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Final Fantasy XIV Subscriptions Returning, PS3 Version In 2012

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the almost-ready-for-launch dept.

Role Playing (Games) 96

Just over a year ago, Square Enix released Final Fantasy XIV. It was not well received, and to atone for their mistake, the company removed the game's subscription fee, replaced a bunch of the developers, and delayed the PS3 version. Now, they are confident enough in the updates they've brought to the game that they are re-instituting the subscription plan and working again on the PS3 version, though it's still about a year away. They've also explained their roadmap for version 2.0 of the game, which will include a new UI, a new graphics engine, and a redesign of all current maps.

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I hate to be off-topic... (0)

Lockyy (2486084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748178)

but why is the title of this article red on the front page? I've not seen that before.

Re:I hate to be off-topic... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748228)

That's to denote that this is news of a particularly important variety.

(Nah, j/k. I think that means that you happened among a select few who randomly got to see this story a bit earlier than other people. (And I think you can pay money (i.e. "subscribe") to always belong to an elite of this kind.))

Let it die... (3, Interesting)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748186)

Why not let it die,

They are replacing everything about the game - hell the feel is likely to change too, especially with new devs....

So let it die, leave it free

Let players import into this "new" game, released as a new game.

Happyness!

of course, lots of people will flame this idea for being "cheap".

Re:Let it die... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748208)

Well, from their perspective they threw a huge amount of man-hours into creating the game, and to start over would mean those man-hours were wasted. Let them at least try to rescue it.

Course, I won't be trying it because I don't have the time or money for an MMO, but that's just me.

Re:Let it die... (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748390)

Honestly, I suspect it's about more than just the money. FF14 has failed, in a way that no previous main-series FF game has ever failed. That's going to be a huge blow to company pride and morale.

Square-Enix (and Squaresoft before it) have had mixed fortunes over the years. Indeed, the original Final Fantasy was given its title because of an internal piece of dark humour - the company expected it to be the last game they released before they went bust. They've had other misfortunes since then; Spirits Within essentially wiped out Squaresoft and necessitated the merger, the commercial success record of the handheld games is patchy at best, they've failed to keep up with Western developers during the last 5 years or so and there's a widespread feeling that the Final Fantasy brand has been severely over-stretched by too many spin-offs.

But until FF14, every main series Final Fantasy game had been a commercial success. Degrees varied; FF9 ended up less prominent than it could have been because it released so late in the PS1 cycle. FF13 attracted a lot of criticism from players and reviewers. But they always made money - even the previous MMO, FF11 (biggest international-MMO around before the launch of WoW). The company could always claim success. Even if other ventures failed, the goose would continue to lay the golden eggs and the core of the company would remain viable.

Then FF14 failed. It didn't just fail a little. It didn't just underwhelm. It was a huge, monumental failure. Critics hated it, many gamers mocked it, the vast majority just ignored it. The Final Fantasy brand took a massive blow; profits and share-price both fell through the floor.

Square-Enix remain one of the biggest players in the gaming industry. They've published some well-received and highly successful titles lately; the new Deus Ex chief among them. But it must be unsettling, given the general economic climate, that the company now finds itself with its biggest safety blanket severely damaged. They might come out of it a stronger company; forced to innovate and move away from old certainties. Or they may crash... again.

This does seem to be a bit of a pattern for Japanese gaming giants in recent years. Sega obviously suffered the slow, painful and entirely self-inflicted death of the Sonic brand's credibility. They've recovered in a degree; developed some other strong IPs (even if they horribly mismanage some of them, like Valkyria Chronicles). But they're not the company they were 10 years ago. Nintendo are heading for a similar come-uppance; their games are tied heavily to their consoles, and with the 3DS looking like no more than a minor player in the market and the Wii-U a pretty uncertain proposition, there's a good chance they'll put out a Mario or Zelda game in the next 18-24 months that will vanish without a trace.

But yes, to return to my original point, for Square-Enix to concede defeat on a main-series Final Fantasy game will be an enormous psychological step for the company. Given that, it's only natural that they'd fight against all the odds (and with no real prospect of getting anywhere) to make the thing a success for far longer than another MMO developer would. It probably doesn't hurt that they have the deep pockets that allow them to do this; although such pockets are by no means bottomless.

Re:Let it die... (0)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748558)

Very insightful post. I was having this conversation a few months back about why US game companies had surged past Japanese companies. It boiled down to Japanese companies are releasing the same game with little or no meaningful innovation or progress because if it made money once it will make it again right? Meanwhile US companies were constantly striving for better game play and new mechanics to improve the play experience (or addiction as the case may be).

Re:Let it die... (3, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748866)

Meanwhile US companies were constantly striving for better game play and new mechanics to improve the play experience (or addiction as the case may be).

Lolwut?

Don't get me wrong. I'm an old-time FF fan who thought the series jumped the chocobo with FFX and the removal of the world map.

But claiming western developers don't, in general, ride the formulaic money train? What came out this year that wasn't either YAFPS, or an iterative (at best) sequel? All I can think of is Catherine, and Atlus is Japanese.

Re:Let it die... (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749646)

WoW?

Re:Let it die... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749794)

WoW came out in 2004...

Re:Let it die... (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750612)

Western game development tends to be evolutionary. Yes, once in a while there is a game that shakes everything up, revitalises a genre or even creates a brand new one. But for the most part, Western developers take what has come before, look at what has worked and build on that, then look at what hasn't worked and repair or discard it.

Japanese games development doesn't seem to do evolution. If a game succeeds, the developer will go back and say "right, let's make the same game again, but give the main character different hair". If it hasn't worked - or if they've gotten bored - they'll throw everything out the window and start again from a fresh template.

It hasn't always been this way - Squaresoft used to be masters of the evolutionary approach. You can see concepts and ideas get developed, tested, adopted and discarded right through the Final Fantasy series, in installments 1 through 12. But they were always in a minority of Japanese developers, and they've gone much more for stagnation since the start of the current console cycle.

Which model works better? Results from the last 5-10 years show that the Western model is proving far more successful. In pretty much every genre, Western games have surpassed their Japanese counterparts. Bioware and Bethesda have taken those aspects of the Japanese RPG that made the genre so popular during the 1990s and have successfully melded them with a more Western aesthetic. Turn 10 have put out 4 installments of the Forza Motorsport series in roughly the same time that it took Polyphony Digital to make a single game. The original Forza was nothing like as good as Gran Turismo 4. Gran Turismo 5 was, even judged kindly, only roughly competitive with Forza 3 and gets left in the dirt by Forza 4. Insomniac have developed the action-platformer through many installments of the Ratchet & Clank series (from really quite underwhelming beginnings), lifting good ideas liberally from the Mario games along the way - and the latest R&C game is pretty much unparalleled within its genre.

