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All Posts by Disdena

All Posts by Disdena

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Dzemael Darkhold has a 90 minute timer just like all the other dungeons before it. I don't know where you got the 1 hour timer from, but it's incorrect.

Aside from the negligible repair costs, there are no penalties for dying. The timer makes it so that you cannot afford to throw yourself at loss after loss hoping to get lucky. It shouldn't take 90 minutes to complete a dungeon. If time runs out on you, chances are good that a.) you're not actually learning anything lessons from your mistakes, or b.) one or more members of the group are incapable of playing their role correctly due to lag, poor equipment, or lack of experience. In either case, there is no point in forcing the party to keep trying beyond the 90 minute mark.

(What is "newbie mode"? If you need practice, run the lower level dungeons.)

Originally posted by Quazal.A

The economy doestn exist, there is not a decent economy in this game and will never be, when items are being sold for vendor value on the auction house, when you are charged a tax for both listing items and also BUYING items this will not create a market economy, to do that you need to do things like add a WTB section, allowing people to set their buy prices will then eventually lead the market to find a steady equilibrium . 

The only items being sold for vendor value are: A.) NQ equipment, and B.) gathered/dropped mats that are used in only a few recipes, and C.) items that vendors already sell (e.g. Copper Ore). C is obvious, and both A and B are due to supply severely outpacing demand. Quests give out NQ equipment for every slot like candy on Halloween; there'll never be a shortage as long as people do quests while they level. Harvesting Belladonna for 5 minutes will give you enough supply to craft Sleeping Potions for well over half an hour unless you're using Rapid Synth. This disparity between "How long does it take to get the mats" and "How long does it take to use the mats" is part of what makes the price so low, along with the fact that nobody needs the items that they craft into.

Dirt Cheap is the equilibrium price for such a mat because it will never be scarce. There will always be people leveling BTN who harvest a full stack while grinding and then have nothing to do with it. It has nothing to do with market board taxes. As an aside, the taxes charged for buying accomplishes something you don't see in other MMOs' economies: product differentiation. In any other MMO, if you're selling a shield for 10,000 there's little reason for me not to sell my shield for 9,999. It's the same shield, but mine is hands-down more desirable to everyone on the server now that I shaved 1 gil off the price (and then the next guy posts one for 9,998). But if I'm selling in Limsa and you're selling in Gridania, nobody cares about the 1 gil difference except the people at the Ul'dah market. A buyer in either city will prefer the shield that's tax-free for them, so I have little incentive to undercut at all unless I'm going to go lower by at least 5%.

Originally posted by Quazal.A

Crafting - I have in my shortish (8-15) MMO never seen such an aweful short mindedness in terms of hte crafting, the fact that EVERY character will get EVERY craft and gathering skill maxed out makes for a VERY bad game, see point about market, if everyone can make everything then who will buy when you can make- the only times trade will happen is if the cost of production out-weighs cost of purchase - why make something for 10gil if you can buy it on AH for 9gil

If you dont think this will happen you are blinded by the GMs falacy, think of games like WoW / LOTRO that have been going for years and think of the player base if this option was open back then then all older toons would have no reason to buy anything, and the newer toons wont have the wealth to buy them as no way to create wealth when a market ceases to exist.

Whilst i have no 'real' issue with the one character can do all classes, why did they not just make it so as you can only craft 2 and gather 2 - this way the market would be there (see some other posts about he interdependence)

A better question is: why make something for 10 gil if you can buy it for 15 gil?

I buy items that I could craft myself for less. I do it all the time. The cost of production includes the most critical price: your time. If I want 20 Woolen Cloth, I'm not going to buy—or farm—a pile of 80 Fleece and make it myself, even if that would cost me less money. My time is worth money, and if I can make several thousand gil of profit in 5-10 minutes by buying the cloth and crafting it up into endgame gear, it probably doesn't make financial sense to spend an extra hour making it from the rawest materials to save myself a few thousand gil.

To someone, somewhere, their time is worth less money than mine, and I buy from them.

Having an economy where players occupy vastly different tiers of crafting expertise—some don't craft at all, some do a little in one craft, some max one craft and do a little bit of others, some dabble equally in several, some max all crafts—ensures that people have very different needs and put different values on their time. This helps the economy much more than trying to make labor scarce.

