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EDITORIAL: Did the extended free trial hurt FFXIV?Follow

#1 Nov 15 2010 at 10:05 PM Rating: Excellent
While replying to a recent thread asking what people would do if given the keys to Square Enix, it occurred to me that extending the game's free trial period by an additional month may have been a bad idea. I must be crazy to think that, right? Maybe. Or, maybe not.

I fully expect to see some charged responses in this thread, because I know this is a sensitive topic. I'm also aware that not everyone who hates the game (or isn't satisfied with it) has expressed themselves through flaming, bickering, etc.

That said, you can check out my editorial here.

Please discuss it here. I'm eager to see your reactions.
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#2 Nov 15 2010 at 10:10 PM Rating: Good
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I personally think the free month was almost mandatory. I think where they have screwed up is not having the update ready before the free trial ends. If you expect me to pay more money on top of what I've already invested in this game, I'm going to need more than what you SAY you are going to do. You SAID the game would be far improved from the beta at launch and it wasn't. I don't think the free month hurt them, I think not having the free play overlap is what will really hurt them. They are going to lose a HUGE portion of subs on the 20th, and some of those people are frustrated to the point of never coming back.

Just a quick addition. I've been keepin pretty steady tabs on the server population at peak NA times on Kashuan.

At launch NA peak was around 1500, JP peak was around 2000. Last week NA was around 850, JP around 1400. Today: It peaked at 550 during NA time, and when I woke up this morning it was at a flat 900 during normal JP time. Now imagine what those numbers will be on the 21st... don't ask me, I won't be playing until there's an update. =/

Edited, Nov 15th 2010 11:13pm by BartelX
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#3 Nov 15 2010 at 10:19 PM Rating: Good
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The extended free trial didn't hurt FFXIV, but releasing the game several months before it was ready, and being on the verge of charging customers for the product before the incoming patch will. If they're really so confident in this massive patch in late November to "fix the game", then they should extend the trial one more month and let people see it.

I just don't like the idea of forking out my money before knowing whether the changes will be worth it or not. The only thing about the free month is that it kept people who would have already left around another month.
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#4 Nov 15 2010 at 10:21 PM Rating: Good
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Square Enix is the only one to blame for what is happening to this game, not the community who doesn't like this awful excuse for a Final Fantasy MMO. A free trial because your game is NO FUN is not an olive branch. I understand its disheartening for the community that still some how enjoys this game to deal with the flames, negativity, and sometimes out right trolling for the lulz. A free trial is not going to solve that, actual gameplay fixes and content are what will once bring a community now completely divided back together again.

What the free trial did for me was this, about three additional log ins before I downloaded WOW then unsubscribed. WOW is no Final Fantasy XI or what XIV could be, however right now its everything XIV is not. Having played FFXI since the NA release I looked at the upcoming changes and saw a lot of empty promises. The description of changes is purposefully vague. I need action now for SE to regain my trust not words. I still come here and I am waiting for the threads of "HAHAHAH the haters were wrong etc etc" and "SE DELIVERS!!!". That means it will be time to renew my subscription. I'm not holding my breath though, I honestly expect to see a lot of broken hearts this first patch.
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#5 Nov 15 2010 at 10:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Reposting after having fully read your article. It seems like the main point is that "When they start charging money, the nonconstructive complainers will start leaving the forums". It's a semi-valid point. The problem is the notion that some or all of the complainers are completely sick of the game and that SE can do no right by them.

I want to come back and keep playing, I really do. My problem is that in the extra 30 days, they have done nothing that they didn't do in the first 30.

Usually when a company makes a grand gesture to get their customers to give them another chance, they start going above and beyond to keep that customer. If you complain to a hotel, they'll give you a better room with complementary chocolates. If you have a car that keeps giving you problems, the company might replace it and upgrade you to the next model. If you have a TV that isn't working and needs to be replaced, the company might throw in a free DVD player. Consider the recent pizza ads where they come out and admit that their old product was **** and their response to get you back as a customer is to tell you about their BETTER pizza. KFC forgot to give me an order of popcorn chicken and I had to drive back to get it; instead of the large popcorn chicken I ordered, they gave me a family size and threw in two thighs and a roll for free.

That's what customer service means: When you ***** up, you admit it to your customer and apologize (SE has done this) and then you give them a reason to be your customer by going above and beyond to exceed their expectations.

I think that it was a good start to extend the trial period; it was a great move in terms of PR and that they could have gotten a lot more bang out of it if this huge "it's going to make everything all better" update had already come out. The ideal scenario would have been for SE to say "Hey, we ****** up. We're giving you a free month AND we're fixing all this ****. Please try XIV now that we've fixed all this **** and we are confident you will like it". -THAT- would have been the best route for them to go and would have kept a ton of customers.

The problem is that they extended the trial and then did virtually nothing. They made this gesture to try to win back customer faith and then failed to show their customers who would have left why they should stick around.

So I guess I should say that if they weren't planning on doing anything ANYWAY, then perhaps it was folly to extend the trial 30 more days. The extension of the trial SHOULD have came with the implication that they were going to give the people who were considering canceling a reason to stay. I was considering canceling on 10/22 and in the days since, SE has not done a single thing to try to convince me otherwise aside from the impending update that I would now have to pay $15 to learn if it is enough.
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#6 Nov 15 2010 at 10:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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I've said this before, but I'm highly skeptical of the idea that people who hate the game are hanging around just because it's free, particularly on the forums. A lot of people like to talk about video games-- for many, almost as much as they like to actually play video games. When a game is bad, that means less incentive to actually play the game, while fueling negative conversations about the game. Talking smack about the game becomes more fun than actually playing it.

