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Short FFXIV Write-up in June GIFollow

#1 May 13 2010 at 7:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hi all,

For those interested, this month's (June's) Game Informer has a short (1 page) write up on FFXIV.

The author had a chance to play around with Alpha. Admittedly, I may be out of the loop on some of this stuff but a few things were news to me:
-He talks about the opening cut scene if you pick Limsa Lominsa as your starting point.
-There is an ATB gauge which takes 3-4 seconds to fill up, then allows you to choose one command. This was a sticking point for him- he said that even by MMO standards, combat felt slow.
-Classes can be changed on the fly.
-Brief mention of an "effect gauge" which influences attack strength and the TP gauge (he was kind of vague on this point).
-Crystals in each area that replenish HP/MP.
-He says there isn't going to be a PS3 beta (really?!)

Again, I don't know if any of this is really "new" info., but I thought it was cool that FFXIV was getting some press here in the States.
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#2 May 13 2010 at 8:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
-He says there isn't going to be a PS3 beta (really?!)


Did he quote a dev, or make a guess? Hopefully it's just conjecture.

S/E's official site still has the option to pick PS3 or Windows as your decision. I had planned on signing up for the PS3 version once I get a PS3.

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#3 May 13 2010 at 9:11 PM Rating: Good
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He doesn't really say where he got that. He definitely didn't quote a dev, so take it FWIW. Here's the quote from the mag:

"Though I saw the PC version of Final Fantasy XIV - there will not be a beta for PS3 - it was demoed quite comfortably with a controller".

That's really all he says, so I'm not sure where he's getting that.
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#4 May 13 2010 at 9:15 PM Rating: Decent
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I guess i don't mind them cancelling the beta if that's what does indeed happen. As long as they don't cancel the PS3 release, I'll be good.

Thanks for the info, one way or the other. :)
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#5 May 14 2010 at 12:06 AM Rating: Decent
SE has said that there will be a PS3 beta. I haven't read anything at all from SE that has since said otherwise. The standard caveat applies..."If it doesn't come directly from the mouths of the devs, take it with a healthy dose of skepticism."
#6 May 14 2010 at 12:12 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
-There is an ATB gauge which takes 3-4 seconds to fill up, then allows you to choose one command. This was a sticking point for him- he said that even by MMO standards, combat felt slow.


I hope combat doesn't feel slow. Star Trek Online had a similar issue. I ended up getting out of that largely in part because combat was so tedious.
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#7 May 14 2010 at 12:38 AM Rating: Good
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regarding slow combat:

i wonder if he means slow by mmo standards or slow comparing it to xi. i found xi's pacing to be a tad slow, so if it's worse than that i think we're in trouble. would have been nice if he used that explicitly as a point of comparison, but oh well.
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#8 May 14 2010 at 1:21 AM Rating: Default
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The guy who played the Alpha is a tard... done.
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#9 May 14 2010 at 5:03 AM Rating: Good
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Onionthiefx wrote:
regarding slow combat:

i wonder if he means slow by mmo standards or slow comparing it to xi. i found xi's pacing to be a tad slow, so if it's worse than that i think we're in trouble. would have been nice if he used that explicitly as a point of comparison, but oh well.
Seems likely that he means by general MMO standards. I wonder if he'd class 'FFXI' as the same type of slow? Anyway this is only alpha, not even beta, I'm almost certain they'll tweak it to be faster since this issue seems to be cropping up.

Personally I'd be happy with roughly what FFXI is, when you have 15-25%~ of haste on. That as a base, and of course have the spell haste and equipment haste and such available. FFXI has my favourite MMO combat out of any that I've played or witnessed, the reason I just couldn't stop leveling DD's...
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#10 May 14 2010 at 9:13 AM Rating: Default
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At the beginning of the article he actually does mention that he played FFXI but quit because combat was too slow (he said it was too much like EverQuest). My interpretation of what he wrote was that combat was slightly quicker than FFXI but slower than that of, say, WoW.

FFXI's combat was a mixed bag for me. When I was soloing as DRG/mage, I always had something to do, but as a DRG in a party it was pretty dull. Perhaps with being able to change classes on the fly some of that "do nothing" time will be mitigated.

I didn't mention this in the OP, but he also said release is still scheduled for 2010, but again did not cite a source for that info. I'm really hoping he's right about this. You figure they want 6 months or so for beta; that's cutting it pretty close.
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#11 May 14 2010 at 9:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Tytrian wrote:

-There is an ATB gauge which takes 3-4 seconds to fill up, then allows you to choose one command. This was a sticking point for him- he said that even by MMO standards, combat felt slow.


From everything I have seen this is not the case. Of course combat feels slow in the alpha, ESPECIALLY because as a low level player you do not have enough skills to make the combat faster. The ATB gauge from what I have seen refills slowly for each skill, so of course if just using your basic attack it would take 3-4 seconds to attack again. However, if you attack with your basic, you can then use any other skill that has a full ATB gauge.

