, some coins (not 23 coins ..), with a chance to get something good. Kinda like WoW, but without going overboard.


Agreed, word for word. All my hours spent camping Leaping Lizzy and Valkurm Emperor and Argus and Mee Deggi, playing on a 5/15 min twitch timer to fight over a mob which you know in your mind probably won't drop the loot you want ANYWAY before the thing even pops, then competing with others for the pop, hoping you get claim, then praying the item drops (despite knowing it won't)... I could do without the stacks of Lizard Tails, Insect Wings, and Impact Knuckles, thanks. Even something like Western Shadow where there's NOBODY there is still boring as @#%^ to camp. I put in a solid week of getting every WS claim with no drop. Conversely, WoW's loot is so easy that purples, once considered to be prized gear, are practically a given (and most purples are just replaced with other purples anyway).

So 100% agree. Better loot rates than 11, but not as high as what WoW has. Not quite the hair-puller that 11 was without being the "drop your mouse on the ground and level up twice" that WoW is. Crossing my fingers.

EDIT: On a totally unrelated note, I'm looking forward to hearing "DD" again when people are referring to a "Damage Dealer". "Need a Damage Per Second" "I'm a Damage Per Second" "Everyone needs to Damage Per Second faster"... so sick of hearing "DPS" in reference to anything other than the actual Damage Per Second that a person or group is putting out.

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 2:01pm by Mikhalia
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#85 Feb 24 2010 at 1:33 PM Rating: Decent
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I agree, nobody's done anything interesting with instances lately.

But I don't think going back to only open-world content is the answer. All our attempts to ameliorate population concerns and introduce dynamic storytelling are instances; channeling, phasing, instanced dungeons. There are flaws, sure, I've pointed out some of those myself in this thread. But that's par for the course when your trying something new.

What makes you think going back to an almost entirely Open-world is going to provide a solution to population control now, when it failed to do so a decade ago? How is it going to advance?

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 3:44pm by Zemzelette
#86 Feb 24 2010 at 2:05 PM Rating: Good
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Couldn't only one party go into a BCNM at a time in FFXI? I remember sometimes having a few parties queued outside waiting for their turn. Was that because of "limitations" or was it a design choice by SE?

Because if it was a design choice, imagine if they continued that trend with a whole dungeon. That would suck!

I didn't like having channels in Aion. If there was another person camping in an area you were camping in, you just switched to an empty channel that really made you feel.. alone. If there were no channels, maybe it would inspire players to try and work together in a camp, rather than just run away whenever someone else is doing the same thing as you, near you.
#87 Feb 24 2010 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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Jordster wrote:
First of all, Aion was a failure for many reasons. Channels were one of them, in my opinion. It makes for a disjointed world, and a lot of players are principally against it.


Funny, for all the reasons I've seen people claim disappointment in Aion, Channels has never been one of them. Sure, I could write up my own little list of things of NC could do to make the game better, but that's usually something everyone could do.

Quote:
1. Give pre-orders a 2 day "Head start." This has been done successfully in the past to ensure that part of the crowd is 2 days ahead, and hopefully out of the starter zones.


Head starts never work. In the extreme case, XI even did one with the JPs getting a year before NA. Those with the intent to monopolize content also wind up with a greater chance of success to, only by virtue of paying weeks before release instead of being at a store on launch day. Again, the player stampede isn't healthy to any region in any MMO.

Quote:
2. Limit the server capacity on the first few days. Waiting in Q to log in is no picnic, but it's MUCH better than playing an unstable game.


Since XI's servers basically handled individual zones, even they started buckling with 150 or more people in them, and completely go to **** at 700. While I'm sure hardware tech's advanced since then, running larger zones with more seamless environments is still a concern.

Personally, any game that tells me I can't play after paying for it can **** off. Maintenance and updates are the only reasonable exceptions, and even these should strive to be swift.

Quote:
3. Make the zones and content VAST. Make the game large enough for people to be able to spread out. I think we will see more of this as time passes and technology improves. If the world vast, but full of mobs, resource nodes, "content" and scenery, you won't have everyone bunched up. When you start a new character in WoW, you follow a "starting quest line" through a little Level 1-5 area. I played on retail release day in 2004 as well as a few new servers the day they came out. Those zones were almost unplayable. That's because there was just a little sliver of land. No matter how fast mobs respawn, it was never enough. Take out the quest line, or make it more broad. Take the sliver of land and expand it into a zone. Problem solved.


