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1 year before release - FFXIV vs Guild wars 2Follow

#1 Mar 30 2011 at 5:02 AM Rating: Decent
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Please note that this post is in no way flame post towards XIV or a praise post towards guild wars 2, but merely a comparison of the two in pre-alpha stages.

I'm sure most of you who have been following XIV from the start remember the Gamescom videos from 2010, as they were the first videos showing actual gameplay. These videos were from a version of the game just a little more than one year before launch.

The combat was buggy, most players playing the demo could not figure it out at all. The caster class was bugged to the point that players couldn't cast a single spell. The demo was limited to one zone, the graphics were incomplete. It felt very rushed and haphazardly thrown together. The user interface and combat system have went through major overhauls since then to end up with a combat system and user interface that still felt rushed and thrown together at the last minute.

video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r6B252BDT4

Just recently, out of boredom and fear of XIV's future, I have been looking into other MMO's, as a backup in case XIV fails completely (god forbid). I stumbled upon some guild wars 2 videos from Pax 2011, which just wrapped up. The playable demos of guild wars 2 seem so much more complete than the demos of XIV. Guild wars 2 does not yet have a set release date, all that has been said is that alpha testing will commence later this year, which puts it to be released in 2012 at the earliest.

The demo videos feature a slick, usable UI, a working combat system, and many areas and events. The developers basically said "heres guild wars 2, have fun" and let the players do whatever they wanted - the demo was complete enough to allow players to experience all kinds of content across many different zones. The XIV demo (which remember was, at the time, even closer to release date than guild wars 2 is now) consisted of a developer holding your hand, telling you not to explore or deviate from a single leve quest that many players couldn't even finish due to a buggy battle system.

Collection of demo videos from PAX 2011 - http://www.youtube.com/user/GuildWars2Live#g/u

Like i said, this is in no way a "guild wars is better than FFXIV" post, I doubt i will ever play Guild Wars 2 and am still eagerly awaiting the day that i can call FFXIV a great game. My point is that FFXIV was very, very rushed. I think most of us can agree that the foundations of a great game are there, it just hasn't had enough time to grow into it. That growing stage, however, should have happened before release.

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#2 Mar 30 2011 at 5:10 AM Rating: Decent
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It's easy to tell the publishers "we can't rush the game" when it doesn't rely on subscriptions numbers (and as such the game has to be ready when it's shipped, there is no excuse of "we can finish this X in an update afterwards").

As much as they market is a "real" MMO it is not one in the traditional sense of the word, unlike XIV.
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#3 Mar 30 2011 at 5:27 AM Rating: Good
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Simple summary for me is that they spent so much time trying to re-invent the wheel "We want FFXIV to be different in every way to FFXI" it blew up in their face. I think they could have used many of the 11 mechanics out the box to save time and money. They also spent so much work doing motion capture, the small details of FFXIV are redic. One that comes to mind is the way my lalafel holds her needle when doing clothcrafting it looks natural and ergonomic. Its over the top for me, I like those things added in but not at the cost of content and basic game mechanics.

I like the GW2 battle animations and I hope the SE execs get a chance to see this type of footage. They are tastefully done, the spells look like they are really happening. The lightning storm type move is perfect example of what I hope SE does to the combat skills in FFXIV with this battle update. There is no visual difference when u cast spells in 14 for AOE or single target its a dumb system they should have AOE skills seperated out as new and individual spells with their own animations/visuals.

I agree though based on GW1 I will never touch this game with a ten foot pole.
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#4 Mar 30 2011 at 8:31 AM Rating: Good
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GW2 is far ahead of where FFXIV was sure. Arena net has tons of experience with MMOS and diablo style games (GW kinda feels like a hybrid of the two), and SE was basically 1 for 2 with their online game efforts.
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#5 Mar 30 2011 at 9:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hyanmen wrote:
It's easy to tell the publishers "we can't rush the game" when it doesn't rely on subscriptions numbers (and as such the game has to be ready when it's shipped, there is no excuse of "we can finish this X in an update afterwards").

As much as they market is a "real" MMO it is not one in the traditional sense of the word, unlike XIV.


I agree with this. In software development deadlines are difficult to reach due to a number of factors like the development team not working well together or mis-management of resources and bad communication with either the producers or clients. It would be like if I asked you to build me a means of transportation back and forth to work and I need it in a week. You decide it would be most economical to build me a bicycle since it doesn't require fuel and is easiest to build in the time alloted. Two days from the deadline I ask to see where you're at and you show me the bike. I'm furious because I expected you to build me a car and we're 2 days from the deadline. At that point we can move the deadline up and make $0 today or you can release the product to me today with the promise of a car next week and make some $$ in the process.

That's what I feel happened with FFXIV. They wanted to pad their profits report and released a crap product with the promise of having a better product later. They didn't meet the deadline due to whatever mis-management of the team and said "@#%^ it, it boots up, send it out".

