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SE's lessons learned from FFXIFollow

#52 Jun 22 2010 at 4:33 AM Rating: Good
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Here's my thing:

I played FFXI. There was a lot of endgame content I could do. I tried it all and liked most of it. All of it gave me gear, and most of the gear was good.

I liked this aspect of this game and it was the reason I played as long as I did. Getting gear meant that the gear I got would be worth something a month from now. Or two months, or six, or twelve, or twenty four.

I played WoW. There USED to be a lot of endgame content I could do, until WotLK. Then the gae became divided into "The one true raid" and "The inferior raids that you shouldn't bother with". In every raid that WoW has ever had, with every boss kill, every piece of gear came with the once subtle, now blatant reminder that it has an expiration date, and once Blizzard releases new content in less than half a year, this gear will be worthless, forgotten, trash.

I hated this aspect of the game. There were two reasons I quit WoW, despite being otherwise a good gae, and this was the number one reason. This is the reason I will never go back to WoW.

One can say "Even if the gear is crap, you can still go run Molten Core or Black Temple" or "Gear isn't everything" but to me, endgame is three parts: "Do content. Get gear. Repeat."

It's fine and good to say that "doing the content is its own reward" but to me, it's not. Sure, the content may be enjoyable to me, but the real reward for me will ALWAYS be getting gear for myself and my friends. When the dragon dies, I want to see our White Mage get a new hat, or see our Paladin get a new shield, or maybe even get a new sword myself. Watching the dragon die, spit out his loot, and seeing it all passed on as D2s are passed out is what ruins a game for me. It's what ruined WoW for me, and if that's what happens in FFXIV, I will quit.

Sure, you can make the argument that "Well, WoW makes its old gear worthless when it introduces new gear, and people are fine with that" or "Most gamers want to constantly replace their gear; they don't like hanging on to it".

If that's the case, and most games offer that type of progression, then I don't see why "most gamers" can't just play "most games". FFXI is the only game I'm aware of that offers such a massive variety of endgame content with equally valid gear options. I'm hoping FFXIV will offer the same type of experience; lots of options of what to do, and lots of gear options as rewards. I'm hoping it doesn't jump on the "better, better, better, better, better" bandwagon that other MOGs follow. Because if every game is going to do the exact same thing; where does that leave players who -don't- like it?

It's easy to say "If you don't like the way this game is, go play something else"; it's a valid point. I've tried a lot of games. When I determine that I don't like it, I don't whine and ***** that "this game needs X like that other game", I look for a game that has X.

Now that FFXI has upped its level cap and thoroughly obsoleted just about everything that was "great gear" as of two days ago, I can't even go back to -that- anymore.

So as I said before, I'd like to see a variety of endgame content options, not see them constantly replaced. That whole "New level cap and new gear puts everything on equal footing"; I'm glad it works so well for WoW, but I didn't like it, so I quit to get AWAY from it. I don't want it. I want lots of ways to get gear and I want that gear to last me a long time. That's what I want in an MMOG. Up until two days ago, I only knew of one game that has that.

The last thing I want to see is to find out that a game I've been waiting to play since its announcement as project rapture has taken on the qualities that caused me to quit a game I once enjoyed (WoW). Because the only thing worse than a game's developers implementing a system that causes you to quit a game you like is to have TWO developers cause you to quit TWO games you like.

I don't want to end up on a weekly endgame schedule again, but if FFXIV endgame is a constant reiteration of "This is the only content worth doing for gear, this is the only gear worth wearing, and all your other gear is trash" like WoW had... I'll have no choice but to quit.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 6:35am by Mikhalia
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#53 Jun 22 2010 at 5:30 AM Rating: Good
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Quanta wrote:


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.


The fact that they put in so much situational gear indicates to me that gear swapping is intended by design. It may not have been some thing that was in the original design documents of the game (like NIN tanks) but S-E knew it was going on, and if they'd wanted to disable it, they could have done a lot of things to stop it. Examples would be removing that functionality from the macro system, or put a cooldown on gear swapping, or made it so that you couldn't swap gear while engaged or aggroed, etc. In the end S-E might have concluded that it got out of hand, but to say that it was an "exploit" or "unintended" supposes that for five years, S-E had no awareness at all of what was going on in their game. At some point, whether or not some thing was your original intent, your decision not to change course becomes a statement of intent.

Now it may not make sense from a RP perspective, and it may not even be good game design to force players to carry around so much situational gear (a matter of opinion, but I respect that many reasonable people have this opinion). All I'm saying really is that there is give and take to the situation in terms of what that design allows to happen.

For all the gnashing of teeth about situational gear, and gear swapping, it did allow for a surprisingly slow inflation of power level, which in turn allowed gear to remain useful for a long time, which in turn made it more worthwhile to invest a lot of time and effort into individual pieces of gear, which in turn allowed a sense of accomplishment that doesn't exist when that gear just rains from heaven.

For me, personally, the FFXI style is superior to the WoW way. In WoW I have a warlock with the very best gear in the game, and to get there I have LITERALLY swapped out every piece of gear I own for another piece of gear that has LITERALLY the exact same name, texture etc, just a palette swap and stats inflated by some %. I have a druid who doesn't have perfect gear, but has a very nice set of gear for both Feral and Restoration specs. I have a max level hunter who I geared up in about two weeks time, and he has better gear than some one who was "uber" a year ago.

It's a huge joke. I have awesome gear, do awesome damage, and really who cares? Even if I was proud of the gear set that I've put together week by week for the last six months, I am obligated by game design to trash it all within the next six months anyway. There is no pride of ownership except by noobs who don't really understand just how easy it is to get gear and how quickly they're going to replace it.

I'd rather have valuable heirlooms like Peacock Charms and Leaping Boots that drop from a mid level BCNM, or difficult to obtain gear like a Black Belt, than have a bunch of supposedly 'Epic' gear that ultimately doesn't mean anything, because the former gives me a reason to be proud of my virtual accomplishments, and the latter just makes me feel like I've done nothing but waste my time. IMO you'd be better off with a system where there's barely any gear at all (say, FF: Tactics style) than the WoW system. If gear doesn't mean anything, then don't make me waste so much of my time constantly acquiring it.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 8:11am by KarlHungis

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 8:13am by KarlHungis
#54 Jun 22 2010 at 7:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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There are many ways to counter the problems people had with gear swaps in the first place. There's really no reason to not do it if SE wants to keep the endgame the same way as in XI (and I'll encourage them to do so, or at least think something new). We have enough MMO's where the endgame can be summed up to "raids" and "battlegrounds".

The easiest way is to give the players lots of inventory space. But the better and more 'realistic' way for those that it bothers would be to, instead of gathering equipment for situational purposes, create a system where players get gems/artifacts/whatever which they use to enhance their powers situationally. You could set them in a separate window, they wouldn't take inventory space, and they would be always active. Say, there could be a gem with an effect of "during weapon skill X: STR+10, WS Acc+10, Attack+6" which would act like a headpiece you swap on every time you use ws X, except without the hassle of having to swap equipment and keep the item in your inventory. It's the same thing, but simply better.

Now I don't mind gear swaps as long as I'm not blinking, but this would solve most of the problems other people have.

To think that SE would do this is very unlikely, and now that you can't currently swap your equipment we don't know what they have planned... but well, anything is possible. I don't think they will do the same mistakes this time, however they may invent some new mistakes. Will be fun to see what happens.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 1:16pm by Hyanmen
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#55 Jun 22 2010 at 8:15 AM Rating: Good
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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.


Its not so much forcing people back into old content as it is making sure that everyone experiences old content on their way to the new content(or at least before they experience the new content). You really don't have to go through the content more than once if you don't want, as the skill reward could be a 100% drop after new content opens up.

It shouldn't be forcing people back into old content, I agree with you there, but I think the old content should still be a stepping stone in the game experience.
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#56 Jun 22 2010 at 9:46 AM Rating: Excellent
Mictam wrote:
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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.


