I think that people who love this game should have a greater voice at the table than people who badmouth it... but instead it seems like the opposite - and I know the haters will come out and say "well they need to get us people to play" and I would say NO - they need to get more people to play - but they should be reaching out to those who haven't already decided they hate everything about the game as it is.
I'm still going to say they don't really care about the players right now. They're looking forward to the big PS3 release that they hope will get better reviews and bring in more people. Right now no one is REALLY holding the game together because they're incurring a loss even if you don't log in. In fact, if you don't log in they save money on bandwidth costs with their ISP. So go ahead and quit and save them some $ in bandwidth.
I know a lot of people voted for radical change in the first poll, but then again - most of the people who voted don't play. Truth be told, I am skeptical even half of them would EVER play this game again, even if Yoshi turns this game into the mutant child of WoW and XI that it looks like it is shaping up to be.
My guess is there are a lot more people who don't play the game than do. Why would a company hoping to turn a profit on a game work to keep players who aren't even paying yet? They are a business, not a charity, so I really don't think they care if you're here or not. They want the people who aren't playing, because there's a lot more of them then there are of steadfast supporters.
One of the biggest reasons why I play and not WoW or Aion is because those are heavily instance/dungeon based and made it feel like a job when playing. FFXIV seems to be more community based. Although they made getting EXP and SP terrible in a 15 man party, the cool thing is that it's still possible.
I personally think instanced content should be a requirement for any MMO. The problem here is in an MMO everyone has to share the same space. This also means sharing the space with people who aren't exactly friendly toward you. Also, RMT botters. How "immersive" or "Final Fantasy-like" is it to be on a quest with a group and run up to the spawn area of a boss, only to find other people are currently fighting it! So you sit and watch and cheer them on, then wait until it respawns so you can fight that powerful and dramatic storyline battle that you just saw other people do. Then the next group has to wait on you. It's more like a theme park than a story, with people lined up to get onto a roller coaster. Is that Final Fantasy like?
One of the advantages to not having instances is bringing in a LS full of healers to heal your group outside of combat. That's gaming the system and instancing would make it MORE about skill and LESS about how big your LS is.
Also, RMT bots stealing your mobs that drop quest items. TLDR
: Instances are a good thing.
However, the last letter from Yoshi-P has me feeling less confident than ever about the future. Things like marking quest NPCs (thereby taking the joy of discovery out of the game
How can this possibly be twisted into a bad thing? If you're so worried about immersion you can still turn off names as in the /names command. What is so terrible about marking which NPCs are worthwhile? Most people would get frustrated if they had to search through 1000 NPCs in a city to find just the right one to start a quest, or to give an item to. It's things like this that lead me to believe current FFXIV players are still hoping for FFXI-2 instead. I can't blame them, they were led into it like a lamb to the slaughter by SE marketing dept.
Some things are necessary? Auto-attack isn't. Making it a heavily instanced/dungeon game isn't.
FF series has been always unique and I loved it for being how it is. It's extremely awesome now and all they need to do is add content and feature. I know of many who will agree.
Also, with the possibilities, it's turning into another normal MMO. Tell me, why should I play FFXIV if it will be almost the same as any other?
FFXIV is unique and special and I love it. I'm just saying, I hope they don't turn it into something like a WoW clone
The problem here is that a game company can't survive on a "unique" MMO that no one's interested in. Right now no one who isn't a die-hard FF fan is interested in this game. They NEED to change it to bring in a bigger audience, because the bills won't pay themselves here. They've conceded this probably won't happen until the PS3 release.
Honestly if they turned this game in to a clone of FFXI with a new story and quick paced combat, it would be everything I need. I don't even need improved graphics. I wish game companies would remember that part, it seems like its graphics above all these days.
In my opinion this is what's killing the game. There's a large population of players who won't rest until we have FFXI-2 instead of FFXIV. Here's why I quit FFXI:
Counter-intuitive quest log
No in-game direction of what stats do and how they are important to your job
Gil was a terrible chore to obtain and quickly ramped in difficulty as you levelled up
Forced grouping at level 10 in an area with near level 30 mobs (the infamous "dunes" turned off a large amount of players)
Major class balance issues (RNG nerf, SAM buff, etc)
Bugs that weren't fixed for years and some that still exist today
Harsh EXP loss led to a community with elitist attitudes due to how precious it was (level down and you suffer bad)
Having to exploit flaws in game design to level (BLM)
Pidgeonholing of certain jobs into very specific roles (You have MP? Cure bot)
Quests that required travel with no convenient way of travelling
There's many more but I want to get this post over with. FFXI has and had major problems. Some people call this the "character" of the game, but I'm inclined to believe this is some kind of MMO Stockholm's syndrome where people are defending it because it's so difficult, they don't want to feel stupid for not being able to make progress in the game. The game hates you, and you don't want to feel bad so you love it - as if it's testing you and trying to make you better. It's not, it hates you and it wants to abuse you. Apparently, it's done a good job. Smart people have ended their relationship with that terrible game, but some people cling to it like an abused spouse (and will aggressively defend it).
Me? I'll be watching FFXIV, hoping to see it improve to the point where it piques my interest. If it doesn't, then I'm not losing anything and will most likely look elsewhere for something to waste my time with. Edited, Feb 18th 2011 9:49pm by reptiletim