Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why I quit being a Beastmaster

The thrill is gone.

That is pretty much the tl;dr of this post. I was once a career BST. I loved the job, and was excited to see Squeenix give it a major boost, even if they crippled what I found to be the most powerful tool in the BST’s arsenal. So what happened? How did improvements to a job I love make me hang up my axes?

I am no longer a special, unique snowflake!

Yea, yea, QQ more you will say. But it is true. In the days when I solo’d BST to 75, it was a mountain to climb. It was a challenge to be met. I take pride that my deaths aren’t astronomically high, yet I leveled BST solo. I learned so much about this game’s mechanics and about crowd control. I enjoyed the power and freedom BST afforded me.

And now all of that has been totally undercut.

M skills are transferrable, sure. My knowledge, my experience, but they are meaningless to the BST of today. Today, it’s simply buy the right jug, stock up on meds, and then set it and forget it. It takes no knowledge, no skill. Hell, I would be willing to bet I could go naked /NIN or /WHM to give me enough survivability to send in the chosen monster du jour, and then sit my ass, half AFK while I wait to see if I need to heal my pet.

Granted, there are still places where BST has to work, and has to fight, but really the challenge of being a BST is little more than farming gil. My axes help, as does any gear I acquire. But why invest time in a job when someone can burn it to 99 in 3 days and have the exact same power level as me? I felt gutted when I realized this. All my work was now undermined by simply giving BST power in a pot.
So what is there left?


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why FFXIV is setup for failure

Tonight, my LS got chatting about the pros and cons of the most recent release from Square Enix. I quickly became the voice of doom, stating the game is setup for a fall. And the more I looked at it, the more I realized there's little to no reason to have faith in this game. Let's look at the issues:

The Schizophrenic Game of Combining Hardcore and Casual - So, on the surface, the game seems more casual-friendly. Guildleves, more solo play, and an NPC buddy for missions. But then after you scratch the surface, you find the hideous monster that is hardcore. EXP limits, tricky party mechanics while leveling, and the terrible repairs system. I'll get to that.

SE needs to make up its mind. The game can't cater to both groups at this point. It either needs to foster that newbie-friendly experience, or it has to be punishingly hardcore to attract the masochistic of us MMO players. Combining integral mechanics that reward the hardcore and spurn the casual will lead to a rapid decline in numbers right out of the gate.

Repairing that Requires Grinding - Durability of gear as a risk/reward feature is fine. Many games use it, and it is an interesting twist that once gear reaches a certain level, it starts to perform worse before it breaks and becomes useless.What is not cool is requiring that you level crafting (multiple crafts at that) just to maintain your own gear. Sure, there are NPC repairs, but not to 100%, and the expense in a player-based economy is painful beyond belief. Then, on top of that, requiring the acquisition of a particular item as well... SE wants you to pay through the nose for DARING to level in their game but not be a crafting enthusiast.

SE needs to make repairs done, at a low cost, at an NPC. You can provide the bonus of being able to field repair to crafters, or even let them increase durability or performance by making repairs. Do not penalize everyone simply to enforce a doctrine you believe in.

Player-Based Economics - One of the greatest failures of FFXI is being repeated again. No Auction House just makes this all the more punishing. NPCs sell items in the thousands of gil, yet buy items in the tens of gil. It makes it next to impossible to make enough money to survive. It would have been amazing if SE had allowed you to make money from farming and gathering that did not require you waiting for other people to grind up their pennies for your items.

It's time to let go of the player-based economy SE. It nearly killed FFXI, it will kill FFXIV.

Chat Interface issues - You cannot chat while crafting, any menu that comes up immediately shuts your chat window. You cannot chat easily, there are no quick shortcut buttons, you have to hit the space bar then the chat shortcuts work. You cannot automatically reply to tells using CTRL+R like in FFXI until you've typed the name at least once. In a game where quick, useful communication is so necessary, you are stabbing a knife in its chest by taking steps like this.

Player Search issues - You cannot search for jobs you have not leveled, and to level those jobs, you have to buy the weapon for that job. So now you are clogging your inventory with weapons you'll likely not use, spending money you would need, all to just be able to seek people out for parties and missions!

Anti-Power Leveling script killing parties - SE doesn't want you to power level others now, something I really don't care about happening. However, this new bit of programming is now killing parties in the field. The script triggers for no reason, causing melees to stop gaining any form of experience points so long as they keep healing. It's a ridiculously huge mistake, and SE has yet to acknowledge it.

The Ever Secret, Ever Ignorant Development Team - SE is ridiculously secretive. Their idea of openness about their game leaves much to be desired. And their firm idea that they know how to make the game, and that the player base doesn't have a clue about what makes a good game will drive this game to the grave. They need to listen to the player base and bad reviews, then make massive changes to this game.