The Japanese gaming industry can still put out the occasional piece of oddball brilliance; Valkyria Chronicles and Catherine are good examples. But the West can do this as well - Portal is a good example. In fact, there's an instructive comparison here; Valkyria Chronicles is mismanaged and ends up sidelined as a minority-interest PSP franchise, while Portal 2 is developed into a well-received and highly successful sequel.

Most gamers don't actually care about whether a game is completely unexpected, fresh and innovative. They just want a fun game that gives them good value for money, which doesn't feel *exactly* the same as the last game they played. The Western system of evolutionary development is much better suited to providing this on a regular basis.

Re:Let it die... (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 2 years ago | (#37752824)

While I don't disagree with most of your post, exactly what part of Bethesda and BioWare's recent works have ANYTHING to do with the Japanese RPGs of the '90s?

The only thing they have in common is nothing at all.

Re:Let it die... (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37753292)

They stole the "active party" system, where you walk around with 3 or 4 party members and the rest wait for you in a convenient location. 90s Western RPGs, such as the Ultima games and even Baldur's Gate had a different model. If you chucked a player out of your party, there was a good chance they'd vanish, never to be seen again. If you want to see the big way in which Dragon Age resembles Final Fantasy VII more than Baldur's Gate, that's it.

They also stole a lot of the gameplay-flow and narrative structure. Western RPGs of the 90s tend to be pretty light on story for most of their duration, and very heavy on fairly open-world exploration. You can see the Japanese influences creeping in between Baldur's Gate and its sequel. The former has almost no plot until late in the game (and very limited party dialogue) and masses of wilderness to explore. The sequel is much heavier on plot and party dialogue and as a smaller but denser game-world.

Re:Let it die... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764176)

Ultima had the Hostel (FSVO "convenient" location) l since at least in the NES version of Ultima IV (1990), where your party members waited. The first JRPGs that I played with something similar was Dragon Quest/Warrior III, which was out in 1991.

Re:Let it die... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767886)

The NES versions of the early Ultima games were handled by FCI and Ponycanyon. Japanese companies. They massively changed the gameplay mechanics from the PC and other home computer versions, producing end-results that were much more along the lines of the JRPGs of the time, rather than the Western equivalents.

Re:Let it die... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37753118)

I would actually argue that the FF series contributed to the current situation

As time went on, FF focused more and more on graphics and narrative. There might still be a lot of gameplay underneath, but that's not the eye-candy people see or copy. Afterall, FF is one of the more successful franchises coming out of Japan, so all the other Japanese devs want to be like FF (so in a way, FF's own success led to its downfall)

Then again, this [bbc.co.uk] points out that executive meddling often gets in the way. I lean towards FF being one of the prime examples. You brought up Valkyria Chronicles, which is also another example (it's the business who failed on the marketing/promotion/direction, not the dev's ability to innovate)

There is also a cultural difference, which I think is the bigger reason that western games in general are rising while Japanese games aren't. The linked article pointed out that western games, as great and evolutionary as they are, actually don't do that well in Japan.

I wager there's a bigger number of gamers with a "western" mindset these days than an "eastern" or Japanese mindset. I mean, Japan has an aging population: the # of Japanese gamers is hardly increasing, whereas in the West "casual" gaming has seen a rise in recent years.

Thus, "western" games which cater to a "western" mentality are more successful.

Re:Let it die... (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37753960)

What came out this year that wasn't either YAFPS, or an iterative (at best) sequel? All I can think of is Catherine, and Atlus is Japanese.

LA Noire.

Re:Let it die... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37764258)

Fair enough. So 1 and 1 then. Looks like a push to me.

Re:Let it die... (1)

neyla (2455118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748622)

Yeah - what *did* they do with Valkyria Chronicles ? It's splendid, but was marketed like crap. And there's been essentially nothing happening with it since it was released in april 2008.

Re:Let it die... (1)

Fancia (710007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748658)

There were a couple of PSP-only sequels, and we only got one of them. I suppose that made sense for Japan, but it didn't do anything to help the series over here...

Re:Let it die... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748772)

Valkyria Chronicles was a great game but it didn't do so hot in the US as compared to the Japan market. That's why there hasn't been much of it translated over.

Re:Let it die... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748952)

Fantastic game, loved every minute of playing Valkyria Chronicles, and it required some actual thought to get through (unlike many FF games). I love my turn-based strategy games and strategy RPGs, and am glad the Japanese bother making them.

Re:Let it die... (1)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751272)

VK was hands down the best game i played in the last decade. I still go back and S-Star levels for fun.

Re:Let it die... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748828)

You're absolutely right about the marketing of the first game. This was a superb title - in some way, my favorite game of the last five years. It was genuinely fresh and genuinely different. It was far enough removed from the usual anime-inspired cliches of much of Japanese gaming that it had, I think, genuine breakout potential. Hell, it was perfectly possible to build a squad who would have looked as "at home" in Gears of War as in Final Fantasy, if you so desired (and Japan seems, for some reason, convinced that big muscley men are what they need to succeed in the West). Leaving that aside, there was a real pitch that could have been made here, along the lines of "it's a war-story, but not as you've seen it done elsewhere".

But they didn't market it. At all. Ok, ok, a few sites like animenewsnetwork and others carried a couple of banner ads. But there was no wider marketing campaign. I picked it up because Gabe and Tycho over at Penny Arcade raved about it and I generally trust them. I was astounded by how good it was. I showed it to 4 or 5 friends, all of whom were astounded by how good it was and who went on to buy it. But these were sales being driven by word of mouth and, good though that is, it's no substitute for a proper marketing campaign. Most people just assumed it was a Japanese RPG (it wasn't) and, if they didn't like that genre (which a lot of people don't), they ignored it.

Then, of course, the sequel is downgraded to the PSP. A platform which, fond though I was of it in its day, is largely dead in the West. It gets brought over to the West where it falls flat on its face in terms of sales, because nobody is interested in the PSP as a platform any more. So the third game is also PSP exclusive, except this time they don't bother releasing it in the West.

So what we have now is the most promising new Japanese gaming IP in years, which could have been a break-out hit, reduced to playing to the Japanese otaku crowd (which is a diminishing circle anyway, as the economic climate eats away at their parents' incomes and the availability of low-skilled part time jobs, and hence their spending power).

Japanese developers once dominated the gaming scene, in all but a select few genres. With the way things are going at the moment, there's every chance that in 5 years time, Japanese gaming's market will be basically the same as the anime market - domestic otaku and a few overseas enthusiasts - and that's a real pity, because both of those industries still put out some incredible products from time to time.

