Professor Shock Vlorsutes wrote:
I know there was a topic already created specifically asking about the verdict of the new jobs, but I was curious as to everyone's take on the expansion and the past update as a whole. I know some people here and there have mentioned bits and pieces of what they liked and disliked about it, but I figured we can have just one topic to cover all of it. So feel free to talk about zones, quests, jobs, etc.
As a whole, I think this expansion starting out is very solid. It's a good deal more interactive than Wings of the Goddess, with people needing to assignments in order to have direct impacts on what the whole server unlocks in terms of weapons, armor, etc. It's not like Campaign where you could do a few things, then just leave it for a good while and not do anything. It takes a fair amount of cooperation amongst everyone on the server to make progress in the proper coalitions to unlock new things, which I find a lot more interesting of a concept.
The zones are nice and varied, giving us a wide range of areas that, while they may feel familiar, are also quite foreign to us. It's been a long time since I've been in a zone that's truly allowed me to get lost running through it, but I went into the Cirdas Caverns a couple nights ago without a map and just ran around completely lost for a good 15 minutes. Some people may not like such things, but I honestly found it quite refreshing, since we've not had new zones quite like that in a long time. Combine that with having zones full of enemies that can once again potentially kill us quick, and it gives a nice sense of nostalgia.
The quests so far have been pretty enjoyable. Not too difficult (outside of that stupid Demolition KI), but still taking some time and running around. With the bayld rewards and how good/necessary bayld bought items are, most all of them are worth doing. It's a good way to make them pertinent to do and not just busy work.
The jobs...I don't know about Geomancer since I haven't unlocked or leveled yet, but I really enjoy Rune Fencer. It's still a really new, young job and I'm certain it'll see many changes in the near future to adjust and balance it out, but as it stands I find it a lot of fun. I can't wait for Naakuals to be unlocked in order for tanking in "end game" situations to come up again for them. It'll be interesting to see how well they fare in those situations.
While I wish there were a few more tracks, I enjoy most all the music available so far. I really, really enjoy the theme for areas like Ceizak, and I've found the Reive tune rather catchy, though a bit out of place for FFXI.
All in all, I think this is probably the more solid expansion release for the game. Far more enjoyable than Wings of the Goddess, and personally more enjoyable than Chains of Promathia. It'll be interesting to see if it can keep this pace (if not improve on it) as more content for it comes out.
Dammit, I want to play. Curse you, finances!
I'm having fun with GEO but I can't see myself making it a main job. Or even a toy job. I'm not sure what role SE planned for it, but I've already got a job that does AOE buffs and it has a relic horn and empyrean harp.
The Adoulin storyline is kind of directionless. I registered as a pioneer, explored the city to get all the waypoints, and then went "now what?"
I'm not really that interested in the white haired chick NPC we met yet. I think I needed another cutscene with her to find out what's her deal and get my actually interested in helping them out.
I dunno, I've kind of been avoiding reading about SoA's story until I can actually get in to play it myself, but Directionless doesn't really sound to uncommon for the first set of missions. Both ToAU and WotG were pretty story-lite and fuzzy when they first came out.
I love it. I dislike they expect the community to work together when that's something people dislike doing given the push to doing things with as few people as possible.
As time goes on I see that becoming a problem that they'll have to address, too. I'm expecting a repeat of Campaign where as less interest exists, the more they'll need to water it down so fewer and fewer people can do it without having their reproductive organs handed to them on a darksteel platter.
Honestly, I think that's just the double-edged sword of FFXI in general. It's always been a group-oriented game, I don't think it will ever fully escape that. I also don't necessarily think it's a bad thing, but SE just doesn't have the best way of going about it, given how poorly content has aged. Part of the problem was that they sort of half-heartedly tried to make things more solo-friendly with abyssea, and the second that happened, the game got flooded by people who hadn't wanted to bother with it because they had to rely on other people too much. That group of people, and the group of people who'd always thrived in the game, that prefer group content, don't mix well. They never mix well. That's a major part of why the game's community has changed so radically in the last few years (aside from the game aging and the players just growing up and moving on with their lives). The problem that arose from the new influx of a completely different type of player is that those players aren't the type who are really all that interested in regular coordinated group work, and the content at the time didn't heavily require it, and greatly favored pick-up groups. That it became the norm for randomly assembled pick-up groups to be able to pull off the same sh*t sort of spat in the face of all of those long-time groups that had become so good at what they did through practice and experience.
