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  1. #11
    Player Standstill's Avatar
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    As of October 2023, the most recent official information available, Final Fantasy XIV, had 27 million registered users worldwide. This number includes both active and inactive players. Sharing some info on server populations based on recent FFXIAH Auction House activity:

    Asura: Still the most active server, with over 5,800 characters using the AH in the past 90 days.

    Bahamut: iddle ground with around 3,400 active characters.

    Phoenix & Odin: Both hover around 2,900 and 2,800 characters, respectively.

    Final Fantasy XIV is still going strong. currently, Servers are at max capacity with wait times. Comparing the two by the current player base is asinine. FFXIV will win that battle all day, every day.

    Some of us have taken a break only because of the longer-than-normal development cycle due to COVID-19. It was also an excellent time to revisit FFXI. Not all RPG enthusiasts resonate with every attribute you have listed. Some individuals may value accessibility and quicker experiences over extended commitments.

    Final Fantasy XI was always a game that required teamwork to accomplish your goals. However, regardless of how you "feel" or anyone else, it does not negate the fact that this caused issues. Players in the 75-era could prevent others from seeing, let alone participating in content. Are you suggesting that type of behavior never existed? I can tell you from playing from 2003 until 2008, it most certainly did. Technically that behavior could possibly persist today with content such as Delve.

    What complaints are you speaking about? Please be specific, complaints because their job isn't the current META in Savage? With the current Raid Finder and Party Finder, it is relatively easy to get a pickup group and learn harder content. Or do you suggest that content should be gated? That is an elitist mindset if you feel that way. The only truly gated content in FFXIV is ultimates, which takes some preparation to unlock if you are a new player or a player who wishes to try it. It will still require a group.

    I can see specific minor gripes; however small, they are not game-breaking issues for FFXIV. Crafting was certainly watered down; it could be improved upon.

    Final Fantasy XI just celebrated 20 years did it not? Final Fantasy XI actually began earlier than you might think! Development can be traced back to November 1999. Crystal Tools was the in-house engine developed for creating its online games. Game development originally started on PS2 Dev Kits. This severely limited the graphical capabilities and user interface of this game. To clarify, Square-Enix also uses a heavily modified and updated Crystal Tools development engine for FFXIV and only shares the similarity in name.

    FFXI's uniqueness was also a product of its demise. QoL features that we currently see in the game are features that players asked for and are still hampered by the constraints of the game. Players in FFXIV obviously take for granted the ease of transportation versus what many of us including myself, endured here in FFXI for years. But this is an answer to your statement that player complaints fall on deaf ears.

    FFXI will always be a gem in MMOs and is one of the few that started them all. The current state of FFXI? Honestly, with all the power creep in gear and job points, the game would be better off being remade with modern QoL features similar to FFXIV's in set expansions of the originals. Remove the bloat and keep the good stuff.

    We could go down this rabbit hole, but it's a very complex topic.

    1st post in 20 years.
    (1)

  2. #12
    Player Standstill's Avatar
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    Exactly what plane are you on? The op said that XI was the highest-growing FF game to date, which is correct. However, it hasn't been reported on, so it would be safe to assume that FFXIV has already taken that title.
    (0)

  3. #13
    Player Standstill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal View Post
    FFXI was the highest grossing FF game, what ya talking about like its some massive money pit. The game itself doesn't even require much in terms of investment because its reaped the benefits 10x over. They are going to kill it faster and gain 0 instead of investing a little and maintaining its population/returning players. I swear everyone thinks they are armchair business economists today. If this was the case, why would they ever create another game or remaster/remake any old games when they can simply copy and paste games like WoW, candy crush, fortnite etc? It would be every attempt they make currently.
    For example, making a reasonable attempt at a remake for this game would cost upwards of $400,000,000.00 or more. Companies expect a good ROI on their investment; they are only going to invest capital they know with a good probability of seeing a positive return. They still have to pay the monthly expenses for the maintenance of FFXI. I know, crazy, they have to pay for electricity; sorry if that comes off facetious. The game simply needs to be remade, and simply squabbling about it isn't going to make it happen. Individuals or someone with a lot of conviction would have to provide a pretty compelling argument to remake XI. I suggest to everyone to be happy with what you got. If any new QoL features happen here great, just don't expect a renascence. As for armchair business economists, may you be reminded that individuals who have played, play this game can potentially come from every level of the socio-economic scale. From burger flippers to lawyers. With that being said from an economic point of view, there is just enough player base here to keep the lights on. Enough?
    (0)

