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A question for you MMO vets (especially the ones from FFXI)Follow

#1 Feb 13 2011 at 3:39 PM Rating: Good
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Hey guys, listen, My first MMO was FFXI in the summer of 2009. I immediately fell in love with it and played it every chance I got until FFXIV came out. I realize that FFXIV has a ton of problems, and it may take a while to get them all fixed. I also realize this is a new game and sh*t happens. For those of you who were around at the beggining of FFXI, how was it compared to this? Do you vets believe that this game will be fine, because you have seen this many times at a games initial release? I want to play this game badly, for the most part because I have never been able to get in on an MMO at release, and I can here. I get tired of playing others and hearing people talk about "the old days". I do realize that this game may have been released too soo. However, I also feel like it has a ton of potential. I left FFXI for a while because I really got tired of SE completely ignoring us. I am VERY excited now about this game because the new guy seems to actually care about what we want. So again, is this normal and to be expected? Was FFXI frustrating when it came out too? I really am just curious how these two games relate as to thier release date. Thanks guys. :)
#2 Feb 13 2011 at 3:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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The two games had similar problems with launch -- including refunded time. FFXI, however, recovered after two months and began to add in new content and improved from there. FFXIV languished for months, then fired its whole development team, and now struggles to update in the face of indefinite free play time and an indefinite PS3 delay.

The reason for this comes from the fact that, aside from stability and balance issues, FFXI was ready for launch. FFXIV did not even know how its economy would look; it's battle system was/is awkward to say the least; the armory system works against the physical level system; the maps are wide, barren fields of copy-pasted terrain; many classes are barely differentiated; and what players are left eagerly await improvement.

Both games had similar problems at launch, but FFXIV has many more problems than its predecessor. If SE continues at their current rate, FFXIV should shape up to be a pretty good game by next year - which is when I hope I'll be happily playing (and paying for) it.
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#3 Feb 13 2011 at 3:49 PM Rating: Good
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FFXI was very frustrating when it came out. The population hardcore rejected the controls, you lose 10% of your level each death, Raise was nonexistent, parties took 6+ hours to get, most classes were really unbalanced. Thief and Dragoon couldn't get a party to save their lives.
Lot of bugs everywhere, horrible drop rates, everything a time sink, took months to level, etc.
And of course a brutal economy.

FFXI over the years improved to become an amazing game though, by fixing customer complaints 1 by 1. Adding solo alternatives, adding Campaign battle, and all sorts of stuff.
Eventually FFXI stopped trying to Mimic EQ1 (which the devs said it was based on, they were all playing EQ1 in while filming Spirits Within) and became its own game.


You have nothing to worry about, just time. FFXIV will slowly decide what it wants to become. Right now it has a lack of direction but that's slowly changing. People are still confused how hardcore or casual 14 will be, and the future of raids and storyline and well, day to day life.
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#4 Feb 13 2011 at 4:45 PM Rating: Good
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Many people on these boards cannot really speak about the launch of XI because it was launched in japan only. It was released for pc in north america 11 months later and ps2 in north america about 15 months later. I have faith they will make ffxiv as great as xi over time.
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#5 Feb 13 2011 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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Another differentiating factor with XI, is that the english version did not reach stateside until the launch was successful. The American version also came packaged with the first content expansion. The complaint then was Japan got a head start - now the complaint is that the game is not polished. Its hard to please everyone I guess.

I am pretty sure FFXIV will shape up to be a great game.
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#6 Feb 13 2011 at 5:16 PM Rating: Good
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11 was launched in North America with an expansion pack already included so it really isn't a fair comparison unless you played the JP launch.

The situations is this:

FFXIV will have an equal population situation as FFXI did/does. Because of the poor launch, many people won't return and it will never become the "WoW Killer" that people say about every mmo at launch.

For some, this is a negative. I view it as a positive because you lose many of the douchey players who just mmo jump and are left with a core playerbase who genuinely enjoy the game and create a fun community.

SE put a lot of time and effort into this game despite it being an unfinished game. They won't allow the game to fail (at least not this early) and have great plans for the games future. I just hope that when they do fix it, they do a better job advertising the game than they did in FFXI.