I think that the situation where "all the older toons" have all crafts maxed is beside the point. In a game that has been out for years, scarcity of labor is a non-issue whether you restrict the number of professions or not. If there are 2,000 max level Blacksmiths on the server due to crafting restrictions, that's not an improvement over having 10,000 max level Blacksmiths on the server. Either way, there's little room to profit because someone else is always willing to charge less than you. It is very hard to imagine a situation where someone on an old game could continue to make a good profit with crafting despite the fact that a significant percentage of the server has that craft maxed.

 

Originally posted by Quazal.A

Now the mechanics of the crafting are ok, however, why does the game feel the need to force me to craft lots of lower level items to make a single highter level item but fail to give me the tools to do it suitably, think of the crafting mods in WoW you can say you want to build item 1 - it then automatically queues up all the pre-requisite items.

But what further annoys me about this is that i might need say 500 items of a lower level to make enough to level up higher, but then using the auto-craft zergs your XP big time, - Dont tell me about the best way to level crafting is through quests, because a simple response is I want to craft and not quest why should i be forced to do both if i dont want too.

This is simply part of the time = money formula. The XP you gain has value to you. The finished products you produce also have some value to you. If you use Rapid Synth, you gain less XP per item and some synths will be failures. If you craft manually, it will take longer but you gain more XP per item, (should) have no failures, and get some HQ. If Rapid Synth didn't have these drawbacks, Manual Synth would take more of your valuable time without giving you any additional benefit.

Originally posted by Isometrix

Hi guys,

I've been hopping in between MMOs like many. My last attempt was GW2 which I really liked, for a short period of time. Now, I'm not really looking for an MMO anymore and I know FF14 isn't going to hold my attention for long. What I'd like to know is if the story alone is worth a playthrough for you guys.  I need something to pass the time while I'm doing other stuff on my PC, and have read some research, but some say the story is good enough for a numbered final fantasy title, while others say it's terrible.

If you ignore all the endgame stuff which I have no real interest in, would the story warrant a purchase of the game? Additionally, I read dungeons are required for the story. Can you still find a group for these or has everyone leveled out of them; or are they on their 5th character and will insist me to skip every cutscene?

I'm really enjoying the dramatic parts of the story, but unfortunately many of the "transition" parts are uninteresting and add nothing to the story. There are multiple times when you end up in a long series of "prove your worth to us before we will agree to help you, adventurer" quests that drag on for a while. But yes, I would say that if you enjoyed the other FF series' for their stories, you will also enjoy this one. Some of the cutscenes and plot twists put me right back in the FF mood, and I've gone back to rewatch many of them. As long as you're not completely burnt out on MMOs to the point where running around killing 5 rats will be painful, you can buy this game and have a great time playing through it for the story.

The English voice acting isn't very good. You can switch it to Japanese if you're into that.

A lot of the writing is top-notch, even in the descriptions of filler quests that few people even read. The localization team really outdid themselves. On the one hand you have a lot of Eorzean slang ("yalm" and "malm" for yard and mile, "bell" for hour, references to their pantheon) to make the speech sound like it comes from a real world with history, and on the other hand they still sneak in a lot of puns and references to other games, movies, and geek culture.

Dungeons are required for the story but there is a cross-server dungeon finder. If you play as a tank class or make a friend who can play as a tank, you'll get in in under a minute every time. Even someone who is too high level for the dungeon can level sync to run it again as an appropriate level.

You definitely will not encounter people asking you to skip dungeon cutscenes on the trek to the level cap. I've never seen it happen even once. It might happen in some of the final dungeons that people speedrun for endgame tokens, but most people doing that will put a group together rather than using the queue and risk getting someone who is new. Since you can switch between classes on the same character, people who are leveling a new job will not have to play through the story again and will probably choose not to do dungeons if they're the impatient type (since there are some faster ways to gain experience). So any dungeon party you get thrown into should be either new or open to guiding new players.

