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#1 Nov 08 2010 at 8:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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I enjoy this game. I really do. And it's beautiful. The character models are stunning and realistic, the weather effects are spot-on, cities and magnificent, then I step out into the greatness of nature, and am blown away by the sheer size and scope of the world they've created.

And yet, I really have no urge to explore. Why?

In FFXI it was always exciting to see what the next zone I'd visit would be like. It filled me with a childlike sense of wonder that this game simply doesn't instill. and I think I know why.

Exploring is pointless in this game, because there's nothing to discover, aesthetically and environmentally speaking. I've been to every aetheryte camp in the game, and I've seen it all. I've seen it all over and over again, because everywhere I go looks exactly the same.
Walking from Ul'dah to Camp Black Brush gives you a taste of almost everything the zone has to offer. This wouldn't be so bad, except the zones in FFXIV are the size of regions from FFXI. When I go through Thanlan, it feels like I've walked through Gustaberg, and when I was about to zone into Konschtat Highlands, it ported me back to the beginning and made me do it again.

the Black Shroud is Zi'Tah, multiplied to infinity and continued into the depths of forever. La Noscea feels like Konschtat or La'Theine, except it feels like it never ends. Coerthas is the same way. Mor Dhona's not as bad, because it's an interesting zone, and it's not quite as big as the others, but it's still pretty irritating.

There's no real danger involved in getting from place to place either. As long as you stay on the road, nothing will attack you. All you see are star marmots and rats. In FFXI, getting from Bastok to San D'Oria was risky, Bastok to Jueno was dangerous, and Bastok to Windurst was downright difficult. But it was fun, because there were so many sights to see along the way. I remember the Crag of Dem appearing on my horizon for the first time. I remember the sun glaring off the sand in Valkurm Dunes on the way to Selbina. I remember dodging Quadavs in Rolanberry, and tigers in Jugner. I remember one of the lines from the Crag of Mea arching over the Meriphataud Mountains, and I remember entering the hub of the world, Jueno, for the first time, and feeling like "Wow, so this is the big city?"

The only real "Wow" moment I've had so far in FFXIV was, "Wow. For place called 'The Black Shroud' this place sure is green." But that wow wore off by the time I made it to Camp Tranquil, and realized that the mighty Twelveswood was just a series of repeating tunnels covered in moss.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is, FFXIV's zones, as they are, are simply too much of the same. I understand some copying and pasting is necessary to cut down on development time and costs, but it should not be noticeable, let alone glaringly obvious. I tell how boring aand repetitive the zones are just by looking at the maps. They need some variation. I'm willing to give SE time to fix it, but I doubt they will. I just hope that future zones are either smaller, or more varied.

TLDR: Waaaaaah, copypasta'd terrain.
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#2 Nov 08 2010 at 9:06 AM Rating: Decent
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All the zones in FFXIV don't look like the 3 City Regions that you're describing. There are other zones, and FFXI was similar, in that Cape Terrigan looked like The Dunes, and other zones shared key design aspects of one another. Dungeons had the most variety in FFXI, and while I've only been in one in FFXIV...it was unique from a design aspect IMHO.

It's very early in the exploratory life of FFXIV. The Sarutabaruta zones in FFXIV were mirrors of each other. Consider the City Regions of FFXIV the starter zones of FFXI. I've seen Screenshots of some other zones in FFXIV that definitely do not look like the starting zones.
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#3 Nov 08 2010 at 9:11 AM Rating: Decent
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My suggestion is to look forward to everything you haven't seen yet. They did not go out of their way to impress us with exotic locations yet. They will/should come. Out of all the things they did not complete...I have a feeling they left the more interesting areas hidden and will slowly float them out when they have the core game issues taken care of.

Another thing...the cities are full of closed doors and blocked paths. These will eventually be opened for questing and exploring.

But for now...yea, pretty bland. I think SE is hoping everyone shows some patience. We shouldn't have to...but I guess it should be expected on an incomplete MMO that's been out for less than 2 months.

Copy paste - I'll bet they wont be pulling more of that going forward since they have a better understanding the limits that the servers can hold. One should hope.
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#4 Nov 08 2010 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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Ryneguy wrote:
All the zones in FFXIV don't look like the 3 City Regions that you're describing. There are other zones, and FFXI was similar, in that Cape Terrigan looked like The Dunes, and other zones shared key design aspects of one another. Dungeons had the most variety in FFXI, and while I've only been in one in FFXIV...it was unique from a design aspect IMHO.

