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Letter from YP, XI, and Japan's History-- My ThoughtsFollow

#1 Jan 21 2011 at 4:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Allow me to begin by saying that this is the most excited I've been for FFXIV since launch day.

For me, all of the proposed additions/changes are most welcome. I want to hone in on one thing in particular that Yoshi-P mentioned before I proceed with my ramblings.

Quote:
The majority of FINAL FANTASY XIV players polled have a history of playing FINAL FANTASY XI, which is a result we here at Square Enix were certainly happy to see. To us, this serves to illustrate the loyalty and passion of FINAL FANTASY fans, and both the development and management teams were truly moved by this result!


For me this touches on a core expectation that I believe many of us, consciously or subconsciously, shared prior to the release of XIV. We had experience playing XI, and that experience was by in large positive, hence our willingness to toss away another 5-7 years of our (social) lives on the next foray into Final MMOGing. We came to love much of what XI had to offer. I believe it is safe to generalize and say what most of us expected was an improved version of XI-- a game that retained the essence of what we enjoyed, but also contained enough uniqueness to ensure it was not just a rehash.

The improvements YP is suggested is directly in line with this belief. The game is moving towards an XI like state, in terms of things such as an increased emphasis on party play, introduction of beastmen tribes, possible changes of class names, etc. but there will also be many new features-- companies, a renovated battle system, and the like. Many of us can probably agree that one of the fatal mistakes of the original XIV development team was not learning from XI's history-- taking the aspects that we as the consumers viewed as successful-- and implementing them in the title.

I look forward to seeing the team deliver-- and I can say with confidence that I am certain they are capable, not only because I believe the possess the expertise, but more so because their desire to improve feels genuine. This is a feeling the development team of XIV has not conveyed in a long time, if ever.

For those who are familiar with Japanese culture and their history of operations management, this is a particularly important concept. For those who are not, the Japanese are the pioneers of many important quality related concepts that have come to define industry today. To give a bit of history, following WW2 the Japanese economy was in shambles. It took them a very long time to recover. In the 1970s Japanese products were regarded as being as crappy as Korean or Chinese products today. In the 1980s the Japanese, in particular Toyota, sought to change that. They located the best 'quality experts' around the world (most of these coming from the US), and hired them to consult and improve their processes. They took what the Americans did (the once-upon-a-time quality leaders of the world) and did it better. Inspired by Toyota, many Japanese firms adopted a similar approach towards quality. This allowed them to rebound and eventually become a very prosperous nation. Consider for a moment our impressions of American and Japanese made cars: most of us would agree that Japanese cars, such as Nissans and Hondas, are superior to American made cars in many dimensions of quality: value, reliability, etc. Total quality management, continuous improvement-- the 'best practices' in productions (operations) today-- are all Japanese concepts. Japanese industry today is defined by these quality approaches. In many ways, any time a Japanese operation fails to deliver in terms of quality, it is almost a betrayal of the principles on which their country was rebuilt. What YP is doing is taking the production of XIV back to his nation's roots-- emphasizing quality in terms of increased customer communication in specific-- a step that will, if history is any indication, result in XIV becoming a successful project.

So what is the common theme here between XI and Japan's history? Basically, it's taking what you know and can do with proficiency, and improving upon it. In business terms, exploiting your core competencies. This is the best way to deliver in terms of quality, and also realize a competitive advantage.

Best of luck to the new development team-- stick to what you know first, learn from your past, and you won't even need daikichi.
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#2 Jan 21 2011 at 4:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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well said. And a nice tie in with the auto industry. kinda makes me want to go watch Gung-ho. but seriously, i think Yoshi nailed it, that we are mostly XI players who were expecting a sequel of sorts, or at the very least, a game that builds on every new weird system SE was trying out on us for the last ten years in Vanadiel.

We all (as someone pointed out in another thread) were expecting to see all those new systems and game mechanics fleshed out into something spectacular in XIV but to me it seems that the original XIV dev team just wasn't invested in the project. A team needs a leader, and that leader has to have a crystal clear vision of the game, and he has to be so above and beyond, sickeningly passionate about that vision.

the original dev team shot their load with the Crystal Tools engine and the beautiful art assets that we got with it. In no way am i saying these guys don't deserve high praise for building the most beautiful MMO on the market. But they did their work. Now its time for someone with a coherent vision of an actual game to make it happen.

