Saturday, September 3, 2011

Naoki Yoshida: Part XI -- My thoughts on upcoming content

FFXIV Airships as presented in Letter XVII



See also: Letter from the Producer XVII (9/1)
See also: Hunter's Moon: The Curse of Dalamud (9/2)

See also: Abolition of Physical Levels / Attribute Point Revisions (8/30)
See also: Battle Regimen Suspension (8/29)
See also: Materia: A Matter of Mystery (8/26)
See also: Changes to the Battle System (8/25)
--Changing to Claiming/Engaging Enemies
--The Enemy Link System
--Bonuses to Experience Points

As per a new Letter from the Producer, I'm inclined to post my thoughts and feelings of the state of FFXIV.

Background:

I tend to check the forums at Zam and EyesOnFF on a regular basis (okay, almost constant basis), and every time FFXIV is mentioned, it seems to cause discontent and skepticism among the gaming community. And rightfully so., the game undoubtedly sucked at launch, and there tends to be a chunk of players that don't believe the game will ever improve (or get a PS3 release, even.) I'm not one of these people, but that's what's out there.

However, while things get optimistic every patch or so and people start playing in droves wondering if the game is in a playable state yet, people get angry when it's not and go back to forums to complain, and then you get threads like this or this or this or this. Reviews/opinions are all over the place.

Anyway, I wanted to say that my hat is off to you, Yoshi-P. Most people don't realize that game development is a very slow process, and re-engineering it to tend to a pessimistic player-base is one hell of a detriment to morale. I personally think Square-Enix's biggest mistake was not having you on the FFXIV team sooner, but that's just me.

Okay, onto the topics!

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Airships/Chocobos:

Coming next patch [1.19]. We will apparently be able to raise our own as well as ride one. In a Final Fantasy first, chocobos cannot escape aggro, and if you get hit enough, the chocobo can kick you off, leaving you to run. That also means there's no time limit or minimum level restriction. (To my understanding.)

And Airships will link Gridania/Limsa/Ul'dah together via a short ride. Honestly, that's a relief, puts less of a strain on my anima. However, I wonder what the requirements to ride an airship will be. In FFXI, it was pretty hefty. I would not be surprised having a company storyline requirement in XIV given a certain mechanic's appearance in the storyline, just sayin'.

It's also stated that it will be a short trip. Although I initially liked the immersive-ness of waiting 15 minutes for an airship and looking at all of the zones below in FFXI, it was too long of a time-sink, and I just don't have the time to play as I did years ago in XI. Especially if I'm in a hurry to do an LS event or catch up with a party.

Physical Level/Attribute Point Revisions/Suspension of Battle Regimen:

A while back we were given a poll on battle system if we wanted to have set stats based on physical level or get rid of physical level and do full stat allocation. I'm glad they did somewhat of a mesh of the two. We lose physical level, keep class ranks (now called levels) and have set stats with leeway for customization in 1.20. What worries me though is how is that going to change from what we have. Will it make future content easier or tougher. And with the suspension of battle regimen, how will that make Dzemael Darkhold possible?

Materia:

The famed system from FFVII is making an appearance in XIV as an addition to Weapons and Armor? Something like that. I hope the bonuses are great enough to validate the suspension of Battle Regimen. I just hope this system doesn't release in a broken state akin to the Evoliths in FFXI, because this isn't the first time they tried to attempt this.

Battle System Changes:

It's interesting that they're completely getting rid of the "claiming" system. Fighting current and future open-world notorious monsters may be a challenge if people are going to fight for 'rights' to the drop from the monster. But then again, it might foster a more helpful environment where people join in for the sake of speeding up kills or helping out someone who is struggling to solo or duo something with a friend. But it can also result in a lot of "kill steals".

Given that the majority of future content is going to be instanced, we'll see. But I'm kind of skeptical on this.

Fall Event:

Can someone explain what this entails? It's far too wordy to make sense out of it.

Miscellaneous:

I'm going to call it out right now, the second primal battle listed on the letter is going to be a fight against Leviathan.

Job system and redefined actions are also coming in the future, patch 1.20/1.21. Not 1.19
_


That's about it. That's most of the important things out of the letter and related posts. Or at least, what I feel is important.



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