I'm gonna rant about Final Fantasy XIV now.

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Posted by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

Spoilers and shit.

If you had asked me a year ago to name one of my favorite games of all time, I would have happily named Final Fantasy XIV as one of those games. Hell, I even named it one of my favorite games of the decade and despite how I feel now, I wouldn't change go back and change that because at the time, I was still having fun.

These days? Not so much.

I still have the utmost respect for what the team behind this game pulled off. You should go check out the NoClip documentary if you get the chance. It's a fascinating story that deserves to be in some sort of video game hall of fame.

That said, the magic can only last so long and the farther we go along, the more apparent the cracks become in XIV's armor. Not that they were necessarily hidden before, but with so many games out today stepping up because they are desperately vying for your attention, XIV just can't hang like it used to and it’s flaws shoot to the surface.

Right of the bat, the one recurring thought I keep having about FFXIV is that nothing really matters. Of course, you could say that about any game. You could also say, “As long as you’re personally having fun, what does it matter?” Etc etc blah blah.

I get it.

But XIV is a special kind of hollow. It’s not just the neverending gear treadmill, though that’s certainly not helping especially in a game that encourages you to play multiple classes and then makes it a pain in the ass to gear up those classes, but I digress. No, it’s not just the gear, it’s...everything.

The world is static and lifeless. There’s a few beautiful vistas and cool monuments here and there, but otherwise there simply just isn’t much to see. You’re not going to stumble upon hidden caves or explore every nook and cranny of a city because...well...there aren’t any. Kugane, the newest major city added in the recent expansion, and the Ruby Sea, a new zone added in that same expansion, are about as close as you get to something cool, but only within context of this game. Every other major city is either tiny, badly laid out, or completely void or anything interesting whatsoever. Maybe even a combination of the three.

I think about Ishgard and all that comes to mind is this needless big, homogenous mass of gray bleh. But you know the fucked up part? It’s a city with an abundance of history and lore that the game does nothing with. And that brings me back to what I said originally: nothing matters.

The game will constantly throw out info dumps about each locations, some of it interesting, some of it not so much. But it never does anything with any of it. “Hey adventurer, see that mountain over there? That’s a sacred mountain. Yup. Okay, run along now.”

I’m not expecting or even asking for them to “Cataclysm” the world every time something changes, but nothing changes and therefore it feels like nothing you ever do or that happens in the story ever matters.

Actually, now that I think about it, the beast tribe villages do change as you progress through the story, but they’re so tiny and there’s no real, lasting incentive to do them in the first place.

The closest thing the game has to meaningful change are several smaller towns, one per expansion, that are rebuilt over the course of a few patches. Neat idea in theory, but it has some major flaws. Most notably, if you come to the game later, you don’t actually get to see that process. It’ll just be the same town for you from now until the end of time. Secondly, once the new expansion comes out, those towns are effectively made obsolete. There are quests and things you can do if you want to, but if you want the new shit, there’s no reason to go back there which seems especially odd given how often the topic of trade comes up in the story. Yet, there is clearly very little trade going on that matters to the player because 99% of the shit you care about will only ever be available at one location.

I realize this isn’t a problem unique to XIV, however, because so little changes in this game, it’s ironically harder to ignore.

I bring all this up because let’s go back to Ishgard for a moment: the whole story surrounding that city is about countless years of oppression under the Church, war, classism, racism, and everything in between. When you finally get to the bottom of everything, what changes? Not a goddamn thing.

The music is still dark and depressing. NPCs are still right where they’ve always been, a lot of them don’t even get different dialogue so they’re stuck talking about a time that literally does not exist in your story anymore. After saving the world for the billionth time, ideally you would like to sit back, and take it all in, but the game world does not let you because, once again, none of it seemingly matters.

#thanosdidnothingwrong
#thanosdidnothingwrong

I realize I’m repeating myself a lot, but I feel I cannot stress this point enough: the world of XIV is less like a world and more of a backdrop. And speaking of backdrops, let’s sit down and talk about dungeons for a second. Many would argue that instances in XIV have gotten better over the years and in the interest of being fair, they would be 200% correct. Mechanics have gotten more involved and creative. Bosses have gotten bigger and and more memorable. Outside of the highest of high-end group content, it’s all still braindead easy, but it’s absolutely been an improvement. However, at their core, their formula is still exactly the same as it was when ARR/2.0 launched.

