Thursday, May 31, 2007

What is going on with SE?

I don't really understand what is happening.

I think SE has gone off the deep end.

SE is a Japanese game company, not known for its flexibility, but in the last couple of updates SE has made some changes to the game that, although are not major changes to the game overall, have radically improved the game. Is this a new trend in forward thinking? I don't think so because the changes have been needed for a long time, but it is the first recognition that the game had some major problems and they needed to be addressed. It is also a recognition, and here is the most important part, that the oldest content needed adjustments because it was getting old. Fixes to Ullikummi spawning and changing Rare/Ex drops of high-dollar items are just the most obvious fixes. But looking forward, the recognition of the problems with the economy and adjusting prices of for Limbus is more evidence. This would have, in the past, taken a year for SE to fix. Here is the thing, I think they are recognizing that it is not the content aspects of the game that make the player base upset. It is the annoying little things, e.g. Limbus is a drain on the wallet of the normal player, so adjust it until the economy stabilizes. Big additions to the game are the shock and awe of updates, the things that stand out like in the most recent updates, Salvage, Nyzul Isle and now Einherjar, but the things that please the players are things that they can do anytime, like letting people get Ullikummi, O's Kote, E bow's; and things that just make it easier to play, like storage of more gear, the Sky warp quest, etc. So what is SE thinking? I have a thought.

Originally, when FFXI was created it was the first second-generation MMORPG. It looked at the problems of the first-generation of games (EQ for example) and started by making a game that didn't have those problems, but that just opened the door for new problems. And those problems were fixed by third-generation games like EQ2 and WoW. For a long time it appeared that SE didn't want to look at what WoW and EQ2 were doing correctly and wanted to forge their own path. The problem with this was that the game was still falling behind. The beginning of the end of the this kind of thought happened with the introduction of ToA. I think the first and most obvious change that SE made to recognize that others were doing good things in other games and they should adopt them was the introduction of instanced zones. Assault, although still used in a slight flawed manner in that I believe it could have been better instituted and more accessible, maybe with better rewards, but technically fine, was the first step in this. Salvage was the second, and Nyzul Isle, although technically still an assault, added something new: variation in design within an instanced zone. We will have to see how Einherjar is implemented but it appears to be more like Limbus, where you pick a zone and it locks others out just from the discription, but it is a larger event than say Assault or Salvage so I think they are approaching it with that as the intent, anyway.

Where does that leave the players? Much better off thats for sure. The last few updates have been completely packed with new additions and very few changes that people have not liked. Sure, you will have the occasional psycho who doesn't like improvements, or the player that enjoyed the exclusivity of an item that is now more available, but one has to wonder if the exclusivity of the items that the players had enjoyed was really because of item rarity or because of RMT, or actual perceived worth that was not true. Thief Knife for example, was it really as great as people made it out to be? SE is pretty good at determining if the player base should have certain items, even if needy players (I am talking about gear obsessive people, not owners of exclusive items) can't recognize that, and maybe TH +1 isn't as great as players had hoped. SE is definitely opposed to breaking their own game, even though they do regularly do it on accident, LOL, but in this case it was an intentional decision they made to increase an items availability. Maybe it was to offset the major profits that RMT were making on the Thief Knife, anything thing is possible, but for the majority of players this was a good move. Greatest good for the greatest number maybe? Very utilitarian, but changes like this will definitely please a good number of players.

Why this dissertation on the way SE has been doing things? Well, the next update is coming and it is chalk-full of yumminess for the players, and because, well, all I did yesterday was Dynamis-Valkurm which we lost and got no drops from, and though it may have seemed like it just wasn't our day, I don't think the attention level was that high for the run, it just seemed that we shouldn't have had as many problems as we did. And another problem I am having is that people that don't show up to CoP Dynamis runs actually end up costing me gil. The cost for CoP Dynamis runs are split between the members, and when people no-show they actually increase the cost for those that do go, all the while holding a place on the sign-up usually preventing people from going because they are already on another run. After Valkurm, I just harvested until I died from some aggro and just went to bed. It was nice to actually get some sleep. :) But it left me without much to report for today, and no pictures. I have already gone over everything from the update that has been released so far, and I guess I only have one more thing I would like to speculate on...

I think that there is an opportunity in the new expansion to open up Time Magic for the game. And here is the reasoning, first their are already time related spells in the game, that could be used. Slow and Haste being the most obvious, but there are other time related things that are not in the game but available in other FF games that could be use. For example, Slow and Haste effect recast and weapon delay, but only Fast Cast effects spell casting time. Slow Cast could be an offensive spell that could be used to slow spell casting time. Or maybe a spell that delayed the use of JA's? Or sped them up? Other obvious things come to mind, like Stop which could be a more powerful very of stun, or what about other spells that effected things time related? I could see the old spell Confuse being introduced here, bending time to throw off your victim. There is more available here, more AoE versions of spells already available, etc. I am hoping for more jobs from the coming expansion, and not just more DD's. I think that there are still a variety of directions that SE has yet to explore, like more buff/debuff jobs, and especially a new tanking job. They are only limited by themselves.

Thats it for today, see you tomorrow. :)

Edit: Ailee has pointed out that Stun and Flash are 45, so a level cap raise to 80 wouldn't effect them, and I also checked on my own and Ninjustsu enfeebles are at the lowest 44 and Refresh is level 41. This would only become an issue at level 90, making level 80 cap that much more feasible.

25 comments:

Drac said...

I'm ambivalent with regard to the prospect of new jobs in the Wings expansion. That being said, I don't really expect any.

However, if they do add jobs, they have got to make another tank. And Geomancer please~

Moe said...

I'm willing to argue that WoW and EQ2 are actually second generation MMORPGs +frills & dopamine injection.
FFXI is just the standard second generation but seems to have developed frills.

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