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Poll: If you could pick an area to re-do.Follow

#1 Jan 10 2011 at 1:46 PM Rating: Good
This has been lingering in my head for a while, so I wanted to see if others thought similar to myself, or if I was way out in left feild. This is strictly talking about the artwork, the geography, the "look and feel" of the area. Leves and other content aside.
[poll]
[question]If you had a choice of 1 "starting" area to redo completely, which would it be?[/question]
[choice]Thanalan [/choice]
[choice]La Noscea [/choice]
[choice]The Black Shroud [/choice]
[choice]They are fine as is. [/choice]
[/poll]

Edited, Jan 10th 2011 2:58pm by UnknownGoddess
#2 Jan 10 2011 at 1:50 PM Rating: Good
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I voted for the Black Shroud. It needs to be more of an open forest than a series of tunnels with some trees, in my opinion. La Noscea is my favorite with how open it is. Thanalan is still "open", although the ridges do get annoying when running across it.
#3 Jan 10 2011 at 1:56 PM Rating: Good
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Hydragyrum wrote:
I voted for the Black Shroud. It needs to be more of an open forest than a series of tunnels with some trees, in my opinion.


I completely agree. It probably sounds selfish, but I was so disappointed the first time I explored that zone.
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#4 Jan 10 2011 at 1:57 PM Rating: Good
I picked the Black Shroud as well.

For me it really doesn't feel like a forest, other then the never see the sun thing. More like you are always in a canyon of some sort heading to a "different" valley.

The reason for the quotations above? Well you hear a lot of people complaining about the copy-paste landscape in the game. Although I can see it in other areas if I really look for it, in The Black Shroud, it's glaringly obvious. Everywhere.

Looking at the map is was the first thing to catch my eye, and once I got out into the area to explore around? It really just the same thing over and over.

I know thats all been said before, but I really only feel that way in The Black Shroud. If it wasn't for seeing it there, I might have never looked for it in other areas.
#5 Jan 10 2011 at 1:57 PM Rating: Excellent
Hydragyrum wrote:
I voted for the Black Shroud. It needs to be more of an open forest than a series of tunnels with some trees, in my opinion.



Exactly this!
#6 Jan 10 2011 at 1:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Of course its the black shroud lol. The area seems fine when your walking through it but just look at the map.... that map design looks horrible.

Theres not a lot of room for exploration as its kind of linear in its paths.
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#7 Jan 10 2011 at 1:59 PM Rating: Good
Hydragyrum wrote:
I voted for the Black Shroud. It needs to be more of an open forest than a series of tunnels with some trees, in my opinion.


Black Shroud for me as well, even if we had Chocobos the place is a nightmare :p
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#8 Jan 10 2011 at 2:16 PM Rating: Good
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17-0-0-0 in favor of the black shrouds for obvious reasons. Thanalan and La Noscea would be fine if they had a little more in them (towns, villages, caves, less copy+paste). The Black Shroud on the other hand needs a complete overhaul and as many of you have said, doesnt feel like a forest.
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#9 Jan 10 2011 at 2:37 PM Rating: Good
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I chose La Noscea, cause it has become very drab and boring for me. If i was around the black shroud i would have voted for it.
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#10 Jan 10 2011 at 3:02 PM Rating: Good
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Black Shroud wins by landslide.
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#11 Jan 10 2011 at 3:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Black shroud, it needs to not just be a grid with a few bubbles of land. I'm completely ok with the layouts of everything else, I just wish they wernt so bland.
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#12 Jan 10 2011 at 3:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Definitely the black shroud. It's too maze-like and not enough of a forest feeling.
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#13 Jan 10 2011 at 4:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Black Shroud for the exact same reason everyone else is saying. I expected Jugner/Ronfaure and got Yuhtunga/Yhoator on crack. At least the map isn't as unhelpful as Yuhtunga and Yhoator's are, but still.
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#14 Jan 10 2011 at 4:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mikhalia the Picky wrote:
Black Shroud for the exact same reason everyone else is saying. I expected Jugner/Ronfaure and got Yuhtunga/Yhoator on crack. At least the map isn't as unhelpful as Yuhtunga and Yhoator's are, but still.


When i figured out the routes in the jungles without the maps i felt like i could take on the whole empire by myself
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#15 Jan 10 2011 at 4:18 PM Rating: Good
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I voted Black Shroud (though I do think that all of the zones would benefit from having half as much personality as they do size) because it feels like running through a badly-randomized Chocobo's Dungeon map from over ten years ago.
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#16 Jan 10 2011 at 4:25 PM Rating: Good
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People need to come to terms with this not being XI and Gridania not being Sandoria.
Lore wise gridania is some sort of hidden valley, so it makes a lot of sense the outside area is a laberynth type of area.

Maybe it would have been best, however, to make a big clear area -AFTER- the maze like tunnels.
This would have also helped the transition between desert to forest a lot better (right now it feels completely disconnected).

I voted for La Noscea though. That place is compeltely miscelaneous. I think its the area I noticed the least. Its just a lot of green and a lot of walking...

