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Imagining FFXI-2Follow

#1 Oct 08 2012 at 12:36 PM Rating: Good
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Like it or hate it, SE has developed a proclivity for revisiting successful installments in the Final Fantasy series and expanding those stories' continuities and universes. There are the myriad FFVII installments, the Tactics-inspired Ivalice Alliance games, FFX-2, FFXII Revenant Wings for the DS, and now SE is capitalizing on FFXIII with XIII-2 and the third, recently-announced Lightning-centric game.

In light of this established practice, and alongside the fact that FFXI is the company's most profitable game, I find it odd that no one has proposed a second installment in the Vana'diel universe, especially given its beautiful and enduring aesthetic, robust history and lore, and dedicated fan base. It seems to me like there would be a market for such a game, and if SE developed it correctly and took a few risks, they could knock this thing out of the park.

In this thread, should inspiration strike you, please feel free to share what you would like to see in a hypothetical "sequel" to FFXI.

I'll start:

A friend recently recommended I try out Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3 (NA release November 2008. I know, I know... /slowpoke.jpg). Valkyria Chronicles, for those who haven't played it, is a squad-based tactical role-playing game. You build teams with different character classes: scouts, shocktroopers, snipers, tanks and anti-tank units, etc. etc., and each class has its strengths and weaknesses. Each class can move a predetermined distance on the field and has a unique skill set. Then your squad faces off against an enemy squad, and you must position your units with an eye for both offense and defense.

It is very easy to imagine a FFXI-themed version of this game. You have the squads (parties/alliances), classes/jobs, and in Valkyria Chronicles, the characters you can select for your squads have different "personalities" and will perform differently depending on their surroundings (characters will perform better if they are on a squad with characters they like, characters with allergies will have lowered accuracy if stationed outside in nature, etc.). It's almost like running an event LS and building optimized parties for different situations, with an eye for both ability and personality.

A FFXI-2 game modeled loosely on the mechanics and gameplay found in Valkyria Chronicles could work well, in my opinion. First, it would be an opportunity to see a "next-gen" version of Vana'diel. I know a lot of XI players want to see a higher-res presentation of their second home, and no; Eorzea doesn't count. This could be an opportunity to provide that.

With that premise established, I'm envisioning a game that could be played either in a single-player story mode(offline), or online with both "co-op" and "versus" modes. Such a game should be designed so that a Final Fantasy fan who has never played FFXI could be able to pick it up, play it, and enjoy it without ever creating a FFXI account.

However, I think the real fun would happen by loosely integrating the two.

For example, an integrated FFXI-2 could scrape player data from the FFXI servers. Imagine being able to "recruit" the characters of your LS mates and use that character data in building your squad(s) in FFXI-2. Perhaps XI players who allow their characters to be "recruited" could earn a small in-game (XI) bonus. In other words, a XI-2 player could build his or her squads from the ground up, using the data found in XI-2 only, and achieve success without missing out on anything vital. Alternatively, the player could recruit LS friends or other players if they want -- maybe for a relic weapon bonus or a "friendship" bonus, or something along those lines.

Seems to me that marketing this would be a slam dunk. FFXI players who want to see what their characters and world would look like interpreted at a "next gen" resolution would be interested. Final Fantasy fans who are curious about XI and Vana'diel, but who don't want to play MMORPGs, would be interested. Veteran and retired FFXI players might be interested in a new play style for their beloved characters, and who knows? It might even inspire a few folks to sub or re-sub XI at this point.

That's my off-the-cuff idea for a FFXI-2 that I would be willing to buy and play. Feel free to expand on it if you like the premise, or to describe something entirely different if that's what you'd prefer to see in such a game. Have fun!
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FFXI Character: Strummer; Server: Odin; 99DNC, 99PUP, 99BRD; LS: Goonies
FFXIV Character: Strummer Sleipnir; Server: Malboro; Archer 24, Goldsmithing 20; FC: Goonies
#2 Oct 08 2012 at 2:00 PM Rating: Decent
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I always thought they could make a single player version of FFXI and have it sell quite well. They would get people who played FFXI as well as every other FF fan to buy the game so there's no reason it would sell poorly. For the story, they could somehow combine all of the 3 nations, CoP, ToAU etc etc... That would make for an extremely long single player game by today's standards so they could offer some of it as DLC as so many companies are fond of doing now.

The characters are already there as well. Whether they introduce new playable characters and keep the current NPCs as story characters, I don't think it would matter. However, making a party with Trion and Shantoto would be pretty sweet... They'd just need to do the voice acting for everyone.

All of the zones are there already. I have no idea what it takes to update the graphics for a new console game, but that's pretty much all that would need to be done. I don't remember how many zones are unused (if any) for missions, but they could cut them out as necessary. Some of the zones are probably quite a bit larger than any recent FF title (sans 14) so they would also need to re-size them as no one wants to take 5-10 minutes to run across one zone in a single player game. Having access to chocos or running faster than the default in XI would be options as well I guess.

Weapons, armor, and magic are all available for them to reuse, and they could come up with new ways to get relic/mythic/emp weapons at the end of the game (no one wants to farm thousands of items multiple times in a single player game). Something similar to how the best weapons in previous FF games were obtained.

They would need to redo the combat system as the one in FFXI wouldn't work well for a single player version. They've made a new version of the combat system in like every single FF game so I don't know how they would go about doing this.

Obvious side quests are available for them to add with the plethora of HNMs/gods and dungeons in FFXI currently.

So yeah... I'd play a single player HD version of FFXI. Not sure about anyone else though :X
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#3 Oct 08 2012 at 8:02 PM Rating: Good
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XII was pretty much their foray into an offline XI. Mechanically, I'd say the game was good enough. Story left a bit to be desired. The FF franchise has also dabbled in the tactical element with FFT. VC just represents an updated interpretation of a tactics game with its own pseudo-military flavor.

Right now, SE really needs to start pumping out more info about Adoulin. A lot of their recent content releases haven't been particularly well received for one reason or another. They also need to get over stuff like the magic cap and constantly saying no to good ideas for job/game updates.
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