I’m in a MMO gaming slump. Granted, I don’t have nearly as much free time to play but the time I do have, I guard carefully. My free-to-play journey with Sarzan stalled after Dragon’s Prophet. Arena Net’s strategy of providing temporary content has not interested me enough to return to GW2 either. I’ll be back if/when there’s an expansion pack. I need new levels, completely new zones, skills and crafting recipes. Until then, my adventures in Tyria are over – much to my disappointment.
Final Fantasy IV wasn’t the Ticket
I was hoping, more like praying, that FFXIV would fill the void. It did for a short period of time. It’s a gorgeous game! I enjoyed the crafting and promise of player housing. My class quests were VERY interesting and fun. The main storyline quests are too. Unfortunately, that’s not the vast majority of leveling content and the rest is an utter bore. Ugh, so uninspired. The WORSE ESCORT QUESTS OF ALL TIME!! Escort quests are bad enough with NPCs who are in dire trouble yet walk slowly and deliberately into every dangerous mob they can find. FFXIV takes the cake however, because the NPC requires you to use the beckon emote every few steps to make them follow you. OMG, who thought that was a good idea??? I’ve done way too many emote quests, some back to back which makes me feel like they couldn’t even bother.
MMO launches are a tricky business. I think all reasonable players understand the difficulty and odds of pulling off a smooth launch. My issue is the lack of planning for player load ON TOP OF technical issues that have persisted since Beta 3, prevented the vast majority of my access to Beta 4 and are still present in Early Access.
We can all give Square Enix a pass on under estimating player demand. However, too many games have come along in recent years equipped with queuing systems to deal with gating player demand. No one wants to be in a queue for hours. But it’s far better than what is happening on FFXIV, where your log in was being rejected with a message to “wait for more room noob then try again later” lulz. As if we’d know when it was a good time to try again. WTF
New Square Enix Mini Game
I find fault with the log-in sequence as well which drops you back at the Start screen instead of the character select after it tells you to piss off. This requires you to use Start again, which in turn pings the world server lists to show what worlds/chars you have available. Huh? Really?? Doesn’t that seem like it’s creating additional unnecessary load? Between being told to piss off and having the EU/NA world server list down, it was a real fun mini game of frustration. NOT.
Played More Reddit than FFXIV
I spent way more time on Reddit looking for updates than playing during the last two events. I understand, to a degree, people saying to keep your shorts on when it was Beta 4, even knowing that Early Access was only a few days away. After multiple 2-hour maintenance windows many of the same issues were present. What will they do in the same amount of time to prevent this from happening on an even larger scale for launch? I personally don’t hold out much hope of an improvement.
Even WOW managed queues back in its day. And we have Aion's handling of monsterous queues and people not logging out to avoid them AND YET I didn't miss a single day of game play over it. I waited my turn in a long ass queue, along with friends and family. Sorry, FFXIV, you have no acceptable excuse!
It’s 2013 and while few launches will be flawless, the inability to manage player log-in with a robust queue systems is unacceptable. I’d rather be in a queue for 5 hours than being told to try again on and off for 5 hours, with no idea of when I’ll hit the lottery and be placed into the elusive FFXIV queue.
Shame on SE for this debacle when they have so much riding on this re-release. Shame on them for making it sound as if it’s just the restriction of access that is the problem. No sirs, it’s how that restriction is playing out in real life versus CM/PR speak land.
As you can imagine, my gaming time has been greatly curtailed since opening the store. Even when I do have down time, I’m so mentally exhausted, that I’m more apt to catch up on TV shows or watch a movie. I have done a bit of gaming here and there – whatever can be done in small spurts and without formal grouping.
MMOs are my games of choice. I play just about every Triple-A title when it releases. In most cases, having pre-ordered it. When I don’t have one of those to play, I look into console titles that the whole family might be interested in playing together for a spell. So while I’ve known of Steam, there’s been no occasion where it fit my gaming preferences and hence never checked it out.
I was recently introduced to being a Steam consumer via gifted games from Sarzan. I received three games. I tried them all but only one really resonated with me. I think there’s a wee bit of disconnect between what he thinks I’d like for sure and what he thinks I ought to like. *smile*
I don't typically engage in individual blog or site forums. It' take more time than I really have keeping up with the blogs themselves. There are so many good ones out there. And I rarely comment on podcasts either because I'm listening while on the go. So here's my personal BIG-UP to Gary Gannon and GameBreaker TV.
I've been HUGE F'N FAN since the days of MOG Army, when Gary was paired up with Ryan Verniere. That's back went Brent was still doing the news for his site Virgin Worlds. In my playlist, that was the golden days of my podcast listening. I have added more favorites for sure, but I missed both podcasts. I'm elated that Gary is back in full force with a group of extremely entertaining co-hosts. I'm lovin' it, lovin' it and LOVIN' IT!
If you haven't been watching their vidcasts you're missing great gaming related entertainment. Hell one of my favorites is for a game I'm not even playing, FFXIV. Then there's This Week in MMOs hosted by Gary and Mike B which is a complete hoot.
It's insanely difficult for me to resist taking a tour in a game that looks as lush and visually polished as Final Fantasy IV. Sure they copy-pasta'd some scenery elements in a way that seems lazy-obvious. I could get past that faux pas, IF the game is more than another Asian-port grindfest. I know FF as a series has a long history and loyal fan-base. I'm sure this game has legs and its core populace is going to play this game come hell or grindwater. However, I have my reservations and can name Aion as my most recent port experience gone bad - times two collector editions. *Sigh* Do I really need another MMO parked on the shelf gathering dust?
Slow Doesn't Scare Me Slow progression doesn't scare me if there are interesting things to do along the way. Killing 50 mobs for one quest versus sending me on 10 little step-n-fetch quests wouldn't bother me one bit. I HATE quests that send me back and forth, back and forth, as if the idiot dribbling out his needs (stupid NPC) couldn't have told me the first time that he required 10 foxes, 5 bears and 6 pig nuts, from that valley WAY over there, the first time he opened his trap. Nah, he has to dole it out one request at a time and have me running back and forth like a fool. Not sure why I'm supposed to be entertained by such activity in a - wait for it, GAME, as though because the request was dribbled from some quest-givers lips, it all of a sudden becomes fun. HA!