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SE's lessons learned from FFXIFollow

#1 Jun 21 2010 at 9:01 AM Rating: Excellent
I figured a fair number of people on the board haven't played FFXI in recent years, to see some of the changes (or non-changes) SE has made to the game. I think these give a very good insight into how the dev's think, and will probably be good indicators of things to expect from FFXIV.

Tutorial
Last year when I started a new character with friends, I discovered a small series of quests you are pointed towards, which explains basic combat, mob aggro, the auction house, status points, basic crafing, and even searching for a party. I can't even imagine how much it would have helped when I started the game with thousand of other people from NA the day it launched. Also from the video's we've seen FFXIV will have some sort of combat tutorial on the ship, and I'm sure it will continue once you arrive in the city. Hopefully this should save a few poor souls from being utterly lost.

Reduced XP
The longer FFXI was out, the less time it took to reach 75, not only because parties were more efficient, but mainly due to SE lower the xp curve. Whether this was due to a realization that it was a bit extreme, or just lowering the xp curve years later to allow people to fully level many other jobs is yet to be seen. The real question is, when the game launches, will there enough end game content to allow the majority of people to reach it before they can push their first expansion out.

Increased Job Abilities
After Zilart, I think SE realized that people enjoyed doing more in combat. All of the jobs in Aht Urhgan and WotG were practically WoW button mashing jobs compared to say Dragoon. While the footage we've seen the combat has been slow, SE has promised to increase the speed, also couple this with the fact they were low level characters fighting alone, hard to make a rabbit fight epic. If SE could make every job in FFXIV play like scholar, I would be ecstatic.

Faster World Travel
Every expansion added more options for traveling around the massive Vana'diel more efficiently. Much like experience, you have to wonder if this was just due to people tiring of chocoboing for 2 hours, or SE realized people enjoy the destination more than the journey...sometimes.

More varied endgame content
Not really much to say here. My favorite thing from FFXI were the missions, the exciting battles and memorable characters really set FFXI apart from any other MMO on the market. While I'm sure FFXIV will have them, I really hope there are a few less epic story lines, that can be done solo, or with a small group.

Solo-ability
FFXI was probably one of the least solo friendly games for much of it's life. Aside from browsing the AH there really wasn't that much you could do solo, that you wouldn't be at an advantage doing in a group. However, after SE killed beastmaster, and all hope looked lost, they started rolling out more and more solo content. From campaign, to field notes, and besieged, they added content that could be enjoyed and provide character advancement solo.

Short term goals
WotG seemed to really catch on to the idea of small goals, or at least things that didn't necessarily take 3 hours. Campaign added the ability to quickly jump into a fight and earn rewards and field manuals allowed someone to fight 4 or 5 EP mobs and earn a decent chunk of xp and gil.

Anyway, feel free to add more, I'm really only scratching the surface.


Edited, Jun 21st 2010 10:03am by Lamnethx
#2 Jun 21 2010 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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Not really much to say about end-game content!?

They have given low-man events a lot more emphasis. Many events have a random element to them that makes them feel fresh longer. Almost all events have been shortened from the 3½h of dynamis to more reasonable 100mins of Salvage or 30mins of Einherjar.

SE has moved on from their "let's introduce OP gear" RoTZ phase and "let's not introduce anything powerful in fear of breaking the endgame even more" CoP phase. Equipment is a lot more balanced now, especially for jobs that got neglected during RoTZ.

Lot of intermediate rewards have been implemented to the newer events as well as more casual type of endgame like Assault or MMM.

Newer HNM's can pop in most of the expansion areas now, and botting has been made more difficult. Pop times are more random as well. Drops are not Rare/EX and most of the stuff can be sold.

All this we can expect to see in XIV. If someone mentions Fafnir or Ridill, I tell him to move on from 2005.

Edited, Jun 21st 2010 3:18pm by Hyanmen
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#3 Jun 21 2010 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
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Not really much to say about end-game content!?


I was never that huge into XI end-game.

With the later expansions did they have any decent options for small group activity, or were you still tied at the hip to 15-20 person group? Also how do you think the companies will affect end-game?
#4 Jun 21 2010 at 9:44 AM Rating: Decent
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With the later expansions did they have any decent options for small group activity, or were you still tied at the hip to 15-20 person group?


Yeah, they really shifted it around in the long run. First in CoP they halved the amount of players you can take into the new Dynamis areas (and made them last 'only' 2 hours max) as well as Limbus which could be done with just few people in some cases. In ToAU we got a lot of content that can be done in a small group of 3 to 6 players. Salvage, while having a 18 person limit, was optimal with 6 to 10 players rather than a full group, which I think was pretty **** cool.

They did implement Einherjar later on that has a 36 person limit though, but even that event lasts only 30mins so it's over fast. I always liked doing that one.

When it comes to sky/sea style content they made it possible to get in the action faster rather than camp mobs for hours on end trying to make them pop. You farm X on your own time, solo or in a group, which gives you the item needed to pop the NM. Then when its time for the event you just go and kill the mobs without having to deal with waiting for hours.

I have no idea how companies will affect XIV endgame, because honestly I can't grasp how exactly are they going to deal with endgame this time with no ability to change equipment.
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#5 Jun 21 2010 at 9:46 AM Rating: Decent
Hyanmen wrote:

I have no idea how companies will affect XIV endgame, because honestly I can't grasp how exactly are they going to deal with endgame this time with no ability to change equipment.


Not exactly sure what you mean by that.
#6 Jun 21 2010 at 9:52 AM Rating: Decent
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Not exactly sure what you mean by that.


Equip change was one of the few things that made XI's method of endgame work, even with all it's flaws of the time.

There would be a lot less equipment with an actual use, which would make the drop rates even more untolerable than they are now. Like this, most of the equipment has some sort of function, which makes them situationally useful.

With no equip change in XIV, if they keep handling the endgame same way as in XI, it's going to get old fast.
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#7 Jun 21 2010 at 9:57 AM Rating: Good
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Not exactly sure what you mean by that.


They talked about them a little at E3 (I thought)

How FFXIV will still have linkshells in a traditional sense and then they will have a system called companies that function like guilds in other games, you can only belong to one, they have a shared bank, things like that.

A good friend of mine has been doing XI endgame for years, and it always seemed like he was in multiple shells that would pull from different groups to take on some of the fights that required more people than they had on hand. I was just wondering if you thought companies might hurt that, or possibly help.
#8 Jun 21 2010 at 10:02 AM Rating: Decent
Hyanmen wrote:
Quote:
Not exactly sure what you mean by that.


Equip change was one of the few things that made XI's method of endgame work, even with all it's flaws of the time.

There would be a lot less equipment with an actual use, which would make the drop rates even more untolerable than they are now. Like this, most of the equipment has some sort of function, which makes them situationally useful.

With no equip change in XIV, if they keep handling the endgame same way as in XI, it's going to get old fast.