Re:Let it die... (1)

neyla (2455118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37772934)

From time to time maybe - but a lot of it simply haven't kept up. Most of the recent RPGs from Japan feel as if they're a decade old - they're childish, noisy, shallow and repetitive.

It's 2011, can we -not- have random wandering on a map until a encounter happens out of the blue ?

Can we have heroes who are firmly out of their diapers ? Even ones that have kissed a girl before and thus aren't more mortified by this prospect than by the idea of facing Lucifer himself ?

Can we -not- smash random boxes in random locations and have loot fall out of them ? It's boring by now. (okay, so the Japanese are not alone about this)

Yeah, I suppose there's still some gems, but it's been a while since I was impressed. I was with Valkyria Chronicles though - and I agree with you it had potential to appeal to a much wider audience.

Re:Let it die... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37751656)

One aspect people aren't really talking about was that the entire game was developed in China. Square farmed out one of the biggest series to a lackluster 3rd-party developer.

They tried to keep this under wraps, but people quickly noticed the Japanese text was poorly translated from Chinese, as well as online play policies that were 100% compatible with existing Chinese regulations. Eventually Square had to admit it.

Later Square shipped a team of Japanese developers there just to start to fix the mess. I suspect they've moved all development back home to Japan for the recent push of major fixes.

So this is what happens when you take something important and give it to the cheapest possible bidder to churn out a sequel, assuming anything with the brand name will sell. I hope Square learned their lesson.

It's like how all the recent Silent Hill game suck because no-name devs without a track record of quality or success are being entrusted to make them. Needless to say, it hasn't worked out and the series is dead.

Re:Let it die... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37753556)

Eventually Square had to admit it.

They did? I can't remember Square ever admitting that they offshored the dev team. As far as I know, they claimed that the only change in the dev team that has been made was firing Tanaka and replacing him with Yoshida.

Although honestly, it would be best for Square Enix to blame offshoring rather than claiming that the best they can do is a graphics engine that can't do shadows right (you can cast shadows on light sources!) and can't handle being Alt-Tabbed out of.

Have they fixed the alt-tab thing? I know the forums forced them to admit it was an issue, but I don't think they've ever bothered fixing it.

But, hey, at least patch 1.19 is adding in horsebirds! That should be exciting. Or something.

Re:Let it die... (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37752750)

Keep in mind that until it launches on PS3, it effectively has not launched in Japan. They're basically using the NA/EU PC market as an extended beta for the "real" version, which will be the Japanese PS3 release. If they can get that core Japanese console market to play the game for another ~7 years like they did with FFXI, then they can likely make back their losses and their pride.

Re:Let it die... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750300)

Take a look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_costs#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

Re:Let it die... (1)

TheyTookOurJobs (1930780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748524)

That is pretty much the plan. Old game will be imported into new game when 2.0 is done. The only reason is they don't want to change the name. They SAY, they need the subs to pay the devs for the 'new' version. I say screw that, the CC I signed up with is expired, they won't be billing me. The issue I have is if you stopped playing, even with it being free, they will begin autobilling if you didn't cancel your 'free' game.

Re:Let it die... (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749378)

Nope, they did address that in their announcement (http://lodestone.finalfantasyxiv.com/pl/teaser/ about 3/4s of the way down). Autobilling will be removed from every account, and you have to opt back in if you actually want to pay to play it after that.

Re:Let it die... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748864)

"of course, lots of people will flame this idea for being "cheap"."

Meh... Let's just ignore all the 'paytards'!

The brand (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748880)

They don't want that mark on the brand. They've always charged a premium for Final Fantasy games (usually $5 or $10 more than other games on the same platform) and they want you to keep paying that amount and they want to keep moving millions of copies. They want the brand to be so strong that gamers keep buying the remakes and the other peripheral FF games in droves as well (Dissidia, Crystal Chronicles, Mystery Dungeon, etc).

Personally I think they should have left the online games out of the main-line numbered series. I think everyone wants it that way. But they're a Japanese developer, if they make a mistake they would rather keep working at it until you support their actions. Kinda like FF XIV.

It is still a pretty game (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749220)

The graphics are still insanely pretty, especially with the large amount of gear that allows you to dress you avatar as you want to. Including special clothes for cat girls. CAT GIRLS!

The backgroud story is also interesting. The problem was that the game was unplayable and not much fun. Whether the fun part will be saved if the the game actually becomes playable that is the big question.

I got my doubts but for SE it is a choice between abandoning a huge money sink or sink a little bit more money into and hope to score after all.

There are enough FF fans and enough MMO fans that want something different then WoW to create a succesful game after all. The game had huge potential but the bugs killed it.

If they can create a new engine that can actually draw the graphics with a reasonable speed on a top end machine I am willing to give it another try. For now they have not yet achieved this and I am NOT going to pay for a year to fund the development.

Re:It is still a pretty game (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749434)

Indeed, very pretty. I logged back on there for the first time in months at the weekend. I was slightly confused that my graphics settings were so low, and turned them up. Then I remembered that FF14 is one of 2-3 games that I haven't been able to run on max settings on my computer. They claim to be redoing the graphics engine to make it easier on lower end machines, and more specifically the PS3.

I'd be fairly surprised if they could make it a success at this point, with the huge amount of bad press it's received. It's one thing for an MMO to fade into obscurity (as many have), and another for it to become well known for how bad it was at release. Usually it doesn't matter what the devs do if it's bad at release.

That said, they seem to be going to a big effort to practically remake it, and it seems like they're going to be putting a lot of marketing behind the revival (E3 next year was mentioned), so maybe they can make it work

I was one of the many very excited at the release, and lost interest within a few weeks. Recently some friends have been saying they fixed a lot of the problems, so I might check it out again. I never much liked the 'conventional' WoW-like MMOs anyway (I played FFXI for over 5 years), so even if it's still somewhat unconventional, and not the fabled 'WoW killer", it might still interest me if they've managed to iron out the (many, significant) flaws.

Re:It is still a pretty game (1)

WanQiaoYi (2459934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750546)

Agreed. I'll wait until 2.0 and give it chance. I really enjoyed the depth and community of FFXI and hope they can pull it off again, and so does my Tarutaru

Re:Let it die... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750490)

I'd call it "too little, too late", but then again, we ARE talking about something made for Final Fantasy fans. Frankly, they'll buy anything with a 12-year-old protagonist with a patently absurd outfit (both in fashion sense and getting us to believe the peasant family he/she came from can afford it), a strictly "NEEDS MOAR GENERIC AWESOMES LOL" weapon progression policy ("What if... what if... what if a SWORD [it has to be a sword, guys]... had a GUN on it? And and and then it could be a chainsaw and summon bears, and then NINJAS, and the level 2 sword was BIGGER and shot meteors out of the wielder's nose, and..."), and an hour of custscenes for every ten minutes of user control.