Really the only problem with the launch was the lack of content and I blame that on SE trying something very different from other mmos. They tried to remake too many wheels and they are undoing much of that now.
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#7 Feb 13 2011 at 6:25 PM Rating: Decent
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FFXI was more or less JP onry for close to a yearish before the official NA PC release. Keep in mind, 14 resembles 11 a lot in that before the NA console release, there isn't much to speak of for end game content. The difference is that 14 had a lot of ridiculous problems on launch; hardware problems, across the board server lag, etc., whereas 11 was a little more refined in that.

It's going to take some monumental effort to get 14 back on track, but that's exactly why they delayed the PS3 release. Don't be surprised to find a Zilart-esque expansion accompanying the PS3 release of 14.

Keep in mind, the Final Fantasy series is SE's bread and butter. They're not going to let a bad launch ruin their reputation; in fact I'd expect some truly inventive and incredible things from them in the months to come.
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#8 Feb 13 2011 at 6:43 PM Rating: Decent
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What's really problematic is that the people describing the whole "There was nothing to do, everything was incomplete, lots of bugs, etc" were NA players who (most likely) didnt start playing till after the NA version got released.

So if you think about it, that means that after being released for a year (NA launch) the game was still pretty much unplayable and had all the before mentioned problems still in it. And it had been in that state for an entire year since it's original launch. Lets not forget that original FFXI launch had a complete and finished product instead of the BETA that FFXIV currently still is.

While i'm totally up for giving it a shot, it does make me worry a little about the game. I really dont want it to take up to a year (and several months after that) till the game is "finished" and properly playable. But with the whole "we fired everyone who ever worked on it and who knows about it" thing, i'm thinking it might turn out fairly bad, fairly quick.
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#9 Feb 13 2011 at 7:42 PM Rating: Good
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Eadieni wrote:
FFXI was very frustrating when it came out. The population hardcore rejected the controls, you lose 10% of your level each death, Raise was nonexistent, parties took 6+ hours to get, most classes were really unbalanced. Thief and Dragoon couldn't get a party to save their lives.
Lot of bugs everywhere, horrible drop rates, everything a time sink, took months to level, etc.
And of course a brutal economy.


lol yeah. It took me like 2 brutal months to get my BLM to 23 the first time I ever played (just after NA release). I farmed for EVER to afford even the most basic gear (I remember spending like a week farming to get a black robe). Soloing was pretty much unpossible after level 10. I mean, I was a taru BLM but yeah, I remember hitting 10 and then trying to find something to level on... the fights would take like 5 minutes and I would get 30 exp. lol.

Maybe it just seems worse in memory, but yeah I played that game endlessly and couldn't really level to save my soul. I didn't even manage to get Khazam keys before I stopped playing (for reasons outside my control!)

I really liked the game, but in retrospect it was terribad.
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#10 Feb 13 2011 at 7:53 PM Rating: Decent
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KojiroSoma wrote:

While i'm totally up for giving it a shot, it does make me worry a little about the game. I really dont want it to take up to a year (and several months after that) till the game is "finished" and properly playable. But with the whole "we fired everyone who ever worked on it and who knows about it" thing, i'm thinking it might turn out fairly bad, fairly quick.


That was like 8 years ago and SE's first MMO so its just not comparable.

Additionally, FFXI had plenty to do but it just took so long to level that you forgot there was other stuff. And the quests weren;t clearly marked so you had to use the internet to find quest solutions.
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#11 Feb 13 2011 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
I agree with a lot of people here, unless they played the JP version of the game when it first came out, it's **** hard to compare. I started FFXI on PC near NA release, and by then the game was already quite playable in terms of UI, lag, controls, etc, that was already established and running well enough (for the time period it came out in). The other issue here, FFXI was my first true MMO that sunk time into, so I remember it as being a great game. Thinking back though, exp was brutal, soloing was brutal, the menu's worked, but were no where near optimal, traveling was a pain, the list goes on and on. I think what drew me in was the people and the world itself, it looked great and felt alive.