It's very early in the exploratory life of FFXIV. The Sarutabaruta zones in FFXIV were mirrors of each other. Consider the City Regions of FFXIV the starter zones of FFXI. I've seen Screenshots of some other zones in FFXIV that definitely do not look like the starting zones.


I'm not saying the problem was nonexsistant in FFXI. Far from it. but consider this:

FFXIV has 5 main zones or regions now. 5. Each of those zones is the size of an entire region from FFXI, but contains nothing but the exact same copy and pasted terrain, rotated around and grouped in slightly different ways. And each of the starter zones, from what I understand, have one or two dungeons each, which I'll admit, I haven't explored very much.

In FFXI, there were 4 distinctly different environments just between Bastok and Jueno. Gustaberg > Konschtat > Pashow > Rolanberry.

Then there were 4 distinctly different environments between San D'Oria and Jueno. Ronfaure > La'Theine > Jugner > Batallia.

Then there were 4 distinctly different environments between Windurst and Jueno. Sarutabaruta > Tahrongi > Meriphataud > Sauromugue.

Out of those twelve zones, Gustaberg, Ronfaure, and Sarutabaruta are split into two smallish zones to help server loads. Konschtat and La Theine are similar, but different enough to be easily discernible. Tahrongi, Meriphataud, and Sauromugue are all pretty similar, but they each have identifying landmarks and features that make them iconic.

Then there are Valkurm Dunes, Buburimu Peninsula, and tons of dungeons throughout these zones.

There was so much more variety in FFXI. This game just feels like a huge step backwards in so many departments it's painful.

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#5 Nov 08 2010 at 10:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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re
Ryneguy wrote:
All the zones in FFXIV don't look like the 3 City Regions that you're describing. There are other zones, and FFXI was similar, in that Cape Terrigan looked like The Dunes, and other zones shared key design aspects of one another. Dungeons had the most variety in FFXI, and while I've only been in one in FFXIV...it was unique from a design aspect IMHO.

It's very early in the exploratory life of FFXIV. The Sarutabaruta zones in FFXIV were mirrors of each other. Consider the City Regions of FFXIV the starter zones of FFXI. I've seen Screenshots of some other zones in FFXIV that definitely do not look like the starting zones.


Valkurm and Terrigan are supposed to look similar because they are so close they are pretty much the same beach.
#6 Nov 08 2010 at 11:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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ScaryTrees wrote:
re
Ryneguy wrote:
All the zones in FFXIV don't look like the 3 City Regions that you're describing. There are other zones, and FFXI was similar, in that Cape Terrigan looked like The Dunes, and other zones shared key design aspects of one another. Dungeons had the most variety in FFXI, and while I've only been in one in FFXIV...it was unique from a design aspect IMHO.

It's very early in the exploratory life of FFXIV. The Sarutabaruta zones in FFXIV were mirrors of each other. Consider the City Regions of FFXIV the starter zones of FFXI. I've seen Screenshots of some other zones in FFXIV that definitely do not look like the starting zones.


Valkurm and Terrigan are supposed to look similar because they are so close they are pretty much the same beach.


This is a good point. And you could argue that the large zones in XIV can use this excuse too, but it's just too much.

And even among Valkurm/Terrigan/Valley of Sorrows, the zones have different terrains and feels. They don't feel like you're seeing the same stuff again and again.

Maybe it's just the enormity of the zones overwhelming me. I've figured out how to identify the zone lines, but I'd still like a notification when I go to a new zone. Example: I go through the tunnel/canyon between Black Brush and Drybone, and it says something along the lines of "You have entered Eastern Thanalan" or "You are now in Camp Drybone Territory."
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#7 Nov 08 2010 at 11:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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I sort of agree with this.

If you can imagine, a zone like Thanalan is equal to Sauromugue, Meriphataud and Tahrongi put together. But unfortunately, Thanalan is still boring as **** with no remarkable features, cool alcoves, and anything. Leave out copy-pasted terrain for a moment. Thanalan is still nothing but dry, rocky, sandy environment through and through. Tahrongi had cool Zilart structures, Meriph that Oztroja and Doragora's spine, and Sauromugue had a lot of ruins, one way cliffs, etc.

