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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Nov 5th 2010 9:06PM JohnD212 said

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While this is all great...why can't they put this stuff "in game"? You can't alt+tab out of the game to reference this material because the game client immediately shuts down. If they really want to make changes for the players then work these into the game. Don't just post them on their site so we have to dig and find them. Epic fail!

Posted: Nov 5th 2010 9:42PM Shadowcatt said

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Most of that stuff is actually in the game, you just have to talk to various NPC's to get it. Most people don't like to take the time to figure things out themselves, just want to have everything handed to them in cliff's notes.
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Posted: Nov 5th 2010 10:43PM Ekphrasis said

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@John: Agree. As I've said before as well, are PS3 players expected to have a laptop/desktop viewing the lodestone while playing or a sheaf of printouts to figure out what to do?

@shadowcatt: The game should be fun and intuitive with you learning more as you play, not leaving you more and more confused as to what to do next. I personally don't mind having to dig around for information but FFXIV takes it to extremes.

Explaining features, many of which frustrate players, is not the same as fixing them. Can SquareEnix explain what I can do after finishing the daily levequests and crafting leves? Grind until the next story piece, create another character (for an additional cost) or pointlessly grind? No thanks.

I now resent buying the Collectors Edition. If FFXIV was free to play, I'd probably stick around to see how it pans out - but I'm not handing over cash without seeing results first.
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Posted: Nov 5th 2010 11:58PM Ephe said

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So, why was that comment by shadowcat thumbed down? Because he's telling the truth and you were too lazy and unwilling to actually read anything inside the game?

Blind hate and ignorance all the way. I bet you're all well happy when you "figure" the game out in 2 days, get to level cap in 8 days and then hit a brick wall since there's nothing to do endgame.

This game lets you explore and figuring out the mechanics keeps you busy and entertained a long time. If you want instant gratification, like most of you seem to do, it won't appeal to you at all.
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 12:57AM Tizmah said

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@Tomi

Games (Board games and all ) are not fun when everything is handed to you on a silver platter. The game is then to easy and no accomplishment, thus ruining the flow. Games are not fun when everything is cryptic. The game becomes to cumbersome wearing on the player as they attempt to master it but are repeatedly hit with confusion. So no, no one wants instant gratification NOR do we want a game that beats us down all the time. We like to know we stand a chance.

It seems to me the "hardcore" crowd falls into extreme of thinking that confusion and absolute crypticness makes a game more hardcore, thus so elite that he thinks his playing a more challenging than everyone else, when in fact he isn't. It's the opposite extreme of a person who thinks playing an absurdly easy game makes him though shit, when in fact he's not.

Yup, Blind Hate and Ignorance all the way. We are all wrong and you're the only one right in your small little world. Keep thinking that. Oooo, watch out for the casual gamers trying to ruin your hardcoreness! Gimme a break.

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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 3:15AM DevilSei said

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Honestly Tiz, I may have to disagree, at least somewhat to the hardcore statement. I have a few friends who loved FF 11, played the hell out of it, and yet they can't stand FF 14.

It's not just showing a general "hardcore" slant to it, but a hardcore slant not even aimed at the original audience. I mean god, the fatigue system that smacks you repeatedly until you switch classes obviously wasn't meant for anyone with a passing interest in final fantasy at all (because one core aspect of that game was a character could often be different roles with little effort beyond switching jobs).
The obvious lack of update on their 180 degree shift in philosophy between previews and beta shows they still prefer being horribly cryptic with the base.
And well... ignoring the fact that 11 has an auction house that promotes the trade and crafting industry, and instead choosing some F2P bazaar mess of a system, shows an unwillingness to learn from past mistakes.

These aren't design decisions aimed towards a hardcore audience, its faulty designs created in a vacuum free from any source of information about how FF11 fared, and kept in such tube until Beta was released. At which point, the devs were kept in the bottle and free from player feedback, while the client, like an un-bubbled bubbleboy choked and gasped in a harsh environment that doesn't tolerate such things.
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 6:33AM Ekphrasis said

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@Tomi / Shadowcatt / Hardy: I can only imagine your comments are voted down because you have the gall to insult other players, calling them lazy for not playing the game the way *you* believe it should be played. You're entitled to your opinion and I daresay it wouldn't be voted down if it was constructively expressed. I don't think the "blind hate and ignorance" is coming from us...

