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Hiromichi Tanaka joins GungHo Online EntertainmentFollow

#27 Sep 21 2012 at 2:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well in the case of XIV, it was Komoto who came up with the fatigue system/armoury system etc.

I think the problem was what many others have already said, Tanaka didn't put his foot down and gave them too much freedom, to the point where we got XIV 1.0.
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#28 Sep 21 2012 at 6:31 AM Rating: Good
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UltKnightGrover wrote:
Well in the case of XIV, it was Komoto who came up with the fatigue system/armoury system etc.

I think the problem was what many others have already said, Tanaka didn't put his foot down and gave them too much freedom, to the point where we got XIV 1.0.

And thats why Tanaka got the boot. He can take credit for what XI used to be (not now he cant because all the major changes appeared when XIV was being released on 1.0).

He can also take credit for XIV 1.0 but not 2.0.

Its the same in any business, sports team, department - if a bad job is being done the question is raised with the boss.
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#29 Sep 21 2012 at 8:21 AM Rating: Decent
Here's a more in depth discussion on what a producer is.

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/so-you-want-to-be-a-producer
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#30 Sep 21 2012 at 5:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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What I really don't understand is why did he pass the buck to the crew? If he had came out and said he was under pressure from higher up to move it out the door and his hands were tied then that would fall in line with what many people thought happen. He could have even throw in how he objected to this and got overruled. So many ways to save a little face with out throwing the people UNDER him under the bus.
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#31 Sep 21 2012 at 6:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Ff XI changed with times. All mmos are basically the same now. Much as you guys hate it WoW was the biggest influence of the modern mmo model.
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lol so saw this coming, the whole "illness" nonsense was typical JP company behaviour to simply be fired or quit without losing face.

His post about XIV failing due to the rest of the team and XI being where it is today (lol) due to him is rather guiling, what an asshat.

Have to agree with this.

Yes Tanaka built the foundation of XI but lets face it, it had far too much wrong with it but because we (well me) loves Final Fantasy we just couldnt leave it. It took forever to do anything, forever to get anything and the first message "Dont forget about your friends and families" even though you needed to be a hardcore gamer to play it.

The game become much better when Tanaka went to XIV, become much more accessible and now you dont need 5/6 hours just to get 1 thing done. If you think back, content wise there wasnt much to do - with the level limit removed you can go burn through it all so quickly. Only reason why it took forever to do anything was because you usually needed full party/Alliance setup, compete for pop items, compete for everything just to get that 1 single item.

Ask your self this if it wasnt final fantasy, how many would have jumped ship a long time ago. I for one was close to quiting, gave up spending hours just to get 1 item or that 1 level - **** 5 hours seeking says it all.

Tanaka helped build a foundation which had too many flaws but we all accepted it. Now though the game is much better and if it was released in this style would probably of done better. As for the XIV, he was the big boss of it. Its his responsibility to make it work and his fault which is why he got booted.

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#32 Sep 21 2012 at 8:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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FFXI is far behind games like WoW with how much the RNG comes into play. FFXI uses it to such a extent that people just stop doing the content not because something better came along but simply the reward to effort is just to high. While Abyssea is very much like WoW with rewards but the Devs decided that was a mistake and we got VW and neo-nni.
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#33 Sep 21 2012 at 9:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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RavennofTitan wrote:
What I really don't understand is why did he pass the buck to the crew?

I guess the Japanese culture isn't that different from our own. This whole story reminds me of the drama around Diablo 3 a while back, where the guy who originally made Diablo gave some criticism of the crew that made D3.
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#34 Sep 22 2012 at 2:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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svlyons wrote:
RavennofTitan wrote:
What I really don't understand is why did he pass the buck to the crew?

I guess the Japanese culture isn't that different from our own. This whole story reminds me of the drama around Diablo 3 a while back, where the guy who originally made Diablo gave some criticism of the crew that made D3.



That is a bit different though. Tanaka was trying to save face. Blaming the higher ups would have saved him more and the people who bought 14 would have accepted that more then blaming the crew. Was the guy who made the first Diablo have anything to do with the third game.














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#35 Sep 22 2012 at 3:57 AM Rating: Good
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RavennofTitan wrote:
svlyons wrote:
RavennofTitan wrote:
What I really don't understand is why did he pass the buck to the crew?

I guess the Japanese culture isn't that different from our own. This whole story reminds me of the drama around Diablo 3 a while back, where the guy who originally made Diablo gave some criticism of the crew that made D3.



