Sunday, April 21, 2013

The New Reality: Gear As A Barrier

One of the things that Matsui said just before the release of Seekers of Adoulin is that, with the level cap now firmly in place at 99, what he wanted to do was use the advancement of one's gear as the "Level Up!" sort of a thing to go from simply being Level 99 to something that could actually deal with some of the material probably coming later in the Seekers storyline.

That said, it appears as if, already with the next (probably within the next 10 days) update, the "next level" of things beyond the first Naakuals is going to be released, apparently called "Delve".

So I, before I even find out what Delve is, I find this quote from Karbuncle (one of the BG types) from the Official Forums, talking about what he believes Matsui is talking about:

Comments interspersed:


Legion has no other entrance requirements outside of an I.Q At or above 50, Which... Lol, Yah, only 1-3% of the Population can enter. I kid i kid.

There's not a single event in FFXI That cannot be done with a pick up group, the only problem is, the term Pick up group is generally synonymous with "Bunch of morons and gimps".

A large part of that, Karbuncle, is that there have been clear efforts made (and, to date, thwarted by the designs of early-Adoulin content) to bring back the stratified Level-75 power structure to Level 99 content.

The problem is that, frankly, under that scenario, there should be hard barriers that Square-Enix should've began to employ several years ago.

Want to get into Abyssea?  Let Joachim test your strength...
Want to even be allowed to teleport to Adoulin material?  Here's the next test...

Basically, the reason I disagree with the "all events can be done with a pick-up group" mentality is that it would devolve into what many elites feel Abyssea did -- too many powerful characters who had no right to be that powerful, if even in the game at all!

Remember my contention:  A deliberately underpowered player is Game Disruption under the ToS.

These events are only as hard as you make them. This new director is going in the right direction if you ask me, "Event's too hard? Try sucking less." - I'm not saying you need to spend 16 hours a day on FFXI, I'm saying if you walk up to an event in Full Aurore/Perle/Teal with 17 other people in the same gear, You're not going to win.

Then you have no right to even be in the content.  You're getting in the way, and, in fact, at a further level, one should then reevaluate whether Final Fantasy XI serves them or not.

At the end of the day, if you don't have the time, energy, or schedule (and, for me, that third one can get to be a bit of a bear) to actually be forced into the higher-end content to get the gear to take the next step, then does, after a certain amount of time and content, your presence in the game disrupt the server-wide progress of the game for the other players who can?

You see, this is where I think Matsui's stand (and Karbuncle's interpretation, doubly) becomes dangerous:  If it is about "sucking less", Square-Enix needs to get rid of a good number of it's players and substantively changes their Terms of Service to allow those allowed to remain the maximum ability to get the necessary gear as a prerequisite for play.  (Yes, IMHO, that includes Windower and bots -- as I believe much of the gear Karbuncle lists is not available to those who can't or won't use at least the former.)

I think what the gear scale basically looks like right now is something like, from "Lowest" to "Better", in terms or difficulty and "Gear tiers"

Abyssea baseline (Teal/etc)
Emyrean +1/+2
Assorted VW Gear.
Reive Baseline

How about Relic +2/Augmented?

When it comes down to it, Adoulin Baseline gear is absurdly good for how easy it is to get. a combo of that + EMpyrean+2 and you have a pretty good baseline set for WS and TP Phase, Its how you use it that makes events easier or not. The reason only 1-3% of a pOpulation might go to these events is because everyone else is either too stupid or too lazy to put in any effort into it, frankly they've been spoiled by easy mode and expect the game to continue suit to where they can jus throw a BST pet on it and call it a day.

Then invoke Game Disruption and force the company (through the GMs) to eliminate from the game those who can't or won't.  The process is already within the Terms of Service, and it's no longer a point-and-laugh thing.

Now, In the midst of this, I would like to mention, Even the most casual of casuals can get Reive armor, and Empyrean+2, It make take a few days or weeks, but you can do it. Problem is you'll have to make friends.