Had FFXIV released in the state it is now (which I think was their intention), with the smooth menu's, little to no lag, some form of search for the wards, I'd say the games were probably on par with each other. You can probably argue a few things here and there for sure in terms of quests, story lines, etc, but I think overall they were similar. I know the game has seen a rough start, but I was one of the harshly critical for months and now find myself playing almost everyday. It's amazing what smoothing out menu's and reducing lag will do for some people, for me, that alone was HUGE and made the game 10x more enjoyable. The other thing, find a good linkshell, that's what got me through XI all those years, it'll be the same for this game.
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#12 Feb 13 2011 at 10:17 PM Rating: Good
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Louiscool wrote:
11 was launched in North America with an expansion pack already included so it really isn't a fair comparison unless you played the JP launch.

The situations is this:

FFXIV will have an equal population situation as FFXI did/does. Because of the poor launch, many people won't return and it will never become the "WoW Killer" that people say about every mmo at launch.

For some, this is a negative. I view it as a positive because you lose many of the douchey players who just mmo jump and are left with a core playerbase who genuinely enjoy the game and create a fun community.

SE put a lot of time and effort into this game despite it being an unfinished game. They won't allow the game to fail (at least not this early) and have great plans for the games future. I just hope that when they do fix it, they do a better job advertising the game than they did in FFXI.


Really the only problem with the launch was the lack of content and I blame that on SE trying something very different from other mmos. They tried to remake too many wheels and they are undoing much of that now.


Amazing post, I agree with 100% of your reply.
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#13 Feb 14 2011 at 6:03 AM Rating: Excellent
I just thought of something...
It took me almost a full year to lvl my 1st job from 0-75 on FFXI
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#14 Feb 14 2011 at 1:04 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
many classes are barely differentiated;


I still don't see where people are getting this. Even in the first 10 - 20 levels of leveling combat jobs, they all seem quite different in how they play. You can load up a bunch of Pugilist abilities on your Gladiator and play it like a Pugilist... but that means that whether or not the class has definition is up to the player.

Yes, Gladiators, Mauraders and Pugilists all have abilities that let them tank or DD... but they do so in very different ways. Likewise, Conjurers and Thaumaturgers heal or DD in different ways. Pugilists get Jarring Strike, and Lancers get Leg Sweep... the mechanics of each ability are quite different (you can't Jarring Strike unless you have hate, for instance, and Leg Sweep is AoE). Conjurers have Cure, which operates in a completely different manner than Sacrifice does for Thaumaturges. Mauraders get Defender while Gladiators get Rampart, but the abilities are triggered in different ways and use different mechanics to operate.

What they've done is balanced abilities between jobs, and allowed jobs to freely access most abilities from other classes at a reduced but functional level. That may make it seem as though there's no real differentiations between the jobs, but that's the beauty of the armory system: your character is defined by the abilities, not by the class he chooses.
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#15 Feb 14 2011 at 1:31 PM Rating: Good
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LeilaniWildfire, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
I just thought of something...
It took me almost a full year to lvl my 1st job from 0-75 on FFXI


but tell me this... was it NOT a GLORIOUSSSSSSSSSS day when you hit 75... ? Walking around with your head a little higher that day... felt like King Leonidas a little bit... tonight we dine in **** etc. :D

I remember my first 75, was an adventure to get there. It felt amazing to have accomplished something like your first 75.
Sadly, these poor saps will never know what that was like. "GIMMIE MAH SPs AND RANK 50 now, I just started! It's too hard. It's a timesink!"
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#16 Feb 14 2011 at 2:26 PM Rating: Good
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BadJoRed wrote:
LeilaniWildfire, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
I just thought of something...
It took me almost a full year to lvl my 1st job from 0-75 on FFXI


but tell me this... was it NOT a GLORIOUSSSSSSSSSS day when you hit 75... ? Walking around with your head a little higher that day... felt like King Leonidas a little bit... tonight we dine in **** etc. :D

I remember my first 75, was an adventure to get there. It felt amazing to have accomplished something like your first 75.
Sadly, these poor saps will never know what that was like. "GIMMIE MAH SPs AND RANK 50 now, I just started! It's too hard. It's a timesink!"


