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Article Series: Can FFXIV: ARR create “A Genre Reborn”?Follow

#102 Jul 22 2013 at 5:49 PM Rating: Good
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Part VIII and the final part of this series is now up.

For reasons explained in the epilogue of this article, this one-time series will not continue with the same pace or format as it had until now. I will not harass you anymore with responses in this thread, unless they pertain to discussing either the articles or elements discussed in the articles.

I hope you enjoyed this article series and found it interesting enough to finish it.

Of course, all feedback is welcome, positive or negative, about anything you read in there.

Thanks now, and take care!
#103 Jul 22 2013 at 6:34 PM Rating: Good
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The framework for how to make more dynamic npcs exist already if a developer would just look at other games and sponge up a bit of here and there to form a cohesive package from the whole.

My problem with "dynamic" NPCs is it can basically lead to ******** players if you're not on at the right time(s), do the right things for the most rewarding quest(s), and so on. Yes, NPCs evolving better to recognize you after you've done things for them or the area should be a thing, but I don't think anyone liked shop hours or closed days in FFXI. Time restrictions worked in Xenoblade only because you could literally change the time at will. If some kind of affinity system were to arise, however, I'd prefer it be between players, and indeed it could borrow from Xenoblade for things like boosting morale of someone who took a big hit, cheering on someone who did something clutch, and kind of tying it all together in some manner to give loot bonuses at the end of dungeons, more EXP per mob, or whatever. Could probably even build a currency system within that where you could use "hearts" to buy fluff items for friends, who might set up a wishlist of things their friends can gift them. Anyway, "reputation" translating to people being locked out of quest lines and such is also a bad thing. I know older MMOs did it back in the day, but that's both keeping players from content and devs ******** players out of their own work unless they go the extra, and often unreasonable. mile.
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#104 Jul 22 2013 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
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FilthMcNasty wrote:
KarlHungis wrote:
FFXIV had a huge opportunity (and may still have one) with guild leves. The original concept with guild leves seemed to suggest that they would be somewhat modular, that you would sort of earn the ability to customize your goals, group sizes, and rewards more as you went on. You can KIND of do this now by choosing the level of the leve and choosing from a list for each hub, but you're inevitably going to repeat the same leves a lot, and maybe never find the one that fits exactly what you're in the mood for.


Agree with this a hundred zillion percent. When I first envisioned guildleves (at least from how they were first described) I pictured the MMM system from FFXI, but tuned to work the way it could and should have. Sort of a mix between picking an underlying branch of storyline and running with it in a way completely unique to your character. This is what I was hoping they had in mind for their whole 'character progression without leveling up traditionally' path they started out on.


I forgot about those!
#105 Jul 22 2013 at 7:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Seriha wrote:
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The framework for how to make more dynamic npcs exist already if a developer would just look at other games and sponge up a bit of here and there to form a cohesive package from the whole.

My problem with "dynamic" NPCs is it can basically lead to ******** players if you're not on at the right time(s), do the right things for the most rewarding quest(s), and so on. Yes, NPCs evolving better to recognize you after you've done things for them or the area should be a thing, but I don't think anyone liked shop hours or closed days in FFXI. Time restrictions worked in Xenoblade only because you could literally change the time at will. If some kind of affinity system were to arise, however, I'd prefer it be between players, and indeed it could borrow from Xenoblade for things like boosting morale of someone who took a big hit, cheering on someone who did something clutch, and kind of tying it all together in some manner to give loot bonuses at the end of dungeons, more EXP per mob, or whatever. Could probably even build a currency system within that where you could use "hearts" to buy fluff items for friends, who might set up a wishlist of things their friends can gift them. Anyway, "reputation" translating to people being locked out of quest lines and such is also a bad thing. I know older MMOs did it back in the day, but that's both keeping players from content and devs ******** players out of their own work unless they go the extra, and often unreasonable. mile.

I agree with you and understand about feeling frustrated to not being on at the right time. I wasn't suggesting real time being involved into the mix just location which would be trackable in the npc tracker. I certainly do not want to see shops closed period.

