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I think ARR will succeed.Follow

#52 Feb 28 2013 at 11:38 AM Rating: Default
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Whales wrote:
I don't think MMORPG developers should be discouraged from attempting to innovate, but it is true that innovating simply because you want to be different is a bad game design strategy.
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I agree and I think that is why FFXIV was unsuccessful... They were trying to be completely different from FFXI... So many FFXI people went to play FFXIV naturally and were like what is this crap and were very vocal about it. FFXI is very successful game for a mmo and should be embraced instead of being run from. There are so many FFXI ex players looking for a similar experience but different and updated. FFXIV could be successful from just these players. You see people come back because they miss FFXI.

Most companies are not wlling to take a chance.. MS wont even support a game if there is a chance of failure. Games are becoming cookie cutter games.. Call of duty clones... I think the video game industry is going to crash. All these little kids want is COD and eventually with out innovation people are going to get bored.

Back to FFXIV

Not having a auction house bothers me.. It is easy to understand, it is easy for the gamer, it makes sense from a economy stand point.. Bring it back.






Edited, Feb 28th 2013 12:42pm by Nashred

Edited, Feb 28th 2013 12:45pm by Nashred
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#53 Feb 28 2013 at 11:43 AM Rating: Decent
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P.S.: In reality, the line between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is quite blurry.
#54 Feb 28 2013 at 12:13 PM Rating: Excellent
I definitely think FFXIV will succeed.

Square Enix is committed to the project, and the result will be a high-quality game that strongly appeals to the droves of Final Fantasy fans throughout the world. This game may not have the initial huge audience of a new F2P game like Guild Wars 2, but I can guarantee it will have much greater staying power.

Also, let's not forget one of the biggest things this game has going for it, which is the initial failure to launch on the PS3.

Way back when, tons of console gamers were eager to have an MMORPG, and they never got to experience the mess that was Version 1.0. Many of those gamers still want a console MMORPG, and they're still waiting to play FFXIV. On the console market, this game will have no real competition for those gamers. Not only that, but ARR will be of such high quality that even if there were some competition, the title would still do very well. Remember that many gamers (like me) chose a Playstation over an Xbox just because of the Final Fantasy titles.

With what we've seen in the video and from other sources, it's evident that this game will be a solid title that will be very appealing to a large number of people.
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#55 Feb 28 2013 at 1:51 PM Rating: Good
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PS3 is a huge factor. ****, FFXI on Xbox sold some consoles, and got a number of friends of mine to try ffxi.

Another thing to remember is that SE won't let it fail. They will lose money for years just to prove a point, because they don't have investors to pay back, like swtor and others.
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#56 Feb 28 2013 at 2:06 PM Rating: Decent
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Rinsui wrote:
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Intrinsic motivation is sustained by novel challenges that are well-balanced against the player's skill level

Unless, of course, you are talking about social gamers who are just there to to enjoy the community aspects... or to roleplay... or to find a girlfriend... or to enjoy the graphics... or because their friends invited them... or because it's the only MMO on the PS3... or because they like the franchise... or the storyline... or hope to date Yuna... or brag about learning Japanese while playing...

That's quite a part about motivation one should not overlook when talking about game design: motivation, even the intrinsic type, depends a lot on the audience you are targeting. Your principles certainly apply to many, but just as certainly there are many a narrow focus on the reward mechanics you consider pivotal does not apply to. Just my 2C.


I could write books on the subject, but I'm trying to be poignant here. The vast majority of the MMO subscribers have gameplay-oriented goals and motivations. It's a very small percentage that encompasses all of those other motivations combined. I would not agree that there are "many" who these principles don't apply to, not in any meaningful relative terms. The social element is the most compelling, but here it generally depends upon people who are enjoying the gameplay, and these days, there are numerous online social alternatives to MMOs. I didn't say that it wasn't an aspect of intrinsic motivation, mind you, just that it wasn't among the most influential. Four or five down the list, perhaps, but not likely at all to be the reason why the game succeeds or fails, is my point.

Rinsui wrote:
P.S.: In reality, the line between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is quite blurry.


It's really not. You can look at Deci and Ryan's theory of self determination and think of it as a blurry spectrum, but that whole perspective sort of glosses over the discrete nature of motivation (and is not especially well-defended). The line between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is simply this: Did you want to do it, or did you not want to do it, but did it anyway? If you try to examine it as a complex, long-term behavior such as "playing FFXIV," or "raising a child," only then does it start to look murky. If you're looking at it discretely, as in, "doing something in FFXIV right now," or "interacting with my child right now," the lines become black and white very quickly. The latter is how the effective experience designer works--they look at the parts of the experience required to build the whole experience. Playing FFXIV is comprised of many discrete instances of motivation, that frequently modulate between intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation.

But yes, a question like, "Are you intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated to play FFXIV?" is nonsense. Conscious and subconscious states are far too ephemeral to give meaning to such questions.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

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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.
#57 Feb 28 2013 at 2:08 PM Rating: Decent
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Remember that many gamers (like me) chose a Playstation over an Xbox just because of the Final Fantasy titles.


Remember that you're an administrator on a Final Fantasy forum. You are hardly representative of the population.
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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.
#58 Feb 28 2013 at 2:13 PM Rating: Excellent
I was a final fantasy player long before I even used the Internet. Me being a zam admin has zero to do with that.

I don't get paid anymore by Zam either, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, other than this being a franchise I've enjoyed for more than two decades.
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#59 Feb 28 2013 at 3:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Thayos wrote:
I was a final fantasy player long before I even used the Internet. Me being a zam admin has zero to do with that.

I don't get paid anymore by Zam either, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, other than this being a franchise I've enjoyed for more than two decades.


I think you're missing my point. I was pointing out the fact that you clearly have greater love for the franchise than even a longtime fan like me that you would be in your current position. You are not the "typical" FF fan. If anything, you are an outlier. Therefor, what is true for you is not necessarily extensible to the general population of FF fans, let alone gamers in general.
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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.
#60 Feb 28 2013 at 4:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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I was pointing out the fact that you clearly have greater love for the franchise than even a longtime fan like me that you would be in your current position.


If anything, I think I just happen to enjoy writing and conversation more than most gamers, and forums are perfect for that.

I'm extremely vocal through various other online outlets as well.
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#61 Feb 28 2013 at 9:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Thayos wrote:
Quote:
I was pointing out the fact that you clearly have greater love for the franchise than even a longtime fan like me that you would be in your current position.


If anything, I think I just happen to enjoy writing and conversation more than most gamers, and forums are perfect for that.

I'm extremely vocal through various other online outlets as well.


Oh durn, Thayos, you were on Masamune too? All this time... I never knew
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#62 Mar 01 2013 at 8:44 AM Rating: Decent
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Nashred wrote:
Whales wrote:
I don't think MMORPG developers should be discouraged from attempting to innovate, but it is true that innovating simply because you want to be different is a bad game design strategy.
.