That is a bit different though. Tanaka was trying to save face. Blaming the higher ups would have saved him more and the people who bought 14 would have accepted that more then blaming the crew. Was the guy who made the first Diablo have anything to do with the third game.


Yeah, that's a completely different scenario.

Tanaka's basically trying to take credit for everything that went right, and state it's not his fault for everything that went wrong. It's not an all or nothing position, but considering that he's basically in charge of both projects (but probably doesn't actually DO what he's taking credit for) we can all call ******** on his interview. It reeks of self-importance and arrogance.

The Diablo 3 debacle is a whole other can of beans. One of the major faces for Diablo II was asked to give his opinion on the state of Diablo 3. He did, but it wasn't a glowing review (and points out what the playerbase has been screaming at Blizzard since it's launch) so Jay Wilson and crew got upset ("**** that guy!"). There's way too much to get into here and it'll drag it off topic but the entire issue was the crew of Diablo 3/Jay Wilson is that they're stuck to their guns, tried to assured that their was way the right one, or flat out lied when it came to answering questions.

Both situations had a head guy in charge (Tanaka/Wilson) that is assured his way is the only way forward and believes that only with his way can players have fun. Anytime there's a problem or a major populace upset with a decision it just slids off of their back like water because in each of his eyes, he can do no wrong.
#38 Sep 22 2012 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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Tanaka wrote:
"I helped mold Final Fantasy XI into one of the best MMO formats on the market

I can't stop laughing.
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#39 Sep 23 2012 at 3:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Thanks for the info, like I said, it is outside my bailiwick.

UltKnightGrover wrote:
The Director has creative freedom and the Producer oversees everything and makes sure all the sectors of the team have a unified vision.


I could see that making it difficult for the Producer to do the job that you have described, a very unenviable position.


Except that this is an east asian company and that's not how it works in east asian business's (China / SK / Japan). Their far more authoritarian in their approach. The guy on top, whatever his title, puts out his overall vision and plans, the guys under him take that vision and hammer out the details. If they disagree or have an idea they can not say so, instead you must work your disagreement and new idea into a pitch and make it look like it was the boss's idea to begin with. Team meetings are about the members giving reports to the boss and the boss telling everyone what they'll do while they all write down notes, no group discussion or brain storming. Every decision must be vetted and written off by "the boss", there is very little independence going on. The boss is "the boss" and takes 100% responsibility for the project, it doesn't matter the title on the door. It's extremely rigid and absolutely exhausting to work in.

The entire reason we saw such a HUGE change from Tanaka FFXI to Tanaka-FFXIV-FFXI (Abyssea) to Tanaka-returns-FFXI is that a different guy was running things and thus you got a different vision / policy statements. You went from a guy who worships the status-quot (Tanaka) to someone who wanted to progress the game and change the dynamics of the game (whomever was running FFXI while Tanaka was busy). Tanaka got back and saw that the game had been progressed and changed to reflect more modern MMO's, he didn't like that as it violated his previous vision of FFXI and then did whatever he could to bring it back to how it was prior to him leaving (Voidwatch / NNI). Everything that was wrong with FFXIV was told to the developers during the beta, absolutely nothing was done about it, it wasn't a time issue. The "new boss" is / has been doing things differently and this can easily be seen in the different tone on the forums, and the production of FFXIV 2.0. New boss new vision, new policy's.

This isn't a bash Tanaka rant, the guy was amazing at making single player console RPGs that did not need to change with their player base. MMO's on the other hand need to change with their players or they face evaporating and eventually dieing. They need a development staff who is open to ideas and experimentation and doesn't have a set vision for the game. I expect Tanaka to help create several more single player games in his career and I look forward to playing them.
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#40 Sep 23 2012 at 4:28 AM Rating: Good
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I wish Tanaka the best in anything he now takes on in life.

That said, im quite happy a new guy is in charge, coming back after a few years away i could not have been more happy to see some of the "titans grip" attitude on "fun" being lessened with Abyssea, changes to dynamis accessability etc. ++1 imo.

ffxi could do so much better profit wise if they could simply learn to r e l a x...ease up and enter this century with their line of thinking.. its an old game yup, but the core isnt too bad still, its huge and still has potential to lure a new fanbase IF they could finally realize fun=reward , fun=realistic time frames and "fun" should exist with similar rewards, for every playstyle.

honestly if the new team can see through that, ffxi would draw in a larger playerbase even to this day.Oo

perhaps not millions....but definatley it would appeal to many more people. im very suprised that over the years they chose "non rewarding ultra drool-inducing timesinks" as their base design....errr....and by doing so they directly chose to make less money. somewhat....bizarre imo

i adore ff11 for many reasons!!!! , but rng, and old school thinking is certainly not the reason nor ever was.

