Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Morning in Vana'diel: Plain Old Fun Vs. Shiney New Fun.

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! I don't know about you, but I am not having less fun in game but I am having less fun anticipating having less fun in game.

I have no internet at work this morning so I have no idea when this is going to be posted. And in this moment without instantaneous entertainment I am left to think about things a little more slowly, and a little more globally. I made me wonder how the developers really think about monster and event creation.

Now it is obvious that SE really isn’t putting anywhere as much heart into their events as they once did. The last two updates have seen events that mirror one of their oldest event systems: Garrison. Maybe they decided to use it because no one uses this kind of semi-instanced event anymore, but I have a feeling it is more to do to the need to spend less time developing new programming for events so they can work on the mini-expansions and FFXIV.

These events are not bad at all. The ANNM and Fey Weapons events are actually quite challenging and rewarding. They do require a little more thought than some other things that have been introduced lately and some of them like the Xarcabard Fey Weapon battle are actually very difficult. It is not the challenge or the reward I am concerned about, it is how they come up with the events they do implement.

There are weird balances between the different events. Some of the things they come up with are very interesting, intriguing and challenging. Salvage, for example, is probably the best implemented idea SE ever had, or at least after they added the crate of cells at the beginning of the run. Some zones were hard, some thought provoking and some required trickery, but all were interesting. But then you have something like Pandemonium Warden and Absolute Virtue, which are nothing more than insane puzzles that only the developers have the answers to the riddles. Why even create challenges that are not meant to be defeated? If we were reading a story or watching a movie these would be fine, but in a game are challenges that are too challenging even worth the development time?

[Note: Of course, Pandemonium Warden has become increasingly defeatable, but that is only because of the changes that occurred because of the way it was originally designed.]

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