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Reader Comments (39)

Posted: Jun 5th 2009 6:21PM (Unverified) said

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I am sooo under a rock these days I don't even know what Final Fantasy FFXI is! Is there a FFXII or FFXIII or am I misunderstanding the naming convention?

Posted: Jun 5th 2009 6:29PM (Unverified) said

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XI is the only online/multi-player Final Fantasy. It was released for PC, PS2, and Xbox 360. FFXII is for PS2, and the latest (single-player) Final Fantasy. FFXIII is the upcoming single-player Final Fantasy for PS3 and Xbox 360. FFXIV will be the latest multi-player game in the series, as detailed in this article.
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Posted: Jun 5th 2009 6:49PM (Unverified) said

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Honestly, you lost me when you explained that all MMOs have a repetitive grind because they're trying to copy WoW. You make a good point about approaching game design from a different perspective, but I'm not even vaguely convinced that FFXIV is going to do that. Perhaps I should play XI for myself, but I was told it was one of the grindiest games of its era. If the story popped out once you were playing I'm happy for you, but it sure didn't pop out to me when I was considering playing it.

This is a great article to explain to an FF-lover why XIV isn't a retread of XI. For the rest of us, it just seems incredibly biased.

Posted: Jun 5th 2009 9:02PM Seraphina Brennan said

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If you don't engage with it, then yeah, FFXI is an infinite grind. However, I think it gets that wrap because it doesn't put a gigantic arrow over people's heads to scream, "STORY HERE! OMG CUTSCENE RIGHT HERE!!" Because the game doesn't directly point to it, many people probably miss it because they're so focused on leveling. Heck, I even know people who skipped straight through cutscenes without reading and then complained the game had no story and was too grindy.

My advice when you play XI is to take it easy. It's hard, it's old, but it has these really nice moments that lead you to some neat little revelations about the world and the inhabitants. It tries to give you your own little story as you do all of the things you usually do in an MMO.

But, I do admit, XI is not everyone's cup of tea. If you enjoy it, great! If you don't, then my apologies.

And yes, I'm probably extremely biased about this. :3 This is why it's an opinion column.
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Posted: Jun 5th 2009 7:06PM (Unverified) said

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Colin, while I understand your point, you're presenting opinion and conjecture as fact. Unless you're psychic you don't know what the developers are thinking or what they're intending, you're just hoping.

Also, comparing single player RPG sequels to MMO sequels is like comparing apples to oranges. They have made 11 (soon to be 12) single player FF games because once you finish the FF you're playing, you're done with it. If another one comes out it's a new experience and doesn't compete with the older one. MMOs are a different story -- you're not likely to have people playing both FFXI and FFXIV, which means inevitably the new game is going to cannibalize from the old one, or the old one will overshadow the new one. Final Fantasy will be no more immune to this than Everquest was.

Posted: Jun 5th 2009 8:57PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Not to tread on your toes here, but Anti-Aliased is my weekly opinion column. I never present anything in this column as fact as it is solely my opinion and my arguments.

This is simply my outlook on the situation, nothing more. If you disagree, I welcome you to your opinion and would love to open further discourse. I personally agree and simultaneously disagree with you on the cannibalism, as I think if they make the game different enough, people will be lead to prefer one or the other. However, if FFXIV outshines FFXI in all respects, then I do agree with you, the game will become cannibalized.

My opinion comes from the fact that the entire series is an ever changing beast. You have people who prefer VII's combat, or people who prefer IX's story, or people who thought X-2 was actually decent (although I must say I enjoyed the combat system there.) Hence, why I lean towards XIV and XI working in some odd sort of harmony.
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Posted: Jun 6th 2009 10:23AM (Unverified) said

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Have to agree with Peter here. I have no problem with someone speculating, openly, about the future of FFXIV because that is all anyone can do at this point. Throughout your article, you write as if lecturing others who are ignorant of the game's mechanics and developer intentions that you are privy to. I kept expecting you to throw in a block quote from a developer interview to substantiate your claims. Failing that, qualify your statements so it is clear that you are thinking out loud and not reading from a stash of secret design documents.
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Posted: Jun 5th 2009 8:58PM TheJackman said

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This will work for Final Fantasy like every single main release is set on a new world and mostly not got noting to do with what happen in other Final Fantasy games!

