I?ve never really enjoyed FFXIV 1.0. Through alpha

Posted by sarahbulaiman on March 22nd, 2014

I’ve never really enjoyed FFXIV 1.0. Through alpha, beta, and release, the one criticism that Saikyo and myself constantly come up with is that the game really isn’t fun. ffxiv arr gil, it’s beautiful — if you like various barren landscapes full of different shades of rock — but in terms of actual gameplay the only thing that it had going for it was the ability-combining Armoury system. A system that, I’ll hasten to add, The Secret World does better and right.

In fact, the only thing FFXIV 1.0 has going for it currently is sheer graphical fidelity.TSW does aesthetic, atmosphere, game systems, levelling… everything else, better!

But news and information is starting to trickle out of Gamescom about FFXIV 2.0, and it is… well… I don’t want to say “intriguing” because I’m fully expecting another letdown thanks to crazy Japanese design choices. I’m just keeping an eye on it.

You see, FFXIV 2.0 is rooted in “2012 gaming” according to its developers, who have said that they basically told their dev team to go and play other MMOs and then come back to create a “master document” of features good MMOs have.

This is interesting to me, and I’d absolutely love to get my hands on (a translated version of) that list.

My List

I’ll be honest: I’ve seen some of the phone-shot footage of FFXIV 2.0 and I can state that it clearly looks more interesting than 1.0 ever did, both in terms of the new graphics engine and UI, but also in the hints about combat and systems in the game, even if we’ve got very little info at this point.

But what I’m not so taken on is what I call the “MMO Legacy” systems: holy trinity, quest-based levelling, hotbar bloat, etc.

The so-called “second generation” MMOs — World of Warcraft, RIFT, Age of Conan,Aion, and pretty much every MMO that’s tried to carve out a piece of WoW’s pie — share many common features. Some of them I still believe there is a place for. Some, now, I perceive as very “last generation”. Especially in light of how GW2 does certain things.

I don’t want to hold GW2 up on a pedestal as perfection. It isn’t. Nothing is. But it does a lot of things right, including:

Cooperative Gameplay:

In the 105 hours worth of GW2 I’ve played in the various betas and stress tests (according to Raptr, which admittedly tracks time I spend patching/updating the game too) there hasn’t been a single instance where I’ve been pissed off seeing another player. In fact, while GW2 is very playable on your own, just running around the playfield with someone is great fun. Everyone who helps kill a mob gets XP, regardless of if they’re in the same party or not.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with party-based gameplay, by the way. I just think that concepts of “kill stealing” and “node stealing” need to disappear out of the window, quickly followed by ideas of “griefing” and “trolling” — one can but wish.

FFXIV‘s “guildleve” content had potential in the sense that the mobs for these quests were instanced to members of the party. It is yet to be seen how a focus on “quest-based” levelling inFFXIV 2.0 will change things up, especially since I assume they’re still going to keep the Armoury System where you level up all your jobs individually. How is that going to work with traditional MMO quests? Are they going to work on a TSW-timer system where you can repeat a quest after a cooldown? It’s the only way I can think of it working, just as it is the only way it could work in TSW — especially given that game’s lack of content.

TERA, for all it’s awesome combat and visuals, was a sore letdown for me by its “traditional” questing that prompted killstealing. FFXIV needs to take a look at the failings of that game and others and move past that to a more GW2-style.

At the end of the day, Massively Multiplayer games should be massive and multiplayer: not hundreds of people in the same area doing identical activities all on their own. Hot-joinable groups like RIFT has, or no groups necessary at all like GW2 — perhaps with scaling objectives — need to be the future. Read more by click: Cheap FFXIV GIL

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