I agree and I think that is why FFXIV was unsuccessful... They were trying to be completely different from FFXI... So many FFXI people went to play FFXIV naturally and were like what is this crap and were very vocal about it. FFXI is very successful game for a mmo and should be embraced instead of being run from. There are so many FFXI ex players looking for a similar experience but different and updated. FFXIV could be successful from just these players. You see people come back because they miss FFXI.

Most companies are not wlling to take a chance.. MS wont even support a game if there is a chance of failure. Games are becoming cookie cutter games.. Call of duty clones... I think the video game industry is going to crash. All these little kids want is COD and eventually with out innovation people are going to get bored.

Back to FFXIV

Not having a auction house bothers me.. It is easy to understand, it is easy for the gamer, it makes sense from a economy stand point.. Bring it back.




Couldn't have said better myself. Ex FFXI and MMO player I'm hoping they take what they know and have learned and polish the heck out of what they're doing for ARR.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 9:45am by MelloDark

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 9:47am by MelloDark
#63 Mar 01 2013 at 10:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kachi wrote:
Personally I liked all the sidegrades, though I didn't like the gearswapping per se.

In retrospect, you are probably correct, the sidegrades do allow for more events to be enjoyed without nullifying old rewards you may want to tote around for a long time to come, if for no other reasons than the memories associated with it's acquisition, or it's looks.

I remember being frustrated with the "side-grades" for sooooo long at 75 though, so perhaps that's where I developed that opinion. I guess 'at some point' you need to start fresh, and level cap increases really help that along. I can stand maybe 4 years of sidegrades for the same things, but after a while I'd like to feel like I moved 'forward' instead of 'sideways' (even if the feeling is artificial, and turns into another sidegrade session for the next four years).

My biggest frustration by far with FFXI though, to this day, was the "mid-combat gear-swap" stuff. I think it's horrible design to have someone popping in and out of gear instantly mid combat... not to mention it looks stupid (+1 for blinkmenot). For example, the possibility of starting a cast with fast-cast / haste gear on, then switching to mab / macc gear, and getting the best of all worlds is pretty damned stupid, it created this unnecessary greed where every single person wanted every single item for the off-chance that they might need to swap into it at some point. Or never deciding "whether to attack fast" with melee haste, or "hit harder" with other stats that effect regular hits and/or WS damage because you can maximize everything at once by abusing the swap system. Just dumb. This created extremely lazy gear design, which is why FFXI has so many pieces of gear that people "just don't use" because they couldn't possibly be upgrades. For a game mocked for the "tanaka balance" so much over the years, mid-combat gear-swapping being a core game-play mechanic for so long sure doesn't reflect well on the designers. ****, if it weren't for spellcast, I wouldn't even bother these days. It is my opinion that certain bonuses of AF / Relic / similar gear should at some point become "part" of the character, just like when you unlock weaponskills with certain weapons... there's no need to constantly swap into inferior / crappy gear for TH+1 for example... I don't understand why after 1000 mobs wearing those items they don't just become a permanent stat and eliminate the need for swaps.
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#64 Mar 01 2013 at 10:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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I never got into gear swapping myself, except for the elemental staves (thank you for the Chatoyant Staff!).
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#65 Mar 01 2013 at 10:53 AM Rating: Decent
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FUJILIVES wrote:

My biggest frustration by far with FFXI though, to this day, was the "mid-combat gear-swap" stuff. I think it's horrible design to have someone popping in and out of gear instantly mid combat... not to mention it looks stupid (+1 for blinkmenot). For example, the possibility of starting a cast with fast-cast / haste gear on, then switching to mab / macc gear, and getting the best of all worlds is pretty damned stupid, it created this unnecessary greed where every single person wanted every single item for the off-chance that they might need to swap into it at some point. Or never deciding "whether to attack fast" with melee haste, or "hit harder" with other stats that effect regular hits and/or WS damage because you can maximize everything at once by abusing the swap system. Just dumb.


I agree completely, it seems like some people really like this system(die heard endgame FFXI players that is), but I hated it. you had to make a macro switching yourself out of entire gear sets for the beginning, middle, and end of all your casts to be 'efficient' as possible, it was really dumb.

that "best of all worlds"idea that gear swapping introduces is to boring. even being able to swap to every elemental stave for each element is kind of silly. but THAT I was ok with.

its when I got to endgame and my friends convinced me that every single part of my gear every cape ring necklace and boot needed to be swapped out every 2 seconds where it got annoying. it's a huge part of FFXI, and I love FFXI, but gear switching is definitely something I didn't like about it

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 11:53am by Poubelle

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 11:55am by Poubelle
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#66 Mar 01 2013 at 10:55 AM Rating: Good
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FUJILIVES wrote:
[quote=Kachi]
My biggest frustration by far with FFXI though, to this day, was the "mid-combat gear-swap" stuff. I think it's horrible design to have someone popping in and out of gear instantly mid combat... not to mention it looks stupid (+1 for blinkmenot). For example, the possibility of starting a cast with fast-cast / haste gear on, then switching to mab / macc gear, and getting the best of all worlds is pretty damned stupid, it created this unnecessary greed where every single person wanted every single item for the off-chance that they might need to swap into it at some point. Or never deciding "whether to attack fast" with melee haste, or "hit harder" with other stats that effect regular hits and/or WS damage because you can maximize everything at once by abusing the swap system. Just dumb. This created extremely lazy gear design, which is why FFXI has so many pieces of gear that people "just don't use" because they couldn't possibly be upgrades. For a game mocked for the "tanaka balance" so much over the years, mid-combat gear-swapping being a core game-play mechanic for so long sure doesn't reflect well on the designers. sh*t, if it weren't for spellcast, I wouldn't even bother these days. It is my opinion that certain bonuses of AF / Relic / similar gear should at some point become "part" of the character, just like when you unlock weaponskills with certain weapons... there's no need to constantly swap into inferior / crappy gear for TH+1 for example... I don't understand why after 1000 mobs wearing those items they don't just become a permanent stat and eliminate the need for swaps.


I agree. I hated swapping gear. I hated having a TP set and then switching out for WS or anything like that. It was a huge frustration to me as a healer sometimes when I would cursor over someone to heal only to have them (and my cursor disappear), which I would then have to target and recast.

I hope the gear design makes more sense this time around.
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#67 Mar 01 2013 at 11:14 AM Rating: Default
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I enjoyed gear swapping.

It separated the good players from the mediocre, IMO, and allowed for a greater level customization. I played Blue Mage heavily though, which required 4-5 sets of gear because of the spells and melee. If we couldn't gearswap, that job would have been hugely nerfed because you would have to choose between str and dex for some spells, acc for melee, mind or int for many other spells, and refresh. As Pup, I would regularly swap on gear that allowed me to use triple manuevers without overloading.