Posted: Jun 5th 2009 11:27PM Kaio said

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Colin, I have to say this is probably the most well written dialog I've came across in the past few days on FFXIV and I agree with it completely. I want to see more MMO break away from the WOW mmo formula and I think FFXIV can do that. That is why I cringed a little when WOW was brought up at the SE press conference, we dont need another mediocre clone of WOW.

Posted: Jun 5th 2009 11:46PM elocke said

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I like this article. More Final Fantasy articles please! Yes, I will shamelessly admit, that I truly think I may be a Square Enix Final Fantasy Fanboi! Finally, something I can be a Fanboi! about. Hehehe.

While FFXI had grind, so did EVERY other FF before it. It's not specific to mmo's, it is specific to old school RPG's. The trick, these days, is to hide it among quests, tasks, events and other little neat ways of making you think you aren't grinding when you actually are. Think about the guy who loves to carve wood sculptures. He grinds away all the time. Or the musician, who practices/grinds every day to get better. It's a natural way to approach anything worth doing, the key is what is the outcome and how fun is the "grind" itself.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 3:47PM breezer said

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The idea that FFXI has this insane grind is completely false. It's a misconception from the early days (ok, early years) of the game where yes, getting to 75 was a pretty intense grind.

About a year after it was released in the US, they removed about 500,000 experience points requred to get to level 75, a pretty big chunk, and started introducing EXP bonuses from items and buffs.

These days you can go from 1-75 in two weeks, comfortably. Some have done it in 2 DAYS. Making it far less of a grind than even WoW....
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Posted: Jun 6th 2009 12:18AM (Unverified) said

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Square Enix constantly comes up with new ideas, and they dont just put them into the Final Fantasy Series. They also constantly come up with new stories, and those as well need to be incorporated into videogames. Why? Because otherwise we would never see them. You can only play one mmo within its own limits, such is the reason why people DO INFACT quit World of Warcraft for reasons other than obsession.

I like Bryans response, I enjoy grinding $$$ not e-$ though.

Posted: Jun 13th 2009 1:34AM nomoredroids said

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What are you talking about? SE hasn't had a new idea since...ever. The same characters engage in the same plot in the same way in each and every one of their games. Sure they renamed stuff (eg. Aeris becomes Rinoa), and they sort-of change the mechanics, but its basically the same, just repackaged.
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Posted: Jun 6th 2009 1:40AM (Unverified) said

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Colin, I think you're spot on with your opinion. FFXI does indeed suit the patient and, perhaps, the more mature MMO player. I have introduced many older gamers to FFXI and a fair number have stuck with the game rather than plough through modern iterations of the genre. Although there have been changes to the soloability of the game more recently the core game stills has to be a social experience which is much needed in a MMO after all.

I'm far too excited about FFXIV as, despite being worried about Square's more casual approach to XIV, I'm hoping it will capture the feel of XI which has it's own niche in the MMO world and a very strong and generally reasoned community.

Posted: Jun 6th 2009 5:06AM (Unverified) said

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Love this article. The explosive news about FFXIV will be an MMO is just what we need today in the MMO genre. And the timing is so good, that almost anyone is creating a sub class mmo. The genre is being tainted by this and we are being branded as a game that has no content. Nows the time to push the developers to be creative, not by thinking of how many money they can produce with their sub class mmo's. Developers should evolve in creating MMO games and take look at what Bioware, Squaresoft & Real Time Worlds are doing.

Creating multiple mmo's just for cash only tarnish the genre.

