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#52 Feb 22 2013 at 2:12 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah same here.
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#53 Feb 22 2013 at 5:12 PM Rating: Decent
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So, Wint, tell us about your honest impression of the new combat system.
If 1 is "just like in 1.0" and 10 is "a combat system reborn", where are we standing, and why?
#54 Feb 22 2013 at 7:17 PM Rating: Good
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Been a long time since I've commented here. PS3 version is looking good, seems it soon to be time to pick up one of the keypads. Also scored close to 6k on the pc bench mark. Can't wait.
#55 Feb 22 2013 at 7:44 PM Rating: Good
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Wint wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
I am in love with the subtle changes to the areas and towns. It truly looks like a single player FF. Also, SE is just toying with us at ~4;00-`4:02.

I'ts a MAMMET! In public. Following a person! OMG give me Pup NOW.


Yeah the mammet is one of the pets I got to play with.

I know a little baby behemoth is planned, manly enough for you Kachi? Smiley: tongue


Wint wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
I am in love with the subtle changes to the areas and towns. It truly looks like a single player FF. Also, SE is just toying with us at ~4;00-`4:02.

I'ts a MAMMET! In public. Following a person! OMG give me Pup NOW.


Yeah the mammet is one of the pets I got to play with.

I know a little baby behemoth is planned, manly enough for you Kachi? Smiley: tongue


Squee! Smiley: blush He looks like an adorable little piggy!

I mean, ahem, yes, I suppose that will be fine. Smiley: bah
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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.
#56 Feb 22 2013 at 7:53 PM Rating: Good
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Bleh nevermind

Edited, Feb 22nd 2013 5:54pm by LebargeX
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Teneleven wrote:
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#57 Feb 22 2013 at 8:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Rinsui wrote:
So, Wint, tell us about your honest impression of the new combat system.
If 1 is "just like in 1.0" and 10 is "a combat system reborn", where are we standing, and why?


It's an 11.

Honestly I was a little nervous about just hammering abilities but there are a few things that calmed my fears:

1) You can perform extra powerful chains. Say you open with one skill, then the icon for another 2 in your hotbar light up, depending on which you choose one of two others light up for the finishing blow so to speak. Not only are there combos, but combo paths you can take with different effects from the skills you use on the monster you're fighting.
2) You still need to watch hate. When we lost to the boss mob of that dungeon, one thing I did was steal hate from the tank accidentally on Archer. Our second time through I used some abilities you can trigger that do things like reduce your hate to allow me to spam for a bit before the effect wore. It feels a little more challenging to manage than say, FFXI, but once you get the hang of it it is a lot of fun.
3) We haven't seen all the abilities yet. My character was only level 35, and they're capping at 50 at launch so there are another 15 levels to see what is coming. Add to that the ability to use some of the skills from other jobs and we have a lot of choices and combinations to choose from, hopefully they will make the "sub job skills" useful in multiple situations so there isn't that perfect build out there that everyone will demand (que Kachi to come rant about this Smiley: tongue

Another thing I was responsible for (other than popping the pods I talked about earlier) was keeping up enfeebs like blind and poison. Between keeping those applied and running through my combos, and watching the environment and the monster behavior, there is enough there to keep a skilled player hopping.
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#58 Feb 22 2013 at 9:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

1) You can perform extra powerful chains. Say you open with one skill, then the icon for another 2 in your hotbar light up, depending on which you choose one of two others light up for the finishing blow so to speak. Not only are there combos, but combo paths you can take with different effects from the skills you use on the monster you're fighting.
2) You still need to watch hate. When we lost to the boss mob of that dungeon, one thing I did was steal hate from the tank accidentally on Archer. Our second time through I used some abilities you can trigger that do things like reduce your hate to allow me to spam for a bit before the effect wore. It feels a little more challenging to manage than say, FFXI, but once you get the hang of it it is a lot of fun.
3) We haven't seen all the abilities yet. My character was only level 35, and they're capping at 50 at launch so there are another 15 levels to see what is coming. Add to that the ability to use some of the skills from other jobs and we have a lot of choices and combinations to choose from, hopefully they will make the "sub job skills" useful in multiple situations so there isn't that perfect build out there that everyone will demand (que Kachi to come rant about this Smiley: tongue

Another thing I was responsible for (other than popping the pods I talked about earlier) was keeping up enfeebs like blind and poison. Between keeping those applied and running through my combos, and watching the environment and the monster behavior, there is enough there to keep a skilled player hopping.


The chaining sounds promising to me, actually. They're clearly going for strategic combat over reflex-based combat. Where many MMOs go wrong is that they don't really offer the player many decisions... hotbar combat isn't necessarily suited to that. If your players aren't having to make tough decisions, e.g., the same rotation of skills is optimal in most situations, then you've failed to create strategic combat. So the chaining holds the promise to add to the decision-making process the question of which combinations/permutations of abilities should be used.

