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FFXI and FFXIV Launch, A ComparisonFollow

#1 Sep 10 2010 at 7:32 AM Rating: Decent
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There seem to have been quite a few posts recently about the lack of content in FFXIV, and it's impact on people's decisions to buy the game or, in more extreme cases, calling the game a flop or a success. I decided to take a few moments and mine some data out of the depths of the internet in the hopes of bringing some actual factual light onto the issue - excuse the mixed metaphor.

The conclusion I have come to is that it is very difficult to do a direct comparison between games, since quite a few "easily" comparable statistics are actually quite dissimilar between the games. As such, I chose a few metrics at random, drawn from a hat to compare the launch of the two games. I will be comparing three metrics here:

  • Space
  • Quests
  • Missions


  • In addition, Elmer posted an excellent summation of the beta and first few months of the game on his JP Button site. I won't go over it all again, since his post is significantly better formated and written than mine ever could be. To drastically summarize though, the FFXI beta included all of the core systems of the FFXI release, but had a noticeable shortage of content compared to the release (although interestingly some of the content in the beta didn't make it into the release until the first few updates). This shortage included, but was not limited to: only a very small number of NMs and several release zones were not included in the beta.

    Before I start doing a raw comparison, a few notes: This is a best attempt at a non-partisan comparison of the two games, while I may let a bit of my own personal preferences slip in here and there, I am trying to make this as unbiased as possible. Also, this is not a perfect comparison, as I mentioned before, the metrics in the games are different enough to make it difficult to directly compare them. We are, therefore, forced to make assumptions and simplifications:

  • One region in FFXI has an average number of zones of: 5.27
  • One region in FFXI is comperable to one area in FFXIV (this simplification is assumed from developer comments)
  • City regions in FFXI have been merged with their surrounding regions for the purpose of this comparison
  • Missions in FFXI are approximately the same length as missions in FFXIV
  • This is a quantitative comparison, not a qualitative one.


  • Area
    On release, FFXI had access to 11 regions:

  • Derfland
  • Qufim
  • Ronfaure
  • Sarutabaruta
  • Zulkheim
  • Valdeaunia
  • Aragoneu
  • Fauregandi
  • Gustaberg
  • Kolshushu
  • Norvallen


  • FFXIV, in beta has 5 outdoor zones and 6 indoor dungeons (discarded for relative size to the outdoor zones).

  • La Noscea
  • Thanalan
  • The Black Shroud
  • Coerthas
  • Mor Dhona


  • Conclusion
    Without taking into account dungeons (which is only fair, given their size) it is clear that FFXIV does indeed have a significantly smaller footprint than FFXI did on release.



    Quests
    For this comparison, I made a few assumptions about quests. For one, given the difficulty to track down which quests were added since the introduction of the game, and in order to not give biases, I count every quest in the average quest per city value. It should also be noted that this comparison is not a comparison of what quests one person can do, but only the shear number of quests put into the game by the developers.

    Bastok has 111 quests, San d'Oria has 96, and Windurst has 111, giving an average of 106 quests per city.
    At this point I must confess that my knowledge of guildleves is limited, having leveled primarily Armorer, with a little pugilist, if someone can correct my numbers if they are off, please do so.
    Given the approximation that there are 4 ~1 guildleves per Discipline of War and Magic, and 4 ~10 guildleves, that gives 56 leves for War and Magic. Disciplines of Hand and Land have on average 4 leaves each per city, giving 44 leves. This means that there are 100 leves even per city in FFXIV at the moment (I'm actually fairly certain I've missed a few here, and this will be updated as soon as I have more data).

    Conclusion
    Given that both the FFXI and the FFXIV data sets here are not great, we cannot conclude much. However, we do know that the FFXI estimate is high, and the FFXIV estimate is low. Given this, it is safe to say that the number of quests (quality aside) in FFXIV on release will be greater even than the number of quests in FFXI after 7 years.



    Missions
    This is a simple enough comparison. At release, FFXI had access to rank 4 (Rank 5 missions were added on 8/8/2002). FFXIV, in beta, as 3 missions active that you can access at increasing levels.

    Conclusion
    FFXI still has a slight leg up on this one, but anecdotally, I would say that the missions as a whole are longer and more involved in FFXIV than in FFXI (for the first 3 at least).



    Final Conclusion
    Despite my own personal thoughts on the game (that it has more content than meets the eye) I must conclude that currently, the amount of raw content in FFXIV is drastically less than the amount of content in FFXI on release. The amount of area while seemingly huge due to the size of the individual zones, is dwarfed by the amount of area in FFXI on release. Quests, another contended issue, is at best, even (and as I'm sure some will argue, a lot less original) in FFXIV to FFXI. Missions are close, but quantitatively, FFXI still has the edge here.

