FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations

PC Gamer interviews Hiromichi Tanaka and Sage Sundi, a couple of the FINAL FANTASY XIV producers, who discuss player unhappiness in how the MMORPG turned out. They offer explanations for some of the issues they are in the process of addressing, and discuss the time constraints they were under that prevented them from doing so pre-release, as they spent the beta period fixing bugs, and didn't have time for design issues. Much of what they say suggest the game was rushed, such as this: "If we had three more years (laughs), we would’ve had three more years worth of implemented content. But we had six months [from the first stage of alpha testing], so that’s where we are with the game."
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34.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 18, 2010, 00:48
34.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 18, 2010, 00:48
Nov 18, 2010, 00:48
 
Square done f'd up!
33.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 16:14
Cram
 
33.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 16:14
Nov 17, 2010, 16:14
 Cram
 
It had the best soundtrack of the entire series next to FFVI. That was, unfortunately, the only thing good about the game.

Verno wrote on Nov 17, 2010, 09:09:
FF8 was awful in every way, that's just your nostalgia talking.
32.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 14:50
Tom
32.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 14:50
Nov 17, 2010, 14:50
Tom
 
Mmn FF7.. I don't think it's just nostalgia for that one, but it definitely seems to be a polarizing game. The graphics are really dated now but for the time they were great. That blend of 2D and 3D was something special. Now it's a lost art.

As for the translation, there have been worse. That can be remedied by playing it in the original Japanese, though. You know, there are bits of dialogue that were simply omitted from the translation. For example, near the beginning when Jessie is explaining about the sensor sweeps on the trains, she explains:

[whisperingly] Since it gets dark, there's a lot of chikan (groping)... in the ID detection area.

I think they left that out of the English version.
31.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 12:52
Verno
 
31.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 12:52
Nov 17, 2010, 12:52
 Verno
 
Fair points. I thought FF12 was a fantastic game though, definitely one of the best I've played since 6 and 7. It's not that 7 isn't a great game either but it does have a clunky translation and graphically it doesn't hold up well unfortunately. It has a lot of great features that definitely make it a standout in the series however. I thought FF8 was pretty dreary all things considered, I liked it at the time but going back to revisit it now is impossible, all of its flaws stick out like a sore thumb.
Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
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30.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 12:17
30.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 12:17
Nov 17, 2010, 12:17
 
Verno wrote on Nov 17, 2010, 09:09:
I think 7 was good at the time but it doesn't really hold up the way the older games do. Still though it had a metric shit load of side content and secrets which is something I can appreciate. FF8 was awful in every way, that's just your nostalgia talking.
Possibly, it has been a while. In the same vein, I certainly remember 2 & 3 fondly and I have little doubt if I looked at them now I would realize how VERY dated they would be now. So, maybe it would be true for 7 & 8 also. Given all that it seems unlikely they can EVER make another FF which would live up to expectations...
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
29.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 09:09
Verno
 
29.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 09:09
Nov 17, 2010, 09:09
 Verno
 
I think 7 was good at the time but it doesn't really hold up the way the older games do. Still though it had a metric shit load of side content and secrets which is something I can appreciate. FF8 was awful in every way, that's just your nostalgia talking. It has one of the most convoluted and nonsensical plots I've ever seen in a JRPG and that's saying something. The battle system is made to be entirely broken and it doesn't really have anything else going for it except for triple triad.

FF4 and FF6 really were the high points of the series. FF7 for a different generation perhaps. FF4 had a straight forward story that most people could relate to, clearly defined goals, themes and villains while still having some interesting twists. The gameplay was challenging but not unforgivably difficult. FF6 had a ridiculous amount of content, very open freeform play for a JRPG, decent characterization and a good battle system. The villain succeeds in destroying the fucking world and then you keep playing. That takes some fucking balls and you don't see it in many other games these days. The older games also hold up well just due to sprites if nothing else.

I thought FF12 was an interesting throwback that somehow combined an FF style singleplayer game with an MMO world structure but unfortunately the game has a huge amount of random grinding and low percentage drops. The storyline just kind of disappears halfway into the game too, it feels half finished which is odd in a 100+ hour title.

FF13 was nothing short of a travesty. FF11 was insanely grindy, it makes Everquest 1 look like kittens. FF14 well....it should be obvious by now.

This comment was edited on Nov 17, 2010, 09:16.
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Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
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28.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 07:35
28.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 07:35
Nov 17, 2010, 07:35
 
Lokust wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 21:30:
Not that they've put out a genuinely good FF game since 6....
Gotta disagree with that, both 7 & 8 were great. Played both of them all the way through twice.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
27.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 17, 2010, 06:56
Prez
 
27.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 17, 2010, 06:56
Nov 17, 2010, 06:56
 Prez
 
Can we have a real (read: Singleplayer) Final Fantasy game on the PC now?

