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Did the devs even PLAY ffxiv?Follow

#1 Nov 07 2010 at 6:18 AM Rating: Good
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at what point did one of the devs say..."this is perfect...UI runs smooth, everything is perfect, game runs amazing lets burn it to a dvd and ship it out"

I also wonder if square enix did ANY market research when they where creating ffxiv...I'm not sure if they even bothered playing ANY of the other MMOs.

I know this thread sounds hateful and ill get torn apart by people enjoying the game, but the truth is square enix has slit their wrist with this one.
#2 Nov 07 2010 at 6:23 AM Rating: Decent
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I would just kindly point you toward the complaints department at the top of the page. But, I already know this topic will get dragged into the retort between pro-FFXIV and against-FFXIV posters that has been rehashed enough times to make me want to gag.
#3 Nov 07 2010 at 6:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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He makes a good point though, I'm no game developer but I would not have flagged this game for release...
#4 Nov 07 2010 at 6:31 AM Rating: Default
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There's (alot of) Work to do. But in it's core FFXIV is a wonderful game which can only thrive in the end. They lay the fundament for a brilliant game. I just hope they make the best out of it.
It is disputable if they rather should have worked a year longer on the game. But to what end?
To your opinion that the Devs should have looked on other games before making FFXIV: I'm glad they didn't. There are enough WoW Clones out there and I prefer the distinct scent of "something different" instead of "Triple A-Mainstream-BS". I will see that I'm right with SWTOR again. Nothing more than random WoW mechanics(gosh this is just polished WoW-Graphics!) and loveless Mainstream Concepts. Will be a complete Fail imho. I prefer something which doesn't wants to be like WoW.
#5 Nov 07 2010 at 6:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't think anyone here wants a wow clone... Most just want a playable game. Why are there no mail boxes? Why can't we invite someone to a party or LS without having to target them? Why does it take so long for new windows to open? Why can't windows just open on top of other windows? Why can't we see other party members on the main map? If these simple things among many others make this a wow clone then the original EQ was a wow clone... Weird.
#6 Nov 07 2010 at 7:01 AM Rating: Decent
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im going to legitamately ask, do developers often play the game from a gamers perspective before release? or is it donald trump coming up with an idea and telling people to make it happen without the proper heart of an artist?
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#7 Nov 07 2010 at 7:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm with you...

Someone at SE, a real person, looked at say the behavior of inventory when equipping something. It doesn't show you just a list of equippable equipment but ALL equipment. And when unequipping one ring of four you're left to guess which it is or at worst scroll through all your rings because it doesn't bring you right to that piece but just dumps you randomly in the equipment list. This is all compounded by the fact that it takes 10x longer to click on anything than it should and you have a disaster.

But my point is that yes, some dev or SE manager looked at this behavior and said, "Ok its done, this is perfectly fine for a released shipping major product. GO!"

That boggles my mind. Who one earth would consider that behavior acceptable for any game, let alone one of the major publishers in the industry?
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#8 Nov 07 2010 at 7:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Before this one goes again into that road... I'm gonna point you into this link:

Complaints Department
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#9 Nov 07 2010 at 7:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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rikkuotaku wrote:
I'm with you...

Someone at SE, a real person, looked at say the behavior of inventory when equipping something. It doesn't show you just a list of equippable equipment but ALL equipment. And when unequipping one ring of four you're left to guess which it is or at worst scroll through all your rings because it doesn't bring you right to that piece but just dumps you randomly in the equipment list. This is all compounded by the fact that it takes 10x longer to click on anything than it should and you have a disaster.

But my point is that yes, some dev or SE manager looked at this behavior and said, "Ok its done, this is perfectly fine for a released shipping major product. GO!"

That boggles my mind. Who one earth would consider that behavior acceptable for any game, let alone one of the major publishers in the industry?


AGree with OP and this. It reminds me of all the "behind-the-scenes" making of a realm videos they released a while back. They interview developers (obviously given scripts) who talk about features in the game; namely the more polished ones. Animations, music, character models, etc are all discussed... and I think most people would agree that these are some of the strong points of the game.

My bet would be that these parts were what they spent a good majority of their Dev time working on the past 4-5 years. Everything else just came together at the last minute when someone at head office came down to say "yea that looks fine, let's ship it by september." So essentially they put a lot of work in to the backbone, but were caught off guard when management decided to ship earlier than expected and they didn't have time to refine the surface details (IMO the release of XIII and XIV being SO close are a good hint towards this).

