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FFXIV: RPGSite Interview with YoshiFollow

#1 Aug 01 2012 at 11:55 AM Rating: Good
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http://www.rpgsite.net/articles/397-final-fantasy-xiv-a-realm-reborn-developer-interview

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We know - we've talked about Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 a lot - but with a Producer as open-minded as Naoki Yoshida, it's hard to say no to an opportunity to inteview him.

Although it hasn't been too long since we saw the game back at E3, a follow-up felt appropriate in the meantime to fill the gap until Gamescom next month. Think of this as an extension to our previous interview with producer/director Naoki Yoshida and localization guru Koji Fox.

Having seen the new version in action, we wanted to get somewhat of an in-depth look at some of the decisions behind the game's development, and of course changes going into version 2.0 - now formally known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Hot on the heels of a brand new trailer, the newly rebuilt version of the game will see even more reveals in the coming months.

As we've come to expect, Yoshida-san had quite a bit to say.


RPG Site: About how large now is the team working on FF14 and how has it - if at all - affected Square Enix development internally? Actually, I’m really interested in the way the team works so perhaps if you could describe a bit about day to day workings and various staff roles? Going back to the idea of 2.0 having an ‘epic Final Fantasy-style’ story, I’m really interested in who will be handling the scenario and dialogue writing—things like that.
Yoshida: Currently, the in-house team consists of almost 300 members. We also have outsourced a fair amount of work to third-party companies, so all-in-all, the team is fairly large.

Some of the core members include:

Naoki Yoshida – producer/director – (Dragon Quest series)
Yoshihisa Hashimoto – technical director – (CTO, Luminous engine)
Hiroshi Takai – assistant director – (Last Remnant, FFV, Romancing Saga series)
Akihiko Matsui – battle director – (Final Fantasy Series, FFXI)
Hiroshi Minagawa – UI director – (FFXII, Tactics Ogre)
Takeo Suzuki – art director – (FFXII)
Akihiko Yoshida – lead artist (FFXII, Tactics Ogre)

And many, many more Square Enix veterans

Continuing operation and development of the current version alongside 2.0 development has resulted in a very unique team make-up. On one side, we have a small team of programmers and art designers working on assets ordered by the 1.0 game design/scenario team who implement their quests directly into the game via lua script. For 2.0 development, we have separate teams for quest/scenario writing, game design, UI design, level design, and programming. The programming team is further divided into smaller units working on the servers, user interface, in-game content, the client system, graphics, and more. Finally, we cannot forget our artists, whose workload is determined by assignments received from the teams listed above.

As director, I personally make it a point to check the details of each group’s work, and prioritize the implementation of new features.

Yaeko Sato (FINAL FANTASY XI, FINAL FANTASY XII) will continue her role as lead writer. I, personally, will also be involved in working on the plot. In addition, we have introduced a talented new Scenario Director, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for more information regarding him at the moment. Him!? I’ve already said too much…

RPG Site: With development of the new engine you have Yoshihisa Hashimoto has the Technical Director, who is also Square Enix Chief Technology Officer and is head of the Luminous Studio. Could you perhaps share more on his involvement with 14? Has the new engine from 14 been influenced at all by Luminous? Are there certain features that both share such as scaling, etc?
Yoshida: As our technical director, Hashimoto is deeply involved in the technology behind FF14. This includes decisions made regarding the use of middleware technology, as well as coordination and design decisions regarding the graphics engine, the core system, and the server system. He also is the mastermind behind the task management system that our entire team uses to keep track of work flow and deadlines.

It is a completely different engine, yet because the same people working on the Luminous Engine (Hashimoto-san included) helped create FF14's engine, there are some similarities. You could say the two engines are siblings.

RPG Site: From a localization standpoint, are all of the voice overs remaining in English? And will we start to see more voice over in the game as a whole – for example the current game doesn’t have much in terms of voiced content outside of a few cutscenes. Do you think it’s important for other markets, such as Japan, to have voice over in their domestic language?
Yoshida: Voice overs will be available in English, Japanese, French, and German. While there is slightly more voice in 2.0 compared to 1.0, NPCs in towns and normal quests will not speak. The reason behind this being that we did not want the time spent voice recording and preparing the files to compromise the quick version update schedule that we have planned for version 2.0.

RPG Site: FF14 marked the first time that localization was worked on in this manner at Square Enix - simultaneous and in-house in Japan. In working on version 2.0, how do you feel about that structure? Have you changed it at all since, or do you plan to?
Yoshida: We find having the localization team on-site helps improve efficiency dramatically and therefore have no plans of changing this setup in the future. In addition to translation, our localization team provides the team with valuable feedback on issues such as UI design, storytelling, world building, and more.
Koji: Actually, this is not the first time the LOC team has worked in this manner with the team. Square Enix has been translating and localizing games on site in our Japanese offices for over a decade, FF11 being an example of a project in which the LOC team works directly within the development team. The FF14 localization team follows 11's model, but expands upon it by allowing the translators an even larger role in the game’s development.

RPG Site: This one might be a little too early, but perhaps could you talk a little bit on the new music and new composers for FF14 outside of Uematsu-san? Will the current music remain in the game, namely the established vocal theme Answers?
Yoshida: As has been the case with the music for the ongoing version updates, the music for 2.0 will feature the talents of a wide variety of seasoned composers whose names will be revealed in the near future.

Answers will not only be featured in 2.0, but it will play an important role in the game’s relaunch. As for tracks used in 1.0, while some will remain in 2.0, some will not.

RPG Site: As far as gameplay goes, how will grinding vs. quests work for leveling? Will players find more reward from taking on more quests as opposed to just outright level grinding?
Yoshida: We will be moving away from a grind-oriented leveling system to a quest/content-driven leveling system. No longer will randomly defeating public monsters be the most efficient way to level your character.

RPG Site: In regards to linkshells and Free Companies, it feels like Free Companies are just another form of linkshells – why have them split into two different things?
Yoshida: They are completely different entities. Linkshells can be thought of as chat communities, with players allowed to join as many as they like. Free Companies are a complex, player-driven guild system which includes various leveling aspects.

RPG Site: Are there any plans to promote more competition between linkshells at high levels? Some sort of leaderboard at the Adventurer's Guilds which tabulates NM kills or raid clears for example, since the game is moving away from direct linkshell confrontation with the lack of open world content.
Yoshida: Free Company leveling and World server-based rankings will be implemented.

RPG Site: Primal fights will become roaming in 2.0 for the summoning system; are there any specifics you could go into? Will weapons and things like that still be obtainable, and will there still be instanced fights like which are available in the current version?
Yoshida: Most of the primals will not be “roaming” the public areas, and their battles will still be instanced, though it will be more challenging to discover these instances.
Koji: It looks like there was a little bit of misinformation given at the E3 interview (and this may have been my fault, or it may have been Yoshida-san’s). The implication given was that all the primals would be roaming, and once they were summoned, they would pop somewhere else in the world. This is not the case. While roaming primal are still not out of the question, the summonable deities will be instanced-based, with the primal going back to these instances once they’ve been summoned. However, players will still have to look for these instances once they’ve become available, preventing camping.

RPG Site: Will there be an improved Loadstone for player data? For example on the current system you can’t see your actual progress.
Yoshida: A complete revamp of the Lodestone is being planned for the relaunch. This revamp should improve many of the site’s current features.

RPG Site: Has there ever been any consideration to add fashion/vanity slots to the game? Basically separate slots for equipment that actually gives you stats, with the option of a second row of slots where you can put in other armor. The armor would then be your visible gear—something like that which has been present in other modern MMOs.
Yoshida: This has been talked about, but will not be available at the time of relaunch, as we feel that it will make it harder to distinguish between classes/jobs if their appearance does not match their party role. However, we have not abandoned the possibility of implementing such a system in the future.

RPG Site: Will speed runs be kept for version 2.0? It seems a lot of people on the forums are not in favor of that type of content, especially when having to go back to content you already played through before.
Yoshida: Speed runs will remain in the game (for achievement purposes), however, they will no longer be necessary to obtain equipment upgrades. Expect the reward system for these runs to change greatly.

