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Read this and you will have confidence this game will be great! (message from Yoshida)

2

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  • Asm0deusAsm0deus BaatorPosts: 1,116Member Uncommon

    I like what I read in the letter, I don't agree with him though that ALL hardcore gamers just want to rush to endgame.

    Some of us enjoy the story the first time through then want to rush to endgame on the next play through it. Also some of us want to find all the secrets and goodies that one can often miss by "zerging" to endgame.

     

    I find myself unexpectedly hopeful about this game and can't wait till this weekend :)

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  • Laughing-manLaughing-man Dublin, OHPosts: 3,415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    Originally posted by drivendawn
    Originally posted by ZenTaoYingYang
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    They must be expecting a worst case scenario by trying to get in front of any bad news with pre-scripted explanations. Game developers don't explain themselves unless things are going bad. Just my 2 cents

    far from truth, if you have followed ARR development from beginning, you will see many long letters from him. its not unusual  for him to do so. they even keep writing dev blogs and so on. the company really wants to say to the players " we listen". and its working.

    Yes, and the only reason he would be explaining himself would be to the people in beta that were expecting XI part 2.

    Doubtful as most demo players are previous XIV owners like myself.

    Then you haven't been reading shouts / the beta forums.  They are covered with people wishing that FFXIV was just a polished FFXI.

  • superpatasuperpata portoPosts: 190Member

    I am still below level 15 and thus I have some questions regarding story dungeons:

    From reading this letter, after level 15 the story will have plenty of group focused dungeons that one has to complete to advance. Since I love to read the story carefully (the first time at least), will I be pressed to skip it due to other parties members rushing with the combat/dialogue/story cinematics? 

    Second question: If I have completed a certain part of the story, can I repeat it again, for example to aid a friend or experience it again? If not is there a way to review the cinematics your characters goes through? 

     

    I like end game content and it is nice to see how the mechanics/combat and encounters can become so epic later on, here i agree with Yoshi. However I also love to explore a world, sometimes take my own pace and just enjoy a nice story, not skipping it mindlessly:)

  • ShadanwolfShadanwolf Posts: 2,114Member Uncommon
    I'm very impressed with the way, and what he thinks.I look forward to the opportunity to see his thinking in action.
  • ComafComaf Chicago, ILPosts: 1,154Member Common
    Originally posted by khameleon

    Producer and director Naoki Yoshida here.

    You've been providing us great feedback on all aspects of FFXIV: ARR, and I can't thank you all enough. With phase 3 well underway, we have testers coming from a wide range of backgrounds, whether they're unfamiliar with Version 1.0, coming in from another game, dropping in to test the FFXIV out, or simply new to MMOs as a whole. 

    With such a diverse group of testers here, I thought it would be best to speak with you all about the design of FFXIV and the direction the game will be heading. MMOs are fairly large games, and as you'd expect of a large game, this post will be fairly long, and perhaps a little complicated. Some of you may be thinking "Well as long as the game is fun, your plans are fine with me." If you not overly concerned with the way game is progressing, you're free to skim through this post if you'd like. If you have questions or concerns about core game designs, and are considering leaving feedback, pull up a comfy chair and perhaps grab a snack. Hopefully by the end of this post, your questions will be answered.

    I know I said this just a moment ago, but this post is fairly long, and I could probably give a lecture based on its contents. For those of you planning to read this, prepare yourselves for the flood of text that's coming.

    I'll begin by talking about the early stages of MMOs, followed by a look at them from a business standpoint, and finish with a few words on content design in FFXV: ARR.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    • Yoshida: The Hardcore Gamer vs. Producer and Director
      As an avid gamer myself, I'd like to start with a comparison of two viewpoints with respect to the start of MMOs—Yoshida the hardcore gamer, and Yoshida the producer and director.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Yoshida the Hardcore Gamer
      I've played online games for nearly 20 years now, and whenever there's a new release, you can be sure I'm going to try it. When I do, however, there's always that longing for a magic button that will instantly take me to the level cap.

      No matter the MMO, there's a certain standard expected of every game. This includes the chat system, party system, and features such as guilds to foster the community. There are also standard UI elements making it easy to move from one game to another. Since there's little you need to remember changing over from one game to the next, one may think these games are designed to quickly get to the level cap and start playing through endgame content.

      It goes without saying that the leveling system, skill system, and many other aspects of the game are important, but all of these things can be figured out at the level cap. As a result, players can feel frustrated with only one or two skills at the beginning of the game, wanting to quickly rush through everything and get to the cap.

      For example, let's say until yesterday, there's a particular game I've devoted all of my time to. I'm max level, I have all the best gear—I'm a top ranked player on my server. When I log into the game people take notice, and there are few who haven't heard of me. If it's time for a large-scale raid, I take the lead gathering my guild mates, and we press on to victory. Nothing beats the thrill of life and death battles with raid bosses, lasting well through the night until my eyes are bloodshot the next day. With every relevant gaming site bookmarked, I'm always up to speed on and any and everything so that no one could ever doubt my skill.

      But today I started a new game, and I have no experience or assets to speak of. The epic encounters I'm accustomed to are gone, and my only choices in combat are A > B or B > A. I don't see any demanding gameplay, and all there is to do is explore the large maps. Thankfully I have a lot of general gaming experience, so I can make use of my time fairly efficiently. As I begin pouring my time into the game, I can only help but think "Why couldn't there be some faster way to reach level 50. If they won't let me speed to level 50, the least they could do is make the beginning of the game a little harder. Maybe then I could have a little more fun until cap. This game needs to pick up soon, or I'm out of here."

      The important thing to remember here is that the people getting bored at the beginning are gamers who play and think like I do. These gamers have realized that combat is the the primary focus of the MMO experience.

      Although this is a fairly extreme example, to all of you skilled players with long gaming histories, let me ask one question. When playing a new game for the first time, have you ever thought it was a bit dull or underwhelming in the beginning? With MMOs in particular, as players continue to move from game to game, they tend to get burned out easily. My hardcore MMO gamer friends are like this as well, saying they'll never waste so much time trying to get into a game ever again. The beginning of the game seems dull and uninteresting, but there's still that longing for something to ignite a passion for the game.

      Another common phenomenon among MMO players is something I like to call "first love syndrome." A new game comes out and you play from beta through to the free trial, and although there are a lot of things you like, you always go back to your first MMO. You feel the updates were always so much better in your first MMO, focusing on the things you can no longer do in the other games you try. This is just how people are after playing a particular game for a long time, getting stuck in their old ways.

      I'm sure anyone who's had to change schools because of their parents or change jobs because of company troubles can relate. Suddenly finding yourself in a new environment can be stressful, and there's always that desire to go back to the way things used to be. Even small details reminiscent of "the good old days" can be reassuring.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Yoshida the Producer and Director
      Looking at the game objectively as a developer for an MMO, the game looks completely different compared to my hardcore gaming alter ego. The first thing I often think of is the stress felt by first time MMO players and the high barrier of entry.

      Looking at an MMO from the viewpoint of those who tend to avoid them, the following qualities define your typical MMO:
      • A game for hardcore players. (A game they can't relate to)
      • A game that requires a constant internet connection. (Stressful)
      • A game where you have to chat with people. (Stressful)
      • A game that requires partying to progress, forcing interaction with others. (Stressful)
      • A game that lacks a good story. (Low expectations)
      • A game with too many windows and interfaces. (Confusing)
      • A game with too many things to remember, making it unplayable. (Intimidating)
      • A game with too much terminology. (Difficult)
      • A game where you may be abruptly killed by another player. (Misconception)
      • A game that looks like too much trouble. (A vague sense of uneasiness)
      The truth of the matter is, all of these points are often applicable to MMOs.

      When speaking from a hardcore gamer's point of view, I mentioned there are many things that are simply to be expected in an MMO. For a person who's never played an MMO, however, these can sometimes be seen as insurmountable obstacles. 
      • An online playing environment (more affordable in recent years)
      • Chat system
      • Battle system
      • Party gameplay
      • Real-time battle system
      • A basic interface allowing prolonged gameplay
      • A guild system such as linkshells and free companies
      • Crafting and gathering
      • Trading
      • Markets
      • Character development that doesn't require resetting
      Although they may be seen as drawbacks, these are all necessary in an MMO. These are also what make MMOs so interesting.

      Just as FFXI was there for gamers 11 years ago, we want FFXIV to introduce a new generation of gamers to MMOs. Considering the shortcomings of Version 1.0, we want the beginning of the game to be stress-free, giving players an incentive to give it a try. Although gaming veterans tend to focus on the battle system, one should also consider the following:
      • Exploring the expansive areas in the game
      • Potential new friends always running about as you explore
      • An environment that's constantly changing in real time
      • Conversation with NPCs revealing the world's lore
      • The thrill of a good fight
      • Trying on a newly obtained piece of gear
      • Leveling up and learning a new skill
      • Acquiring return and teleport to travel between areas
      • Progressing to an area you've never seen before
      I believe playing an MMO should be about enjoying the world as a whole. My first MMO was Ultima Online, and I have to admit I wasn't the fastest learner starting out. The world was huge, everyone I met was from another country, and I didn't understand English. After carefully checking all the menus, I managed to get out into the field to fight a chicken...but I was barehanded. To make matters worse, I was PK’ed shortly after (lol). Despite all these frustrations, however, it was an incredible gaming experience. I never realized games like that existed before. The beginning of FFXIV: ARR has been designed to offer newcomers that same sense of wonderment. 
      • Create a quality character to represent you, be it manly, cute, rugged, or sexy.
      • Enjoy a beautiful, expansive world that's constantly changing.
      • Connect with other players from around the world.
      • Speak with NPCs and reveal the game's story.
      • Take your time as you use the map and explore.
      • Take on fearsome looking monsters and revel in your victories.
      • Enjoy the freedom of progressing through the story alone or with friends.
      • Discover something new each time you visit your favorite places.
      • Follow the story of a crystal, befitting a FINAL FANTASY title.
      • Start off as a fledgling adventurer and grow to be something greater.
      • Board an airship and set out on a great adventure.
      As a FINAL FANTASY game, I feel these elements make for a solid beginning in an MMO. What's important is whether or not players feel comfortable in the world of Eorzea. Players should find the game easy to get into, but also fun and exciting.

      If players don't find the game intuitive, they're not likely to make use of the UI, chat system, or the party system, let alone play through the main scenario quests. Even now we're conflicted over the best way to explain the game's systems and features. Videos may prove more helpful than text, but would prove to be costly when updating. Too much text and the game will push players around everywhere, so it has to be simple. The problems go on and on. 

      For a player new to MMOs, the individual systems that make up the game are small pieces of a beautiful all-encompassing world. Eventually, they may realize these small systems make up a much greater part of the game than they first thought. Nevertheless, players aren't thinking that far ahead at the beginning of the game. Above all else, players should feel the game offers a world they can enjoy.