Its not so much forcing people back into old content as it is making sure that everyone experiences old content on their way to the new content(or at least before they experience the new content). You really don't have to go through the content more than once if you don't want, as the skill reward could be a 100% drop after new content opens up.

It shouldn't be forcing people back into old content, I agree with you there, but I think the old content should still be a stepping stone in the game experience.


But again, you're not thinking of it in terms of an MMO. When you're talking about group content in an MMO, if you've got people lagging behind the curve because they're either new players or slower levelers and you are forcing them into old content, who is going to run it with them? Are they going to be stuck trying to find groups with people like them? Or are the developers going to dangle a fluffy carrot in front of the people who have already run that content numerous times just for the sake of getting them a tiny bit more interested in going back? During TBC there were two major class oriented quests that forced people back into level 60ish vanilla dungeons, and those were for the paladin and warlock mounts and they were a serious pain in the *** to find groups for because people had plenty to do in the new content and weren't interested in revisiting the old, and those were for 5-man dungeons. Now imagine having to accomplish that same task only in a raid setting. Imagine if SE made it so that you had to clear all Dynamis areas before you were allowed to advance beyond level 75. Not a major issue if you've been playing the game for years...major issue if you just started playing the game 6 months ago. Unless you're getting carried, WoW raids take weeks of progression to clear and if you're going to get carried anyways, the people doing the carrying better be their by choice, not because SE keeps adding updated incentives to old content. Which means leaving the content alone and giving you the option to go back for ***** and giggles creates fewer unhappy players because everyone in the old content is there 100% by choice.
#57 Jun 22 2010 at 10:54 AM Rating: Default
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Mictam wrote:
Quote:
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.


Its not so much forcing people back into old content as it is making sure that everyone experiences old content on their way to the new content(or at least before they experience the new content). You really don't have to go through the content more than once if you don't want, as the skill reward could be a 100% drop after new content opens up.

It shouldn't be forcing people back into old content, I agree with you there, but I think the old content should still be a stepping stone in the game experience.


But again, you're not thinking of it in terms of an MMO. When you're talking about group content in an MMO, if you've got people lagging behind the curve because they're either new players or slower levelers and you are forcing them into old content, who is going to run it with them?



You're already starting off I think with a poor assumption by talking about "people lagging." If the "next" content doesn't automatically offer better loot rewards than the previous content, then it would take longer before people truly feel that they're done with old content. You could even purposely cause it take longer, because as long as that loot (the "old" zone loot) is going to have some lasting value, players are not going to be quite so upset if it takes awhile to get. So it's very possible that slower levelers are going to reach that group content while many of the fast levelers are still working on it.

On top of that, you're approaching it from the WoW perspective where one character wants a primary set of gear and rarely any thing else. In FFXIV you're going to have access to many different "classes" who may indeed want and need different sets of gear. Your main goal might be to get the gear you need for your gladiator tank set up, but if you also like playing as a lancer or an archer then you might also be interested in picking up gear for those as well. In FFXI even some of the most hard core players of all time are still occasionally headed back to Sky, not because they are forced to, or to help other people, but because they decided to level up another job and maybe there's some gear there for that job that they couldn't previously use.

Quote:
Are they going to be stuck trying to find groups with people like them? Or are the developers going to dangle a fluffy carrot in front of the people who have already run that content numerous times just for the sake of getting them a tiny bit more interested in going back? During TBC there were two major class oriented quests that forced people back into level 60ish vanilla dungeons, and those were for the paladin and warlock mounts and they were a serious pain in the *** to find groups for because people had plenty to do in the new content and weren't interested in revisiting the old, and those were for 5-man dungeons. Now imagine having to accomplish that same task only in a raid setting. Imagine if SE made it so that you had to clear all Dynamis areas before you were allowed to advance beyond level 75.


Well, who says that you ever have to raise the level cap? One of the reasons it's so important in WoW is raising the level cap allows the deflation of combat ratings to compensate for the ongoing inflation of gear, If you're not going to have such radical inflation and you don't need to introduce a whole new set of gear that's 20% better every six months, then you don't need to counter act that inflation nearly so often.'

Or, what if people could take their primary character, but learn a new class. My warlock could also become a Druid, for example. Well then, wouldn't you have a supply of characters whose players were experienced, who still had a reason to visit those old dungeons (because they were leveling a new class?) Especially if some of those mid level dungeons happened to drop gear that could be re sold or which would be valuable all the way to the level cap? You accused Mictam of not thinking about it in MMO terms but what you really mean is that He/She is not thinking about it in World of Warcraft terms. The problems that you're talking about mostly apply because of the specific design of WoW. They don't have to be universal to all MMOs (as FFXI has demonstrated).

Quote:

Not a major issue if you've been playing the game for years...major issue if you just started playing the game 6 months ago. Unless you're getting carried, WoW raids take weeks of progression to clear and if you're going to get carried anyways, the people doing the carrying better be their by choice, not because SE keeps adding updated incentives to old content. Which means leaving the content alone and giving you the option to go back for sh*ts and giggles creates fewer unhappy players because everyone in the old content is there 100% by choice.


Or you can simply make it so that content doesn't become obsolete so quickly, and the pace of gear inflation is not so explosive, so that players don't feel like they OMG HAVE TO BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE IMMEDIATELY. I've got friends in FFXI who started years after the game started, and the only aspect of the game where any of them had a hard time finding help doing "old" content was on a few specific missions. Plenty of people still run Sky, Sea, Dynamis, etc even though Salvage, Nyzul Isle, etc also exist. You don't absolutely HAVE to run any particular content at all, but it's a good idea to run all of it a little bit, for each job that you want to play seriously.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 12:55pm by KarlHungis

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 1:13pm by KarlHungis
#58 Jun 22 2010 at 11:03 AM Rating: Decent
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I am all for situational gear. I think it makes for more interesting play dynamics. For example, even though many pieces of gear had elemental affinities or bonuses, this wasn't really utilized to it's full potential in FFXI because people found it to be worthless in many cases except for the Thunder+50 Haidate, etc. In FFXIV, they seem to be focusing a bit more on elemental affinities for not only the mobs but the players as well, and I'd like to see that reflected in the gear. This would mean including more options and/or "side progression" in gear because it would make sense to have gear useful for fighting against element-specific mobs. That being said, if there were so many choices, it would be less likely that one would be "absolutely necessary" in a certain situation but some would obviously work better than others. It only makes sense that certain attacks are going to work better against certain enemies, and certain gear is going to protect better against certain enemies. It might not even have to be specific gear, as an idea mentioned earlier, it could be more of an "add-on" piece that changes the stats of the gear you already have slightly.
#59 Jun 22 2010 at 11:24 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

It shouldn't be forcing people back into old content, I agree with you there, but I think the old content should still be a stepping stone in the game experience.



Why?


Quote:

I'd rather have valuable heirlooms like Peacock Charms and Leaping Boots that drop from a mid level BCNM, or difficult to obtain gear like a Black Belt, than have a bunch of supposedly 'Epic' gear that ultimately doesn't mean anything, because the former gives me a reason to be proud of my virtual accomplishments, and the latter just makes me feel like I've done nothing but waste my time. IMO you'd be better off with a system where there's barely any gear at all (say, FF: Tactics style) than the WoW system. If gear doesn't mean anything, then don't make me waste so much of my time constantly acquiring it.


This is a hard one.
There's one part of this equation that requires a certain degree of acceptance, and another part that marks something I'd consider a design failing.

Armor was an easy carrot.
Power and status wrapped up into one chunk of 1's and 0's. What could be more straightforward? Nowadays power and status have been decentralized from armor in order to create rewards for other demographics of player-types. Where there was once one whole carrot there is now a million little bite-sized pieces. If your chomping at the air expecting a full meal from the appetizer armor now is, your going to end up dissapointed. Armor will never have the meaning it once did.