You're still gonna have hubs, even if they only give out 15 quests instead of 30. There's also the matter of transport within huge zones being conducive to a non-instanced experience. Grauberg is possibly the largest zone in XI, and while the warp in for Campaign may be somewhat near the center, this isn't the case for other zones. People won't be happy if they spend 10-20 minutes tripping past other parties just to get to the lesser desired camp, and while I'd rather not see Nyzul Birds all over again, I'd rather have 5 incarnations of it people could take advantage of instead of one just because a few people are a bit too sensitive on immersion.



Overall, some just need to get over the fact that zones are there more to serve a functional purpose than to satisfy your senses. They can do both, but if it's only the latter, they quickly become dead content once the awe factor wears off. Socializing can be done independently of actually seeing the avatar of others. Moreover, not everyone wants to be your friend or competition for resources. Let's not kid ourselves into believing the XI community is unique or more tight-knit than other MMOs, as they're all made of people, and people comes with their usual flaws and preferences. XI players aren't the only ones who will be touching XIV, either, so expect millions of "undesirables" to **** up the experience at first.
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#88 Feb 24 2010 at 2:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Mikhalia wrote:
Jordster wrote:
I don't want to play WoW again. The instances are cool, but to me and to many others, that format has become stale. I do completely agree with you in terms of the FFXI world being more vibrant.


I disagree that the format is completely stale, which is just a difference of opinion, but I do agree that I don't want to play WoW again. I'm currently looking for other stuff to play because I'm sick of WoW and want something to tide me over until FF14; currently playing Allods, which has a UI that looks like a slightly more colorful version of WoW's UI. I'm also hearing that at 20-40, the only leveling options are open PvP areas and if I find myself getting attacked by other players while leveling, I'll be uninstalling Allods. Side note: if you can reccomend any good non-wow, non-ffxi, non-pvp-centric MMOs (F2P or P2P deosn't matter), It'd be aprreciated :)


I tried Allods. You will be disappointed if you're trying to avoid PvP. It's forced PvP just like WoW on a PvP server. To make it even worse, they launched the item store last week, and the prices were just a slap in the face! The example that people couldn't get over was $20 for an upgrade of bag space from the default 18 to a paltry 24. If you dig deeper, you find that there is a stacking death penalty, which makes PvP and raiding impossible. To remove this effect, you need - you guessed it - an item from the item shop. $13.50 will get you 10 hours of debuff-free gameplay. As one PvP'er said - "That's $13.50 a day for me on my hardcore days ... no thanks!"

I've looked for other games to satiate my hunger for a good MMO. I ended up re-subbing to WoW. I try to find things to enjoy in WoW. Right now, I'm enjoying tanking as a DK (L69) and I just got the blue axe from questing in Borean Tundra so I'm enjoying being overpowered in BGs, too. It won't last - but it's a short fix for me. I'm really not happy with any other games on the horizon other than FFXIV. Bioware's Star Wars MMO is going to be another WoW clone, this time with a Star Wars Theme. No thanks. STO was a huge disappointment - glad I didn't buy that one. I wish I had some good suggestions ... EQ2 looks incredibly dated. Vanguard is on the verge of dying. WAR sucks... AoC is crappy. The list goes on ...

Quote:

Jordster wrote:
As for reasons to return to old content, WoW is terrible at that, too. Most zones are 100% useless once you've leveled through them. FFXI does a lot better of a job making every zone useful in many ways so that players will keep coming back.


Well, I could make the argument that if you level multiple characters, you would redo them, but then you could make the counter argument that zones like Valk, Quf, etc become useful for leveling other jobs, so you win on that point, however as a side note I would like to comment that when I play 14, I would like to have one character that is me, like in 11. Not "This is my Hunter, this is my Warlock, this is my Warrior...." It's such a big part of FF games for characters to individually be a "jack of all trades" that I'd hate to see that lost in 14. ****, even people who hated 10-2 would agree that the class changing system was probably the best part of the game (even if it was a pretty princess dress up version of it). But I digress.



I love FFXI's job system. It was one my favorite features (if not my favorite). I hate rolling alts. I would much rather be able to switch jobs, and take my keys, accomplishments, and identity with me.

Also, to me, going back to a zone as an alt is entirely repetitive and tedious. I've done it - too many times - while leveling my 8 different L60+ characters over the years. That's one of the reason's I'm excited for Cataclysm.

Quote:

Jordster wrote:
The loot in FFXI is definitely something that needs to be worked on. I'm not asking for loot pinatas like WoW where covering yourself in epix and epeen jerking to your GS have become paramount to the entire experience. But FFXI's drop rates were degrading to human life. If it takes 2 minutes to kill a single mob, make it drop something useful! It doesn't have to always be uber loot, but have every mob drop a crafting material, some coins (not 23 coins ..), with a chance to get something good. Kinda like WoW, but without going overboard.


