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  1. #31
    Player Atomic_Skull's Avatar
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    Bjorne
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    Fenrir
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    It's not a scapegopat. PS2 devkits are absolutely the problem. They can go PC only but they can't develop new content unless they completely and properly port the ps2 game engine code over to native PC code.
    FFXI is not PS2 code running on an emulator, there is no way the game could have run on PCs back in 2004 if it were. The source code was written for the PS2 but the PC version is native PC code. I suspect what they did is replace the parts of the source code that interface to the PS2 hardware with "wrapper" code for windows and Direct3D before compiling it into machine code. (most computer programming is done using a high level language like C and then compiled for the target platform)

    Starting around 2008 SE should have started porting the development tools for content creation to the PC. But from 2004-2010 Tanaka was too busing taking the development budget that should have gone to keeping FFXI running and funneling it into FFXIV 1.0 to create a circa 2006 PC game engine with 2010 hardware requirements that would get thrown into the dumpster.

    And that's what really burns me, that they sacrificed FFXI's future for NOTHING. They could literally have NOT started working on FFXIV until 2010 and the only difference would have been that FFXI wouldn't have been left to rot.
    (3)
    Last edited by Atomic_Skull; 11-03-2015 at 12:52 PM.

  2. #32
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    Tahngarthor
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    Shiva
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    PUP Lv 99
    Regardless, our opinions won't effect when XI goes offline.
    The game is only going offline when most people stop playing. People are acting like the game is going to instantly shut down this coming March and that simply isn't the case.

    FFXI is not PS2 code running on an emulator, there is no way the game could have run on PCs back in 2004 if it were.
    As far as I understand it's PS2 code in a wrapper. Similar to how most Windows games end up getting ported to Mac and at least part of the reason the game runs like crap even on high end modern PCs (And yes, it does. Try turning on full shadows and maximum settings for everything. Even on a PC made this year, you will still see slowdown in a busy place. By contrast, play any made for PC MMO in recent history and it will play fine, even with far more characters/objects being displayed.) The reason for this is that the game doesn't really use your GPU much at all and makes the CPU do all the work. The game only uses one CPU core and since top CPU clock speeds haven't risen THAT much (Nowadays, performance increases come from faster bus speeds and multiple cores), so its still very easy to see slowdown even today.

    They could literally have NOT started working on FFXIV until 2010 and the only difference would have been that FFXI wouldn't have been left to rot.
    It still would have been left to rot with the inability to develop new material. I don't think FFXI was big enough even prior to FFXIV's official announcement and subsequent 1.0 release for them to have a high chance of doing a remake. They would have had to start planning for that much sooner than that.
    (1)
    Last edited by Alhanelem; 11-03-2015 at 12:56 PM.

  3. #33
    Player Billnes's Avatar
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    Billnes
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    Ragnarok
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    As far as I understand it's PS2 code in a wrapper. Similar to how most Windows games end up getting ported to Mac and at least part of the reason the game runs like crap even on high end modern PCs (And yes, it does. Try turning on full shadows and maximum settings for everything. Even on a PC made this year, you will still see slowdown in a busy place. By contrast, play any made for PC MMO in recent history and it will play fine, even with far more characters/objects being displayed.) The reason for this is that the game doesn't really use your GPU much at all and makes the CPU do all the work. The game only uses one CPU core and since top CPU clock speeds haven't risen THAT much (Nowadays, performance increases come from faster bus speeds and multiple cores), so its still very easy to see slowdown even today.
    A few years back, I was fortunate enough to find an acrobat version of an official, Sega written programming book for their old Saturn console. The book clearly explained that the Saturn uses a version of Assembly language where certain elements of the standardized Assembly language were not implemented.