11 will always be better then 14 no matter what they do to 14., just modernize it...upgrade the look to 2012 lv graphics, the feel of the game, the mindset of the profitable games nowadays, do away with the tedious time sinks and utter ridiculous/extreme gil sinks that prove nothing other then some have way to much time on their hands Oo.

allow 11 to be what it always could have been, let loose, lighten up and start to see what makes games popular today and......change!....its OK :oD

at any rate good luck to Tanaka and i have my fingers crossed (and toes) for our new leaders ^^

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#41 Sep 23 2012 at 9:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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saevellakshmi wrote:
This isn't a bash Tanaka rant, the guy was amazing at making single player console RPGs that did not need to change with their player base. MMO's on the other hand need to change with their players or they face evaporating and eventually dieing. They need a development staff who is open to ideas and experimentation and doesn't have a set vision for the game. I expect Tanaka to help create several more single player games in his career and I look forward to playing them.


This is ultimately what it comes down to.

WHY Tanaka was chosen to frontline FFXI from the beginning I'm not sure. Was it because of seniority, or merely because he was one of the few remaining from when the company started?

FFXI didn't exactly launch smelling like a bed of roses. The servers had severe issues for nearly two months, the authentication servers completely invalided a few hundred key codes from boxed launches (and those players were told to simply go buy another box...), and the company received severe negative press at the time for not honoring the simultaneous global launch they stated they would in an early press conference. This doesn't even go into the game stability.

It reeked of a lot of communication issues both internally and externally. Some forget but FFXI *did* originally launch with an official forum that was eventually taken down. Why? Because the Japanese players were severely critical (well, as "severe" as JP players can be at times) of the game and its issues. Tanaka and crew didn't want to hear it and instead of facing the truth simply shut them down. That right there should have sent up red flags that maybe this isn't the guy you want in charge of your foray into an expanding market.

Just reading the article shows he seriously has no idea what he did wrong in the past to make players hate his online contributions to the franchise so much. Offline? Give the man so many projects his head will spin. Online? Keep him the **** away!
#42 Sep 23 2012 at 4:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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WHY Tanaka was chosen to frontline FFXI from the beginning I'm not sure. Was it because of seniority, or merely because he was one of the few remaining from when the company started?


SE has zero experience with MMOs and very little experience with PC gaming. They chose Tanaka due to his stellar involvement with previous Final Fantasy installments. Back in 2000~2002 when SE was making this game MMO's were not nearly as advanced as they are now, EQ was the "big boy" in the market and the primary focus was attaining the next level not obtain super loot. FFXI was designed as a social RPG that forced it's players to work as a team to achieve their objective which typically was leveling up. Heck AF was considered "end game" content.
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#43 Sep 23 2012 at 7:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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saevellakshmi wrote:
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WHY Tanaka was chosen to frontline FFXI from the beginning I'm not sure. Was it because of seniority, or merely because he was one of the few remaining from when the company started?


SE has zero experience with MMOs and very little experience with PC gaming. They chose Tanaka due to his stellar involvement with previous Final Fantasy installments. Back in 2000~2002 when SE was making this game MMO's were not nearly as advanced as they are now, EQ was the "big boy" in the market and the primary focus was attaining the next level not obtain super loot. FFXI was designed as a social RPG that forced it's players to work as a team to achieve their objective which typically was leveling up. Heck AF was considered "end game" content.



Kinda reminds me of my job. I do IT work so people at my workplace automatically assume I'm the go to person for anything with a button or a display. They assume I have the parts, tools, experience, expertise, responsibility, etc. to fix whatever they need fixing based on the fact that I'm good with computers. While there is a chance I could help them, and I do try to do so when possible, I'm not always the best choice. There's some things I just can't do no matter how badly they want me to. SE chose unwisely based on ignorance and/or flawed reasoning just like my co-workers.
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#44 Sep 24 2012 at 3:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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From what I remember of the news back from 2002 which I came across again when I did my NM research a few years ago, which included reading a bunch of translated pages and discussions that were in Japanese, a lot of the tumult was settled by July 2002 (all active discussion of the game, not widespread griping about technical issues) and it seems by mid-late June most of it was settled. There was intense server congestion early on (took someone 12 hours just to enter all their info and log in for the 1st time. Tried it at the noon launch, they got in after 12AM), disconnects, and all the usual stuff. Many companies didn't prepare for the spike of demand right at launch, or they know about it and do nothing and just accept it as part of the process, fixing whatever issues come up. Practically all the issues were technical issues which were often the result of the company being brand new to MMOs. EverQuest's launch had technical problems too. The period of chaos was not as prolonged as indicated. Of course, the pace was slower then and a few weeks of issues (issues gradually declining over that time) might seem outrageous now, but people were more patient then (and had fewer MMOs to choose from).

