Final Fantasy XIV: Trailer I

By Jim Rossignol on September 25th, 2009 at 12:41 pm.


The first trailer for Square Enix’s second Final Fantasy MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, has washed on the shores of the internet. It’s… Japanese? And pretty. That said, I’m not sure how close to the game this is, because the main site shows stills from the video as “screenshots”, which seems a bit unlikely. Anyway, this is very much a next-generation build for Final Fantasy XI, with Square Enix talking about allowing people to transfer old character names to the new game, as well as being able create very similar avatars based on the same race types and classes. Lots of changes to the details of combat and professions, of course, but we can assume the core experience will be rather similar. The game is scheduled for some time in 2010.

Come on, hands up if you played and loved Final Fantasy XI, I know you’re out there.

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68 Comments »

  1. Hermit says:

    I rather enjoyed FFXI when I played it. Stopped mainly cause I didn’t really know enough people ingame, and grouping with PuGs was a recipie for disaster. Doulby so because of the EXP loss on death.

  2. kyrieee says:

    Lets grind!

    or not

  3. MrFake says:

    3 clicks in to that site and Square Enix is telling me all about the fun of grinding. Another 6 or 7 clicks in and I’m reading about a rat tail collection quest (tongue in cheek I’m sure, but nevertheless…).

    Plus the emphasis on teleportation this time around–talk about overcompensation. One of the most frustrating things about FFXI was transportation.

  4. Rinox says:

    I don’t agree with Yahtzee on most things, but when it comes to JRPG’s he’s a Prophet Spreading the Good and Righteous Word and I worship every syllable he utters.

  5. blerg says:

    What is Big Bird doing there?

  6. The_B says:

    So is this definitely coming to PC then? I keep hearing conflicting reports, and the last I heard was the original statement of it being on PC was a misunderstanding that they were just making it on PC rather than actually releasing it. I’m as confused as anyone.

    • The_B says:

      Oh wait, my bad – that’s Final Fantasy XIII with the confusion. This one definitely is. Bloody confusing series.

  7. Tei says:

    The problem with the first FF MMO, is that was a really bad console port. Impenetrable, obscured, horrible, bad port.

    And anyway, the final fantasy mmo is a popular game on the PC (relativelly) because has some redeming features:
    – pro grouping
    – challenge
    – class based

    these features are even more important, because most MMO’s today are:
    – anti-grouping, pro-soloers
    – anti-challenge, pro-soloers-can-get-all
    – all clases can heal thenselves, tank and deal damage

    The FF mmo is a MMORPG in a world where all MMORPG are not Massive, not RPG, and not multiplayer games.

    So you have a game that is:
    – Super GAY ( I want to write lame, but I am unsure is really what I want to say. Sorry gay people, you guys rock!)
    With some redeaming features:
    – Super AWESOME.

    The result is a “Meh”[tm] game. One you can test, and ignore.

    This make FFXIV very important, because if the “PC port” is a 10% better. The resulting game will be a 400% better. And you will start seeing the people that recomend EVE and Planetside, start recomending FFXIV.

    But this is NOT what I see on my Glass Sphere [tm]. I see this:
    – FFXIV will be more soloer friendly
    – The consoley uncrapification will not make the game PC palatable. It will still feel like a chestbuster alien on your PC. It will **hurt** (note:excessive use of asterisk required).
    – It will have awesome animey graphics.

    • Noc says:

      Fortunately, the English Language is very versatile in the ways with which it can describe something’s deficiencies! You have a deliciously broad range of invective to pick from, with which to describe the specific flavor and intensity of your distaste. Your choices include:

      - Shit (note: do not confuse with “THE shit,”)
      - Crap (note: “The crap” does not function as a substitute for “The shit.”)
      - Boring
      - Tedious
      - Broken
      - Shoddy
      - Frustrating(ly X)
      - Horrible(ly X)
      - Disappointing(ly X)
      - Nagging(ly X)
      - Obnoxious(ly X)

      And so on. There are more, but this healthy slice of vocabulary should be of sufficient size for you to find something useful within. Good day.

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      Noc, I 100% approve of your post.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t make me group. Hell is other people.

    • autarch says:

      @ Dave

      Somehow I suspect that the massively multiplayer part of MMORPGs may not be your cup of tea.