      For the first 15 levels, when players are still adjusting to online gameplay, there are no elements in the game that force you into playing in a party. This way, as players are still learning the ropes, there's no worry of strangers in a party yelling at them or trying to order them around while trying to play. However, this may not necessarily be the case for endgame.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • The Business Challenge of an MMO
      With each passing year, it becomes increasingly difficult to release a large-scale MMO. The rush following Ultima Online and EverQuest reached its peak with Blizzard's World of Warcraft. That's not to say WoW started off without criticism. When it first released, there were many complaints about the simplicity of quests, that there was a lack of adventure. There two factions were poorly balanced in PvP, and general impressions would lead one to believe the game was no fun. Looking at WoW now, it's almost unimaginable.

      However, instead of giving up, Blizzard switched their plans to be more user/community-centric from their second year of operation on, and became dominant by increasing the new MMORPG users through supplementation of thick scenarios, quest lines, and end-game content. WoW didn’t become what it is today by acquiring all of the existing MMORPG players at the time, they became what they are today as the result of breaking into new territory and as a result of that secured all of the existing MMORPG players. 

      Instead of choosing sides, they persisted and made it attractive to both groups, and began expanding with a focus on Blizzard fans. While the scale is slightly different, FFXI was more than likely in the same boat 11 years ago. Blizzard has been quoted saying that "MMORPGs are a service industry." This was a tremendous shock to Blizzard fans at that time when Blizzard who possesses such great confidence in their game design said this. 

      Moving forward to 2013, their user numbers are continuing to fall; however, World of Warcraft reigning as the absolute king of the MMORPG industry has not changed. We arrived to where we are currently with the MMORPG rush during 2007 as well as the additional large scale rush of last year. 

      There are 3 main difficulties for launching an MMO.
      • Content volume
      • High-quality user interface
      • New and unique elements
      To overcome these three difficulties and launch a game is by no means an easy matter. Amongst the large number of MMORPGs that are trying to launch, there are many cases where their content volume is compared to other MMORPGs who have been running for a long time, and end up suffering immensely. Additionally, the impressions of the beginning of the game between the gamer and the new MMORPG player that I mentioned before are as different as night and day. With this, it’s uniqueness that largely increases the difficulty. 
      • I want to target MMORPG gamers as much as possible
      • I want to acquire as many new players as possible
      Recent MMORPGs are beginning to shift to a more action based game; however, I personally feel that this is one element that acts as a reverse effect for MMORPGs that are striving to operate for a long time with a subscription-based model (This is separate from cases where you are shortening the life cycle for a single MMORPG user. In that case it is correct.). As I mentioned previously, the road blocks on the way to getting used to an MMORPG are too high and adding action elements into the mix, while definitely exciting, makes it extremely difficult for the common player to repeat these battles everyday for hundreds of hours. 

      Furthermore, it becomes difficult to churn out battle content from a balance perspective, and as a result content volume is affected. Due to this, a more fitting business model would be the free-to-play model which allows for retention of the game through low estimations of total play time, a higher churn rate of new players, and the average spending per customer (also known as microtransactions). 

      As a numbered title in the FINAL FANTASY series, we are striving to make FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn a game that operates steadily for a long time, and one where we provide a steady flow of updates and content to you all. With that said, when we made the decision to build A Realm Reborn from the ground up while working on updates for 1.0, the first thing we decided was to eliminate action elements as best as possible. 

      With the advent of stronger internet connections, recent MMORPGs have come to be able to have defensive and evasive skills similar to offline stand alone games. Despite this, I feel that this does not fit with our customers who play FINAL FANTASY online, and I would like to have everyone play this game steadily for as long of a time as possible, which is why we've eliminated action elements to the best of our ability. 

      With these goals in mind we have built the content and the battle system.
      • Visually noticeable AoE attacks that you can avoid by moving
      • A system where you can boost damage by attacking from certain positions
      • Freedom to put things together by executing skills that follow a specific route
      • Being able to fixate on dealing the most damage while giving consideration to TP/MP costs in the end-game
      • Jump not being essential for clearing content
      While it might be thought of as simplistic, the end-game after reaching the level cap is where a good deal of player skill differences will start to appear, especially when adding equipment into the mix. We started designing this game by making the first goal of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn having everyone enjoy this aspect. 

      This is the reason why there are no action elements in FFXIV content and battle. While I’m repeating myself, just like FFXI was trying to show FINAL FANTASY users the excitement of MMORPGs at that time, we would like to show players of the current time period the excitement of MMORPGs once again through FFXIV. Showing that it's possible to play and enjoy it by spending time, without rushing, at their own pace.
    • A fetch-quest game vs. a game with clear purpose
      Now then, FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn has adopted the quest form game design that was established by World of Warcraft. However, even since the old days of RPGs there have been small stories from towns that when cleared lead into larger stories, and this isn't just related to WoW. 

      On the other hand, the world of an MMORPG is vast and is not like a regular game where you simply pass through and move on. As there are multiple classes and jobs, having players adventure through the entire world would result in a gigantic number of quests. Of course there are people who don’t want to read quest text and want to be able to finish them with a single click, so after WoW there have been many discussions on this topic. 

      However, without a pile of quests, it’s not possible to have players learn about the world, and there are ton of benefits for having these so users can play the game with a sense of progression. 

      In order to make it so FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn does not just become a fetch quest game we decided to add some variety and flavor. Of course, we've created a really large story since this is a new FINAL FANTASY title after all. However, for the so-called side-quests that have been spread along the main questing line, we’ve done our best to reduce the text, making it so the text can be skipped by spamming through it. For quests where major characters appear, we’ve made this clear by adding a special icon, and also spruced them up to make them exciting by adding voices and cutscenes. While we did not add voices to class and job quests, we still made them with the same thought process. 

      When it comes to hardcore MMORPG players like myself, it's all about skipping text by spamming the mouse left-click to get to upper ranks of leveling and content. However, this is something that is sure to be fresh and new for the MMORPG newcomer, and we’d like to see gaps form between peoples’ various images of MMORPGs in a positive way, such as "whoa, there are a huge amount of quests," "Just when I thought I was done there is another one," and "Isn't an MMO something you take on with parties?" 

      The game design will largely change after the level 15 instanced battle quest. All of you adventurers will then begin taking on dungeons with parties throughout the main storyline so that you can meet new allies.

      While I understand that there are some of you who feel that it would be better if you could clear everything by yourself, from an MMORPG business perspective, there is a necessity to make it so a large amount of players continue to play for a long time. Because of this, it’s critical that players interact with each other and build a strong community. This is why we have implemented party content in the main quest line and removed the stress of forming parties with the Duty Finder which automatically matches players. 

      Of course the real loss is if people get tired of the game on the way to level 15, but as I have written, I feel that it’s critical to make the beginning of an MMORPG one such that anyone can progress, and in the case that there are people that drop out or are not satisfied with the development of the game ahead, I feel this is fine as everyone has their own preferences. To some degree, the ideal for the beginning of the game is to get through it as fast as you can and moving on. 

      Other MMORPGs have a guild system you can set up after starting the game and playing for two hours. In FFXIV: ARR, we have Free Companies, but this can only be created after joining a Grand Company, which is different from other MMORPGs. Especially for those players who are new to MMORPGs, explaining guilds is difficult. The beginning of the game contains too many things to remember and if we had Free Company invitations added to the mix people would be completely lost. However, for those players who wish to form a Free Company right away, you can speed through the beginning and reach that point before you know it. We would like all kinds of players to succeed in this game, so while it might be somewhat of a nuisance for the advanced players, this was designed like this intentionally.
    • FFXIV: ARR Party Content Design
      We've put in a considerable amount of work to add as much of the playable scenario as possible for launch. We'd like both MMORPG players and those new to MMORPGs to play the game comfortably while enjoying the newest story in the FINAL FANTASY series. 

      As I have already mentioned, the party dungeons that will start from level 15 will not require you to worry about finding parties as we have prepared a feature known as the Duty Finder which will automatically form parties (During the third test of Beta Test phase 3 we will be performing Duty Finder stress tests.). With that said, the only things you really need to worry about are leveling up to level 50 and dungeon difficulty. 

      The difficulty for the 2 dungeons from level 15 has been set you can get excited about your victory and not worry about wiping with the first party of players you meet. With the third dungeon there will be some special mechanics, and for primal battles within the scenario that take place after that, you’ll come to learn that for large boss battles you’ll need a solid strategy to win.

      For the Legacy members who have done the end-game content up until the end of 1.0, as well as for players who are familiar with other MMORPGs, the content that you encounter while leveling up to the cap will be a walk in the park. However, the most important point here is that you can have fun and clear content as players with different levels of knowledge will be matched and grouped by the Duty Finder. 

      The difficulty will increase as the story progresses. Likewise, you role as a particular class will become clearer as you learn weapon skills, magic, and abilities, and the number of times you wipe will gradually increase in the event that you do not properly formulate a battle plan that involves the skilled use of abilities and attack positioning. 

      We’ve paid extremely close attention to the design of this content so that the balance and difficulty increases, the clear need for strategies to clear content, and the need for equipment can be easily understood. Similarly, this is also the biggest reason why we’ve also made the battle system foundation as simple as possible. The MMORPG battle system and the battle content design are one and the same. 

      Additionally, once you start getting into crafting and gathering, the game will become even more in-depth and a ton of content you can do each day will be introduced. We’d like you to enjoy the world of Eorzea relaxed in your own style and at your own pace. 

      Once the main scenario reaches its first major milestone, I believe the meaning behind the opening will become clear. 

      Doing the quests and reading the story text without leveling another class, continuing to play straight through for 60-80 hours you can see the world’s longest list of credits, and even after that continue to adventure through Eorzea. There will begin to be a difference in player skills as large enemies appear and players gather equipment to combat these foes. There are a ton of plans in store: primals that are summoned in to Eorzea, the housing system, what happened to Bahamut, the Crystal Tower, large scale PvP, company crafting, and more. The feeling that you are living in Eorzea will really take place after the "ending."

      It's at this point in time where you will start to need multiple level 50 classes and jobs, battle strategies, efficient usage of skills, and intense analysis from players passionate about research. This is why the early stages of the game and the core battle system have been simplified. The much discussed length of the global cooldown is because you have time to think at the moment, yet once you reach end-game, that free time will all but disappear as what you'll need to do will increase, so with that said, we do not plan on eliminating this.
    • In Closing
      I still have so much I could write, but eventually it would just turn into a book…
      I apologize for making this so long, but FFXIV: ARR is a game that we have designed with these core concepts in mind. While it may seem a huge list of reasoning, once you start playing, this reasoning could matter less, so though I am yet again repeating myself, we are placing the utmost importance on making sure everyone enjoys the game. 

      The development team has been checking Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other sites in addition to the forums to get a wide view of impressions of Beta Test phase 3. Also, please know that we are not making decisions solely based on the number of "Likes" a post has on the forum. There are a lot of differing opinions on the forums and it’s the important work of the operations team to read this data objectively and collect it so there is no bias, reporting it as a ratio of those who post from the total player population.

      As long as there are likes and dislikes for games, there will always be conflicting opinions. There are a lot of cases where if we decide to adopt A, then adopting B becomes impossible, so in order to prevent missteps when making decisions, we think about your feedback extremely carefully. 

      In the Player Feedback Status List that we released the other day, there were items that we addressed as well as those that we did not along with a clear explanation. Since MMORPGs are a service industry, I feel that all of these discussions are extremely important for MMORPG operation, so instead of only "they did this," "they are not doing that," "I think this," "I think it should be this way," it;s my sincere wish that everyone takes a step back a bit and have fun talking about the game. 

