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871  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XIII on: March 10, 2010, 12:42:14 PM
Exactly John, but it does get better - though some parts are better than others. I hear when you get to Pulse it becomes open world - can't wait. Snow's hero monologues don't stop either - though he inherits some emo himself while Lightening... lightens up. Suprisingly I've found that I like how Hope has developed, although awkwardly in the process. You're going to LOVE the foreshadowing when he gets a gift from Lightening - it keeps popping up and you're like "holy shit, this kid is all kinds of crazy..."
872  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XIII on: March 10, 2010, 10:42:43 AM
I don't agree with a single thing that Tenchi said. If you keep up with the datalog you understand the story perfectly though I admit that reading episode 0 helps and is highly recomended.

I wasn't seeking agreement, I was giving you my opinion - and you prove my point... IF you keep up with the datalogue. I'm sorry but its poor design if the creators of the game couldn't be bothered to integrate the important facets of the world into the game, especially with how sloppy the first chapter is. Handing you a book to read instead is a cop out, having an episode zero that isn't even at part of the game only strengthens my argument.

Regardless, i'm about 12 hours in so far, around chapter 8 or so in Nautilus and the game has improved, but its still got a ways to go. Vanille's secret is out of the bag, and is somewhat underwhelming - the fact that Fang spits it out within minutes of meeting Lightening was a missed opportunity for gravitas. Still, the character building that they go through on their way through PalomPorum er.. I mean Palumpolum (funny name eh?) is great - I also loved the area. Still linear but with enough breaks between teams, changes of scenery and more open areas. I also like the troop avoidance capacity the area brings.

I do retract my earlier comment about same toolset characters. It looks like paradigms develop based on character, so much so that ability/spell growth is very different between characters after a certain point. I'm still locked in as far as team leaders are concerned, but I think that should be opening up soon. The fights from here on out can be very, very challenging if your not prepared for it - so develop the crystarium carefully. Mobs do respawn after a time so you can pad the CP if you want to, but isn't really necessary if you don't avoid everything.

I'm jut waiting for the whole fugitive aspectc of the storyline to be over. Granted its central to the main plot, but its getting a little long in the tooth. I'd like to actually DO something after 12 hours instead of literally running from cutscene to cutscene.  

edit- Protips -

1) DO NOT UPGRADE ANY WEAPONS TILL LATER! It will save you a ton of cash you don't have. Not to mention you gain a new weapon almost every chapter.

2) If you still choose to upgrade (or if you do it later), use the biological stuff in bulk first to max your EXP%, then slam it with engineering parts in bulk. If you do it in small portions the biological bonus doesnt' build, and the engineering exp debuff stacks too quickly.

3) Save your Phoenix Downs. There's not alot of them found after a while, especially since you can hold 99 and on some of those harder fights, you'll need them. They're also hella expensive.

4) Make use of the Retry option in the pause menu if you fuck up a Pre-emptive strike on a particularly vicious mob.

5) On multiple enemy fights where you begin with a pre-emptive strike, use Quake to knock them all over the edge into Stagger. On some later fights, if you don't Stagger the enemy fast, its game over!

6) Ravagers use spells to raise the Stagger Bar fast, but it drains quickly - Commandos raise it slowly, but also slow the Stagger drain considerably. Try to have one of each in every fight - and time it (you should always have the leader as one of them) so that they aren't hitting at the same time - it makes a huge difference in how consistently the Staggers build. Also, when an enemy is staggered Commandos do the most damage bar none - the only exception is if a mob has a particular elemental weakness and you have access to the -ira and above spells.

7) Libra is your friend, but don't waste the TP if you have the items in stock. By knowing the enemy data, it will give your characters (Ravagers particularly) the optimal spell selections for auto-battle. If you don't want to do either, fight enough of the same mob and hit it with enough variations of spells and the data will fill itself out for you, but who has the time for that eh?
873  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XIII on: March 09, 2010, 02:36:04 PM
And yes, the game is obnoxiously beautiful, though there's some slowdown and a tad of polygon tearing in the PS3 version. Couple of low rez. texture maps here and there. Crystal Tools makes excellent use of the PS3's lighting effects - and the colors pop off the screen, but I've seen better polygon and texture work in UE3 stuff. Music is boss too - camera needs to fucking die though, its almost as bad as Ninja Gaiden 2.
874  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XIII on: March 09, 2010, 02:29:15 PM
I'm having mixed feeling about the game personally. I just got to the Sunleth Waterscape about 8 hours in- and while the story has been interesting, the linearity and repeat pattern of gameplay (not combat) has really started to drag on me. The Gapra Whitewood was pretty but was entirely too linear, yet entirely too long... There really isn't much exploration so far and the feeling of being pulled through the game by the nose is somewhat obnoxious. The Crystarium is pretty, but perpetuates alot of the problems we see in other FF's which is overgeneralization. Sure you can choose your route, but after most of your characters have access to all the paradigms and the obnoxious amount of CP you get, its almost impossible not to develop your entire party with the same toolset. I don't like the fact that your forced to play different lead characters based on the storyline, even when you have other party members available, you are locked in - at least at this point in the game.