RPG Site: What about plans for the file structure for the game itself? Currently FF14 takes up about 12GB of space on a hard drive, but is spread across 185K files or so, which is a lot more than other more recent MMOs. Are there any plans to restructure the file system of the game to be a little more non-SSD friendly for PCs with more memory than a PS3?
Yoshida: Of course. Players will see a significant reduction in the number of files installed onto their hard drives.
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#2 Aug 01 2012 at 4:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Fail on the leveling system since it's just as bad as grinding on mobs all day (and anyone expecting quality quests are flatout delusional) but the primal one seems interesting, wonder how well it works in implementation though.

Great success on the Speed Run change though, that should have never been a requirement, a bonus sure but not required.
#3 Aug 01 2012 at 5:40 PM Rating: Good
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Am I missing anything here, or when he says:

Quote:
Yoshida: Most of the primals will not be “roaming” the public areas, and their battles will still be instanced, though it will be more challenging to discover these instances.


..doesn't that mean the "challenge" of finding it will be gone as soon as someone discovers the instance and uploads it to a wiki somewhere? Is he talking about some other system?
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#4 Aug 01 2012 at 7:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Yoshida wrote:
We will be moving away from a grind-oriented leveling system to a quest/content-driven leveling system. No longer will randomly defeating public monsters be the most efficient way to level your character.


Grinding in a game like, say, FFXI was never about "randomly defeating monsters," that's purposefully disparaging. It was about finding a camp with the right balance of safety, nearness, and respawn rate and matching the monster strengths with the group dynamics. Smiley: rolleyes

We'll see if this "quest/content based" system offers anything more than a breadcrumb trail and the same kind of grind, minus player interaction and choices of where to go. From the group that brought us Levequests, though, I'm not terribly encouraged. :P
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#5 Aug 01 2012 at 9:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Grinding in a game like, say, FFXI was never about "randomly defeating monsters," that's purposefully disparaging. It was about finding a camp with the right balance of safety, nearness, and respawn rate and matching the monster strengths with the group dynamics


So it was about going out and randomly killing a very SPECIFIC group of public monsters.

Not seeing the dynamics here. Are you saying that the fun of the game in it for you was exploiting the roaming monsters system as best you can to limit the grind EXP was in FFXI? Because that's exactly what partying in FFXI became less than a year into NA releace.

1. Find Best camp.
2. Kill monstes until camp is no longer profitable to remain.
3. Find next camp

That's exactly what leveling in FFXI was, and it WAS purposefully disparaging. The mechanic, not Yoshida, was at fault for that. The "Asian Grind" was widely referred to negatively in the MMO genera and it still is. Yoshi is wise to avoid it, but I am still leery as to the full on scope of this quest orientated leveling system. Just because it's a quest does not make it exciting by default. Let's hope they've learned to make them varying and enjoyable.
#6 Aug 02 2012 at 10:36 AM Rating: Decent
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Well if grinding looked like:
Hyrist wrote:

1. Find Best camp.
2. Kill monsters until camp is no longer profitable to remain.
3. Find next camp


Then this new, way better quest-grinding looks like:
- - - wrote:

1. Find Be led to Best camp.
2. Kill monsters for quests until camp is no longer profitable to remain.
3. Find Be led to next camp


The only differences will be that, now, an NPC will tell you which monsters to kill and, now, you will have a simple choice between a couple designated camping areas. Oh, and also the monsters will probably have a special "kill me" icon floating above them like the ubiquitous exclamation point above any useful NPC's head.

This is not the compelling, interactive revolution that so many make it out to be.
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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."
#7 Aug 02 2012 at 10:59 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Yoshida: We will be moving away from a grind-oriented leveling system to a quest/content-driven leveling system. No longer will randomly defeating public monsters be the most efficient way to level your character.


Extremely disappointing to read, if taken at face value.

I loved the monster grind of FFXI and while I recognize the current MMO-trend of quest-based leveling, I find it quite boring and uninspiring. Besides, there's a plethora of MMORPGs out there right now where I can guest-grind to max level to my heart's content. I was hoping for some form of throwback to old school MMO mechanics for FFXIV.

Unless these are group-based quests that require coordination and teamwork to gather EXP at a slow but steady pace, as opposed to the mindnumbingly boring "solo, find NPC with !, click 'accept' on quest, repeat until queue is full, kill 10 moles/rats/bats, gather 10 mole skin/bat wings/rat teeth, turn in quest, repeat until max level" formula that every MMO out there right now has. Levels need to have meaning besides some minor annoyance on the way to endgame dungeon grinds, and MMORPGs typically trivialize them with this quest-based level approach.

The market is over saturated with solo quest-grind levelcap gear grind MMOs. We need something refreshing and different instead of just copy and pasting other online MMORPG's trends.

Edited, Aug 2nd 2012 1:01pm by Whales
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#8 Aug 02 2012 at 12:25 PM Rating: Decent
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KaneKitty wrote:

This is not the compelling, interactive revolution that so many make it out to be.


Who is "so many"? Unless I am mistaken..."so many" of us are still waiting to see what V2.0 will be like. Besides some interviews...we still don't know a whole lot about what V2.0 will be...look like...or play like. Hopefully soon...but who knows.

Please come back in about a year after the new version has had a chance to be played for awhile. You can then come back and bash it all you want with examples. Yes...it may suck but please...the moaning needs to stop. Its just annoying and I don't really think anyone cares about your quest for FFXI nostalgia. Those days are gone. Yes..I had fun in FFXI doing the party grind for many years...but in 2012...things have changed. Deal with it.
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#9 Aug 02 2012 at 12:28 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
The market is over saturated with solo quest-grind levelcap gear grind MMOs. We need something refreshing and different instead of just copy and pasting other online MMORPG's trends.


Like other MMO's, XIV should also have group instances to run for a variety of levels which offer good experience, loot and small objectives for a group of people. It is these kind of activities that are intended to make the leveling process consist of, along with behests, chocobo caravans and the like (in a 2.0 setting obviously), perhaps even guildleves depending on how the system is rehauled.

I guess it can be refreshing and different because their server structure should provide an easy access for people to join others without having to deal with inconveniences that grouping brings to the table and makes soloing quests so appealing for many. Sure you can run instances in other MMO's as well but many lack a proper dungeon finder system to make the activity worthwhile unless you have the social circle in place.

Content-driven leveling system gives the leveling a context, a structure, that is all. It is not an "anti-grouping" statement... We are given a variety of options, and a modern, convenient way to utilize all of them- that's the point.
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#10 Aug 02 2012 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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I really hope they find an inovative way to do quest leveling that won't be even more boring and grindy (is that a word) than monster leveling. I might be one of the few that doesn't totally have the leve-quest leveling, but there are definitely some huge improvements that could be made to it to make it more enjoyable ot the masses. I'd also like to see them add some variety/purpose to leveling... a new skill system would be nice... I know they re-vamped the skills a while back (removing a lot of spells and such), but I feel like there is a total lack of accomplishment when I level in FFXIV compared to when I leveled in FFXI. It feels like a level 1 character could pretty much go anywhere a level 50 could go, your skills/spells are basically just handed to you, and you don't have to skill-up (which is annoying as heck, but still made you feel like you were accomplishing something between levels).

I really do like the game (well, the 3 months I have been playing it), and have a sense of reserved optimism for v2.0... I just really hope they don't fix a bunch of things that were broken, only to break some things that were fine.

Some things I really hope to see at launch of v2.0:
Balanced monster/quest exp gains
cap raised to 60 (at least... with level 90+ mobs wandering around ally be higher)
at least 4 new jobs or classes (This could also include advanced crafting/gathering jobs for all I care)
a limit set on the number of people that can pick the male Miquote (joking of course... but I can see tons of these running around after launch)

I'm looking forward to more info being released... and really looking forward to some gameplay footage (or some beta access!)
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#11 Aug 02 2012 at 3:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hyanmen wrote:
Content-driven leveling system gives the leveling a context, a structure, that is all. It is not an "anti-grouping" statement... We are given a variety of options, and a modern, convenient way to utilize all of them- that's the point.