Agreed, word for word. All my hours spent camping Leaping Lizzy and Valkurm Emperor and Argus and Mee Deggi, playing on a 5/15 min twitch timer to fight over a mob which you know in your mind probably won't drop the loot you want ANYWAY before the thing even pops, then competing with others for the pop, hoping you get claim, then praying the item drops (despite knowing it won't)... I could do without the stacks of Lizard Tails, Insect Wings, and Impact Knuckles, thanks. Even something like Western Shadow where there's NOBODY there is still boring as @#%^ to camp. I put in a solid week of getting every WS claim with no drop. Conversely, WoW's loot is so easy that purples, once considered to be prized gear, are practically a given (and most purples are just replaced with other purples anyway).

So 100% agree. Better loot rates than 11, but not as high as what WoW has. Not quite the hair-puller that 11 was without being the "drop your mouse on the ground and level up twice" that WoW is. Crossing my fingers.

EDIT: On a totally unrelated note, I'm looking forward to hearing "DD" again when people are referring to a "Damage Dealer". "Need a Damage Per Second" "I'm a Damage Per Second" "Everyone needs to Damage Per Second faster"... so sick of hearing "DPS" in reference to anything other than the actual Damage Per Second that a person or group is putting out.

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 2:01pm by Mikhalia

[/quote]

I'm REALLY hoping that FFXIV lives up to our hopes and dreams. If it doesn't, nothing will.
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#89 Feb 24 2010 at 3:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Aside from NMs and contested mobs, its easy to circumvent the need for instances to prevent overcamping.

SCALE THE ******* XP.

Remember basically every camp in early to mid game in FFXI? Now what if xp actually scaled sensibly rather than capping at 200ish and basically penalizing you for fighting strong mobs?

You don't have to worry about there being enough mobs as long as people can still take on the IT+++++ and get 1000 xp for the kill. As long as the xp/time is reasonably consistent (and ideally quite a bit better for the higher risk involved) you won't have to worry about tons of cowardly parties vying for the same mob population.
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#90 Feb 24 2010 at 4:11 PM Rating: Good
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Zemzelette wrote:
What makes you think going back to an almost entirely Open-world is going to provide a solution to population control now, when it failed to do so a decade ago? How is it going to advance?


The solution, which WoW nailed and FFXI didn't, is to provide multiple comparable options. If you're 40-45 in WoW, you can go to Tanaris, Ferelas, Stranglethorn, Blasted Lands, Badlands, Swamp of Sorrows... I'm probably forgetting a few, but all of these zones are used, and whether one is better or worse is debatable. You aren't going to go to Ferelas and find it barren because 90% of the 40-45 crowd is in Tanaris. Ignoring Level Sync, compare to FFXI at the same range of 40-45: CN and QC are the big two. Other options (according to campsitarus) are Onzozo, Meriphataud S, Misareaux, Sauromugue S, Onzozo, Bostanieux. I'll give you your choice of gold or gil if you can confince 5 other people in the 40-45 range to try any of them.

FFXIV needs to provide multiple zones that provide comparable leveling alternatives. The reason for the Crab/Beetle/Bird ***** that FFXI players lean toward is that they're the easiest mobs, and the game can (and will) "punish you" for fighting harder options. Beastmen are typically avoided, as are mobs that have omgwtfrape attacks like Spiders, Scorpions, Tonberries, etc. People don't all gravitate to Scorpions and Humanoids in Tanaris because the Yetis and Ogres in Ferelas will hit you for 3/4 of your HP in one hit. FFXI had a small group of overcrowded zones and a plethora of empty ones because people would rather duke it out with 4 other parties in an area that only supports two than go somewhere else and fight harder mobs. That wasn't a fault of the open world, it was a fault of monster ability design and player hardheadedness.

Chikama wrote:
Couldn't only one party go into a BCNM at a time in FFXI? I remember sometimes having a few parties queued outside waiting for their turn. Was that because of "limitations" or was it a design choice by SE?


BCNMs/Salvage/Nyzul aren't true instances. They're a separate area, segmented into multiple layers. So the Waughroon Shrine (sp) zone isn't a series of individual zones, it's 3 copies of the Waughroon Shrine BC area on the same map, not connected to one another. Moridion Gaol is the same way; 9 individual disconnected rooms in one zone. It gives the apearance of being an instance but it's not one in the traditional sense.

Seriha wrote:
Since XI's servers basically handled individual zones, even they started buckling with 150 or more people in them, and completely go to sh*t at 700. While I'm sure hardware tech's advanced since then, running larger zones with more seamless environments is still a concern.

Personally, any game that tells me I can't play after paying for it can @#%^ off. Maintenance and updates are the only reasonable exceptions, and even these should strive to be swift.


