while i am tempted to agree, i can't entirely fault the players. i can say for myself, i'm not interested in powerleveling. and i'm not. even though its there.
but the thing is, once the devs allow people to do something like reach cap while ************ to **** in the other room, people are going to do it. mob mentality takes over. people are most idiotic in groups sometimes.
am i defending these people? no. i sort of feel bad for them, and they annoy me, but really, the devs are just as much at fault since they are the ones DESIGNING THE **** GAME THIS WAY. wtf guys. really yoshi? REALLY?
This is where Yoshi-P can potentially fall into the trap of ruining something for the sake of reinventing the wheel. You don't see this kind of thing in a lot of other MMOs. They're tuned so that players trying to PL one another with high level players doing the killing with lowbies in the group awards little to no experience for the lowbies, and the combat mechanics are tuned so that there's no real benefit to standing around lowbie players (not in a group with them) tossing heal bombs on them while they tackle much higher level monsters. The hit tables make it so that any mob (for example) 5 or more levels higher than the player is extremely hard to hit and gets a substantial bonus to damage reduction. A lowbie player can kill them with outside support (heals) but by the time you add up how long it would take them to kill one very high level mob (relative to their level) and compare it to what they would have earned in the same amount of time fighting mobs their own level, it's just not worth taking the time of the extra high level player to make it possible.
People don't mind so much because the leveling process is more diverse and entertaining than simply grinding mobs with snippets and bits of content in between. I know some folks around here have on more than one occasion voiced a distaste for quest-based leveling and that's fine. What they're asking for in its place...grinding (with or without a group)...is what leads to the kinds of PL issues we saw in XI and apparently people are starting to see in XIV. It says an awful lot about just how popular that method of game design is when the players are so quick to adopt shortcuts. I mean, there's a difference between sitting down and doing some number crunching to determine which is the fastest leveling path out of all the options available and taking an almost fully hands-off approach to leveling by letting someone else do the playing while you stand around and soak the rewards.
I can tell you as someone who already owns the game (meaning I could pick it up and start playing again any time without having to shell out any more money), this kind of development is the kind of thing that just makes me that much more certain the game will never hold my interest. Yoshi-P might be making the XI crowd happy by trying to set things up for the party/camp/grind method of leveling, but he's not going to be attracting a whole lot of fresh blood with it. As the game continues to evolve towards what many hope will be a market viable position, what the community adopts as standard practice will be almost as important as what the game itself has to offer. If word gets around that the leveling process is so dull and uninteresting that most people just grind until they can afford a PL to boost them through stretches of leveling, it's not going to do a whole lot to sell units of the game.
I could see it if the game wound up robust with tons of interesting content throughout the entire leveling experience and the only people still drooling over the prospect of PLs are the ones who have convinced themselves that the only good MMO was FFXI and they only tolerate the contemporary additions Yoshi-P has made because they have no other choice if they want to play FFXI-2, but I don't see that happening right now. I see a bit too much effort involved in pandering to the people who will keep XIV dead and not enough thought given to what could make the game great.
What I would HOPE has been the case is largely as follows:
- The mentioned revisions to the maps will be sweeping and substantial. When they're done, the whole 'copy pasta' debacle will become a "remember when" instead of "we've gotten used to it." There should ideally be multiple visual themes for every existing 'region'. La Noscea should not be all green and grey. Thanalan should not be all red and brown. The green place in the forest (don't remember the region name) should not be one...giant tunnel maze green place in a forest that's only visually impressive if you look way up... Every time you exhaust the potential of one current aetheryte camp, the move to the next camp in the line of progression should come with a substantial alteration in visual appearance. PS3 limitations be damned...if the devs can't provide a world that meets modern standards for thematic diversity, the game is going to suffer heavily on the PC market.
- The quests that have been added to the game have simply been thrown in to test a framework and set of tools the devs have begun developing that will allow them to add new quests extremely rapidly to fill the world with a constant stream of things to do.
- The combat revisions already mentioned are simply part of another evolving framework that is still far from complete that will allow the devs to lift the FFXIV combat mechanics to more contemporary levels that don't seem bound by 56k dialup restrictions and stingy server side hardware choices.
- There will be two entirely distinct UIs...one for keyboard/mouse, and one for gamepad. And the keyboard/mouse UI will meet or exceed existing standards for a contemporary MMO in all aspects.
- The market wards need to be scrapped or, at best, preserved as a legacy feature that can be bypassed if a plyer chooses to do so. I got used to it after a couple of revisions but it was still a needlessly tedious system to work with.
IF Yoshi-P and his team can accomplish all of those things, I'd say the game has a chance of starting to recover the investment SE made to develop it. It'll never be a money factory, but my guess is that SE would be happy to break even after 5 years at this point.
And all the while this is happening, Yoshi-P and his team are struggling to bring the game up to the standards of 3-4 years ago. Other games are already pushing well beyond those standards. It's an uphill battle and the clock is always ticking. And that means things like a PL debacle that sends word out to the MMO gaming community at large that the grind is still so tedious and unappealing that people are flocking to bypass it represent a strong step backwards that needs to be corrected with due haste.