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  1. #81
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    I played up to and including some of Heavensward. I stopped after literally everyone I knew stopped playing it for all the aforementioned reasons (in short, all kinds of RPG players found it boring). HW not correcting anything was the final straw for everyone TBH.

    Elemental hierarchy stuff, again, is only an example - but a pretty strong fluff (or lore, if you like) one when you consider people can damage Ifrit with fire. I can understand why you wouldn't care if you hadn't played a FF before though. You could call this a design problem because it causes the game-play to be out of sync with the game-world and story you're telling the players. The physical damage types via slash and stab were also part of trying to sell the game-world. You wouldn't try and stab a skeleton... would you? (here were other design factors here, stab cost less and came out more quickly - something considered true of IRL sword-play - although in the game it was for less damage as a trade-off)

    Adding balance to different play-styles is part of the job description for the game designer... I don't think they should get off the hook too easily when players are hard rail-roaded into performing certain actions in a certain way every time. The only thing players seem to be able to customise to any great degree in XIV is their character's appearance which you'll probably miss behind all the over-played flashy effects.

    As for blocking... on 1.0 release you could choose specifically when to block (albeit via a very short term high-block-rate buff) at the cost of using that action time (remember the action bar?) to do that instead of attacking or using a different ability.

    See how that was a meaningful decision? You had to choose to do this action at the cost of making another choice. You'd have to weigh up whether you'd be better off mitigating this next hit or getting more damage / some other ability in of your own. On top of that the old combat system made you make these decisions... pretty much every time you pressed a key for combat. It's so far advanced from the current pattern-mashing that you'd wonder how their design philosophy regressed so much.

    For the sake of SE the company, the swap for a working game (UI/UX) and making some money was worth it. But for the player... why would you want to do this to yourself? It's virtually a Skinner box disguised as... a Skinner box disguised as a FF game.

    In that vein I think a lot of people were left with at least one meaningful choice; Are you sure you want to keep putting in the coin and pulling the lever?

  2. #82
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    You can sum up most of the complaints with XIV in this thread (and the primary difference with XI) in one word:

    Rails.

    XIV prioritizes balance over all, but balance is like, hard, man, so instead they just make everything and everyone the same.

    Remember when PLD relied on -damage% cooldowns and had an attack stance, but WAR could heal itself? Oh look, now both jobs do both. And you can also play as PLD... but with a GSD instead of spoon+plate!
    Then you have the healer that shields and the healer with more HPS... and then you have the new healer, who can switch stances between a) shield or b) higher HPS. But you can't stack shields, because balance.

    The hamfisted way they applied Gauss Barrel (a mechanic that MCH was clearly designed for) to BRD - when it blatantly interferes with the other design mechanics of that job - is yet another example of their devotion to balance-by-rail. How about the fact that your 5 cross-class "choices" are almost always 4 actions that you require to be minimally competent and one piece of irrelevant fluff? What about the brain-dead completely linear gear progression? The fact that nearly every DoW/DoM materia meld is so obvious as to invite ridicule if you choose otherwise (which is ironic, because the stats are so undertuned that they don't really make a diffference)?

    I'm not even talking about the battle system or the exploding-jump-rope fights. Before you even enter the instance, every part of the game is painstakingly designed to remove the importance of every possible choice you could make. There is only one correct answer for every question, and any attempt to find more than one answer is quickly slapped down (see: blanket damage penalty added to classes vs. jobs in PvP).

  3. #83

    eg. Maybe you build all-out for attack speed, maybe you build for reliable, slower, more powerful strikes with a bit of crit... maybe you build just for maximum damage on your powerful, long cool-down deus-ex-machina abilities.
    This was kinda what I was hinting toward with the auto-combo system. Let's say the following could happen...

    - Design a combo to maximize TP gain, but the TP gain phase of damage is on the lower side.
    - Design a combo to maximize damage, but TP gain is comparatively slower.
    - Create a combo that balances both damage and TP.

    However, even those wouldn't limit the actual outcome once you start factoring in gear or secondary effects to attacks like debuffs. If you're someone who favors the high TP gain, you might gravitate toward equipment that enhances the effect of TP cost moves, or even furthers the rate in which you gain TP. Someone more support minded may take stuff that increases (de)buff durations and potency. All this in mind, I don't support XI's style of mid-combat gear swapping, but still understand people want variety between people of the same class.

    Combo phases would also be limited to specific abilities. So, step one would be like ABC, two would hold DEF, three would be GHI, and so on as long as they wanted to make the auto chain. That way, if something like G is a really hard hitting attack, you can't just go G G G in the order, but instead something like A D G. And if, for whatever reason, you want to stop doing the A D G combo, you can just push a button to trigger your B E H one or whatever. Obviously, this is where things like monster behavior can play into it, like needing to beat a DPS check, avoiding counters/spikes, slowing output but not wanting to stop, and so on. Sure, you might wind up with some imbalances here and there, but I'm of the camp that's okay if it winds up every class/style has something like that to truly facilitate flavor.