In some ways, SE couldn't be in a better position. They have a shiny game engine, a few workable mechanics, as well as a basic world already built for them. Time to spit and polish, get in there and have fun with turning it into a real live game. And they have a playerbase, who despite being lied to, jacked around, and disillusioned, is willing to stick around for what happens next. could be worse.
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#3 Jan 21 2011 at 10:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well spoken. While I ultimately share in your hope, I think it's too early to start glorifying Yoshida. Granted his posts carry a lot of positive energy, but until the goods is delivered, I for one, remain hesitant to welcome our new ff14 overlord with wide open arms. But certainly, he does have a bit of charm, doesn't he?
#4 Jan 21 2011 at 10:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Socks wrote:
Well spoken. While I ultimately share in your hope, I think it's too early to start glorifying Yoshida. Granted his posts carry a lot of positive energy, but until the goods is delivered, I for one, remain hesitant to welcome our new ff14 overlord with wide open arms. But certainly, he does have a bit of charm, doesn't he?


its a really good point, and its crossed my mind. But he's given us detailed plans for pretty extensive changes, as well as general thoughts about future(probably bigger) updates. He's gone out on a limb to talk about touchy-feely stuff like emotion invested in characters, and there was the bit with the personalized answer to the worried fan...etc. It does remain to be seen how well all this stuff gets implemented, but he's set a precedent of rational, intelligent and timely decision-making so far. I will be surprised if that changes.
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#5 Jan 22 2011 at 11:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Onionthiefx wrote:


For those who are familiar with Japanese culture and their history of operations management, this is a particularly important concept. For those who are not, the Japanese are the pioneers of many important quality related concepts that have come to define industry today. To give a bit of history, following WW2 the Japanese economy was in shambles. It took them a very long time to recover. In the 1970s Japanese products were regarded as being as crappy as Korean or Chinese products today. In the 1980s the Japanese, in particular Toyota, sought to change that. They located the best 'quality experts' around the world (most of these coming from the US), and hired them to consult and improve their processes. They took what the Americans did (the once-upon-a-time quality leaders of the world) and did it better. Inspired by Toyota, many Japanese firms adopted a similar approach towards quality. This allowed them to rebound and eventually become a very prosperous nation. Consider for a moment our impressions of American and Japanese made cars: most of us would agree that Japanese cars, such as Nissans and Hondas, are superior to American made cars in many dimensions of quality: value, reliability, etc. Total quality management, continuous improvement-- the 'best practices' in productions (operations) today-- are all Japanese concepts. Japanese industry today is defined by these quality approaches. In many ways, any time a Japanese operation fails to deliver in terms of quality, it is almost a betrayal of the principles on which their country was rebuilt. What YP is doing is taking the production of XIV back to his nation's roots-- emphasizing quality in terms of increased customer communication in specific-- a step that will, if history is any indication, result in XIV becoming a successful project.



While what you had said was true, and did put Japanese products at the top of world, something had changed in the late 90s and early 00s. And this changed had bring stagnation to the Japanese industry, its call "Seniority". The what used to be young and energetic people who had brought success to the Japanese business are now in the top management level. And since they were the one who had made Japanese product such a success all over then world, they sure "know what they are doing". New ideas from the new set of young and energetic new comers are no longer welcome, and the seniors decided to do things like they had always done, seems to ignore the fact that the world and caught up and slowly passing ahead of them.

Just look at the gaming industry we all know about. From the late 80s to mid-late 90s, Japanese games were the king. Now pick a game in the mid 00s that was made by the Japanese and you realized that other than the shinier graphics, little had changed compare to the one they had made during the mid-late 90s. Many reports had showed that Japanese game industry as a whole are years behind the Western competitors. Its the same problem. The seniors are doing what they had done best by being "I know what I'm doing. I had made this company successful, now stfu you n00bs"

Will FFXIV be a big slap in those senior's face telling them "You knew what you were doing, but the world had pass you by. Now let the youngsters do what you had done before to turn the company around." I sure hope so, and I hope Yoshi-P will now have an easier time to convince the top management to do things the new way instead.