One could only hope that they have better equipment lined up to handle more people. As for maintenance, one thing I miss about FFXI is the fact that my game isn't down once a week. Of course, FFXI's once a quarter mantenance followed by 2-3 days of nigh unplayability wasn't all that great either. Again, happy medium ftw.

Seriha wrote:
You're still gonna have hubs, even if they only give out 15 quests instead of 30. There's also the matter of transport within huge zones being conducive to a non-instanced experience. Grauberg is possibly the largest zone in XI, and while the warp in for Campaign may be somewhat near the center, this isn't the case for other zones. People won't be happy if they spend 10-20 minutes tripping past other parties just to get to the lesser desired camp, and while I'd rather not see Nyzul Birds all over again, I'd rather have 5 incarnations of it people could take advantage of instead of one just because a few people are a bit too sensitive on immersion.


Or, as I mentioned before, instead of 5 parties in 5 different Grauberg instances or 5 parties in the same world Grauberg, why not two Parties in Grauberg, two parties in Vunkerl, two parties in Fort Karugo-Narugo... The solution is neither to cram them all in one area -or- to instance it out, but to provide multiple areas that are all viable alternatives. FFXI has a lot of bottlenecking and overcrowding because while the game has alternatives, they aren't equally viable, and the players are stuck in their ways that there's the good zone that they want to go to, and they'd rather just not party or fight over mobs in the good zone than go anywhere else.

If you think about it, FFXI has a lot of Symmetry.
Ronfaure/Sarutabaruta/Gustaberg connects to Ghelsba/Giddeus/Palborough and KRT/Horutoto/Dangruf and La Thiene/Tahrongi/Konschtat, connecting to Valkurm/Buburimu and Jugner/Meriphataud/Pashhow and Ordelle's/Shakrami/Gusgen.... The list goes on, but there is so much zone redundancy that for any given level, there are at least 3 zones you could conceivably level in. The problem is that all zones are not created equal and as you go higher up the levels, the alternatives become far less desirable. No one will XP in Uggalepih instead of Quicksand Caves, or Rolanberry Fields instead of Qufim, or Ifrit's Cauldron instead of Boyahda Tree, or Halvung/Mamook/Ilrusi Atoll/KRT/Sky/Sea instead of cramming 80 people into 2-3 Bird/Imp maps because some camps are just plain better than others. If the game were re-balanced so that Dancing Weapons, Lamia, KRT Skellies, Aerns/Hpemdes, etc all provided equal xp/hr for equal effort, you wouldn't see nearly as much (if any) cramming as you do. Currently though, the options are "A camp 5 mins away for 20-30k/hr" or "A camp 25 mins away for 10-15k/hr". There's no comparison.

Jordster wrote:
I tried Allods. You will be disappointed if you're trying to avoid PvP. It's forced PvP just like WoW on a PvP server. To make it even worse, they launched the item store last week, and the prices were just a slap in the face! The example that people couldn't get over was $20 for an upgrade of bag space from the default 18 to a paltry 24. If you dig deeper, you find that there is a stacking death penalty, which makes PvP and raiding impossible. To remove this effect, you need - you guessed it - an item from the item shop. $13.50 will get you 10 hours of debuff-free gameplay. As one PvP'er said - "That's $13.50 a day for me on my hardcore days ... no thanks!"


So I've heard, that's why I'm enjoying it while I can. I don't expect to be playing it much longer than a week or two more. If/when FoD or ganking make the game unplayable, I'll be quitting. Based on the paragraph after that, you sound like you're as jaded as I am. :)

Jordster wrote:
I love FFXI's job system. It was one my favorite features (if not my favorite). I hate rolling alts. I would much rather be able to switch jobs, and take my keys, accomplishments, and identity with me.


Indeed. I've never liked the term "alts" either, because it inherently implies that you have a "main". Just like in FFXI, I didn't have a "main job"; my main job was whatever I'm playing right now. Job ADD led me to leveling EVERYTHING. Similarly in WoW, I have leveled every class over 40, half of them are 70-80. I just can't stick with one thing, and I'd rather not have to play the "Invite my alt to guild" game. I'm me. Simple as that. No need to complicate myself with 10 different characters with 10 different names, and of course everyone just refers to you by the character name they know you best as, so I get called Lota, Mik, Eil, Khae, Aes, Ac... etc. Just detracts from the immersion factor when I have half a dozen names that I go by. I feel like some kinda gangsta rapper with the dozen "AKA this AKA that AKA this AKA that" names.


Jordster wrote:
I'm REALLY hoping that FFXIV lives up to our hopes and dreams. If it doesn't, nothing will.