****, I gear swapped in FFXIV as Bard. The AF just isn't as good as other gear options, so I would swap in a piece of AF for the song buff and then swap it out.

On the other side, gear swapping is annoying and was only essential in parts of FFXI because of design flaws. Forcing players to make tough decisions is what makes a game more engaging.

Quote:
It is my opinion that certain bonuses of AF / Relic / similar gear should at some point become "part" of the character, just like when you unlock weaponskills with certain weapons... there's no need to constantly swap into inferior / crappy gear for TH+1 for example... I don't understand why after 1000 mobs wearing those items they don't just become a permanent stat and eliminate the need for swaps.


This is why I hope they allow us to turn AF into materia, to allow us to put these unique bonuses on other gear.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:16pm by Louiscool
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#68 Mar 01 2013 at 11:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:

It separated the good players from the mediocre, IMO, and allowed for a greater level customization. I played Blue Mage heavily though, which required 4-5 sets of gear because of the spells and melee. If we couldn't gearswap, that job would have been hugely nerfed because you would have to choose between str and dex for some spells, acc for melee, mind or int for many other spells, and refresh. As Pup, I would regularly swap on gear that allowed me to use triple manuevers without overloading.


No it didn't, it enabled you to not have to make sacrifices. Typing a couple extra lines in a macro doesn't make you a better player, nor does programming a script in Windower. That just makes you a programmer. Conquering encounters by capitalizing on a job's strengths and how it interacts with other jobs in the party is what makes you a great player. Ensuring that you have no weaknesses was just a terrible game design.
#69 Mar 01 2013 at 11:23 AM Rating: Default
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Torrence wrote:
Louiscool wrote:

It separated the good players from the mediocre, IMO, and allowed for a greater level customization. I played Blue Mage heavily though, which required 4-5 sets of gear because of the spells and melee. If we couldn't gearswap, that job would have been hugely nerfed because you would have to choose between str and dex for some spells, acc for melee, mind or int for many other spells, and refresh. As Pup, I would regularly swap on gear that allowed me to use triple manuevers without overloading.


No it didn't, it enabled you to not have to make sacrifices. Typing a couple extra lines in a macro doesn't make you a better player, nor does programming a script in Windower. That just makes you a programmer. Conquering encounters by capitalizing on a job's strengths and how it interacts with other jobs in the party is what makes you a great player. Ensuring that you have no weaknesses was just a terrible game design.


this, and mindsets like Louis' are exactly why the gear swapping system was so bad
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#70 Mar 01 2013 at 11:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
It separated the good players from the mediocre, IMO, and allowed for a greater level customization. I played Blue Mage heavily though, which required 4-5 sets of gear because of the spells and melee. If we couldn't gearswap, that job would have been hugely nerfed because you would have to choose between str and dex for some spells, acc for melee, mind or int for many other spells, and refresh. As Pup, I would regularly swap on gear that allowed me to use triple manuevers without overloading.


It certainly did separate good and mediocre players.. but the question you should ask there is WHY did it separate them? And was that a good design choice?

Gear swapping introduced this huge and incredibly mathy metagame into the mix where you'd be calculating and optimizing every step of every action you took in combat. It made combat more about pushing this intricate series of macros (because 6 line limit absent third-party tools) in order to perform such complex feats as "using a job ability" or "casting a spell."

While I agree that players who were able to master this performed better than players who didn't, or didn't master it to such an extent; I'm not sure this was actually a good thing for the game.

Let's use your blue mage example, because it's brilliant. With gear swapping in place, you're maximizing each action you take, and you're setting up your spells ahead of time to take advantage of the gear you have. Cool. Ok. But what if there were no gear swapping mid-combat? Well you'd have to build ahead of time, and your build would be completely different. What you'd end up with would be different kinds of blue mage depending on what role they intended to fill. A blue mage focused on melee dps would probably lean a little more heavily on accuracy and strength, and they'd equip spells that lent themselves to that build. A blue mage focused on support and healing would be more interested in mind and magic accuracy, and they'd equip spells that helped them fulfill THAT role instead.

I definitely see why gear swapping was available in FFXI, I'm just not sure it was a good design choice overall when you consider what it does to the game's skill cap.

Shouldn't playing the game be more about overcoming challenges and defeating encounters than about writing masterful macros and manipulating the user interface?
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#71 Mar 01 2013 at 11:26 AM Rating: Decent
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I do agree that obviously there was a huge difference in efficiency based on how good your gear swapping macros were.

I'm saying that doesn't really make you a pro at the game in my opinion. but yes it did separate efficient players from non efficient ones who didnt want to bother with huge macros for every single action.

I agree it's just a matter of not being a good , fun design choice.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:27pm by Poubelle
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#72 Mar 01 2013 at 11:27 AM Rating: Default
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Torrence wrote:
Louiscool wrote:

It separated the good players from the mediocre, IMO, and allowed for a greater level customization. I played Blue Mage heavily though, which required 4-5 sets of gear because of the spells and melee. If we couldn't gearswap, that job would have been hugely nerfed because you would have to choose between str and dex for some spells, acc for melee, mind or int for many other spells, and refresh. As Pup, I would regularly swap on gear that allowed me to use triple manuevers without overloading.


No it didn't, it enabled you to not have to make sacrifices. Typing a couple extra lines in a macro doesn't make you a better player, nor does programming a script in Windower. That just makes you a programmer. Conquering encounters by capitalizing on a job's strengths and how it interacts with other jobs in the party is what makes you a great player. Ensuring that you have no weaknesses was just a terrible game design.


Even without "all these weaknesses" Blue Mage and Pup were "lol'd" at, and LFG for days and days. You can bet that this was partially due to full AF blue mages showing up to party without gear swaps and getting 50% melee accuracy because they sacrificed it for extra str on their spells. Again, this is due to bad design.

You can't tell me that you would prefer a blue mage without an accuracy gearset, an ninja without an evasion gearset for uts recast, a sam without a str set, or a mage without a resting /refresh gearset over a players with these things.

Quote:
Gear swapping introduced this huge and incredibly mathy metagame into the mix where you'd be calculating and optimizing every step of every action you took in combat.


Weirdly, this mathyness is something I miss in 14. I love min/maxing, call me weird.

But I agree that if EVERYONE could not gearswap, the meta would be different, the bar lower. You had ot gearswap because if you didn't you were left behind.

Still, some jobs had to make MUCH larger sacrifices than others.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:31pm by Louiscool

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:32pm by Louiscool
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#73 Mar 01 2013 at 11:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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You're missing the point entirely, Louis.

The fact that those sets were created was because only of the gear swap mechanic, years down the road. But it was flawed mechanic to begin with, balancing the game off the fact that you could equip whatever you wanted to counter all possible weaknesses. Instead of balancing the game around set equipment that encouraged better teamplay.