Basically, their audience is anyone who can be tricked into spending $60 on a barely-interactive candy-colored movie, and hoping they'll also spend $X/month on the same thing, only with added griefers. Given they've established they have the former fanbase, I'd say the latter also exists, meaning FF XIV will have a long, healthy life ahead of it, at least until FF XXI or whatever comes by to replace it.

Interesting topic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748218)

This is a great news but I hope it doesn't take too long to do so because I want to play soon on this game! Well done! [cheapholidays.org]

Should be interesting to watch (4, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748220)

I'm not sure anybody has ever successfully resurrected a MMO after a launch as bad as this one. I'll be interested to see if they can actually keep many players or recruit new ones once the subscription fee returns, particularly with competition like The Old Republic showing up. Word of mouth as bad as this game got (deservedly so) is really hard to overcome even when you do make improvements.

I am glad to see they're going to do something about the UI, though. Man that was terrible. It was unacceptably bad for a modern MMO.

Luckily for them the PS3 MMO competition is far weaker then the PC competition, so it'll probably do better there.

Re:Should be interesting to watch (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748718)

Luckily for them the PS3 MMO competition is far weaker then the PC competition, so it'll probably do better there.

Unluckily their MMORPG competition on the PS3 includes their own FFXI, and at leat one MMORPG with a a very loyal small but hardcore fanbase, EQOA. Not to mention the Freemium FreeRealms which is a hell of a lot more fun and less annoying, than FFXI ever was.

Re:Should be interesting to watch (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748798)

Unluckily their MMORPG competition on the PS3 includes their own FFXI, and at leat one MMORPG with a a very loyal small but hardcore fanbase, EQOA.

Only if your PS3 does PS2 emulation, and they don't make those any more.

Re:Should be interesting to watch (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37752816)

They've actually been improving the PS2 software emulation over time. A lot of games run perfectly even on non-PS2-hardware PS3's. Don't know if the list includes those games yet, but either way, it's silly to lump in PS2 games with PS3 games, even if they do run on the same machine.

Re:Should be interesting to watch (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37753366)

They've actually been improving the PS2 software emulation over time. A lot of games run perfectly even on non-PS2-hardware PS3's.

Um, no. On modern PS3s, you can't run PS2 games. Period. End of sentence. PS3s went from having almost all the PS2 hardware, to having some of the PS2 hardware with rest covered by software emulation, to having no PS2 hardware and completely unable to run PS2 games.

Re:Should be interesting to watch (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37754146)

Huh, I guess not. Thought I had read they changed that in a firmware update.

Re:Should be interesting to watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750232)

Turbine should take notes,and breathe new life into asherons call. That game has a horrid ui

The big prob with ffmmo's is (3, Interesting)

xmorg (718633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748246)

The final fantasy series has all this content that people know and love but they always try something different.
If they, for example recreated the world of final fantasy 6, people would eat it up. 6, 7, 8, 11, classics. But since final fantasy's are always a "new game", in the world of mmo's its just another mmo, and you need more than cute graphics to keep people playing.

For example... world of warcraft! you have a world that was created across 3 games, and people were chomping at the bit to get into it.
However with ffmmo's all you have is the label... final fantasy.

Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (4, Interesting)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748252)

I'm sure I'm not the only person irritated by Squenix' decision to seemingly at random make numbered Final Fantasy games MMORPGs. What sort of branding moron over there decided that consumers wouldn't find it confusing that FFI through FFX are linear stories while FFXI is an MMORPG, but oh wait FFXII and FFXIII are back to linear, but oh wait FFXIV is back to MMORPG... Seriously WTF? I'm a fan and I have a hard time keeping this crap straight sometimes.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748786)

You think this is hard to keep track of? Have you even heard of Kingdom Hearts?

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748814)

It's pretty simple. Since the original Nintendo each game console generation had three Final Fantasy games.

Nintendo 1-3
Super Nintendo 4-6
PS1 7-9
PS2 10-12
PS3 13-15

Starting with FFX on the PS2 they started new tradition that the middle game on each console is a MMORPG.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748972)

Entertaining if you don't bother with improperly numbered sequels like X2 (which isn't the same as 12).

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749468)

Final Fantasy X2 is one of the many spin-off games with "Final Fantasy" in the title that aren't part of the main sequence.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749766)

Final Fantasy X2 is one of the many spin-off games with "Final Fantasy" in the title that aren't part of the main sequence.

Hmm... I'm not so sure of that. Things like Revenant Wings, FF13Versus, those are spin offs. FFX-2 was a direct sequel (and really underappreciated). In my heart of hearts, I'd consider it a real FF more than FFXI or XIV.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750666)

Final Fantasy X2 is one of the many spin-off games with "Final Fantasy" in the title that aren't part of the main sequence.

You're not helping your previous assertion of "it's pretty simple", you know.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 2 years ago | (#37782396)

FFX2 is a direct sequel in plot to FFX. That makes it a main sequence game, even if its a sequel. It was also a great game.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37784736)

Final Fantasy X2 is one of the many spin-off games with "Final Fantasy" in the title that aren't part of the main sequence.

Since when are sequels considered spin-offs?

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749004)

That's considered simple?

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749558)

Well, it's simpler than calculating inverses of matrices, while cutting your foot of, while making love to a woman, while singing at Woodstock, while defusing an H-bomb, while reading tensor calculus, while defecting north korea.

But I think Sqeenix's problem could be solved if they named their MMORPGs "Final Grind" {int}.. After all that's what they really boil down to right?

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751930)

Re: Final Grind - damned truth there.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

PwnzerDragoon (2014464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37752804)

Well, it's simpler than calculating inverses of matrices, while cutting your foot of, while making love to a woman, while singing at Woodstock, while defusing an H-bomb, while reading tensor calculus, while defecting north korea.

Hey, you had the same weekend I did!

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749976)

I agree completely. But the original plan was fairly simple: all numbered Final Fantasy games after X are MMOs.

Then they realized that was a fucking stupid plan, and released FFXII. (And later FFXIII.)

Then they decided that since the PS2 was nearing the end of its life, they should release another MMO for the new generation of consoles, so they decided to create FFXIV.

Why not just call FFXIV "Final Fantasy Online" and be done with it? Well, if there's anything FFXIII and FFXIV both prove, it's that no one with any clue at all is left at Square Enix.