I believe that's close to what I was alluding to. Quest/Content-based grinding doesn't have to be anti-group, but the current trend among MMORPGs is to forgo party play while leveling in place of faster, solo questing.

Certainly a story-based leveling experience coupled with the group-based mechanics of FFXI are 100x better than just pure public mob camp grinding and solo quest-hub hopping. If FFXIV can provide that gameplay, a story-based leveling experience with the mechanics of group-based exp grinds from FFXI, it will be a fantastic system.

But it doesn't look that way. In fact I believe they've said they're happy with the current leveling speed, so the mechanics to level will be primarily adjusted for an expedited and solo pace, with the bulk of the game content coming at endgame. I recognize some people like that style of MMO, but there are are many other there who don't, like me. We'd prefer a slower leveling and content pace of MMORPGs of past, such as FFXI. It doesn't have to be monster hunting in a camp for hours on end, but I really don't like a system whereby leveling is trivialized by the speed to the point of being a moot mechanic.

But if others do and this game provides that, hey more power to them and I hope FFXIV 2.0 is a huge success to them. I'm simply stating why some of us may not enjoy this MMORPG design approach.

Edited, Aug 2nd 2012 5:38pm by Whales
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#12 Aug 02 2012 at 6:03 PM Rating: Good
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RPG Site: In regards to linkshells and Free Companies, it feels like Free Companies are just another form of linkshells – why have them split into two different things?
Yoshida: They are completely different entities. Linkshells can be thought of as chat communities, with players allowed to join as many as they like. Free Companies are a complex, player-driven guild system which includes various leveling aspects.


Maybe this means that there will be group content oriented toward Free Companies. I think that would be a cool idea, having the choice to level with your guild or doing it solo. There might even be good incentives to levelling with your Company rather than solo, who knows. I really wish they'd go into more detail about what being a part of a Free Company is all about. I mean, will they be able to influence the in-game economy via trades and crafting (a "player-run economy")? Will we see player-built towns via companies? Or will it be a glorified linkshell with a guild bank and shared calendar?

I'm really hoping it's not the latter although I really doubt we'd see another MMO ever again with a sandbox element like what I described. It seems 2.0 is set to stay the course as a theme-park styled MMO. Here's hoping there aren't actual lines to sit in! (http://i47.tinypic.com/2yklz0y.jpg)
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#13 Aug 02 2012 at 8:02 PM Rating: Good
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reptiletim wrote:
Quote:
RPG Site: In regards to linkshells and Free Companies, it feels like Free Companies are just another form of linkshells – why have them split into two different things?
Yoshida: They are completely different entities. Linkshells can be thought of as chat communities, with players allowed to join as many as they like. Free Companies are a complex, player-driven guild system which includes various leveling aspects.


Maybe this means that there will be group content oriented toward Free Companies. I think that would be a cool idea, having the choice to level with your guild or doing it solo. There might even be good incentives to levelling with your Company rather than solo, who knows. I really wish they'd go into more detail about what being a part of a Free Company is all about. I mean, will they be able to influence the in-game economy via trades and crafting (a "player-run economy")? Will we see player-built towns via companies? Or will it be a glorified linkshell with a guild bank and shared calendar?

I'm really hoping it's not the latter although I really doubt we'd see another MMO ever again with a sandbox element like what I described. It seems 2.0 is set to stay the course as a theme-park styled MMO. Here's hoping there aren't actual lines to sit in! (http://i47.tinypic.com/2yklz0y.jpg)


Is that screenshot of XI really ppl standing in line, and for what? Lol that's amazing, you'd only see something like this on XI, the only community big enough to use proper etiquete. Too bad those days are long gone.
#14 Aug 02 2012 at 9:09 PM Rating: Decent
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That was the line for the NPC companion quest I believe. The reason why that happened was because of the BCNMs could only handle so many different instances (very few) at the same time and you could only do it yourself I think. But hey! We got something like that on FFXIV too also known as "Server Congestion"!
#15 Aug 03 2012 at 3:14 AM Rating: Good
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kyara10 wrote:
http://i47.tinypic.com/2yklz0y.jpg

Is that screenshot of XI really ppl standing in line, and for what? Lol that's amazing, you'd only see something like this on XI, the only community big enough to use proper etiquete. Too bad those days are long gone.


Oh yes! I recall standing in line outside some hut in Ghelsba Outpost waiting to kill something for this fellow/companion quest. And indeed, too bad those days don't seem to exist anymore.
#16 Aug 03 2012 at 4:38 AM Rating: Decent
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If they could put out quest content on par with Assaults from the Aht Urghan expansion of FFXI, maybe they'd have something, but I'm not optimistic. Those came out over... what, a period of two years? And even though they were pretty great on their own (though unfortunately not a suitable primary means of XP), well, they weren't sufficient enough content to sustain continuous leveling anyway... if they hadn't been capped on attempts per week, people would have grown bored with them very quickly. And frankly, I fear I'd be too optimistic to hope for that quality of "quest" for 2.0. While I think they have the right idea and the theoretical capacity to deliver on it, I just don't see it happening. The bottom line is, for whatever reason, SE has always worked very slowly. Where other companies seem to be able to put out significant patches over a weekend, SE has always moved with all the speed of a heavily sedated Adamantoise. How they'll ever come up with sufficient quantity and quality of quests at this point fully escapes my imagination.
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#17 Aug 03 2012 at 6:19 AM Rating: Good
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KaneKitty wrote:
Well if grinding looked like:
Hyrist wrote:

1. Find Best camp.
2. Kill monsters until camp is no longer profitable to remain.
3. Find next camp


Then this new, way better quest-grinding looks like:


The only differences will be that, now, an NPC will tell you which monsters to kill and, now, you will have a simple choice between a couple designated camping areas. Oh, and also the monsters will probably have a special "kill me" icon floating above them like the ubiquitous exclamation point above any useful NPC's head.

This is not the compelling, interactive revolution that so many make it out to be.

Nor was it described as such, thanks for putting words in people's collective mouths.

The motion of quest based EXP is a questionable one on all fronts, but it is not the nightmare you intend it to be.

Nor is the grinding endles mob camps of random fauna was as entertaining or as rich and dynamic as you claimed it.

You realize that this process...

- - - wrote:

1. Find Be led to Best camp.
2. Kill monsters for quests until camp is no longer profitable to remain.
3. Find Be led to next camp


Is identical to the one currently used in FFXI right now? Except instead of being lead (ha, by the way, the game's map is obscured in 2.0. It might tell you the area, but you have to figure out how to get there.) you're being told by other players, and the quests are training pages. Which, honestly, isn't any different.

In fact, after the first wave of players, the "Being led" is pretty much what happened to FFXI grinding period.

Now I honestly wish they would duplicate the live-quest system from Guild Wars 2, as it would give a better sense of adventure. But I am not opposed to Quests in the game as a means of XP.

Sorry, but grinding parties were actually WORSE than Quested XP. Is SE still fumbling around trying to catch up to the current and still evolving scene of exping in the field of MMOs? Yes. But that's something they can build on now that they've made the server-side foundation far more malleable than the previous version.

Grinding, however, is a step backward as a mechanic. You should feel involved in what you are doing, rather than make it something mindless. That includes making quests mindless too, however - and that's the sticky net we hope Yoshida avoids.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 8:24am by Hyrist
#18 Aug 03 2012 at 9:04 AM Rating: Decent
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You know, you speak with such bias against something you personally don't like I don't think you realize no one really put words in your post. As much as you're against anything and everything FFXI even though it's the most successful FF title, made them the most money and will no doubt succeed long after FFXIV 2.0 falls flat on its face (and it will)...you can at least admit:

1. Quest Based progression is no better than monster grinding, even worse at times.
2. MMO gamers today loves their hand held.
3. People are @#%^ing sick and tired of Single Player Experience MMORPGs
4. You're just heavily bias'd against anything you don't like.

Quote:
Sorry, but grinding parties were actually WORSE than Quested XP.


No it's not.

Quote:
Is SE still fumbling around trying to catch up to the current and still evolving scene of exping in the field of MMOs? Yes


If by catch up you mean copy what every other MMORPG is doing which is why people are very quick to leave them? Yes, they are slacking on make an MMORPG you've played in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and that you'll play in 2012.

