Final Fantasy XIV Already Merging Wolrds...

85 Troll Hunter
12160
Sigh, for an mmo that's been out for only slightly over a year this is pretty bad. They're going from 18 realms, down to 10. Everyone I've talked to has basically said that this game was an abysmal failure which is why I never wasted money on it. But still, I feel sorry for those who did. Details on the world merge are highlighted in this thread I found if anyone is interested: http://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14548
Edited by Gravy on 2/14/2012 6:03 AM PST
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85 Worgen Death Knight
6165
Final Fantasy isnt made to be online :/ They knew it from XI and still continues. Feel bad for them.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13555
02/14/2012 06:54 AMPosted by Keyaki
Final Fantasy isnt made to be online :/ They knew it from XI and still continues. Feel bad for them.


FFXI was very popular. Before WoW came out, it had over 1 million players. Back then, that was a big deal (EQ never got to 800k). To put those numbers in perspective: it was the most successful pre-WoW MMO in History in terms of players.

The game worked. FFXIV's problem was that they took everything about FFXI that worked and threw it out. Then they took everything that didn't work in any other MMO and threw them in. Essentially, everything that could be done wrong in an MMO was done in FFXIV. The game's failure had nothing to do with it being a Final Fantasy and everything to do with incompetent design.

For the record: Rift has merged realms as well, they just did it in a way that allowed them to call it something else. A number of original realms has been designated "trial account only" and paid players were forced to transfer to other realms. They're down to 16 paid-account realms. Same effect: condensing the remaining players onto a smaller number of realms so the other servers can be repurposed or shut down.

Edit: FFXIV has been out longer than Rift, by the way -- by about 4 months. I knew FFXIV would be trimming servers as soon as I got the email from Squareenix letting me know they were suspending all accounts on Jan 5 and players who wanted to continue playing would need to manually reactivate, since they didn't want to charge anyone who was no longer playing. Not surprising that only a little over a month later they're shedding hardware to trim costs.
Edited by Thequay on 2/14/2012 7:12 AM PST
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85 Tauren Warrior
1665
Yes. I agree with you that FFXIV's launch was an "abysmal failure" - however it's worth mentioned that they're are planning to almost entirely re-do the game and release a "2.0" version next year. This will include major changes to the in game world, including new maps, new UI, new core systems, and just other things that the game should have included to begin with.

No one really knows what happened - that game was in public beta for quite a bit and you didn't hear all the "horrible" things until it was released. I read a rather positive review on IGN from a guy was playing the beta. Then when the game as released and IGN reviewed it, they gave it a 5.5/10 (mediocre). Not that I don't agree with that - the game was mediocre indeed. Just not sure why it wasn't OBVIOUS to Square Enix and others sooner (or at least why wasn't it pointed out).

FFXI was quite popular like mentioned above. It had many flaws but I enjoyed the game very much and played it for years. To be honest, FFXI was a better game 5 years ago than FFXIV is today.

I've not given up hope for FFXIV. SE fired nearly the entire team who had originally developed it and replaced them with what seem to be more competent people (they are actually taking player feedback into account). This new team has put forth an ambitious timeline for overhauling the game and so far has followed through on it. The game won't see the major overhaul until the end of this year, however.

Take a look at their roadmap:

http://wdl.square-enix.com/ffxiv/download/en/FFXIV_2.0_Roadmap_EN.pdf

For a more detailed roadmap, including info about the overhaul look here:

http://wdl.square-enix.com/ffxiv/download/en/FFXIV_2.0_Outline_EN.pdf

It is expected that they have to merge servers. They understand that they lost a lot of players and are trying hard to get them back. We'll have to see how it turns out. I'm certainly hoping they can make the game good. It doesn't really matter to me how many servers they have. If it's a good game, I only need one server that has plenty of players on it.
Edited by Ult on 2/14/2012 9:50 AM PST
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90 Human Mage
14145
Aside from making people think the game a game is dying, server merging is a good thing. There are several WoW servers that should be merged, but in my opinion they won't be due to the "WoW is dying" coverage that would be all over the internet. Hopefully FFXIV can come back after 2.0 is released later this year, but I won't resub unless it's absolutely great.
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29 Human Warrior
190
02/14/2012 09:53 AMPosted by Mordrid
Aside from making people think the game a game is dying, server merging is a good thing. There are several WoW servers that should be merged, but in my opinion they won't be due to the "WoW is dying" coverage that would be all over the internet. Hopefully FFXIV can come back after 2.0 is released later this year, but I won't resub unless it's absolutely great.