    Unfortunately, some people would just assert is all as aspiring for laziness. Personally, if I wanted to play Street Fighter, I'd play that. That's been the way MMOs have been heading with their combat of late. I do like TERA's take on blocking where you manually instigate it over hoping for a RNG check, but that's probably about as far as I'd take things in that regard.

  4. #84
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    Remove the TP system as a whole, let us build an adrenalin bar up through combat, once filled we can either use it to increase the rate limit break is gained, increase all stats by +40(pseudo self-limit break) for a short duration (20-25s) or recover instantly from weakness or brink of death.

    I think the idea of TP is stupid and out of date. Having fights that are poorly designed leaves many members struggling to even play their class if they don't get any relief from greedy bards or machinists that refuse to play TP songs, or lacking a ninja for goad. Replace any TP regen ability with a way to build your own adrenalin bar faster.

    Sprint can then be used to toggle on and off and drain adrenalin when on.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleth View Post
    I played up to and including some of Heavensward. I stopped after literally everyone I knew stopped playing it for all the aforementioned reasons (in short, all kinds of RPG players found it boring). HW not correcting anything was the final straw for everyone TBH.

    Elemental hierarchy stuff, again, is only an example - but a pretty strong fluff (or lore, if you like) one when you consider people can damage Ifrit with fire. I can understand why you wouldn't care if you hadn't played a FF before though. You could call this a design problem because it causes the game-play to be out of sync with the game-world and story you're telling the players. The physical damage types via slash and stab were also part of trying to sell the game-world. You wouldn't try and stab a skeleton... would you? (here were other design factors here, stab cost less and came out more quickly - something considered true of IRL sword-play - although in the game it was for less damage as a trade-off)

    Adding balance to different play-styles is part of the job description for the game designer... I don't think they should get off the hook too easily when players are hard rail-roaded into performing certain actions in a certain way every time. The only thing players seem to be able to customise to any great degree in XIV is their character's appearance which you'll probably miss behind all the over-played flashy effects.

    As for blocking... on 1.0 release you could choose specifically when to block (albeit via a very short term high-block-rate buff) at the cost of using that action time (remember the action bar?) to do that instead of attacking or using a different ability.

    See how that was a meaningful decision? You had to choose to do this action at the cost of making another choice. You'd have to weigh up whether you'd be better off mitigating this next hit or getting more damage / some other ability in of your own. On top of that the old combat system made you make these decisions... pretty much every time you pressed a key for combat. It's so far advanced from the current pattern-mashing that you'd wonder how their design philosophy regressed so much.

    For the sake of SE the company, the swap for a working game (UI/UX) and making some money was worth it. But for the player... why would you want to do this to yourself? It's virtually a Skinner box disguised as... a Skinner box disguised as a FF game.

    In that vein I think a lot of people were left with at least one meaningful choice; Are you sure you want to keep putting in the coin and pulling the lever?
    Did you ever do End game raid fights?

    Regarding the elemental stuff - I don't think its engaging for the player to pick "oh i'll spec this for this fight" and then to switch to another fight. I could understand it if the choice was a little more engaging and involved more though. But having the current BLM be useless against Ifrit? That is poor design. Now maybe you could say that BLM is poorly designed in that case - which i'd agree. But what does it really bring you by having elemental stats mean something if they are static all fight long?

    Adding different play styles for jobs? Why not just add more jobs? Seriously - what is the difference? There isn't any whatsoever.

    Regarding blocking - isn't that getting reworked? Doesn't sheltron do exactly that for Paladin? Or am I missing what you mean? It doesn't have a downside sure, but I don't think people wouldn't disagree that the combat can improved. But the whole crux of your argument seems to be "omg i want the game to be more final fantasy like" when the majority of the other games in the series are single player.

    @Spider

    Well, I wouldn't say the current jobs are balanced. While you can clear stuff on jobs, there's a big gap between WAR and the other tanks (with Dark Knight being quite a bit better than Paladin atm). Healer wise, SCH is far better than the other healers. You need a Support DPS, and given the group dps being Physically weighted, MCH is far better than BRD. You then have DRG having the most group dps when combined with Disembowel and Ninja providing trick attack and shadewalker (allowing higher tank dps due to more sword oath usage). The last dps spot is either MNK/SMN/BLM. If its pure single target and the mechanics allow it, go Monk. If you have any kind of multi-dotting, any kind of mechanic that boosts dots (AS12) or AOE, you choose SMN. Otherwise, its a BLM. But with BLM any kind of movement kills their DPS.

    Can't disagree about the cross class choices. Then again, I also can't say that I haven't used one of mine on BLM - i've used all of them in endgame raiding (including AS12). I don't play Support DPS, so you'd probably be best off asking a main for that, but come on, 2.x Bard was ridiculous movement wise. I wouldn't call the secondary stats undervalued, but I do think having a non BLM that stacks haste would be interesting. But I think the current choice of secondaries is just meh. I'd love some sort of trait materia.