What, you mean people don't want MMOs to be different? That's news to no one.

Seriously Hyrist, you're the most bias'd person I've ever seen when it comes to "Opinions" which I suppose is why people call you the biggest fanboy next to starlord. **** I'm heavily biased against developers copying entire games rather than trying something new because we've seen copying does not work for anyone. It works for the first month but shortly thereafter? That's exactly why SWTOR is F2P and why Rift is constantly bombarding you with "HEY COME PLAY FREE FOR X!" GW2 will suffer the same fate after a few months, people will realize the game is nothing new and then what? They'll move onto the hype train of the next "big thing".

Even using FFXI, that you hate so much, as a base XIV 1.0 would have actually succeeded because it would have at least had a stable foundation for the future, rather than having to overhaul it 2 years later only to copy an MMORPG that came out in 2004 that everyone else and their mother opts to do, and usually fails.

This is exactly why Yoshida is making XIV a fan-service FF MMO, because that's the only thing different XIV will do, otherwise it will be the same exact MMO you've played years prior and when people see this..it won't be sunshines and rainbows.



Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 8:39am by Theonehio
#19 Aug 03 2012 at 10:07 AM Rating: Default
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Theonehio wrote:


1. Quest Based progression is no better than monster grinding, even worse at times.
2. MMO gamers today loves their hand held.
3. People are @#%^ing sick and tired of Single Player Experience MMORPGs
4. You're just heavily bias'd against anything you don't like.


1 - Your opinion. Not fact. Wait until you see the sales numbers and reviews for a little known Quest based MMO called Guild Wars 2.

2 - Yep. But what does that have to do anything. That is our society in general...not just in games.

3 - Who are "people" exactly? The same "people" that are part of your bullet point #2. Are "people" MMO gamers? Or are people and MMO gamers different. These two statements are kinda like an enigma(a puzzle wrapped up in riddle). I'm having a hard time with your logic...but I'm not too smart.

4 - so are you...possibly worse
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#20 Aug 03 2012 at 10:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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To those who keep throwing around their opinion on whether grind xp vs. quest exp is worse/better would be so kind to explain their positions instead of just repeating their stance. Because honestly xp acquisition is merely a means to an end and both systems can have their ups and downs. This is not a complete list (still waking up) but at least it's a start.

EXP Grind
The Good
Socialize with other players (that is if other players are social-able)
Seeing how your job/class works in a group setting

The Bad
Waiting for the groups to form/trying forming your own group
Finding an empty camp
Not getting invites because you are on an undesirable job/class

Quested XP
The Good
Easy to pick up and drop if needed for quick login sessions

The Bad
Less likely to meet "interesting people"
Most will do them solo and not get a feel of how their job/class work in a group setting until they are forced to do group events.(ie: raiding)

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 11:48am by Niknar
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#21 Aug 03 2012 at 1:14 PM Rating: Good
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reptiletim wrote:
Am I missing anything here, or when he says:

Quote:
Yoshida: Most of the primals will not be “roaming” the public areas, and their battles will still be instanced, though it will be more challenging to discover these instances.


..doesn't that mean the "challenge" of finding it will be gone as soon as someone discovers the instance and uploads it to a wiki somewhere? Is he talking about some other system?


Pretty much...

someone will find that Ifrit's spawns are in these 12 spots, and it will be quickly found on re-pop, just like the mog tablets in ffxi.


Optimism here, but I think people are connecting them too closely to the wow-comments they've made. What I would REALLY hope to see, and is highly likely, if dungeon grinding for exp. They said that completing content will be the best way to level, but they did not specify that quest chaining would be the only mechanic.

I would hope to see a wide variety of content. Options. Hardly anyone would want to see the wow/rift/swtor method of run to camp, talk to the "!", skip through text, kill, repeat cycle.

I wouldn't mind a bit of that, but I've always wanted the dungeons we have now to be more focused on killing and less on running to the boss. The enemies inside should give great exp and be areas that people want to complete for more than just a RNG on a chest or a boss.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 3:20pm by Louiscool
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#22 Aug 03 2012 at 1:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Theonehio wrote:
No it's not.


Yes, it is. Most successful MMOs in the market are quest based, not grind based. Of these, most are far and beyond FFXI's subscription numbers.

So no, you are wrong, quest based is better than grind based, by a WIDE margin. Your opinion and the raw subscription numbers are as different as opinion, and fact. Bias as you put it, has no ground here whether it's yours or mine.

The quest system is more successful than the grind system is - as evidenced by the subscription numbers of the games that utilize them. Therefore, it is better than the grind system. Period.

Quote:
If by catch up you mean copy what every other MMORPG is doing which is why people are very quick to leave them? Yes, they are slacking on make an MMORPG you've played in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and that you'll play in 2012.


And the fact that you ignore, is that even after the flop, these games retain higher subcription base than FFXI does. Games that are conistered a FLOP and are going free to play - have multiple times over using the mechanics you are insulting.

This isn't a matter of bias. This is a matter of actual business sense and reality checks, one you seem to every easily overlook.

FFXI maintains its profits on low subscription numbers because it is dirt easy to maintain - and they intentionally draw out content over a period of years to retain their subscription numbers.

That's not to say Questing isn't a tired mechanic as well, Theonehio. But of the two, Questing itself is more maliable in format. You try to change individual mob grinding in any way you'll get closer and closer to raiding.

Quote:
Seriously Hyrist, you're the most bias'd person I've ever seen when it comes to "Opinions" which I suppose is why people call you the biggest fanboy next to starlord.


People? Speak for yourself. The span of these boards are about as signifigant as a dead bug spot on my car -and you personally only a single member of that spot. The fact of the matter is, I'm probably one of the most rational people these or the offical boards actually have. I'm not beyond recending or changing my opinion when presented with a concise argument (usually required to be supported by facts and not conjecture) and I have admitted that I was wrong on the offical boards on more than one occasion - something you've yet to display in my experience of you.

In fact you come of as very haughty, negative, and highly insulting to anyone who disagrees with you, for any reason. Yet, you accuse me of bias.

Stuff the personal insults Theonehio, it's degrading and you've no grounds to stand on to sustain that vein.


Admiral Niknar wrote:
To those who keep throwing around their opinion on whether grind xp vs. quest exp is worse/better would be so kind to explain their positions instead of just repeating their stance. Because honestly xp acquisition is merely a means to an end and both systems can have their ups and downs. This is not a complete list (still waking up) but at least it's a start.

EXP Grind
The Good
Socialize with other players (that is if other players are social-able)
Seeing how your job/class works in a group setting

The Bad
Waiting for the groups to form/trying forming your own group
Finding an empty camp
Not getting invites because you are on an undesirable job/class

Quested XP
The Good
Easy to pick up and drop if needed for quick login sessions

The Bad
Less likely to meet "interesting people"
Most will do them solo and not get a feel of how their job/class work in a group setting until they are forced to do group events.(ie: raiding.


That stated, the both systems are showing their age and need to be revamped upon or it will be met with the same fatigue. Of the games I've recently played Guild Wars 2 has the best quest based system, while SWTOR seems to do very well with utilizing the concept of story into gameplay. Yet FFXIV has recently shown me some of the best cutscene cinematography I've seen in an MMO.

Both of these issues are, unfortunately, moot. We're far too late into the development cycle to expect this on the release of 2.0.

I'll be basing my subscription on the game's strengths rather than it's failings - and hope constructive critique will be better met in this game than in FFXI's notorious history. Yoshida has already made great strides in the areas I was most critical about in FFXI - thus people seem to think I've a positive 'bias'. To which I'll counter simply, if they regarded the things you cared about most in the game you would be in the same position as I.

If the Grinders prefer to grind, that's fine. To be honest they already have a niche in spirit binding parties, and the so call 'practice' for group dynamics can easily be established in Skirmish, in which you get to learn quite a bit of the NM mechanics in that fight. Beyond that there are hunting parties for rare supplies (Darksteel supplies in Castrum Novum).

