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Reader Comments (18)

Posted: May 24th 2010 7:18PM (Unverified) said

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For someone who doesn't play the game, does this just mean the people who have reached the cap can now just continue to grind to their heart's content and never reach an end?

Posted: May 24th 2010 7:40PM Seraphina Brennan said

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To answer your question as best as possible, it works like this:

Chains of Promathia is a string of content all introduced during the Chains of Promathia expansion. Many of these areas were level capped, so when a player entered they were dropped down to the maximum level the area would allow. For Promyvion, for example, the cap was 30. So, if a level 60 player entered, their level would be temporarily reduced to 30.

What this patch does is remove that cap. This way it's easier for people to see the content, as you could get a higher level friend to run you through some of these areas. In addition, other parts of the content are getting new, higher leveled monsters added in so level 75s and higher have somewhere to fight and level.

I hope that makes a bit of sense. :)

~Sera
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Posted: May 24th 2010 7:58PM RogueJedi86 said

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The way Sera describes it, I love the idea of areas with a level cap that scales you down. I wish other MMOs would try it for dungeons or raids. Like a mix of the Level Sync feature and that Zone Cap feature.
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Posted: May 24th 2010 8:35PM EngadgetSoFunny said

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It would be kind of nice to have this feature bought to other titles to make the other titles's earlier content somehow still relevant. The downside, is the need to collect several sets of armor. When your character downgrades from lvl 75 to lvl 20 temporarily, obviously, he or she cannot wear say 'Tier 8 +1000 stats style armor' or else Lvl 20 content would become insanely easy. Hence, you need to have a set of armor for all the lvl 20 instances. Ie a second set of lvl 20 blue-or-nice armor for when doing Wailing Cavern runs. Then you need another set of armor for when you do lvl 30 runs IE Deadmines. Next, you need another set of armor for lvl 40 run, lvl 50, lvl 60 and finally lvl 70.

Thus you'd need to carry or store in your 'bank'. say 8 peices of equipment(assuming 8 equipment slots, not counting rings/fingers/necklaces) x 7 sets = 56 slots of storage.

This actually occurs in FFXI. There's a lot of extremely expensive lvl 30 gear designed just for doing Chains of Promathia content. It is way easier better to scale old content to lvl 70 and scale the rewards accordingly. Like make a set of lvl 10 gear, lvl 20 gear, lvl 30 gear, lvl 40 gear, lvl 50 gear, lvl 70 gear that drops from Wailing Caverns in wow for example and in terms of development time as designing gear to drop a ihgher lvls would likely only take a few minutes.

The advantage though is it allows a lvl 80 player to play with a newbie friend whose only lvl 20. In reality though, the level 20 won't have all the fancy blue-gear the lvl 80 does so alot of lvl 80 '20s' want to play with other lvl 80 '20s' rather than lvl 20 '20s'. Higher levels know their characters better, better gear, etc. That's what happens in FFXI when you put this system in practice.
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Posted: May 24th 2010 9:08PM RogueJedi86 said

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But Wes, FFXI's Level Sync feature also scales your gear down with you. When you sync down to level 20, your gear's stats will temporarily go down to level 20 equivalent too. Adding that would make the feature even more workable in other MMOs.
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Posted: May 24th 2010 9:53PM breezer said

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I dunno if I'm being whooshed here, but Rogue, level caps are DEFINITELY not a fun feature.

Even with the level sync'ed gear, it's still a tremendous pain in the butt. COP missions are generally quite difficult, so while level sync'ed gear might be adequate for some, in most cases you'll still want to mostly have level appropriate gear.
You also need to write new macros for level-appropriate spells (if you're a mage) and gear swaps.

It was such a bad feature, SE actually admitted their mistake years ago.

"In addition, other parts of the content are getting new, higher leveled monsters added in so level 75s and higher have somewhere to fight and level."

And THERE's the rub. This is SE, so one's expectations should be on the cynical side if they are to be accurate (SE is a bunch of major, major assholes).
In before Promyvions are now even harder than ever to climb and require alliances of 99s to navigate.
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Posted: May 24th 2010 7:20PM Monkey D Luffy said

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So the caps are being removed but the monsters are going to scale up to the groups level? I don't really see how that's much different from the cap lowering your level to the monsters.