      Before posting, I'd like to ask you to please check to make sure that your post won’t have a negative effect on those around you. Up until now Square Enix has been a pretty closed off company, so I’m sure there are some players who really want to state their demands. Of course we will listen to them sincerely, but please base them all on having fun first and foremost. 

      I'm repeating myself, but there is no need for players who are experiencing MMORPGs for the first time to overthink this. We’ve made it so you can have fun and reach your goal by preparing a ton of exciting and fun cutscenes and making balance adjustments as we go. We actually tried testing out early battles where the maximum TP was lowered so you would have to really pay more attention to it. However, it was tiring to repeat that kind of battle over and over on random fodder monsters. With 1 on 1 battles, your efficiency in avoiding enemy skills improves around level 5, and you learn that only attacking enemies from the front in instanced quest battles will result in death.

      I definitely understand spicing things up, and that’s why it has to be just right. However, as I stated previously, the beginning of an MMORPG is not only focused on battle. There is a world, people, time passes in real-time, battles, crafting, gathering, chatting, and creating your ideal characters. In order to have you all enjoy the world, we’ve prepared the battles at the beginning of the game to be just the first step before shifting into the more difficult aspects (We plan on reducing the difficulty for the level 15 instanced battle quest a little bit more.). If you don’t think this shift was done very well, then that is my fault. 

      In Beta Test phase 3 the level cap has been set to level 35, and the difficulty for the Brayflox dungeon has been set slightly harder than the official release version. For those who are dying for a challenging dungeon, please give it a shot!

      In order to satisfy all kinds of players, we have our goals set very high, but we will continue to work as hard as possible, and would love for you all to stay with us for many years to come!

    Someone can soup up a game all they want with hype, but if there's no reality to the fantasy then it's not for me.  Here's what I mean:

     

     

    Build a house in an isolated area, enemies will come to take your things. 

    Build a town, and enemies will come to take what the town has to offer.

    Build a city and a time will come when you are sacked.

    Build a kingdom, and you will hoist a flag, draw people to your banner, and defend your realm.

     

    In today's mmoRPGs we just have a smattering of the typical 5 class race combos beating the crap out of each other in a childish flag capture or in some open corn field where peeps are trying to level.  That's not developed pvp - though fun for some  due to its simplicity - it just nothing impressive enough to draw much I.Q. too.

     

    Now, if EQ Next is truly concerned with quality, they can have their spattering of 5 race class combos which I am sure they assume is mandatory, and their quests (hence the title)...but I would hope that for the first time since Dark Age of Camelot, that game where races and classes were unique to an entire continent per REALM x 3 realms...where pvp mattered,....

    that pvp will include some sense of reality, like the kind I described above - kingdoms tend to have 1 main religion, 1 banner, and are uniquely geographical...

     

    bah why am I bothering lol...it's just not going to even be considered.  It's going to take mmorpgs like Elder Scrolls Online and possibly Camelot Unchained to get the ball rolling on such expectations.  Let's pray those two titles make enough money to impress the corporate types.

     

    peace.

    image
  • AyulinAyulin Mt marion, NYPosts: 334Member
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    They must be expecting a worst case scenario by trying to get in front of any bad news with pre-scripted explanations. Game developers don't explain themselves unless things are going bad. Just my 2 cents

    lol...

    Every game's forum has "that person" (sometimes more than one). The one who somehow finds a negative spin for everything. Ehllfhire, you are clearly "that person" for the ARR forums here.

    One of the biggest issues people cited for 1.0's failure (and about SE in general) was how 'closed' they were to the players. How they didn't listen, they didn't interact, they didn't communicate. They were arrogant and figured "they knew better"; that players could never provide a point-of-view they hadn't considered, or know better than they did about gaming.

    They were wrong, and their arrogance cost them.

    One of the first things Yoshi-P did when he came on board and took over the project was to set a new tone for SE with FFXIV. That is, to be more open, more communicative, more receptive and more interactive. And none of it has been a "show". None of it has been them trying to "pre-script" anything. The only thing he was "getting ahead of" was the plans he'd laid out for FFXIV/ARR's future. And he has stuck to pretty much everything he's said he would do, with near 100% adherence. The schedule got pushed back a bit, but that's about it.

    He launched official forums for XIV, something XI never had before... although XI then followed-suit. He would post his regular Letters From The Producer. He would respond in forums to players' questions or discussions, sometimes directly, sometimes through communtiy liaisons. They've had several Live Letters now, which will continue.

    He talks to us as gamers, because he understands us as gamers... because he is a gamer. 20 years of playing MMOs, going back to UO. He was a #1 ranked PvP'er in Dark Age of Camelot. He's played numerous MMOs. He knows both sides of the situation, and can speak and relate to each equally well. He is that "bridge" between the two.

    He's done all this despite living on about 4  hours of sleep a night for the last 2 years or so since he came on board, with numerous sleepless nights along the way. He's not a "happy PR face" for SE. He's the real deal, and he's proven that time and again since he took over the project.

    The man is not trying to "get in front of anything", and you shouldn't be so cynical about it (though I realize that's kind of your schtick here, as I pointed out at the beginning). You should, be wondering why more MMO developers aren't doing the same.

  • drivendawndrivendawn montgomery, ALPosts: 1,248Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Comaf
    Originally posted by khameleon

    Producer and director Naoki Yoshida here.

    You've been providing us great feedback on all aspects of FFXIV: ARR, and I can't thank you all enough. With phase 3 well underway, we have testers coming from a wide range of backgrounds, whether they're unfamiliar with Version 1.0, coming in from another game, dropping in to test the FFXIV out, or simply new to MMOs as a whole. 

    With such a diverse group of testers here, I thought it would be best to speak with you all about the design of FFXIV and the direction the game will be heading. MMOs are fairly large games, and as you'd expect of a large game, this post will be fairly long, and perhaps a little complicated. Some of you may be thinking "Well as long as the game is fun, your plans are fine with me." If you not overly concerned with the way game is progressing, you're free to skim through this post if you'd like. If you have questions or concerns about core game designs, and are considering leaving feedback, pull up a comfy chair and perhaps grab a snack. Hopefully by the end of this post, your questions will be answered.

    I know I said this just a moment ago, but this post is fairly long, and I could probably give a lecture based on its contents. For those of you planning to read this, prepare yourselves for the flood of text that's coming.

    I'll begin by talking about the early stages of MMOs, followed by a look at them from a business standpoint, and finish with a few words on content design in FFXV: ARR.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    • Yoshida: The Hardcore Gamer vs. Producer and Director
      As an avid gamer myself, I'd like to start with a comparison of two viewpoints with respect to the start of MMOs—Yoshida the hardcore gamer, and Yoshida the producer and director.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Yoshida the Hardcore Gamer
      I've played online games for nearly 20 years now, and whenever there's a new release, you can be sure I'm going to try it. When I do, however, there's always that longing for a magic button that will instantly take me to the level cap.

      No matter the MMO, there's a certain standard expected of every game. This includes the chat system, party system, and features such as guilds to foster the community. There are also standard UI elements making it easy to move from one game to another. Since there's little you need to remember changing over from one game to the next, one may think these games are designed to quickly get to the level cap and start playing through endgame content.

      It goes without saying that the leveling system, skill system, and many other aspects of the game are important, but all of these things can be figured out at the level cap. As a result, players can feel frustrated with only one or two skills at the beginning of the game, wanting to quickly rush through everything and get to the cap.

      For example, let's say until yesterday, there's a particular game I've devoted all of my time to. I'm max level, I have all the best gear—I'm a top ranked player on my server. When I log into the game people take notice, and there are few who haven't heard of me. If it's time for a large-scale raid, I take the lead gathering my guild mates, and we press on to victory. Nothing beats the thrill of life and death battles with raid bosses, lasting well through the night until my eyes are bloodshot the next day. With every relevant gaming site bookmarked, I'm always up to speed on and any and everything so that no one could ever doubt my skill.

      But today I started a new game, and I have no experience or assets to speak of. The epic encounters I'm accustomed to are gone, and my only choices in combat are A > B or B > A. I don't see any demanding gameplay, and all there is to do is explore the large maps. Thankfully I have a lot of general gaming experience, so I can make use of my time fairly efficiently. As I begin pouring my time into the game, I can only help but think "Why couldn't there be some faster way to reach level 50. If they won't let me speed to level 50, the least they could do is make the beginning of the game a little harder. Maybe then I could have a little more fun until cap. This game needs to pick up soon, or I'm out of here."

      The important thing to remember here is that the people getting bored at the beginning are gamers who play and think like I do. These gamers have realized that combat is the the primary focus of the MMO experience.

      Although this is a fairly extreme example, to all of you skilled players with long gaming histories, let me ask one question. When playing a new game for the first time, have you ever thought it was a bit dull or underwhelming in the beginning? With MMOs in particular, as players continue to move from game to game, they tend to get burned out easily. My hardcore MMO gamer friends are like this as well, saying they'll never waste so much time trying to get into a game ever again. The beginning of the game seems dull and uninteresting, but there's still that longing for something to ignite a passion for the game.

      Another common phenomenon among MMO players is something I like to call "first love syndrome." A new game comes out and you play from beta through to the free trial, and although there are a lot of things you like, you always go back to your first MMO. You feel the updates were always so much better in your first MMO, focusing on the things you can no longer do in the other games you try. This is just how people are after playing a particular game for a long time, getting stuck in their old ways.

      I'm sure anyone who's had to change schools because of their parents or change jobs because of company troubles can relate. Suddenly finding yourself in a new environment can be stressful, and there's always that desire to go back to the way things used to be. Even small details reminiscent of "the good old days" can be reassuring.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Yoshida the Producer and Director
      Looking at the game objectively as a developer for an MMO, the game looks completely different compared to my hardcore gaming alter ego. The first thing I often think of is the stress felt by first time MMO players and the high barrier of entry.

      Looking at an MMO from the viewpoint of those who tend to avoid them, the following qualities define your typical MMO:
      • A game for hardcore players. (A game they can't relate to)
      • A game that requires a constant internet connection. (Stressful)
      • A game where you have to chat with people. (Stressful)
      • A game that requires partying to progress, forcing interaction with others. (Stressful)
      • A game that lacks a good story. (Low expectations)
      • A game with too many windows and interfaces. (Confusing)
      • A game with too many things to remember, making it unplayable. (Intimidating)
      • A game with too much terminology. (Difficult)
      • A game where you may be abruptly killed by another player. (Misconception)
      • A game that looks like too much trouble. (A vague sense of uneasiness)
      The truth of the matter is, all of these points are often applicable to MMOs.

      When speaking from a hardcore gamer's point of view, I mentioned there are many things that are simply to be expected in an MMO. For a person who's never played an MMO, however, these can sometimes be seen as insurmountable obstacles. 
      • An online playing environment (more affordable in recent years)
      • Chat system
      • Battle system
      • Party gameplay
      • Real-time battle system
      • A basic interface allowing prolonged gameplay
      • A guild system such as linkshells and free companies
      • Crafting and gathering
      • Trading
      • Markets
      • Character development that doesn't require resetting
      Although they may be seen as drawbacks, these are all necessary in an MMO. These are also what make MMOs so interesting.