Especially with this latest plan of announcing that they're going to start charging for subscriptions at the end of this year, and then completely change the game at the end of the next year. Somehow, I think I'll wait. And I doubt I'm alone in that decision.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (1)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751432)

Ive always hated that its not a continuous story.
Ive enjoyed the following FF Games, and literally despised all others I've tried to date;

FFI (Dragon Warrior with 4 characters, yaye!)
FFII (Super Nintendo American version)
FFIII (Super Nintendo American version)
FFVII (PS1 NA Version)

FFI i don't even remember the story, It was literally just dragon warrior with more characters to me(I was like 10)
FFII the storyline grabbed me and even now I go back and play it, same with FFIII and VII
The other the storyline was drab, the worlds seemed disjoined from the FF worlds i grew up with a loved,

My point? The series already died to alot of us old gamers, a long long time ago in a console far far away.

Re:Numbered Final Fantasies as MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37752898)

....Seriously? How hard is it to remember all Final Fantasy games except 11 and 14 are linear single player games? Two exceptions to a rule dude, not that many to remember.

Bad Decisions? (1)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748278)

The game itself is supposed to be bad.

"...new UI, a new graphics engine, and a redesign of all current maps."

However, none of these things make a difference on the game design itself. Who's smoking what now?

I hate stupid developers.

Re:Bad Decisions? (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748444)

Wait, you've never seen a game with good mechanics ruined by bad UI or crappy and/or copy-pasted level design?

At least Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 comes to mind.

Re:Bad Decisions? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750626)

What mostly got me about RCT3 was the fact it seemed to be able to slow systems (that were far in excess of it's specified requirements) to a crawl in larger parks. The UI glitches didn't help either of course.

Despite theese issues though it's probablly one of the games i've spent the most time on over the years.

Re:Bad Decisions? (1)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751502)

Im actually playing through RCT3 currently, and have never had many complaints about the UI(actually only one, but thats a lack of a rotate hotkey, arguably a UI feature). The slow downs yeah, but on a modern rig I play is smooth a silk with everything maxed of course.

Re:Bad Decisions? (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37755048)

I'm also playing through it, and maybe if you haven't played the previous ones, I can get what you're saying. If you haven't, here's what you're missing out on:

- No silly "Are you sure dialogs", even for things that don't make you wait at all. "Are you sure you want to return to the main menu?" Seriously?
- Keyboard shortcuts for _a lot_ of stuff. The ones that get me most of the time are the ones for visualization, but mostly the one that toggles invisible supports. As for rotating... I don't miss that one. Middle-click + moving the mouse gets the job done more precisely.
- The ability to have multiple ride windows open. In 3, you can't keep an eye on a ride while you do something on another one.
- The ability to see a given train's speed, at the point its on, on the track. This could tell you instantly if you had turns that were too tight, for instance.
- The elevation of the terrain paths are on not needing to be accurate to the milimeter for them to connect.
- Easy(er) tunneling, without ruining the landscape completely.
- Keyboard scrolling while your mouse is on a window or button. What were they thinking?!
- Common stuff, such as opening a ride, needing only one click.
- Windows "remembering" and filtering stuff. I.e. if you went to the "guests" window and clicked "thoughts", then when you passed to the summary for all guests, it would already be at "thoughts" instead of "actions". The next time you opened the window, it would be at the summary of all guests' thoughts too. Plus, if you clicked any summarized thought, it would filter the guests thinking it and show them in that same window, so you could get an idea of _where_ in your park the problems were.
- The rides having sane defaults. No, I don't want a single car on a ride with a 10-block long station platform. Yes, if I place block brakes on a ride I want it to operate by block sections. The one default that has actually gotten saner was that rides now wait for any load by default, instead of a full one.
- Most menus being accessible by a single click, or at least a click-and-drag. No, that "minimize" button isn't as useful.

Re:Bad Decisions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748628)

The game itself is supposed to be bad.

"...new UI, a new graphics engine, and a redesign of all current maps."

However, none of these things make a difference on the game design itself. Who's smoking what now?

I hate stupid developers.

They've almost completely redesigned the game from the ground up over the past year, so to really be honest anything you've heard about it up to this point is outdated information. About the only thing that bears any real similarity to the past is the graphics assets- the art and models.

This update will fix the last major piece of the base game design in terms of mechanics and world layout, and it might be worth playing soon. But not yet- there still is very little story, and although it really is a very good looking game, it lacks that "something special and unique" feeling which fantasy worlds strive to achieve.

So while I do applaud them on working hard to fix a real turd of a game, they still haven't brought it up to the point it should have been over a year ago. Unless we see some major content additions in the next couple months, my account will be cancelled right before they start charging to play. But at least they've got a framework in place to base the game on, whereas the state of the game during launch was broken at best.

Re:Bad Decisions? (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749580)

I read that article on kotaku that visualized the timeline in which the game will change into it's version 2, it aims for 2013.. You say that the changes are already in the public game?

Everyone scrambling (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748296)

With the imminent success that will be Star Wars: The Old Republic launch (jury still out on whether this sucesss will last very long), every company in the MMORPG business is scrambling to stay relevant or minimize losses. SWG will fold December 10 (source: Google), Rift dropped the initial price of the game to a ridiculous $4.99 and is offering some free weekends, FF is getting revamped.

I say from a business perspective, Square Enix is right. FF is still hot property. Milk it while they can!

Re:Everyone scrambling (1)

silentace (992647) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748430)

I have recently quit rift, but the 4.99 price was always on some holiday special and the free weekend (believe there has only been one) was due to a major patch (which they have had 5 already in 6 months)... so rift is pretty strong if you ask me. Rift has the majority of the concepts of MMO figured out. Doesn't really matter if the game is only 5 bucks... they make more money on subscriptions anyways. They have "contracts" essentially for your monthly subsciption so I imagine they make a shit ton from people saying "yeah I will play for a year, why not throw 100+ at them all at one time"

Re:Everyone scrambling (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748480)

With the imminent success that will be Star Wars: The Old Republic launch (jury still out on whether this sucesss will last very long), every company in the MMORPG business is scrambling to stay relevant or minimize losses. SWG will fold December 10 (source: Google), Rift dropped the initial price of the game to a ridiculous $4.99 and is offering some free weekends, FF is getting revamped.

I say from a business perspective, Square Enix is right. FF is still hot property. Milk it while they can!

Bioware is taking an unusual step to ensure a smoother launch, they are intentionally limiting the release quantities of the game to reduce server load at launch.

That said I was one of the idiots that bought the collectors edition for FFXIV also, and played for about 4 months mainly crafting and hoping that they would fix the broken game soon. Then came the server outages from the quake/tsunami/reactor breach event and I think this might have been the nail in the coffin of a game that was launched sorely incomplete.

