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SE's lessons learned from FFXIFollow

#102 Jun 24 2010 at 10:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not a fan of gear that people work/play hard for becoming obsolete and worthless once a level cap increase or update is implemented. Rather than just pushing things aside and indirectly making older content not worth doing, why not make those older things be prerequisites to earning the latest and greatest? That would keep a fairly constant demand going for that older content as well as new stuff. For example, let's say the new "Uber Body Piece" that just got introduced requires an item from 3 areas from previous content as well as a drop from the new content. In FFXI terms, let's say you need to trade a Healer's Briault, Cleric's Briault, Dalmatica (make this available from other sources than just a HNM), Goliard Saio and some sort of drop from the latest content in order to get the new "Badass Healer's Robe"? It would at least create a demand for drops that many now consider worthless and at the same time make it not feel like you wasted all that effort getting pieces of previous hard to get gear.

Or maybe not even require all of the pieces, but for every piece you collect it takes the new piece to another tier of stat bonuses. That way if you have the drop for the new item, you can still use it right away, but to make it Godly you have to go around and collect the other upgrade items. When even newer gear is introduced, the tier level of your current Uber Body Piece determines the starting tier for the next greatest things and what other items it will need to improve.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 11:59am by Harri
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#103 Jun 24 2010 at 12:27 PM Rating: Decent
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They actually started doing that in WoW with the badge gear, because it was found that folks were skipping an entire tier of gear because they could just hoard their badges until they had enough for the latest top tier. In fact, I guess something like this was implemented in XI as well with the AF +1 and Relic +1 gear sets.

The problem is that it never really caught on for everyone because of the way that the events to do the upgrades were locked behind mission progressions (and in a lot of cases the equipment just sucked). Either this time around SE will have to be more generous with the difficulty level of mission progressions from the start, or stop locking events and locations behind them altogether and allow each *cap* of level its own tier of equipment.

I'd cast my /vote for the latter option, since it just makes sense to have say, level 20 class dungeons to upgrade armor to be ready for level 30 class dungeons. Of course, they would have to do the same thing that WoW did and require the level 20 item to upgrade to the level 30 item, otherwise people would just wait for the level 30 item.

Someone mentioned the O kotes and the Scorpion harness - well you know I'd rather this time around that a piece of equipment you get at level 34 doesn't remain the best piece five years later at 75.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 2:46pm by Torrence
#104 Jun 24 2010 at 12:53 PM Rating: Decent
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As to AF+1 and AF2+1, I have the required accesses to upgrade my AF, but I never will because of a severe lack of inventory space. The original AF can be stored with a storage NPC in exchange for a key item. The upgraded AF is not storable.

That thought leads me to address something which has always bothered me about FFXI. I hope that they allow more mail to be sent at once than the paltry 8 slots we are allowed in that game. Even better would be the ability to sell more than 7 things at once on the AH or the bazaar retainer or whatever they call their new commerce system.

I understand the need to keep the size of the systems within reasonable constraints, but 7-8 slots is less "reasonable" than "skimpy".
#105 Jun 24 2010 at 1:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well that 7 slot limit was born out of necessity as it wasn't always like that. The AH system was just not designed very well and way back at the dawn of time, there was such slowdown and crashing that they imposed that limit I guess because they had no other ideas how to stabilize it.

There's rumors that it was in an effort to slow down RMT (or maybe that was the 8 slot mailbox), but the server lag issues is the way I remember events.

Since they have said there will be no AH system the way we know it (they did say that somewhere, right?) I would think it's going to be a non-issue. Inventory as well will likely be a non-issue going forward.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 3:36pm by Torrence
#106 Jun 24 2010 at 2:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'll confess that I'm having a lot of trouble following the conversation in this thread. I just wanted to put my two cents in (and hopefully, they're applicable to the topic at hand):

Personally, I like it when a game gently encourages you to retrace your steps a bit. If an area becomes obsolete after you've done your initial run-through, then I feel that it's as if it's no longer a part of the game's world. If there's no longer incentive to go there again, then it may as well not be there.

To help with that, I think it's good to seed such areas with content for various levels, so that there's something to come back for. It helps extend the area's period of relevance, thereby making the player's world feel larger. Add an obscenely overpowered Notorious Monster, for example (I got a kick out of Steelfleece and the Sea Horror). Or a quest line for higher levels. Or a curiously inaccessible area that you'll only later be able to reach when some condition is met.

I like stuff like that. They keep the game's whole world seeming relevant and fresh. They place tangible goals in view of newer players (like, "One day, I'm going to pay that Sea Horror back!"). They help add a sense of wonder, awe, and curiosity. All good stuff for an MMORPG.

I think the same bit applies to gear. If gear maintains a certain relevance beyond its level, then it can help make equipment possibilities seem more open-ended, in addition to making that gear more desirable. Instead of having relevant gear exist solely at your current, "top" layer, you might then have more ways of approaching the task of equipping yourself. Balancing that is a tougher task, though. I didn't like that in FFXI the necklace that I equipped at lvl 20 might be the last necklace my character ever wore. But I don't think it would be unreasonable for some hard-earned equipment to maintain niche relevance for 5-10 levels.

Edited, Jun 24th 2010 4:40pm by Eske
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#107The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 24 2010 at 5:34 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I don't recall having said that I was in a position to declare why people play. I can point to where I said 11 million players was a large enough sample size to indicate what works and what doesn't. Unfortunately, after just over a year posting in this corner of the ZAM network I'm largely tired of arguing with people whose only means of propping up their argument is to twist and butcher what I say so that their fabricated interpretation gives them something to try and counter.
#108 Jun 24 2010 at 8:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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The argument up to this point (And for the record, I -did- try to un-derail the thread fwiw) is mostly "Include what is popular because it is in a popular game, and since the game is popular, some people obviously like it" vs "Include alternatives to what is popular because people who don't play the popular game may not be playing it because they dislike it".

And just people arguing those two points back and forth, particularly as it applies to endgame progression (which is something that none of us will know exactly what SE is doing with it for several months after the game is out).

Hope that catches you up on the last two pages.

To attempt to change the subject again:

Eske wrote:
To help with that, I think it's good to seed such areas with content for various levels, so that there's something to come back for. It helps extend the area's period of relevance, thereby making the player's world feel larger. Add an obscenely overpowered Notorious Monster, for example (I got a kick out of Steelfleece and the Sea Horror). Or a quest line for higher levels. Or a curiously inaccessible area that you'll only later be able to reach when some condition is met.

I like stuff like that. They keep the game's whole world seeming relevant and fresh. They place tangible goals in view of newer players (like, "One day, I'm going to pay that Sea Horror back!"). They help add a sense of wonder, awe, and curiosity. All good stuff for an MMORPG.


This wasn't brought up before, but this is a good point in my opinion. I kinda like the lone high level mob in a lowbie area that you need to learn to avoid and you swear vengeance upon. I also kinda miss the old "zone guard duty" in FFXI, back when bored mid level players would go to lowbie zones like Valkurm and Garlaige and CN and shill in the area to help out the lowbies who pull off way more than they can chew. The MPK patch nerfed that, but it was one of those intangible, unintended aspects of FFXI that I really loved.
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#109 Jun 24 2010 at 9:20 PM Rating: Default
Mikhalia wrote:
The argument up to this point (And for the record, I -did- try to un-derail the thread fwiw) is mostly "Include what is popular because it is in a popular game, and since the game is popular, some people obviously like it" vs "Include alternatives to what is popular because people who don't play the popular game may not be playing it because they dislike it".


That's not my argument. My argument is "don't include things that only appeal to a niche market if you're trying to attract more than a niche market."

The issue with horizontal progression is that it's a very narrow form of progression. It's centered around gear and micro tweaks to your characters, sometimes always beneficial and sometimes only situationally beneficial.

Nobody complains when they gain a level. "OMFG I worked so hard to hit level 25 and now I'm level 26 and level 25 is obsolete!"

Nobody complains when they upgrade midlevel gear. "OMFG I had to farm so long to be able to afford my brass set and now I can get something better!"

But all of a sudden people hit endgame and somehow, it changes. For me, I'm confident of my ability to succeed (and/or contribute to the succss of a group) in the most demanding content an MMO developer can throw at its players. I don't need e-peen, I don't need bragging rights, and I sure as **** don't need to be funneled through ludicrous grinds for modest and/or situational rewards. There's a reason very few MMO developers don't follow the horizontal endgame progression model...niche appeal kills MMOs.
#110 Jun 24 2010 at 9:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
KarlHungis wrote:
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.



When you're prepared to address what I've said, let me know. Until then, you're just wasting your time and mine.


I've addressed what you've said, in depth. If you meant to write some thing other than what you did, then please, clarify.


The crux of the argument is that you talked about "The majority don't want blah blah blah" to which I responded "Well how do you know what the majority want? Did you take a poll?"