      Just as FFXI was there for gamers 11 years ago, we want FFXIV to introduce a new generation of gamers to MMOs. Considering the shortcomings of Version 1.0, we want the beginning of the game to be stress-free, giving players an incentive to give it a try. Although gaming veterans tend to focus on the battle system, one should also consider the following:
      • Exploring the expansive areas in the game
      • Potential new friends always running about as you explore
      • An environment that's constantly changing in real time
      • Conversation with NPCs revealing the world's lore
      • The thrill of a good fight
      • Trying on a newly obtained piece of gear
      • Leveling up and learning a new skill
      • Acquiring return and teleport to travel between areas
      • Progressing to an area you've never seen before
      I believe playing an MMO should be about enjoying the world as a whole. My first MMO was Ultima Online, and I have to admit I wasn't the fastest learner starting out. The world was huge, everyone I met was from another country, and I didn't understand English. After carefully checking all the menus, I managed to get out into the field to fight a chicken...but I was barehanded. To make matters worse, I was PK’ed shortly after (lol). Despite all these frustrations, however, it was an incredible gaming experience. I never realized games like that existed before. The beginning of FFXIV: ARR has been designed to offer newcomers that same sense of wonderment. 
      • Create a quality character to represent you, be it manly, cute, rugged, or sexy.
      • Enjoy a beautiful, expansive world that's constantly changing.
      • Connect with other players from around the world.
      • Speak with NPCs and reveal the game's story.
      • Take your time as you use the map and explore.
      • Take on fearsome looking monsters and revel in your victories.
      • Enjoy the freedom of progressing through the story alone or with friends.
      • Discover something new each time you visit your favorite places.
      • Follow the story of a crystal, befitting a FINAL FANTASY title.
      • Start off as a fledgling adventurer and grow to be something greater.
      • Board an airship and set out on a great adventure.
      As a FINAL FANTASY game, I feel these elements make for a solid beginning in an MMO. What's important is whether or not players feel comfortable in the world of Eorzea. Players should find the game easy to get into, but also fun and exciting.

      If players don't find the game intuitive, they're not likely to make use of the UI, chat system, or the party system, let alone play through the main scenario quests. Even now we're conflicted over the best way to explain the game's systems and features. Videos may prove more helpful than text, but would prove to be costly when updating. Too much text and the game will push players around everywhere, so it has to be simple. The problems go on and on. 

      For a player new to MMOs, the individual systems that make up the game are small pieces of a beautiful all-encompassing world. Eventually, they may realize these small systems make up a much greater part of the game than they first thought. Nevertheless, players aren't thinking that far ahead at the beginning of the game. Above all else, players should feel the game offers a world they can enjoy.

      For the first 15 levels, when players are still adjusting to online gameplay, there are no elements in the game that force you into playing in a party. This way, as players are still learning the ropes, there's no worry of strangers in a party yelling at them or trying to order them around while trying to play. However, this may not necessarily be the case for endgame.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • The Business Challenge of an MMO
      With each passing year, it becomes increasingly difficult to release a large-scale MMO. The rush following Ultima Online and EverQuest reached its peak with Blizzard's World of Warcraft. That's not to say WoW started off without criticism. When it first released, there were many complaints about the simplicity of quests, that there was a lack of adventure. There two factions were poorly balanced in PvP, and general impressions would lead one to believe the game was no fun. Looking at WoW now, it's almost unimaginable.

      However, instead of giving up, Blizzard switched their plans to be more user/community-centric from their second year of operation on, and became dominant by increasing the new MMORPG users through supplementation of thick scenarios, quest lines, and end-game content. WoW didn’t become what it is today by acquiring all of the existing MMORPG players at the time, they became what they are today as the result of breaking into new territory and as a result of that secured all of the existing MMORPG players. 

      Instead of choosing sides, they persisted and made it attractive to both groups, and began expanding with a focus on Blizzard fans. While the scale is slightly different, FFXI was more than likely in the same boat 11 years ago. Blizzard has been quoted saying that "MMORPGs are a service industry." This was a tremendous shock to Blizzard fans at that time when Blizzard who possesses such great confidence in their game design said this. 

      Moving forward to 2013, their user numbers are continuing to fall; however, World of Warcraft reigning as the absolute king of the MMORPG industry has not changed. We arrived to where we are currently with the MMORPG rush during 2007 as well as the additional large scale rush of last year. 

      There are 3 main difficulties for launching an MMO.
      • Content volume
      • High-quality user interface
      • New and unique elements
      To overcome these three difficulties and launch a game is by no means an easy matter. Amongst the large number of MMORPGs that are trying to launch, there are many cases where their content volume is compared to other MMORPGs who have been running for a long time, and end up suffering immensely. Additionally, the impressions of the beginning of the game between the gamer and the new MMORPG player that I mentioned before are as different as night and day. With this, it’s uniqueness that largely increases the difficulty. 
      • I want to target MMORPG gamers as much as possible
      • I want to acquire as many new players as possible
      Recent MMORPGs are beginning to shift to a more action based game; however, I personally feel that this is one element that acts as a reverse effect for MMORPGs that are striving to operate for a long time with a subscription-based model (This is separate from cases where you are shortening the life cycle for a single MMORPG user. In that case it is correct.). As I mentioned previously, the road blocks on the way to getting used to an MMORPG are too high and adding action elements into the mix, while definitely exciting, makes it extremely difficult for the common player to repeat these battles everyday for hundreds of hours. 

      Furthermore, it becomes difficult to churn out battle content from a balance perspective, and as a result content volume is affected. Due to this, a more fitting business model would be the free-to-play model which allows for retention of the game through low estimations of total play time, a higher churn rate of new players, and the average spending per customer (also known as microtransactions). 

      As a numbered title in the FINAL FANTASY series, we are striving to make FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn a game that operates steadily for a long time, and one where we provide a steady flow of updates and content to you all. With that said, when we made the decision to build A Realm Reborn from the ground up while working on updates for 1.0, the first thing we decided was to eliminate action elements as best as possible. 

      With the advent of stronger internet connections, recent MMORPGs have come to be able to have defensive and evasive skills similar to offline stand alone games. Despite this, I feel that this does not fit with our customers who play FINAL FANTASY online, and I would like to have everyone play this game steadily for as long of a time as possible, which is why we've eliminated action elements to the best of our ability. 

      With these goals in mind we have built the content and the battle system.
      • Visually noticeable AoE attacks that you can avoid by moving
      • A system where you can boost damage by attacking from certain positions
      • Freedom to put things together by executing skills that follow a specific route
      • Being able to fixate on dealing the most damage while giving consideration to TP/MP costs in the end-game
      • Jump not being essential for clearing content
      While it might be thought of as simplistic, the end-game after reaching the level cap is where a good deal of player skill differences will start to appear, especially when adding equipment into the mix. We started designing this game by making the first goal of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn having everyone enjoy this aspect. 

      This is the reason why there are no action elements in FFXIV content and battle. While I’m repeating myself, just like FFXI was trying to show FINAL FANTASY users the excitement of MMORPGs at that time, we would like to show players of the current time period the excitement of MMORPGs once again through FFXIV. Showing that it's possible to play and enjoy it by spending time, without rushing, at their own pace.
    • A fetch-quest game vs. a game with clear purpose
      Now then, FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn has adopted the quest form game design that was established by World of Warcraft. However, even since the old days of RPGs there have been small stories from towns that when cleared lead into larger stories, and this isn't just related to WoW. 

      On the other hand, the world of an MMORPG is vast and is not like a regular game where you simply pass through and move on. As there are multiple classes and jobs, having players adventure through the entire world would result in a gigantic number of quests. Of course there are people who don’t want to read quest text and want to be able to finish them with a single click, so after WoW there have been many discussions on this topic. 

      However, without a pile of quests, it’s not possible to have players learn about the world, and there are ton of benefits for having these so users can play the game with a sense of progression. 

      In order to make it so FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn does not just become a fetch quest game we decided to add some variety and flavor. Of course, we've created a really large story since this is a new FINAL FANTASY title after all. However, for the so-called side-quests that have been spread along the main questing line, we’ve done our best to reduce the text, making it so the text can be skipped by spamming through it. For quests where major characters appear, we’ve made this clear by adding a special icon, and also spruced them up to make them exciting by adding voices and cutscenes. While we did not add voices to class and job quests, we still made them with the same thought process. 

      When it comes to hardcore MMORPG players like myself, it's all about skipping text by spamming the mouse left-click to get to upper ranks of leveling and content. However, this is something that is sure to be fresh and new for the MMORPG newcomer, and we’d like to see gaps form between peoples’ various images of MMORPGs in a positive way, such as "whoa, there are a huge amount of quests," "Just when I thought I was done there is another one," and "Isn't an MMO something you take on with parties?" 

      The game design will largely change after the level 15 instanced battle quest. All of you adventurers will then begin taking on dungeons with parties throughout the main storyline so that you can meet new allies.

      While I understand that there are some of you who feel that it would be better if you could clear everything by yourself, from an MMORPG business perspective, there is a necessity to make it so a large amount of players continue to play for a long time. Because of this, it’s critical that players interact with each other and build a strong community. This is why we have implemented party content in the main quest line and removed the stress of forming parties with the Duty Finder which automatically matches players. 

      Of course the real loss is if people get tired of the game on the way to level 15, but as I have written, I feel that it’s critical to make the beginning of an MMORPG one such that anyone can progress, and in the case that there are people that drop out or are not satisfied with the development of the game ahead, I feel this is fine as everyone has their own preferences. To some degree, the ideal for the beginning of the game is to get through it as fast as you can and moving on. 

      Other MMORPGs have a guild system you can set up after starting the game and playing for two hours. In FFXIV: ARR, we have Free Companies, but this can only be created after joining a Grand Company, which is different from other MMORPGs. Especially for those players who are new to MMORPGs, explaining guilds is difficult. The beginning of the game contains too many things to remember and if we had Free Company invitations added to the mix people would be completely lost. However, for those players who wish to form a Free Company right away, you can speed through the beginning and reach that point before you know it. We would like all kinds of players to succeed in this game, so while it might be somewhat of a nuisance for the advanced players, this was designed like this intentionally.
    • FFXIV: ARR Party Content Design
      We've put in a considerable amount of work to add as much of the playable scenario as possible for launch. We'd like both MMORPG players and those new to MMORPGs to play the game comfortably while enjoying the newest story in the FINAL FANTASY series. 

      As I have already mentioned, the party dungeons that will start from level 15 will not require you to worry about finding parties as we have prepared a feature known as the Duty Finder which will automatically form parties (During the third test of Beta Test phase 3 we will be performing Duty Finder stress tests.). With that said, the only things you really need to worry about are leveling up to level 50 and dungeon difficulty. 

      The difficulty for the 2 dungeons from level 15 has been set you can get excited about your victory and not worry about wiping with the first party of players you meet. With the third dungeon there will be some special mechanics, and for primal battles within the scenario that take place after that, you’ll come to learn that for large boss battles you’ll need a solid strategy to win.