Instead of creating a maxed out WS gear for players or several means of reaching haste cap, there should have been better adjustments to older mechanics such as skillchains and magic bursts, that now only have a few tacked on condition appliers to them as the only means to justify them above TP spam.

It was one of many blatantly broken and unbalanced mechanics that actually did more to separate those who cheated the game by using Windower and other 3rd party equipment, than those who played fairly, due to how much of a limiter that 6 line macro restriction the base game still has to this day.

It was not a matter of skill, at all - and this is from someone who did quite a bit more than your average macro swaping.


When I cite FFXI in the negative, especially when it came to misuse of broken mechanics, equipment swamping is at the core of it. It should have been eliminated rather than encouraged - and from there, there could have been an entirely different course of history for that game, that likely would have stabilized a lot higher in numbers than it did. As it is, if you don't have windower (which violates the 3rd party program issue), you're gimping yourself. That's bad mechanics, period.
#74 Mar 01 2013 at 11:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:

Even without "all these weaknesses" Blue Mage and Pup were "lol'd" at, and LFG for days and days. You can bet that this was partially due to full AF blue mages showing up to party without gear swaps and getting 50% melee accuracy because they sacrificed it for extra str on their spells. Again, this is due to bad design.

You can't tell me that you would prefer a blue mage without an accuracy gearset, an ninja without an evasion gearset for uts recast, a sam without a str set, or a mage without a resting /refresh gearset over a players with these things.


Bad design, crappy player perception because some jobs were just TOO strong (yea, I'm looking at you SAM), I agree. But that doesn't mean that the gear swaps solved the problem or that it would be good design to keep it in XIV. For a min-maxer I see the attraction. For the rest of the world? An unnecessary level of complexity that will discourage players.

All that aside, haven't we had enough of inventory -999999 just for the sake of swapping in 1 pt of STR on a WS?
#75 Mar 01 2013 at 11:43 AM Rating: Default
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I think you're villianizing gear-swaps a bit too much, and assuming everyone who swapped used windower and scripts. It didn't limit me at all, as there were macros to switch macro pallettes, etc.

I don't think I'm missing the point at all. A simple game mechanic is at fault for everything you dislike about ffxi, right? Point gotten.

Quote:
gear swaps solved the problem or that it would be good design to keep it in XIV


Who is saying it is or should be in 14?

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:44pm by Louiscool
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#76 Mar 01 2013 at 11:45 AM Rating: Decent
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I never minded gear swaps, to me it was part of the game... What bothered me was not having enough lines in a macro to swap more gear and having multiple macros to do it.

Talking about gear... You know what I hated when abyssea came out for FFXI? Everyone looked exactly the same. Everyone is wearing the same gear and had the best gear in the game. Every White mage looked the same with the same gear, every monk looked the same.

How does the the gear work in FFXIV?



Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:49pm by Nashred
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#77 Mar 01 2013 at 11:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Re: Gearswapping. Most cases of gearswapping were no different from using any other stat-altering ability. Think of Warrior abilities like Berserk and Defender. Ultimately, they're no different from gear-swapping. It was just that everyone finally figured out that they could have these "abilities" all the time by switching their gear.

When these are done responsively in combat they reflect skill of the player-- e.g., switching into a water resist set right before being blasted by a water attack. When they're done as part of a regular rotation, they're just more steps to these optimal face-roll rotations that players frequently fall into, FFXI being no exception. They also made certain configurations possible... I enjoyed playing as SAM/rng for a long time only because I could swap into a ranged accuracy gear set.

So at times they were a great way to enhance the gameplay and embodied skillful play in the game. Other times they were just an annoying, funny-looking chore.

So what's the difference between the former and the latter, and how can we keep the one without the other? That's the question we should be asking. The answer that strikes me is to simply keep those mechanics while separating that particular functionality from the equipment. Basically, move those stat bonuses from the equipment grid to another grid, e.g., a crystal grid. Now in addition to trying to obtain equipment -which cannot be switched mid-combat- you're also seeking upgrades and sidegrades for your crystal grid, which you can switch out mid-combat to change your statistics in the middle of the battle in response to the situation.

That's one way to capitalize on what many players liked about gearswapping while dropping what many players hated about it. I suggested it in the first alpha (though I used materia at the time since materia didn't already exist); if anyone wants to try presenting it again feel free to C&P away.

It doesn't solve all the gameplay problems associated with gearswapping--for example, gearswapping for DD's was more often a set rotation that required little skill, because DD's largely do not interact with other party members (unless you count holding back to not draw hate). As a result, they have no opportunity for responsive play, little need for skill of any kind, and as a result are often happy just to have some more things to do, even if it's just activating a thoughtless ability like Berserk.
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#78 Mar 01 2013 at 11:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:
I

I don't think I'm missing the point at all. A simple game mechanic is at fault for everything you dislike about ffxi, right? Point gotten.


Don't get defensive, we're just discussing the pros and cons of the system. It's certainly part of a lot of things that were wrong with XI. Another problem was the utter lack of fatigue for melee classes, while mages always had to manage their resources carefully. It was unfair and unbalanced and XI is one of the few mmos where it's like that. Equipment being relevant from level 7 to 70? That's not good design, that horribly broken equipment that shouldn't have been available when it was.

But even those troubles didn't make the game unplayable or anything, just gave some folks a "wtf" feeling about the whole thing. It was a super fun game, and the fact that we can talk about it in such detail should be evidence enough that it was a game we loved. At some point, though, you have to look at the design and ask "is this something that attracted players or did it cost us community?"

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:53pm by Torrence
#79 Mar 01 2013 at 11:52 AM Rating: Decent
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Torrence wrote:
Thayos wrote:

I remember seeing an interview with a GW2 developer who was talking about the attractiveness of being able to play through the game on different characters.

Uh, no.

Having to play through the game multiple times just to experience the different jobs is a HORRIBLE feature of every MMO on the market except for FFXIV and FFXI.


Well, you do still have to play through the game on all those jobs. It's not like you level once and magically you have all the jobs at your disposal. So this comment is largely irrelevant.

That point aside, what the developer was referring to was experiencing the unique storylines (and this is ESPECIALLY true in GW2, which I take it you never played) and playing through the game to learn about the characters and their respective races. Each is unique, and there was nothing horrible about the feature. In fact, I did just what was suggested and tried out all the races and classes. Believe me, that was one aspect that was very well done. Each time it's like playing a new game, as opposed to... crab crab crab worm worm worm fly fly fly crab crab crab etc.


That's not to say I think it's a superior model - it's just a different one, and one that shouldn't be dismissed just because you don't understand it.

As an aside, achievements were made account wide in WoW. Just sayin.

Edited, Feb 27th 2013 10:12pm by Torrence


I like that idea..


Edited, Mar 1st 2013 12:54pm by Nashred
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#80 Mar 01 2013 at 12:03 PM Rating: Good
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I get the idea that in a vacuum the concept of a deviating story-line is one that would seem attractive.