I wouldn't expect to see them handle it in XIV they way they did in XI. I think they've learned their lesson from Dynamis. Dynamis killed XI endgame in terms of gear progression and anything that happened after it was influenced in some way by it. Dynamis + unadjusted level cap for how many years? 6+? SE didn't give themselves much room to work. The whole idea of "progression" is moving forward, not forward for a while and then just shifting side to side. The fact that they've made it so that you can't change gear suggests very strongly that they're looking at a consistently vertical progression model as opposed to a relatively brief period of vertical progression followed by an extended period of horizontal sidegrades.
#9 Jun 21 2010 at 10:08 AM Rating: Decent
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A good friend of mine has been doing XI endgame for years, and it always seemed like he was in multiple shells that would pull from different groups to take on some of the fights that required more people than they had on hand. I was just wondering if you thought companies might hurt that, or possibly help.


I liked how much flexibility the linkshells allowed, you could do what you wanted and not have to deal with the rest of the events if you didn't care for them.

I guess companies could make it easier to set things up? I'm eager to see what they have in mind.

Quote:
I wouldn't expect to see them handle it in XIV they way they did in XI. I think they've learned their lesson from Dynamis. Dynamis killed XI endgame in terms of gear progression and anything that happened after it was influenced in some way by it. Dynamis + unadjusted level cap for how many years? 6+? SE didn't give themselves much room to work. The whole idea of "progression" is moving forward, not forward for a while and then just shifting side to side. The fact that they've made it so that you can't change gear suggests very strongly that they're looking at a consistently vertical progression model as opposed to a relatively brief period of vertical progression followed by an extended period of horizontal sidegrades.


I have no idea what they're thinking right now at least. They definitely won't stop anytime soon so we'll get vertical progression at least until they feel like the cap has gotten high enough.

However, I wouldn't really prefer SE to start doing 'conveyor belt' endgame (raid>raid>raid>raid>raid) because when done right, the current system would work just as well, with the bonus that SE already has experience from running it the way they did in XI. It doesn't really seem like it so far though, and as much as I've thought about how "a middleground" could be achieved, I don't think that's possible. And I also don't think they're up for anything revolutionary either. Like with companies, will be cool to see how they're gonna handle it. I already see some interesting possibilities.

Edited, Jun 21st 2010 4:09pm by Hyanmen
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#10 Jun 21 2010 at 10:13 AM Rating: Good
Hyanmen wrote:
I have no idea what they're thinking right now at least. They definitely won't stop anytime soon so we'll get vertical progression at least until they feel like the cap has gotten high enough.

However, I wouldn't really prefer SE to start doing 'conveyor belt' endgame (raid>raid>raid>raid>raid) because when done right, the current system would work just as well, with the bonus that SE already has experience from running it the way they did in XI. It doesn't really seem like it so far though, and as much as I've thought about how "a middleground" could be achieved, I don't think that's possible. And I also don't think they're up for anything revolutionary either. Like with companies, will be cool to see how they're gonna handle it. I already see some interesting possibilities.


Progression is progression and you're either moving forward or you're not. The ability to progress is key to the longevity of any MMO. Most people will agree that given the choice between running the same content over and over again for years and being given something new every 6 months or so, they'll take the new option. If people really like content so much that they want to run it whether it offers incentive via gear or not, they will. It's better that they have a choice to run old content or not as opposed to simply saying that if they want to continue progressing, they've got to keep going back.
#11 Jun 21 2010 at 10:16 AM Rating: Good
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It's better that they have a choice to run old content or not as opposed to simply saying that if they want to continue progressing, they've got to keep going back.


The obvious problem with the raid->raid->raid->raid setup is, how do newer players to the level cap ever catch up to their friends or people they want to play with. One advantage FFXIV might have in that regard is running the older content again to work on your secondary and tertiary jobs.

I guess that's the fine line MMO developers have to walk, appeasing old fans without alienating newer players.
#12 Jun 21 2010 at 10:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Depends on your perception of 'new'.

Like I said, conveyor belt content is not the end-all content. If I could get something as extraordinary as salvage, nyzul, and assaults every expansion or raid, raid, raid, raid multiple times in an expansion, well, it's not a black-and-white situation.


I'd also like to add to the topic that SE shifted their job balancing methods from nerfing classes to buffing them. When it comes to job adjustments in the late years, we haven't really seen nerfs as much as we've seen buffs (more careful ones however) which could be seen in XIV too (although its inevitable that nerfs will happen during the start of the game, no matter what. I think it won't be the focus anymore if I had to guess).
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#13 Jun 21 2010 at 12:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
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It's better that they have a choice to run old content or not as opposed to simply saying that if they want to continue progressing, they've got to keep going back.


The obvious problem with the raid->raid->raid->raid setup is, how do newer players to the level cap ever catch up to their friends or people they want to play with.


Blizzard solved this in WoW with badge rewards, as well as adding new dungeons with loot comparable to the previous tier of content. A new player with a mix of badge rewards and ICC5 gear can jump straight into ICC10 or ToC25, effectively skipping the previous 3 tiers of content. Square-Enix could implement a similar system in FFXIV.
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#14 Jun 21 2010 at 12:27 PM Rating: Decent
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I have no idea how companies will affect XIV endgame, because honestly I can't grasp how exactly are they going to deal with endgame this time with no ability to change equipment.


Wait, I havent been following FFXIV too closely, but are you saying there is not going to be any equipment such as armor at all? Or am I just reading this wrong
#15 Jun 21 2010 at 12:30 PM Rating: Good
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Wait, I havent been following FFXIV too closely, but are you saying there is not going to be any equipment such as armor at all? Or am I just reading this wrong


I was wondering the exact same thing.
#16 Jun 21 2010 at 12:44 PM Rating: Good
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I presume they're talking about the macros most people in XI have, where armor and sometimes weapons are swapped in on the fly depending on which ability or spell you're using. Apparently, you're not allowed to do that in XIV.
#17 Jun 21 2010 at 1:00 PM Rating: Good
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I'd prefer the upgrades method rather than sidegrades to be honest. The whole concept of swapping out gear for every solitary action was probably one of the silliest things I had ever seen in a game. Not only was the macro system horribly inadequate to handle the task, it also added unnecessarily to the amount of equipment that folks had to lug around and keep through their gaming careers.

Good to hear that they are getting rid of all that nonsense.

Besides that, the upgrades method can be nice and it doesn't have to be on an every six months cycle. I mean, they could up the level cap once a year, come out with a new Xpac with new end game stuff, and it really wouldn't be all that catastrophic.

Let's remember that XI's cap wasn't always 75. Should it have been left at 50 because there might be new folks coming into the game 6 years later? Certainly not.