You responded that 11 million people are a large sample size, and I responded "well no one can really say what that 11 million people represent. They could be playing WoW for reasons that have nothing to do with this discussion." You accuse me of distorting what you're saying.

The bottom line throughout this is that every one except you in this thread has couched their opinions as merely their opinions. I like this, I don't like that, I'd like to see blah blah blah. You, on the other hand, talk down to people and try to speak in generalities, like you're laying down fundamental rules of MMOs. You're talking about what the majority like and don't like, without any way to back up those claims.

If you'd just stuck to "I like pure vetical progression, because I get my sense of accomplishment from achievements" then there'd be no real cause for disagreement. Our tastes might differ, but ultimately they're personal tastes. When you got into trying "tell it like it is" you force people to speak up and argue over opinions, just to defend their own right to a valid opinion.

If you wonder why you get into so many arguments where it seems that people are "twisting" your words, maybe it's not because of what you believe, but how you express it. You're just a person on the internet, like all of the rest of us, so don't act like you're a higher authority unless you can back it up with some hard evidence.




#111The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 24 2010 at 10:00 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Which is fine. When it stops being fine is when they start going off on tangents arguing against points I never made.
#112 Jun 26 2010 at 1:08 AM Rating: Decent
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I know one thing , I won't even consider ff14 if it has the same progression model as wow. Maybe a lot of other ff11 fans feel the same way or maybe not but I wouldnt be banking on wows playerbase to make FF14 popular.
I can name a host of reasons why but then I'll just be arguing with people but one of the main things a lot the wow playerbase will despise is bi lingual servers but I won't go on.

I cant believe you fell back on the epeen elitest argument Aulerius, I thought you would actually be able to comprehend that some people just prefer the horizontal progression system for a lot of different reasons.
It's the same argument the kids on the wow forum fall back on after somebody already gave them 25 other valid reasons as to why they prefer the alternative to wows system

Besides all that the pay for play mmo genre is a niche market, wow is the ONLY exception.
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#113 Jun 26 2010 at 1:52 AM Rating: Decent
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I really should stop visiting the ZAM forums, simply because while it's refreshing to read some intelligent responses from people it's also irritating to see moronic imbeciles. I almost wish that FFXI was single player and not an MMO, simply because it's the black sheep of the MMO family and the FF fanbois will defend it until the end of time. The endgame is majorly flawed and it's the reason a majority of people jumped ship with *BETTER* alternatives came out. It was tedious, unrewarding, and entirely ruled by the RNG. Nothing like spending hours farming pop items/camping HNMs only to get crystals kiddies! Buy hey, this is supposed to be better than actually being rewarded for spending time trying to defeat very basic AI folks.

From the three big anti-WoW posters in this thread, all I've gathered is that one is pathetic and only plays for gear. He (grammatically vague pronoun usage here) wants others to have to go through the exact same torture that he went through to get gear, and wants people to be forced with having to sludge through the same bullsh*t he had to. If he had his choice, he would have had WoW never go beyond level 60 and gear never, ever, gets more powerful than what was had in Molten Core. He'd rather multitudes of quests be put into the game for a merit point type system with EXP gain for minute (and incredibly awkward) forms of character advancement. Having fun be DAMNED, you're supposed to walk uphills, both ways, in the snow, with frostbitten feet, killing virtual crabs with nothing but loose-leaf notebooks simply because *HE* had to. He is ruled by the law of "Change is bad." The fact that he defends a system so utterly stingy with the gear he so covets is ironically amusing.

The second is someone who claims to be more intelligent than the average player, but can't see three feet beyond his own ego. He would prefer ridiculously complicated game mechanics than for no other reason to stroke his e-peen when he can execute them. It doesn't matter if they're actually *worth* doing, he simply wants them in the game to make himself not feel superior because of his skills with pixels. Having to manually dodge surprise back attacks on the Watersday of the Waxing Crescent of the 4th - 22nd weeks of the Vana'diel year is A-OK by him because it's *complicated*.

The third is someone that can't even construe a proper platform upon which to debate. It's a typical anti-WoW retarded troll in that he can't refute claims another makes, so he twists and snarls the logic being thrown his way in an attempt to not be seen as horribly wrong. Then, when called out on his bullsh*t spewing, he assumes victory because the other (right) party gave up trying to debate with someone having the arguing skills of a tree.

Here's something Square-Enix still has yet to learn:

Stop trying to rationing everyone's fun. Having time limits on *EVERYTHING* is perhaps the most pathetic method of artificial lengthening of content I've ever seen.

piglato wrote:
I know one thing , I won't even consider ff14 if it has the same progression model as wow. Maybe a lot of other ff11 fans feel the same way or maybe not but I wouldnt be banking on wows playerbase to make FF14 popular.
I can name a host of reasons why but then I'll just be arguing with people but one of the main things a lot the wow playerbase will despise is bi lingual servers but I won't go on.

I cant believe you fell back on the epeen elitest argument Aulerius, I thought you would actually be able to comprehend that some people just prefer the horizontal progression system for a lot of different reasons.
It's the same argument the kids on the wow forum fall back on after somebody already gave them 25 other valid reasons as to why they prefer the alternative to wows system

Besides all that the pay for play mmo genre is a niche market, wow is the ONLY exception.


Another anti-WoW troll.

Aurelius is using logical and common-sense to try to debate with you and your kind, and you don't understand it. So, you refer to (here's the REALLY ironic part) "WoWSP33K" in calling anyone that doesn't agree with you an elitist.

Newsflash: the only player base I know of that supports horizontal progression are FFXI players.



Edited, Jun 26th 2010 3:56am by StrijderVechter
#114 Jun 26 2010 at 2:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
There's a reason very few MMO developers don't follow the horizontal endgame progression model...niche appeal kills MMOs.


???

Until the announcement of XIV, XI had carried an average subscription level of around 500,000 subscribers for over five years. Good enough to make it one of the most popular MMOs on the market. Those numbers don't compare to WoW, but it's good enough to be considered a huge success in the MMO genre. Take out the 2 Lineage games that run rampant in Korea and XI still holds a top 5 rank in MMO subscriptions 7 years later ,and 2 of those MMOs (in Dofus and Runescape) are free to play (on some level) browser based games.

I'm not sure what your definition of success or mainstream is when it comes to the MMO genre. From any objective viewpoint, XI has been both a major financial success and one of the most popular MMOs for much of the past decade. If you think it's appeal was niche in nature, or that such "niche appeal" killed it, you'd be in the minority, and with nothing factual to back such claims. I've played all 3 of the current leaders in subscription based, non Korean MMOs in WoW, Aion, and FFXI. I've experienced development decisions from each that I found better and worse in comparison with all three, but I have never felt that the best option in MMO development was to try and copy other games in a futile attempt to recreate success. Such a mistake leaves you with the uninspired (and poorly performing) WoW clones of the past half decade. Those MMO's tried to emulate many of the elements of the market leader - including endgame progression - and failed to make a dent in the charts.

We'll know soon enough in what way the developers of XI intend to take the endgame progression of XIV. No amount of bias or bluster will affect such an announcement. But it's a mistake to think they'll automatically shy away from everything that made XI so popular and special to subscribers. XIV isn't being created because of the failures of SE's first subscription MMO. XIV is being created because of XI's success. Because what we've learned in the last decade is getting the following XI has enjoyed is a major accomplishment in and of itself.


#115 Jun 26 2010 at 7:45 AM Rating: Decent
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piglato wrote:
I know one thing , I won't even consider ff14 if it has the same progression model as wow. Maybe a lot of other ff11 fans feel the same way or maybe not but I wouldnt be banking on wows playerbase to make FF14 popular.
I can name a host of reasons why but then I'll just be arguing with people but one of the main things a lot the wow playerbase will despise is bi lingual servers but I won't go on.

The bilingual issue isn't much of an issue. It might arise while leveling, but not much. English speaking players will do endgame content with English speaking players. The whole use of vent alone that has become so dominant among NA/EU raiders will demand this. To be completely honest, I suspect that the Japanese will throw a hissy fit when the beta starts and they have to deal with the English speaking players. ****, it wouldn't shock me if the game at launch has regional servers but that's for a completely different thread....

Back on topic.

Speaking as someone with 5 years of WoW experience and a year of FFXI experience (I played from NA launch until a month before WoW launched), not even WoW players want WoW's endgame progression. That's a large reason why I'm posting on this forum to begin with. I can do without collecting gear that is obsolete as soon as I get it or a marginal sidegrade in some cases. The rate at which gear changes has gotten too extreme although part of that has to do with the fact that Trial of the Crusader (t9) was not supposed to happen. I think the progression from Naxx to Ulduar to Icecrown would have been much more natural. I don't want FFXI's endgame either where an item I get remains BIS for 5 years. I do think that some kind of compromise is possible without completely ******* off veterans from either game, but it depends on information we don't have (like how SE plans to implement NMs/HNMs).