      For the Legacy members who have done the end-game content up until the end of 1.0, as well as for players who are familiar with other MMORPGs, the content that you encounter while leveling up to the cap will be a walk in the park. However, the most important point here is that you can have fun and clear content as players with different levels of knowledge will be matched and grouped by the Duty Finder. 

      The difficulty will increase as the story progresses. Likewise, you role as a particular class will become clearer as you learn weapon skills, magic, and abilities, and the number of times you wipe will gradually increase in the event that you do not properly formulate a battle plan that involves the skilled use of abilities and attack positioning. 

      We’ve paid extremely close attention to the design of this content so that the balance and difficulty increases, the clear need for strategies to clear content, and the need for equipment can be easily understood. Similarly, this is also the biggest reason why we’ve also made the battle system foundation as simple as possible. The MMORPG battle system and the battle content design are one and the same. 

      Additionally, once you start getting into crafting and gathering, the game will become even more in-depth and a ton of content you can do each day will be introduced. We’d like you to enjoy the world of Eorzea relaxed in your own style and at your own pace. 

      Once the main scenario reaches its first major milestone, I believe the meaning behind the opening will become clear. 

      Doing the quests and reading the story text without leveling another class, continuing to play straight through for 60-80 hours you can see the world’s longest list of credits, and even after that continue to adventure through Eorzea. There will begin to be a difference in player skills as large enemies appear and players gather equipment to combat these foes. There are a ton of plans in store: primals that are summoned in to Eorzea, the housing system, what happened to Bahamut, the Crystal Tower, large scale PvP, company crafting, and more. The feeling that you are living in Eorzea will really take place after the "ending."

      It's at this point in time where you will start to need multiple level 50 classes and jobs, battle strategies, efficient usage of skills, and intense analysis from players passionate about research. This is why the early stages of the game and the core battle system have been simplified. The much discussed length of the global cooldown is because you have time to think at the moment, yet once you reach end-game, that free time will all but disappear as what you'll need to do will increase, so with that said, we do not plan on eliminating this.
    • In Closing
      I still have so much I could write, but eventually it would just turn into a book…
      I apologize for making this so long, but FFXIV: ARR is a game that we have designed with these core concepts in mind. While it may seem a huge list of reasoning, once you start playing, this reasoning could matter less, so though I am yet again repeating myself, we are placing the utmost importance on making sure everyone enjoys the game. 

      The development team has been checking Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other sites in addition to the forums to get a wide view of impressions of Beta Test phase 3. Also, please know that we are not making decisions solely based on the number of "Likes" a post has on the forum. There are a lot of differing opinions on the forums and it’s the important work of the operations team to read this data objectively and collect it so there is no bias, reporting it as a ratio of those who post from the total player population.

      As long as there are likes and dislikes for games, there will always be conflicting opinions. There are a lot of cases where if we decide to adopt A, then adopting B becomes impossible, so in order to prevent missteps when making decisions, we think about your feedback extremely carefully. 

      In the Player Feedback Status List that we released the other day, there were items that we addressed as well as those that we did not along with a clear explanation. Since MMORPGs are a service industry, I feel that all of these discussions are extremely important for MMORPG operation, so instead of only "they did this," "they are not doing that," "I think this," "I think it should be this way," it;s my sincere wish that everyone takes a step back a bit and have fun talking about the game. 

      Before posting, I'd like to ask you to please check to make sure that your post won’t have a negative effect on those around you. Up until now Square Enix has been a pretty closed off company, so I’m sure there are some players who really want to state their demands. Of course we will listen to them sincerely, but please base them all on having fun first and foremost. 

      I'm repeating myself, but there is no need for players who are experiencing MMORPGs for the first time to overthink this. We’ve made it so you can have fun and reach your goal by preparing a ton of exciting and fun cutscenes and making balance adjustments as we go. We actually tried testing out early battles where the maximum TP was lowered so you would have to really pay more attention to it. However, it was tiring to repeat that kind of battle over and over on random fodder monsters. With 1 on 1 battles, your efficiency in avoiding enemy skills improves around level 5, and you learn that only attacking enemies from the front in instanced quest battles will result in death.

      I definitely understand spicing things up, and that’s why it has to be just right. However, as I stated previously, the beginning of an MMORPG is not only focused on battle. There is a world, people, time passes in real-time, battles, crafting, gathering, chatting, and creating your ideal characters. In order to have you all enjoy the world, we’ve prepared the battles at the beginning of the game to be just the first step before shifting into the more difficult aspects (We plan on reducing the difficulty for the level 15 instanced battle quest a little bit more.). If you don’t think this shift was done very well, then that is my fault. 

      In Beta Test phase 3 the level cap has been set to level 35, and the difficulty for the Brayflox dungeon has been set slightly harder than the official release version. For those who are dying for a challenging dungeon, please give it a shot!

      In order to satisfy all kinds of players, we have our goals set very high, but we will continue to work as hard as possible, and would love for you all to stay with us for many years to come!

    Someone can soup up a game all they want with hype, but if there's no reality to the fantasy then it's not for me.  Here's what I mean:

     

     

    Build a house in an isolated area, enemies will come to take your things. 

    Build a town, and enemies will come to take what the town has to offer.

    Build a city and a time will come when you are sacked.

    Build a kingdom, and you will hoist a flag, draw people to your banner, and defend your realm.

     

    In today's mmoRPGs we just have a smattering of the typical 5 class race combos beating the crap out of each other in a childish flag capture or in some open corn field where peeps are trying to level.  That's not developed pvp - though fun for some  due to its simplicity - it just nothing impressive enough to draw much I.Q. too.

     

    Now, if EQ Next is truly concerned with quality, they can have their spattering of 5 race class combos which I am sure they assume is mandatory, and their quests (hence the title)...but I would hope that for the first time since Dark Age of Camelot, that game where races and classes were unique to an entire continent per REALM x 3 realms...where pvp mattered,....

    that pvp will include some sense of reality, like the kind I described above - kingdoms tend to have 1 main religion, 1 banner, and are uniquely geographical...

     

    bah why am I bothering lol...it's just not going to even be considered.  It's going to take mmorpgs like Elder Scrolls Online and possibly Camelot Unchained to get the ball rolling on such expectations.  Let's pray those two titles make enough money to impress the corporate types.

     

    peace.

    This is a theme park so yeah not gonna work for you seeing you want a sandbox of sorts.

  • jskeets916jskeets916 Folsom, CAPosts: 154Member
    Originally posted by drivendawn
    Originally posted by Comaf
    Originally posted by khameleon

    Producer and director Naoki Yoshida here.

    You've been providing us great feedback on all aspects of FFXIV: ARR, and I can't thank you all enough. With phase 3 well underway, we have testers coming from a wide range of backgrounds, whether they're unfamiliar with Version 1.0, coming in from another game, dropping in to test the FFXIV out, or simply new to MMOs as a whole. 

    With such a diverse group of testers here, I thought it would be best to speak with you all about the design of FFXIV and the direction the game will be heading. MMOs are fairly large games, and as you'd expect of a large game, this post will be fairly long, and perhaps a little complicated. Some of you may be thinking "Well as long as the game is fun, your plans are fine with me." If you not overly concerned with the way game is progressing, you're free to skim through this post if you'd like. If you have questions or concerns about core game designs, and are considering leaving feedback, pull up a comfy chair and perhaps grab a snack. Hopefully by the end of this post, your questions will be answered.

    I know I said this just a moment ago, but this post is fairly long, and I could probably give a lecture based on its contents. For those of you planning to read this, prepare yourselves for the flood of text that's coming.

    I'll begin by talking about the early stages of MMOs, followed by a look at them from a business standpoint, and finish with a few words on content design in FFXV: ARR.
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    • Yoshida: The Hardcore Gamer vs. Producer and Director
      As an avid gamer myself, I'd like to start with a comparison of two viewpoints with respect to the start of MMOs—Yoshida the hardcore gamer, and Yoshida the producer and director.
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    • Yoshida the Hardcore Gamer
      I've played online games for nearly 20 years now, and whenever there's a new release, you can be sure I'm going to try it. When I do, however, there's always that longing for a magic button that will instantly take me to the level cap.

      No matter the MMO, there's a certain standard expected of every game. This includes the chat system, party system, and features such as guilds to foster the community. There are also standard UI elements making it easy to move from one game to another. Since there's little you need to remember changing over from one game to the next, one may think these games are designed to quickly get to the level cap and start playing through endgame content.

      It goes without saying that the leveling system, skill system, and many other aspects of the game are important, but all of these things can be figured out at the level cap. As a result, players can feel frustrated with only one or two skills at the beginning of the game, wanting to quickly rush through everything and get to the cap.

      For example, let's say until yesterday, there's a particular game I've devoted all of my time to. I'm max level, I have all the best gear—I'm a top ranked player on my server. When I log into the game people take notice, and there are few who haven't heard of me. If it's time for a large-scale raid, I take the lead gathering my guild mates, and we press on to victory. Nothing beats the thrill of life and death battles with raid bosses, lasting well through the night until my eyes are bloodshot the next day. With every relevant gaming site bookmarked, I'm always up to speed on and any and everything so that no one could ever doubt my skill.

      But today I started a new game, and I have no experience or assets to speak of. The epic encounters I'm accustomed to are gone, and my only choices in combat are A > B or B > A. I don't see any demanding gameplay, and all there is to do is explore the large maps. Thankfully I have a lot of general gaming experience, so I can make use of my time fairly efficiently. As I begin pouring my time into the game, I can only help but think "Why couldn't there be some faster way to reach level 50. If they won't let me speed to level 50, the least they could do is make the beginning of the game a little harder. Maybe then I could have a little more fun until cap. This game needs to pick up soon, or I'm out of here."

      The important thing to remember here is that the people getting bored at the beginning are gamers who play and think like I do. These gamers have realized that combat is the the primary focus of the MMO experience.

      Although this is a fairly extreme example, to all of you skilled players with long gaming histories, let me ask one question. When playing a new game for the first time, have you ever thought it was a bit dull or underwhelming in the beginning? With MMOs in particular, as players continue to move from game to game, they tend to get burned out easily. My hardcore MMO gamer friends are like this as well, saying they'll never waste so much time trying to get into a game ever again. The beginning of the game seems dull and uninteresting, but there's still that longing for something to ignite a passion for the game.

      Another common phenomenon among MMO players is something I like to call "first love syndrome." A new game comes out and you play from beta through to the free trial, and although there are a lot of things you like, you always go back to your first MMO. You feel the updates were always so much better in your first MMO, focusing on the things you can no longer do in the other games you try. This is just how people are after playing a particular game for a long time, getting stuck in their old ways.

      I'm sure anyone who's had to change schools because of their parents or change jobs because of company troubles can relate. Suddenly finding yourself in a new environment can be stressful, and there's always that desire to go back to the way things used to be. Even small details reminiscent of "the good old days" can be reassuring.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Yoshida the Producer and Director
      Looking at the game objectively as a developer for an MMO, the game looks completely different compared to my hardcore gaming alter ego. The first thing I often think of is the stress felt by first time MMO players and the high barrier of entry.