Some of you take such an alarmists view and it baffles me how anyone would prefer 6 years of the same content rather than genuinely new things to do and explore.
#18 Jun 21 2010 at 3:10 PM Rating: Decent
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I'd like to see Besieged, Pankration, Chocobo racing, Ballista, Brenner, etc. all implemented in a smoother manner. It was just rather inconvenient to try and reach any of those events when I had to go exp farm on some critters at the other side of the world. There was also little reward for participation in things like Pankration, you had to go out of your way from doing things that would get you exp/items/etc. to go pokemon battle.

I figure with their emphasis on "stuff to do outside of exping", chocobo raising n' racing, monster catching and battling will be supported and made aware (say streaming fights and races from their website/PS3 network)
#19 Jun 21 2010 at 4:03 PM Rating: Good
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I'm in the mood to respond to this. Don't take anything seriously, I'm just tired and slightly bored...I'll try to be quick.


Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Tutorial


I totally understand why there needs to be tutorials but I don't really understand why there needs to be tutorials. Sounds contradictory, I know. My point is, I know there are people who have a hard time getting started in a game but I honestly don't know why. It's not like video games are rocket science and you need to read up on the work of previous scientists in order to understand what is going on. I never had a problem starting a video game before and I fear people who refuse to think are starting to make video games too easy for the rest of us who still like using our brain, at least a little bit. This could become a downward spiral, too, by lowering the bar with each new generation of brain mushed lazy gamers. Games are actually starting to get into the habit of rewarding people for their stupidity by given them good items for doing the tutorial making it so people who don't really want to do the tutorial have to do it anyway in order to get the stuff...didn't really want to rant with the tutorial topic but it happened anyway.

Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Reduced XP


This sort of goes with the tutorial rant of games getting too easy...sort of, but not quite. I actually enjoyed the original length of FFXI, to a certain extent. When you reached a level, didn't even have to be level cap, you had a sense of accomplishment. Granted, the grind was annoying (though, at the time I had nothing to do so I kind of liked the grind) since it was so monotonous. SE didn't really go in the right direction in shortening the time it took to reach 75, they needed to make the leveling more interesting, not less of it. The point of a game is to have fun, after all, not necessarily to get to the end. A game should be just as fun getting to the end game as it is at end game. Making it easier to level simply removed a portion of the sense of accomplishment, it didn't make it more fun.

Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Increased Job Abilities


I agree here, some FFXI jobs were excruciatingly boring, made even moreso when players stopped doing skillchains. I really enjoyed RDM, though, it was one of those jobs where you ALWAYS had something to do (early in the game, I hear it got a bit less interesting recently) what with buffing/debuffing, occasional magic bursts, healing and meleeing (if your group allowed you to). I never played scholar but I did play a bit of dancer and blue mage last year and they were almost as fun to play as RDM. So hopefully SE keeps that in mind.

Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Faster World Travel


While I agree it's important to get people where they want to go quickly...I just feel there was so much potential lost with traveling. Most games traveling is extremely boring, even if it's quick, but in FFXI they began with some interesting inovations with travel, namely, the ability to fish while one a boat, along with kraken/pirate attacks and the quests you get for the airships. Remembering again that playing games is about fun, I think they should have expanded on those activities. Granted, there are times where you should be able to get to what you want to do quickly but I think in other cases fun should take the priority.

Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
More varied endgame content


Can't speak much of this, stopped playing FFXI before endgame.

Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Solo-ability


I'm always disappointed with most game's solo functions. I could go on about this as I have my own ideas on the subject but that might take a while and I'm not interested in doing that currently. I'll just say I think SE went in the wrong direction with it's field notes and such as it was really just poor copy of what other MMOs were doing at the time.

Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Short term goals


I like SE's philosophy with FFXIV of letting people decide if they want to play for 30 minutes or all day. It's always nice to be able to get onto a game and actually accomplish something in a short amount of time and actually does me good if I've been working on something for a few hours and want to decompress but don't want to give up the rest of my afternoon/evening to raid or something.


Hmm...longer than I was planning. Thanks for putting up with my monday madness.
#20 Jun 21 2010 at 4:35 PM Rating: Decent
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I totally understand why there needs to be tutorials but I don't really understand why there needs to be tutorials. Sounds contradictory, I know. My point is, I know there are people who have a hard time getting started in a game but I honestly don't know why. It's not like video games are rocket science and you need to read up on the work of previous scientists in order to understand what is going on. I never had a problem starting a video game before and I fear people who refuse to think are starting to make video games too easy for the rest of us who still like using our brain, at least a little bit. This could become a downward spiral, too, by lowering the bar with each new generation of brain mushed lazy gamers. Games are actually starting to get into the habit of rewarding people for their stupidity by given them good items for doing the tutorial making it so people who don't really want to do the tutorial have to do it anyway in order to get the stuff...didn't really want to rant with the tutorial topic but it happened anyway.


Most tutorials are for the benefit of new players, not old ones. Think of it as the same as using a computer, or driving, or any other activity, for that matter. You may think that the activity is easy, having grown used to the conventions present in the activity over a period of months or years doing it. Someone who's coming to it for the first time, however, is unfamiliar with those conventions, which makes the activity that much more difficult. Should they be left to figure things out on their own for however long, getting frustrated and possibly giving up, or should they be given a hand so that they can more easily learn and understand the conventions, thus making their experience with the activity that much better overall? I tend to side with the latter these days.
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#21 Jun 21 2010 at 4:44 PM Rating: Good
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I would definitely like upgraded gear vs sidegrade gear, but I wouldn't want it at the cost of permanently obsoleting progression.

The thing I liked about FFXI was that there was a lot of endgame content that you had access too, and all of it produced gear that was roughly equivalent. Whether you wanted to do sky and get Byakko's Haidate for your MNK or you wanted to do Salvage and get Usukane, you had the OPTION.

I can understand not wanting to do the same thing several years later; I was a member of my Dynamis LS since '04 and only quit FFXI less than half a year ago because the stress of leading said LS had finally plucked my last nerve. I would have loved to finally be able to stop doing it and move on to something else for good, rather than my schedule of "Salvage Sunday, Assault Monday, Dynamis Tuesday, Limbus Wednesday, Assault Thursday, Limbus and Dynamis Saturday" with Friday being my only "free day" to do what I wanted in a game I was paying a monthly fee to play.

On the other hand, one of the main reasons I quit WoW was that the progression system post WotLK had just gotten absurd. With vanilla, there was a "Do X raid, then Y raid, then Z raid..." progression. BC had the same. LK blew that out of the water and reduced the raid scene to "Grind heroics for badges, then you have 1-2 raids that are worth the time and effort to do, until we give you a new one and you'll never have a reason to touch them again"

If we're strictly speaking "This event rewards this gear" as a reason to do this event, then under this system, the only events worth doing are the 1-2 newest things, and that's it. Newer WoW players will never be able to actually experience the effort involved in downing bosses that were considered hard, and getting gear that was considered great. The current system in WoW has watered it down to having a bunch of 80s kill it with minimal effort, and lolgear that no one would ever use anymore.

