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Monday, June 15, 2009

Final Fantasy history and 14 wishlist

2005 POL Message for the 1 year anniversary of the North American Launch of FFXI

Okay ya'll.. fair warning.. this is about Final Fantasy XIV which comes out next year or so. Just writing this down here since I know no one will read it but do link to it in discussions :p These are not the droids you are looking for.. if this is of no interest to ya :p

My original FFXI character - Rank 10 Sandorian Kitty Paladin (2003-2005)

Okay. For those who know I've been playing FFXI since the beta of the game way back like 6 years ago.. I lost track of time.. (checking 2003 NA release..) Okay so since Summer of 2003.. In 2004 I even took a small break (for a month) playing Lineage 2 (can't find my friggin' screenshots).. but the chaos PvP drove me up the wall.. Hubby quit since we couldn't separate our accounts (we shared one with the promise that when the PS2 version came out we could pay to separate them.. alas.. it was an empty promise.. ). I tried Wow.. and well.. it didn't WOW me.. so I went back to FFXI. I since took a break in October of 2005 to start playing Everquest 2 (since hubby was playing that one since launch in 2004). We beta tested Lord of the Rings Online as well but I didn't like the feel of the combat in the game (though it was GORGEOUS). I resumed playing FFXI in April, 2008 after an almost 3 year break - THIS time playing alongside my husband. We split time between FFXI and City of Heroes (speaking of which.. I realized I don't think I've taken screenshots of my girls yet :p).

Getting my Rank 10 as a 63 PLD.. whoot! (I've seen gotten Rank 10 on this version of my girl as a WHM this time around)

Reading the different boards and forums and wiki's, etc. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I want to even try FFXIV.. I mean seriously.. if it's 11 redux.. I'm not going. I'll just wait for Star Wars The Old Republic and call it a day. I'm not adverse to starting over (had to start over from FFXI from beta.. then again when they couldn't restore my character and started all over again back in April of last year.. /sigh).. so that's not the issue. Anyway.. the things I really want will most likely NOT happen but here are a few things in no particular order. OH! And for the record I do NOT use a "windower".. I use the Vanadiel 2008 collection that comes windowed. So if anyone gets freaked out over the fact that some options are available through the illegal windower.. Don't bother.. I don't use it. I've had friends banned for using it.. I refuse to get banned for something .. even if it's EXTREMELY HELPFUL.. okay got that out of the way.

LadySpeedster - We MUST have our own chickens.. period..

MOUNTS - When I got back to the game I was Sooooooooo happy to raise my own chocobo. It was a pain in the butt of a quest.. took a very long time (almost 2 full RL months).. but it's a cute way of getting your own chicken er.. mount.. I don't even want to know how much I paid for her but I still get a cute attack when I call her out :) Besides.. it's worth it's weight in gamehours when she saves me from walking in mollasses just getting to my destination... (Outpost warp >> Chicken >> Yay!). EQ2 handled this differently where you could buy different mounts (mostly horses though you did have access to flying carpets, Wargs, etc.) and even quest for certain ones. For those of us who would rather travel faster than snail's pace.. it's a nice way of allowing us to do so. Considering this IS another Final Fantasy game.. I'd be a wee disappointed if we didn't get our own chickens..

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta

BETTER MAPPING - Just put this picture up of LOTRO since they had the same problem (at least on the beta) as they did with FFXI. I don't have EQ's map up.. I should.. seriously.. because THIS one is something I wish EVERY MMO game has. Dangit.. I have to refer to this site but it doesn't give you the same effect. Basically the window pops up (hitting the "M" button.. as opposed to the bass ackwards way you have to do it in FFXI..) and you see where you are IN REAL TIME.. The map makes sense.. and you can see yourself running in there as an arrow. no more "where am I and where is everyone".. with maps that are not topographical (ever try to figure out those stupid maps from Empty areas like Promyvian-Holla? Yeah.. I thought so..) and half the time you are OFF the map listed. The EQ2 maps not only where helpful with their real time tracking of your character on the map.. it showed where the heck the zonelines were.. VERY helpful for someone who hasn't visited the area yet.. Also.. I didn't have to buy the maps in EQ2.. They were native to the game. The worst thing that happened was that some were blacked out like a "fog of war" to show where you have explored and where you didn't. Though half the time I just clicked the option to see the whole map to know where the heck I was going.

