Video Game Tuesday: What other MMOs can learn from FFXIV

This week for Video Game Tuesday is I’m covering a topic that sets apart my favorite MMO from all others. It’s all about What other MMOs can learn from FFXIV!

What is the biggest difference?: Well it’s really simple, Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) makes you feel like the hero of the story, and not just some passenger to an NPC’s story. No in Final Fantasy almost every NPC knows about you. You’ve killed gods, brought end to wars and taken down dragons. The NPCs you work with always acknowledge that you are the key figure in these fights, that without you none of it could have been possible.

Really?: World of Warcraft has had issues for years where no matter how powerful your character became, you were always not the main participant of the story. You as the player were never the hero in the story. Sure you might have taken down Nefarian, stopped C’Thun in Ahn’Qhiraj, killed Illidan and beaten Kiljaedan through the Sunwell. You might have brought down the Lich King and killed a dragon gone mad with power that tore apart the world, but you never really were the main character.

This problem is highlighted most with the Lich King encounter at the end of Wrath of the Lich King. You bring down Arthas all the way to 10% and boom you and your entire raid die. But Tirion Fordring, breaks from the ice that kept him out of the entire fight, breaks Frostmourne and deals the fatal blow to Arthas.  You the player on the other hand are shoved to the side until you get resurrected and hurry him along to death. There’s no thanks other than maybe a statue of the races of your faction in Dalaran if you killed him first on your server and some shiny weapons. That’s it, you get no real recognition. You may get a few NPCs thanking you, but in general you aren’t proclaimed the hero and lauded throughout the world. You were just there, helping Tirion while he slept in a block of ice until he decided to get out of it and finish the fight you were dealing with.

Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t have that problem and lots of MMOs, including not MMOs like Destiny, could do with learning from how Final Fantasy treats the player. You are treated as a hero, and even other players aren’t treated like you are by NPCs. It makes you feel special and gives further immersion into the world of Hydaelyn.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are your thought son the subject? Do you feel like the main character in MMOs, or just a minor actor compared to some NPC hero. Leave your comments below.

Delay in Plans

This week instead of the usual Anime Sunday I’m going to make a quick post updating on why I haven’t gotten back to doing a post a day. It’s about my Delay in Plans!

What delay?: Well I really wanted to get back to full steam way back in the middle of May, but circumstances have lead me to be unable to do that. Mostly that’s because I’ve been spending half my time at my parent’s taking care of the family dog who is getting on in years, she’s 13 years old and while she’s still active and mobile she’s started to lose her hearing. This has lead her to being very unhappy when left alone for too long. So any day that my parents are gone for more than 6 hours I end up spending time there. Most of the time before this year I’d have just gone over in the day and walked her and hung out for an hour or two because my folks would be back later that afternoon. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case these past few months and I’ve been spending entire days at my parents. In addition with all the stress of trying to get my data off my old computer, something I’m still struggling with even as I write this, I’ve been thrown off my pace of being able to churn out daily posts.

So what now?: Well for the time being I’ll still be attempting to give out a weekly review, of either a book or game, and I’ll be keeping to every other day posts. I’m hoping to get back to full steam by August, but at this point I’m reluctant to make any solid promises given how stressed out I’ve been.

That’s it for this little update, Anime Sunday will return in two weeks with a look at the Summer 2017 Anime Season!

Video Game Tuesday: An Amazing Community Project

Hey all I’m back with a more brief article than usual for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s all about An Awesome Community Project!

What project?: Well user Aelrindyl on the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit had made a post asking for the game’s community to send in images and birthday wishes for the games director, Yoshida Naoki. They’d be professionally bound and printed and sent to him for his birthday. I sent in a submission myself, although I made a mistake on the email address so it didn’t get to Aelrindyl for the project. Nonetheless the book was over 250 pages of printed birthday wishes, thanks and many, many screenshots from the community. It was an awesome project and frankly I don’t remember anyone doing something as awesome as this for a game’s director.

Why not?: Most game directors tend to be reviled or tolerated at best, but Yoshida is universally well liked and is best known in the community by his nickname Yoshi-P. The time he gives the community and the humble and eager manner with which he deals with all issues is frankly amazing. He took a game that was universally disliked and remade it into one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world. Despite all that he still gives nearly monthly broadcast sessions he calls “Live Letters”. These Live Letters often touch on upcoming features for Final Fantasy XIV, or things that people are asking about. Are people upset with a certain game design choice? It’s most likely going to be discussed and explained in the next Live Letter.

So special shout out to Reddit user Aelrindyl on making such an awesome community project, here is the link to the thread where Aelrindyl relays the dev team’s thanks and messages after Yoshi-P got his birthday present. And once more a Happy Birthday to Yoshi-P!

Video Game Tuesday: Transmog Systems

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m continuing last week’s theme of customization. It’s all about Transmog Systems!

Transmog Systems?: Transmog, or Transmogrification is a term used in World of Warcraft that was introduced in Patch 4.3. It was a system that allowed the player to change the appearance of their armor to match other armor that they owned. It wasn’t the first of it’s kind, but it’s the one that gets pointed at the most in my experience. There might be other names in other games, in Final Fantasy XIV for example it’s called the Glamour System, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

What’s your favorite one?: Personally I’m a fan of Final Fantasy XIV’s system although World of Warcraft has the advantage of a library system to go with Transmog. Final Fantasy XIV’s is much less rigid, and allows you to modify almost any item to look like most others. Many items aren’t restricted by class, but there are some like the Artifact gear. I’d love to see a library system added to Final Fantasy XIV, but I know that doing so takes a lot of time to create and given that Final Fantasy XIV has a dye option as well, it’d be very hard to implement. However in FFXIV unlike WoW, you can wear ridiculous outfits into battle, do you want to be dressed up in a metallic gold pig suit as you run into battle swinging a big axe? Go ahead, that’s completely ok. WoW doesn’t allow for that which is a pity.