  4. #14
    Player Haldarn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Because, as much as I love this game, dumping a ton of money into FFXI is an unsound, risky financial decision. Every cost-benefit analysis I could imagine would tell them the costs are too high and the probable benefit just isn't there. It would probably be more expensive than losing the income from FFXI entirely to change this game in such a way as to bring everybody back and then some.
    That's very basic economics. We can get a bit more advanced for a company the size of Square-Enix.

    Intellectual Property exists on a company's balance sheet as an intangible asset. FFXI's value outside the direct profitability you describe relies on a number of factors; that it has brand association with the Final Fantasy series itself (though granted frustratingly often appears toward the bottom of 'best Final Fantasy' lists despite its profitability, due to perceived inaccessibility for solo play and/or subscription); the investment into transferable assets like characters, models, environments and storylines, progression systems; the significant goodwill from existing and past players of the game.

    Now, for sure, this intangible value is in freefall and will be being written down off the balance sheet at each financial reporting period. It will be seen by accountants as a constant cost that actually isn't offset by current profitability. Of course, there are a number of solutions, directly; remove or combine the subscription, advertise specifically as solo-friendly; continue to generate low-cost content that adds value to the IP, such as storylines with cutscenes (without the constant desire to put in higher and higher tier gear); revitalise existing events and virtually unused assets; treat players like you're not abandoning them, or that they're stupid for continuing to invest their time and money.

    In my opinion, this comes down to a lack of vision and willpower from Fujito-P, and an acceptance from the Yoshi-P that he is the right person for the job despite that. XI was hamstrung by Yoshi-P while he considered it a threat to XIV's growth (before that skyrocketed). There was a period when suddenly a huge Twitch streamer boosted player numbers considerably, the Refriender was developed, a mobile game was outsourced (and was the right solution to take a game like FFXI into the future - see Nexon's V4, which is clearly what they used the aborted XI-R development for), all graphical models were updated into the modern FFXIV engine, a new storyline was kicked off, a fan had shown how easy it was for a professional to upscale textures to HD, and to crown it all off, the 20th Anniversary was around the corner. When that arrived, all we got instead of a glorious future (like most of the other 20yr old MMOs that are still going) was a resignation of Matsui-P, a downsizing of the dev team, confirmation that all that was planned was the conclusion to TVR, and this weird, unwanted museum-ification of the game like it was doing us a favour and how we'd want our subscriptions spent.

    Simply put, if there was a professional at Square-Enix who would fight for FFXI, there is plenty that could be done. If FFXIV could be taken offline for a year after two years of live service to be fixed, a parallel redevelopment of FFXI shouldn't be an issue at all. There are plenty of great things that can be done to the game, which have been discussed at length over the last decade on these forums and elsewhere.

    At the very very least, Square-Enix should be farming out redevelopment of the game into a modern engine that's reasonably future-proof (ie upgradeable) to an independent software house, where their licensing fee can arrest the haemorrhaging IP value.

    I completely sympathise with the OP. XI is suffering because of mismanagement by CBU3, who were so overstretched by XVI (which is very pretty, but just doesn't have a good game system or a good story), that their XIV FanFests have shown that they're well behind schedule on Dawntrail. Yoshi-P's egotistical desire to want to deliver a solo FF game *whilst being in charge of XIV and XI* has led to XI being discarded with bare minimum respect and XIV being in dire straits (patch 6.55 is next Tuesday and is the last new content until Dawntrail, which has an undisclosed 'Summer' release date, but as far as we know may be 31st August - expecting ppl to pay 8mo of subs for zero new content).

    Put someone at the helm of XI who has a passion for its future. Set the standard for what happens to 20yr old MMOs.
    (2)
    It all began with a stone...