What irks me the most (like others have said) is that someone had to give the okay at the head office who either a) Doesn't know much about games and just wanted to meet arbitrary deadlines or b) Knew all of this was in terrible shape but decided to ship it anyway on the backs of the companies most avid fans "sure those idiots will eat up whatever dog **** we put out".
#10 Nov 07 2010 at 7:43 AM Rating: Decent
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GutsyBoozetank wrote:
If these simple things among many others make this a wow clone then the original EQ was a wow clone... Weird.

can't let this one slide, i don't think a game that came out before WoW can be a clone of it.
heck technically EQ1 has 2 large wards with a search function and you have to leave your char logged in <i prefer this to how 14 is lol>
one ward to buy stuff and one to sell stuff.
one could argue aion and a few other games with this point though =)

Edited, Nov 7th 2010 5:46am by gerwenscalebane
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#11 Nov 07 2010 at 7:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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can't let this one slide, i don't think a game that came out before WoW can be a clone of it.

I realize this, you just misunderstood me. I was just referring to a pre-WoW game having basic mmo functions that FFXIV lacks when a previous poster said he was glad the devs didn't look at other mmo's so this game wouldn't become a WoW clone.

Edited, Nov 7th 2010 8:58am by GutsyBoozetank
#12 Nov 07 2010 at 7:57 AM Rating: Good
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rikkuotaku wrote:
Someone at SE, a real person, looked at say the behavior of inventory when equipping something. It doesn't show you just a list of equippable equipment but ALL equipment. And when unequipping one ring of four you're left to guess which it is or at worst scroll through all your rings because it doesn't bring you right to that piece but just dumps you randomly in the equipment list. This is all compounded by the fact that it takes 10x longer to click on anything than it should and you have a disaster.


Just as a reference, there are two GUI ways of equipping gear.

Open your gear page, pick the slot you want to put something in, and then pick the piece of equipment. It sounds like this is what you're doing, and I agree that it's stupid that it shows you all your gear instead of just what can be equipped in that slot.

The second way is to open the gear page, start by picking the piece of equipment, and then it will show you slots it can be equipped in. (or if you're hot on shortcuts and it can only be equipped in one slot, just hit enter after picking the equipment.)

After finding the second way it's been far less irritating to re-equip everything after I strip for repairs.
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#13 Nov 07 2010 at 8:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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I believe simplicity will help a mmo by a huge factor, how come when equipping something I have to select the item so it will open a new window then press equip button? Why can't I just drag and drop, or just right click the item? Macros are fun, but seriously, you need to set up a macro just to make processes that are extremely simple in other mmos less time consuming in FFXIV...
#14 Nov 07 2010 at 8:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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Amazing that this topic turned into a WOW vs FFXIV debate within 3 posts. This has nothing to do with WOW cloning; there's just some things that should be standard in MMO that are also, unsurprisingly, found in WOW. Good interface, auction house, mail system, sorting, travel options, responsive dev team, non-random experience gains, side quests and boss monsters don't make an MMO a WOW clone.
#15 Nov 07 2010 at 8:20 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks Wolfums, that's exactly what I was trying to point out.
#16 Nov 07 2010 at 9:38 AM Rating: Decent
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I think of most of the mentioned points that they are not that much of a problem. FFXIV needs a performance boost(and better connection in EU) and a tad more content. Other things, especially mentioned in this thread, i dont declare gamebreaking in any way. Some things would be nice to be fixed, other aren't on my "this needs to change-List".
Anywho, i think this discussion, indeed, occured too often. Didn't want to spark the fire unnecessarily.
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#18 Nov 07 2010 at 10:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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I wondered that myself, like did anyone who didn't have a hand in development actually play this and tell them what they thought. Then I realized, yes, Lots of them. For almost a year's worth of betas. And they said they didn't like it and nobody cared.
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#19 Nov 07 2010 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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pixelpop wrote:
im going to legitamately ask, do developers often play the game from a gamers perspective before release? or is it donald trump coming up with an idea and telling people to make it happen without the proper heart of an artist?



This made me lol.
If it wasn't all about money we wouldn't be knee-deep in FPS games that are copies of each other.


Edited, Nov 7th 2010 11:55am by seiferdincht
#20 Nov 07 2010 at 11:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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yamers wrote:
at what point did one of the devs say..."this is perfect...UI runs smooth, everything is perfect, game runs amazing lets burn it to a dvd and ship it out"

I also wonder if square enix did ANY market research when they where creating ffxiv...I'm not sure if they even bothered playing ANY of the other MMOs.