    But at the end of the day, isn't there always only one optimal answer? I wish they slapped down the DPS that do less than I did in final coil while they have 240 weapons and at level 60 for being wrong, but they still let them play. My main complaints about the game are the lack of content and the lack of an incentive for the general playerbase to get their thumbs out of their asses and actually not get carried for once.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by arus2001 View Post
    Let's say the following could happen...
    Yes! Thinking along those lines could lead to more engaging and meaningful decisions in combat.

    I know it will not happen but I'd like to see the combat totally reworked from the ground up so that it delivers more appropriately for a massively co-operative online game.

    However changes such as the ones you propose would be quite possible with the expansion and would help a lot.

    As for getting the combat I hoped for (and 1.0 had the missed chance to develop into), I suspect the next chance will be when SE moves on from XIV and starts preparing their next MMO...

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    Did you ever do End game raid fights?
    Yes and yes, despite them being (initially) reasonably taxing execution challenges they were not exactly filled with a vast array of possibilities.

    Which is part of the problem and might indeed fuel the pace at which SE feels the need to add new content which obsoletes previous stuff. Its replayability value is too low due, in part, to the combat system in play. This is a problem in a game that encourages players to repeat-grind content.

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    Regarding the elemental stuff
    I would not think of restoring the elemental magic system and leave black mage as-is. The same goes for your complaints about monk when they had elemental damage. It goes without saying that such things would be altered if the entire combat system was to be totally re-worked into something fun and engaging.

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    Adding different play styles for jobs? Why not just add more jobs? Seriously - what is the difference? There isn't any whatsoever.
    The point being every player playing a class is forced to, near enough, be identical. Every ninja doing (near enough) the same rotations for (near enough) the same damage in (near enough) the same order using (near enough) the same gear. Does this sound like an exciting prospect in a fantasy MMO to you? The only way to differentiate yourself from any other player being your fashion glamour and perhaps being able to not stand in the AoE damage zones?

    You went on to talk about materia and cross-class skills. I assume you realise why those are part of the game. Yet even those systems still fail to meaningfully alter the play-style in combat. These timidly-implemented customisation systems offer nothing when players have so few effective choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    Regarding blocking
    While Sheltron apes the effect of the old blocking system it misses the nuance of the old combat system as it is instant cast. The opportunity-cost of choosing any particular move in the 1.0 system was much higher. This meant the choice was always more significant. It is a step in the right-direction however as active defence mechanics are much more engaging.

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    But the whole crux of your argument seems to be "omg i want the game to be more final fantasy like" when the majority of the other games in the series are single player.
    If that's been your only take-away, then let me reinforce my point. The game needs to allow the players to make more meaningful decisions. In almost every aspect of the game. The players need more "possibility space" within which to actually play.

    Or perhaps even more clearly, the problem is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider-Dan View Post
    Rails.
    As for wanting the game to conform to FF staples... Yes? I was certain the game had "Final Fantasy" in its title and was sold to me on the premise it belonged to the series. If this was Warcraft Online XIV I would certainly expect there to be orcs in it who exhibited game-play behaviours / mechanics that reinforced that they were orcs belonging to that franchise.

    Again, you seem to be hung-up on the elemental thing. I honestly wouldn't have cared about its removal had the combat still been interesting, engaging and fun. It is merely symptomatic of the lacking combat design, much like the addition of a weak and pointless auto-attack.

    As for the majority of Final Fantasy titles being single player... that doesn't make sense as a basis for making this Final Fantasy title have less to do with Final Fantasy. In that case they could have made a Dragon Quest MMO or created an all-new franchise. In fact, I'd argue the greatest marketing USP for this title is that it is a multiplayer Final Fantasy game. You may notice a majority of the enemies are lifted from previous titles. (minus their defining elemental characteristics....)

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shenrien View Post
    Remove the TP system as a whole, let us build an adrenalin bar up through combat, once filled we can either use it to increase the rate limit break is gained, increase all stats by +40(pseudo self-limit break) for a short duration (20-25s) or recover instantly from weakness or brink of death.

    I think the idea of TP is stupid and out of date. Having fights that are poorly designed leaves many members struggling to even play their class if they don't get any relief from greedy bards or machinists that refuse to play TP songs, or lacking a ninja for goad. Replace any TP regen ability with a way to build your own adrenalin bar faster.

    Sprint can then be used to toggle on and off and drain adrenalin when on.
    Sounds like an extension to 1.0's Alpha battle system.

  8. #88
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    Haha, yup. FFXIV peaked before it even originally released (UI/UX was shit though). Downhill roller-coaster to mediocrity thereafter.

    Edit: Perhaps unsurprisingly, so much of the game-play changes have the scent of design-by-committee.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    Can't disagree about the cross class choices. Then again, I also can't say that I haven't used one of mine on BLM - i've used all of them in endgame raiding (including AS12).
    In which endgame raid did you use Hawk's Eye, Ruin, or Physick? I consider those the very definition of useless throwaway skills given that a) this battle system essentially requires you to have 100% accuracy at all times and b) Physick on BLM is going to heal < 3% of HP at endgame.