    I can’t help but wonder: Does the Playstation 2 have a similar issue (problem?) with its implementation of C language? If such an issue exists, would it be something that would make it more difficult for SE to bring the FFXI development software from the dev tool environment into the stock PC environment?
    (0)

  4. #34
    Player bungiefanNA's Avatar
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    Bungiefan
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    Asura
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    It's not that the application is PS2 code in a wrapper, it's that assets need to be developed and then put in a format compatible with the engine. The PC uses DirectX because you can't code for the variety of hardware on a PC now, and you don't directly interface with the system components. On a console of the PS2's generation you didn't have a hardware abstraction layer like DirectX, you coded directly for the components inside the system. Thus the assets are coded for the PS2 graphics and audio processors. They had to convert those assets to something DirectX understands, but they don't design those assets directly in that end format, and the design tools are on the PS2 development platform, and then run through a conversion program for PC. If the original creation tools are gone because the units are dead, they only have conversion tools and nothing to convert. Making something that outputs in a compatible format for the conversion tool take a lot of reverse engineering, when writing it for a different platform.

    PC games ported to Mac run into the issue that the Mac DOesn't have DirectX, and prefers OpenGL rendering, but the game may not have been designed with OpenGL in mind, so they have to rewrite that part of the code, or use an emulation layer that converts the DirectX calls to OpenGL. Windows can run OpenGL, but Microsoft owns DirectX and pushes developers towards it. If a game is designed as multiplatform and they start with OpenGL, then it is really easy to run on Linux and Mac OS, and thus easy to port.
    (1)
    www.reddit.com/r/ffxi/comments/2axr93/are_you_playing_on_the_asura_server_join_the/

  5. #35
    Player oliveira's Avatar
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    Mariane
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    Fenrir
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    WAR Lv 99
    SONY has shut down all services related to the Dynamic Network Authentication System. PlayOnline and FFXI use the earliest form of HDD-DNAS system ever conceived by SONY, meaning it's the longest running DNAS protected software on the platform. (including disc only software on that too as PlayOnline released even before disc software were forced to use DNAS, that being the first POL Viewer beta in 2001)

    I bet it's SONY wishes to cease servicing the last surviving bits of the DNAS infrastructure once and for all as they moved on to their new "NPDRM" system as used on PSN supported systems (PSP/PS Vita/PS3/PS4).

    In 2014 Konami ceased servicing PS2 based hardware "Python 2" arcade board which used HDD DNAS as protection system. It used the same DNAS server as the Koei-Tecmo game "Nobunaga Ambition Online". That title ceased operation on the PS2 platform last February, likely due to retirement of it's DNAS service.

    If you try to install it now, you get a DNAS error message stating that the title is no longer in service.

    So it's not about lack of devkits. It's not good business practice to put the blame for a problem on another company though, so they would never say that SONY wishes are why they're retiring the PS2.

    Anyway, anyhow I have two working PS2 units (USA and JPN) and on both of them the game is nearly unplayable.

    It takes a LOT of dedication to play this game on the PS2 with all the problems it has currently, knowing that playing it on a PC would be a lot better experience.

    People playing on PS2 will be relieved once they move on to PC.

    Heck, SE is giving the PC client for free now on the game website so everyone can keep playing.
    (2)

  6. #36
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    Shiva
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    or use an emulation layer that converts the DirectX calls to OpenGL.
    Which is the middleware wrapper that results in many games, including FFXIV, requiring vastly more powerful hardware to get less performance on OSX- in no small part because directX has performance features that OpenGL lacks. Last I heard though, OSX is moving to a different (and supposedly more compatible) graphics API that will (supposedly) eliminate the massive performance gap most such ported games experience).
    (0)

  7. #37
    Player Diraco's Avatar
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    Dirac
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    Odin
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    Seems they really got themselves into a bind due to not wanting to invest in porting the tools back when it would have been easy. At this point they either need to spend a LOT of money to get new dev kits made, spend a lot of money on developer salaries (probably all knowlege of the tools has been lost) to recreate the tools, or possibly spend a lot of money getting devkit features added to a PS2 emulator. Hmm... I hope they are keeping thier systems cool and dust-free!
    (0)

  8. #38
    Player Catmato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diraco View Post
    At this point they either need to spend a LOT of money to get new dev kits made, spend a lot of money on developer salaries (probably all knowlege of the tools has been lost) to recreate the tools, or possibly spend a lot of money getting devkit features added to a PS2 emulator.
    Or end development.
    (0)

  9. #39
    Player Billnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diraco View Post
    << SNIP! >>. At this point they either need to spend a LOT of money to get new dev kits made, << SNIP! >>!
    "made"??