But yes, I'm going to temper that by saying that this conceptual possibility is the easy part. Balancing those possibilities so that the decision is actually tough and meaningful is the hard part. I doubt that most combinations are viable, and would suspect that clearly superior ones will emerge. It all comes down to the balancing act, which I don't believe will be done well.

Which seems, by the way, to reflect one of the central misconceptions a lot of today's designers have about how to make a fun MMO... busy=fun. Of course, that's ridiculous. Busy does not equal fun. It's certainly better than boring, but the question remains, will the combat require you to regularly make meaningful and challenging decisions... or just a lot of easy ones?
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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.
#59 Feb 22 2013 at 10:01 PM Rating: Good
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One of my favorite aspects of Aion was its chain-skill combat system. A system whereby you would set up combos ahead of time and literally chain skills into one another. You could set up chains that had high damage, or you could set up chains that set up particular buffs and debuffs. Their version of this system was pretty simplistic, but it was very interesting to me as far as the possibilities of such a system.

I'll relate an example.. My main character in that game was an assassin (leather-wearing rogueish class that fights in melee). There was one occasion where I and a few other people wanted to do a mid-level dungeon, but we couldn't find a tank (1 tank class... WHY?!). So after a little thought and prep work, I tanked the dungeon myself. I did this by setting up stuns, blinds, evasion buffs, knockdowns, and spell avoidance into my skill combos so that I could minimize the damage I was taking from mobs in the dungeon. Because of my naturally high damage output I was able to maintain threat as long as nobody went nuts (and they were good about that due to the unconventional nature of what we were doing). It worked quite well. By using some thought and strategy I was able to tank the entire dungeon. It was one of my most enjoyable experiences from that game and it helped me to see that not everything has to be taken as it first appears.

The potential of a combo system you can manipulate yourself is quite high.

That being said, in any game based on numbers, there will always be one set of numbers that's higher than the other sets; that's just how math works. So when you're calculating pure damage output, yes.. there will be a "correct" combo to use for a given set of abilities. But that's only really useful if the encounter only cares about raw damage output. If the encounters are well-designed, they can require thought and strategy and utility. And once you add utility in there, raw damage calculations cease to be a thing since you start looking for particular effects.. and now you have to maximize those effects, and balance that with damage, and .... you get the idea.
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#60 Feb 22 2013 at 11:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
That being said, in any game based on numbers, there will always be one set of numbers that's higher than the other sets; that's just how math works. So when you're calculating pure damage output, yes.. there will be a "correct" combo to use for a given set of abilities. But that's only really useful if the encounter only cares about raw damage output. If the encounters are well-designed, they can require thought and strategy and utility. And once you add utility in there, raw damage calculations cease to be a thing since you start looking for particular effects.. and now you have to maximize those effects, and balance that with damage, and .... you get the idea.


Even things that are ostensibly not based on numbers are still based on numbers, so yeah, there will always be a correct combo to use -for a given situation-. But if there are universally superior options, then that's the problem. Take fighting games as an example. Everything in a fighting game is reduced to numbers, and frequently certain characters emerge as "the best" (if you're familiar with character tiers, then this is that principle in action). But even those characters are not generally the best in every matchup, and just because you pick the best character doesn't mean you'll win... you have to make the right decisions as the player to utilize that character's potential. Only the worst, most broken fighting games have characters with unbreakable combos where you can just spam an ability over and over or use the same rotation of moves over and over--and have that be the most effective strategy.

So consider these same principles in an MMO. Yes, some configurations will be -statistically- optimal, but in a good game, player skill and matchups should be far more important than configuration. There should not be a way to approach combat that is clearly the best way, even in your average situation. And this is what MMOs do badly. They're intercharacter design and encounter designed are poorly balanced against this. I talked a lot about this several weeks ago in a discussion about how classes should be numerically balanced against one another before they're balanced against monster encounters.
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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.
#61 Feb 23 2013 at 8:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm hoping they create situations where non standard setups are also useful. I know not all skills from a "sub job" are available to you on your main job, so maybe they will control things that way. The other thing that wasn't immediately apparent is how effective each skill is as a sub job skill. We will have to wait and see there.

One other thing that Yoshi-P said to me in my interview that I didn't get a chance to clarify: he said item stats would be much more effective than they were in 1.0. He told me that in 1.0, they accounted for 20% of the player's performance, but in ARR he wants to see it at about 50%. I believe he wants this so that end game players are inspired to pursue difficult to obtain gear, to really maximize their effectiveness. We'll have to see how that plays out, I know more than a few on these boards probably won't like that, since there seems to be more of desire to put more emphasis on player skill than items.
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#62 Feb 23 2013 at 9:12 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
It's an 11.

