More from the Creator of Fatigue System Video

We interviewed the creator of the video that broke down FFXIV's new fatigue system.

The forum was buzzing last week about this thread, in which first-time ZAM poster Christian Malazarte posted a succinct, masterfully crafted video about the new fatigue system implemented in Final Fantasy XIV. We thought we'd catch up with him to get more information about his unique piece of work -- and to ask whether we can see more of him in the future.

Oddly enough, the favorable fatigue system video was born from Malazarte's displeasure with the beta version of FFXIV. He said he was originally disappointed by the news of a fatigue experience points system. Breaking down this new system would be beneficial to the playerbase, he thought. He began reading chat forums and interviews to gather facts and opinions about the system.

By the time Malazarte finished his video, his feelings regarding the fatigue system had changed. This is evident at the end of his video, which states the fatigue system gives players more freedom -- a claim that caused debate in the ZAM community.

Discuss this in the ZAM forums!

"Hey, if you want to spend 100 hours a week on your MMO, then that's your choice," Malazarte said. "But I can play for 20 hours a week on my MMO that basically accomplishes the same amount of character growth as you do on your MMO. Then I have 80 more hours to spend on something else. This is the freedom FFXIV gives you."

Scroll down for a longer statement from Malazarte about why he believes the fatigue system allows for more freedom.

The video took Malazarte three weeks to finish. He used Adobe After Effects for the project, which he says contains 12 parts and hundreds of layers. The video was narrated by Steve Petitt of Pongamoosic.com. Malazarte is very happy with his finished product, which was designed to help adventurers evaluate the system based on facts and not speculation.

"I'm happy to read all the comments that more people are actually beginning to understand the system," Malazarte said. "Especially this one post where a guy emailed the video to his friend who canceled his pre-order. And his friend replied with a copy of a new receipt for the Collector's Edition. So it was extremely gratifying to see that the video achieved what it was meant to."

Malazarte produced the fatigue system video for his FFXIV Tactics blog, which can be found on the Web site Linkshells.com. He registered the domain FFXIVtactics.com to give users an easy way to access his blog from memory. He envisions FFXIV Tactics being similar to TF2 Tactics, a site he founded in August 2009 to mediculously describe strategies used in playing Team Fortress II.

"The tactics videos (for TF2 Tactics) were pretty basic at first, just one tactic per video," Malazarte said. "But as time went on it grew more complicated, where one video could covered entire sections of strategy. And I imagine maybe a year from now FFXIV Tactics will become even more complicated. Especially looking at FFXIV, where it's possible to see hundreds of different class combinations and hundreds of character builds. It's pretty daunting. But I'm sure that's where we're heading."

Which means more videos are coming, Malazarte said -- and he intends to keep the quality high.

"Something I learned from TF2 Tactics was to never publish a video for the sake of publishing a video. Each video needs to be accurate, each video needs to be polished over and over until it is ready."

 

Listed below is Malazarte's full statement about freedom and the fatigue system.

Question from ZAM: The end of this video claims the system brings more freedom to FFXIV, while other players have criticized this system for supposedly limiting their freedom in the game. Can you elaborate on why you believe this system creates a more freedom for players?

Malazarte: "Haha! This is one question that I've wanted to answer. There are a lot of complicated answers to this. I myself will need graphs and charts to better illustrate my answer LOL. But here's an attempt at a simple answer "without the graphs". As a hardcore player, I am bound "tied" to the MMO that I'm playing. My goal is I want to be the best, I want to reach to the top as fast as I can, I want to be on the top of the list. So this requires spending X amount of time to beat the other guy who is also trying to be the best. But because we're all on the same boat, I don't have to spend all my time leveling. I don't have to worry, I have the freedom to do other things. Both in real life and in game. It frees me to craft and not worry about getting left behind. It frees me to make more videos because I know the guys who are playing in-game won't get too far ahead of me anyway. It frees my mind from worrying about how I can create more time to play so I can get ahead of the other guy. And most of all it frees me from the MMO demon that is eating my life away. I can actually have a real life now. Because for some of us, games are what we excel on. That's why it's so important for us to be the best. Hey if you want to spend 100 hours a week on your MMO then that's your choice. But I can play for 20 hours a week on my MMO that basically accomplishes the same amount of character growth as you do on your MMO. Then I have 80 more hours to spend on something else. This is the freedom FFXIV gives you."