Originally posted by seacow1g

Now don't get me wrong, clearly the reaction from this forum indicates that this kind of system is bad game design. Not because of what it achieves (I'm still convinced it achieves it very well), but because it infringes on some core belief that gamers have about their games. They may never play more than 70 hours per week but they'll never touch a game that infringes on their "right" to do so if they so chose. This is goes against something ingrained in everyone in the western world's mind and even if it were beneficial to them they'd reject it simply because it strikes that "freedom" nerve.

 

I don't disagree. In a sense it is the rejection of a philosophy. People who are minimally affected by it or not affected by it at all still fume over it. It's like DRM that only allows you to install a game or watch a movie X times. Even if you'll never hit X in a lifetime of standard use, you don't want to pay for something that you might eventually lose.


Originally posted by seacow1g

But that still begs the question about how could we achieve these goals, about making MMO's that don't pressure the playerbase as intensely, that don't allow gold farmers to accumulate as much gold or powerlevelers to vastly outlevel the players simply through grinding more. About encouraging the players to take their time more and progress through the content at a pace that relatively in line with development without sticking absurdly hard content walls in their face to obstruct them. How do we achieve these things in a social, competitive RPG without putting in a system that players hate? Now that's a good question and it's worth billions of dollars to answer

I really think you need to address those goals separately rather than imagining that xp limits have the potential to address all of them.

RMT will never be hampered by a limitation like this. When people pay gold farmers for currency, they're paying for their time. Whatever solution the RMT companies work out for maximizing their currency farmed per day, people who want to buy gold will pay them for that time.

The "pressure" to spend all hours of the day rushing through the content doesn't go away with xp limits, it just changes form. While unemployed players could hit the daily/weekly limit without much trouble, players with just barely enough free time to reach the xp cap would feel much more pressured. It's like, if you're allowed to gain 1,000,000 XP per week, you're going to make damn sure you hit that limit even if it means grinding like a fiend all day Saturday without taking any time to enjoy yourself.

And as for gaps between powerlevelers and casual players, is there really a need to make them more narrow? Many MMOs don't pit players directly against each other, so my play experienced isn't necessarily harmed by the fact that someone else got to endgame in two weeks. It's not like he can walk up to me with his Drygwynnbaynne Hammyre +10 and knock my head off with it. If someone who doesn't have much time to play wants to be able to compete directly (and on even ground) against players who have all day to play, that is a sign that they should be seeking out games without progression or where progression is not much of a factor. If progression is a problem, take the progression out... don't hamstring it and leave half of it in the game with a "now-you-can-gain-experience,-now-you-can't" limitation.

I think you misunderstood how this system was implemented in Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. It didn't allow 8 hours per week; the limit applied individually to each class (and was based on xp, as you suggested). Characters could switch classes and leveled each one separately, and your character benefited from spending time on multiple classes rather than sticking to just one or two. It was also a soft cap, allowing you to continue leveling that class beyond the weekly limit for another 7 hours worth at a steadily increasing xp penalty. Besides just  shortening the gap between casual and hardcore players and stopping the latter from exhaustingly powerleveling to level 50, it was also a safeguard to nudge players towards properly experiencing the game by gaining the benefits of multiclassing across several classes, rather than focusing on taking a single class to 50 and being relatively useless.

The outcry against this system was so strong that I really feel it significantly contributed to 1.0's monumental failure. For the last several weeks of beta leading up to the release, the conversation between players and developers was completely focused on the xp fatigue system. The game had a lot of problems. A LOT of problems. And feedback about every one of those problems to a backseat to the fatigue issue. I don't think there was a single FFXIV article on any site in the entire month of September that wasn't primarily focused on the game's xp limits despite the fact that only a relatively small percentage of players would ever be affected by them. Square Enix spent so much time responding to the outcry over xp limits that that they never fully got the message that there were many other things—basic things like combat, UI, inventory, selling to other players—that needed more iteration before the game would be ready for release.

So if someone includes this feature in an MMO this is the reaction they should expect. If players think that you are artificially controlling their progress they will riot regardless of whether or not the feature improves the game.

