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SE's lessons learned from FFXIFollow

#152The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 26 2010 at 8:52 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) There's no such thing as "diagonal" progression. Unless, of course, you're intentionally trolling and trying to confuse the issue in which case, by all means carry on.
#153 Jun 26 2010 at 9:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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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?


He's pre-defined progression as only being progression when it's vertical progression. "Horizontal progression" is an oxymoron to him. That's why you get the constant "That's not progression, that's stagnation" and "it doesn't work in an MMO" because for whatever reason that paradigm is just incomprehensible. If there's not a clear path of "kill dragon, get loot, kill bigger dragon, get bigger loot" then he doesn't feel like he's progressing. Hence the assumptions about "how it works in MMOs" and the (possibly sincere) belief that no one else gets how it "really" is.

Your effort to keep this constructive and non confrontational is much admired, but I literally don't think this is a conversation that can happen with Aurelius because the only possible outcomes are that you are in favor of vertical progression (AKA real progression) or horizontal progression (AKA stagnation). The idea that simply unlocking more options counts as progression is basically not even on the table.

At least that's my perception after however many pages of back and forth we've seen so far. It's inexplicable, like like trying to tell some one that you really like strawberry ice cream and being told that it doesn't really have any flavor because it's not chocolate. How can you you discuss different flavors when some one has decided that chocolate is the only valid flavor in existence?




Edited, Jun 27th 2010 1:04am by KarlHungis
#154The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 26 2010 at 9:11 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) You've demonstrated an inability to comprehend what I've said up to this point...what makes you think you're in a position to paraphrase for other people what I've said is beyond me.
#155 Jun 26 2010 at 9:37 PM Rating: Decent
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This thread had awesome discussion and then turned into a couple pages of meaningless talk of horizontal/diagonal/vertical progression.
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#156 Jun 26 2010 at 9:47 PM Rating: Default
TaruScud wrote:
This thread had awesome discussion and then turned into a couple pages of meaningless talk of horizontal/diagonal/vertical progression.


It's not exactly meaningless when it defines the developers entire approach to endgame. One approach or the other has different impacts on the player community. It's unfortuante that the ocnversation has taken the turn that it has, but even that doesn't render it meaningless.
#157 Jun 26 2010 at 10:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Aur, I nearly always agree with you in other topics; in fact I'm pretty sure this is one of the few times I've disagreed with you at such length, and I do appreciate your attempts to keep the mud slinging out of your posts to me, despite the simultaneous disagreements you're having with Karl.

With that said, he does have (what I feel to be) a valid point:

KarlHungis wrote:
Your effort to keep this constructive and non confrontational is much admired, but I literally don't think this is a conversation that can happen with Aurelius because the only possible outcomes are that you are in favor of vertical progression (AKA real progression) or horizontal progression (AKA stagnation). The idea that simply getting unlocking more options counts as progression is basically not even on the table.

At least that's my perception after however many pages of back and forth we've seen so far. It's inexplicable, like like trying to tell some one that you really like strawberry ice cream and being told that it doesn't really have any flavor because it's not chocolate. How can you you discuss different flavors when some one has decided that chocolate is the only valid flavor in existence?


It seems, and correct me if I'm wrong, that your opinion is that the only system that is one that "works" is one of "vertical progression" and that the -only- other system, "horizontal progression" is an invalid one because in your opinion "It's not 'real' progression". It also seems, and again, correct me if I misunderstand, that you use a "sample size of 11 million people" to indicate that this model of progression is the "preferred" one by "most" people and that because it is the model that the most popular game uses, it is therefore proof that this model "Is the only real option".

Assuming I'm understanding you correctly with the last paragraph's brief summation (And if I misunderstand, again, correct me), my logical counter would be to return to the Walmart analogy. That is to say that based on Walmart's success, shifting a similar viewpoint would indicate that, while not necessarily claiming Walmart to be "The best store", one would assume that aspects of Walmart (Employees in vests, elderly/handicapped people greeting you at the door, most stores include a grocery and automotive department, etc) are "preferred by most people" based on teh sample size of the Walmart customer base.

To take this analogy a step further, this would, by the same reasoning, mean that if I wanted to open a new store, in order to be successful, I should have employees in vests, elderly/handicapped people greeting my customers, groceries, and the ability to perform minor vehicle maintenance and repairs. The basis for this statement being that there is an extremely large sample size of people who shot at a store with these qualities, and because they shop there, they must therefore prefer that.

Now, I'm not going to claim that your form of progression is an invalid or an ineffective one. It clearly works for other games that have been successful. However, I don't feel it's reasonable to say that the entire population of the game can be used as a sample because not only have not all of them done endgame (sidenote: Remember that more than half are in China, which has not gotten LK; they've been doing the same exact BC raids for YEARS now and they're still playing), but the fact that they're playing does not mean they all prefr that method.

e.g.: Myself. WoW is a very PvP based game. I used to play WoW, but I do not like PvP. It would be inaccurate to say that I like PvP because I play WoW, despite the fact that WoW is PvP based. Similarly, I played WoW for years. I did not enjoy the progression system, but I continued to play, despite not enjoying it. I'm not going to make some wild (and almost certainly incorrect) claim that "Most WoW players don't like it) since statistically, most people are not going to keep playing a game they like; I'm sure MOST of them do like that system and it works for them.

But for this reason, I don't feel it's accurate to claim WoW's entire player base (Including the Chinese half who have never touched level 71+) as an accurate sample size to prove that this model is the only acceptable one.



Meanwhile, back to what I quoted, as I said, I feel he has a point, which I've belabored, because I ramble too much.

And that point is, it seems that, from my perspective, your opinion is that: (And again, if I misstate your opinion in a summation, please correct me since I can't explain why I disagree with something if I'm misunderstanding what I'm disagreeing with)

1) There can only possibly be two progression options, and
2) Because one is more popular to most, yourself included, it is therefore the only "Real" option, and that the other less popular option is "stagnation" due to the fact that alternative models of progression that differ from your preferred model do not "progress properly".

In such a case, I feel that his ice cream analogy is a valid one; that you don't acknowledge strawberry as having a flavor, strictly on the basis that "More people prefer chocolate", and therefore chocolate is the only valid flavor.

Also, to go back to my DoH/DoL comment:

If half of the game's classes are noncombat classes, then half of the endgame content needs to be noncombat content. To be honest, I'm not sure how one would go about creating endgame content for miners, loggers, culinarians, and blacksmiths without it turning into some medieval version of Diner Dash or something. I realize that that comment may rub people who prefer DoH/DoL classes the wrong way, but it's just because I have a different opinion. But that brings me to the point I was trying to make:

I keep emphasizing the word "options". Just as combat classes need to have something to do when they max out, so too do non-combat classes. It's unfair to people who want to focus on being a harvester or a tanner to tell them when they have maxed out all of their class skills "Sorry, but we have nothing left for you to do anymore".

It's not uncommon for games to have their black sheep who are looked unfavorably upon in endgame scenarios, where players will tell you "Sorry, (your job) sucks, level something else or you can't do Dynamis/Sky/Salvage/etc with us." That's bad enough; but even worse than that is when the GAME tells you that it has no content for you because you "Picked the wrong class".

So let's say, and I'm going to use FFXI as an example, I'm a miner.

You know what I found fun in XI? Mining in Ifrit's Cauldron and Oldton Movalpolos. True story, I really did like mining there, honestly. But I digress. Anyway, when ToAU came out, I was faced with a problem: mining was no longer "worth it" in Ifrit's or Oldton because there were other, better places to mine. So the vertical progression of FFXI's "endgame content" for miners (Yeah, I'm stretching it here to make a point, I know) forced me out of somewhere I liked and into somewhere I disliked. At this point, doing the "endgame content" I enjoyed meant not getting "viable gear" (expensive ore), which made mining less enjoyable to me.

