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#1 Aug 10 2010 at 8:13 AM Rating: Good
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I was tired and bored.

It was about three weeks ago, and I was packing up the rest of the stuff in my room, preparing to move to a new apartment as soon as my lease was up. In a momentary lull I realized most of the work was done, and I could hop on my MMO of choice for the past 5 years: World of Warcraft. I had been playing since my freshman year in college, back in 2004-2005. Well, actually, I had played another MMO before that... Final Fantasy XI.

Final Fantasy XI had come on the scene in my senior year in high school, and all of my friends got hooked on it. We were all major FF nerds: we commonly had debates over the best games (my best friend still contends FF8 was the best; I loved FF7, but my favorite was really FF6; everyone secretly enjoyed FF9 but no one would admit to it; and to be honest, X did nothing for me but everyone else seemed to like it), and when an online Final Fantasy was announced, we all signed up.

Unfortunately, real life came in the way of virtual life. I tried to juggle both, but by the time I graduated, my highest character was a level 32 PLD/WAR (which I had leveled as a WAR/WHM, /facepalm). Some of my friends needed less sleep than I; one eventually got his BLM to 75, and another got his DRK to 64 or so. I was so jealous!

But waiting for an hour for a group was terrible and impractical. I had clubs, a part time job, school government, and class; once summer came, my parents wouldn't let me use the family computer for more than an hour at a time and I had work every day. I quit the game, deleted my account. When college started, I vowed to leave FFXI for the first few months and make some friends. Mission completed! Secure with a cadre of new pals, I started up again (with a new account) in October. My goal was to make a BST, the only class able to solo. Of course, first I needed to hit 30. For that, I need a good class to group with... a white mage! And for a white mage, I needed a good sub... BLM!

My WHM never even hit 20. Shortly before Christmas break, my roommate watched me playing.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"I'm farming silk off these caterpillars. They drop it rarely, but it sells well." I responded.
"Why don't you go level?" He asked.
"I can't get a group without good gear. I need to farm like this for new items every time I level. And because I refused to buy money with real life money, it takes forever to farm." (Even then gil farming and selling was ridiculous).
"Dude... that looks boring as ****."

And he was right. It was boring, grinding, no fun at all. And over break I went home and one of my old Final Fantasy friends introduced me to a new game called World of Warcraft. I watched his baby druid run around Teldrassil, and was amazed. You could solo all the way to level cap! Check out this brand new world! It was all so new and shiny! I joined up and never looked back!

Well... almost never. I sometimes missed my old MMO. I missed the classic FF elements. Chocobos, mog houses, some random dude named Cid. I liked gardening, and harvesting my crystals for big cash (big to me at least). I enjoyed fishing! I liked cooking, and seeing the .1 skill ups (which would at times mess up), unlike the guaranteed skillups (and no +1s!) in WoW. I lamented that I never found out the mystery behind the Shadow Lord. I can still remember running around outside of Bastok, looking about and thinking "Holy crap, I'm the only person in this wasteland." I still remember having to run to a zone end with a trail of enemies trying to munch on me. I even missed the goblin bomb gankers that would bring the goblins to the zoning areas of both Jungle zones and massacre everyone.

And almost 6 years later, I've had enough of WoW. Until the new expansion comes out, I don't really have any goals. Soloing is great until you reach the level cap... then you have no real motivation any more (especially when you've done every quest). Sure, you can group with a guild, but running the same dungeon, week after week, gets old. Counting gearscore is agonizingly boring. I know the storylines in and out, and hardly anything new will be coming until the expansion. That's when I realized I had heard about about a new Final Fantasy online game... one that offered solutions to the common problems of its predecessor. You can solo! You get a whole new world to explore! Better graphics, a new epic story! And all the old FF things you love!

