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Monster Envy: From FFX to FFXIVFollow

#1 Apr 02 2010 at 11:04 PM Rating: Decent
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This was a great article on FFXIVCore that I thought was worth reposting here:
"Ralsu" wrote:
I was reading one of my favorite websites dedicated to RPGs near the end of February when I came across an article highlighting the RPGs of the decade (according to the editors of the website) from 2000-2009. Of the top ten games, Square Enix held three slots with Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, and Kingdom Hearts. I’ve played each of those SE titles, but FFX is the only one that draws me in for repeat play-throughs. The story is epic (or you just didn’t understand it), the graphics were cutting edge for their time, and Sphere Grid system was fun (or you just didn’t understand it). No doubt, everyone hopes Final Fantasy XIV will succeed in all of those same elements that make FFX terrific, but Tidus and company delivered something I hope to see FFXIV copy almost exactly: the bestiary.

It’s about more than Bombs and Cactuars

When I say that I hope FFXIV copies the bestiary of FFX, I (mostly) am not talking about copying the names and shapes of the creatures but rather the styles and types. Sure, I’d love to face off with a bomb or a cactuar in FFXIV, but I am more motivated by strategies required to defeat different types of enemies in FFX than I am by a sense of nostalgia to see my favorite creatures return. Continuing a tradition that has existed since the first Final Fantasy game, FFX created enemies that had a weakness to a particular type of attack. What’s more, some FFX monsters were very hard to kill without the right attack, which meant using a specific character. This is not unlike the way different weapon types worked against mobs in Final Fantasy XI, such as the effectiveness of blunt attacks on skeletons (thanks for the tip, guardianknight). I’ll share what I mean by looking at the enemies best suited for each character in FFX and how that might apply to FFXIV.

Elementals (Black Mage/Lulu)

It doesn’t take much thought to figure out that the Water Flan is weak to thunder, but it was its high physical defense in FFX (and FFXI - thanks again, guardianknight) that made it fun to encounter. I could kill it with my melee fighters eventually if I kept wailing on it. If my melee fighters wore thunder-enchanted weapons, the Water Flan would drop a little faster. Still, neither scenario played out as quickly as bringing Lulu into the party to cast Thunder. One simple spell from her could drop an enemy that would last rounds against my heavy hitters. Creatures in the elemental family gave Lulu purpose in FFX, and they would give black magic users a real feeling of contributing to a party in FFXIV, especially if the elementals partner up with some of the other creature types that would shred a black mage.

Machina (Thief/Rikku)

The FFX enemies in the machina family had annoying AoE attackes with their turrets or could interrupt white magic casting with automatic weapons fire. A few even launched missiles. That’s why you wanted Rikku in the party whenever you fought things like the Mech Gunner. Rikku could use her steal ability to completely disable many machina, resulting in a one-shot kill. It was faster and more efficient than exploiting their weakness to thunder or wearing machina down through melee attacks, and Rikku gained an item for the party in the process. The outcome of having such enemies in FFX was that even a fragile character like Rikku could save the day in a fight, and it’d be pretty cool in FFXIV, too. Players assuming the role of Thief could disable mechanical enemies (or at least remove some of their weapons or shields) through a series of steals. Maybe if it were possible to one-shot certain low level machines, a Thief could sneak through a field of living monsters that would spell his doom and quickly dispatch a single mechanical foe.

Undead (White Mage/Yuna)

Ignore Yuna’s summons for a second and think only of her role as White Mage in FFX. Aside from the obvious usefulness of healing the party, Yuna could turn her Cure spells on undead like the Ghost to deal damage to them. Sometimes Life would even dispatch them for good. Making an enemy type that was weak to white magic gave Yuna a chance to be more than a healbot. It allowed players to use her for direct damage on occasion and added some variety to encounters. FFXIV would do well to let its white magic users occasionally deal damage, too.

Overpowered Foes (Warrior/Auron)

The enemies best handled by Auron in FFX could come from many of the bestiary families, but they typically had some overpowered statistic that needed taking down. Most builds of Auron hit harder than any other character and had the highest HP, so Auron was great for those battles with strong beasts like the Wendigo. Auron could use his Break skills to lower whichever stat fit the needs of the party. He could use Armor Break or Mental Break if the goal was to hit the enemy harder and kill it faster. For fights that would be long no matter what, he could use Power Break or Magic Break to reduce the damage output of the enemy. To be really tricky, Auron could employ Zombie Break to turn an enemy into the undead, allowing Yuna to become a damage dealer. All of Auron’s Warrior skills would give a class like the Gladiator in FFXIV a way to shift the momentum in big battles.