I know this thread sounds hateful and ill get torn apart by people enjoying the game, but the truth is square enix has slit their wrist with this one.


The devs are not the ones who made the decision to ship the product. SE's corporate fiscal year report released back in May stated that FFXIV is being launched in 2010. The guys in the suits decided that the game has been in development long enough and that they needed to start the revenue stream. SE does not run like Blizzard or Polyphony Digital where the development team has the power and luxury of working on a game until they feel it's ready for release.

We'll see the real FFXIV once the dev team has had time to make it into what they had envisioned from the start.
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#21 Nov 07 2010 at 11:31 AM Rating: Excellent
Actually, yes. Tanaka did run around in game during Alpha/Beta.

I think most of you are missing the very obvious point that XIV was rushed out the door before it was ready, and all hands point to Wada on that one. I honestly can't imagine the people who actually worked on the game were happy about this any more than we are. But, they can either resign in protest or they can continue to scramble to fix/update the game as quickly as possible.

We know what's on the horizon. I'm enjoying the game, but seriously hoping these changes hit it out of the park.
#22 Nov 07 2010 at 11:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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Rather than say "oh yeah this UI is fantastic we're all set" they probably said something more along the lines of "close enough this will do".

As easy as it is to blame Wada for pushing the game out too soon, this does not absolve the developers themselves. They also spent 80% of the time working on the disaster that is Crystal Tools.
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#23 Nov 07 2010 at 12:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Illmind wrote:

It is disputable if they rather should have worked a year longer on the game. But to what end?


Uh... to making it more user-friendly? To adding in a more vibrant world -- one with actual quests? To forging a working economy? To implementing more monsters taller than my ankle?
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#24 Nov 07 2010 at 12:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Actually, yes. Tanaka did run around in game during Alpha/Beta.

I think most of you are missing the very obvious point that XIV was rushed out the door before it was ready, and all hands point to Wada on that one. I honestly can't imagine the people who actually worked on the game were happy about this any more than we are. But, they can either resign in protest or they can continue to scramble to fix/update the game as quickly as possible.

We know what's on the horizon. I'm enjoying the game, but seriously hoping these changes hit it out of the park.


These are all good points, and I find that I agree with you on them. If there must be blame, it must rest on the person who made the decision to release the game.

I'm also hoping that the upcoming updates will actually fix something, but I'm not too hopeful anymore, especially now that the population of the game (and even these forums - I haven't seen over 400 recent visitors in a while, down from almost double that a few weeks ago) is in a speedy decline. X_x
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#25 Nov 07 2010 at 12:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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As someone working in the game industry and with 7 titles shipped, let me just tell you all this.

On a 200-man team, there's usually only a handful of people other than the testers (and testers test functionality. Sadly, most tester's opinion of what is allowable or not isn't worth **** to the dev. team. So they see "Does it work?" and have two answers: "Yes" or "No". There is no "Yes, but it sucks." or "Yes, but it could be faster" option) who actually play the game they're working on. Most of the engineers and artists will simply try their features in a gym area (sandbox), or simply stress test them outside of the game environment. Those who do play their own game are usually praised (or frowned by wasting so much time not "working")

The U.I. lag and the bugs and everything people complain about? Probably features to fix that have been de-prioritized and push-based as post-launch fixes because something else equally important had to be done before ship-date.

And most people in the team who actually care (the designers) will struggle to get the important parts fixed, only to helplessly shrug as the deadlines and task list being shuffled around by the leads and development directors.

It's not a rosy world where every game that ships the door has been given a thumbs up by every member of the team, believe me.
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#26 Nov 07 2010 at 12:25 PM Rating: Good
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Going to have to agree with bsphil-- you know, for all of the problems XIV has, and for as long as it will take to fix them, and for the utter lack of content... I could look past all that and say "this game still has a lot of potential." And in some ways it has plenty of potential.

HOWEVER

The game does nothing special. The environment could hardly be less interactive. The potential for this game to surpass other games in what's already been done a dozen times over is there, but there's no potential for anything especially innovative. It's hard for me to praise a game's potential when the interface between character and environment is so sparse and unimpressive.

I really think SE's only hope is that people continue to fail to see just how bad the state of this game is.
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#27 Nov 07 2010 at 12:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
As someone working in the game industry and with 7 titles shipped, let me just tell you all this.