My first job to 75 was MNK... it was ****.. But i made it! And I was **** proud....
#17 Feb 14 2011 at 8:04 PM Rating: Decent
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A part of that feeling was wearing gear that was exclusive to that level 75. I'm sure it will come, but the gear for 50 caps atm leave that empty feeling.
#18 Feb 16 2011 at 2:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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The Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XI
Quote:
It was released in Japan on Sony's PlayStation 2 on May 16, 2002, and was released for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers in November 2002. The PC version was released in North America on October 28, 2003, and the PlayStation 2 version on March 23, 2004. In Europe, only the Windows version was released, on September 17, 2004.

Buzzle.com
http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/2-23-2006-89655.asp
Quote:

Final Fantasy XI was launched in Japan on May 16 2002 for the Sony PlayStation 2. The PC release came on November 5th. It had its PC release in North America on October 28 2003, with the European release following in September 2004. The initial Japanese launch was a complicated affair, as the game required a hard drive for the PlayStation 2 console and stocks of these were limited at first. Square Enix responded well to any issues that developed, and also released a game patch to enhance it.


Launch = May 16, 2002 (PS2 in Japan)
NA release = October 28, 2003 (PC in North America)

Somepage update list:
http://ffxi.cannotlinkto/links/
Quote:
FFXI Updates:
Old Updates (auto-translated from Japanese):
JUL 2002 | AUG 2002 | SEP 2002A | SEP 2002B
OCT 2002 NOV 2002 | DEC 2002 | FEB 2003
APR 2003 | MAY 2003
English Updates: (Overview) (Official List) (Search List)
JUL 2003 | OCT 2003



I had a friend that ordered overseas and played the JP version at release.

Other than that, even if you played FFXI exactly at NA release, you started 1 year, 5 months, 11 updates and 1 full sized expansion (Rise of Zilart) after release.

I'm curious how FFXIV in a year and half will compare to FFXI's NA release.





Edited, Feb 16th 2011 3:16pm by RufuSwho
#19 Feb 16 2011 at 2:23 PM Rating: Good
RufuSwho wrote:
I'm curious how FFXIV in a year and half will compare to FFXI's NA release.


Yes, yes, yes. I think the only real comparison in status will be accurate at that point. But it's still a long way off! D:
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#20 Feb 16 2011 at 2:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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RufuSwho wrote:
The Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XI
Quote:
It was released in Japan on Sony's PlayStation 2 on May 16, 2002, and was released for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers in November 2002. The PC version was released in North America on October 28, 2003, and the PlayStation 2 version on March 23, 2004. In Europe, only the Windows version was released, on September 17, 2004.

Buzzle.com
http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/2-23-2006-89655.asp
Quote:

Final Fantasy XI was launched in Japan on May 16 2002 for the Sony PlayStation 2. The PC release came on November 5th. It had its PC release in North America on October 28 2003, with the European release following in September 2004. The initial Japanese launch was a complicated affair, as the game required a hard drive for the PlayStation 2 console and stocks of these were limited at first. Square Enix responded well to any issues that developed, and also released a game patch to enhance it.


Launch = May 16, 2002 (PS2 in Japan)
NA release = October 28, 2003 (PC in North America)

Somepage update list:
http://ffxi.cannotlinkto/links/
Quote:
FFXI Updates:
Old Updates (auto-translated from Japanese):
JUL 2002 | AUG 2002 | SEP 2002A | SEP 2002B
OCT 2002 NOV 2002 | DEC 2002 | FEB 2003
APR 2003 | MAY 2003
English Updates: (Overview) (Official List) (Search List)
JUL 2003 | OCT 2003



I had a friend that ordered overseas and played the JP version at release.

Other than that, even if you played FFXI exactly at NA release, you started 1 year, 5 months, 11 updates and 1 full sized expansion (Rise of Zilart) after release.

I'm curious how FFXIV in a year and half will compare to FFXI's NA release.