Fast Enemies (Swordmaster/Tidus)

Tidus didn’t really have a clear class in FFX. He had the Flee skill normally relegated to the Thief and the Haste line typically associated with support casters like White Mage or Red Mage. He was lightning fast, like the archetypal Monk, so Tidus was best at fighting swift enemies like Ipiria. When Auron’s slow swipes would miss these nimble creatures, Tidus would strike true with his blade. FFXIV could give the Pugilist a niche in the combat department by letting these highly-trained fighters have the advantage against swift enemies.

Flying Monsters (Archer/Wakka)

Wakka used a Blitz ball instead of a bow and arrow in FFX, but he was the ranged attacker. Land fighters Rikku and Auron had a hard time reaching flyers such as the Garuda, so Wakka had to take care of them. Not only did Wakka’s attacks do more damage against flying enemies, but his Buster special skills could add status effects to take big flyers out of the fight while the rest of the party thinned the numbers. The Archer could fill this role in FFXIV.

Learning from Opponents (Blue Mage/Kimahri)

Like Tidus, Kimahri Ronso was a bit of a hybrid class in FFX. He had the Jump skill like a Dragoon and could learn Blue Mage skills from enemies. Starting almost in the middle of the Sphere Grid, Kimahri’s build depended on the player’s mood, but the skills he could learn from monsters could do things no other skills could, which has always been the allure of the Blue Mage. For instance, the Mighty Guard skill he could learn from the Behemoth could cast Protect, Shell, and NullAll on the whole party. Gamers have enjoyed copying enemy skills since the Blue Mage debuted in Final Fantasy V, so it’s hard to imagine that FFXIV won’t give players that option.

Parting Thoughts
All of the bestiary families in FFX achieve one thing: some characters or classes are best suited to fight a particular enemy. It’s a gameplay dynamic that most MMOs lack. Thanks to guardianknight (for a third time), I know that FFXI did a good job with making each class useful based on an enemy's weakness to the preferred weapon of that class. He told me about an area in Limbus that really puts this system to good use by featuring creatures with an extreme resistance to one weapon type but an extreme weakness to another. This is exactly the kind of thing I mean.

I’d never advocate a system that required a certain class in the party on a consistent basis to succeed, but FFXIV could be really fun if certain areas were populated by creatures that made players wish they had an Archer (or Pugilist or Marauder) with them. And that’s what I’d like to see carry over from FFX into FFXIV. In a game that promises so much versatility by allowing players to change classes between fights, giving each class a set of benefits and deficits against the different monster types would add a lot of strategy to combat. It would be exciting and engaging to encounter a chain of monsters that included a Water Flan, a Garuda, and an Ipiria. Players would be forced to work together to survive. What do you think?


http://www.ffxivcore.com/topic/4087-getting-to-the-core-monster-envy/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
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#2 Apr 02 2010 at 11:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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All of the bestiary families in FFX achieve one thing: some characters or classes are best suited to fight a particular enemy. It’s a gameplay dynamic that most MMOs lack.



Because it's just not a rock, paper, scissors strategy if your hand is stuck on paper?

In FFX's scenario, the single-player game allows the player to access all the necessary tools in form of characters. They find a paper enemy, they present the scissors character. In an MMO the player can only access the tool that their own character is. If your a scissors character, and you come across a rock enemy, well your just sort of SOL. This only presents a strategic choice for the creator of the party, only at the time of it's conception, and only if enough options are present.

If we are going to fall back on rock, paper, scissors, let's at least use it in such a way each player gets to participate. (And not require them to level up multiple classes simultaneously to do so :p ). For all the distressing homogeneity we can see of ability information on the official site, even 'Blunt, Slash, Projectile' offers more choices to an individual player within the scope of a single class than the proposed idea.



/edit: clarified ninja edit.
Sorry kachi.


Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 2:17am by Zemzelette
#3 Apr 02 2010 at 11:26 PM Rating: Good
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This was definitely an interesting read, considering I am a huge fan, as most people are, of Final Fantasy X. I definitely agree with most of the points that Raisu brought up. What I'm curious to know is if this style would work with a MMO. I mean, it seems like a system with minimal flaws to me now, but who knows. Only the game developers know, and possibly the alpha testers at the moment.