On a 200-man team, there's usually only a handful of people other than the testers (and testers test functionality. Sadly, most tester's opinion of what is allowable or not isn't worth sh*t to the dev. team. So they see "Does it work?" and have two answers: "Yes" or "No". There is no "Yes, but it sucks." or "Yes, but it could be faster" option) who actually play the game they're working on. Most of the engineers and artists will simply try their features in a gym area (sandbox), or simply stress test them outside of the game environment. Those who do play their own game are usually praised (or frowned by wasting so much time not "working")

The U.I. lag and the bugs and everything people complain about? Probably features to fix that have been de-prioritized and push-based as post-launch fixes because something else equally important had to be done before ship-date.

And most people in the team who actually care (the designers) will struggle to get the important parts fixed, only to helplessly shrug as the deadlines and task list being shuffled around by the leads and development directors.

It's not a rosy world where every game that ships the door has been given a thumbs up by every member of the team, believe me.

I was about to +1 this and say "Wow it's like you worked at Ubi montreal..." Then I saw where you're from.
Ubi Montreal and SE clearly could get married. They're both just as clueless about how to properly make GAMES, and just rely on the selling power of a pretty graphic. (Although they treat still artists like sh*t).

At this point I've been abused enough by both companies (one as an employee, one as a consumer).. I'm glad I have 2 hands to give 2 middle fingers at once.

Edited, Nov 7th 2010 1:29pm by RattyBatty
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#28 Nov 07 2010 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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FFXIV is a wonderful game which can only thrive in the end. They lay the fundament for a brilliant game.


Darn, Pikko doesn't allow flaming other users... but I almost cannot resist! *hnnnng*...
#29 Nov 07 2010 at 2:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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yamers wrote:
at what point did one of the devs say..."this is perfect...UI runs smooth, everything is perfect, game runs amazing lets burn it to a dvd and ship it out"

I also wonder if square enix did ANY market research when they where creating ffxiv...I'm not sure if they even bothered playing ANY of the other MMOs.

I know this thread sounds hateful and ill get torn apart by people enjoying the game, but the truth is square enix has slit their wrist with this one.


They had like 6 months and 10's of thousands of people berating the game for the very same issues that are sinking it in retail. To answer your question, yes they played it, yes they knew a crap ton of of people hated almost everything about it, they are simply stubborn and arrogant.
#30 Nov 07 2010 at 3:13 PM Rating: Default
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Of course they played the game, even more than you can imagine, 'cause they made it. But this is like blaming the cow cause the guy at starbucks forgot to put the milk.

One would thought by this moment people would understand that neither the developers, the testers, art department, programmers, etc, etc are the blame for what the game is lacking, they don't own the company, they don't dictate dates... they are just the workers. Of course they knew the game had flaws and wasn't finish, but guess what? It wasn't their decision to release the game, they just finished what they were told. on a deadline, cause marketing department had another deadline. That's how it works in real life, and you have deadlines. You don't go all heroic and yell to the director of the company "Hey dude, guess what... the game is not finished, give me another year to complete it".

The big guys had to take a decision, we will never know if it was in a rush, if it was the right one, but its already made. They knew the magnitude of the risk and even that in mind, they took it. Throwing the flame from one side to another its not gonna change that.

Now, since the nature of this game in particular, of course they will change things, fix and correct or add what wasn't ready by the release date. That's the whole purpose of the updates and patches. It will take time of course. Its not like you press a magic button, run a magic code and it makes everything work from one day to another. So, just give it some time and stop blaming the people that works hard and its behind this great work.
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#31 Nov 07 2010 at 3:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Like is mentioned in a few posts before me I don't think developers decided to release this game thinking it was perfect. Someone else took that decision. In general in the software business you'll have a deadline and even if the software isn't finished yet it HAS to be released. So what they do they focus on some issues someone decides are the most important ones. The rest will be bug fixes and delivered if the development team had time to fix them.

Edited, Nov 7th 2010 10:36pm by Joxo

Edited, Nov 7th 2010 10:38pm by Joxo
#32 Nov 07 2010 at 4:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Simply saying FFXIV is a mess because it was rushed out the door too soon isn't entirely true. There are some cases where it being rushed out have caused a lot of issues with the game, but most of them are due to awful design by the developers, where all the time in the world wouldn't have made something better.
The UI was not under any time constraints. One of the main issues with it is the amount of redundant, useless menus that need to be gotten rid of.