Honestly I was a little nervous about just hammering abilities but there are a few things that calmed my fears:

1) You can perform extra powerful chains. Say you open with one skill, then the icon for another 2 in your hotbar light up, depending on which you choose one of two others light up for the finishing blow so to speak. Not only are there combos, but combo paths you can take with different effects from the skills you use on the monster you're fighting (...)


Whoa. I tricked Wint into breaking the NDA. Yay me! ^.-/



Edited, Feb 23rd 2013 10:19am by Rinsui
#63 Feb 23 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Rinsui wrote:
Quote:
It's an 11.

Honestly I was a little nervous about just hammering abilities but there are a few things that calmed my fears:

1) You can perform extra powerful chains. Say you open with one skill, then the icon for another 2 in your hotbar light up, depending on which you choose one of two others light up for the finishing blow so to speak. Not only are there combos, but combo paths you can take with different effects from the skills you use on the monster you're fighting.
2) You still need to watch hate. When we lost to the boss mob of that dungeon, one thing I did was steal hate from the tank accidentally on Archer. Our second time through I used some abilities you can trigger that do things like reduce your hate to allow me to spam for a bit before the effect wore. It feels a little more challenging to manage than say, FFXI, but once you get the hang of it it is a lot of fun.
3) We haven't seen all the abilities yet. My character was only level 35, and they're capping at 50 at launch so there are another 15 levels to see what is coming. Add to that the ability to use some of the skills from other jobs and we have a lot of choices and combinations to choose from, hopefully they will make the "sub job skills" useful in multiple situations so there isn't that perfect build out there that everyone will demand (que Kachi to come rant about this

Another thing I was responsible for (other than popping the pods I talked about earlier) was keeping up enfeebs like blind and poison. Between keeping those applied and running through my combos, and watching the environment and the monster behavior, there is enough there to keep a skilled player hopping.


Whoa. I tricked Wint into breaking the NDA. Yay me! ^.-/



I'm not breaking the NDA, this was in my hands on during the media event which I confirmed I was allowed to post about Smiley: grin
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#64 Feb 23 2013 at 9:21 AM Rating: Decent
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I was just joking. Thank you for the detailed answer.
I'm a little confused nonetheless, because what you tell me is so different from what I read... elsewhere.
In any case, it's just 2 days until some people find out.

P.S.: For now, I'm still thoroughly impressed whith what they managed to pull off with the new graphics engine.

Edited, Feb 23rd 2013 10:23am by Rinsui
#65 Feb 23 2013 at 9:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Rinsui wrote:
I was just joking. Thank you for the detailed answer.


I didn't want beta players to think they could also post their experiences so I wanted to clarify Smiley: nod
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Guide to Setting Up Mumble on a Raspberry Pi
#66 Feb 23 2013 at 10:46 AM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
Quote:
That being said, in any game based on numbers, there will always be one set of numbers that's higher than the other sets; that's just how math works. So when you're calculating pure damage output, yes.. there will be a "correct" combo to use for a given set of abilities. But that's only really useful if the encounter only cares about raw damage output. If the encounters are well-designed, they can require thought and strategy and utility. And once you add utility in there, raw damage calculations cease to be a thing since you start looking for particular effects.. and now you have to maximize those effects, and balance that with damage, and .... you get the idea.


Even things that are ostensibly not based on numbers are still based on numbers, so yeah, there will always be a correct combo to use -for a given situation-. But if there are universally superior options, then that's the problem. Take fighting games as an example. Everything in a fighting game is reduced to numbers, and frequently certain characters emerge as "the best" (if you're familiar with character tiers, then this is that principle in action). But even those characters are not generally the best in every matchup, and just because you pick the best character doesn't mean you'll win... you have to make the right decisions as the player to utilize that character's potential. Only the worst, most broken fighting games have characters with unbreakable combos where you can just spam an ability over and over or use the same rotation of moves over and over--and have that be the most effective strategy.

So consider these same principles in an MMO. Yes, some configurations will be -statistically- optimal, but in a good game, player skill and matchups should be far more important than configuration. There should not be a way to approach combat that is clearly the best way, even in your average situation. And this is what MMOs do badly. They're intercharacter design and encounter designed are poorly balanced against this. I talked a lot about this several weeks ago in a discussion about how classes should be numerically balanced against one another before they're balanced against monster encounters.

I remember the original XIV running into situations like that when I was playing. I forget what specific content it was, but many shouts were for archers & archers only. No one wanted my pugilist.Smiley: frown

It's not as good for me if I have tons of possibilities in building my character, but only a few that people will want to team up with for the content I plan on tackling. FFXI had plenty of situations like that as well. Some optimal combos, others doable, and still others that people laugh at if you did them.
#67 Feb 23 2013 at 12:22 PM Rating: Good
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In one sense, creating a system as diverse as FFXIV's (or FFXI's for that matter) means that people will think they need to cherry pick the best of the best combinations and reject all others as hopelessly inferior.