Sadly this is true. The bad press from wow merging servers would hurt it much worse than the folks suffering on it.

This server, Detheroc, is so dead you can /who Stormwind at the wee hours and find as little as 3 online. Sad.
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90 Draenei Warrior
14145
I'd have to disagree with you there on one point, Ult. We DO know what happened, that being that Square-Enix put it out in time for Christmas hoping to cash in big on the holiday season without taking into account that maybe, just maybe, the game wasn't ready. They were, in a sense, counting on the Final Fantasy name to sell the game for them. We know what happened soon after, and it was both glorious and terrifying to behold.

Put plainly, the game simply wasn't ready. The Beta Testers told them this and were summarily ignored and Square-Enix suffered for it. Hell, every now and then, and you can call me sick and twisted if you want, I like to watch Gametrailers.com's review of FF14, just to put a smile on my face. And if you haven't already, I suggest trying to find an article on the "Two Million Dollar Ragequit." It's pretty damn funny.

Now, to Square-Enix's credit, they HAVE taken responsibility for this game's failure and are doing whatever they can to remedy the situation and restore faith in the Final Fantasy name. I can respect that, unlike a certain other company *coughCAPCOMcough* that likes to blame their fans for THEIR failures. We'll just have to wait and see whether or not they can get a Phoenix Down to this game in time.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13555
02/14/2012 09:46 AMPosted by Ult
Yes. I agree with you that FFXIV's launch was an "abysmal failure" - however it's worth mentioned that they're are planning to almost entirely re-do the game and release a "2.0" version next year. This will include major changes to the in game world, including new maps, new UI, new core systems, and just other things that the game should have included to begin with.


That's absolutely worth mentioning. It's also worth mentioning that the game's current state has already undergone a fairly substantial overhaul. I haven't tried it yet, though I have been tempted to go back in and give it a shot in its current state.

No one really knows what happened - that game was in public beta for quite a bit and you didn't hear all the "horrible" things until it was released.


The public beta was shorter than Cataclysm's. That's part of what happened.

I read a rather positive review on IGN from a guy was playing the beta. Then when the game as released and IGN reviewed it, they gave it a 5.5/10 (mediocre).


The game was fun for the first two hours. The problems with the game didn't really set in until you'd played for a bit.

1) You have a main story path based on your chosen starting city. This main story path is actually rather fun and engaging....it's also told episodically as you level. Once you finish chapter one (around level 5), you won't continue the story until you level high enough (level 10, I believe). I leveled pretty quickly during story segments, but the XP slowed down considerably during the in-betweens.

2) The other way to get good XP (read: not by grinding mobs) was through the Guildeleves. These were capped at 8 adventuring and 8 crafting leves every 36 hours. Why 36 hours? I have no idea.

Beyond that, it was grind grind grind. This worked back in 2003 when every MMO worked this way. It doesn't really work today, now that questing as a primary leveling path is the norm in the industry.

The simple fix would have been to have story questing follow you all the way through. If they'd done this, it would've played a lot like SWTOR but with a non-WoW interface. That would have been a fantastic game. The long gaps between chapters instead made the game endlessly frustrating the longer you played it.

Not that I don't agree with that - the game was mediocre indeed. Just not sure why it wasn't OBVIOUS to Square Enix and others sooner (or at least why wasn't it pointed out).


There were some warning signs.

1) Square Enix did not have a player forum during beta test. All beta commentary and reports were completely private, even after open beta began. In fact, player forums did not open on the SE website until the game was already on life support.

2) Reports from beta testers is that the game's probelms were definitely communicated ot the team. The problem was that the project director had a vision of a very specific game, and if the beta tester commentary was contrary to his vision, it was ignored. Unfortunately, just about every beta tester went contrary to his vision, so the game was released as-is....in a largely unplayable state.