I realize the whole story, while true, is a bit of a stretch since I'm trying to use a non combat example of endgame content, but the point I'm using it to make is that by forcing me out of content I liked and into content I disliked, I was hit with a double whammy: Not only did I dislike the new content, but I've mentioned before that I inherently dislike a game forcing me to do things I don't want to do "in order to progress". e.g.: FFXIII but I digress there as well.

To take WoW as an example and move back into the more familiar "combat endgame" setting, ToCr was about the point that I made my decision that I was quitting WoW. I was already tired of having played the "Replace your purples with blues and greens" game -again-, and then going through Naxx, then Ulduar... I liked Naxxramas. I liked Ulduar. In my ideal world, I should have been able to do both every week. In my ideal world, I'd still be playing WoW, doing Naxxramas, Ulduar, and IC every week. Anyway, I -loathe- small area encounters. I don't care for Ony much, disliked Mag, Gruul, and ToCr was just that. One room (Okay, two technically if you count Anub), 5 fights.

Now I get that while I like dungeon crawl content (Salvage, Dynamis), some people prefer quicker content. And that's fine. But my big gripe was that I was being forced into content I didn't like, and I had no option but to do it if I wanted to progress.

Conversely, in FFXI, if you really don't want to do Dynamis, or Sky, or Sea... for the most part, you aren't going to get **** on by anyone but the 1337est of the 1337 for not having this piece or that. I leveled MNK long after I was sick of sky and never went back. Very rarely did people honestly give me crap about not having Haidate when I said that I was tired of sky LS drama. My Pahluwan legs worked fine, and the rest of my gear gave enough of an indication that I clearly cared about the class, just not one specific aspect of endgame.

In WoW, saying "Oh, I really don't want to do the newest raid, I want to keep doing the old ones" isn't an option at all. At best, you won't get many groups. More likely, you'll get laughed at and/or told to stfu. That, in my mind, is another problem with linear/"vertical" progression: If new content comes out and you don't like the new content, tough ****, because you have NO other options.

Take the example from content and shift it to classes. Let's say that, upon introducing the RoZ jobs of DRG, SMN, SAM, NIN, SE said "At this point, we will no longer be adding any additional spells or job abilities to WAR/WHM/BLM/RDM/THF". And from then on, whenever new JOBS were introduced to FFXI, an equal number of old jobs would, from that point forward, no longer receive gear or JAs/JTs or anything...

It's the same concept that would be applied to the events: Make the old stuff invalid when introducing new stuff. But how many people would complain about it? Maybe I don't like the new jobs you're adding, but I like the old ones better. Maybe I like the new ones AND the old ones and want to play both? Some people will see a new job and abandon their old "main" for it, but not everyone wanted to do that. Why should new content -force- you to -abandon- the way you play, if you're happy with it?

I won't disagree that 18 jobs is A LOT of jobs, but is it really fair to say that with the advent of BLU/PUP/COR or DNC/SCH, that older jobs were "bloat" and should just have been removed or forgotten? If not, then why should that logic apply to events? People enjoy playing their jobs/classes in MMOs (and in fact, some will get quite fervent if you attack their job/class choice), why can't they enjoy the events too? And why should their preferred content now be pointless because "there is new content to replace it with"?

And that has been my point this whole time: Options. If you balance the options properly, it will let the players pick the content they want to do and skip the content they don't want to do. Whenever you introduce new content, it will let people do it, and let the people that don't like it go back to old content they DO like. I think we can both agree that a developer should ideally want their players to enjoy the game (even if we disagree on how to accomplish this).

I just feel that MORE players will enjoy the game if they have multiple valid options of what to accomplish.

Up to this point, questions have pretty much been rhetorical for the purpose of explaining a point, but I would like to get an answer on these two questions, just to see what you would say (@Aurelius):

1) If you prefer a "vertical progression" system, such as one that exists in WoW, how would you personally go about including it in a game while -ALSO- catering to players who want valid alternatives to whatever the newest thing is, or would you not do anything for those players who dislike the new content?

2) Furthermore, what do you feel is the primary advantage of forcing someone -out- of content they -do- enjoy, and making that content's rewards not worth their effort to continue doing?
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#158 Jun 26 2010 at 10:26 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
...what makes you think you're in a position to paraphrase for other people what I've said is beyond me.


I'd take a paraphrase over a wall of quoting a quote thats been quoted for quoting a quoted quote anyday.
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#159 Jun 26 2010 at 10:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
TaruScud wrote:
This thread had awesome discussion and then turned into a couple pages of meaningless talk of horizontal/diagonal/vertical progression.


It's not exactly meaningless when it defines the developers entire approach to endgame. One approach or the other has different impacts on the player community. It's unfortuante that the ocnversation has taken the turn that it has, but even that doesn't render it meaningless.


The amusing bit about the whole thing is, as I said, we won't even know what the endgame situation -is- for 6-12 months after the game comes out, and yet we're already arguing over it. :)
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#160 Jun 26 2010 at 10:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mictam wrote:
Quote:
...what makes you think you're in a position to paraphrase for other people what I've said is beyond me.


I'd take a paraphrase over a wall of quoting a quote thats been quoted for quoting a quoted quote anyday.


Only a foolishly foolish fool is foolishly fooled by a quoted quote's quote, quoting quotes of foolishly foolish fools quoting quotes.

GET OUT OF MY HEAD VON KARMA
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#161 Jun 26 2010 at 11:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
It's not exactly meaningless when it defines the developers entire approach to endgame. One approach or the other has different impacts on the player community. It's unfortuante that the ocnversation has taken the turn that it has, but even that doesn't render it meaningless.


Idk, as an ffxi player it was cool to see a recap of how ffxi changed over the years and how we hope the developers of ffxiv will use this to make a better game. Then I got to read a two page long discussion (though more like argument) about endgame content and such. Now i wont disagree that there was good information, speculation, and theory in the posts but the whole argument just took away from the threads joy.
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#162 Jun 26 2010 at 11:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Aurelius, the main point everyone is contesting is how relevant WoW's subscriber base is. Yes, 11 million people is an excellent sample size statistically. But since no one's asking them any questions, what the **** difference does it make? I could tell you I went and talked to a thousand people and you'd say "Okay, that's a decent sample size." Then I point out that I didn't ask them any questions. Who cares? Yeah, WoW is huge, but there's no survey data out there to reflect on any aspects of the game.

On an unrelated note, to talk about how it's the community's responsibility to keep these forums civil over in =3, and then to come here and post like you have, is pretty ridiculous. You're easily the least civil person here, convinced that no one else is capable of understanding your magnificent ideas when in fact you've communicated them poorly at best and not at all at worst.
#163The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 27 2010 at 12:20 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Imma respond to this one first since it'll be shorter than the other one I have to respond to...
#164 Jun 27 2010 at 1:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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For me there are many things to do in a MMO. Leveling up and farming gear are only two items on that list.

I usually enjoy the crafting systems. I enjoy doing quests and side quests (I loved the chocobo quest in XI, though many didn't). I like dungeons for the dungeon sometimes and not for the rewards at the end. I like grinding sometimes. OMG! Yes, I said I like grinding. I like hunting rare enemies. I like reading the quest/storylines. I like spending time bartering or browsing auction houses. I like hanging around doing nothing more than chatting sometimes. I like exploring areas instead of blasting through them sometimes. Sometimes I like to see how fast I can blast through, like a kind of time trial (usually if I have a static squad). The list goes on.