I'm very confident that SE has some major problems in their management structure. They most likely still run like a dev house from 1995 which explains the slow updates, out of touch design decisions, shifting management, and poor quality of the games they've been producing. Bad managers in the wrong places can choke a company's success and they might just be too old-school (or too ignorant) to notice.


Actually it also reminds me of a company I heard about one time. Back before the internet dev houses would ship out floppies with their updates to the clients. When this company would miss a deadline they would get a group of people to rub magnets over a stack of blank floppies and send those out. Then they would tell the client that it must've happened during shipping, and promise to send new ones out soon, buying them more time to make the new release of their software. That's what FFXIV reminds me of.

Edited, Mar 30th 2011 11:41am by reptiletim
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#6 Mar 30 2011 at 9:42 AM Rating: Good
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poor quality of the games they've been producing.


FFXIV has been the only in-house project that is objectively speaking bad. They simply do not produce "poor quality" games. Only games that a certain demographic does not like, for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of said title.

They have been critically and commercially successful, and most likely will be in the future as well.
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#7 Mar 30 2011 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.
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#8 Mar 30 2011 at 10:55 PM Rating: Decent
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FF14 was in development too long to be rushed. For those of you who read Dilbert, think of the people in charge of design decisions as the pointy haired boss. It wasn't time or a lack thereof which screwed this game up, it was the fact that the design itself was broken and lacking.

One of the big reasons that GW2 looks so good is that it's team is using an iterative design process. They try something and if it doesn't work, isn't fun, could be better, or needs fixing they go back and work on it. They might change things (and the design) a dozen times or more. I strongly doubt that anything like this was in place during ff14's development.
#9 Mar 31 2011 at 12:21 AM Rating: Good
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When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.

Final Fantasy XIII sold more than 6 million copies and got at least 8/10 from every major gaming publication. I suppose you could try to argue that those sales and reviews are more indicative of "very good" than "excellent," but I think you'd be splitting hairs. Dragon Quest IX sold better than that and had better reviews, excellent by pretty much any standard.

I'm inclined to conclude at this point that SE does produce excellent games. You might not like them personally, and not all of their games are excellent (FFXIV is their only major dud, but there have certainly been others), but there's no denying that SE makes excellent games.
#10 Mar 31 2011 at 12:25 AM Rating: Good
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When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.


Like I said, critically and commercially successful games. Belittle them all you want, but objectively speaking they have no bad titles in their roster (aside from the exception of XIV, and The Last Remnant that was not as successful as they had hoped).

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 6:27am by Hyanmen
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#11 Mar 31 2011 at 6:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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KingWinterclaw wrote:
FF14 was in development too long to be rushed. For those of you who read Dilbert, think of the people in charge of design decisions as the pointy haired boss. It wasn't time or a lack thereof which screwed this game up, it was the fact that the design itself was broken and lacking.

One of the big reasons that GW2 looks so good is that it's team is using an iterative design process. They try something and if it doesn't work, isn't fun, could be better, or needs fixing they go back and work on it. They might change things (and the design) a dozen times or more. I strongly doubt that anything like this was in place during ff14's development.


I don't like the excuse, that SE needed more time and the game was rushed. I just don't buy it anymore. I think given another year, the game would have released with the same poor combat system, same horrible market wards system, same bland classes, but would have had X more levequests and more than 20 different mob skins. I say this because at release, they honestly didn't seem to understand that the problems the game had were problems. Their initial implementations of our suggestions are barely meeting players half way to what they want in the game. I really just think that they are out of touch with what players actually want.

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#12 Mar 31 2011 at 7:53 AM Rating: Decent
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This thread is a bad idea. At its current state, FFXIV would get severely trumped by Guild Wars 2. NCSoft have consistently released some brilliant games in the past and it will always continue to do so (I hope).

FFXIV is not a Guild Wars 2 or a WoW killer. It is a recovering MMORPG in the process of regaining the trust of its fans.
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#13 Mar 31 2011 at 7:58 AM Rating: Default
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Hyanmen wrote:
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When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.


Like I said, critically and commercially successful games. Belittle them all you want, but objectively speaking they have no bad titles in their roster (aside from the exception of XIV, and The Last Remnant that was not as successful as they had hoped).

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 6:27am by Hyanmen


And Front mission evolved .....
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#14 Mar 31 2011 at 8:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Ostia wrote:
Hyanmen wrote:
Quote:
When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.


Like I said, critically and commercially successful games. Belittle them all you want, but objectively speaking they have no bad titles in their roster (aside from the exception of XIV, and The Last Remnant that was not as successful as they had hoped).

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 6:27am by Hyanmen


And Front mission evolved .....


And Infinite Undiscovery... and Star Ocean: TLH... not to say either of those were bad games (I own both), just very underwhelming for the hype. And while FF12 and 13 might have garnered critical acclaim and success, I think it is fair to say that they did not have NEARLY the same standards of excellence as earlier FF games. I mean come on, FF13 was one of the most linear, yawn-fest RPG's I've ever played... Just seems like lately, they've been making some games with less quality and just using their brand recognition to garner success.
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#15 Mar 31 2011 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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BartelX wrote:
Ostia wrote:
Hyanmen wrote:
Quote:
When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.