As much as I deplored sky and Dynamis after a while, I would -never- have wanted to see them become that.

Players should have the option of obtaining gear through a handful of endgame channels, not "here, there, and don't bother with the rest".

Maybe implement a system similar to wow, except have all of the raids be equally challenging and award badges (or some other units of currency like Einherjar and Assault did) that can be cashed in for gear.

Maybe I want to do Dynamis and Salvage for gear. Maybe I want to do Sky and Limbus. Maybe Sea and ZNM. Give me the option to play how I want to play -and- get the gear I want from it without saying that "If you want this gear, you HAVE to do this event". Maybe instead of Dynamis, I can get a Duelist's Chapeau from sea points. Maybe instead of sky farming and gods, I can get an Osode from Salvage points.

I would be extremely disappointed if FFXIV took the WoW path of "The only raid(s) worth doing is/are the newest one(s)." Sure, you can do the others "for fun", but there's no tangible point anymore.

FFXI's only problem in endgame was that there were a lot of options and if you wanted to be good, you pretty much had to do all of them. WoW's endgame problem is that you don't HAVE options. At all.

So give me options without forcing me to divide my playtime into "when I need to be where".
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#22 Jun 21 2010 at 5:09 PM Rating: Good
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I am happy to see the Solo ablity in the game. I hated nothing more than in XI that you basicaly had your set jobs people looked for (atleast when I still played 2yr ago). You could stand around for hours tring to find people to party with just to get nowhere.

End-game

This is a tricky one for me. I did like all the various end-game stuff that XI had, the thing I hated most was one person go a drop which made it rough if that person/group were ****** and wouldn't help you or anyone else get one for themselves. I hope that they give everyone a little something for completing an endgame task. Maybe a small item, or some crafting mats, and then the group gets a larger loot pool of the higher tier items. That way the group helping out would atleast get a small token for helping take on the task.

Missions....

I hope they do this different than they did in XI. Nothing irritated me more than tring to get missions done and not being able to find help in doing so. They could add a reward type system if you've run a mission successfuly multiple times. Nothing major something like a decent chunk of gil, and some decent crafting mats, or sellable items that sell well.
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#23 Jun 21 2010 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Maybe I want to do Dynamis and Salvage for gear. Maybe I want to do Sky and Limbus. Maybe Sea and ZNM. Give me the option to play how I want to play -and- get the gear I want from it without saying that "If you want this gear, you HAVE to do this event". Maybe instead of Dynamis, I can get a Duelist's Chapeau from sea points. Maybe instead of sky farming and gods, I can get an Osode from Salvage points


This sounds good at first until you realize that people will just choose the path of less resistance and a lot of your content will never be played. For example, if there were 6 different events that you could get the 1 item you wanted from, then people will just pick the event that would yield them the item the fastest. They would weigh the difficulty of the event vs the time it takes to get the said item, and pick the event that would be easiest to get the said item.

Another example and ill use stuff from your post. If you could get salvage gear from sky, then everybody would just spam sky and salvage wouldn't get touched. This is because sky is mostly forced pop stuff (allowing you to get more chances) and definitely easier than spamming salvage to get it. People will choose the easiest event as a shortcut to get the gear they want.

Another problem I see is how MMOs are constantly updated. This would mean every time you introduce new end-game events to the game, you would have to add all its drops to every other event. This to me makes no sense at all. I wouldn't understand how an event is just added, but I can get all its drops from a event that been in the game since launch.

I am more in favor of a system that has many alternatives to the prized gear. The stats wouldn't be exactly the same but it would be comparable enough to be a viable second option, if you didn't want to do the event to get the first option.

Edited, Jun 21st 2010 7:38pm by HocusP
#24 Jun 21 2010 at 7:02 PM Rating: Decent
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I like the sound of all those points, but what I especially want to look at is the 'More varied endgame content'

We can play as a Crafter or a Gatherer full time right? what would be an endgame event for ether of those two?

Really? what do you do? Mine Adaman Ore right off the shell of a living Adamantoise? (that actually sounds kind of cool) Or learn from the lady in the lake how to make Excalibur two?(which might make for an interesting story line.)

I just hope those of us who don't plan on fighting can get in on those 'less epic story lines' in the End-game.
#25 Jun 21 2010 at 7:06 PM Rating: Decent
Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
It's better that they have a choice to run old content or not as opposed to simply saying that if they want to continue progressing, they've got to keep going back.


The obvious problem with the raid->raid->raid->raid setup is, how do newer players to the level cap ever catch up to their friends or people they want to play with. One advantage FFXIV might have in that regard is running the older content again to work on your secondary and tertiary jobs.

I guess that's the fine line MMO developers have to walk, appeasing old fans without alienating newer players.


There are ways around it. For one, gear tends to reset whenever a level cap is raised. People who covet the gear a little too much cry about it, but it presents a more level playing field and a fresh start for everyone. In between those gear resets, if peole really are your friend (and not just amicable acquaintances) they'll help you get geared. If they won't help you get geared, they're not really friends, are they? Can't think of it in terms of XI where the level cap was where it was for well over 5 years. XI was not a progressive game. The level cap was raised to 75 and after that it was a brief period of new gear that was awesome followed by an extended period of sidegrades and a nudge or a poke to vertical progression here and there.
#26 Jun 21 2010 at 7:37 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
It's better that they have a choice to run old content or not as opposed to simply saying that if they want to continue progressing, they've got to keep going back.


The obvious problem with the raid->raid->raid->raid setup is, how do newer players to the level cap ever catch up to their friends or people they want to play with. One advantage FFXIV might have in that regard is running the older content again to work on your secondary and tertiary jobs.

I guess that's the fine line MMO developers have to walk, appeasing old fans without alienating newer players.


There are ways around it. For one, gear tends to reset whenever a level cap is raised. People who covet the gear a little too much cry about it, but it presents a more level playing field and a fresh start for everyone. In between those gear resets, if peole really are your friend (and not just amicable acquaintances) they'll help you get geared. If they won't help you get geared, they're not really friends, are they? Can't think of it in terms of XI where the level cap was where it was for well over 5 years. XI was not a progressive game. The level cap was raised to 75 and after that it was a brief period of new gear that was awesome followed by an extended period of sidegrades and a nudge or a poke to vertical progression here and there.


I prefer the FFXI model for gear far more than the WoW model (which is basically what you're talking about).

In WoW, gear ends up being a paint job. You run around, you kill some mobs, you get the best gear, and then POOF, six months later, there's another set of gear that's the same as the previous set of gear, but with +13% stats or whatever. As such, gear is almost meaningless. Yes, you need the gear, but the gear is so easy to get, and it gets replaced so quickly, that it doesn't really feel like gear. It feels like a paint job or a hair style.