Comments

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oh man
# Sep 21 2010 at 8:37 AM Rating: Good
17 posts
I'm gonna out level you
The freedom argument is based on assumption
# Sep 20 2010 at 10:58 PM Rating: Good
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I have never played an MMO and felt like I have to constantly be keeping up with some imaginary person. I always enjoy it when I take a break to go craft. I'm not sitting there worrying like I have OCD about someone always being ahead of me. That's the problem with this "freedom" argument is that it's made under the assumption that we're all participating in some race. No, I'm sorry, but that's something psychological with you, not everyone else.

I'll admit, there are systems that promote this race-like behavior, such as WoW's old honor system, but they can be replaced with friendlier systems, just like with WoW's. I don't think leveling up is one of these systems, however.

Most MMOs "end." The ones that don't are usually sandbox, like EVE. By end, I mean you hit a level cap and then you participate in whatever end-game activities the devs create. This is why I don't get the whole race mentality. What are you racing for? You pretend like you're trying to beat some other player. What advantage do you have in beating the other player? You all end up in the same spot. It's not like there's an actual winner to this race. So what if someone hits level cap before you? There are new players in WoW hitting the level cap every day. They aren't perpetually behind. They can still enjoy the leveling experience and catch up with their friends in no time. So again, I don't see a race at all. There is no reason to get to the "end" faster than anyone else. That same content will be there whether you take 1 month or 3 months to get there.
The freedom argument is based on assumption
# Sep 21 2010 at 5:43 PM Rating: Default
12 posts
Very good point, however I do agree with his statement, that being able to accomplish in 20 hours what other games require 80 hours to do, as giving me more freedom.

Take the whole race thing out of the picture. My personal reality is that I made friends in open beta who are hard core gamers. They play 6,7,8 even more hours every day. I have maybe 2 or 3 most days, and some days not at all. In other games, they will shoot way past me, and we'll never be able to group. Even if the game has a level-sync or mentoring program, it's not quite the same as being able to level up together.

I will concede that this system heavily favours the casual player. But let's be honest, it's not like hard core players are going to be sitting around picking their teeth.

One great thing I've seen about FFXIV is the sheer amount of stuff you can do. You have 7 Combat classes, 3 gathering classes, and 8 crafting classes you can level up. You also have story and guild leves you can do. And that's just what was in open beta. They will have more come launch, and shortly down the road, even more still.

Now I realize that this still doesn't satisfy everyone. But since when has anyone done anything that satisfied everyone? To me it seems like a very fair compromise. It allows casual gamers to progress at the same rate as hard core gamers. And as I said, in my situation, that let's me experience all the new content at the same time as my hard core friends. The difference? Their characters will be many times more versatile than mine and generally have better gear, especially if they took up a craft.

Not that I really expect something like this to change any minds that the video was unable to change, but for a great many of us, the fatigue system does indeed grant more freedom.

Whether your goal is to win an imaginary race against other players, or simply to have more time to spend on other things in the game, or with your family, your personal projects and other interests, your studies, or your friends out of the game, it really is a winning situation for most of us.

And besides, I think most of you hard core players know it's not healthy to spend so much time online, certainly not for prolonged stretches of time anyway, whether you admit it, want to be told that, or even have measures put in place that try and guide you to do what's best for yourself in the first place. I think that's the real issues most hard core players have. They don't want anyone to insinuate that there's a problem with the way they live their lives. Everyone else who understands what the system does for them and others, I think, can see that really, it's helping far more than it hurts.

My 2 cents.
survival of the fittest?
# Sep 20 2010 at 10:11 PM Rating: Decent
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@KaneKitty unfortunately people are competitive by nature, that is why we argue endlessly on forums and we almost never agree on anything. I like his answer to this, because people are naturally competitive and they don't want to get left behind, with this system they wont feel this is the case and they'll allow themselves to step away from the game without it lingering in the back of their minds. At the end of the day its still their choice of course, but this helps push people in that direction which I like...I may have not liked this during FFXI but unfortunately life has become quite a handful for me so this system actually helps me because it doesn't make the leveling curve steep and I will eventually reach cap and enjoy the game to its fullest...with FFXI, the extremely busy casual player could not do this - or maybe they could but they may have lost interest along the way (**** I was hardcore and managed one level 75 in 3 years of FFXI -.-).