    This is all mitigated slightly by Elmer's description of the FFXI beta, and it is safe to assume that SE is still holding back some content, possible several zones. Despite this though, I am slightly disappointed by my own findings, and I truly hope that SE has reserved quite a bit of content behind the curtain, as it were.
    #2 Sep 10 2010 at 7:44 AM Rating: Decent
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    In 2002 my cell phone didnt have a camera but thats ok because it was 2002. In 2010 only the bottom of the barrel cheapest phones out there dont have cameras.

    Conclusion - Not having a camera on my phone in 2002 was acceptable because almost noone had a camera on their phone in 2002. Not having a camera on my phone in 2010 means I have the cheapest most bottom of the barrel product on the market.

    Edited, Sep 10th 2010 9:46am by UncleRuckusForLife
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    #3 Sep 10 2010 at 7:47 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    In 2002 my cell phone didnt have a camera or web browsing ability but thats ok because it was 2002. In 2010 only the bottom of the barrel cheapest phones out there dont have cameras.

    Conclusion - Not having a camera on my phone in 2002 was acceptable because almost noone had a camera on their phone in 2002. Not having a camera on my phone in 2010 means means I have the cheapest most bottom of the barrel product on the market.


    What.. did you even...

    Where's my nonsensicalanalogy guy when I need him?
    #4 Sep 10 2010 at 7:52 AM Rating: Decent
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    He means what works in the past does not work in the present..
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    #5 Sep 10 2010 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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    EmotionBlues wrote:
    Quote:
    In 2002 my cell phone didnt have a camera or web browsing ability but thats ok because it was 2002. In 2010 only the bottom of the barrel cheapest phones out there dont have cameras.

    Conclusion - Not having a camera on my phone in 2002 was acceptable because almost noone had a camera on their phone in 2002. Not having a camera on my phone in 2010 means means I have the cheapest most bottom of the barrel product on the market.


    What.. did you even...

    Where's my nonsensicalanalogy guy when I need him?


    Oh sorry. I was jus comparing a product from 2002 to a product from 2010. The cell phone industry like the MMO industry has seen huge leaps forward in technology ease of use and multi tasking functions since 2002(just like MMOs) So if the MMO from 2002 (at launch) looks a lot like the MMO from 2010 (at roughly launch) then something is wrong.

    Edited, Sep 10th 2010 9:53am by UncleRuckusForLife

    Edited, Sep 10th 2010 9:53am by UncleRuckusForLife
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    #6 Sep 10 2010 at 7:59 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    Oh sorry. I was jus comparing a product from 2002 to a product from 2010. The cell phone industry like the MMO industry has seen huge leaps forward in technology ease of use and multi tasking functions since 2002(just like MMOs) So if the MMO from 2002 (at launch) looks a lot like the MMO from 2010 (at roughly launch) then something is wrong.


    Oh no, I get that. I was just saying the analogy seemed slightly out of place for just an objective overview by someone. My gut feeling would be that comment would be more aligned if someone was taking a stance one way or another - more like a retort - but I understand it's sort of like a blanket remark as a whole.

    That's just what I pulled from it though. I interpret things weird.

    edit: ninja.

    Edited, Sep 10th 2010 10:00am by EmotionBlues
    #7 Sep 10 2010 at 8:03 AM Rating: Decent
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    EmotionBlues wrote:
    Quote:
    Oh sorry. I was jus comparing a product from 2002 to a product from 2010. The cell phone industry like the MMO industry has seen huge leaps forward in technology ease of use and multi tasking functions since 2002(just like MMOs) So if the MMO from 2002 (at launch) looks a lot like the MMO from 2010 (at roughly launch) then something is wrong.


    Oh no, I get that. I was just saying the analogy seemed slightly out of place for just an objective overview by someone. My gut feeling would be that comment would be more aligned if someone was taking a stance one way or another - more like a retort.

    That's just what I pulled from it though. I interpret things weird.


    Yeah you are probably right, I was just watching a preview for a movie and in the preview Michael Duglas is getting out of jail and is collecting his things and one of the thing they handed him was a cellular phone from the early 90's and it looked so out of place. I was browsing this thread and just decided to hit reply and post the thoughts that the movie clip put in my head.
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    #8 Sep 10 2010 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
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    Why are you comparing FFXI at launch which was released to FFXIV in Beta which isn't complete.

    We know for a fact: More missions are to be added, More zones to be added, more quests to be added.

    This is a really, really, really bad comparisson.
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    #9 Sep 10 2010 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
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    I guess I don't understand the OP's final conclusion. He said FFXI had more land-mass, but FFXIV had more quests. And they were a wash on missions (FFXI had more, but they were shorter and less involved). How can you say FFXIV is far lacking in content compared to FFXI when it appears they're about a wash? Unless it's like IGN's reviews in which case the final score isn't the sum of the scores and just another category.

