Only problem I have with the "Don't pay if you don't like it!" line of thinking is that, yes, if enough people did do that, the SE I've seen in the past would be more likely to just pack their bags and close up shop as opposed to trying to save a sinking ship.
I've been a fan of the Final Fantasy Franchise up until I spent five hours
slitting my wrists with a rusty knife
playing FF13. If 14 turns out to be the one way tunnel that FF13 was, then I'm **** sure going to quit it. And yes, I've heard that "after the first 15 hours, it gets good" but I can't bring myself to slog through more than an hour a day, tops. I'd sooner go back to FFXI and start a brand new character from scratch and level it to 99 without a subjob. It would be less painful.
Regardless, most of their past titles were games that I've played and replayed and enjoyed. Not just FF games, but the Mana games, the Saga games, and so on. Even so, if enough people feel that SE is doing poorly enough that they're going to stop spending their money with them, and that money loss is enough to cause SE to go bankrupt... I'd hate to see it, but if it happens, it's their own fault.
Like I said, a happy customer's $15 has the same value as an unhappy customer's $15. And unless they're willing to walk with it, a company has no reason to change the way they work. Paying for a product you're that unhappy with tells the company you feel their product is worth paying for. And as long as that product is making them money, they're going to continue making their product, their way.
I'd hate to see SE go out of business, especially over the same franchise that was supposed to be their last game before they went out of business back in the 80s, but if it happens as a result of no one wanting to pay for SE's product and communication, then let it be a wake up call to other developers who feel that SE's business strategy is a valid one. Maybe a major game developer suffering a financial crisis as a result of players unhappy with them is what the game industry as a whole needs to see for any change to happen with anyone. I don't want to see it personally, but if enough people don't like their product and service that this is the result, then I can accept that.
Again, I'd like them to have changed during the FFXI era, but I didn't care enough that I was willing to stop playing. This time around, if I'm unhappy enough with the product/communication level, I -will- quit. I think we're being far too nice to them if we're going to pay our money on their product after finding out we don't like it, just because we're afraid of a company we like losing money. It's not our responsibility to keep them in business, it's their responsibility to produce a product that keeps our business.
But at the same time...
Yeah, I fully intend to play because my wife does. Frankly, I don't see the game doing very well, though. I really hope it does, and I hope it's actually fun, because I'll be stuck playing it for awhile.
I think the problem here is that a lot of you are Final Fantasy players, not so much MMO players. There is no other studio that communicates this poorly. No other studio fails to drum up excitement the way SE does. No other studio is less human. They're lazy or arrogant, I lean toward the latter, and a lot of you folks don't seem to know that you're entitled to better.
They should be doing back-bends and tonguing my sac to convince me to drop a couple years worth of sub fees on their game, and they can't even be bothered to provide regular press releases in English.
...spending our money with them does not automatically entitle us to expect their product to be a certain way.
If YOU feel that their product is inferior and YOU feel that they treat you poorly, then YOU should spend YOUR money elsewhere, your wife be damned. Let her play the games she likes, and you play the games you like.
Apparently half a million people didn't think SE was that bad over the past 6 years. I had my gripes, but not big enough to stop playing until the stress and hassle of being a lead in an endgame LS finally got to me, which had little to do with SE.
You don't deserve "back bends and sac tonguing" for $15 a month. If you think another company is willing to give you that for $15, then go pay them $15 instead and enjoy it. Let your wife pay her $15 for a game she seems to be willing to enjoy as-is. If I feel I'm "entitled to better", I'll look for a game that provides "better" and I'll pay them instead. At the time, FFXI was the MMO I felt was most worth my subscription. Even playing it alongside WoW, I enjoyed FFXI more, despite Blizzard having FAR better customer service. Currently I'm playing DDO and seem to be enjoying it as well. I've had my gripes about all three games.
Matter of fact, and I'm getting off into a tangent here... two of my biggest gripes with WoW were that new raids invalidated nearly all gear in all but current tier content (Vanilla/BC raid gear and Naxx/Uld are 95% worthless in terms of loot) and the constant cycle of "newer, better, higher item level" takes away much of the challenge of old encounters when done at max level (which is about to increase by 5 more, making Icecrown Citadel worthless as soon as Cataclysm's first raid is live). I suppose that because I paid my $15 to Blizzard, that entitled me to DEMAND they cater THEIR game to ME, right?
Of course not. They have their product and I paid for it until I decided I didn't like it anymore. At that point, I didn't expect that I was "entitled to better" just because I had been paying them for years; I quit and went elsewhere. Clearly enough people who continue to play it are happy with the service they are receiving, or happy enough to pay their monthly fees; I wasn't.
Also, it'd be nice if it had a real UI.
No clue what you mean by this. I thought FFXI's UI was fine. And honestly, with as many games out there that are virtually a xerox of WoW's UI, I'm really hoping the UI looks absolutely nothing, or at least as little as possible, as other MMOGs currently on the market. I'm sick of the "Health/character portrait in upper left, party on the left, minimap in upper right, hotbars on the bottom, bags in the lower right, chat in the lower left" layout. Move sh*t around and change sh*t.
I'd like the FFXIV UI to be at least somewhat customizable and have addons, although I don't expect it. I'm not sure what you mean by "a real UI" (as opposed to a fake one?) though.
Moreover, yes, part of my fee is going toward actual evolution and growth of the game. I don't mind if they use it for other or newer things, really, but when problems I have go unaddressed for long periods of time, and I see other players echoing those sentiments, I really have to wonder if my money is actually going where I think it is. Meanwhile, some people don't speak because they're afraid to. Others don't speak because they feel it won't do anything. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, etc..
I also have problems when I feel like I have concerns and that they aren't being addressed. People -should- speak up when they have concerns, and the company -should- listen and respond to them. Ideally, that's what I'd like to see out of SE this time around. If players can voice their issues and SE listens, answers them, and fixes those issues, then that's a huge step in the right direction (and from the sound of the alpha communication, it sounds like they're on track to this, which I love). The question is, if they DON'T listen and respond to concerns, are people going to accept their silence and keep playing what they feel is a flawed product? If the answer to that is yes, then you aren't giving them a reason to ever change.
It's a sad state of affairs when people won't speak up because they know their voice won't be heard, I agree. But it's even worse when these same people keep paying for a product they dislike. The only thing that's worse than paying for a game you dislike and saying nothing is feeling that -because- you pay for the game, that makes you -entitled- to get what you want, when you want it, how you want it. If you're paying for a game and dislike it, speak up. If they don't listen, stop paying. If enough people stop paying, it's up to THEM to either change or close up shop. But so long as you keep paying them, you're not giving them any incentive to change, because your opinion isn't loud enough to affect their wallets.
EDIT: Look at Dominos. Apparently enough people were unhappy enough with them that they were willing to take their money elsewhere. What was the result? Dominos CHANGED and started a massive "We've changed, come try our new product" PR campaign to bring customers back. If people didn't like Dominos but kept buying it, they never would have had any reason to change anything.
You wouldn't pay for a pizza you don't like from Dominos, complain that %company% does it better and keep buying from Dominos, would you? Of course not; if you liked another company's pizza better, you'd buy pizza from them. You buy the pizza you like, so why not buy the MMORPG you like too? Edited, Jun 6th 2010 2:21pm by Mikhalia