FFXIV: Gonna Fly Now?

Producer Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida seems determined to whip Final Fantasy XIV into shape. Can he pull off the comeback?

How many people here are fans of the Rocky movies?

I'm a big-time fan of "Rocky," my favorite movie. And I bring this up because, right now, Final Fantasy XIV reminds me a bit of the Italian Stallion. Remember that scene when Sylvester Stallone stumbles out of bed at 4 a.m., chugs a glass of raw eggs and then starts jogging his way into shape? In my imaginative mind, that's Yoshi-P, taking a game that the gaming world had left for dead and whipping it into a winner -- or going down trying.

Yoshi-P has put on his gloves and climbed into the ring. His daunting opponent – a merciless Apollo Creed embodying all the bad reviews, Internet flaming and player mistrust surrounding FFXIV – stands before him.

Will Final Fantasy XIV go the distance?

Discuss this in the ZAM forums.

This could be the beginning of FFXIV's rebirth, or it could be the beginning of the game's end. Starting Wednesday, we'll see a series of small patches aimed at filling out this game to where it should have been in September. These patches are supposed to occur about every two weeks, a frenetic pace that could be attributed to the Jan. 1 player’s poll. The poll results indicated that rapidly occurring updates was important to the playerbase. I credit the development team for being receptive to that priority.

If this first patch is any indication, these minor updates won't be as sweeping as the giant November and December updates. However, this week’s patch has enough good news to smile about, such as:

  • Revised skill point rewards for party combat
  • Stack sizes increasing from 12 to 99 for several items
  • The listing of low prices in the market wards item search feature
  • Frame rate changes to speed up gathering

Although small, let's not underestimate the importance of these patches. This series of updates could determine whether this game lives or dies. Unless Square Enix is planning another giant update to happen sometime in the next few months, then these patches could set the stage for the game’s PS3 launch. That date will be Yoshi-P’s rematch with the gaming world. If what he does between now and then doesn’t knock gamers off of their feet – inspiring a round of glowing, feel-good reviews – then FFXIV could be down for the count.

(I guess that makes this "Rocky III," when Sylvester Stallone gets knocked out in the beginning of the movie by Mr. T and then has to find his eye of the tiger to win back his belt, but I digress.)

If Yoshi-P is going to prevail in this heavyweight battle, he’s going to need to keep doing business as Square Enix has never done business before. So far he's been working like a southpaw fighter boxing right-handed (Rocky II). He needs to keep delivering updates faster than we expect them, and he needs to give us more changes than we'd hoped for. Meanwhile, he can’t be silent. The only mistake he's made since taking over was not talking for the first few weeks of January. If he keeps talking, and if he keeps producing, this game has an excellent chance of surviving.

It all starts with these patches. Yoshi-P has said more quests would be coming in early February, and whether that content will be included in Wednesday's patch remains unclear. This game needs quests badly. As I showed with my small feature on Aleport last week, there’s a surprising amount of lore available to players willing to go the extra mile to find it – but why should we have to go so far out of our way to find lore for this land? Hopefully the issue of quests and lore will be solved soon enough.

Then there's the battle system. I'm a huge fan of auto-attack, which opens up the game to be far more social. Just about everyone wants to see the combat system be more meaningful than 111111111111111111111111111. Again, there’s the start of a decent system in place, but serious revisions are in order. Yoshi-P has stated this as a priority, too.

So many other elements have yet to be added to this game. Airships, chocobos, low-level notorious monsters and other features would significantly add to the depth of Eorzea. Adding the high-level NMs was a good start, but many players don’t have rank 40 or rank 50 jobs. Many are like me; they have a couple battle classes near level 20, but haven’t spent time grinding out skill points with no goal in sight. Eorzea needs activities to keep everyone busy, and adding more guildleves won’t cut it.

That said, I’m excited to learn all the details of this week’s patch, and I’m already eager to see which changes will be coming next. By setting up this update schedule, Yoshi-P’s development team will be providing us with things to look forward to for the indefinite future. That’s a pretty nice change from a few months ago, when it seemed the development team was completely oblivious to the many problems destroying their game.

I've said it in forum posts, and I'll state it here now: I believe Yoshi-P will take this game the distance.

The launch of Final Fantasy XIV was a big deal to us. When the launch failed, it was like a part of us died. But now, Yoshi-P, you're the one. You're the one that’s gonna keep this game’s spirit alive. You’re the one that’s gonna make sure that we didn’t level our crafts for nothing. Now you’re gonna have to go through hell. Worse than any nightmare you ever dreamed. But in the end, I know you’ll be the one standing.

You know what you have to do. Do it.

Do it.

And yes, that’s from "Rocky IV."