Edited, Jan 23rd 2011 12:14am by OneFatAngel
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#6 Jan 22 2011 at 11:56 PM Rating: Good
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OneFatAngel wrote:
Just look at the gaming industry we all know about. From the late 80s to mid-late 90s, Japanese games were the king. Now pick a game in the mid 00s that was made by the Japanese and you realized that other than the shinier graphics, little had changed compare to the one they had made during the mid-late 90s.


Monster Hunter, Devil May Cry or Resident Evil, especially RE, with 4 and 5 are drastically different from 1, 2 or 3. The stagnant one is the RPG genre, not really the whole industry, but RPG has always been their biggest pie.
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#7 Jan 23 2011 at 1:07 AM Rating: Good
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My concern is: if they are targeting FFXI players, then what will happen to XI?

What I mean is, they should target the people that left FFXI for different reasons and still want to play a FF MMO.

I left FFXI because of time constrain, can't afford 4+ hours to form a group to level up, I wanted to level many jobs to max, but I ended with only leveling NIN and DRK and several 37's and that’s it (had a job with no wife and kids, now I have wife + kids), other than that, I liked everything FFXI had, now I could go back to FFXI but the graphics are old and the combat system is old, and it will take me forever to level a new job to 80.

This is what I want the developers of FFXIV to start looking at, getting back the people that left FFXI but still love it.
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#8 Jan 23 2011 at 5:12 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
The stagnant one is the RPG genre, not really the whole industry, but RPG has always been their biggest pie.


I'd like to mention that there really isn't such thing as the "RPG genre". FF's have more in common with Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil (4-5) than they have with WRPG's (which can be considered more of an RPG's in the real sense of the word). The Japanese are still at the top when it comes to third person action games and fighting games. They also make interesting turn based strategy games, but West easily takes the cake here.

But to my real point. Is is slightly flawed to compare something like the automobile industry to the gaming industry. Since the gaming industry is part of the experience industry as a whole, along with movie, book, and tourism industries. Their primary function is to give people experiences, which means constant innovation is needed. Why? Because experiences get more and more dull the more you do them. Bungee jump the first time? That's awesome. Bungee jump the 100th time? Well, it might still feel good, but it's nothing like the first time.

Which is why the normal Japanese ideal doesn't quite mean success in this industry. Simply pushing out quality is not enough.
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#9 Jan 23 2011 at 5:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Irrelevant to the thread but:

Quote:
now I could go back to FFXI but the graphics are old and the combat system is old, and it will take me forever to level a new job to 80.


No. Sorry but FF11 is amazing now. And with this years updates & the twitter it is getting even better.
I recently went level 85 - 90 and every single level took only 30 minutes, roughly, while doing Dominion in an Abyssea party (Heroes of Abyssea).
(Ended up leveling 2 jobs to 90 (from 85) in a single day, same PT).

Not to say you can go out and solo everything, but the game still requires a good party of 3-6+ to kill NMs etc.

Anyway, just sick of people thinking FF11 is so much more grinding than most MMOs. It's not.


#10 Jan 23 2011 at 6:15 AM Rating: Decent
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Most of us don't really have any "recollection" of current XI.

Most of us played and liked it years ago. I don't think XI has a huge influx of "new" players based on its improved gameplay so you're spouting off nonsense to the wrong crowd, I think.

Personally I don't want this game to gravitate toward XI (old or new). I wanted a brand new experience and I happen to like the differences between XI and XIV - I do wish however the world felt more immersing and the story gripped me harder. I don't want it to have anything remotely resembling XI's party play. Party play: Yes please. XI's party system: No thanks.
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#11 Jan 23 2011 at 6:41 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Most of us played and liked it years ago. I don't think XI has a huge influx of "new" players based on its improved gameplay so you're spouting off nonsense to the wrong crowd, I think.