As far as the 'pro' of learning how to use your job in a group through grind parties. I'll remind players of FFXI that there was not significant correlation between Salvage, Dynamis, Einherjar, etc, and xp parties. It factors even less now.

The draw of XP, aside from the fact that it was the most effective means of getting levels, was companionship - a goal that can be met by other means besides enforcing it upon the player base to level.

If anything, we need to reanalyze the method of getting players together - that's why I'm so hung up on live-quests.
Events like Besieged and Campaign did this very well, though there was no encouragement to actually form up into parties - which the party buff "Strength in Numbers" provides an incentive for it. They can also create mechanics like they now do in Supply Escorts that make players team up in parties to better reap the rewards.

So long as the concept of getting in a party together is one of desire rather than require, the system should be successful.

I just hope these quests are open ended enough or are capable of evolving easily. I don't believe static quests alone will be sufficient once Guild Wars 2 is officially out.
#23 Aug 03 2012 at 1:24 PM Rating: Good
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Louiscool wrote:
reptiletim wrote:
Am I missing anything here, or when he says:

Quote:
Yoshida: Most of the primals will not be “roaming” the public areas, and their battles will still be instanced, though it will be more challenging to discover these instances.


..doesn't that mean the "challenge" of finding it will be gone as soon as someone discovers the instance and uploads it to a wiki somewhere? Is he talking about some other system?


Pretty much...

someone will find that Ifrit's spawns are in these 12 spots, and it will be quickly found on re-pop, just like the mog tablets in ffxi.


Optimism here, but I think people are connecting them too closely to the wow-comments they've made. What I would REALLY hope to see, and is highly likely, if dungeon grinding for exp. They said that completing content will be the best way to level, but they did not specify that quest chaining would be the only mechanic.

I would hope to see a wide variety of content. Options. Hardly anyone would want to see the wow/rift/swtor method of run to camp, talk to the "!", skip through text, kill, repeat cycle.

I wouldn't mind a bit of that, but I've always wanted the dungeons we have now to be more focused on killing and less on running to the boss. The enemies inside should give great exp and be areas that people want to complete for more than just a RNG on a chest or a boss.


They could fix that by making it a 'drop' off of a wide variety of monsters in the world on a small percentage base. Or simply make them spawnable anywhere.


As far as questing, as I said, they need to mix the bag a bit. A few dynamic quests, a few static ones - maybe even some quest-chaining where appropriate. (Heck, make them repeatable for those who liked Fields/Grounds of Valor.) FFXI eventually created a wide mix of content for those who preferred not to do certain things, or just wanted a varied experience. FFXIV has to do that and more - they have to convince us the world is alive.
#24 Aug 03 2012 at 10:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Theonehio wrote:
Fail on the leveling system since it's just as bad as grinding on mobs all day (and anyone expecting quality quests are flatout delusional)


I think story-driven, context-based leveling is perfectly familiar to anyone who has played an offline Final Fantasy game. I think that's the direction they need to go in if they wish to pique the interest of Final Fantasy fans. And lets be honest, it's FF players (from FFXI and FF in general) who can save the game; the unforgiving MMO crowd has moved on to several other MMOs by now and won't likely return despite the promises.

Of course, there's no guarantee that the new leveling system is any good since it depends on how well it's executed, but neither is it guaranteed to be no better than a naked grind. As long as it isn't as blandly generic as the Guildleve system, it has the potential to at least "feel like" Final Fantasy.

Admiral Niknar wrote:
To those who keep throwing around their opinion on whether grind xp vs. quest exp is worse/better would be so kind to explain their positions instead of just repeating their stance. Because honestly xp acquisition is merely a means to an end and both systems can have their ups and downs. This is not a complete list (still waking up) but at least it's a start.

EXP Grind
The Good
Socialize with other players (that is if other players are social-able)
Seeing how your job/class works in a group setting

The Bad
Waiting for the groups to form/trying forming your own group
Finding an empty camp
Not getting invites because you are on an undesirable job/class

Quested XP
The Good
Easy to pick up and drop if needed for quick login sessions

The Bad
Less likely to meet "interesting people"
Most will do them solo and not get a feel of how their job/class work in a group setting until they are forced to do group events.(ie: raiding)


Since you asked, this is how I feel about it.

I believe that how you play while grinding in a party is not the same as how you play at endgame. Endgame is mostly about taking out highly dangerous opponents for highly valuable rewards. As such, you're more geared towards specialization: the best tanks, the best healers, the best damage dealers. But all that specialization makes for poor performance on light-weight mobs you need to kill quickly to bring the XP in. Those mobs aren't likely to kill everyone, so powerhouse tanking and back-from-the-verge-of-death healing are complete overkill. Rather, in this case, you need to play in a more jack-of-all-trade style that's able to handle multiple functions, such as tank-and-damage, or heal-and-buff, because the situation isn't as life-threatening and speed is more desirable. The more efficient you can be with the kill rate, the better.

In other words, how you play Bard in a grind isn't how you play Bard fighting a boss. Yes, there are subtle things you do learn in that leveling process that are helpful, but I don't think it needs to be long and grueling to understand them. And even then, you need still need to learn what's expected of you at endgame, anyway, because chances are, you won't be doing exactly the same things.

So, eliminating the "grind-y-ness" of the level grind doesn't really affect endgame, in my opinion. As long as the leveling process teaches you what you need to know, it doesn't have to take forever, and if it's still entertaining (as a game should be) then all the better.
#25 Aug 04 2012 at 1:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Theonehio wrote:
Seriously Hyrist, you're the most bias'd person I've ever seen when it comes to "Opinions" which I suppose is why people call you the biggest fanboy next to starlord. **** I'm heavily biased against developers copying entire games rather than trying something new because we've seen copying does not work for anyone. It works for the first month but shortly thereafter? That's exactly why SWTOR is F2P and why Rift is constantly bombarding you with "HEY COME PLAY FREE FOR X!" GW2 will suffer the same fate after a few months, people will realize the game is nothing new and then what? They'll move onto the hype train of the next "big thing".


I'm curious what has caused you to believe GW2 will be a copy of an older game, and which game you are implying it is a copy of. Which aspects of the game do you feel are too similar to whichever games you are comparing it to, and what would a game have to do to be original by your definition?

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 3:38am by Susanoh
#26 Aug 04 2012 at 2:45 AM Rating: Decent
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Hyrist wrote:

The quest system is more successful than the grind system is - as evidenced by the subscription numbers of the games that utilize them. Therefore, it is better than the grind system. Period.


Well... I do not want to get into the What's Better debate here, but this argument is too easy of course. There are several factros that determine a game's success - other game aspects, advertisement, exposure, timing, the I-buy-it-because-lots-of-people-seem-to-buy-it effect, type of players and yes, LUCK, even that. In the early 80s VCC videoplayers was technically clearly the better system even using tapes which you could use on both sides. There was no rational reason NOT to buy VCC. Yet VHS won.

Hyrist wrote:

Theonehio wrote:
If by catch up you mean copy what every other MMORPG is doing which is why people are very quick to leave them? Yes, they are slacking on make an MMORPG you've played in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and that you'll play in 2012.


And the fact that you ignore, is that even after the flop, these games retain higher subcription base than FFXI does. Games that are conistered a FLOP and are going free to play - have multiple times over using the mechanics you are insulting.


That can also be explained for a great deal by high sales right after release and people not wanting to throw away their time invested in the game afterwards. This is where some sort of derailed version of the law of big numers applies. If you sell 1.7 million copies because of the name of the franchise, the marketing an the time of release, like Star Wars The Old Replublic then, it is plausible that around July they still have "less than 1 million subscriptions". people estimate a number of 700k players btw, and if that is the case - or even if the correct number is indeed around 1 million - can we say that SWTOR sales and suprscriptions went sky high because of teh brand Star Wars, cosmetics and the hype created around the game? I think so. So again, I think it's not a good argument for SW-like level progression.

As for grinding versus a quest-driven level system ... I would still lean towards grinding, but only if we would lose the zerg-style. I really do not see the point of standing there with 7 other players going all rock'em'sock'em robot on 3 to 8 monsters at the same time for two, three hours straight. Zerging made FFXI for me a lot less fun. When I grind I want to have more interaction than "Wait for the tank to get some hate guys, and get away from the mages". In early FFXI you had to know your job and understood party dynamics to become a good player. When zerging you actually have to be either clueless or making an effort to ***** up things. If that is the future of grinding, then please give me quests.