Wish the missions were soloable so i could enjoy the cutscenes and story in peace without having to rush through them because of the party.

Posted: May 24th 2010 7:40PM (Unverified) said

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Not all of the monsters are going to scale, and almost certainly none of the mission ones will. The change it being made to facilitate ease for those who have not cleared this content in the past, not to hinder them further.

This is a good change that's been long coming.

Posted: May 24th 2010 7:46PM Zardonnas said

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Now all the wussies that couldn't get through any of it even with all the nerfs can ruin the playground :D

Posted: May 24th 2010 8:22PM Egobrane said

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Doing the CoP missions over the course of several years with many failed statics and hordes of friends as we failed over and over again on the pre-nerfed encounters was an incredibly engaging and entertaining experience. Nothing quite like the pure amount of .. at loss of a better word, dread, present when I first saw how ridiculously long 5-2 was.

Posted: May 24th 2010 9:56PM Blancmanche said

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I know what you mean. Promies always had a deep sense of desolation and foreboding, and the ridiculousness of the missions just made it ever so deliciously worse. Every quick dash behind a mob's back, every desperate fight... brought with it the fearful realization that a single screw up could spell the end of the run. Nothing quite like that to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Beating all the zones with my static (after many failures) before any of the big nerfs hit brought a sense of real accomplishment, second only (possibly) to the first time my LS brought down Dynamis Lord in Dyna-Xarc. I think I'm in a super-minority of people who think that the promies lost most of their... charm... after SE made them increasingly easier.
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Posted: May 24th 2010 9:01PM Wisdomandlore said

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The awfulness of this expansion was a big factor when I decided to leave the game back in 2004. The expansion included no new jobs, no chocobo breeding, nothing players asked for. It was some interesting story missions and a fat lot of nothing else.

I particularly hated the first three CoP missions (located inside the teleport houses/stones/whatever). It took a raid of people to get to a fight only one group could do, essentially breaking your raid up. These fights were mandatory to access much of the new content. Worse, at least when it launched, there was a cap on how many groups could enter the final boss fight for each mission. That meant on the weekend after launch, there were about 40 groups yelling at each other that it was their turn.

Posted: May 25th 2010 12:20AM (Unverified) said

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I actually finished COP, saw the ring, was disgusted over all of the pain and hardship I went through for that stupid thing and quit FFXI when I realized none of it was worth it.

COP somehow managed to magnify EVERYTHING wrong with FFXI, rather than what it did well.

*It PUNISHED you for helping people as you could only lose exp from dying, but not gain any other than a pittance from mobs. They made changes to this YEARS later.

*Unless you had the "right job" or had friends who had the right ones, you were SOL for a lot of missions (e.g. try doing Mithran Trackers without 5-6 SMNs which became the "norm" since it was an easy zerg fest).

*It pretty much was balanced around 2 hour abilities. My cousin actually failed Bomb Snoll and waited two friggin hours to try it again!

* You needed level 30-75 gear. If you wanted to help people, you needed to keep it too. Keep in mind FFXI lets you be any job once you unlock it so storage space becomes a commodity since there were 18 jobs (when I quit).

* If you wiped on the promyvion bosses, you had to pray someone had a reraise pin active cause you were in a different location from people who didn't enter the fight who could otherwise rez you. Otherwise it meant releasing back to the home crystal point which was often in Jeuno (the central city far away from the Promyvions) and meant going back to the Promyvions and climbing the tower again to get to the boss.

I'm sure there are more horrors, but these only came off the top of my head. I am hopeful that FFXIV addresses all of the issues FFXI had.
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Posted: May 25th 2010 1:30AM Dblade said

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This is a very tough thing for me to comment on.

In one sense, doing this is a sign that the old design philosophy of making a hardcore style EQ game is finally dead. CoP is an insanely long, tough as nails questline even after the first nerfs, and exemplified old FFXI's tough bit rewarding gameplay.

The first nerfs were needed in my opinion, as it truly was tough for most people. However those really were fine, and the additions of ENM fights enabled people to keep doing them. You could help someone out with the mission, then everyone does an enm for money and items.

