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Reader Comments (64)

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 8:01PM Abriael said

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well, they've been pretty fast at changing stuff around in the beta so far. So maybe they have more resources than they had with XI (I do know, I played that for 5 years, pretty painful on the development side. And you should have seen before the US release... even worse).

I prefer to be optimistic. Worst that happens is that I don't renew my sub after the first month. So far I have to say I'm having plenty fun in beta, despite a few things that need work.
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Posted: Aug 26th 2010 7:53PM Valkesh said

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fatigue schmatigue, I see no reason to even acknowledge this game unless you're planning on playing it on the PS3, given that they still seem dead set on pissing out a half assed PC client yet again and I guarantee won't be arsed to do a damn thing to make it proper in the years to come, just like the miserable FFXI client that languished to this day and requires third party programs just to make LOOK half way reasonable let alone usable. This game is going to have more issues than not just being able to power grind to the top...

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 8:12PM Its Utakata stupid said

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So SE is stating it's using a cat of 8 tails instead of 9. I guess they didn't get the memo that it's still ludicrously painful.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 8:18PM PrimeSynergy said

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I don't mean to sound negative, but no matter how Square or anyone tries to spin it, this is not a good idea. I don't care if there are 'tricks' to get around it, things to do while I wait, etc. Why can't I choose to level up when I want to level up? Why can't I do stuff when I want to do it?

Square, you've let me down again.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 8:20PM VSpeck said

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A punishment system instead of a reward system? Reminds me of a Simpson's joke about Japanese game shows.

"Your game shows reward knowledge, ours punish ignorance!"

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 2:38AM Addfwyn said

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That doesn't really make sense though, the most popular game show types over here are quiz shows about really academic things. Esoteric kanji, location names, and other really academic related questions that do actually reward knowledge. Though it is true there aren't always significant prizes, it's just a feeling of a job well done.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 2:53AM (Unverified) said

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I don't think you understood his point, Dymph.
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Posted: Aug 26th 2010 8:42PM Greg W said

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From my perspective, this looks to be an excellent solution to the question of bots. Why use a bot to power level when the bot is going to be restricted to the amount of xp it can gain in a week?

If this is the case, I applaud it.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 9:23PM wjowski said

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Clearly we should apply the same logic to crime! If you stab enough people in the neck, you'll kill a criminal eventually!
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 12:27AM Jade Effect said

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What an excellent idea! To hit the bots, Square-Enix simply punish everyone. It's too bad if a few thousand honest players are punished too, but hey, at least the few bots are stopped.

What, spend some time actually identifying bots and banning them? Haha, surely you jest, Square-Enix has better things to do than that, like devising more ways to "reward" casual players.
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Posted: Aug 26th 2010 8:59PM tchuks said

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Taken from the translated post:
"It is worth noting, however, that the reduced rate will also gradually recover while players are engaged in activities that do not yield skill/experience points. In this manner, it is possible for the threshold value to reset completely, even before the completion of the one-week timer."

This changes everything for me.

The people who have cancelled their pre-orders, does it change anything for you?

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 9:18PM Tersion said

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Good luck doing something other than walking around that doesnt earn XP.
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Posted: Aug 26th 2010 9:19PM DarqSol said

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Nope, not a thing. As I stated in the other post from yesterday about this system, more than likely gathering or sitting around for 2 hours will end up netting you 10 minutes of normal XP. Go to work for 8 hours, come home and level for 45 minutes until you're fatigued. I really hope I'm wrong because I'm a Squaresoft vet that has played most everything they've made, but I don't think I will be.
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Posted: Aug 26th 2010 9:35PM Ryze said

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This is such a slap in the face, i for one won't pay a subscription to have my time (experience gain) limited and forced to play another class and rehash the content multiple times.
Or there is barely any content after a certain level and the developers just wanna stall.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 9:48PM (Unverified) said

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This whole game is a fatigue...the devs really, really annoy me on this game. It's a no sale for me. Not trying to knock those who like it, to each his own, but for me this is just one of MANY things I have issues with in regards to this game.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 10:07PM (Unverified) said

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I picture the developers of this game now as a group of fifty or so elderly Japanese men dressed in business suits sitting around a conference table. There are many graphs and charts clearly showing how the average gamer doesn't really want any freedom in an mmo and therefore must be led along on a leash.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 10:20PM Tizmah said

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When designing an MMO, one of the things that needs to go in is some sort of limit on the possible progression of players. Developers need to control the rate at which players can approach the endgame, and other milestones along the way. Usually this is done with an XP curve.

An XP curve is really nothing more than a time sink. Developers decide how long they want certain segments of the game to take--how long they want certain level ranges to last, and ultimately how long it should take players to reach endgame. They then balance the amount of XP it is possible to gain in a given timeframe with the amount required to move beyond a certain a certain point, or level up.

XP gain may give the illusion of progression but that's all it is--an illusion. Gaining XP is not progressing a character. It does not impart any new strengths or abilities by itself. Levels are the real progression. Levels provide increased statistics and new abilities.

In reality, a game is designed and played from level to level, not from one experience point to the next. Being level 57 with 8000 XP towards level 58 doesn't let you do level 58 content any more than being level 57 woth 0 XP towards level 58 does. Being level 58 lets you do level 58 content. The XP required to get from level 57 to level 58 is merely a time sink. You spend enough time grinding it out, and you get to be level 58.

