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Feeling less confident about the future of XIVFollow

#502 Feb 26 2011 at 1:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:
The combat system when polished properly can go both ways. Either strategic or twitchy. One aspect has to go but the whole combat system? That'd be stupid. There's tons of good concepts that when fleshed out will make for excellent gameplay over-all. Replacing them wouldn't do the game any good.


The combat system has nothing that makes combat fun. It lacks...

1. Twitch gameplay where the player must quickly react to a monster taking a certain action. This fails because action queuing (which is the most efficient way to kill things) will prevent you from reacting in time to a monster charging a TP attack or something along those lines. This robs the player of the good feeling of having reacted quickly enough to succeed.

2. Strategy where players must plan ahead or think quickly to control the situation. Crowd control just doesn't work very well, and since most monsters can be defeated simply enough with mindlessly pressing the 1 key, the need to plan is very limited. Sure, you might need to plan for NMs, but is it any wonder no one knows how to use BRs on NMs when they didn't need BRs in the previous 1,000 mobs they killed?

3. Anything that other games don't already have. Let's face it: we've all seen the "mobs mill around, waiting for you to come kill them" battle system done before (to death). It's nothing new. Know what would be great? If mobs had advanced AI that made them react to players in ways they don't expect. Like following a player for a while until they've gathered enough reinforcements to kill you.

I don't think I've ever played an MMO that lived up to the whole "living, breathing fantasy world" promise because so much of the world behaves in a method counter to how you'd expect a true fantasy world to behave, like how there's no real danger unless you go looking for it.

But now, I'm drifting into another topic altogether...
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#503 Feb 26 2011 at 1:32 PM Rating: Decent
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305 posts
Quote:
The combat system when polished properly can go both ways. Either strategic or twitchy. One aspect has to go but the whole combat system? That'd be stupid. There's tons of good concepts that when fleshed out will make for excellent gameplay over-all. Replacing them wouldn't do the game any good.


How would you polish it? Not necessarily asking for your own original ideas, just what you think or have seen/read that would polish the system.
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#504 Feb 26 2011 at 2:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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KacesofCaitsith wrote:
Quote:
The combat system when polished properly can go both ways. Either strategic or twitchy. One aspect has to go but the whole combat system? That'd be stupid. There's tons of good concepts that when fleshed out will make for excellent gameplay over-all. Replacing them wouldn't do the game any good.


How would you polish it? Not necessarily asking for your own original ideas, just what you think or have seen/read that would polish the system.


Throwing my 2 cents in, I think they need to commit to strategy, or "fast twitch" gameplay. If you want me pressing a button every 2 seconds, make it something more interesting than using the 11121113111 etc with cooldowns used when available. give rotations, combos, more reason to vary basic attacks. Right now its too easy to determine what the best things to use are, and prioritize weapon skills.

Or if they want to make the game more strategic, give us an autoattack and way to 'scan' enemies for the best options at the moment, make more decisions. Make it so the best attacks to use on one mob type aren't the same on the next type. And even randomize it for every mob to keep people from just going "oh MRD are best against mob X, just farm those". Right now I think the combat system is the worst of both worlds

Edited, Feb 26th 2011 3:18pm by KujaKoF
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#505 Feb 26 2011 at 5:13 PM Rating: Good
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Restyoneck wrote:
I enjoy XIV, and hold out optimism for it's future. I played XI during the pre-NA release, so I know how awful the first year can be, and trust me, XIV is right along the lines of XI's first year. That was really one of the biggest mistakes SE made with this games release. They assumed it would be all fine and dandy to run the same kind of unfinished launch as their first MMO, forgetting it's not the same market as 8 years ago, and much smaller companies than SE wouldn't even consider releasing and/or trying to pass off a beta as a retail release. It really is an unforgivable oversight considering they are a rather large developer, and have a rather large marketing division.
All this aside I know they are capable of rounding out the game and polishing it up to be a respectable retail release within a years time. So I personally choose to forgive them for the early 2000 mentality they used.


