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And I Spoke Too Soon

August 20, 2010

What’s that old adage about counting your chickens before they are hatched?  Well, FFXIVCore translated a little more of that Famitsu interview and boy did it shock me to the core.

F: Tell why you decided to implement Fatigue and Latency (note: I really don’t know how to translate that, but it’s something in-game to keep you from playing too long at a time on one class).

DK: We’d like you to think of it as a reward to those players who don’t have much time to commit to the game. Those hardcore players out there might think it’s a little unfair, but the main concept behind it is that you don’t need to put in massive amounts of time to enjoy the game.

What is Fatigue?

Let me give you some background here.  Currently in beta there is a thing called “Surplus”.  The system is simple, if you do several guildleves and gain a number of levels in a certain amount of time without changing jobs you will start to get Fatigued and gain a certain % of the skill and experience you would normally get at Surplus.  Meaning, the game is actually taunting you by saying “you could have gotten all this experience, but because we feel that you are playing too long, we aren’t going to give it to you. Nanner Nanner Boo boo!”   This effects you quite heavily as you play for an extended amount of time.  Eventually your Class Rank and/or Physical Level progress will start to be effected by this and reduced.  If you look over some of the screenshots I have posted previously, you will notice that sometimes the numbers are Green, White, or Yellow.
This is the system that is currently in place in beta that the interviewer is asking about.

What this really means

Basically, we don’t know much.  Except to say that saying “it’s a little unfair” is an understatement.  As a friend said to me after she read this, “I’m more hardcore than others, but I’m a regular casual player…  But yet I get punished for playing a few hrs every weekday and more on the weekend?”  That is about the jist of it.  It doesn’t take much time at all to start being fatigued.  As it stands SE’s definition of hardcore is anyone who plays for longer than it takes you do to 4 guildleves on any given day.  Seeing as guildleves have a 30minute max time limit and most can be done in anywhere from 4-15 minutes, that is anywhere from an hour to 2hours a day, any more than that is hardcore.

There is nothing wrong with tuning a game for the “casual gamer”.  The problem comes when you go about punishing those players that are more than that.  Someone needs to go to the Square-Enix headquarters and scream at the top of their lungs, “This is an MMO people, they are built on the backs of the hardcore, addicted players who pay you money so they can play for 11 hours a day and feel rewarded by the process.”

Final Fantasy XI was built on the backs of people who were willing to wake up at 3am to play with their Japanese counterparts.  People who would put sleep on hold for everything from a Fafnir kill to a chance at Dynamis glory.  Hell, I even spent a week of waking up at 3am just try to get a drop from a 21-24 soloable NM out in East Altepa once.  The point is, an MMO is not made or broken by those people who get online and play for 2 hours a day.  Those players come and go during the lifespan of a game in this genre.  An MMO is made or broken by what the players who come home from work, school, putting the kids to bed and sitting down and playing for far longer than they should.  Punishing them is counterproductive.

This system will cause the downfall of the game if it is left unchecked and unfixed.  You can hold me to that.  Any game that already has so many flaws that thralls of people are willing to overlook simply because of the nostalgia that the Final Fantasy name brings to them should really go out of its way to make the masses happy, not slap them in the face for wanting to play.

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4 comments

  1. Great article and a nice website, i think the biggest problem right now is that the game isnt really finished, they have no (end) content, not enough content at all to release the game right now, but they can not delay it any more, thats why they implemented this surplus system, at least thats what i think. They want to prevent the hardcore players to reach the max level within in a couple of days. I heard that people on the beta server already had 90% surplus exp, so thats really discouraging for all the people that just want to play one job and have alot of time on their hand. Even if you dont play that much you are still being forced to play a couple different jobs.

    I was very surprised when I found out that the game would be released in september, i thought oh well, this is way too early, we re going to pay for a beta test, it was probably the same with FF XI when it was released in japan, i started XI with the US release which already had the first expansion and even this didnt have that much content, but it was “ok”.

    I just started the XIV Beta and the game confuses me, those guild leves are really getting boring so quickly, basically no story involved, the Rank Missions in XI were so much more fun, i would gladly live without all those leves and have a great party feeling with bonus exp and exp chains like it was in the beginning of FF XI, they try to lure the casuals to this game and the soloplayers from WoW and at the same time forget about all those old subscribers that enjoyed FF XI and really dont like WoW Type games..

    Maybe back then in 2003 it was not so bad because only the japanese players had to “beta test” the released game, but this time its the whole community, the game is released worldwide with so many problems, its still somewhat a hardcore game that tries to be casual friendly and will not be able to hold any type of players. It would be so much better if they make this game similar to XI and try to keep their old playberbase and not make such a casual game. They should have released the whole game in March 2011, both the PS3 and PC version with alot of content and more testing, i really hope that wont be a disaster and the game will totally fail.

    btw, maybe you can answer me a couple questions.

    1.) Could you explain how the exchangeable guild leves thing works? It says when you exchange them you can get better rewards? Once i did that, i clicked on a new leve and exchanged it with 5 or so old ones? The reward was the same but the color of the item and gil turned golden? It was the same amount of gil and i think also the same item?
    I really dont get it, and it somehow makes no sense to exchange them to the same guildleve again because most of the time they are the same quests again? Or can you just exchange an old leave with one new one, always 1 for 1 until you exchanged 8 leves? Or can you really exchange 8 old ones for 1 new one to get a huge reward?

    2.) Are there any other NPCs or “guilds” etc you can join or talk to, that offer other “regional” guildleves (for battle-classes) in Limsa Lominsa?

    3.) When can you do faction leves? Do you need a specific amount of credits?


  2. I completely agree.. .they are using surplus to stop people from leveling too quickly and figuring out there is nothing to do.

    1) The reward for exchanging leve’s is a very SMALL amount of gil added to the reward for your new leve. You can only gain bonuses for trading in leves with a 1 next to them though. If its a 0 dont trade that one in. This changes depending on the level you are obtaining. I do not recall if this works currently in beta3 but it did in earlier test phases. A few things were turned off or changed from B1-B3.

    2) There are no other people to pick up guildleves from. There are a few “city missions” to do. Including a cute little escort mission that is beyond rudimentary. Unfortunately you have to do this solo.

    3) Faction leves can be purchased for 100 faction credits from any given faction. Considering you get 1-3 faction credits per leve, these will be harder to come by.


  3. Hey, thanks alot for your anwers, i am really excited about the open beta still, i still have faith and hope that they will change a couple things and have more content in the bag for us..

    Genju


    • The game has a lot of potential. I am excited to see the changes they have made to the game as the current Beta3 (which shuts down tomorrow) is a very old build of the game. Its unfortunate that SE is not like other companies and doesn’t push new builds to the testers to test. So we are all commenting on last month’s build.

      I do have high hopes, but as for “more content”, they have basically said there wasn’t going to be much more at the beginning. Which is truly unfortunate.



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