    I don't play Support DPS, so you'd probably be best off asking a main for that, but come on, 2.x Bard was ridiculous movement wise.
    I was a BRD main in 2.x and am a MCH main in 3.x. Like all life forms on our 6000-year-old planet, MCH is intelligently designed; you're stuck casting when you run out of ammo and you get bad procs, but your basic rotation doesn't interfere with itself. In contrast, BRD has to stand still and cast on nearly every GCD, which interferes with using Bloodletter and the River of Blood mechanic that underpins BRD in the first place.

    It's obvious that during 3.0 development, someone saw the Gauss Barrel mechanic and thought, "let's do that for BRD too" without the slightest bit of effort to tune it. At a very minimum, River of Blood procs should make your next GCD instant, like (for some bizarre reason) Straighter Shot does for Straight Shot.

  10. #90
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    im kinda looking forward to whatever Stormblood changes up for the battle system. I've probably said this numerous times before but one of the biggest reasons why XIVs battle is boring-as is because balance, and this is (apparently) necessary because Duty Finder, which means every job within the same role must be able to generally do the same things to fulfill that role. Fair enough, but at what expense?

    Between 2.0 and 3.0, I definitely felt the sense that they were quite desperately trying to balance jobs so that every one of them felt needed. 2.0 rotations were too simple, and 3.0 ones were generally too tedious, but you could never say there were bad jobs like you would in FFXI. The healers are actually in a pretty good place right now, i think primarily because they're not a rotation-based role - each can bring something unique or excels at something special. The only problem is, it rarely matters in regular duties unless you're pushing on the highest raid tier. The point I'm trying to make here now is that a lot of jobs could have tools added to their arsenal to differentiate themselves, but it wouldn't matter in a regular dungeon or raid because they're not supposed to outshine one another.

    I also don't think slowing down the gameplay is going to help XIV at all, but being able to allow players to make small gameplay decisions instead of doing the dance is 1 good way of bringing back the sense of whats lost in the gameplay. This won't be happening in a lot of fights - Primal EX for example are pretty much all designed to be dances, and unlike XI you can only deal with a fight mechanic, rather than get around it completely (lets ignore undersized for this discussion). But there is a place where it will.

    Palace of the Dead, and potentially all future Deep Dungeon content, don't require fixed roles in party play, and this is where XI-like gameplay can really shine. Here, certain jobs already have distinct advantages over others (hello WHM) because they do a whole lot of things which may be required for the fight. Its also a lot of fun because you actually have to think how your job is going to play depending on who else is in the mix, and whether anyone can heal, etc. Very Nyzul Isle, and very similar to the gameplay we expect from XI.

    Ultimately there isn't going to be a one-size-fits-all solution for the current state of the battle system. I think mainstream content will continue along the fast track, whereas content like PotD will allow for slower, more nuanced gameplay. The way i see them achieve this would be by easing the rotations and merging skills to reduce bloat. Personally, i think some skills could be combined under a single skill name, but perhaps have different effects/traits based on what players choose to select. eg. Stone 1-3 are united under Stone, but the player can set 1 of them at a time (so they have to choose: Heavy effect, normal damage or higher dmg but more MP spent).

    Its too late to realistically introduce real elemental weakness into the game now i think

  11. #91
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    I agree with a lot of what is being said.

    SE took the easy-way-out approach to enforcing balance; straight-jacketing the players. So much of the appeal of the video-game medium is in the possibility space, emergent game-play and acting within / reacting to these unpredictable situations. The design-team's approach to combat has felt like a dereliction of duty. That or they misunderstand the role they hold, in which case they shouldn't be in charge of that role.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spira View Post
    Its too late to realistically introduce real elemental weakness into the game now i think
    Certainly. It's unlikely they'll abandon the GCD ability-hammer game-play too, which is why the game will likely still under-perform as entertainment even after the expansion.

    In many ways it's too late for the game to win back those it has driven off. FFXIV has had 3 strikes so far; The broken launch, the rail-road grindfest re-launch and HW not addressing it. How many gamers give a 4th strike to a single title?

    This is compounded by the fact that playing FFXIV is hardly cheap compared to other games.

    At this point even if FFXIV were to get an amazing re-work which did more than just address the mechanical problems with the game but raised it to some sort of Great Work status like Homer's Odyssey, a Beethoven symphony or a da Vinci painting it would still be suffering from this legacy.

    All it can really hope to do now is retain its current player-base (including the players who only temp-sub on content updates) and, if the changes go far enough, deliver some real fun to the players who have stuck by it.

