FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

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pacobird
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby pacobird » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:48 pm

(XIV does have the best crafting system of any video game ever, though. It's not even close.)
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Mongrel » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:23 pm

pacobird wrote:(XIV does have the best crafting system of any video game ever, though. It's not even close.)

Okay, now you've piqued my interest.

What's the summary version?
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beatbandito
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby beatbandito » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:56 pm

They really make you do it for 10,000 hours to get mastery.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Mongrel » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:08 pm

Oh.

Well, that's uh, not as appealing.
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Friday
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Friday » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:51 pm

Paco I would enjoy your longform thoughts, if you can be bothered.

now if you wanted a mechanically interesting and structurally varied MMO


This is actually what I want, though I'm not sure it's possible given the nature of MMOs, so I'll settle for "the most mechanically interesting and structurally varied MMO available."

I mean, I picked FF14 because I have heard really good things about it. Consistently. Especially from former WoW players who got sick of playing WoW, which is me exactly. I'm a """""""casual"""""" MMO player (at least, compared to hardcore raid-types) so the things I want from an MMO are, in order:

1. Good 1-level cap. (Cataclysm WoW (where I quit originally) sort of had this. Classic WoW does not.)

2. Good writing. (WoW absolutely does not and never has had this. It's a fucking Blizzard game, after all. Their writing department is absolute shit across all their games.)

3. Interesting, semi-balanced (I would never expect a game to have good balance) endgame PVP that allows gear progression alternative from raiding. WoW actually had this (arenas, bgs) which is what kept me engaged for as long as it did.

I don't care if the raids suck, because I hate raiding and the social pressure and dynamic of raiding.

I don't care about deep, well made crafting/profession shit, because I'd rather skip that type of thing in favor of just doing kill quests to get my gear. I don't hate them or anything, they just don't really appeal to me.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Brentai » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:03 pm

I was going to joke about Paco implying FFXV Comrades but then I hit the page break but I guess the joke still works that Paco was implying FFXV Comrades.

(I'm... fairly sure Paco was not going to actually recommend FFXV Comrades. FAIRLY sure...)
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Büge » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:03 pm

The writing in FFXIV is pretty strong. It got me to care about the characters and the world they live in. Also, I enjoy clicking on random NPCs to see what they say, and it's occasionally hilarious.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby pacobird » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:04 pm

Friday wrote:Paco I would enjoy your longform thoughts, if you can be bothered.


Well, it HAS been eight years since I made a FFXI effort post.

So, when last we checked in with FFXI it was the Abyssea era the level cap was being incrementally raised (it's now been 99 for... 7 years?) and everybody was reveling in fast leveling, a more flexible ad-hoc group endgame that didn't force you into the sorts of sustained guild hierarchies of the 75 era, and it was looking like we were approaching a new era that the awful people who'd thrived so well as the gatekeepers of a heretofore awful game were going to hate. So now what?

Well, a lot. It's got a bunch of content for soloers (the FFXIV NPC Party system started in XI and has been refined over 6 years at this point), groups of all sizes, whatever you want, it's still grindy (though in a more pick-up-and-play way), and the game's essentially reached an end state that I could talk about for hours without giving you any real idea of why you might put it on your radar in this, the Year of Our Lord 2019. So I want to talk about some broad mechanics that set XI apart from all the WoW-clones that may or may not appeal to you but make the game recognizably, appealingly different, and may be worth your consideration.

1. The game is bad at tracking distance/area/positioning and as a result fights are far more like a turn-based RPG than an Action RPG. Don't Stand In The Fire is axiomatic in most MMOs, so it never occurs to most players what it would be like if there was a whole MMO where you couldn't just avoid deadly mechanics outright. FFXI doesn't really let you avoid standing in the fire, so the mechanics are more about dealing with the fire. Do you have an ability that can cancel the boss's ability? Do you have a debuff that will reduce its impact? Do you have a piece of gear that will help you resist it or reduce incoming damage? Can you level and gear a job - or find someone who has - with a skillset that will help you negate a strength or exploit a weakness?

This won't appeal to everyone and is hard to explain without going into detail regarding specific fights, but zooming out I'll definitely say it feels far more authentic to the series than what I encountered in XIV. Playing XI effectively at a high level...really does feel like playing a Final Fantasy game!