Everquest 2 - Raid windows

CLICKABLE CURES - Here is a great example of what I'm talking about. Again.. back to EQ2. (this is my healer btw (you have different characters for different jobs unlike FFXI).. She was a 70 Warden in this picture before the level cap and of course before I quit). Anyway.. In FFXI you have a bear of a time keeping track of people NOT in your group. For EQ2 you had Raids where in FFXI you have Alliances. I'd like to see FFXIV have an option to display your Alliance/Raid and be able to CLICK on their name (rather than tabbing) to facilitate easier curing/healing and buffing. I could simply use my mouse to touch any name on the screen and target THROUGH them to either cure them or even attack through that character. In raids it was ridiculously helpful to be able to do this. You have someone in red in group 4 and you are in group one.. I just hit one button and I have them targeted so I can keep them from dying.. try THAT in if FFXI..

VISUAL CON SYSTEM - This is also from EQ2 and COH - Alongside the FFXI "EP, EM, etc." I'd like to see colors attached to monster's names. This way I can visually see a sea of red going "oh crap.. it's all Incredibly tough".. or worse.. "NM.. oh crap".. I can't count how many times I thought this was a normal monster only find out it was 10 levels above me..

Everquest 2 - Solo mission against a Dragon

MAINTAIN STATUS BARS - So far just about every MMO now has this option. Check out this screenshot from EQ2 - again my healer Aslin (yes it's a little dark.. I was too lazy to change it). The top right icons show buffs that are ON ME with timers telling me how long I have left before I run out. This includes heals (some are 1 minute regens, etc.) to buffs, mount times, temp buffs, permanent buffs.. ALL with timers telling me when they are going to wear on me. The top left is almost identical but it represents timers that I am currently maintaining. Things like buffs on groups and raids. So if I am going "why is his defense low.. " I can tell that some monster stripped my buff off a person (and yes it says who the target is).. I always wished FFXI had this.. here's to hoping FFXIV has something similar. For a healer.. you have NO idea how useful this feature is.

Everquest 2 - Mission log

QUEST JOURNAL THAT MAKES SENSE!! - FFXI was notorious for going "Such and such quest".. and no other information in there.. How did I know that after talking to some chick in Sandoria I had to get a rare/ex of Kirin? I mean.. wtf.. If it wasn't for sites like Mystery Tour in the past and now the ridiculously useful FFXI Wiki.. I'd be loss beyond all possible comprehension in FFXI. In EQ2 they at least gave you the quest, and possible leads. It didn't always tell you exactly what to do.. but when maintaining a lot of quests (or if you just left it for 2 months later) you know what you accomplished and what you need next. I hope FFXIV has a more robust quest log.

Final Fantasy XI - Wedding (after 11 months of /random lottery.. /groan..) I'm sitting on the front row (my sponsor is wearing her wedding gear (and yes she won her lottery almost 5 months before me..) and my friend who stood in for my RL husband is sitting next to me in the Sandorian Aketon). We had an awesome time! I wish it was more readily accessible to everyone. (P.S. This was before there was wedding gear for the guys)

BETTER RUN IN-GAME EVENTS - Okay this only goes for my griping about getting married the first time around.. but lemme explain.. no wait that will take too long.. lemme sum up.. The first time I heard of in-game marriages (save your comments about WHY anyone would get married in game please) I heard it from my Japanese friends who comprised of 90% of my friends list at the time (I had to play during Japanese prime time and I was very fortunate to find really nice people with broken English who didn't mind spending time with me).. they had GM moderated weddings almost 2 full years before the NA's were allowed to have it. Even so.. even with the bitching about the JPN/NA problems with unevenness.. the system itself was warped. Someone who just started the game right now can theoretically get married in the first available over someone who had applied 10 months before.. Trust me.. I saw it happen. If SOE plans to reinstate something like this in the future I ask that they abolish the Lottery System and please go to first come first serve. Even if it's months ahead of time.. I'd rather do that then have my poor sponsor have to play the lottery game for more than 44 weeks in a row.. (this is also why I refused to try to do this again with my RL husband this time around and opted on getting the replica crafted gear instead. Though I would have preferred the whole ceremony again.. I mean.. I am geeky like that.