If I could only take one thing from FFXI, it's this: No matter what your hopes and dreams are for something they're going to implement, no matter how many different possibilites people expect out of something, they'll find away to implement it in a way that no one had hoped for. (See: Pankration, MMM, Einherjar, Item "Enhancement"s, etc)

This is not to say that I don't agree with you, I'm in the same boat as you in that all my MMORPG hopes rest on FFXIV being my dream game. At the same time, I know SE's track record and while I can't say I wouldn't be disappointed if it turned out in a way I disliked, I wouldn't say I found the disappointment to be the first one I can credit to them.

Here's hoping though.
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#91 Feb 24 2010 at 4:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Aside from NMs and contested mobs, its easy to circumvent the need for instances to prevent overcamping.

SCALE THE @#%^ING XP.

Remember basically every camp in early to mid game in FFXI? Now what if xp actually scaled sensibly rather than capping at 200ish and basically penalizing you for fighting strong mobs?

You don't have to worry about there being enough mobs as long as people can still take on the IT+++++ and get 1000 xp for the kill. As long as the xp/time is reasonably consistent (and ideally quite a bit better for the higher risk involved) you won't have to worry about tons of cowardly parties vying for the same mob population.


Better scaling would definitely help. But don't forget - early in the game, people didn't have the same quality of gear and experience, and IT+++++ were not viable to kill. It's definitely a good thing to offer well-scaled XP for fighting big, bad, higher level creatures. That would offer value to hard core and challenge-seeking players. I think in the end, though, those players are a minority, and most players would rather just have normal leveling be less crowded.

Of course, there is also the possibility that killing IT+++++ mobs becomes the new XP grind, and every camp where people find killable IT+++++ to kill becomes a new overcrowded area ;)
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#92 Feb 24 2010 at 4:13 PM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
Aside from NMs and contested mobs, its easy to circumvent the need for instances to prevent overcamping.

SCALE THE @#%^ING XP.

Remember basically every camp in early to mid game in FFXI? Now what if xp actually scaled sensibly rather than capping at 200ish and basically penalizing you for fighting strong mobs?

You don't have to worry about there being enough mobs as long as people can still take on the IT+++++ and get 1000 xp for the kill. As long as the xp/time is reasonably consistent (and ideally quite a bit better for the higher risk involved) you won't have to worry about tons of cowardly parties vying for the same mob population.


It also doesn't help when one person dings and xp/kill goes from 175 to 115. Level Sync helped alleviate this a bit, but really... One level can make all the difference in a camp like East Ronfaure S when you go from infini-chain omgwtfbbq xp to 72 xp/kill and the party is done (or needs to find a new level 37-38 to sync to).
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#93 Feb 24 2010 at 4:58 PM Rating: Decent
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I dunno, I'm probably one of the few people who will say there's such a thing as too many zones, too. Environmentally speaking, we'll see our share of swamps, deserts, icelands, caves, and so on... and people have already compared them to existing XI zones with some of the screenshots we received. Having a new desert with new mobs X phases of progression later isn't necessarily a smart move. Again, while an individual zone may eventually lose use to a player, SE should strive to cram as much into them as possible before determining more zones are required. The optimum point of developer focus should be getting players saying, "I haven't done this yet, and I want to!" instead of, "I want to do this, why isn't it here yet?" Aesthetics aren't super important in satisfying that criteria, but I won't deny there is some merit. Odin wouldn't be Odin without Gungnir and Sleipnir, after all.


And yes, EXP, or whatever they're doing for ability progression, needs to be more fairly distributed than using an arbitrary cap. I don't really like mob balance in Aion for this, as not only are ranged classes supreme, but oftentimes the squishiest mobs also hit hardest and melee folk gain no real advantage soaking up hits even from weaker hitting mobs that take longer to kill.

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 6:01pm by Seriha
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#94 Feb 24 2010 at 5:28 PM Rating: Good
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Well, there are many "zone types" as possibilities.

Desert, Beach, Plains, Grasslands, Thickets/Bush, Rock, Dirt, Light Forest, Dense Forest, Jungle, Rainforest, Tundra, Snowfield, Icefield/Glacer, Dirt Cave, Rock Cave, Ice cave, Lava Cave, Volcano, Mayan Temple/Ruin, Egyptian Temple/Ruin, Arabic Temple/Ruin...

