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  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    The Future of Serious Gamers in ARR

    Hey everyone, I hope you're all doing well and looking forward to playing ARR with the utmost excitement.

    This topic is going to be very long, and I'd like to apologize in advance for that, I might quote here and there to make my point as clear as possible.

    I'd like to talk about the position of serious gamers here, everyone is saying that ARR is going to turn - to a point - into a casual MMO, they might be right, but I still believe that Yoshi-P won't let it go too far in that direction. I just hope he doesn't listen too much to people who don't really care much about the game, people who just want to get everything too quickly and too easily.

    First, let me explain the position of the serious gamer here:

    ----

    Let's take bowling for example, let's say you're a dedicated bowling player. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights you'd like to go bowling with your buddies. Have a few drinks, throw a couple of games - win or lose, you're having fun. But, while you're there, you take it seriously! You have your own ball, your own shoes.. To you, bowling is very important. That's your weekend.

    So.. Let’s say you've been bowling for 10 years, 12 years, or even 30 years! And.. one day.. the owner of the bowling alley comes down and says for the tournament that you're in - 'cause you're part of a league now, you know, you take it very seriously - and the owner.. or let's say, the head of the league, the guy who runs the show, comes down and says "Look, everybody, we're going to be cutting down games to 5 frames instead of the normal 10, people finding it that there are other things they have to do, there are other things they want to do, so, we're going to cut down the games from 10 to 5 just so these people can do what they have to do."

    You, as a serious bowler in that league, would be rather annoyed, that your game is now handicapped - even if for the better - but you'd say "I don't want to play some gimped-ass 5-frame game.. that's not bowling then.. bowling is a 10-frame game.. why am I only playing 5?"

    "Well, you'd have to think of the people that don't have much time.. They can't dedicate that much time to a full 10-frames game, so we have to cut it down."

    Now in real life, you'd just find another league, but let's pretend for a moment in this fantasy world that this was the only league in your area, OR the other leagues are doing the same thing, and this was the last league that kept up the 10-frame game. You have no place else to go, you essentially are now forced to either stop playing your favorite pastime entirely, or conform to - in your opinion - a sh**ty rule, for the sake of people who don't take your activity as seriously as you do. Because honestly, if they took the activity as seriously as you do, they'd allocate time to do it, but because their priorities have changed, because they have different priorities than you, you now have to sacrifice your pastime for the sake of theirs. That would p**s you off.

    Now let's bring this back to games in general.. Games used to be a challenge, for a lot of us, it was our pastime, it was our "Friday and Saturday nights". It's serious to us, like anything else, some people like clubbing, some people like bars, some people like bowling, and there are people who like to go gaming! And to them it's a serious hobby, it's an investment one, especially for MMOs, because MMOs really were the panicle of gaming, in terms of commitment.

    And, like any other hobby that costs money, MMOs became our "bowling", our "Friday and Saturday nights", and many of us here can't deny the nights we sat down, got our favorite drinks, and spent hours and hours with 10, 20 or 40 people in a MMO, raiding or crafting or doing whatever we enjoyed to do in-game. We were having a blast!

    But then, similar to the story I mentioned about the bowling league.. People who are not as serious about gaming, who are not as serious about the hobby I was serious about - in terms of investing my money into it, investing my time into it - THEY wanted a piece of the pie, but they're not as serious about it. They complained and b*tched and moaned - instead of using that same energy to actually apply themselves to something - they didn't care enough, their priority list was different. And as our culture today, people will rather complain and b*tch about something they can't have, rather than work towards something and actually earn it.

    So because their priority list had changed, my gaming experience was forcefully, without my approval, changed on me. And where was I going to go? The hard, complex and fun gaming experience that I loved to play is now being pasteurized and turned into this easy, shallow, boring system that gives you no sense of accomplishment, no matter how many hours you spend on it. They are being made much, much easier, more casual - which is not what I signed up for.

    You, as a serious gamer - and by serious gamer, I mean THIS is your pastime, what you enjoy doing - you are now forced to play a game that a 10-year-old can finish at the same speed as you, without really paying much attention to it, a game that leads you by the nose with markers and narrow paths. A game that might actually treats you like an idiot, "Press D to move to the right, VERY GOOD, now press A to move to the left, EXCELENT! Here's 100$ and 10 potions."

    --------

    That’s how serious gamers feel and it’s not really that hard to satisfy them, just give them lines to break, hard challenges to work on..


    1. Levels:

    I know this ship has sailed and almost everyone is already 50, but let me ask you, do you feel any special by reaching max level right now? Nope, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t feel special even after taking all classes to 50 because people were able to do that in a few weeks. There’s no sense of accomplishment by reaching 50 anymore. We reached a point where players categorized the noob as someone who doesn’t have all 50s, rather than someone who recently started the game… Which is more than odd, and wrong.
    And there’s nothing to do about it now, the hope for serious gamers comes after level 50, when level cap is raised, we want very hard-to-gain exp., we want it to be a real challenge, we don’t want everyone to be max level, we want that when you see someone at level 65 *considering that the max level is 75 or even 100* people will go “WOW! He’s 65!! How did he get there?”