What went wrong? Simply put: Designer hubris.
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85 Tauren Warrior
1665
02/14/2012 10:02 AMPosted by Yinian
I'd have to disagree with you there on one point, Ult. We DO know what happened, that being that Square-Enix put it out in time for Christmas hoping to cash in big on the holiday season without taking into account that maybe, just maybe, the game wasn't ready. They were, in a sense, counting on the Final Fantasy name to sell the game for them. We know what happened soon after, and it was both glorious and terrifying to behold.


Yeah - this is likely what happened, I agree. I heard also that when FFXI was released, it was nearly as bad/incomplete, etc. Perhaps they didn't suffer as much back then because there weren't as many polished MMO's out there to for players to run off too (especially in Japan). They made that same assumption for FFXIV, but times had changed.

I should mention though, I don't think that FFXI/FFXIV and the like are necessarily in direct competition with other MMOs. FF has always had its "niche" of players that stick with it just because they are big FF fans (I suppose every game has this but the FF series more so). FFXI is still going, even. I think SE should be more afraid that they may have tarnished their image in front of some of the more loyal fan base (though obviously not the intensely loyal - they are still playing FFXIV now). I went for FFXIV even though I was perfectly content with WoW at the time only because I wanted to rekindle nostalgia from my many years loving FFXI. It was such a big let down in that regard.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13555
I'd have to disagree with you there on one point, Ult. We DO know what happened, that being that Square-Enix put it out in time for Christmas hoping to cash in big on the holiday season without taking into account that maybe, just maybe, the game wasn't ready. They were, in a sense, counting on the Final Fantasy name to sell the game for them. We know what happened soon after, and it was both glorious and terrifying to behold.

Put plainly, the game simply wasn't ready. The Beta Testers told them this and were summarily ignored and Square-Enix suffered for it. Hell, every now and then, and you can call me sick and twisted if you want, I like to watch Gametrailers.com's review of FF14, just to put a smile on my face. And if you haven't already, I suggest trying to find an article on the "Two Million Dollar Ragequit." It's pretty damn funny.


That's not entirely true. SquareEnix believed what the project director told them when he said it was ready. That he had no oversight speaks volumes on how SE mismanaged the project from the beginning, but they left it in his hands.

The game wasn't suffering from bugs. Honestly, it was remarkably bug-free. The game suffered from bad design. In the director's mind, the game was ready because every system worked the way he thought it should. The problem is that his vision was for the worst MMO ever launched.

Oops.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13555
Yeah - this is likely what happened, I agree. I heard also that when FFXI was released, it was nearly as bad/incomplete, etc. Perhaps they didn't suffer as much back then because there weren't as many polished MMO's out there to for players to run off too (especially in Japan). They made that same assumption for FFXIV, but times had changed.


FFXI had a four-stage launch, by the time the US audience got a chance to play an english-language version, the first expansion was packaged with it. It's likely that any fixes were included in that expansion.

The MMO market was also considerably smaller back then. No MMO had hit 1 million subs at that point yet. And after EQ, MMO players were kinda used to rough launches.


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90 Human Paladin
15265
They should have never applied the numbers to the online Final Fantasies.
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85 Tauren Warrior
1665
Thanks, Thequay. Your posts clear up a number of things.

I find it interesting nonetheless that the director for FFXIV was the same for FFXI. FFXI had (again) its many flaws, but it just seems like they brought about the BAD from FFXI and left out the GOOD, as was mentioned above.

It's a shame, I'm not sure I'm entirely over the whole "grind, grind, grind" way of playing. I enjoyed it mostly in FFXI. I was always so excited just to learn the next rank of my spell. It was cool to do it with friends and be in a group all the time. When I hit 75, it felt like a major accomplishment (unlike WoW). That didn't mean you had to make a new character to start again, you can just switch jobs and continue, making your one character more powerful. Yes, it had the long waits - that was the downside. But they had come up with some good ideas on how to work with that - the level syncing and such.

FFXIV was a different kind of grind. It was extremely difficult to find a group (there was no player search feature) and pointless once you had one. Those guildleves seemed very buggy to me. Most of the time I just ended up just solo grinding until it got boring. However I did enjoy those cutscenes from the storyline as you mentioned (they were nostalgic), but the rest was so flawed.