Edited, Aug 4th 2012 4:46am by MrMissile
#27 Aug 04 2012 at 8:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Louiscool wrote:

I would hope to see a wide variety of content. Options. Hardly anyone would want to see the wow/rift/swtor method of run to camp, talk to the "!", skip through text, kill, repeat cycle.

I wouldn't mind a bit of that, but I've always wanted the dungeons we have now to be more focused on killing and less on running to the boss. The enemies inside should give great exp and be areas that people want to complete for more than just a RNG on a chest or a boss.


I think that you are over-simplifying what other MMO's do a bit too much there.

Rift has Rifts, and all of those MMO's also have instances to run for most level ranges. It is up to the player to make use of said alternate content, and as such content exists I think it is unfair to criticize these games for providing people with the opportunity to also do quests at any given level range to progress, too.

Frankly the content could be more accessible and the players could be much better introduced to the content (although I felt that I was properly introduced to Rifts at least). Dungeon finder (and something like level sync) does a lot of good in this respect, as the game handles a part of the game that might prove to be the largest roadblock and hassle for players to do, say, instances instead of just solo questing through the game.

Still, the results might be better were MMO's less about focusing on a certain style of content and instead provide a lot of options scattered around. 2.0 might be made this way or not, but right now at least I see a lot of build-up for many types of content with no apparent focus on any of them. Chocobo Escorts, Behests, Guildleves, Instances, Quests, Dragon battles of Ishgard & Hamlet defense (Rift-style content?) should all be available for players to exp on. It is also not very difficult to make some of said content to differ significantly from each other (at least leves and behests are getting rehauled for 2.0).
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#28 Aug 05 2012 at 2:05 PM Rating: Good
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MrMissile wrote:

As for grinding versus a quest-driven level system ... I would still lean towards grinding, but only if we would lose the zerg-style. I really do not see the point of standing there with 7 other players going all rock'em'sock'em robot on 3 to 8 monsters at the same time for two, three hours straight. Zerging made FFXI for me a lot less fun. When I grind I want to have more interaction than "Wait for the tank to get some hate guys, and get away from the mages". In early FFXI you had to know your job and understood party dynamics to become a good player. When zerging you actually have to be either clueless or making an effort to ***** up things. If that is the future of grinding, then please give me quests.



Unless enforced by some game mechanic, you cannot design a zerg out of a grind. It's the player's mentality to target monsters circumstances in which you can zerg, purely because it is the most reward for the least effort. Players will always take the path of least resistence as evidenced by the trends of XP and how they shifted in FFXI's history - all a form of burn.

FFXI's leveling system only became varied when Xping itself became mostly irrelevant to achieve, due to pretty much every method yeilding high rewards.

If you make grinding difficult to do, players will try to find an exploit - or use a different method. If you ad circumstantial requirements, then you start pushing it towards raiding or questing.

In my opinion, Yoshida did the process of progression in his head and realized the inevitable conclusion was questing. That's not to say grinding will cease to occur, but it will change form. Now you will group with parties to do a series of quests together, rather than sit static at each location. Players will benefit from going back and helping other players with quests that they cannot do, and everyone benefits form playing together - this is the system I took out of Yoshidas words when he described it.

The quests themselves can vary limitlessness. Given many of the ones we have could be instanced fights, I'm fairly certain there will be some that Mimic Guildleve functions. (Defend specific NPC or point for a given amount of time. Defeat X monster(s) at this location, but they attempt to flee form you/ambush.) They will just add more story context and differing types for everyone.

And again, Grinding will exist, but not for the sole purpose of EXPing. Spirit binding, and material hunting will become good reasons in and of themselves. Tapers/Headdresses, Dark-steel Materials, keys for specific chests. These are all grounds to grind for, and you will get EXP for it. It just no longer be the most effective EXP method. And that's fine. I always believed quests were often too undervalued in MMOs.

Let's just hope that SE does these quests right, and keep the sort of attachment value we remember from FFXI quests and entertainment value we get some some of FFXIV's 1.0 quests (Hildebrand!) Across the board.
#29 Aug 05 2012 at 3:47 PM Rating: Good
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Hyrist wrote:
Now you will group with parties to do a series of quests together, rather than sit static at each location... The quests themselves can vary limitless[ly].

Oh, I'm sure that's what it's going to be like. Dynamic parties, strong communities, and limitless variation... >_>

Hyrist wrote:
Grinding [will]... just no longer be the most effective EXP method... I always believed quests were often too undervalued in MMOs.

Questing is undervalued in MMOs? I can't even think of a post-WoW MMO that doesn't make questing the primary means of leveling. From World of Warcraft itself to The Old Republic, to Lord of the Rings Online, to Rift, Tera... and all the rest, really. Smiley: dubious
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#30 Aug 05 2012 at 5:13 PM Rating: Good
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I don't know. Never really played other MMOs outside XI/XIV. There's a lot of pro and anti-questers it seems.

I really don't mind quests, in fact I hate grinding, I'd like it to be as much of a pseudo grind as possible. Now when you guys say you prefer grinding over questing, do you just prefer EXP camps and staying there for hours on end? If so, I hated that form of leveling. Plus, it wouldn't really work for XIV anyway, unless they plan on making leveling slower after 2.0. You can already get level 50 in a few weeks if you just do a few leves a day.

As for questing, I don't mind it, but I think that your character should get stronger from killing enemies. If the quests have enemies you need to kill for EXP, then that's fine. But when I hear questing, I'm just hoping it's not "touch three ??? spots around the map" and take it back to the NPC and level up, or something similar. There's something about that that doesn't settle right with me.
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#31 Aug 05 2012 at 5:43 PM Rating: Good
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KaneKitty wrote:

Hyrist wrote:
Grinding [will]... just no longer be the most effective EXP method... I always believed quests were often too undervalued in MMOs.

Questing is undervalued in MMOs? I can't even think of a post-WoW MMO that doesn't make questing the primary means of leveling. From World of Warcraft itself to The Old Republic, to Lord of the Rings Online, to Rift, Tera... and all the rest, really. Smiley: dubious


Yes, but they treat these quests as throwaways. They devaule the concept that each quest could be an adventure.

Instead it's "Skip a chat box, go to point, complete objective, go back."

You do that with something like any one of the three inn quests in FFXIV, and you get treated with fancy cutscenes that explain the situation, and provide entertainment value on top of your typical quest objectives. You're imparted with a sense of personality in the people given to you visually, not expected to just read half a novel from static figures.

Granted, FFXI and FFXIV have some of that too, but even the text is broken down into tidbits that let you digest the situation and personality, rather than some overly written textbox.

That's what I mean as far as undervalued. Not by numbers of quests or utilization of them through blind acquisition and completion. I mean each individual quests is undervalued as a means of telling a rich story and providing a enthralling adventuring experience.

They're undeveloped, treated as a mere mechanic rather than the core of what makes adventuring fun.
#32 Aug 06 2012 at 12:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Hyrist wrote:
That's what I mean as far as undervalued. Not by numbers of quests or utilization of them through blind acquisition and completion. I mean each individual quests is undervalued as a means of telling a rich story and providing a enthralling adventuring experience.

They're undeveloped, treated as a mere mechanic rather than the core of what makes adventuring fun.


Cutscene = rich storytelling and enthralling adventure? I disagree. The people who skip through quest text are just as likely to hit escape and skip over a cutscene. They want to get on with playing the game and not watching it. In the case of XIV, they'd rather watch it than play it... which is not a good thing.


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#33 Aug 06 2012 at 6:12 AM Rating: Good
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FilthMcNasty wrote:
Hyrist wrote:
That's what I mean as far as undervalued. Not by numbers of quests or utilization of them through blind acquisition and completion. I mean each individual quests is undervalued as a means of telling a rich story and providing a enthralling adventuring experience.

They're undeveloped, treated as a mere mechanic rather than the core of what makes adventuring fun.