Compare that to gear in FFXI. Think about how long people have held onto their Scorpion Harness or their Jupiter Staff or Astral Rings, or whatever. Think about the fact that some of the best gear in the game is available in your teens or twenties, and might not be replaced until the level cap. Think about the fact that, because gear is hard to get, and there isn't another easy upgrade waiting around the corner, the same gear can be passed down or re sold on the auction house. Gear feels like a tangible thing, and in some cases, gear nearly approaches the status of a relic or an artifact, because of its enduring value and the fact that items practically have a history attached to them.

The FFXI model is more "hard core" but like virtually everything else in FFXI, it comes with a sense of accomplishment and semi permanence that just doesn't exist in some thing like WoW. At the same time, old raids, BCNMs, etc still have relevance even today, because the gear that drops is, if not the best possible, at least situationally useful in many cases or has value to others.

Compare to WoW, where 90% of the raid content in the game goes unused, because once a new tier arrives, the old content is obsolete. Why would I waste my time exploring Ulduar when that gear is clearly two tiers worse than what's available in Ice Crown Citadel? I wouldn't. I don't. Molten Core, Black Wing Lair, Ahn Qiraj, Karazhan, Serpent Shrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Gruul's Lair, Mount Hyjal, The Black Temple, The Sunwell, Naxxramas, Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader were all at one time considered EPIC content, and all of them go all but unvisited. All of those encounters, all of that lore, all of that level design, itemization, and the model design of armor and weapons, all goes almost completely unused.

A player who is new to WoW will never experience most of the story and most of the content, because there's no incentive to ever go to those places in favor of just farming the newest Loot Pinata Zone, whatever that might be. Think about what a poor game FFXI would be if all those wonderful Zilart and Chains of Promethia missions were never seen by the majority of the player based, because by the time they joined the game, there was no sense going any place except Aht Urgan, to farm the newest and easiest loot. Would the game have any lasting appeal? Would it feel like a real world of heroes, or simply a colony of ants scurrying to pick up the crumbs of cake?

I don't know how S-E is going to manage the content and the gear in FFXIV. It's going to be hard, without in combat gear swapping, to make people happy for side grades, and yet if each new tier of content is clearly an upgrade from the last, if will be difficult to get players to see old content as anything except a grindy chore.

Edited, Jun 21st 2010 9:41pm by KarlHungis
#27 Jun 21 2010 at 7:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:


Equip change was one of the few things that made XI's method of endgame work, even with all it's flaws of the time.

There would be a lot less equipment with an actual use, which would make the drop rates even more untolerable than they are now. Like this, most of the equipment has some sort of function, which makes them situationally useful.

With no equip change in XIV, if they keep handling the endgame same way as in XI, it's going to get old fast.
Fast swapping equipment midbattle in FFXI was nothing short of an exploit and a stupid one at that. Learn how to optimize your character to use what you've got and I'm sure everything will be okay.
____________________________
I will wake up at six a.m. again.
and I will find my way to the front door
like a soldier crawling through the smoking carnage.
smoldering bodies at my feet,
I'd love to stick around, but I've got someone to meet.
and I will put my best foot forward.
and I'll thank god I made it out of there
on the day when my new friends come.
#28 Jun 21 2010 at 8:08 PM Rating: Decent
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After playing WoW for three years straight until a couple months ago, I hope for some kind of compromise on gear advancement. If SE can maintain some kind of balance, we'll be golden. I want the gear I get to mean something. But at the same time I don't want to wait 5 years for an serious upgrade (FFXI) or have it replaced come the next patch (WoW).

Throw in tangible rewards for doing older missions or helping people out would be nice too. Considering how levelquests work, this shouldn't be a problem.
#29 Jun 21 2010 at 8:19 PM Rating: Default
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1,218 posts
TheShadowWalker wrote:
Quote:


Equip change was one of the few things that made XI's method of endgame work, even with all it's flaws of the time.

There would be a lot less equipment with an actual use, which would make the drop rates even more untolerable than they are now. Like this, most of the equipment has some sort of function, which makes them situationally useful.

With no equip change in XIV, if they keep handling the endgame same way as in XI, it's going to get old fast.
Fast swapping equipment midbattle in FFXI was nothing short of an exploit and a stupid one at that. Learn how to optimize your character to use what you've got and I'm sure everything will be okay.


Sorry, but you didn't address the post that you responded to, AT ALL.

The point is not "Oh Boo Hoo, I need to gear swap in order to have a chance to win!"

The point is "Gear swapping allowed a use for situational gear. Situational gear that I can use is worth getting, even if it's not more powerful than the gear I have. Therefore, gear swapping allows the over all power level of gear to inflate very little, while still giving players a good reason to keep pursuing new gear, that doesn't just result in replacing the old gear."

We can discuss all day long about how sensible it is that you can swap out a steel breastplate, a helmet, some greaves, a bunch of jewelry, etc, all in a split second, and then swap it back (obviously pretty silly to think about) but in terms of game play, it gave the develops a lot of options that didn't fall into the trap of needing to constantly inflate gear.
#30 Jun 21 2010 at 8:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Hurray for double posts!

Edited, Jun 21st 2010 10:19pm by KarlHungis
#31 Jun 21 2010 at 8:24 PM Rating: Decent
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I wonder about what kind of compromise can be made in the 'staying' power of equipment from high to end game in a game like FFXIV will be.

With several class groups dedicated to making gear and SE's promise to be able to play them full time...The progression of gear should be tied to the progression of classes like Blacksmith and weaver AS career classes, but that all hinge's on how dedicated SE is to supporting those classes.

Thats not to say quested gear should be removed from the game. just saying that crafted gear should be slightly 'competitive' with it.
#32 Jun 21 2010 at 8:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Tying endgame gear to crafted gear is tricky because RMT can use that to their advantage just like they did in FFXI. Not saying it shouldn't happen -- crafted gear should be important for sure -- just saying it's something to be cautious of.

I think a part of the issue is how fast do you want to the gear to be outdated? Me, I think top end gear should last six months minimum. But that depends a lot on how fast SE is willing to push expansion packs. I'd rather not have cases like Wrath of the Lich King where your gear is outdated within 3 months when the next patch/raid tier comes out.
#33 Jun 21 2010 at 9:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Compare to WoW, where 90% of the raid content in the game goes unused, because once a new tier arrives, the old content is obsolete. Why would I waste my time exploring Ulduar when that gear is clearly two tiers worse than what's available in Ice Crown Citadel? I wouldn't. I don't. Molten Core, Black Wing Lair, Ahn Qiraj, Karazhan, Serpent Shrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Gruul's Lair, Mount Hyjal, The Black Temple, The Sunwell, Naxxramas, Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader were all at one time considered EPIC content, and all of them go all but unvisited. All of those encounters, all of that lore, all of that level design, itemization, and the model design of armor and weapons, all goes almost completely unused.