I'm thinking though, that with the ability to change classes/disciples while in passive mode, that SE is moving towards a FFX/XIII build. I think it'll become a matter of everyone helping each other out just to bang out more "experience points" in the end. Say you're fighting a pack of flan and you have some skill in your Disciple of Magic. You may switch from a Gladiator to a Conjurer in order to help take down the flan faster, so that you could move on to bigger and better things. Maybe diversity in classes will play a bigger role in this game, rather than maxing out one class. Of course, this is all just speculation.
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#4 Apr 02 2010 at 11:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Because it's just not a rock, paper, scissors strategy if your hand is stuck on paper?


I don't think there's anything wrong with a natural advantage mechanic, but FFX was far from the best implementation of this. The best one that springs to mind was Pokemon, and that of course could have been much better. The relative complexity of it went a long way nonetheless.
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#5 Apr 03 2010 at 1:09 AM Rating: Decent
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a system like this would go some ways in pushing back an aspect of the game they're trying to make more accessible: solo play. i suppose in the early areas where nearly everything doesn't attack on sight (or smell!) a player could go around and hand pick the monsters that are particularly weak to the player's respective class without fearing everything else that isn't, but i assume this initial docility won't last the more you travel Eorzea. the player would then be forced to level on enemies that take a longer time to kill and create more downtime for recovering health.

now if they were to implement this system for parties and figure out a way to omit it or lessen its influence on solo play i can see it being particularly nice, especially since parties this time around will handle multiple mobs instead of pulling one to camp. target specialization would add so much depth to battles!


Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 6:59pm by snuggans
#6 Apr 03 2010 at 1:32 AM Rating: Good
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Funny, I hated FFX's battle system for that exact reason. Enemies that are tailor-made for each one of my party members? Where's the challenge? The battle strategy was spelled out so much in that game that it was almost insulting. It had about as much depth as that game for toddlers where you have to put the cylindrical block in the circular hole. Sure, you could probably jam the cube through there with a sh*t-ton of work, but why fight the uphill battle?

It's also a bad fit for FFXIV. Make it so that enemies are so clearly vulnerable to a particular job, and here's what will happen: players will isolate the enemy which is easiest to kill en masse by a particular job while providing the most return, and that will become the golden standard for exp'ing.

Now that being said, obviously some subtle differences between the jobs' capabilities against different enemies should be expected, and they definitely do add to the level of strategy. But god, please nowhere to the extent of FFX.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 3:33am by Eske

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 4:09am by Eske
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#7 Apr 03 2010 at 3:09 AM Rating: Good
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players will isolate the enemy which is easiest to kill en masse by a particular job while providing the most return, and that will become the golden standard for exp'ing.


Hmm what, you kind of mean like Collibri ?

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 5:10am by Diakar
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#8 Apr 03 2010 at 6:01 AM Rating: Decent
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I find it funny how the author suggests that if we didn't like the sg-system/story, we didn't understand it. He/she seems unfamiliar with the concept of taste.
#9 Apr 03 2010 at 7:44 AM Rating: Decent
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No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

FFX had, as the link suggests, like SIX types of enemies, that's it. A couple, like machines, had a few slightly different shapes, but still, it seriously lacked variety of mobs. As for the weakness thing, I just found it stupid. Each character had 1 or 2 types they pretty much had to kill. There's really not much stratgey there, just tedium imo. And the fact that some characters only have access to like 1 type, it would not be fair to make them great against 1 type of mob and practically useless against all others, while something like the gladiator could do great damage to almost all types. Yes, some weakneses, or else they wouldn't have different attack types like piercing and slashing, I mean FFXI had this too, but not to the extent of FFX.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 12:58pm by Raymund
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#10 Apr 03 2010 at 8:25 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I find it funny how the author suggests that if we didn't like the sg-system/story, we didn't understand it. He/she seems unfamiliar with the concept of taste.


haha yeah, i actually played a ton of ffx and as much as i didn't hate the SG... i didn't like it. I actually found it a lot more limiting then most other systems.

