There is no 'raid progress' in XI. It's not a progression model for anything outside of einherjar/nyzul. I can't speak on SoA, but XI was never based on progression and there are no encounters that would require you to have a specific item level to participate.
And there's your problem. There now is a raid progression. SoA is all about the ladder upwards. As I detailed elsewhere here, you need to go through the tiers of gear. This gear can all be obtained without touching the AH. Pink/Teal/Perle can be obtained via Cruor (And I think they gave away enough free recently to buy one entire set), you can use dropped or trial weapons to fill in the gaps, then grind Bayld and/or Empyrean to get the next set, then do Skirmish for more gear, then do Delve for even more gear. Prior to that, you can mindlessly grind GoV pages, the FFXI equivalent to FATEs now, with whatever gear you can piecemeal together, allowing your level to be the bigger factor in completing pages rather than gear superiority. There are now pretty hard gear caps too. Sure, you can try it with less, but you are wasting your efforts and pop items unless you are up to par. FFXI now actually has iLVL being incorporated into it as well.
And you could, in fact, have multiple 100's (or 120's I think now) on level 1 mules. I had a few friends back in the day with 2 mules at 100 in different crafts. They enjoyed that, and essentially if someone wanted to, they could become that same island if they wanted to. I would not recommend it, as crafts are virtually useless now. Everything is earned by various points earned by raiding. There are a few bits of purchasable gear that are decent, but you're better off speedgrinding an Empyrean weapon both to gain access to the higher content and in hopes that they will eventually buff that weapon.
I never said that. I said allowing people to gear themselves in raid equivalent gear will cause them to skip content. The wards are removed from the equation. If anyone can create the gear then they're not going to buy it from the wards, they'll just get it themselves.
And given that, as every MMO reaches old age and lower server population this is a good thing, I don't see a single problem with that. And so what if they can skip content. As I said, as the game ages, people won't do that content anyway. So keeping crafted gear in lockstep with the current endgame would allow people to not feel so out of the loop, and allow them to rejoin the gear hunt later if they have to leave the game for any number of reasons.
Just to keep length down, just wanted to say it is cool to get a view on another system. I can understand their controls on crafting, it works for that game. I really hope, however, that it doesn't move to here. In WoW, you aren't likely to have multiple high level raiding characters. FFXIV is a different creature. With the ability to reach 50 on multiple jobs/classes on a single character, you may want to gear them all up. Having the option to gear jobs that you don't primarily play in slightly lesser gear in order to be more valuable to your FC/friends in helping them farm items would be a great option.
You saw an opportunity to put me down and you took it. No big deal.
I wasn't putting you down, I was saying your argument, and that statement, was stupid and ridiculous.
I compared elements of a game to real situations. I didn't say that defeating an encounter in an MMO was the same as climbing a mountain. You read it as one thing being the same as the other when all I did was equate specific ideas about the two. You form a strategy to defeat an encounter much the same way you form a strategy for climbing a rock face. For that reason, I feel the comparison was valid. It was never about the act, just the steps taken to be successful.
And yet, you'd be wrong. My brother actually did climb mountains for a time, back in his younger days pre-kids. I can guarantee you he'd disagree that any strategy made at the base of a mountain lasts till the top. You can plan the trip (purchase enough equipment, hire the right guides if needed), you can assess the current status of the mountain to some degree, then hope (HOPE) that there isn't massive changes that totally invalidate your plan.
By contrast, boss encounters are largely the same. As I said, you don't go into Titan HM, and suddenly Titan is replaced by Bahamut or Garuda. That's exactly what happens in mountain climbing. A sudden storm, a rock slide/avalanche, and suddenly you now have an entirely different situation, one you can try to plan for but in the end have to overcome with your accumulated knowledge and skills. You can argue that having someone D/C or lag and die could be comparable, but realistically it isn't. If people lag out or disconnect, you likely will lose, despite your best efforts, because in the end the game has prerequisites for success, where as a mountain climber with vast experience could survive a disastrous turn based on his skills alone, defying all logical and mathematical odds of survival. If you can, after losing most of your party, defeat Titan HM from a totally unwinnable amount of life remaining and/or time, then you'd have an argument. Edited, Oct 8th 2013 10:54am by Pawkeshup