And this doesn't change much whether the game is free or not.
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#7 Nov 15 2010 at 10:37 PM Rating: Decent
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aside from the impending update that I would now have to pay $15 to learn if it is enough.


I don't think you necessarily need to experience said update yourself to know whether it is enough. There are what, 100k? players that come to these and other forums that will surely make it very clear whether the update is successful or not.

Quote:
I've said this before, but I'm highly skeptical of the idea that people who hate the game are hanging around just because it's free


And this would indeed not make much sense either. People play games because they find them entertaining... not just because they're free. If the game is bad and playing it is not fun, who would bother playing even if it's free? They still gotta find some entertainment in it to play it.

Edited, Nov 16th 2010 7:39am by Hyanmen
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#8 Nov 15 2010 at 10:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Moxley wrote:
Square Enix is the only one to blame for what is happening to this game, not the community who doesn't like this awful excuse for a Final Fantasy MMO. A free trial because your game is NO FUN is not an olive branch. I understand its disheartening for the community that still some how enjoys this game to deal with the flames, negativity, and sometimes out right trolling for the lulz. A free trial is not going to solve that, actual gameplay fixes and content are what will once bring a community now completely divided back together again.

What the free trial did for me was this, about three additional log ins before I downloaded WOW then unsubscribed. WOW is no Final Fantasy XI or what XIV could be, however right now its everything XIV is not. Having played FFXI since the NA release I looked at the upcoming changes and saw a lot of empty promises. The description of changes is purposefully vague. I need action now for SE to regain my trust not words. I still come here and I am waiting for the threads of "HAHAHAH the haters were wrong etc etc" and "SE DELIVERS!!!". That means it will be time to renew my subscription. I'm not holding my breath though, I honestly expect to see a lot of broken hearts this first patch.


Ditto. Even if I quit XIV, I'm not planning to leave these forums. I'll still stick around and keep an eye on the game's progress and eagerly await the day that the game is what -I- would consider to be playable.

Right now the game is ******** its pants and throwing up on me whenever I try to feed it. After it gets potty trained and learns to walk and talk, I'll be back to play with it again.

I doubt I'll play any other MMORPGs in that time though. XI has changed too much for me to go back. WoW got boring and I won't want to play "Replace your purples with greens" again. DDO got redundant. I don't know of anything else out there right now because I had been focusing all my attention on FFXIV.
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#9 Nov 15 2010 at 10:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hyanmen wrote:
Quote:
aside from the impending update that I would now have to pay $15 to learn if it is enough.


I don't think you necessarily need to experience said update yourself to know whether it is enough. There are what, 100k? players that come to these and other forums that will surely make it very clear whether the update is successful or not.


I'm cautiously optimistic about the patch, but I'll wait till the patch hits and see how the breakdown goes in terms of "I'm so glad I stayed" vs "I wish I hadn't wasted my money for the extra month".

You're absolutely right about the players who post on forums being able to make these things clear. Those people are exactly who I'm counting on to know when I can come back to FFXIV and start having some fun.
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#10 Nov 15 2010 at 10:41 PM Rating: Default
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May I add.... how DO you know SE deliver if you are not even subbed... another empty lie. I still don;t get people are so hateful toward the game, I seriously have major fun playing with it with friend from xi for past 2 month. $75.00 for 2 month of enjoyment is a great deal.... most 50-60 dollars game last like 7-8 hour and chance you won't ever touch it ever again.

Some people claim it is principle to not support something that's unfinished, it is crap, what is the definition of finish? For those who played xi, can you tell me what exactly did you do for first 2 month of gameplay? Grind and maybe do some quest to raise fame and no end game? Principle with no basic is is just stubborn and prove man is just a pile of secret and lie. To be fair, I want more people gone so I can have a lag free game play, have a nice day. I am no SE fan boy, FFXIII is a pile of sh*t ans I rather p[lay Magna Carta over it.

As for the nayer and complainer, they just want to trash the game to prove they have a better "gun".

Edited, Nov 15th 2010 11:43pm by xellosalpha
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#11 Nov 15 2010 at 10:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I'm cautiously optimistic about the patch, but I'll wait till the patch hits and see how the breakdown goes in terms of "I'm so glad I stayed" vs "I wish I hadn't wasted my money for the extra month".


My free trial ends on the 30th, so I might as well contribute. I haven't played since mid-October either so I think I can represent the overall playerbase waiting on the sidelines.

Granted, I still won't resub before March, but if the game is on the right track I think the changes will be noticeable.
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#12 Nov 15 2010 at 10:46 PM Rating: Good
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I think from a management position the extended free trial was almost mandatory.

The game was gaining alot of negative press and complaints from those playing it and 'demands' for improvements. Well it takes time to make those improvements and the question was "what can we do right now??" and that is extend the free trial.

The second month also gave a larger portion of the player base to test things out, make more gear, allow the market wards to be FAR less insane then they where at the start (the wards are a bit bad but they have gotten much much better) and allowed the economy to (sort of) take shape. And also...in that extended time some people might have made some friends! Even with those people who hate the game in fact! making a few of those haters in to companions.

Then, with some greater foundation set up and a 'huge update' around the corner, they start charging people. Will people leave once the free trial is over? of course, it happens with all MMO's. Will more people stay that wouldn't have originally with the one month free trial? definitely. Heck I'm one of them.
#13 Nov 15 2010 at 10:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, let's see.