What games would you like to see a glamour system in?: Destiny for one would be a great place, but given how small of a pool of options that game has it’s probably not going to happen soon, although who knows with Destiny 2 supposedly coming out this year.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, what is your favorite transmog system? What games do you wish had transmog? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Character Customization

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that is a bit contentious. It’s Character Customization!

Character Customization?: Yes, the ability to change your player character’s appearance either during creation or later in the game. To make yourself look unique, or like a famous person, or yourself, or just plain ridiculous.

Give me examples of good customization!: Well there’s always MMOs, with more recent ones getting some pretty awesome character creation abilities. Final Fantasy XIV has a fairly large character customization feature, and you can even go back and change some of it later on. Other games like the Elder Scrolls games have always had a pretty good customization ability.

Some bad examples?: Earlier MMOs had some okay character creation screens, but they limited a lot of options. For example, World of Warcraft had an okay system, but frankly every race choice was limited to a single height, no options to change height were available. They said it was due to PvP limitations, but frankly I don’t know if that’s an okay response in todays market. I’m leaning towards no, but I’m not certain on that. It was certainly useful to be able to call out “Kill Undead Mage” in flag room in Warsong Gulch for example.  No one would get confused about not killing the giant Tauren Warrior instead of that smaller and skinnier Undead Mage. An example of a bad single player character customization are examples like Sword Art Online Lost Song, which had such a terrible character customization system that it might as well have been removed to allow for something more useful.

Variety: I personally think having a great variety of options is always great, but some people find it overwhelming, while others love spending hours upon hours making the “perfect” character for themselves. Personally I’ll spend a bit of time on it, but if it gets past the 15 minute mark, I’ll start to hurry it up.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are some of your favorite character customization in games? How long do you typically spend in character customization? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Hopes for 2017

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Hey all I’m back with a list of things I’m praying will happen this year. It’s my Hopes for 2017!

Stormblood: I’m hoping the latest FFXIV expansion will blow my mind as much as Heavensward did. Frankly I love playing the game, though I’ve been so busy recently that I’ve been unable to put in the time I’d like to farm those Extreme Primal Lanners. The latest patch has really shaken up the story quite a bit and I’m excited to see where the story will go from here. Chances it’ll meet or exceed my expectations: Very High.

Final Fantasy XV: I’m hoping that we get some amazing DLC for the game, sure the story has it’s faults, but it was an amazing game nonetheless. Hopefully we’ll get most if not all of the DLC by the end of the year, but I’m doubtful on that front. Chances it’ll meet or exceed my expectations: Decent.

More Visual Novels!: I’ve been delving into the world of Visual Novels recently on my PS4, and frankly I’m loving it. I wish I had more time to play them, but with my busy schedule I’m not able to be the completionist that I want to be. If they can come to the PS4 that would be great, because it’s my only gaming system at this time. Chances it’ll happen: Likely, given the state of porting various games it’s a good chance that it could happen.

Destiny 2: I hope we get what we were supposed to get back in 2014, but frankly I doubt that will ever happen, just like we never got the Fable games we were told about from Peter Molyneux. It needs to have a solid story, excellent gameplay, and a fair gear system that isn’t so damn RNG reliant. Will we get that? I doubt it highly, but it could happen. Chances it’ll meet or exceed my expectations: Not as likely as it will be to see the USA revolt against their orange orangutan of a President, but more than a snowflakes chance in hell. If barely.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you hope to see this year? Leave a comment below!

Video Game Tuesday: Console Mods

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a subject that I find both frustrating and interesting. It’s all about Console Mods.

Why frustrating?: Because companies like Bethesda have made an effort to bring mods to consoles, but are doing a terrible job of it. They won’t properly curate the mods for games like Skyrim’s Special Edition and Fallout 4, and this causes many mod authors to have their work stolen by thieves without proper acknowledgement. I know if they did acknowledge it that a lot of mod makers wouldn’t be so upset, but the fact is that Bethesda has done a piss poor job with their efforts to bring mods to consoles. I’m not surprised that Sony won’t allow Bethesda to bring mods with unique assets to the PlayStation 4, they just don’t respect the mod authors that breathed so much life into games on the PC. Skyrim has a thriving mod community, but Bethesda has continuously screwed them over, with paying for mods on Steam and the console mod debacle.

There’s other games and companies that won’t allow mods, like Square Enix with Final Fantasy XIV. However Square Enix actually has a valid reason, FFXIV is an MMORPG and as any MMO gamer will tell you, if a portion of the audience can’t download mods the mods are next to useless. Plus theres the toxicity that comes with mods like Damage Meters, something that can quickly devolve into huge flame wars on forums and chat channels.  I used mods when I played World of Warcraft, and I required all my raiders/guildmates to install them if they wanted to raid. Some were invaluable, like Deadly Boss Mods, while others were just for fun, like Bejeweled. All of them were useful in one way or another, but I don’t regret not having them in FFXIV. I actually enjoy that I don’t need any mods or VoIP programs to succeed in doing the hardest content. Yes it’s helpful, especially the VoIP programs, but they aren’t necessary at all.

Why interesting?: Because I love mods, some of my favorite game modes in games like Warcraft III were mods like the Angel Arena maps. They had custom models and I had great respect for those who made those models. I hope one day we’ll be able to use mods on consoles properly and add fun things like Thomas the Tank Engine to games like Skyrim in the future. But until such mods are properly curated and monitored we won’t be getting them with any amount of frequency if at all.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.