Usually this is a ridiculous thing to do.

Now there are obviously combinations that are just silly... like, oh say, BLM/WAR... or maybe MNK/SMN. But most sensible combinations are perfectly fine, deviating only 1 or 2 percentage points off the "optimal" build.

As long as what you're picking makes sense, you should be able to compete, and that's the design challenge with a system like this.
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#68 Feb 23 2013 at 12:45 PM Rating: Good
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Some of the content that XI introduced in the last few years called for bizarre combinations. WHM/RDM and BLM/BRD are the norm in Abyssea seal parties. Thousands of career black mages suddenly discovered they needed to not only have leveled BRD to 50 and gotten skills capped out, they were expected to have it available as a subjob. Smiley: lol
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#69 Feb 23 2013 at 1:28 PM Rating: Good
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Thousands of career black mages suddenly discovered they needed to not only have leveled BRD to 50 and gotten skills capped out, they were expected to have it available as a subjob


Because of course they were.

I'd have been in trouble if I'd still been playing then.. I think my BRD was at like... 25? Maybe?
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#70 Feb 23 2013 at 1:48 PM Rating: Good
Archmage Callinon wrote:
Quote:
Thousands of career black mages suddenly discovered they needed to not only have leveled BRD to 50 and gotten skills capped out, they were expected to have it available as a subjob


Because of course they were.

I'd have been in trouble if I'd still been playing then.. I think my BRD was at like... 25? Maybe?


I was a career THF and SAM for years, then my HNM shell decided everyone needed to have a mage job of some sort leveled and skilled in preparation of the lvl cap increase to 80. I went and lvl'd BRD to 75, then quit the game about 3 days aftrer the lvl cap increase. Mage jobs just weren't for me in XI.
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#71 Feb 23 2013 at 2:00 PM Rating: Excellent
Hey Wint,

I want to ask you about something pertaining to this thought by Kachi:

Quote:
Which seems, by the way, to reflect one of the central misconceptions a lot of today's designers have about how to make a fun MMO... busy=fun.


I believe this is spot-on.

With that in mind, I wanted to ask you about the activity level of zones in FFXIV 2.0. One of the things that contributes to the immersion of FFXI is that you can run through certain areas and it's relatively calm, even tranquil... it's the opposite of Guild Wars 2, where it's hard to run for more than 10 seconds without being attacked by some pesky animal, or without some kind of quest flashing across your screen. Just think of how much less fun running through the Sanctuary of Zi'Tah would have been if it were busier like GW2.

Even FFXIV 1.0 got this right (for the most part), allowing players to actually take in the scenery as they moved through areas (too bad the scenery was so bland and samey).

So, have the revamped zones in FFXIV ARR been Guild Warded?
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#72 Feb 23 2013 at 2:00 PM Rating: Default
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WOW the PS3 version looks horrible. I'm surprised they were willing to post that video in public. so much lag

they arent even fighting , or around any monsters and its running so terrible



Edited, Feb 23rd 2013 3:01pm by Poubelle
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#73 Feb 23 2013 at 2:03 PM Rating: Default
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in the camps like around 6:45 it looks like the playstation 3 is going to explode or crash at any moment

http://youtu.be/KW6fL5X1fM4?t=6m45s

(didnt mean to double post)

PC version looks nice though

Edited, Feb 23rd 2013 3:10pm by Poubelle
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#74 Feb 23 2013 at 2:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Poubelle wrote:
WOW the PS3 version looks horrible. I'm surprised they were willing to post that video in public. so much lag

they arent even fighting , or around any monsters and its running so terrible
Edited, Feb 23rd 2013 3:01pm by Poubelle


Yeah... you'd think it was the alpha version of the PS3 version or something.
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#75 Feb 23 2013 at 3:16 PM Rating: Decent
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They've apparently brought in a team from Sony to get that fixed.
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#76 Feb 23 2013 at 5:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Thayos wrote:
Hey Wint,

I want to ask you about something pertaining to this thought by Kachi:

Quote:
Which seems, by the way, to reflect one of the central misconceptions a lot of today's designers have about how to make a fun MMO... busy=fun.


I believe this is spot-on.

With that in mind, I wanted to ask you about the activity level of zones in FFXIV 2.0. One of the things that contributes to the immersion of FFXI is that you can run through certain areas and it's relatively calm, even tranquil... it's the opposite of Guild Wars 2, where it's hard to run for more than 10 seconds without being attacked by some pesky animal, or without some kind of quest flashing across your screen. Just think of how much less fun running through the Sanctuary of Zi'Tah would have been if it were busier like GW2.

