I see what you are saying Mikhalia.
Its not that you aren't making sense your point is pretty clear. Few players tends to create a tighter community. However in my opinion I don't view this as a means to make a better game per say. Fewer players does in fact mean less idiots playing but it also means less skilled players sticking around.
Agreed, mostly. I slightly disagree with the last part, but not strongly enough to argue the point further since you may in fact be right, so I'll concede it to you.
The better solution IMHO is to introduce a better metric for measuring players reliability and dedication through use of in game or web based filtering systems such as gear score. I know gear score is often complained about for not being an accurate measure of performance so I would suggest a more robust system that does not yet exist or has yet to be invented.
You allow for more players and better "filtering" of bads in this way casual players can enjoy the game and you never need to deal with them. You lose less actually skilled players who have less spare time. That is the better method than to globally and purposefully induce a general lack of interest where everyone goes back to wow for their fix and FFXIV never goes above 500k players again.
Again, I mostly agree with you, especially in the idea of needing better metrics to weed out bads. Like I said, I'm still playing WoW because I think it's a good game, and I admit that I never got ACTUAL enjoyment out of being forced into things like long party waits and harsh death penalties. It's not that I am so masochistic that I enjoy the barriers, but rather that I enjoy them there because I know they weed out bads, and so I suffer through them. In an ideal game, you would have no barriers and no bads, but IME between the games I've played, more barriers = less bads and less barriers = more bads. So I do agree that there should be a better metric in place; a "skill score" if you will. I still disagree that it's disinterest that forces most people to quit, but rather frustration (with the barriers). In the end, they still quit though so the reason isn't terribly relevant.
EDIT: And gear score is only largely inaccurate because heroics give you 232/245 gear for very little work involved. In pro-LK situations where there was actual raid progression, it might be relevant. Say you had to grind heroics to get ilvl 200s, then do Naxx/OS/EoE until you were Uld-geared, then do Uld until you were ToC geared, then do ToC until you were IC geared... by the time you get to ToC/IC, the difficulty and time requirements of previous raids would likely have weeded out the bads. Unfortunately, Blizzard decided to go a different way and wanted EVERYONE (regardless of skill) to have the ability to experience the current tier of raiding with as few roadblocks as possible. Result? Few barriers = more bads.
T6 content in BC was genuinely difficult, but it was also doable by a larger percentage of the people who actually got to it because by the time you were T5 geared, you had enough raid experience under your belt that you (usually) weren't functionally retarded. In a situation like this where gear leads to better gear leads to even better gear, and each step along the way requires time and effort, gear score would be a valid way to separate the good from the bad. In LK content, you go straight from heroics (entry level endgame content for fresh 80s) to whatever the current tier of raid is. And the result is that you spend more time than you should need to booting the bads and running back to Dalaran to replace them after they can't seem to grasp simple concepts like attacking bone spikes and not standing in bone storm like a **** idiot, having facerolled their way through heroics to get the gear they have.
I'm on the fence about this idea that fewer people playing somehow equates to a better experience. Especially since even with fewer players your still going to run into drgs with phalanx rings in merits. And don't tell me I'm wrong on that one.. More robust ranking and filtering is the better way to go.
Well the point we both made and agree on was that more people logically also means more bad people, therefore one can infer that less people logically also means less bad people, hence my reasoning that fewer people results in a better experience (for the people who aren't bads). Plus, in a game like FFXI, when you consider that merit camps, dragon's aery, etc were severely overcrowded as it was, I think taking FFXI's 500k and increasing it to 5m would cause massive chaos and result in a WORSE experience unless SE instanced a ton of sh*t, which they never will. In a game designed the way FFXI was, I almost always felt that the current player base was an ideal amount. And for the record, I think their 500k is inaccurate, I think it's really closer to 300-350k but I can't prove it or back it up, so there you go.
And no, I won't disagree with the DRGs in phalanx rings. Like I said, barriers reduce stupidity, but no amount of metrics and barriers will ever truly eliminate it.
I want to see FFXIV be a successful and popular game. Not another FFXI where nobody has even played it other than me which is sad because I work in the **** game industry around people who play games all the **** time...
FFXI was very obviously designed (initially) with a very specific type of player base in mind. SE wanted players who WANTED to group, WANTED to spend large amounts of time leveling, WANTED to spend large amounts of time waiting for things, and then large amounts of time doing them. I'm convinced that SE's key demographic for FFXI was unemployed people.
Over the years, and to stifle the cries of "Those silly NAs", they have added a lot of things to the game that have made it far more casual friendly than it ever used to be (though I fear it is too late for FFXI to get the player influx it could have had if things like FoV and Campaign were around in 04-05), but it is still nowhere near the casual friendly MMO WoW is, nor will it ever be. It's a decidedly different game with a decidedly different target audience. Let's be honest, it's an Asian grinder. Anyone who has played other Asian grinders besides XI knows what I mean.
I also want to see FFXIV be successful. Regardless of what any of us want specifically to see in XIV (Surnames or not, PvP or not, Soloable or not, Casual friendly or not), I don't think it accurate to say that anyone has wishes for something they want in FFXIV because they DON'T want it to be successful.
I'd love to see FFXIV successful on a level enough where other people have heard of the game and played it. You can't spit in public without it landing on someone who plays or played WoW. Most mentions of FFXI in public were met with confusion or "Oh.. yeah I skipped that one". I'd certainly like to see more people in 14, but I don't know that I'd want it at the cost of dealing with vast amounts of stupid. I deal with enough stupid at work, I don't need it at home too, ya know? Edited, Mar 23rd 2010 5:20pm by Mikhalia