    Give those levels a stronger reputation, a really strong one, even if that means it will take you a month of hard work to get a level.
    Yeah, I know, I know. Casual gamers will definitely go “A month?? There’s no way I could do that, I don’t have that much time, if it's taking you a month it will take me 4!” Well, you don’t really have to be max level to enjoy the game, Lv. 50 could be the casual gamer’s max, above that is for people who take it more seriously, people who are willing to work harder and spend more time.

    2. Equipment:

    Many players define themselves by their equipment, because they are *were* the hard-earned medals and the thing that separates them from being mentioned as “A Warrior” to “That warrior with the black sword.”
    I know SE already did that with relics, and it was an awesome idea, but relics ended up being not so “rare” in the end, when relics came out, you can see that player holding this awesome new weapon, you can recognize him among 100, but it didn’t become so rare in the end because relics were the only “hard” thing to get, so all players worked for them. SE needs to add more stuff, a huge collection of hidden, almost-impossible-to-earn, great equipment. This way, not everyone will work towards the same goal or the same weapon/armor. And by earning those items, our characters will have more value to us, and good players will be recognized.

    3. Harder and smarter Battles:

    From the videos already released, we can see that the battle system has changed and became much faster, some hated it, some liked it, Even though I like slower battles, I won’t really mind faster battles AS LONG AS they can be harder and more tactical, we need battles that make you think, battles that force you to prepare specific elements or items to be able to win, battles that punish people who cast Fire on a Fire Elemental *ex. Make that Fire spell heal the Fire Elementals and make 'em stronger, so people can learn their lessons.*. Battles that don’t encourage casual gamers who like to push 2, 2, 2, 2, until they win.

    4. More life in the game:

    There are these little things that make a huge difference to a player’s experience. Like, why do you go to town? Where can you get information? Where to sit down and chat?
    I believe we need better reasons to go to town other than buying stuff or shouting for parties. Like, why couldn’t we go to adventurers’ guilds and sit on one of those chairs *which are always occupied by NPCs >_>* to chat or share information?

    The adventurer’s guild is supposed to be our own personal wiki in the game, players shouldn’t just go to wiki or guide sites to find out about in-game information, they should ask others, learn from them, which could lead to new friendships or adventures.

    Or to hang out at the bar with your friends or LS members.. *and by hangout I don’t mean sitting down on the ground like homeless people* Lol. It’s silly, the guy is supposed to be so strong *max level* and so rich *100m gil* and he can’t even sit on a chair, he sits down by the corner with his friends as if they were thugs or something.

    Wouldn’t you rather have a meeting room in your free company house, with a big table and many chairs for members to sit and discuss their plans for the week? cast votes for their plans, or to solve a problem/argument.

    5. Less bread crumbs on the road:

    Please, don’t tell us what to do, if anything: give us hints; very vague hints. Let players work hard to find out where they should go and what to do, let them interact with other players and ask them.



    There are many other points I want to mention but I’ll stop with these, I really hope SE gives serious gamers a deeper and more challenging experience. I’m not against casual gamers, they can be fun to play with, it’s just that they shouldn’t really be the majority or the deciders of how the game system should be.

    Sorry for the long post, and if you’re still reading, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naoki_Yoshida View Post
    Hard-core gamers are hard-core gamers because they are always leading the charge. Following close behind their trailblazing are the “mid-cores.” And then there’s the casual gamers making progress at their own pace.

    To realize the ideal we have in place, we need a powerful matching system capable of connecting all of these players, whatever their rates of progression might be.
    (49)
    Last edited by ShellQ8; 03-20-2013 at 02:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Player
    nasomi's Avatar
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    Pocket Hockey
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    to long for me to read, but seems like you were on the right track.
    (3)
    http://www.pocket-hockey.com <-My ffxiv adventure!

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  3. #3
    Player
    Alaltus's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Mementus Veventus
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    Sargatanas
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    Good read totally agree =)
    (4)

  4. #4
    Player
    Orophin's Avatar
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    Limsa Lominsa
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    Orophin Calmcacil
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    GLADIATOR Lv 50
    As an amateur league bowler, I have to say that was a pretty terrible analogy comparing bowling to gaming.

    Bowling's structure (like most sports) is determined at the professional level. Casual and amateur bowlers bowl 10 frame games because that's how the game was made. If they determine it's better overall at the professional level to only have five frames per game, that's where changes will be made and it will affect everyone else.

    There is no professional level of gaming in MMOs. There is content developed that only a small portion of the playerbase will ever accomplish, but the game as a whole has to be designed to attract more than that small selection of people else the game wouldn't make money, and that's the point of making any kind of product.

    All I can take from your post is based on what little bit of information is out about the game, you're afraid it's going to be too easy and ONLY cater to people who only have a couple hours a day to play. If the boss fights designed in 1.0 are any indication, there will be challenging content that only a small percentage of the playerbase will be able to accomplish. But there will also be plenty of content that EVERYONE will get to enjoy.