But I'm going to put my confession bear face on and admit openly that I've never really desired that from a Final Fantasy game. It just does not scratch any itches I have to play a FF game with multiple endings. It breaks the comfort zone in that respect, as I'm used to having a wonderful story told to me as I aided my characters through it. (FFXIII-2 really didn't settle too well with their paradox endings.)

So if they do implement something like that, I'd advice them to be careful. Especially given the fact that the voice acting in GW2 wasn't very good in many of their plot paths.
#81 Mar 01 2013 at 1:06 PM Rating: Default
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Torrence wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
I

I don't think I'm missing the point at all. A simple game mechanic is at fault for everything you dislike about ffxi, right? Point gotten.


Don't get defensive, we're just discussing the pros and cons of the system. It's certainly part of a lot of things that were wrong with XI. Another problem was the utter lack of fatigue for melee classes, while mages always had to manage their resources carefully. It was unfair and unbalanced and XI is one of the few mmos where it's like that. Equipment being relevant from level 7 to 70? That's not good design, that horribly broken equipment that shouldn't have been available when it was.

But even those troubles didn't make the game unplayable or anything, just gave some folks a "wtf" feeling about the whole thing. It was a super fun game, and the fact that we can talk about it in such detail should be evidence enough that it was a game we loved. At some point, though, you have to look at the design and ask "is this something that attracted players or did it cost us community?"


Eh, it's just my opinions but I guess I'm in the minority.

To me, gearsets drove me to seek out that extra 1% haste on a belt, or a new ring with 2 more str, because they weren't replacing something else. It was an activity to seek out a great str gearset. In place of that system, what do you have?

1) Throwaway item system like WoW, where every new content makes your old gear useless.
2) Jack-Of-All gear, like Abysea and AF3, where one piece has all the stats you could ever dream of.
3) Weird and often failed mod system like FFXI, where stats are just randomly added.
4) Better, but still bad, materia system, where you spend millions upon millions of gil to try and triple meld your gear and have it blow up time after time, and then have a community that looks down on players who don't have the patience to throw away all their gil.

I like parts of the materia system, but the randomness of materia creation (your 150k item can turn into a 20 gil piece of npcable garbage) and tedium of socketting make me long for the days of gearswap.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 2:07pm by Louiscool
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#82 Mar 01 2013 at 1:24 PM Rating: Excellent


I actually play GW2 quite a bit. Played last night, actually.

That said, the storyline of Guild Wars 2 is so effing boring, I don't see why anyone would subject themselves to it more than once.

In FFXIV, you can experience all of the different jobs on the same character without having to continually replay the game. With the way FFXIV and FFXI were designed, having this ability makes your character more versatile, and also allows players more access to endgame events.

GW2 sorely lacks this.
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#83 Mar 01 2013 at 1:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:


1) Throwaway item system like WoW, where every new content makes your old gear useless.



It's super easy to be dismissive of WoW because with every expansion old stuff is obsoleted, but it's really not that bad. After you've completed the same raid ad nasuem for an entire two years worth of expansion, you are ready to move on and do something new. The challenge in WoW is in completing the content itself, and gear is just gravy. Throwaway is a strong word, but yea, getting attached to any one piece of gear is usually because it looks awesome and you want it for transmogrification\town wear and not because you waited in line 3 years to get it. Again - that kind of game design drove people away.

New gear will be coming with new content regardless, because that's the carrot on the stick that keeps people doing grindy stuff. The only difference is that instead of keeping everything you've ever gotten in your inventory, you get to upgrade.
#84 Mar 01 2013 at 1:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Torrence wrote:
Louiscool wrote:


1) Throwaway item system like WoW, where every new content makes your old gear useless.



It's super easy to be dismissive of WoW because with every expansion old stuff is obsoleted, but it's really not that bad.


I don't mean it to be dismissive, just using an example of a system that made more than a few people disheartened. I've never gotten that far in WoW, but SWTOR had a similar system, and you never felt like gear had any meaning. Like, in FFXI, I say Hauby, and you know immediately what it is, versus "Oh I got a new chest piece, who cares what it's called, its got 1 more att on it.

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#85 Mar 01 2013 at 1:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Thayos wrote:


That said, the storyline of Guild Wars 2 is so effing boring, I don't see why anyone would subject themselves to it more than once.

In FFXIV, you can experience all of the different jobs on the same character without having to continually replay the game. With the way FFXIV and FFXI were designed, having this ability makes your character more versatile, and also allows players more access to endgame events.

GW2 sorely lacks this.


Because it isn't all the same storyline for each race? http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Personal_storyline

And again, you do have to replay the game to experience all the jobs. You have to replay the same leveling content in the same zones in the same way, for every job. You are entitled to like one method better than the other, but don't paint it as if you play through the game once and never have to backtrack on anything again. Guild Wars 2 is an especially bad example because so much care was put into the individual stories. A better example might have been Rift. Talk about absolutely no individuality in the storyline or leveling process. Still, crab crab crab isn't much better.

As far as endgame - well GW2 is a PvP game. No one was really expecting them to nail PvE endgame.
#86 Mar 01 2013 at 2:03 PM Rating: Decent
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I agree with Archmage.. You say being a good player is about "Conquering encounters by capitalizing on a job's strengths and how it interacts with other jobs in the party." Well if that is a good player how MUCH MORE of a good player are you if you do THAT and capitalize on all the gear and the stats they bring that you worked hard to obtain?? ..I should be limited to one gear set?? If I took the time and effort to get pieces that are good for certain situations how does opting to use them make me a bad player? and gear swaping doesnt make you invicible lol... With regards to being a game bad design I dont know.. Thats a preference.. Some like it some whine about it..
#87 Mar 01 2013 at 2:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Torrence wrote:
Thayos wrote:


That said, the storyline of Guild Wars 2 is so effing boring, I don't see why anyone would subject themselves to it more than once.

In FFXIV, you can experience all of the different jobs on the same character without having to continually replay the game. With the way FFXIV and FFXI were designed, having this ability makes your character more versatile, and also allows players more access to endgame events.

GW2 sorely lacks this.


Because it isn't all the same storyline for each race? http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Personal_storyline

And again, you do have to replay the game to experience all the jobs. You have to replay the same leveling content in the same zones in the same way, for every job. You are entitled to like one method better than the other, but don't paint it as if you play through the game once and never have to backtrack on anything again. Guild Wars 2 is an especially bad example because so much care was put into the individual stories. A better example might have been Rift. Talk about absolutely no individuality in the storyline or leveling process. Still, crab crab crab isn't much better.

As far as endgame - well GW2 is a PvP game. No one was really expecting them to nail PvE endgame.


I think you're are confusing 14 with 11. Not saying it won't be similar, but it will have more variation (until everyone learns the best exp route and then only do that).