FFXI & FFXIV were like a yin yang in their launches. FFXI had a lot of technical issues at launch (par for the old school MMO course) but once people got in, they loved the world and updates regularly added a bunch of content, did balancing, and more (2002 had updates in June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec- they were monthly). FFXIV's launch went smoothly on the technical front but once people got in, they loathed the world and the world was slow to update, get new content (just compare the NM timeline. FFXI got a huge load in June, a few weeks in, FFXIV took months just to get a small batch and half a year to get a larger batch).


I think in that whole wall o' grievances against Tanaka the big picture was missed- FFXI stabilized, became profitable very quickly, and attracted and retained many players. FFXI is properly credited to Tanaka as a success, of course, he bears responsibilities for all the complaints people have about it. He seems very old school in how he approached game development. Quite simply, he wasn't cut out for feedback and a back & forth. Might be an issue where a lot of people who were 30+ when the 1st logged onto the internet in Japan just can't take professional critique and criticism from a mass of customers (which online can resemble an angry mob). Younger developers grew up online so they are used to the back & forth process of interacting with people, some happy, some angry in all the online discussions they were a part of as teens and into adulthood. And of course, FFXIV 1.0 is properly credit to Tanaka as a failure. Big success (FFXI), big failure (FFXIV), mixed result.
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#45 Sep 24 2012 at 3:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Camiie wrote:
Kinda reminds me of my job. I do IT work so people at my workplace automatically assume I'm the go to person for anything with a button or a display. They assume I have the parts, tools, experience, expertise, responsibility, etc. to fix whatever they need fixing based on the fact that I'm good with computers. While there is a chance I could help them, and I do try to do so when possible, I'm not always the best choice. There's some things I just can't do no matter how badly they want me to. SE chose unwisely based on ignorance and/or flawed reasoning just like my co-workers.


Every person in the world with technical ability has that happen to them.
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#46 Sep 24 2012 at 4:46 AM Rating: Decent
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jtftaru wrote:
Every person in the world with technical ability has that happen to them.


I'm well aware of that.
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#47 Sep 24 2012 at 5:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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Camiie wrote:
jtftaru wrote:
Every person in the world with technical ability has that happen to them.


I'm well aware of that.


You can help prevent this.

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#48 Sep 24 2012 at 7:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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catwho wrote:
Camiie wrote:
jtftaru wrote:
Every person in the world with technical ability has that happen to them.


I'm well aware of that.


You can help prevent this.


I've got that printed out and posted on my cubicle wall. It seems to help.
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#49 Sep 24 2012 at 9:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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Oh how I wish that worked here... /sigh
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#50 Sep 24 2012 at 10:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Camiie wrote:
Oh how I wish that worked here... /sigh


You think your place is bad?

Try creating a database-driven website from scratch that integrates real time geo-location technology coded by hand that allows for easy identification of customer-engineer compatibility issues on the fly. A website that utilises SMS integration techniques to ensure that the latest information can be relayed to any interested party wherever they are. A site that marries technologies such as PHP, Python, Ruby and Java with HTML5 and a host of JavaScript frameworks to create an interactive experience that maximises resources and enhances the customer experience, ensuring that no matter what browser or OS they are using or what platform, either PC or phone or tablet or whatever, the site operates at peak efficiency with no design flaws.

Try creating that and working round the clock to finish by the ludicrously unrealistic deadline only to show the whole thing to the ever-demanding client who moves the mouse around the homepage and watches a link change colour when he rolls over it, causing him to exclaim, 'I really like that bit'.

Try this, my friend, then you will know true job satisfaction.
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#51TheBarrister, Posted: Sep 24 2012 at 10:14 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Your last sentence and your second sentence imply that you think it's odd that your co-workers are asking IT related questions of IT personnel. Specifically "I do IT work" and "[they] chose unwisely based on ignorance and/or flawed reasoning just like my co-workers".
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