Even FFXIV 1.0 got this right (for the most part), allowing players to actually take in the scenery as they moved through areas (too bad the scenery was so bland and samey).

So, have the revamped zones in FFXIV ARR been Guild Warded?


I didn't get a whole lot of time in the lower level zones, but in at least one instance, near Camp Bentbranch, I was able to run around normally aggressive mobs at level 35 (they were level 10ish) with no problems, so I'm thinking yes is the answer to your question.

The zones are definitely more immersive now, La Noscea is absolutely gorgeous.
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#77 Feb 23 2013 at 8:42 PM Rating: Decent
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WOW the PS3 version looks horrible. I'm surprised they were willing to post that video in public. so much lag


This confirms to me that you're one of those absurdly nitpicky people with graphics. Let's say a videophile to be nice... what in my day we called a "graphics *****." OMG a bit of framerate lag! Looks HORRIBLE! Embarrassing!You can see the seams, and they're coming apart! The world is crumbling before my eyes!

I barely notice a difference.

Archmage Callinon wrote:
In one sense, creating a system as diverse as FFXIV's (or FFXI's for that matter) means that people will think they need to cherry pick the best of the best combinations and reject all others as hopelessly inferior.

Usually this is a ridiculous thing to do.

Now there are obviously combinations that are just silly... like, oh say, BLM/WAR... or maybe MNK/SMN. But most sensible combinations are perfectly fine, deviating only 1 or 2 percentage points off the "optimal" build.

As long as what you're picking makes sense, you should be able to compete, and that's the design challenge with a system like this.


Archmage Callinon wrote:
In one sense, creating a system as diverse as FFXIV's (or FFXI's for that matter) means that people will think they need to cherry pick the best of the best combinations and reject all others as hopelessly inferior.

Usually this is a ridiculous thing to do.

Now there are obviously combinations that are just silly... like, oh say, BLM/WAR... or maybe MNK/SMN. But most sensible combinations are perfectly fine, deviating only 1 or 2 percentage points off the "optimal" build.

As long as what you're picking makes sense, you should be able to compete, and that's the design challenge with a system like this.


Funny that you mention that. This is an artifact from the Dungeons and Dragons era, which still relies on basic statistics like power and intelligence to modify skills. Systems which rely less on these modifiers and design absolute values (or value modified by something other than character statistics) don't have this problem. When those skills are modified by interchangeable attributes, like weapon rating, it's much easier to balance. With assigning absolute values that scale up by level (e.g., the level 20 ice spell does 50 damage, at level 40 does 100 damage), you take away a lot of the mathematics of determining ideal configurations, but make it incredibly easy to balance. If you wanted, you can also use that approach to totally do away with any balance differences whatsoever... e.g., axe skills and fire magic do the exact same DPS at every level.
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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.
#78 Feb 24 2013 at 9:56 AM Rating: Good
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Yoshida did say that stats will have a lesser impact on the game than teamwork and performance in ARR than it did in 1.0, which is kind of impressive considering that gear wasn't as gigantic of a performance differential in that game as it was in other MMOs. I believe only Ifrit Extreme and Raven, Nevermore were hard enough to consider having a gear-check.
#79 Feb 24 2013 at 10:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kachi wrote:

Archmage Callinon wrote:
In one sense, creating a system as diverse as FFXIV's (or FFXI's for that matter) means that people will think they need to cherry pick the best of the best combinations and reject all others as hopelessly inferior.

Usually this is a ridiculous thing to do.

Now there are obviously combinations that are just silly... like, oh say, BLM/WAR... or maybe MNK/SMN. But most sensible combinations are perfectly fine, deviating only 1 or 2 percentage points off the "optimal" build.

As long as what you're picking makes sense, you should be able to compete, and that's the design challenge with a system like this.


Funny that you mention that. This is an artifact from the Dungeons and Dragons era, which still relies on basic statistics like power and intelligence to modify skills. Systems which rely less on these modifiers and design absolute values (or value modified by something other than character statistics) don't have this problem. When those skills are modified by interchangeable attributes, like weapon rating, it's much easier to balance. With assigning absolute values that scale up by level (e.g., the level 20 ice spell does 50 damage, at level 40 does 100 damage), you take away a lot of the mathematics of determining ideal configurations, but make it incredibly easy to balance. If you wanted, you can also use that approach to totally do away with any balance differences whatsoever... e.g., axe skills and fire magic do the exact same DPS at every level.


I'm am fairly certain I am in the minority but I'm a 'customization junkie'. What you are describing sounds boring to me. Not right or wrong, etc... but boring. I loved the original idea of the Armory System for 1.0. They execution of the idea needed work but I loved the concept. You leveled every job and based on the circumstances you could build any type of character you wanted. If you had leveled Thaumaturge all the way you could have a Gladiator equipped with Sacrifice III beginning at rank 1. Not that you would want to but you could.