Like I said, critically and commercially successful games. Belittle them all you want, but objectively speaking they have no bad titles in their roster (aside from the exception of XIV, and The Last Remnant that was not as successful as they had hoped).

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 6:27am by Hyanmen


And Front mission evolved .....


And Infinite Undiscovery... and Star Ocean: TLH... not to say either of those were bad games (I own both), just very underwhelming for the hype. And while FF12 and 13 might have garnered critical acclaim and success, I think it is fair to say that they did not have NEARLY the same standards of excellence as earlier FF games. I mean come on, FF13 was one of the most linear, yawn-fest RPG's I've ever played... Just seems like lately, they've been making some games with less quality and just using their brand recognition to garner success.


I loved infinite undiscovery, star ocean was kinda meh. However, I should point out that those were not developed by SE, simply produced. They're about as Square-Enix as Arkham asylum was

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 10:29am by KujaKoF

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 10:29am by KujaKoF
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#16 Mar 31 2011 at 8:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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How can anyone measure the success of a game based purely off scores given to it by big gaming magazines, both offline and online? Have you read anything about the Dragon Age 2 fiasco going on? The" big names" may be singing praise of SE's games lately but nearly every time I see actual players discuss them it never seems as rosy as the big news outlets make them seem.

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#17 Mar 31 2011 at 10:50 AM Rating: Good
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reptiletim wrote:
How can anyone measure the success of a game based purely off scores given to it by big gaming magazines, both offline and online? Have you read anything about the Dragon Age 2 fiasco going on? The" big names" may be singing praise of SE's games lately but nearly every time I see actual players discuss them it never seems as rosy as the big news outlets make them seem.



Well thats the problem that always comes from ratings, and yeah people pick on the big guys for doing it all the time. People have different tastes. To hardcore RPG players FF13 was a joke, to people just picking it up cause it was new and hyped, I've known a lot of people who enjoyed the guided story, pretty graphics, and gameplay that ranged from easy to moderately strategic depending on what you wanted out of it. Is it a crappy game because elitists hated it? or was it awesome because more casual players loved it. Its all subjective.

I say this because from what I've seen of it, Dragon Age 2 to me looks like a pretty good game. Yes, its more action oriented than the first one, but I found the first one pretty un-fun to play. I remember hearing the same thing about Mass effect 2 (which is why I'm not surprised that DA2 didnt do well), because people hate when games get "more mainstream", even when the games typically get more enjoyable to more people.
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#18 Mar 31 2011 at 11:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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KujaKoF wrote:
I don't like the excuse, that SE needed more time and the game was rushed. I just don't buy it anymore. I think given another year, the game would have released with the same poor combat system, same horrible market wards system, same bland classes, but would have had X more levequests and more than 20 different mob skins. I say this because at release, they honestly didn't seem to understand that the problems the game had were problems. Their initial implementations of our suggestions are barely meeting players half way to what they want in the game. I really just think that they are out of touch with what players actually want.

I hope you are wrong about that. For any game maker to reach such a huge disconnect with players means it's time to hang up the game design and start making like business software because you got no place in the entertainment field.

I've tried to tell myself that it was just released months/years early and everything they are adding are things that would've been in place at the time it should have been released. That beneath all the bad implementations there is something good at the core that can be improved upon. That they laid all the issues with it having been released too early on the old team and that bought them some more time.

If what we saw in open beta and release was really the way it was designed to be than that's big freaking problem.
#19 Apr 01 2011 at 9:44 AM Rating: Default
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BartelX wrote:
Ostia wrote:
Hyanmen wrote:
Quote:
When you define the term "success" as meaning they arent filing for bankruptcy yet, then I guess you're right, they are successful. That doesn't mean they produce excellent games though.


Like I said, critically and commercially successful games. Belittle them all you want, but objectively speaking they have no bad titles in their roster (aside from the exception of XIV, and The Last Remnant that was not as successful as they had hoped).

Edited, Mar 31st 2011 6:27am by Hyanmen


And Front mission evolved .....


And Infinite Undiscovery... and Star Ocean: TLH... not to say either of those were bad games (I own both), just very underwhelming for the hype. And while FF12 and 13 might have garnered critical acclaim and success, I think it is fair to say that they did not have NEARLY the same standards of excellence as earlier FF games. I mean come on, FF13 was one of the most linear, yawn-fest RPG's I've ever played... Just seems like lately, they've been making some games with less quality and just using their brand recognition to garner success.


Infinite undiscovery was mehhh! not bad not great either, it was ok in my book, now Star ocean TLH was horrible, horrible character development, horrible storyline(Tho i did kinda like it, i was hoping for more) i guess in a setting where SO1 happened and SO2 happened i was expecting a game that was better than SO2, and it was not <.<
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