    I would consider the expansion a success if it manages to pull that off. More Skinner-boxing of players trapped in their Skinner-box would hardly be a noble goal for this expansion.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleth View Post
    Longpost
    I really don't want this to devolve into a point by point shitfest, but a lot of what you are posting is actually contrary to a lot of the end game raids, especially the Savage versions. Now, i'm not saying they are perfect, but i've found them to be on the most part engaging and found the replay-ability of the end game raids to be pretty good - as long as its done with an item level sync.

    I don't see how there would be any added value to combat if reworked classes to not be reliant on one damage aspect and you had resistances for each specific boss - unless there was a boss that changed his resistances mid fight. All it would be is choose the right aspect, ggwp.

    It honestly doesn't matter to me about every class doing the same rotation. Why? Because people will always attempt to do what is most optimal given the situation, and make tweeks on the fly depnending on fight mechanics, what procs people get, how fast mana ticks people get and depending on group setup. No amount of adjustability in classes is ever going to change that when playing against PVE in any game. I just don't get what you are expecting. Even if classes had two viable or even more viable rotatons - either they are going to be of equal effectiveness and then it doesn't matter, or there is going to be one that is better than the other and thus the other won't get used.

    I couldn't care less if we had 20 jobs with 1 balanced and distinct playstyle or 10 jobs with 2 balanced and distinct playstyles. They ultimately reach the exact same end and ultimately jobs/playstyles will always get left out when there are only 8 spots in a party.

    Materia i'd imagine was put into the game to give some sort of customisation with regards to stats. I'm not pretending that its ideal, but it certainly helps DPS healers to get accuracy, and classes to lessen the effect of poor gearsets - which are their own other problems, but that's another discussion. Cross class - i'd say it was more to encourage people to level other classes.

    There's also Tank stance switching on the tanks too. I do agree that there can be more active defence mechanics that are more engaging but to say tanking right now is just mash buttons and get hit by stuff is a massive disservice to those that actually play tanks.

    I'm all for meaningful decisions, but give some actual examples of them that are engaging and worthwhile, not stuff that is ultimately not going to matter beyond a second thought outside of combat.

    And just because a game has final fantasy in the title doesn't mean it has to clone/copy everything from every other title. Should we make all the combat turn based in that case? No progress would ever be gained if everything was cloned from old titles. I'm not saying that XIV is perfect in that regard, but there are plenty of examples of games that I enjoyed back in the day, but going back I feel some of it just really isn't good in modern day gaming (PSO for example). I love to moan about FFXIV and there is a shit tonne of stuff that is just flat out stupid in the game, but at least make sure what you are moaning about is actually correct in the first place. Lack of elemental resistances and lack of different playstyles per job is the least of the games issues.

    I'm not really hung on the elemental thing, but its about the only idea you've posted other than having multiple playstyles per job. Shenrien and Arus had some pretty good ideas that add engaging gameplay imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spider-Dan View Post
    In which endgame raid did you use Hawk's Eye, Ruin, or Physick? I consider those the very definition of useless throwaway skills given that a) this battle system essentially requires you to have 100% accuracy at all times and b) Physick on BLM is going to heal < 3% of HP at endgame.
    I meant of the ones that I take. Eye for an Eye, Apoc, Raging Strikes and Quelling are really useful. Physick is pretty niche, but can be useful during dead phases which happens a fair bit (e.g. timegate in AS12, Intermissions in AS8)

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider-Dan View Post
    I was a BRD main in 2.x and am a MCH main in 3.x. Like all life forms on our 6000-year-old planet, MCH is intelligently designed; you're stuck casting when you run out of ammo and you get bad procs, but your basic rotation doesn't interfere with itself. In contrast, BRD has to stand still and cast on nearly every GCD, which interferes with using Bloodletter and the River of Blood mechanic that underpins BRD in the first place.

    It's obvious that during 3.0 development, someone saw the Gauss Barrel mechanic and thought, "let's do that for BRD too" without the slightest bit of effort to tune it. At a very minimum, River of Blood procs should make your next GCD instant, like (for some bizarre reason) Straighter Shot does for Straight Shot.
    That's a fair point - I didn't know what class you meant so I couldn't really think what was clunky about a class that I don't actively play. I do remember there being some weird interaction with straight shot though which was pretty nice but completely undocumented on the skill itself.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    Even if classes had two viable or even more viable rotatons - either they are going to be of equal effectiveness and then it doesn't matter, or there is going to be one that is better than the other and thus the other won't get used.

    I couldn't care less if we had 20 jobs with 1 balanced and distinct playstyle or 10 jobs with 2 balanced and distinct playstyles. They ultimately reach the exact same end and ultimately jobs/playstyles will always get left out when there are only 8 spots in a party.
    The difference is that the freedom to find successful (and unsuccessful!) ways to do fights ultimately leads to more variety. Even if your job is not great at a particular fight, abilities can be adjusted and new fights can emphasize the strengths of certain jobs over others. This is otherwise known as the "rotating spotlight" system of balance that XI employed for most of the 75 era.