Still, the large difference is character diversity, not having to mail items to your alt, or refriend everyone, and have an identity in the world instead of many many unknowns.
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#88 Mar 01 2013 at 2:09 PM Rating: Default
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Torrence wrote:
Louiscool wrote:

Even without "all these weaknesses" Blue Mage and Pup were "lol'd" at, and LFG for days and days. You can bet that this was partially due to full AF blue mages showing up to party without gear swaps and getting 50% melee accuracy because they sacrificed it for extra str on their spells. Again, this is due to bad design.

You can't tell me that you would prefer a blue mage without an accuracy gearset, an ninja without an evasion gearset for uts recast, a sam without a str set, or a mage without a resting /refresh gearset over a players with these things.


Bad design, crappy player perception because some jobs were just TOO strong (yea, I'm looking at you SAM), I agree. But that doesn't mean that the gear swaps solved the problem or that it would be good design to keep it in XIV. For a min-maxer I see the attraction. For the rest of the world? An unnecessary level of complexity that will discourage players.

All that aside, haven't we had enough of inventory -999999 just for the sake of swapping in 1 pt of STR on a WS?


I lol'd hard about that.. I wont lie sam was crazy strong haha.. that was my main.. Sam was STR thirsty!
#89 Mar 01 2013 at 2:11 PM Rating: Default
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Well even though i do not have much experience with FF i used to play WoW (before i switch to other MMOs) quite a lot.If i remember it correctly the gear system wow had wasn't that bad. You see, you need that extra push in attributes only if you were doing end game raids etc. I don't want to get into too much details in that but if you weren't doing the end game raids and you were just exploring, doing quests etc or normal raids you didn't have to go for the best gear. But you can't expect to have lets say 3 expansions and your gear from day one to still be the best.

That way you don't have anything to look for when new sets come out. What i believe is if you have a good balance in the time between expansions (meaning you don't get a new one a few months after the previous) and players were able to get their hands in the new gear and use it, they would be ready to try and get their hands on the new gear from the next expansion.

With that been said wow had certain gear sets for each class so you would find the end game players of the same class having the exact same gear. I do not know if that was good or not to be honest.

I do hope i remember things correctly and haven't made a fool out of myself! >_<
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#90 Mar 01 2013 at 3:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Louiscool wrote:

Still, the large difference is character diversity, not having to mail items to your alt, or refriend everyone, and have an identity in the world instead of many many unknowns.


I wasn't arguing that the many characters model is superior, just that it isn't exactly a failure on the specific points we were discussing (leveling, storyline, etc.).

What started the discussion was this comment:
Quote:
I remember seeing an interview with a GW2 developer who was talking about the attractiveness of being able to play through the game on different characters.

Uh, no.

Having to play through the game multiple times just to experience the different jobs is a HORRIBLE feature of every MMO on the market except for FFXIV and FFXI.


Which kind of misrepresented the leveling experience and made it seem like you went through the grind in XI\XIV once and were done, while indicating that there's nothing attractive about leveling different jobs in other games - specifically GW2. Let's keep it in context.
#91 Mar 01 2013 at 5:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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And again, you do have to replay the game to experience all the jobs. You have to replay the same leveling content in the same zones in the same way, for every job.


I don't think we're talking about the same version of FFXIV.

In A Realm Reborn, people will be able to level through questing, dungeons, hunting logs, exp parties, etc. There will be low-level quests in each city that people can use for leveling different jobs, as well as different dungeons in different areas, and different FATES all over the place.

Unlike FFXI (or FFXIV 1.x), this version of FFXIV is being built so that players can play on the various jobs without having to spam the same content.

And, yes, the storytelling in Guild Wars 2 is really bad. Considering how awesomely polished the mechanics of that game are, it's really kind of shocking how lame the storylines and voice acting are. Of all the people I know who've played GW2, only one was impressed at all with his personal story, and even he said it was nothing to get too excited about. Everyone else I know who plays GW2 has no motivation to log in anymore... and not because of issues with endgame, but because they can't find any "epic meaning" in running around collecting vistas and heart quests.

I'm level 70, and I have yet to even glimpse this big dragon that is allegedly threatening all of existence.

My point stands. Guild Wars 2 is very polished mechanically, but just to play the basic content on one job requires playing through a subpar/average story. It's too early to speak to the mechanics of FFXIV, but at least you'll be able to try all the jobs on your character, and I can guarantee the story will be much more worthwhile than what GW2 produced.


EDIT: And if I DID decide to play through Guild Wars 2 on a different job, you know what I'd have to look forward to? The same heart quests, the same vista points, the same public quests. Grinding through all of that on one character should be enough.

SECOND EDIT: Just to be clear, I actually like playing GW2, when I build up the motivation to log in. However, I like it in the same way that I like single-player games. It just lacks the soul that makes good MMOs special.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 3:16pm by Thayos
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#92 Mar 01 2013 at 9:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Torrence wrote:
Thayos wrote:


That said, the storyline of Guild Wars 2 is so effing boring, I don't see why anyone would subject themselves to it more than once.

In FFXIV, you can experience all of the different jobs on the same character without having to continually replay the game. With the way FFXIV and FFXI were designed, having this ability makes your character more versatile, and also allows players more access to endgame events.

GW2 sorely lacks this.


Because it isn't all the same storyline for each race? http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Personal_storyline

And again, you do have to replay the game to experience all the jobs. You have to replay the same leveling content in the same zones in the same way, for every job. You are entitled to like one method better than the other, but don't paint it as if you play through the game once and never have to backtrack on anything again. Guild Wars 2 is an especially bad example because so much care was put into the individual stories. A better example might have been Rift. Talk about absolutely no individuality in the storyline or leveling process. Still, crab crab crab isn't much better.

As far as endgame - well GW2 is a PvP game. No one was really expecting them to nail PvE endgame.


For a PvP game, the class balance is pretty awful.

But like others, I didn't have any interest in playing new characters. Started to, couldn't get into it. 95% of the game experience is the same on a new character, even with a new class, new race, and new missions. So what it boils down to is that they created a LOT of content that I could have enjoyed on my first character, but instead will never see. And that, to me, is a huge design flaw, at least insofar as the management of their developmental resources.

Quote:

EDIT: And if I DID decide to play through Guild Wars 2 on a different job, you know what I'd have to look forward to? The same heart quests, the same vista points, the same public quests. Grinding through all of that on one character should be enough.


Basically, what Thayos said.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 9:57pm by Kachi
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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.
#93 Mar 01 2013 at 11:43 PM Rating: Good
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On the topic of gear swapping/min-maxing...

I liked it, because at the time I had time to try to get the best gear and that added a weird sort of depth. I didn't level further because I was either farming gil, hunting NMs or doing BCNMs. And I was fine with that. I needed to have the best gear to play (and swap) with the JP groups at 4am especially as a tank. Leveling subs also factored into this just the same. Again this was excusable at the time for a myriad of reasons.

