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586  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on: October 28, 2011, 01:43:19 AM
BC was the bomb indeed! While I liked WotLK, it just went downhill from there. The pussifying of Magtheridon was the beginning of the end. I still think Kael' Thas was the coolest raid encounter ever. I miss you Draenor /tear
587  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on: October 26, 2011, 10:45:40 AM
Gosh, this should have been the first expansion. Granted, I dig the art style, it fits very well with the graphics engine, but its hard to be really excited about it. Don't get me wrong, I think it would be refreshing to explore a new continent that hasn't really been exploited in Warcraft lore. I haven't played WoW seriously since WotLK, but this seems to be a step back in the thrill department. I'm not sure I buy the "catering to Asian audiences" bit, cause honestly, this can be seen as tremendously stereotypical to that ethnicity. Yeah, I know - Pandarans were asked for YEARS ago, but their own expansion?

My guess is that they're trying to cater to the younger crowd since their original demographic is aging and have bigger, more interesting games on the horizon. I really hope this new continent is as large, if not larger than Burning Crusade's was. Since the fundamental reboot of the original world in Cataclysm was pretty much a dud (critically, not commercially), they've really got to try something new, and this is about as far as a departure as you can get from how the game's themes were going. I'm sure it'll sell like Christmas crack in Times Square for the Warcraft Nation, but meh...
588  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: October 26, 2011, 10:30:36 AM
Here's the intro video, all 10 minutes of it.

589  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV 2.0 - Holy Shit!? on: October 21, 2011, 09:45:04 AM
I'm going to have to agree with Parn on this one, you really can't make an accurate comparison since both situations are vastly different. Also, the FF name doesn't hold as much weight as it once did, FFXIV was really the capstone to a franchise that was struggling with fans and industry alike. FFXIII sold very well, but was critically panned to the point where they're using FFXIII-2 as a springboard to save face over the major complaints with the first game. GW2 has an uphill climb because it's going to be a very different game than GW1, and not alot of people had much knowledge or interest in the game due to its predecessor.

SE's challenge is going to be transmuting an albatross into a swan. The cat is out of the bag, and while the PS3 market is untapped, the game is fucking kryptonite to potential subscribers. All the progress they've made with the game so far isn't going to convince the vast majority of players who have heard nothing but horror stories of its launch. Them announcing 2.0 with an emphasis of it being a NEW game was probably the smartest PR move they can do right now. If they can deliver on their documented outline and actually "rebrand" the game, people will flock to it. Most of the people who bought the game at launch are pretty stoked about 2.0, and that's a tough crowd to woo after being burned so badly.

ArenaNET has to get the GW2 name out there and sell the game to the public through media, TV spots, etc. Right now, people still don't know too much about the game, and outside of major conventions, there hasn't been any saturation of press coverage. They need to take a page out of RIFT's playbook. That game came out of nowhere, but it was advertised all over the damn place a month before launch and it sold like mad. They also push specials every month, with free weekends every couple months. They even have an update content schedule that is remarkably fast. I can't really comment about the quality of the game, but the marketing and PR management is fucking brilliant. ArenaNET needs to be aggressive with GW2 marketing and PR or they will fail, no matter how good their game is.

I do have a slight correction though. FFXIV did have a decent showing at retail during its first week of sales (~160K units worldwide) that plummeted RAPIDLY after the first month, and stayed down for a long time. What's surprising is that looking over the sales figure of the game, *if* VGchartz can be believed, the current worldwide total sales are over 500K now, with the strongest showing in NA after launch is having been since the introduction of the instanced raids. If they retain even 20% of that, they'll be on par with XI's current playerbase. From personal perspective, since the announcement of 2.0 I have seen ALOT of players coming back to the game. Time will tell if or when the honeymoon will end, because 13 months is an eternity in this industry.

On another note, a couple of really interesting topics have come up in the official forums that I thought would make a good topic of discussion here.

1) The general consensus is that it's too early to start subs in the game's improving, but still incomplete, state. Some people are suggesting a discounted rate till 2.0. Since Yoshida states the game is halfway where they want it to be, many feel that paying a reduced rate of $6-7 month would be a great way to retain subscribers and improve relations with their disenfranchised players. The other side of the coin is that others are stating going from a reduced rate to a full rate when 2.0 hits is going to create backlash and can delay the completion of their project even further. They believe that the potential increase in subs from a decreased rate wouldn't offset the loss of funds from a full-pay model. Then there are those who think people are cheap and will cry and moan since they've had it free for so long. Thoughts?

2) The general English player base can't stand the effeminate look of the male Mi'qote in the concept art. The popular poll has more masculine felines with manes akin to Rei from Breath of Fire:

or the Thundercats (sans spandex). We know how popular the bishy dudes are for the Japanese, but what are your thoughts?

590  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV 2.0 - Holy Shit!? on: October 16, 2011, 02:17:10 AM
There's no way I'm falling in their trap. This image is clearly altered to look amazing and that is SE specialty,

It's a concept mockup and is clearly labelled as such in the source documents.  Though outside of the GUI all of those graphics assets are within the scope of the current engine. If it is Luminous Engine, it could look even better, since it can render photorealistic images.