    Factory fresh PS2 dev kits?? No way! Not gonna' happen. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't see SONY spending the insane amounts of time & money needed to retool even a single production line. To build specialty computers that are technology from 1998-99?? That makes absolutely no sense.

    BungiefanNA originally posted this on October 17th, 2015 . It seems appropriate to be reposted because it adequately boils down everything I wanted to say on this subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by bungiefanNA View Post
    Making an emulator for different architecture that works at all is hard. Making an emulator that works perfectly enough to compile the necessary code is ridiculously hard. If they were going to go through that expense, remaking the development environment from scratch for use on standard PC architecture would be more reasonable, and they have decided it isn't worth the expense to do that. Thus they have opted to make the game from scratch for mobile platforms, as a new and separate game, which will be more attractive to the market than trying to bring people into an established game over a decade old.

    The time that it would have been financially feasible, and that they still had the staff that made the original tools in the first place, was when ToAU released in 2006. They didn't move their development environment then, and the development team started to be replaced in large numbers after that, losing the core knowledge base to make such a change. PS2 was also becoming an obsolete platform with the next generation having been released, so training new people to code for the old platform would be a waste.

    So no, they can't keep developing on PS2 development kits even if they wanted, since they aren't made anymore, there's no option to repair them as there are no spare parts stockpiled by Sony, and the last few dozen working ones in the world (not held by private citizens that won't sell them) are in SE's hands. Doing the transition now would be as expensive as making a new game from scratch, which is what they have opted to do with FFXI mobile. It's FFXI in spirit, but it's not the same game, it's a new one in the same setting.

    As for leaving us behind doing this, it's really their only choice. Jumping into a "new" game and finding players with characters they've had for 13 years and having the resources that come along with that would break the economy right away, so they can't transfer anything meaningful. One appeal of starting when a game releases is that everyone is at the start of the curve, so you have a chance to get to the top of it. If there are already people way ahead of you on day one, you aren't going to be interested in climbing the curve to try to catch up, especially if they are that far ahead. You tend to just give up in Mario Kart if you get completely lapped by the person in first, there's no hope of catching them, and it's the same mentality here.
    (0)
    Last edited by Billnes; 11-09-2015 at 12:00 AM.

  10. #40
    Player Vold's Avatar
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    Quetzalcoatl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angemon View Post
    It is just a scapegoat man. This is a billion dollar company... you really think something silly such as PS2 devkits is holding them back? They have the capability to put this game on PC only but it would cost them much more than they are willing to invest. Sadly they want the game to be in this position as they feel the dev's would bring more revenue in through other projects.
    Which is a shame, because that goal will be wasted because said projects will bring in less money than if they had made the effort to keep FFXI going.

    I would love to know what goes through the mind of those people when they think about this. You know they do. They have their little round table meetings and discuss things. So FFXI comes up, and no one suggests that millions of dollars of profit every year is worth keeping around for a small investment? FFXI has given them so much money that they couldn't invest a bigger investment to keep it's profits around? "OOOOH MAN! We'd basically have to create a new game to facelift the graphics" So freakin do it. The work would be paid for in a freakin year or less from XI subs, just don't sit there and whine. Of course, many years have passed since that amazing decision to go with XIV instead.

    Even today they aren't getting chump change for FFXI. I find it mind boggling that they are so willing to be rid of XI, given they are a company that struggles financially every year, with FFXI having been their single greatest blessing for the past decade. It's the reason things aren't worse for them. They were all worried about XIV ruining their rep that they forgot that they are doing just that by letting XI fade away. Funny how that works. You'll put many tens of millions of dollars back into a failed, unproven game, but you won't drop a dime into improving your flagship title to ensure it's longevity. Brilliant. /slowclap
    (1)


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