Present Day - Hubby and me playing game with the tops of our replica wedding gear (Opaline and Argent) to celebrate our 12 year anniversary

DEATH DEBT - I don't have a screenshot for this so bear with me - I HATE deleveling. Having played a few MMO's who handle death very differently here are my options. COH and EQ2 both have a debt system. You don't lose experience like you do in FFXI but you get basically the lost of xp as another bar to add to your upcoming xp. For example. I just leveled 10 and I died. What FFXI would do is to tack on the debt and go BACKWARDS and take it away from what you earned. You could be sitting there naked because the gear you just learned to use is now not equipable because you are back to level 9.. (My original character was 51/52 about 13 times in one month thanks to the problems getting AF keys in Eldieme way back when). I hope with FFXIV they institute a debt system rather than a full delevel. EQ2 added to it by instituting armor degradation where you had to pay to repair your armor. I don't like that part. For someone who doesn't make a lot of money to begin with.. that's a detrimental way of doing things. I'd rather do the COH version and just keep the debt with no fear of going backwards. There is still a penalty of death since GAINING xp from that point on is stunted by having to pay off the debt first rather than gain additional xp to your next level.

Ode to my old character in full Wedding Gear (and sporting the Airship glitch)

STORAGE!! - Again.. another EQ2 thing which has different implications. For those who didn't know - EQ2 allows crafters to create boxes, bags, quivers, etc. that you can sell to allow more storage to your character or ingame bank. For example. When you start you have about 8 slots you can hold things. But.. you can put a bag in one of the slots that is 10 slots and now you have 18 slots to hold crap in. Multiply that with the slots and upgrade to 40 slot bags or boxes and you have several hundred slots. For a crafter. I'd fill EVERY SINGLE ONE with just harvestables.. The bonuses were obvious. To crafters you could make money in just making boxes (Carpenter) or bags (Tailor). This also included Quivers (Tailor) to hold arrows, throwing items, etc.

- This is a catch all gripe. For anyone who has had problems with either lack of help with either GM's, Customer Service Reps on the phone.. or even SE announcements themselves.. I'd sum it up with
  • a) make more official announcements.. even if if they are not showing much information.. take the time to say SOMETHING about what you are working on and don't leave us in the dark.. especially if there are problems.
  • b) DO NOT NINJA FIX - I don't care what it is.. "NPC was displaying incorrectly a hat instead of a scarf".. TELL us what was changed. We can deduce later our own stuff but the fact of the matter is.. if there is a change.. put patch notes.. Even mondane stuff.. Don't ninja nerf something and ignore the community. If it has to be fixed.. TELL us what it is.. I think a lot of crying by the community will stop in general if we had some acknowledgement.
  • c) Hire competent GM's.. Don't hire someone without at least a grasp of the game. Even generally. I know it's a pain of an arse job.. but if someone calls for help and they don't know wtf a taru is.. it's just another SEFAIL...
  • CHOOSE YOUR OWN SERVER - So we don't have a repeat of FFXI's golden years of fail with the stupid World Passes (even Penny Arcade had fun with this).. Let US decide where we want to go. I dont' care if the servers are mixed with all the countries and time zones.. seriously I just want to go to "such and such server" if I know my friends are there. Plain and simple.
CUSTOMIZATION OF WINDOWS - Last but certainly not least - allow customization of our windows. I'd love to put chat and combat in seperate windows (see my EQ2 pics for that example) so I don't miss something. If I'm waiting for a TP call or something I just lost it in the combat (which I do like seeing). Give ME the option to see it or not see it or put it in another place on my screen. Personally EQ2 had this right where they allowed outside UI's to exist on top of their own. If you didn't like the normal UI for the game.. make your own or download one of the dozen versions available. Even if they DIDN'T want someone else to mod UI the game.. allow for players to change positions of windows using the FFXIV engine. Get with the times.. EVERY MMO has this option.

Dealing with Spam with Trial accounts - EQ2 and COH got this right.. Ban new players (specifically the ones on a trial account) from sending tells. That alone will stop a lot of crap.

This to keep - Level Synch..{Yes, Please}.. That is all


Hiro said...

Awesome stuff. I too am writing about Final Fantasy XIV and saw your blog on ZAM's post. I like your ideas. Hopefully SE does too.

William said...

um...then why dont you just stop playing FFXI and go to EQ2 since that seems like all you want. FFXI is NOT EQ2. Period. If you want it to be EQ2 then you're SOL. Sorry.

Arsenette said...

Didn't realize that people commented on the post .. you would think I get email notifications LOL.. guess not oh well.

Thanks Hiro for reading objectively and seeing that when making a new game you learn from the successes and failures of other games to help make your new game better. You don't have to reinvent the wheel twice if someone already did it ;)

William there's not much I can help you with if you thought I'd go back to EQ2. You missed the point of the post entirely. I feel sorry for ya.