Comments

Post Comment
XI and XIV
# Mar 02 2011 at 5:40 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
Although we can expect a lot of differences to XIV that are not in XI we cant ignore the fact that XI had a perfect original formula that worked and kept players hooked. To accomplish a good balance SE and Yoshi P have to use some of the successful aspects of FFXI and even other RPG's to make FFXIV an enjoyable and long lasting RPG
i miss FFXI
# Feb 09 2011 at 5:37 AM Rating: Decent
Just reroll to how ffxi was and put everything that was in that game in this game notorious monsters , battleground notorious monsters ,The questlines for rank where so awsome there the party system was hard but it was **** of a lot of fun .
Give us gobby bag quests and content we must do to open new things like promys and sky to get to sea and stuff like that .
if you guys would just made a FFXIV that was an upgraded FFXI people would be alot happier and the game would be so much better and so much more fun.
I realy miss camping my beloved notorious monsters leaping lizzy , king artho , bahamuth , fafnir and so much more you could always do something in FFXI and i realy miss that in FFXIV after 2 hours playing theres nothing more to do and that is gonna kill the game for sure
go back to xi... idiot
# Feb 12 2011 at 1:43 PM Rating: Decent
cremion wrote:
Just reroll to how ffxi was and put everything that was in that game in this game notorious monsters , battleground notorious monsters ,The questlines for rank where so awsome there the party system was hard but it was **** of a lot of fun .
Give us gobby bag quests and content we must do to open new things like promys and sky to get to sea and stuff like that .
if you guys would just made a FFXIV that was an upgraded FFXI people would be alot happier and the game would be so much better and so much more fun.
I realy miss camping my beloved notorious monsters leaping lizzy , king artho , bahamuth , fafnir and so much more you could always do something in FFXI and i realy miss that in FFXIV after 2 hours playing theres nothing more to do and that is gonna kill the game for sure


this, is supposed to be completely different from your XI ... get used to the way things get different, because apparently you just can't handle changes so as the other guy said... go back to XI
i miss FFXI
# Feb 09 2011 at 3:46 PM Rating: Default
30 posts
...Then just go back and play FFXI... just a suggestion.
Trust
# Feb 07 2011 at 3:01 AM Rating: Decent
3 posts
Well...

I think all we can do, from the begining, is trust the new team, after all, we are those who stayed, some for the money they have spent, others cause of real faith in the new team.

Let's give them a little trust, it may not be the most impressive patch, but at least, we can see some answers to some of our most urgent problems.
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but...
# Feb 06 2011 at 10:35 PM Rating: Decent
6 posts
But.. Rocky loses..
what makes it great is his struggle and determination.. in the end though, he loses.

I dont think i like this analogy at all ¬_¬
improvements are improvements but..
# Feb 06 2011 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
theres still nothing really decent enough to keep me logged in on this game.. i was sorta siked to play it after 1.15a or whatever but i loaded the game up and just ended up sitting there because i dont craft and other than that all there is to do is kill random enemies for little to no xp or do the same round-a-bout 8 guild leve's then play another game for 36hours..

sure i could go shopping now that its easier w/ my millions but nah.. i'll keep an eye on it still but w/ all the real games coming out for ps3 i dont really see myself payin for this game if it doesnt shape up..
As one player sad about the failed launch...
# Feb 03 2011 at 11:21 AM Rating: Decent
33 posts
This patch gives me a hope that I will finally have a happy online life in FFXIV, just like last 8 years in FFXI.

Keeps going and keep true to your promise Yoshi-P.
I will pray for you and your team.
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それではよい旅を。

Woooo :D
# Feb 03 2011 at 3:04 AM Rating: Decent
Go Yoshi-P! Go Yoshi-P! Go Yoshi-P!

Yoshi-P is brushin' that dirt off!

These planned changes are exciting! I cant wait!

P.S. Add jump pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaasssssseeee :D
Pathetic ...
# Feb 02 2011 at 10:22 PM Rating: Default
13 posts
Pathetic patch ... even more pathetic if you think its good ...


Green number . WOW

stack to 99 .. WOW

they rewrote a SP table .. and its still broke ... WOW

change some gathering animation .. WOW

the price are on the search engine of the market ward? LOL ... WOW

Seriously ...

What the **** are you happy about?

Any Quest? any more FUN? any low lvl NM? Any compagnies? any new goal?

What the **** are you happy about ..

I want this game to be great .. but dont be some stupid Fanboy ...
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Pathetic ...
# Feb 06 2011 at 7:28 AM Rating: Decent
14 posts
It is good that they fix the minor things first. The foundation must be stable before they add the larger things. Once the basis is solid, with all the minor flaws and lacks is taken care of, only then should stuff like player housing and large scale quests be added. And it will, in not too long. Until then, I for one are enjoying the little improvements. :)
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- Aegis
Pathetic ...
# Feb 04 2011 at 12:32 AM Rating: Decent
Kaillou wrote:
Pathetic patch ... even more pathetic if you think its good ...


Green number . WOW

stack to 99 .. WOW

they rewrote a SP table .. and its still broke ... WOW

change some gathering animation .. WOW

the price are on the search engine of the market ward? LOL ... WOW

Seriously ...

What the **** are you happy about?

Any Quest? any more FUN? any low lvl NM? Any compagnies? any new goal?

What the **** are you happy about ..

I want this game to be great .. but dont be some stupid Fanboy ...