      Looking at an MMO from the viewpoint of those who tend to avoid them, the following qualities define your typical MMO:
      • A game for hardcore players. (A game they can't relate to)
      • A game that requires a constant internet connection. (Stressful)
      • A game where you have to chat with people. (Stressful)
      • A game that requires partying to progress, forcing interaction with others. (Stressful)
      • A game that lacks a good story. (Low expectations)
      • A game with too many windows and interfaces. (Confusing)
      • A game with too many things to remember, making it unplayable. (Intimidating)
      • A game with too much terminology. (Difficult)
      • A game where you may be abruptly killed by another player. (Misconception)
      • A game that looks like too much trouble. (A vague sense of uneasiness)
      The truth of the matter is, all of these points are often applicable to MMOs.

      When speaking from a hardcore gamer's point of view, I mentioned there are many things that are simply to be expected in an MMO. For a person who's never played an MMO, however, these can sometimes be seen as insurmountable obstacles. 
      • An online playing environment (more affordable in recent years)
      • Chat system
      • Battle system
      • Party gameplay
      • Real-time battle system
      • A basic interface allowing prolonged gameplay
      • A guild system such as linkshells and free companies
      • Crafting and gathering
      • Trading
      • Markets
      • Character development that doesn't require resetting
      Although they may be seen as drawbacks, these are all necessary in an MMO. These are also what make MMOs so interesting.

      Just as FFXI was there for gamers 11 years ago, we want FFXIV to introduce a new generation of gamers to MMOs. Considering the shortcomings of Version 1.0, we want the beginning of the game to be stress-free, giving players an incentive to give it a try. Although gaming veterans tend to focus on the battle system, one should also consider the following:
      • Exploring the expansive areas in the game
      • Potential new friends always running about as you explore
      • An environment that's constantly changing in real time
      • Conversation with NPCs revealing the world's lore
      • The thrill of a good fight
      • Trying on a newly obtained piece of gear
      • Leveling up and learning a new skill
      • Acquiring return and teleport to travel between areas
      • Progressing to an area you've never seen before
      I believe playing an MMO should be about enjoying the world as a whole. My first MMO was Ultima Online, and I have to admit I wasn't the fastest learner starting out. The world was huge, everyone I met was from another country, and I didn't understand English. After carefully checking all the menus, I managed to get out into the field to fight a chicken...but I was barehanded. To make matters worse, I was PK’ed shortly after (lol). Despite all these frustrations, however, it was an incredible gaming experience. I never realized games like that existed before. The beginning of FFXIV: ARR has been designed to offer newcomers that same sense of wonderment. 
      • Create a quality character to represent you, be it manly, cute, rugged, or sexy.
      • Enjoy a beautiful, expansive world that's constantly changing.
      • Connect with other players from around the world.
      • Speak with NPCs and reveal the game's story.
      • Take your time as you use the map and explore.
      • Take on fearsome looking monsters and revel in your victories.
      • Enjoy the freedom of progressing through the story alone or with friends.
      • Discover something new each time you visit your favorite places.
      • Follow the story of a crystal, befitting a FINAL FANTASY title.
      • Start off as a fledgling adventurer and grow to be something greater.
      • Board an airship and set out on a great adventure.
      As a FINAL FANTASY game, I feel these elements make for a solid beginning in an MMO. What's important is whether or not players feel comfortable in the world of Eorzea. Players should find the game easy to get into, but also fun and exciting.

      If players don't find the game intuitive, they're not likely to make use of the UI, chat system, or the party system, let alone play through the main scenario quests. Even now we're conflicted over the best way to explain the game's systems and features. Videos may prove more helpful than text, but would prove to be costly when updating. Too much text and the game will push players around everywhere, so it has to be simple. The problems go on and on. 

      For a player new to MMOs, the individual systems that make up the game are small pieces of a beautiful all-encompassing world. Eventually, they may realize these small systems make up a much greater part of the game than they first thought. Nevertheless, players aren't thinking that far ahead at the beginning of the game. Above all else, players should feel the game offers a world they can enjoy.

      For the first 15 levels, when players are still adjusting to online gameplay, there are no elements in the game that force you into playing in a party. This way, as players are still learning the ropes, there's no worry of strangers in a party yelling at them or trying to order them around while trying to play. However, this may not necessarily be the case for endgame.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • The Business Challenge of an MMO
      With each passing year, it becomes increasingly difficult to release a large-scale MMO. The rush following Ultima Online and EverQuest reached its peak with Blizzard's World of Warcraft. That's not to say WoW started off without criticism. When it first released, there were many complaints about the simplicity of quests, that there was a lack of adventure. There two factions were poorly balanced in PvP, and general impressions would lead one to believe the game was no fun. Looking at WoW now, it's almost unimaginable.

      However, instead of giving up, Blizzard switched their plans to be more user/community-centric from their second year of operation on, and became dominant by increasing the new MMORPG users through supplementation of thick scenarios, quest lines, and end-game content. WoW didn’t become what it is today by acquiring all of the existing MMORPG players at the time, they became what they are today as the result of breaking into new territory and as a result of that secured all of the existing MMORPG players. 

      Instead of choosing sides, they persisted and made it attractive to both groups, and began expanding with a focus on Blizzard fans. While the scale is slightly different, FFXI was more than likely in the same boat 11 years ago. Blizzard has been quoted saying that "MMORPGs are a service industry." This was a tremendous shock to Blizzard fans at that time when Blizzard who possesses such great confidence in their game design said this. 

      Moving forward to 2013, their user numbers are continuing to fall; however, World of Warcraft reigning as the absolute king of the MMORPG industry has not changed. We arrived to where we are currently with the MMORPG rush during 2007 as well as the additional large scale rush of last year. 

      There are 3 main difficulties for launching an MMO.
      • Content volume
      • High-quality user interface
      • New and unique elements
      To overcome these three difficulties and launch a game is by no means an easy matter. Amongst the large number of MMORPGs that are trying to launch, there are many cases where their content volume is compared to other MMORPGs who have been running for a long time, and end up suffering immensely. Additionally, the impressions of the beginning of the game between the gamer and the new MMORPG player that I mentioned before are as different as night and day. With this, it’s uniqueness that largely increases the difficulty. 
      • I want to target MMORPG gamers as much as possible
      • I want to acquire as many new players as possible
      Recent MMORPGs are beginning to shift to a more action based game; however, I personally feel that this is one element that acts as a reverse effect for MMORPGs that are striving to operate for a long time with a subscription-based model (This is separate from cases where you are shortening the life cycle for a single MMORPG user. In that case it is correct.). As I mentioned previously, the road blocks on the way to getting used to an MMORPG are too high and adding action elements into the mix, while definitely exciting, makes it extremely difficult for the common player to repeat these battles everyday for hundreds of hours. 

      Furthermore, it becomes difficult to churn out battle content from a balance perspective, and as a result content volume is affected. Due to this, a more fitting business model would be the free-to-play model which allows for retention of the game through low estimations of total play time, a higher churn rate of new players, and the average spending per customer (also known as microtransactions). 

      As a numbered title in the FINAL FANTASY series, we are striving to make FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn a game that operates steadily for a long time, and one where we provide a steady flow of updates and content to you all. With that said, when we made the decision to build A Realm Reborn from the ground up while working on updates for 1.0, the first thing we decided was to eliminate action elements as best as possible. 

      With the advent of stronger internet connections, recent MMORPGs have come to be able to have defensive and evasive skills similar to offline stand alone games. Despite this, I feel that this does not fit with our customers who play FINAL FANTASY online, and I would like to have everyone play this game steadily for as long of a time as possible, which is why we've eliminated action elements to the best of our ability. 

      With these goals in mind we have built the content and the battle system.
      • Visually noticeable AoE attacks that you can avoid by moving
      • A system where you can boost damage by attacking from certain positions
      • Freedom to put things together by executing skills that follow a specific route
      • Being able to fixate on dealing the most damage while giving consideration to TP/MP costs in the end-game
      • Jump not being essential for clearing content
      While it might be thought of as simplistic, the end-game after reaching the level cap is where a good deal of player skill differences will start to appear, especially when adding equipment into the mix. We started designing this game by making the first goal of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn having everyone enjoy this aspect. 

      This is the reason why there are no action elements in FFXIV content and battle. While I’m repeating myself, just like FFXI was trying to show FINAL FANTASY users the excitement of MMORPGs at that time, we would like to show players of the current time period the excitement of MMORPGs once again through FFXIV. Showing that it's possible to play and enjoy it by spending time, without rushing, at their own pace.
    • A fetch-quest game vs. a game with clear purpose
      Now then, FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn has adopted the quest form game design that was established by World of Warcraft. However, even since the old days of RPGs there have been small stories from towns that when cleared lead into larger stories, and this isn't just related to WoW. 

      On the other hand, the world of an MMORPG is vast and is not like a regular game where you simply pass through and move on. As there are multiple classes and jobs, having players adventure through the entire world would result in a gigantic number of quests. Of course there are people who don’t want to read quest text and want to be able to finish them with a single click, so after WoW there have been many discussions on this topic. 

      However, without a pile of quests, it’s not possible to have players learn about the world, and there are ton of benefits for having these so users can play the game with a sense of progression. 

      In order to make it so FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn does not just become a fetch quest game we decided to add some variety and flavor. Of course, we've created a really large story since this is a new FINAL FANTASY title after all. However, for the so-called side-quests that have been spread along the main questing line, we’ve done our best to reduce the text, making it so the text can be skipped by spamming through it. For quests where major characters appear, we’ve made this clear by adding a special icon, and also spruced them up to make them exciting by adding voices and cutscenes. While we did not add voices to class and job quests, we still made them with the same thought process. 

      When it comes to hardcore MMORPG players like myself, it's all about skipping text by spamming the mouse left-click to get to upper ranks of leveling and content. However, this is something that is sure to be fresh and new for the MMORPG newcomer, and we’d like to see gaps form between peoples’ various images of MMORPGs in a positive way, such as "whoa, there are a huge amount of quests," "Just when I thought I was done there is another one," and "Isn't an MMO something you take on with parties?" 

      The game design will largely change after the level 15 instanced battle quest. All of you adventurers will then begin taking on dungeons with parties throughout the main storyline so that you can meet new allies.

      While I understand that there are some of you who feel that it would be better if you could clear everything by yourself, from an MMORPG business perspective, there is a necessity to make it so a large amount of players continue to play for a long time. Because of this, it’s critical that players interact with each other and build a strong community. This is why we have implemented party content in the main quest line and removed the stress of forming parties with the Duty Finder which automatically matches players. 

      Of course the real loss is if people get tired of the game on the way to level 15, but as I have written, I feel that it’s critical to make the beginning of an MMORPG one such that anyone can progress, and in the case that there are people that drop out or are not satisfied with the development of the game ahead, I feel this is fine as everyone has their own preferences. To some degree, the ideal for the beginning of the game is to get through it as fast as you can and moving on. 

      Other MMORPGs have a guild system you can set up after starting the game and playing for two hours. In FFXIV: ARR, we have Free Companies, but this can only be created after joining a Grand Company, which is different from other MMORPGs. Especially for those players who are new to MMORPGs, explaining guilds is difficult. The beginning of the game contains too many things to remember and if we had Free Company invitations added to the mix people would be completely lost. However, for those players who wish to form a Free Company right away, you can speed through the beginning and reach that point before you know it. We would like all kinds of players to succeed in this game, so while it might be somewhat of a nuisance for the advanced players, this was designed like this intentionally.
    • FFXIV: ARR Party Content Design
      We've put in a considerable amount of work to add as much of the playable scenario as possible for launch. We'd like both MMORPG players and those new to MMORPGs to play the game comfortably while enjoying the newest story in the FINAL FANTASY series. 

