Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Open Letter to the New Director of Final Fantasy XI:

Something I was planning to get around to eventually, and finally decided to start tonight, in light of a number of efforts (some player-driven, some SE-driven) to get communication to the new director, who replaced Hiromichi Tanaka on July 31.

So, here's mine:

Mr. Matsui:

I really don't think you have an impression as to how much of a joke this game is being treated as.

And I believe this is true on all feasible levels:  I believe Square-Enix was ready to give up on Final Fantasy XI after the January 22, 2009 Salvage bans, until Final Fantasy XIV was seen as an even bigger joke, financially and in the game community, than anyone could've ever forseen.

The players basically have attempted to re-stratify the game back about to where it was when the level cap was 75.  Fortunately for some of us, they have failed in many respects.

I could sit here and talk about a number of things I'd like to see in the game, but before any of those can be implemented, the first request is basically a final and enforced decision on third-party programs.

In the eyes of most of the players socially accepted as "elite", these programs are not only preferred mechanisms to the legal first-party software, they are not only required to play the game, they're required to KNOW HOW to play the game.

That must stop.

And if I have anything to say about it, it will stop.

But what I'd really like for you guys to do is to stop this game from becoming, once again, one where griefing, trolling, and content denial are not only allowed, but the rule of the day.

BluGartr and it's supporters must be smashed.  This includes members of your own company who have chosen to endorse illegal play.  Those two jokers, Camate and Bayohne, who attended VanaFest and couldn't seem to get their mouths off the rear-ends of an illegal play community should be fired for what they said and did.

If that's the "Community Team" which represents the North American play community, then it's little wonder to me or others why the North American community of players of Final Fantasy XI stand almost completely ignored -- and SHOULD BE.

Unlike most North American players, I openly endorse the shunning of this North American player community by the Japanese developers until such time the supposed (and Square-Enix-stated) "zero-tolerance policy" against third-party programs is enforced -- even if it eventually means termination of North American support and gameplay for Final Fantasy XI.

Otherwise, frankly, they should be running the show.  They don't think you have one iota of a clue how to make, code, set up, or execute a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.

They certainly don't believe you know how to create an interface for it.

And these player communities have compromised much of the gameplay in North America for years.

Either get rid of them, or get rid of the few players who reject them.  If community and profits are more important than fair play, then let these frauds, cheaters, and criminals run the show.  Under those circumstances, they know more about the game than you do!

Until you deal with this question, nothing else said to you is going to matter.  This is THE #1 issue, and, I would think (if in hushed tones more than anything else) that's what you're getting told over there in Japan.


I'll go over a list of other things which I'd like to see, but, again, third-party program abuse has to be at the top of the list:
  • The whole "yellow=fair game" rule has to go.  If a player/party/alliance has gained claim on something, they should not be able to lose it due to any realistic circumstance unless they wipe and leave.  To allow the current rule to stand allows for griefing, as well as it allows for a group to go into an area with the sole intention of stealing mobs.
  • Basically, the game has to stop rewarding abuse.  I'd get rid of skillups in Besieged (and make losing the Astral Candescence much more punitive than it currently is -- though one must wonder, especially with Seekers of Adoulin coming out -- whether ceasing realistic ToAU progress under a Beastmen-controlled Astral Candescence would really matter to most players).
  • Enforce the rules against game-payment to advance and absentee play.  That is:  Get rid of the Fell Cleave baloney.
  •  I'd put a Voidwatch/Confrontation-like restriction on Campaign battles.  Stray too far, there go your tags and all your progress.  This "hide the sausage" motif has to be stopped as well.
  • Basically, if the sole purpose of a tactic (or even the creation of an event, monster class, or NM) is to forment and encourage abuse of the game, the rules, and of the other players, that must go.  This means, as one major example:  End Neo-Nyzul.  Those of us not tempted to cheat our asses off are not fooled!
  • Understand that the continued acceptance of illegal tactics limits the access to certain aspects of the game (and perhaps even does so on the creation level!) to those players who choose to cheat.
On things outside of dealing with player-cheating:
  •  More solo BCNMs, and make them challenging!
  •  More events based around solo players to begin with -- we should not have to be forced to party with people whose conduct makes us subject to Special Task Force investigations!
  • Get rid of obsolete events.  There are events which either failed completely or died out and they simply are not done anymore.  Get rid of them.
  • Make it worth it to actually play 1-98.  This ties into the Fell Cleave stuff -- the game effectively starts at the cap, and, as a long thread on the Official Forums put it, they might as well start the characters at level 99, at least as far as most of the North American community are concerned.
  • Stop making it seem as if many of the mobs' drop tables are basically based inversely-proportional to the wishes of the player or players killing it!  0/12 on Dagourmarche, 6 Axe tests, 6 Staff tests?  Voidwatch, in general, where 0/500+ is Working As Intended?
Job stuff:
  • The new two-hours basically suck, almost across the board.  These are level-99 abilities, and, in most of the cases, the level-1 two-hours are superior!
  • DRG:  Make it possible for a 99 DRG to have a jet-black wyvern for cool factor!  :)
  • RDM:  Relevance or removal:  Pick one.
  • SAM:  Nerf the Shoha-Shoha light skillchain.  3K or so outside of Abyssea is a bit much.  (or pump up some of the other weaponskills comparable in other jobs!)
  • BST:  You're either going to have to declare all BST/pet opponents red/purple, or do something like that you can't proc a yellow mob in Dynamis, and if the mob goes yellow, you lose the proc.
  • MNK: If it's a tank, let it be a tank.  But is that what you guys intended for the job?
  • DNC:  I'm almost thinking the healing at subjob is a touch overpowered.  /DNC is almost a requirement at solo -- and even in some group situations.
I'll come up with more.

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