Personally, I have always loved JRPG's for their flair and eccentricities. Well, the good ones anyway.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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26.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 21:38
Cram
 
26.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 21:38
Nov 16, 2010, 21:38
 Cram
 
Lokust wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 21:30:
Not that they've put out a genuinely good FF game since 6....
This.
25.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 21:30
25.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 21:30
Nov 16, 2010, 21:30
 
Rushed game sucks, film at 11.

Not that they've put out a genuinely good FF game since 6....
24.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 17:45
24.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 17:45
Nov 16, 2010, 17:45
 
Creston wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 17:08:
sauron wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 15:48:
Grind and low drop and skillup rates are not the way to keep people playing an MMO.

Ehhh....

I started running endgame content in 2007 and finally completed one set I'd been wanting more than TWO YEARS later.

Getting all my gear from that zone took from 2006-2010

Seems to me like it got you to keep playing?

Creston

Honestly, I put up with it because I didn't know there was anything better out there.

Anytime I see that kind of thing these days, I run a freaking country mile. Never again!

And yes, I'm the saint of patience. Not a masochist, or any other kind of deviant. *hides the porn mags*
Kittens!
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23.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 17:08
23.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 17:08
Nov 16, 2010, 17:08
 
sauron wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 15:48:
Grind and low drop and skillup rates are not the way to keep people playing an MMO.

Ehhh....

I started running endgame content in 2007 and finally completed one set I'd been wanting more than TWO YEARS later.

Getting all my gear from that zone took from 2006-2010

Seems to me like it got you to keep playing?

Creston
Avatar 15604
22.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 16:33
22.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 16:33
Nov 16, 2010, 16:33
 
sauron wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 15:48:
Creston wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 15:10:
...what he should have said, was "We don't want people to see all our content in the space of a single afternoon, and find out there is no high-level content in the game AT ALL."

FFXI was a lot like that (and remains so). Impossibly low drop rates meant you had to redo the same instances over and over and over again to get a desired item. I started running endgame content in 2007 and finally completed one set I'd been wanting more than TWO YEARS later. And I was running that stuff up to 7 times a week for over a year during that period. And don't even get me started on the horror-grind that was Sky - ugh. Getting all my gear from that zone took from 2006-2010, mainly because the grinding was so boring that guilds just hated doing it, and even when we did it the drop rates on good items (eg wyrmal legs) were utterly appalling.

Crafting was the same. I played FFXI for 5 years and only got 7/10 of the way up one particular skill tree in all that time, because the darn skillup rate was so low and because the recipes were awful. In LotRO I got 80% up a crafting tree in two months.

Grind and low drop and skillup rates are not the way to keep people playing an MMO. Make sure they have FUN and they'll stick around.


When I see people complaining about grinding in WoW I laugh, they have no concept of what real grinding is. I played RO for a short time, it was pure grind, they didn't even give any subtext for grinding. It was just a world with monsters and they sometimes dropped items. But what you described just takes the cake, you're either the saint of patience or a masochist.
21.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 16:33
21.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 16:33
Nov 16, 2010, 16:33
 
Creston wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 15:10:
There have been some truly execrable MMO launches, but I think this one really takes the biscuit.

Yeah, this is really one of the worst games I've ever played for any platform.

It's not just the launch for this game, though; it's that game design concepts and loads of content issues just go out of their way to take any fun out of playing it. There are games with absolutely terrible launches (SWG, Anarchy Online, even WoW's first few months) that were excusable because the games had their audience and were at least either competently made or fun enough to just deal with the problems until they were fixed.

FFXIV is just flat out terrible and it's not worth wading through the sewer of content they pushed out to wait until things get better. These guys want people to wait around until things are fixed, but I honestly don't believe that the game CAN be fixed...a lot of its problems are stupid design choices, not bugs.

20.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 16:01
Verno
 
20.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 16:01
Nov 16, 2010, 16:01
 Verno
 
Demons Souls.
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Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
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19.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 15:58
Tom
19.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 15:58
Nov 16, 2010, 15:58
Tom
 
Just because Final Fantasy and Square Enix suck nowadays doesn't mean all Japanese developers suck. There are some excellent RPGs on the PS3. For example, Ryuu ga gotoku series (Yakuza), Valkyria Chronicles, Tales of Vesperia, Atelier series.
18.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 15:48
18.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 15:48
Nov 16, 2010, 15:48
 
Creston wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 15:10:
...what he should have said, was "We don't want people to see all our content in the space of a single afternoon, and find out there is no high-level content in the game AT ALL."

