Thursday, June 04, 2009
Final Fantasy XIV
So at E3 Square-Enix announced Final Fantasy 14, and it will be an MMO, for the PS3 and PC. I did play many Final Fantasy games, including the Final Fantasy 11 MMO, and I do have some fond memories of FFXI: Gamepad controls working so well; the great blind auction house system; the ability to change class at will; and most of all the cutscenes with my character in them, telling the more important quest stories. But in the end I didn't play FFXI all that long, because it had probably the worst forced grouping system I've ever seen. Not only were you forced to group to gain xp, but also the group had to be in an incredibly tight level range. Be 2 levels lower, and you couldn't hit the mob. Be 2 levels higher, and everybody in the group suddenly got only half the xp. FFXI was the only game I've seen where "Ding", "Grats", was usually followed by being kicked out of your group.
Having to find people of exactly your level to gain xp had some very unpleasant secondary effects as well: While there were several zones of the same level, one was always a bit more popular than the others, so finding a group was easier there, so everybody left the less popular zone and moved to the more popular one. I don't know how many classes I leveled through the dunes, and never ever found a group in the alternative zones. That got old rather quick.
It will probably still be years before FF14 comes out. And I'll probably want to try it. But I'm not getting all hyped about screenshots and trailers full of chocobos before I don't know how grouping will be handled in the new Final Fantasy MMO. Because that will make or break this game in my eyes.