I personally found FFXI to be as bad as it could get. Everything was hard to do, hard to figure out and took too long when you found out. FFXIV by the looks of it seemed way worse and if by "fixing it" is making it like XI I know I couldn't play a week of it.

Many people would disagree with you there. FFXI for many people was an amazing experience that has only gotten better with time. It's not without it's faults however. I'm sorry yet wasn't your cup of tea. FFXIV's problem is that it tried too hard to be different than XI without actually learning any lessons. Now the game has a community that wants it to be an evolution of XI with more modern concepts like WoW introduced to the genre, and I think most people are ok with that. Of course we now have an outline for evolution but it doesn't mean it's going to ge there. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and that mockup speaks volumes.

I have my eyes on Guild Wars 2 since it can be played single or multiplayer, looks great, looks much more different than the WoW wannabe. Oh, and the best part, you buy the game and that's it. No subscription.

While GW2 looks great, the game carries all the same hallmarks of modern MMOs which were all influenced by WoW in one way or another. Even WoW took most of its design concepts from other games, it just put them all together in a form that was so polished for the genre that it became the gold standard. Pretty much every MMO out in the last 6 years or so have been solo friendly (another result of the WoW effect), so it's not a bonus, it's an expected feature. Even FFXI is now solo friendly, and XIV has been kinder to the solo player than the group player since launch.

Aside from the Guild Wars phenomenon, there are more P2P games going to F2P because they can't sustain a large enough userbase to warrant subscriptions, being F2P is not a boon. Up until this year, most F2P games were garbage. The vast majority still are cheap Korean grindfests with overpriced cash shops.

Honestly, some of your comments make me think you really don't have much MMO experience.
591  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV 2.0 - Holy Shit!? on: October 14, 2011, 12:03:40 PM
I really think its going to be based on how many subs they can manage. I know alot of people have come back with this last patch, but nowhere near the numbers of launch. The timeline looks pretty ambitious to be sure. So far it's a tough sell for folks already due to their previous experiences. I'd be curious to see what their expected turnover rate is, because I can honestly say that most people who have continued to play from launch will probably sub over. The folks who didn't stick with it, even when it was free to play, won't be subbing anytime soon if at all. I'm not really sure everyone who came back for this patch will stick around unless content continues to come fast. I really hope they have a realistic expectation of subscription adoption, cause if its not, all the pretty spreadsheets aren't worth a hill 'o beans.

The plus side is if it really is Luminous Engine they're porting over to, it means the transfer of assets will be extremely scalable for PS3. The question is how much of these assets are new builds. Its easy to build from pre-existing content, but if they're planning all this original art, models, etc. even a 2 year span (Jan '11-Jan'13) is really pushing it on top of revamped mechanics, maps, etc. But who knows, I've heard their new engine is pretty boss and head and shoulders above Crystal Tools. If its a solid toolkit, turning out new assets and generating new ones may not be so time consuming. My biggest concern is them completely revamping their server structure. Don't get me wrong, its needed badly, but that kind of networking is stuff we see in Western MMOs and SE hasn't exactly showed expertise in that field. You can have the best art design, UI and gameplay in the world, but if people have connectivity issues, you're fucked. As it stands, we're still fighting latency.

Another concern/dissappoinment is the return to zone based maps. I find it really hard to believe they still can't accomplish a seamless world with high fidelity in this age. I'm sure they have their reasoning (which may be a limitation of the console) but its still disheartening. Plus, this whole thing is more than a year away. The industry expectation can change dramatically in that time. Granted, we don't really have much in the way of innovation in the new games on the horizon, but as WoW turned the genre on its ear, maybe there's something waiting in the wings that will upset the balance. As it stands, FFXIV 2.0 looks like a realization of what the game should have been at launch. Even if it manages that goal, by modern standards it's already dated by two years. It will be interesting to follow this as it develops.
592  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV 2.0 - Holy Shit!? on: October 14, 2011, 10:21:04 AM
I think they're going to be porting this into Luminous Engine, since Crystal Tools was basically a complete flop. If so, that's a complete reworking of the game assets. Also the fact that the entire Pre-Umbral Era won't be playable again, means the current in-game storyline is being removed for 2.0. I have no clue why they would do something like that. I mean, it's interesting, but I have no clue how exactly that's going to work. Its basically saying that its going to be an entirely new game - which if that is the case, they may as well name it something else cause 2.0 isn't going to sway alot of the negative feelings people have about FFXIV. They need a new moniker for sure.
593  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXIV 2.0 - Holy Shit!? on: October 14, 2011, 09:37:24 AM
I totally agree, but business is business. At the very least we have a roadmap that shows up where the money is going to. I for one, am ok with that. The game at its current phase is enjoyable for me. It's not quite where it should be for subs, but I really think its not that far off. I really think they are appealing to the FF faithful for this, but right now the game isn't a total waste for a sub.

