I have a few game flaws that I have noticed from playing ffxiv beta that I would like to address to see if others feel the same way. Please, correct me if my judgment is wrong on any of these topics as I would like to buy this game if these problems will be fixed. What I am saying at the beginning of this is related to FFXI, I already know not to compare ffxi to ffxiv as they are two totally different games as with all ff games, I am only trying to help the point I am trying to make, so please don't bash me for that.
First off, I have played ffxi for a good 4 years and loved everything about it. I started playing at the same time it was released for ps2. I remember trying to group in my 40's on samurai desperately trying to find a party for a good 3-5 hours. Now, those of you who never played ffxi during that time period may think "what a waste, I'd quit that game if it took me that long just to get a party". It was how things were on my server, and it was worth it because the community was amazing, and as I got into these long waited parties, I made many friends who would invite me the second I was looking for a group. So basically, if you knew how to play your job and were a decent person you would make friends and have a great time. I've never been on an mmo before where the people that I'm playing with are so nice. I feel that the whole party only aspect of the game at that time was great because you would make a name for yourself on the server. Ok, on with relating this to ffxiv... I know that SE takes a lot of what the community says into account when creating video games, especially this one, which is why I believe they have taken it too far. People said that they didn't want to have to party all the time to level (first thing that comes to mind when hearing this is..who wants to play online...alone? its the whole reason you play an mmo in the first place, to have fun with others). So, SE, after hearing this, they pretty much made this game not party friendly and I will explain why:
1. In order for players to rank up their job as a disciple of war or magic, they must deal damage to the target. The experience for your job is based on how often you attack as the experience is given AFTER doing each attack...seriously? what kind of system is that? everyone should get the same amount of experience at the END of the fight or else other jobs will be overleveling or underleveling in a group environment, it will be chaotic. So group leveling outside of guild leves will be a waste because of this.
2. If you only get experience for the damage you do, healers are screwed! If you heal in a party you do not get experience for that heal, only if you do damage to the monster. Tell me if this is wrong please, it looks this way from what I've seen. So why would a healer want to waste mana on a heal if their not going to get experience for it? Might as well just dps. Also, with the way mp is treated (no refresh) it will only make people want to do guild leves, and once those leves are done, no one will want to group level due to mana issues/constraints by not being near the aetheryte while party grinding. I really don't see why SE would change healing so drastically, when they had it correct in ffxi. If you look at the 2009 vana'diel census http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/guide/development/census/09/3.html white mage(healer) took most played spot #3 in the survey results, and #1 in game data results. Final fantasy games are supposed to have a great deal of magic, not many players WANT to be a healer, so if you don't give your casters an incentive to play, they will not exist.
3. When I am on a server, I like to take note of the community (since this is a SE game, i have high expectations). From what I saw on the open beta, no one really talks, which I find odd with all the people lol, its ok though, i dont really care about that.. its when I ask questions I usually get smart remarks or immature ones at best. /sigh, I just really hope this doesn't turn out to be a WoW community, but I wouldn't be too shocked if it did, I really feel that party only is how it should have been with a little bit of solo leveling to easily weed out the immature people from the rest. I did meet some nice/helpful people though, so I'm glad to see that :).
4. Im sure this will be fixed, but I couldn't find map tracking for party members, its annoying lol.
So, in conclusion, there doesn't seem to be much outside of leve quests; I guess this is to make it more casual... which is why there is no point in the surplus system as players wont be leveling insanely fast anyway as leves reset every 48hours. Surplus system isnt all bad though, it helps your main job to be better by having other job abilities. I'd rather work to get new abilities for my main job than endlessly grind on my main with super slow exp. Don't get me wrong, this is a good game with many perks, but I feel SE will lose a lot of their fan base if some of these problems are not addressed. Please let me know what you all think, and PLEASE let me know if i have a wrong impression on how things work, thank you.
Game experience: FFXI (4yrs), WoW(6k gs), Guildwars(Short time), Everquest2(short time)