If they were constrained for time... why would they have made more menus than they needed?

Considering they could have made a much better UI with even less menus than what's in the game it's obvious the UI is a disaster simply because the person who designed it is just horrible at their job, not because they had no time left. They could have spent let's say 3 months (no idea how long it takes to design a UI but whatever) creating something that was intuitive and efficient instead of 3 months creating the worst known UI to man.

Efficiency and ease of use doesn't add on months of development into a UI. In most cases it lowers the time taken to create it. It's like creating a road and instead of making it a straight line someone thought it'd be cool to make it a zig zag shape, adding more time to it's construction and annoying everyone that needs to use the road, even if it gets to the same destination. There's no excuse for this.

As for Tanaka playing the game at events; looking at FFXIV as it is now, do you really think he knows what a good game is supposed to play like? Again, not everything wrong with FFXIV is due to time constraints, that is not the sole reason the game turned out this way. Most of it is due to bad game design. And I'm sure the people who designed it (Tanaka etc.) actually did think what they were putting out was decent enough, even if some things needed more time. Why else would they have created so many things that are this bad in the first place? Because they legitimately thought they were good ideas.
What does that tell us? They're not good developers, so don't just sweep everthing under the rug as time constraints. Good developers given the same amount of time and money would have made a much better game. Unless we're under the assumption 5 years isn't enough time to make a half decent game with the budget they had. If they had 6 more months of dev time would the market wards suddenly transform into an auction house? No, they wanted the wards instead of an auction house. Time had nothing to do with that.

And where are we now? They have to overhaul how many things in FFXIV? Completely rebuild from scratch how many areas of this game come November patch? And people think time constraints are the reason why they need to start over from the beginning on so many things? Design is the reason. If it was simply time they wouldn't need to rebuild anything. Time constraints did make an impact on the quality of this game, yes, but it's all pointless now when the design is the reason they need to rebuild the entire game all over again.
#33 Nov 07 2010 at 5:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think it is becoming quite evident that the game was pushed out approximately 6months-1year prematurely. Considering their recent financial reports, it would seem that SE wasn't doing well financially this year and needed to make a push to get some income. They probably banked on their Fanbois pushing them a stream of steady cash for an unfinished game. They've probably only served to ***** themselves out of a potential fortune. With another 6 months of development or so, this game could have been **** good. They have alienated a lot of hardcore fans, and there may be no coming back from that. I have been a life-long Square Soft fan, and now Square Enix fan, but the intentional premature release of this game makes me lose faith in the company. I don't feel like I can trust them, their word, or their product any longer. In good faith I went out and purchased a new tv, ps3, pc, and ce all for FFXIV. All in good faith that the company was releasing a quality product. I was deceived...we all were. We all wanted to believe, even during a horrible beta release we kept telling ourselves "It's just beta". Unfortunately for us, the "it's just beta" version of FFXIV seems to be all there is.
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#34 Nov 07 2010 at 5:15 PM Rating: Good
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Of course the devs played it.

There was a single motivation in release: get it out the door before WoW Cata.

It was a **** of a gambit. But it failed.
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#35 Nov 07 2010 at 5:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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at what point did one of the devs say..."this is perfect...UI runs smooth, everything is perfect, game runs amazing lets burn it to a dvd and ship it out"


Do you honestly believe the development team ever said or thought that? Did this really deserve an entire thread?

And do you really, sincerely believe that the development team was responsible for the release date?

Have you ever even met anyone on the development team?
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#36 Nov 07 2010 at 5:43 PM Rating: Good
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GoBlastoise wrote:
If they were constrained for time... why would they have made more menus than they needed?

Yeah, that's totally sloppy, however, considering all the game's other problems, it's impossible to speculate how much time the developers actually had to work on the UI specifically. The only thing that's clear about it now is that it works (barely) and functions relatively unbreakably.

The current UI just feels like a barebones working placeholder for the eventual "real" UI.

As far as releasing the game too early, the revenues help fund continued development and as a friend of mine who works in that area noted "happens all the time. main reason are investors and Q4 results"
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#37 Nov 07 2010 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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volta1 wrote:
Of course the devs played it.

There was a single motivation in release: get it out the door before WoW Cata.

It was a **** of a gambit. But it failed.



