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Grand Companies of Eorzea: Alvak’s SpyglassFollow

#1 Feb 16 2012 at 3:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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The latest issue of The Mythril Eye, Ul’dah’s foremost financial paper, has gone to print, featuring the inaugural edition of a new column penned by senior editor Havak Alvak.

Take a peep through Alvak’s Spyglass.
#2 Feb 16 2012 at 9:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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A half-page of lore to make teleportation around the cities is a reality.

I can't wait until games are composed of nothing but small networks of warp hubs. I'll teleport from one guild to the other, then from the guild to another city, then from the city to a camp, then from camp to other camps. Everything will seem so functional, so pragmatic - much like this short article, with one blatant purpose in mind. I suppose it's better than looking at the same copy-pasted scenery, though; but it still makes everything that much more disjointed for me.
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"... he called to himself a wizard, named Gallery, hoping by this means to escape the paying of the fifteen hundred crowns..." (Machen 15)

"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

"I could only read so much for this paper and the syphilis poem had to go."
#3 Feb 16 2012 at 10:39 AM Rating: Good
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Why stop there? Just make 1 NPC who gives/does/says everything in the game. Put him in a 2x2 box and call it a MMO.
#4 Feb 16 2012 at 10:55 AM Rating: Decent
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Here's the problem I see with any update SE does. It won't appeal to 100% of the people; and like it or not the majority of gamers are becoming casual in play-time.

Even Blizzard had to admit more and more of it's players are becoming more casual:
http://www.digitalspy.ca/gaming/news/a336310/world-of-warcraft-audience-becoming-more-casual-says-blizzard-gamescom-2011.html

I only hated WoW because of the graphics personally. I enjoyed FFXI because of the gaming style. I enjoyed GuildWars because of it's style. Yet they are both very different animals.

I want XIV to be as succesful as at least guildwars, 5million players or so. Even now GW has more players than XIV; by a long shot.

Let's not argue F2P/P2P. GuildWars has brought in more money from it's somewhat limited and non-game breaking store packs and expansions than XI has (in all it's years). GW is much younger as well.

GW is still going to bring in money with GW2 because even if you just bought GW you can level in GW, get titles and items and than later still upgrade your GW2 account with that info, giving you special items.

In other words, SE NEEDS to make this game more casual and like the more successful mmo's out there. They have to try and cater to both types of players but the hardcore gamer is not the biggest chunk of the pie.

You may not like the way the game is going but there are alot of choices out there for games now :( Sad but true.

Even if I want some hardcore content I'd rather have many players to do things with than no one, so I will compromise; and accept that to have a better and larger community we need to think beyond 5-30 minutes of running between places.
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http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/story.html?story=18309
Quote:
Like Final Fantasy XI, the game specs will be extremely high for the time, but in about 5 years, an average machine can run it on max settings with little to no issues. Tanaka also expressed interest in making a benchmark program available.

FilthMcNasty wrote:
I endorse this thread.
#5 Feb 16 2012 at 11:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elionara wrote:
In other words, SE NEEDS to make this game more casual and like the more successful mmo's out there. They have to try and cater to both types of players but the hardcore gamer is not the biggest chunk of the pie.


Why? Successful is completely relative, FFXIV doesn't need to have 10 million subscribers to be considered a success, or even 5 million, and there's nothing wrong with having a different genre of MMO targeted to different people.

People say FFXI wasn't very casual friendly. Regardless of if that's true or not, I'm an extremely casual player (look at my characters below having been playing since beta - 50+ hour/week job that requires travel, wife + kid + hobbies other than video games) and I enjoyed my time in FFXI 100x more than my time in WoW.

If I want to play an MMO that has mechanics which are considered more along the lines of current generation MMOs, I have a plethora of choices. But if I want to play something more old school or traditional feeling for MMOs, there's almost nothing out there.

FFXIV doesn't need to try to become yet another title in the long list of games built on the current MMO philosophy.

Elionara wrote:
You may not like the way the game is going but there are alot of choices out there for games now :( Sad but true.


Which is exactly why FFXIV needs to not become just another modern MMO mechanic-based title.

Elionara wrote:
to have a better and larger community we need to think beyond 5-30 minutes of running between places.


If the overall game is fun people will play regardless of travel time. There's nothing wrong with having far reaches of the game be accessible only via extended travel time - it creates an atmosphere of a large, unexplored world that has meaning. Being able to click an icon and instantly travel to all the supposedly far off and dangerous corners of an MMO universe at whim is quite frankly one of the worst parts about modern MMO design. I absolutely detest it.


Edited, Feb 16th 2012 12:19pm by Whales
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#6 Feb 16 2012 at 11:36 AM Rating: Decent
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Maplestory is pretty old and not huge in numbers, it's successful and fun (if a bit grindy) to play. Star Wars TOR is "just another MMO" the only selling point? Bioware is behind it and it's a rehash of KOTOR with the ability to PvP other players basically.

TERA is absolutely nothing new beyond a wonky action combat system, when a game does poorly in Korea you know it has problems of it's own to deal with it.