I would have liked an "all three areas" option however because it feels like all three areas could use some elements to pull them apart from each other. I remember I'd be more appreciative of areas in XI than in XIV. There were more unique things to be seen I'd say rather than a vast terrend landfield (example. the windmills before valk dunes).

Edited, Jan 10th 2011 5:26pm by MajidahSihaam
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#17 Jan 10 2011 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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A gripe I have with FFXIV is a gripe I also have with WoW and with FFXI and Minecraft with other games as well... the transitions can be way too abrupt. It kinda kills the suspension of disbelief when you're going from grassy plains to sands, or from a forest to a desert, or from flat arctic tundra to grass, or from red rocky badlands to a dense marsh.

This is one of those things that I never really expect to get addressed, but some sort of feeling of transition would be nice. Take it from dense forest to light woods to grasslands to scrubland to desert. Not from Dense Forest to suddenly desert. I'm not going to say "That never happens in nature" because it might happen somewhere and I'm sure that someone has a picture, but the frequency of such an abrupt change in nature is extremely low.

And yeah, Black Shroud should have been a flat, traversable area, desnely populated trees; not a series of tunnels with high grassy walls.
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#18 Jan 10 2011 at 4:56 PM Rating: Good
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I pick Black Shroud because it is just so annoying trying to do things there. Always have to open the Map and find the best way to get to thing but going up, down, back-tracking... and hate the fact that if you need to get somewhere, you can't get around the R40+ Mobs to get there.
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#19 Jan 10 2011 at 5:43 PM Rating: Good
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I agree with the sentiment that the black shroud lacks the romantic qualities of Jugner Forest and Ronfaure. To be honest, it hardly feels like a forest at all. Yes there are so many giant trees that the sun is blotted from the sky, but I really don't see them unless I look up. To me, the zone is more of a mess of moss covered stone with the occasional tree or two. But to be honest, I am not sure If I really want SE to go back and fundamentally change something so large when they already have so much work to do. I think I can wait for that.
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#20 Jan 10 2011 at 6:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Mikhalia the Picky wrote:
A gripe I have with FFXIV is a gripe I also have with WoW and with FFXI and Minecraft with other games as well... the transitions can be way too abrupt. It kinda kills the suspension of disbelief when you're going from grassy plains to sands, or from a forest to a desert, or from flat arctic tundra to grass, or from red rocky badlands to a dense marsh.

This is one of those things that I never really expect to get addressed, but some sort of feeling of transition would be nice. Take it from dense forest to light woods to grasslands to scrubland to desert. Not from Dense Forest to suddenly desert. I'm not going to say "That never happens in nature" because it might happen somewhere and I'm sure that someone has a picture, but the frequency of such an abrupt change in nature is extremely low.

And yeah, Black Shroud should have been a flat, traversable area, desnely populated trees; not a series of tunnels with high grassy walls.



Call me crazy but I was disappointed to learn they still had zone lines in this game. I fully expected a seamless world and while some areas are seamless we run into that Thanalan/Black Shroud zone line and the immersion is just broken. I can't even see this huge forest in the distance!

Why do we still have these kinds of zone lines in a game in 2010 or even 2011? Especially when there are much older games that seem to work without zone lines just fine?
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#21 Jan 10 2011 at 6:15 PM Rating: Default
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I agree. The Black Shroud is pretty much all trails and tunnels. They should add actual dungeons. Perhaps later on add instances for end-game level content. Who knows.
#22 Jan 10 2011 at 6:56 PM Rating: Decent
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I will also have to agree with everything everyone has said, The black shroud needs more openess and exploration areas
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#23 Jan 10 2011 at 7:01 PM Rating: Good
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Ive spent most of my time in Gridania and the surrounding areas, i definitely agree that the Black Shroud design is very disappointing. Its just a big rat maze, was expecting something like Ronfaure or Windurst :(
#24 Jan 10 2011 at 8:20 PM Rating: Decent
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I choice Black Shroud. I find it a pain to mine and log there because of all the back tracking. It reminds me of a poorly designed hedge maze.
#25 Jan 10 2011 at 9:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Black shroud hand down.
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#26 Jan 10 2011 at 10:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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I want to know who vote for "They are fine as is" and the reasoning behind it :P
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#27 Jan 10 2011 at 10:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Black Shroud hands down. That is where the copy/paste is the most blatant and the entire "trench and bridge" set up just makes it feel closed off and almost like it's on rails. It really destroys the open feel an MMO should have, for me anyhow.



Edited, Jan 11th 2011 3:04am by KristoFurwalken
#28 Jan 10 2011 at 11:24 PM Rating: Good
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Excellent thread!