They are going to have a hell of a time clawing players away from SWTOR, Diablo 3 and likely another WoW expansion, I wish them all the best, but it is incredibly unlikely that I will be counted among their paying subscribers.

Re:Everyone scrambling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750920)

Rift dropped the initial price of the game to a ridiculous $4.99 and is offering some free weekends

That $4.99 price point is a little misleading. At that price point, it doesn't include the complimentary month of playtime, which is $14.99. So, with their sale, it's either $4.99 + $14.99 for the first month, or $19.99 for the game and you get your first month 'free'.

Re:Everyone scrambling (1)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751562)

This is true, but if you know you like the game, and want to dive right into a 6month plan, where you have 3$ a month discount or whatever it is, the 4.99+sub option is nice.

Re:Everyone scrambling (2)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751610)

every company in the MMORPG business is scrambling to stay relevant or minimize losses. SWG will fold December 10

I thought it was Dec 15. But never mind, the reason isn't that they're scrambling to stay relevant (there's no way they can) or minimize losses (SWG is, from all accounts, still very profitable). The problem is that Lucas has pulled the IP licence rug out from under them, so they *aren't allowed to continue running it*.

Rift dropped the initial price of the game to a ridiculous $4.99

Probably less to do with competition from SWTOR than it is to try to remain relevant in a market that's steadily losing out to free-to-play colossi (LOTRO, DDO, Champions Online, soon Star Trek Online, Fallen Earth, APB Reloaded, etc.). When I can get another similar high-quality game and play large chunks of it for free, with only one-off purchases required to unlock the rest of the content in most cases, it seems penny-pinching for Trion to charge both an upfront fee for their second-tier game and for the time I play it. I'm honestly amazed they aren't offering the game free. Possibly with a month's subscription included. It would attract new subscribers, and subscribers is where their money comes from, not box sales.

Re:Everyone scrambling (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37755522)

More telling for Sony MMOs is that EQ2, which has been on the model of one expansion per year since launch, is instead releasing some shady no-content expansion in a month and they've released next to no information about it, including pre-orders or anything.

It's not necessarily TOR as that there are so many options available now and it's at the point in most of their lifecycles that customers are really getting bored with them. It's time for real third generation MMOs to come out. Guild Wars 2 looks to be the only game really innovating thus far, though TOR has some interesting story stuff going on and Planetside 2 will at least be a genre that hasn't had much play outside of the original Planetside.

"Version 2" (1)

zefrer (729860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748388)

Meaning a complete re-write of what still is a failure. A re-write that was obviously necessary from the start. Why they're keeping version 1 going is anyone's guess.

Re:"Version 2" (1)

Gratarian (1256072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37754092)

Initially they were keeping V1 going because of all the customers who bought the game. I'm more curious how many people will pay to stay until V2 comes out.

Phased re-design of the entire game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748646)

I've read over their more recent design documents and they really ARE basically redoing the entire game in phases. Combat has been overhauled, the market system was improved upon, they will be re-doing the world map at some point, some class changes I think I heard are coming as well, etc.

So assuming they follow through with all the planned changes, the game a year from now will essentially be an entirely different product from the travesty that is/was FF14.

Now if only they do something about the terrible levee system, and the world re-design includes more immersion and a world that actually feels lived in. Their current maps make it seem like the entire world is uncharted outside of the 3 major cities.

I was in the beta, and was shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748654)

Having been in the early beta, I was shocked (shocked, I tells ya!) at how horrible the UI and gameplay were. I wrote much of it off as beta blues, but the controls were SO non-intuitive (and not customizable at all, couldnt even change your keymappings!) that it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to fight back when something was attacking me. I also had gripes with the map design, and the UI/mechanics for just talking to people.

I sincerely do not understand what kind of playtesting process this went through internally at square-enix that led them to believe it was ready for beta, nevermind release. I hope the first people they fired with the whole "new devs" were the PHB's who gave this the 'ok' for release in the first place...

Re:I was in the beta, and was shocked. (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748884)

Their whole beta proceess was a mess. I mean they had an "open beta" where it was impossible to provide feedback. They actively didn't want it! I know open betas are usually used as a demo, but there's always some people with feedback. Why would you refuse it?

The UI was something out of 2003. It was so abysmally awful that it was clear nobody at Square-Enix has played a MMO since before WoW came out, because that level of fail just doesn't fly anymore.

Honestly I think they had a lot of insular echo-chamber going on. They thought it was good internally, and since FFXI did alright they figured something somewhat like it would be alright while being blissfully unaware that the market had moved rather dramatically forward due to WoW and the improvements other companies made in order to compete with it.

Then they got slaughtered in the market, and THAT was the wake up call.

perhaps a new name? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748894)

new UI, a new graphics engine, and a redesign of all current maps.

reminds me of Anchor Man that is "based on a true story" and "only the names, places and events have been changed."

Even worse than the game.. (1)

archen (447353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748906)

Did they actually come up with an in house billing system? I've never seen a game that was such a disaster when it came to taking your money. It's like they tried to introduce every hurdle possible to prevent people from actually subscribing. During release me and a few friends decided to all get in FFXIV to check it out. After the payment ordeal, each person of our group that arrived felt like they had made it up the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

Just as well that we were all phoning each other trying to figure out how to pay for the thing, since once we did get online it was another calamity trying to figure out how to send each other tells.

Re:Even worse than the game.. (1)

RalphtheDwarf (951661) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750380)

No, and now they've inflicted a similar system on FFXI users whom were none too pleased. Before we could pay automatically on a monthly basis, now we're forced to manually add Crysta in amounts that don't sync very well with the actual bill and some of the 3rd party billing options have rather shady backgrounds.

A regression. (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749206)

The game did many things worse than even the far older WoW or Final Fantasy 11 did. The company seems way too sheltered.

Can a cure be found for consulitus? (0)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749492)

The biggest problem FF14 had was a most serious case of consulitus. Considering the game is still not ready for the PS3 after a year, that was a really dumb mistake but one Japanese are prone to make. For some reason, games from the east just don't have the polish, technical polish, that we have come to take for granted in the west.

Part of the reason might be that the japanese just don't do PC's. Most western game companies started on the PC or similar user controlled machines like the amiga or mac. We have come to take for granted that a PC game might have to run without sound because there is no sound card and so most games come with a mixer panel to mix not just music, but speech, special effect, environment and music. Many DS games I played don't even allow you to turn the music off and sound is a hardware slider affecting all sound the same.