Cutscene = rich storytelling and enthralling adventure? I disagree. The people who skip through quest text are just as likely to hit escape and skip over a cutscene. They want to get on with playing the game and not watching it. In the case of XIV, they'd rather watch it than play it... which is not a good thing.




There is a balance of both, Filth - and you're distracting the subject matter.

My opinion, is that quests are underdeveloped as tools of game-play and story building. They're too easily treated as part of the mechanic, rather than a core mechanic.

You can debate on whether or not it's story or gameplay that makes these things good - but the issue is that neither of these are given due diligence in your 'standard' MMO setup.

If all you want is action, then you can go grind, just know that it's not the best method anymore.
#34 Aug 06 2012 at 6:38 AM Rating: Good
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Cutscene = rich storytelling and enthralling adventure? I disagree. The people who skip through quest text are just as likely to hit escape and skip over a cutscene. They want to get on with playing the game and not watching it. In the case of XIV, they'd rather watch it than play it... which is not a good thing.


I can tell you that one of the main reasons I like FFXI so much better than WOW is because of the cutscenes, even though they could just as easily have scripted FFXI quests the same as in WOW.

Compelling execution of the narrative is not an inherent weakness in an MMO. People like watching movies, reading books, etc... in a game, cutscenes can contribute to immersion. It's not so simple as watching the game vs playing the game. I confess I don't fully understand why you'd be playing most MMOs, let alone a FF one, if you aren't interested in the story, but the point is, for some people, the primary reward for playing is the story. For others, it's loot, or some other form of progression. People who would rather skip the cutscenes because it doesn't contribute to their goal of progressing are not in any way playing the game in a better way than those who would rather skip the gameplay to get to their goal of watching the cutscenes. One is not necessarily inferior to the other.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#35 Aug 06 2012 at 8:39 AM Rating: Good
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Hyrist wrote:
Yes, but they treat these quests as throwaways. They devaule the concept that each quest could be an adventure.

Instead it's "Skip a chat box, go to point, complete objective, go back."


I like this.

I have come to detest quest-based grinding/leveling in MMOs and I always chalked it up to just the mechanic. But you're right, the post-WoW MMO genre is to treat quests as throwaway tasks, thus devaluing them to the point of meaningless beyond simple and fast EXP accumulation.

There's no reason a game couldn't use quest-based leveling and have them actually mean something. I fear this is a very complicated task to pull off, but I agree it's the much better solution than the A-or-B Quest vs. Grind mentality we tend to think of with modern MMOs.

Now if we see that with FFXIV, only time will tell.
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#36 Aug 06 2012 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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There's no problem with it in theory, but as I said before, I don't trust SE to actually pull it off. I don't know if its the bureaucracy of their design team or what, but they are slower than a **** on skates with putting out new content. This was true even in FFXI. While they did some great quests in FFXI, but they took a long time to release them, and then they padded them with absurd requirements that oftentimes ALSO devalued the quests. Some of the quests they designed were literally more bottlenecked for completion than the land kings, and gave crap rewards like 1000 gil.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#37 Aug 07 2012 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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I personally enjoy grinding, to a degree. Whether that be mob grinding, or quest grinding I find it enjoyable to have to work for my levels. It makes it that much more exciting when you actually level up. This is how it was for me in WOW, only in that game it was a good idea to group quests together and finish them all at once. I'll admit that I followed a guide for a lot of my leveling in WOW, only because I wanted to know where the best quests were and when to turn them all in to maximize my leveling efficiency.

I'm currently play DCUO for the PS3, and there is little to no grind in that game. While that may be appealing to some, it isn't to me. Again, I want to work a bit for the level cap, and quests definitely spice things up if you know how to group them appropriately.
#38 Aug 07 2012 at 11:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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I agree Tyc. I remember the days of when ffxi release din the US. I started with a bunch of real life friends probably 10-12 in highschool. Only 3 of us made it to 75 with atleast 1 job. It made getting to that point so much more gratifying. I hate the fact that everyone can get to 85 so quickly in wow since it took away so much accomplishment. Being able to mess around in sky with people who actually put in serious amounts of time and research made all the difference.
#39Ostia, Posted: Aug 07 2012 at 3:11 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Why would there be an accomplishment on reaching cap level ? The point of cap level is to reach it, so that you and your friends, guilds, shells can then go out and kill some badass monsters, tackle some really well developed content, and do all sorts of fun stuff, i see no logic in this "Getting to X Cap level felt gimped because everybody can do it" Really ? You where expecting more than half the population to never reach cap level ?
#40 Aug 07 2012 at 4:16 PM Rating: Decent
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No I am expecting them to have to work to get cap level and stop handing it out so easily. I think you took what I said too literal. I was simply comparing the speed of leveling in WoW to the speed in FFXI....There is an undeniable difference between the two. I personally felt more accomplished reaching level cap in FFXI then I did in WoW. I think SE needs to develop a way to get people off the mind set that they need to get to X level as fast as possible(without the lvl cap/week) and put some really cool content in the middle. I played FFXI so much longer then wow based on the fact it took more work. Alot of people simply skip the story line to just get to end game content and thats a shame but I guess that just the culture blizzard created.
#41 Aug 07 2012 at 4:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ostia wrote:
The point of cap level is to reach it, so that you and your friends, guilds, shells can then go out and kill some badass monsters, tackle some really well developed content, and do all sorts of fun stuff


The journey is often better than the destination.

All of the things you mentioned can exist pre-level cap in a well designed game, there's nothing that dictates that the fun stuff, linkshell/guild activities and well developed content only exists at level cap.

If a level cap exists only as a minor inconvenience for players to rush through to on their way to where the real game begins, then what's the point of even having levels in the first place?

Ostia wrote:
i see no logic in this "Getting to X Cap level felt gimped because everybody can do it" Really ? You where expecting more than half the population to never reach cap level ?


If everything is easy nothing is worthwhile.

There's nothing wrong "half the population never reach[ing] level cap" provided there's enough content to enjoy during the journey. This "MMORPG content can only exist at level cap, and it must be trivial to accomplish" philosophy is killing the genre.
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#42 Aug 07 2012 at 5:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Whales wrote:
Hyrist wrote:
Yes, but they treat these quests as throwaways. They devaule the concept that each quest could be an adventure.

Instead it's "Skip a chat box, go to point, complete objective, go back."


I like this.

I have come to detest quest-based grinding/leveling in MMOs and I always chalked it up to just the mechanic. But you're right, the post-WoW MMO genre is to treat quests as throwaway tasks, thus devaluing them to the point of meaningless beyond simple and fast EXP accumulation.

There's no reason a game couldn't use quest-based leveling and have them actually mean something. I fear this is a very complicated task to pull off, but I agree it's the much better solution than the A-or-B Quest vs. Grind mentality we tend to think of with modern MMOs.

Now if we see that with FFXIV, only time will tell.


I would like to weigh in on this as well. Part of what made FFXI so great was that there were TONS of quests that were very interesting to do. Sometimes the rewards were crap, sometimes they weren't, but there was thought put into them. Think about the AF quests for every job. Each one had its own story, even if what you got you never used. That kid that goes around running errands in San d'Oria? You know why he does it. The sick lady sitting in the house in Jeuno? You know why she's there. Why do the goblins have a shop in Jeuno? Oh yea, you did a neat quest line for them and they're mentioned in the main story as well. In my time playing FFXI there are several sidequests that I remember because they each took the time to tell a story. I certainly don't remember why that Tauren dude wanted me to kill 15 horse-thingys out in the plains in WoW. **** I played the Guild Wars 2 beta and I don't remember why some place needed me to clean up their rat problem or what was going on when a bunch of overgrown mosquitoes decided to show up near the starter area. GW2 takes the "disposable quest" concept a step further by making is so you don't even need to click the "I accept" button to add it to your quest log!