Edited, Feb 24th 2013 11:56am by kainsilv
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#80 Feb 24 2013 at 11:22 AM Rating: Decent
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kainsilv wrote:
Kachi wrote:

Archmage Callinon wrote:
In one sense, creating a system as diverse as FFXIV's (or FFXI's for that matter) means that people will think they need to cherry pick the best of the best combinations and reject all others as hopelessly inferior.

Usually this is a ridiculous thing to do.

Now there are obviously combinations that are just silly... like, oh say, BLM/WAR... or maybe MNK/SMN. But most sensible combinations are perfectly fine, deviating only 1 or 2 percentage points off the "optimal" build.

As long as what you're picking makes sense, you should be able to compete, and that's the design challenge with a system like this.


Funny that you mention that. This is an artifact from the Dungeons and Dragons era, which still relies on basic statistics like power and intelligence to modify skills. Systems which rely less on these modifiers and design absolute values (or value modified by something other than character statistics) don't have this problem. When those skills are modified by interchangeable attributes, like weapon rating, it's much easier to balance. With assigning absolute values that scale up by level (e.g., the level 20 ice spell does 50 damage, at level 40 does 100 damage), you take away a lot of the mathematics of determining ideal configurations, but make it incredibly easy to balance. If you wanted, you can also use that approach to totally do away with any balance differences whatsoever... e.g., axe skills and fire magic do the exact same DPS at every level.


I'm am fairly certain I am in the minority but I'm a 'customization junkie'. What you are describing sounds boring to me. Not right or wrong, etc... but boring. I loved the original idea of the Armory System for 1.0. They execution of the idea needed work but I loved the concept. You leveled every job and based on the circumstances you could build any type of character you wanted. If you had leveled Thaumaturge all the way you could have a Gladiator equipped with Sacrifice III beginning at rank 1. Not that you would want to but you could.

Edited, Feb 24th 2013 11:56am by kainsilv


In the game I'm working on, you build a custom character from about 2000 abilities, so you could say that I'm a customization junkie as well. However, there are still no base player statistics to work with. They're not mutually inclusive; you can have one without the other.

I think your opinion represents a classic paradox in game design-- balance vs. competitive building. Some players like to build competitively, like in trading card games--half the challenge is in choosing an ideal configuration. However, the more important the build is, the less balance there is between players. Superior configurations emerge, players feel forced to use them, other players who had a different type of build in mind become resentful of the imbalance, etc...

It's a problem which highlights just how important finding the fine balance is in games. You can balance everything perfectly and then you leave nothing for the build-junkies. You can create a great game for build-junkies and ruin the balance for the average player. Then you'll invariably have to nerf things when you attempt to balance them. There is an inbetween that can be achieved, but it has to be achieved in the numbers, not the "features", not the concepts, or mechanics, or ideas, etc... it's all in the numbers.

Many games just attempt to appeal to a single niche audience that can appreciate that genrefication, and that's how they find success. If you're trying to appeal to a wider audience, or that large audience that appreciates both elements in moderation, you try to strike a balance between combat skill and build skill, so that players can choose how they want to excel.
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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.
#81 Feb 24 2013 at 11:39 AM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Quote:

1) You can perform extra powerful chains. Say you open with one skill, then the icon for another 2 in your hotbar light up, depending on which you choose one of two others light up for the finishing blow so to speak. Not only are there combos, but combo paths you can take with different effects from the skills you use on the monster you're fighting.
2) You still need to watch hate. When we lost to the boss mob of that dungeon, one thing I did was steal hate from the tank accidentally on Archer. Our second time through I used some abilities you can trigger that do things like reduce your hate to allow me to spam for a bit before the effect wore. It feels a little more challenging to manage than say, FFXI, but once you get the hang of it it is a lot of fun.
3) We haven't seen all the abilities yet. My character was only level 35, and they're capping at 50 at launch so there are another 15 levels to see what is coming. Add to that the ability to use some of the skills from other jobs and we have a lot of choices and combinations to choose from, hopefully they will make the "sub job skills" useful in multiple situations so there isn't that perfect build out there that everyone will demand (que Kachi to come rant about this Smiley: tongue

Another thing I was responsible for (other than popping the pods I talked about earlier) was keeping up enfeebs like blind and poison. Between keeping those applied and running through my combos, and watching the environment and the monster behavior, there is enough there to keep a skilled player hopping.


The chaining sounds promising to me, actually. They're clearly going for strategic combat over reflex-based combat. Where many MMOs go wrong is that they don't really offer the player many decisions... hotbar combat isn't necessarily suited to that. If your players aren't having to make tough decisions, e.g., the same rotation of skills is optimal in most situations, then you've failed to create strategic combat. So the chaining holds the promise to add to the decision-making process the question of which combinations/permutations of abilities should be used.