      As I have already mentioned, the party dungeons that will start from level 15 will not require you to worry about finding parties as we have prepared a feature known as the Duty Finder which will automatically form parties (During the third test of Beta Test phase 3 we will be performing Duty Finder stress tests.). With that said, the only things you really need to worry about are leveling up to level 50 and dungeon difficulty. 

      The difficulty for the 2 dungeons from level 15 has been set you can get excited about your victory and not worry about wiping with the first party of players you meet. With the third dungeon there will be some special mechanics, and for primal battles within the scenario that take place after that, you’ll come to learn that for large boss battles you’ll need a solid strategy to win.

      For the Legacy members who have done the end-game content up until the end of 1.0, as well as for players who are familiar with other MMORPGs, the content that you encounter while leveling up to the cap will be a walk in the park. However, the most important point here is that you can have fun and clear content as players with different levels of knowledge will be matched and grouped by the Duty Finder. 

      The difficulty will increase as the story progresses. Likewise, you role as a particular class will become clearer as you learn weapon skills, magic, and abilities, and the number of times you wipe will gradually increase in the event that you do not properly formulate a battle plan that involves the skilled use of abilities and attack positioning. 

      We’ve paid extremely close attention to the design of this content so that the balance and difficulty increases, the clear need for strategies to clear content, and the need for equipment can be easily understood. Similarly, this is also the biggest reason why we’ve also made the battle system foundation as simple as possible. The MMORPG battle system and the battle content design are one and the same. 

      Additionally, once you start getting into crafting and gathering, the game will become even more in-depth and a ton of content you can do each day will be introduced. We’d like you to enjoy the world of Eorzea relaxed in your own style and at your own pace. 

      Once the main scenario reaches its first major milestone, I believe the meaning behind the opening will become clear. 

      Doing the quests and reading the story text without leveling another class, continuing to play straight through for 60-80 hours you can see the world’s longest list of credits, and even after that continue to adventure through Eorzea. There will begin to be a difference in player skills as large enemies appear and players gather equipment to combat these foes. There are a ton of plans in store: primals that are summoned in to Eorzea, the housing system, what happened to Bahamut, the Crystal Tower, large scale PvP, company crafting, and more. The feeling that you are living in Eorzea will really take place after the "ending."

      It's at this point in time where you will start to need multiple level 50 classes and jobs, battle strategies, efficient usage of skills, and intense analysis from players passionate about research. This is why the early stages of the game and the core battle system have been simplified. The much discussed length of the global cooldown is because you have time to think at the moment, yet once you reach end-game, that free time will all but disappear as what you'll need to do will increase, so with that said, we do not plan on eliminating this.
    • In Closing
      I still have so much I could write, but eventually it would just turn into a book…
      I apologize for making this so long, but FFXIV: ARR is a game that we have designed with these core concepts in mind. While it may seem a huge list of reasoning, once you start playing, this reasoning could matter less, so though I am yet again repeating myself, we are placing the utmost importance on making sure everyone enjoys the game. 

      The development team has been checking Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other sites in addition to the forums to get a wide view of impressions of Beta Test phase 3. Also, please know that we are not making decisions solely based on the number of "Likes" a post has on the forum. There are a lot of differing opinions on the forums and it’s the important work of the operations team to read this data objectively and collect it so there is no bias, reporting it as a ratio of those who post from the total player population.

      As long as there are likes and dislikes for games, there will always be conflicting opinions. There are a lot of cases where if we decide to adopt A, then adopting B becomes impossible, so in order to prevent missteps when making decisions, we think about your feedback extremely carefully. 

      In the Player Feedback Status List that we released the other day, there were items that we addressed as well as those that we did not along with a clear explanation. Since MMORPGs are a service industry, I feel that all of these discussions are extremely important for MMORPG operation, so instead of only "they did this," "they are not doing that," "I think this," "I think it should be this way," it;s my sincere wish that everyone takes a step back a bit and have fun talking about the game. 

      Before posting, I'd like to ask you to please check to make sure that your post won’t have a negative effect on those around you. Up until now Square Enix has been a pretty closed off company, so I’m sure there are some players who really want to state their demands. Of course we will listen to them sincerely, but please base them all on having fun first and foremost. 

      I'm repeating myself, but there is no need for players who are experiencing MMORPGs for the first time to overthink this. We’ve made it so you can have fun and reach your goal by preparing a ton of exciting and fun cutscenes and making balance adjustments as we go. We actually tried testing out early battles where the maximum TP was lowered so you would have to really pay more attention to it. However, it was tiring to repeat that kind of battle over and over on random fodder monsters. With 1 on 1 battles, your efficiency in avoiding enemy skills improves around level 5, and you learn that only attacking enemies from the front in instanced quest battles will result in death.

      I definitely understand spicing things up, and that’s why it has to be just right. However, as I stated previously, the beginning of an MMORPG is not only focused on battle. There is a world, people, time passes in real-time, battles, crafting, gathering, chatting, and creating your ideal characters. In order to have you all enjoy the world, we’ve prepared the battles at the beginning of the game to be just the first step before shifting into the more difficult aspects (We plan on reducing the difficulty for the level 15 instanced battle quest a little bit more.). If you don’t think this shift was done very well, then that is my fault. 

      In Beta Test phase 3 the level cap has been set to level 35, and the difficulty for the Brayflox dungeon has been set slightly harder than the official release version. For those who are dying for a challenging dungeon, please give it a shot!

      In order to satisfy all kinds of players, we have our goals set very high, but we will continue to work as hard as possible, and would love for you all to stay with us for many years to come!

    Someone can soup up a game all they want with hype, but if there's no reality to the fantasy then it's not for me.  Here's what I mean:

     

     

    Build a house in an isolated area, enemies will come to take your things. 

    Build a town, and enemies will come to take what the town has to offer.

    Build a city and a time will come when you are sacked.

    Build a kingdom, and you will hoist a flag, draw people to your banner, and defend your realm.

     

    In today's mmoRPGs we just have a smattering of the typical 5 class race combos beating the crap out of each other in a childish flag capture or in some open corn field where peeps are trying to level.  That's not developed pvp - though fun for some  due to its simplicity - it just nothing impressive enough to draw much I.Q. too.

     

    Now, if EQ Next is truly concerned with quality, they can have their spattering of 5 race class combos which I am sure they assume is mandatory, and their quests (hence the title)...but I would hope that for the first time since Dark Age of Camelot, that game where races and classes were unique to an entire continent per REALM x 3 realms...where pvp mattered,....

    that pvp will include some sense of reality, like the kind I described above - kingdoms tend to have 1 main religion, 1 banner, and are uniquely geographical...

     

    bah why am I bothering lol...it's just not going to even be considered.  It's going to take mmorpgs like Elder Scrolls Online and possibly Camelot Unchained to get the ball rolling on such expectations.  Let's pray those two titles make enough money to impress the corporate types.

     

    peace.

    This is a theme park so yeah not gonna work for you seeing you want a sandbox.

    ^ This.

     

    Now that's not to say that the game won't develop sandbox elements such as player housing, frontlines large-scale pvp conflicts, guild housing etc.

    But it's definitely a theme park first with potential hybrid elements at best.

  • Asm0deusAsm0deus BaatorPosts: 1,116Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jskeets916
    Originally posted by drivendawn
    Originally posted by Comaf
    Originally posted by khameleon
    *SNIP*
    *snip*

     

    peace.

    This is a theme park so yeah not gonna work for you seeing you want a sandbox.

    ^ This.

     

    Now that's not to say that the game won't develop sandbox elements such as player housing, frontlines large-scale pvp conflicts, guild housing etc.

    But it's definitely a theme park first with potential hybrid elements at best.

    While I agree for the love of w/e you worship don't be shy on snipping some of the quotes when it becomes 5 miles long!

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  • ZenTaoYingYangZenTaoYingYang BahrainPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by Laughing-man
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    Originally posted by drivendawn
    Originally posted by ZenTaoYingYang
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    They must be expecting a worst case scenario by trying to get in front of any bad news with pre-scripted explanations. Game developers don't explain themselves unless things are going bad. Just my 2 cents

    far from truth, if you have followed ARR development from beginning, you will see many long letters from him. its not unusual  for him to do so. they even keep writing dev blogs and so on. the company really wants to say to the players " we listen". and its working.

    Yes, and the only reason he would be explaining himself would be to the people in beta that were expecting XI part 2.

    Doubtful as most demo players are previous XIV owners like myself.

    Then you haven't been reading shouts / the beta forums.  They are covered with people wishing that FFXIV was just a polished FFXI.

    I just want to add that since DEC 2010 and he was issuing letters in forums for players almost on bi-weekly basis, he would mention plans, and why they did not implement this and that, also some humor element. some of the live letters he get angry that some information gets leaked out from their CEO who jumped the gun and showed housing for example. anyways I do not think he only have those live letters , and forum letters to please the FFXI players but the whole segment he is targeting.

    if you are interested in reading a book, go to their official website and open all the letters he posted since 2010 :P

  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon
    We saw this same crap with the last director. He had to post justifications for why they are building the game mechanics a certain way,  and if they have to go that far for their loyal players, then there is something seriously wrong with the implementation.   I suspect this release will be an even bigger fiasco, than the first.     
  • EhllfhireEhllfhire Sacramento, CAPosts: 597Member
    Originally posted by Ayulin
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    They must be expecting a worst case scenario by trying to get in front of any bad news with pre-scripted explanations. Game developers don't explain themselves unless things are going bad. Just my 2 cents

    lol...

    Every game's forum has "that person" (sometimes more than one). The one who somehow finds a negative spin for everything. Ehllfhire, you are clearly "that person" for the ARR forums here.

    One of the biggest issues people cited for 1.0's failure (and about SE in general) was how 'closed' they were to the players. How they didn't listen, they didn't interact, they didn't communicate. They were arrogant and figured "they knew better"; that players could never provide a point-of-view they hadn't considered, or know better than they did about gaming.

    They were wrong, and their arrogance cost them.

    One of the first things Yoshi-P did when he came on board and took over the project was to set a new tone for SE with FFXIV. That is, to be more open, more communicative, more receptive and more interactive. And none of it has been a "show". None of it has been them trying to "pre-script" anything. The only thing he was "getting ahead of" was the plans he'd laid out for FFXIV/ARR's future. And he has stuck to pretty much everything he's said he would do, with near 100% adherence. The schedule got pushed back a bit, but that's about it.

    He launched official forums for XIV, something XI never had before... although XI then followed-suit. He would post his regular Letters From The Producer. He would respond in forums to players' questions or discussions, sometimes directly, sometimes through communtiy liaisons. They've had several Live Letters now, which will continue.

    He talks to us as gamers, because he understands us as gamers... because he is a gamer. 20 years of playing MMOs, going back to UO. He was a #1 ranked PvP'er in Dark Age of Camelot. He's played numerous MMOs. He knows both sides of the situation, and can speak and relate to each equally well. He is that "bridge" between the two.