I gotta admit, I'm psyched for this game :-)

But... I have some misgivings. The main issues I had with the last online FF game were:
1. You needed a group to level. Oh sure, there were some exceptions... BST could solo (until it was nerfed?), and later they gave you NPC companions for a limited time to help solo. But the hard and fast rule was: you need other people. And for them, depending on your class, you needed to wait a LONG time to get them. An hour wait was common, even as a tank.
2. And for groups you needed gear. I've read some conversations on these forums, and heard people bandy around the term "elitism." A lot of what I have seen seems to refer to tactics. Don't know your role or the boss fight? Just ask and we're friendly! I guess the definition has changed. Back when I played there were two types of elitism: Japanese-only elitism, and gear elitism. I haven't seen gear elitism in WoW until the high-end raids... but even back in the leveling days around the Jungle (Yutunga? Something like that...), if you didn't have +1 or rare gear, you waited a LONG time to get a group.
3. And this rush for gear led to a proliferation of gil farmers. Which, in the year and a half or so that I played, was never dealt with. Later I heard of mass bannings, but I have no idea if this helped. I know that both of my friends who hit high levels bought gil - it was the only way they could afford the items they needed to level.

All of these things led to a "fact" oft-stated on the Allakhazam boards at the time: Square-Enix does not listen to their playerbase, and is out of touch with much of their desires. After hearing about FFXIV, it seems like they are listening more. However, looking around on these forums makes me unsure. Unlike WoW's upcoming expansion, FFXIV is a closed Beta. The only information being bandied around on these forums is what Square has put out; and a lot of it seems incomplete, unconfirmed, and just scarce in general. With less than two months until launch, I can't help but feel like the game is hardly in Alpha, let alone stage 3 Beta.

Compare this to the WoW forums, where I have to actively screen what I read to not spoil the best changes of the new expansion. Unlike FFXIV, I know the new abilities, the new zones, and the basic storyline. While things are still being completely switched around, I have a handle on how the game will play, without having to step into the Beta itself. Videos online show the changes to old zones, the new races, etc.

Whereas in here, Square seems to give almost nothing. It feels like they're relying on two things: the Final Fantasy brand name, and the love and loyalty of the former FFXI players. I cannot for the life of me figure out how combat goes. Despite reading about a day in the life of Leeroy (nice job taking a WoW meme there), I still don't understand the roles all that well (can you only be one of the classes in a disciple of war? Or all of them, depending on the weapon?). I know the monthly cost, but I don't know how many characters I can make. I've seen the official map, but almost all of the speculation about it was just that: speculation.

My biggest worry is that Square is doing the exact same thing here and the closed Beta is a symptom of it.


Either way, I think it's worth dropping the money on the game come the 30th of September. I'm not going to get the Collector's edition, because I figure like most MMOs, half of those first 8 days are going to be bogged down in glitches and problems anyway (and I'm not sure what a security token is?). But I will be on here, bumming around, so I wanted to say hello, and see you all in Eorzea!
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#2 Aug 10 2010 at 8:26 AM Rating: Good
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Welcome back. Once the NDA for XIV is lifted, there will be tons of information available.
#3 Aug 10 2010 at 8:31 AM Rating: Good
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Geffe wrote:
Welcome back. Once the NDA for XIV is lifted, there will be tons of information available.


Any idea on when this will be? From what I've heard, Square said they might just go from closed Beta to release, because there won't be enough time for an open Beta.
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#4 Aug 10 2010 at 8:32 AM Rating: Decent
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This was almost my exact experience.
#5 Aug 10 2010 at 8:32 AM Rating: Good
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LockeColeMA wrote:
Geffe wrote:
Welcome back. Once the NDA for XIV is lifted, there will be tons of information available.


Any idea on when this will be? From what I've heard, Square said they might just go from closed Beta to release, because there won't be enough time for an open Beta.

Perhaps someone who was in the FFXI beta can give us an idea of how long we can expect between release and the NDA being lifted.
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#6 Aug 10 2010 at 8:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Ralrra wrote:
LockeColeMA wrote:
Geffe wrote:
Welcome back. Once the NDA for XIV is lifted, there will be tons of information available.


Any idea on when this will be? From what I've heard, Square said they might just go from closed Beta to release, because there won't be enough time for an open Beta.

