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Newbie Impression of FFXIVFollow

#1 Feb 17 2012 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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OK, I've been playing this game for about 3 days now. So I thought I'd post about a little on the newbie experience. This isn't an attempt to try and say anything new, I'm just giving a new guy's observations.

First the game is pretty dang gorgeous it's obvious that this is a FF title because everything just "pops" visually. This extends to the cut scenes as well. They're well done and expressive. I'm also surprised by the number of them. I don't know if this continues but in the low levels cut scenes seem to be as common as they are in SWTOR. I also find the story tied to them thus far fun and interesting. My toon's not the "chosen one" but I enjoy the everyman adventurer feeling. Sometimes it's nice to just a be a "dude" in a fantastic realm.

The Leve system. I actually kind of like it. I realize it has a downside in that it can allow a player to really just solo all the way. However, I don't see that as so huge as to maximize its affects partying up would be a good idea. Still it likely needs to be adjusted to encourage grouping as that is technically what being in an MMO is all about. However, the "task" aspect of it is something I enjoy I like having a "reason" for my grinding. It might totally artificial but somehow it helps at the psychological level.

I like that they tried to make crafting a mini-game. It's nice to feel active in crafting. However a tutorial would have been nice as honestly when I break out my saw I've got no idea what I'm doing lol. At a personal level I don't mind that. There is fun in discovery. However having something that just takes a moment to really explain what each choice does and so forth would be nice. Still at this point I have to say that I like the crafting system. I also like that it can be a full time occupation if one desires.

Classes I'm still playing around with them. Which I think is kind of the point. Like in FFXI I enjoy being able to roll one toon and focus everything on that character. So I'm glad that carried over. Being able to swap out between classes on the fly is also nice.

Feeling lost. At times I have felt like "I'm not sure what to do now." I have mixed feelings on this. At some level I like the old school idea of figuring out your own adventure. But as many of you know when you're a professional with lots of responsibilities sometimes you do want to just have a simple direction to take. Which brings me to another thing. I don't necessarily know what the point of all of it is. Not meaning the point as in "why am I playing this?" I mean the overall point of my character's story in this realm. So do I just stay in the starting towns and keep doing leves or is there a reason to branch out?

A silly aside is sound. Having played several MMO's since my sojourn in Vana'diel I found that I was a bit surprised at the silence of the game. MMO's now have all this ambient noise, and some verbal queues from NPC's. Seeing a more quiet game again was a little bit of shock. It's not necessarily a bad thing, I'm just bringing it up as a talking point.

Finally, something that really surprised me with the game is that the developers obviously worked hard on the game. Its visuals, the cut scenes, dialogue details, and its systems all took a lot of effort and thought. What surprises me is that with that much effort why some of the more obvious aspects of an MMO got left out. To me it seems at odds. The developers obviously didn't just phone it in. So how did some things get left out?

Anyway, so far its been interesting. I see many things that would suggest great potential in the game. So I hope that 2.0 can capitalize. I'd like to have another AAA FF title to delve into.
#2 Feb 17 2012 at 11:11 AM Rating: Decent
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Always interesting to see opinions on newcomer or people coming back. I just came back about a week ago after leaving shortly after release. As for things to go, there are multiple quests you can achieve that are available, LV15 instance in La Noscea (Shposhae i think), setting up retainers (i think it's an activity in itself haha). When you hit 22, start doing the Grand Company levequests. Things open up when you reach higher levels actually.

Now, just get prepared for all the cynical FFXiV ditchers to come in and jump your thread ;)
#3 Feb 17 2012 at 11:14 AM Rating: Good
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I think you have nailed the #1 problem that sent this game into it's original tailspin. There is no clear point or purpose to the game when it was released.

It now has one, but it's literally "The end is coming, be prepared". Which is tied into the release of 2.0. So, there is not much you can do to achieve the current point or purpose, because the current point/purpose is to wait for 2.0.