I just wanted to add to this; JPButton has quite the detailed list of FFXI's updates going back to 2001.
Good read and really interesting to see the progress of the game and updates throughout the years.

FFXIV has had a similar progression, but is definitely lagging in comparison.

http://jpbutton.bluegartr.com/?p=145
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#21 Feb 16 2011 at 2:58 PM Rating: Good
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Cool, an actual description of the game's status at release. Good find!
#22 Feb 16 2011 at 3:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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jalexan wrote:
Hey guys, listen, My first MMO was FFXI in the summer of 2009. I immediately fell in love with it and played it every chance I got until FFXIV came out. I realize that FFXIV has a ton of problems, and it may take a while to get them all fixed. I also realize this is a new game and sh*t happens. For those of you who were around at the beggining of FFXI, how was it compared to this?


I started about half a year after the NA release, which was like 2 years after the actual release of the game in Japan. By that time, they fixed a LOT of the issues that early FFXI had from what I understand. It also was my first MMO, so I fell in love with it.

Quote:
Do you vets believe that this game will be fine, because you have seen this many times at a games initial release?


For a big name MMO, this was the worst release I've ever seen. No reason to beat around the bush; this game was more broken and had less content than "classical failures" like Tabula Rasa, APB, and Age of Conan. Fortunately, Square Enix is bullheaded and won't abandon the project any time soon, unless the game bleeds out even more players and the PS3 release bombs. FF also has a pretty rabid fanbase which is capable of keeping the game afloat.
#23 Feb 16 2011 at 4:58 PM Rating: Good
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Validai wrote:
I just wanted to add to this; JPButton has quite the detailed list of FFXI's updates going back to 2001.
Good read and really interesting to see the progress of the game and updates throughout the years.

FFXIV has had a similar progression, but is definitely lagging in comparison.

http://jpbutton.bluegartr.com/?p=145


RufuSwho wrote:
Cool, an actual description of the game's status at release. Good find!


Reposting, for people who skimmed over that link, some of this is pretty interesting in terms of how light XI's first six months were:

5/16/02: Game Initially launched
6/11/02: Major updates (including Auction House, Notorious Monsters)
6/25/02: First players start hitting 50 (level cap)
7/09/02: Major updates
8/08/02: Major updates
9/12/02: Level cap increased to 55, plus Major updates
10/2/02: Major updates
11/7/02: FFXI for Windows released

Lots of really cool stuff in there.
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#24 Feb 16 2011 at 5:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
FFXI was very frustrating when it came out. The population hardcore rejected the controls, you lose 10% of your level each death, Raise was nonexistent, parties took 6+ hours to get, most classes were really unbalanced. Thief and Dragoon couldn't get a party to save their lives.
Lot of bugs everywhere, horrible drop rates, everything a time sink, took months to level, etc.
And of course a brutal economy.


Seems like you're just in denial so you're justifying FFXIV's shortcomings with that quote above. What I remember of FFXI was everything you mentioned up there and most people loved it because of most of those things - a lot of those changed long after the game was out - in fact I played the game for 4 years almost and it was exactly as you mentioned above. FFXIV was horrible, is getting better and although I don't play it any more I would gladly come back if things change but right now the two games aren't even comparable, FFXI was much better at NA launch than FFXIV is.
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#25 Feb 16 2011 at 7:14 PM Rating: Good
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SolidMack wrote:
Quote:
FFXI was very frustrating when it came out. The population hardcore rejected the controls, you lose 10% of your level each death, Raise was nonexistent, parties took 6+ hours to get, most classes were really unbalanced. Thief and Dragoon couldn't get a party to save their lives.
Lot of bugs everywhere, horrible drop rates, everything a time sink, took months to level, etc.
And of course a brutal economy.


Seems like you're just in denial so you're justifying FFXIV's shortcomings with that quote above. What I remember of FFXI was everything you mentioned up there and most people loved it because of most of those things - a lot of those changed long after the game was out - in fact I played the game for 4 years almost and it was exactly as you mentioned above. FFXIV was horrible, is getting better and although I don't play it any more I would gladly come back if things change but right now the two games aren't even comparable, FFXI was much better at NA launch than FFXIV is.