Not to mention monster placement in FFXIV is terrible, but that's something that will be fixed soon.
#8 Nov 08 2010 at 12:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wolfums wrote:
I sort of agree with this.

If you can imagine, a zone like Thanalan is equal to Sauromugue, Meriphataud and Tahrongi put together. But unfortunately, Thanalan is still boring as **** with no remarkable features, cool alcoves, and anything. Leave out copy-pasted terrain for a moment. Thanalan is still nothing but dry, rocky, sandy environment through and through. Tahrongi had cool Zilart structures, Meriph that Oztroja and Doragora's spine, and Sauromugue had a lot of ruins, one way cliffs, etc.

Not to mention monster placement in FFXIV is terrible, but that's something that will be fixed soon.


Yeah, I hit on that somewhere up there. There are no landmarks to wonder about. Nothing mysterious or foreboding that I can actually get to. I've heard there are some neat ruins in The Black Shroud, but not much aside from that.

I could go almost anywhere without my map in FFXI because the zones had recognizable landmarks. I'd be hopelessly lost without a map in XIV.

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 1:19pm by Ruinaru
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#9 Nov 08 2010 at 12:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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I do agree that the game is sort of lacking in the way of landmarks right now, but I don't think that's the only thing stifling exploration. I think that the game needs other incentives that encourage people to get out and away from the cities and aetherytes. Right now there's little reason to ever stray too far away from them.

There are a variety of possible incentives to provide:

- interesting landmarks and unique geographic features
- an exp bonus for discovering a new area
- area-specific NM's
- discoverable items (randomized hidden chests, remote dungeons, distant quests)
- unique gathering spots and rewards
- good camping spots
- random NPC encounters (something akin to those you'd find in Fallout 3, for example: traveling salesmen, aggressive enemies, or quest-givers)

Just a few examples. I would particularly like the last one. Wouldn't it be cool to stumble upon a caravan offering cheap goods from afar? Or an NPC who'll wager gil on a race with you? Or a group of assassins that ambush your party?

I enjoyed much of my exploration in FFXI because there was always something worth finding at the end of it: an item, a landmark, a sweet camping spot. Even sometimes just a unique experience. I just don't see such incentives in FFXIV yet.

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 1:57pm by Eske
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#10 Nov 08 2010 at 1:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think SE failed to perceive what audience was going to flock to this game.

They repeatedly stated that they were making a game that was more accessible to the casual gamer.
Then stated they were making a MMO that current FFXI fans would enjoy.

They missed the mark on both counts.

So from the casual perspective, knowing where to go is cut and dry. You pick up a leve appropriate for your rank and if you have the camp you teleport. No running through repeated terrain. You get in, you get out.
But what was implemented was a system where you used fast travel sparingly, and the leves offer little reward other than banking gil, So you are nearly forced to run through this matchy matchy area to adventure in a samey samey area, just higher ranked mobs.
Although as you progress you have different choices of where you conduct your leves. outside or in a dungeon. so now you really have 6 environments to adventure in.

What they missed for the FFXI gamer was the sense of discovery. I havent really found any discernible landmarks in the game. No interesting nooks to uncover.
I remember enjoying the view of the waterfall in misareaux coast. Or coming out a cave in Yuhtunga jungle to reveal a valley leading to sea serpent grotto. These moments are missing from FFXIV.


Will SE go back and recreate these areas to be more varied from camp to camp? I don't think so. Will Future areas be more palatable for gamers looking for a greater depth of ecosystems within one region? Yes I think future areas you will see areas start out as a savanna and maybe work its way to a prairie before zoning to a new region consisting of foot hills which transition into snowy covered mountains. I think zones will be smaller and have a greater attention to detail about the repeated use of assets.

What SE put out while no where near complete, is a functional area for players to rank one - fifty until they can get their act together and deliver a more finished game.

I'm enjoying my time in FFXIV, I do wish it were held of for another 6 months. But I know it can only get better from here on out. (I don't believe SE will terminate service, it's a flagship title, taking it off the market will undoubtedly do more harm than good to the SE brand and the FF franchise.)
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#11 Nov 08 2010 at 1:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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All this talk of FFXI zones makes me nostalgic.