That kind of fails to answer my question. If you have 2 factions, then each player on one faction views the opposite faction as their enemy (assuming that this is a game where the factions fight each other, otherwise I don't see what the factions are for in the first place). If you add a third faction, it creates a dynamic where two factions might not necessarily view each other as enemies if they both have to fight the third faction. In fact, the alliances might switch around as factions take turns being "in the lead".

Adding a fourth faction (or more) doesn't change that dynamic, it only reduces the amount of control you have over the shifting balance of power, and makes the relationship among the factions harder to predict. It also makes it harder for the players to feel strongly about each other faction. If you want the power struggle to be out of your hands and hard to plan for, you should just allow player-made factions because that also greatly increases the players' sense that they are in control of what goes on in the game.

Two factions - good.

Three factions - good.

Unlimited factions - good.

For any other value, I'd need to see you really present a strong argument.

What's your rationale for having 6 factions? It seems like that would guarantee that the difference between the most powerful and least powerful factions will be enormous.

The central issue of the OP was that game publishers are companies and they're in the business of making money, not making good games—and that's terrible. We can address this without getting baited into politics.

How long do you think it would take to make a perfect MMO? If you answered anything other than "Infinity squared, and then some", you don't know much about software development. You'll never hit perfect. In fact, even without worrying about implementation, you can't even design a perfect MMO. Anytime you say "okay, finished", are you really saying that if you had another month or another year to sit there designing it, you couldn't make it even a teensy bit better?

It is super easy to say "Game X was released in terrible shape because they cut corners and didn't want to spend the amount of time and money it would have taken to fully develop the game." But the stone cold truth is that no game is ever fully developed. Without someone to say "This game is done as of this date" or "This game is done as soon as this and this are fixed and this and that are finished", no game would get finished. There's no way we'd have a better caliber of games if publishers just said "We'll keep throwing money at it for as long as it takes for the game to be completely done and perfect." We wouldn't have any games at all.

This is especially true when you consider just how huge games are now. If you go back to the NES, for example, the games were only a few hundred kilobytes at most. There was an unsurpassable limit imposed upon developers. You couldn't add any more sprites, any more levels, any more music, any more text. You could (very quickly) reach the physical limit of what the game cartridge's ROM chip would hold. That's not true anymore. If you're creating an MMO and decide to add in one more quest, one more dungeon, one more continent, you're never going to hit a limit where nothing else can be added.

Extra Credits, Season 5, Episode 09 - Aesthetics of Play

This video does a pretty good job of explaining the different ways in which a game can appeal to players. They also point out that most games are only designed to appeal to a few of these core aesthetics. If you're looking for games with a different core aesthetic than I am, we're necessarily going to disagree about which games are fun.

Originally posted by MMOPapa

Thank you. So just to clarify you're saying you can't compare Maokai to Tristana because they play two completely different roles? That basically makes the entire claim of 'Overpowered Classes' a null argument in most cases by that very logic because as you just said...

'Ranged DPS Class X' and 'Melee Class Y' are different in ways that are incomparable. This makes for exceptionally good balance, because it is impossible to do what you're trying to do: take two 'classes' and directly compare them to prove that one is strictly better than the other.

Or does that only work when the terminology used for 'a character with a unique skill set' is 'Champion' instead of 'Class'? Seems sort of hypocritical if it's okay to compare classes... but not champions... why? Because of how many there are? So if I chopped up an Archer class with twenty skills into four 'champions' with five skills then did the same with a Tank class; it'd be okay to compare the original versions, just not the champions? Doesn't seem logical to me. If you can compare a Warlock to a Warrior and call the Warlock overpowered, then I can compare Tristana to Maokai and call Tristana overpowered; otherwise you forfeit your argument.

Ah... It's like that.

I don't have an argument to forfeit, I'm on the same side as you (more or less). See what a little too much snark can do?

Originally posted by MMOPapa
Originally posted by Disdena

Man, what.

113 Champions, and the fact that there are some you see only rarely is evidence that the game's unbalanced? The champions with the highest win rates typically sit around 55%. The champions with the lowest win rates are around 40%. That is obnoxiously well balanced. There are a huge number of factors that go into why some champions are played more than others. The notion that you need to play one of those champions in order to have a good chance at winning is not one of those factors.

