Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh Shit: VanaFest Edition, Part I

I was going to post a number of predictions on the event, but I am getting two very wildly conflicting readings regarding two news stories which have surfaced about Final Fantasy XI in the past week or so.

In the "good news" department, a move that many players not on the PS2 probably believe is about five years too late.

As of the ten-hour update tomorrow (Wednesday), PS2 players will now have to devote 19 gigabytes, instead of the former 10 GB, off their hard drives to play the game.

This move has to be considered about the only conceivable way that new content is going to be added to the game on any kind of scale.

HOWEVER, just this morning came a very ominous situation:  From the official forums:  (Post #7 by Community Rep Camate)


As many of you seem to be curious about the status of the Nomad Mog Bonanza, I’d like to take a moment to explain the current situation.

The North America and European Community Teams have been working diligently preparing for the Nomad Mog Bonanza, but unfortunately due to changing times and differing global laws, we will not be able to hold a Mog Bonanza for NA and EU regions moving forward.

While Japan will hold the Nomad Mog Bonanza at VanaFest 2012, it will mark the final Mog Bonanza of Vana’diel. Furthermore, to make sure that our players in North America and Europe aren't left out, we will be holding a separate event where players will be able to win similar prizes (all the goodies from tier 1, tier 2, and tier3…plus a bunch of other rare in-game items), so rest assured we will be giving you a good opportunity to make all your Vana’diel dreams come true!

Also, even though the Mog Bonanza will be gone, we will be offering a different event for our end of the year celebration for a chance to win the items of your dreams!

We will be announcing the NA/EU event very shortly, so hang tight and look forward to it." 

  1. The Nomad Mog Bonanza, which WAS HELD at VanaFest 2010, is now off because the event is illegal in a number of the jurisdictions in which Final Fantasy XI is played.  (This should raise an immediate question:  How was it ever legal to be held in the first place in 2010 for NA/US/EU players if it isn't now?)
  2. The Nomad Mog Bonanza will be held for JP players only (I am assuming -- which should basically allow Square-Enix to remove the Nomad Bonanza from the English stream.)  Of course, this is yet another example of the absolute preference of the JP player-base over the US/North American player-base (and the Europeans as well!).
  3. The Mog Bonanza event is dead.  After VanaFest 2012, there will be no more Mog Bonanzas.
  4. There is CLAIMED to be a "separate event" planned for NA/EU players.  Put bluntly:  I will believe it when I see it.
  5. A "different event" will be put together for a chance to win elite items.
My guess:
  1. This game, FFXI, is going Free-To-Play with a real-money store -- and it will be announced at VanaFest 2012.  Whether or not, in addition, a new expansion is put on the table is still up in the air.  I do believe, however, the fate is probably sealed.  This game is about to change to a pay-to-play-well model.  (Which, since Square-Enix owns everything, would *NOT* be a problem!)
  2. I do have a feeling that JP players are probably going to get a significant discount in said store.  Meaning that an item which costs 1,000 yen for a JP player might cost the equivalent of 1,200-1,500 yen for a US player.
  3. Square-Enix is probably going to have to answer a question at this VanaFest, and whether they are asked to do it publicly is going to be very interesting:  How and why do you put up with the US player-base?  (Japanese players will probably be asking this rather openly!)
  4. The "different event" will basically be buying codes (not unlike the dog tags in VanaFest for the "Random Draw") which will immediately bind to your account (only you can cash them in for a character on your account) for a (very small) chance at relics/mythics/etc.
Other guesses:
  1. Immediate server-merge post-VanaFest, probably by July 1.  The 16 servers are merged to 10-12.
  2. They have to give one crumb to keep any hope of this game surviving to XIV 2.0 -- that will be some degree of expansion of content beyond that which we know or that is on the roadmap.  But it's going to start almost immediately after VanaFest 2012.  This game DIES if the only stuff on VanaFest is on the roadmap, and if they don't at least get this thing to when XIV 2.0 is released and starts trying to pay for itself, both games will be DOA.
  3. I think at least one open F-U to the foreign player-base, intentional or not, will be registered at VanaFest 2012.
  4. I don't know about job adjustments.
The future of this game, if it ever had one, is now even cloudier than ever.

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