    As it is, anything outside of the strict rails the devs have designed must be immediately nerfed. Remember when Titan-Egi actually worked for something (Ramuh EX) and the fight was immediately patched to remove this exploit? Because Titan-Egi isn't intended to be useful in anything that matters, and it's easier to simply eliminate any out-of-the-box strategies than to tune them but allow them to continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldsaxon View Post
    I meant of the ones that I take. Eye for an Eye, Apoc, Raging Strikes and Quelling are really useful. Physick is pretty niche, but can be useful during dead phases which happens a fair bit (e.g. timegate in AS12, Intermissions in AS8)
    Presuming you mean Virus instead of Apoc, even that's VERY situational; cross-class Virus doesn't affect magic damage, so it's effectively only for physical tankbusters.

    BLM Physick is the perfect example of "irrelevant fluff." No one will ever notice if you don't have it.

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    You're still hung-up about the elemental magic stuff @haroldsaxon but I'll try and be more clear; It's merely a symptom of the hatchet-job done to the original game's combat systems and directly contradicts the game's own lore. It's fairly common design theory to have the mechanics back up the story. Much like how the game has had the pointless auto-attack added, it is a litmus that shows how arbitrary the design team have been. Your concern about a job or class not having the required elemental (or non-elemental) damage in order to perform well in a certain raid are valid, but only if the dev team fail in their design of the classes and the content.

    You seem to be mad at me about your monk not performing in whatever encounters you tried playing back in the day but I assure you I didn't design your job class or the fights you were participating in.

    Anyway, I understand you're looking for answers and not problems. How about the design team start adding differences of kind and incomparable effects in a vertical slice throughout the game? ie. in itemisation, skill selection and within the combat itself?

    Itemisation

    Rather than gear adding identical stats in almost the same ratios, merely scaled in magnitude proportionally to ilvl, maybe the gear can have a wider variety of effects.
    As an example, maybe add weapons that apply different effects after a certain number of successful consecutive combos on the same target (say a debuff like gravity or slow to the target). Maybe armour that has some kind of varying effect if you take over a certain amount of damage in one encounter / raid (like a temporary health shield once you've lost 3000 HP).

    There is so much possibility that can be added here. The important part to note is that you want to spice items with various effects that cannot be directly compared in straight-up stats like the current ilvl gear. The other thing to try to achieve is that there is sufficient range of effective choice that the player feels like this is a personal preference type of decision, not a "oh this is the only real choice" decision.

    I'll extend this to materia as it's part of the itemisation system. Why not make the materia like... materia? Why not have them do more than alter the dull stats? Make them have synergistic effects when put adjacent to each other in connected slots. Make the effects of the materia actually notable and noticeable. FFVII has managed to do this and Warframe manages to ape it most successfully with their mod system. eg. Put a crit materia next to a slow materia on a weapon --> chance to slow enemy on a critical hit. Put an armour materia next to an MP materia --> chance to boost your defence rating when you spend MP. Again this has so many possibilities.

    Skill selection & Combat

    It is fairly straight forward to design something where players have meaningful choices and that could be achieved without huge changes to the current combat system. The implementation and balance might be tricky, but it's part of the game-making process. There are numerous ways to go about it but here's some suggestions:

    - For example you could let players assign points for each of their weapon skills that make up their combos. As they level they gain points which, at first they use to unlock their abilities, but as they reach the level cap they have a surplus of points with which they can boost weapon skills or abilities by assigning more than one point to them. You only gain enough surplus to boost some, but not all skills and abilities. Let's say there are 3 tiers available for each ability.

    The boosts are not just straight-up boosts in scale like "damage skill does more damage", "defensive skill gives more defence", but you also get additional effects such as "personal HP shield now applies to allies withing 12 ilms", "Second weapon-skill applies a bleed-effect" "AoE weapon skill applies run-speed boost".

    You could also work this into making the animations and FX more meaningful. Skills that are at tier 1 have no flashy combat or casting effects, just a regular animation (no flips and shit). Tier 2 skills have a more exciting or effortful animation but no flashy FX. Tier 3 has the full monty (as seen all the time currently) of a flashy animation and some colourful FX. It seems fairly trivial but what would you boost? A combo-starter you use all the time? Your most powerful finisher so you get to see some bad-ass animation and big numbers? Then you get to decide by how much... a few points over everything to get some flexibility and perform in all situations? Or dump the points into a select few abilities to get additional effects and utility options you personally prefer?

    - Or you could have your skill system work more like traditional materia too. You have so many skill slots that unlock as you level. Some of those slots might be linked or can be made to link through various means. Placing your skills (including cross-class ones) into linked slots causes additional effects to occur when those skills are used, depending on what was placed next to them. For example, placing a finishing weaponskill in a linked slot next to a starting weaponskill occasionally allows you to have a "run-on" combo when you start your next combo, which allows you to execute it in a shorter amount of time. Or, perhaps putting a fire spell linked next to a heal spell makes you gain a mild regen effect when you cast fire in combat.