The combat system is pretty cool, but the preemptive strike component completely trivialized alot of the fights. I've only just had one major boss battle (out of about 5-6) that required strategy. I know its still early in the game, but there's just something magical about an FF game that is just lacking for me so far. The entire intro quest before you even meet up with the Pulse fal'Cie was filled with some of the dumbest dialogue and inconsistent pacing I've seen in a while. The fact that they drop you in on the 13th day will leave alot of players completely bewildered and confused. The in-game encyclopdeia is helpful, but its akin to someone trying to play Xenosaga 3 without having played any of the other titles  - it's that convoluted. While you do pick up the general gist, and if you take the time to read the datalogue - it all makes sense, particuarly when you finish up most of the previous 12 days of flashbacks.

I can appreciate what they're trying to do with the game - cutting out alot of the tedium of an RPG actually helps the story's pacing, but the entire package so far seems like some huge genre experiment that started hastily and is only just now starting to blossom. With most gamers having an attention span of a siv, I don't think this was a good thing for SE to do. Sure the beginning is bombastic, but its a complete mess - and the lack of any real breaks in gameplay make alot of the game seem extremely tedious.

Honestly, I think i'm looking forward to RoF on Wed more than ever.
875  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XIII on: March 09, 2010, 02:10:57 PM
Guys, the registration codes are fine, the problem is you cant C&P it - because it will cut out the last 4 characters because of the spaces. Enter the code without spaces with all caps.
876  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: March 01, 2010, 04:37:39 PM
Looks like alpha invites started going out today. Check your emails.
877  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 03:13:53 PM
I like our story better anyway... nobody was on AIM when the news broke ;p BTW, it looks like the alpha invites were just for Vanafest attendees per Eorzapaedia, though the official site is somewhat ambiguous.
878  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 12:46:05 PM

I should feel dirty for giving a heads up to another publication, but it made me smile that I got a nod.
879  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 10:12:13 AM
Totally, my account is still active, but without people to do anything with, i'm basically stuck with campaign and sight-seeing. If anyone is interested in one last hurrah for content, let me know.
880  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 08:45:45 AM
I"m pretty excited about the changes, but at this point in the game's lifecycle its not doing anything to encourage new players to join, and they are planning on merging servers from 32 to 24, which is usually the death knell for an MMO. If the FFXIV beta wasn't so damn close I'd love to see some kind of Solaris revival to chip away at some of this new stuff. The real question is, who would reactivate?
881  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 08:42:05 AM
Here's the link to the new expansions homepage too... http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/addon/

Level Cap Increase details...

Level Cap Increase
 History is about to be made with the increase of the level cap in the March version update and beyond! The increase will take place in stages until the new maximum, level 99, has been reached.

Up until now, character strength has been limited to level 75, and additions to the game such as monsters, strategic content, and equipment had been designed to correspond to this.

However, with the game having reached a certain level of maturity and the bulk of existing notorious monsters having already fallen prey to tenacious bands of adventurers, the development team has deemed that the time is now ripe for the bar to be raised.

Level Cap Considerations
We are aware that players will inevitably feel concern over how in-game elements such as support jobs, experience camps, and merit points will be affected by this change. We would like to take a moment to explain the measures that are in the pipes to preserve game balance.

Support job abilities that are not expected to steal the limelight from main jobs as a result of the level cap increase will be allowed to come into play. Furthermore, there are plans to tweak certain job abilities, job traits, and magic spells on an ongoing basis in order to further accentuate the uniqueness of each job when used in a main role, as well as its versatility when playing a supporting role.

New camping grounds are scheduled to be added to cater to the anticipated rise in demand for experience parties. Furthermore, the redistribution of monsters in existing areas is also under consideration.

An increase in maximum upgrades is being considered for existing merit point skills and attributes. Preparations are also under way for the introduction of a new type of merit point for players who have reached the new level 99 summit.
882  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 08:40:15 AM
Here are more solid details since they just updated the english Vanafest Page.... http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/event/vanafes2010/

FFXIV Beta Testing
With the eagerly anticipated FINAL FANTASY XIV drawing ever nearer its beta test phase, we are excited to announce that we will be conducting a closed alpha test—exclusive to our loyal FINAL FANTASY XI users! Those who have been selected as beta testers can expect to receive further information starting from Monday, March 1. * The tester website is scheduled to go live on Thursday, March 11.