Quote:
We'll know soon enough in what way the developers of XI intend to take the endgame progression of XIV. No amount of bias or bluster will affect such an announcement. But it's a mistake to think they'll automatically shy away from everything that made XI so popular and special to subscribers. XIV isn't being created because of the failures of SE's first subscription MMO. XIV is being created because of XI's success. Because what we've learned in the last decade is getting the following XI has enjoyed is a major accomplishment in and of itself.

Yes and no. While it'd be criminally stupid of me to say that XI won't have an impact on XIV's endgame, it'd be just as naive to say that it won't change. It's going to be a while, but it's important to look at what SE does with the recent level 80 bump and see what kind of overall effect it has. I wouldn't be surprised at FFXI right now is basically an exaggerated beta test for how FFXIV's endgame will play out. It's not like SE are ignoring other games -- I'm sure they're looking very closely at other games to see what works and what doesn't work.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 9:52am by mechaboydx
#116 Jun 26 2010 at 9:00 AM Rating: Decent
ascorbic wrote:
I've experienced development decisions from each that I found better and worse in comparison with all three, but I have never felt that the best option in MMO development was to try and copy other games in a futile attempt to recreate success. Such a mistake leaves you with the uninspired (and poorly performing) WoW clones of the past half decade. Those MMO's tried to emulate many of the elements of the market leader - including endgame progression - and failed to make a dent in the charts.


That's the same tired old argument people here have been using for over a year now to argue against concepts that are now a part of XIV. You'll need something better.

Quote:
We'll know soon enough in what way the developers of XI intend to take the endgame progression of XIV. No amount of bias or bluster will affect such an announcement. But it's a mistake to think they'll automatically shy away from everything that made XI so popular and special to subscribers. XIV isn't being created because of the failures of SE's first subscription MMO. XIV is being created because of XI's success. Because what we've learned in the last decade is getting the following XI has enjoyed is a major accomplishment in and of itself.


Horizontal progression wasn't what made XI "special" to subscribers. Fact of the matter is, for most MMOs once you have an installed base of subscribers for over a year they tend to stick around. They tend to cling to the familiar long efter it has lost its luster. XI plaeteaued very early in its NA lifespan. If the XI community is so happy with the game, why are the XI boards here still loaded with ******** and whining? Why is everything SE does still met with a wall of cynicism? It frequently seems that the only time XI players don't ***** about the game is when someone from outside the fold levels criticism at it.

Horizontal progression is akin to stagnation. It's just one step ahead of "no progression at all."
#117 Jun 26 2010 at 10:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
ascorbic wrote:
I've experienced development decisions from each that I found better and worse in comparison with all three, but I have never felt that the best option in MMO development was to try and copy other games in a futile attempt to recreate success. Such a mistake leaves you with the uninspired (and poorly performing) WoW clones of the past half decade. Those MMO's tried to emulate many of the elements of the market leader - including endgame progression - and failed to make a dent in the charts.


That's the same tired old argument people here have been using for over a year now to argue against concepts that are now a part of XIV. You'll need something better.


I think it's a fair point, especially if you take it as simply a word of caution, and not as an overarching rule. It stands to reason that Square Enix is not going to make a better WoW than Blizzard. It's important for a game to stand on its own merits, and win over alternative demographics to the one that their competitor dominates.

I'll give you an example:

The UFC currently dominates Mixed Martial Arts globally. There are many other successful, thriving MMA organizations that serve more "niche" markets. They put on different style fights, they offer fights at different venues, they don't use Pay-Per-View, etc. Recently, a company called "Affliction" attempted to mimic the UFC's event model...they went completely bankrupt. They simply couldn't match the UFC's product, and they didn't have their own market to fall back on. Meanwhile, other organizations, like K-1, Dream, or Bellator, have all enjoyed financial success by sticking to their guns.

I'm not saying that it isn't important to take lessons from WoW's success. But carbon-copying isn't the only way to exhibit what you've learned. And you can't objectively argue that something is inherently "better" simply because it is in WoW.

Quote:
Quote:
We'll know soon enough in what way the developers of XI intend to take the endgame progression of XIV. No amount of bias or bluster will affect such an announcement. But it's a mistake to think they'll automatically shy away from everything that made XI so popular and special to subscribers. XIV isn't being created because of the failures of SE's first subscription MMO. XIV is being created because of XI's success. Because what we've learned in the last decade is getting the following XI has enjoyed is a major accomplishment in and of itself.


Horizontal progression wasn't what made XI "special" to subscribers. Fact of the matter is, for most MMOs once you have an installed base of subscribers for over a year they tend to stick around. They tend to cling to the familiar long efter it has lost its luster. XI plaeteaued very early in its NA lifespan. If the XI community is so happy with the game, why are the XI boards here still loaded with ******** and whining? Why is everything SE does still met with a wall of cynicism? It frequently seems that the only time XI players don't ***** about the game is when someone from outside the fold levels criticism at it.

Horizontal progression is akin to stagnation. It's just one step ahead of "no progression at all."


FFXI was a financial success for SE, no way around that. Citing the level of angst on an internet forum is a far less objective way of gauging a game's success. In fact, I assert that it's all but worthless as an example.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 12:52pm by Eske

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 12:53pm by Eske
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#118 Jun 26 2010 at 11:08 AM Rating: Decent
Eske wrote:
I think it's a fair point, especially if you take it as simply a word of caution, and not as an overarching rule. It stands to reason that Square Enix is not going to make a better WoW than Blizzard. It's important for a game to stand on its own merits.


I'm all for innovation. I've been doing my best to keep an open mind about XIV since it was announced. It just seems that sometimes people want innovation for the sake of innovation and the thought process stops there. "Is it innovative?" "Yes." "Then it's going to be awesome!"

Sure. car manufacturers could start making vehicles with eliptical wheels. Food producers could start shipping with their food wrapped around the outside of the package ("...so you can see exactly what you're getting!"). It's not enough to simply be different...the "different' still has to work. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Sometimes things just work and they work for a reason and changing them for the sake of being different just doesn't cut it. If you can improve upon an existing concept, do so. If you can't improve upon it, changing for the sake of changing makes no sense. Horizontal progression doesn't work. It bores an awful lot of people. And I think even the people who defend it know that it does. But one guy is happy with it hence it's a brilliant idea and should be preserved. More of that absence of big picture thinking.

I think it would be neat if more people around here could start to realize that their opinion alone isn't enough to shape the way an MMO is developed. And bonus points if they had the intellectual accumen to recognize when their opinion places them in a minority position on a particular subject. It'll never happen, though, because it's not an XI vs. WoW. vs. cats vs. XIV phenomenon, it's a cultural phenomenon that demands our individualism merit more consideration than it actually does.

Quote:
FFXI was a financial success for SE, no way around that. Citing the level of angst on an internet forum is a far less objective way of gauging a game's success. In fact, I assert that it's all worthless as an example.


I agree that SE made money with XI, just like I'm sure you'd agree that this time around they want a bigger piece of the pie. And if you don't believe me, ask Wada...he's already said as much. And referencing the XI community here on ZAM is by no means worthless as an example. XI has no official community site and ZAM stepped in as one of the main premier sites to act as a substitute. The ZAM forums here are to XI what the o-boards are to WoW so I take everything with a grain of salte but it doesn't change that fact that a 10 minute browse of the XI forums here woudl indicate that as far as MMO development goes, SE can do no right.
#119 Jun 26 2010 at 11:36 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
ascorbic wrote:
I've experienced development decisions from each that I found better and worse in comparison with all three, but I have never felt that the best option in MMO development was to try and copy other games in a futile attempt to recreate success. Such a mistake leaves you with the uninspired (and poorly performing) WoW clones of the past half decade. Those MMO's tried to emulate many of the elements of the market leader - including endgame progression - and failed to make a dent in the charts.


That's the same tired old argument people here have been using for over a year now to argue against concepts that are now a part of XIV. You'll need something better.


You keep saying that, but you haven't addressed the argument. I think YOU need to do better, or just concede that "emulating WoW" is not an inherently successful strategy.

Quote:

Horizontal progression wasn't what made XI "special" to subscribers. Fact of the matter is, for most MMOs once you have an installed base of subscribers for over a year they tend to stick around. They tend to cling to the familiar long efter it has lost its luster. XI plaeteaued very early in its NA lifespan. If the XI community is so happy with the game, why are the XI boards here still loaded with ******** and whining? Why is everything SE does still met with a wall of cynicism? It frequently seems that the only time XI players don't ***** about the game is when someone from outside the fold levels criticism at it.


You could substitute "WoW' for "XI" and "Vertical progression" for "Horizontal progression" and the argument would be just as applicable. People play any MMO for a variety of reasons. However, you have what, half a dozen people in this thread who are telling you that they've played WoW and prefer the progression scheme of XI, so it's obviously enough of a factor to enough people that they feel the need to speak up about it.