I see you prefer an affinity system to be between players. I prefer it to be both npcs and players. I see reputation leading to lock players out of quest lines until you earn progress as progression. The same concept applies to gear, character abilities, etc. If you can do everything anyone else can regardless of the level it's not progression. A complaint about GW2 can be made about all the good stuff being do-able out of the gate. By the time you get to the end, you have seen everything a long time, and the new stuff doesn't seem much different.

It's a two sided die. Either you accept that npcs or the world stay static to make everything accessible and never frustrate players, but lead to the complaint Karlhungis had. Or you make the npc or world living and breathing introducing emergent gameplay, things aren't as accessible, and sometimes players get frustrated. I prefer the latter over this non reactive, filler quest of a thousand, with no input from me required except clicking on an npc and completing the quests. I love that an exclamation mark or journal give me all the info I need without having to look it up on the internet though.
#106 Jul 22 2013 at 8:35 PM Rating: Good
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You won't see me disagreeing about keeping game information as concise and locked within the game as possible. XI was certainly terrible about that with people needing guides/wikis for even basic quests, nevermind missions. As for GW2, I'd ague their endgame issue was they had no endgame. They put too much stock into forced syncing and expecting people who'd potentially done their dungeons while leveling would just want to keep spamming them at 80 for tokens and sidegrade gear from vendors. My complaint with that system even before launch was it essentially made their endgame little more than playing dress-up. Unfortunately, that still seems to be the case and they have this weird ***** for temporary content that's honestly no better to completely locking people away from quest path B if they chose A.

Still, I get yearning for more from quests than just collecting bear ***** with little lore connected to the task. Call it a necessary evil for the genre relative to production costs and time to give players menial things to do. This is certainly one of those instances where the monthly fee means the players should demand and expect more out of SE, and I'll continue to urge people to not be complacent and simply accept the status quo. Though, I'm also loathe of people simply saying, "Don't do that!" without bringing suggestions to the table. You don't want !'s floating over heads, fine. How do you propose quests initiate? Finding an item you bring to an NPC? Killing a specific mob, perhaps freeing a prisoner? I'd argue some of this will be blending in with FATEs if they're done right, but some of that "choice has consequences" angle seemingly idealized in WRPGs simply doesn't work in an MMO, or at least not well. I'd love to see cities rise and fall. I'd love to make an annoying mob family extinct. Yet that introduces a similar concern people have about vertical progression, and that's antiquating content. But literally outleveling stuff is different than outright eliminating it from the world. Nor does this really tap into the potential PvP elements and all the grief tactics that could follow. Coincidentally, this is why I see ArchAge failing here in the West, or at least not being a smash hit once it gets past its new game hype phase.

I really do wish stories meant more in MMOs, but I'm not blind to the fact they're more quickly consumed and more difficult to produce if you add the CS element. Players are also capable of creating and perpetuating the stories via RP with other players, but this also something that tends to get trivialized in relation to the combat systems, lacking rewards, and lacking tools to create/manage events and scenarios. My biggest thought on innovation to the genre will involve user-generated content. The players just need friendly tools. I don't think Rift's Dimensions system pulls that off, nor does Neverwinter's Foundry even though it at least allows an attempt at questing beyond building an area.

Anyway, I'm feeling like I might want to think on an affinity system more, but for the moment I've avoided posting on XIV's OF for lack of luck in XI, the language barrier, and knowing they have other priorities at the moment.
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#107 Jul 23 2013 at 5:14 PM Rating: Good
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I got a red username!!! Smiley: grinSmiley: coolSmiley: nod

Sorry, but this thread must have made up half my posts on my path to that colour change, so I thought I'd celebrate privately in here. Heh.

Edit: I suspect username colours are not strictly linked to number of posts, are they? I swear I saw people with blue or green ones having thousands of posts... Now I'm confused!

Edited, Jul 23rd 2013 7:19pm by Sovjohn
#108 Jul 23 2013 at 5:37 PM Rating: Good
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It's karma related. And talking about it will inevitably make you lose red. ;)

In general, it's easier to get such at lower post counts since the system runs on a sort of average. There are other factors like a slight decay per post, but if I recall, there was also a "bonus" of sorts added for those who've been around for years. But yeah, karma's kinda like Fight Club. :P
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#109 Jul 23 2013 at 5:39 PM Rating: Good
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Oh, I subconsciously linked it with my 100 posts. Sorry about that, didn't mean to spam. I guess this karma system is more intricate than I first thought! Heh.