Trails and raids? Stand in this one room and fight. Dungeons and 24-man content? Follow this static path to your destination then stand in this room and fight. I might even argue that raids and dungeons have both gotten worse in some ways though. The original set of raids, Binding Coil of Bahamut, actually consisted of several instances that involved little to no boss fights at all and a handful of the old dungeons turnt out to be somewhat unforgiving if you got overconfident with the wrong party.

Now, the last two sets of raids have been desperately clamoring to recapture the magic and excitement of Binding Coil and have been failing spectacularly and literally every dungeon consists of the tank pulling every mob until the level prevents them from pulling anymore and then the group burning it all down. Any group consisting of people who have even the vaguest idea of how to play their job will have no trouble in dungeons.

But what does this all have to do with backdrops? Well, while the formula for content has remained unchanged, Square Enix has poured more and more resources into making everything look pretty. Now that’s all well and good in and of itself, but when you look at the bigger picture, you begin to question why. It’s not like you explore dungeons or take optional paths. They certainly haven’t gotten any more difficult. Most newer dungeons are shorter than older ones. They don’t shake up the actual encounter formula. Every boss is still proceeded by two or three trash pulls. Most bosses have a set pattern they follow and any with any sort of random element is going to be handled in a set way each and every time. Nothing is ever going to throw you off your game.

So what is the point? Why should I care that dungeons are prettier and have better music if we’re still doing the exact same thing we’ve been doing since 2013?

I could almost try to forgive a lot of this if the story and quests could carry the weight, but the longer the latest expansion goes on, the more the writing in this game falls apart. Buckle up.

To be honest, there isn’t much to say about quests. The game is full of “go kill/collect X number of things” quests. Sadly, in a poor attempt to shake things up, the developers decided to add a frustrating number of quests that consist of “go here, talk to this person, then come back to me, then go talk to this other person, then come back to me, then go to this other person all the way over here to turn in the quest.” And nine times out of ten, those people you need to talk to will be needlessly spread out, forcing you to retread the same ground you’ve tread a million times before.

But let’s talk about this story. What the shit happened? I won’t defend ARR or every bit of Heavensward, but Stormblood is weird. First off, they might as well call this the “no one dies expansion” because that’s what this is. Several characters who should be very dead turn out to be very much alive because...reasons? Why should I ever believe anyone is gone for good now if you’re just going to write people back into the story all willy-nilly?

Going back to Heavensward for a second, there’s a continuation of a pretty monumental event that happens at the end of ARR. Long story short, you and your companions are framed for regicide. You’re treated as criminals, arrested, almost killed, your buddy loses his arm, you escape, get seperated, and are now on the run. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Would have been even cooler if that story decided to do anything with any of that. Turns out it was all a ruse to bring to light a traitor and the person who you think is dead, isn’t. If that wasn’t bad enough, none of the NPCs involved apologize or even literally even just acknowledge the fact you were framed and almost killed. Just in case that didn’t sink in: your character being framed for murder is not addressed by any of the characters who framed you for murder.

Later on, you’re reunited with your entire crew who are all sporting brand new outfits. The one member who doesn’t “survive” ends up becoming a god for another dimension or some shit. Don’t worry though because, once again, it sounds neater than it actually is because you see her for one cutscene and she’s pretty much like “welp, I’m a god now and I have to go protect this other dimension. Okay. Bye now.” And she’s hardly ever really brought up again even to this day.

After that, it truly felt like all the tension evaporated from the story because now it’s impossible to say for certain someone is dead even if you watch them die and Stormblood has just gone off the fucking rails.

The main antagonist from ARR is back for some reason and the main antagonist from Stormblood is back after like not even a year. Why? I mean, I know they’re going to try and justify it, but why? Why couldn’t you just kill them off for good? Why give them these long, dramatic ass death scenes if you’re just going to snap your fingers and undue it all?

Those aren’t even the worst offenders in my book though. Oh, no. Let’s talk about this bitch for a minute. Yotsuyu:

This is not a well-written character. Stop pretending like she is.
This is not a well-written character. Stop pretending like she is.

The decision to not kill her off and then, on top of that, try to paint her as a tragic figure is arguably the most baffling decision ever made in the entire XIV story. She was abused as a child and sold off to marry a rich dude who abused her some more. Yes, that is sad. However, you learn about that after you see her force friends and family members to kill each other. After you see her kill people for fun. After you see her kill people for boredom. After you see her round up villages to send them off war and concentration camps. After she tries again to kill you and your friends before a building collapses on the lot of you. And she does all this with a smile on her face.