I wonder how even the director could have thought "it was ready" though. No auction house, no chocobos, no search feature. These were integral parts of FFXI (the same game he directed) that were not included even months after launch.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13555
I wonder how even the director could have thought "it was ready" though. No auction house, no chocobos, no search feature. These were integral parts of FFXI (the same game he directed) that were not included even months after launch.


It was pretty clear he felt an AH was unnecessary. The market stalls were meant to be their replacement, but EQ proved that the Bazaar is not an adequate substitute for the AH.

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90 Undead Warlock
15770
I miss the days of Squaresoft. The last Final Fantasy I truly enjoyed was X. X-2 was not my taste, I did not play XII much though I did not like what I saw, and XIII was a huge step backwards in terms of RPGS. Lost Odyssey felt more like a Final Fantasy than XIII did.

Squaresoft needs to stop taking the strict Asian approach to MMO's and look at how the Western guys get it done. I still think they can make a good MMO with the Final Fantasy franchise. They just need to learn what Blizzard did. Hell, just copy them like Star Wars did (And how Wow copied from older games, etc).

If they make another MMO, it has to have a few things that Blizzard did right which was: A) Don't make a game with high cpu requirements. B) Enough with the endless grinding. Design enjoyable quests instead of super farming for items. C) Throw in references from past games such as characters, music and even bosses.

They should just name the next MMO simply Final Fantasy Online or something. No need to give it a number which means it has to be in a set world. I want to see a good MMO from them because I grew up loving their classic games.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8800
02/14/2012 09:46 AMPosted by Ult
that game was in public beta for quite a bit and you didn't hear all the "horrible" things until it was released.



It was out there, but you might have had to dig for it a bit. It definitely felt awkward, like a dirty little secret.
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90 Gnome Warrior
8535
Now, to Square-Enix's credit, they HAVE taken responsibility for this game's failure and are doing whatever they can to remedy the situation and restore faith in the Final Fantasy name. I can respect that, unlike a certain other company *coughCAPCOMcough* that likes to blame their fans for THEIR failures. We'll just have to wait and see whether or not they can get a Phoenix Down to this game in time.
Yes and no. Tanaka Hiromichi went on to blame foreign fansites for "mistranslating" things that eventually caused the audience he really cared about (the Japanese players) to complain and riot. He was then taken from FFXIV to instead ruin FFXI.
02/14/2012 12:14 PMPosted by Ceejay
If they make another MMO, it has to have a few things that Blizzard did right which was: A) Don't make a game with high cpu requirements. B) Enough with the endless grinding. Design enjoyable quests instead of super farming for items. C) Throw in references from past games such as characters, music and even bosses.
CPU requirements was a huge mistake on part of SE. Mostly because people who got the game were double gipped. Once because of buying FFXIV. And the second time because they spent good money on new rigs that could play the game.

Questing is really not too plausible without them abandoning the job system. Believe me, I'd LOVE to play a final fantasy MMO with each job having specs or callings or whatever instead of combining aspects from different jobs. The problem there is that FF fans are so damn close-minded that they would never forsake the job system in exchange for better job/class design and leveling experience. I mean, these are the same idiots that wanted chocobos and airships in XIV after it launched despite the ton of real problems the game had. Because chocobos and airships will fix it. /sarcasm
02/14/2012 10:34 AMPosted by Ult
I find it interesting nonetheless that the director for FFXIV was the same for FFXI. FFXI had (again) its many flaws, but it just seems like they brought about the BAD from FFXI and left out the GOOD, as was mentioned above.
Well, kinda. Tanaka Hiromichi is the guy who was in charge during the super grinds and stuff that would take years to complete and was in charge when the 18-hour boss fight fiasco took place. Yoshida Naoki was placed in charge when Tanaka was moved to work on FFXIV full time, and he basically turned the game around. He introduced a token system for high level gear for every job, a zone where after building up enough momentum you could gain great exp and so on. The old guard complained because their gear from older events was made worthless (like the no-lifers in WoW that complain about how their epix aren't special anymore), but the game opened up to a lot more people.