The current main storyline quests are open ended, and lead up to level 36. As do all current job quests (with Armorer and blacksmith sharing quest lines).

Currently, most people are just collecting items, completing achievements, and trying to fight the big baddies in the world, waiting for new things to do.

It currently sounds like the story line quests will not be released until shortly before the release of 2.0 (there are currently live quests leading up to 2.0 that different lodestone comments hint at from time to time). I would assume maybe something in the 1.22 time frame, but probably not until the 2.0 beta.
#4 Feb 17 2012 at 11:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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blaque01 wrote:
A silly aside is sound. Having played several MMO's since my sojourn in Vana'diel I found that I was a bit surprised at the silence of the game. MMO's now have all this ambient noise, and some verbal queues from NPC's. Seeing a more quiet game again was a little bit of shock.


I would have to say that FFXIV is actually far superior to any other MMO I have experienced in terms of music and sound in general. FFXIV has music and sound effects - not general music, but different themes for every zone, and even a battle theme! In terms of music, most MMOs stick to a couple notes of an oft-used ambient track that loops in and out every 25 seconds; often times you don't hear music at all.

As for verbal queues, I always hated clicking an NPC and getting a generic (and usually nonsensical) greeting. Take, for example, when I see a dwarf whose supposed to be dying from a horrible disease and who, when selected, says the same **** "Interest ya oon a pint!?" that every other dwarf in the entire world barks at me for no particular reason. If anything, I think that such voices detract from the world because their presence only makes it more obvious that NPCs are nothing more than cardboard stand-ins for characters.
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#5 Feb 17 2012 at 12:31 PM Rating: Decent
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KaneKitty wrote:
blaque01 wrote:
A silly aside is sound. Having played several MMO's since my sojourn in Vana'diel I found that I was a bit surprised at the silence of the game. MMO's now have all this ambient noise, and some verbal queues from NPC's. Seeing a more quiet game again was a little bit of shock.


I would have to say that FFXIV is actually far superior to any other MMO I have experienced in terms of music and sound in general. FFXIV has music and sound effects - not general music, but different themes for every zone, and even a battle theme! In terms of music, most MMOs stick to a couple notes of an oft-used ambient track that loops in and out every 25 seconds; often times you don't hear music at all.

As for verbal queues, I always hated clicking an NPC and getting a generic (and usually nonsensical) greeting. Take, for example, when I see a dwarf whose supposed to be dying from a horrible disease and who, when selected, says the same **** "Interest ya oon a pint!?" that every other dwarf in the entire world barks at me for no particular reason. If anything, I think that such voices detract from the world because their presence only makes it more obvious that NPCs are nothing more than cardboard stand-ins for characters.


Oh the music and sound for spells and battle are great. I really wasn't meaning that as a "complaint" just it seems more "quiet" than what I've grown used too. In some ways its pleasant. It was more just another general observation.

To the other posters I appreciate you mentioning things that will be available as I level up. Good to know.
#6 Feb 18 2012 at 9:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Vanguard had some of the best music in an MMO. FFXIV also has some good music in it as well.
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#7 Feb 18 2012 at 12:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Nope. VIII and ix have the best soundtracks. I didn't say best game, but best music IMO. Track after track listening to it clearly brings characters to life, scenes, and tells a story just on the score alone. Again, IMO :)
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#8 Feb 18 2012 at 12:34 PM Rating: Good
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FFVIII and IX are also single-player games with a defined purpose, and each theme (especially with IX) takes from the main theme (Eyes on Me/Melodies of Life) of the respective game and uses that motif in a lot of the other themes.