They all had their time in the spotlight. Now that time is gone, and everyone's moved on to the next stage in the adventure. Most games follow a similar progression: I can lament that I just finished the Temple of the Ancients dungeon and now there's no reason to go back there, or I can continue on with the game and explore the Lost City. If I really, desperately want to go back to some place I've been, I can start a new game, reload an older save, or in an MMO, find others who want to go on a nostalgic romp to old content. I will not, however, mourn the fact that I no longer need to go there.

Quote:
We can discuss all day long about how sensible it is that you can swap out a steel breastplate, a helmet, some greaves, a bunch of jewelry, etc, all in a split second, and then swap it back (obviously pretty silly to think about) but in terms of game play, it gave the develops a lot of options that didn't fall into the trap of needing to constantly inflate gear.


The problem is that it's a non-intuitive aspect of the game. At no point in the 43 levels I played the game for did I ever come across a situation where gear-swapping was intended by design, and I suspect that to be the case for the remaining 32 levels, as well as endgame. Gear-swapping is as accidental a development as Ninja Tanks.
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#34 Jun 21 2010 at 9:09 PM Rating: Excellent
KarlHungis wrote:
In WoW, gear ends up being a paint job. You run around, you kill some mobs, you get the best gear, and then POOF, six months later, there's another set of gear that's the same as the previous set of gear, but with +13% stats or whatever. As such, gear is almost meaningless. Yes, you need the gear, but the gear is so easy to get, and it gets replaced so quickly, that it doesn't really feel like gear. It feels like a paint job or a hair style.


That's because gear isn't intended as a status symbol. Achievements are where it's at for status. Don't mistake your personal preference towards grinding for gear for the "sense of accomplishment" as a commonly held preference. It's not. Most people will grind for a certain amount of time in order to accomplish a specific goal but if at any point they feel like they're only continuing the grind for the reward when the process is no longer entertaining to them, something is wrong. And when you're sick of the weekly grind 3-6 months in but you still have 12-18 months left to go, it's just downright broken. I hope SE does include elements aimed towards the hardcore crowd and by all means grant said crowd the greatest e-peen extensions to be had in all of FFXIV, but it can't be the focus.

I know people who run vanilla/TBC raids in WoW on a weekly basis and they have a blast doing it. Don't make the mistake of confusing obsolete gear with obsolete content. Not every plays for gear. Personally, if I'm aiming for a sense of accomplishment or an e-peen extension, I vastly prefer achievements over gear. Achievements are permanent and date stamped so even if the game changes and it becomes easier to earn them, you've got something that says you earned it when it was still challenging to do so.

There are plenty of ways to allow for a vertical progression model as opposed to a horizontal model without neglecting any one group of players. The game has to be about fun, first and foremost. Accomplishment, e-peen, bragging rights, whatever...all secondary to the fun factor if SE wants XIV to be a success.
#35 Jun 21 2010 at 9:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's not the zones themselves, obviously.

I mean, people will mourn the loss of Molten Core lamenting all those precious developer man-hours lost to the ravages of time, but I don't see anybody mentioning all the other zones that have been abandoned or weren't even paid half a mind to begin with. Valley of Sorrows? Battalia Downs? Onzozo?

It's the idea that unique experiences are lost or that your efforts are in vain.

In terms of the storyline, I'm a big fan of keeping storyline the holy heck away from endgame. XI did this well, Missions are interspersed throughout your leveling career and while there might have been some nice carrots dangled in front of you, they themselves were completely separate entities from the actual endgame activities.

The idea that somebody can't go back and experience the content is kind of a logical fallacy. If that experience was important to them, they're free to go back. If it wasn't, they wouldn't. The experience itself is the carrot on a stick, here. The fact that up-to-date armor isn't present is irrelevant. Those are two completely different motivators.

As far as your efforts being in vain, that's the most reasonable complaint.
Nobody wants their carrot to be trivialized, that makes it an ineffectual carrot.

While I think the level of horizontal-only progression in XI was unhealthily stagnant for a number of reasons. I think Square's laid a good foundation for some degree of horizontal progress here that isn't too bad (but would still need to be joined with some vertical progression). Generally what keeps you playing a skill-based game is acquiring a broad range of skills. That means you'd be hunting down sidegrades. Not for the sake of making your class more optimized, but making your character more versatile. That's usually the definition of progress in these sorts of games, so you start combining the characteristics of various classes and need armor builds to support that. Ex: A Paladin optimizing his Weaponskill in XI versus a Gladiator creating "Paladin" and "Dodge Tank" builds to counteract specific kinds of mobs.




Edited, Jun 21st 2010 11:59pm by Zemzelette
#36 Jun 21 2010 at 9:55 PM Rating: Good
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Great post karlhungis, preety much my thoughts on that situation.

So there is actually people who like the system of gear progression that wow has?

I cant comprehend how anybody actually enjoys having the newest gear go obsolete every 4-5 months. I feel like a **** rat running on a treadmill in that game, the game comes accross as casual but it is just as time consuming and destructive to your real life because you are always forced to play, go take 2 months off the game, oh look Im behind the gear curve again and I'm undergeared again.
Then you got all the content going obsolete continuously.

How can you say Aurelius that content doesnt become obsolete because of achievements? Im sorry man thats ********* Yeh people go back and run old raids and such for fun but that is a minority, Hardly anybody runs nax or ulduar nevermind all the other pre wotlk raids. Why would they? Even if they do they would probably just run it once to see the encounters and mechanics of the fights and the scenery and never run it again because there is no point. You have some friends that do but that isnt an indicator of the wow population

Preety sure gear is still the main meter of proggresion in wow otherwise you wouldnt have things like gearscore causing the amount of havoc that it did.

How can wows progression be based on achievments when achievments were only in WOTLK?

Ok Ill stop now, Im not going to argue either , It comes down to a matter of opinion so Ill respect that , but Id rather not people tell me how superior wow's system is when its just an opinion, and Ill just leave it at that I respect other peoples opinion who played both games thoroughly but I'll never agree though.
I dont respect an opinion though if they only made it to level 43, sorry You didnt experience the game
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#37 Jun 21 2010 at 10:03 PM Rating: Decent
piglato wrote:

Ok Ill stop now, Im not going to argue either , It comes down to a matter of opinion so Ill respect that , but Id rather not people tell me how superior wow's system is when its just an opinion, and Ill just leave it at that I respect other peoples opinion who played both games thoroughly but I'll never agree though.
I dont respect an opinion though if they only made it to level 43, sorry You didnt experience the game


Not sure who you're talking about with the level 43 comment. It certainly couldn't be me.