    • Tei says:

      Thanks Noc!. I choose “Super Nagging”.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Massively multiplayer does not necessarily mean playing with lots of people. It can also mean playing against lots of people. Or amongst lots of people. Grouping is only a part of what makes MMOs MMOs. If it was only about that, we’d call it a co-op game.

  8. Lars Westergren says:

    And to think, I once considered the anime look fresh and orginal.

    That top heavy ship was ugly and ridiculous. The plant monster and the flying…things… at the end looked cool though.

  9. Headache says:

    I’m an old FFXI fan, played the game for a good 6 months plus before WoW came out. I loved the sense on community the game created, the linkshells were fantastic and there were always great silly things going on you could join in with (mass tarutaru gatherings being my favourite.) The grind was very, very hard though. I’m looking forward to this as I do love the worlds created in the Final Fantasy Universe.

  10. DXN says:

    Heed this person, Tei. Heed the fuck out of them. You really don’t need to use the word ‘gay’ that way, do you?

    On the other hand, whether or not the game is awesome or super-lame and grody, it actually also happens to be somewhat queer (like all FF games from VII on, really). Androgyny, (arguable) gender-equality and/or role reversal, occasional cross-dressing and fashionability-to-the-point-of-reckless-personal-endangerment for the proverbial win.

    • Brass Gerbil says:

      Yup. Anime personalities are more sexually confused than an entire novel full of Iain Banks characters. Although in Banks’ defense, at least he tells good stories, and you can follow the plot without feeling like you’re in a mental washing machine.

    • Tei says:

      You are right. :-)
      Is terrible wen you need a word, and you can’t find it, and you are forced to use a word that is not the word you wish :-/

    • Sonic Goo says:

      “sexually confused”, that’s that grey area between the two extremes, right?

  11. cullnean says:

    the ingame footage from games con, was pretty good imo. also i liked the FF jingly bit at the end.

  12. ChampionHyena says:

    (note: “The crap” does not function as a substitute for “The shit.”)

    I admit it, I had a good chuckle at this one.

    Anyway. Final Fantasy XI.

    Impossible to solo? Ouch.

    Pain to find groups? Ouch ouch.

    Have to grind for your XP? Ouch ouch ouch.

    Lose craptons of that XP when you’re inevitably killed? Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

    No thanks.

    Will FFXIV change up the formula? …nah, that doesn’t seem like Square-Enix’s style.

  13. ChampionHyena says:

    Addendum: I’d sell a kidney for a Square-Enix made tactical RPG on the PC. FFTPC?

  14. Zyrxil says:

    I’d give your other kidney and some of your other organs for a good Jagged Alliance 3.

  15. Geoff says:

    I played it for a while when it first came out, back before I was certain that I hate MMOs.

    To me the strength of the Final Fantasy games wasn’t their grindiness, but their interesting characters and story. All of that disappears when you turn it into an MMO, and you’re just left with the grind and the grouping with strangers.

    This did not make for a compelling experience.

  16. Lollerskater says:

    Ah, Final Fantasy XI! Vana’diel! Good times, good times.

    Actually looking forward to number 14 for all the same reasons that I’ve enjoyed number 11. The grinding, the grouping and the art direction. Most of all the cross-region servers and the inclusion of many platforms. PC, PS2 and Xbox 360 and now for FFXIV PC, PS3 and with a little bit of goodwill from Microsoft Xbox 360 as well.

    But also the newly promised aspects such as the absence of experience points or the immediate inclusion of solo-friendly material, something FFXI was sorely lacking up to a year ago.

    So… no grinding for XP. And no loss of XP anymore. Then again no XP at all… ;)

  17. Rinox says:

    I know I’ve already spewed some AIM bile over FF earlier in this comment thread but…am I the only one who finds that their is something terribly wrong with this being the FOURTEENTH installment? I mean seriously?! I know that it’s more of a grab-bag name than anything else but still. Most normal games series start failing pretty badly at number 2 and jump the shark at 3. So yeah, XIV…

  18. dpCapital says:

    Noc, you forgot “insipid.” Ever since System Shock 2 where Polito/Shodan says “That insipid computer, Xerxes…” I’ve been trying to use the word more often. Here, insipid would be a great alternative to “gay.”