But I can understand (now that I can't play 'til 4am) why the gear swapping "mechanic" is more flaw than anything else.

Sure DDs and others now-a-days can more easily get by especially if they have a LOLWS or just by nature of a new game people are going to advance despite their gear and skill, but in the end people are going to min/max anyway. Gear swapping just magnifies that and adds a time sink where there shouldn't be one.

What should take precedence is skill, or at least a focus more on well timed abilities. It should be somewhere around (I really haven't put too much thought into this) 60-70% skill based, and 30-40% gear based.

Think of it like racing cars on a circuit. A Mazda Miata (low powered car) on a technical course could beat a Corvette (a high powered car) if the driver in the Miata was very good. On paper the Corvette should crush the Miata, but in some cases it doesn't. In this case the Corvette has the (high powered gear) but is nerfed by racing on a technical track.

In short we need to reward the skillful rather than ones who can throw money around and have awesome gear and are crappy players. To add even more depth if you have great gear and are a great player, you're going to have to alter your playing style anyway, as evidenced in FFXI where sometimes restraint was needed. Sure that DRK had a Hauberk +1 but always got the group killed by drawing too much hate. The "undergeared" player on the other hand would have to play super great; at a high clip to even think about drawing more hate, but this also should be more exciting, skillful and fun.

But I don't know, I love getting new gear, just as I'd love to have a new Corvette (and I think most people would) rather than driving around in a Miata just to prove a point...

EDIT: Apparently these are the things I think about on Friday nights...lol.

Edited, Mar 2nd 2013 12:44am by Kierk
#94 Mar 02 2013 at 12:07 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
in the end people are going to min/max anyway. Gear swapping just magnifies that and adds a time sink where there shouldn't be one.

What should take precedence is skill, or at least a focus more on well timed abilities. It should be somewhere around (I really haven't put too much thought into this) 60-70% skill based, and 30-40% gear based.


See, I think you're raising some good points that are leading you conclusions that are not necessarily wrong, but miss the mark a bit. The gear is an incentive--that's the purpose that gear serves in an MMO. You kill a monster, for example, and your reward is gear. The gear is the reason why you kill the monster. When you were playing, you set your goals around that. And that's the way MMOs are designed. It's one of the main elements that I'm referring to when I talk about the incentive structure of the game.

But you also noticed that your goals for obtaining gear were not necessarily leading you to have fun. You weren't pursuing the battles that were the most interesting, and getting the gear didn't necessarily enhance your gameplay experience in the way that say, a new ability might.

You're right about the importance of skill, too, but which kind of skill is the question. Should it be reflex-oriented, or it should be strategic... or both? Gear-swapping, or at least the mechanic of on-the-fly statistical changes that it represents, can play into either of these. It can be either type of skill. But it isn't innately skillful, if you're just working that gear into a faceroll rotation that requires no forethought.

So again, if you're looking at gear-swapping as a feature, then it tells you nothing about whether the game will be good or bad. It's how that mechanic functions in terms of skillful gameplay (re: challenge), and as an incentive to participate in the fun content. FFXI didn't do either of these things particularly well, or rather, it didn't do these things purposefully, intentionally, and thoughtfully. It did them well sometimes entirely by accident, and that's why it had a measure of success with many players, and not with others.
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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.
#95 Mar 02 2013 at 1:47 AM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
FFXI didn't do either of these things particularly well, or rather, it didn't do these things purposefully, intentionally, and thoughtfully. It did them well sometimes entirely by accident, and that's why it had a measure of success with many players, and not with others.


I agree with pretty much everything especially for this quoted part.

I don't think SE (quite humorously) really had any idea what they were doing with FFXI, and instead of realizing what worked for them in FFXI and what didn't, they haphazardly carried that same tradition with 1.0. And in one sense it's like trying to analyze an accidentally good poem without an intention. Sure some mechanics (in FFXI) turned out good, but it was either by virtue of the mechanic itself, or how the players interpreted it.

Without getting too far off track another example of not knowing what the heck they were doing: the Ninja's role as tank was IMO supposed to be an optimal puller/damage dealer, (which again I'm not sure groups were supposed to remain in a static camp, but whatever) but never flurished in that role, because it was broken. Players figured out ways to cancel shadows, chain Utsusemi and up their evasion, (which was worse than THF). They were supposed to throw things cause damage, but weren't really good at that either, but somehow turned out to be one of the most useful classes in the game; despite SE's intentions or lack thereof.

So I guess that brings me back to some sort of more general point of intention and what actually comes to fruition in a MMO... and if that really matters at all.
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To circle back around, these sorts of "meta-games" of min/maxing can probably be implemented more within the skill based system instead of being placed on mechanics like gear swapping.

My best moments in FFXI were playing solo, because I liked the challenge and in some cases, before FoV/GoV came out (in the early days) it beat out, waiting around/gambling on a group.

But, you're right in terms of motivation, my absolute best moments when I solo'ed my for things that mattered. Namely gear, more specifically AF gear. I don't know if they are psychologically separate entities, but AF represented coolness, nostalgia, good stats, and with completion of the set even better stats. Along with it was a story. It sent you on varied locales. And when doing these things solo; in an otherwise group biased game, it even added more motivation/skill level to complete. Add in the sense of community (When I almost died soloing the bomb and a stranger healed me) and I would assume you have a lot of the motivational factors covered; which made the game, at least in that respect, so addicting.

But (again) the skill part (in some ways), was added by me, even though I went in when I was a bit higher level. (I even soloed a lot of the rank missions; when it came to Maat, he was a piece of cake) These things, like leveling THF to try to get keys solo, and not relying on groups says more about me and how I found enjoyment of the game. I never made it to endgame, but I didn't care, because FFXI had an unintentional horizontal depth, that really only catered (now that I think about it) to the masochistic.
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ARR, and MMOs need to have that sort of depth to be successful. Without rehashing all of the old arguments, something needs to be done to add longevity that isn't endgame. GW2 kinda did that, it was fun (in a reflex type way) it made you explore, but in addition to a thin endgame once you went through the main areas (and discarded them) that was it. The goal was always to level regardless of the attempts to do otherwise.

If (to close a long and disjointed post) ARR can't bank on the FF name and WoW-like mechanics (over simplifying, I know) like I have stated in the past even though I think it will be initially popular, there needs to both be innovation and depth (non endgame) to really succeed.
#96 Mar 02 2013 at 2:22 AM Rating: Excellent
Agree about FFXI. There were a lot of things about that game that worked really well, but probably not intentionally.

One thing that I think was crucial was having benchmarks along the leveling path of each job that required help from others. Back in the day, players looked forward to getting their RSE around level 30, then limit break 1 items at level 50, followed by farming coffer keys and hunting coffers in dungeons from lvl 51-60, followed by the eventual Maat fight, etc.