My thought would be a tonf of re-uses of the same type of zone (e.g. Valkurm & Cape Terrigan), but a mixture of possibilities. Let's say (and I'm just pulling this out of FFXI, without reference to any existing FFXIV screenshots)

Level 1-10: Light forest, Plains, Rock/Badlands
Level 10-20: Grasslands/Greystone canyons, Dirt/Brownstone Canyon, Stormy light grassland/rock, Beach
Level 20-30: Thick Forest, more dirt/brownstone canyon, Swamp/Marsh, Rocky Tundra, Jungle
Level 30-40: Grassy caverns, Desert, Stone Ruins, Light Forest
Level 40-50: Snowfields, Rocky Caverns, Desert Ruins, Grassy Caverns, Stone Ruins
Level 50-60: Light Jungle, Sandy caverns, Inside a tree (lolwtf?), Grassy Temple

I'm not saying you need 10+ options at any given level range, but 3-4 viable ones would be nice. Some of the zones I've listed above are more viable than others in FFXI's context. I'm sure some more common types like forest and cave will end up being reused, but it won't kill the game if you have the option to level in snow/grass/cave at 10-20 and snow/ruins/forest at 20-30. Even if they're "reuising snow for another 10 levels", there's two other options you could do instead. Or maybe you like snow :)

That was one of the things that got me burned out on FFXI; the repetitiveness of the same zones and the same mobs over and over, 18 times. Valkurm may have been fresh and new the first 3-4 times, but after 6 or so, I'd kill to have a party go xp in Buburimu or Jugner instead... just something that looks different. So if your last three groups all went to Blahblahblah Snowfields and you're sick of looking at snow and killing Arctic Wolves, maybe you could join a group that's gonna xp in Ragglefraggle Beach and kill Sand Crabs or Whozamawhatsits Forest and kill Vorpal Rabbits instead.

Options are (almost) never a bad thing, IMO. If you just go into an instance of Blahblahblah Snowfields with your group, have the zone all to yourself, but are sick of killing Arctic Wolves and staring at snow... you have no options. Why shouldn't you have the option of, in your next group, saying "Hey, let's go to Qrrbrbirlbel Ruins instead".

If we can get away from the FFXI concept of filtering everyone all into the same zone and actually provide viable alternatives, overcrowding won't be an issue, except at launch when everyone is level 1... but that's unavoidable no matter what.
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#95 Feb 24 2010 at 5:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Better scaling would definitely help. But don't forget - early in the game, people didn't have the same quality of gear and experience, and IT+++++ were not viable to kill. It's definitely a good thing to offer well-scaled XP for fighting big, bad, higher level creatures. That would offer value to hard core and challenge-seeking players. I think in the end, though, those players are a minority, and most players would rather just have normal leveling be less crowded.

Of course, there is also the possibility that killing IT+++++ mobs becomes the new XP grind, and every camp where people find killable IT+++++ to kill becomes a new overcrowded area ;)


The idea isn't that everyone kills IT+++++ because they're hardcore, but just because if you go to a zone where there are mostly IT+++++, then you don't NEED there to be many mobs. If it takes you 5-10 minutes to kill them, you only need 10-20 an hour at absolute most, and you can get -similar- experience. IT+++++ were killable even at low levels if you had a competent enough party. They weren't viable because they didn't offer fair xp. Killing IT+++++ could have easily been "normal" leveling, or at least a popular alternative. I can take a level 25 party to Yhoator and we can kill there, but the xp won't be worth it.

The point is though, that those areas won't become overcrowded because you'll have the same number of parties, but won't need nearly as many mobs AND you'll have many more camp options. 4 parties of 25's in Yhoator won't be nearly as competitive for mobs as 4 parties of 25 in Yuhtunga. And the higher levels that get displaced to Crawlers Nest or wherever will be in the same boat.

Anyway, it was an easy fix that should have been implemented very early in the game's life.
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#96 Feb 24 2010 at 5:54 PM Rating: Decent
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1. Give pre-orders a 2 day "Head start." This has been done successfully in the past to ensure that part of the crowd is 2 days ahead, and hopefully out of the starter zones.


So the majority realise they also want in on the fun of the first day (warts and all) and pre-order as well.

Quote:
2. Limit the server capacity on the first few days. Waiting in Q to log in is no picnic, but it's MUCH better than playing an unstable game.


So wait I just pre-ordered this game, spent 2 hours installing and updating it and now they are telling me I can't play it ... what the ****.

They could just give us channelled starting zones and we would all be happy, they can remove them at a later date when the population levels out.

Fighting no instancing is one thing but wanting to put restrictions in place of them is just bizarre.

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 6:56pm by Diakar
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#97 Feb 24 2010 at 6:01 PM Rating: Good
Jordster wrote:
The loot in FFXI is definitely something that needs to be worked on. I'm not asking for loot pinatas like WoW where covering yourself in epix and epeen jerking to your GS have become paramount to the entire experience. But FFXI's drop rates were degrading to human life. If it takes 2 minutes to kill a single mob, make it drop something useful! It doesn't have to always be uber loot, but have every mob drop a crafting material, some coins (not 23 coins ..), with a chance to get something good. Kinda like WoW, but without going overboard.