Maybe it would be more useful if, instead of telling people that they don't really like what they really like, you just told us what you DO actually like about FFXI. I mean, you're here to talk about it, obviously intend to play it. You clearly don't like a lot of the design decisions in FFXI, but you must have liked some of them, or else you wouldn't even be considering an alternative to the perfect game AKA WoW.

So please, tell us, what is it about FFXI that you DO like and would like to see carried over into FFXIV? A little more positive direction in this thread would be great.

In the spirit of positivity, I'll start out by telling you what I love about WoW (even though this thread is about FFXI, not WoW). I love Blizzard's customer service. If there is one thing that Blizzard does that S-E could learn in order to gain wide spread appeal like what WoW has, I believe that superior Customer Service is the #1 thing.

Every time I have had reason to deal with Blizzard's CMs, GMs, Developers, or any other representatives it has made me feel more inclined to play WoW. With S-E it is quite the opposite. Every experience I have had with account management, or even seeing second hand the way that they deal with in game issues, has made me more frustrated with S-E and much less eager to play their games.



Edited, Jun 26th 2010 1:41pm by KarlHungis
#120 Jun 26 2010 at 11:51 AM Rating: Default
KarlHungis wrote:
You keep saying that, but you haven't addressed the argument. I think YOU need to do better, or just concede that "emulating WoW" is not an inherently successful strategy.
Quote:


I have an idea. Show me where I've said SE needs to emulate WoW. (Hint: Save yourself the time reading back through a year worth of threads... I haven't ever said XIV should emulate WoW.) So when I'm arguing an isolated concept and your best retort is that I'm saying something I'm not, you're failing. Badly. So smarten up, please. You don't seem stupid...please don't act like you are.

[quote]You could substitute "WoW' for "XI" and "Vertical progression" for "Horizontal progression" and the argument would be just as applicable. People play any MMO for a variety of reasons. However, you have what, half a dozen people in this thread who are telling you that they've played WoW and prefer the progression scheme of XI, so it's obviously enough of a factor to enough people that they feel the need to speak up about it.


Half a dozen people in a forum dominated by XI expats who have successfully driven out most of the people that came around here for the first few months after XIV was announced and you expect me to take some minor, repetitive, tired, old opposition as meaning anything. "See, nobody really wants emancipation!" "Ya, because you hung all the black people!"

[quote]Maybe it would be more useful if, instead of telling people that they don't really like what they really like, you just told us what you DO actually like about FFXI. I mean, you're here to talk about it, obviously intend to play it. You clearly don't like a lot of the design decisions in FFXI, but you must have liked some of them, or else you wouldn't even be considering an alternative to the perfect game AKA WoW.


I'm not here to talk about XI. I'm not here to play XI. XIV =/= XI, and the sooner you kids drive that through your skulls, the sooner all this nonsense can stop. I don't need to talk about what I liked in XI because if XI had enough to like I would have continued playing. Sadly, the bad outweighed the good on a variety of levels and the only reason I developed any interest in XIV is because the devs made it pretty clear from day one that they weren't trying to make XI 2.0.

Really, the "you liked concepts from WoW therefore you must think WoW was the perfect game" bullsh*t NEEDS to stop. God you people sound stupid when you parrot that line over and over and OVER again.

It's @#%^ing old, okay? GET WITH THE TIMES, MAN!! The dinosaurs are dead!!

People argued that if you liked the idea of action bars, all you wanted was a WoW clone. One concept from another MMO...and you were labeled as advocating a WoW clone. And we did, in fact, determine a couple of months ago that based on all of the different concepts people didn't want because it would make XIV a "WoW clone", XIV is now officially a WoW clone because so very many of those concepts are now a part of the game. Are you able to make that distinction? Isolated concept vs. entire game? Because if you CAN make that distinction, do so. Your post quality would shoot up dramatically.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 10:59am by Aurelius
#121 Jun 26 2010 at 12:30 PM Rating: Good
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>.>;

Vertical progression isn't a WoW thing, it's a 'class-based game' thing.
Everquest had vertical progression before WoW was even a twinkle in some developer's eye.

Howabout less 'this game' versus 'that game' and more;
"How do we keep people interested in playing the game once they've reached max level?"



Edited, Jun 26th 2010 2:39pm by Zemzelette
#122 Jun 26 2010 at 12:41 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:
>.>;

Vertical progression isn't a WoW thing, it's a 'class-based game' thing.
Everquest had vertical progression before WoW was even a twinkle in some developer's eye.
(largely because the people who would found it hadn't left the company yet)

Howabout less 'this game' versus 'that game' and more;
"How do we keep people interested in playing the game once they've reached max level?"



I prefer new content. Anything else is just artificial extensions. Send a noteworthy amount of new content my way every 6 months and I'm happy. That seems to be about the standard interval. And every couple of years, raise the level cap. Between the two options, developers get ample opportunity to reinvent the game. If the majority of players are expressing dissatisfaction with a particular aspect of the game, new content + new level caps presents regular intervals to make adjustments without revamping what you've already done.
#123 Jun 26 2010 at 1:26 PM Rating: Decent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:


I'm not here to talk about XI.



Then you're in the wrong thread.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 3:27pm by KarlHungis
#124 Jun 26 2010 at 1:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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But what about people who are motivated by developing their character into something stronger?
They say every new expansion feels like starting all over again. It's not surprising, really. They feel compelled to make their character stronger, so they have no choice but to stick to the new content that makes their previous strength trivial.

Technically, your character is progressing vertically. But from a personal perspective it feels more like a Cycle of weakness and stabilization.

Obviously that's not terribly fun for them.
But the stagnate environment of XI isn't particularly fun for the sort of folks who are interested in new sights and experiences. Nor is it particularly approachable for newer players.

It's easy for one side to point fingers at the other an trivialize their motivations.
The hard part is figuring out a way to make everybody happy.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 3:29pm by Zemzelette
#125 Jun 26 2010 at 1:34 PM Rating: Default
KarlHungis wrote:
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:


I'm not here to talk about XI.



Then you're in the wrong thread.


All over these boards since Kaolian stepped in people are having reasonable discussions that don't present anywhere near the same level of assinine ******** as you. Do you think you're contributing with your fanboi nonsense? Are you capable of a reasonable discussion that doesn't degrade to "NO NOT LIKE WOW?" If not, don't respond to me any further. You'll just be wasting your time.
#126 Jun 26 2010 at 2:08 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
You keep saying that, but you haven't addressed the argument. I think YOU need to do better, or just concede that "emulating WoW" is not an inherently successful strategy.


He's not really talking about emulating WoW, though. What he's suggesting is taking the good design decisions that Blizzard made and applying them to other products, including FFXIV. Ignoring that good design completely because it makes games "too much like WoW" is beyond retarded. Good design is worth repeating.

Quote:
But what about people who are motivated by developing their character into something stronger?
They say every new expansion feels like starting all over again. It's not surprising, really. They feel compelled to make their character stronger, so they have no choice but to stick to the new content that makes their previous strength trivial.


Sorry, I call ********* They want their characters to get stronger, then lament when the developers raise the level cap and/or add new gear that gives them the opportunity to do so? Sorry, they're not trying to get stronger; they're trying to plateau.
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Don't play that game anymore. :P
#127 Jun 26 2010 at 2:11 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:

But what about people who are motivated by developing their character into something stronger?
They say every new expansion feels like starting all over again. It's not surprising, really. They feel compelled to make their character stronger, so they have no choice but to stick to the new content that makes their previous strength trivial.

Technically, your character is progressing vertically. But from a personal perspective it feels more like a Cycle of weakness and stabilization.

Obviously that's not terribly fun for them.
But the stagnate environment of XI isn't particularly fun for the sort of folks who are interested in new sights and experiences. Nor is it particularly approachable for newer players.

It's easy for one side to point fingers at the other an trivialize their motivations.
The hard part is figuring out a way to make everybody happy.


You'll never make everyone happy in an MMO. XI placed a level cap of 75 years ago. Since then (and prior to Abyssea), your options to progress have been limited exclusively to gear or meripo. Meripo may have changed since I left, but it was a horrible, horrible system when I played. It was "grind **** for hours for trivial nudges here and there." At the time I played, there wasn't a single fun category for RNG that made any of the grind worthwhile. It was "shorten a cooldown here" or "bump a stat a trivial amount there." And after however long at 75 and wanting something new and fun and cool it was nothing short of a letdown. After a couple of years at 75, most people I talked to wanted more. Still wearing the same gear, using the same weapons and spells in the same party dynamics in reskins and rehashes of the same content over and over and over again. The only thing that kept them going was the carrot and the only reason they didn't abandon the carrot was because they already felt like they had invested too much, or they had feelings of guilt about leaving behind friends they made in the game. Those are not reasons to keep playing a game. Those are reasons to see a RL project through or to show up at your friend's intervention.