It is more then just simple missing configurations. I was quite shocked when recently caved and bought a PS3 by the BLACK saving screens... wtf? When was the last time a PC game even had to pause while saving? Oh wait, Rage, another game with a serious case of consilitus (try changin ammo on your equipped but not in the quick set, weapon. It will switch to weapon in your quickset instead of changing ammo).

How does this relate to FF14? Simple:

Config: Changing resolution or ANY other setting requires you to quit the game and launch a seperate config utility. This utility is NOT launched during first or indeed any startup. You have to dig for it.

Character loading screen, not just akward it takes AGES. Just to render three chars. I can run any game with full details but FF14 bring my PC to its knees.

Monthly fee? If you want more then one character, you pay more. You quickly pay a monthly fee far higher then any other mainstream game. If this game was the best in its class, that might be okay... but it is not.

Classes, you create a character, either a fighter or a crafter. Maybe... as everywhere else in the game, explanation is zero. That is what fans call hardcore. I call it needlessly complex. Every MMO explains with simple text what your choices are during config. FF14 makes it guessing game.

The chat system. Apparently there is one. Good luck on figuring it out. 99% of MMO's use an IRC like system. Two did not. Age of Conan and FF14. Gosh, what else do they have in common?

The menu... I know consoles don't have keyboards... oh wait, the PS3 can use keyboards just fine and you can get a working one for 5 bucks... so WHY the menu on a PC? The menu hursts us.

The game feels full of potential but they need to hire some white nerds to make it into a product that is not a pain to use. I know the Japanese committed horrible war crimes but come on, it has been over half a century, STOP punishing yourselves! Enjoy the comforts of the modern age, buy a chair and use common sense design in your computer games.

Re:Can a cure be found for consulitus? (1)

sirroc (1157745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751082)

The biggest problem FF14 had was a most serious case of consulitus. Considering the game is still not ready for the PS3 after a year, that was a really dumb mistake but one Japanese are prone to make. For some reason, games from the east just don't have the polish, technical polish, that we have come to take for granted in the west.

Part of the reason might be that the japanese just don't do PC's. Most western game companies started on the PC or similar user controlled machines like the amiga or mac. We have come to take for granted that a PC game might have to run without sound because there is no sound card and so most games come with a mixer panel to mix not just music, but speech, special effect, environment and music. Many DS games I played don't even allow you to turn the music off and sound is a hardware slider affecting all sound the same.

It is more then just simple missing configurations. I was quite shocked when recently caved and bought a PS3 by the BLACK saving screens... wtf? When was the last time a PC game even had to pause while saving? Oh wait, Rage, another game with a serious case of consilitus (try changin ammo on your equipped but not in the quick set, weapon. It will switch to weapon in your quickset instead of changing ammo).

How does this relate to FF14? Simple:

Config: Changing resolution or ANY other setting requires you to quit the game and launch a seperate config utility. This utility is NOT launched during first or indeed any startup. You have to dig for it.

Character loading screen, not just akward it takes AGES. Just to render three chars. I can run any game with full details but FF14 bring my PC to its knees.

Monthly fee? If you want more then one character, you pay more. You quickly pay a monthly fee far higher then any other mainstream game. If this game was the best in its class, that might be okay... but it is not.

Classes, you create a character, either a fighter or a crafter. Maybe... as everywhere else in the game, explanation is zero. That is what fans call hardcore. I call it needlessly complex. Every MMO explains with simple text what your choices are during config. FF14 makes it guessing game.

The chat system. Apparently there is one. Good luck on figuring it out. 99% of MMO's use an IRC like system. Two did not. Age of Conan and FF14. Gosh, what else do they have in common?

The menu... I know consoles don't have keyboards... oh wait, the PS3 can use keyboards just fine and you can get a working one for 5 bucks... so WHY the menu on a PC? The menu hursts us.

The game feels full of potential but they need to hire some white nerds to make it into a product that is not a pain to use. I know the Japanese committed horrible war crimes but come on, it has been over half a century, STOP punishing yourselves! Enjoy the comforts of the modern age, buy a chair and use common sense design in your computer games.

Having played the game in the Alpha, It was obvious from the first test that the game WAS ready for PS3. However, due to the immediate changes to the battle system that was implemented in alpha 2 it completely broke the ps3 version. Running XIV in its alpha form (no config save for shadows enabled in a random .ini file) it fit nicely in a 256MB VRAM environment at 720p. With a few HQ cutscenes going over that. So yeah FFXIV was heavily reliant on the PS3.

Let us also not forget the man in charge of FFXIV Hiromichi Tanaka. While responsible for the (opinion) awesomeness that was XI. He was also the person that chiefly held it back. Citing the infamous "PS2 limitations". This guy is a sadist when it comes to MMOs. It wasn't until the proliferation of wiki like websites that information on the game was a potpourri of relevant information and conjecture. It wasn't until he left to do XIV (officially in 2010 but I can assume day to day stuff was a lot sooner) That we got massive inventory upgrades (deemed impossible by him), and the refreshing abyssea expansions.

Playing XIV coming from XI felt like a kick in the balls; everything regressed to a 2002 gameplay system. Including its engine design. Using that damned render-to-texture style system that XI had made me insane. XIV took everything that made people HATE XI and made it WORSE. Coupled with the "some" of the development outsourced really hurt the games credibility along with the games preemptive anti-RMT mechanics, killed it for most everyone.

All we (friends and I) wanted was for them to upgrade XI to a modern engine and graphics. What we got was so awful its going to take them 3 years after the initial "alpha" debut to fix it; and even then...

I'll give them a chance IF... (0)

RanceJustice (2028040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749578)

As someone who bought and played FFXIV at launch, I'll give them a chance again but there needs to be universal improvement. Heck, even the sign-up/account management for Final Fantasy XI and XIV is the most convoluted thing possible - there are a handful of usernames, passwords, emails etc.. that, when I was there, was a world away from the easy sign-ups of any other MMORPG. I wanted to use my old FFXI account again, but between my "SquareEnix Online", "PlayOnline", "Square.com" etc... accounts I couldn't even find the right place to query for my forgotten login data. Convoluted and one hasn't even logged into the game.

However, I'm proud of Japanese developers. They've "gotten it" as evidenced by the "Free XIV until we fix it" plan, but what's more is unlike so many American developers these days, they didn't just say "Fuck you, its perfect, if you don't like it suck a dick and give me $15 for 3 more DLC maps right fucking now". This is where Japanese developers can shine and get back into the race.