This is exactly it. XI and XIV released in similar states, the same amount of content, the same amount of bugs and issues... SE just assumed that because XI launched in this same state and turned out fine, that XIV would too.

I've used the analogy before, but Ford can't sell a car in 2011 that has the same qualities and features of a Model T in 1911. Times have changed and so have consumer demands and tastes.

Would you buy a computer with no hard drive and two 5 1/4" floppy drives?

Would you buy a VCR with a remote control attached via a cord?

Would you buy a television with a black and white screen that only got about a dozen channels?

Would you buy a portable phone that comes in a briefcase that you have to carry around at all times?

These were all, for their time, innovative products that masses of people were clamoring to buy. Nowadays, they'd sell at best to an enthusiast who would only keep it around as a conversation piece that would never see use anymore.

That's exactly what happened with FFXIV; they took a dated product, which at one point in time would have been spectacular, slapped some pretty graphics on it, boxed it, and considered it ready for launch, under the assumption that they could patch as they go like they did with XI. When they ignored the masses of people trying to tell them "It's not ready for launch, it needs a ton of work" under their thoughts of "We've done this before and it worked, so we'll do it again and it will work", they set themselves up to fall on their face.

It would be one thing if the game was still in open beta; people have a lot more patience for betas being glitchy. But once it hit store shelves, people expected a finished product by 2010 standards and they didn't get one.

Hopefully SE can recover before no one has any patience left.
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#506 Feb 26 2011 at 5:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
How would you polish it? Not necessarily asking for your own original ideas, just what you think or have seen/read that would polish the system.


-Get rid of the lag. 200ms is acceptable, more is not.

-Unlock the skills (at the very least the basic attacks). Slightly increase the pace at which the slowest animated skills go off.

-Improve the monster pathing algorithms (as in more "realistic" movement and no weird detours due to bad pathing, as well as make it easier to control monster movement and predict it during the battle). This is quite important if they want to make this work.

-Make stamina only apply to skills that have no cooldown of their own. Tweak the speed of regeneration accordingly.

-Create much larger groups of monsters for future content and improve/implement "group AI".

-Make flank and rear attacks matter more than they do now. Much more. For both the players and the enemy. Distance as well.

-In addition to above, implement a visual indicator for the effective range of actions (a circle on the ground for AoE for example).

-Implement group formations which give various bonuses depending on the circumstances. Make it significant part of the gameplay, especially when more than one group of monsters is present.

-Make it so only people who press the BR button participate in the regimen, and that combat is not interrupted during it. If an AoE or conal skill is used during a regimen, every monster it hits is affected by it.

-Improve player mobility in the battlefield, to make moving around easier.

-Later on, make the terrain affect performance. Cast lightning-based spells in water = receive self-damage. Shoot the enemy from a higher ground = receive a damage bonus.

-Make lot of skills more situational and mix and match monsters that are strong and weak to many of them at once. Make knowledge of different strengths and weaknesses of enemies an important part of being 'skilled' at the game. We already have similar system in some ways, and it's not a stretch to think that they could expand on it.

-Make monsters difficult enough for the players in groups to have to specialize in a specific role on an encounter-basis. Tank, off-tank, primary DD, primary CC, off-healer, buffer, and so on.

-Moar flashy combat.

-Change hotbar into a 3x3 grid-like structure for pad users from which it is efficient to choose skills and spells without having to scroll too much (they could use the analog stick for making it easy to choose a skill by just, say, pressing square to open the grid and tilting the stick in a particular direction to choose what skill you want to perform). Make it so the basic attack (which you can set in the skill menu) has a button of it's own and does not take a slot from the grid itself.

-Further enhance the situationality of the different basic attacks.

That would be a good start for more strategy centric gameplay, while making the combat feel more fluid over-all. It ignores some aspects like the "counter" skills and how jumping could be used effectively in a combat setting but I guess those could stay in the game, no reason to remove them. In the end, heavy polishing is needed but the gameplay is, at the core, good enough in concept. None of this should be an impossible feat to accomplish, especially looking at what Yoshida's team is currently doing. From the looks of it he's going for more twitch based gameplay though. I can see how that could work out too. Some aforementioned ideas need to be scrapped for that to happen though.