I dunno about that. I made some pretty potent Firesand with the Earth Crystal that dropped off Kirin that one time. Nobody really wanted any gear anyways...
#98 Feb 24 2010 at 6:33 PM Rating: Good
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I know what your getting at.

FFXI was a game where zones were re-tread and remained relevant, but there were few of them. WoW was a game where zones were many, but many were relevant only once if ever at all. It seems so obvious, just make alot of zones like WoW and combine that with XI's penchant for repetition. There were go, population issue solved.

It's a good theory, but I think your not really acknowledging the human element here. Every player isn't a perfect little cog that's always going to know everything, act rationally, or do the right thing. There's path of least resistance, herd mentality, stubborness, lack of knowledge or the will to look it up, purposeful greifing. Whatever plan is devised to control the population, all the bad parts of human behavior have to be accounted for too.

Then there's natural clusters of population that are just unavoidable with options, because everyone wants one particular option over the others. When the MMo opens is a good one, but there's when a new expansion comes out, or a new activity is created. Invariably it will be over populated. In the general sense, a MMO has a lifecycle, people populate the lower areas when the MMO begins and populate the higher areas as it's entering it's twilight years. Whatever solution is devised, it needs to be able to respond to the natural fluctuations population goes through.

And advancement. The things developer use to tell a story (outside of a cutscene) aren't capable of being used in the Open World without messing with immersion. We say we value plot, we decry MMOs that give us 'kill ten rats', but in insisting on majority of Open World content we're depriving them of the tools they need to paint a better picture.




Edited, Feb 24th 2010 7:41pm by Zemzelette
#99 Feb 24 2010 at 6:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, a zone itself doesn't mean the type of mobs have to be limited. Nor can anomalies within the zones, whether natural phenomenon/NPC caused/Day or Night, be ruled out in creating things that might not normally be there. Other little touches like music don't even need to be limited to one track per area or battle just to help kill the monotony of leveling a new job/class... assuming things would even work like we know in XI or other games as alts and requiring a "starting over" of sorts.

If I wanted to be idealistic, servers as we know of them would be dead in terms of confining all players to multiple sandboxes. Economies would be global, and hopefully prompting people to keep prices lower despite potentially higher demand. With a more robust searching system, getting a quest or mission done wouldn't have you limited to a thousand or so people online at once, but possibly hundreds of thousands. The servers as we know them now would technically be primary instances of the game world, with methods of congregation or select segregation (aka jumping to a less crowded channel) being available so we don't feel confined.

I'll never confess to being the most social creature, but if there's one thing I wish I could've done while playing XI, is that I could play with some of the other people I've met on forums and other communities. World shifting would mean cutting game ties with people I knew from the world I was on, so the thought was basically DoA.

It's easy to short-sightedly knock instancing, but in the large scale, it can be awesome. For those that thrive on drama, MPKing, or being unique, it may suck, but that's a sacrifice I'll gladly make. Meanwhile, it's also a lot harder for people to pull **** and just disappear hoping to dodge a bad rep.

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 7:47pm by Seriha
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#100 Feb 24 2010 at 9:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Jordster wrote:

Let's imagine that sneak/invis didn't exist. That changes everything.

Sneak/Invis should, at best, be able to help you sneak by mobs near your level. The fact that you can load up on powder (or just be the right job) and walk through zones full of mobs 20 levels above you is just another example of how dated FFXI is. It simply shouldn't be that way.

Take out the ability to trivialize and walk past the occupants of a dungeon, and your whole argument is pretty much moot.


UNLIKE WoW, a players can't just solo everything in that dungeon on the way to a party, questing for something, going ANYWHERE.

It's heavily party focused so sneak things are necessary, not dated. God what a nightmare it would be getting my corsair AF if I couldn't sneak and invis past the skeletons and Chigoes. OH the humanity of even unlocking the job.

Even if I brought a full party, to UNLOCK the job at 30, I would need a full decked party of 75s to fight through the impossible to gauge Lamia, Skellies with pet Wyverns, Merrows(which charm you into attacking each other), and Qutrub (which will ruin your day). then god forbid someone dies, Lamia #12 spawns and kills everyone else.


I guess games should be easy though, so take out the sneak stuff and dumb down the content to soloable by all.

Jordster wrote:

The loot in FFXI is definitely something that needs to be worked on. I'm not asking for loot pinatas like WoW where covering yourself in epix and epeen jerking to your GS have become paramount to the entire experience. But FFXI's drop rates were degrading to human life. If it takes 2 minutes to kill a single mob, make it drop something useful! It doesn't have to always be uber loot, but have every mob drop a crafting material, some coins (not 23 coins ..), with a chance to get something good. Kinda like WoW, but without going overboard.