SE gave another 30 days for people to play the game while they decided what to fix. However, they fixed nothing in that time. So did the extra 30 days hurt them? I'd say yes, because it was an extra 30 days of nothing but talk and people who weren't playing because of various issues still weren't playing because those issues were not addressed anywhere outside of interviews and press statements. So people got an extra 30 days to witness SE doing absolutely nothing. Yep, great PR. On the other hand, it allowed SE to still count those people on paper as "subscribers", so it helped keep their books looking better.

Would have been better just to let people leave then offer them the free 30 days to "come back" after all the patches had been implemented.

As is stands, they're going to start losing people in droves starting in 5 days. Not many of those are going to pay to return to see if the game is better after the updates. However, had they done the "come back" plan, those people likely would have at least came back to see if the game was indeed better, and therefore more would have subscribed again.



Edited, Nov 15th 2010 11:49pm by Zorvan
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#14 Nov 15 2010 at 10:53 PM Rating: Good
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I think SE's smartest move would be to do the best they can to get the game to a point where they are proud of it and then announce a free 14 days for anyone with a canceled account to come back and give the game another try, complete with TV commercials and everything.

They can save the ship from sinking, but they really need to focus their efforts on fixing the holes in the ship, rather than trying to tell people not to get into the lifeboats just yet as the ship starts to go down.

Don't get me wrong; I want them to want me as a customer, but more importantly, I want them to make a game that I will enjoy. Build a product your players will love and players will love your product; trying to convince your players to give a product they don't like anotehr chance is putting the cart before the horse.
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#15 Nov 15 2010 at 11:00 PM Rating: Good
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I think they could have saved more subs with the free month than they possibly lost due to community harm. However, they decided to do nothing substantial with it, so maybe that did backfire. I started my account on sep 22, with the bulk of the games subscribers, and my trial runs out on the 20th, seemingly days before the nov patch. At that point, unless I'm blown away, I'm going to wait out the dec patch as well before i even think of resubing.

Really though, I think its all wishful thinking. More people left because the game wasn't good, and not because a bunch of guys on forums had bad things to say about it.
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#16 Nov 15 2010 at 11:03 PM Rating: Good
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KujaKoF wrote:
I think they could have saved more subs with the free month than they possibly lost due to community harm. However, they decided to do nothing substantial with it, so maybe that did backfire. I started my account on sep 22, with the bulk of the games subscribers, and my trial runs out on the 20th, seemingly days before the nov patch. At that point, unless I'm blown away, I'm going to wait out the dec patch as well before i even think of resubing.

Really though, I think its all wishful thinking. More people left because the game wasn't good, and not because a bunch of guys on forums had bad things to say about it.


Indeed. It's one thing to try a game because some people told you it was great, but it's pretty dumb to quit a game because some people told you it was terrible (without making that judgment for yourself).
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#17 Nov 15 2010 at 11:11 PM Rating: Good
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I don't know of anything else out there right now because I had been focusing all my attention on FFXIV.


If you're looking for a genuine MMO, I wouldn't know what to tell you (I hear Vindictus is looking good), but there are plenty of console games (some with PC ports) that are highly rated with good online play.

I mirror those who say that it may have been a mistake to give a free month of playing without making any significant improvements... that likely meant many people stuck around just to see how little SE would actually do. However, I also think that it was a good move to those who just wanted SE to express some level of admission of the game's faults, for once. I'm so used to SE responding to criticism with comments that hint of, "it's the player's fault for not understanding what we were trying to do." So for me, anything they say to acknowledge the sorry state of the game and vindicate the feelings of disappointment that so many feel is necessary PR.
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#18 Nov 15 2010 at 11:19 PM Rating: Good
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I don't believe in the saying (saying? I dunno what else I'd call it) "An MMO can't recover from a bad launch." If I open a restaurant and I have a bad rep in the community as being dirty, filthy, slow, cheap, etc. etc. and I straighten myself up, over time the restaurant will see an increase in customers and word of mouth will spread and business will get better. The same can and, in my opinion (and this is my hopeful optimistic opinion), will happen with FFXIV. We have completely forgotten what SE promised us the game will be...obviously not what we have and I have no doubt in my mind this will change from now until the "real" release date which comes in March.

We've seen so little of the game guys, I think we all need to sit back and take a breather. We get Chocobos, maybe some minigames to go with those. We get airships, perhaps new areas that we couldn't reach otherwise. We get Notorious monsters, maybe HNMs, BCNMs (faction leves), etc. We get an expansion to what I only imagine to be a pretty good story (assuming it holds true to the FF name). We get expansions to the world, holiday events, and more content all around (hopefully sooner than later). I think we can all imagine what this game can be like and what SE will do to improve on it...obviously this isn't the FF game they've been touting leading up to its release. The only explanation I can come up with for them botching the PC release is that they were financially choked and this was their outlet...the devs? poor guys, the burden is on them and I'm sure they had no say in the game's release.

I'm keeping my sub, and you know what rank my character is? rank 1 Pugilist...i'm keeping my sub, I'll log on to see improvements and I'll wait for the game to improve (of course if its doesn't i'm not stupid enough to pay for a game i wont play). Meanwhile, I guess i'll cook me up some stew in Limsa and see how I hold up when the PS3 release comes around. Lets not forget the PS3 crowd is a big one too and I think that's FFXIV's way back in pretty much.
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#19 Nov 15 2010 at 11:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think that it was a good start to extend the trial period; it was a great move in terms of PR and that they could have gotten a lot more bang out of it if this huge "it's going to make everything all better" update had already come out. The ideal scenario would have been for SE to say "Hey, we @#%^ed up. We're giving you a free month AND we're fixing all this sh*t. Please try XIV now that we've fixed all this sh*t and we are confident you will like it". -THAT- would have been the best route for them to go and would have kept a ton of customers.