And I've already explained the crux of the argument...that not everyone plays for gear, so as soon as you can wrap your head around that you'll be in a better place to understand how people can be casually indifferent to the idea of gear constantly progressing. You seem to struggle in the reading department, because at no point did I say that "content doesn't become obsolete because of achievements." I've said that if you play for the experience and the process of playing the game, the content doesn't beocme obsolete. If you only play for the gear, then when the gear becomes obsolete I guess you could say that the content is then also obsolete. Refer back to "not everyone plays for gear." What I DID say is that if I'm looking for a sense of accomplishment from something, I prefer achievements. And I said why. So in summary, you might have a better time understanding these things that you can't "comprehend" if you'd slow down and read what is written without passing the words through your subjective filter and butchering the meaning into something else entirely.
#38 Jun 21 2010 at 10:11 PM Rating: Decent
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How about both vertical AND horizontal progression? Does that suit everyone, or please no one?

e.g., Make gear progress vertically, and set up a separate system of enhancements for sidegrades to abilities.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#39 Jun 21 2010 at 10:18 PM Rating: Good
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Gear progresses Vertically, the getting more abilities allows you to progress Horizontally?
Quite the balancing act, but yeah, that could work.
#40 Jun 21 2010 at 10:25 PM Rating: Decent
Kachi wrote:
How about both vertical AND horizontal progression? Does that suit everyone, or please no one?

e.g., Make gear progress vertically, and set up a separate system of enhancements for sidegrades to abilities.


I would have no problem with that, but if you've got vertical progression it's usually only a matter of time before it overtakes the benefits of sidegrades.
#41 Jun 21 2010 at 10:26 PM Rating: Decent
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We're still talking about 'progression' in terms of character progression and end-game content right? If that is so, lets look at a system like what Aurelius said with achievements.

Gear is a achievement in content for the sake of progression is really just there to give people a reason to 'play' the content. Just as some people will play some parts of a games content for the achievements that offer nothing but a...little text box describing the achievement. In a way gear is alot like that, a reason to go out and play the content for that gear. How often do people play through tough missions for the Story? I know I wanted to finish CoP for the story...but never could...

What sort of progressive rewards for end-game content other then gear can work as a driving force to play through the content for the majority of people? Since SE says FFXIV is going to be big on character growth...why not special skills? I know the special weaponskill weapons in FFXI where cool. Make it sort of like story/mission based skill abilities that are 'nice to have' but not game breaking.
#42 Jun 21 2010 at 10:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

Sorry, but you didn't address the post that you responded to, AT ALL.

The point is not "Oh Boo Hoo, I need to gear swap in order to have a chance to win!"

The point is "Gear swapping allowed a use for situational gear. Situational gear that I can use is worth getting, even if it's not more powerful than the gear I have. Therefore, gear swapping allows the over all power level of gear to inflate very little, while still giving players a good reason to keep pursuing new gear, that doesn't just result in replacing the old gear."

We can discuss all day long about how sensible it is that you can swap out a steel breastplate, a helmet, some greaves, a bunch of jewelry, etc, all in a split second, and then swap it back (obviously pretty silly to think about) but in terms of game play, it gave the develops a lot of options that didn't fall into the trap of needing to constantly inflate gear.

Read the post a few more times and got it. Thanks!
____________________________
I will wake up at six a.m. again.
and I will find my way to the front door
like a soldier crawling through the smoking carnage.
smoldering bodies at my feet,
I'd love to stick around, but I've got someone to meet.
and I will put my best foot forward.
and I'll thank god I made it out of there
on the day when my new friends come.
#43 Jun 21 2010 at 10:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Not sure who you're talking about with the level 43 comment. It certainly couldn't be me.


He's probably talking about me. I think I'm supposed to be your sockpuppet. I'm not sure, though.
____________________________
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Darkkiwi - 85 Gnome Unholy Death Knight - <Flaming Bunnies>
Lightkiwi - 72 Gnome Disc Priest - <Flaming Bunnies>
Kwanita - 82 Gnome Frost Mage - <Flaming Bunnies>
Maglyn - 81 Gnome Protection Warrior - <Flaming Bunnies>


Don't play that game anymore. :P
#44 Jun 21 2010 at 11:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I would have no problem with that, but if you've got vertical progression it's usually only a matter of time before it overtakes the benefits of sidegrades.


I'm thinking vertical progression of gear would likely be the bigger immediate benefit, so yes to a degree. However, provided the vertically progessing gear doesn't take an inordinate amount of time to obtain, and I don't think it should, that leaves plenty of time to focus on sidegrades.

I've discussed this quite a bit in the past, so sorry to those for whom this is a rehash.

Basically, imagine a gear system (including that 4x4 menu of your equipment) like that of FFXI with the following differences: gear progresses more vertically (i.e., no Peacock Charm with +10 ACC at level 33), absurdly difficult to get items are much rarer (items like sky, land, and sea gear come quite a bit easier), and gearswapping is not possible. So, much like many MMOs.

Now imagine adding to that a SECOND gear system like that in XI, only this time it's not gear, but something like materia, that goes into a grid, or your weapon, or whatever. THESE enhancements can be swapped out at will, or even set to specific abilities (e.g., when you cast Flare, this entire grid changes to the configuration that you set for Flare). The enhancements have stats and effects much like gear-- increased power and range, or decreased costs or delay, etc.

This could further give a heavy and welcome tactical buffer to configuration strategies. For example, is it better to have an equipment set that focuses on INT and an enchantment grid that focuses on MP cost, or vice versa, or a combination of both? This could further be made particularly interesting with threshold bonuses that only kick in when you have combinations of pieces, like a movement speed bonus that requires +5 to activate, but can only be obtained by combining various pieces with a Movement Speed +1 bonus.

I'd also like to see the return of the effect gauge in addition to this, to see things get some real depth. Rather than necessarily having a charging effect gauge, you can simply change the effect manually. So you wouldn't pick Light Stab and wait for the effect gauge to fill, but instead you could choose the effect you wanted right away-- more power but less accuracy, more accuracy but less power, or a balance.

Obviously you don't throw all of these things at new players at once, but work them into it slowly by expanding the system as they progress. I'm really hoping to see the kind of tactical depth that comes with providing this level of customization and options in the combat.
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#45 Jun 22 2010 at 12:04 AM Rating: Decent
Kachi wrote:
This could further give a heavy and welcome tactical buffer to configuration strategies. For example, is it better to have an equipment set that focuses on INT and an enchantment grid that focuses on MP cost, or vice versa, or a combination of both? This could further be made particularly interesting with threshold bonuses that only kick in when you have combinations of pieces, like a movement speed bonus that requires +5 to activate, but can only be obtained by combining various pieces with a Movement Speed +1 bonus.

I'd also like to see the return of the effect gauge in addition to this, to see things get some real depth. Rather than necessarily having a charging effect gauge, you can simply change the effect manually. So you wouldn't pick Light Stab and wait for the effect gauge to fill, but instead you could choose the effect you wanted right away-- more power but less accuracy, more accuracy but less power, or a balance.

Obviously you don't throw all of these things at new players at once, but work them into it slowly by expanding the system as they progress. I'm really hoping to see the kind of tactical depth that comes with providing this level of customization and options in the combat.