And lastly, while I agree that the combat system as-is has not enough of either aspect to stand on it's own, I don't think that somehow means the whole feature should be axed for something else. Surely, overhauls are needed, but there is a lot to improve on the foundation of the system still. The combat system is not even close to what it could be like at it's best right now.

Edited, Feb 27th 2011 3:10am by Hyanmen
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SE:
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We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#507 Feb 27 2011 at 4:52 AM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen,
generally, I don't like what you write, but the above post is an exception.
Excellent. Rate up. -.^/
#508 Feb 27 2011 at 5:24 AM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:

-Get rid of the lag. 200ms is acceptable, more is not.

...

None of this should be an impossible feat to accomplish, especially looking at what Yoshida's team is currently doing.


While Yoshida's team can no doubt do many wonderful things, I don't believe breaking the laws of physics would be one of them. There are certain limitations (not the least of which is the speed of light itself) which makes eliminating a small amount of lag impossible when dealing with a server on the other side of the world.
#509 Feb 27 2011 at 5:31 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
While Yoshida's team can no doubt do many wonderful things, I don't believe breaking the laws of physics would be one of them. There are certain limitations (not the least of which is the speed of light itself) which makes eliminating a small amount of lag impossible when dealing with a server on the other side of the world.


Depends on the location of course.

With this in mind, I'm not even sure whether they could possibly make this game twitchy in the first place. I'm sure they can make it so the user input is on an acceptable level for an MMO but the server location really makes it hard for them to have proper twitch mechanics. Not that the game needs FPS-level precise timing but still.

Edited, Feb 27th 2011 2:34pm by Hyanmen
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SE:
Quote:
We really want to compete against World of Warcraft and for example the new Star Wars MMO.

#510 Feb 27 2011 at 6:01 AM Rating: Good
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I have not read the 11 pages of comments, will get round to that at some point.

My feelings go up and down about the future of FFXIV all the time.

I feel like i need a much wider timeline of content than we are currently getting. If we are not getting Ishgard, Chocobos, Airships ect until say June then i would like to know that.

Im not as excited about patch 1.16a as i should be, perhaps if it was still January and thats what we got then id be more excited. Im still happy with the progress though.

I remember reading in November that there was a whole column dedicated to the 'first update of 2011' that included alot of stuff like Companies and ship building. My guess is that all that content has been completed but they are sitting on it.

I think sometime after the final battle adjustments from the players poll have been implemented then we will get a mega patch along with PS3 launch date. Unfortunately that means June/July imo.

Edited, Feb 27th 2011 7:03am by Picomaan
#511 Feb 27 2011 at 9:29 AM Rating: Good
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My opinion is that they have too much content. Being the 14th installment of a series and the second MMO(the first being one of the best IMO and most people on this forum according to a thread discussion posted not long ago). SE might have felt that the content and graphics are the only things they had to work on, and that the basic foundation of the game was a given and didn't need as much work because it's so basic.

They realize now that the quality of the foundation does not come so easily, and in most cases, requires the most work. To draw from an example, in competitive sports, coaches look at the players fundamental skills and their most basic actions. Those are the most important. A person who can make a solid accurate through-pass or a well placed shot in football is more valuable than the dude who can chain elasticos and rabonas around defenders and kick harder than a mule. Flashy things are superficial and only make great things better, not a bad things good. Due to this fact, the fundamentals are what is practiced, tirelessly. Pros do the same drills as highschool students because you can never stop getting better.

So they are rebuilding their foundation in order to support their plans for the game, because what might have made the cut in theory, has fallen far from the mark. Maybe farther than it started out due to bad rep. Once they have solid ground to build off of, the game is going to fly with all of the concepts and content they've been cooking up.

Edited, Feb 27th 2011 10:32am by AtryxEtair
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