I think you hit the nail right on the head. I wonder if SE would have been better off by granting a free month of play starting on the day of the late November update. People could have reactivated their accounts to try out the revised game free of charge, rather than have to pay to see if the updates are worthwhile.
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#20 Nov 15 2010 at 11:23 PM Rating: Good
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Thayos wrote:
Quote:
I think that it was a good start to extend the trial period; it was a great move in terms of PR and that they could have gotten a lot more bang out of it if this huge "it's going to make everything all better" update had already come out. The ideal scenario would have been for SE to say "Hey, we @#%^ed up. We're giving you a free month AND we're fixing all this sh*t. Please try XIV now that we've fixed all this sh*t and we are confident you will like it". -THAT- would have been the best route for them to go and would have kept a ton of customers.


I think you hit the nail right on the head. I wonder if SE would have been better off by granting a free month of play starting on the day of the late November update. People could have reactivated their accounts to try out the revised game free of charge, rather than have to pay to see if the updates are worthwhile.


I think that'd be too hard to handle logistically. At least alot harder to handle than adding the free time upfront.
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#21 Nov 15 2010 at 11:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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You are confusing cause and effect here, Thayos. A game does not become awesome through the positive comments on some forum, it's an awesome game that get positive comments. And vice versa - negative comments don't ruin a game, it's a game that has already been ruined that gets the negative comments.
As for the effects of extended trial (it's not really free, I've paid $75 for it) - it could have helped if S-E has been able to fix the game well before it has ended. I guess this was the intention behind the decision to extend it.
Unfortunately for S-E they screwed this up and it's already too late, even if the update tonight will fix something few people are going to see it.
#22 Nov 15 2010 at 11:40 PM Rating: Default
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ya know.. the ppl who didnt start til the very last day of free 60 days aka oct 25th.. will be here for both nov and dec patches still playing for free

its all of us who preordered and got CE and SE day 1 of release ect that are screwed.

its not rly fair that in 5 days my crysta is going to have its first chunk taken out yet peple who started late will still be on for free

ive said it many times. i put $50 in crysta on day 1 before i even made my first character and began playing.. i had that much blind faith in this game...

i know i COULD cancel before the 21st and keep my crysta , but also its not like i can get it refunded..

so instead ill just keep playing.. and even tho i complain ALOT which most of you know well.. my blind faith in FFXIV will keep me here at least til my crysta is all gone,, aka 3 more months


i have a bad feeling my blind faith will be a waste but i still hold onto hope that my gut feeling of knowing everything this game CAN be, might someday be a reality
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#23 Nov 15 2010 at 11:43 PM Rating: Good
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Personally the free month did nothing for me. And once again I can only echo what others have so eloquently stated: SE should have fixed one big thing or a couple more things during this time period to retain people like me, who quit during the free trial. I would have rather seen more substantial fixes and pay SE money, rather than a free month without any fixes.

I'm looking at it (without getting too politically charged) like the financial 'bailout.' Without the free month I think you would have seen a sharper decline in subs, whereas the extra month satiated perhaps a few people for just a little longer, even though in the end they were still going to leave (I find myself spelling leave, leve). So what should have SE done? Pump the economy with a hard core jobs bill...er...I mean pump the game with some substantial fixes.

I have noticed though, maybe because of moderation here, the the lack of trolls/flamers hanging around that were solely bad mouthing the game.

Though I think most of the posters in this thread (myself included) are really hoping the game does well in the end; its just we hope to voice our concerns as loud as they may be in an intelligent/ non-troll-y way.

In the end, the free month was a fine gesture, but I think SE at that time needed to keep the motivation to play going. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, eh?
#24 Nov 16 2010 at 12:15 AM Rating: Good
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I know a lot of players who halted their progress around lvl 15-18. These are "on the fence" players who would have really liked to see the grind to 20 made easier as there's not that much content before you reach it. I'm afraid having a few days playtime after the update will not be enough time for them to experience the difference it makes to their progress.

I'll be here now and after the free trial ends. I hated the fact when players told me in XI "back then we didn't have this or that".
I usually just thought that **** it must have felt great to experience those updates for the first time and it's a shame I've missed it.

Another thing that slightly terrifies me is the amount of stuff to do in most MMO's. Especially since I'm a completionist. Starting early like this gives me a chance to someday make it to the future end-game content. (which I'm sure I'll reach much later than most hardcore players)

Nothing sucks like belonging to a linkshell that constantly is talking about doing missions together that you can't even dream of participating.
#25 Nov 16 2010 at 12:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Nothing sucks like belonging to a linkshell that constantly is talking about doing missions together that you can't even dream of participating.


Actually, this is what drove me onwards in XI. "Maaan, that Dynamis thing everyone is doing must be awesome! Someday I'll be able to participate and *insert unrealistic dreams here*".

It's an awesome feeling- having something to look forward to. One day XIV will be like it, and I will wait for it. I can be the newb for all I care.

Getting maybe a level per week if not less. Helping random people and making new friends while doing stuff together.

*dreams on*

Edited, Nov 16th 2010 9:19am by Hyanmen
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#26 Nov 16 2010 at 12:26 AM Rating: Decent
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I really think the whole attitude of MMO gamers have changed. It's come with the variety of games available and the entitlement people feel they command for their money paid.
If they don't like what they paid for, how dare the company charge them for this product. The fact is FFXIV is playable out of the box. It's not perfect, it's got problems. But for all those ranting it's unplayable how come there are several tens of thousands of people able to play the game?
People for get their entitlement to a game is being able to unsub and leave the game. Not demand and expect changes to conform to their liking.