XIV has the possibility of being like FFXI in the sense that it can be something different than just the norm (I thought the mantra of gaming was why settle for mediocrity?) which while FFXI on the core level was based around EQ, it was also based around FFIII and the Final Fantasy series in general, it offered something completely different at the time (even in comparison with EQ) then WoW came out and bastardized everything MMOs have been about lol.

Given a chance to stand on it's own two legs and stand out from the rest, XIV can do just fine, but if the mindless drones continue to settle for "just another MMO", XIV will have to follow suit just to please them.
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#7 Feb 16 2012 at 11:46 AM Rating: Good
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DoctorMog wrote:
Why stop there? Just make 1 NPC who gives/does/says everything in the game. Put him in a 2x2 box and call it a MMO.


A 2x2 box? We could really make that a 2x1 - one square for the NPC and one for the player(s?). I don't want to have to trudge my way across a box with four total cells - that's two cells wasted on nothing but scenery and exploration, **** it!

Beyond that, though, there's been some very interesting discussion on this thread already. I especially like the paradoxical hubris of seeking more success (that is, players) and, in the process, becoming unsuccessful for your attempt to garner mass appeal. It's a good point, and one worth considering, that: "If I want to play an MMO that has mechanics which are considered more along the lines of current generation MMOs, I have a plethora of choices. But if I want to play something more old school or traditional feeling for MMOs, there's almost nothing out there."

People talk about the "evolution of gaming," but they neglect to consider that a major part of evolution is the concept of the evolutionary niche - not all creatures fight for the exact same resources; diversity ensures survival over competition, and also constitutes a more accurate and successful evolution, at that.


Edited, Feb 16th 2012 12:52pm by KaneKitty
____________________________
"... he called to himself a wizard, named Gallery, hoping by this means to escape the paying of the fifteen hundred crowns..." (Machen 15)

"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

"I could only read so much for this paper and the syphilis poem had to go."
#8 Feb 16 2012 at 12:26 PM Rating: Decent
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I think I need troll school. The general process goes:
SE releases update: I agree = Rate down.
SE releases update: I disagree = Rate down.

Personally if I was SE and I knew I could get millions of players rather than 12,000; I would choose the millions of players.

You can bet your *** that Blizzard has a ton of money they can put into new projects or making existing ones better; just from WoW sales alone.

millions of people + subs = lots of money.

In 2011 alone WoW pulled in 1.3 billion gross, (as a whole the company pulled in 4.5 billion). Estimated 2400 employees with conservative salary of $200,000 each. I know their are other costs but really what? What could eat up over a billion dollars in sub fees.

SE is a company as well and I'm sure they want money just like everyone else in addition to making sure the name of Final Fantasy isn't tarnished more. Which is why I think they are pulling out all stops to get this game right.

Edited, Feb 16th 2012 10:28am by Elionara
____________________________
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/story.html?story=18309
Quote:
Like Final Fantasy XI, the game specs will be extremely high for the time, but in about 5 years, an average machine can run it on max settings with little to no issues. Tanaka also expressed interest in making a benchmark program available.

FilthMcNasty wrote:
I endorse this thread.
#9 Feb 16 2012 at 1:33 PM Rating: Good
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Elionara wrote:
Personally if I was SE and I knew I could get millions of players rather than 12,000; I would choose the millions of players.

You can bet your *** that Blizzard has a ton of money


But those are not the actual choices; the situation is not such that SE can "get millions to play" as easily done as said. Catering to a fickle, non-loyal, and easily bored casual market whilst copying WoW is far from "knowing that I could get millions of players." Your potential customer base is sizable - of this there is no doubt - but we have seen countless times that potential matters little in the face of actuality. Other MMORPGs have tried such a strategy and the outcome usually displays both a relatively quick failure and a forgettable game.

You point out that WoW makes money: yes, it does. But that fact alone does not create a duplicatable equation for other companies. World of Warcraft has, historically, been an avenue towards massive profit only for Blizzard. And for SE to enter the casual-WoW-like MMORPG field is for SE to be competing with dozens of very similar MMORPGs - huge MMORPGs. In such a realm, it is unlikely that they can win, or even decently grow. But for SE to make a game that appeals to fans of the slightly less-recent Final Fantasy games (including FFXI), on the other hand, is for SE to occupy a niche for which there is no competition - and to profit because of it.

The modern MMO market is a rainforest, with the canopy of giant fronds covering and strangling the sunlight away from other trees. A new plant can hope to grow by emulating these towering trees, by aiming to eventually push them away and gather their sunlight; or that plant could build a prosperous network beneath them, catching the varied and untapped nutrients that exist just under the canopy, which the larger trees disdain for blatant and visible sunlight. Let the huge ones have their sunlight, let them wrestle and shake, back and forth, whenever a new contender rises up; the plants below them couldn't care less, for their umbral resources will not be taken by the other trees, no matter how big those other trees become.