Also, Square Enix had the guts to create gateways to certain zones of the game. Players had to earn their way to LuFaise Meadows, Sea, Sky, etc. Again, this created benchmarks and a sense of accomplishment for players as they worked toward endgame.

Other benchmarks included awesome weapons and armor dropped by NMs with very low drop rates or insanely long spawn windows. Many players considered getting items from these NMs to be a requirement for playing your job well... almost like a rite of passage, too. Again, this created a strong sense of progression, and also introduced competition and comraderie between players that had nothing to do with game design.

I'm not counting on FFXIV:ARR to have these kinds of elements in place; I don't think today's average gamer could have fun with that kind of stuff.
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#97 Mar 02 2013 at 2:27 AM Rating: Decent
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I'm just going to hone in on a couple of things here:

Quote:
To circle back around, these sorts of "meta-games" of min/maxing can probably be implemented more within the skill based system instead of being placed on mechanics like gear swapping.


The thing about gear-swapping mechanics, or lets say stat-swapping mechanics (what they really are) is that they're easy. Changing numbers around is the easiest thing for a game designer to do. An ability which raises or lowers a number requires very little thought or time. When development resources like time and manpower are considered, these can become a very -efficient- way of creating a large number of incentives (via pieces of gear). They are not particularly -interesting- incentives, however. They very seldom change the way a person plays the game, not in the way a skill like Sneak Attack or Trick Attack would-- cooperative or positional elements which present greater difficulty in development.

As an example, in the summoner thread, someone mentioned how cool it would be if they could go around fighting all of the old summons, and get them as a reward. What a cool idea! But requires a lot of resources to develop. Now, I actually don't think this is the reason it isn't done... the designers just don't really think of doing it more often.

Point being, in an ideal game, your incentives aren't just minor statistical differences, because those differences don't meaningfully change the way the game is played (part of what I refer to when I talk about the importance of novelty), which I think is what you're driving at. In the best case scenario, the incentives actually add to the skill of the game, creating a snowball effect where new incentives lead to new gameplay which lead to new incentives, etc. This is the ideal modulation of intrinsic motivation to extrinsic motivation, if you'll pardon the technical jargon.

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Now, considering your examples of FFXI, we can see that it very seldom awarded you with new gameplay opportunities, and often required you to even repeat content many times over just to get a minor statistical bonus. "Masochistic" is spot on. Then you have GW2, which absolutely THREW incentives like this at you in the early game, but left nothing for the end game. It it was easy to create your "ideal" configuration by mid-game, so the game literally ran out of incentives. It also limited how many you could viably use. Some were weak and useless; others didn't work well in conjunction, and you could only take a handful, so there weren't many viable combinations in reality. In theory, there were a lot of things you could play with, but they always required you to sacrifice things like your current setup, so you were rarely "gaining" from them.

I'm not disagreeing with anything you've said, you'll notice, but I could see that you were working out some of the important concepts of game design. That is basically why I come here-- to be able to better articulate and gain a deeper understanding of those concepts. I find bouncing these ideas around helpful.
____________________________
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.
#98 Mar 02 2013 at 2:33 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I'm not counting on FFXIV:ARR to have these kinds of elements in place; I don't think today's average gamer could have fun with that kind of stuff.


Oh, I don't agree with that at all. Jesse Schell actually gave a good talk pretty recently about how important it was for players to find meaning in their games--to experience real accomplishment and connection. (Unfortunately all most people took from it was a few seconds where he noted that demos ended up causing games to be less successful.)

Overcoming difficult challenges is an important quality of a successful game. It's when the players perceive the challenge as unfair or unreasonable that they become frustrated. This would be a problem in games like FFXI because FFXI wasn't and didn't try to be fair--for example, certain classes had a much tougher time overcoming the content than others. Most of the players who stuck around in XI were those who were able to accept that the game was horrendously imbalanced and that there were very few efforts to change that.
____________________________
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.
#99 Mar 02 2013 at 3:16 AM Rating: Decent
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An MMO game designer has a much harder time than any other game designer. You always work in a setting where systems are closely linked together and changing something as simple as a number can have and most of the time wil have a snowball effect.

If the designer doesn't have a tight grip over the gameplay (presenting only so many choices to players that the variables can be managed) then the effects of a simple change can have many unintended consequences that are hard if not impossible to predict. However the community WILL find them and take advantage ruthlessly.

Just saying since you seem to think that the numbers game is easy and effortless. if the game is not in designer's control it can be hard if not impossible to do right.
#100 Mar 02 2013 at 3:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Hyanmen wrote:
An MMO game designer has a much harder time than any other game designer. You always work in a setting where systems are closely linked together and changing something as simple as a number can have and most of the time wil have a snowball effect.

If the designer doesn't have a tight grip over the gameplay (presenting only so many choices to players that the variables can be managed) then the effects of a simple change can have many unintended consequences that are hard if not impossible to predict. However the community WILL find them and take advantage ruthlessly.

Just saying since you seem to think that the numbers game is easy and effortless. if the game is not in designer's control it can be hard if not impossible to do right.


I've said all of these things at some point or another; it's nothing I'm unaware of. I don't pretend that it's easy, and I'm pretty sure I said something to the effect of how impossible it was to grasp all of the systems and their interrelatedness simultaneously what, like, yesterday? I believe it was yesterday. It's not easy, but it's not THAT hard either. You do have to go in with the expectation that some things are going to be imbalanced, and plan to adjust them later. You just try not to make critical mistakes that will require major overhauls. Getting the numbers ballpark is good enough for the first draft. And that usually still means major revisions to the numbers across the board.

It's not like the game is entirely in the designer's control when it comes to large-scale projects like an MMO in the first place. It takes greater than grandmaster chess skills to predict all the ins, outs, ups and downs of an MMO's design. That's the purpose of the iterative design process. So it's foolish to maintain a "tight grip" over the gameplay if doing so reduces play possibilities. You really just have to be swift with the nerf bat. As long as you're prepared to adjust the numbers, it doesn't matter if players find some numbers that are too powerful.

Edit: In short, I guess I am saying that it's pretty easy and effortless. It's a trial and error approach. If something sucks and no one uses it, you raise the numbers. If it's too strong and everybody is using it, you lower the numbers. As long as you built the system on a solid foundation, those changes won't necessitate system-wide changes. It's hard to get it right on the first try relying on theory and estimation... it's really easy to fix problems in practice.

Edited, Mar 2nd 2013 1:32am by Kachi
____________________________
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.
#101 Mar 02 2013 at 3:43 AM Rating: Decent
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3,416 posts
If you don't have a tight grip over the gameplay then you can never be swift enough to deal with the community. They are always faster and more efficient.

If you can't predict exactly what your changes will do then you are the loser in the race. If you throw the ball to the community (let them choose more than can be chewed), you are already dead. At least from a balance perspective.

Its no wonder the number changing game is favored by every MMO.
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