FFXIV was released too early. They should have pushed back the release til 2011 and released with PS3.
The extended time was warranted due to the state of the game. SE should trickled updates over the additional 30 days of free play to at least show some progress to those people teetering on the fence.

Myself, I am paying regardless of the state of the game. I see the promise in FFXIV. I'm not playing nearly as much as I want part do to RL part due to current state of the game. I however have no problem paying my sub showing SE that I support them and I'm wanting more for FFXIV.

It's like having a professional sports team that your a fan of. The team isn't doing so hot right now. So do you refuse to pay 40 bucks for a ticket $20 for beers and $10 for food knowing that your chances of seeign your team win are slim but maybe just maybe they'll turn it around? No I go and support my team and my team won the world series. I'm doing the same with FFXIV.

GO GIANTS! Fear the beard!
GO FFXIV! This is torture!
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#27 Nov 16 2010 at 12:35 AM Rating: Decent
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SevenLittleChipmunks wrote:
I really think the whole attitude of MMO gamers have changed. It's come with the variety of games available and the entitlement people feel they command for their money paid.
If they don't like what they paid for, how dare the company charge them for this product. The fact is FFXIV is playable out of the box. It's not perfect, it's got problems. But for all those ranting it's unplayable how come there are several tens of thousands of people able to play the game?
People for get their entitlement to a game is being able to unsub and leave the game. Not demand and expect changes to conform to their liking.

FFXIV was released too early. They should have pushed back the release til 2011 and released with PS3.
The extended time was warranted due to the state of the game. SE should trickled updates over the additional 30 days of free play to at least show some progress to those people teetering on the fence.

Myself, I am paying regardless of the state of the game. I see the promise in FFXIV. I'm not playing nearly as much as I want part do to RL part due to current state of the game. I however have no problem paying my sub showing SE that I support them and I'm wanting more for FFXIV.

It's like having a professional sports team that your a fan of. The team isn't doing so hot right now. So do you refuse to pay 40 bucks for a ticket $20 for beers and $10 for food knowing that your chances of seeign your team win are slim but maybe just maybe they'll turn it around? No I go and support my team and my team won the world series. I'm doing the same with FFXIV.

GO GIANTS! Fear the beard!
GO FFXIV! This is torture!


Now i'm not saying this is a 100% true for all of the people playing FFXIV in it's current state, but i bet a large portion of the players that do, do hope that the game will be better with time, and not fail, and that means that by staying now, they have a very very better chance of being the big fish in the small pond later On.
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#28 Nov 16 2010 at 12:46 AM Rating: Good
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SevenLittleChipmunks wrote:
I really think the whole attitude of MMO gamers have changed. It's come with the variety of games available and the entitlement people feel they command for their money paid.
If they don't like what they paid for, how dare the company charge them for this product. The fact is FFXIV is playable out of the box. It's not perfect, it's got problems. But for all those ranting it's unplayable how come there are several tens of thousands of people able to play the game?
People for get their entitlement to a game is being able to unsub and leave the game. Not demand and expect changes to conform to their liking.

FFXIV was released too early. They should have pushed back the release til 2011 and released with PS3.
The extended time was warranted due to the state of the game. SE should trickled updates over the additional 30 days of free play to at least show some progress to those people teetering on the fence.

Myself, I am paying regardless of the state of the game. I see the promise in FFXIV. I'm not playing nearly as much as I want part do to RL part due to current state of the game. I however have no problem paying my sub showing SE that I support them and I'm wanting more for FFXIV.

It's like having a professional sports team that your a fan of. The team isn't doing so hot right now. So do you refuse to pay 40 bucks for a ticket $20 for beers and $10 for food knowing that your chances of seeign your team win are slim but maybe just maybe they'll turn it around? No I go and support my team and my team won the world series. I'm doing the same with FFXIV.

GO GIANTS! Fear the beard!
GO FFXIV! This is torture!


But the thing is that, here we have a voice to actually make changes and its up to SE to follow through with those changes if they desire. SE must think that (either through a declining subscription base, the number of complaints, bad video game reviews, or just them feeling guilty ) that the changes are warranted.

The question is why wouldn't you want to change something for the better if you had the power to?

People call for the GM to resign, or to fire the head coach when things go wrong. That's basically all we're doing here.

You're right, in the end people have general expectations that they want to be met. If this game was released in 2002 I think people would have been a lot more lenient...maybe.
#29 Nov 16 2010 at 12:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
SE must think that (either through a declining subscription base, the number of complaints, bad video game reviews, or just them feeling guilty ) that the changes are warranted.


Loss of profit & PR. The way to make them throw more money at the game.

Guilt plays no role in these things.
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#30 Nov 16 2010 at 1:07 AM Rating: Decent
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edited... posting at 3 am is never a good idea. =P

Edited, Nov 16th 2010 10:54am by BartelX
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#31 Nov 16 2010 at 1:25 AM Rating: Decent
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Kierk wrote:

But the thing is that, here we have a voice to actually make changes and its up to SE to follow through with those changes if they desire. SE must think that (either through a declining subscription base, the number of complaints, bad video game reviews, or just them feeling guilty ) that the changes are warranted.

The question is why wouldn't you want to change something for the better if you had the power to?

People call for the GM to resign, or to fire the head coach when things go wrong. That's basically all we're doing here.

You're right, in the end people have general expectations that they want to be met. If this game was released in 2002 I think people would have been a lot more lenient...maybe.