The design failing is in character development. The whole point is to be constantly making progress, but people end up thinking they're weaker with every expansion. That's not true objectively speaking, but they feel that way, which is the important part. I'd say you just don't have enough consistency from one expansion to another, so you have no way of measuring where your progress is. The only time you get an idea of how powerful you've become is when you backtrack and whip through old content, but the sort of player that's really concerned with power is the sort that wouldn't do that.

I think some kind of healthy mix between vertical and horizontal progression is the answer.


Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 1:51pm by Zemzelette
#60 Jun 22 2010 at 11:28 AM Rating: Decent
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I think some kind of healthy mix between vertical and horizontal progression is the answer.


I, personally, after countless arguments and brainstorming (it's an interesting subject), do not think this is even possible to accomplish. Something revolutionary should be done.

I could be wrong of course, but so far nothing people have said comes even close to being a good mix of the two. There are always glaring flaws.
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#61 Jun 22 2010 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Elaborate?
#62 Jun 22 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Well, things like "making the encounter difficult instead of dependant on luck", which really does not work with horizontal progression. Or "giving players tokens that can be traded in for the same gear if you can't get drop". There's always flaws with both systems..

It's been nearly a year since I last touched on this subject so I can't remember everything that has been said, unfortunately. If we could figure out a solution, that would be cool indeed.

Although I don't think purely horizontal progression, when done right, would be as bad as people think based on XI. A bit of both would of course be ideal, however, if such ideal could be achieved in practice.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 6:32pm by Hyanmen
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#63 Jun 22 2010 at 2:23 PM Rating: Decent
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I genuinely hope that FFXIV takes a route where ALL content remains valid. Not that the game FORCES you to do all content, but that you are free to do -any- of the content, and the rewards from all of the content are reasonable.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
But again, you're not thinking of it in terms of an MMO. When you're talking about group content in an MMO, if you've got people lagging behind the curve because they're either new players or slower levelers and you are forcing them into old content, who is going to run it with them? Are they going to be stuck trying to find groups with people like them? Or are the developers going to dangle a fluffy carrot in front of the people who have already run that content numerous times just for the sake of getting them a tiny bit more interested in going back?


If the old content is never made obsolete by the introduction of new rewards that severely outclass the existing ones to the point that there is no tangible benefit to doing the "old content", there will always be people doing it.

I see your points, but the people (such as yourself) in favor of the "better, newer, better, newer, better, newer" gamestyle already have a game that does that. It's called World of Warcraft. If that is the type of system you enjoy, there are games that have that system. You can play them now; they've been out for years. Most of their content is outdated and will never be any challenge to 95% of the people that attempt it (since they're level 80, soon to be 85, in a 60/70 raid that can be cleared in an evening with no effort), and all of the gear rewards will be junk unless you're rolling on it for shiggles, or because you're getting leeched through content by people.

It is practically impossible to experience anything older than ToC the way it was meant to be experienced; at the appropriate level, with the appropriate gear, at the appropriate difficulty rating, with gear dropping and people WANTING it. And to all the people out there who are currently running IC10/IC25 on a weekly basis, normal or hardmode, there's this expiration date on all your gear. Those spiffy pieces that you're hoping on dropping, and you're wearing your lucky socks and horseshoe and four leaf clover in the hopes of winning a roll on it... You will be tossing it in the garbage by the end of the year.

I quit WoW because I hated that system, and I don't want to see it in FFXIV. If someone enjoys that system, they should play WoW; not play FFXIV and insist it be just like WoW, to the chagrin of the people such as myself who have quit (or never played) WoW because, despite being an otherwise good game, a massive flaw like that was impossible to ignore any longer.

I know a lot of us have all the individual things we'd like to see in a new MMOG. The main thing I want is a game that -doesn't- have the things that have caused me to leave the other games I've tried.

Bad gameplay, boring quests, unoriginal UI, heavily forgotten content, sanctioned RMT/cash shop, world PvP... Plenty of games out there have them, and that's why it's practically impossible for me to find a game I can play for more than a month or two. The last thing I want is to get into FFXIV and learn that it's the same **** thing.
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#64 Jun 22 2010 at 2:27 PM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen wrote:
Well, things like "making the encounter difficult instead of dependant on luck", which really does not work with horizontal progression. Or "giving players tokens that can be traded in for the same gear if you can't get drop". There's always flaws with both systems..

It's been nearly a year since I last touched on this subject so I can't remember everything that has been said, unfortunately. If we could figure out a solution, that would be cool indeed.

Although I don't think purely horizontal progression, when done right, would be as bad as people think based on XI. A bit of both would of course be ideal, however, if such ideal could be achieved in practice.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 6:32pm by Hyanmen


I really did like the token part. The downside is that you lose the thrill of winning the gear when you just get tokens. Possibly some combination of the two, where gear drops, but you ALSO get tokens, so if you haven't won the gear, you can buy it with the tokens. That could work.

I also think a mix of horizontal/vertical progression could work, so long as it isn't so vertical enough to render the "old" content useless in terms of gear rewards.

As long as all of the content offers a reason for someone to do it, and the players can pick the content they want, that's what I'm looking for.
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#65 Jun 22 2010 at 2:56 PM Rating: Good
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And to all the people out there who are currently running IC10/IC25 on a weekly basis, normal or hardmode, there's this expiration date on all your gear. Those spiffy pieces that you're hoping on dropping, and you're wearing your lucky socks and horseshoe and four leaf clover in the hopes of winning a roll on it... You will be tossing it in the garbage by the end of the year.


Nothing lasts forever, so why should I be concerned by that? I'm not so materialistic that I feel threatened by the fact that the gear I've worked so hard to get is going to be rendered obsolete in a short time. There's going to be new gear to get in short order, and I'll get that, and I'll use it to continue to do what I like doing: killing dragons with my friends and guild.

I pity you if the only way you can enjoy yourself in the game is if your virtual possessions last forever. What do you have to ever look forward to in such a scenario?
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#66 Jun 22 2010 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Quanta wrote:
Quote:
And to all the people out there who are currently running IC10/IC25 on a weekly basis, normal or hardmode, there's this expiration date on all your gear. Those spiffy pieces that you're hoping on dropping, and you're wearing your lucky socks and horseshoe and four leaf clover in the hopes of winning a roll on it... You will be tossing it in the garbage by the end of the year.


Nothing lasts forever, so why should I be concerned by that? I'm not so materialistic that I feel threatened by the fact that the gear I've worked so hard to get is going to be rendered obsolete in a short time. There's going to be new gear to get in short order, and I'll get that, and I'll use it to continue to do what I like doing: killing dragons with my friends and guild.

I pity you if the only way you can enjoy yourself in the game is if your virtual possessions last forever. What do you have to ever look forward to in such a scenario?


More new content, more new gear, and ultimately, seeing gear that I got so long ago be of use to a new player.

I was ecstatic when I got my first piece of abjuration gear, or my first piece of relic armor. To the day I quit, the only enjoyment left in Dynamis was seeing new players getting gear that I have had for years. Sure, I may have a lot of AF2 collecting dust but I'm not exaggerating when I say that seeing new people join the shell and get their first of AF2... the joy they felt from it... it was one of my favorite aspects of Dynamis.

I like getting gear that will last me a long time, and I enjoyed the fact that 2, 3, 4 years from when I got it, new players would look at that same piece of gear with all the enjoyment I had when I got it.

Seeing gear in WoW that I once hoped and wished to have... seeing it go free roll on "Who gets to vendor it"... that's just disappointing to me.

If anything, I pity you if the only way you can enjoy yourself is by constantly replacing your gear, without regard to anyone else.

Again, if you like that system so much, you already have it. It's called WoW. Stay there and enjoy it. It was one of the main two reasons I left, and it would ruin XIV for me.

I never did understand why WoW players want every MMORPG to be like WoW, as if no one else out there enjoys different types of games.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 6:16pm by Mikhalia
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#67 Jun 22 2010 at 4:29 PM Rating: Decent
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If anything, I pity you if the only way you can enjoy yourself is by constantly replacing your gear, without regard to anyone else.