Edited, Feb 16th 2012 2:36pm by KaneKitty
____________________________
"... he called to himself a wizard, named Gallery, hoping by this means to escape the paying of the fifteen hundred crowns..." (Machen 15)

"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

"I could only read so much for this paper and the syphilis poem had to go."
#10 Feb 16 2012 at 2:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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KaneKitty wrote:
You point out that WoW makes money: yes, it does. But that fact alone does not create a duplicatable equation for other companies. World of Warcraft has, historically, been an avenue towards massive profit only for Blizzard. And for SE to enter the casual-WoW-like MMORPG field is for SE to be competing with dozens of very similar MMORPGs - huge MMORPGs. In such a realm, it is unlikely that they can win, or even decently grow. But for SE to make a game that appeals to fans of the slightly less-recent Final Fantasy games (including FFXI), on the other hand, is for SE to occupy a niche for which there is no competition - and to profit because of it.

The modern MMO market is a rainforest, with the canopy of giant fronds covering and strangling the sunlight away from other trees. A new plant can hope to grow by emulating these towering trees, by aiming to eventually push them away and gather their sunlight; or that plant could build a prosperous network beneath them, catching the varied and untapped nutrients that exist just under the canopy, which the larger trees disdain for blatant and visible sunlight. Let the huge ones have their sunlight, let them wrestle and shake, back and forth, whenever a new contender rises up; the plants below them couldn't care less, for their umbral resources will not be taken by the other trees, no matter how big those other trees become.


Fantastically said and continuing with that concept, I would also point out that Blizzard's success with World of Warcraft is not derived entirely because of the gameplay mechanics employed in WoW that have become the standard go-to for modern MMOs in today's market, but more so in combination with the fact that Blizzard went against what was then the philosophy of how online role playing games should work and paved their own way for MMORPG success.

When WoW launched in 2004 they didn't have to fight against thousands of other similar MMOs, hoping to bleed numbers away from those other games which utilized the same formula. No, they created a brand new formula that was completely different than anything most franchise MMO players had ever seen. That's the most often overlooked aspect of WoW success, the fact that they were the first major publisher to market to do something radically different in an online role playing game.

All that has to be the most frustrating thing I see from MMO publishers in regards to their new titles - the absorption of trending MMO concepts into some sort of amalgamated mass of video game mechanics that is suppose to base success on those laurels themselves. For example, putting in solo leveling to level cap via questing because WoW does it and WoW is a success, never mind the fact that such gameplay was successful when WoW did it because it was - for the most part - a completely new concept for MMORPGs.


Edited, Feb 16th 2012 3:40pm by Whales
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FFXIV - Fellows - Fabul
FFXI - Fellows - Gilgamesh


#11 Feb 16 2012 at 2:59 PM Rating: Decent
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I've been in XIV since the first alpha phase and I can honestly say the only reason I stuck through it up until about summer of last year was I didn't want to get behind in levels when I know it's going to take off. The game has GREAT potential and SE WILL realize that in the coming updates.

But honestly they went so far off the norm of any mmo experience you had that it was like sticking a 2x4 up your ****. Not very enjoyable for most; it it was we wouldn't be stuck with ~20,000 players right now.

Now; when people complain about XIV all I see is whiners because the game is 100% different in gameplay than it was at launch. So either they don't play or they are more hardcore than me, have done everything and really don't have !@#$ to do other than repeat the endgame zones or earn gil.

I'm not too hardcore but I have 7/8 battle to 50 with pug 40+. Miner 45+ and 2 crafts 40+. I still have so much to do like the acheivments and things. Some people only enjoy the grinding and gear which is okay as well; only right now the game is geared to casuals, not hardcore.

I can see this changing a bit with the artifact quests (supposed to be harder than anything ever seen yet), 3-4 new dungeons, ultra mode for existing ones to make it harder.

Very exciting times :)
____________________________
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/story.html?story=18309
Quote:
Like Final Fantasy XI, the game specs will be extremely high for the time, but in about 5 years, an average machine can run it on max settings with little to no issues. Tanaka also expressed interest in making a benchmark program available.

FilthMcNasty wrote:
I endorse this thread.
#12 Feb 16 2012 at 6:57 PM Rating: Good
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I'm OK with the idea of intracity teleporting.. Them actually implementing it though, that's always where it gets murky. We only have to look back a week to see how brilliant their decision making is sometimes.

I do think teleporting needs to be changed, though. This has been said before, but at the very least they should consider only allowing teleporting from an Aetheryte Crystal. With Return on just a 15 minute timer, you'll still generally be able to teleport anywhere at any given time, but it won't seem quite as cheap - and it'd make more sense:

Quote:
Though the exact mechanism behind teleportation via aetheryte is still largely a mystery, one theory states that when a sentient being approaches one of the portals, the aether that makes up its body resonates with the aether of the crystals, which in turn results in a complete breakdown of the being's mass, allowing it to temporarily return to the invisible aetheric streams that course throughout the planet.

The being's soul, which cannot be broken down, then guides the particles to a predetermined destination, and upon arrival, the corresponding aetheryte receptacle reconfigures the mist back into its original form. This whole process takes only a matter of moments, allowing for nearly instant transportation to faraway destinations.


Personally I would strive to do more than that concerning Return/Teleports, but this is the least they can do.
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