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

transmog_system

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

character_customization

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

ffxiv_stormblood

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

fallout_4_mods

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.

Video Game Tuesday: Dual Audio

tales_of_zestiria_rose_render_16

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that I, and many others, place a lot of value on. It’s all about Dual Audio!

What do you mean Dual Audio?: I mean the ability to switch between two different languages in a Video Games settings to allow for the main spoken word in the game to be one language instead of the localized version, if the player wishes to do so. Tales of Zestiria, still my all time favorite JRPG, had the ability to switch between English and Japanese at any time out of battle through the settings menu and it was wonderful. The emotions and feelings of the characters came through so much better with the original Japanese dub instead of the English dub. This option should be included in every game that gets localized into another language.

Why?: Because even if you don’t understand the words themselves the emotions are very clear in a person’s tone of voice. Plus what is the subtitle option, which you are going to turn on anyway, used for except for just such things? Now if you actually understand the language and the localization is done poorly, looking at you Digimon Cyber Sleuth and SAO: Lost Song, you can get confused by the conflicting messages of the voice and the text. However that is a problem that is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s games. Most games have excellent Localization. Tales of Zestiria for example was wonderfully done, and while there was maybe one or two points that the text didn’t quite match what the voice was actually saying, it was spot on.

What about (Insert language here) to (Insert your native language here)?: Well it doesn’t just have to be Japanese to English, The Ezio set of Assassin’s Creed games had options to allow you to set the language to French or Spanish or Italian. The last in particular was awesome because the game was set in Italy for the most part and you could just read the subtitles to get the specifics while hearing the emotions being spoken in the actual language that the character would use.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, do you want more Dual Audio in games in the future? Leave a comment below!

Video Game Tuesday: Stormblood and PS3 Support

ffxiv_stormblood

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m turning my attention to the big news that came from the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas a week and half ago! It’s all about Stormblood and PS3 Support!

Stormblood?: Stormblood is the next expansion for Final Fantasy XIV and will take us to Ala Mhigo and give us two new Jobs in addition to raising the level cap to 70 and giving us tons of new things to do. Speculated Jobs at the moment are Red Mage, Samurai, and Dancer. Personally I’m betting on Red Mage (as a Melee DPS) and Samurai (Also as a Melee DPS). Dancer isn’t very likely to be implemented until they fix the current tanking and healing classes. Red Mage being a sword user who also uses close combat versions of magic elements is the reason why I see it being a Melee DPS. It’s always had a focus on melee damage and DPS is the most logical choice because there isn’t a pure support class type, and never will be, and there will never be a hybrid class or talent tree system either by the way.

Yoshi-P has shot down any hopes for those who wanted them. Personally I’m happy they won’t ever be in the game, as FFXIV doesn’t need either a pure support class type and definitely doesn’t need a hybrid class and/or talent trees. Samurai is my second bet for the last job, and like Red Mage will be a Melee DPS class, FFXIV doesn’t need any more tanks until they can fix the current stat system to make our current tanks not just glorified damage dealers with really heavy armor. Healing is obviously out of the question for Samurai. Dancer was hoped for because of what appears to happens in the trailer, which is awesome by the way, but the Lady in Red isn’t a Dancer she is most definitely a Monk. Also the same goes for tanking and healing as I mentioned for Samurai, the stat system needs some serious reworking before we get any more of them.

What’s this about PS3 Support though?: What was met with the biggest cheers after the announcement of Stormblood as the next expansion is the fact that FFXIV will no longer support PlayStation 3 after 4.0 drops. In fact they won’t even be able to play according to Yoshi-P. Frankly this has been a long time coming and I guessed that this would happen a year ago. The PS3 was holding back the game in every aspect and was a serious pain to play on, with loading times being unbearable and it affecting newer boss fights. With the PS4 Pro and price cuts and Stormblood coming out in Summer 2017, 4.0 is the perfect time to drop PS3 Support like the dead weight it is.

Every aspect?: Yes from inventory space, to zone sizes. The PS3 had serious issues that held back the gameplay for the rest of the player base.

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