Me too :) It was so much fun trying a level 1 Path of the Dragon only run, still stuck at Ornstein and Smough, but at a certain point the single player content is done haha ;) Dragon's Dogma, eh, no thanks man. You're right, it deserves a 7 for all that it's supposed to be offering, I just got stuck in some interface issues like saving, pawn everything, etc. Wrote up a faq actually that I didn't want to modify cause of spoilers for Gamefaqs. It's a good-great game, if you can ignore it flaws, if you can't, you're looking at a meager 5/10 in my opinion.
The amount of attention and detail that went into Dark Souls, gameplay, interface, the visuals you name it, was so expertly crafted that there just wasn't a case of whether something worked or not, no, it was do you like it or not? If a game can do that, I will be rooting for it, which in my case used to be FFXI, before they completely ignored the hardcore players and made everything easy-casual by upping the level cap and not increased the challenge.
Now looking at the later updates in FFXI, not to mention the addition of a new add-on, as mentioned on neoGaf, I would say SE has some idea how to do it. Implement hardcore content like the level 99 Odin battle, let the hardcore get specific drops for that battle that not outweigh the casual gear drops by that much and you got my vote. You NEED hardcore content, SE expertly cut their playerbase in half, if not more because of the level cap increase and Abyssea releases. I see the need for casual content, yes, grinding gets old at a certain point, Magian Trials bored me to death, but I see the need for it considering the current playerbase in the world. People have less time to play, and want to have more fun in less time, so you need to speed things up a bit. Dragon's Dogma is a good example, it's casual enough for people to get into it, but in my opinion lacks a hardcore approach, the battle engine doesn't lend itself, with pawns, to hardcore content, only more grinding and powerful weapons to overcome foes.
Someone mentioned that games require no skill, I disagree. Yes, you can follow wiki's to supply you with different setups and how to work it, but implementing specific setups strategies, while most of your playerbase is used to do it differently, requires a lot of skill in co-ordinating (sp?). That's what I liked most. And yes, it required skill by all players, maybe knowledge if you want to call it that, but knowing exactly what Each job does in battle when you're not used to it Does require skill. I only trusted certain players, who knew my playstyle, in airship battles (old difficulty), don't tell me that was easy, cause it wasn't. At all. I had loads of problems leading casual players through that battle, while I had no difficulty with experienced players, even if they didn't know how to do the airship fight, they knew the jobs, they knew the timing of their skillset and how to work the enemy. You have to know how each player works their job and how the rest of your party responds to such tactics. Good example: Dynamis-Xarcabard old skool. 4 white mages, but a shortage on sleepers, refreshers and whatnot. One Whm was very skilled at sleeping, knew the timing of the pulls, which mobs would wake first, how long his sleeps would last on any mob. He helped with sleeping, I assisted him and focused on using -na spells with him. The other 2 Whm played their original role within normal party setups. What I mean to say is knowing what is needed and react to certain situations without an ideal setup requires skill. A lot. Also understanding from your linkshell to know exactly what you are doing. We got a remark:"Wth are you doing? Stick to your original role". Trouble was, the leaders saw what we were doing and thought we were valuable by doing so. Heck, I even sack-pulled as Smn in some Dynamis cause people screwed strats up. Good example: Dynamis Jeuno. I sack pulled the boss in the last few minutes, cause no one did or knew how to, or screwed it up. Applying knowledge while not being in the right job is fun, and versatile.
My point? Give me hardcore content, and I'll play MMO's again, that doesn't have to be timesink content, while that is still needed to give people who play a lot enough to do. I'm glad Dark Souls filled that need for me, now I need the next game to give me that much challenge and fun, tailored to my preferences.
Edited, Jun 26th 2012 7:05pm by MonarctheFirst
FFXI - Ragnar - Whm75 - Kujata - Retired 2007
FFXI - Monarc - Smn76/Drg76/Whm75 - Kujata - Retired 2010
FFXI currently installing again?!? - July 2012