    He's done all this despite living on about 4  hours of sleep a night for the last 2 years or so since he came on board, with numerous sleepless nights along the way. He's not a "happy PR face" for SE. He's the real deal, and he's proven that time and again since he took over the project.

    The man is not trying to "get in front of anything", and you shouldn't be so cynical about it (though I realize that's kind of your schtick here, as I pointed out at the beginning). You should, be wondering why more MMO developers aren't doing the same.

    Hardly a schtick, Im sorry if Ive been around the block a few times and seen way more promises broken or hype/potential unrealized in more mmos than I care to think about. Im just being a realist. But no you people glom onto the negative, despite me saying I like the game. Seriously people find something better than white knight every little thing. And yes that letter is nothing but PR

    Any graphical, audio, or gameplay restrictions not seen in other mmos but found in FFXIV can be blamed on one thing.
    PS3

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    As much as I like to hear that Yoshida is a gamer (what game developer isn't one?) and it's always nice to see them trying to keep up with 2013 and what not. I'd like to hear about the future for the game. Sure, 2.0 isn't released yet. But I want to know and see what they're working on implementing into the game. I'd like to know that the subscription I'm paying for is going forward to furthering additional content for this game.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXPosts: 1,172Member Uncommon
    Having him state that he's been an online gamer for over 20 years, and then going on to say that levels are an integral part of game design more so in the mmorpg world. . . guess he didn't play during the year 2001.
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by moosecatlol
    Having him state that he's been an online gamer for over 20 years, and then going on to say that levels are an integral part of game design more so in the mmorpg world. . . guess he didn't play during the year 2001.

     Right... and I believe you obviously didn't play that many games back in 2001 as far as the MMO community. Anarchy Online, Ragnarok Online, Asheron's Call, and etc. These games are just a few with incredibly high level caps. Leveling is a very integral part of the game. It allows for significant character growth and if done correctly allows the player to define their characters uniquely. 

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • ArskaaaArskaaa KauhajokiPosts: 842Member Uncommon
    Yeah its easy fool customers with messages like that. Age of conan did that and SWTOR too.
  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXPosts: 1,172Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by moosecatlol
    Having him state that he's been an online gamer for over 20 years, and then going on to say that levels are an integral part of game design more so in the mmorpg world. . . guess he didn't play during the year 2001.

     Right... and I believe you obviously didn't play that many games back in 2001 as far as the MMO community. Anarchy Online, Ragnarok Online, Asheron's Call, and etc. These games are just a few with incredibly high level caps. Leveling is a very integral part of the game. It allows for significant character growth and if done correctly allows the player to define their characters uniquely. 

    SWG. your new is showing, showing you the door out of this thread.

     

    It has been proven that levels are unnecessary in an mmo. Especially in the year 2013 where skill can completely circumvent gear in games with gratuitous amounts of polished action combat. Another example would be to circumvent levels with gear. Grinds don't sell the game, the adventure does. Moreover an adventure doesn't require leveling  to thrive. Developers these days will simply fall back onto something simple and bland because they lack the gall to try something different.(INSERT DILEMMA OF THE DECADE.gif HERE)

    Also your new is showing tibbs(INSERT TIBBS INABILITY TO PROPERLY USE AN ELLIPSES HERE)  showing you the door out of this thread.

    Inb4 Naoki creates another prepare to have fun treadmill waste of time that no one will play.

  • ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,555Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    As much as I like to hear that Yoshida is a gamer (what game developer isn't one?) and it's always nice to see them trying to keep up with 2013 and what not. I'd like to hear about the future for the game. Sure, 2.0 isn't released yet. But I want to know and see what they're working on implementing into the game. I'd like to know that the subscription I'm paying for is going forward to furthering additional content for this game.

    The only thing i can predict about future content is by looking on their previous FF mmo which gives me hope that content updates or expansions will be quality in many aspects like new Jobs, Dungeons, Items, Story and of course raising level cap.  Plus yoshida mentioned samurai and ninja at E3.  Majority of the expansions and updates for FF11 had new Jobs with it.  And most came out like a year after the other.  But a whole year might be too long for todays fast-food style mmos and its rush to max level gamers. Hoping they come out with short and fast content updates as arena net does with GW2 in between the expansions.

    Rise of the Zilart
    (??????? Jir?to no Genei?, lit. "Curse of Promathia")[66]
    Expansion pack On November 7, 2006, a new version of "Vana'diel Collection" for 2007 was released including the original game and both expansions.[67] Forty new areas were made available to explore, as well as new quests and missions, but no new jobs for characters to learn or new game mechanics.[68]
    Wings of the Goddess
    (??????? Arutana no Shinpeinovelettes", focused on deepening the storylines of existing locations rather than introducing new areas.[76] Moogle Kupo d'Etat was originally conceived to be a scary story, but became comical as it was developed.[77] The series of add-ons was made to tie up several storylines that developers such as Masato Kato had wanted to see well concluded.[77] Some experienced players criticized the add-ons simple "fetch quest" beginning, which later Kato explained was made for beginner players.[77]
    A Moogle Kupo d'Etat: Evil in Small Doses
    A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born
     
    Vision of Abyssea Add-on battlefield 2010[78] Abyssea is a realm composed of battle areas created with characters level 75 and above in mind. There, players partake in activities such as leveling, engaging battles against foes, and collecting powerful equipment. It was the first paid for addition to Final Fantasy XI that did not have a focus on adding new storylines.[79]
    Scars of Abyssea
    Heroes of Abyssea
     
    Seekers of Adoulin[34] Expansion pack The fifth expansion for Final Fantasy XI, Seekers of Adoulin, was announced at VanaFest 2012, a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Japanese launch of the game, in Yokohama, Japan. Two new jobs are featured in the new expansion, Geomancer and Rune Fencer.[60] The expansion also contains seven powerful bosses, and a new western continent called Adoulin.[80] Seekers of Adoulin will not be available on PlayStation 2 outside of Japan. It is the last game released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan.[60]
     
  • Mr.ZerooneMr.Zeroone BialystokPosts: 34Member

    I think that leveling is an indicator of progress - this is an implication of stereotypes from the past, I mean old-aged mmos. People like very much when something grows up and they can participate in this. I bought 2 weeks ago The Secret World which idea is no level, no gear and people don't complain about this and seem to be good developers move. 

    To be honest, I don't believe any more to developers that explain to others how innovative their game is. Obviously, there are many great ideas pointed by community that never will be realize by producers. And I don't know why...

  • SenanSenan Tuscaloosa, ALPosts: 783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by moosecatlol
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by moosecatlol
    Having him state that he's been an online gamer for over 20 years, and then going on to say that levels are an integral part of game design more so in the mmorpg world. . . guess he didn't play during the year 2001.

     Right... and I believe you obviously didn't play that many games back in 2001 as far as the MMO community. Anarchy Online, Ragnarok Online, Asheron's Call, and etc. These games are just a few with incredibly high level caps. Leveling is a very integral part of the game. It allows for significant character growth and if done correctly allows the player to define their characters uniquely. 

    SWG. your new is showing, showing you the door out of this thread.

     

    It has been proven that levels are unnecessary in an mmo. Especially in the year 2013 where skill can completely circumvent gear in games with gratuitous amounts of polished action combat. Another example would be to circumvent levels with gear. Grinds don't sell the game, the adventure does. Moreover an adventure doesn't require leveling  to thrive. Developers these days will simply fall back onto something simple and bland because they lack the gall to try something different.(INSERT DILEMMA OF THE DECADE.gif HERE)

    Also your new is showing tibbs(INSERT TIBBS INABILITY TO PROPERLY USE AN ELLIPSES HERE)  showing you the door out of this thread.

    Inb4 Naoki creates another prepare to have fun treadmill waste of time that no one will play.

    Yeah, that's why we have hundreds upon hundreds of successful mmorpgs without any form of leveling.

    Oh wait.

     

    Edit: Are you actually implying that SWG didn't have any leveling?

    image
  • ZenTaoYingYangZenTaoYingYang BahrainPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    As much as I like to hear that Yoshida is a gamer (what game developer isn't one?) and it's always nice to see them trying to keep up with 2013 and what not. I'd like to hear about the future for the game. Sure, 2.0 isn't released yet. But I want to know and see what they're working on implementing into the game. I'd like to know that the subscription I'm paying for is going forward to furthering additional content for this game.

    as far as the future goes, he clearly stated that since its p2p model, their only focus is to provide content consistently. Having said that , they already showed the content up to 2.3 which includes:

    Housing System, Crystal tower (24 raid instance with levels), Bahamaut Lybranth (another 24 man raid). 3 way grand company PVP involving fort seiges and PVP zones.

    and from experience , we will probably get a 2 year road map as they did with FFXI, that doesnt give much detail but only shows you that for example " we will get this expansion, this patch on that date and so on).

     

    from my own point of view though, there are enough content as it is, I wish they focus polishing the game more then adding new content but thats just me

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon
    Only was able to skim thru this now, will revisit, but what I saw is we are building a better version of a theme park style game, better than it's predecessors in the following ways.

    If so, not what I'm looking for.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • BuccaneerBuccaneer Under The BedPosts: 507Member Uncommon
    I feel this letter was in part damage control due to the flack over the combat system.  I've been in beta since phase two and during that time, the battle system was heavily criticised over at the beta forums. I'm also disheartened to hear this game is looking like it's going to be another rush to endgame raid centric MMO.  One day a MMO dev will realise the journey is just as important to a lot of players compared to getting world first's.  After reading the letter I'm now in two minds about canceling my CE pre-order and to wait and see if SE will support other playstyles beside raiders.  I've got nothing against raiders, it's just something I do not participate in.  If I have to invest with a sub fee, I like to make sure the company is developing content I would enjoy.
  • tommygunzIItommygunzII Roanoke, VAPosts: 321Member
    There are some things I would do differently in ARR, but any doubts I have in this game are trumped by my trust in Yoshida.
  • VentlusVentlus spanaway, WAPosts: 96Member
    Originally posted by Buccaneer
    I feel this letter was in part damage control due to the flack over the combat system.  I've been in beta since phase two and during that time, the battle system was heavily criticised over at the beta forums. I'm also disheartened to hear this game is looking like it's going to be another rush to endgame raid centric MMO.  One day a MMO dev will realise the journey is just as important to a lot of players compared to getting world first's.  After reading the letter I'm now in two minds about canceling my CE pre-order and to wait and see if SE will support other playstyles beside raiders.  I've got nothing against raiders, it's just something I do not participate in.  If I have to invest with a sub fee, I like to make sure the company is developing content I would enjoy.

    what? I don't get it when people post crap like this. MMO's are meant to do one of two things either be massive multiplayer to go towards pvp or pve. So you know that FFXI was pve only pretty much, and this game will be pve based. So when people do pve what do they like to do end game content *gasp*. And you the story is great for the main scenario, its up to you if you want to experience that. You can craft and do whatever you want. But yea the main point of MMO's  for many players is the end game content.  For combat people are pretty big whiners imo, they want it to be more like wow, when it doesn't have to be. It's own game and the combat system is perfectly fine 

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