Not once did i say FF11 has an "influx" of new players. And nothing i said is "nonsense".

However, I completely agree, not many players have experienced Abyssea. However if people are going to spout nonsense about leveling beyond 75, they better know what they're talking about.

This has nothing to do with 14 other than the fact that the man behind Abyssea is working on FF14 now, since the dev. shake-up. The point is we can, likely, expect great things to come in terms of content.

Edited, Jan 23rd 2011 7:42am by Xivectro
#12 Jan 23 2011 at 8:12 AM Rating: Good
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Khornette wrote:

Monster Hunter, Devil May Cry or Resident Evil, especially RE, with 4 and 5 are drastically different from 1, 2 or 3. The stagnant one is the RPG genre, not really the whole industry, but RPG has always been their biggest pie.


Ever wonder how all these games were made by the same company? Capcom is one of the exception.
____________________________
春天不是讀書天,
夏日炎炎正好眠,
等到秋來冬又至,
收拾書包好過年。

#13 Jan 23 2011 at 10:04 AM Rating: Excellent
8 posts
Also in Japan's history to fail and then to apologise many times shows that they are very much aware of this. They don't take failier lightly. They take it to heart and to publically admit it is exstreamly humbling on thier part.

To bring in a new leader and Dev team shows that they care. They are reading what the players are saying. In Yoshi's defense his personality is one to think and plan and not deliver empty promises. We are a "I want it Now!" socity and patience isn't something we have.

It's going to take time to write quests, code, test and impliment them and other content and the many wants and new material. Also think ahead to content beyond Rank 50. So stomping our foot and demading new content by this date or I quit, well there's the door. Many gamers are in thier 30's 40's and 50's now and have seen how the gaming industry has changed over the past 15 or so years.

As far as FFXI goes it's not a newbie's game as it once was. It's an end-game oriented game. I played for several years and then went back and got into my my mid 50's. As many verterns know that is the time where sitting in Jeuno waiting or shouting for help was the norm. Keys for AF, limit breaks, helping with getting ZM's done and so on helping with that is almost non-existant. Help is end-game and spread out to places mid-50's can't get to yet and most of those players aren't interested in helping unless you are very lucky to belong to an LS that will help. I remember before the level cap and level sync the game had it's challenges but it also had it's rewards. I did CoP the old fashioned way, blood, sweat and tears. I remember when I stepped into Sea for the first time and there was a UFO waiting for me. :/ But the experience of completing CoP and seeing the beauty of what I had accomplished was speachless. I achieved something that not many had and I was proud of it. Then they nerfed CoP to make it easier for people to get Sea and Limbus. It took that wow factor out as it once held. (Remember Erika's CoP references website?) I loved Limbus, but then it got crowded and the novelty wore off as people had the same armour and migrated to doing Nyzul. I remember when Sky was where you went for merit camps and fighting the RMT over NM kills, especially Ulli was a challenge, but all that was nerfed or altered in some way. My odode and shura gear was special to me because I earned it before all the nerfs and the RMT special force came into being.

So with FFXI not user friendly any longer I stopped playing and waited for Final Fantasy 14 and played the beta. I wanted something new and waited for Final Fantasy 14. I played the beta and I was disappointed in the lack of content, UI and many other issues. I would have given up, but no, I've stuck with it and with the shake up in the Dev team, made up of a lot FFXI people was happy. I have the patience that many don't have that come to the forums who want it NOW. Well NOW takes time and the new Dev's are doing thier best to salvage what was given to them and to put Final Fantasy name back into FF.

Patience and time is nessessary on our part to let this team with old and new people is needed. Until then I'm happy with the letter and the in-sight of the personality of Yoshi to take Final Fantasy 14 on a journy that we will have to wait and see what happens.

I miss most the community, content, and immersion that FFXI "had." And the new games coming out are to cartoony for me. FF was real and still is.

To the Devs and Yoshi-P here's your chance and I don't feel I'll be let down as it seems they are developing a really good feeling and plan of what the Final Fantasy community is expecting and what SE knows what it must do.

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