My hope is that chocobos, once released, can run really really fast.
#12 Nov 08 2010 at 1:10 PM Rating: Good
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Wolfums wrote:
I sort of agree with this.

If you can imagine, a zone like Thanalan is equal to Sauromugue, Meriphataud and Tahrongi put together. But unfortunately, Thanalan is still boring as **** with no remarkable features, cool alcoves, and anything.


Have you explored all the undercave sections - gotten to scorpion keep yet? Or gotten near the towers by camp Blue Fog? I find each zone actually has a lot of hidden gems. The key is they are hidden - if you just run the same roads over and over, yeah - you will miss them.

Screenshot





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#13 Nov 08 2010 at 1:14 PM Rating: Good
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Towers on the horizon:

Screenshot


Fishing at clearwater:

Clearwater is a grade 8 fishing point


Waterfall in the shroud:

I got to see this waterfall after escaping the imptrap


Stone fort as I head to dragonhead:

A stone fort on the way to Camp Dragonhead


I've seen a lot of other cool sights but didn't photograph them - the point is there is tons to see.
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When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.


#14 Nov 08 2010 at 1:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, I have seen those towers. Haven't managed to make it to Scorpion Keep yet, though.

I'll admit. There are are a few places here and there that are neat. But they're few and far between. And pretty inaccessible.
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#15 Nov 08 2010 at 1:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus the Vile wrote:
Wolfums wrote:
I sort of agree with this.

If you can imagine, a zone like Thanalan is equal to Sauromugue, Meriphataud and Tahrongi put together. But unfortunately, Thanalan is still boring as **** with no remarkable features, cool alcoves, and anything.


Have you explored all the undercave sections - gotten to scorpion keep yet? Or gotten near the towers by camp Blue Fog? I find each zone actually has a lot of hidden gems. The key is they are hidden - if you just run the same roads over and over, yeah - you will miss them.

[img=181944]





I think the problem w/ hidden gems is that if the initial/majority of the enviornment is boring and samey, no one cares enough to search every inch of said boring landscape. If the zone were more interesting, yeah players would be stumbling round caves and gettin 1shotted by mobs more. I will admit thats a pretty cool lookin Reactor thing, but how long was it of you stumblin around till u found that? And were you really captivated by the landscape to forge on ahead and explore every nook and cranny?

I did explore quite abit, didnt see those reactors, but then again i tried to avoid places w/ Guivres gaurding the entrance or antlings etc.
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#16 Nov 08 2010 at 1:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Sounds like too many people were expecting this game to be another FFXI. Look around every FFXI zone you will see copy and paste in probably all of them (It's been almost 3 years since I quit playing so I have no idea how new zones are). Difference is, XIV's zones are as large as a region in XI so the parts of the map that are copied and pasted 3-5 times seem so much worse than the 1-2 per zone in XI. As Olorinus pointed out, the unique features ARE there, you just need to look for them a little harder because of how large the maps are.
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#17 Nov 08 2010 at 2:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Cadant wrote:
Difference is, XIV's zones are as large as a region in XI so the parts of the map that are copied and pasted 3-5 times seem so much worse than the 1-2 per zone in XI.


3-5 times wouldn't be so bad, try 12-15 or more maybe. Theres areas in Thanalan you can stand in one spot, rotate your camera and see the same hightmaps copy/pasted 8 or 9 times. The areas around Gridania are even worse. Same waterfalls, creeks, logs used well over a dozen times.
#18 Nov 08 2010 at 2:37 PM Rating: Good
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Cadant wrote:
Sounds like too many people were expecting this game to be another FFXI. Look around every FFXI zone you will see copy and paste in probably all of them (It's been almost 3 years since I quit playing so I have no idea how new zones are). Difference is, XIV's zones are as large as a region in XI so the parts of the map that are copied and pasted 3-5 times seem so much worse than the 1-2 per zone in XI. As Olorinus pointed out, the unique features ARE there, you just need to look for them a little harder because of how large the maps are.


That's exactly the problem. Yeah, FFXI had some copy pasted terrain. Every game does. But FFXI didn't rely on it so heavily, nor did it use the same features over such vast expanses.

Quote:
so the parts of the map that are copied and pasted 3-5 times seem so much worse than the 1-2 per zone in XI.