2. The game does not have a hard-coded combat state, so it cannot lock gear mid-combat. This was definitely an oversight when the game was being developed, but has been leaned into hard over the years and its impact on the mechanics of this game cannot be overstated. You can change your gear around at any time in combat, meaning you can have one set for generating TP for a weapon skill (think of it as WoW Rage), different sets for using different weapon skills depending on the stats those skills favor, defensive sets, high and low accuracy sets, one-off sets for gear that helps different abilities, sets that improve MP regeneration that you stand around in only switching out for spell potency ones when you actually cast...

Think about it like this: let's say you're playing FF6 and Terra has a great Fire spell. You find a piece of gear that makes that Fire spell better, but is generally worse than what you normally have her use.What if instead of selling it like the piece of trash it is, the game allowed you to set up a macro that swaps in that piece when Terra casts Fire and immediately swaps it out again? That's FFXI.

My character currently mains four jobs (Dancer, Corsair, Geomancer, and Summoner) and has about....180 pieces of gear he uses between them, all managed by macros. It's, uh, dense (go to the "gear sets" section in that guide to get an idea).

3. The game's content interplays in ways that highlight different jobs, incentivizing you to build up a bunch of things, and offsets its lack of a Party Finder for content by making soloing relevant through keeping gil valuable. I have four jobs that all do pretty different things. One of them, Dancer, does great damage and has incredible survivability but doesn't offer that much to a group other jobs can't do better. Corsair and Geomancer have unique buffs but struggle solo. Summoner is essentially Megumin. I use them all in different situations, and even if I don't have anything to offer groups for content with a drop I want, money is so valuable (for ultimate weapons) that I can buy my way into a mercenary group without much trouble.

Most importantly, since there's no Blind Party Finder (guy on job X is in your group now whether you want it or not, have fun) and every player can play every job, there is no pressure to balance jobs relative to each other. The job you play has a niche, and you play to that niche. Need to do something outside its wheelhouse? No problem! Level another job!

Sometimes I'm having fun, sometimes I'm not - honestly I haven't played for a few months because I've run out of stuff to do, and the game's been in its end state so long that you'll never really catch up to dedicated players, which is the worst thing about the game right now - but I am always making progress.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Blossom » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:06 pm

Friday wrote:Blossom: Thanks, the info is helpful.

One more question: As a duo, is it particularly helpful to have someone bring a healer beyond faster queues for dungeons?

What I'm saying is, like, In WoW, leveling as a duo is good but having one of you be a healer is a lot better and saves downtime. Is that similar or is leveling as dps/dps or tank/dps just as quick?


You'll get quicker dungeon queues with a healer or tank in your duo over dps/dps, but running zone events (called FATEs) or quests or what have you, it's not gonna be much different. Most quests are of a format where having a partner will make it easier to advance, since kills or such will count for both of you, and you'll be able to help find stuff together. If you stick together, it works no matter what you pick. If one of you really takes to Summoner and/or Scholar play, that's a special situation where a DPS and a Healer job share XP and level at the same time, but you always have the option to grab new jobs and level them if one of you has more time/interest than the other. There's (functionally) 16 combat jobs to level right now, it's not that hard to duck out and go work on something else if you've got time and your partner doesn't, and you get a glut of lore with quests and repeatable content that's worth seeing. Every job has a storyline and they all have pretty unique playstyles, so it's not hard to find a couple things you like.

Defenestration wrote:Also, wait you were on Balmung and *didn't leave*? We all were and took the crystal DC split as the perfect opportunity to escape that cesspit.


I moved to Balmung, from Sargatanas, and seriously haven't looked back. Crystal, and Balmung, have been a much better place for me. Part of it is that I knew people on Balmung that I wanted to stick with, part of it is a full-blown Gamergate harassment campaign from my Sargatanas FC, and part of it is just that the community on Crystal and Balmung specifically is a lot nicer and less toxic.

Büge wrote:Another type of group you can join is a Linkshell, which exist across servers. I'm part of a Linkshell for Roegadyn Ladies (Roegadyn are the tall, muscly pirate folk), and it's called She-Hulk Smash.


Huh! I used to be in that LS, were you in it before the server shuffle?
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Blossom » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:19 pm

Friday wrote:Paco I would enjoy your longform thoughts, if you can be bothered.

now if you wanted a mechanically interesting and structurally varied MMO


This is actually what I want, though I'm not sure it's possible given the nature of MMOs, so I'll settle for "the most mechanically interesting and structurally varied MMO available."