Sure you had control over where to go, but it was a simulated control you really didn't have. Only until the end when you get to clear the spheres and refill them do you really have any control. It's a set path you follow for most of the people that was pre-configured. A free system would be minus SG altogether and just give us skill points we can use... but what do i know.
#11 Apr 03 2010 at 8:40 AM Rating: Decent
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As much as I liked FFX, I don't think it would work well in FFXIV. I could see people abusing that for exp/farming parties by just having a healer and many classes that have the advantage against that mob type. I'm all for the elemental weaknesses and slashing/blunt/piercing weaknesses, but not to specific classes. Sometimes I felt that certain characters HAD to kill the monster. It's been a long time, but as far as I know, some monsters needed piercing weapons which was usually Auron's and sometimes Calamari's (sorry that's what I called him when I was younger) which was just plain annoying.
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#12 Apr 03 2010 at 9:47 AM Rating: Decent
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EliteSerge wrote:
Calamari's

Teehee.

And this just reeks of burn parties to be honest. Nice concept, but can't see it working as intended.
#13 Apr 03 2010 at 10:50 AM Rating: Decent
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TerisaFenrir wrote:
EliteSerge wrote:
Calamari's

Teehee.

And this just reeks of burn parties to be honest. Nice concept, but can't see it working as intended.


I giggled as well and I do agree this would end up being abused.
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#14 Apr 03 2010 at 11:04 AM Rating: Good
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Diakar wrote:
Quote:
players will isolate the enemy which is easiest to kill en masse by a particular job while providing the most return, and that will become the golden standard for exp'ing.


Hmm what, you kind of mean like Collibri ?

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 5:10am by Diakar


I never really made it to FFXI's end-game, which I'm gathering is where Colibri are tackled. I googled the mob real quick and found this quote, which is what I'm basing my understanding off of:
Quote:
Why do I get the feeling that it's like FFXI replacing colibri with the boyada tree? Find the weakest of the high level mobs and whack on it for hour and hours so that you can gain abilities or traits or spells.

That's sort of what I'm implying, although with the added caveat that players will also isolate the single job-mob combination that works best. Meaning that if it turns out that archers absolutely ravage say, cactuars, which provide the most return (exp, skill-ups, whatever) then everyone and their mother will be demanding archers for their party. Its a recipe for job balance problems.
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#15 Apr 03 2010 at 1:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Jesus I remember when Boyahda Tree was the place to be. Terrible, terrible times.
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#16 Apr 03 2010 at 4:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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As many users had said here, rock-paper-scrssors when you or your opponent can only play one type of hand isn't a fun game. Games that utilize rock-paper-scissor systems do so by typically giving you a team. In pokemon you have up to 6 monsters to choose from, and FFX you had 3 at time out of 7. These games wouldn't be fun if you could only play one character all the time. If you could only play Auron with piercing advantage it's not as fun. If you can only play Charizard and are stuck as a fire type, then it's not fun.

What I hope FFXIV needs to do with its elemental types system is is increase the frequency of advantages and disadvantageous. Thinking of a wave, when the peaks and valleys come much faster, players are less able to abuse the system and will probably have more fun. If you have an entire zone full of only fire mobs and another zone full of only water mobs, then you have a situation waiting for exploitation by the players. If you combine them into one zone, where suddenly people have to alternate between fighting water mobs and fire mobs, you have a slightly more balanced system. Even better, I'd like to see mobs that changed type in battle (say after using a water attack it was weak to lightning effects and after using a fire attack it was weak to water effects). this creates greater balance, because in very same type many types of elements have advantages, and allows for more strategy; should you use your big lightning tp move right away or should you wait a bit for the mob to vulenrable to lightning, risking extra damage for potentially wasted tp.
#17 Apr 03 2010 at 4:14 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
As many users had said here, rock-paper-scrssors when you or your opponent can only play one type of hand isn't a fun game. Games that utilize rock-paper-scissor systems do so by typically giving you a team. In pokemon you have up to 6 monsters to choose from, and FFX you had 3 at time out of 7. These games wouldn't be fun if you could only play one character all the time. If you could only play Auron with piercing advantage it's not as fun. If you can only play Charizard and are stuck as a fire type, then it's not fun.

What I hope FFXIV needs to do with its elemental types system is is increase the frequency of advantages and disadvantageous. Thinking of a wave, when the peaks and valleys come much faster, players are less able to abuse the system and will probably have more fun. If you have an entire zone full of only fire mobs and another zone full of only water mobs, then you have a situation waiting for exploitation by the players. If you combine them into one zone, where suddenly people have to alternate between fighting water mobs and fire mobs, you have a slightly more balanced system. Even better, I'd like to see mobs that changed type in battle (say after using a water attack it was weak to lightning effects and after using a fire attack it was weak to water effects). this creates greater balance, because in very same type many types of elements have advantages, and allows for more strategy; should you use your big lightning tp move right away or should you wait a bit for the mob to vulenrable to lightning, risking extra damage for potentially wasted tp.