Gear is a tool. A means to an end. I have no qualms with having to replace rusty or outdated tools with new ones. Trying to play it up as if there's something more going on is a delusional view to hold.

Perhaps, instead of worrying that all your stuff is going to be rendered obsolete, you should reflect on what truly matters to you when you play.
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#68 Jun 22 2010 at 4:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Quanta wrote:
Quote:
And to all the people out there who are currently running IC10/IC25 on a weekly basis, normal or hardmode, there's this expiration date on all your gear. Those spiffy pieces that you're hoping on dropping, and you're wearing your lucky socks and horseshoe and four leaf clover in the hopes of winning a roll on it... You will be tossing it in the garbage by the end of the year.


Nothing lasts forever, so why should I be concerned by that? I'm not so materialistic that I feel threatened by the fact that the gear I've worked so hard to get is going to be rendered obsolete in a short time. There's going to be new gear to get in short order, and I'll get that, and I'll use it to continue to do what I like doing: killing dragons with my friends and guild.

I pity you if the only way you can enjoy yourself in the game is if your virtual possessions last forever. What do you have to ever look forward to in such a scenario?


I find your post to be very condescending. To say that you "pity" those who disagree with you is meaningless. It's like saying that you pity those who like a good steak or a cocktail. Gosh, I don't think I need your pity just because I've discovered some thing that's ultimately more rewarding to me than whatever you're into.

It's an MMO. One of the characteristics of an MMO is that you have persistence. That's what makes it feel like a "world" as opposed to "a level." Some people want a more immersive experience, which generally means more persistence. Things like a home that you can customize, a mount that you raised yourself, gear that doesn't get replaced every few months, and so on.

I don't see how it's any more "materialistic" to want some zeros and ones that last for awhile but are harder to get than to want a steady stream of zeros and ones that get replaced quickly and easily. In life it's usually the person who is obsessed with getting the next thing and can't be satisfied with what they have that is called materialistic. Maybe you don't care about gear at all, and to you it's all about the pure experience of killing dragons.

That's fine if that's what you're into, but if the gear doesn't matter to you then I don't see why it would bother you if the pace of acquisition and replacement was slower. I mean really, if you just like killing dragons over and over then you don't really need a reason why. But if you only see gear as a mean to an end, and never an end in itself, and you consider that the only valid point of view, then why does gear exist in the first place? Couldn't some one just make a game where there's no gear at all, and every one can kill every thing, as long as they're skilled enough?


Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 6:42pm by KarlHungis
#69 Jun 22 2010 at 4:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Quanta wrote:
Quote:
If anything, I pity you if the only way you can enjoy yourself is by constantly replacing your gear, without regard to anyone else.


Gear is a tool. A means to an end. I have no qualms with having to replace rusty or outdated tools with new ones. Trying to play it up as if there's something more going on is a delusional view to hold.

Perhaps, instead of worrying that all your stuff is going to be rendered obsolete, you should reflect on what truly matters to you when you play.


I already did. What truly matters to me when I play is the notion that my gear will not be rendered obsolete, and that other players years later will still want the gear as much as I wanted it.

That's what truly matters to me when I play. I already covered that in detail.

As the poster before me said, if gear is a tool and a means to an end, why do you care about the rate it is replaced? For me, participating in the event and seeing my friends get the gear are EQUALLY as important to me. So if you really don't care about gear, why do you feel the need to constantly replace it?

And again, if WoW already offers you this, continue playing it. You'd rather play a game where gear and content are worthless less than a year after they come out, I'd rather play the opposite.
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#70 Jun 22 2010 at 5:01 PM Rating: Decent
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It's an MMO. One of the characteristics of an MMO is that you have persistence. That's what makes it feel like a "world" as opposed to "a level." Some people want a more immersive experience, which generally means more persistence. Things like a home that you can customize, a mount that you raised yourself, gear that doesn't get replaced every few months, and so on.


Sure, and that's fine. I'm not saying that there's no sentimental value in any of the gear I have. I still have my first armor set from when I finished the DK starting set because it looks cool and I like to wander around in it every once in a while. However, I wasn't so attached to it that I threw a hissy fit when I had to replace it with Outland greens. I knew it was coming. Things changed, but oh well. Life goes on.

Quote:
I don't see how it's any more "materialistic" to want some zeros and ones that last for awhile but are harder to get than to want a steady stream of zeros and ones that get replaced quickly and easily. In life it's usually the person who is obsessed with getting the next thing and can't be satisfied with what they have that is called materialistic. Maybe you don't care about gear at all, and to you it's all about the pure experience of killing dragons.


Pretty much the bolded part. I guess my issue stems from the worry that I'd end up spending most of my time doing the same two dungeons for X amount of months/years over and over again rather than visiting each in turn because my guild wants Awesome Item A that only drops off of Boss A, which is basically the FFXI model, if I'm not mistaken. Spending my Thursdays and Saturdays like that isn't what I'd call enjoyable. I'd rather get around a bit more, see the sights, down some other bosses. I don't see a "All content is viable" model being conducive to that any more than WoW is.
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Maglyn - 81 Gnome Protection Warrior - <Flaming Bunnies>


Don't play that game anymore. :P
#71 Jun 22 2010 at 5:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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I honestly don't see why you guys are arguing over this still. You aren't getting anywhere, aren't convincing anyone. There's pros and cons for both arguments and ultimately it's all up to personal preference.
#72 Jun 22 2010 at 5:11 PM Rating: Good
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Quanta wrote:
Quote:
I don't see how it's any more "materialistic" to want some zeros and ones that last for awhile but are harder to get than to want a steady stream of zeros and ones that get replaced quickly and easily. In life it's usually the person who is obsessed with getting the next thing and can't be satisfied with what they have that is called materialistic. Maybe you don't care about gear at all, and to you it's all about the pure experience of killing dragons.


Pretty much the bolded part. I guess my issue stems from the worry that I'd end up spending most of my time doing the same two dungeons for X amount of months/years over and over again rather than visiting each in turn because my guild wants Awesome Item A that only drops off of Boss A, which is basically the FFXI model, if I'm not mistaken. Spending my Thursdays and Saturdays like that isn't what I'd call enjoyable. I'd rather get around a bit more, see the sights, down some other bosses. I don't see a "All content is viable" model being conducive to that any more than WoW is.


Well, the trick would be to find a way to balance new content that leaves old content viable, but doesn't force you to do it. For example, and I'm coming up with this off the top of my head here, so I haven't thought through the ramifications beyond typing it as I think it, let's take a FFXI example.

We have Sky and Dynamis and that's it.

Now we have Sea and Limbus. Adjust Dynamis and sky so that they use some sort of point system (similar to Einherjar/Nyzul), where just attending guarantees you some sort of reward. These points, as well as points from sea or Limbus events, can be exchanged for gear, in addition to gear drops from any of the four events.

Now we have Nyzul/Assault/Salvage. They give points as well as everything before them. In addition to all events dropping their normal gear, they all also give points which can be exchanged for gear.

In the end, you can do Dynamis if you want, do Limbus if you want, do Salvage if you want, and spend all those points on a Ridill or Haidate or Love Torque, because you'd rather not camp HNMs or kill pop gods.

Or maybe you can just do sky and sea and exchange those points for Duelist's Chapeau or Usukane gear because you prefer poppable NM fights to slogging through enemies for 100 mins - 3 hours


In an ideal world, all content should be viable, so that players can play the game the way they want, AND get the gear they want.

Conversely, I liked Ulduar and Naxxramas better than ToC. I liked Karazan and Black Temple better than Mag/Gruul or ZA. Tweak and tune the boss fights and allow the players to play the events they want to play, and reward them with the gear they want for it, instead of forcing them to abandon everything they did and own in favor of "newer and better".