I mean, I picked FF14 because I have heard really good things about it. Consistently. Especially from former WoW players who got sick of playing WoW, which is me exactly. I'm a """""""casual"""""" MMO player (at least, compared to hardcore raid-types) so the things I want from an MMO are, in order:

1. Good 1-level cap. (Cataclysm WoW (where I quit originally) sort of had this. Classic WoW does not.)

2. Good writing. (WoW absolutely does not and never has had this. It's a fucking Blizzard game, after all. Their writing department is absolute shit across all their games.)

3. Interesting, semi-balanced (I would never expect a game to have good balance) endgame PVP that allows gear progression alternative from raiding. WoW actually had this (arenas, bgs) which is what kept me engaged for as long as it did.

I don't care if the raids suck, because I hate raiding and the social pressure and dynamic of raiding.

I don't care about deep, well made crafting/profession shit, because I'd rather skip that type of thing in favor of just doing kill quests to get my gear. I don't hate them or anything, they just don't really appeal to me.


1. Cap is currently 80. Cap goes up by 10 every expansion, which happens every 2 years in the summer.

2. Really excellent writing. Genuinely crying at things in the latest expansion, and when replaying the second earlier this year.

3. Interesting and semi-balanced PVP, but no gear progression in it - stats are locked and gear is irrelevant to it. Does have its own reward system that's all stuff you can only get in there, though, including mounts and glamour pieces, some of which is gated behind ranked team competition.

4 & 5. Savage-difficulty progression raiding is complex and pretty engaging, and I enjoy it, but if it's not for you then it's not for you, and that's fine! It's a small minority of the game. The raids have a much easier story mode that gives you access to undyable versions of the armors, and is something you can reasonably expect to clear just by queuing. You also earn high-end gear through other queues, and everything you does earns you currency which you can spend on gear.

Like ... I mean, current example might be the best way to illustrate, right? You know WoW, you know item level and everything, and presumably they have fight currencies in there. At the end of the current main story, and as drops in the level cap dungeons, you'll get ilvl 430 gear. You earn an uncapped currency by doing those things that you can spend on ilvl 440 gear. Doing some hardmode boss fight trials will earn you i450 weapons and accessories, doing the normal raids will earn you i450 armors and accessories, and that uncapped currency can be spend on crafting components to make i450 weapons, armors, and accessories. Doing all level cap content earns you a weekly cap currency that can be spent on i460 weapons, armors, and accessories. Savage raids give i470 armors and accessories, and i475 weapons, as well as tokens to upgrade that purchased i460 gear into an i470 version. The next patch is going to add a 24-person casual raid that gives i460 armors, and a weekly turn-in that will give you those 460->470 raid tokens.

If you don't touch Savage, and run nothing but easy duty-finder content, all you're locked out of in the end is the dyable 470-475 Savage sets that only drop in the raid. And eventually, those fights will be easy to outgear and sweep through just for the looks. You can, in fact, just run daily dungeon roulettes and earn everything pretty casually. It's not a game that's trying to be inaccessible.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby pacobird » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:25 pm

you'll get ilvl 430 gear. You earn an uncapped currency by doing those things that you can spend on ilvl 440 gear. Doing some hardmode boss fight trials will earn you i450 weapons and accessories, doing the normal raids will earn you i450 armors and accessories, and that uncapped currency can be spend on crafting components to make i450 weapons, armors, and accessories. Doing all level cap content earns you a weekly cap currency that can be spent on i460 weapons, armors, and accessories. Savage raids give i470 armors and accessories, and i475 weapons, as well as tokens to upgrade that purchased i460 gear into an i470 version. The next patch is going to add a 24-person casual raid that gives i460 armors, and a weekly turn-in that will give you those 460->470 raid tokens.


also, to illustrate the lateral gear progression of FFXI and how it differs, the item level cap for gear (a horrible experiment that went against everything that makes the game awesome and was effectively abandoned within a year of its introduction) is 119. It's been 119 since item level was introduced in the 2013 expansion, all 180 of those pieces I mentioned are 119*, and the MASSIVE power creep I've experienced since 2013 has pretty much all been horizontal.