FFXI and FFXIV are online games and people are expected to go back and hear a lot of the same themes over and over again. So they have to be more ambient than its single-player counterparts. Except cut-scene and battle tracks, of course.
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#9 Feb 18 2012 at 3:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Not comparing MMO vs Single Player. Saying across the series, those two are my favorite scores...look I even said IMO (in my opinion) insinuating that it's a matter of preference for me. *sigh*
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#10 Feb 19 2012 at 6:26 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
As for verbal queues, I always hated clicking an NPC and getting a generic (and usually nonsensical) greeting. Take, for example, when I see a dwarf whose supposed to be dying from a horrible disease and who, when selected, says the same **** "Interest ya oon a pint!?" that every other dwarf in the entire world barks at me for no particular reason. If anything, I think that such voices detract from the world because their presence only makes it more obvious that NPCs are nothing more than cardboard stand-ins for characters.


Take games like The Witcher or Skyrim. Context-sensitive voiceover at it's finest.
Given the necessary resources, it can all be done nowadays ;).

Which makes me wonder: how could a small polish studio pull off the "miracle" of
complete voice-over in no less than 6 languages, while high-and-mighty SE didn't
even manage to include voiceover in a single language for all the main cutscenes?
#11 Feb 20 2012 at 12:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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voice-overs are an interesting beast.

I can't say what was the issue that made SE shy away from it so permanently, but I am assuming it's one of the following:

Cost and delay in all updates that include any voice acting.

Long-term commitment for sporadic inclusions (NPC used in release may or may not get updated dialog during the entire game release). This can be solved *for the most part* by using a small set of voice actors... but that brings us to the next problem...

Potential damage, disconnect if voice actor change is necessary (actor quits or is fired).

Data portability. Voice data requires a conversion to a format suited for environment played on. Depending on the format used, there is licensing, and compatibility issues, especially when incorporating the functionality into a game.

programmed queuing working across different platforms (e.g. PS3 graphics and sound syncing needs to be inline with PC and PSVita... if they are *actually* doing that). Not a big issue, but definitely one that needs to be worked with. Since they design their own game engines, they do have to work out the details of integrating it in, and making sure that it is properly responsive.

Memory and process overhead. It is actually very easy when you begin to add features like this in to begin suffering from some significant application bloat. Bringing in more lag and non-responsiveness. SE has had a history and tendency to go for graphics aesthetics over audio aesthetics. However, I think 13-2 has shown that they are seriously starting to break away from that.

Smaller shops tend to take bigger risks. And older shops tend to remember the stigma or pain of trying something in the past that didn't work out so well, and shunning away from it. If you look at the 80s and 90s and voice in games, things like ZeroWing start popping up. And while issues with translation, metallic voices, audio skip, failed sync, or my personal favorite Mah Mah mouth (you hear the voice but the mouth just keeps going -0-0-0- Like they are saying Mah Mah over and over again). These are things that experienced companies remember, and have to either learn to forget, or work past. And it's harder for them to do that than a newer company.

You also have the issue of Characters sounding different from language to language. Different cultures have different sounds for different feels, and, anyone who has ever watched dubbed anime has seen things like the gruff male Japanese character is replaced by the voice of what sounds like a pre-teen. Where the Japanese voice is what you would expect, but the American voice is SO dramatically different that one become iconic, and one becomes painful. While it makes for good internet memes, it can be very damaging to a company. And with the current state of the internet, the act of correcting the mistake after it's made can be even more damaging.

In a lot of cases, high dollar decisions like this cause companies to become too phobic to attempt it.
#12 Feb 20 2012 at 12:28 PM Rating: Decent
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^^ Great post.
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#13 Feb 20 2012 at 3:20 PM Rating: Default
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Interesting and informative, indeed. I knew there were a few difficulties with voiceovers, but not what exactly they were. Nonetheless: it has been done before, even in MMOs; and English would be fine for starters. SE has lost some serious ground in the innovation department since the original release, as many of FFXIV's unique selling points (e.g., the armory system) have been successfully refined by other companies, which in turn introduced their own new features FFXIV naturally misses. Time is unforgiving; after playing other games is simply started to expect no less from SE.
#14 Feb 20 2012 at 4:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Hi all I tried FFXIV while back, when it was first launched. I did not care for it back then, but I find my self wanting to try it one more time. The only thing I need to know is how is the world chat this time around and game play?
#15 Feb 20 2012 at 5:09 PM Rating: Decent
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World chat is absolutely no different. Gameplay... that you'd have to decide for yourself.
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#16 Feb 20 2012 at 10:46 PM Rating: Default
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Rinsui wrote:
Quote:
As for verbal queues, I always hated clicking an NPC and getting a generic (and usually nonsensical) greeting. Take, for example, when I see a dwarf whose supposed to be dying from a horrible disease and who, when selected, says the same **** "Interest ya oon a pint!?" that every other dwarf in the entire world barks at me for no particular reason. If anything, I think that such voices detract from the world because their presence only makes it more obvious that NPCs are nothing more than cardboard stand-ins for characters.