(EDIT: In general, I prefer dungeon crawls with a lot of mobs and bosses over the "You vs boss" setting, which is why I disliked HNM/sky/sea/Einherjar but liked Dynamis/Salvage/Limbus/Nyzul)

In an example scenario like the one I came up with above, you can find a LS that only does the new content, and you can still use the points from it to obtain old gear you might have missed on the way up.

Edited, Jun 22nd 2010 7:14pm by Mikhalia
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#73 Jun 22 2010 at 5:12 PM Rating: Good
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
I honestly don't see why you guys are arguing over this still. You aren't getting anywhere, aren't convincing anyone.


1) Because this is the internet.
2) For great +1 justice.
3) We're (at least I'm) bored.

Take your pick :)
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#74 Jun 22 2010 at 5:17 PM Rating: Good
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Mikhalia wrote:
Yogtheterrible wrote:
I honestly don't see why you guys are arguing over this still. You aren't getting anywhere, aren't convincing anyone.


1) Because this is the internet.
2) For great +1 justice.
3) We're (at least I'm) bored.

Take your pick :)


It's just this sort of thing tends to hijack threads that might otherwise have been constructive.
#75 Jun 22 2010 at 5:24 PM Rating: Good
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
Mikhalia wrote:
Yogtheterrible wrote:
I honestly don't see why you guys are arguing over this still. You aren't getting anywhere, aren't convincing anyone.


1) Because this is the internet.
2) For great +1 justice.
3) We're (at least I'm) bored.

Take your pick :)


It's just this sort of thing tends to hijack threads that might otherwise have been constructive.


Is it technically hijacking a thread if it has been the same discussion more or less since the second post?

I mean, I agree that it would be helpful to move on and talk about other stuff, but once a thread has gone off this far on a tangent that people feel strongly about, it's usually a lost cause. I'll give it my best shot though, going back to the first post.

1) Tutorial - Definitely helpful. I was talking today with someone about how FFXI used to be the type of game that was only intuitive to the people who made it, and you pretty much NEEDED to know someone before you start because of all the little things (like Signet and Beastman's Seals and /checking mobs) that the game NEVER explained to you. The tutorial was a great feature that was added too late in XI's life.

2) Faster travel - supply quests were a well known secret. That sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn't; it was common knowledge to many and was unknown to many more. I think keeping a system like this in XIV would be extremely helpful.

3) Solo content - Soloing in FFXI was never impossible, but it was **** near close. I wouldn't want to see XIV be a game where you can solo the entire game, but not being limited to "get a party or don't bother" like FFXI used to be is extremely nice.

4) Shorter events - Personally, I love long events that are 2-4 hours on average. I get that others don't, and sometimes I might just be in the mood for a quick 30 min or hour long foray before I have to log. Having events of varying lengths caters to players who may have different play lengths, or people who get bored of long dungeon crawls.

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#76 Jun 22 2010 at 7:42 PM Rating: Default
KarlHungis wrote:
You're already starting off I think with a poor assumption by talking about "people lagging."


I'm not making an assumption. I was responding to someone else talking about how everyone should have to experience the content on the way through in conjunction with the inevitability that you're going to get new players years into the game and you're going to have people that take longer than most to level.

You can keep ignoring the majority sentiment with regards to sending people back into content they've run umpteen times before because the carrot is still dangling if that's what you need to do. Something tells me based on what SE has said about XIV and what they're doing with XI that they're trying to see things from the majority opinion this time around instead of the niche they previously catered to.
#77 Jun 22 2010 at 8:45 PM Rating: Decent
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I, personally, after countless arguments and brainstorming (it's an interesting subject), do not think this is even possible to accomplish. Something revolutionary should be done.

I could be wrong of course, but so far nothing people have said comes even close to being a good mix of the two. There are always glaring flaws.


Did you by chance read my post on the last page about a system of both vertical and horizontal progression? Thus far no one has offered any criticism of that particular proposal.
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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.
#78 Jun 22 2010 at 9:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Did you by chance read my post on the last page about a system of both vertical and horizontal progression? Thus far no one has offered any criticism of that particular proposal.


I must've skipped it, I'll take a look at it later today.
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#79 Jun 22 2010 at 9:58 PM Rating: Decent
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They could just scale all the old content as new content comes out. When I say scale, I mean make it drop gear roughly equal to the new content, and boost the difficulty by just throwing a coefficient in front or the mobs HP/Defense/Attack Power, or adding some new abilities to the boss' ******** Granted it would get boring running the same dynamis over and over again because the gear was never outdated, but you could run the old content because it was already well known, or try out the new encounters to see just how good your LS is.

I don't know, I'm just trying to come up with ideas that might work. Chances are none of this will be in the game anyway. It's all up to SE now.
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#80 Jun 22 2010 at 10:50 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
KarlHungis wrote:
You're already starting off I think with a poor assumption by talking about "people lagging."


I'm not making an assumption. I was responding to someone else talking about how everyone should have to experience the content on the way through in conjunction with the inevitability that you're going to get new players years into the game and you're going to have people that take longer than most to level.

You can keep ignoring the majority sentiment with regards to sending people back into content they've run umpteen times before because the carrot is still dangling if that's what you need to do. Something tells me based on what SE has said about XIV and what they're doing with XI that they're trying to see things from the majority opinion this time around instead of the niche they previously catered to.


Honestly, I'd be fine with letting "the majority of players" play the game that "the majority of people play".

I'd be pretty annoyed if I found out that all microbreweries, wineries, and all other such establishments stopped selling anything but Bud/Coors because "That's what the majority of people want". Or if every store that wasn't a "big box store" went out of business because "Everyone wants to shop at Walmart/Best Buy/Target".

I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with trying to offer things that the majority of people will like; but not at the expense of leaving the niche players with no option but "Play a game you don't like, or don't play anything at all, because this is what everyone else likes."

Does that all make sense?
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#81 Jun 22 2010 at 11:37 PM Rating: Decent
Mikhalia wrote:
[Honestly, I'd be fine with letting "the majority of players" play the game that "the majority of people play".

I'd be pretty annoyed if I found out that all microbreweries, wineries, and all other such establishments stopped selling anything but Bud/Coors because "That's what the majority of people want". Or if every store that wasn't a "big box store" went out of business because "Everyone wants to shop at Walmart/Best Buy/Target".

I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with trying to offer things that the majority of people will like; but not at the expense of leaving the niche players with no option but "Play a game you don't like, or don't play anything at all, because this is what everyone else likes."

Does that all make sense?


Sure, except that in order for that to be applicable to XIV you'd have to go back in time 5-6 years and convince SE to build XIV for a niche market instead of the market they're aiming for. SE has defined that market and in order to follow through, they can't make an FFXIV microbrew. They can tweak, they can innovate, and they can do all sorts of nifty things but at the end of the day there are some things that are just non-negotiable, and boring the **** out of your players is one of those things.
#82 Jun 22 2010 at 11:52 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Mikhalia wrote:
[Honestly, I'd be fine with letting "the majority of players" play the game that "the majority of people play".

I'd be pretty annoyed if I found out that all microbreweries, wineries, and all other such establishments stopped selling anything but Bud/Coors because "That's what the majority of people want". Or if every store that wasn't a "big box store" went out of business because "Everyone wants to shop at Walmart/Best Buy/Target".

I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with trying to offer things that the majority of people will like; but not at the expense of leaving the niche players with no option but "Play a game you don't like, or don't play anything at all, because this is what everyone else likes."

Does that all make sense?


Sure, except that in order for that to be applicable to XIV you'd have to go back in time 5-6 years and convince SE to build XIV for a niche market instead of the market they're aiming for. SE has defined that market and in order to follow through, they can't make an FFXIV microbrew. They can tweak, they can innovate, and they can do all sorts of nifty things but at the end of the day there are some things that are just non-negotiable, and boring the sh*t out of your players is one of those things.


