in a galaxy far, far away... games STARTED as perfect little gems that could make or break a gaming company's budget by the 2nd hour of it's release. And now we get stuck with incomplete, hopeful-eyed prospects of a game that could've been while competing with a money hungry mmo with years of successful online-play experience.
***Before you continue reading, please note, this isn't a hate blog because I really do love this game. The intent for this post is to get both SE and the Final Fantasy (XIV) community to continue a positive Design-Build relationship with this game to motivate creative ideas for unique feedback***
To Readers, I would really appreciate the community to attach positive feedback and "to the point" resolutions about the game, not just negative comments about what is thought to be a negative blog, because it's not. We're here to help spur a serious innovative mindset for constructive criticism and feedback. Give the wildest ideas you could imagine!!! Then harness that idea into a relatively effective solution that'd be easily implemented into our game. No need for complaining about UI and lack of content, let US help invite ideas that will spur content and allow the millions of fans to collectively agree on ideas that make sense! So POST your ideas HERE, and unanimously AGREE with the ideas you like from others!!!
To Square Enix
(and I know this is on ZAM/Loadstone/etc, but if we get enough positive feedback, I'll be forwarding it to SE on a regularly updated basis with your ideas too),
you wanted to be an entrepreneur and join the other kids for different types of games. It's time for you to pause at your glory traits and grind out your flaws.
We the players started off eager and incredibly hopeful in FFXIV, that it would remove some of the bitter tastes from FFXI with a smooth, savory game that didn't necessarily have to compete with WoW but at least be significantly successful to the mob whom adores you.
Now, what's left of the fans, we find our comrades dwindling in numbers due to "lack of content, more this..., poor UI, more that...," and with post November-patch anxiety in the air, more players are getting antsy while others are telling them to hold out til the December holiday present.
Well I hope you know, as well as we the many, that it's not enough.
We know about the December patch, we squint at blurry visions of March's update and incoming crowd, and we know you have a load of work to do before this patch.
For your sake, and the hope of this game, get the March patch out by the end of January and make an even more serious delivery for March. Yes it's nice that you supply us with free months of gameplay, but that's like when Taco Bell downgraded to 39cent tacos, it's an act of obvious desperation and it makes your customers worry too. Participate in more blog-dialogs (such as this particular one) with this community so that we have an even better collaboration in your projects.
Furthermore, I couldn't possibly know if your servers could handle a huge surge of activity by putting everyone on the same server like EVE Online did, I'm not sure how LinkShell Buildings & Ships will play a part in LS communities and PvP, but if you don't throw in a PvP system I would worry that we will be losing more hopeful fans. And as a little comfort for you, I think the crafting system is fantastic!... but to make us repair our gear every 1-2 hours? that's just being cruel. Think of it like washing laundry! No need to do it every day, how about every couple of days as a nice change?
So as a company making money off us, the customers, you should really be pondering this:
1. We are a company that is trying to not just to compete, but ideally beat the competition with a fantastic game.
--- It's all in the details ---
Realize this, how incredible are WoW's graphics? Honest? All I see is a crazy rave of colors that has no genuine quality in it's aesthetic, but what it doesn't lack is a fully established game play system in which they can BUILD UPON. We love the amazing texture and quality put into the aesthetic of the game but don't just waste the high system specifications on merely graphics. I understand you put a lot of effort into making this game look beautiful, but now stop. And don't work on it ever again. not until the next expansion pack. Focus on the little things now:
-An MMO isn't too different from your standard RPG in terms of rating it and getting player's attentions, we require the same things: Nice Graphics (CHECK), Playability (aka simplify how long it takes to understand game play and continue working on the User Interface), and but mooooost importantly (and performed successfully by the development team of Final Fantasy 7) REPLAY VALUE!!! which I will continue to elaborate later on in this essay...
2. When, for example, people stop playing WoW/Diablo 2/any FPS(first person shooter)/etc..., customers aren't terribly attached to their characters because they know that when there is incentive to restart these games, customers can get back to where they were, and further enjoy the new additions to any expansion or DLC (downloadable content).
--- This needs further elaboration ---
Enix, Square, whoever's listening out there that's designing this game, you need to let go of some of the Final Fantasy heritage in taking 50-99 hours of solid game play to get your character to lvl 99, let alone level 50. SO WHAT if our character gets a class to lvl 50/99, FFXIV has a unique advantage compared to other games like WoW & EVE in which we have 17 OTHER CLASSES TO LEVEL (18 total, so far...) with the same character. So please, be not afraid of faster leveling, it'll allow us to focus our efforts on other things in the game such as LSCompanies (LSC's ideally) with LSC Buildings for group crafting and PvP Ships, a more fuller story line with plenty of side quest storylines (Think of it like the Fallout series, in which a player is capable of adventuring out, performing odd quests to fulfill one's own story, establishing a unique reputation amongst the games' NPC's and story line), possibly less servers thus pulling more players into fuller communities, and side games/events (like FF7 & FF11) which leads me to point...
3. reeeeePLAY VALUE!!! Blitzball would be a fantastic example for 10 random players to compete in, Chocobo races being another. It makes great precedent for more outrageous ideas for everyone to get involved in. Give us chocobo jousting and tarutaru hurling, have us do larger groups of raids with random people (which you've started doing as of this last patch in areas like Camp Tranquil *applause*) that'll allow us to party with random people so we can kill more creatures faster in a fun social event, or even have us do 1v1 fighting in the cities as if it was patriots training for their own nations! That's one of many things that FFXI was successful with, national pride. We haven't started PvP, but WHEN it begins national pride can translate into LSC (LinkShellCompany) Pride, allowing for larger communities to organize for other things than griiiinding...
--- REMEMBER ---
It doesn't matter if the customer beats the game, what you need to focus on designing is incentive to have us continue playing unique events that are incomparable to other MMO's. Seriously, if you were to implement catchy-in-game events that'll coordinate with the appropriate era, genre, and aesthetic of FFXIV, you'll have an epic surge of community interest. ****, it'll give us something to do while we're crafting!
and please... do noooot make the interface of these events as tedious as gathering materials! Fishing in FFXI was so fun because one didn't always know how well they were doing. Now that we know how well we are doing, it would be more beneficial to make a complex interface that is compatible for all consoles and PC so that it's like having a different game within a game, think like Fifa and Madden sports games interactivity . Have us go chocobo swimming for fish, let us cliff dive into the ocean for gil, host food eating contests (for the poooor culinarian class to do something more interesting), surfboard/snowboard crafting/racing competitions (semi-similar to FF7's with balloons), you name it!
Get even MORE creative, STOMP the competition like they did to FFXI! There's promising roots for the potential of this new crafting system being part of game play, and that required loads of creativity, but don't just catch up, DESIGN for the FUTURE so that other's are catching up to FFXIV.
We really want this to be an epic MMO-RPG, but we really need you to contract more people to produce quick fixes and amazing updates with serious incentive for us to beat and rebeat the game. The modern day gamer is fine shelling out money for a game then putting monthly payments for continuous play, but you have to start thinking like a multi-billion dollar company that really wants people to buy it's product every day/month.
Do us proud.
Edited, Dec 7th 2010 2:10am by Estean3
Edited, Dec 7th 2010 2:39am by Estean3