*some are clearly better than others, however
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Niku » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:34 pm

fuck all of you this all sounds like something i want and need in my life actually.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby pacobird » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:37 pm

I will definitely say playing through the main story of XIV is worthwhile for everybody who likes Wrath of the Lich King-style MMO design, and once you're done it doesn't waste any time in asking you for a straight yes or no regarding whether you want to hang around for token-grinding for boring linear gear progression and dressup.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Blossom » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:43 pm

pacobird wrote:
you'll get ilvl 430 gear. You earn an uncapped currency by doing those things that you can spend on ilvl 440 gear. Doing some hardmode boss fight trials will earn you i450 weapons and accessories, doing the normal raids will earn you i450 armors and accessories, and that uncapped currency can be spend on crafting components to make i450 weapons, armors, and accessories. Doing all level cap content earns you a weekly cap currency that can be spent on i460 weapons, armors, and accessories. Savage raids give i470 armors and accessories, and i475 weapons, as well as tokens to upgrade that purchased i460 gear into an i470 version. The next patch is going to add a 24-person casual raid that gives i460 armors, and a weekly turn-in that will give you those 460->470 raid tokens.


also, to illustrate the lateral gear progression of FFXI and how it differs, the item level cap for gear (a horrible experiment that went against everything that makes the game awesome and was effectively abandoned within a year of its introduction) is 119. It's been 119 since item level was introduced in the 2013 expansion, all 180 of those pieces I mentioned are 119*, and the MASSIVE power creep I've experienced since 2013 has pretty much all been horizontal.


*some are clearly better than others, however


Yeah, there's like twenty tiers of i119 and the worthwhile ones are intense grinds with a lot of RNG though, and you need a lot of the options for every slot to fill out the GearSwap lua you're writing.

I've played XI recently. Quite a bit! It's not horizontal if you're outright replacing inferior options just because the displayed level on it stays the same, it's not like 90% of the gear recommendations from 2013 are still good ones. That just means you're not bothering to update item levels anymore, because of things that calculate off of item level specifically. You can't honestly look at a Skirmish weapon, a Nibiru weapon, a Reisenjima weapon, and an Ambuscade or REMA, and tell me that's lateral gear progression because they all say 119.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Büge » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:55 pm

Blossom wrote:Huh! I used to be in that LS, were you in it before the server shuffle?


...Server Shuffle?
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby pacobird » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:59 pm

Well, we can go through some specific examples, off the top of my head (obviously I'm not going to remember this stuff exactly).

My summoner uses the Alluvion Skirmish staff for physical bloodpacts, because with the augment it's the best one short of Nirvana. My geomancer can't do better than his AF/Relic/Empyrean +1, and uses the Zi'tah set to heal because he hits the cure potency cap in it and it's the best Conserve MP set he can use. My Dancer is using the literal best gear in the game outside of random augment stuff for Mythic-users when I quit (don't have the Lilith set, sadly) and that still includes stuff like the Sinister Reign pants. My Mythic Corsair uses the Pixie Hairpin from Walk of Echoes and the ring from Goddamn Arch Dynamis Lord.

And of course, all of these characters are using a bunch of +1 Abjuration gear from Ru'Aun and doing weapon skills in belts that came out in 2006.

I know I flattened a lot for the sake of clarity, but I've had full conversations with human beings who've been alive for less time than I've used Epona's Ring. FFXI is a very lateral game!
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Blossom » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:43 pm

Büge wrote:
Blossom wrote:Huh! I used to be in that LS, were you in it before the server shuffle?


...Server Shuffle?


Back in April, when the servers were shuffled around and the new datacenter was made?
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Niku » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:23 am

also thanks for reminding me how stupid video game stuff can be, square enix. I understand you need to purchase FFXIV on PS4 and on PC (AND on Steam if you make that mistake I guess) to play each one on the separate systems, even if you can then just swap back and forth between them, but you can't play the FREE TRIAL on both systems with the same account. So much for seeing if I like how it plays on the console before I pull any triggers, I guess! (I suppose I could just play the PC one with a controller to try it out, but this is more about wanting to hang out on the couch rather than the alternate control schemes.)
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby pacobird » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:14 am

I can assure you it plays pretty well on console. The hotkey scheme is inspired. M&K is always going to be the gold standard for precision play in these types of games but the time I spent putzing around on PS4 while walking on a treadmill was not wasted.
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Re: FINAL FANTASY ONLINE 2-2 Not shit edition

Postby Niku » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:53 am

Yeah, that is definitely a factor; we're moving the recumbent bike into the living room, and when the PS4 and the bike were in the same room was when I spent all my time on the bike playing through all of MGS5. And even if I do need/want precision and stupidly ever get back into cutting edge raiding, that won't be for a good while. I'm waiting either way to make a decision since I might be grabbing one of the new Surface Pros in the next few weeks and I've heard FFXIV runs fine on them, while my PC is janky and old enough at this point that it's the main reason I'm considering going for PS4 anyway.
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