Well we won't know what they're planing exactly for FFXIV endgame for at least half a year, probably more, so we can't really decide whether we like it or not till we see it. All we can do at this point is speculate.
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#83 Jun 23 2010 at 6:57 AM Rating: Decent
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Kachi, I read your suggestion from the last page.. and here's what I think:

XI, in fact, has a similar kind of "alternative advancement system" you speak of: merits. But when talking about 'endgame', how often do merits come up as opposed to getting gear? 'Meriting' as a vertical system is obviously inferior to gathering equipment as a horizontal system, so in the end while I think your idea is good and should be applied to XIV as well, the end result will still be 'horizontal endgame' or 'vertical endgame', although there are little bits of both in each. It's not really a middleground, but it does balance the bad sides of both systems.

I haven't thought of how a horizontal 'meriting' system could be applied to vertical endgame, but that's one of the things I hope someone shows us sooner or later. The vertical factor would still rule the endgame, either way, so I don't think it can really satisfy both demographics at the same time.
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#84 Jun 23 2010 at 11:42 AM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:
Kachi, I read your suggestion from the last page.. and here's what I think:

XI, in fact, has a similar kind of "alternative advancement system" you speak of: merits. But when talking about 'endgame', how often do merits come up as opposed to getting gear? 'Meriting' as a vertical system is obviously inferior to gathering equipment as a horizontal system, so in the end while I think your idea is good and should be applied to XIV as well, the end result will still be 'horizontal endgame' or 'vertical endgame', although there are little bits of both in each. It's not really a middleground, but it does balance the bad sides of both systems.

I haven't thought of how a horizontal 'meriting' system could be applied to vertical endgame, but that's one of the things I hope someone shows us sooner or later. The vertical factor would still rule the endgame, either way, so I don't think it can really satisfy both demographics at the same time.


WoW -kinda- has that, in that you can always respec your character. I guess that could be looked at as horizontal character advancement in a way? Sorta? *shrug*
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#85 Jun 23 2010 at 11:46 AM Rating: Decent
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WoW -kinda- has that, in that you can always respec your character. I guess that could be looked at as horizontal character advancement in a way? Sorta? *shrug*


Depends how it's done, I guess.

If it takes more effort than just talking to an NPC, I could see it as a very basic way of horizontal advancement indeed :D.
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#86 Jun 23 2010 at 12:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:
Quote:
WoW -kinda- has that, in that you can always respec your character. I guess that could be looked at as horizontal character advancement in a way? Sorta? *shrug*


Depends how it's done, I guess.

If it takes more effort than just talking to an NPC, I could see it as a very basic way of horizontal advancement indeed :D.


Talent Points are like merit points, in that you can assign them to any talent to customize your character. A Mage could put them into Frost, Arcane, or Fire, a Paladin could put them into Protection (to tank) or Retribution (to DD) or Holy (to heal), a Druid could put them into Feral (to tank/melee DD), Restoration (to heal) or Balance (to be a magic DD), the list goes on. The difference is that you get one talent point per level starting at 10, and it's impossible to totally fill out your tree with that (max is 71 and you'd need 140ish+ to totally fill in the tree) so you have to pick what you want to be.

Respeccing is just a matter of paying a fee (increases with each respec) and then you can respend your points.

So think if you could spend a fee to get all your merit points back, and then redistribute them. It's basically that, except since you get talents while leveling, you can do it anytime (after level 10)
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#87 Jun 23 2010 at 12:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes, it does sound like the situation is not as black-and-white as one would think. Pretty cool.
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#88 Jun 23 2010 at 12:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:
Yes, it does sound like the situation is not as black-and-white as one would think. Pretty cool.


For what it's worth, I have my complaints about WoW and would likely never go back to it, but it is a pretty good game that is worth giving a try, even if just to see what everyone is talking about. If you ever are in the mood for something different, playing WoW for 2-3 months should give you a good idea of the game. It's definitely the anti-FFXI in many ways, some arguably good, some arguably bad, but personal preferences are opinion.

There's a 10 day trial for free that will at least be long enough to get yourself to 20-45 depending on your play speed.

Honestly, I didn't expect to like WoW when I first picked it up, but I ended up enjoying it a lot. I think the game has gone downhill, but it's still pretty popular, and the level 1-68 scene hasn't really changed much if you get into it before Cataclysm comes out.
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#89 Jun 23 2010 at 2:51 PM Rating: Good
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I actually enjoyed WoW as well, and keep my subscription active as I get the itch to do a couple dungeons every now and again.

The reason that the obsoleting of content works well enough in WoW, is because it doesn't take you years to get through missions to get access to things, and then years to get a full set of armor from the event (or in some cases even one drop). In XI, it does and that's why they stayed at horizontal progression for so long. At least, that's how I see it. Now that the new game is on the horizon, I think they are finally experimenting with the game. Why not? I mean, they are going to eventually focus the bulk of the effort on XIV, so go out with a bang I always say.

As long as they don't add events that are behemoth in nature in terms of mission progression to unlock and\or number of people required to complete, they will have a little more flexibility with vertical progression without leaving the newer players behind.

If they add end game behind CoP-class missions or 64 man events like Dynamis again, well then we will have problems and history will probably repeat itself.

I don't think it will happen though. SE looks to have learned a lot from XI.
#90 Jun 23 2010 at 6:09 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:


You can keep ignoring the majority sentiment with regards to sending people back into content they've run umpteen times before because the carrot is still dangling if that's what you need to do. Something tells me based on what SE has said about XIV and what they're doing with XI that they're trying to see things from the majority opinion this time around instead of the niche they previously catered to.


If you have a number of equal alternatives, then you're not "forced" into anything. If you never left the content in the first place, then you're not being "sent back." It is a peculiar idea to think that every thing must completely replace the last thing.

I didn't stop playing games when I discovered girls. I didn't stop dating when I joined the Marines. I didn't stop shooting a rifle for recreation when I went to school, and I didn't stop reading books or writing when I left school and got a job. I still do many of the things that I used to, even though my life has progressed in many ways. There's no reason why MMO design absolutely MUST be built upon the design of a one way flow chart which progresses from one thing to the next thing only.

That design works for WoW, but it's not the only design that works. Asking people to keep doing the same things is, in fact, a design that exists even in WoW. People are still sent back to the same battle grounds, the same arena maps, etc many years after they were implemented. If there's any monotony to it, it's largely from a lack of new content rather than a reason to do the old. You can ask people to re visit the old stuff from time to time and still be very popular and successful.

I think it's interesting that you are trying to speak for the majority. The majority of whom? Casual gamers? People who don't play games? People who play games a lot? Japanese people? People on this forum? Where was the poll to determine the majority view on any thing?

S-E did quite well with FFXI, which from a financial stand point is probably the most successful MMO ever besides WoW. There's a lot of room for them to grow and learn, but there's also a lot of room to keep some of the unique aspects that they developed in FFXI. It's a nice concept to say "Well, be like WoW so you can be more successful" but there are lots of games that have tried to be like WoW, and failed hard core. Warhammer and Age of Conan come to mind immediately.

I don't speak for any sort of a majority like you do, but I can say that I personally don't want another game like WoW. I already play WoW. I've seen all that game has to offer, and if that's what I want, then I'll just play WoW. What I actually want (and what I think S-E is ready to deliver in a lot of ways) is a game that's a LOT like FFXI, but with the rough edges and flaws fixed. The ability to solo, for example. The ability to progress with less "camping," especially for rare loot (BCNM and the like is a genius way to handle rare loot, IMO).

To me, slowing down the gear treadmill and focusing the game much more in a horizontal than vertical way is not a flaw, it is simply a decision which has pros and cons. I am a little biased by my own preferences, but I think S-E has a much brighter future with FFXIV if they focus on being some thing that WoW isn't (while still learning the big lessons), than trying to emulate WoW in every major way.





Edited, Jun 23rd 2010 8:20pm by KarlHungis
#91 Jun 23 2010 at 10:14 PM Rating: Decent
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I guess one way you could keep old players doing the same content again (so that newer players can get numbers up for events) is to give them an incentive.

