Well, I thoroughly enjoyed all the BCNM style battles, and I probably did just about all of them. So what if the majority didn't? So what if some of them were itemized better than others? That's the nature of an mmo. Are you trying to tell me there aren't other games out there with non-optimized content? I mean, every single raid pre-endgame in WoW is outdated and contains gear that can be trumped by green items of a similar level. It doesn't stop people from doing them or enjoying them. I was in a progression guild in WoW and had a blast doing the old raids, even though the gear in them was pointless. It was for the fun and challenge, much like many of the encounters in XI. There were also many encounters in XI that DID offer great rewards if that's what you were looking for, as Louis, Catwho, and myself have pointed out.
There were people that did all of the battles in XI, and people that enjoyed all of them. You can call them design flaws, I think of them more like easter eggs. It's not like creating a battle inside a pre-designed arena against 1-6 mobs was all that time consuming. And if even a few people did them, which more than a few definitely have over the years, I'd say that's not content wasted. Not everything has to be this uber efficient content that everyone has to attempt and drop equally good loot to make it successful... at least, not to me.
Edited, May 29th 2013 3:47pm by BartelX
You ask, "So what?" and I think the answer should be clear. "So, players missed out on lots of fun content that took a lot of time to develop." When you're in the business of making players have the most fun possible, that's bad design. And I'll be the last one to tell you that other games don't have similar problems, but FFXI had some really egregious examples that were easy to fix... but never fixed. FFXI could have been THE titan of MMORPGs today with just a couple of relatively simple updates to change some numbers around on the backend.
Also, you're underestimating the development time that goes into creating the BCNMs. But anyway, the larger point being that SE created a lot of content (honestly, probably close to half of it when you consider quests, missions, instances, NMs, etc.) that the majority of players never bothered with because they had no good reason to. INSTEAD(!) they repeated the same content over and over and over because they were trying to get those high-value items with stingy drop rates! Now, if that's not poor resource management and design, I honestly don't know what is. It's so easy to fix, the community complained about it incessantly, and most of them left precisely for that reason.
I'm glad you enjoyed FFXI. I had a lot of fond memories from it, too. But it's not hard to see how it could have been so much more than it was.
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.