  19. dpCapital says:

    dammit, I meant that to be a reply to Tei’s comment.

  20. Geoff says:

    @Rinox,

    I think if you’re looking for depth and quality, you might want to dig a little deeper than judging a game on its title.

    I would say that unlike movies, video games are a medium where the sequels are often superior to the originals. This often leads to very long series progressions. If they were naming them with the same serialized scheme, Mario, Castlevania, and Metroid would be around the 15 mark as well.

    Yes, I suppose things would be much clearer if FF 11 was instead FF Online, and this 14 was “FF Online 2″. This being the Internet, you are of course welcome to judge things without any knowledge of them, but as someone who really does know the Final Fantasy series, I would disagree with your ” start failing pretty badly at number 2 and jump the shark at 3″ assessment.

    My take on the series is that each title (released outside of Japan anyway) was a major improvement on the one before it, up until 7. FF 7 was a fantastic achievement at the time, and for many people is still considered the best. FF 8 was really beautiful cut scenes and backdrops, but kind of a crap game. FF 9 was a nice throwback to earlier times and a fun game, but nothing revolutionary. FF 10 was fantastic, and possibly the best they’ve made yet. FF 12 was also excellent, but somehow less memorable than 7 and 10.

    There was some “doesn’t really count” crap in there, like 11 (MMO, not really anything like the rest of the series) and “X-2″ (WTF were they thinking?)

    I’m curious to see 13. There’s no reason to believe they can’t make an excellent game out of it.

    • Rinox says:

      Wrt the ‘games getting better with sequels’ thing, I respectfully disagree. Yes, there are several games and/or franchises with better and/or more succesful sequels, but I’d file those under the denominator ‘epic classics’. They are special because they surpass the norm, and therefore stand out. The list of extremely lame sequels out there is much longer, but because they are so bad nobody tends to remember them.

      Anyway, for the record, I never said that FF had quadruple-jumped the shark, I merely implied it as the bastard that I am. :-D You won’t hear me say that I have played the majority of the FF games, let alone that I am an expert, so yeah, maybe I am making quick judgements. But still. Innovations aside, I felt that SE never really strayed far from the art direction and style that emerged around 6-7. Which is hardly a surprise seeing as the same company and by extension probably the same people worked on every game in the series, really, but if you see that Bethesda was capable of taking a decidely generic fantasy series like TES into bold new artistic territory with a game like Morrowind (only to return to fantasy 101 in Oblivion, ok) you could hope for more.

      But whatever. I probably jumped the gun with a lack of knowledge. So, apologies. But next time I’ll just do my AIM act and rage (even more) unreasonably. :P

  21. Dominic White says:

    I’d just like to point out that the Final Fantasy series pretty much has been reinventing itself for ages. FF13, for instance, was almost entirely about the politics and events between two kingdoms, rather than the characters you were controlling, and the gameplay was completely different from any game previously in the series, too. The only thing that really tied it into the franchise was familiar magic and some creature designs, but some of those changed pretty dramatically as well.

    Raging because it’s a long-running series when they’re bold enough to completely change EVERYTHING every couple of games is a bit dumb.

    • Arnulf says:

      You’re referring to FF12, right? Since FF13 isn’t released yet. :)

  22. Dominic White says:

    I mean FF12, not 13.. 13 Looks different too. Very Star Wars episodes 1-3 in the art design.

  23. chesh says:

    I played (and loved!) FFXI from shortly after launch until the beginning of this year when I finally got bored. The few things left for me to do were such monumentally difficult tasks that it just didn’t seem worthwhile anymore.
    FFXI is pretty awful in many ways, but there is one aspect that makes it absolutely excellent — the job system. Fans of the series are familiar with it from (iirc) III (the actual Japanese one), V, and the Tactics spin-offs, but others might not know about it. Including it in an MMO was a huge leap away from the status quo of creating a character, who is then locked into the role you choose at that time. Instead, you’re able to switch your class in any town. They all have separate levels, and while most of the best pieces of gear are specific to one job if you play similar jobs there’s a great deal that you can share between them (especially magic-users). If I hadn’t been able to switch my main role for different situations, or just wanting to do something else at the time, there’s no way I would have stuck with it for five years.
    While some games offer occasional chances to respec your character, to my knowledge EVE is the only other MMO that offers you complete freedom as to your capabilities at any given time, providing you’ve put in the legwork for all of them. The heavy death penalty in both games encourages thoughtful and strategic play; I’d go so far as to say EVE is even harsher — while you don’t lose skill points unless you’re an idiot and forgot to upgrade your clone, the cost of replacing a well-fit tech2 ship can represent many, many hours of moneymaking, while the experience loss in FFXI could typically be made up within half an hour if you were barely competent, and 3-4 minutes if you were excellent.
    So, all that said, I’m still not sure how I feel about FFXIV. Another reason that it excelled over other MMOs is being highly story driven; the second expansion’s story counts as one of my favorite FF games by itself. While being thrown into a half-hour cutscene when trying to play with your friends was not always great, you could always spam your way through the dialog and replay it later. As I understand XIV is using the same races, visually, but that there’s no real connection to Vana’diel, a world I’m incredibly fond of. But if a significant portion of my core group of friends ends up starting in XIV, I probably will too — ultimately, they’re the ones that kept me there for so long.

  24. matte_k says:

    Played FFXI for about 8 months, then left as the repetitive nature of the combat, and the fact that advancement seemed geared to be mainly built around xp gain from combat bored me to tears. Went back about 5 months ago and really got back into it, most enjoyable now i’ve made it Level 30 in one job (thus allowing you to access more jobs than the original six. I’m now enjoying playing as a Dragoon). The job system is definitely one of the best things about the game, endless combinations possible if you sink enough time into it. It does avoid the “kill 10 x” quest nature of most MMO’s, which is also a boon, and the environment design has shades of Morrowind in places.

    But, combat is definitely more grindy and geared towards party-based play from about level 15 onwards, and parties are a mixed bag of either complete idiots that will get you killed multiple times over, thus losing more xp than you gained, or excellent social groups that rapidly advance you in your chosen path whilst having fun.

    Ultimately, it does some things really well, probably one of my favourite MMO’s (definitely more playable than WOW, primarily from my community experience in each game), but it shoots itself in the foot by making arduous, heavy combat its main source of XP for advancement. If the tactical nature of the three nation politics at the heart of the story quests were more accessible and involved, it might just keep me playing.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Cue a world full of silly looking spiky haired individuals with ridiculously large swords magically glued to their backs.

    As you can probably tell I don’t think too much of JRPG’s. It’s the universes these things are set in that usualy puts me off. The Japs have a tendency to take every sci-fi and fantasy cliche they can think of and chuck them all into one big melting pot. Then we end up with a confused mish mash of ideas, with huge space armadas doing battle whilst a bunch of teenage kids go around destroying armies with swords and magic, and with wandering enemies that range from the deadly serious looking to the purely cartoon.

    Obviously JRPG’s are some what of an aquired taste, and one I don’t have.

  26. Arnulf says:

    I admit it: I played FFXI and enjoyed it greatly. I’m still thinking about returning. However, you really need a group of people to enjoy this game. It’s logical of course, being an MMORPG and all. But sometimes streaks of being a shut-in loner goes against that.

    FFXI has some great things going with it: That flexible job system. The cut scenes when you’re doing story missions/quests. The wonderfully designed costumes. Okay that last one is probably not for everyone. Also some very nicely done seasonal events. For instance their equivalent of the Hanami or the summer festival. Very stylish.

    I don’t know if that is an advantage or not, but FFXI has no regional servers.

  27. Lilliput King says:

    Can see where you are coming from with this one. The stories and settings were always slightly different, but the recurring themes were always fairly obvious, and you found yourself recognising matching up characters. “Ah, so he’s the quiet and reserved protagonist, and she’s the vulnerable yet spunky, hyperactive and ebullient female”. Still, thats just quintessential Japan – thats what they like. Of course, didn’t stop me finishing all of them except for 12, which I never played, but I doubt it changed the formula much.

    That said, FF7, pretty much the best game in the series, had a nice tree-hugging green-planet message, and the dystopian/super corporation setting hadn’t really been explored in games by that point, and with that much attention to detail. Concept + story pretty hackneyed by the standards of pretty much every other type of media by that point, but even so.

    Er, still, this is a discussion about the MMO, so this musing is a little redundant.