I think if FFXIV wants to stand out in a good way it should do away with the "disposable quest" mentality and put emphasis on telling a story with each one. Quality over quantity I say.
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#43 Aug 07 2012 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
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WoW leveling and FFXI leveling both suffer from level pacing issues, in my opinion. WoW has you zipping from one place to the next and you establish no real investment in the world they've created--everything is a sloppy plot device to promote their canned gaming experience. FFXI, on the other hand, shoves the world down your throat and ensures that you get so sick of it that you never want to see it again. It made leveling too difficult not because it took time, but because too much of that time was spent doing the exact same thing, from the Valkurm Dunes to Crawler's Nest and on. The only difference was that somewhere there was a shift from an optimal teamwork party to zerg parties.

And frankly while I don't like WoW's uninspired approach to game design at all, FFXI's approach was far more concerning, because it shows how incompetent the designers were. There were simple fixes to the problems that they had, and over many years, they still couldn't, or wouldn't, fix them. And a substantial part of that was at their insistence to make reaching the level cap a masochistic endeavor.

Quote:
I think if FFXIV wants to stand out in a good way it should do away with the "disposable quest" mentality and put emphasis on telling a story with each one. Quality over quantity I say.

In theory, yeah, but like I said, I don't trust SE to be able to put out enough of these. I'm sure they could if they were geared towards it, but especially in the crippled and scared state the company is in, I don't see them putting that kind of resources behind it. What I see coming is two weeks worth of content coming out every 3-6 months, and that stuff being padded with large amounts of grinding requirements.

____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#44 Aug 07 2012 at 5:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Whales wrote:
Ostia wrote:
The point of cap level is to reach it, so that you and your friends, guilds, shells can then go out and kill some badass monsters, tackle some really well developed content, and do all sorts of fun stuff


The journey is often better than the destination.

All of the things you mentioned can exist pre-level cap in a well designed game, there's nothing that dictates that the fun stuff, linkshell/guild activities and well developed content only exists at level cap.

If a level cap exists only as a minor inconvenience for players to rush through to on their way to where the real game begins, then what's the point of even having levels in the first place?

Ostia wrote:
i see no logic in this "Getting to X Cap level felt gimped because everybody can do it" Really ? You where expecting more than half the population to never reach cap level ?


If everything is easy nothing is worthwhile.

There's nothing wrong "half the population never reach[ing] level cap" provided there's enough content to enjoy during the journey. This "MMORPG content can only exist at level cap, and it must be trivial to accomplish" philosophy is killing the genre.


Let's put our rose colored glasses aside for a minute shall we ? The destination is far more important than the journey, there needs to be a reason as to why i am taking said journey besides "Because" that is one of the mains reasons XIV failed, it had no destination, and the journey itself was horrible, also the journey if anything should be filled with content/quest/dungoens/activities, it should never be dictated by artificial roadblocks in order to keep X part of the population from reaching cap level.

As for your first question, well RNG looting tables exist only as a minor inconvenience for players that will obtain said item sooner or later then why have RNG in the first place ? Why not just have us kill X boss and we can select what item from his loot table to obtain ? Oh that's right, MMOS have this things called time sinks, that is all that reaching cap level should be a time sink, it should never be the meat of the game, for one it cannot be, since constantly creating content for different ranges of players all of different levels is quite difficult and would alienate whoever is not in those ranges.

Also please stop pulling stuff out of your ***, nothing is killing the genre, the genre is fine, it has millions upon millions of players across hundreds if not thousands of games, wish is around 100000000% better than where the genre was when FFXI launched, for back then, only 4-10 games existed or where really well populated to say the least, and none of them broke past 500k subscribers...... Today we have launches with 1+million pre orders, a number of games with more than a million subscribers etc etc. So yeah the genre is not dying :)

Oh and please do not bring XI's journey to cap level as an example of what a hard journey should be, XI was not hard, it was annoyingly repetitive and time consuming, wish does not translate to HARD.

It is 2012 not 1998 :)
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#45 Aug 07 2012 at 6:35 PM Rating: Good
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I was going to comment back on this thread, but I get the sense there are some people that just want to argue and thats not why I come on here. Some people just get way to worked up, HAHA.

Edited, Aug 7th 2012 8:36pm by levauron
#46 Aug 08 2012 at 11:45 AM Rating: Decent
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levauron wrote:
I was going to comment back on this thread, but I get the sense there are some people that just want to argue and thats not why I come on here. Some people just get way to worked up, HAHA.

Edited, Aug 7th 2012 8:36pm by levauron


Agreed. Its just a game. Bunch of 1's and 0's that create pixels of light that make pretty pictures.

To go on and on for months/years about the failings of this is pathetic. There is about 5 people who like to come in here and bash the poor thing. There is about 5 people who white the knight the **** out of it. Then there is the rest of us who roll our eyes at those idiots.

Oh...did forget to mention that this is a game?
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#47 Aug 08 2012 at 12:07 PM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
WoW leveling and FFXI leveling both suffer from level pacing issues, in my opinion. WoW has you zipping from one place to the next and you establish no real investment in the world they've created--everything is a sloppy plot device to promote their canned gaming experience. FFXI, on the other hand, shoves the world down your throat and ensures that you get so sick of it that you never want to see it again. It made leveling too difficult not because it took time, but because too much of that time was spent doing the exact same thing, from the Valkurm Dunes to Crawler's Nest and on. The only difference was that somewhere there was a shift from an optimal teamwork party to zerg parties.

And frankly while I don't like WoW's uninspired approach to game design at all, FFXI's approach was far more concerning, because it shows how incompetent the designers were. There were simple fixes to the problems that they had, and over many years, they still couldn't, or wouldn't, fix them. And a substantial part of that was at their insistence to make reaching the level cap a masochistic endeavor.

Quote:
I think if FFXIV wants to stand out in a good way it should do away with the "disposable quest" mentality and put emphasis on telling a story with each one. Quality over quantity I say.

In theory, yeah, but like I said, I don't trust SE to be able to put out enough of these. I'm sure they could if they were geared towards it, but especially in the crippled and scared state the company is in, I don't see them putting that kind of resources behind it. What I see coming is two weeks worth of content coming out every 3-6 months, and that stuff being padded with large amounts of grinding requirements.



I think with WOW, you had to be a fan of the series to really appreciate leveling from 1-60 (initial cap). I personally have played warcraft/starcraft my whole life, so I was seeing familiar places and faces as I leveled up. This most definitely made me invested in the level grind :)
#48 Aug 08 2012 at 12:08 PM Rating: Good
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Simool wrote:

Oh...did forget to mention that this is a game?


The only value an item in a game has is the emotional reward. When you spend two years working towards an item and something happens that nullifies the work you've done, the concept of "this is just a game" quickly gets thrown out of the window.
#49 Aug 08 2012 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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Oh...I do understand that. I played FFXI for 5 years. My point is about the bashing of a version update that we still know very little about. Let them release everything and then we can discuss its shortcomings.
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#50 Aug 08 2012 at 1:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Simool wrote:
Oh...I do understand that. I played FFXI for 5 years. My point is about the bashing of a version update that we still know very little about. Let them release everything and then we can discuss its shortcomings.


Agreed Simool, not to mention, every MMO on the market is a work-in-progress. Despite how many of them there are to date, MMO's are relatively new to the gaming market (relative to how long gaming has been around), and if you really think about it, creating a world this massive to support this many players is a HUGE effort that many companies (SE included) have yet to perfect.

Even WOW (largely proclaimed as the best MMORPG to date), had its shortcomings at first. In fact, there was plenty "wrong" with that game during it's initial release. But Blizzard, being the perfectionists that they are, looked past the pessimism to the real constructive criticism, and gave their fans exactly what they wanted. It didn't happen overnight, but it happened.
#51 Aug 09 2012 at 6:44 AM Rating: Good
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I have had a dream, where SE developed a game which,

Utilizes a 'stand-alone' battle system which is fun in and of itself.
People wouldn't mind forming parties because they would feel challenged to use their abilities as a team to achieve the highest DPS possible.
Monsters don't die before you can use your 2nd ability.
Rewarded skillful play.
Has engaging quests and challenging content as part of a well-developed story which players 'want' to experience and lead you to explore the world. Not a race to endgame.
Contains a intuitive UI.
Values crafting and gathering jobs as essential to the economy and provides content and party based activities for them.
Has memorable musical scores.

It is a long dream. I'm just sharing some of the highlights.
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