I’m supposed to feel sorry for her? Bitch, genocide is not an acceptable reaction to abuse. Especially when 99.99999% of the people she killed never met her or had anything to do with her abuse in the first place. But no, the game “kills her off” then a few hours later you see she survived. Then she pops up a couple of patches later and the story tries to portray her as the one who is suffering oh so much. Fuck outta her with that.

While we’re here, let me step on this landmine for a hot second: FFXIV’s portrayal of women. Why the fuck is every woman in this game waifu bait? Guys come in all shapes and sizes. Fat, skinny, handsome, ugly, etc. Every single woman throughout the story has to be cute. Or, more specifically, they can’t be Roegadyn or Elezen.

For some reason, the developers have something against those two races despite the fact they were the ones who fucking created them. I guess they aren’t cute enough, so the developers can’t find a way to integrate them into the story? Au Ra have been in the game two years less than either and have dozens more hours of screentime than Roe and Elezen combined.

Heavensward was an expansion based entirely around the Elezen city of Ishgard and aside from like one or two class trainer, there is one Elezen woman you meet throughout that entire thing who is, to be fair, a pretty central character, but the game fucking kills her off.

I suspect Square would be happier if they could kill off all Roegadyn women in general because of the two they introduced, one is killed off in the patch after they introduced her and the other is almost always absent despite being the leader of a major city.

“But BabuChooChoo, why does this bother you so much?” Because dear reader, there is a very clear preference in terms of the type of women portrayed in this game. And in case you want to argue, go right ahead. Name me one recurring woman in this game who doesn’t fit in the stereotypical cute, anime waifu archetype?

I’ll help you out, Lucia is the only one, but despite being the right-hand woman to one of the central characters of an entire expansion, you hardly spend any time with her. Meanwhile, Y’shtola is almost killed twice by things that other characters acknowledge should have killed her, but she’s still kicking. She’s just one of many examples though. It’s like they’re afraid of introducing another woman into the story who the audience won’t find attractive. Again, you can find men all across the spectrum, but women? Nah, no admission if we can’t put you on a body pillow.

Pandering is quite a large problem with this game in general. You’ll find many memorable Final Fantasy bosses thrown in this game in the most unceremonious of ways in an attempt to go, “hey, I remember that thing!”

Yes, I do, game. I do remember that thing. Why is it here? No reason, okay, sure.

Lately, they even try to invoke the nostalgia of XI with new Eureka content they put out. The only problem is it seems to boil down to “uh...hey...um...remembering grinding? That was fun! Now you get to do it in XIV too! It’s just like the old days!” except it’s nothing like XI because the two games play nothing alike and grinding in XI was often so you get the chance to spawn bigger things who would hopefully let you spawn things bigger than that. Also, ya know, the combat was completely different. There was a lot going on in XI and none of it is present here, so how exactly is this new thing even remotely related to that old thing except for grinding which isn’t unique to XIV?

There are some terrible Korean grindfest MMOs that I would call more engaging than Eureka in XIV, but because because they get to throw the XI name around as much as they please, people eat it up.

Hey, it’s fine if people like it, but it feels scummy to equate something in your game to this other game that does it better. Yes, I’m aware it’s done all the time in the entertainment industry for everything, but that doesn’t make it any less scummy. If a developer said they were hoping to make the spiritual successor to Everquest or Star Wars Galaxies and what they made was nothing like those games except for fact it was an MMO set in either space of a vague fantasy setting, they would face a lot of criticism. I see no reason why XIV should be immune to that.

The other content they’ve added hasn’t exactly been great either. Diadem was a colossal failure that they tried to re-release and failed again. The Gold Saucer minigames range from, at best, functional to simply not fan. Palace of the Dead and Heaven-on-High are alright I guess, but they’re both extremely repetitive and moreso a test of attrition than anything else such as actual skill.

This game is tiring. We’re about 5 years out from the launch of ARR/2.0 and the gear treadmill is exactly the same as it was at launch. I understand the need for weekly caps in a subscription based MMO, but it seems at odds with the core principles of the game. For something that encourages you try to play as many classes as possible, it sure makes gearing those classes up a pain in the ass. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s just that with every gear cycle, you’re forced to pick favorites. Do I want to gear up my healers or tanks first? What about dps? Which dps do I want to gear up since so many of them use different gear?

To be fair, you don’t need to have your jobs in the newest, freshest gear to perform adequately in non-savage or -ultimate content, but there’s certainly a feeling of underperforming through no fault of your own, but rather the game gatekeeping you.

Sigh.