Actually given what was released this past week, I dont think it had anything to do with cataclysm, its more they were trying to get it out in time to record ship to store copies as revenue for the period.
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#38 Nov 07 2010 at 7:46 PM Rating: Good
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We are really left to see what happens with the first major patch, which will come up in the next few weeks. If they fail to deliver at least a few major fixes, then the lipstick on the pig scenario will start playing out. So the next time anyone thinks about commenting about things wrong with the game for the next few weeks, I would just say hold back and save yourself some stress and effort. See if they actually deliver and make the game more playable. If we don't have results by the end of the month, then it is high time for people to either jump ship or stop complaining.

If you still feel the need to complain, then contact the source of the problem, you know the ones you bought the game from. They most likely will not respond, but at least you sent your opinion.

*I am currently walking the plank of the ship and staring at the ocean below.

Edited, Nov 7th 2010 8:48pm by Parsalyn
#39 Nov 07 2010 at 8:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd love to see one of the devs at SE do a tell all book about the Rapture project and XIV's release. I'm sure there's some good stories going on behind the scenes. Regardless how FFXIV turns out I'd love to know the true story of what the devs and management have been through the past few years. And if they do get the game back on track it'll be interesting to see if a major shift in SE's internal politics due to XIV helps future release quality as well.
#40 Nov 07 2010 at 9:35 PM Rating: Default
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yes devs actually play as they make. But also don't forgot SE had alot of issues trying to beta test the game. Plus the ps3 ram issues. It was too much and had to release it as is knowing they will need to mega fix it after launch. They also know the issues and are gonnsa fix them. ffxi also had a rocky start and 8 yeears later is still a great game with 1 of the best mnmo communities. Though due to either bored WoW players everyone is forgetting the good community and going for more personal gain only. Kinda what i see coming from ffxiv. Alot of complaints are fixed if people communicated, worked together ratger thenm feel they must solo. Also alot of the wards issues could be fixed with shouting and talking to players with retainers. Get to know who owns which retainer. And ask them what and where their retainer is and selling. But I digress.
Yes game makers play as they go to make sure bugs are not in the pre work. They have interanl beta testers and in case of mmo they do outside beta testing. Pretty much stuff happen out of SE control and had to releae it as is they know its not fun as they wanted. But it cost them more holding back since they can fix and redesign stuff with patches.
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#41 Nov 07 2010 at 9:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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660 posts
Docent42 wrote:
As someone working in the game industry and with 7 titles shipped, let me just tell you all this.

On a 200-man team, there's usually only a handful of people other than the testers (and testers test functionality. Sadly, most tester's opinion of what is allowable or not isn't worth sh*t to the dev. team. So they see "Does it work?" and have two answers: "Yes" or "No". There is no "Yes, but it sucks." or "Yes, but it could be faster" option) who actually play the game they're working on. Most of the engineers and artists will simply try their features in a gym area (sandbox), or simply stress test them outside of the game environment. Those who do play their own game are usually praised (or frowned by wasting so much time not "working")

The U.I. lag and the bugs and everything people complain about? Probably features to fix that have been de-prioritized and push-based as post-launch fixes because something else equally important had to be done before ship-date.

And most people in the team who actually care (the designers) will struggle to get the important parts fixed, only to helplessly shrug as the deadlines and task list being shuffled around by the leads and development directors.

It's not a rosy world where every game that ships the door has been given a thumbs up by every member of the team, believe me.


Hi. This is my first post...hurrah..
I'm a Quality Assurance analyst for a small development house. We don't make games, but I'm familiar with the development cycle, so I was taken back by this comment:
Quote:
Sadly, most tester's opinion of what is allowable or not isn't worth sh*t to the dev. team. So they see "Does it work?" and have two answers: "Yes" or "No". There is no "Yes, but it sucks." or "Yes, but it could be faster" option

Either your testing team sucks or they were given terrible requirements. In the QA world we use metrics...a measurement of quality.

Most people don't actively think of these. Let's say you load up the ZAM site. How long does it take to load on the average internet connection? How long *should* it load and be acceptable from a user's standpoint? If google.com took 5 minutes to load you can imagine the user/customer/whatever would be pretty mad about it. It's measurements like these that testers use to ensure quality.

So with a real testing team they should be asking questions like "How long should it take to go from this menu to that menu? How many clicks should it take to perform this certain task?" These are requirements that any QA analyst would need to use to ensure a quality product. If someone gives your testing team a copy and asks "does it boot up?" that's a pretty bad requirement, leading to a bad product. Without proper metrics, it's easy for a testing team to pass the product off as quality considering the requirements don't state *how much* lag should be in the menu (for example).