  28. autarch says:

    Despite FF Online 1′s many failings (the interface being the main one), I personally enjoyed the game and I am one of those who actually think that MMO games SHOULD encourage/force you to play with other people.

    WoW does this for PvE content eventually, but strangely the forced grouping doesn’t start until you hit max level in that game really. This leads to a number of problems when you do end up grouping with people in WoW, since the game experience really doesn’t force players to learn how to play their class. Consequently you end up with countless stories from pub groups about people who are absolutely fail at playing the game with other people, either through their lack of skill with their player or just their lack of social skills in general. In contrast, when you were grouping with someone past say level 40 in FF Online 1, you could be pretty certain that player knew how to play their class to some extent.

    I love single player games, but if I choose to play an MMO, I want to play it with other people, and I appreciate it when the game mechanics filter out the people who can’t play nice with other people so I don’t have to constantly deal with them.

    • Dominic White says:

      “I personally enjoyed the game and I am one of those who actually think that MMO games SHOULD encourage/force you to play with other people.”

      Amen. Bring on more worlds that are inherently hostile to mere mortals, so that they HAVE to band together to beat the odds. Of course, make it convincing. The first FF Online had the most adorable fluffy bunnies in the newbie areas that would EAT YOUR GODDAMN FACE OFF. Didn’t matter if you were a hulking great Galka warrior in solid armor and swinging a sword the size of most ordinary humans, that bunny would ruin your shit and leave you face-down in the mud in a growing puddle of blood and tears.

      ‘Emasculating’ doesn’t quite go far enough. I use it as a positive example on a lot of things, but the Monster Hunter games do it right. If you win, it’s a glorious victory against the odds. If you lose, it’s only natural – you’re a fragile little human, and the *smallest* enemies you can encounter are vicious man-sized predatory lizards.

    • Geoff says:

      “Amen. Bring on more worlds that are inherently hostile to mere mortals, so that they HAVE to band together to beat the odds.”

      Having met quite a few of those other mere mortals online, I’ll have to disagree. Being told that you’re a “ghey n00b” by a “DPS toon” doesn’t really contribute to the sense of realism and immersion. And if we’ve thrown out realism and immersion, I’d rather have something that feels empowering, not something where a bunny rabbit emasculatingly “ruins my shit”.

      But then again, since I’ve simply decided not to play those games, maybe they should cater to you, not to me.

    • Dominic White says:

      Which is why I used the bunnies in FF11 as a negative example. And having such mundane threats does tend to build up egos like that. I think they should make the players feel vulnerable through more logical means. Demon’s Souls is another game that does it right. It’s an action-RPG where despite there being tons of stats, you can size up almost any encounter with a quick glance, figure out your chances of survival and figure out what tools you’ll need to win. Make the numbers less important. If players can rely on common sense and tactics rather than efficiently cycling nukes for DPS, that should make it a more accessible cooperative experience.

      What’s the point of having a game-world filled with ten thousand players if only maybe a couple hundred of them are cooperating at any given time? There are plenty of great singleplayer RPGs that I’ll turn to if I want to run solo and feel like a god, and that probably tell a far more interesting story.

    • Dominic White says:

      autarch pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Most folks seem to lack ambition, and will choose the path of least resistance nine times out of ten. In an MMO, this usually means solitary grinding. Unless a game provides heavy incentives to form a party and shoot for bigger targets, then most people won’t bother.

      Less social types tend to gravitate towards games that encourage solo play as well, making it harder still for the more social players to find a decent group.

  29. An Innocuous Coin says:

    Well, I did want to love it! It really seemed to reward teamwork in a group more than any MMO I’ve seen, and the community was the nicest I’ve seen in an online game to date. Just a pity teamwork still came slowly between strangers, and the game was a massive timesink and grind. Really hoping XIV delivers on being more friendly to those of us who don’t want to spend a half hour running from town to town.

    The boat rides were fun too; sometimes the Kraken would attack.

    • Dominic White says:

      Agreed. FF11 was a very polarising game, because it was such a polarised experience. When it worked, it worked very, very well, but when it didn’t… well, it was a painful crawl.