FFXI was a lot like that (and remains so). Impossibly low drop rates meant you had to redo the same instances over and over and over again to get a desired item. I started running endgame content in 2007 and finally completed one set I'd been wanting more than TWO YEARS later. And I was running that stuff up to 7 times a week for over a year during that period. And don't even get me started on the horror-grind that was Sky - ugh. Getting all my gear from that zone took from 2006-2010, mainly because the grinding was so boring that guilds just hated doing it, and even when we did it the drop rates on good items (eg wyrmal legs) were utterly appalling.

Crafting was the same. I played FFXI for 5 years and only got 7/10 of the way up one particular skill tree in all that time, because the darn skillup rate was so low and because the recipes were awful. In LotRO I got 80% up a crafting tree in two months.

Grind and low drop and skillup rates are not the way to keep people playing an MMO. Make sure they have FUN and they'll stick around.

Kittens!
Avatar 8692
17.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 15:34
17.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 15:34
Nov 16, 2010, 15:34
 
This just proves that, as I've said before here and elsewhere, the Japanese cannot make RPGs.

Oh, they had their time. The problem is that it isn't 1992 anymore and we aren't limited to the SNES or a Genesis. Times have changed and they never changed their design philosophy to go along with it. Now they are simply paying the price.

FF13 was in the bargain bin a week after release in Japan. Anyone with common sense can see that their castle is crumbling. Granted, it'll take a long time to collapse due to their name recognition and bottomless wallets, but the market will eventually correct itself and they'll be either forced to do a full rethink of their game design practices or be put out of business.
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16.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 15:13
16.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 15:13
Nov 16, 2010, 15:13
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 16, 2010, 14:49:
Stopped playing FF after FF8, which was great. It's a bit sad this IP would end this badly...

Eh, this might...might...put the boots to the MMO version of FF, but I seriously doubt you've seen the last Final Fantasy game ever.

-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist
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15.
 
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations
Nov 16, 2010, 15:10
15.
Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV Explanations Nov 16, 2010, 15:10
Nov 16, 2010, 15:10
 
I think my favorite part is this :

PC Gamer: Recently, players have been posting videos of terrain they think was copy and pasted (eg. 1, 2 – maps showing all the relevant areas). Is that the case, and if so why?

Hiromichi Tanaka: Since FFI, we have always used the same design to show the scenery. We have one map divided into different parts, and then we use those parts. Otherwise, the data size is going to be terabytes. So, from the memory size point of view, it’s important to compile the data size. That being said, because we wanted the game to be seamless, we do understand there’s a lack of variation. So that’s why we do want to have more unique aspects in the area, depending on what area of the game it is. However, even for the 3D version for other MMOs, using the same data is quite common in designing the game.

PC Gamer: I understand when it’s elements of a landscape, like a tree or rock. But these seem to be whole areas, to an extent that you don’t see in something like WoW.

Hiromichi Tanaka: One of the explanations for that is the size of the parts of the data that we use. Back in the days of FFXI and even WoW, the memory of each part was much less than what we have to use now. These days, because of the graphics, the same size of the parts costs more memory size. If the PC itself has that same size of the- has got larger in the same manner, then we can increase the map in the same way. But the same size of the data is now like ten times more memory size, so that’s really costing the game data size.

PC Gamer: If WoW could do it then, why isn’t it doable now?

Hiromichi Tanaka: One of the reasons why is because of the quality of the graphics – it’s different from WoW. What we’re trying to do in each part is costing more memory. Basically that’s the difference. WoW was designed a few years ago, before FFXI. FFXIV is designed with the latest graphical technology; that’s why it costs that much of memory data.

The dude is completely avoiding the question. Memory limitations are of absolutely no concern when it comes to copying entire areas of the world map and just pasting them around in different sections. He argues that because the graphics are so awesome, they can't have completely unique textures everywhere, which isn't what people are bitching about.

They're bitching that they're passing the same mountain pass / river / plains with rocks every five minutes.

There have been some truly execrable MMO launches, but I think this one really takes the biscuit.

I also love their explanation for why they only allow so many quests per 36 hour. "It's to stop people from getting too powerful too quickly."

When, really, what he should have said, was "We don't want people to see all our content in the space of a single afternoon, and find out there is no high-level content in the game AT ALL."

Very amusing.

/happily looking forward to GW2.

Creston
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