Again...nobody thinks they're being forced to start all over when they go from level 25 to level 26. "GODDAMIT!! 5 minutes ago I only needed 500xp to level and now I need so much more! WTF?!?! WHY?!?!? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!!! IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!?!?! WTF!?!?!" But people hit the cap and it's like this delicious little achievement that they must cling to and savor and covet until the end of days. Why? Nobody has been able to answer for me why there's this magical transition from "Yay! I like progressing my character!" to ************ WHAT THE **** IS GOING ON??! PROGRESSION!?!?! WHAT THE **** IS THIS?!?!?!"

Maybe...just maybe...the reason they don't want to progress anymore is because they don't actually like the game regardless of what they keep saying in their poorly thought out arguments and rebuttals. They don't actually like the gameplay mechanics. They don't actually like the grind. What they like are pixels and other miscellaneous ******** that, in their mind, validates the torture they've subjected themselves in order to achieve such...greatness. Greatness in a ghost town...that's XI in 2 years when the only people left playing are the ones that can't afford machines that will run XIV and the ones who still think they're on the cutting edge of awesome because hey, XI is still newer than EQ and people still play EQ, amirite? Ya...love them pixels. They make me all warm and fuzzy inside. Chicks dig 'em, too. In fact, just the other night I got the lay of a lifetime because I could proudly proclaim to have cleared my way to Sea back before it was nerfed to oblivion + had the level restriction removed. It was awesome.

Gotta covet the pixels. Gotta demonstrate my tesitcular fortitude grinding grinding grinding for meaningless nothings that make me feel good about myself. And then must further enhance said testicular fortitude ramming my rational justification for masochistic obsessions down the throats of the non-believers. Must preserve hypocritical arguments beyond the point of reason and praise systems in one room while I condemn them in the other because only through the duality of stupidity can I claim zen.

Just sayin'.

I mean, if you enjoy doing something, why would you be unhappy at being given an opportunity to do more of it? You didn't like leveling? You didn't like upgrading your gear? Those are the two primary facets of character progression in virtually any RPG ever made. That's no fun? How come? Why all the resistance to it?

It makes no sense.

I mean, I can go to the delicious new thread in the XI boards crying about gimp players crawling out of the woodwork to xp to 80. Right? Strong community right there. Loving, nurturing, accepting, tolerant, community minded folks abound in that thread. I bet you it would take me one carefully worded post in that thread to have half the forum population trying to convince me that the almost unanimous elitist ******** found there is somehow a night and day comparison to the gearscore shenanigans in WoW. And they'd go at it for days and days and days. And I'd be laughing and chuckling through the karma bombing because in XI land, the only **** that stinks is that of the person next to you, but never yours. The only bad idea is the one that doesn't result in you getting exactly what you want (and any idea that comes from SE whether you get what you want out of the deal or not). Everything is right about XI except for everything. The community is awesome except for the gimps and the trolls and the drama queens and the loot whores and the botters and the elitists and the casuals and the hardcore and and and. In other words, the XI community is awesome except for everyone else in it.

And I could point to that delicious little thread and all the other ***** threads like it and say, "Where's the community spirit guys? Why in the XIV boards do you defend all this **** tooth and nail but I come here and the lot of you are trying to outdo each other in terms of who can phrase the most eloquent rant?" Oh, the backpeddling. Scientists would be studying it as an alternative to hydrogen fuel cells. "How can so many people manage to go backward so fast without seeming to invest any energy at all? Is this a forum phenomenon or an undiscovered law of physics?"

And I could point them to the WoW boards (or any of the other more modern MMO boards here on ZAM if they actually got more than 3 posts/day) and ask them how come, if XI is so great and the XI community is so great and everything SE does is both brilliant and entirely ******* stupid at the same time, why oh why do the WoW boards...the pinnacle of immaturity, laziness and ineptitude, boast a ******** factor a fraction of what I find when my browser skin goes blue and all the scholars are yellow?

What can we learn from XI? Lots. A better question might be, what can we learn from the XI community? And the answer might be, "How not to behave."
#128 Jun 26 2010 at 3:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Besides all that the pay for play mmo genre is a niche market, wow is the ONLY exception.


Blizzard used to be a small little company making rts (warcraft,starcraft) and action rpg games (diablo series). They have been around for many, many years. They didn't hire some government scientist to figure out ways to manipulate brains in to buying and playing their games like crack. They made games that they themselves thought were fun and addicting. Their niche however was giving the players what they want, which only expanded their playerbase further. The majority of MMO players may be playing wow, but before blizzard succeeded in becoming crowned the king of mmos, it was up for grabs for any company to have.

I loved FFXI, I really did. I cannot however sit around for 5 hours looking for a group anymore, do months of missions just to kill some oversized replication of a normal xp mob for **** gear, and hunt NMs on the side for 24 hours just to be decent. If that is what people want from SEs "NEXT GEN" mmo, then I'm not playin it. SE is arrogant and does things however they want. The few that seem to like it may be very happy, or extremely bummed out when they see that SE no longer prefers the old grind.
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#129 Jun 26 2010 at 4:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm just restating my own personal opinion again, without mentioning any game names.

My ideal endgame situation is one where:

1) All endgame content results in gear that is valid to use in all other endgame content.
2) Introduction of new endgame content means that IN ADDITION to getting gear from ALL EXISTING content, you can ALSO get gear from this NEW content. And all gear from all content is valid to use in all other endgame content.
3) Players have a variety of endgame content to participate in, from 30 minute long quick events to 3-4 hour long events, so that players on different schedules or with different preferences can do the endgame content that THEY want to do.

My ideal endgame situation is NOT one where:

1) All gear obtained at endgame is obtained with the knowledge that it will be replaced with a piece that is better in all aspects in under two years.
2) Some endgame content is "not worth doing" because the gear that is obtained from it is notably worse in all possible ways than gear available from a different endgame content.
3) There is a lot of "endgame content" but only a small portion of it is ever actually done for the purposes of gear; the rest is mostly ignored, except by people who do it "just for fun" because there is no tangible incentive to it.

Let me clarify my meaning behind the use of this term as I use it the following paragraph:
"Obsolete"
I consider content to have two parts - The content itself and the reward. If the content is too easy due to newer content (increased level cap, newer gear) and/or the gear from the content is not worth getting because a player of similar level could more easily obtain gear that is not only better, but significantly better in all ways, from other similarly leveled content... either of these render the content "Obsolete".

I would not want to play a game where endgame content is obsolete (according to the above definition) in under 2-3 years (and ESPECIALLY not 6 months).


That's what I want. People can say "But that's not [what I/others personally consider to be an 'acceptable' type of] progression!" or "But no one [and by no one, I mean me, and other people I can think of] likes that!" or what have you...

But that's what I consider my ideal endgame scenario.

To me, the gear you obtain in endgame content should have staying power. If all you're doing is replacing your gear every 6-12 months, then you're just chasing a carrot on a stick, only to keep finding another carrot at the end of that stick, and another carrot at the end of that one, and so on.

To me, the aspects of doing the content and receiving the gear are equally as important as one another. If new content means that old content gear is no longer viable, then it makes that old content no longer fun to me. And if content is not fun, why would I want to do it?

Furthermore, if new content causes old content to be "obsolete", then any new players are robbed of any chance to experience this content as it was initially intended. Increased level caps make doing old level cap endgame content at level a near impossibility (I know I said I wouldn't name games, but seriously... when is the last time you ran vanilla content with NO ONE over 60 or ran BC content with NO ONE over 70?). If you're going to increase the level cap, increase the challenge of the endgame content (and the gear it drops) to the level cap so that older content is still viable for new players when they reach the new cap. To point: I'm not against level cap increases, I'm against level cap increases that cause all endgame content to be obsolete.

Let's take PS2. When Sony introduced the PS2, they did not make me throw out all of my PS1 disks. They did not make all my PS1 games easier, nor did they make beating PS1 games any less rewarding. New PS2 games were introduced that looked better, and had new challenges and rewards, but in the end, I could still pop in a PS1 game and play it for the same experience I had anytime I want to. If you have never played the original Resident Evil or Metal Gear solid, it is not easier to play it on a PS2, nor will you have a different experience than someone who played it on a PS1 several years before you... you will have the same experience with the old content as the people who played it for the first time.

In my opinion, that is what endgame content should be. New content should draw in players, but older content should always be viable for new people who want to do it, or old people who want to do it again, and it should present them with the same challenge and experience that the initial players faced.

To take the alternative progression scheme into my example: The release of the PS2 would mean that all PS1 games come with game shark permanently enabled with all codes on, and beating any PS1 game nets you a "Thank you for playing" instead of the ending cutscene(s). It ruins the chance for new players to ever experience the content as it was initially intended, and it cheapens the reward for completing it.

That's what I see in the alternative progression model, and why I don't like it.