Agreed. Class advantages will be at their best if they're dynamic, and slightly unpredictable. Everyone should have a place at the table, and that won't happen if mob weaknesses can be isolated with too much ease.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 6:15pm by Eske
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#18 Apr 03 2010 at 6:46 PM Rating: Decent
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It would be pretty sad if the mob had only one weakness or resistance.

It would be much more useful if the mobs could be made to be weak or strong against types of attacks based upon your own attacks.

Wack a goblin with a hammer and he gains some resistance to the hammer. Perform a skill chain with a hammer and the mob loses resistance against the hammer. Similar to how black mage spells in ffxi will be weaker with consecutive hits rather than spaced out hits from multiple black mages with the same spell.

This would allow any party to fight practically any mob. Though a dynamically shifting weakness/resistance would be quite a learning curve, that wouldn't be going to far from what ffxi is right now.

What comes to mind is ff 13, where to do major damage, you need to stagger the enemy. you can stagger him by doing damage, and certain types of attacks will increase his gauge little but make it decay slower, and certain attacks will rapidly fill the gauge but the gauge rapidly decays.

You have to find a balance between what mobs are killable through regular attacks and on which mobs it becomes necessary to focus on staggering, while at the same time making sure you don't die.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2010 8:48pm by MetalSmith
#19 Apr 03 2010 at 7:59 PM Rating: Decent
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MetalSmith wrote:
Wack a goblin with a hammer and he gains some resistance to the hammer.

I really like the core idea here, though I think it would be better to frame it as losing a bonus than gaining a loss (players tend to react better to not getting a bonus than something being taken away from them). Players should be given reasons not to spam the same attack over and over.
#20 Apr 03 2010 at 8:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Essentially, I want SE to take some of these great ideas from xi like skill chains and make them more important to the battle system. Instead of giving a 3 second window to cast an elemental spell that the skill chain was part of, have it be more like how aggro works.

When you aggro something, it's easiest to think of it as a bar. that bar shoots up when you aggro, gaining X amount for whatever reason then decaying at a rate of y aggro per second.

instead of limiting that to aggro, also have a system that is dynamic for every type of attack. A mob would naturally have resistance to blunt damage, but if you run up and start poking it, it will slowly change it's posture to defend against the piercing weapon.

In this way, if you attacked a mob with, for some dumb reason, 5 guys wielding spears, the mob would very quickly gain a high level of resistance towards piercing damage. At the same time, it will also be less apt to defend against other weapons.

So, a strategy in XIV could be to initially attack the enemy with spear melee and then switch to something blunt like a mace or staff or fists, while the spear melee switches to more buffing / debuffing roles. The debuffing or buffing ideas I'm thinking of come right out of FF Tactics Advanced, like Power Break, Magic Break, Weapon Break, etc. Or a move like First Aid.

Advancing different types of attacks rather than everyone just pummeling the mob can turn into a much more effective strategy. It would also promote parties to be diverse, and make it more important to have party members with a wide array of abilities. A swordsmen who only has attack skills would be less desirable than a swordsman who can heal or debuff with a sword tech.

#21 Apr 05 2010 at 10:56 AM Rating: Decent
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interesting.

I always think FFXIV could work more on elemental stuff(not over-doing it though, like a PLD holding a earth staff while tanking in FFXI...)

just like Naruto... each ninja has access to like 2 elements, of course SE should find a way to make it balance, or perhaps have different tribes of the race has better but not limited to the access of those elements.

like lets say the dunesfolk lalafell are better at Earth and Fire, the moonseeker Miqo'te are better at Thunder and Water or something (im just making this up)
and same applies to the mobs of course.


but keep in mind that we are going to fight a party of mobs isntead of a single one in FFXIV, so there would be more elements in the battle to think about.

I think one cool idea would be a party of different kind of mobs together, so we would be fighting different mobs with diff weaknesses during the battle, instead of having to fight a party of 2 raptors, a party of 3 dodos, a party of 4 antilopes which would probably have the same weaknesses.

anybody understands what im saying?
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