All I can really say to all of that is that there's a fine line (or a not so fine line) between diverse/versatile and cumbersome. On the surface a lot of things sound great until you put them into practice over the course of months/years at which point most people start to yearn for simplicity.
#46 Jun 22 2010 at 12:09 AM Rating: Good
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I think basing advancement on equipment is a mistake. As much as I loved playing WoW I stopped playing it because I realized I was only playing it for the gear, so I could get other, better gear - not because it was fun. I liked gear swapping to a very limited extent in FFXI, mainly just weapons, that made sense and wasn't completely annoying.

I'd much prefer advancement being based off of abilities and your skill in using them with abilities becoming more and more situational and battles more and more dynamic as you progress through the game. Add to that some sort of achievements system that tracks what you do and how you do it like aurelius said and you have a good advancement system based on skill that rewards you with prestige rather than gear.
#47 Jun 22 2010 at 12:26 AM Rating: Decent
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I think Merit Points are a perfect example of keeping armor upgrades vertical, while having another enhancement horizontally. Yes, you have the greatest gear in the game, but you can always work on merit points. If there was a way to gain merit points while doing endgame content there would be a reason for rerunning some old dungeons. Maybe Gladiators gain a skill after completing a specific dungeon, and Lancers gain a skill from a different dungeon. They will both be running both dungeons because they both want gear, and the both have something else to gain.

I guess in WoW terms:

If each class gained skills at the end of Black temple or Sunwell, they would have a reason to run it even if they were already at level cap. WoW kinda screwed this one up, because they used to have tomes that would teach skills drop in instances (Stratholme comes to mind). You could get a Tome of mark of the wild, or arcane intellect, or power word: stamina. Now all of these skills are learned from the trainers, like normal skills.

After the instance is outdated and the level cap is raised, Yes, it is a pain to do if you are trying to get to the max level as fast as possible, but if you really want to get the skill (or the skill is really good) you will run the instance, even if you get someone who is already at max level to just solo it for you. This gives the instance lasting appeal for the people that are actually of the correct level. WoW also tried to keep traffic high with super low drop rates on aesthetic items, like mounts (But honestly, how many people have the Stratholme mount?) .

It's all about the rewards, FFXI got it right with missions. The higher rank you were, the better gear you could purchase with conquest points, and Rank 5 = airship travel? (I think it was 5...its been a while) I know I would have never gotten bast rank 1 if there was no reward. The Airship was a huge factor for me. Surely the airship, subjob and artifact were good short term goals that helped me progress and helped me actually get to 75.

Just my opinion though. It's late, I hope it makes sense...
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#48 Jun 22 2010 at 1:01 AM Rating: Decent
Mictam wrote:
I think Merit Points are a perfect example of keeping armor upgrades vertical, while having another enhancement horizontally. Yes, you have the greatest gear in the game, but you can always work on merit points. If there was a way to gain merit points while doing endgame content there would be a reason for rerunning some old dungeons. Maybe Gladiators gain a skill after completing a specific dungeon, and Lancers gain a skill from a different dungeon. They will both be running both dungeons because they both want gear, and the both have something else to gain.


Maybe I'm not understanding you, but if I am it means you're not understanding me. The goal should never be to try to force people back into old content, but that's essentially what you're trying to do by creating all of these carrots to dangle in front of them.
#49 Jun 22 2010 at 1:03 AM Rating: Decent
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All I can really say to all of that is that there's a fine line (or a not so fine line) between diverse/versatile and cumbersome. On the surface a lot of things sound great until you put them into practice over the course of months/years at which point most people start to yearn for simplicity.


I don't know-- I personally always yearned for more complexity in XI, at least the gameplay. If the UI becomes cumbersome, then it's a problem, but I think that as gameplay becomes increasingly simpler, it becomes decreasingly fun.

Adding action elements can curb the risk of making the game cumbersome, as these are a very clean and simple use of the UI that can add plenty of depth-- you already have the basics of movement in a 3D environment, so adding manual dodging and positioning is relatively simple. However, that also transforms the genre into something that perhaps wasn't intended. When you aim for a game to be tactical, you have to make the decision making process somewhat cumbersome.

I guess I just disagree. If I'm so tired of a game that I'm simply too lazy to put forth the effort to play it, then I think I'll just quit.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#50 Jun 22 2010 at 2:07 AM Rating: Decent
Kachi wrote:
Quote:
All I can really say to all of that is that there's a fine line (or a not so fine line) between diverse/versatile and cumbersome. On the surface a lot of things sound great until you put them into practice over the course of months/years at which point most people start to yearn for simplicity.


I don't know-- I personally always yearned for more complexity in XI, at least the gameplay. If the UI becomes cumbersome, then it's a problem, but I think that as gameplay becomes increasingly simpler, it becomes decreasingly fun.

Adding action elements can curb the risk of making the game cumbersome, as these are a very clean and simple use of the UI that can add plenty of depth-- you already have the basics of movement in a 3D environment, so adding manual dodging and positioning is relatively simple. However, that also transforms the genre into something that perhaps wasn't intended. When you aim for a game to be tactical, you have to make the decision making process somewhat cumbersome.

I guess I just disagree. If I'm so tired of a game that I'm simply too lazy to put forth the effort to play it, then I think I'll just quit.


I think what people tend to lose sight of is that when designing an MMO, you have to take all of your potential players into account. I get labeled as lazy (not by you per se, but in general based on the history here) or a person wanting an easy game or yadda yadda yadda because I advocate for the playerbase at large. I raided in top 10% worldwide guilds in WoW before I stopped playing and held my own. Closed minded people struggling to cling to an argument will say that WoW is an easy game. I counter by saying that if it's so easy, why were only 10% or less of the 11 million people playing able to accomplish some of the things I accompished? And the reason I opt to barf my abbreviated dork resume all over you is to illustrate a point: all these nifty shinies you're advocating don't bother me on an individual level. But we're not talking about a standalone offline game. We're talking about an MMO where all these nifty fluff concepts have to be manageable by Joe Average gamer and it's quite obvious that Joe Average gamer already has their hands full with the systems already present in your average MMO.

So yes, you could add manual dodging and positioning requirements a step above what XIV is already going to have and all kinds of min-max micromanagement tweaks and yadda yadda yadda but after a point, people can't keep up. And if you add in all of these extra features knowing that most people aren't going to have the skill/interest in using to their full potential you either knowingly shrink your potential playerbase or you have to tune all of these fluff items so that they're functionally inconsequential in all but an extremely small segment of the content you release for the game.
#51Kachi, Posted: Jun 22 2010 at 2:44 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I understand what you're saying, and it's definitely true that overly complicated mechanics can turn off potential players. I'm certainly biased in my desires in that I'm significantly more intelligent than the average player. Chess isn't a game for everyone, though what I'm proposing is hardly chess, and most people would consider checkers too boring a game to hold their interest. Decades of motivational psychology research tells us that there are optimal zones of challenge to keep a person engaged.
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