Now, I don't have a problem with progression. What I do have a problem with, is when progression comes so quickly that I don't have time to do any of the other things I would like to.

No, I don't have to do the new content and get the new equipment. Yes, I could sit around doing any of the things I mentioned. The problem with that though, is that by the time I'm ready to do the new content, I'm too far behind and people don't want to do the stages I'm on.

I don't want a game that changes too rapidly, and I don't want a game that doesn't change at all.

Edited, Jun 27th 2010 3:04am by Nalamwen
#165The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 27 2010 at 1:41 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Again, we're not talking about a standalone game. We're talking about an MMO and specifically, endgame content that is traditionally something that requires groups. And when you start talking about groups, you can't exclude the majority in order to cater to the minority. SE has defined their target market. It is not the same niche that XI catered to. You have to accept that. There's no getting around it.
#166 Jun 27 2010 at 1:46 AM Rating: Decent
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One more thing. I read it somewhere in this thread, but I'm unable to find where, someone saying that SE is arrogant and unwilling to listen to criticism(or something like that).

If that's true then I'm going to assume that they're going to do what they want to do regardless.

Part of arrogance is pride. Pride wouldn't allow them to copy, in any major way, another game. So I don't think we'll see a XI-2 or WoFF, and for that I am pleased. Both are good games, but I've played them and I'm eager for some real progression.


I'm looking forward to the unveiling.
#167 Jun 27 2010 at 2:09 AM Rating: Decent
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I think SE is really going to try their best this time around to not alienate as many players as they did with FFXI. This is evident through their 'fixes' to FFXI, their high acceptance of community feedback in the alpha and the nature of what they currently see in other MMOs.

I'm glad to see them making strides against their stubbornness in that respect. Though it is a fine line to tread to make a game you're proud of especially in regards to cohesiveness and continuity, it is another thing to want everyone to like it. Ironically the thing I like about SE is their stubbornness and their will NOT to accept every little gripe a player base has like say Blizzard might.

But I digress.

I liked FFXI. But I wish I had bigger blocks of time to play. It looks like SE is trying to alleviate that somewhat in FFXIV by not forcing people to not always have to groups of 6 or whatever. The implementation of 'zoned' guildleaves is a smart alternative.

And even though I'd prefer to solo due to my personal time constraints, my best times were in groups leveling up or soloing something difficult; like the Ninja AF quests. So again, ironically, I actually loved the hardcore nature of really putting in the time to get an item. The long trek to the destination, and the hard battle once we got there.

Though I didn't like having to wait around for hours to get into a group (even though I secretly and nostalgically miss that). I didn't miss the 'wasted' weekends of failed CoPs; FFXI was way too uneven in that respect. Again, I think SE noticed this time around.

In the end I think SE is wising up. I think they're listening and improving on a solid yet demanding game (FFXI) and I really can't wait to play it. Everything I'm seeing so far is really coming together.
#168 Jun 27 2010 at 2:13 AM Rating: Decent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
I don't know what your problem is with me, but you seem to take great pride in trolling me at every opportunity. You contribute nothing to these forums, peaking in from time to time to take a snipe at someone. You provide no information, you rarely discuss the topic at hand, yet you seem to feel entitled to criticize me. Be a sport...make a contribution of your own. Lurking and trolling is beneath you. And if you can't manage to make a contribution, at the very least, save the trolling for OoT or the Asylum where it belongs. Your hypocrisy does not go unnoticed.

Smiley: lol I've poked in here, count it, once. This was it. I've posted to argue with you, count it, twice, the other time being in the Feedback forum. If we've argued more than that, it wasn't memorable enough for me to take note of it. Your persecution complex is extreme, since I'm hardly "trolling you at every opportunity".

As it is, I'm attempting to contribute to these forums, by giving them an air of civility that is sorely lacking in the FFXI forums. I'd rather that, when this game comes out, all the new people looking for information aren't driven away by the infighting that plagues FFXI. These forums - and I say this for every game hosted here - are in desperate need of new blood. So many times we see a new poster poke their head out saying "I would've posted earlier, but I was afraid because I saw what happened to so-and-so", and it turns out that this new poster is a valuable addition to the community, enough to make one wonder how many we're losing. I don't want Allak-FFXIV to become another fighting grounds, but an actual resource.

As to the topic at hand, it's nearly impossible to discuss with the air of misunderstanding that's hanging around this thread. You posted something which wasn't coached in the clearest of terms; it was misinterpreted; you became mad thinking it deliberate; and so on and so forth, until we've reached the point where we're having a conversation about the conversation instead of actually discussing anything.

You also failed to address my point: Why is it at all relevant how large WoW is when talking about FFXIV's endgame? There's a number of possibilities:

1) You think that WoW's large subscription base is related to its endgame scene. A strong possibility, but one which I've yet to seen actually backed up with data (and since you keep talking about 11 million being a significant sample size, one would assume you have statistics). In reference to the ice cream example going around, what we currently know is that 11 million people like ice cream. But, we know that they could like any of several hundred flavors. What do we stock? How the **** can we know with this data?

2) You don't think the above, but threw it out to bolster your argument. Logical fallacy doesn't seem like your style, so I'm going to disregard this one.

3) You think that #1 is what SE is thinking, and thus it will impact their design philosophy towards FFXIV. I actually tend to think this is the case, since SE undoubtedly wants a larger slice of the pie, and they might start gathering ideas from other MMOs to see what works and what doesn't. Given the large amount of data they'll have gathered from FFXI, though, I think we'll see a very original spin on anything they might garner from other games. At the very least the endgame in FFXIV should be very hybridized, since SE's Japan-based offices will be heavily influenced by eastern-style MMOs. If we're lucky it might even be something completely unique.

I don't know when FFXIV's endgame will actually be unveiled in any case. They might release some of it at launch, wait and see what the class distribution is like (combat/noncombat), how often their playerbase plays, etc., to decide exactly how to tweak any more endgame they add. I'm torn between horizontal and vertical progression for this game. While I've raided in WoW, and love the idea of having new content to go through, I also did endgame in FFXI. I know exactly how attached you can get to a piece of gear, with all the effort that's been sunk into getting it. However, I think it's slightly ridiculous that some of the best gear is available at incredibly early levels, so that anyone who actually has it that early is at a great advantage to someone without it. (O. Kotes, PCC, astrals..) To me, this put an awful lot of pressure on new players to spend more time farming than actually playing, and I'd like to see this system changed so that the best gear for any class comes towards the level cap.

In my opinion, the best thing SE could learn from FFXI is that time sinks are not content. Killing the same boss three times a week hoping to get a drop is more acceptable in WoW's model, where at least something will drop that's an upgrade for someone in the group. Killing an NM that pops once a day just to see it drop absolutely nothing of value is simply demoralizing. Getting good gear at the cap, with a decent drop rate, yet seeing it still have intrinsic value to the holder not just because of the stats on it, is a difficult task. The way to accomplish it is through making the achievement the emphasis, not the gear. At the end of the day, you should be equally proud of your fond memory of downing the Dynamis Lord and the piece of AF2 he dropped. If SE can somehow balance both the challenge of the actual process and the end result of it, then they'll create an endgame that I personally could enjoy for a long time. Throw in some new content every once in a while that doesn't outdate all of our gear - but, say, allows us to upgrade it, adding to the accomplishment - and I won't be getting bored with what FFXIV has to offer.

Edit: Attempted to format better, but bullet points aren't working right for some reason.


Edited, Jun 27th 2010 3:17am by Majivo
#169 Jun 27 2010 at 4:39 AM Rating: Good
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Here comes the quote spammyness. I'll try to organize it as best as I can to avoid hitting the quote block limit.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Mikhalia wrote:
It seems, and correct me if I'm wrong, [...]