      Peoples memories of the game are almost certain to be coloured by whether they were able to run with a group of friends, or a reliable guild. If you ran solo or relied on the roulette wheel that was public pick-up groups (like me) you’d probably not have too much fun.

      I tried it and didn’t play it past the first month, but it definitely seems to have its fans, and they seem to have pretty good reasons for it, too.

  30. Inanimotioon says:

    Final Fantasy 7!
    I don’t care what anyone says.

  31. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I didn’t like FFXI very much, primarily because the controls were terrible. I’ll certainly give XIV a chance though.

  32. Vinraith says:

    I don’t play with whiny brats, so I don’t play games that force me to play with whiny brats. Forced grouping is one of those design elements that makes a game an automatic write-off. I’ve no idea why anyone tolerates, let along desires, that particular “feature.”

    • Dominic White says:

      If you don’t want to play with other people, don’t play MMOs, which are all about playing with other people… or at least, they were until they made everything except ‘group reccomended’ instances a solitary crawl.

    • autarch says:

      Actually forced grouping tends to force the “whiny brats” to either learn how to play nice with others, or get left behind because nobody wants to group with them anymore. Once you get past that cutoff point, grouping with other people generally becomes a painless experience.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Dominic

      No, MMO’s are about inhabiting a world populated by other people. That means a player driven economy, for example. It means being able to easily group with friends when they pop into the game. It does not (and should not) necessitate either having 20 friends playing the game (ridiculous) or being forced into playing a game with massive groups of whiny assholes, incompetents, or just plain unpleasant people to be able to progress.

      Small groups, or better yet small groups supplemented by optional AI to fill things out as needed, will always be vastly superior to forced grouping with huge crowds.

      But really, here’s the more important thing: why do you need grouping to be forced? What possible advantage is to be found in making people that don’t want to play with you play with you? If playing in great big groups is so marvelous, why is it so hard to find people that want to do it with you without making it a required game mechanic? And as always in these conversations: why is your fun so important that it trumps that of people that prefer to play alone or with small groups of friends?

    • Tei says:

      “But really, here’s the more important thing: why do you need grouping to be forced?”

      Grouping is hard, and most people will follow the path of less resistence. If you make grouping optional, few will choose it, since is easier (but really boring) to grind mobs solo.

      With few people grouping, the whole multiplayer part of a MMORPG game dies. It become a singleplayer grind, and most people think this is boring.

      Also, grouping able to have specialization, classes really different one from anothers, Wizards, Thiefs, Healers, Barbarians… you can be “things”, different things. Withouth grouping everybody must be a mix of everything, a jack of all trades, so specialization dies. This make that choosing different classes are much less interesting, because the archer will feel exactly like the sorcer, the only difference is the Sprite, arrows for the archer and magic blue balls for the sorcer.
      It also kills variation in areas. You can’t have huge monsters that need 9 people well coordinated to kill, if you design that area for soloers. The game become a choorse, a long succesion of mobs that are always possible to kill in 1v1. It really make that MMORPG games a stupid activitu. A game that is not fun, a multiplayer experience withouth other people, a social game withouth social interaction, a world …instanced, … is just the NO-M-NO-M-NO-R-NO-P-NO-G game.

      ” What possible advantage is to be found in making people that don’t want to play with you play with you? ”

      You mean like TeamFortress, or Soccer, or any other team game that “forces” people to follow the same goal to achieve something bigger than thenselves. All Coop and Team multiplayer games are based on this. And I have ear that lots of people like these games.

      “If playing in great big groups is so marvelous, why is it so hard to find people that want to do it with you without making it a required game mechanic?”

      Because is hard. It takes time, and you need to “negotiate things”. Is social interaction, and is a thing that is itself dificult. It also has his rewards, you make friends. Making friends is very high on my list of good things on this world.

      Another thing that make grouping hard is soloing. Is hard to group with people that is used to soloed, because don’t know how to play in a group, don’t want to play in a group,… play (act) like antisocial people. The more “soloers culture” ha game have, the more dificult is to group. Ask any active LOTRO player…

      ” And as always in these conversations: why is your fun so important that it trumps that of people that prefer to play alone or with small groups of friends?”