    - Another example could be just straight-up skill trees... I know it's played-out and it's easy for a meta "best" to appear for trees but depending on how you design it, it could have more going for it than the current system.

    - Without a doubt, the players skills need to interact with each other much more. It could be something like having combos that involve more than one player. One player opens the combo, another continues it, and so on a few more steps until all players do a finisher simultaneously (within a time-bracket) for some kind of ultimate-team-finisher. You could have magic and weapon skills interact in this way too. (This sounds remarkably like skill-chains... but it doesn't have to stop there, there's many ways you could develop co-operative combos into something fun).

    Anyway, I could go on and on with made-up stuff. I am very aware the examples I gave would require real work to balance and to grok from a development point of view (it is the devs day-job!!!). The point is that there are so many ways to make a game exciting to play. FFXIV could do this both on its possibility space within the RPG systems and on the merits of its online co-op combat.

    I hope you see that there are many ways to make the game more exciting and how the current mechanics need change to achieve that.

    Edit: I can already imagine how you'd get more neat stories about how you interacted with other players if the game had such systems as these. What is an MMO without being able to recall how you came across this one player who did this thing... The War who saved you because they had a capped Inner Beast which shared the heal... the drg who had a capped finisher finishing a group-combo which annihilated the boss before a wipe... etc etc.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spider-Dan View Post
    The difference is that the freedom to find successful (and unsuccessful!) ways to do fights ultimately leads to more variety. Even if your job is not great at a particular fight, abilities can be adjusted and new fights can emphasize the strengths of certain jobs over others. This is otherwise known as the "rotating spotlight" system of balance that XI employed for most of the 75 era.

    As it is, anything outside of the strict rails the devs have designed must be immediately nerfed. Remember when Titan-Egi actually worked for something (Ramuh EX) and the fight was immediately patched to remove this exploit? Because Titan-Egi isn't intended to be useful in anything that matters, and it's easier to simply eliminate any out-of-the-box strategies than to tune them but allow them to continue.
    I was disappointed to see Titan Egi nerfed - I think there was also a similar thing in T11 iirc regarding Dot's but that was pretty game breaking. That said, there's been other out of the box strats that they haven't nerfed - in recent times, the saccing strat, or even the "Fuck the tower" strat in AS11.

    About the whole having new fights emphasizing the strengths of some over others - we've had that for a while imo (outside of SCH+WAR being irreplaceable). Adding in lots of multi-dot and dot strength fights has really brought SMN even further ahead this patch. You had WHM > AST in Midas but the reverse now. You had triple melee being the strongest in Gordias. And probably midas, but now i'd say that running a SMN is just that good. Tank wise, Dark Knight was strong in Gordias and Creator, but there was more competition between it and Paladin during Midas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider-Dan View Post
    Presuming you mean Virus instead of Apoc, even that's VERY situational; cross-class Virus doesn't affect magic damage, so it's effectively only for physical tankbusters.

    BLM Physick is the perfect example of "irrelevant fluff." No one will ever notice if you don't have it.
    Yeah, you are right, I meant virus. It is situational, but its really useful when you have an add that does Physical damage. I use it in AS12 and AS11. Sure, people won't notice Physic if you don't have it, but its not like Thunder 2 or even Sleep that's just flat out unused.

    @Aleth

    I'm not hung up about the elemental magic stuff - I just said its a bad idea to have a static, non changing debuff and outlined my reasons. I couldn't care less about lore. I'd rather have mechanics that are actually fun to play, not be a slave to other games. I have no idea what you are talking about a Monk not performing, perhaps you mean someone else?

    I've actually agreed that the dev team needs to do better for itemisation and skill selection, but if you actually think all the classes play the same then I suggest you actually play more. I main casters and imo BLM and SMN both have distictive combat styles. The only Melee i've played, Monk, is different from the casters too. I also don't get why you think i'm not looking for problems. If you've read my posts here, I moan about FFXIV quite a lot.

    I like the trait idea - but honestly, I think it would be better as materia as you said. It allows people to not feel forced to pick an old/less effective piece of gear in order to get a specific trait. Hell, i'd also like it if you could just customise the secondary stats on gear - as someone that prefers BLM, the number of non-spellspeed pieces is just too high sometimes and while secondaries are fairly meh, spellspeed does make the class play differently at higher amounts. But I also think Parry needs to be reworked as people have said earlier.

    While I like sitting down and theorycrafting out the best build/traits for a role, I don't know if a trait system like that would even be worth while. There will always be an optimal setup, there isn't really any escaping that. When dev time is limited, I can't help but think it would just end up being either poorly done with some unintended OP classes that won't get fixed for 4 months, or wouldn't change a thing and just lead to more/less damage across the board. If they implemented it and there wasn't anything massively broken, I can't help but think what engaging value it would bring for gameplay. It would probably only benefit those that sit down at the start of the patch to work out what the new optimal build is. I just would rather have more content/more active content (as you said, skills that interact with the fight that you actually have to actively think about, rather than a one time thing you do once every few patches).

