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  • Final Fantasy XIV - Stormblood, 10 Weeks On - MMORPG.com

    As I've been saying for a while, they've already demonstrated how to give people a variety of content to do between expansions, by doing so for years in FFXI.

    In FFXI, at any given time, there were multiple different goals you could be working toward. Every one of them was rewarding in its own right, and each had its own unique systems, rules and objectives.

    Let's take PoTD for example. It's a neat system and provided people with something other than the usual grind they'd been doing to level up. But that's it. That's all you got in HW (well, except for Diadem 2.0, which also fell short).

    Meanwhile, let's look at what similarly "event type" content was introduced during the timespan of just one expansion in FFXI - Treasures of Aht Urghan. This is content which, like PoTD and DIadem, exists aside from story missions and side-quests, new zones, and other content you'd expect to have with any expansion.

    ToAU introduced: Assault, Nyzul Isle Investigation, Salvage, Einherjar, Besieged, and possibly something else I'm forgetting about. Now, just about any those systems by itself had more depth, variety and longevity than any comparable system FFXIV has introduced so far, since 2.0/Realm Reborn. Don't take my word for it. Hop on Google and look up the Assault system by itself. Or Nyzul Isle. Look how much each of those systems entailed.

    Those systems remained active and relevant throughout all of Aht Urghan's cycle, and beyond. People were still engaged into that content even into the following expansions, alongside all the other new content added. They didn't peak for a few weeks, and then fall into near complete disuse once the novelty wore off and people had sucked all the usefulness out of them, such as with Diadem or PoTD, etc.

    The thing that baffles me is, why? Why, in a MMO developed around 2000, on far more limited hardware, *for* far more limited hardware (FFXI was locked to dial-up connection speeds, for example)... why were they able to deliver so much more content, with so much more variety and depth, and keep it relevant for so much longer than Yoshida and his team have so far with anything they've done in FFXIV?

    I don't think I ever heard of anyone in FFXI feeling like they had to do the same repetitive grind for months waiting for the next update, or expansion, because there was nothing else to do. I certainly never heard the Director or Producer suggesting people should go play something else while waiting for the next update - because there was plenty to keep them playing in the meantime. In my experience (anecdotal as it may be, though it's many people, across nearly a decade), people would go into a new expansion still working toward goals they'd set during the previous one.

    This is why I'm disappointed with FFXIV, and get frustrated with Yoshida when he spins these absurd excuses for not adding more new options, while over-hyping the meager, short-lived offerings that are, as though it's *so much new content*!. It's why it's so aggravating to see how he seems so satisfied with what he's delivered with FFXIV. I *know* SE can do more than they are with FFXIV. They can do a *lot* more with it. I know this because *they already have* with another of their own titles, with far inferior technology and resources, and without the benefit of having a successful previous MMORPG to refer to and learn from.

    I just don't get it.

  • New Logo, Site & Big Q2 Profits in Latest Investor Report - MMORPG.com News

    Jaiml said:

    You've done it now!

    All the crazies are going to come out of the wood work and rail on Funcom for making a profit! Putting cash before the love of making games!

    From what I read in most posts here profit is an evil word!

    That's a very disingenuous spin on it.

    People are not opposed to a company making money/profit. It means the company is healthy and will, presumably, be able to continue creating the games/products they enjoy and which made the company successful in the first place.

    What people have a problem with is when developers make decisions that are not pro-player/pro-fan, but done *exclusively* to increase their bottom line without regard for how those changes will affect the game for their players, or consideration for how their players might feel about said changes.

    Players like to see their favorite developer succeed. They don't like to see that success come at the cost of themselves (the players) being screwed over, nickel-and-dimed, or sold out as a "thank you" for their patronage.

    Rebooting TSW as SWL is one of the more egregious examples of a cynical, sneaky, and blatantly cash-grabby move made by a developer with zero regard for their long-time customers. It's the whole "let's sell out our existing playerbase in hopes of getting a bigger one".

    It's not an 'accident' that players were kept in the dark about their plans for TSW until they were ready for their "big reveal", where they could put as positive a spin on it as possible and get a lot of media support. None of the existing players were expecting any of those changes. Existing players weren't asking for those changes. They were not asking for it to be changed to an Action RPG. They were not asking for the skills and build options to be dumbed down. They were not asking for a change of the combat system. They were not asking for full F2P with over-the-top cash shop implementation. That was all Funcom acting in complete isolation without taking their existing, loyal, long-time players into consideration. SWL is basically FC saying "F You" to their loyal customers.

    They couldn't even be honest about how they represent it on Steam. It's a completely separate and different game from TSW, and should rightfully have been set up with its own store - especially since TSW is ostensibly "still available" and relevant (a whole other can of worms there). That would be the honest thing to do, which of course means FC didn't do it.

    See, TSW has garnered a lot of positive feedback and reviews on Steam since its release on Steam. In fact, if you go back and look at all the reviews prior to SWL, you'll see a very, very positive overall impression. After taking away the game that actually *earned* those positive reviews, Funcom is using them to bolster the image of SWL - which has been receiving mostly negative reviews since its introduction. So... "our customers/players aren't important enough for us to care about being honest with them about how we're completely pulling the game they love out from under them... oh... but we're *totally* going to hold on to those positive reviews they wrote about it, and pretend they're actually talking about the cynical, cash-grab version we dropped on them".