Something like, say, a rare/ex item to marginally improve an item dropped from the same event - but not too big of an improvement that it becomes mandatory for newer players to keep repeating the same event in order to max out the item. Or, adjust it so they get more gil out of the guildleve (anything really so they're not just being nice by helping out).

Most of the times, a lot of us in FFXI cbb with helping newer players because it took a lot of time and usually offered no reward. For example, remember what it took to get an Optical Hat? Countless of tonberry incited aggro/death and possible wipes to Hakutaku, and cooldown on respawns with not much in the way of rewards for people to return to the event other than to help a friend (unless you count those potion drops).
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#92 Jun 23 2010 at 10:52 PM Rating: Decent
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The problem with helping people is that after a while, you come to realize that some people are ungrateful, retarded, hyperactive, moronic, *********

Not most people, not even half, but just enough. And all it takes is helping one or two such ******** before you never want to help anyone again.

Think about it... let's say you see a guy on the side of the road standing next to the remains of a car-be-que, so you pull over and the guy says he lives 5 miles away. You feel nice and offer to give him a ride. Then he pulls a gun on you, steals your car, and leaves -you- stranded.

Next time you see a hitchhiker, how likely are you going to be to pick one up? For that matter, how many of us would never even pick up a hitchhiker in the first place, despite NEVER having done so, for no other reason than because we KNOW what -COULD- go wrong, and the possibility of what could go wrong outweighs any benefit. Sure it's possible that guy could be rich as ****, you drive him home five miles away and he writes you a $5,000 check to say thanks. Or he might not even do that; he might just say "thank you" and be appreciative and that's all.

How many people are really willing to help out someone in need, for little more than the POSSIBILITY of a "thank you"?? And you don't even get that half the time.

Now I'm not saying never help anyone; we -should- help others. Helping each other was the core idea upon which FFXI was built. But the problem is that all the things that -could- go wrong weigh more heavily on us than the things that could go right.

And that's why it seems like no one can be bothered to help anyone else. It's not that people don't want to help, they just don't want to waste their time on the risk that something gould go horribly wrong, against the potential benefit.
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#93 Jun 23 2010 at 11:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
XI, in fact, has a similar kind of "alternative advancement system" you speak of: merits. But when talking about 'endgame', how often do merits come up as opposed to getting gear? 'Meriting' as a vertical system is obviously inferior to gathering equipment as a horizontal system, so in the end while I think your idea is good and should be applied to XIV as well, the end result will still be 'horizontal endgame' or 'vertical endgame', although there are little bits of both in each. It's not really a middleground, but it does balance the bad sides of both systems.

I haven't thought of how a horizontal 'meriting' system could be applied to vertical endgame, but that's one of the things I hope someone shows us sooner or later. The vertical factor would still rule the endgame, either way, so I don't think it can really satisfy both demographics at the same time.


You raise a valid issue. I'm not sure how on target my answer to that will be, but here are my impressions:
Merits as a vertical system -sucked- (personal opinion, to be fair), and don't at all compare to a vertical endgame through level/gear progression. I think merits had some good qualities, but as a method of vertical progression, were awful. They encouraged absurd grinding to max out your character, rather than the many varied methods involved in obtaining better gear (raids, obtaining crafting materials, etc.) or the opportunity to explore new areas and battle new enemies. So for me, just the prospect of removing that grind-encouraging element of the game is an automatic win if it places the vertical progression on a more dynamic gameplay construct. And especially with all of the customization opportunities in XIV throughout the leveling process (as opposed to after it), I really think merits are something we can look forward to saying goodbye to.

In the end, I think whether the emphasis is mostly horizontal or mostly vertical depends on a few things:
1. Statistical impact. If merits are more important than gear upgrades to performance, they take precedence. For example, someone who recognizes that finishing their Overwhelm merits is more important than getting new gloves with +1 more STR is going to shift to that vertical aspect.
2. Visibility. Gear is very visible, but people don't know your merits just by looking at you, meaning the way they see your character is more influenced by your gear. The addition of traits and abilities helped with this, and for people with parsers, being able to "see" the difference of their merits provides further motivation to focus on them.
3. Fun. Like I said before, meriting is boring to a lot of people. More boring than the activities required to obtain better gear (but certainly not always).

But even in XI, though one is clearly more looked upon than the other, neither is completely dominant. Merit parties are everywhere, and people are always farming gear. Now, my expectation for the system that I proposed would have vertical progression as the more statistically dominant: usually to some extent it will be more important to obtain the new gear and/or level up than to farm another crystal to put in your grid. However, the average player should be able to obtain their vertically progressed gear and cap their levels with ample time to continue horizontal progression. The vertically progressed gear in XIV shouldn't be nearly as arduous to obtain as the horizontally progressed gear in XI. I also wouldn't want the new gear to be all that great, because I like for gear to be a reasonably aesthetic choice, and new gear that is definitively better than old gear ends up with everyone looking the same. So slightly more so than through gear, I would want vertical progression to be through levels.

Basically, gear in XI becomes the crystals/materia/whatever for your "grid" in XIV. Then vertical progression through gear/levels is added to the system with the updates and expansions. I think this is a good hybrid approach that doesn't cause equipment and character levels to stagnate the game, but also ensures that players are obtaining items throughout the life of the game that aren't just thrown out with every update, and will continue to be useful for a long time. But again, I welcome any criticisms.
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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.
#94 Jun 23 2010 at 11:42 PM Rating: Default
KarlHungis wrote:
That design works for WoW, but it's not the only design that works. Asking people to keep doing the same things is, in fact, a design that exists even in WoW. People are still sent back to the same battle grounds, the same arena maps, etc many years after they were implemented. If there's any monotony to it, it's largely from a lack of new content rather than a reason to do the old. You can ask people to re visit the old stuff from time to time and still be very popular and successful.


You can't compare PvE to PvP in that sense. In battlegorunds and arenas, the environment is a secondary consideration. People who are there because they want to be there are there for the PvP and it doesn't matter whether it happens next to Belinda's Bunker or in the flag room in WSG. People who are there grinding honor/arena points for the gear get awfully sick of those maps awfully fast.

Quote:
I think it's interesting that you are trying to speak for the majority. The majority of whom? Casual gamers? People who don't play games? People who play games a lot? Japanese people? People on this forum? Where was the poll to determine the majority view on any thing?


11 million people is enough of a sample size to get an idea of what works and what doesn't. And when I see abundant evidence of people going back to old content because they want to without a carrot dangled feeling like they're stunting their progression by not going back, all of this talk of trying to add incentive to running old content seems like not more than selfish coersion. The fact of the matter is that there are a relatively small handful of people who never get sick of old content and they get resentful of the idea that they're in the minority and finding groups for that old content at the drop of a hat is frequently more difficult than they might like. And so the result is they come up with all these fantastic ideas to try and get other people to want to go back, and it just doesn't fly. If you've been running a particular area of content on a weekly basis for 6 months, most people welcome a break. They welcome the idea of realizing that if they ever go back, it will be by choice.

You don't NEED to add incentive to get people to run old content if they want to run it for the sake of the content. And if they don't want to run it for the sake of the content, how is a developer adding entertainment value to the game by dangling carrots long after people would be just as happy to be focusing on something new?

Quote:
S-E did quite well with FFXI, which from a financial stand point is probably the most successful MMO ever besides WoW. There's a lot of room for them to grow and learn, but there's also a lot of room to keep some of the unique aspects that they developed in FFXI. It's a nice concept to say "Well, be like WoW so you can be more successful" but there are lots of games that have tried to be like WoW, and failed hard core. Warhammer and Age of Conan come to mind immediately.


I can tell you're new to these boards when you bring up that same tired old argument. Either that, or you just don't read. Just put it out of your mind. It's not going to ocnvince anyone of anything. You've lost the debate when you generalize it to not wanting XIV to "emulate WoW in every major way."
#95 Jun 24 2010 at 1:06 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
After Zilart, I think SE realized that people enjoyed doing more in combat.


