That's why there are articles all over the internet about how MMO's should be banned because people are neglecting their kids to the point of them starving to death.
Well, that's quite an exception fallacy, though.
To the rest of what you said, I'm just going to move my post from the end of page 3 over here, because I suspect that it would go unnoticed otherwise. It was addressed to Aurelius' comment about death penalties. Blue, I agree with you on a certain level; it's all about balance. An achievement gained without any effort feels cheap, but if the effort required is too great, it becomes arduous and tiresome.
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
My experience is that the people insisting that penalties should be severe and unforgiving just argue from that point of view because they think it makes them badass.
While I don't doubt that such people exist, I do think that you're dismissing a more legitimate reason for severe death penalties, one which isn't sadistic or masochistic. I'll preface my explanation by saying that I don't believe that FFXIV is the appropriate medium for such penalties, however. To me, FFXI felt like a more casual game than my personal benchmark for "hardcore" gameplay, which would be EVE. I'm happy with that though, and I'm hoping that FFXIV continues or expands on this trend.
I think that another poster mentioned it, but there is a very real adrenaline surge that can come with risks. Aurelius, you may not experience it, but I can assure you both that it exists, and that it is compounded as you risk more. In EVE, this risk came in the form of losing your expensive ship, its expensive fittings, and its expensive cargo. Nothing in that game is permanent...even the biggest, most badass ships get blown up (provided you're doing more with it then just keeping it in the closet to look at occasionally). Even the strongest alliances and corporations (EVE's guilds) fold, and often by very unsavory means. You get used to the idea of losing everything quick, or you quit.
And I loved it. I'll admit that it could be tough...losing stuff that you worked for months to get, in a matter of seconds. But it could also be amazing when you reaped the benefits of that risk/reward system, or when you skirted death by just a few degrees. The sweet is never so sweet without the sour, so to speak.
The best analogy I can make is to the the adrenaline surge that I get when I pass a speed trap, and I'm going over the speed limit. I'd get that same feeling when I was running with some expensive cargo, and suddenly a pirate would pop up on radar. "Did he see me? He did! sh*t! Run run run!!" (not to imply that I run from the cops, but you get the idea) If you escaped that situation, you'd actually have to take a few minutes to recuperate. A lot of situations in EVE left my heart beating rapid-fire, no exaggeration. It felt great though...experiencing that rush of emotions: trying to make quick decisions in spite of desperation and panic, and ultimately feeling joy at a loss averted by cunning, preparation, or twitch skills.
Basically, I think that bumping up the risk makes it so that the spread of possible emotion you can feel is wider. The highs are higher, but the lows are also much lower. I bet that EVE had a massive number of rage quits, but I'd also wager that it's had a comparable share of resubs from those jonesing for that adrenaline kick.
Like I said though, I don't really wish that for FFXIV. I kind of like the idea of a more casual game...personally, I didn't go to FFXI for anything "hardcore". I'm hoping that it'll satisfy my need for a relaxing, social experience, not my need for intensity and adrenaline. I've got plenty of other games for the latter at the moment. Edited, May 16th 2010 9:52pm by Eske