Pathetic people rant pathetically. Good riddance, we wont miss you<3
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Soooo not paying to put a siggy on [insert hot Miqote girl here/]
Pathetic ...
# Feb 03 2011 at 6:29 AM Rating: Decent
Then quit.
You are more sour than any grapefruit,so if you play the game, shove off and leave. You are not even remotely arguing or debating from anything other than a ***** attitude and that leaves VERY LITTLE for objectivity.

Instead of being a ***** little ***** baby,make objective input comments. Be intelligent,dont whine, 'cause good lord there are way to many whiners over games as it is. Break the mold, use the brain address a fix and what it failed to deliver and what else needs to be addressed...or continue to sound like a rejected child and be part of that all to common group of ugly little gamers.
Jump?
# Feb 02 2011 at 5:46 PM Rating: Decent
*
200 posts
lets me slap your *** in chain and plate....then you can go jump a whole centimeter off the ground.
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I like the changes
# Feb 02 2011 at 5:23 PM Rating: Decent
7 posts
steps in the right direction ...i wanna see Eorzea get Jump!! No reason any game launched in 2010 shouldn't have jump.When Tanaka was asked about Jump!! at e3 2010 i quote "The main reason there is no jump is because there is no need for it . Even if u jump around nothing is going to happen." The second part is true but i have to ask is it not ridiculous that u can caught up on a small ledge in the terrain. Forcing you to walk all the way around. Traveling in FF14 is time consuming already not having jump makes it that much longer. At the end the day i love FF and I'll keep playing. I happy someone different is at the helm ,keep up the changes !!
I love the concept but i'm unimpressed also.
# Feb 02 2011 at 2:16 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
*
136 posts
Combat needs to provide a challenge and a reason to seek after specific skills/jobs without pushing imbalances.

If I was going to fix the game i'd look at the AI first. The AI just doesn't match what the players can do, on a solo level and on a party level.

In the short term i'd love to see them devise at least one or two combat scenario where each party player is forced to change 1/2 they're skill bar over the course of the mission, and i'm pretty sure thats what everyone else is waiting for as well when they ask for more content.

Edited, Feb 2nd 2011 3:22pm by KenJammin
a little too late?
# Feb 02 2011 at 9:11 AM Rating: Decent
17 posts
im lookin forward for the speed up gatherin part, really need that for my fishin. so far i was workin on crafts for months, start gettin bore, i realized that im not a craft person, i like fightin more.

i was wonderin what yall sayin about RIFT, so i searched the web site, holy crab that is awesome, have u see how many "battle" job in the game?

my point is in ff14, player focus on crafting, less people r out there lvlin battle job, less people lookin for party, im not just talkin, ive been seein this since the day i started. i left ff11, i missed my nin, sam, and many other greater jobs. if SE plan to increase more jobs with the expansion pack, seriously, i dont know what the future gonna be.
YEAH!
# Feb 02 2011 at 8:55 AM Rating: Decent
YOU CAN DU IT YOSHI P! Me and my retainer(mule) are so happy. My inventory won't be as full and her back problems may go away.
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:O <<<<< thats my O-Face

I *hope* it flies...
# Feb 02 2011 at 3:36 AM Rating: Good
35 posts
As always, I'm remaining cautiously optimistic. The upcoming patch certainly won't fix the game, but it's yet another step in the right direction. Take enough steps, eventually you get somewhere. They just need to step along quickly enough to keep people interested, and I'm hopeful that Yoshi's the guy to do it.

FWIW, I named my Earth elemental pet in the latest Rift beta "Rockybalboa", take that as you will... Smiley: wink
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I *hope* it flies...
# Feb 02 2011 at 6:04 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
18 posts
Definitely a step in the right direction. Cannot wait to see what this game has after several patches are in place. Should be good.
how many steps are there?
# Feb 02 2011 at 1:38 AM Rating: Decent
17 posts
I rarely post, and I've seen the games' potential. I know that the forth-coming patches will do justice, only at a pace as a THM grinding from r20-r23. I won't lose hope and will not stop playing so take your time and do a few more polls.

Thanks ^^
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Not Impressed
# Feb 02 2011 at 1:33 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
*
164 posts
They're going to have to do more than this... but it's a small step. I was so excited for NMs but all it ended up being was just a good ol tank and spank and required little to no coordination. Im hoping FFXIV bounces back in time. If people go off to play other MMOs, theres only so long until that new MMO will become their home. With RIFT coming, I see the population dwindling; 10 linkshell members have announced they're leaving to play it. Hope Yoshi can really do it.
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Serge Luminaire of Mysidia
Member of Blades of Valor
~ A FFXI/FFXIV Linkshell Community
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Retired from FFXI - EliteSerge of Valefor
Mains: 75 WHM, 75 PLD, 72 NIN, 72 THF
My opinion
# Feb 02 2011 at 12:16 AM Rating: Good
38 posts
I for one am keeping the faith.
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Leader of VALOR Linkshell
http://www.ValorLS.enjin.com
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On Saronia, linkshell leaders have joined forces;
The United Alliance LS

(FFXI retired - THF, RDM, BST - Bahamut)
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