Lol, they just figured that out like last week.

Quote:
In WoW I have a warlock with the very best gear in the game


You have all ICC25 Heroic / T10.5? Dang.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 12:09am by GuardianFaith

Quote:

Talent Points are like merit points, in that you can assign them to any talent to customize your character.


Talent Builds > Meripo in every single way.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 12:16am by GuardianFaith
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#96 Jun 24 2010 at 2:55 AM Rating: Good
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Why does progression/new content have to involve character development at all? What would be wrong with new content being a mini-game such as chocobo racing(only an example)? Why does new content always have to add stats, gear, or levels?

Quote:
Gear is a tool. A means to an end. I have no qualms with having to replace rusty or outdated tools with new ones.


If we're to take this to mean that it doesn't matter one way or the other. Then my understanding is that the new content isn't as much about the gear as it's about new environments, or a new quest, just something new so you don't end up doing the same thing until the end of time, etc.

With that understanding, I'd think adding new content that doesn't require a complete equipment overhaul would be fine providing that it's entertaining. I'm not suggesting that adding new equipment is a bad thing. In fact, new gear with different appearances is great. I'm just saying that it could be comparable to existing gear and it wouldn't make a difference.
#97 Jun 24 2010 at 4:13 AM Rating: Decent
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Unfortunately most game designers are incapable of designing content that doesn't rely on extrinsic motivations to facilitate engagement. They just don't know how.
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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.
#98 Jun 24 2010 at 8:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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nah Aurelius, the lvl 43 comment wasnt at you . I would have made the last part of my post clearer but I was rushed for time.
Also sorry if I took your point out of context. Which I guess I did.

I'm usally not like this but I feel strongly about this because it was one of the things that stopped me from ever really playing wow for more then a year or two, mmo's are a waste of time but having my gear go down the crapper every few months annoyed me to no end, that and the crafting system.... or lack thereof .

Anyway constructive criticism and looking at it from both sides is cool.

I have to say though you obviously arent anti FF but you do seem pro WoW , even if FF14 tries to appeal to the main steam that doesnt mean they will succeed and if they take away fundamental things that drive fans of FF11 away from the game who do they have then?
WoW is so watered down that I cant see a comprimise.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 10:59am by piglato
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#99 Jun 24 2010 at 9:01 AM Rating: Decent
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piglato wrote:

I'm usally not like this but I feel strongly about this because it was one of the things that stopped me from ever really playing wow for more then a year or two, mmo's are a waste of time but having my gear go down the crapper every few months annoyed me to no end, that and the crafting system.... or lack thereof .


Sometimes I really wonder how many of you actually *played* WoW and how many of you just *heard* something and like to repeat it because it sounds like a good argument. I don't see how gear *goes down the crapper* every few months. It really doesn't, and gear continues to be relevant to the dungeons it was meant for. That's what we call progression. That's why the sets are assigned a tier number. Yes, when new dungeons come out and the level cap goes up, new equipment also comes out. Your stuff is still good for the end game dungeons at your old target level.

Why should one set of armor continue to be relevant throughout the lifetime of the game?

What else would you do with your time if you weren't exploring new dungeons and getting new treasure?

As far as the crafting system - that's one thing that I think WoW got right. The crafts as you leveled them offered bonuses, and were really good for your own personal use.

You could take up a couple gathering professions as you leveled and make money, and then when you got to the end of your leveling career, take on something that offered good bonuses to your class. It was never meant to be like XI, where you are dependent on someone who has the patience to spend years and millions (upon millions) on leveling a craft just so you can line their pockets on a lucky +1 on a piece of armor you need. The best pieces of equipment that come out of crafting in WoW actually can only be used BY you - you make your own stuff. Jewelcrafting is a really good example - there's a couple excellent gems that are only available to you if you happen to be a Jewelcrafter.

I didn't really see crafting in WoW as anything more than just another way to develop my character. And you know what? That's really all I cared about in the end, anyway. P2P economy can go suck an egg.
#100 Jun 24 2010 at 9:36 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:

11 million people is enough of a sample size to get an idea of what works and what doesn't.


You're not in a position to declare the reasons that 11 million people play. Off the top of my head I can think of half a dozen reasons to play WoW that have nothing to do with the progression scheme.

1) Want to play with friends who already play WoW.
2) Saw the constant advertising and became curious about what the fuss was all about.
3) Find the game to be much less intimidating to learn than many MMOs, due to the new player tutorials and forgiving nature of failure.
4) Played previous Blizzard games and just trust the quality of their products
5) Excellent customer service.
6) Just want a game that can be played in small chunks of time, from half an hour to no more than three hours at a time.

So logically, it doesn't make sense to conclude that the popularity of WoW is evidence one way or another about the superiority of any one aspect of the game. There's no actual basis to argue that the majority prefers linear, vertical progression. The majority plays a game where linear, vertical progression exists, which indicates that you can be quite successful in that regard, but that's the extend of the conclusions that you can draw. Maybe people prefer WoW because you don't lose experience when you die. Maybe they prefer it because they prefer the smoother control scheme of WoW. Maybe they prefer it because Mr T told them to play as a Night Elf Mohawk. Maybe they prefer WoW because they don't know any better.

Quote:
And when I see abundant evidence of people going back to old content because they want to without a carrot dangled feeling like they're stunting their progression by not going back, all of this talk of trying to add incentive to running old content seems like not more than selfish coersion.


I find that occasionally, people go back and do the older raids one time, in order to get the achievements for doing so. Which IMO qualifies as a carrot, even if it's only a one time carrot.

In any case, you're arguing against a straw man. I'm not arguing that people should be given incentives to go back and run obsolete content. I'm arguing that content should not be made automatically obsolete by the next content. I'm saying that you shouldn't give people strong incentives in the form of inflated gear, because you can design your game in a way where you don't even need to. This goes back to the original point about gear swapping, and how it allows you to create more situational gear that still has value.

In FFXI, people stop doing Sky because they're done with Sky, because they experienced everything they wanted to and got all the gear they wanted. They don't stop doing Sky just because Sea came along and provided gear that is clearly superior in every way. You have the freedom (assuming you've done all of your missions) to work on whatever content you want.


Quote:

I can tell you're new to these boards when you bring up that same tired old argument. Either that, or you just don't read. Just put it out of your mind. It's not going to ocnvince anyone of anything. You've lost the debate when you generalize it to not wanting XIV to "emulate WoW in every major way."


Oh gosh, I guess that if you said I've lost the debate, then I must have lost the debate /rolleyes

If it's a tired argument then it should be easy to refute. WAR and AOC both tried hard to copy WoW, and while they sold a lot of boxes, in the end, people just decided that if they wanted to play WoW they'd play WoW. Meanwhile you can go on the WoW message boards on a daily basis and see complaints from people that WoW is too casual, every thing is watered down, the end game has been made obsolete, etc. There's obviously a hunger for games that aren't like WoW, while WoW seems to be satisfying the market for games that are like WoW.


Edited, Jun 24th 2010 11:40am by KarlHungis
#101 Jun 24 2010 at 10:19 AM Rating: Good
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Well Torrence I very much did play wow , I had a lvl 80 priest and rogue and played most of tbc and half of wotlk. I didnt do anything amazing but I raided and saw endgame and realised I hated how the system worked.

Because ff11 worked like that and many people enjoyed that system, When I obtained things like my O hat and dusk gloves and O kote and SH and all that crap It felt great , I never had that feeling in wow. I knew I have to spend large amounts of gold for enchants and gems to be the best I can be , only to see it obsolete in a few months.

I usally had something to do on ff11 , farm , sky, sea , enm's, craft, dienamis(.. ok not so much dienamis lmao..,) level another class, merit pt. and the community was amazing, I was so close to my ls.
There was times I had nothing to, so Id help people do their genkai or AF missions and made a stupid amount of friends or id clown around with my ls. Sometimes tho there was nothing to do its true but that can be solved in many ways.
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