      Since grouping is dying. And soloing is permasive, is grouping here that is banned from this world. You can hardly found a game wheres theres some good grouping. On most games today people don’t group, or just group for a tiny quest like kill 1 mini mob.. and not because that mob is hard, but because don’t want to steal the kill each another.
      why is your fun so important that it trumps that of people that prefer to play in a group?
      Pro-soloing is anti-grouping, forced-soloing. It force people that want to talk to other people, make friends, have challenges, to play a really boring grind, with no friends, no talk, not challenge,.. NOTHING, a total emptyness of a game, that ,… we have to admit, is not good. MMORPG games are “RPG” games are really lame. Mass Effect or The Witcher is as a RPG a million times better than Vanguard, Wow or LOTRO.

      note: a small group of friends (like 3) is ok in my book, It can be nice grouping.

    • autarch says:

      Not every game can successully encompass all of the different play styles at once, in my opinion. I agree there should be quality games that allow for fun solo and small friend group play, but I also think that there should be games where the mechanics bring the players to work together.

      In my experience, if the game is setup to allow for solo play, it is usually very difficult to find a suitable group of random players to work together, even if the game gives some small incentives to do so.

    • Vinraith says:

      No response I could give would be as effective as Wulf’s lengthy tirade below, which also has the benefit of being specific to the game being discussed, so I’m going to leave that end of things to him and simply say “I agree.”

      I will note, however, that the vast majority of the issues Tei raises could be corrected by good matchmaking systems, which I very much DO think all MMO’s should have. It should never be “hard” to get a group of people that WANT to group going. However, people that want to play by themselves or with friends should never be forced into dealing with other people if they don’t wish to. At that point it’s no longer recreation, it’s school or work.

  33. weegosan says:

    Even with all it’s failings (impossible to play anything without a group past 10, grindy, grindy group things in areas full of other groups so theres constant competition even for the simplest mob) the one thing that I will never forgive Square for in XI is the absolutely appalling game-world design. WoW looks more like final fantasy than XI ever did and even when everything else goes wrong, prior to XI you could always at least say Square failed some some style. I hope some redemption can be had with the next attempt, but sadly I doubt it.

  34. Tony says:

    Final Fantasy XI’s grouping is both its curse and its proudest achievement. Sometimes it’s absolutely impossible to get people to help you, but it’s a great way of meeting new friends and enhancing the more social aspect of MMOs.

    And despite the whole IMPOSSIBLE TO SOLO – well, SE have changed that with a score of updates.

    I’ve been playing since the UK release (so about five years, now…) and I don’t know whether I’ll play FFXIV. I know I’d need a new rig at the very least.

    And I don’t know about most other MMORPGs, but it has quite stellar story lines. Rise of the Zilart not so much, but quite definitely Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Uhrgan and Wings of the Goddess. A good mix of serious (CoP, maybe half of WoTG) and comparatively light-hearted (ToAU and the San d’Oria line of WoTG at least) means there’s something for everyone. It’s a shame how many people are fixated on the rewards, rather than the journey though.

    I know SWG didn’t hold a candle to FFXI in that respect when I played it.

  35. Wulf says:

    FF XI pretty much fell flat on it’s face for me for the following reason:

    Forced grouping.

    You either had to A) have a persistent group of friends who were always on at the same time and played at the same time, all the time, without fail, or B) engage in pick-up groups with people who didn’t want to be there, who would find any reason (however arbitrary) to be rude and insulting to you, who would blame you for every little thing that went wrong, and was purposefully obtuse despite their actual level of intelligence because they felt they weren’t there to “be sociable”, they just wanted the phat loots.

    A group of friends and I managed A for ohhhh all of five days, then the forced grouping came, the long nightmare. FF XI was that bad I fled to World of Warcraft and accepted it with open arms when it first arrived on the scene, because FF XI was so amazingly poor as an MMO it made WoW look like some form of divine intervention. Hooray, my cow person wasn’t forced to group… er, not right away anyway, not until Warcraft’s end-game, and what jolly good fun that was.

    The problem with forced grouping is that one will invariably encounter people who don’t want to be there, simply people who have to be there and view it as a chore, because they’re at that point in the game. Forced grouping leads other players to see one as a burden, simply because they need to exercise skills in socialising they don’t really have the first clue how to use, they need to communicate, they eed to be rational, they need to be empathic, they need to be logical, yet they are none of these things. This is where most of Warcraft’s guild drama emanates from.