But yes, I'm going to temper that by saying that this conceptual possibility is the easy part. Balancing those possibilities so that the decision is actually tough and meaningful is the hard part. I doubt that most combinations are viable, and would suspect that clearly superior ones will emerge. It all comes down to the balancing act, which I don't believe will be done well.

Which seems, by the way, to reflect one of the central misconceptions a lot of today's designers have about how to make a fun MMO... busy=fun. Of course, that's ridiculous. Busy does not equal fun. It's certainly better than boring, but the question remains, will the combat require you to regularly make meaningful and challenging decisions... or just a lot of easy ones?


It's a lose - lose situation. Make the decisions tough, and the modern brain dead gamer won't be able to deal with actual application of critical thinking. Make the decisions easy, and the base (aka "hard core") MMO players won't be satisfied.
#82 Feb 24 2013 at 11:56 AM Rating: Good
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2000 abilities sounds like a whole lot of redundancy... unless, of course, you call things like "speed +.5%" as abilities.
Btw, there is a (theoretical) solution to a lot of balancing problems in MMOs, and if you are in the business, it wouldn't
hurt if you consider it: auto-balancing. The more a certain ability is used the weaker it becomes. The less people use
that ability, the stronger it becomes. In the end, all builds will be "equal", simply because the combinations balance out
themselves. The same goes for the "let's only kill crabs or pink birds" problem in FFXI. Instead of manually balancing
those cases, a (surprisingly simple) algorythm like
(current exp yield) = ((base XP yield*t*base regeneration rate X)/(number of kills during the preceding interval t) would
make sure that it actually pays off to explore new regions in a MMO.

It's so ridiculous to see MMO programmers (which are, after all, a special subspecies of programmers) try to MANUALLY
do a computer's work...
#83 Feb 24 2013 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
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All traits, talents, and skills are abilities... probably about a quarter of which are statistical bonuses. So yeah, 2000 may sound like a lot, but there are probably roughly half that many in, say, GW2. GW2 just doesn't allow you much customization comparatively speaking. Some of them also create the same status affliction, just in different ways. e.g., a player can become "Stuck" because of quicksand, tangling vines, or their feet being trapped in ice. Same effect, different flavor, and we cover an entire line of abilities for pretty much any class you could imagine. But there are about 40 effects, and between those and an infinite list of possible triggers, there are quite a lot of possibilities.

But I don't like auto-balancing at all. It ignores the reasons for an ability's popularity, e.g., fire magic will most likely be more popular than bardic songs. I think it's good to look at user stats and identify abilities which might be overpowered and adjust those manually. A program that flags popular abilities/monster targets could be useful, but honestly I'll be hearing about imbalances from the community before that's probably necessary. A computer program also doesn't know which values to adjust without you telling it how to do so, meaning its solution will probably be a universal one that begins to create homogeneity in the abilities/monsters. I'd rather that decision be left up to me.

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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.
#84 Feb 24 2013 at 2:53 PM Rating: Good
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I'm not sure if this has has been mentioned/noticed, but at the 3:00 mark of the Exploration video (benchmark one), in the far background behind the trees there seems to be a massive turtle-like creature. I am super excited that we may get to fight stuff like this in ARR. FFXI never really had any grand scale fights, and it was always something I felt it lacked.

As for everything else, I think things are looking interesting. I can't wait to start out in the new world! I still have jobs to level and a lot of AF to get from v1.0, so curious how they have changed some of that quest line
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#85 Feb 24 2013 at 6:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Oh wow, I didn't notice that. Even if that's just an environmental fixture, that's pretty cool.
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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.
#86 Feb 24 2013 at 8:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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Grandlethal wrote:
I'm not sure if this has has been mentioned/noticed, but at the 3:00 mark of the Exploration video (benchmark one), in the far background behind the trees there seems to be a massive turtle-like creature. I am super excited that we may get to fight stuff like this in ARR. FFXI never really had any grand scale fights, and it was always something I felt it lacked.

As for everything else, I think things are looking interesting. I can't wait to start out in the new world! I still have jobs to level and a lot of AF to get from v1.0, so curious how they have changed some of that quest line


Amazing catch on that, I have no idea how you noticed Smiley: thumbsup
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#87 Feb 24 2013 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Though I will say, I thought Besieged was a great example of a large-scale fight, as well as some of the Campaign battles. The problem with having one giant monster against 100+ players is that you end up feeling like you're just wailing against a wall. It's pretty much impossible to discern what kind of contribution you're making, because your contribution is less than 1%. Not a very epic or heroic feeling.
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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.
#88 Feb 25 2013 at 9:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Though I will say, I thought Besieged was a great example of a large-scale fight, as well as some of the Campaign battles. The problem with having one giant monster against 100+ players is that you end up feeling like you're just wailing against a wall. It's pretty much impossible to discern what kind of contribution you're making, because your contribution is less than 1%. Not a very epic or heroic feeling.