I have a lot more to say - I didn’t get around the lack of class customization, the increasingly outdated character customization, the greedy cash shop, there’s so much more I wanted to say - but I’m tired. My heart aches for what this game could be. I want to love this game still. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t play it for 5 years just so I could bitch about it now. It just doesn’t seem to interested in involving out of it’s own comfort zone.

Since launch, games like WoW and Warframe have not only completely rebuilt major mechanics and systems, but also added entirely new forms of gameplay. Monster Hunter and Warframe again have demonstrated that grinding doesn’t have to be boring. Elder Scrolls Online has shown it’s possible to shake up the MMO formula. And so on and so forth.

XIV is not a bad game, but it’s complacency in this day and age is disappointing. As time goes on, more and more games do what this game sets out to do, but those games do it better. Maybe I should I just quit for good, I dunno.

Maybe I should learn how to properly end whatever I write too.

Ima go watch some good anime to relax.
Ima go watch some good anime to relax.

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#1 Edited by Seikenfreak (1522 posts) -
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Yeaaa..

You wrote a lot. And not much I can say other then.. yea it sucks that they built the game and its essentially a train on tracks that can't (or they are unwilling) deviate from the original design. Change their whole work pipeline I guess.

And Yoshida has pretty much said that its all built to be easy and inviting, whether you played a week ago or three years ago. That lends itself to generally unfulfilling games IMO. I've gradually cared less and less about FF14 over the last couple years. It's made it on my GOTY lists like every year since ARR came out but getting lower and lower. Sources tell me Dancer is coming with next expansion. We'll see how that goes.

Maybe that new FF11 version will be cool. Or probably not because they'll rebalance everything so its easy and boring.

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#2 Posted by ZombiePie (7402 posts) -

And I thought I was the only one who had long-winded impressions about the state of the Final Fantasy series. I think the major problem here is Square has a horrible system in how they divert their revenue. Reports suggest most of their revenue now comes from mobile and FFXV, but they are funneling those sources of income into poorly managed "tent pole" projects like the FF7 reboot. So, their mobile and online games only get easy to develop expansions.

Maybe that new FF11 version will be cool. Or probably not because they'll rebalance everything so its easy and boring.

I don't want to cause this blog to go in a tangent, but are they actually rebooting Final Fantasy XI? Is that a real thing?

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#3 Edited by Seikenfreak (1522 posts) -
The new FF11 Mobile thing in the works
The new FF11 Mobile thing in the works

@zombiepie It's a Nexon mobile joint apparently, although there were mentions of Vita way back? So maybe phones and other platforms. It looks like a nicely upres'd take on it so I'm quite intrigued.. Most recent info is from this staff hiring stuff back in May.

This is not including the other mobile FFXI game they made Final Fantasy Grandmasters.. Played that a tiny bit, as much as I could not knowing japanese and it's just a gacha game I guess.

Ugh.. the state of FF in general. Don't get me started. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I'm sure people have written other giant complaint blogs around here about it. I'm happy they released the FF12 Zodiac Age though; I bought it to support the title but barely played it. I figured successful FF14 relaunch was helping keep SE afloat, because that was back before they seemed to have anything good going on. Wouldn't surprise me if 50%+ of 14's return is rerouted to other stupid projects.

Thread high jack brought to you by ZombiePie. Sorry Choo.

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#4 Edited by deactivated-5c26fd6917af0 (487 posts) -

The decision to not kill off Yotsuyu and Gosetsu was really one of the most disappointing thing about Stormblood. One of the things that bothered me at the beginning of Heavensward was their refusal to allow the old Scions to die and instead bring them back for another round. While yes, some of those characters did work a second time (and two of them, as far as I know, are dead for realsies now), those roles could have been fulfilled by new characters still. This just makes the story feel emotionally exhausting because in all likelihood I'm being emotionally manipulated into caring about something that in the long run doesn't matter. They're removing consequences from events so often that it makes it difficult to really invest in anything that happens for me.

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#5 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

@seikenfreak: Haha, it's all good. I too figure a lot of the problems with XIV can be traced to the culture within Square Enix and with the Final Fantasy brand as a whole so it's only natural for that stuff to come up during this conversation.

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#6 Posted by Random45 (1807 posts) -

Spoilers, I go into a bit more detail than the OP, so avoid if you haven't played the game yo.

Ok, I am a massive fan of MMORPGs, I've played tons of WoW, FF14, GW2, Tera, Black Desert, and probably more I can't think of, so I feel qualified to respond to this!