  5. #15
    Player Haldarn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standstill View Post
    For example, making a reasonable attempt at a remake for this game would cost upwards of $400,000,000.00 or more.
    XV was $275mil. An XI remake into the XIV environment already has all of the models, it already has all of the storyline, dialogue, cutscenes storyboarded, the drops and drop rates decided, the crafting system, the events, the enemy behaviours, the networking protocols. It would need a new UI (the XIV one is really good, so use that), the environment meshes increased in resolution, could use XIV textures in the main, and exclusive systems coded (please make gearswapping an actual mechanic), etc etc. That's nowhere near the cost of a AAA game, could be done over an extended period by a smaller team, and if announced in advance, would cause huge positivity within the community (as long as we were updated with progress every month like Yoshi-P used to do for XIV).

    My accountancy experience is in healthcare, events and charity, not video games, so I can't budget it accurately, but it's well under $275mil and vastly under the $400mil you quote (which may be an appropriate figure for eg an FFXVII MMO).

    Also consider that while doing this, you're using an existing IP and adding value to it, adding experience to your staff, and solidifying loyalty of your customers, all which have financial value.
    (2)
    It all began with a stone...

  6. #16
    Player Catmato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    pray tell what unsound and risky financial decision do you think they're making?
    Selling their IPs to Embracer group. Focusing on blockchain technology. Avengers. Forspoken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post

    WoW ...
    ...everquest...
    Those are not Final Fantasy games.
    (6)
    It's your server.

  7. #17
    Player Sp1cyryan's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, OP
    (1)

  8. #18
    Player Standstill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haldarn View Post
    XV was $275mil. An XI remake into the XIV environment already has all of the models, it already has all of the storyline, dialogue, cutscenes storyboarded, the drops and drop rates decided, the crafting system, the events, the enemy behaviours, the networking protocols. It would need a new UI (the XIV one is really good, so use that), the environment meshes increased in resolution, could use XIV textures in the main, and exclusive systems coded (please make gearswapping an actual mechanic), etc etc. That's nowhere near the cost of a AAA game, could be done over an extended period by a smaller team, and if announced in advance, would cause huge positivity within the community (as long as we were updated with progress every month like Yoshi-P used to do for XIV).

    My accountancy experience is in healthcare, events and charity, not video games, so I can't budget it accurately, but it's well under $275mil and vastly under the $400mil you quote (which may be an appropriate figure for eg an FFXVII MMO).

    Also consider that while doing this, you're using an existing IP and adding value to it, adding experience to your staff, and solidifying loyalty of your customers, all which have financial value.
    FFXIV 1.0 cost the company a whopping 400,000,000 USD in development and marketing costs. They exceeded the budget in 2011 to increase marketing costs due to dismal subscription and sales rates. FFXIV 2.0 ARR financial figures were never publicly disclosed; however, they did state they went over budget for marketing again. Development costs for 2.0 were lower, considering 2.0 utilized much of the existing infrastructure and assets from 1.0. Many financial analysts highly agree upon that 2.0 was also close to 400,000,000 USD. Square-Enix would have to invest in new server infrastructure for a remake of FFXI.

    Simply put, everything from outside the storyline and dialogue would have to be rebuilt from the ground up. They have that going for them.

    Just to clarify on the subject of XI and XIV 1.0. They both used the Crystal Tools development engine. The latter was modified heavily, but both were technically built for offline play. 2.0 incorporated Luminous tools, allowing the development team to reach their desired results. The current networking protocols for XIV would probably work, but as with everything else would have to be tailored to fit FFXI's environment.

    As I previously stated, a remake could be accomplished by rolling out the game in the same tiered set of expansions as the original. But it would take considerable effort and a large development team to take on such an endeavor. I personally would like to see a remake made.

    There are other ways to achieve the effect of gear swapping; in fact, they coded against it in FFXIV. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be brought to a remake in a new and different form. I have thought of of a system that would fill this role nicely.

    Would I want a true-to-the-original remake? No, not really. The Job/Subjob system yes of course was part of the appeal. From a geographical standpoint in the game, yes the layout of the zones in relation to one another would have to be the same. But there are countless changes that need to be made to the game which would make it more appealing and user friendly.