I'm not worried about the speed of combat, we haven't seen enough development. At the time of release I'm sure it will be paced well.
#12 May 14 2010 at 9:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
-There is an ATB gauge which takes 3-4 seconds to fill up, then allows you to choose one command. This was a sticking point for him- he said that even by MMO standards, combat felt slow.


This is precisely why there's an NDA.

The devs are aware of this and its being caused by server issues, and plan to pick up the pace.

I think it's pretty idiotic to write anything negative in a review at this stage, and I doubt he had permission to either.


People are now already short selling the game for having a crap battle system, when it really isn't going to be.

Edited, May 14th 2010 11:32am by ditx
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#13 May 14 2010 at 9:48 AM Rating: Decent
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Not sure if this is allowed to be said or not, I don't come to alla very often... From a youtube video I saw earlier this week of a Taru using a great axe, when he wasn't lagging he was attacking faster than a WAR in ffxi would with a great axe. The video has since been removed I think. Anyways, I figured if he can attack that fast at such a low level there's nothing to worry about with combat speed in the game, especially later in the game
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#14 May 14 2010 at 3:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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Three choice quotes from this article:

Quote:
I couldn't force myself to play ffxi more than a week


Quote:
(referring to FFXI) Though I understand the appeal of Everquest with a Final Fantasy skin


Quote:
Square Enix has been upfront about its intention to follow in blizzard's footsteps


The writer goes on to trash FFXI while praising WOW through his expertise in playing a whole week(!) of the game while ******** that if you try to switch weapons during combat it resets your ATB gauge. I usually tend to give writers some slack in their reviews, but this was just god-awful, and this writer had no business reviewing FFXIV. For christ's sake, if FFXI was successful enough to warrant monthly "My Life In Vanadiel" articles in another game magazine, glazing the entire MMO over with "only played a week" is unacceptable for any game reviewer.

The last quote, I must admit, has me worried. One of the things I loved about FFXI is how wildly different it was from WOW. Hopefully that was just more hot air leaking out of the writer's head.
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#15 May 14 2010 at 11:22 PM Rating: Good
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If you guys wanna read the whole article here it is.

Can Square Enix finally craft a more approachable modern MMO? by Philip Kollar

Before I get into details about Final Fantasy XIV, I should be clear about my Square Enix MMO history: Though I'm a life long fan of the classic JRPG franchise, I couldn't force myself to play Final Fantasy XI for longer than a week. I can understand the appeal of EverQuest with a Final Fantasy skin, but I had already played EverQuest. FF XI was too slow, too awkward to control, and too unrefined. By the time it was out, I was ready for World of Warcraft to come along and set a new precedent for less intimidating MMOs.
Square Enix has been upfront about it's intention to follow in Blizzard's footsteps and make Final Fantasy XIV more accessible. With the game still planned for a 2010 release and an alpha version now running, we were finally able to check out FF XIV this month, but the changes weren't always as obvious as I had expected. I watched the tutorial segment for Limsa Lominsa, one of the three possible locations to begin your journey. Choose this locale, and you'll find yourself aboard an instanced ship headed to this port city. After you learn some basic controls, the ship hits stormy weather and, in a beautiful, cinematic cut scene, is invaded by a small army of squid-like sea monsters. After watching a few powerful characters do some stylish hacking and slashing, you regain control of your character for the combat portion of the tutorial.
Needless to say, the actual in-game combat is less exciting than the cut scenes, though it also recalls other Final Fantasy games better than XI did. Once you enter combat, the action gauge begins filling up (similar to the ATB gauge that solo FF fans are used to). After three to four seconds, you're allowed to select an attack. Your available actions depend on your class, which can be changed on the fly simply by switching weapons. For example, if you have an axe equipped, you'll become a Marauder and unlock the "Hack" ability, which does a single strike.
You'll need to wait another few seconds for your action gauge to refill between every attack, which makes the combat in FF XIV sluggish even by MMO standards. Other strategic elements, such as the effect gauge, which controls attack strength, and TP meter, which builds and allows for stronger abilities throughout the course of combat, adds layers of complexity. However, they may not be enough to engage players in an otherwise very slow-paced combat system.
Thankfully, virtually everything else about Final Fantasy XIV seems much easier to jump into. Each area contains numerous crystals, all of which restore HP/MP. Guildleves grant you quick quests, and you can even adjust the difficulty to make missions easy enough for solo play or hard enough to require a party. The only major issue I found with the questing structure is that most NPC dialogue appears in the regular chat box, a problem FF XI had as well. I hope it is changed before launch.
Though I saw the PC version of Final Fantasy XIV - there will not be a beta for PS3 - it was demoed quite comfortably with a controller. The combat's simplicity tailors it to a console audience that may not be familiar with the complexity of most button-filled MMO's, but I'm still skeptical whether the game can keep me interested at its current speed. Anything in this early alpha version is subject to change, though, so I'll have to wait it out before i can pass serious Judgment.