First of all, it sounds like you're really getting burnt out of the MMO genre as a whole. A lot of the complaints you have can be applied to almost all of them. With few exceptions, most MMOs just turn into a gear grind at the end because there's not much else to do at max level other than PvP, and most MMO PvP is pretty bad to be honest. It's a really dumb gimmick to keep a subscription and I really hate it. FF14 is particularly bad, because the only real way to stay at the max gear level is to raid, there are absolutely no alternatives. I sincerely wish it would copy the Mythic+ idea from WoW, but it wouldn't work with the current FF14 dungeons because they're so ridiculously linear and there's almost never anything you can bypass to get a faster time.

I also want to mention that the world in most MMOs is a boring static mess. Look at WoW for instance, Level 1-60 are going through Cataclysm content, and there's constant talk about Deathwing and the Twilight Cult, and then it shifts to Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King for levels 61-80, essentially going back in time, before coming back to Cataclysm for levels 81-90. It's a complete mess. I will admit though that the world in FF14 is particularly bad because it's so ridiculously restrictive on where you can go and do in the pre-expansion zones. The only MMO I can think of that has a world that reacts to the change in story is GW2, and even then, it usually just Lion's Arch that changes with the story (during the time I played, it has honestly been several years since I've touched it).

It IS weird how Ishgard is left completely unchanged even after doing everything in Heavensward including the patch content. It would have been really cool if they went back and added in dragons swooping around in the skies and have people actually acknowledge that there's now peace between the Ishgardians and Dragons.

As for your complaints regarding the story of FF14, I actually agree with you. I hate how they don't commit to killing ANYONE off. Gosetsu in particular is one that I am weirdly upset about the most - weird because I really like him a lot. He got a very emotional scene before the invasion of Doma Castle, where he admits how he felt like he failed and how he would do anything for Hien. It seriously almost brought me to tears, and then he follows through with it and sacrifices himself at the end of the siege, only to have the entire emotional impact of it completely negated by having him survive in the end! It actually makes me kind of afraid that they're going to go back on Papalymo's death as well, because he had an amazing sendoff, dying like a freaking hero as well.

I agree with you that I find it odd how they never really did anything with the whole regicide plot. I HATE the conclusion to it as well, since it doesn't let you kill Lolorito or do ANYTHING to him. Look, I get that he wasn't the one who plotted the whole thing. That was Teledji, I fucking get it, but he DID figure out the plot, and rather than inform you and get the Scions in on it, he decides to let it play out almost exactly as planned. He just let you be framed for murder despite knowing full well that you didn't do it, and as far as I'm concerned, he was the one responsible for getting your team killed. I am still upset thinking about it now, because he comes back LATER ON, and again acts like he did nothing wrong. It's even more upsetting, because the rest of the Scions seem to not give a shit about it anymore either except for Alphinaud. To add onto the shitcake Sundae, Lyse actually had the gall to chastise Alphinaud for not trusting him. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?! Why am I and my boy Alphinaud the only ones who still remember this shithead fucked us over?!?!?!

I also hate what they did with Minfilia. I never really cared for her as a character, but she was about to escape, but at the last second, turns back and goes to DIE. It turns out that the mother crystal or whatever it was called, told her to go back and die so she could help her with another world. I hated this plot twist because the one thing that is supposed to be universally good just told one of her loyal subjects to go kill herself... None of the characters really seem to view it this way, so like with Lolorito, I guess we just acknowledge it and move on. It makes me wonder if it's a cultural thing. The game is written by a Japanese staff with a much different culture than us, so maybe the reason we can so easily forgive people for their transgressions is because in Japan it's what you're supposed to do. I don't know, but it still sucks either way.

Lastly, regarding Yotsuyu, I agree with this too. Her introduction made her out to be this horrible monster, and like the above two things, I guess we just have to forgive her and forget about the fact that she murdered children, betrayed her entire fucking country, and tore families apart because she was abused as a child. I think she's incredibly popular in Japan, so maybe that's why she's getting so much freaking screen time, but still, it's kind of dumb how they're just sweeping all she'd done under the carpet.

And yeah, almost all of the women are good looking waifu bait material. The most egregious example of this is the Au Ra race as a whole. The men are these HUGE demonic looking guys who are pretty damn menacing looking, while the females are the smallest and most dainty race in the game (with the exception of the Lalafell), who are just adorable looking. It's such a fucking bizarre contrast between the two, and really shows their hand when it comes to how they design women.

Sorry for the long rant, I'm just glad I can get some of this off my chest.