Perhaps someone who was in the FFXI beta can give us an idea of how long we can expect between release and the NDA being lifted.


bet ya a dollar it wont until Sep 21st or 22nd lol
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#7 Aug 10 2010 at 8:41 AM Rating: Good
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Even if they remove the NDA when the game releases, info will still be available to those just starting. There will be tons of questions when the game releases and these forums will be the best source for information. I don't even think those in beta know when the NDA will be lifted.
#8 Aug 10 2010 at 9:11 AM Rating: Good
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This may be quite obvious to say, but if you do some fishing, you will find that nothing in FFXIV Beta is really "classified," since there are plenty of people who leak information daily.

Heck, you can even go on YouTube right now and search "Final Fantasy XIV Character Creator" and find a good surplus of videos of people making characters from all races. Although I probably won't mention anything here, the information's out there and it's worth looking up if you feel motivated.
#9 Aug 10 2010 at 9:13 AM Rating: Decent
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I came to WoW after a few years of FFXI, so I've been in the exact same spot. I was able to experience FFXI endgame though, and in all honesty, even with the extra hours of waiting for HNM pops or endless sky farming, I actually preferred FFXI's dynamis runs and boss farming to Raiding in WoW. You never really ever "out-geared" something, even when the whole linkshell had awesome stuff, one stupid mistake or RNG proc would wipe the whole group of 40+ people, it was nuts but it always kept it fun.

Plus everyone knows the first time you heard the Dynamis-Xarca music you turned up the volume 500%, it was epic.

Onto your 3 points of interest though -

1. Grouping to Level, and especially Grouping for Quests/Missions and Armor Runs helped to solidify the community as a whole. You actually knew people on personal levels by the time you hit level 30. Had an enormous friend list by 50, and at 75, 50+% of the server (regionally) knew who you were. I liked this aspect of the game, sure it's annoying when you have 30 minutes before work and you want to play but literally can't accomplish anything in that amount of time, but you gain a tremendous amount of pride in your character because everything was just that much more of a chore to accomplish. (At least for me anyway)

2. I'm not sure which years you played, I started in 2002 and went to around 2005 before moving on to WoW. Early in the game, I don't remember any elitism going on at all, what I do remember is creating friendships and making static groups together so we rarely had new people to invite. But even over time we had met so many people in various groups and parties that we knew who was a good player and who was not. Reputation was hugely more important that what gear you were wearing.

Admittedly though, I tried to play again late 2009. I had the same gear and everything I logged out with (which was a really decent set back in 2005~) and switched servers. Because I didn't know anyone and nobody knew me, getting a level cap merit party was relatively difficult, add to the fact that the new zones had teleport quests I hadn't done, mobs I'd never fought, and areas I'd never explored. The mechanics of what gear was good had changed and I felt like a complete newb again. Most merit parties wouldn't take me until I changed my gear to a point that I was no longer a liability to the group. (Which is understandable, but sure it could feel like elitism.)

Not saying this is you by any means, but what I've never understood is players who want to get by with worse gear than the norm, because they want to save money or skate by or whatever their reasoning is.. Yeah having all +1's is a luxury, but if the normal version costs 4k and the +1 is only 10k, you had better have the +1. Better yourself before expecting others to pick up your slack. (Overpriced +1s don't count, Cerberus Mantle comes to mind.)

3. Gil Farming ran rampant, so I agree with you here, that completely sucked. But Squeenix has found ways now to combat them, so I doubt RMT will be that prevelant in XIV. There's still always going to be "that person" that buys gil though, and everyone will know about it.


After playing Aion and losing interest after a couple months, I realize that there are parts of both WoW and FF that I enjoy so much that I keep tabs for both games. Crafting in WoW pretty much sucks, but in XI it was an amazing experience and hopefully will only improve in XIV. Leveling in WoW was fast paced and fun, but in XI it was a boring grindfest of crabs for 10-15 levels. Both endgames are different and fun and I just can't wait to experience both and hopefully be able to make one a permanent home.