No, that's not my opinion.[...]

Horizontal progression is all about the situational. [...]

I'm sure we can agree that some people prefer the vertical model and some the horizontal. [...]

If you build around a vertical model, the people who prefer the horizontal model are only partially screwed.[...]


A) Thanks for the clarification. It may help you to end up repeating that first sentence to others. I can't necessarily disagree with it as stated (more on that later). I don't really see that discrepancy you point out myself regarding the forums and the duality of posters, so I can't argue against or for that.

B) A fair, accurate statement.

C) I see your point. My counter would have to be “But we already have plenty of (read: not just WoW, but other games as well) games like that, so do we really need ANOTHER one?” I'll come back to this point later.

D) This goes back to the word “options” I keep throwing around. I agree that you inevitably reach a point where you simply can't do all the content there is. I personally think that's a GOOD thing. Or at least, that it's not bad necessarily. I'd personally rather have too many options than not enough options. Obviously an ideal compromise would be “several options” but if I had to pick between an endgame with 15 different events (where you can only do 6-7 per week) or an endgame with 2 events... I'd rather have the first. Matter of preference.

Sidenote: WotG did add more endgame content. I don't know much about it because I quit FFXI before it was introduced. All the endgame content you did when you played is still done by new and old players (or it was until last Monday anyway).

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
SE said when XIV was announced that XIV was conceived with the goal in mind of making the best FF title to date. That puts the potential target market size in excess of 20 million people. That's just fact. And if that's the goal...to make the best FF title to date, they can't afford to be alienating large segments of people. Hint: no standalone FF title has ever been built around horizontal progression. XI was the first, and if SE is serious about meeting their previously stated goals, XI will be the last.

Really, I just don't understand why people can't isolate specific concepts without immediately jumping to include an entire game. Isolated concepts. Is that so much to ask?


Regarding the “best FF title to date”: I'm being a bit smarmy, but you have to admit that their marketing/PR teams are pretty bad if they described their plans for a new game to be anything other than that. “It will be okay, but we really didn't try that hard” doesn't exactly make your product fly off the shelves.

I've never said that I hope or want that the game should be -un-successful, I'm pretty sure no one in their right mind is going to make that claim (publicly). I have said, however, that in terms of an MMORPG, my purchasing priorities include gameplay and content, not population. Obviously, I want the game to be successful, but if I personally had to pick between “An immensely successful game with 25 million players that I don't like” versus “A moderately successful game with 1-2 million players that I love”, I'd rather have the second. You can toss out an ad hominem attack if you like to follow that, I semi-expect one from SOMEONE if not you, but I'm just being honest here. I'd rather play a game I enjoy with fewer players than a game I don't enjoy with more players. I concede it's selfish, but there it is.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Quote:
Now, I'm not going to claim that your form of progression is an invalid or an ineffective one.[...]


You understand "majority", yes? [...]

Quote:
blah blah ice cream blah blah


A more appropriate analogy is [...]


I hate to be the “someone” that comes along, but I have to agree with the counterpoint that you posed yourself, to a broader extent.

If everyone else already serves chocolate, why do we need ANOTHER chocolate store?

Up until this week, FFXI was probably the only MMORPG out there with the amount of endgame options it had. You can argue that it appeals to a niche crowd, but now that it's gone, that niche appeal that was once there isn't even there anymore. The MMO market is saturated with games that are pretty much similar; where character creation provides more options than the endgame content does.

If it's possible to introduce a vertical progression style that doesn't invalidate all the other content in its path of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, then I'd be interested in giving it a shot. But I've given the “Replace your gear every 6 months” content a try and I didn't like it.

So honestly, if I like strawberry ice cream, and all I see is chocolate ice cream stores until the day that I hear a new ice cream store is opening up... I'm gonna go down there and tell the manager I want them to carry strawberry.

I want to play FFXIV. I want to pay my $50 to SE, and I want to give them another $15 (or whatever) per month. But if that monthly fee means that I'm going to be unhappy with the game, then I'm going to stop paying it. I think that even if you disagree with my opinion otherwise, surely you must agree that you're not going to pay a monthly fee for a game you don't like, right?

All I'm doing is stating what I like, and what I want to pay to have. If it turns out, once we start hitting endgame content, that upon reaching the finish line, SE has a bunch of people handing out chocolate ice cream... I'm going to be forced to stop, shake my head, and walk away.

Actually, that's not true, I'll probably give the content a fair shot to see what it's like, but after the first “Okay, here's your new content and your new +10 gear to go with it”, -that's- when I'll cancel my sub.

And as a sidenote, I love chocolate ice cream, and this analogy is making me hungry.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Quote:
Also, to go back to my DoH/DoL comment:[...]


I think I know what you're driving at with this.[...]


That's the thing though, in a horizontal system, new content doesn't make old content obsolete. So if you don't like new content, you can just keep doing the old stuff and not really miss out much. Comparatively, with a vertical system, not doing the new content means you DO miss out. You're missing out on time that you could be spending, having fun with your linkshell/guild/clan, and when the NEW new content comes out, you're SEVERELY undergeared and unprepared for it.

Using WoW as an example, after Ulduar (which I loved), ToCr comes out (which I hated). Consider the feasibility of if I had decided “I'm not going to do ToC 10/25, I'm just going to wait till the next raid.” If I keep playing, that's 4 months, or $60 (the cost of a new game that I could have bought instead) worth of fees for a game that I won't participate in the endgame content of, followed by new content that I'm -severely- undergeared for unless I want to now go spam a LOT of heroics (while my guild is already doing IC, since all their ToC runs mean they ARE geared for it)

I look at vertical progression as a treadmill. You -have- to keep moving forward or you're moving backward, and before you know it, where you just were isn't even there anymore.

So unfortunately, in a vertical progression system, “not doing the content” simply isn't an option unless you want to spend a LOT of time playing catchup later, while all your friends are doing the NEW new content that you wish you could be doing.

I'm getting back into WoW again though, and offtopic of my noncombat stuff.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Quote:
In WoW, saying "Oh, I really don't want to do the newest raid, I want to keep doing the old ones" isn't an option at all.[...]


And again, I personally have no issue with your preference. The point is, people who resent new content are the minority.[...]


Again, I don't have anything against new content. My gripe is not “I don't want new things”, but rather that “I don't want the old things that I like to not be worth doing anymore”

Going to quote Karl again here:

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


The main problem with traditional vertical progression is that all new content comes at a cost of all existing content. My point is: Why does it -have- to?

Everyone likes new content (or at least I agree the majority do) but why does the fact that some people are bored of getting gear from the old content mean that NO ONE should be able to?

[snipped the jobs analogy]

Perhaps not the best analogy, but at least try to consider it at face value for the point I'm trying to convey: Why should a developer -NEED- to tell some of their players that they can -NOT- continue to play the way they are playing if they want to continue playing in any meaningful way? And why is telling your players they can't play the game the way they want a -GOOD- thing that is allegedly -HEALTHY- for it?

I don't really like hearing a game developer tell me (in the form of new content) that I can't play a game I paid for the way I -used- to play it because the money I'm paying them has resulted in means that I have to now play it in a -new- way, and that if I don't like it, tough sh*t. I'm in my mid 20s, but vertical progression feels like my parents telling me “We know what's best for you, you'll thank us when you're older”.

I tried like three other analogies at this point but I kept picking them apart because I didn't like them, so @#%^ it.