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#7 Posted by Efesell (4475 posts) -

I respect this but also Stormblood was probably my GOTY and right now am mostly just sad that I cannot budget any time or money to actually still be playing it.

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#8 Posted by MeesterO (112 posts) -

The problem which is what I’ve been lead to believe is that ideally this is the content most of the player base actually wants. I mean people complained all up and down about eureka, saying how terrible it was and how unfun it is. Yet they... still did it, and they probably looked at all the people who actually just put up with it and assessed key points of data they received to “rebalance” pagos to take even longer. Those same people are probably going to also, put up with this shit, give them the data to keep doing what they are doing and “rebalance” it to make the last part of that side story take even longer.

The only thing they won’t take the actual people doing/completing data from in retrospect to keep doing this line of content are the ultimate fights, where they literally only look at how long World first took and make the next one “take even longer” to complete.

If the dev team puts in lackluster content, people just have to stand up and not do it. If nobody is interacting with eureka then would they just continue the course and go according to plan or would they actually take the time to assess why people hate this shit and try to fix it.

I have been a massive fan of this game for the longest time but the state of my raid group and the people I know that play this game it is incredibly dead. I will still log in and play everyday cause I’m an insane person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want better. I’ve been wanting better for a long time, and if the Warlords of Dreanor problem has to happen with this game to make them understand then by all means I hope the train derails into that chasm.

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#9 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2049 posts) -

The games no EverQuest now is it :P I do intend to go back to it and play Stormblood at some point.

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#10 Edited by Silver-Streak (1985 posts) -

I empathize with BabyChooChoo's feelings around, and will emphasize, the part about Yotsuyu. She was a "great" villain in that she was terrible, and the attempts to redeem/humanize her are laughable at best to moderately offensive at worst.

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#11 Posted by Vortextk (944 posts) -

Honestly sounds like you need to step away. I have a lot of fun, as someone that played 1.23, first half year of ARR and then some since stormblood. I don’t care about the gear treadmill anymore because it is just a never ending treadmill. For me, I guess it’s become like Second Life with mechanics. I might do dungeons and gear up, or I might work on glamour, random other content, housing or crafting. I don’t care it’s repetitive or the story is considered bad because I just kind of want to go through it and just see what the game has.

I won’t disagree with your points because I don’t have an opinion on most of them. Nothing’s perfect right? Maybe the game isn’t for you anymore if you can write several papers worth of reasons of why you don’t like it or have issues with it.

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#12 Edited by Seikenfreak (1522 posts) -

@vortextk Stepping away isn't really going to change the game though. Hard to tell exactly how much you've played it consistently, but it sounds like a irregular amount. I get the impression that Choo here, and to some degree myself, have played the game pretty regularly since release. I tend to play on and off every few months. For me, that gap gets wider and wider each time. I felt the same way as you like a year or two ago lol But turning the game on, completing all the latest content in a day or two, and then putting it down again sucks. That isn't how I want to consume or coexist with an MMORPG personally. Unlike most people (at least these days it seems), I want it to a be an experience and world I get absorbed in and might as well live in every day. I played FF11 for days, weeks, and months non-stop because there was always something interesting for me to work towards. A carrot on a stick so to speak. I tried Eureka for an evening with a friend and actually enjoyed killing stuff. The experience of grinding mobs felt like a throwback to old FF11 XP parties which I enjoyed. We had a random person come up, chatted a bit, and then joined us for a couple hours just killing stuff. That has literally never happened to me before in 14 with hundreds or thousands of hours. It was fun! And then I tried to figure out what the point of doing Eureka was; what do I get out of it? And it wasn't anything useful or interesting to me so I never touched it again.

At this point though, the only true end-game in 14 is glamour. The way an item looks doesn't really become obsolete. I think a lot of people are continuing to play it because there isn't anything better. We're all hoping they'll actually try to evolve the core gameplay design or loop.

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#13 Posted by Efesell (4475 posts) -

@seikenfreak: Ah, this does make more sense now.

FF14 is my favorite MMO, as I play it patch to patch expansion to expansion. Much like I play any MMO I will never let it feel like a commitment. If/When I hit that wall of content that I'm just not interested in doing every single day then I love to be able to put it down and come back the next patch and swing back into things without any trouble.

I remember also binge playing FF11 until one day I was sitting in a corridor waiting for a party and just suddenly hated everything about the process, it was the beginning of the end for that game. What turned out to be a very long end as I mainly evolved it into a chat room while I fished for hours at a time but still.