I'm not against new things, I'm against the idea that adding new things HAS to mean that ALL old things are all inferior by comparison.
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#130 Jun 26 2010 at 5:08 PM Rating: Good
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Is it just me, or is it getting awfully tl;dr in here?
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#131 Jun 26 2010 at 5:21 PM Rating: Decent
Mikhalia wrote:

That's what I see in the alternative progression model, and why I don't like it.

I'm not against new things, I'm against the idea that adding new things HAS to mean that ALL old things are all inferior by comparison.


Thats all well and good, but you're ignoring the practical aspects of your "ideal" situation.

First, if all endgame content rewards gear that is viable in all other endgame content, you end up with bloat. All of a sudden it's not about progression and it's about FFXIV = Barbie's Magic Dressup Palace. Your character can only wear so much gear at one time and if you're talking all equipment as viable, either you run out of equipment spots to stuff things in or you're just putzing with sidegrades and situational stuff. In other words, progression has halted. You can't think in terms of what you want right now today when you're trying to develop something that needs to keep people engaged for up to a decade. You can't bloat the **** out of a system early on and expect it to retain its appeal. And the easiest way to keep things fresh and new and reduce the painful bloat is to cycle. Cycle content and cycle gear and keep things moving forward and you don't end up with an XI post-Dynamis syndrome where the dev's hands are tied because the best of the best is already in the game and can't really be topped but presents such an exorbitant grind that only a small handful of your players can ever hope to earn it.

Progression in terms of content. Once you've learned it, it's obsolete in terms of challenge. It you try and bloat the **** out of a level capped section of content under the flawed reasoning that everyone gets to experience it while it's challenging, you're breaking the **** game. Once you've got people who have functionally mastered the content, that content is obsolete to them. And once that happens, they either carry new people through or they don't. If they do, those new people are missing out on this "challenge" that you think should be preserved. If not, you're putting them weeks/months behind progressing on content they may or may not want to get stuck on.

Can we just accept that? That when you look at it from "now" and you look at it from "how it will be in five years if we do it this way" that you end up at very different outcomes? Your "ideal" situation implemented "now" BREAKS THE GAME five years from "now".

Okay?
#132 Jun 26 2010 at 5:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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11,539 posts
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Mikhalia wrote:

That's what I see in the alternative progression model, and why I don't like it.

I'm not against new things, I'm against the idea that adding new things HAS to mean that ALL old things are all inferior by comparison.


Thats all well and good, but you're ignoring the practical aspects of your "ideal" situation.

First, if all endgame content rewards gear that is viable in all other endgame content, you end up with bloat. All of a sudden it's not about progression and it's about FFXIV = Barbie's Magic Dressup Palace. Your character can only wear so much gear at one time and if you're talking all equipment as viable, either you run out of equipment spots to stuff things in or you're just putzing with sidegrades and situational stuff. In other words, progression has halted. You can't think in terms of what you want right now today when you're trying to develop something that needs to keep people engaged for up to a decade. You can't bloat the sh*t out of a system early on and expect it to retain its appeal. And the easiest way to keep things fresh and new and reduce the painful bloat is to cycle. Cycle content and cycle gear and keep things moving forward and you don't end up with an XI post-Dynamis syndrome where the dev's hands are tied because the best of the best is already in the game and can't really be topped but presents such an exorbitant grind that only a small handful of your players can ever hope to earn it.


What you call bloat, I call options. I don't like a game that tells me "This is what you need to be doing" in terms of content. The devs seem to be pretty focused on the options that FFXIV will give you; even options in terms of leveling result in the fact that you can create a DoH/DoL and develop your character in such a way that they aren't even combat based, yet they need some form of progression.

If the game is going to limit you to "Here's a new dragon, kill it for gear", how is a strictly DoH/DoL character supposed to get anything?

Like I said; I prefer a game that says "You can do this, this, this, this, this, this, this" and there are no wrong answers.

If some content is better than other content, then there are right answers and wrong answers, and the game is pretty much telling you "Do this content."

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Progression in terms of content. Once you've learned it, it's obsolete in terms of challenge. It you try and bloat the **** out of a level capped section of content under the flawed reasoning that everyone gets to experience it while it's challenging, you're breaking the **** game. Once you've got people who have functionally mastered the content, that content is obsolete to them. And once that happens, they either carry new people through or they don't. If they do, those new people are missing out on this "challenge" that you think should be preserved. If not, you're putting them weeks/months behind progressing on content they may or may not want to get stuck on.


Why should they need to carry the new people through it though? If it's perfectly valid content, a handful of new players should still be able to do it. It's up to older players if they want to help them or if they still need gear from it, but you seem to be implying that "After a few people learn it, it's no longer a challenge to anyone" and "Anyone who attempts it after this needs to be carried through by people who have already done it".

And again, if all endgame content is a valid option, there is no "putting them behind" by them doing it. They can skip it.

Let's say there are four events. A, B, C, and D. And the new expansion introduces E and F. Older players, bored of A and B, may want to do C, D, E, and F. If a new player hits endgame, they shouldn't HAVE to do A > B > C > D > E > F. They should be able to do any of the six. Having A and B as options does not hold them back weeks/months if they still have E and F as an option.

And if you've done A and B so much that you're sick of it, and you're tired of C and D too, then just focus on E and F. No one is forcing you to go back and do A and B with new people, but if you think the only way to do E and F means making A-D worthless, then NO ONE can ever get gear from them again, which limits EVERYONE'S options, all because some people want to be limited to the amount of content that is valid.

I'm sorry, I cannot see how having the game pigeonholing me into "only the new stuff" is better than everyone having the option of doing the content they want to do.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Can we just accept that? That when you look at it from "now" and you look at it from "how it will be in five years if we do it this way" that you end up at very different outcomes? Your "ideal" situation implemented "now" BREAKS THE GAME five years from "now".

Okay?


I don't see how implementing options now that are still valid breaks the game five years from now. I also don't see how the only choices are "Either have the devs constantly produce content that will not only be ignored by the players, but forgotten by the devs" or "Break the game". I also don't see how pigeonholing people into "That's old, stop doing that, this is new, start doing this" over and over makes a better game than "You have a ton of options, do whatever you want to do".

Consider a game like Oblivion/Fallout... there are lots of options, and the player can decide what to do what they want, but at no point is someone FORCED to do any part of the game, and new expansions have not rendered old content worthless and ignored.

I don't understand the logic behind LIMITING a player's options in a game that seems to be emphasizing all the options it wants to give you. That's what happens when new content obsoletes old content: Your options are limited.
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#133 Jun 26 2010 at 6:01 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
KarlHungis wrote:
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:


I'm not here to talk about XI.



Then you're in the wrong thread.


All over these boards since Kaolian stepped in people are having reasonable discussions that don't present anywhere near the same level of assinine bullsh*t as you. Do you think you're contributing with your fanboi nonsense? Are you capable of a reasonable discussion that doesn't degrade to "NO NOT LIKE WOW?" If not, don't respond to me any further. You'll just be wasting your time.


You can go through my history on ZAM, or even just in this thread and see how ridiculous the "fanboy" tag is. I have 3 max level characters in WoW. I've listed numerous positive aspects of WoW in this very thread, and only one positive aspect of XI (wait, make that two, I also said that I like BCNMs). By any objective standard, I could more reasonably be called a WoW fanboy than a XI fanboy. Your ad hominem attack is silly.

As for my "argument" it is simple, and it has remained the same throughout:

I enjoy what I enjoy. The idea of having greater permanence appeals to me, as it appeals to many others in this thread. To that end, I'd prefer an emphasis on horizontal advancement similar to XI (you know, the game that this thread is supposed to be about) than the very linear vertical advancement of WoW. There are lots of ways to implement this sort of advancement, as long as it's some thing that you're consciously seeking in your game design. FFXI is the most obvious and relevant example of how horizontal advancement can be implemented.

The advantage of this system, apart from the fact that I like it, is that it provides an established alternative to WoW, which could provide a real selling point to disaffected WoW players who feel that game has become too watered down. I believe that S-E will do better by making an excellent game that is trying to stand on its own merits than a game which sacrifices its own vision to implement the features of a popular game like WoW. Simply trying to be like WoW is arguably a bigger recipe for failure than trying to be a "niche" game. As evidence I submit 8 years of success for FFXI, and almost immediate failure for WAR and AOC.

I think that argument covers most of the bases.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 8:06pm by KarlHungis
#134 Jun 26 2010 at 6:14 PM Rating: Good
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Quanta wrote:
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You keep saying that, but you haven't addressed the argument. I think YOU need to do better, or just concede that "emulating WoW" is not an inherently successful strategy.


He's not really talking about emulating WoW, though. What he's suggesting is taking the good design decisions that Blizzard made and applying them to other products, including FFXIV. Ignoring that good design completely because it makes games "too much like WoW" is beyond retarded. Good design is worth repeating.