Japanese honor and pride in their work is the perfect medicine for the way gaming is headed today driven by limitless greed. Tons of expensive DLC everwhere, foolish DRM, MMOs going "Free2Play" and ultimately costing you more than $15 subscription dollars to get less content than ever because of a combination of unmitigated greed-based business plans (Thanks a lot to Apple and all the other companies who proved "Rubes will buy anything" is a good business plan!), and younger generations of gamers who open their wallets for anything nomatter how egregious without thinking or questioning; the sort who actually defend selling single items (or worse, "renting" them) for $25 when those of us remember that used to buy you a complete Expansion Pack not that long ago.

For years Japanese developers and publishers didn't quite "get it", a problem both cultural and business-wise, but now that they do perhaps they can bring back selling a complete game product for a singular price, without having to pre-order, pay $90 for a downloadable "Digital Deluxe Edition" to get all the in-game items (Looking at you, Mass Effect 3), buy tiny little drops of content for $5-15 etc.

Perhaps Japan can bring back pride in one's product to AAA game development, rather than creating the most "effective revenue stream".

In $$$ we trust (0)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750434)

When you have banks start charging people using their checking accounts and debit cards,

When you have municipalities baiting people for tickets just to balance their budgets,

When you have naked shorts and other illegal manipulations of the stock market and the SEC decides to ignore it,

When you have the MAFIAA sending the DMCA notices to grandma's and claiming their PRINTER is infringing their copyright,

When traditional Japanese value is being slowly corrupted by greed,

Then you know this is Judeo-Capitalism at work.

Re:In $$$ we trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750518)

Greed is part of being human. It transcends cultural boundaries. There is no such thing as an enlightened people, never has been, never will be. The greater the number of people involved, the more greed there will be.

Your traditional Japanese values would have been corrupted by greed even if there was no influence at all from Judeo-Capitalism.

Re:In $$$ we trust (1)

RanceJustice (2028040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751680)

This is clearly not true. There are many variations in what a culture considers "greed" to begin with, much less "acceptable" amounts of greed, how it is focused, and where it can be directed in a society safely.

Dainsanefh is correct that, for the most part, Japan's current issues have come from emulation of Western, specifically American hyper-capitalist lassiez-faire, right wing business efforts. However, the Japanese people's values are not in line with this when it conflicts with the well being of society. This is one reason that for the first time the LDP was ousted in favor of the further-Left DPJ party. While in America we have a poisonous culture of "I'll get mine no matter how much it screws you - after all ", Japan's more collective focused culture and ethics staunchly rejected the post-Bubble emulation of American business methodology since the 80s - they started to say "enough is enough" far before we did.

Greed, much like capitalism or any sort of financial system or impetus cannot simply be allowed to roam free - it MUST be bent to the good of society lest you have the problems we have now where the many suffer because an unethical few have taken too much and altered the system to protect their theft. Implying that it is natural to let greed thrive as it will and that there haven't been societies that have worked diligently to limit the damage it can do is an insult.

Re:I'll give them a chance IF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750944)

Japanese honor and pride in their work is the perfect medicine for the way gaming is headed today driven by limitless greed.

The impact of your rampant and blatant Nippophilic rant is sorely limited by the fact that you are asserting "honor and pride && NOT limitless greed" on a game series solely being milked on name recognition for FOURTEEN major releases, not counting all the spin-offs similarly cashing in on the name alone. And that's just one Japanese company and one series.

Re:I'll give them a chance IF... (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37755610)

As someone who bought and played FFXIV at launch, I'll give them a chance again but there needs to be universal improvement. Heck, even the sign-up/account management for Final Fantasy XI and XIV is the most convoluted thing possible - there are a handful of usernames, passwords, emails etc.. that, when I was there, was a world away from the easy sign-ups of any other MMORPG. I wanted to use my old FFXI account again, but between my "SquareEnix Online", "PlayOnline", "Square.com" etc... accounts I couldn't even find the right place to query for my forgotten login data. Convoluted and one hasn't even logged into the game.

It probably sounds like some extreme whining to the outside observer, but I really couldn't believe how complicated their sign-up process was in FFXI. I played it near when it was first released and I thought it was okay, but I had to spend a lot of time on school and wasn't really hooked on it so I put it aside. When I went to give it another try again later I simply could not find my log-in credentials or what service I needed to look them up. There were like three different accounts involved.

Sorry guys, but I'm not spending hours trying to retrieve account info. I'll go play one of the other nearly identical games. I think rule one of business is to make it very easy for the customer to give you money.

Just re-release FF7 instead (1)

naroom (1560139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749626)

They even demo'd Final Fantasy 7 [youtube.com] for the PS3, and promptly dropped it after getting the fans excited. Redoing FF7 would be a damned easy way to make a ton of money AND make people happy at the same time.

Re:Just re-release FF7 instead (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750590)

It was always a tech demo. They never "dropped it" because it never was a project to begin with. When new consoles are being released, companies demo updated versions of already existing games to show off the hardware, like how the N64 got a tech demo of Final Fantasy 6 in 3D and how the PS2 got a tech demo of the ballroom scene from Final Fantasy 8 rendered in real-time.

That said, it would still sell like hotcakes. I hope it's made for the 3DS, honestly, because I can see it performing well there. *Maybe* the Vita, though, but that would take more resources to develop.

S-E will need to get players from FFXI to upgrade. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37751462)

Let me preface this by saying that I have active subscriptions to both Final Fantasy XIV and XI, though I mostly just log into XIV to get the latest patches now.

Square-Enix needs to find a way to get their FFXI userbase to come to the new game. Many of us got XIV at launch, grew disgusted with it, and went back to XI. I play XIV on one of the busier servers, and it is a wasteland compared to a 9 year old server. There is still a fair-sized FFXI subscriber base that would love to move on to a game with modern graphics and UI, provided that it wasn't a total stinker like XIV has been. Square needs to offer legitimate rewards to long-time FFXI players, not just "we can hold your first name from XI for you (first come first serve)" because that did fuck-all.

Sony wasn't able to bring gamers from Everquest to Everquest II. I recognize the difficulty in what I'm saying but still, this game needs subscribers to break into the black. Give us something shiny, fix the screw-ups in XIV, and we'll gladly come.

Hiromichi Tanaka - learn to hate this man (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37758788)

Hiromichi Tanaka was the producer of FFXIV until he was relieved in March by the SE CEO. Tanaka was also the producer/director of FFXI until he became the producer of FFXIV. All of notorious issues with FFXI and FFXIV are the responsibility of this man. This man is what made FFXI more work than fun. FFXI became so much more enjoyable once he was tasked with FFXIV and others took over directing FFXI. Now that Tanaka has returned to FFXI, signs of the grindfest, low-drop-rate, indefinite torture are returning.

Hiromichi Tanaka - learn to hate this man and his notion of what makes an MMO fun.

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