Thanks for the insight.
#110 Jul 23 2013 at 5:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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Seriha wrote:
There are other factors like a slight decay per post, but if I recall, there was also a "bonus" of sorts added for those who've been around for years.
1) When you make a post, it starts with two ratings on it, both at your base rating at the time of the post.
2) A rate up adds 6 to the total score.
3a) Every even-numbered rate down adds 1 to the total score.
3b) The first rate down adds 1 to the total score.
3c) All other odd-numbered rate downs add -2 to the total score.
4a) The average (total score / # of ratings) is taken. (The number of ratings includes the two "automatic" ones.)
4b) If the average is greater than 5, it becomes 5.
5) The average then gets mapped to the rating words:
4.5+ - Excellent
3.5-4.499.. - Good
2.5-3.499.. - Decent
1.5-2.499.. - Default
0.5-1.499.. - Sub-Default
0-0.499.. - Unrated
<0 - Negative (only happens for nuked posts - the average can't fall below 0 otherwise)

That covers the per-post side of things.

A poster's base rating is figured as if all of those ratings were applied to the same post (so making a post keeps you at the same average initially - you go from (avg * # ratings)/(# ratings) to (avg * (# ratings + 2))/(# ratings + 2)), with new posters starting at exactly 3.
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#111 Jul 23 2013 at 5:48 PM Rating: Good
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I'll...be...damned.

If you skinned my right hand and forced me to apply salt on my wound, I'd never had surmised this system had such complex foundations.

/me sends a beer over to lolgaxe. Or an iced tea if he / she doesn't cope well with alcohol.
#112 Jul 23 2013 at 7:06 PM Rating: Decent
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She stays 'tipsy' Smiley: sly
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#113 Jul 30 2013 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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Hey there,

I just wanted to let you know that future articles and related content will be posted on Zam directly, since I talked to the editor and he seemed to be interested in hosting such content.

I will update the thread once the first article goes up, ETA end of this working week i.e. Friday or thereabouts.

Cheers, and I hope you enjoy reading future content =)
#114 Jul 30 2013 at 9:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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Grats on Admin Sovjohn. :)
#115 Jul 30 2013 at 10:02 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, congrats Smiley: smile
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#116 Jul 30 2013 at 10:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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Cool, grats Sovjohn!

Any ideas for future topics? An article a timed bit after release looking at the big picture of the release high and lows would probably make the ZAM FFXIV front page!
#117 Jul 30 2013 at 11:27 AM Rating: Good
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Hey there,

Thanks very much for the kind comments. I haven't decided on definite articles yet - plus, I don't own Zam, so they would need to be approved as an idea before publishing-, however options include:

Pre-beta phase 4:

The Fast or the Furious? - Let's talk about combat speed or
Jack of all trades, master of all - The importance of multi-classing or
Content is king - Keeping audiences engaged

During beta phase 4 and early access- (do note, this will depend on initial impressions and testing)

A special brand of PvP (Some info will be needed regarding the PvP skills and on the system in general before this gets a shot)
Home, sweet home - Giving players a place to call their own (self-explanatory :) )
...And more, if something comes up

Shortly after release, I plan to propose a piece highlighting the highs and lows indeed, especially comparing the release with recent MMORPGs of notable fame, including Guild Wars 2 or SW: TOR, since I was present in their respective releases. This will probably involve a technical analysis as well on networking and rendering and server capacity and what have you, since I have the background to do these as well.