And emphasis on strictly linear progression at end game isn't inherently superior design. It's one design. It's a choice with pros and cons. The only evidence offered in terms of it being strictly superior is "I like it" or "That's how WoW does it."

I'm not suggesting, and I don't think a single person has at any time suggested in this thread, that anything that resembles WoW should be thrown from consideration on the basis that it's too much like WoW. The case for either form of progression (or a mix of the two) is on the basis of what those choices offer, not who did what in what game.

Which is the point I was making in the first place. You can look at WoW as an example of a successful game, and you might like things about it (****, you might like every thing about it) but you can't logically separate out one aspect that's being discussed and say "Well eleven million people play this game, so obviously this is the superior/more popular approach." By that logic, you could just as easily conclude that such an approach is horribly flawed and doomed to failure, because it's been tried in many games that failed.


Edited, Jun 26th 2010 8:15pm by KarlHungis
#135The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 26 2010 at 6:22 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I don't really see the relevance of DoH/DoL to the discussion because they're excluded from the combat whether you're in a vertical or horizontal progression system. And I could sum up my response to the rest of your post by saying that the viability of your "ideal" situation would be fully relevant in a single player game. There's a lot more that you're not considering when it comes to an MMO.
#136The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 26 2010 at 6:25 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) If this thread is supposed to be about XI then it needs to be moved because these boards are here to discuss XIV. And my "attack" is based around the fact that you can have all the max level classes/jobs in the world but if you can't read and disseminate a logical discussion, you're useless here.
#137 Jun 26 2010 at 6:25 PM Rating: Decent
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If you ask me, a fundamental problem with XI, and possibly WoW (don't know), has less to do with whether the progression is vertical/horizontal and more to do with limited incentives for instances/raids.

For example, horizontal or no, there are many, many events in XI that one has no incentive to do other than to help others, and it's hard to justify doing an event for fun or to help others when you're so far away from achieving your own equipment goals.

If there were some small incentive for all events, such that everyone actually had a reason to do every event at least once, horizontal or vertical wouldn't really matter.
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#138 Jun 26 2010 at 6:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sorry, I call bullsh*t. They want their characters to get stronger, then lament when the developers raise the level cap and/or add new gear that gives them the opportunity to do so? Sorry, they're not trying to get stronger; they're trying to plateau.


Instead of offering something like "well they just want to plateau!", which doesn't explain...anything...really. Let's focus on what they find so attractive and see if it can't be salvaged in the modern era?

Maybe we can have our cake and eat it too?

It's not as though only former XI players are the ones that have ever thought this. People who have no experience with XI or horizontal progression talk about 'ghost towns' and 'pointless armor' too.


Quote:
Again...nobody thinks they're being forced to start all over when they go from level 25 to level 26. "GODDAMIT!! 5 minutes ago I only needed 500xp to level and now I need so much more! WTF?!?! WHY?!?!? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!!! IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!?!?! WTF!?!?!" But people hit the cap and it's like this delicious little achievement that they must cling to and savor and covet until the end of days. Why? Nobody has been able to answer for me why there's this magical transition from "Yay! I like progressing my character!" to "@#%^!! WHAT THE @#%^ IS GOING ON??! PROGRESSION!?!?! WHAT THE @#%^ IS THIS?!?!?!"


I don't think it's progressing in general people take exception with. Horizontal progression is still progression. There's nothing inherently evil in the model, but tacking it on at the end of a class-based game was an awkward idea.

Skill-based games are the sort that reward your character for being versatile, so you want to keep adding more abilities to your character even if you've mastered a particular field. The whole game is horizontal progression, but that doesn't mean it's stagnant. They have expansion packs too, with new areas and new enemies and new things to do. But instead of tacking more levels on the end, they give you more skills to add to your ********

XIV is a class/skill hybrid, so god only knows what they're going to do for endgame.





Edited, Jun 26th 2010 8:35pm by Zemzelette
#139 Jun 26 2010 at 6:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Simply observing here...
I think one of the reasons the FFXI hard core players are so up in arms is actually fear.
Obtaining uber gear in FFXI is stupidly, moronically difficult.
Difficult beyond reason and sense, and there seems to be people afraid that gear in FFXIV will be equally difficult to get.
If the uber gear takes years to get, people don't want that gear to be outdone-ever.
Honestly, one of the reasons the level cap was 75 for so long was SE's long standing fear of gimping relic weapons.
Unfortunately, stagnating the game because of gear is incredibly bad foresight.
What I know is that the crazy difficult to get gear actually gimped other aspects of the game because they did not want to gimp it.
This is not acceptable.

I played FFXI from NA release until this past December, I have no opinion or stance on WOW, having never played it.
I loved FFXI, I accomplished everything short of finishing a relic or mythic weapon that was in the game before December of last year.
Unfortuantely, grinding the same run for years and years to get a single weapon is stupid, and causes those who did it to desperately not want that particular shiny to ever be outdone.
I think if SE simply makes gear reasonable to recieve, it won't FEEL like an end in and of itself.
I'd rather have victory in battle, or successful compeltion of a mission/guildleve over a piece of gear that prevents the game from progressing simply because it was stupid hard to get.
It's my opinion, not anyone else's.

I'm Dintar, and I approve this message.
#140 Jun 26 2010 at 6:54 PM Rating: Good
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I loved FFXI, I accomplished everything short of finishing a relic or mythic weapon that was in the game before December of last year.
Unfortuantely, grinding the same run for years and years to get a single weapon is stupid, and causes those who did it to desperately not want that particular shiny to ever be outdone.
I think if SE simply makes gear reasonable to recieve, it won't FEEL like an end in and of itself.


This is why I like setups where you can not "easily" obtain, but casually work to obtain gear/weapons and then replace them later on with better stuff that you had to put some work in to get. Putting something in the game that takes years to obtain that's only a little better than something you can buy is (pardon my french) fu*king stupid.

Sword A: Purchasable by an amount that can be made in a month or two. (Cool)

Sword B: Little better than sword A, 20% drop rate from Boss X. (Cool)

Sword C: Not really much better than B. Takes an average 3 years of farming/crafting to obtain.

Come on.. if sword C is to exist, at least make it worth the while. You guys may have thought that Mandau or Spharai, etc were uber.. but really look back at them now. They weren't that great and not worth the effort. It's a vanity item.
The scale of FFXI's combat system was so small, what difference did these "uber items" really make? Is a guy with an armor 10acc +5ATK (Costing 5million) really going to add that much more to the fight than me with a 10acc armor that I got for 50k? That is the garbage I couldn't stand about FFXI.

Then again, "worth it" is in the eye of the beholder. I just can't get into the heads of people who put so much effort in to getting something that they can now just take a Sreenshot and /gamequit.



Edited, Jun 26th 2010 5:57pm by GuardianFaith
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#141 Jun 26 2010 at 6:57 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:
I don't think it's progressing in general people take exception with. Horizontal progression is still progression. There's nothing inherently evil in the model, but tacking it on at the end of a class-based game was an awkward idea.

Skill-based games are the sort that reward your character for being versatile, so you want to keep adding more abilities to your character even if you've mastered a particular field. The whole game is horizontal progression, but that doesn't mean it's stagnant. They have expansion packs too, with new areas and new enemies and new things to do. But instead of tacking more levels on the end, they give you more skills to add to your ********

XIV is a class/skill hybrid, so god only knows what they're going to do for endgame.


Horizontal progression at endgame is a key indicator that stagnation is present. Something has happened along the way that has rendered vertical progression an unrealistic option (ie. relic weapons being introduced so early in the game's lifespan). You can have vertical progression with content options to arrive at the same point but you can't have both vertical and horizontal progression. They're mutually exclusive. And the longer you lock people into a horizontal progression model, the more ****** off they're going to be if you switch up to a vertical model. And if you never switch up to a vertical model, you end up with game breaking bloat. At that point it's not even about options...it's about finding enough people interested in running the same content as you and getting them to stick around after they've got theirs instead of toddling off after the next horizontal shiny.
#142 Jun 26 2010 at 7:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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How can that be if the whole game is horizontal progression?
#143 Jun 26 2010 at 7:14 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:

How can that be if the whole game is horizontal progression?


Does it matter? Talking about XIV here...it's not going to be all horizontal.
#144 Jun 26 2010 at 7:20 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Eske wrote:
I think it's a fair point, especially if you take it as simply a word of caution, and not as an overarching rule. It stands to reason that Square Enix is not going to make a better WoW than Blizzard. It's important for a game to stand on its own merits.


I'm all for innovation. I've been doing my best to keep an open mind about XIV since it was announced. It just seems that sometimes people want innovation for the sake of innovation and the thought process stops there. "Is it innovative?" "Yes." "Then it's going to be awesome!"


As far as I've seen, KarlHungis hasn't suggested anything of the sort, nor am I saying it now. Perhaps you're conflating this with someone else's point.