I partially agree on this. As much as I love grand scale fights, there does have to be a balance to it. In open world fights like the way FATE battles are designed, I believe there's very little you can do to curb people from gangbanging the mobs into submission with 50+ people. However in instanced content you can scale it to whatever parameters you'd like. 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 40, etc.

(Slightly off topic:) I pray to the gawds that they can balance the classes appropriately more than anything else honestly. That will also play a role in how they make the fights scale. I think they can do it, it just requires "fine-tuning" and not the overbuffing/heavy-handed nerfing we've seen in the past from SE (as well from Blizzard -_-)
#89 Feb 26 2013 at 9:02 AM Rating: Decent
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Grandlethal wrote:
I'm not sure if this has has been mentioned/noticed, but at the 3:00 mark of the Exploration video (benchmark one), in the far background behind the trees there seems to be a massive turtle-like creature. I am super excited that we may get to fight stuff like this in ARR. FFXI never really had any grand scale fights, and it was always something I felt it lacked.

As for everything else, I think things are looking interesting. I can't wait to start out in the new world! I still have jobs to level and a lot of AF to get from v1.0, so curious how they have changed some of that quest line


Yes I saw that right away..I paused and rewound the video and it did look like a giant turtle.


GuardianZerato wrote:
[quote=Kachi]

(Slightly off topic:) I pray to the gawds that they can balance the classes appropriately more than anything else honestly. That will also play a role in how they make the fights scale. I think they can do it, it just requires "fine-tuning" and not the overbuffing/heavy-handed nerfing we've seen in the past from SE (as well from Blizzard -_-)



Yea in FFXI it was tough. You spend all this time building up a job, getting the best armor, getting your skills capped and the next day they tank that job and its worthless.



I just want a game where if you miss a few days you do not feel like you got left behind. with FFXI I always felt like I was playing catchup since I didn't start the game from day one.. The thing about ffxi is no body ever wanted to go back and do something over. . You know they go and add new content now that required you to finish the old stuff.

I think with FFXI the problem now is there is no new blood coming into the game and they are just happy keeping it going with the current user base.




Edited, Feb 26th 2013 10:18am by Nashred
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#90 Feb 26 2013 at 4:22 PM Rating: Decent
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GuardianZerato wrote:
Kachi wrote:
Though I will say, I thought Besieged was a great example of a large-scale fight, as well as some of the Campaign battles. The problem with having one giant monster against 100+ players is that you end up feeling like you're just wailing against a wall. It's pretty much impossible to discern what kind of contribution you're making, because your contribution is less than 1%. Not a very epic or heroic feeling.


I partially agree on this. As much as I love grand scale fights, there does have to be a balance to it. In open world fights like the way FATE battles are designed, I believe there's very little you can do to curb people from gangbanging the mobs into submission with 50+ people. However in instanced content you can scale it to whatever parameters you'd like. 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 40, etc.

(Slightly off topic:) I pray to the gawds that they can balance the classes appropriately more than anything else honestly. That will also play a role in how they make the fights scale. I think they can do it, it just requires "fine-tuning" and not the overbuffing/heavy-handed nerfing we've seen in the past from SE (as well from Blizzard -_-)


That, too, is an aspect of the incentive structure within the gameplay, what some game designers refer to as feedback loops. A huge part of what makes a game fun is observing your progress towards your goal. When you're not really getting any meaningful feedback about your performance, it's difficult to enjoy the game. That feedback doesn't necessarily have to be immediate, or even good, but it has to come from somewhere. And when you do a good job, you should get a reward as further feedback. But when the reward isn't tied to your level of performance, the game doesn't feel fair or fun.

That's actually one of the reasons so many players prefer to solo... the feedback is 100% based on their performance. This makes them more engaged, and makes the outcomes more meaningful to them. And that's one of the reasons why I rail so hard against trinity-style party systems. They make a large chunk of the feedback codependent, when individualized performance and feedback really needs to be present as well. It's fine to have both, but I don't think we can count on systems that are entirely cooperative to be successful anymore. When they were the only kind of MMO on the market, it was easy to draw out that niche audience that it appealed to. A big chunk of WoW's success was due to the viability of soloing, drawing in an entirely different crowd of players--a much larger audience. But just because the soloer's market has been tapped doesn't mean that cooperative MMOs are going to appeal to those players. If anything, they're going to slam that MMO and give it a bad rap, and those players who might have enjoyed a more old school system are going to be put off by it.

The More You Know Smiley: schooled
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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.
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