Experience point income is balanced against the total XP required for a level up in such a way as to have players spending a certain amount of time between level ups. This is true in any MMO, and Final Fantasy XIV is no different.

However, FFXIV puts a spin on the system. The developers for FFXIV are looking at it from the perspective that levels are the progression, not XP. XP is certainly not useless, but it is merely a means to an end. They also, like all developers, have in mind a rate at which they want players to reach certain level milestones.

For most MMOs, with a purely XP-based system, if the developers decide that levels should be gained at the rate of 1 per week, players have to grind away all week, making no real character progress, until they get that 1 level at the end of the week. THAT is the progress--regardless of whatever number is in the XP box, it is the 1 level that ultimately matters. And if you can't grind away all week, you don't get it. If it takes you three times as long to rack up the necessary game time, you get no progress on your character at all for three weeks.

The fatigue system is also a time sink, but functions a bit differently. It still works off of the concept that players should only attain a certain amount of progression per week, but it doles out that progression more quickly up front. This has two important effects. First, it means that even those who cannot play 6-8 hours a day every day can make some progress. Not as much overall, but some. Second, it means that after the week's progression on one class has been reached, players are free to mess around with others--a level of freedom and diversification that most games don't have.

Make no mistake; if SE decides that you should only gain 3 levels in a class per week, then that is all you will gain. Without fatigue--with a basic XP system--all your play time in that week would be devoted to a single class as XP requirements increase to compensate, and wanting to level something else would mean sacrificing progression in that one class.

With the fatigue system, instead of sacrificing XP time to do things that don't involve leveling your main class, you get to have all the XP you'd normally get for the week anyway, and then focus on other aspects of the game. Want to level another class? Go do it. Want to quest? Sure. How about crafting? Also an option. Or maybe you just want to explore. In other MMOs, all of these activities come at the cost of XP. That is not the case here. And if you really want to grind away at one class well, you can hop on it at the beginning of the week, and still have time to hit it again later in the week after surplus has cleared from not leveling it. Bonus!

Final Fantasy XIV was designed with a certain philosophy. The fatigue system is part of enacting that philosophy. It is no more limiting than a standard XP system, as progression is balanced around it. It offers more freedom than conventional systems, simply by allowing for different allocations of play time with no penalty. Can it stand some tweaking and balancing? Probably. But doing away with it entirely will cause a progression rebalance what will completely undermine any kind of horizontal character development, as well as force unnecessary choices between whether to XP a main class, or do anything else. And the ultimate gain on main class progression will be no different.

Posted: Aug 26th 2010 10:43PM chum said

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An excellent common-sense comparison to the traditional xp curve. Thank you for the viewpoint.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 2:35AM Addfwyn said

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Best write up on FFXIV I've seen from a commentator, and one of the best comment posts I've seen at Massively. You should be a blogger for them :P
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Posted: Aug 31st 2010 5:26AM EngadgetSoFunny said

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Nice post. We'll said. If only there was some way we could uprank this comment's posting number from #37 to #1 so more people could see it :).

I agree with you in some sense that when I am leveling a character in World of Warcraft some of my friends will go 'lets run this newbie dungeon six times????!?!' and I'll be like '...why? If I run the dungeon just onec, I finish these 5 quests and in the time it takes it to run it 5 more times, I can finish 20 quests outside that dungeon and I'll get the quadruple the experience. Also, I'll be able to run this lvl 24 dungeon instead of that lvl 15 dungeon and have access to better gear/quests giving more exp.

It really does feel like running the dungeon for me at least slows my progress towards lvl 80 in wow and lvl 80 is really were the gearing-process begins for dungeons/heroics and then raids. The lvl 80 gearing process though in World of Warcraft has been messed up by developers going 'How long should it take for a player to get geared?' back when wotlk came out and something along the lines of '8 weeks'. Unfortunately, when a new team was put into place and asked the same question, they came to the answer of '3 hours'. So all the people who spent time gearing are basically being slapped in the face.

We don't need drops from dungeons or heroics to start raiding. We just need the stupid badges. We then take those badge and trade them in for gear 3x better than anything found in dungeons and the rate you can accumulate the badges (4-8 per dungeon), getting a full set of gear of near top-level raiding gear is literately like 3 hours of gameplay time to be able to do naxx and maybe 5 hours to be able to do toc and 6 hours to be able to raid icc10. At that point, you've somehow become an end-game raider raiding the most advanced content available in 4 hours after dinging lvl 80.

If progression by SE is done right, I am fully on board as progression done wrong is imo what was started to kill World of Warcraft and turned World of Warcraft into World of knowWhat? I joined wow at the start of the summer, lvled a shaman to 80 and he's now in full ilvl277 gear. I can't PROGRESS ANY FURTHER as there are NO GEAR UPGRADES in the game at all. So I switched to my already lvl 80 paladin who was in naxx gear and within a week, he's now in all ilvl 264 gear from running 1 icc-25 followed by an icc-10 hm and going 10/12 in both. Seriously blizzard, 1 week to get geared. Just 2 runs with my guild? That's rediculously boring, quick and feels like I haven't progressed at all.

Let's hope SE can make the progression system in FF14 much better. At least I can guarntee from having used th eFF14 benchmark tool, the graphics will be a real treat coming from the cartooniness of wow.
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