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The steep learning curve conundrumFollow

#1 Apr 09 2011 at 2:55 PM Rating: Good
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Anytime the big online review sites review a Square-Enix game. Lately they always give a lower score due to " the learning curve."
What does the learning curve mean?
Well to me it can mean a few things:

A)The systems are a tad complicated
B)The tutorials or lore do not efficently point you in the right direction
C)The controls are difficult to master

So if those three reasons I have listed above are viable. What do you propose to fix that? Should SE dumb down systems or offer more complete tutorials? Or should they do a little of both?


Yoshi has said when he first came onboard. That a player can't have fun if they don't understand the rules. On one hand we have XI and XIV where some tutorial is offered/limited. But most of the time players are wondering what the **** do I do next? On the other hand we have XIII. A game where some players keep asking. It has been hours, when the **** does the tutorial end? Where is the middle ground? Do you like your tutorials force fed or optional upon clicking something?

A)Do you propose a pause in the action and small dialogue explanation on first time situations?
B)Do you propose a datalog that you can optionally read when you are lost?
C)A combination of both
D)Other


What are some situations during your time in Eorzea where you got lost on your way?
How would you have introduced a tutorial in that situation?

I just don't want the PS3 to take a hit in the reviews due to the learning curve. And while SE should know how and where we need them. They didn't get it right in XI or XIV launch. This is why I am wondering your opinions on the learning curve.

Edited, Apr 9th 2011 4:57pm by sandpark

Edited, Apr 9th 2011 4:59pm by sandpark
#2 Apr 09 2011 at 6:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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A lot of it was inconsistent. In a quest for example, a lot of NPCs tell you to check the map on where to go next, lo and behold you open the map and there's nothing there. Little did they tell you, there's another map under the journal function that tells you where to go.

This is an example (one of very many) of a bad design issue that made the learning curve difficult.

Edited, Apr 9th 2011 5:12pm by UltKnightGrover
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#3 Apr 09 2011 at 9:19 PM Rating: Decent
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While I do agree that some games have a ridiculously long introduction, the one that was in this game was just outright dumb. Some of the opening sequences plop your character in an area without any idea of what to do or where to go. This is made worse by the appearance of an open environment that you try to progress into, only to have your character reload at the start. This was incredibly frustrating, and I even thought that it was a glitch of some sort.
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#4 Apr 10 2011 at 2:33 AM Rating: Excellent
For me part of the thing I like about FFXI and FFXIV was the learning curve. The game forces you to think and once you used to doing this you can make progress. One of the things I really liked about FFXI was that when you were plopped in your starting city you had no idea where to go or what to do, you had to lern your environment, learn how to talk to NPC's and PC's. It was when you started talking to someone from the real world that knew something about the game that things started getting interesting. It was often word of mouth from a more experienced player that would give you the clues as to where to go next or how to do something.

I've lost count of the amount of times I was using the Auction House in FFXI and a new PC would be shouting 'How does the Auction House work! Please help me out!' Often I would help and the first thing I would tell them is that people call it the AH - might sound trivial but if thats the language of the game then you need to start using it. Then I would take them through it step by step.

I find a real person helping me do things is much better than a tutorial in most cases. Now there is a case for a tutorial for some things, dont get me wrong, but if the system is intuitive (FFXIV can't really be argued for here) and the GUI is good then most things will become clearer in the end. I think the fact that people want instant gratification in MMO's is more a reflection of the world we live in than that of the virtual world we play in. People want things now and quick and are used to getting it.

I always loved the sense of satisfaction I got from FFXI of being able to accomplish something and this has happened in FFXIV but not to the same degree - lets hope this will continue to improve and change for the better.
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#5 Apr 10 2011 at 7:26 AM Rating: Good
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EdyNOTB, pet mage of Jabober wrote:
For me part of the thing I like about FFXI and FFXIV was the learning curve. The game forces you to think and once you used to doing this you can make progress. One of the things I really liked about FFXI was that when you were plopped in your starting city you had no idea where to go or what to do, you had to lern your environment, learn how to talk to NPC's and PC's. It was when you started talking to someone from the real world that knew something about the game that things started getting interesting. It was often word of mouth from a more experienced player that would give you the clues as to where to go next or how to do something.

I've lost count of the amount of times I was using the Auction House in FFXI and a new PC would be shouting 'How does the Auction House work! Please help me out!' Often I would help and the first thing I would tell them is that people call it the AH - might sound trivial but if thats the language of the game then you need to start using it. Then I would take them through it step by step.

I find a real person helping me do things is much better than a tutorial in most cases. Now there is a case for a tutorial for some things, dont get me wrong, but if the system is intuitive (FFXIV can't really be argued for here) and the GUI is good then most things will become clearer in the end. I think the fact that people want instant gratification in MMO's is more a reflection of the world we live in than that of the virtual world we play in. People want things now and quick and are used to getting it.

I always loved the sense of satisfaction I got from FFXI of being able to accomplish something and this has happened in FFXIV but not to the same degree - lets hope this will continue to improve and change for the better.


so by that logic there should be no instructions because learning it for ourselves is a much more valuable experience?

I like short, easy tutorials, and if they're optional even better. DCUO's got to be a bit of a pain after the second time through, being a 20 minute mission, but its not that bad. WOW's info boxes were a great help most of the time, though they did go a bit far, and there is a toggle option. Granted I was pretty much able to figure everything out myself, I didn't have any huge problems with FFXIV, but I've been playing MMOs for years. On the off chance that some non-MMO fan bought FFXIV, you know, cause its a numbered final fantasy title, they could end up completely lost. Its like every science experiment, flowchart, set of directions I've ever had to write, "explain it as if I know nothing".
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#6 Apr 10 2011 at 9:35 AM Rating: Decent
I want a bird to steal chips for me... :(

(Sorry, off topic.) xD

OT, though...I liked the overwhelming difficulty that FFXI held over my head when I first started...it was what really hooked me on the game...I love a challenge and FFXI always required a lot of thinking and dedication from me to perform well. I think that is the reason I got turned off by WoW...there just wasn't that challenging feeling from the get-go. Obviously, WoW must be a fairly decent game, as popular as it is, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. FFXIV kind of gives me the same feeling as FFXI but so far it isn't quite the same...which is one of the things I hope I experience as they fix the game further.
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