Thursday, May 7, 2009

And now the Japanese have questions for us...

And now it's our turn -- let's answer their questions from JP Button.

YMMV, these are mine...

1. Do foreign players have a lot of interest in joining social Japanese Linkshells? (Especially ones with only JP members) I ask because when I recruit for my shell in Japanese, I get a lot of tells from foreigners looking to join. Personally, I feel like even if they could understand my /shout, it still would be hard to keep up with regular conversation. They wouldn’t understand pop-culture references to old TV shows, for instance.

I don't think you could get me to join another social linkshell after the shit the last one put me through -- American or Japanese. However, I think it's clear that I probably would have little interest in a Japanese social linkshell because of the kanji which would probably be used (language barrier).

2. Parties that cycle in replacement members seem to be popular amongst foreigners, but a lot of times the party will just disband once the replacement arrives. Of course, there are times when the replacement is contacted before they get all the way there, but there are many instances when no one says anything. There are also many cases where inappropriate jobs are invited and the party can no longer function well.

To me, this is a big reason behind some of the negative images Japanese players have about foreign players. What do you think about this?

I think you have to find other reasons for the negative images. :)

I mean, that comes close to a statement saying that you feel we don't know how to play. (You're right, but that's not a reason I would give for that statement.) I think the American players have some difficulty, if they are not in a "static" (consistent group) situation finding players that they are willing to trust and then, frankly, screw over when the time comes.

Hence, they'll take the best "fit" they can find, even if it isn't the perfect fit that the more precise players (some of which I believe you mention in the question) would have.

And, sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't.

3) Why does it seem like many foreign players don’t bother to bring medicines and potions to Missions and BCs? Many Japanese players make sure to have Vile Elixirs, Hi-Potions and/or Reraise Earrings.

I, personally, will always ask if such things are needed. I always make sure to have my Sushi and Reraise Earrings for the Dynamis.

I think there are two reasons that players (at least the "elite" American ones) won't do this:

a) They think they know everything in the first place and find that a waste of time, preparation, and space.


b) They have several illegal third-party/add-on situations to give them an illegal advantage that Square-Enix never intended them to have.

Don't sell short either the arrogance or the illegal programs, as this makes a lot of these gamers feel essentially invincible, and then the rest of us have to shake our heads as to how the Hell they got to 75 without three forms of illegal conduct...

In Japan, the effort is important (which see many of the reactions listed in "Do Japanese players cheat?" on JP Button). In America, they don't care if they have to hack in server-side -- it's all about the winning, the loot, and getting one over on those who insist otherwise.

4. Sometimes I see foreign pick-up parties recruiting for members using Auto-Translate, but then when I join the party, all the conversation and battle planning is in English. I’ll ask for them to {Please use the Auto-Translate function.} but nobody ever does. If you are going to /shout for help with the Auto-Translator, why not use it in the party? It feels like I was tricked.

Again, I think it's arrogance. In my personal opinion, you HAVE been tricked.

The fact is that, if you want a party with more than the one language, or want to participate with a team event with more than one language, the Auto-Translate function is required. Social courtesy, getting the other people to know what you are talking about and get them to do what is needed, etc.

I will apologize if I can't get it out right, but the fact is that there is no excuse for this conduct, especially if you're basically luring foreigners in (which is necessary on some servers -- Leviathan could be considered one) and then spitting in their faces.

5. How many NA and EU players do Campaign? Any thoughts about the recent nerf to Fortifications?

Ahh, my main Merit Party until the combination of ACP, Dynamis, and the like have tied up most of my time.

Campaign really was a lot of fun, but I think the player attitudes (one of which, I believe, led to this nerf you speak of) have significantly damaged the experience. I said before that I truly believe that many of the American players would defect to the Beastmen Confederate if they were paid well enough.

The Fortification nerf is a great example of what happens. I can understand, if you're in a Beastmen-controlled zone, with no opponents but with an incoming or present army at the Fort, bang away on the Fort, get your XP, de-tag and re-tag, etc. and so forth.

What often happened, though, is that you'd have these oblivious leeches basically leeching off XP at the Fort while the rest of us are dying at the feet of the Beastmen -- and they didn't care. (Or, in many cases, weren't even there.)

Since that gets into possible AFK or even Bot situations, that's why Square-Enix nerfed it, and people know my stand: If you're going to be in Campaign and there are opponents, then you battle the opponents.

6) What equipment do you think has great stats but horrible looks?What equipment do you think has the best graphics?

Looks are not an issue to me with respect to equipment. (Though I do like most of the DRG AF2... ;) )

7. Outside of your normal party gear, is there any equipment that you go out of your way to get strictly for looks? What are your favorite pieces of casual equipment?

The issue does not come up when I play. (Even though I like the DRG AF2, snazzy color and all, it just does not come up.