If you have an idea for something to be covered / analysed to death / what have you, that'd be no problem at all for me to tackle Smiley: cool
#118 Jul 30 2013 at 11:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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Congrats on joining the team Smiley: thumbsup I'm a crappy writer so it will be good to have someone with better chops than I.
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#119 Jul 30 2013 at 11:30 AM Rating: Good
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Sovjohn wrote:
Hey there,

Thanks very much for the kind comments. I haven't decided on definite articles yet - plus, I don't own Zam, so they would need to be approved as an idea before publishing-, however options include:

Pre-beta phase 4:

The Fast or the Furious? - Let's talk about combat speed or
Jack of all trades, master of all - The importance of multi-classing or
Content is king - Keeping audiences engaged

During beta phase 4 and early access- (do note, this will depend on initial impressions and testing)

A special brand of PvP (Some info will be needed regarding the PvP skills and on the system in general before this gets a shot)
Home, sweet home - Giving players a place to call their own (self-explanatory :) )
...And more, if something comes up

Shortly after release, I plan to propose a piece highlighting the highs and lows indeed, especially comparing the release with recent MMORPGs of notable fame, including Guild Wars 2 or SW: TOR, since I was present in their respective releases. This will probably involve a technical analysis as well on networking and rendering and server capacity and what have you, since I have the background to do these as well.

If you have an idea for something to be covered / analysed to death / what have you, that'd be no problem at all for me to tackle Smiley: cool


Hey nice! Just saw they made you an admin... congratulations!

Well deserved, I've really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

Will they be posted here on Zam now that you're an admin?
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#120 Jul 30 2013 at 11:37 AM Rating: Good
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Hairspray wrote:

Hey nice! Just saw they made you an admin... congratulations!

Well deserved, I've really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

Will they be posted here on Zam now that you're an admin?


He said they are, yes.
#121 Jul 30 2013 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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I should point out that if you have any forum specific issues please still come to me for those. Also, Sovjohn won't tell you your karma score either Smiley: tongue
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#122 Jul 30 2013 at 11:59 AM Rating: Good
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Ravashack wrote:
Hairspray wrote:

Hey nice! Just saw they made you an admin... congratulations!

Well deserved, I've really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

Will they be posted here on Zam now that you're an admin?


He said they are, yes.


Thanks, I scrolled past that to the last post assuming I had read all previous posts. My bad.
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#123 Aug 06 2013 at 4:04 PM Rating: Good
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Sovjohn wrote:
Hey there,

Thanks very much for the kind comments. I haven't decided on definite articles yet - plus, I don't own Zam, so they would need to be approved as an idea before publishing-, however options include:

Pre-beta phase 4:

The Fast or the Furious? - Let's talk about combat speed or
Jack of all trades, master of all - The importance of multi-classing or
Content is king - Keeping audiences engaged

During beta phase 4 and early access- (do note, this will depend on initial impressions and testing)

A special brand of PvP (Some info will be needed regarding the PvP skills and on the system in general before this gets a shot)
Home, sweet home - Giving players a place to call their own (self-explanatory :) )
...And more, if something comes up

Shortly after release, I plan to propose a piece highlighting the highs and lows indeed, especially comparing the release with recent MMORPGs of notable fame, including Guild Wars 2 or SW: TOR, since I was present in their respective releases. This will probably involve a technical analysis as well on networking and rendering and server capacity and what have you, since I have the background to do these as well.

If you have an idea for something to be covered / analysed to death / what have you, that'd be no problem at all for me to tackle Smiley: cool


If anyone is still keeping tabs on this thread for any reason, I'd like to know if any of the proposed articles sounds better to you compared to their siblings...

Meh, who am I kidding, I'll probably end up writing them all. But if you have any preferences... Smiley: wink
#124 Aug 06 2013 at 5:00 PM Rating: Good
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I'm interested in the impressions of Multiclassing and PvP, but the idea of combat speed and arguing keeping players engaged are highly, highly subjective topics and can be very hot button when it comes to my tolerance level. A lot of people don't seem very flexible in their views and those two in particular will have a high chance of exploding.
#125 Aug 06 2013 at 5:17 PM Rating: Good
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I also would like to hear more about Multi-classing since it's something unique to the Final Fantasy MMOs.
#126 Aug 06 2013 at 8:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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HeroMystic wrote:
I also would like to hear more about Multi-classing since it's something unique to the Final Fantasy MMOs.

Same. Many games that involve subs tend to rely on alts to increase longevity within the game, keeping those that are "at endgame" on a main toon involved between content patches. FFXI & XIV obviously go a different approach. Do you think it lowers longevity within the game (less encouraging for alts), or increases it, due to being able to do "everything" with 1 character?