    FFXIV already uses instanced areas for player congestion; there is no reason to think this couldn't be done for the dungeons in FFXI. The zone could be instanced, you would be allowed to enter solo or via party finder.
    The fate system in XIV is a wonderful idea, that could be used for NMs. The NM" S could also be level synced, and group participation allowed, the chance of drop based off performance to all those who contributed. That would be a fair system for that.
    The crystal and aetheryte system would also have to be incorporated, the use of XIV's UI, flying mounts, and the storage system of XIV, the questing system of XIV, the movement and targeting system of XIV.

    Things that need to be removed.
    1. Having to purchase maps
    2. Being pigeonholed into the use of one subjob. Duel wield anyone (They could honestly allow a set of passive abilities that don't eat up space for further customization without taking away from the subjob system)
    3. Currency Bloat
    4. Group play going from 6 to 5 players.

    As I said, just too much to mention.
    (1)

  9. #19
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal View Post
    Someone doesn't read apparently
    And that someone is you.

    Also you can't really say things like this without speaking to what provoked you to make this kind of immature comment.


    They both used the Crystal Tools development engine.
    I don't think this is correct, and Crystal Tools didn't exist in any capacity at the time FFXI's development began. Please do prove me wrong with citations.


    But there are countless changes that need to be made to the game which would make it more appealing and user friendly.
    What frustrates me is they began to do some things towards this but it all got scrapped. A mouse/keyboard friendly UI with a lot more functionality and customizability was in development and we got to see a *very* early version with placeholder assets on the Test Server. But then it stopped getting updated and we never saw it. players of the game created an upscaled texture set (no new art, just upscaled and smoothed) and it makes the game look a million times better with almost no work and they couldn't be bothered to do that even though it could have been done almost entirely with automation.

    Now obviously that would just be a start, to appeal to modern audiences they'd need to make the experience a lot less clunky, i.e. way less animation lock, ditch the player on player collision, and redo the networking backend so things like loading the inventory which really isn't all that much data don't take forever, which would likely be a big undertaking. But other things like offering higher res or at least simple upscaling of textures could improve the game considerably with not a lot of investment. And then, if those things proved successful, then they might see a potential for return on more investnment.
    (1)
    Last edited by Alhanelem; 01-11-2024 at 06:50 AM.

  10. #20
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    Those are not Final Fantasy games.
    What's your point? I know they're not final fantasy games. They're MMOs that competed with FFXI. Both of which were more successful. FFXI was and is much more of a niche MMO that probably would have faded into obscurity a long time ago if it didn't carry the FF name.


    Selling their IPs to Embracer group. Focusing on blockchain technology. Avengers. Forspoken.
    Well, yes. I definitely agree with these. But I can't fault them too much for seeing how much money is being tossed around with crypto and NFTs and thinking "we can print money with this!" Of course they could have realized also that their current clientele are mostly not interested in such things, but that's another thing entirely.


    In my opinion, this comes down to a lack of vision and willpower from Fujito-P, and an acceptance from the Yoshi-P that he is the right person for the job despite that. XI was hamstrung by Yoshi-P while he considered it a threat to XIV's growth
    FFXI was never a threat to XIV's growth, and unless you have some sort of proof or statement from Yoshida, I do not believe that he ever looked at FFXI in this way. FFXI was declining before he took over the FFXIV project. It is highly improbable that it would have had anything to do with FFXIV's success or failiure. I do however agree with your view on Fujito's lack of vision.

    FFXIV 1.x tried to convert FFXI players (and failed horribly). A Realm Reborn however, basically ignored FFXI entirely and decided to go full fan service mode to attract all the Final Fantasy fans who DIDN'T play FFXI.


    Simply put, if there was a professional at Square-Enix who would fight for FFXI,
    Honestly, there probably is, but they're being shot down by the corporate bigwigs who hold the purse strings, who don't see the probable benefit in spending a lot of money to revive an MMO that just became old enough to drink.

    I sympathize with the OP too, but making a melodramatic "I QUIT" post isn't going to convince SE to do anything, instead it will probably just have them thinking they should cut their losses.
    (1)
    Last edited by Alhanelem; 01-11-2024 at 07:04 AM.

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