Hey, are you still playing ffxiv with us or just kinda lurking the forums?
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#26 Feb 16 2011 at 11:19 PM Rating: Good
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SolidMack wrote:

Seems like you're just in denial so you're justifying FFXIV's shortcomings with that quote above. What I remember of FFXI was everything you mentioned up there and most people loved it because of most of those things - a lot of those changed long after the game was out - in fact I played the game for 4 years almost and it was exactly as you mentioned above. FFXIV was horrible, is getting better and although I don't play it any more I would gladly come back if things change but right now the two games aren't even comparable, FFXI was much better at NA launch than FFXIV is.


I would actually suggest you are in denial.

I believe you are more willing to forgive the shortcomings XI had when you first tried it because of the nostalgia factor. Speaking for myself XI was my first MMO so it has a lot of good happy sparkle feelings associated with it by that factor alone.

Having experienced XI at north american launch and XIV since just before open beta, I would say that the issues facing the game are different but in many ways equal. However, six months in, I truly believe other than the lack of content (which is mostly because of design flaws and ambivalence towards levequests) XIV is already superior in many aspects to XI as I experienced it at NA launch.

Edited, Feb 16th 2011 9:19pm by Olorinus
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#27 Feb 17 2011 at 1:33 PM Rating: Good
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Firstly, people keep trying to compare XIV's NA launch to XI's NA launch, completely neglecting the fact that the actual launch of XI was March '02 and the NA launch was 10/28/2003. That was a year, five months, an expansion, five level cap increases, and numerous content patches later.

The question that people are conveniently overlooking is: Can FFXIV survive as a free to play game until February 2012 (one year and five months after release), in a market that has a significantly larger amount of online gaming competition than 2002-2003 had, and run by a company who has much higher server costs, bandwidth, electricity bills, and salaries than seven years ago?

XI's release seems like it was probably pretty comparablte to XIV's. The huge difference is this:

When XI was released, MMORPGs were still a new beast so people didn't know what to expect out of them and didn't start playing them with a bunch of preconceived notions about what MMORPGs need to be; they were willing to take the game for what it is, as it was, and play what the game offered because there wasn't anything to really compare it to besides Everquest at the time.

With all of the options out there today, anyone who considers themselves "a fan of MMORPGs" or even "a fan of gaming" enters into a new game with certain expectations of a game before they even open the box, and if the game doesn't meet those expectations, they'll go elsewhere. It is only the "Final Fantasy" fans are are left who are willing to grin and bear it while waiting for the game to improve.

The thing that SE has failed to realize at launch is that they launched XIV under the assumption that what worked for XI will work for XIV. They have failed to realize the changing needs of the gaming community at large beyond their fanbase (who voted "The Final Fantasy Name" as #3 in "Things I like most about the game", ahead of "Gameplay" which came in at #5).

It would be as though Ford would introduce a car in 2010 that you have to crank to start, has an exposed top, lacks a radio or air conditioning, and they find themselves baffled that the cars aren't flying off the lot because "Well, it worked for us in 1910". SE needs to move beyond the "Our customers can have their car painted whatever color they want - As long as that color is black" mentality if they want the game to thrive, instead of merely "survive".

How many people would buy that car today and ride it around for a year and a half in the belief that it will get better because they have faith in Ford, and how many people would take it back and buy a different car?

EDIT: To clarify: I'm not saying FFXIV can't get better or that it won't; I'm saying that it needs to get better very very very quickly if it has the hopes of getting people to come back to it. FFXI was improved from release at roughly the same rate that XIV was improving and it took them 17 months before anyone outside of Japan saw it. It has only been 5 months and look at how many people are already writing XIV off. If they're going to get it done, they do not have another 12 months to work on it.

Edited, Feb 17th 2011 2:35pm by Mikhalia
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Mikhalia: and FWIW, my posts are 95% helpful, informative, or funny.
Mikhalia: only 5% or less of my posts are utter crap.
Tyapex: 393 posts of utter crap...
Mikhalia: Sounds about right.
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