Posted: Jun 6th 2009 10:12AM (Unverified) said

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Honestly, Colin, I think you may have hit the nail on the head here.

One thing that was very telling from the conference at E3 was the fact that they said "We wanted to make the best Final Fantasy game we could, and decided an MMO was the best place to do that." Mind you, the quote isn't exactly, but it gets the point across.

What Square wants to achieve, I think, is less an MMORPG, and more akin to a virtual world; a place that feels like it lives and breathes, and we get to travel to through a magical little box.

Whether they manage to accomplish that goal will be telling, not just for XIV, but for the genre of MMORPG's as a whole.

Posted: Jun 6th 2009 12:01PM (Unverified) said

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Going to have to make it pretty much the opposite of FFXI for me to care for it.

And I have to agree, while there are those on Massively FAR worse at presenting their opinions as fact(I can't read ANYTHING by Kyle Horner), Colin sometimes mixes his reporting style with his opinion style and doesn't differentiate it enough to tell the difference. But its not like he's a professional or anything. For the most part I enjoy his work on the site.

In fact when I'm scanning through things w/o paying attention to headings, and I read something and think "that's blatantly conjecture" I ask myself "I bet this is a Colin or Kyle article" as I scroll up to see.

Posted: Jun 6th 2009 12:41PM Seraphina Brennan said

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My apologies, but Anti-Aliased is always my opinion and nothing more. It's my personal analysis of things I see around me in the MMO market / culture and has always been as such. If you see the Anti-Aliased tag appear before a headline, it is my editorial column, and it is my opinion. I may use facts to support my opinion, but it's still, regardless, my opinion. As I said before, I welcome disagreement, as it opens new avenues of discussion.
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Posted: Jun 12th 2009 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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Well your main problem is who you worded and presented the 2nd page.
You made a lot of claims and conjecture that has no basis in reality. Labeling something as opinion doesn't just throw off all rules about journalism or writing. You took a single phrase from an interview about making it a Final Fantasy first and not an MMO, and went WILDLY into the realm of conjecture.

From that single line you started using non-opinionated phrases such as "it will have" "you can be sure that" "we are certain that". You went on to imply that Final Fantasy 14 will not follow the MMORPG formula of grinding for levels over and over. There is no basis for that at all. Is it a skill system based game? Are there no levels? Is there no experience points given for killing things? You can not say "it is my opinion that Final Fantasy 14 will not have an experience based leveling system", that's not how opinions work. You could say "I don't think Final Fantasy 14 will follow the MMORPG formula" but saying "it will not follow the formula" is conjecture. You have no idea what Final Fantasy 14 does and does not do.

You should have probably labeled it a prediction, "Things I predict Final Fantasy 14 will have".
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Posted: Jun 6th 2009 12:55PM Minofan said

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While it is good to see some earnest MMO optimism, there's no conjecture here that couldn't have been written about FF XI - console game gameplay, emphasis on storytelling, loyalty to the spirit of the series etc. - and FF XI ended up being pretty much the last hurrah of the old-school antisocial MMO archetype (of course that is presumably what its demographic enjoy about it).

An awful lot of people (myself included) where burnt trying FF XI with expectations of story, characterization and accessibility that evidently bore no relation to what Square were aiming for - they're going to have something of a battle on their hands proving this isn't just FF XI mk.II (assuming that simply migrating the current FF XI crowd isn't their goal).
FF XI is a game that can genuinely be judged as infamous as it is famous.

All that said, the vagueries so far do sound appealing: no conventional levels or classes (though it sounds like each weapon basically = a job), solo-friendly and an all-new world (for the love of Ramuh no more male = asexual brick, and no repeat of WhateverTH that nose design was conceived as!).
I still need to see real specifics & evidence to lay doubts to rest though, and I wouldn't personally even think of heralding FF IV as rivalling the innovation of TOR at this stage for fear of eating humble pie as the dessert of another generous serving of grind.

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