Otherwise, this time next year there will be no FFXIV.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Place Like Home

Coast to Coast has always been very welcoming, and I do miss their presense in this game as I recorded this. Being an explorer is something that I do love, but it definitely feels at odds with the knowledge that I have friends lurking around the edges. Friends were always essential in FFXI, not so much in other games. I've had tons of fun in the more solo, more casual games like City of Heroes. But being in another game so much like my last major timesink, it is odd being alone in the world, in a sense.

The game as a new MMO is nice, there is a lot of hand-holding and you get the feel of how to play without having to read the novel that was the original game's manual. But as a Final Fantasy, you can see the hardcore elements peering through the forest of newbie friendliness. The graphics are truly awesome, and the controls are responsive with the use of a controller rather than the keyboard and mouse. The guildleves as a replacement for Fields of Valor are decent enough, but the time limitations on getting more, and the limited number to can acquire are quite a pain. Also the fact that tutorial guildleves take the spot of experience gathering ones means choosing between learning the game and playing the game.

Party dynamics are broken. To search for a class, you have to have leveled that class to some degree. And anti power leveling script in the game is causing healers to trash melee's experience gain. And overall, what you see most is tons of people soloing their exp rather than bothering to talk.

The chat interface... well I will save that for my next blog entry. Instead, let's focus on the stuff I spoke about in the video for now.

My initial experiences have been mostly positive, but I have seen several bugbears in the game that I know will drive me from this game, not the least of which is the lack of true interaction with my fellow adventurers.
I will be going into all my thoughts on where this game is going soon, that entry is almost written (no video will accompany it).

I hope you guys are enjoying this new format, any complaints or suggestions can be left here or on the video.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Journey Continues

Time for a history lesson and a bit of an explanation.

Back in 2005, I was a part of a linkshell called The Argonauts, and began using their customized GuildPortal website. While on there, I found that there was a blog feature. So, I started a blog.It was fun to write about my time in the game, and to share my memories of the game. As time moved on, I noticed some distinctly bad features, like how it rolls the posts off the main page, leaving your blog looking like, well, this. That combined with a lack of functions and an inability to post some forms of content lead me to creating this blog.

If you shoot a glance just to the right, you can see that I did a fair number of posts thereafter... and slowly left behind this blog. The major reason is the time it takes to actually write out one of these posts. I'd rather spend that time in a game or watching videos. The Internet is a visual, interactive medium, and the written word doesn't always hold a candle to the flashy animations of Flash or the simple hilarity in home-made YouTube videos.

So why did I post a video oddly devoid of commentary, then link it to a "dead medium" like a blog? Because the written word allows for contemplation and evaluation as you create your message. Because it gives people a resource to communicate back to me directly on an issue, or provide more feedback. And because I enjoy blogging.

I have done vlogs before, but I find the time limits restrictive sometimes, as there's more I want to say, or an idea I want to expand on. That's where the combination of the video into this blog comes in. Vlogs are quicker to do, and can be a great jumping off point for a blog entry. It can also show you visually what the blog describes textually.

I decided to start now because of the launch of Final Fantasy XIV. With a new world to explore, and new adventures to be had, it's the perfect time to start a new log of my adventures. I will also still be making videos of Final Fantasy XI as well, and they too will get posted here as well. I will still post videos to just YouTube, and likely make posts exclusively here, but expect, for a time at least, a combined blog/vlog here about the Ever Continuing Adventures of Pawkeshup!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pawkeshup sucks at Modern Warfare 2!

So... you're sitting there wondering why this is on my blog, right...?

Well, I dunno why, just watch it, damnit!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taking the Allakhazam out of... Allakhazam

Founder of Allakhazam, Jeffrey Moyer, is leaving the popular MMO gaming site at the end of this month, per both his own Twitter account and an official confirmation by one of the remaining Administrators of the website.

There has not been a release to a reason why, aside from the termination of Illia, which was also done quite discreetly.

The administrators that have come forward so far have stated that this will not change anything in the day-to-day operation of the website, but it is concerning that the namesake of the site is now on the outside looking in.

As a regular of the site, I wish both Andy and Jeffrey the best in their future endeavors, and I'll be interested to see what you might be up to in the future.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kupofried's Ring {mine}

This happened a few days ago, but before I vanish into the black hole of my pending vacation, I wanted to post about it.

My wife and I were farming in the Sanctuary of Zi'Tah, when she sudden gasps. I look at her screen, and she's targetting and clicking on a Mog Tablet. We both absolutely freak out! She was so excited, giggling like a little girl. She headed for Jeuno to collect her reward.

I decided, for the hell of it, to head to Ro'Maeve. I began searching as she reached the moogle in the Gardens to pick up her ring, as well as getting a Noble's Bed. I didn't hold a lot of hope of finding one, so, I turned and headed for the zone when I saw a sparkle in front of me.

I targetted it, and up pops Mog Tablet on the screen, I click, the tablet spins up from the point and flies off. We were both yelling and happy at the unexpected EXP windfall! And right before our vacation together!

So, it is possible to get these rings, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.