Yeah, 3-5 times? Try again. I'd say it's easy to find 10, 15, maybe 20 examples of the same exact terrain pieces in a zone. Just by looking at the map. Might be harder to tell in-game,because they've kinda sorta tried camouflaging it with foliage, etc. But even if you don't notice it outright, you get a feeling of deja vu walking through each and every one of these zones.
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#19 Nov 08 2010 at 2:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Do people get this upset when they see the same geographical features in real life? I can stand in my back yard and see a tree on top of a hill on either side of my house. Go stand in a desert and i bet you can see similar looking cacti/rocks etc. in a 100 yard radius.

No, this isn't a realism in game post, it just seems like people are getting upset over trivial things. Maybe I'm playing the game wrong or something, but I don't really care enough to go looking for parts of the map that are the same as others, and because of that I don't even notice it. It doesn't in any way break the game, nor does it break MY immersion in the game. If you go around looking for this stuff sure it might get annoying. Call it lazy or whatever you will, but maybe your expectations from SE were too high to begin with :P

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 3:56pm by Cadant
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#20 Nov 08 2010 at 4:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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This thread reminded me that the clouds in Super Mario Bros are actually re-colored bushes.
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#21 Nov 08 2010 at 4:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Cadant wrote:
Do people get this upset when they see the same geographical features in real life? I can stand in my back yard and see a tree on top of a hill on either side of my house. Go stand in a desert and i bet you can see similar looking cacti/rocks etc. in a 100 yard radius.

No, this isn't a realism in game post, it just seems like people are getting upset over trivial things. Maybe I'm playing the game wrong or something, but I don't really care enough to go looking for parts of the map that are the same as others, and because of that I don't even notice it. It doesn't in any way break the game, nor does it break MY immersion in the game. If you go around looking for this stuff sure it might get annoying. Call it lazy or whatever you will, but maybe your expectations from SE were too high to begin with :P

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 3:56pm by Cadant


Eh? The amount of copying and pasting is beyond that of other comparable games. Isn't that the standard to which FFXIV should be held? If one's expectations are too high for the game, simply because they think it should meet what's become the industry standard, well, that'd be pretty sad. I don't know what to tell you.

I'm not saying that the copy/paste is a big deal. It doesn't really phase me much at all. But it's not up to snuff, so why make excuses for it? No, it's not a big problem. But it doesn't speak well of the game that one would have to lower their expectations beyond current standards in order to be satisfied with the product.
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#22 Nov 08 2010 at 6:10 PM Rating: Good
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Just feels like they'll be able to go back later and add in many zones between the city zones. Perhaps this was so people can actually move between cities. The further you get from cities the less defended and area will be, hence it may be more dangerous for us at our levels.
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#23 Nov 08 2010 at 6:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Toukai wrote:

I think the problem w/ hidden gems is that if the initial/majority of the enviornment is boring and samey, no one cares enough to search every inch of said boring landscape. If the zone were more interesting, yeah players would be stumbling round caves and gettin 1shotted by mobs more. I will admit thats a pretty cool lookin Reactor thing, but how long was it of you stumblin around till u found that? And were you really captivated by the landscape to forge on ahead and explore every nook and cranny?

I did explore quite abit, didnt see those reactors, but then again i tried to avoid places w/ Guivres gaurding the entrance or antlings etc.


Well it started with me having to go to blue fog for an alchemy leve ... so I did it at lunch time one day because I had logged out in the mines zone after doing R30 leves the night before so it seemed like I would have enough time at lunch to run to camp and do my leve... and yeah once I got there I noticed the towers in the distance and I was curious so when I got home after work I decided to see if I could get closer (and pick up a few more nodes on the way).

So yeah, I was captivated, and I really want to understand how they fit into the story.

There was only 1 tight spot to get there with a bird in a restricted spot - I just slept the bird with a pot and ran by. There were two easy to avoid peistes further along and that was it.

Edited, Nov 8th 2010 4:32pm by Olorinus
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When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.


#24 Nov 08 2010 at 6:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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I still can't get over how... blocky the maps are. FFXI had some natural-looking maps for outdoor zones. FFXIV looks like they were all drawn on grid paper.
#25 Nov 08 2010 at 6:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanalan is very varied. How about those areas in the holes towards the sea port in western Thanalan? How about the valleys and narrow paths heading up to Blue Fog? Broken Water has its own unique features too, you seen the river yet? Black Brush is dull because it's the starting area.