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#14 Posted by Vortextk (944 posts) -

@seikenfreak: I mean stepping away for like...ever, lol. My point is, I personally wouldn't carry on with a game that I just saw nothing or almost nothing for me. I've also never played an MMO for very long without eventually stopping and if I wanted to, coming back later. Yes I am playing irregularly. The game was a complete shit show at launch so I played for literally days, had friends that we went back and played end of original launch + waited for ARR, then I stopped and came back last summer. It's just not in me to play the same MMO for like 5 years running and maybe that's why I never feel like you guys do.

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#15 Posted by Seikenfreak (1522 posts) -

I still enjoy the game to a degree though. It's still amazing in almost every way except for long term play, goals, and that recycled-with-every-patch progression system. I can fire the game up after months away and immediately get into the groove with my Monk. The music, the looks yada yada yada. The game is solid.

There is just no surprise or excitement anymore. You know, the sex isn't great now; where is the passion; FF14 has become lazy, unaffectionate, and complacent if you will. FF14 doesn't look at me, the subscriber, the same way anymore. I catch him/her eyeing other people, the cash shop fucking whales, and daydreaming. What happened to us? Is it me or is it FF14? *lights dim* /endscene

While it's nice that they've nailed down a content patch schedule, at this point its more like they've chiselled it into stone; great for their production pipeline and financial stability but super stale and boring, at least for me, after all these years. Luckily there are a billion other games to play these days when I'm done with an FF14 patch.

  • They need hybrid classes so there is some more variety and room for the less cut-and-dry jobs from the FF universe.
  • I've heard WoW has non-linear dungeons with branching goals and varying difficulty.. They need to come up with that for 14.
  • I know something I've been asking about for years is that they should take the dungeons and make them into explorable open world zones after you beat it the first time. Just like Elder Scrolls or FF11, you could enter the area (Not Teleport!), along with anyone else, and wander around. Find hidden coffers or kill NMs. It lets them mostly reuse the assets but also add some more density and detail to the open world.
  • They need to make houses actually useful and worth owning, a major goal for players to work toward, by adding furniture that gives additional storage space. Mannequins and weapon racks that you can decorate with weapon and armor sets you've collected.
  • They need gear with horizontal progression. Special pieces that boost a certain skill or allow use of a skill from a different class.
  • They need god damn Chemist as an item based healer class! And Blue Mage, because I don't understand why using the same point based skill system as FF11 for monster abilities wouldn't work in 14! Summoner needs to be more summoner-y. They added whatever that Bahamut mode thing is right? Good, now do that for all of them.
  • Vary the way enemies attack so that I can actually fucking stand still for 5 seconds on Black Mage.. Every enemy is just a sprinkler system of attacks at this point. They can simultaneously attack melee and ranged over a wide area via sprawling AoE attacks. I used to love Black Mage but it's become unbelievably frustrating and not fun to play. Casting.. oh wait have to dodge.. caaass.. wait move.. caa.. have to move.. caaaaaaaassssst.. stop move.. and there goes my Enochian.
  • They need to add airships in a way that actually matters. My dream, that is never going to happen, is that that'd create a 3D overworld map akin to FF7-9, not super detailed but you get the layout (look at Ni No Kuni 2 for an example.) Allow players to get an airship (customizable of course, more room for cash shop horseshit here) and get around the world that way (you'd see some other players' airships on the overworld map as well) and remove teleporting or make it way more expensive and impractical, only used for social emergencies.
  • Fuck balancing the game/jobs to the nth degree. That should be a lower priority to making each job interesting, fun, and unique. FF11 wasn't balanced for shit but.. FF14 progression doesn't work like 11 so you can play whatever the hell you want to play now. Plus, everyone can play a handful of jobs on one character and thus not left out; it's the beauty of these games! The only place in this entire game where balance matters at all is the extreme/ultimate/whatever-the-hell bosses in 14 and.. That's it. How many people actually care about that stuff? That tier of player probably has almost all the jobs leveled and geared anyway. I know I don't really do any of that content (there is no reason to, gear becomes obsolete overnight, glowing mounts are stupid) and I have 6+ jobs at level cap I think? Last time I did an extreme, it turned into an awkward, uncomfortable, heated environment that lead to me leaving a small, intimate free company I was with for years.

I could rant on and on. Point is, the game has so much potential but it looks like that is never going to happen because Yoshida has practically said as much. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he decides to step away from the game to work on something else. He looks bored to me.

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#16 Posted by Efesell (4475 posts) -

No offense but like.. "I'm bored upend a dozen things for me in your game that's doing very well" is a pretty rough ask.