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Quote:
1) If you prefer a "vertical progression" system, such as one that exists in WoW, how would you personally go about including it in a game while -ALSO- catering to players who want valid alternatives to whatever the newest thing is, or would you not do anything for those players who dislike the new content?

2) Furthermore, what do you feel is the primary advantage of forcing someone -out- of content they -do- enjoy, and making that content's rewards not worth their effort to continue doing?


"You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." If people don't like the new content, SE needs to take note of what didn't work and not repeat it next time around. That's a function of content design. You can't hold back one segment of your population for years because a smaller segment doesn't want to be put out for a few months.

Again, we're not talking about a standalone game. We're talking about an MMO and specifically, endgame content that is traditionally something that requires groups. And when you start talking about groups, you can't exclude the majority in order to cater to the minority. SE has defined their target market. It is not the same niche that XI catered to. You have to accept that. There's no getting around it.


1) So to clarify, you feel that there should be no “options” at all when it comes to endgame content, just one or two things at all times? I feel you partially dodged the question.
2) I feel you -completely- dodged this one. Again: what, specifically, is the ADVANTIGE of FORCING a player OUT of content they like, instead of providing them the OPTION of doing the content they WANT?

If you have points to make, I'm not stopping you from making them, but I was specifically looking for direct answers to both of those questions. I'd like you to either explain an example situation where vertical progression can be done while still providing options for the people who don't like it, -or- explain why options are not only impossible to provide, but the advantage of forcing players out of content they enjoy and keeping them constantly pigeonholed into a severely limited amount of the game's content. That was the whole point of the last two questions. Set aside “SE said this” or “SE did that” and I want to hear your personal thoughts on the matter. Pretend for a moment you're SE and it's -your- choice of what to do. If you personally feel that the better option is vertical progression, please answer either or both of those two questions, in your own words. Leave “SE said/did” out of it for the purposes of this one point, since they aren't here to answer the questions themselves.


And I hit the quote limit on this post, so feel free to clip out whatever you need to in terms of quoting when replying.

Also, going to bed, so I'll hit you back later.

EDIT: snipped out a bunch of crap to save space. Ok, seriously going to bed now.

Edited, Jun 27th 2010 6:44am by Mikhalia
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#170 Jun 27 2010 at 7:45 AM Rating: Good
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I'll try to keep the conversation from getting bogged down by not building off my last post:

Aurelius, I don't think that I'm misunderstanding your quote about WoW's 11 million subscribers. Yes, it's a large sample size. So to what end? Why did you bring that up? My take is, (and your last explanation doesn't refute this) that you brought it up because you believe it demonstrates that a larger percentage of people prefer vertical to horizontal. My counter is that because we don't have polling data showing why those subscribers play WoW (it could be for any number of reasons), this is an irrelevant bit of data.

You see, all the 11 million subscribers prove is that more people who play MMORPGs prefer WoW to FFXI. Without any other data, that's the only conclusion that you can come to. Anything else is subjective. And that particular conclusion isn't really relevant to the conversation on it's own, so I assumed that you're implying something further.

If I'm misunderstanding this, then you'll have to give me something else to work with, because I can't figure out another possible meaning.

Quote:
My opinion is that both systems work, but one works for more people than the other. My opinion is based on my experience in XI (to include my experience as a regular poster in the XI forums here back in the day) as well as the other MMOs I've played.


I think perhaps you should have just led with this from the get-go.

Edited, Jun 27th 2010 9:49am by Eske
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#171 Jun 27 2010 at 10:32 AM Rating: Good
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There's no such thing as "diagonal" progression. Unless, of course, you're intentionally trolling and trying to confuse the issue in which case, by all means carry on.


If something moves both vertically and horizontally, it could be said to be moving diagonally. I apologize if that was too confusing for someone as intelligent as you.

So yes, "diagonal" progression is possible, and it's probably better than either vertical or horizontal alone.
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#172 Jun 27 2010 at 3:09 PM Rating: Default
Kachi wrote:
Quote:
There's no such thing as "diagonal" progression. Unless, of course, you're intentionally trolling and trying to confuse the issue in which case, by all means carry on.


If something moves both vertically and horizontally, it could be said to be moving diagonally. I apologize if that was too confusing for someone as intelligent as you.

So yes, "diagonal" progression is possible, and it's probably better than either vertical or horizontal alone.


I don't think you're understanding the difference between vertical and horizontal progression. If you did, you'd realize that there's no such thing as diagonal progression.
#173 Jun 27 2010 at 3:22 PM Rating: Default
Eske wrote:
Aurelius, I don't think that I'm misunderstanding your quote about WoW's 11 million subscribers. Yes, it's a large sample size. So to what end? Why did you bring that up? My take is, (and your last explanation doesn't refute this) that you brought it up because you believe it demonstrates that a larger percentage of people prefer vertical to horizontal. My counter is that because we don't have polling data showing why those subscribers play WoW (it could be for any number of reasons), this is an irrelevant bit of data.


That's because it seems there's this issue where people who play one game see themselves as <players of said game> where I see it as <player of an MMO>. Inclusive rather than exclusive thinking. And if you go the inclusive route, you see WoW's 11 million players as 11 million MMO players which is an overly adequate sample size to get an idea of what your average MMO player finds entertaining and rewarding at a conceptual level (excluding thematic considerations). And by observing communication with a developer who is very up front about why they do what they do you start to see where some things are subjective and some things are not. It's only irrelevant if you consider yourself in the context of one game exclusively, which is really not particularly accurate because if you break it down to the minutae, you realize that all MMOs have far more things in common than they have differences.

Quote:
You see, all the 11 million subscribers prove is that more people who play MMORPGs prefer WoW to FFXI. Without any other data, that's the only conclusion that you can come to. Anything else is subjective. And that particular conclusion isn't really relevant to the conversation on it's own, so I assumed that you're implying something further.


Not true. The fact that Blizzard has been able to preserve over 5 million North American and European players demonstrates that they have an understanding of what it takes to keep the majority of MMO players content.

If I'm misunderstanding this, then you'll have to give me something else to work with, because I can't figure out another possible meaning.

Quote:
Quote:
My opinion is that both systems work, but one works for more people than the other. My opinion is based on my experience in XI (to include my experience as a regular poster in the XI forums here back in the day) as well as the other MMOs I've played.


I think perhaps you should have just led with this from the get-go.


I would have thought reference to niche appeal would have covered that, because that's essentially what "niche appeal" means...that it appeals to only a select group of people.
#174 Jun 27 2010 at 3:31 PM Rating: Good
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What he's driving at is that there isn't a direct correlation between WoW's subscription numbers and vertical progression as a successful means of player retention. They might dislike the endgame system and just really like the pretty colors for all we know. :p



#175 Jun 27 2010 at 4:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Not true. The fact that Blizzard has been able to preserve over 5 million North American and European players demonstrates that they have an understanding of what it takes to keep the majority of MMO players content.

If I'm misunderstanding this, then you'll have to give me something else to work with, because I can't figure out another possible meaning.

Yes, it does demonstrate that. It does not demonstrate that what they're doing right is vertical progression. People might really love the leveling experience, or the social aspects, or PvP, etc., etc. To quote my earlier post:

I wrote:
In reference to the ice cream example going around, what we currently know is that 11 million people like ice cream. But, we know that they could like any of several hundred flavors. What do we stock? How the **** can we know with this data?
#176 Jun 27 2010 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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Zemzelette wrote:
What he's driving at is that there isn't a direct correlation between WoW's subscription numbers and vertical progression as a successful means of player retention. They might dislike the endgame system and just really like the pretty colors for all we know. :p


That was what I was trying to say. For one, more than half of the 11 million are Chinese players (who have been stuck with BC content for years since LK isn't available to legit Chinese players). And for the rest that are people who have played LK content, the fact that they play it does not prove or even imply that they enjoy all aspects of the game. I played FFXI for hears, although I had complaints about it. Ditto for WoW. As an FFXI example, if we take the "500,000 players" number and consider the fact that FFXI (before all the solo content was added) was pretty much "Play in a party or don't play", I could make the (false) statement that my sample size of 500,000 people proves that a lot of people do not enjoy solo content.