Sadly, this seems how a good deal of development houses work these days. Instead of their software development cycle being driven by the development team, they let the sales and marketing team run it. This means a deadline is usually set well before the programmers and testers know what's about to hit them, then they're in a rush to complete the project before the arbitrary deadline set by the sales team. When things are rushed, requirements are rushed and sloppy, which causes programmers to write crap code, and testers to pass because the only requirement is that it doesn't crash or blow up. No doubt SE did this. Also, no, the developers DO NOT play their own game. They do what's called "Unit Testing", which is a basic test to make sure a section of code can stand on its own two legs (so to speak). Each dev does this for their own code but rarely testing dependencies (all the code that depends on what they're working on). That's what QA Analysts and beta testers are for!

I'm willing to bet the SE dev team is dreading each day they go into work since the launch.
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#42 Nov 07 2010 at 11:26 PM Rating: Decent
13 posts
volta1 wrote:
Of course the devs played it.

There was a single motivation in release: get it out the door before WoW Cata.

It was a **** of a gambit. But it failed.

Maybe WoW payed SE a substantial amount of money to get this game released in order to boost sales for Cata lol
#43 Nov 08 2010 at 1:51 AM Rating: Good
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1,949 posts
reptiletim wrote:
Either your testing team sucks or they were given terrible requirements. In the QA world we use metrics...a measurement of quality.

Sadly, this is from someone who worked with 2 different companies and 3 different out-of-office QA boxes. I'm afraid QA analysts aren't as common (and probably affordable) as companies wishes them to be.

I know good testers exist. I'm afraid I've long tried to find the rare pearls and instead I just give my best and play my own games, and try to point out what needs to be fixed and such. It's pretty hard to ask about a polish items when the engineers have dev. tasks all the way till the release date, though.
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#44 Nov 08 2010 at 3:53 AM Rating: Good
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15,053 posts
bsphil wrote:
Rather than say "oh yeah this UI is fantastic we're all set" they probably said something more along the lines of "close enough this will do".

As easy as it is to blame Wada for pushing the game out too soon, this does not absolve the developers themselves. They also spent 80% of the time working on the disaster that is Crystal Tools.


It's very obvious that they were in way, way over their heads in regards to developing a technically current graphics engine. They should have just licensed an outside engine because from a technical perspective Crystal Tools is 2006 engine that runs way slower than it should on modern hardware.

It's telling that SE's next engine "Luminous" is going to be based on Eidos's code rather than anything SE has written themselves.

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 6:05am by Lobivopis
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Final Fantasy XI 12-14-11 Update wrote:
Adjust the resolution of menus.
The main screen resolution for "FINAL FANTASY XI" is dependent on the "Overlay Graphics Resolution" setting.
If the Overlay Graphics Resolution is set higher than the Menu Resolution, menus will be automatically resized.


I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
#45 Nov 08 2010 at 7:26 AM Rating: Good
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660 posts
Docent I hear what you're saying. Even where I work the QA isn't taken as seriously as it should be. I would go so far as to say this game is a good reflection of SE's commitment to quality.

A proper QA department reports only to the CEO and not only provides analysis on software but also company SOP's and production. A good analogy would be a Toyota assembly line. When the Toyota quality team finds a defect they can push the big red STOP button to stop production entirely until quality is restored (ok its just an example). SE either doesnt have this button (figuratively) or only lets the CEO use it... and clearly someone needed to press it this time around.

It's odd but it looks like SE has been operating like some mom and pop development house in rural Georgia or something. Don't their games make millions? Where's all the money going?
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#46 Nov 08 2010 at 7:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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602 posts
Some people claim "oh the dev team wasn't happy either, this was obviously released before being ready" BUT have you considered that some things in the UI defy common sense and HAD to be coded?
All the confirm windows that pop when crafting something for example. Someone had to actually sit down, and say "hey, a window is missing here, let me code it".
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FFXI: Dashiel. (Asura) Puppetmaster.
FFXIV: Majidah Sihaam. (Besaid)
Marauder, Weaver & Alchemist.

#47 Nov 08 2010 at 8:20 AM Rating: Decent
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164 posts
This game has a tonne of flaws in it. Some I blame on the execs for releasing it to early, but most of the problems as design issues, and I blame the devs.