Edited, May 15th 2010 1:26am by LordAshal
#16 May 15 2010 at 10:55 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
SE has said that there will be a PS3 beta. I haven't read anything at all from SE that has since said otherwise. The standard caveat applies..."If it doesn't come directly from the mouths of the devs, take it with a healthy dose of skepticism."


QFT. And even when the devs say things, they warn that it may or may not stay that way. But last known info from the devs was that there WILL be a PS3 beta.


At the very least the article writer tries to save some face by say "Anything in this early alpha version is subject to change, though, so I'll have to wait it out before i can pass serious Judgment." at the end of his article.

I personally don't think it sounds like a fair review. It would be like me trying to review the newest Halo game, even though I've spent less than 10 minutes total ever playing any Halo game.
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#17 May 15 2010 at 11:31 AM Rating: Decent
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Sounds like the guy from GI doesn't know what hes talking about, there's a surprise !
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#18 May 15 2010 at 10:05 PM Rating: Good
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I do think they should speed things up. And making an article criticizing a game before it comes out isn't a bad thing, it puts the pressure on developers.
#19 May 15 2010 at 11:49 PM Rating: Good
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Sure, it put pressure on the developers. But the idea is that the person who is writing the article admittedly doesn't know what he's basing his opinions on.

The combat is slow, in the alpha test, due to a number of things that SE is aware of.
He's making comparisons to FFXI, that he played for a week. And couldn't stand! It's like saying "Hey I watched 3 episodes of Power Rangers and it sucked, now Disney is making a new version and I saw a commercial and I think it's going to be horrible too."

There is fair criticism, and there is opinionated pre-judgment.

Edited, May 16th 2010 2:02pm by ReiThor
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#20 May 16 2010 at 12:13 AM Rating: Default
ReiThor wrote:
Their is fair criticism, and there is opinionated pre-judgment.


People around here should be used to that by now.

<.<
#21 May 16 2010 at 1:10 AM Rating: Decent
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Is this this same GI writer that shafted AvP because the motion tracker beeping annoyed him and the Predator missions were "too stealthy?" lolGI
#22 May 16 2010 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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I think the part about no PS3 beta is just a typo/error on the writer's part. I think he was trying to say that there would be no PS3 alpha.

At least this is the way it sounded when I read it, even though it says beta.
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#23 May 16 2010 at 10:32 PM Rating: Default
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ReiThor wrote:


There is fair criticism, and there is opinionated pre-judgment.

Edited, May 16th 2010 2:02pm by ReiThor


No one is going to play a game longer than a week if they didn't enjoy it by then. And you can make whatever comparisons you want - but if something can't catches someone's attention fast you'll just go to something else. Theres lots of MMORPGs out there and theres no reason for someone to spend longer than 1 week on one if he didn't enjoy it by then. Doesn't mean its a bad game over all but it does mean it fails captivate customers quickly.

And yes its only an Alpha and the developers have said 'blah blah blah', but the fact is, he hasn't played the game 'fast paced' hes played it slow. So his opinion is not going to 'well hypothetically in the future if the developers keep their word (which they don't always) and I was hypothetically playing it then , then this would be the greatest game ever.' And given it isn't even out--all he can give is an opinionated pre-judgement, which is fair criticism given the context he has to work in.

I think other than the 'no ps3 beta' thing, the article is completely fair.

It doesn't matter what the developers are going to do, or say they are going to change. All that matters is what he played then and now. And people want to know how the game is shaping up so thats why the article is written.

On a second note:
I think so far too Square Enix has failed miserably marketing this game. I has almost zero hype outside of the 'community', its almost never mentioned on big video game websites and generates little news buzz. Hope they take it up a notch, its pretty bad that one of the few exposures people are getting on this game is a bad opinion in Game Informer. SE needs to sell this game like their other Final Fantasys!
#24 May 16 2010 at 11:21 PM Rating: Good
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I don't really see their marketing as a failure; I just think they're being patient. SE will have a long testing period, so there will be plenty of time to drum up interest. While it does seem like any info is only found by those looking for it, this is Final Fantasy. I just can't see SE dropping the ball on this one. The franchise itself carries too much weight, and people who played FFXI can't wait for the new one. Besides, MMO players are a lot more ravenous for new info than when FFXI came out, so what feels like a really short time for development, testing, or marketing, may actually be a long time or even just the right amount.

From what I have seen, even the FFs that people don't like do extremely well. I was pretty much sold on this game as soon as I heard they were making another FF MMO.
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#25 May 17 2010 at 8:32 AM Rating: Decent
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The review looked awful and the dude who wrote it seems like an idiot.
It's a shame really if the author of the review didnt go off on a tangent and start waffling on about how great wow is ( It's not ) and how he envisions how the mmo genre should be , and proving how stupid and opinionated he is , then we might have been able to take some constructive criticism from the article and learn something..
oh well
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