I agree that having a voice, as a participating user is important. What I'm getting at are those people who have decided that XIV isn't worth their time, still berating the game. If you're not playing leave it be. If you have a interest wait and watch.

the Dev team got the message loud and clear, they have responded and changes are incoming.
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#32 Nov 16 2010 at 1:33 AM Rating: Excellent
I don't think it was a bad idea, they would of lost significantly more players without doing so. As others have mentioned though, it would have been 10x better had they released some kind of meaningful update in the past couple weeks. Right now, people still sense bull **** on SE's part. You offer a free month for a game you admit is flawed...then you fix nothing? It makes no sense. I still say the way to do it is to cancel for now, wait it out, it takes 5 mins to re-activate your account if what they update was worth your while.

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#33 Nov 16 2010 at 1:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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I agree with you that the community will likely improve once the free trial is done, but I think the game would be in a worse state had they not given players that extra free month.

While there has been a lot of negativity about the game by players who wouldn't have continued playing if they had to pay, their negativity was not exactly unjustified. And I think that all that negativity has a lot to do with the fire being lit under SE to improve it's community relations, release more information, and get patches/fixes out faster. They were put on the defensive from all the negative feedback, and considering the state of the game at launch I think that negative feedback was rightly deserved.

Had they not given players that extra free month, many players wouldn't have stuck around to see how things improve. I know I wouldn't have. While that may have resulted in fewer criticisms of FFXIV, which would be good for those who don't have issues with the game, it would also have resulted in a lack of urgency for SE to fix the problems in a timely fashion. Now rather than leaving the game behind, I'm preparing to subscribe on the 20th.

The way I see the 2 months since release is that the players have essentially been on strike. We haven't been working, but we've not walked away yet either. We've been waiting for better treatment and conditions, and we've given a deadline that we want to see those changes by - when we have to start paying to play. SE's improved communication and details of upcoming updates is their offer to keep us from walking away entirely.

Were it an actual strike, that would be considered a win for us.

So while the may have been a rough first 2 months, in the long term I think they made the right call. They needed to acknowledge that the product was not ready, and by foregoing the subscription fee for a month they did just that.
#34 Nov 16 2010 at 2:01 AM Rating: Default
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So in several places I see the statement that SE hasn't fixed anything in the free month they gave is. This boggles me. Code doesn't write itself and pop out like your fat fries from the local choke and puke all ready to go from the heat lamp. They concentrated on fixing major bugs. Then beta ended. They continued fixing bugs and observed for a few weeks.

THEN after observing within a couple weeks they came out with a huge list of actual content additions and adjustments. Vague? sort of. More updated now than initially? yes. These changes are being pumped out at a pretty high speed. MMO's are complex. It's not a little flash or browser game where I could rewrite half the source in a week. It's gigabytes of code tied to a network. One bad section of code could have you chasing a sporadic bug for weeks. It surprises me that people don't realize this. Here I thought this was 2010 and people were at least somewhat computer literate. Especially gamers...

On to the topic at hand. I think SE did a good thing by giving out the free month. It did create more QQ but it also brought some of the major QQers even here into the game. Surprisingly the loudest of the bunch were playing. That wouldn;t have had a chance otherwise. It's either total marketing genius to charge before the patch or the worst idea ever. Time will tell. I personally think it won't work out for them. I am enjoying the game and I want it to work. I can't see it happening unless a considerable amount of people latch onto the idea that the change is coming and they're gonna play it out till then. See Obama for how this works on masses of people if you doubt it's possible tho = 0

I personally think their mistake was much earlier in the game. People keep stating that SE promised this and that. NO they didn't. Matter of fact they promised nothing... at all. There was so little press that all through beta even searching every site related to it I couldn't find any promising information on additions after beta. They had a couple of little spotlights on some things but overall no rose gardens were promised.

A smarter move would have been to state what was actually happening on beta and then play off release as a chance to actually make some of their more unique ideas come into solidity. IF they had done their PR right they could have pleaded with the player to help adjust the games content such as leves to make them what they are intended to be. Then they should have listed the fan sites with feedback that they are reading. That would have empowered the player to help out instead of left them totally hanging expecting their free lunches. I think the crying would still be happening, but not to this degree. A lot of people will complain for the sake of complaining. Lots of them are here right now. Funny tho, I see no crying in game.

At any rate, I hope these changes work out and I hope to see more good players in game soon.
#35 Nov 16 2010 at 2:31 AM Rating: Good
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The extended trial time helps most of us to confirm that we either like the game enough to stay around a bit longer or hate it and can't quit the game soon enough. By releasing a beta SE already hurt themselves. The duration of XIV will solely depend on how fast they can fix the problems players hate so much. Players are not very forgiving in today's gaming market, especially when there are so many other options out there.
#36 Nov 16 2010 at 2:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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BartelX wrote:
I love getting rated down to default for expressing an opinion. I think I'll just go back to being an @#%^ on the forums. It's a lot more fun that way, and since I'm getting rated down regardless, why the **** not. Rate downs for all!


So your post gets rated down twice, then up four times to Good, and now you've gone and rate camped the entire thread. How mature of you. I'll give you a rate down too, just for throwing a tantrum over two rates.
#37 Nov 16 2010 at 2:53 AM Rating: Good
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I think SquareEnix is clawing to try to keep 14 from drowning. Its received uniformly bad press from editors and players alike. Basically the way I see it the people who will continue to pay to play this game would do so NO MATTER WHAT SE decided to do. The fans that are still holding on don't care if the community or the game is ****. They simply believe in the SE brand. In the end, the extension neither helped nor hurt them. They gave away some free crap... the problem is "free crap" is literal here so no one really cared.
#38 Nov 16 2010 at 3:12 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
So your post gets rated down twice, then up four times to Good, and now you've gone and rate camped the entire thread. How mature of you. I'll give you a rate down too, just for throwing a tantrum over two rates.


lol, feisty tonight, Pikko?
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#39 Nov 16 2010 at 3:15 AM Rating: Good
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Thayos wrote:
Quote:
I think that it was a good start to extend the trial period; it was a great move in terms of PR and that they could have gotten a lot more bang out of it if this huge "it's going to make everything all better" update had already come out. The ideal scenario would have been for SE to say "Hey, we @#%^ed up. We're giving you a free month AND we're fixing all this sh*t. Please try XIV now that we've fixed all this sh*t and we are confident you will like it". -THAT- would have been the best route for them to go and would have kept a ton of customers.