Anyway, permit me to oogle once more. It's a graphics concept but HOT DAMN!

I highly suggest you guys check out the .pdf files he's attached at the end of the press release. It's eye-popping.
594  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / FFXIV 2.0 - Holy Shit!? on: October 14, 2011, 04:11:15 AM

Discuss. Flames and flame baiting to a minimum please.
595  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: October 10, 2011, 08:46:14 PM
Yup, the game is still in it's free to play mode. A buddy code will get you into the game, and keep you there till they start charging, which probably won't be anytime soon lol.
596  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: October 09, 2011, 10:30:52 AM
I dunno, there's alot more input lag with the controller as opposed to the keyboard, which seems to be virtually lagless. Its taking me some time to get used to it. My thoughts are that its slow on purpose so they can introduce haste and multi-hit weaponry at some point. You can now cast spells and use abilities without having to be in active mode too.
597  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: October 08, 2011, 02:49:51 AM
For folks interested in checking the game out again. It would seem that Pleveling in party is now entirely possible and encouraged. If anyone is interested in a leg up, I'll be online Sunday evening helping some returning friends acclimatize and do some of the lowbie dungeons, anyone is welcome.

Edit- New and returning players interested in an active low-mid level LS can speak to Sanlord Maelon ingame about the LS Mog House.
598  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: October 08, 2011, 02:34:21 AM
One of my HNMLS mates helps run a new player LS called Moghouse. I can ask him about it for you. What level jobs do you have?
599  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV Journal on: October 05, 2011, 10:44:11 PM
Journal Entry #7

Patch 1.19 dropped yesterday bringing a ton of new additions and adjustments to the game. It's been a loooong time since I've played, so I missed out on the first round of instanced dungeons. Hopefully i'll get a crack at those over the next few days once my LS is finished learning and farming Ifrit.

Anyway here are some of the major additions people will care about.

Airships! At most it's a 5 minute wait at each dock, and once the airship arrives, you have a departing cinematic and an arrival cinematic. There's no wandering around deck at this time, though they promised they'd add that in a future patch.

Chocobos! It only took them year. You can rent them for a small fee, but they only last for 10 minutes and are 150% run speed. The ones with the barding, as shown in this photo, is the personal chocobo you can buy with your license you gain from joining one of the three Grand Companies. Each company has a different barding, and these chocobos are 200% run speed and can be called whenever you want them, have zero timer and basically function like any other MMO mount.

Ifrit battle has two seperate encounters. Your first fight with him is a level 25 burning circle, and is a total pushover, his hyper-form level is 45+ and he's a fucking nightmare. Major splash damage via teleports and dashes, laser beams that cause the ground the explode and that's before he's even 50%, after that he's got copies, turns the ground to lava and all other kids of bullshit. We're still working on him. This pic is from his EZ mode.

There's a bunch of other stuff that hit with this patch, not all of it great. They introduced the materia system, which is basically a gem slot system that uses old equipment as the basis for materia. In true SE fashion, the system is needless complicated with major time sinks and rotten risks. They also made all the old equipment made with recipies outdated, so they can't be slotted, and some can't even be converted. Hell, even some gear stats are decreased. Its almost like starting everyone at square 1 again - not cool. The new levequest system is cool. every 12 hours you get 4 credits to spend on leves, and you can store up to 99 of them.

This patch really rolled out the Grand Companies, as there's now company uniforms and major cutscenes as well as several new quests/leves associated with them. Some of them suck, but a few are really cool. For example, one of them shows you how the leader of the Immortal Flames came into his power and you FINALLY get to meet Uldah's Sultana (she's so fucking adorable). In fact, you HAVE to do a ton of Grand Company stuff for the Ifrit quest chain, so its pretty interesting if not time consuming. The storyline is really picking up some steam. You get to meet one of the major Garlean Judges, the White Raven, who is so bad ass, it hurts.

Here's the Uldah Immortal Flames uniform... from Soviet Eorzea...

I gotta say, the game is shaping up really well, but I can't stand the auto attack system. Its incredibly slow, the cooldown timers for everything is 3 times longer than it needs to be, though the level 50 weaponskill redesigns are holy hell amazing.

Chaos Thrust, Level 50 Lancer Weaponskill

According to Yoshi-P, they're about 50% of the revisions and additions they want to add, so hopefully some more battle fine tuning will be in order. They will be adding classic jobs as advanced classes in the next few patches too. One I have a little more time and exposure to all the content i've missed there will be another review update.
600  Media / General Games / Re: Rage on: October 04, 2011, 06:51:28 PM
Actually the storytelling is pretty decent, and the voice actors are really well done. Remember it's not a full fledged RPG, but what's there is pretty solid. Honestly, all the reviews i've read seem to have this expectation of another Fallout. Basically it's Mad Max the videogame. Your not going to get high prose here. What is there is a beautiful, competent shooter with some solid storytelling and top notch gameplay. While there still remains some technical issues to wrangle through, the game is fun as hell. Fallout bored me to tears, so this is right up my alley.
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