I'm not saying that most WoW players do or do not enjoy certain aspects of the game, just that all of them play for different reasons. There are some people I've talked to whose endgame content consists exclusively of PvP/Arenas who loathe raids in general. There are others who just enjoy RPing, and others still who have never even done endgame content.

My fiancee played WoW for about 6 months, got a DK to 80, did Naxxramas once and Ulduar once (both post ToC so both were obsolete by this point) and that was it. When she quit, her reason was "I just like staring at my Draenei and I'm kinda bored of her." And as I've claimed myself, I played WoW despite disliking the progression system until I couldn't deal with it anymore. I've talked to others who have also quit WoW because they got tired of the "carrot on a stick attached to another carrot on another stick" form of progression.

Now I can't say definitively how many of WoW's players SPECIFICALLY play it BECAUSE they enjoy the endgame progression scheme, and I don't think it's unfair to say that anyone's biases and experiences are going to skew their personal "results" of how many people like vs dislike a specific thing.

To pose a counter point, I could say that because this is a FFXIV board, it represents people interested in FFXIV, and because most of the people in this thread support a horizontal progression, that is therefore the better route to go for this game. However, this statement would be inaccurate due to the fact that not only is this one thread too small a sample size, but it doesn't take into account everyone's individual opinions.

So using WoW's entire player base (or even half) as "proof" that "More MMO players like a certain feature that exists in a game" is not accurate because it is impossible to prove one way or another exactly -why- they play, or what they do or do not like about the game.

I'm not using this statement to claim one system is more popular than the other; I'm just saying that this statistic doesn't actually prove anything.
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#177The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 27 2010 at 5:08 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) You guys are complicating the living **** out of this for no reason, so let me blow the smoke off of it and break it down in the simplest possible terms:
#178 Jun 27 2010 at 5:30 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I don't think you're understanding the difference between vertical and horizontal progression. If you did, you'd realize that there's no such thing as diagonal progression.


Well, you'd be completely wrong then.

Wouldn't be the first time, either.

Is this your first discussion about horizontal vs. vertical progression? Nobody is saying anything that's new to me.
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#179 Jun 27 2010 at 5:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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I want sinusoidal progression
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#180 Jun 27 2010 at 5:42 PM Rating: Default
Kachi wrote:
Quote:
I don't think you're understanding the difference between vertical and horizontal progression. If you did, you'd realize that there's no such thing as diagonal progression.


Well, you'd be completely wrong then.

Wouldn't be the first time, either.

Is this your first discussion about horizontal vs. vertical progression? Nobody is saying anything that's new to me.


Explain then. Tell me how you can progress horizontally and vertically at the same time. You can't, but do try. Please. Or just sotp. One or the other. I don't care which.
#181 Jun 27 2010 at 5:48 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:

Vertical: something for everyone.


Except those who want horizontal advancement instead.

Quote:

Horizontal: niche only.


Cool opinion, bro. Still waiting for you to support it with some evidence.

Quote:
Simple, yes? Mass appeal, yes? Please, for the love of pete, stop arguing like SE is aiming for a niche market because we know that they're not.


You're the only one here who thinks he "knows" what they're going for, and the only one who assumes that horizontal advancement is inherently niche.

Edited, Jun 27th 2010 7:50pm by KarlHungis
#182The One and Only Aurelius, Posted: Jun 27 2010 at 5:58 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Apparently I'm the only one who read the early interviews then, because we were told that XIV is being designed to offer something for everyone.
#183TheBSTGuy, Posted: Jun 27 2010 at 6:05 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) SE knows if they make another FFXI the game will fail. FFXIV will be as easy as WOW like it or not, its what the people want. The reason why FFXI is bleeding subscribers is because SE tried to put a bandaid on a gaping wound. The damage was already done they were loosing subscribers for a long time before they tried to make any kind of worth while changes. Lets just hope they learned from their mistakes, because if not FFXIV will be a ghost town in 6 months tops!
#184 Jun 27 2010 at 6:13 PM Rating: Decent
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There's no such thing as horizontal advancement. You don't move forward by moving sideways.


You're just being pedantic. Horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that doesn't just go up, up, up, but instead involves expanding options. XI is considered horizontal to the extent that levels were capped indefinitely, and growth was obtained primarily by gathering many pieces of gear with different uses rather than looking for a single best configuration.

As for how you can do both, I've already explained it at least twice in this thread. But really, if you understand the difference between the two, it's easy to see how they're not mutually exclusive.

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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#185 Jun 27 2010 at 6:25 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:

There's no such thing as horizontal advancement. You don't move forward by moving sideways.


Unlocking more options is advancement. We call it "horizontal" advancement to differentiate from advancement that's linear or based on stats inflation. It doesn't matter what you call it though. Call it "Expansion" instead of advancement if that makes you happy. The point is, a lot of people are actively repelled by the obsession with "Advancement" in place of "Expansion."

Quote:

Look up the definition of niche. That's the evidence. It's simple logic, guy.


I think we all know what "Niche" means. I believe the specific definition that you're looking for would be:

Niche : a specialized market

However, you still haven't provided any actual LOGIC to demonstrate that the mechanic or concept of horizontal advancement (or "Expansion" if you prefer) is actually a "niche" mechanic. You might say "those who choose a game solely on the basis of having horizontal advancement are a niche audience" but I could just as easily respond that those who choose a game solely on the basis of having vertical advancement are a niche audience as well.

Because if having vertical advancement were the sole criteria for the majority of gamers, then one would expect a reasonable split among all MMOs that offer vertical advancement. And yet, clearly, it's only SOME of the MMOs that offer strict vertical advancement that capture most of the market (really, just WoW). And I can further point out that while WoW is strongly identified with the concept of vertical advancement, it also contains a number of options for horizontal advancement, such as the unlocking of various non combat pets, outfits, aesthetically pleasing mmounts, character customization based on talent trees, etc. So in fact, without studying it scientifically, there's really no way to know what the major factors are that have made WoW so popular. it's entirely possible that it would have been even more popular if it had chosen a different philosophy when it comes to "advancement."



Quote:
Apparently I'm the only one who read the early interviews then, because we were told that XIV is being designed to offer something for everyone.

You're grossly uninformed.


I've read dozens of interviews. I've never read one interview that talks about how gear or character development will be handled in the end game. I've definitely read interviews that say that they want to appeal to a variety of styles, from combat oriented players to those who prefer crafting and socializing. I've read interviews where it was stated that the goal was to provide content for those who play for only 30 minutes at a time, or those who play for 3 or more hours at a time. I've yet to see a single mention of changing the philosophy with regard to gear. Feel free to provide such a quote or a link to such an interview.

Not to mention that we already know that they're choosing not to offer PvP, which is an extremely popular and important feature in virtually every successful online game these days (MMO or otherwise). Some people might see that alone as a decision occupy a niche. It's clearly making a choice not to offer some thing to those who prefer PvP.





Edited, Jun 27th 2010 8:30pm by KarlHungis
#186 Jun 27 2010 at 6:39 PM Rating: Decent
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I know I might be in the minority when it comes to this very long topic discussing the merits of vertical and horizontal progression but...I'd like to comment a bit about DoL/DoH progression and end-game possibilities.