I need to log in this week and give the expansion another chance. But, as a career Mage, I am very unimpressed so far. I really thought SE made the perfect co-op event with campaign, and more use of that formula would have made colonization efforts seem much more inviting. I also wasn't aware that you needed to do 40 quests before you could advance the story. That seems excessive, especially considering how little fun I am having being a Mage in this expansion, which was clearly designed to give Dd jobs a huge advantage.
Campaign was broken from the time it was introduced and has never really worked right. I don't think it's really fair to call it the perfect co-op system, given how many completely different iterations it's had, especially given that no one was happy with every single one of them. Hell, when campaign first came out, it heavily favored melees and screwed over mages. Then it heavily favored idlers and @#%^ed everyone else. Then soloers, then idlers, then anyone with good AoE, and at it's present state, the only way you'd really be able to excel is if you could tank, but then the level cap went up, and the event just died. TBH, I've always preferred besieged to Campaign, but that's entirely my own bias. Besieged was plagued by all the same problems, and I'm certain reives will be absolutely no different.
Still not found a reason to buy this expansion yet but I am still having fun doing old stuff.
(Mostly because I enjoy helm/crafting more atm which is something I can do without help.)
If or when you decide to purchase SoA, a lot of the development of the new continent will be done already. That's what people are working toward now. It's interesting to see it happening in real time as colonization % increases, new npcs and items are unlocked, and it becomes easier to get around. I just think it's pretty cool to witness and be a part of. Honestly, I think that you're missing out (if you care about such things).
This is the one thing I was kind of hesitant about with this expansion. SE has to realize that their players at this point are going to blitz through content. The bulk of those players who would really love this sort of expansion premise have long since quit, and by the time they come around to getting back into the game to play with the new stuff, and catching up with what they've missed, all of the exploration and colonization fun is going to be long since done and overwith.
The players have been content starved for years now, since abyssea ended, and unless there's some pretty crazy ass mechanics in play that we don't know about, I don't know how they think they're going to keep the "Explore and Tame this vast land yourselves!" magic alive more than a couple of months.
Outsider's perspective leaves me thinking it's all just very incomplete, but that's kind of been SE's MO with releasing expansions and it still baffles me that more people aren't critical about getting 20% of a product on sale. The colonization cockblock might not make it as obvious to some, but there are people basically sick of having nothing to do buy run rieves with the fear fighting Naakuls(sp) requires a 100k bayld temp KI that poofs when you enter the area (thus lots more rieve farming). Meanwhile, as nice as the skirmish weapons sound, getting the pops is its own little circle of hell.
RUN and GEO still need some of their own perfection tweaks, but I also question SE's "Let's see how players use them..." tactic since it usually leads to the branding of being useless or pigeonholed into something passably useful, even if not themely. Could basically call it the chicken or egg effect that, as an example, has led to RDM being considered a backline support job by the general population because it lacked variety and oomph to do anything else acceptably.
I'm kind of in the same position. The player in me really wants to get in and get my hands dirty, but the realist knows how quickly I'll end up disappointed by how little their always is during those first few months, and with how hard-pressed my finances are atm, I just can't motivate myself to pay the current price. Pay-to-beta-test is a highly hit or miss business plan. Minecraft did it extraordinarily. FFXI has not one single time done it well.
As far as the new jobs go, I agree with SE's intentions, "let the players figure out what they want to do with them", but disagree with the their actually doing it, because they did the same sh*t with the ToAU jobs, and the WotG jobs, and the end result was the same every single time. The players get an unfinished product, quickly declare it worthless, then take @#%^ing years to even acknowledge that it's long since been fixed, because it takes @#%^ing years for them to finish the damn things, and even then, they're never completely in line with what the players want to use them for. They're horrible at understanding "what the players want to use them for" in spite of asking and trying to figure it out. It's like, they ask us what we want, and then think "Well sh*t, that's not what we wanted at all. Let's compromise; 75% what we want, 20% in the middle, and 5% of what you guys want."