Quote:

I dunno about that. I made some pretty potent Firesand with the Earth Crystal that dropped off Kirin that one time. Nobody really wanted any gear anyways...


I could supply a small army with Impact Knuckles from Mee Deggi... 0/80+.

Nothing like getting called a noob for not having Okotes when you spent over 100 hours camping it...

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 10:23pm by Louiscool

Edited, Feb 24th 2010 10:23pm by Louiscool
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#101 Feb 24 2010 at 10:40 PM Rating: Good
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All I have been reading is people saying they prefer "Open-world but..." and listing issues that seems to out number and be more significant than their issues with Instanced games. Its also funny how they issues they many of you have been mentioning about instanced games are the pros of the instanced environment. I'm reading things like "its too stream-lined for my taste, I prefer the monotonous travel times and/or grinding inherent in Open-world games".

How does this not sound backward and contradictory? is it because the majority subscribes to this mentality?

Also what is this use of the word "realism" when referring to anything an MMO offers? If anything the characteristics you should be looking for is sensibility. Who plays an online fantasy game for realism? "I like that I can be an Elf and still get to worry about travel time to my next destination, yay!", wtf lol Also many of you keep saying that these Open Worlds are alive, and that just confounds me, how are these worlds alive if the only reasonings I can pull from any pro open world statements is that they are bigger and increase travel time? Has this been the definition of "alive" the whole time? I could use some enlightenment since the main issue between my views and many of yours seems to be communication.

One reason I feel many of you don't recognize the value of instanced games is from the lack of exposure to Monster Hunter (which is Capcoms Fault for relatively non-existent marketing) which I feel takes instanced action adventure games to a new level (hence its greater and faster growing popularity over ffxi in Japan). I broadened it from "Open World vs Monster Hunter" to "Open World vs Instanced" since I was trying to avoid making MH fanboy posts. MH has had a dramatic effect on my perspective of not only adventure gaming but gaming as a whole, and I have trouble sharing these perception without coming off snobbish or sounding like an ***. Its hard not to since the majority dictates the trends so the only recourse is to try and lead people into ones camp for the sake of ones own enjoyment. This turns a Hobby into Politics.

Anyways, Monster Hunter gives the biggest sense of a "living world" than any MMO I'm sure, basically showing how Instanced games can still be relevant. The jungle level in the MH games feel like more of a dense jungle than FFXI's lame-*** labyrinth lined with shrubbery. although as pointed out before most of my points for MMO's lie in FFXI since I lack a taste for western fantasy games(although I am interested in Star Wars The Old Republic) and every other non-western online adventure game outside of ffxi sucks ***.

Battles are way more dynamic than MMOs with the usage of various tools like barrel bombs and pitfall traps along outside of just hacking and slashing. Also the battles don't lie in player and mobs standing face to facing whacking each other till one of you drops. Theirs actual prioritizing of when to attack and when to retreat/reposition which is way more "Cerebral" than I expect ffxiv to be. gear management is all about complimenting your personal play style, not just about dressing up your dolly to be able to take a lot of damage or deal a lot of damage which only succeeds to polarize our development priorities.

Mobs have more intricate AI outside "agro, make B-line for target till target is dead". This makes it feel like your fighting a zombie designed to look like something other than a zombie, fill an open world full of these zombie minded mofos sure does make it feel alive >.>. In MH mobs actually have some dodge maneuvers and the bosses will even retreat, chasing them can be a hassle of they fly, but that should appease those who like doing a lot of the running they will miss from an open-world :P

Also theirs no scaling of EXP based on levels since there are no levels, Where you go is dependent on what you actually want. Its more of an adventure rather than a side task you do in between grind sessions. Grinding should not be apart of the "adventuring" process. Theres a little grinding in MH tho, you have to increase your Hunters Rank Points to gain access to higher ranked missions. All this requires is for you to complete missions you have access to already, which you'll do anyway since you'll need to fight certain mobs several times to get necessary materials for desired weapons, armor, etc.

I'd like to see This franchise succeed to maybe one day evolve into an open-world game, or at least have an influence on other online adventure games including the open-world ones. Monster Hunter was one of the first games in a long time I could refer to as a "Game" last generation. I say this due to trends where Developers try to make games that are more than just entertaining and try to make them more "compelling" for some reason. Many of which either sold poorly or outright failed.

I'm not trying to say I know whats right, I'm just weary of what I'll be allowed to play due to the taste of others. Although thats not saying very much on a forum for a game more niche than the game I'm advocating.

Edited, Feb 25th 2010 7:01pm by baltz
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