    The visual effect stuff - I couldn't really care about that but I do see your point that there's just loads of flashy skills nowadays. It would be pretty cool if say, F4's under raging strikes gained an extra visual effect. But as it doesn't directly affect combat, i'm not too bothered.

    Combo's that work with more than one player - Sure, yes. We do have a fair bit of it now, but its "mostly-passive" (i.e. that requires minimal coordination - e.g. AST cards) with the exception of BV Foe's/trick attack and Hypercharge - but even then, outside of openers its just best to use them off cooldown (with maybe the exception of Foe's). Shadewalker is pretty cool as its more active. It would be pretty awesome to have individual combo's that included more than two players. I remember the photon blast system in PSO - which was pretty cool. Think of it as each player having an individual LB, but with the option to choose one of three (depending on what your pet was specced into). But you could also combine them for different effects.

    tl;dr

    I just want to see more stuff that you interact with, not set once and be done until the next patch. Combo's = good. But most of all, I want more non faceroll content.

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    Ah apologies, it was Obsidian who came across it on his monk... and yes that situation sounds like the result of bad encounter / class design (the two should really work together).

    More active components and more possibilities seem like the way forward. I understand the scope and dev-time argument, especially with ideas that would result in many potential combinations which would need to be balanced. XIV isn't exactly brand-new anymore though and the combat has felt like it's been in a teething phase forever.

    To give some perspective though, Warframe has introduced almost every possible RPG progression element I've encountered since its release in 2013. Not all perfectly, for sure, but successfully, certainly. The game-play is that of a shooter rather than party-RPG combat but it's a good case-study to see how to integrate so many systems with success.

    It leaves me with the question of how a FTP kick-started game can tackle these challenges in a shorter amount of time than an established developer who already had successful experience in the MMO market.

    I did ditch my sub part-way into HW so I can believe they've made some attempts to improve things since - but for literally everyone I played with it's "too late". Somehow the game managed to drive away gamers with a very wide gamut of gaming preferences. Believe me when I say they're done; they won't entertain the idea of coming back to XIV.

    Part of my rolling criticism of XIV is to try and understand how it failed in this way. I wonder if it's because many gamers I know are getting older and "don't have time for this shit" when it comes to games with grindy content. Even with my (initially) optimistic approach to XIV and relative grind-tolerance I ended up not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel...

  18. #98
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    I think the problem with classes to me isn't so much the sameness feel as that was alleviated a bit with HW, it's going to boil back to itemization.

    While there's variety in the buttons between classes all of them have one very balanced damage potential. An acceptable baseline. There is no real standout capabilities in this game, like in XI where a Great RDM could hold an enemy if there was a wipe, or a THF who could close a SC for 80% of an enemies HP. Those wow factors don't exist in this game, for better or worse your individual capabilities will only be good for applying a baseline. If you're in a raid and your tank dies? Fuck off mate, game over. A DPS goes down? You're probably going to fail DPS check now.

    Where itemization comes into play, it was the difference between a 50k WS and a 5k WS. I'd say buffs played a huge roll in that too but that's not going to be a thing in XIV.

    So to prevent what will turn into a ramble, I enjoyed playing SMN post HW despite how much I disliked this reskinned Necromancer rip off. But there was never anything I felt working toward. I had no goals. Items are bland, salt less mashed potatoes. There was never an item I though "I neeeeeed this" like it was in XI, there were never items that made me think "this is will make a big difference in my role". Items like Hecatomb, Skadi, Ares, Homam, Thiefs Knife, etc.

    There is only item level. That is your worth.

    They've made strides but simply put, the games faults for me begin and end with the uninspired lazy itemization supported by a "absolute balance" bottom line for all jobs that kills personal standout performances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karbuncle View Post
    There was never an item I though "I neeeeeed this" like it was in XI, there were never items that made me think "this is will make a big difference in my role". Items like Hecatomb, Skadi, Ares, Homam, Thiefs Knife, etc.
    Yep, and yoshi said he hates this kind of mentality because it could lead to disallowing players from running content if they don't have x item, but they'd look into it if there's demand - but if you look at the official forums if you even hint at a different itemization, they go full apeshit white knight mode on defending the bland itemization because they "can catch up easily."

    I mean ok, you love using outdated content because you're too scared to do ex primals or even attempt end-game raids..more power to you.

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    Yah, thing is they could just make this shit easier to obtain and more inclusive than it was in XI... I don't need the 0.1% drop rates I just need the carrot to be there. I need something more enticing than what the current XIV itemization has to offer. I can't get excited for new armor and gear when the most interesting thing they can tell us about it is how it looks. Woohoo... I don't care about dress up.

    And unlike some, I do enjoy the story of XIV, and I do enjoy how some of the classes play, but thats not enough to keep me paying a monthly fee when in one week I beat the story line up to date and just sit in the housing ward dreading the idea of running EX roulette for the umpteenth time.

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