I don't think most casuals mind losing against boss fights so much. But when on top of losing, you lose a substantial amount of progress, that frustrates most players.
Frustration should be the obstacle of advancement. Whether it's a grind or simply small attention span. We're dumbing down what a "casual" is in a mmo if thats what we're aiming for. MMO is a particular commitment. There are plenty of games to make "casuals" forget their day to day. MMO is a particular commitment. The sooner we realize any given mmo will never be Halo the better off the industry is. MMO is a segregated group. Chuck and Osbourne commercials may make us believe it's a big world but reality is once the dust settles here we all are. MMO won't be Zelda. Ever. Sell to the real mmo casual. Not the gamer casual.
I'm torn on this issue.
On the one hand, I hate hate hate repeating content over and over.
On the other, I hate the "way too easy" story missions of FFXIV. I'm not talking about the Grand Company Quests, as those got quite challenging, but the original story missions, designs so that DOL/DOH could do them.
An example of a poor use of frustration as an obstacle: The run through Castrum Novum for the GC quest.
For those who didn't play that far, you basically have to run through an area filled with imperial enemies and high level magiteck enemies, while timing it to run through a series of doors that are on a 1 game hour timer to open and close. It was unreasonable to fight through, so everyone would run and train enemies through.
That run through could regularly end a group before even challenging the content. If you failed the fight inside, you had to run through it again, risking death and dismemberment. This isn't a major issue for groups that know each other, but it highly discouraged helping PUGs, when I would regularly help for other quests. The likelihood for in-fighting and frustration and a general bad time was too high.
I think having Hard Mode fights is the correct way. I helped many of my friends through the GC content because they wanted to experience the story, but they avoided harder content like Garuda (Hard) and Rivenroad (Hard).
Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 9:23am by Louiscool