Hey all I’m back with a look at some of my favorite music in gaming for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s Some Favorite Soundtracks!
Ocarina of Time: For me this was the first game that I really loved the music to. So much so in fact that me and my brother could play various songs from the game on the piano when we were both younger. Although I’ll freely admit that he is a much better musician than I ever was. It was amusing to listen to our dog Sachi sing along with us though when we played the Song of Storms. If you’ve never heard a singing Shiba Inu, you should look up a YouTube video on it.
Final Fantasy XIII: I loved the music of this game, in fact Blinded by Light is still the song I set my various iDevices alarms to use.
Tales of Zestiria: I love the music of this game almost as much as I loved the gameplay. Since this is one of my personal top 10 RPGs of all time that is saying something.
Final Fantasy XIV: I love pretty much every song in this game, and I will download the soundtracks whenever they get released because of that. From Twilight over Thanalan to the Shadowbringer Theme, every song is awesome.
Tales of Berseria: Like with Zestiria I loved the music of Berseria, the fact that this is probably my favorite JRPG ever doesn’t hurt either.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are some of your favorite game soundtracks?
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic I promised I’d cover in my review of Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion. It’s all about Shadowbringers’ Lack of Healer!
Lack of Healer?: Yes, Shadowbringers is the second expansion in a row that Final Fantasy XIV has not had a new healer job added to the game. Many people are upset that Dancer wasn’t a healer and were very quick to blame the development team for this. It’s certainly their fault, but not at all for the reasons most people assume.
So why is it their fault?: Well first off there are two archetypes of healer that work in Final Fantasy XIV’s combat system. Adding any more to that would either dilute the given identity of the already available Jobs. This is completely on the developers for getting themselves stuck with those two archetypes as the only viable options. But to be fair the last avaliable archetype isn’t really possible in any MMO if you hope to have balance.
Archetypes?: The two healer archetypes present in Final Fantasy are the Heal over Time and Shield to Prevent Damage types. These are best showcased with White Mage being the Heal over Time type and Scholar being the Shielding type. Astrologian, is both of the two with the addition of RNG cards in the mix. However Astrologian cannot switch between the two types in combat, and lacks the fairy of the Scholar to add consistent healing. In Shadowbringers Astrologian’s utility was changed quite a bit, with every card being a damage increase to two roles, like Tank and Melee Damage Dealer. However if you were when it comes down to the basic archetype it’s nothing either of the other two jobs don’t already do. No other archetype works with the combat system of XIV, everyone already does damage, so the last archetype that hasn’t been used, the damage to perform healing archetype, is completely impossible to pull off with any reasonable balance.
So what?: Well if they were to add any other shield or heal over time jobs they’d be hard pressed to come up with an option that feels different to the current three and is still able to be balanced with every other job currently in the game. It’s just not possible unless they completely redo the combat system, and while that would be something they could theoretically do, they just can’t do it reasonably with the funding they are receiving at the moment. The higher ups at Square Enix won’t really want to fund the massive undertaking that would be needed to completely revamp the combat system, and all that entails, which includes remaking every single fight in the game.
So no more healers?: I’d say most likely not, they might add one more in the future, but honestly with Astrologian already having identity issues it’s just not an option at the moment and I don’t see how they’d pull off adding another.
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my thoughts on a big announcement that happened a few weeks ago. It’s my Thoughts on Blue Mages in FFXIV!
Blue Mage?: So announced at the Las Vegas Fan Fest was not only the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion but also the announcement that Blue Mages would be coming in Patch 4.5. This has been met with some major ripples in the community and it’s pretty torn up about it.
What do we know?: That it’s going to be the first “Limited Job”. It’ll start at Level 1 and will be capped at Level 50 for a while before the cap will be raised in the future. In addition it’ll be barred from doing anything with Matchmaking, from PvP to the Random Dungeon Roulettes and the current 24 man raids if it ever reaches the current level cap. What it won’t be barred from is premade groups which means you can tackle any older content and theoretically any newish content that’s still level relevant as a Blue Mage in a group. We know we’ll be learning various abilities from monsters, including bosses like Shiva, and that the powers are going to be pretty freaking broken (as in really imbalanced in the favor of the player) with a total of 24 usable at any one time but with 49 in total that we’ll have to pick and choose from. To learn the abilities we need to merely see it in action and we may learn it. It’s not a guaranteed thing, so there is an RNG element added into it. We know that they’ll gain XP much faster than any other job in the game, so it shouldn’t be a burden to level them up just by killing mobs out in the world or doing level relevant FATEs. We know that the weapon will be a cane and the aesthetic will be the more classic take on the class rather than the more Middle Eastern versions from the Tactics sub-series. Finally it’ll have a special Blue Mage specific solo instance or challenge area called the Masked Carnival and that it’ll take players using their various abilities with high amounts of skill to perform well.
How do you feel?: Pretty excited, because Blue Mages have always been more than a bit overpowered if they had the right skills in the right situations and could pretty much kill anything with ease when those conditions were met. That doesn’t seem to be changing with it’s implementation into FFXIV. If anything this will make playing as a Solo player really fun, and those who use the class skillfully will be able to solo stuff much easier and be able to do older content without having to worry about sharing loot with other players. That isn’t to say that they can’t and won’t do content with others, if anything people will be running old group content with a mix of higher leveled classes and Blue Mages to learn certain abilities from specific bosses.