Fuck that noise.  Seriously.  You want to actually force people to "make friends" to "suck less", you can't have me on Final Fantasy XI at all!  To have too many friends on this game requires a level of trust I can't have in more than maybe a few players (and sometimes I have questions about some of those).
So either shout for a pick up group a few times, and try not to make people hate your presence, and you can form a static, which might form a friendship, and there you have it. Linkshells are also good for this... some of them.

Once you do that, you can do just about anything, Unfortunately you have to learn the basics.

1) Macro's and Gear Swaps are not "Optional" if you want to be a good player.
1+) Make Macros. WS gear, TP Gear, DT set are pretty useful baseline for DD.

Basically, the day and age of having 15 jobs at 99 should never have existed in the first place, then.  Realistically, the jobs themselves should've been treated similarly to the crafting levels.  You get so many jobs at such and such a level.  From there, it's gear.
2) Some jobs are useless for some events, sorry.

Then get rid of them.  (Looking at you, RDM.  I'd also get rid of SMN from the game completely, for the level of abuse it has created within FFXI.)
3) Elitists exists, but theres plenty of people just trying to help and give advice, accept it.
4) You can't be angry at someone for not wanting to invite you cause you're below their standard.

But at some point in the equation, that means there has to be a minimum "standard" to be allowed to continue play, lest you disrupt the game experience of the other players for whom the new content is being created.

There's a lot of key things in this game that are the same for every MMO, You can't pick up crap gear and expect to steam roll end-game content in FFXI anymore than you can in any MMO on the market. Plus, If you're failing events, its not because the event is too hard, its because you or the people you're with are incompetent, gimp, or not trying.

Then get rid of them, off of FFXI as and when necessary.  The fact is that there is also certain mechanisms which cannot be cleared under the rules, as written.  So, basically, with a wink and a nod (and what I love called "The Azure Underwear School of Secret Ninja Techniques"), those rules are ignored, and basically that's the scale by which the material gets tested (NNI, Legion, etc.).  This attitude that "failure = incompetent, gimp, or not trying" basically is an attempt to recreate the power structure which existed at 75.

Not only that, but it would not be good for the players who are that good to have the unfit players around, at that point, especially with dropping server populations almost implying that there may be too few "fit players" to allow servers to advance content (which see some of the waypoints/bivouacs blowing up because not enough players maintain them in Ceizak while some of the betters are working out in Morimar/Foret de Hennetiel).

I also keep using the word Gimp, i should explain, its not "You should feel bad cause you suck and your gear sucks", its more "You can't do this event with the current gear". I know working for something is really hard and it'd be so much easier of jeeves would hand it to you on a silver platter... But working for gear in an MMO is not super hard, you just can't go "Well, I'm fresh out of abyssea, may as well go try NNI" then fail, and complain its to hard. Follow a gear ladder and work towards the best.

The problem is that some of that necessary "gear" (and I use NNI as an example) has nothing to do with anything put on the character -- it's illegal "gear" that you must put on (your computer -- and note that it only exists, as known, for one of the three platforms) to functionally work within the content.  Else, you WILL (non-disputably) get left behind by so far that you will disrupt the game experience.

Every player has the ability to be good at the game and progress through all content, period.

False.  The realities of the amount of time involved for a lot of the gear on that ladder (and moving up said ladder, especially as it relates to multiple jobs and what awaits up top) make that a false statement.
The only thing holding you back is either your company or your own descisions. Like it or not, FFXI has always had a gear ladder, it just some people circumvented it by abusing Linkshells or so forth, in this day and age, a lot of events can be formed in shouts, so the ladder is skewed and people just try to leech better gear through other people pulling them along. Even if you play 1 hour a day, try to devote some of that time farming a +1 seal or two, or doing a Reive battle or two... Just do your best and don't expect everything to be handed to you or to be so easy you can breeze through it in level 78 armor.

I would then say, if I agreed with you, that my staunch opposition to Windower limits my ability to play the game so much that I, then, fall into violation of the Terms through disrupting your game, right, Karbuncle?

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