So you're saying if you play Tristana against yourself playing Maokai... you'll have a chance of winning as Maokai?

This is a gross oversimplification, a bit like saying "Who would win in a 1v1 game of football, this quarterback from this team or that linebacker from that team?" Whatever rules you may come up with for a 1v1 game of football, they wouldn't reflect the skills needed to play the real game.

Tristana and Maokai are different in ways that are incomparable. This makes for exceptionally good balance, because it is impossible to do what you're trying to do: take two characters and directly compare them to prove that one is strictly better than the other.

Originally posted by MMOPapa

 But I'll bite anyway. If you tip your hat to League of Legends then you're basically tipping your hat to the worst example of 'Overpowered Classes' there is. Think of how many Champions there actually are... now think of how frequently you see a handful of them and how rare it is to see some.

Man, what.

113 Champions, and the fact that there are some you see only rarely is evidence that the game's unbalanced? The champions with the highest win rates typically sit around 55%. The champions with the lowest win rates are around 40%. That is obnoxiously well balanced. There are a huge number of factors that go into why some champions are played more than others. The notion that you need to play one of those champions in order to have a good chance at winning is not one of those factors.

As you gain experience, your character's level goes up. Getting all the way to the level cap means you made it to the end of the game. From there, you can continue gaining experience to get some little additional perks.

That's one way of looking at it. But the other way of looking at it is: As you gain experience, your character's level goes up. About 1/4 (?) of the way through the game, your character's level stops going up and you gain specific little perks instead of the normal level up benefits you're accustomed to. Getting all of the little perks means you made it to the end of the game.

Same exact system, just a different way of looking at it. The second model reveals what I don't particularly like about AA systems (or endgame in general). It takes the measurement you've been using to gauge your progression and does away with it partway through the game. (1/4 is just a guess. Some games have an impossibly long and rich endgame, others don't.) Levels serve a purpose. They let you know what your general power level is compared to other players and compared to challenges within the game. I'm not opposed to levelless games but I understand that that's what levels are for in a game that has levels. Saying "we're not going to use levels anymore" at an arbitrary point in the game takes that purpose away.

Now you're no longer a level 68 looking for 2 level 66-70 partners to go to the level 70 demon fortress, you're a level 80 with 5 points in Faster Casting, 5 points in Party Damage Aura, 5 points in Reduced Interruption, and 2 points in Increased Curse Duration looking for a [how do I know who I can party with?] to go to the [how do I know which area is an appropriate challenge?]. The game trains you to think of your character's potential as being distillable down to one number and then removes that number.

Endgame AA points aren't the only culprit; this is the same thing that happens with visible ilvl and GearScore and so on. I'm not sure there's any endgame system that satisfies me. I'd almost rather see the game end when you reach the level cap. DING, here's the last dungeon or whatever, and after that there's nothing. You reached the end of the game. I mean, that effectively happens anyway when you max out whatever the endgame progression is (whether it's gear based or AA points). Why not just use levels the whole way through instead of switching systems partway?

I see that it's complex, but what's dynamic about this? Every time you craft an item, you're still going to go through that same series of steps every time. Whether it takes you a little bit of experimentation or simply looking up a how-to video, nothing changes once you've got the steps down. The question is a bit loaded because the crafting described here is complex but not dynamic.

For me, it depends on the game. If the main mode of advancement is grinding on mobs, I'd rather the quests didn't give any experience at all. I like to do quests. Sometimes, you feel that pressure to "do this quest before I get too far above it and it becomes worthless." If the amount of experience I get isn't significant even when I do it at the appropriate level, I'd rather it not give me any at all so that I don't have to fret about how soon I get around to completing it.

Edit: I guess the same applies to crafting. I like efficiency and I suppose I like XP as being a good reward for efficient behavior. But I don't like crafting being a part of that formula. Let's say there are certain levels where your class is a bit weak, like the couple of levels before each major ability upgrade or equipment upgrade. If leveling up a craft grants XP, that's like an XP supply that you can dip into anytime, but there's only so much in the supply. The metagame strategy suggests that if you're going to level up a craft, you should only do it during those levels where it would be hard to go out and fight, and then stop crafting when you hit the good level. I don't like this level of metagaming, planning out what activities I can or can't do at a given time. So I don't want XP attached to crafting because I don't want to be rewarded for playing the game that way.

Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Deivos

 

 

Notably, pacing.

Games are not movies. I don't need the game to pace me. If i need a break, i will turn the game off, get up and go get a sandwich.

And slow travel is not pacing, it is unavoidable boring bits that many players don't want. Otherwise, why would players use teleports at all?

Plus, in a movie, even the non-action parts are made (or tried to be made) interesting. Look at the Avengers. The bantering is as much fun as the action. The movie could not have made $1.5B if the film maker show nothing but Tony Stark traveling from point A to B in between fights.

While I agree that fast travel is not the immersion-killer and genre-ruiner that people like to call it, I think it would be better for you to concede this point. Forcing slow travel on people does have some value in creating a contrast between low and high moments. There are a lot of things that players want but don't think that they want, or things they don't think they want but they really do. So I don't think you can claim that slow travel is bad due to the fact that players do skip it when given the opportunity.

Plenty of games—especially RPGs—use pacing. It would be a big mistake for a Final Fantasy game to be nothing but dungeons from start to finish. Even if the player has the ability to take a break whenever they want, that's not the same as having a part of the game that's just laid-back. A break in the action can be a part of the experience; you shouldn't have to step back from the game for that.

Originally posted by roreux

3. Only the rules of physics apply.  Players have complete freedom.

This is a bit ambiguous... The ability to do things depends completely upon developers implementing features. It's not as though you can just #include <physics.h> and call it a day. You can certainly make it so that objects have momentum, fall according to gravity, and bounce off of each other (or break) when they collide. But everything that your avatar does in a computer game is possible because some designer said "player characters should be able to do this, don't you think?"

If a player wants their character to walk, jump, crawl, punch, pick up a rock and throw it, swing a sword, or get injured and die, those things are dev content. And everything the developers don't implement is off limits. Complete freedom is impossible within the confines of a computer program.

Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Disdena

That's your definition, it's not the one true definition, and the author of the article is not incorrect.

The article's author is actually incorrect on several accounts:

  • Incorrect use of the term "sandbox" relating to a game which is nonlinear, rather than a game which is about player authorship over the game world.
  • Assuming the problem with sandboxes is choice overload, when the problem is a lack of choices.  
The definition of sandbox I use:
  • Is the historic origin of the term as applied to games.
  • Makes the most sense logically.
What the hell more do we need than that?

I reject the historic origin that you claim. Furthermore, whether it used to mean that, it should be enough to point out that a.) many people use a variety of definitions for the word "sandbox" (this is hardly the first time people have disagreed over what it means and whether or not a particular game is one) and b.) the article is based around a different definition than yours. If you want to speak of logic, this is what you'd call an etymological fallacy.

I think that the reason we call nonlinear or undirected games sandbox games is apparent, but rather than continuing to nitpick over whether a correct definition exists, why not keep the thread on track and accept that this discussion is about being overwhelmed by choice in games that are open and undirected, rather than games with malleable game elements? There are plenty of other threads to have that discussion. Lizardbones has been trying to keep this one on topic.

It's the essence of the ARPG. Who really complains about running around killing monsters nonstop?

Also, the economy/crafting is unique, and the ways of customizing your character are very well done.

Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Disdena

It's not my definition.

It's the original definition someone coined years ago.

I heard a different, later article about sandboxes from a developer and picked up the term from there.

  • Sandbox = sand = malleable game elements.
  • Themepark = rides = static (dev-built) elements.

Which is really the only definition that makes any sense, because any other definition doesn't have any right to be called "sandbox".  Literally.  The other definitions share almost no similarities to the term.

  • If you're talking about open world games, why would you liken them to sandboxes, which are closed freeform environments?
  • If you're talking about open world PVP, why would you like them to playful spaces which weren't about territorial dominance?

We should all be disappointed that some game journalists have no clue what the term means and so they toss it around haphazardly, sure.  But one mistaken journalist doesn't get to re-write the term, and certainly can't re-write the underlying logic behind the original true definition.

That's your definition, it's not the one true definition, and the author of the article is not incorrect.

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