    This is a game designed for a large amount of people to play, (massively multiplayer?) not just a select few. Just like bowling. 128 people compete for 4 spots at the pro level tournaments. Those are your hardcores. Amateur league bowlers and people who just come in to have fun are your midcores and casuals.
    (14)

  5. #5
    Player
    Zezlar's Avatar
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    Athalia Hartfell
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    Excalibur
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    LANCER Lv 50
    Very well thought out post. I agree with many (most) elements of it but the 1 month to level up part was a bit extreme, even though i'm sure you said it to make a point.
    (1)

  6. #6
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    Queezy's Avatar
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    Queezy Fbaby
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    Hyperion
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    CONJURER Lv 50
    good read OP, and actually there is a professional level of gaming.. MLG Major league gaming.. and yes they do get paid and yes they do have sponsors. most of them prolly gross yearly more then alot of people who work a 9-5 with a college degree.

    Also sorry to say but the game is going to be softcore the devs have already given light to that. If your hardcore you are prolly not going to like the game sorry to say. I cant be 100% sure but with the way its looking right now its not going to be a hardcore based game. The sad truth is casuals are the majority and not to mention they are the most loud people on the forums. They post the most, complain the most, and the people who beg for Dev attention. Most hardcore player will keep up with the current info but rather play the game and accomplish something rather then spending hours a day bickering with other casuals about how the game should be catered to their every need.

    Im like most i dont mind casuals but I do mind when a game that has so much potential is catered to them because THEY dont want to invest the time. Whats even funny to me is nowadays I see a lot of self proclaimed casuals with like 2000 post on the forums. Im like if they spent all of that time on the forums actually playing the game they wouldnt even be considered casual at that point.
    (10)

  7. #7
    Player
    Platinumstorm's Avatar
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    Chardut Mazzma
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    Excalibur
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    ARCHER Lv 50
    So basically, as I'm understanding it, you want only one level of content accessible to only one type of player rather than having different levels of content interspersed throughout the game.

    Nothing says gaming developer success like developing content that almost no one gets to experience.

    Feeling special about hitting max level died in the early 2000s, if it ever even existed.
    (14)

  8. #8
    Player
    Orophin's Avatar
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    Orophin Calmcacil
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    GLADIATOR Lv 50
    Quote Originally Posted by Queezy View Post
    good read OP, and actually there is a professional level of gaming.. MLG Major league gaming.. and yes they do get paid and yes they do have sponsors. most of them prolly gross yearly more then alot of people who work a 9-5 with a college degree.
    I should have been more specific in saying that there's no professional level in MMORPGs. MLG is designed around competitive PvP play, not PvE games.
    (1)

  9. #9
    Player
    Deli's Avatar
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    Deli Denkryst
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    Excalibur
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    GOLDSMITH Lv 50
    did you read this interview? from last month...
    some key point inside answered your main core question:
    Nova Crystallis: I’m curious about your design philosophy when it comes to balancing content created for the more casual player and of course the hardcore users as well.
    Yoshida: Time is key. So all the hardcore gamers – those who really want to complete the latest content straight away and get the rewards the quickest – those people are the more dedicated players. If they really want to do that they will probably need quit their job just to play XIV. Now for the casual players, if they don’t have enough time, or want to play as long as they want whenever they want – they can still complete the end game content if they don’t rush. The way I want to address the balance is not to lower the difficulty straight away – that’s not fair to those who have paid attention and are putting a lot of effort into the game. They want challenge, so I want to give challenge to the hardcore gamers. But if we leave it too difficult, the casual gamers will never be able to complete the content, so after a while I may prepare a sort of easy mode or a buffer that makes users stronger. Again, I won’t do that straight away because I want the hardcore users to have a challenge first, and then later down the line the casual users will receive help from our end. That’s sort of how I imagine hardcore players enjoying the game and casual users enjoying the game.
    so HC players can still show off their fancy gears for months, then later these will become standard gears like these old 1.0 dungeon stuffs before
    (2)

  10. #10
    Player
    ArkhamNative's Avatar
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    Ul'dah
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    Santori Zhonets
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    Balmung
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    CONJURER Lv 50
    A better bowling analogy would be that the "hardcore" league would bowl 9 games a night (instead of 3), multiple nights a week. And the non-hardcore league would bowl the standard 3 games per night, once a week. (Each bowler could join one or more leagues if they had the time.) And if there is some "casual" (as in Bejeweled?) level of bowler, they could bowl maybe partial games at lunchtime, after dinner or weekends, to add up to 3 full games per week.

    Note that all these leagues could coexist in the same bowling building. And the leagues would of course have separate prize pools based on number of games bowled.

    I also liked what Yoshi-P said in that quote:
    So all the hardcore gamers – those who really want to complete the latest content straight away and get the rewards the quickest – those people are the more dedicated players. If they really want to do that they will probably need quit their job just to play XIV.
    Sounds like there are tons of "hardcore" (i.e. requires large blocks of time) content already planned.
    (2)
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