This..well this is overkill, and a sign to me that SE is just killing time now waiting for the game to end. To make early areas uncapped, even with scaling level mobs up, means all you want is for the few new players to get walked through by 75s. That's gonna ruin the whole experience: COP is something to experience.

If they felt this was an issue they could have just opened up Sea. That's really the only reason to complete it that matters, and while the story is ok, even with a group of 75s walking you through it its still way too long to do otherwise.

Posted: May 25th 2010 2:40AM (Unverified) said

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CoP was a big factor in my quitting this game... We got through it, but by the time we did nobody really cared, we were just glad it was over.

Posted: May 25th 2010 11:06AM (Unverified) said

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CoP was a very difficult story line to complete. The difficulty didn't come from the level cap restrictions, or predefined party set ups. It came from the lack of preparedness of the members in that party. You were able to weaken and even stop the Promy boss monsters by farming items from the monsters that wandered the different plains. But to count on each and every member to be equiped with those farmed items is something that you just couldn't do unless you had a static PT to do the story with. In fact each and every boss you fought had a weakness to items a player could farm.

I struggled my way thought CoP pre-nerf I lost 2 levels on my Rdm by fighitng Ultima and Omega airship battle so many times. I fought the ICE SNOLL with a pick up group, that i thought was for sure a fail set up (Rdm Blm Rng Sam Thf Bst!) WE WON! Why because we all had the item that prevented the Snoll from blowing up giving us an extra 30 sec to fight. We were prepared.

FFXI is a game build on community and teamwork. CoP asked the players to do just that. Band together to work their way through the story. This may have asked too much from those who quit.

Over the years FFXI has slowly shifted gears from super prepared groups, to functional groups. You'll still get complaints that you need a cretin set up to win xxx boss fight swear up and down that it's impossible w/o said set up. But I've been in plenty of unorthodox PT's to know better.

I'm glad that SE stuck to their guns and kept with the teamwork formula. Thats what Final Fantasy is. From FF1 - FF13 a group of warriors facing unfavorable odds to fight to save the world from darkness. FF was never single player and never will be.

Posted: May 26th 2010 4:56PM (Unverified) said

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With SE's new vision of focusing almost exclusively on end-game (took them long enough), opening the CoP zones is a "free" way to add new content without much work. Tweak some mob levels and you get a whole series of zones that people are familiar with but no one every uses.

As for CoP missions back in the day, they were challenging, but not difficult. The problem really arouse when some players that did no work, no research and no preparation assumed that they should waltz right through the new content. FFXI was designed to be intensely challenging. It was too challenging for people that just wanted to brute force their way through the fights and not prepare for each fight with the necessary items. These were not fights you could just leech through, everyone had to do their part.

Contextualized, it would be like walking into ICC and not knowing any of the fights. But in WoW you get DBM or AVR or any of a huge number of crutches. FFXI has none of these so it really punished those that didn't do their homework. People still whine about it to this day, but ultimately ever fight had a gimmick item that could be used to nerf the mob you were fighting. A lot of people still believe that you had to have certain job set ups to do the fights, but those are the same people that never researched the fights to find out how easy they really were.

End of an era, but the beginning of a new one at the same time. FFXI was, is and never will be WoW. It is a more challenging game, and that is the reason it will never be as popular as WoW.

Posted: May 29th 2010 12:07AM Terical said

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While this idea is nice, especially it took them what 6 years after to come up with this idea; Chains of Promathia without a doubt drove people out of the game in droves. I was one of the few lucky ones that had a chance to get up to Promyvion Vhzal with a linkshell, but just after getting past that; I felt burnt out and annoyed that just to play through an expansion pack that it required people all of the time. As if leveling for better exp didn't already required 5 others wasn't madness enough. I honestly don't want to play a game where I must party up only to be kicked because my gear wasn't elite enough or that I had a human nature emergency.

Heck the game when it first started required more than one party just for a freaking coffer key drop for an artifact quest piece (bard, beastmaster and white mage to name three jobs; that could get away with wearing artifact in parties). While a 15% of me wants to give this game a try again the other 85% just says you will just quit after one month. I would be happy if Beastmasters had access to more summoning pets and all pet foods stacked to 99. Of course I won't be holding my breath on any of that.

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