Edited, Aug 10th 2010 9:15am by Paracleets
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#10 Aug 10 2010 at 9:41 AM Rating: Good
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Paracleets wrote:

Onto your 3 points of interest though -

1. Grouping to Level, and especially Grouping for Quests/Missions and Armor Runs helped to solidify the community as a whole. You actually knew people on personal levels by the time you hit level 30. Had an enormous friend list by 50, and at 75, 50+% of the server (regionally) knew who you were. I liked this aspect of the game, sure it's annoying when you have 30 minutes before work and you want to play but literally can't accomplish anything in that amount of time, but you gain a tremendous amount of pride in your character because everything was just that much more of a chore to accomplish. (At least for me anyway)


See, I never got that high. I got to 32 at my highest, and then I realized that if it came to 30-60 minutes of waiting for a group or going out with my friends, friends would win. I think the issue was also my age (or mental state). At 17-18, I simply wasn't mature enough to make lasting friendships in-game. The best friendships I made were on Allakhazam; and I lost touch with most of those players when I moved to WoW.

Quote:
2. I'm not sure which years you played, I started in 2002 and went to around 2005 before moving on to WoW. Early in the game, I don't remember any elitism going on at all, what I do remember is creating friendships and making static groups together so we rarely had new people to invite. But even over time we had met so many people in various groups and parties that we knew who was a good player and who was not. Reputation was hugely more important that what gear you were wearing.

Admittedly though, I tried to play again late 2009. I had the same gear and everything I logged out with (which was a really decent set back in 2005~) and switched servers. Because I didn't know anyone and nobody knew me, getting a level cap merit party was relatively difficult, add to the fact that the new zones had teleport quests I hadn't done, mobs I'd never fought, and areas I'd never explored. The mechanics of what gear was good had changed and I felt like a complete newb again. Most merit parties wouldn't take me until I changed my gear to a point that I was no longer a liability to the group. (Which is understandable, but sure it could feel like elitism.)

Not saying this is you by any means, but what I've never understood is players who want to get by with worse gear than the norm, because they want to save money or skate by or whatever their reasoning is.. Yeah having all +1's is a luxury, but if the normal version costs 4k and the +1 is only 10k, you had better have the +1. Better yourself before expecting others to pick up your slack. (Overpriced +1s don't count, Cerberus Mantle comes to mind.)


I'm not sure either, honestly. I want to say it was either the beginning of my senior year (late 2003) or the end of my junior year (early 2003). I know I got onto Allakhazam in early 2004.

Because my playtime was sporadic (had nighttime swim clubs, swim meetings, and other activities... plus it depending if my parents would give me the computer for the night) I never formed a static, which I was later told is the best way to level. But the deal with the gear you mentioned is exactly what I was referring to. Yes, I could come in all up-to-date gear, but it wasn't good enough. You HAD to have +1 or your 30 minute wait would become an hour wait - having current gear wasn't enough. Hence why every time I leveled I would have to farm for hours and hours to afford the best gear so I could level again. As my roommate pointed out, that was boring.

The game was set up that way, though, because if you died, you lost 10% of your experience TNL (any idea if that EXP penalty remains in FFXIV?). Even at level 30, that was a 30 minutes of fighting (if I remember correctly). Everyone wanted to minimize the risk of that happening as much as possible, and that meant you had to have the best gear to get pickup groups. "The norm" in FFXI was elitism when it came to gear... perhaps that's why so few people can recognize it now? Hopefully the actual answer is that it changed and normal became the norm. I sure hope that's how FFXIV will go!

Quote:
3. Gil Farming ran rampant, so I agree with you here, that completely sucked. But Squeenix has found ways now to combat them, so I doubt RMT will be that prevelant in XIV. There's still always going to be "that person" that buys gil though, and everyone will know about it.