Mikhalia's comment which included this subject got me thinking (also thinking about how I don't know how to quote people...) But out of the 4 sets of classes, 2 of them are not made to fight (well perhaps, SE did make a comment about miners weakening mineral based enemies so maybe DoL classes have some small combat potential?) and to go further 1 of those sets of classes is not even made to set foot outside of the city.

A Discipline of the Hand class will be making stuff and hypothetically only making stuff, so what kind of progressing options are left for them? Of course for the most part it gets to be vertical since they will use higher level material to make higher level equipment but other then that...what else is there?

The vertical progression they receive is also directly tied to the Discipline of the Land classes, since we at the moment it seems like DoH classes don't do there own gathering unless your a player who is also working as a DoL class. So if the DoL classes are not progressing in gathering material as fast as you DoH classes, that leaves the DoH classes to focus on horizontal progression.

I don't think horizontal progression is as bad for the DoH classes as it would be for other classes though. As a sculptor myself, when making the same stuff over and over you get faster at doing it, more efficient, able to make it slightly better, or even adjust it. Basically what I'm saying is that DoH classes horizontal progression is High Quality products.

Though at the moment I still don't know what complete vertical progression for DoH classes would be. What there 'end-game' would be. If they as a classes are tied to making armor and weapons, they progress by creating more powerful versions of these things made of rare material, this would in turn mean DoW/DoM classes progress would be tied to gear.

As the DoH classes progress horizontally and can mass produce previous versions of there work, in order to progress vertically they need that work to be phased out for better things in order to grow in skill and keep working. This means the DoW/DoM classes need to keep replacing there gear and weapons for 'new better' gear.

If anyone else has a greater understanding of DoH/DoL classes and how they can progress or what they would do in an end-game environment...I'd really like to hear some of those ideas.
#187 Jun 27 2010 at 6:54 PM Rating: Decent
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SideCH wrote:


As the DoH classes progress horizontally and can mass produce previous versions of there work, in order to progress vertically they need that work to be phased out for better things in order to grow in skill and keep working. This means the DoW/DoM classes need to keep replacing there gear and weapons for 'new better' gear.

If anyone else has a greater understanding of DoH/DoL classes and how they can progress or what they would do in an end-game environment...I'd really like to hear some of those ideas.


The way that crafting works in FFXI is basically vertical advancement. You can make better things and you become more potent at making things (better chance of HQ, less chance to fail). In addition there is at least a minimal amount of feedback, where crafting results in guild points that can be used to buy items that help you to craft things. In the long run though, crafting in FFXI only expands to a certain point, after which you have neither vertical nor horizontal advancement. Once you're at 100 skill and have all of your guild items and moghancements, you're basically done. You don't have much room to learn other crafting skills due to the shared cap, and you don't have much room to broaden your crafting in other ways.

If they wanted long term vertical advancement, what they could do is to periodically raise the skill cap for crafting, and provide new tiers of recipes, or other benefits for raising your skill. I don't believe there will be any horizontal advancement in the sense of opening up new options, but there will be a lot of room provided in the first place by allowing each character to gain skill in every skill, rather than being forced to specialize in only one or several.
#188 Jun 27 2010 at 7:48 PM Rating: Default
KarlHungis wrote:
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:

There's no such thing as horizontal advancement. You don't move forward by moving sideways.


Unlocking more options is advancement. We call it "horizontal" advancement to differentiate from advancement that's linear or based on stats inflation. It doesn't matter what you call it though. Call it "Expansion" instead of advancement if that makes you happy. The point is, a lot of people are actively repelled by the obsession with "Advancement" in place of "Expansion."


You'r strawmanning this to death. Give it up already.
#189 Jun 27 2010 at 7:50 PM Rating: Default
Kachi wrote:
Quote:
There's no such thing as horizontal advancement. You don't move forward by moving sideways.


You're just being pedantic. Horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that doesn't just go up, up, up, but instead involves expanding options. XI is considered horizontal to the extent that levels were capped indefinitely, and growth was obtained primarily by gathering many pieces of gear with different uses rather than looking for a single best configuration.

As for how you can do both, I've already explained it at least twice in this thread. But really, if you understand the difference between the two, it's easy to see how they're not mutually exclusive.



No, horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that can't go up, up, up because no substantial opportunity to do so is offered.
#190 Jun 27 2010 at 8:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

No, horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that can't go up, up, up because no substantial opportunity to do so is offered.


So you're going to argue semantics? And badly at that. I stand by my contention that you're being pedantic.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#191 Jun 27 2010 at 8:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
No, horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that can't go up, up, up because no substantial opportunity to do so is offered.


It's the progression-style of skill-based games such as EvE Online, and some skill-based/class-based hybrids such as Guildwars. Most skill-based games feature some level of horizontal progression, because you want players to actually put the skill system to use. It's valid area of discussion because XIV is also a Skill-based/Class-based hybrid.

This normally refers to progressing outward via obtaining new abilities to make your character more flexible, not armor to swap to make your character more optimized.

For what it's worth, XI's armor-based iteration of horizontal progression wasn't my cup of tea, and I also tend to prefer new content added at a more frequent pace. I can see why somebody might walk away from that and not entirely like it. But that isn't because horizontal progression itself is at fault. Horizontal progression could be in XIV in an entirely different form you may find you enjoy.




Edited, Jun 27th 2010 10:31pm by Zemzelette
#192 Jun 27 2010 at 8:33 PM Rating: Decent
Kachi wrote:
Quote:

No, horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that can't go up, up, up because no substantial opportunity to do so is offered.


So you're going to argue semantics? And badly at that. I stand by my contention that you're being pedantic.


You're being awfully abrasive over nothing. Can you keep this reasonable, or are you stuck in prick mode?
#193 Jun 27 2010 at 8:34 PM Rating: Default
Zemzelette wrote:
Quote:
No, horizontal progression is a phrase that's been coined to describe progression that can't go up, up, up because no substantial opportunity to do so is offered.


It's the progression-style of skill-based games such as EvE Online, and some skill-based/class-based hybrids such as Guildwars. Most skill-based games feature some level of horizontal progression, because you want players to actually put the skill system to use. It's valid area of discussion because XIV is also a Skill-based/Class-based hybrid.

This normally refers to progressing outward via obtaining new abilities to make your character more flexible, not armor to swap to make your character more optimized.

For what it's worth, XI's armor-based iteration of horizontal progression wasn't my cup of tea, and I also tend to prefer new content added at a more frequent pace. I can see why somebody might walk away from that and not entirely like it. But that isn't because horizontal progression itself is at fault. Horizontal progression could be in XIV in an entirely different form you may find you enjoy.


At this point, there are an awful lot of people throwing in an awful lot of complications, botching context, and generally just being disagreeable for the sake of disagreeable, which means it's only a matter of time before someone starts crying that we're ruining the forums.

So we'll wait and see. Either SE follows through with their stated intention to have something for everyone or they don't.
#194 Jun 27 2010 at 8:40 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
So we'll wait and see. Either SE follows through with their stated intention to have something for everyone or they don't.


You, me, and everyone else knows it is physically impossible to include something for everyone. There will always be at least one person that gripes and complains about literally everything because that is just how they are. I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic with that quote or not, but I just feel this is a good time to remind everyone of that fact.
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#195 Jun 27 2010 at 8:55 PM Rating: Decent
Mimedestroyer wrote:
Quote:
So we'll wait and see. Either SE follows through with their stated intention to have something for everyone or they don't.


You, me, and everyone else knows it is physically impossible to include something for everyone. There will always be at least one person that gripes and complains about literally everything because that is just how they are. I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic with that quote or not, but I just feel this is a good time to remind everyone of that fact.