Take games like The Witcher or Skyrim. Context-sensitive voiceover at it's finest.
Given the necessary resources, it can all be done nowadays ;).

Which makes me wonder: how could a small polish studio pull off the "miracle" of
complete voice-over in no less than 6 languages, while high-and-mighty SE didn't
even manage to include voiceover in a single language for all the main cutscenes?


That is a good point, Witcher 2 has significantly more dialogue than FFXIV.. I wonder if 2.0 will have voiceover... I'm going to go with no, but guess we'll find out if and when it comes out..
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#17 Feb 21 2012 at 8:40 AM Rating: Good
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They (SE) did do significant work in 13-2 for voice work. But, I am sure that they will still keep it limited to main story cutscenes. While I would love them to do it, there is so much more that they need to work on, risking aesthetics when the game still is at risk seems too... well, risky...
#18 Feb 21 2012 at 9:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not sure contextual voice work like you see in FF13-2 or Skyrim would work so well in an MMO.

Even in an offline game, it looses its appeal pretty quick with me. Sure it's cool to hear people acknowledge what you've done for the local populace after finishing a difficult quest, I don't dispute that. It's very cool the first time you hear it, maybe even the fifth time, but when you hear about the "arrow in the knee" for the hundredth time, you sort of wish they'd just shut up already. And that's just in a game you play for a few dozen hours.

An MMO is something you potentially play for years. I can't imagine the psychotic episode that would be triggered from hearing about the millionth "arrow in the knee."
#19 Feb 21 2012 at 10:25 PM Rating: Default
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I used to have psychotic episodes about arrow in the knee jokes... Then I took an arrow in the knee. :D <3
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#20 Feb 21 2012 at 11:35 PM Rating: Default
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http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-took-an-arrow-in-the-knee

:D :D :D
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#21 Feb 21 2012 at 11:39 PM Rating: Good
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Xoie wrote:
An MMO is something you potentially play for years. I can't imagine the psychotic episode that would be triggered from hearing about the millionth "arrow in the knee."


Kill that NPC! A few MMO do allow you to kill NPC including shopkeeper.
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#22 Feb 22 2012 at 9:22 AM Rating: Good
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Khornette wrote:
A few MMO do allow you to kill NPC including shopkeeper.


Shopkeepers who respawn within a couple minutes, at that.
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"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

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#23 Feb 22 2012 at 8:29 PM Rating: Good
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KaneKitty wrote:
Khornette wrote:
A few MMO do allow you to kill NPC including shopkeeper.


Shopkeepers who respawn within a couple minutes, at that.


Like players, duh. Unless there is perma death for players...
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#24 Feb 22 2012 at 8:46 PM Rating: Default
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Khornette wrote:
KaneKitty wrote:
Khornette wrote:
A few MMO do allow you to kill NPC including shopkeeper.


Shopkeepers who respawn within a couple minutes, at that.


Like players, duh. Unless there is perma death for players...



Nah you are thinking of that other MMO...Outside...that one has perma death for players :D

http://files.myopera.com/zomg/blog/outsidecj0.jpg

Edited, Feb 22nd 2012 9:47pm by LillithaFenimore
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