The guy that turned FFXI around (Yoshida) is now in charge of FFXIV. I just hope good things come from it.
1) Square Enix did not have a player forum during beta test. All beta commentary and reports were completely private, even after open beta began. In fact, player forums did not open on the SE website until the game was already on life support.
This. Most of the complaints ended up on fansite forums like Eorzeapedia and FFXIVCore because the feedback forums for the beta test were either closed off unless you had been testing for a while or were utterly ignored. Really, if you want a lesson on how to not design a game or how to not handle a launch, look at FFXIV.
Edited by Agrina on 2/14/2012 1:21 PM PST
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85 Tauren Warrior
1665
If they make another MMO, it has to have a few things that Blizzard did right which was: A) Don't make a game with high cpu requirements. B) Enough with the endless grinding. Design enjoyable quests instead of super farming for items. C) Throw in references from past games such as characters, music and even bosses.


I agree with you, though I'll say again I liked the grinding in FFXI.'

Don't make a game with high cpu requirements.


High spec requirements in MMOs is a dilemma, one that only WoW (and I suppose Rift) currently has mastered. The thing is, WoW is what - 7 years old now? Rift is relatively new and its graphics are just like WoW. To some extent there has to be a progression. GPUs/CPUs have progression SO MUCH in these 7 years that I really think a computer that can run WoW with graphics set on medium is far below what the average gamer would usually have.

There were so many issues with new MMOs trying to appear to mid-low end PCs that the graphics just sucked. Take the Warhammer MMO from 2 years ago - it came 5 years after WoW and the graphics were worse - players/monsters would appear pixelated when viewing them from a distance due to the poor graphics engine they used.

I think MMOs currently in development (as in being released in a year or two) should be aiming for the current i5-2500K to be the "standard" or "base" CPU. MMOs tend to be CPU intensive and the i5 2500k is a beast while not being overly costly. GPUs can be a bit lower because of this.

Players just can't expect that games will continue to cater to their CPUs/GPUs that are 4, 5, 6 years old anymore. Eventually the burden is placed on the player to upgrade his CPU rather than the developers having to scale down an entire game. The dilemma is finding the middle ground. Warhammer/Rift aimed too much to the low-end, FFXIV/Age of Conan upon release was aimed too high-end.

We'll have to see how FFXIV 2.0 does (they say they are going to help bring mid-level PCs in) as well as Guild Wars 2 (which looks particularly intensive).

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85 Tauren Warrior
1665
Yoshida Naoki was placed in charge when Tanaka was moved to work on FFXIV full time, and he basically turned the game around. He introduced a token system for high level gear for every job, a zone where after building up enough momentum you could gain great exp and so on. The old guard complained because their gear from older events was made worthless (like the no-lifers in WoW that complain about how their epix aren't special anymore), but the game opened up to a lot more people.

The guy that turned FFXI around (Yoshida) is now in charge of FFXIV. I just hope good things come from it.


This is interesting. I found that the second this "Abyssea" zone was introduced into FFXI was the second I stopped liking it as much. I didn't like how you could level in just a matter of days rather than weeks. I suppose this is because all of the work I put it in made it feel annoying - nonetheless better for new players.

I always liked FFXi because the expansions did not always take away from already existed. yes, you had CoP and ToAU but they ADDED to the game without REPLACING. The items/gears I had earned in one expansion were not replaced with another. I felt so much more connected with my character because, simply, it felt like a big art project that I had spent years working on, which is now "made worthless" (as you said, lol).

Don't want to go into a whole rant about this :). I did that in thread on a similar topic (about WoW) if you guys want to take a look (and give it a bump :D)

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4038615978?page=1

Though, I will say that FFXI was incredibly annoying at times. People have a tendency to remember the good and not the bad, and I'll admit I do that. Hours and hours "seeking" for an XP PT, wiping on level-capped missions over and over, etc etc.

I guess it made all seem like such a major accomplishment once it was actually done.
Edited by Ult on 2/14/2012 1:34 PM PST
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90 Gnome Warrior
8535
Though, I will say that FFXI was incredibly annoying at times. People have a tendency to remember the good and not the bad, and I'll admit I do that. Hours and hours "seeking" for an XP PT, wiping on level-capped missions over and over, etc etc.

I guess it made all seem like such a major accomplishment once it was actually done.
All it means is that we look for different things in our games. I look for entertainment, which is why games in the vein of WoW seem to work so well for me. While there's just bad blood between me and SE because of how they treat hybrid classes, that's really the bottom line.
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