Some people (you for instance) will really enjoy speaking to every single NPC to figure things out. Other people won't find this an enjoyable experience. People are entitled to respectfully disagree.

SE's opinion is that this game is designed to be played long term - over the course of years - which is fine by me. I'm happy to invest in the game if I find it fun, but I personally don't see the fun in running around clicking every single NPC then trying to make sense of that limited information so I can understand even basic game mechanics.

To date, I haven't seen the equivalent detail in the game regarding some of the points in Locus' post below - which stats affect primary/off-hand crafting tools is a perfect example (I had no idea, did you?). I'm honestly not trying to be facetious in any way here but can you tell me where this information is in-game or which NPC explains it to this level of detail?
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 3:39PM Sean D said

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@shadowcatt - I don't think your comment was as inappropriate as other apparently did. I guess they consider any dissenting viewpoint as inappropriate.

To your point, there's a difference between informing players about the mechanics of the game and the lore of the game. While I don't mind being forced to learn the lore of the game through talking to NPCs or reading quest text (that's the way it should be, imho), I do mind being left in the dark about the mechanics of the game. Even though the applicability of statistics such as strength or dexterity is almost universal and I can guess at their functions, such information should be provided in an easily accessible manner while I play. The lack of such information in-game is, I hope, an oversight and not an omission.

Though I like discussing the ins and outs of game mechanics, story, roles, etc., I should add that I'm not an active player of FFIVX. While I jump in from time to time (only because the subscription is currently free - I've already canceled my account), I lose interest after about an hour.
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Posted: Nov 5th 2010 9:21PM cic said

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Seriously, This wasn't included in the manual? Did the game even come with a manual? Now I question what was even printed in the manual... just story background and half naked pictures of tween cat girls?


"Fortunately for players, Square-Enix's renewed commitment to player communication ..."

THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS GUYS!

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 1:37PM Celeras said

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As others have said, it's in the game if you go to the adventurers guide at any Aetheryte.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 9:16PM (Unverified) said

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"Fortunately for players, Square-Enix's renewed commitment to player communication ..."

I read this in the article and was.... embarrassed. I mean really, SE's renewed commitment? First off to be "renewed" they had to have a commitment to it in the first place anyone who is not blind knows they had essentially zero worthwhile communication with the player base. Nor did they listen to the player base, hence the game being so bad they are afraid to even ask players to pay for fear they will ALL leave!

Elliot and the folks at Massively. Please stop embarrassing yourselves by making everything SE does sound like a positive and noble thing. This game shows they care little for the player and more for their own ego's and incredibly out of touch design philosophies than anything else.
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Posted: Nov 5th 2010 9:43PM (Unverified) said

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I don't understand how any of this information released over the past few weeks is supposed to entice people who are neutral to the franchise to come try it out. It all reeks of poor planning and poor design direction if basic information is not available in-game and you feel like you need to prepare a thesis in order to have some basic fun. SE seems to have taken the concept of "easy to learn, hard to master" and changed it to "hard to learn, don't bother to master," where the hardness comes not from actual challenge in the game, but from fighting the game's obtuse mechanics.

Posted: Nov 5th 2010 11:37PM Syesta said

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Most of this information, though not all as explained in the Lodestone postings, is already available in-game...and not even in hard to find locations.

For each of the introductory main quests, there are one or two moments where your character is placed in an small instance. Typically it's just the size of the building/guild hall you are in, the main NPC (Baderon/Mother Miounne/Momodi) will encourage you to speak to the denizens in that area to get some enriching information before speaking to them again to progress the quest. From this you learn the breadth of the lore and story climate, but you will also typically get the name and general location of certain NPCs that have a lot of additional information about the workings of the world.

It's kind of a double-edged sword for SE because when FFXI was released, people complained bitterly about the 250-page manual.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 12:28AM cic said

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"It's not hard to guess at what three of the six physical stats do, but the three more magic-oriented stats have been a bit of a mystery, and the effect that any of the stats have on activities such as gathering or crafting has been even less clear."


Are the stats referenced in this article explained in the game? I thought that was the point of this new announcement.
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 3:59AM Locus said

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To clear things up: The Euro CE FF14 manual is all of 44 pages.