Shroud and La Noscea have a lot of unique features too. Can you see that big open area in the northeast of the map? It's the biggest open area in the region. What is awaiting us there? Have you seen the marshland in the west forest yet? Or the ruins in the north forest?

Every zone within the regions seem to have unique features that define them, surrounded by a lot of boring and often re-used features. Perhaps they could have made the zones smaller but then there's less mobs to go around when there's 5k online players per server. Sure the game might never become that popular but that's the vision SE had.

You will visit these remote locations near camps, whether it be class quests or NMs. Just today I was dragged far east of Camp Tranquil to where the lake is for the rank 30 GSM quest.
#26 Nov 08 2010 at 7:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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This is all dead on, and I'll add that the dungeons attached to zones are seriously lacking also.

The sad thing is that there's almost no chance of this changing. Apart from Cataclysm, who's ever heard of an MMO having its zones redesigned after launch? Not to mention this has to be pretty near the bottom of the priority pile for the developers.

If it ever happens, it'll probably happen with a major expansion. It would sure be nice to see it with the first expansion rather than the fifth.
#27 Nov 09 2010 at 10:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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We can agree that there are a few cool things hidden throughout the world. We've got the towers in Thanalan, the ruins in the Black Shroud. Mor Dhona in general. But there are still only 5 environments/climates/biospheres. They're just too large and too much of the same. The "hidden gems" are nice and cool, but they're floating in a sea of sameness that just isn't fun to trudge through.
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#28 Nov 09 2010 at 12:02 PM Rating: Good
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Agreed agreed, and agree some more.

However, the only saving grace is......... its only November. Now come Nov of 2011 and we have the same non content then I would get worried lol.

As of now Im fine with doing my grunt work so that when they release cool new things to explore I will be lvld and ready.

Right now Im just lvling everything to 20 so that I can join all the guilds and have tons of npc linkpearls. :)

Chocobos and Airships would make me happiest from a travel stand point.

Ishgard would be nice too as well as all the townships like Aleport and Wineport to actually have npcs actually sell things instead of talking like they have a shop but wont open. Not to mention some of those places have crafting signs like you could have a guild. Might be the group crafted stuff like boats and cannons and such.

Im excited for whats to come and one day we will all be just as happy with ffxiv as we were with ffxi and others.
#29 Nov 09 2010 at 12:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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Cadant wrote:

Sounds like too many people were expecting this game to be another FFXI. Look around every FFXI zone you will see copy and paste in probably all of them (It's been almost 3 years since I quit playing so I have no idea how new zones are). Difference is, XIV's zones are as large as a region in XI so the parts of the map that are copied and pasted 3-5 times seem so much worse than the 1-2 per zone in XI. As Olorinus pointed out, the unique features ARE there, you just need to look for them a little harder because of how large the maps are.


I actually did look around in FFXI, and recently too. Like, as recently as last night. You know what I didn't see? Exact copy paste like I do in XIV. If they did copy and paste, it's indiscernible and the landmarks that they added negates anything that might have been reused. It could be because the maps are smaller than XIV's maps, or it could be that the designers just cared more about making something unique.

I'd like to see someone post some of these copy\pastes of FFXI so we can see whether or not it really is on the same scale that XIV is (and XIV is copy pasta'd to an obscene amount).

Honestly, I would rather they have made the zones a tad smaller knowing that this was the alternative.
#30 Nov 09 2010 at 10:32 PM Rating: Default
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XI is full of copy and paste. All those crags look the same, those holes in La Theine all look the same, those little caves in Batalia look the same, the list could go on. I've not played for a long time so I'm not the best one to point it out.
#31 Nov 10 2010 at 12:01 AM Rating: Decent
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This is unfortunately not a true workaround to the repetitive nature of some of the landscapes in XIV, but I've found that the game is much more visually appealing if you look up-ish. There's no better example than The Black Shroud. I grew to dislike that region during OB. It just didn't really seem all that "forest-y" to me and the repetitious terrain blocks stood out more than I might have liked. On my way through there the other day, however, I happened to orient my camera to look from the ground up over my character and I have to say I was actually shocked at how much of a difference it made aesthetically. I've since done the same thing in Thanalan and La Noscea.