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#17 Edited by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

This is just something I noticed reading the discussion about Eureka Pagos over the weekend on the forums/reddit. And it partly summarizes my feelings in a weird way. With Eureka Anemos, players found a way to cheese the tedious content by just forming "trains" and spawning bosses nonstop. It didn't make it any more fun to play, just more bearable. Now, with Pagos, they've effectively killed trains and made everything more tedious because clearly they don't want want people to speed through the content even though the weapon you get isn't worth the fucking effort.

Fun fact: it's also the reason that every dungeon starting in some of the latter ARR patches and continuing still to this day have hard stops that prevent you from moving forward until you deal with the trash. If you go back and replay some of the earlier ARR dungeons, you'll notice they will let you pull everything from boss to boss. SE didn't want players to cheese dungeons, so they put in those stops to slow down players.

Now, compare that to something like Warframe. Players wanted to go through missions faster, so they started started cheesing builds and mechanics so they could book it through levels even though the traversal system was never intended to do that. The devs took notice and know what they did? They not only revamped the traversal system to make it easier for players to do that, they made it so it looks cool as shit. That right there, at least to me, says a lot about SE.

This isn't directed at anyone. If anything, it's just an addendum that I'm too lazy to find a good place to slide into my original post.

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#18 Posted by Efesell (4475 posts) -

At least for dungeons I kinda always want those stops there.

I hate the parties that are just go go go go go fuck anyone who needs a second go go go.

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#19 Edited by Seikenfreak (1522 posts) -

@efesell Thing is everyone I know who plays it is pretty much equally as bored and tired of the cycle. Including two people I played with who work for SE. One in a fairly prominent, community oriented position. Most of them still sort of play it I think, like I do, but no where near as much. They all want stuff like I've suggested. The gameplay to grow and more variety etc. I've listened to other FF14 coverage where they were bored of the cycle. But there just isn't anything better out there for MMOs (as far as I've seen.) If someone hasn't played the game and is looking to try an MMO, I'll 100% recommend this game and I have a bunch of times on this forum. Everything is good for the people who don't really want to get invested long term in an MMO.

Sad part is I still pay the monthly fee and have been since release. Never cancelled. Even when I don't play it for 6 months. Because it's an annoying hassle and you'd have to sign up again just to not lose your stupid house. I like the subscription model for MMOs, definitely not complaining about that. Cash shop is semi-okay because I'm all for them getting more money.. with the assumption that it is put back into the game, letting them grow the team and improve the game. I'm against the cash shop because it adds skip potions and tons of hideous, gaudy, absurdly expensive mounts that I have to look at. It ruins my immersion. Which is sad sort of, but a completely reasonable statement I think. I don't want rainbow glowing unicorns with naked ogres (roe) on them sitting inside a shop in my Final Fantasy just like I don't want that in my Elder Scrolls. I don't want anime hentai paint jobs on cars in my racing games. It's ridiculous.

And yea, speed running dungeons sucks IMO. Rather than put gates though, they should redesign how dungeons work or add a new type, instead of copy and pasting the same trash-boss-trash-boss-trash-boss layout they've been doing since the start.

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#20 Posted by Lucri (110 posts) -

I'm bummed by the fact that the story about the Ascians and whatever importance the Warrior of Light has has been brushed aside. I was driven by the story to keep playing originally. Now I get through the updates after about 2-3 hours and have paid $20CAD for not a months' worth of play. I probably should wait a few expansions to get back into it because the gear grinding isn't worth the time anymore. :( Oh well.

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#21 Edited by Efesell (4475 posts) -

@lucri said:

I'm bummed by the fact that the story about the Ascians and whatever importance the Warrior of Light has has been brushed aside. I was driven by the story to keep playing originally. Now I get through the updates after about 2-3 hours and have paid $20CAD for not a months' worth of play. I probably should wait a few expansions to get back into it because the gear grinding isn't worth the time anymore. :( Oh well.

I think until it's clear that they see a final expansion in sight that's always gonna be the drip feed story hook that happens on the periphery of the bigger world events.

It's an approach that I don't mind but is maybe a little risky on their end.

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#22 Posted by Tapkoh (39 posts) -
I guess they aren’t cute enough

Pretty much. In an interview, Soken said that originally Lakshmi was older looking and bigger, but then Yoshi P vetoed it saying that she wasn't cute. So we got college Lakshmi instead. It doesn't surprise me though given it's a Japanese game. Disappoint sure, but not surprise.

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