Great article, thanks for that ZAM.
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survival of the fittest?
# Sep 21 2010 at 9:50 AM Rating: Decent
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3,530 posts
SolidMack wrote:
@KaneKitty unfortunately people are competitive by nature, that is why we argue endlessly on forums and we almost never agree on anything.


The whole "human nature" argument is not a strong one, especially when talking about forum arguments. If it were in our nature to do these things, there would not be so much dissent against these illusory competitors, nor would the feeling of constant, worrisome, stressful competition be so far from many of our minds when we play a game we enjoy.

In fact, it would be just as easy to say that, because humans originated in small, social parties where congeniality and group dynamics were paramount for their survival against the stronger, wild beasts, that simple arguments, like those you often find on a forum, go against the "human nature" you describe. The point is that an appeal to "human nature," whatever that actually means, is a shaky foundation at best.

In short, it's not human nature to want to hit level caps before people, and there is no reason to want to assiduously wish to do so, as there is no actual competition! If you think that it is also human nature to invent competition everywhere, especially where it does not exist, I think that the above paragraph curtails that argument as well, pointing out a flaw in this (and really, in any) "human nature" debate.

The reason we argue on forums is perhaps twofold:
1) People come from many different backgrounds and, based upon their education and experiences, form different opinions on issues.
2) A forum is, by definition, a place where people go to discuss things;
when 1 and 2 are combined, argument and discussion is formed.


Edited, Sep 21st 2010 11:58am by KaneKitty
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"... he called to himself a wizard, named Gallery, hoping by this means to escape the paying of the fifteen hundred crowns..." (Machen 15)

"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

"I could only read so much for this paper and the syphilis poem had to go."
Freedom from Oneself?
# Sep 20 2010 at 8:56 PM Rating: Decent
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3,530 posts
Malazarte wrote:
It frees me to craft and not worry about getting left behind. It frees me to make more videos because I know the guys who are playing in-game won't get too far ahead of me anyway. It frees my mind from worrying about how I can create more time to play so I can get ahead of the other guy. And most of all it frees me from the MMO demon that is eating my life away. I can actually have a real life now.


While the positivism is an interesting change from what I am used to seeing on the internet, I think that the better solution is for a player not to create phantom enemies against whom he competes. FFXIV is not a PvP-oriented game, and there is no "leaderboard." If a game brings you a high degree of worry, if your mind feels burdened by playing it, and if you desire most of all to stop playing it, I daresay you should not be playing it at all. In fact, you could have had a "real life" before -- it has always been as easy as a /logout.

Furthermore, you didn't need a complicated fatigue system to make you hit a cap, you could just play a game that has an easily-reachable level cap. I hear that, in some games, a person can hit the cap in less than two weeks; that is not "freedom," that is just an easy cap. If it looks like freedom, then you may have a problem. You impose these restrictions upon yourself, this illusory "other guy" and this fantasy of being "the best," and yet you act as though the game forces you to play!

Truly, the best players are those who enjoy themselves and who help bring enjoyment to others -- it's a game, a deeply complicated and engrossing game, but still a game, a pass-time, a hobby; it is not a stressful contest.

I know that you will probably continue looking behind yourself for the demonic other who wants to reach X level before you -- but do you know that no amount of arbitrary caps will allow you to vanquish him? What's to stop him from earning more gil than you? From making several characters to attack in tandem? From farming more materials than you? From waking up an extra hour early and beating you to that nonexistent finish line?

When played well, thankfully, in a game like this, there can be many winners because there are no stakes and there is no contest; such competitiveness is somewhat disappointing.
____________________________
"... he called to himself a wizard, named Gallery, hoping by this means to escape the paying of the fifteen hundred crowns..." (Machen 15)

"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

"I could only read so much for this paper and the syphilis poem had to go."
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