However I’m not a huge fan of the class aesthetic, and would’ve preferred the Tactics version’s. Especially since they had a perfect region in game that would make a lot of sense to have Blue Mages hail from if they went that route.
BUT WHAT ABOUT ME MAINING BLU?!?!: Look, it was never going to happen while feeling like playing a real Blue Mage. Having only limited monster abilities is just taking the class and making it another Black Mage/Warrior/Scholar depending on the role it would’ve been limited to. And before you bring up Red Mage being in a similar situation, it never was at all. They did an amazing job bringing the class to FFXIV and making it work in the classic holy class trinity without being either too overpowered or a completely underpowered class. Blue Mage could never fit in any of those roles without pissing off the other 2 roles and the developers know that. So they did something completely out of the box and made it the class to play as a solo player. Red Mage was going to either be a DPS or a Healer, and honestly they don’t need another Healer class, as they’ve got the entire spectrum of healing covered from HoT healing to Shields. So they took the White Magic spells and mixed them with the Black Magic and made it a Spell DPS class that mixes them together to make Red Magic, which was always the core concept behind the class. It makes sense, and while they have a heal that’ll help in a pinch they shouldn’t be using it unless they’re in an emergency.
That’s my thoughts on the situation and I’m looking forward to playing Blue Mage as it sounds like it’ll let me solo some old content without other people which suits my generally lone wolf nature perfectly.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope all is going well and you’re enjoying the first day of this New Year as much as I will be, hopefully. I’m back with a couple topics that could really use some attention for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.
Transparency: Lots of games failed to do this and made the players do this on their own. When games start treating players like tools and walking cash cows, they need to be stopped. Destiny 2 has had repeated failures on this part, and frankly it’s insulting at this point. Having your game limit you and tell you it’s doing otherwise when it comes to something as basic as earning experience points is unacceptable. It’s exploitation of gamers and everyone knows it. Doesn’t matter how many PR sprinkles you put on it, it’s still a pile of horse shit.
Communication: If you are running a game that is getting content updates, regularly or not (I’m looking at you Destiny and Bungie), there needs to be a lot more discussion into future plans so people can A. Look forward to it and B. Know that the developers aren’t just taking their money and running off. Final Fantasy XIV and it’s Dev Team headed by Naoki Yoshida is an often used example of mine of how to do this right. So again please take some freaking notes!
Loot Boxes: Let’s all agree that these need to follow some simple guidelines in the future. First way of doing this is that all things in Loot Boxes are cosmetic in nature. Nothing earned from a Loot Box affects gameplay at all, in any way, shape, or form. The second way of doing this is the Fate Grand Order example, where it can affect gameplay, but you just have to re-roll for a decent 5 star servant that you want. However the kicker is that you can’t have any form of competitive modes AT ALL. Finally and this applies to both ways of doing this, it has to be potentially attainable through purely gameplay means, which means that if you grind or wait it out long enough you could potentially get what you want from these loot boxes.
NetNeutrality: I’m trying to make this horse into so fine a paste that it could be sipped in through a fancy twisty straw like those you see used by kids who just had dental surgery. This shit matters, please don’t let it die. And hey I’m not saying riots in the street are necessary, it might be justified but it’s not necessary. Check both of of my two links in the this paragraph to see some simple things you could do.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Happy New Year!
Hey all I interrupt your regularly scheduled Video Game Tuesday with a quick post on something I got some major help with from my awesome colleagues at Game Industry News (GiN)!
What happened?: Well as people may or may not be aware I play Final Fantasy XIV, way too casually to enjoy anything harder than some bleeding edge Extreme Primal fights. When the FFXIV team decided to do their invite a friend back to play campaign, I did so for a friend of mine who I’ve been in the same Free Company (think a Guild from other games) for a few years now. My friend, who I’ll call Garn for the purposes of this article, was unable to play due to being disabled and losing their disability payments from the federal government. So I figured I’d get her back in for a few days so she could enjoy the new changes to the game and enjoy the yearly Halloween event. However I learned that she was still unable to receive disability until next summer at the earliest and that she might not live that long due to heart failure. I’ve been told that it’s not terminal at this point, and I’m praying it won’t be, but I knew she loved the game and that her time playing it allowed her to put her mind off her issues outside of gaming.
What did you do?: I decided to ask for some help from my Editor in contacting Square Enix’s PR department and we sent in an email to see if we could get a free copy of the Stormblood Expansion, which Garn can’t pay for due to medical bills, and if possible a 60 day subscription. That plan unfortunately fell through, but my awesome colleagues after learning about Garn’s story decided to help her out and pitched in to help purchase Stormblood. I ended up getting her a 60 day time card as well, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get the expansion as well myself. Now, as of the day of writing this post (November 15th), Garn has just finished getting all the latest Main Scenario quests done and is now thoroughly enjoying her time as a Level 70 Red Mage, which she tells me she loves to play. She also commented on how fun the latest 24 Man Raid was as well, which is a throwback to the Ivalice setting of Final Fantasy Tactics and XII. So I wanted to formally and publicly thank the good folks at GiN for helping me help a friend in need.
We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled Video Game Tuesday next week, where I’ll probably be writing about my favorite game to bash on.