    They were having money problems and had to make drastic changes. Well whose fault is that? The players? No. It's FC's own fault, because they have a history of making terrible decisions for their IPs. The examples go all the way back to Anarchy Online, and it's the same story every time... FC makes crappy decisions for their IPs, it hurts them financially, and the players get screwed over for it.

  • Latest Patch Notes, PAX West Plans & 10M Players - Final Fantasy XIV - MMORPG.com

    lol! 10 million "Cumulative players"

    Oh... SE... You make me laugh.

    "We have to get the number 10 million out there! I know that's not the active player base, but most people won't make that distinction and will start telling everyone it is! As long as it's not us saying it, we can't get in trouble! Just throw a weasel word in there... like "cumulative", it's technically true, even if it's still misleading!"

    When a developer talks about "cumulative" numbers, or "registered" numbers... it means their actual *active* player numbers aren't very impressive. I love how they put an asterisk after the statement, indicating a clarification will be provided later, but never actually provide one. Very thorough.

    Such dishonest BS. How many people have "cumulatively" played FFXIV since its release means absolutely nothing to the people playing it *right now*.

    And yes, to those who would inevitably say it, I know "other devs do it, too". It's lame and weaselly when they do it. It's lame when SE does it.

  • A few questions to decide if I give TESO another try

    Horusra said:

    I have never played a game where basic rats wiped me in the next zone.  That is a strawman generalization you are making. 

    No, they're not at all, actually. You're focusing on the specific example given, and ignoring the greater point. But, if the "scale" of Torval's example is hanging you up, then fine. it works just as fine if we replace the uber powerful rats in the next zone with rats that are not drastically but still notably more powerful at all,  simply because you crossed an invisible line somewhere.

    In a scaled system there is no sense of progress.  Your character is as weak today as he is tomorrow.  Nothing changes.  You get more flashy skills...whoopee.  You still get owned by the very first creature you ever met in the game.  It makes the world feel static. 

    Incorrect. You absolutely do get a sense of progress and you absolutely do not get "owned" by the very first creature (talk about strawman generalizations...).

    For example, earlier this evening, I went into a Delve in ESO. There were two enemies I had to get past, attacked them and the fight took a bit of time, with me having to dodge a number of attacks, taking significant damage. I finish them off with about 1/3 life left. As I approach the next set of enemies, another player runs up behind me and we both attack them. It's over before it begins. The other player annihilates them.

    In a game with level scaling.

    The difference? The other player had more time on their character, and acquired better skills and better gear.

    In a word: Progression.

  • Elder Scrolls Online - Hands On with the Clockwork City DLC - MMORPG.com

    Morrowind was a disappointment, and severely lacked any replay value. Hopefully this adds some much needed TLC to Vvardenfell. I have some crowns to throw away on this, but I won't be subbing to ESO Plus again.

    Honest Question: How does ESO+ relate to your opinion of Morrowind? I'm not seeing the connection of how disappointment with Morrowind = Not res-subbing to ESO+. The two don't seem mutually exclusive to me.

    Other than that, looking forward to this DLC. I love what I've seen of the design so far.
  • A few questions to decide if I give TESO another try

    Horusra said:

    When the basic squirrel levels to your supposedly super power level that is not a virtual world.

    That was a horrible, horrible, utterly disingenuous comment. If you're going to try and bash a game, at least try to make it sound like you have a clue.

    1. You don't fight squirrels, or anything comparable to them, unless you're going after the small 'flavor' critters running around, which are incredibly weak. This isn't WoW, FFXIV, etc.

    2. Different enemies still have different levels of difficulty, within a given area, and certainly as you progress further from starting areas. Those closer to starting areas are notably weaker than those in later areas.

    3. Levels still play a role in terms of the gear you can use, and to a degree, what skills you have unlocked/improved. There is a big difference between a new player going after an enemy in lower level in weaker gear and someone going after that same enemy in stronger gear and better skills they acquire later.

    I wasn't a fan of the level scaling at first, either, but as I progressed through the game and realized the scaling isn't "linear", but differed depending on the enemy, the area, and what gear/skills I'm using, it actually made the game more enjoyable to me than a strict, linear "you can go to this area at this level range" approach. It allows you to "reasonably" survive in an area at any "level", but by no means guarantees you're going to survive very long. There are other variables involved.

    Put another way, even with the scaling, I'm not going to be doing any Craglorn Trials on my level 6 Nightblade.
  • Patch 4.05 Preview: The Lost Canals of Uznair - Final Fantasy XIV - MMORPG.com

    "The Lost Canals of Uznair that "is the same as Aquapolis" but features new, fresh enemies to face off against."

    FFXIV's direction in a nutshell

    If something receives an even moderately positive response, and doesn't completely fail on release (ie. Diadem 1 and 2.. Verminion, etc), keep regurgitating the same design over and over, 'til players get sick of it... ignore them and keep repeating it.