#48 Nov 08 2010 at 1:52 PM Rating: Decent
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660 posts
MajidahSihaam wrote:
Some people claim "oh the dev team wasn't happy either, this was obviously released before being ready" BUT have you considered that some things in the UI defy common sense and HAD to be coded?
All the confirm windows that pop when crafting something for example. Someone had to actually sit down, and say "hey, a window is missing here, let me code it".


You're probably right, a developer most likely did knowingly put those menu screens in. Programmers typically put in lots of extra screens for debug purposes, then remove when it ships. It's entirely possible that we're seeing some still in because they weren't given enough time to remove it before it went live. We just have no way to know for sure whats debug or design. It's still a problem either way.
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#49 Nov 08 2010 at 7:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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437 posts
MajidahSihaam wrote:
Some people claim "oh the dev team wasn't happy either, this was obviously released before being ready" BUT have you considered that some things in the UI defy common sense and HAD to be coded?
All the confirm windows that pop when crafting something for example. Someone had to actually sit down, and say "hey, a window is missing here, let me code it".


Allow me to expand on your thoughts.

Someone had to look at the crafting recipes and say "Yep, making this lvl 8 <insert craft profession here> tool require an item that requires <some other craft-- perhaps even the same one lvl 20> to make is a brilliant idea! They won't need this level 8 tool upgrade to actually GET to lvl 20... Oh not at all!
(the basic arrow shafts to make the level 1 arrows for archers are a lvl 19 carpentry synth. It takes a lvl 18 blacksmith to make a hammer head for the level 8 blacksmith tool upgrade. A COPPER albemic for alchemists is a lvl 8 armorer synth, but it requires BRASS rivets to make which are made by a lvl 14 armorer, etc...)

Someone had to think: Wow! Having random skill ups to progress in your class is such a great idea! It will be fun going around and getting PhyXP while not really making any progress on your character because the RNG dictates that "THOU SHALT NOT GET ANY SKILL UPS THIS BATTLE... OR THE NEXT... OR THE NEXT...!" Even if you are on a leve with Guardian Favor up and running...

Someone had to think: We should make leve quest mobs run away and get friends. Then when that solo player runs up to them 3-4 friends of the mob spawn and all kick the snot out of the player so they die horribly! Woot!

Someone had to think: Hey, this is a level 10-15 zone for mobs. Nice tight areas hard for people to get around. Wouldn't it just be awesome to have a few (read: 2-3 every 10 feet) 20-25 lvl aggressive mobs littered in these narrow passages to kill the players and prevent them from doing their levequests?

Someone had to think: Naw, people don't need a Looking for Party flag so parties can find them...

Someone had to think: Awww... players don't need to sort their inventories. It's far more interesting to look through 80 different items to find the one you actually want!

Do I need to go on?
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行く河の流れは絶えずしてしかも元の水にあらず。よどみに浮かぶ泡沫はかつ消えかつ結びて久しくとどまりたる例なし世の中にある人と住みかも全くのごとき。 -方丈記
#50 Nov 08 2010 at 9:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
Thayos wrote:
Quote:
at what point did one of the devs say..."this is perfect...UI runs smooth, everything is perfect, game runs amazing lets burn it to a dvd and ship it out"


Do you honestly believe the development team ever said or thought that? Did this really deserve an entire thread?

And do you really, sincerely believe that the development team was responsible for the release date?

Have you ever even met anyone on the development team?


Not being a **** to you Thayos, I just want to ask you about this.

From reading the OP it sounds like he's asking if they said at all that the game was good on those points and ready for release.

If this does not deserve a thread then what exactly does? I don't see a sticky specifically saying what we are allowed to post about other than general topics about FFXIV.

If he's asking a rhetorically or honestly about these things I can tell from his post that he has not met the dev team.

Are you flaming the OP?

Once again, I don't know what other kind of disclaimer I can put on this but this is not an attack, just an honest question to you Thayos.



Edited, Nov 8th 2010 10:06pm by LordAshal

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 10:08pm by LordAshal
#51 Nov 08 2010 at 9:15 PM Rating: Good
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136 posts
The issue is how inaccurate SE thought their users would perceive the game. Clearly the dev's don't play any WOW which i personally think is why FFXIV is so interesting. I guess from their point of view the game looks okay. If you look at the reviews and interviews on the collectors edition disk its clear that the devs and produces are caught off guard by the early release of FFXIV and are away of how incomplete the game is.

Regardless I think that march is plenty of time for the devs to work out a game that really gives console players a good shot at an MMO.
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