I'm not suggesting that the game need be different simply for different's sake. Only that it need not make it's design decisions solely based on this idea:

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


A game needs to have some its own elements, as well. There are certainly lessons to be learned from WoW's success, as I mentioned before. There are even aspects that are probably worth copying verbatim. But if SE used the quoted phrase to govern EVERY design decision that they make in FFXIV, you know what the end result would be? World of Warcraft.

I'm using hyperbole there, but please understand that it's just to illustrate that often it's beneficial for a game to do it's own thing, too. Not all the time, but often.

Quote:
Sure. car manufacturers could start making vehicles with eliptical wheels. Food producers could start shipping with their food wrapped around the outside of the package ("...so you can see exactly what you're getting!"). It's not enough to simply be different...the "different' still has to work. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Sometimes things just work and they work for a reason and changing them for the sake of being different just doesn't cut it. If you can improve upon an existing concept, do so. If you can't improve upon it, changing for the sake of changing makes no sense. Horizontal progression doesn't work. It bores an awful lot of people. And I think even the people who defend it know that it does. But one guy is happy with it hence it's a brilliant idea and should be preserved. More of that absence of big picture thinking.

I think it would be neat if more people around here could start to realize that their opinion alone isn't enough to shape the way an MMO is developed. And bonus points if they had the intellectual accumen to recognize when their opinion places them in a minority position on a particular subject. It'll never happen, though, because it's not an XI vs. WoW. vs. cats vs. XIV phenomenon, it's a cultural phenomenon that demands our individualism merit more consideration than it actually does.


I don't have a dog in this race. I never made it to end-game in either FFXI or WoW (which I only played for about a week...cartoon graphics just aren't my thing). Horizontal, vertical, whatever...I'll probably change classes before I get to that point.

But the portion of the debate that I popped in at: the argument over the idea of "copying WoW", was engendered because of your words in the part I quoted above. As I read it, it appears to suggest that a design decision is correct because that's how it is in WoW, and WoW has many subscribers. I believe KarlHungis correctly pointed out that you can't make that case, because you can't quantitatively say why people play WoW (there are bound to be a large variety of reasons, and multiple reasons per person). Who's to say to what degree "vertical progression" is appreciated without an official poll? Your supposed majority cannot be proven.

I think perhaps you place too much importance on your subjective perceptions of internet buzz. And it's making you come off as if you think you're the arbiter of all things MMORPG.

Quote:
Quote:
FFXI was a financial success for SE, no way around that. Citing the level of angst on an internet forum is a far less objective way of gauging a game's success. In fact, I assert that it's all but worthless as an example.


I agree that SE made money with XI, just like I'm sure you'd agree that this time around they want a bigger piece of the pie. And if you don't believe me, ask Wada...he's already said as much. And referencing the XI community here on ZAM is by no means worthless as an example. XI has no official community site and ZAM stepped in as one of the main premier sites to act as a substitute. The ZAM forums here are to XI what the o-boards are to WoW so I take everything with a grain of salte but it doesn't change that fact that a 10 minute browse of the XI forums here woudl indicate that as far as MMO development goes, SE can do no right.


I've been a part of many, many video game forums. The FFXIV board is no different in these regards than any other, with the caveat that it's for a game that hasn't come out yet. Using a forum's mood as a barometer for a game's appreciation is a mistake.

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 9:24pm by Eske
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#145 Jun 26 2010 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were referring to my example of good-type horizontal progression specifically.
My bad.

As for mixing and matching. Maybe you can? If your talking about progressing your character all in one way, then you are pretty much locked into one model. But what about two different ways?
#146 Jun 26 2010 at 7:44 PM Rating: Default
Eske wrote:
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Eske wrote:
I think it's a fair point, especially if you take it as simply a word of caution, and not as an overarching rule. It stands to reason that Square Enix is not going to make a better WoW than Blizzard. It's important for a game to stand on its own merits.


I'm all for innovation. I've been doing my best to keep an open mind about XIV since it was announced. It just seems that sometimes people want innovation for the sake of innovation and the thought process stops there. "Is it innovative?" "Yes." "Then it's going to be awesome!"


As far as I've seen, KarlHungis hasn't suggested anything of the sort, nor am I saying it now. Perhaps you're conflating this with someone else's point.


Lot's of people are punctuating weak arguments with virtually that exact point.

Quote:
A game needs to have some its own elements, as well. There are certainly lessons to be learned from WoW's success, as I mentioned before. There are even aspects that are probably worth copying verbatim. But if SE used the quoted phrase to govern EVERY design decision that they make in FFXIV, you know what the end result would be? World of Warcraft.


You misinterpreted the statement.

Quote:
But the portion of the debate that I popped in at: the argument over the idea of "copying WoW", was engendered because of your words in the part I quoted above. As I read it, it appears to suggest that a design decision is correct because that's how it is in WoW, and WoW has many subscribers.


That's not what I said. Again, you've misinterpreted what I've said, meaning that YOUR take on it (along with KarlHungis and anyone else who struggles in the comprehension department) is not only skewed, but not my problem. The harder you try to read between the lines into what I'm saying, the more likely you are to botch it and misunderstand. Face value. That's all you need to do. Specifically to your example, statistically speaking, 11 million people is an extremely adequate representation of an enormous sample size. Not MMO speaking. Not WoW speaking. Not XI speaking. Not biased people on a forum speaking. STATISTICALLY SPEAKING. And when you're given the benefit of a developer who explains why they do what they do in order to try and keep that population happy you start to realize that there are some things that transcend style issues or subjective preference and some things that simply apply across the board.

Quote:
Quote:
I agree that SE made money with XI, just like I'm sure you'd agree that this time around they want a bigger piece of the pie. And if you don't believe me, ask Wada...he's already said as much. And referencing the XI community here on ZAM is by no means worthless as an example. XI has no official community site and ZAM stepped in as one of the main premier sites to act as a substitute. The ZAM forums here are to XI what the o-boards are to WoW so I take everything with a grain of salte but it doesn't change that fact that a 10 minute browse of the XI forums here woudl indicate that as far as MMO development goes, SE can do no right.


I've been a part of many, many video game forums. The FFXIV board is no different in these regards than any other, with the caveat that it's for a game that hasn't come out yet. Using a forum's mood as a barometer for a game's appreciation is a mistake.


I'm not talking about the XIV boards in that paragraph. I'm talking about the XI boards...you know, the place where you go to see what people really think as opposed to the bullsh*t they spew here?

Edited, Jun 26th 2010 6:45pm by Aurelius
#147 Jun 26 2010 at 7:48 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were referring to my example of good-type horizontal progression specifically.
My bad.

As for mixing and matching. Maybe you can? If your talking about progressing your character all in one way, then you are pretty much locked into one model. But what about two different ways?


It doesn't work. Think it through. You can't have horizontal progression (gain in one area and lose in another) and vertical progression (gain in one area with no loss anywhere else) as mainstays in the same game. You can have horizontal elements on a trivial scale in a vertical model and you can have vertical options on a trivial scale (ie. meripo) on a horizontal system, but you can't have both elements prominent. Nobody is going to volunteer to take a penalty to one area of their character as part and parcel of a horizontal scheme when they can just take the vertical route and gain without the penalty.
#148 Jun 26 2010 at 8:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:

You can't have horizontal progression (gain in one area and lose in another)


Maybe we're not operating under the same definition. I mean Horizontal progression in strictly the sense of progressing outward and not upward. what are you referring to exactly?
#149 Jun 26 2010 at 8:07 PM Rating: Default
Zemzelette wrote:

Quote:

You can't have horizontal progression (gain in one area and lose in another)


Maybe we're not operating under the same definition. I mean Horizontal progression in strictly the sense of progressing outward and not upward. what are you referring to exactly?


You lose me in half your posts, to be honest. I have no idea what you're talking about and when I get an idea you lose me again the next post. And this thread is now not more than karma camp fodder for fanbois rehashing an argument that has been hashed out time and again here for the last year, so **** it. You guys will understand when you understand or you won't.
#150 Jun 26 2010 at 8:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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:3 Guess I'll have to work on that
#151 Jun 26 2010 at 8:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
It doesn't work. Think it through. You can't have horizontal progression (gain in one area and lose in another) and vertical progression (gain in one area with no loss anywhere else) as mainstays in the same game. You can have horizontal elements on a trivial scale in a vertical model and you can have vertical options on a trivial scale (ie. meripo) on a horizontal system, but you can't have both elements prominent. Nobody is going to volunteer to take a penalty to one area of their character as part and parcel of a horizontal scheme when they can just take the vertical route and gain without the penalty.


I don't buy that at all. It's incredibly easy to do. You simply make one method the more prominent but the easier to complete, leaving players plenty of time to focus on the other.

Unless you're talking about optional horizontal/vertical. I'm talking about diagonal progression.
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