Friday, 8 January 2016

My FFXIV Alpha rant

On the 1st of July 2010 I took to my FFXI linkshell's forums to post my feelings about the recent FFXIV alpha and beta testing. Of course the eventual fate of the original FFXIV is well known and documented so why am I posting. Let's just say I wanted to record my opinion for posterity.

Here goes:
Admittedly I've only played the alpha but it was woefully lacking in multiple areas, not least some sort of guidance on basic gameplay.

Imagine the early days of FFXI... where you have to run everywhere, no-one knows where anything is and it takes ages to do anything.

It's exactly like that - but then it's a new game... I've played several new games that weren't like that though.

We dunno what the new combat system is like but the old one was terrible...

So far it's the 2002 MMO we are all familiar with but with 2010 graphics.

Apart from looks, compared to recent MMO releases, it's amaturish and seems to have been designed completely in isolation from any understanding of what the modern MMO community wants or needs.

My biggest complaint is map and quest markers.  Do you think that having to rely on the wiki for basic quest and mission guidance in FFXI is good or bad?

For me, the Wiki exists due to a failure on SEs part, to understand that having to remember the name of an NPC you have been sent to see is not fun.

My Avatar does not rely on my strength in order to fight monsters, so why does it rely on my memory to recognise people or navigate the map?

It's a fairly minor issue but it's hugely indicative of SEs philosophy.  I can forgive FF11 because it has a certain charm and it's very old now, but I can't see this philosophy earning a big audience outside JP.

I think having the community rely on a wiki PRODUCED by the community is pathetic, especially as up until recently, looking at that wiki while playing required a 3rd party program or, for PS2 users, another PC.

Also, I've never placed much stock in SEs actual development chops - a games designer that changes an entire battle system 3 months before it's release is doing it wrong.

What exactly have they been working on for the last, what, 4 years?  how did they not realise the previous battle system was shit and why did it take basically the entire alpha period to acknowledge?

Why are there no community managers actually talking to testers and making it feel like a two way process?

As a tester it was basically impossible to "test" anything because you had no idea how it was SUPPOSED to work or what you were supposed to be doing.

I could go on and on...