I hope it's a lot better. At the time I played, it wasn't "that person" but "those people" who bought gil. They would have the better than good gear (Leaping Boots, some other things) that would sell for hundreds of thousands of gil. And they would, of course, get groups almost immediately, chide others for their bad gear, and still be looked up to... and everyone knew that they bought. There was no real stigma attached.
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#11 Aug 10 2010 at 10:03 PM Rating: Good
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its good to see you again locke.

i dont know how much time you spent on the old druid and warrior forums, but if you did you no doubt read some of what i wrote.

thanks to that NDA thing, i cant say much. i can say a few things however; ff14 is a drastically different game from ff11. it somehow manages to capture the feel of a final fantasy game without falling into the rut that 11 is often accused of. it is, in essence, a complete evolution of what 11 is, in the best way possible.

your "still in alpha" fears are also unfounded.

my own personal expectation of 14 was cautiously neutral. id been bruised by my experiences in 11, and my love of final fantasy was barely enough to overcome my aversion to it. but my time in the beta, experiencing things they have and viewing the steps theyve taken to advance things...well, it has made me a believer again.

Quote:
Even if they remove the NDA when the game releases, info will still be available to those just starting. There will be tons of questions when the game releases and these forums will be the best source for information. I don't even think those in beta know when the NDA will be lifted.


correct. there has been no mention made of when the NDA is being lifted.

Edited, Aug 10th 2010 9:05pm by Quor
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#12 Aug 10 2010 at 10:20 PM Rating: Good
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Here's how I believe it's going to go. Once we hit the 2 weeks till release or even pushing 3 weeks till release, I'm sure there's going to be information popping up like a storm. At that point, I'm sure people won't really care too much about the NDA simply because it's so close to release that it won't matter.

As we're all interested to get information from the Beta testers, they're as antsy to give information as well ^^d.
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#13 Aug 10 2010 at 10:30 PM Rating: Decent
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I played FF for two years, then played WoW for one month.

Here is why -

It took me about 12 months to get to level 60 in FF.

It took me one month to get to 60 in WoW.

This might be favorable to some, but to me it wasn't. I went from a sense of accomplishment and hard work in FFXI to WTF this is a kiddie game in WoW.

I quit without paying any sub fees.

I hope this game can provide enough of a challenge as XI did. Maybe I'm the only one. >.>
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#14 Aug 11 2010 at 6:44 AM Rating: Good
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Oenos wrote:

I hope this game can provide enough of a challenge as XI did. Maybe I'm the only one. >.>


Not to open the old can of worms, but how much of a challenge is it to grind the same enemies for tens of hours on end?

I can see the pros and cons. I had much more of a sense of accomplishment every time I leveled in FFXI than I did in WoW. However, leveling in WoW could completely change the game; leveling in FFXI made me a teeny bit more powerful, hardly noticeable.

I did love the sense of community you had with FFXI. With the advent of the LFG system for WoW going across servers, any sense of community outside your guild is pretty much dead. In FFXI I heard that at high levels you knew most of the players on your server, even outside your LS.

Anyway, not being sour grapes. I know the feeling of challenge you're talking about and felt the exact same way when I played. It took me a while to realize that grinding does not equal a challenge to me.

Oddly enough, if I played FFXI in college instead of WoW, I think I would be a high if not max level. I spent almost my entire sophomore year playing WoW, and throughout the rest of college I did some pretty crazy things (getting the "Insane" title being one of them; that was nothing more than a 60 hour grindfest...). Ho hum :)
Quote:
its good to see you again locke.

i dont know how much time you spent on the old druid and warrior forums, but if you did you no doubt read some of what i wrote.

thanks to that NDA thing, i cant say much. i can say a few things however; ff14 is a drastically different game from ff11. it somehow manages to capture the feel of a final fantasy game without falling into the rut that 11 is often accused of. it is, in essence, a complete evolution of what 11 is, in the best way possible.

your "still in alpha" fears are also unfounded.

my own personal expectation of 14 was cautiously neutral. id been bruised by my experiences in 11, and my love of final fantasy was barely enough to overcome my aversion to it. but my time in the beta, experiencing things they have and viewing the steps theyve taken to advance things...well, it has made me a believer again.


HOLY CRAP QUOR!

Long time no see!

Thanks for the information; it sounds like you're enjoying the Beta, and it's good to know there's so much more than meets the public eye. As I said before, I am looking forward to the game, I just had no idea what to expect. I guess I'll twiddle my thumbs a bit more and hope for a Beta key :)
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