    Also, out of curiosity, are you using the FFXIV beta for your comparison, or do you have insider info on what will be in the release version?
    #10 Sep 10 2010 at 8:06 AM Rating: Good
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    I think it was just meant as a comparison between FFXI-Release and FFXIV-Beta - the comment about the differences noted by Elmer between FFXI-Beta and release version and now he beleives that will be applicible for FFXIV leads me to believe it's just as "how things are now" and leading into a "if FFXIV already has this much + we know how much extra came after FFXI retail" ... sorta.. is that more confusing?

    kupo.
    #11 Sep 10 2010 at 8:07 AM Rating: Good
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    I can't and wont judge on whether or not FFXIV will be a success or a failure (which would be silly for anyone to do at this point), but for something that's so dangerously close to a live release it really does seem surprisingly bare. I do hope that they're at least holding back a fair amount of content for release day or shortly after.

    I won't be much fun to be stuck with the exact same content we have currently except now we're expected to pay for it. I still have high hopes for the game's future regardless of what release looks like.
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    #12 Sep 10 2010 at 9:37 AM Rating: Good
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    I specifically avoided using words like analysis and went with comparison because the purpose of this post was more of an information dump. People are saying that the game has little content, so I went through and looked at what content currently exists, and what content people should probably be expecting it to have (i.e. another SE MMO launch) and compared them. The conclusion sections were purely my own personal takes on what I found. I sighted Elmer's post on the updates from FFXI Beta to the FFXI release as a contrast, since it is the same company, it is likely we can expect similar beta to release ratios for content.

    I am well aware that as an analysis it is faulty, and so I tried to avoid doing that as much as possible. I apologize for failing to do so it seems. I meant this only as a dump of information, and looking at what it looks like in comparison to what SE has released previously in terms of content.

    On a side note, I realized while walking back from class that I didn't include jobs vs. disciplines. But given that I'm sure most people already realize that 18 Disciplines is higher than 6 jobs, it's probably not a big deal for now (although I suppose I should add it, since it does account for quite a bit of content).
    #13 Sep 10 2010 at 9:56 AM Rating: Good
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    It's hard to compare these two games. The reason being, the technology is completely different. So are expectations.

    I for one don't care about how many zones there are, how many dungeons, etc. since the MMO market is moving towards instances and quest-related spawn nests. This wasn't feasible in 2002 because the amount of CPU time these technologies require wasn't practical 8 years ago. You can do alot more server-side today than you could then, and you can see games taking advantage of this. (even cross-world instance PVP combat in EQ2 and WoW)

    However, I hope this game doesn't ship with this few quests. Recent games have been shipping with thousands of quests, and the related lore/story to go with it. I know, I've already heard it, this is FF grind fest, not WoW. Give me a break, you can keep your grind fest and the paltry <100k subs that will stick around for it. I want interaction, epic quest lines, a reason to play for a couple years other than just having to do so to hit max level.

    Give us a decent combat engine, a good story/quest line to endgame, and good dynamics SOLO and GROUP/RAID wise and you'll see easily 500k-1million subs. There are a lot of FF fans out there, but there aren't that many who will tolerate poor game design in an MMO.
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    #14 Sep 10 2010 at 10:06 AM Rating: Decent
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    Good read. Only issue (and didnt have time to read others posts if they said this) is you are comparing a beta with a game at launch. Could we be seeing all of the things that we will be able to do at launch? Possibly, but highly doubtful. I think the areas we can access now is kinda what you see is what you get, except for the areas blocked off by invisible walls.

    All those areas that are being blocked at the moment very well could be the areas where a lot of the city quests will take place. At least that is my thoughts on it. I hope i am right, but could be dead wrong. Because if i am wrong and SE doesnt have a few dozen other little quests to do then this game will lose subscriptions pretty fast unless they can patch in that kind of stuff in the first week or two.

    Just my 2 cents.
    #15 Sep 10 2010 at 10:06 AM Rating: Good
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    Now lets compare this to Everquest

    Everquest had 12 races, 14 classes, and some 70-odd zones. It also had a ton of quests that involved talking to people without exclamation points over their heads.

    Assuming standard content inflation, MMOs now should have 84 races, 183 classes, 1048 zones, and infinitely many quests from each of the infinitely many quest givers with 12 exclamation points over their heads.

    By this metric, the only game worth playing is World of Warcraft Runescape.

    Edit: Some people don't want cameras on their phone.

    Edited, Sep 10th 2010 12:08pm by hints
    #16 Sep 10 2010 at 11:23 AM Rating: Default
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    I keep having a crazy cell phone senario play out in my head.

    Man walks into room. Son you are finally 13. I know how bad you have been wanting a cell phone so your mom and I finally decided to get you one for your birthday! Now its not quite ready yet still got 2 more weeks till its released! Whats that? You wanna see a picture? Sure!

    http://sites.hardwarezone.com/sg/nokiazone/content/xanthus_f/files/2008/04/motorola-dynatac-8000x.jpg

    Wait son whats wrong? Well no it doesnt have a browser yet but its coming. Texting? Well I'm sure its gonna be able to text remember its still not finished. They still have two weeks to add texting. Well ofcourse it has a camera and video recording, I mean its not in yet but it will be! Dont judge it by what you have seen son its still in beta...I mean production!
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