Those who were not selected in this drawing, fear not, for there will be other opportunities to come. Be sure to stay tuned!

There's a ton of information about the next FFXI expansions/job changes etc...

In attendance at the special talk session were Producer Hiromichi Tanaka, Director Koichi Ogawa, Battle Director Akihiko Matsui, planners Yoji Fujito and Mizuki Ito, and Global Online Producer Sage Sundi. The discussion revolved around the new content being planned for the upcoming version update as well as the game's future direction. * All announcements made are for content under development, and thus changes may occur without notice.

Job Adjustments

The job adjustments planned for the March version update have been announced, with further discussions revolving around the future direction of all jobs.

Overall Direction
Up until now, most job adjustments have been implemented with ease of party-forming in mind. From this point onwards, we plan to shift the focus towards ease of participation in endgame content. The role of each job will also come under review.

Currently for instance, the role of debuffing enemies is the exclusive domain of only a few jobs, but we intend to examine ways to enable more professions to perform similar roles, empowering each with the capacity to handle a wider range of situations. Our goal is to achieve—without sacrificing the uniqueness of each job—greater ease of participation in endgame content and provide the opportunity for all participants to contribute equally.

The scope of our vision for job adjustments does not stop there, however. Maintaining battle balance remains one of our highest priorities. As such, we intend to conduct reviews on an ongoing basis and introduce new equipment and adjust weapon skills as necessary. It is anticipated that the level cap increase will impact the balance of certain elements more than others. We will keep a close watch on these areas and, if the situation demands, review and reconsider even the adjustments that have been announced. Our ultimate goal is to provide the most rewarding, balanced play environment possible to all adventurers.

March Version Update Job Adjustments

[ Beastmaster ]  The following changes will be made to enhance the usability of the job ability “Call Beast”:

- New synergy recipes for the creation of consumable items required to perform the ability will be with a higher rate of yield for HQ items.
- Certain ingredients needed to synthesize/synergize the items will become more readily obtainable.

[ Summoner ]  Two new long-awaited avatars, Alexander and Odin will be added. Both new avatars will appear and do the summoner’s bidding only when Astral Flow is in effect. Be aware, invoking one or the other will automatically initiate Astral Flow, the effect of which will end upon the avatar’s release. In accordance of their introduction, summoners will become able to use the “Astral Flow” job ability even when no avatars have been invoked.

 Avatar: Alexander Uses “Perfect Defense” to reduce damage sustained by party members and prevent status ailments. - Damage reduction and resistance rate will vary with the summoner’s remaining MP.

 Avatar: Odin Uses “Zantetsuken” to vanquish all foes within the area of effect in one fell strike. - When used against NMs, will instead deal damage.
- Amount of damage dealt and accuracy will vary with the summoner’s remaining MP.
- More monsters within the area of effect will reduce accuracy.

[ Puppetmaster ]  With adjustments to attributes of the Harlequin and Valoredge X-900 frames and the performance of attachments, automatons will be made more durable against incapacitation. In addition, the hand-to-hand combat rating of puppetmasters will be raised from rank C to A, making them formidable combatants in their own right.

883  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / FFXI and FFXIV details from Vanafest! on: February 28, 2010, 06:40:09 AM

Fresh news from FFXIVCore who were live at Vanafest 2010!

FFXIV Tester Site opening March 11th for those chosen! - Invite notification info still unknown
Beta announced for FFXIV - Details have not yet been completely revealed
New FFXIV gameplay footage - not yet viewable to non-attendants for the moment
Info on the FFXIV Alpha for the FFXI players invited will be sent March 1st

Odin and Alexander as Summons in FFXI!
Level cap increased to 99 in FFXI!
Three Mini Expansions announced
New high level area - Abyssea
Earn AF3 in Abyssea with only a single party!
New gigantic NM and HNM!
Black Mages to possibly learn Meteor!
Many class adjustments - will be detailed later
884  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XI - Journal! on: February 18, 2010, 05:58:28 AM
pre 3.3 and lets not forget that the average FFXI player is a little more mature than WoW's general playerbase.
885  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XI - Journal! on: February 17, 2010, 09:25:48 PM
FFXIV needs a matchmaking system for content like that. The whole sticking out your thumb for hours was one of my top 3 issues with XI. As much as I revile WoW these days, they got LFG right.
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