Casual equipment? I kind of have a base set of gear to level up with that isn't really anything special.

8. I’m a Mithra, and I find that a lot of foreigners seem to be into Mithra fashion. They examine me and ask where I got my equipment and such. Do you think male players enjoy dressing up their Mithra in cute outfits?

I think many male players get off on their Mithra in cute or skimpy outfits. Typical otaku flavor.

Me?? Why do you think I picked my Adventuring Fellow to be a hume female?? There are many outfits in which Sharlene looks very nice.

But don't think I didn't feel that bite every once in a while.

9. I wonder if you calculate the XP/hr of parties, and if so, do you think that Skillchain/Magic Burst or Weaponskill spam produces the best results? Before parsing became widespread, Japanese players used to think Skillchain/Magic Burst was the best.

I don't, but I rarely party, and never, really, for XP anymore.

I think this is just another function of everything in the game becoming more and more robotic -- complete and down to bots and parsing everyone's damage to see which of the players has the longest e-peen. (Yeah, translate THAT...)

10. How come it seems like so many people don’t utilize Search Comments properly? Why don’t they write their camp location for others to see? Also, it’s strange to see so many people seeking without basic information written like available jobs and where they can access. Don’t you want an invite?

Most Americans feel they can do anything, anywhere, anytime.

Another function of what I view as typical American arrogance. I mean, they think they can be invited anywhere, or, at worst, leech off til they have to drop because they don't have the necessary access.

11. If you know you are going to be busy, how come you don’t alert people at the beginning of the party instead of surprising everyone at the last minute?

Personal -- pet -- peeve -- o' -- mine.

People who read this blog will probably know a pattern: On Wednesday nights, my Dynamis participation has to be cut short because my friend/roommate needs the undivided attention of our Net connection for certain projects she is doing. We've worked this out in advance. I'm surprised that I'm not called a pain in the ass for notifying people -- I'll usually give upwards of a half a dozen warnings before I gotta bolt. Common courtesy, especially in an event like Dynamis.

I can understand if an emergency comes up which requires immediate logging off. That's one thing. But to pull this kind of stuff, especially as difficult as obtaining parties can be, in certain situations??

And then there's always, at least in my view, the threat of open sabotage -- that, basically, the sole idea of one or more of the people entering the situation (especially in pickup situations) is to blow the whole shot and make the people doing it look bad in so doing.

12. Honestly, the largest difference in thinking between Japanse and foreign players existsin the Merit party.You often say 5 DDs and a RDM is so good, but having a single, solitary healer is hardon the RDM.Japanese realize that healers can be in short supply, so we make sacrifices to lightentheir burden, like subbing a mage job, or using Utsusemi.I feel like many people don’t show proper respect to healers.

When we say JP ONLY, it isn’t always an issue of language,but the fact that we feel there are other dangers and demerits associated witha non-JP party, stemming from our different play-styles, that we wish to avoid.

This key difference in thinking, more than any race or language issue,is what really sets us apart as players. They are just looking to sit back, relaxand earn some decent XP.

Please feel free to provide your own insight and thoughts.

And, in my honest opinion, unless you know precisely what you are getting into, you SHOULD avoid the American player-base as much as is practiceable.

The Salvage bans are a great example as to why. I think that there are significant cultural differences in the play-styles (much more than in just FFXI -- take the concept of the World Cyber Games and see how well that kind of concept comes off here in the States. I can give you a hint from attending one when I used to live in San Francisco -- it doesn't work.), and getting involved with the wrong kind of people can endanger your future ability to participate in Final Fantasy XI.

As far as party makeups like 5 DD and a RDM... Has NO ONE basically considered the merits of a /DNC out there? /DNC is, for example, how I insist to play Dynamis. (For the moment, either BST/DNC if we're going Snow, or DRG/DNC otherwise.) I am somewhat surprised my Dynamis Linkshell leader hasn't asked for a few more weaponskills from me, but that person (probably because the character usually comes as a Dancer main) probably knows that, since healers can be in short supply, any backup healing (which is where most, if not all, my TP goes) and Erasing can do the party a lot of good.

Besides, it saves the RDM's MP for other things.

I think another part of the issue you talk about with JP-only is the fact that, outside of a very small friend-base, most American players don't respect just healers, they really don't respect anything which isn't to their direct and immediate benefit.

Hence, frankly, that's why you see the bulk of the Salvage bans NOT being from your side of the community.

Hence, frankly, that's why you see the Fortification nerf in Campaign.

Hence, frankly, that's why you see what I call "Asura Disease".


Bonus Question, for the tired and hungry from the last dissertation: ( :) )

What type of sushi do you like best?

Funny. I'm not a coffee person, tea person, beer person, or sushi person. I am sorry.

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