Before you read any further I ask that you do (3) things.
(1) Don't be a fanboy. Fanboys who will play anything Square-Enix releases are what has allowed them to produce the slew of mediocre entries to the series for quite some time now.
(2) Recognize that I am not a troll, a hater, a Squarist, or any other odd term you might conjure up to otherwise state that I dislike the company. Every game I have played across any genre has been benchmarked against the likes of FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX, FFX, FFXI and FFXII. In short, I love the Final Fantasy games.
(3) Remember that any reference to FFXI is used for comparison purposes only. FFXI was Square's Flagship MMO. Anything they make beyond that will be heavily compared and contrasted to that title in every possible manner by ANY former player who is deciding to give FFXIV 2.0 a try..
That being said, here is why I believe FFXIV 2.0 will fail, or at least not be nearly as successful as we would like it to be.
FFXI, despite it's many flaws had a great charm about it. It was unique, albeit in some ways that make most hardcore MMO players cringe. I , along with many other people, greatly enjoyed shouting for a <teleport - Altep> in lower Jeuno follwed by watching a senior white mage whisk me off to my destination. We enjoyed the airship rides, fishing off the ferry boats with friends, and having to actually search through the environment to find quest items and destinations. Did this take alot of time? Yes. Was it inconvenient sometimes? Definitely. But it certainly added a level of community, depth, and realism that you simply don't find in other games. That is, of course, only one of many things that made this game, with currently close to 500,000 players STILL SUBSCRIBED on a monthly basis, unique to say the least. I would be willing to bet however, that the majority of those players are not necessarily MMO players, but Final Fantasy players who, like me, enjoyed the particular way in which they served the generally bland MMO formula up to us.
FFXIV 2.0 is bent on modifying the system to be much closer to what that of the hardcore MMO player fanbase out there has come to expect. Everything is time sensitive now: Quests have clear markers telling you exactly (or nearly so) where to go to complete every step, Ferry and Airship rides will be instant, we will be able to zip around the world using our Anima being limited only by our overuse of it, and the tutorial will take you through the first 10 levels of play in what I have to assume is a very short amount of time. We won't have Chocobos, we'll have mounts. We won't have raise, people will ask "can you give me a rez." We won't inventory, we'll have bags. God only knows how long it will take before Gil gets traded for Gold, Silver, and Copper. While all of this is great for MMO gamers out there these changes are likely to turn off the longtime Fans of the series who will instead opt for offline titles, or stick with the ol' trusty FFXI. Okay, so what? With all the hardcore MMO players joining who cares if the longtime fans jump ship? Well there lies the 2nd half of this argument.
Because not only will it potentially alienate many of the longtime fans by getting rid of all those things that made the FFXI and offline titles of yesteryear so charming, but there will be nothing innovative or fresh enough or unique enough compared to the myriad of MMOs out there to hold a strong hardcore MMO player base. ****, SWTOR gave it a full-voiced over quest effort complete with the ability to play out scenes with your party. Nobody cared, they just skipped over it because it wastes valuable raiding time.
In short, many of the longtime fans won't find enough that is familiar to them to keep them engaged, while many of the new players Square hopes to attract (something they are banking on) will give it a shot, maybe play a trial given by their friend, and say "meh, " before heading back to WoW or Swtor or the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online.
...and before you push me down. I sincerely hope I'm wrong here.
Edited, Oct 23rd 2012 6:01pm by electromagnet83
I disagree. You are making way too many assumptions about a game we know very little about. Why would you automatically think a game is going to fail when the alpha testing has yet to start? They've again completely changed the battle system and nobody outside of SE has yes to actually play it. Yes they've described it, but impressions will most likely always be a little negative due to how the game started off. I also don't understand why people are comparing this to WoW. I see the similarity of the new version being more quest driven when leveling up. This will not stop you from grinding it out if you choose to. They didn't say it wouldn't be possible. They just said it wouldn't be the most efficient and fastest way.
"We won't have Chocobos, we'll have mounts."
Perhaps you're splitting hairs here. Does it really matter what they call the things we can climb on top of and ride to our destination? We WILL have chocobo's to ride. We will in addition to that have other things. Lot's of people like having a variety of creatures to ride. I know you've just recently started playing the game, so if you want a chocobo to ride when 2.0 comes out, make sure you're purchased your chocobo license from the grand company of your choosing.
"We won't have raise, people will ask "can you give me a rez." We won't inventory, we'll have bags. God only knows how long it will take before Gil gets traded for Gold, Silver, and Copper."
Who said we wont have raise? If you can find an article that says we can't do that, please show me. We wont have inventory? We'll have bags? Again, I feel like you're splitting hairs here. What some may call a bag in one part of the world, others may call inventory in another part of the world. They will never change gil to gold, silver, and copper. Gil has been the staple currency in Final Fantasy games since the very beginning. They've said that they are trying to make it more "Final Fantasyish." Why would they change something that is more FF than most anything else?
"Everything is time sensitive now"
You do realize that most people don't want to spend hours and hours sitting in the cities shouting to gather a party right? They are adding content for large groups. I could be wrong, but I've heard 24+ people. Think about how long that will take to gather people for... People want to play the game, not sit around town trying to make a party to play the game. This was one of the biggest complaints that people had with FFXI. They are only changing the game to meet most peoples expectations. If the game is too easy for you, then post your ides and issues on how to fix things on the lodestone. They will listen to people this time when the beta starts. They can't afford to ignore us again like Tanaka did.
Personally, I saw someone just yesterday shouting in Uldah for a teleport into mor dhona. Personally, I don't enjoy standing there shouting for a tele, but others may. They have said that they will be adding sky views of Eorzea when we ride the airships similar to what FFXI had. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I'm pretty sure we can fish off the ferry. Granted we've only got the 1 and nobody ever rides it due to the convenience of teleporting, but I'm pretty sure it's there if you want to take part in that.
"produce the slew of mediocre entries to the series for quite some time now"
Yes, many people would agree with your statement here. I read an interview with ********* Amano and even he said that he has seen a dramatic change in the series ever since FFX. He said with the increase in technology, the company has decided to push the boundries with graphics and things you can do in the game instead of focusing on story and other elements of that nature. Personally, with most of the FF fanbase being older and are the ones who tend to look for the nostalgic feeling that they had when they were 10 while playing FFVII, every game they produce from now on will be underwhelming in our eyes because we will never get that feeling we had when we finally got our golden chocobo and ran accross those mountains and oceans to finally get our knights of the round materia. As long as they continue to go in the direction they are going, every FF from now on will not be able to reach what we, as fans, and what the success they, as developers, would like. Here's the link to that interview. *******************************************************************************
Personally, if SE wants the console based games to be the successes they were on the PS1, they are going to need more ********* Amano and Nobuo Uematsu. Mr. Amano pretty much hit the nail on the head about why the series isn't what it used to be whether he meant to or not.