Obviously it's not practical if you're running around looking for things to fight (or even trying to avoid things you don't want to fight but that want to fight you) but it is a nice break on the eyes after a while. The vistas in XIV really are quite good from what I've seen of them thus far. It's just the close-up view you get when you're focused on what's directly in front of you that I think people tend to get a little bored with.
#32 Nov 10 2010 at 1:48 AM Rating: Decent
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I did a fair bit of exploring in beta, so this time round it wasnt new to me. However I do feel that the chance of exploration is better in this than in FFXI because of the size of the maps it is easier to avoid aggro from mobs that are too powerful for yourself. The only thing putting me off is the copy-paste unoriginality across the map, which is obvious in gridania/black shroud. At first I was put off exploring Limsa's region La Noscea because it was hard to discover which tunnel or cave would lead to which village, although I have now braved that hurdle and like the beaches in that area which remind me of FFXI's level 18 sub-job quests :)
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#33 Nov 10 2010 at 8:32 AM Rating: Good
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This thread is making me miss FFXI too much. I quit years ago, but my attachment is still strong enough that I still have my account and character.
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#34 Nov 10 2010 at 8:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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XenorVerdix wrote:

XI is full of copy and paste. All those crags look the same, those holes in La Theine all look the same, those little caves in Batalia look the same, the list could go on. I've not played for a long time so I'm not the best one to point it out.


The crags all look the same, yes - but they were also meant to. The Crag structures were man (zilart?) made, so it makes sense that they all look the same. That's like complaining that all the Outposts look the same, or all the Crystal Save Points look the same. They look the same so you recognize them as you walk by.

I actually studied the map in La Theine last night and the holes aren't at all the same. They aren't even the same shapes just turned around - there are 6 crevasses and each was carefully crafted to have its own unique shape, features, and paths.

The caves in Batallia are also man-made, and they don't all open up from copy-pasted hills. Batallia is probably one of the best examples of different looking landmarks. Take the large set of mountains near the entrance to Jueno and the large set of mountains that is near where the new Maw for WoTG is. That structure could have been EASILY just cut and pasted, but it wasn't. In fact, I took a look at some of the other maps that had similar mountains - like Gustaberg where you can actually climb the mountains, and those were all individually crafted as well.

Now, that's not to say that they never used any copy-pasting. Since I was specifically looking for it, I did notice that trees tended to repeat themselves (however they were always in close proximity to one another) and if you look closely at the river in Ronfaure the little fishes that swim by look the same - but in general anything that wasn't considered a "man-made" structure was uniquely crafted to give the feel of a "real" world. Little things like a grove with 2 copy-pasted palm trees and tiny fish are forgivable.

FFXIV's design has far too many "natural" formations repeating themselves to make the world feel alive, and they aren't little ones, either.

I just wish they had sacrificed some of the size for a little more detail.
#35 Nov 10 2010 at 9:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Towers on the horizon:
Fishing at clearwater:
Waterfall in the shroud:
Stone fort as I head to dragonhead:
I've seen a lot of other cool sights but didn't photograph them - the point is there is tons to see.


It pains me to say it, but "seeing" things like stone forts and distant towers makes me very depressed. They are all sealed up tight and the best you can hope for is a placeholder NPC standing by to give you a quest in 2012.

A few years back I went from FFXI to the LOTRO beta. LOTRO in beta had hundreds of the things you described, and you could actually enter them. Every tower, every little cave, the barrow downs, the fallen cities... they were wonderful and unique and all were fully functional. NPCs in towns fed you stories of local lore and sent you out on quests to find them, or enemies in the zone itself could drop a key item that could trigger a quest.

There were also exploration deeds for each region, so wandering around seeing waterfalls and old stone monuments would be rewarding (like find the 7 landmarks in a given zone, and you will have completed a deed called "The History of the Dunedain" and get a small wisdom buff.) This feature was like a subtle "thank you" to the world builders who put so much care and attention into shaping the game world as it encouraged players to wander off the roads and explore.

This is what I always considered to be FFXIVs greatest fault. I can live without an AH, I can deal with a sluggish AI, but I cannot forgive this barren world they gave us at launch.
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