Page 1: Cover
2-3: Security Precautions, Contents page
4-13: Flavour. Terse description of game setting and races.
14-17: How to install the game
18-27: About Square-Enix's account system. Includes one blank lined page (23) that doesn't say "Notes" or anything, so I have no idea what it is for.
28-31: Game settings and basic controls
32-33: How to create a character (For the terminally retarded)
34: About the Lodestone.
35-39: Another blank-lined page, legalese.
40-41: Advertisements
42: Notes page (Unlined)
43: About the PEGI system
44: Back cover.

Nowhere in the manual does it ever explain the nuances between different jobs, basic UI windows (including how to use an aetherlyte etc), Market wards, putting things in bazaars, statistics, status effects, elements, the gods, leves, when leves reset, factions, retainers, crystals/shards, anima and teleporting, the map (or how to check quest destinations), linkshells, how to permanently leave a linkshell (Hint: You can't!), partying, slash commands, damage types, synthesis, Equipping job abilities/traits/crafting abilities, repairing items, enemy conning, AoE on magic (and how to turn it off and on), Harvesting/gathering...

Sorry, I could continue this for quite awhile but I want to sound more objective and less opinionated. Essentially, Square-Enix seems to be posting 80% of the manual online in a delayed-release format.
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 4:01AM DLemke said

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This isn't a positive press release. Admitting that said basic info was a mystery, and still is unless you read outside sources, is just another red flag that something is very wrong. That info should be available on mouse over or something.

I remember Hellgate:London had a big number in the stats sheet for all weapons... everyone thought it was dps, and new players always did, even after others found out what it was. Late, after release, FSS finally explained that ‘the big number’ was an ilevel thing, and item level number, not dps. More than that... a higher number half the time wasn't even good, given that some stats and abilities on items were essentially useless to some people, but still puffed up 'the big number'. Hellgate: London also had to be badgered into disclosing dps on the weapons stat sheets, if you can imagine that. A game released without dps on the weapons? Ya, it happened.

Remember the talent trees in Hellgate: London? Half the stuff, you didn’t even know the numbers on what happened with them, so it was a mystery sometimes what was most effective.

FFXIV conjuring up memories of Hellgate: London. Not good.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 4:10AM hami83 said

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Clearly some of the comments show that people are complaining about an MMO they haven't played or are two lazy to talk to the NPCs.

If a game fails for not giving you a proper tutorial then WoW would've died long ago.
The only help for stats in WoW is little tool tips when you hover over them, and a severely outdated manual no one reads.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 4:24AM Locus said

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Arthur Dent logic aside (theyr'e there, you're just too lazy to go find it), the "explanation" of stats in-game isn't from an NPC - it's from reading a "manual" helpfully stuck onto the aetherlyte menus. This "manual" isn't posted to the chat log and is confined to the 4-5 lines of dialogue in the main scrolling message window, so there is no way to scroll up to review what the previous paragraph just said without re-reading the entire thing from the start.

Secondly, we only have S-E's word on certain things, such as "DEX increases physical accuracy". Any such increase isn't actually reflected in your "Attributes and Gear" window, meaning that it isn't measurable. I'd be more inclined to trust S-E's word on this if they hadn't already demonstrated the capacity to be repeatedly and horribly wrong on certain major issues regarding game mechanics.

Furthermore, this new post of theirs is far more detailed than the actual "information already there". Nowhere in the game does it say that STR increases damage absorbed on block by shields. Nowhere in the game does it say that DEX does anything *other* than "increase physical accuracy". Nowhere in the game does it list out which stats affect crafting or gathering, and hence you have S-E's stance on this, which involves going "We've dropped many hints in-game already but if you're too stupid/lazy to figure it out yourself, we'll be ultra-gracious and spell it out here". The fact that primary/secondary tools use different stats to determine success (much less *which* stat it is) is news to many people.
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Posted: Nov 6th 2010 4:23AM (Unverified) said

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Well I'm VERY glad SE is being more transparent now instead of making players test for over a year to get conclusive results on what things do.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 4:36AM Locus said

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One last thing: Eliot, since you seem strapped for FF14 information that isn't actually listed on the front page of lodestone, you might try reporting on actual breaking news re: this article.

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20101104-00000021-mantan-game

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