I know I loved that in XI I never "lost" skills starting a new job. I could take my SAM out to work on my archery skill, which mean that I could used Xbows on RNG, skilling up Marksmanship, so that my COR would be much more potent in lower levels, hitting with B+ gun WS rather than B dagger/C+ sword WS on crabs. It was my first MMO, but I still have a far greater bond with my Taru than any other toon I've created since - and my belief (and that's all it is) is that it is because I could do everything within the game with her. Other times it was a case of "oh, Priest/Shaman/Sentinel/Sniper looks good, I want to try it out!" only to realise that it meant a new toon. XI, it was maybe a quest, grab a new weapon & off we go! You know sword? Oh, first 25 levels are capped! Got a higher WHM? Have full-potency heals until level 40! You were always growing, without having to start over.
#127 Aug 06 2013 at 9:10 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Jack of all trades, master of all - The importance of multi-classing


This. My character name and design is actually encouraged by the fact of leveling all the classes/jobs.
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#128 Aug 06 2013 at 10:03 PM Rating: Good
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Are you accepting possible alternative topics as well?
#129 Aug 07 2013 at 1:33 AM Rating: Good
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Sure, the above are just current ideas, if there's anything else I find interesting I'll jump on it :)
#130 Aug 07 2013 at 3:27 AM Rating: Good
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carmelita wrote:
HeroMystic wrote:
I also would like to hear more about Multi-classing since it's something unique to the Final Fantasy MMOs.

Same. Many games that involve subs tend to rely on alts to increase longevity within the game, keeping those that are "at endgame" on a main toon involved between content patches. FFXI & XIV obviously go a different approach. Do you think it lowers longevity within the game (less encouraging for alts), or increases it, due to being able to do "everything" with 1 character?

I know I loved that in XI I never "lost" skills starting a new job. I could take my SAM out to work on my archery skill, which mean that I could used Xbows on RNG, skilling up Marksmanship, so that my COR would be much more potent in lower levels, hitting with B+ gun WS rather than B dagger/C+ sword WS on crabs. It was my first MMO, but I still have a far greater bond with my Taru than any other toon I've created since - and my belief (and that's all it is) is that it is because I could do everything within the game with her. Other times it was a case of "oh, Priest/Shaman/Sentinel/Sniper looks good, I want to try it out!" only to realise that it meant a new toon. XI, it was maybe a quest, grab a new weapon & off we go! You know sword? Oh, first 25 levels are capped! Got a higher WHM? Have full-potency heals until level 40! You were always growing, without having to start over.

I've personally never been a huge fan of alts. That was one thing I loved about FFXI. You got to know people by character name. You'd see someone out in the world and recognize them by name, regardless of what class they using. I look at games like WoW and GW2, and everyone has like numerous characters. I hardly recognize people in my own guild when they level alts because I don't recognize the name. It baffles me that other game companies don't follow SE's lead on this and make one character able to level all classes. The only thing I can think of is that they want people purchasing character slots.
Progressing one character is my idea of mmorpg, not rolling another character every time I want to use a different weapon. There's no reason why in a fantasy setting that a single character can't learn numerous abilities in different classes with different weapons.
#131 Aug 07 2013 at 9:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Just read the entire series of articles for the first time. It is simply the best assessment of MMORPG progression that I have seen, and makes me even more excited to implant myself back into the FF universe. Sovjohn, you are a great writer and keep up the good work!

http://www.ffxivrealm.com/blog-entries/can-ffxiv-arr-create-a-genre-reborn-part-i.211/
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#132 Aug 07 2013 at 3:14 PM Rating: Good
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Aww! Many thanks Valkayree. Don't worry, future articles will be handy on Zam -I have no idea about existing yet, but we'll see- and you won't have to travel far and wide to read them :)
#133 Aug 07 2013 at 3:26 PM Rating: Good
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Sovjohn wrote:
Aww! Many thanks Valkayree. Don't worry, future articles will be handy on Zam -I have no idea about existing yet, but we'll see- and you won't have to travel far and wide to read them :)


Awesome, you seem to have a professional grasp on the MMO design concept and can express it in a way that is very understandable. You press issues without bias. I am looking forward to reading more.
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