I think you hit the nail right on the head. I wonder if SE would have been better off by granting a free month of play starting on the day of the late November update. People could have reactivated their accounts to try out the revised game free of charge, rather than have to pay to see if the updates are worthwhile.


I never even thought of that, but that would have probably been a good idea. It wouldn't surprise me at all, however, for them to offer a free week/month as a "Welcome back to Earzea" campaign shortly before PS3 launch just so people who left can come back and experience whatever changes SE has made between now and then.

Personally, I see things a little differently than a lot of folks around here and I'm going to be very careful about saying that my opinion is based on my experience and (in this case ;D) isn't intended to challenge the opinions of other people.

My experience with the community in XI was terrible.

I know what you're thinking. "You're such a dink, why would you be surprised?"

Fair enough, except it turns into a chicken vs. egg scenario. Did I have a hard time with the community in XI because I was a jerk, or did I develop my refined asshattery skills in response to that community? Philosophers will be debating that question for...

...okay, they won't debate it at all. And for once, neither will I. But that won't stop me from sharing my point of view.

Having left XI so many years ago and played several other MMOs since, I've observed that the community from one MMO to the next is largely the same (except LOTRO...they're an odd bunch...cliquish as all **** but generally pleasant in their own way). And hence my occasionally repeated sentiment that there are jerks and elitists and assclowns in every MMO, it's just that the XI community is the only one that seems so **** bent on trying to deny it. And what's worse is that there was a general seething resentment for SE behind virtually everything people did in the game. At no time in any other MMO have I encountered a community that has such a powerful dislike and distrust for the developers as the XI community does for SE. Even Warhammer's players forgave them for twice having fully drained bank accounts and maxed out low balance credit cards through insane billing errors.

But SE? **** no.

And that community has brought that cynicism and dislike and planted it right here. SE can do no right. At all. Ever. The slightest mistake is incompetence. When the devs have been sluggish with the communication, they get slammed for not communicating. When the devs communicate, they get accused of lying or ulterior motives or general moral turpitude. There's no reason behind the hate beyond hate for hate's sake. It's such a deeply ingrained sentiment that I don't think it will ever go away. And there's no reasoning with it.

So to bring it all back to the point, would I say the free trial hurt or helped SE? It didn't matter. The people who appreciated it appreciated it. The people who just wanted another excuse to hate found a way to twist it to make it seem wrong. We got what we got, we're getting what we're getting, and that's all there is to it. And the people who will guide their perception of SE and therefore XIV based on their experience in XI more than anything else are just ruining it for themselves. Sometimes you just have to move on. XIV already has a lot of potential. As much if not more than any other MMO on the market today. It was shipped unfinished, unpolished, and with several glaring issues that the devs are currently working to address. People will either accept that and look forward, or look back and sulk. SE has no control over that anymore. It's not an SE issue. It's a community issue.

If the patches come down and three months from now I decide I'm not enjoying the game, I'll cancel my sub and move on with my life. That's all I need to do. I've done the pre-release speculative kibitzing/debating/flaming. I've voiced on more than one occasion my powerful distaste for XI and the two-faced attitude prevalent in so many members of its community. Now it's game time, and if SE can't satisfy my interests more often than not within the next few months, I'm not going to waste any more time. Thanks but no thanks and best wishes, as it were.

Free time or not.
#40 Nov 16 2010 at 3:43 AM Rating: Good
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To me, the free trial is irrelevant to the future success of the game. However, given the choice of getting something free and having to pay for it, I'll accept "handouts". (Though, considering the price and disappointment of the CE, I'll call it breaking even.)

Desperation, appeasement, call it what you will. All that matters is how quickly they will be able to turn things around to satisfactory conditions before the PS3 version is ready for shipping.

For now I'll wait and see how the updates in these next few months go before I'll make any judgment calls. In the meantime, I'll continue to grind and enjoy the serenity of the open fields.
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#41 Nov 16 2010 at 3:46 AM Rating: Good
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Eh, I dunno Aurelius. On the one hand you say SE has the least consolable playerbase, but do you honestly not think they have one of the most loyal playerbases? And if they don't, do you honestly feel that they haven't earned that corruption of trust, game after game?
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#42 Nov 16 2010 at 3:53 AM Rating: Decent
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The free month is what made me not want to play on ps3 . It reminded me of a needy girlfriend who your breaking up with who says don't go I'll give you stuff. To me thats just to much I had high hopes for this game I really did even telling people it's just beta it'll be ok then to hear friends telling me how bad it was to playing it myself. I just can't take their last ditch effort. I do wish those who do stay the best and the updates be plentiful.
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#43 Nov 16 2010 at 4:31 AM Rating: Default
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@ OP good read. :)

I agree with you we need less qq and more pew pew in these forums over ffxiv. We also need posters to realise sh*t happen with ffxiv both in beta and launch. Some of it was out of their control. Like server stability issues, having to cancel a few beta sessions from it. Also they have unrealistic expectation, unrealistic sense of how mmo are run/ made, and unrealisic sense of time it takes to pump out updates.