    If you force a vainglorious player who’s only self-interested to group with decent players, then no one has fun, not even the aforementioned self-interested party (or parties). If however you simply provide a small incentive for grouping but make grouping entirely optional, when you look for groups you’ll find people who want to group because they desire a bit of social activity and they like working as a team. That’s the kind of idyllic scenario that optional grouping allows for.

    If FF XIV has the same requirement for grouping then it’s going to create the same problems, and it’s not something I’m going to play. Some people see “pro-solo” MMOs as a bad thing, I don’t see them as pro-soloer at all, I see them as pro-camaraderie, because in a game where you choose when to group and whom to group with, you’ll certainly find that your experiences are a lot better for it. In fact, I daresay that a game which doesn’t force grouping on people is more pro-grouping than one that does, simply because, in my opinion, quality > quantity.

  36. Walruss says:

    So, opportunistic colonists slaughtering the hideous natives under a religious mandate? The implications are uncomfortable.

  37. R. says:

    FF XI was the single most terrible gaming experience I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. It has a few excellent ideas and story telling techniques wrapped up in some of the tedious and unfriendly mechanics imaginable. It’s a game for masochists and anime nerd freaks who enjoy twee designs, being kicked in the balls repeatedly and go apeshit at the vulgar idea of being able to jump over a 2ft wall when they could pointlessly trapse around it for a couple of miles instead just to string out the hateful shite even more.

    In short: fuck that noise, yo. And fuck this too because looking at the combat video released a few weeks back, it appears to be just as slow and awful as its predecessor.

  38. Psychopomp says:

    Just…
    Just fix the controls…
    I couldn’t play FFXI for more than five minutes because of its controls. I didn’t even fight anything, I just wandered around the city like a clumsy oaf, then uninstalled.

    Fix that, and I’ll give it a shot. I’d like an MMO where grouping outside of an instance isn’t just easy mode, and still requires teamwork.

    Hell is random whiny jerk offs. Heaven is working together with nice people.

    • Tony says:

      Compact keyboard maps movement to WASD.

      What the hell were you using, though? The mouse? Even the numberpad isn’t too bad.

  39. Alyn says:

    where to start…WHY? FFXI lost ppl, because , lets be Honest who wants to WORK like a madamn to play a game , the UI interface sucked , PC controls sucked , having to PUG to do quests sucked , having to face west at midday to make food sucked, having to yada yada yad to fish sucked , you failed more than you made good items , then you farm for hours for more matts , you couldnt solo lvl , well ,ok ….you could , if you didnt mind spending 20 minutes to fight a mob that was a “fair” match who killed you 4/5 times , you lost 1000XP when you die and it takes you 2 hours to make it back ..Thats IF , your in a group …and before you can get this group , you spend 6 hours putting it together , so …again , i must ask …WHY bother? any MMORPG where its an INSANE job to lvl to cap solo is NOT fun , unless you are warped , twisted and Demented , or just a Masochist who enjoys torturing yourself into near fits with Square Enix ‘s lame MMORPG’s , i played FFXI , some on Kujata server will remeber , but i got tired of the stupid lvling/crafting/ req. , so , if you like Insane Hard MMORPG’s where a VERY VERY lot of work gives you little to no rewards n is vastly satisfiying to a Lunitic , am sure FFIX , like its pappa , (FFXI) is just the game for you

    • Tei says:

      “any MMORPG where its an INSANE job to lvl to cap solo is NOT fun”

      Why you want to level to cap? theres something “magical” about such “cap” thing?. You sould ask dev’s to make games that are fun to play, If FFXI is not fun to you, don’t play it. If you don’t like to PUG, don’t play multiplayer games, or only play on private servers where only your friends are allowed.

  40. Alyn says:

    i like to solo lvl , i do so on a MMORPG , its called WoW , you should check it , you also might see it blows certain other MMO’s out of the water as far as how many ppl play it , BTW , i do lvl with grp’s at times , you have to in end game WoW or you never get good gear , but i dont belive a MMO should “lock” you into always playing in a group to be able to Play , and FFXI is the only game i have seen do this Like you , i have an Opinion , i gave mine about FF MMO games , if you have a problem with my Opinion , well thats just what it is …YOUR problem.