It helps just a tiny bit if you start referring to The Black Shroud as The Green Habitrail. Once I started thinking of it as being like one of those gerbil habitats, I can't think of it any other way. There's even plenty of wood chips, all it needs is an exercise wheel to run in.
#29 Jan 10 2011 at 11:33 PM Rating: Decent
La Nosca. Hated it from the first moment. Wide, open and boooring.
#30 Jan 11 2011 at 12:12 AM Rating: Decent
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All three starter areas suck really outside limsa is bland copy paste boring the black shroud is a rat maze I pretty much never go there anymore and as for Thanalan it's ok aside from the depressing music
#31 Jan 11 2011 at 5:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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I vote for the Black Shroud too. Too long ways, everything looks the same and if there is a thunderstorm you don't even see the lightnning.
In fact I agree with the people who say all starting areas need an overhaul. Thalanan is nice but empty, La Noscea is a bit better but also pretty empty.

The ways and tunnels in Black Shroud are nice and all but I agree that there should also be open areas and maybe some glades where you can see the sky.
What every area currently avaliable needs are landmarks though. They need some remarkable places players can explore like some ruins of an old stronghold or the entrance to an underground tomb, a strange dead tree in the woods, ruins of a town in the hills of Thalanan or an oasis in a hidden valley...
I'll never forget the fascination of seeing the giant spine-like structure in Meriphataud Mountains in FFXI everytime I came through that zone for example.
The areas are just too big for the very few interesting things in them. It's like they stretched them to look big without increasing the ammount of details.

Also mob distribution still needs improvements. I see marmots diving in the rivers of the Black Shroud for hours or I can run through an area and not see any living thing at all. And if you dare to go and explore a bit, some r50+ mob suddenly jumps into your face and eats you, just a minute away from the starting city. Though that's exciting it's not very starter friendly.

Another thing I'd like to see are new areas between the starting areas. So if you go from Thalanan to the Black Shroud you don't go through a deserted valley and suddenly you stand in the middle of giant trees. Why not make an area in between where the vegetation slowly changes from one to the other extreme along with the mobs.

EDIT: Just saw Mikhalia brought up my last point already. Well, even if it's unlikely to get these changes, with the change of leadership positions this might be the best chance to bring this point up.

Edited, Jan 11th 2011 12:31pm by RidingBean
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#32 Jan 11 2011 at 7:10 AM Rating: Good
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Shock horror I voted for The Black Shroud too.

More trees less trenches.

but I like the music, its starting to feel like home much like windy did, whenever I return to gridania or the black shroud I feel like I'm home :)
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#33 Jan 11 2011 at 10:27 AM Rating: Good
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RidingBean wrote:
What every area currently avaliable needs are landmarks though. They need some remarkable places players can explore like some ruins of an old stronghold or the entrance to an underground tomb, a strange dead tree in the woods, ruins of a town in the hills of Thalanan or an oasis in a hidden valley...
I'll never forget the fascination of seeing the giant spine-like structure in Meriphataud Mountains in FFXI everytime I came through that zone for example.
The areas are just too big for the very few interesting things in them. It's like they stretched them to look big without increasing the ammount of details.


Great post; just reading the descriptions has given me more wonder than exploring any of FFXIV's current zones; I don't think that anyone could disagree with these suggestions.
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#34 Jan 11 2011 at 1:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't mind the Black Shroud in terms of the tunnels, but I do mind that there is no personality; and that's due to the cut and paste terrain and over used textures. Not to mention the expanse. Also, there are no destinations, making the current zones all we have.

The Yhotunga areas by contrast were bright and lively. Though small (which is a good thing). Even though they were maze like, there were certain markers that signaled where you were. And although people used these areas for camps, they were also ways to get to places with content, like Norg or Ifrit's Cauldron.

Same with Meriphataud Mountains. The for the longest time the majority was nothing special, though it had the 'dragon's spine.' It's purpose was to connect you to Zi'Tah and Oztroja.

In general I don't seem SE remaking the 'starter' zones.

The only change we can hope for will be areas in future expansions. If I had to choose between more varied zones and loading times, versus large zones with no loading times, I'd pick the more varied zones more often than not.

FFXIV might have more sq. ft. but it sure doesn't have the personality that FFXI did.
#35 Jan 11 2011 at 2:00 PM Rating: Decent
MajidahSihaam wrote:
***snip***

I would have liked an "all three areas" option however because it feels like all three areas could use some elements to pull them apart from each other. I remember I'd be more appreciative of areas in XI than in XIV. There were more unique things to be seen I'd say rather than a vast terrend landfield (example. the windmills before valk dunes).

Edited, Jan 10th 2011 5:26pm by MajidahSihaam


I was going to add that option, but figured it might be more useful to get specific information on which area people thought needed the most work. If there was a option "redo the whole game" people might have just gone with that as well :P
#36 Jan 11 2011 at 2:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Black Shroud for sure. The place is terrible. I want a beefed up Jugner forest. Black Shroud is just depressing.
#37 Jan 11 2011 at 3:58 PM Rating: Decent
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I picked Black Shroud because it's a giant tunnel where you can't even tell where you are without looking at the map because it looks the same no matter where you are.

In any case, I'd chop up the current zones into two or three separate zones because the current ones are too large and offer too little variation.
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