All SE did was appologize for how the game turned out, don't mean it was there fault. I also do think some fault lies with the community. Like going into a new mmo as a veteran players. Knowing "how" to lvl, and what to look for. Instead of exploring a new realm and getting to understand it. And this is a globle thing. I don;t feel ffxiv was rushed. I had a feeling it was gonna be small from the start, I even tried telling ffxivcore this and ended up getting banned for it. Its sad when ppl don;t stop and look at everything. MMo are never finished, and anything can/wil be added.
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#44 Nov 16 2010 at 4:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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A very different, interesting read on the extended free trial. We'll never know what would have happened for sure, but your points make me wish we could have seen what would happen if we only had 30 days free. However, I am sticking with this game, so having 60 days was a nice gift from SE despite the possibility of it causing a more negative atmosphere.
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#45 Nov 16 2010 at 7:21 AM Rating: Decent
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I definitely think that the extension hurt the community. I have seen threads pop recently about "Why doesn't anyone talk in the game?" Well, if there is always a danger of getting flamed or having to hear a constant stream of whining, there's not much incentive in talking with people you don't know, huh?
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#47 Nov 16 2010 at 7:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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the extra 30 days in itself was a great gesture, and could have been a the key to keeping players if they played their cards right.

I believe like others have also said, its the fact that they did not really make even a single big improvement in that time that is making people disheartened. if they had fixed even one major issue I'm sure more would have stuck around, but right now it all seems like empty promises.

People have been burned already and are just trying to avoid it again. if they can pull off one of those patches in the next 5 days people might resub, but as it stands no one can really fault them for canceling.
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#48 Nov 16 2010 at 7:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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Irishclass777 wrote:
All SE did was appologize for how the game turned out, don't mean it was there fault. I also do think some fault lies with the community. Like going into a new mmo as a veteran players. Knowing "how" to lvl, and what to look for. Instead of exploring a new realm and getting to understand it. And this is a globle thing. I don;t feel ffxiv was rushed. I had a feeling it was gonna be small from the start, I even tried telling ffxivcore this and ended up getting banned for it. Its sad when ppl don;t stop and look at everything. MMo are never finished, and anything can/wil be added.


Fault isn't really a good word for it. I'd say its more their responsibility. They made a game they felt was good. (I'll ignore the fact that the game they released is nothing like they told us it would be), the game turned out to not be very good in a significant portion of the customers minds. Its entirely up to SE what they do now, they can either leave it alone, or its up to them to alter their product to fix what they customers are willing to pay for. Its not up to players to 'find out' how to enjoy a product they didn't like.

If I bought a vacuum and it turned out it didn't have a handle, I'd rather return it than figure out how to use it. To take the comparison further, at least I could return the vacuum to a store. If I'd have been able to return 14, get some/most/all of my money back, it would have been easier to write off my disappointment.
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#49 Nov 16 2010 at 8:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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The free thirty days was a great idea if they had gotten some of the fixes done before it expired. Now it just looks horrible. We have timed our big patch to come out after you have to start paying. We hope you enjoyed playing a game with serious issues.

They could have rolled it out as two patches one earlier in the month to give a taste of what is to come and the other to finish everything that wasn't ready for the earlier patch. Yes I know how much fun it is to have software branches.

The problem with SE reputation is the apparent two levels that existed in FFXI. The difference in GM capabilities seemed vast. I don't know if it was real but it definetly seemed that way. Information was release in JP magazines that never showed up any where else until translated by fans. When you have executives making blanket statements about fans lying it poisons everything (FFXIV). Having a beta test where people can't leave feedback or bug reports just boggles the mind.

I usually stick around in MMO for at least 6 months just to track bug fixes or out of Masocism. I am not sure which. The only one I haven't is Star Wreck Online. This one will probably depend on how long in game friends last. I can last through a lot of broken or annoying things if I enjoy the lore. Not sure about much of the lore here. I hope I see a lot more in the 4 months remaining.
#50 Nov 16 2010 at 8:32 AM Rating: Good
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MajidahSihaam wrote:
Gadhelyn wrote:
I definitely think that the extension hurt the community. I have seen threads pop recently about "Why doesn't anyone talk in the game?" Well, if there is always a danger of getting flamed or having to hear a constant stream of whining, there's not much incentive in talking with people you don't know, huh?



QQing is solely a forum thing. The ingame community doesnt suffer from this. The problem is A- the character limit in the chatbox B- the laggy UI.

It takes the strength to talk away from everyone.


Also, and this is completely unrelated, my LS leader is so very ***.


Don't give me that bull, Majidah, you're one of the ones that's constantly whining on the linkshell. You and Tripp. And I've got about 10 people on my blacklist that I can say for certain have been complaining in Ul'Dah on shout.

And I'm the LS leader, Majidah's just being an ***.
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#51 Nov 16 2010 at 8:35 AM Rating: Good
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I don't really think the extension hurt the community...I would say it more about the expectations of today's gamer that has changed through the years. Today's gamer knows a good game when they see one....and knows VERY quickly. SE is still stuck back in 2005 while we are in 2010 looking to the future. The hatred stems from a lot of player desperately looking for a new FF fix and did not get one. Not really wanting to use the drug mentality...it seems to work for my example. We want our crack and instead we received a warm diet coke. Posters are ****** off. Free trial or not...everyone wants to be heard and these forums are the only way to speak out since going in the game means they have to actually play the game that upsets them in the first place.

I have tried to stay positive...I haven't flamed the game, I will be paying to see what happens next. But I too want my crack and SE has 1 or 2 months to deliver or I'm outa here.
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