It is possible to include something for everyone. It's not possible to include everything that everyone wants.
#196 Jun 27 2010 at 9:02 PM Rating: Good
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Ok yea that is true. I was thinking along the lines of completely satisfy or even moderately satisfy everyone when I said that. I suppose it is rather possible, if not a bit easy, to include at the very least a single thing for each and every player can enjoy.
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#197 Jun 28 2010 at 5:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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You're being awfully abrasive over nothing. Can you keep this reasonable, or are you stuck in prick mode?


Are you serious? I'm not even being abrasive. You'd be the FIRST one to resort to name-calling, aside from being intentionally obtuse, using frustratingly ineffective argument tactics, nearly failing to make a post that doesn't suggest that the person you're talking to doesn't "know what they're talking about" and just generally acting like a pompous ***.

Frankly I'm amazed at the relative civility other people are showing you; you sure as **** haven't earned it.

No, see, what's really going on here, is that I'm right, and you have no legitimate counterpoint, so you're being evasive about the point under the guise of being too civil to cohort with a testy rapscallion like myself. I don't know who you think you're fooling, but it sure ain't me.
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#198 Jun 28 2010 at 5:38 AM Rating: Decent
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Now I'm being abrasive.
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#199 Jun 28 2010 at 7:33 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Unlocking more options is advancement. We call it "horizontal" advancement to differentiate from advancement that's linear or based on stats inflation. It doesn't matter what you call it though. Call it "Expansion" instead of advancement if that makes you happy. The point is, a lot of people are actively repelled by the obsession with "Advancement" in place of "Expansion."


The problem with the "Expansion" way of doing things is that, in order to keep things fair, all endgame content has to be tuned in such a way that it can be completed, or at least started, by anybody in the basic gear (i.e. the stuff you get via the leveling process) as soon as they reach the cap. Additionally, all gear from each endgame dungeon has to be equal to gear from every other endgame dungeon; if any of the gear drops from one dungeon are even remotely better than the drops from another, then everyone will do the former because it offers better rewards.

Quote:
XI is considered horizontal to the extent that levels were capped indefinitely, and growth was obtained primarily by gathering many pieces of gear with different uses rather than looking for a single best configuration.


Which lead to the horribly unintuitive use of the macro system to swap out pieces situationally for the casting of a single spell, then swapping back to resume regular duties. Of course, with swapping in combat going away in FFXIV, that isn't going to apply anymore, so in order to keep up with situational equipment upgrades, you're going to have to know in advance what you need to be wearing, and you're going to need to keep it on for the duration of the fight. This, in turn, leads to the horrors of resist sets and the like, one of the most horrible design choices that can possibly be made for gear and dungeons.
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Don't play that game anymore. :P
#200 Jun 28 2010 at 8:02 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

Which lead to the horribly unintuitive use of the macro system to swap out pieces situationally for the casting of a single spell, then swapping back to resume regular duties. Of course, with swapping in combat going away in FFXIV, that isn't going to apply anymore, so in order to keep up with situational equipment upgrades, you're going to have to know in advance what you need to be wearing, and you're going to need to keep it on for the duration of the fight. This, in turn, leads to the horrors of resist sets and the like, one of the most horrible design choices that can possibly be made for gear and dungeons.


Just so we're clear, I was merely defining horizontal advancement, not advocating for or against it.
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#201 Jun 28 2010 at 9:21 AM Rating: Decent
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1,218 posts
Quanta wrote:
Quote:
Unlocking more options is advancement. We call it "horizontal" advancement to differentiate from advancement that's linear or based on stats inflation. It doesn't matter what you call it though. Call it "Expansion" instead of advancement if that makes you happy. The point is, a lot of people are actively repelled by the obsession with "Advancement" in place of "Expansion."


The problem with the "Expansion" way of doing things is that, in order to keep things fair, all endgame content has to be tuned in such a way that it can be completed, or at least started, by anybody in the basic gear (i.e. the stuff you get via the leveling process) as soon as they reach the cap. Additionally, all gear from each endgame dungeon has to be equal to gear from every other endgame dungeon; if any of the gear drops from one dungeon are even remotely better than the drops from another, then everyone will do the former because it offers better rewards.



Imagine if the gear that dropped from mobs was mainly situational. I don't mean it has to have elemental resists or even that you have to swap it all out all of the time, but let's say that different weapons are aspected to be good vs certain mob families or types, or give a bonus when casting certain spells or whatever. All of your gear could be equal and yet not the same, or at least, you'd have a lot more room to provide new gear without gear inflation.

Now imagine that in addition to gear, bosses dropped tokens that allowed you to improve your character, sort of like salvage, but the effects are smaller and more permanent. Maybe Bahamut drops a token that can be slotted onto your paper doll some place, and it either gives you +1% movement speed or +1% haste or whatever. Some useful, noticeable benefit. Now later on you release a new dungeon and that dungeon is tougher than the first dungeon, but it drops similar rewards. There are weapons with different affinities, armor that looks different or has different (but not necessarily better) stat distributions, and so on. Additionally, some of the bosses drop tokens that are identical in power to what dropped in the last dungeon, but they can work along side the old tokens. So now maybe you can have +2% movement speed or +2% haste or +1% movement and +1% haste, etc.

Now, that old content is not obsolete. If you ever want to "re slot" your character, it's useful to go back there. If you ever need a weapon with a particular affinity, it's useful to go back there. If you're a new player, you don't just want to skip past it. If your friends are more interesting in dungeon #2, then you can still do that, and still get useful rewards, but you'll still have a reason to go check out dungeon #1 at some point in time as well (though maybe you'll need to join a Linkshell that's dedicated to doing that content instead of running it with your friends). Basically, all of your options are open all of the time. All of the gear and tokens and whatever are worth getting (assuming you don't already have them) rather than only the new gear. If you have all of the gear and the tokens that you need, then you've essentially "cleared" that content, and you never have to go back if you don't want to.

Regardless though, none of what you've done really ever becomes obsolete. If it takes you six months to get your haste token, that might be a long time, but once you have it, you're always going to be glad that you got it, because it's not going to be replaced the moment you turn around.

Quote:

Quote:
XI is considered horizontal to the extent that levels were capped indefinitely, and growth was obtained primarily by gathering many pieces of gear with different uses rather than looking for a single best configuration.


Which lead to the horribly unintuitive use of the macro system to swap out pieces situationally for the casting of a single spell, then swapping back to resume regular duties. Of course, with swapping in combat going away in FFXIV, that isn't going to apply anymore, so in order to keep up with situational equipment upgrades, you're going to have to know in advance what you need to be wearing, and you're going to need to keep it on for the duration of the fight. This, in turn, leads to the horrors of resist sets and the like, one of the most horrible design choices that can possibly be made for gear and dungeons.


Well I don't think you're going to see mega gear swapping in FFXIV. At most I think you might see the ability to swap out jewelry (notice that characters in FFXIV now have 4 rings instead of 2). I'm just speculating though, you might not be able to gear swap at all.

At the same time though, we know that player characters now have elemental affinities, and these will play a strong role in determining the strength of different abilities. This gives a fair amount of leeway to provide situational gear. Two swords might be the same, but the one that's aspected towards earth might make you better at provoking and shield blocking, and the one that's aspected towards fire might make your red lotus blade and spinning slash do more damage or more accurate. Again, mostly speculation, but the possibility exists to provide gear that isn't objectively better, but still has great use. The more variety, the the more potential to provide rewards without a purely linear path of advancement.



Edited, Jun 28th 2010 11:26am by KarlHungis
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