FF Online…

So it looks like SE is giving another go at MMO’s http://e3.gamespot.com/video/6211125/

My first thoughts…I’m not impressed yet. Having played FFXI when it first came out in the states and getting a level 55 Mithra Dragoon/thief in a few pieces of tier look I can tell you that unless they’ve added “fun” into the game it won’t be a success. When FFXI first came out in the states I believe it did very well, but mostly because it was part of a huge successful franchise and all other popular MMO’s at the time, such as EQ, DAOC and Lineage all required you to find up to five other people each willing to play a specific class role to kill a monster or two for three hours in order to level up or they were a completely unbalanced PVP game that lost it’s appeal after a few months. Of course there were also some just riddled with problems, such as SWG.

What FFXI did have was a lot of great ideas poorly implemented that they just never fixed and need to be if they want to actually compete with WoW. If you don’t like WoW, that is ok, but it has the most subscribers of any game ever 10 to 1, so it’s obvious that they are doing something right and if you prefer FFXI over WoW then there is clearly something wrong with you.

So what would FFXI need to fix? Where to begin… Every item in the game had a use, there was no “vendor” trash as everything could be used by some type of crafter. I really liked this, however, crafting itself sucked as you could try making a bone earring (starting bone craft item) for hours upon hours, failing, losing your items n the process and NOT getting a skill up. This made it very annoying to craft unless you were a high level character or had a friend who was that could farm your mats for you. Honestly, it would be annoying even at high levels having to farm up enough mats to skill up when you knew about half the time you’d fail.

I loved their linked auction house ideas – WoW totally stole this from them I’ll give you that. I also liked how, similar to crafting, every item in the game could be reused – why? because with one character you could switch “jobs”, read “classes”, by going into your “house” – another aspect I really liked, decorating and growing plants in my house that affected my abilities out in the world. These were all great ideas.. So what else sucked then?

De-leveling to complete in past instances – annoying, but I could live with it. De-leveling from death – considering it took me three hours of killing one monster over and over again with a team of six people to get that level and in one death I lose up to 20% of my experience sucks and is nothing more than a time sink. I also found it annoying that monsters would not leave me the fuck alone as I ran through an entire zone and when I finally did zone out, they would stay behind and kill all the lowbies passing through that zone entrance – brilliant. Need five other specific jobs was annoying as well, if they had been more lenient with the class make ups or allow for solo (like WoW does) it would have made killing the same monster over and over again for hours easier to do… Also killing the same monster over and over for hours is stupid.

I have no comment on the PVP aspect of the game as it was introduced after I had sold my account.

Honestly, all this new FF online would need to do to compete with WoW is make it so it’s players could solo and still progress, obviously allow groups to level faster as well as get better rewards, and make crafting not about failing for hours and wasting your time. In addition make death not such a penalty in the ass. I know this may not sound like much, but it was very fun breaking in my opinion.

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