Conflict within Vana'diel has slowly been gaining popularity among the adventurers of Vana'diel. With Ballista now in full swing for some time, people have started wanting more from their battles. Whilst open dueling has been frowned upon by officials with Jeuno, a new method of conflict is quickly becoming needed.
Also, adventurers are finding that there is little to do in Vana'diel other than training and protecting their home cities from invasion from the Beastmen. They need a form of recreation that they can visit to relax and unwind after a hard day of training.
The Arena. A huge construction built just off from Qufim Isle, designed purely for the purposes of entertainment. Unlike Ballista, where adventurers are pitted against each other in the wild, the arena would be an area where people could not only hone their skills against fellow adventurers, but against beasts as well. People could also watch from the stadium, cheering for their favorite competitors, showering the winners with glory, and possibly gain some tactics they can use in their own fighting.
The Arena itself would be accessible from the three major cities (Bastok, San d'Oria and Windurst) as well as Jeuno itself. No requirements would be needed, just speak with one of the Arena staff to get transported to the entrance.
Once at the arena itself, there will be a variety of services available. Obviously, you'll be able to go to the main arena and witness whatever fight is in progress at the time. You can also go to one of the smaller arenas for some of the smaller fights (this will be dependant on what the fights are, there may only be a set amount of 'public' arenas). You'll be able to purchase various food and drink from the vendors to enjoy whilst watching the fights, or even to eat to prepare for your own battles.
Each main arena also will have people around to take bets for the fights. Each fight will have certain odds, and will allow bets up until a certain amount of time before the battle starts. So not only is there advantages to fighting, but watching as well!
If you want to hone your fighting skills without the threat of losing any of your well earned experience, then you can fight in the arena! With the ability for one on one fights all the way up to full alliances waging war on each other, you can either join alone, or sign up with two opposing forces for a friendly fight.
If you want to practice your tactics against some of the rarer fiends of Vana'diel, then you can do that as well. Want to pratice fighting against Kirin? Or King Behemoth? Fight against them here! Of course, you won't get the rare drops these enemies usually provide, but you can hone your abilities so when you do decide to go up against them, you're already ready for it. You can also use it to practice new skills in a safe setting. Just learnt Convert and Refresh, but want to practice using them without costing your party any experience? Come and try a few rounds in the arena!
Fights will cost you varying amounts of gil based on the type of fight you are participating in, varying from relatively low costs for 1v1 duels, to larger costs for the Kirin or King Behemoth fights. These larger fights will be hosts on the public arenas where possible to allow people to watch them.
If you want to 'hire' a smaller, private arena for a party, you can pay for a set amount of time, but have full access to a variety of tools. These will include spawning monsters, clearing the arena, resetting skill timers, and other abilities that you will find useful whilst training as a party. It gives people the ability to practice their skills in a safe environment so when they do train for real, they're prepared. This area may also include preset simulations such as dealing with links, creating chains, and magic bursts/skill chains.
If you simply want to relax and watch some fighting, then you can spectate on one of the public arenas. The main arena is always going to be a spectacular battle, with either full alliances fighting it out, or groups taking on some powerful enemies! Grab a seat, cheer on your favorite team (even if it's the enemy!), and possibly learn a thing or two! The smaller arenas will still contain duels and smaller fights for you to watch as well, if the main arena isn't to your liking.
The smaller for hire arenas will allow spectators by invitation only. This would allow groups to organise mentors to come in and give them advice on the tactics they're working on, or simply just to watch them.
The smaller areans will be free for spectators. The larger public arenas will cost a small amount of money for your seat. However, there will be different payment options, ranging from purchasing a single ticket up to purchasing month long passes or yearly passes (with prices set appropriately).
Unsolicited casinos are always a problem within Vana'diel. You have no guarantee that the person will even pay out if you 'win' their odds. The arena will have gamblers around that you can bet with on the outcome of battles. The odds will be set appropriately, and will change based on how much money is bet. There will be a maximum amount you are able to bet on a particular fight to avoid people coming in and dropping a few million on a fight to reduce the odds for everyone else.
In order to create different types of fights, various rules could be put into place. These could be as simple as a free for all setting, all the way up to an even playing field where everyone is given a set equipment list and spell list for the fight in order to ensure the fight will be based on skill, not equipment. Obviously you would have to select what type of ruleset you wanted to compete in to ensure this is not abused, but this would allow people who cannot afford or don't have the resources to get all the 'best' gear to still compete and have fun.
This is basically features that would be nice, but don't necessarily have the basis in the game to work as it currently is.
Firstly, the ability for the arena to be cross-server. I'm aware there are firstly naming issues with this (players with the same name), as well as just the technical problems involved to begin with. But it would ensure the arena was booked out at virtually all times, and allow you to meet up with people on other servers whom you usually wouldn't be able.
Secondly, a free range camera, or at least the ability to see what a player is seeing. This would be only for spectators to avoid abuse, but would allow you to truely 'spectate' rather than just standing on the sidelines.
Reasons for SE to implement the Arena
The concept of the arena as a PvP tool would, I believe, be a boon for Final Fantasy. With many new MMORPGs being released nowadays such as World of Warcraft or Guild Wars that have a very strong PvP system in place, it's important for the future for SE to consider expanding the PvP options available in FFXI in order to not only keep people who are considering leaving in this game, but to attract new people who play the game for the PvP component. The rulesets will allow new players to compete immediately by increasing their level and skills temporarily, and will give them the ability to 'see' what their job is capable of as they level up, giving them a reason to level.
By creating the extra content, making it accessible to everyone (the Zilart missions are basically for 60+, and Chains of Promathia ones for 30+) regardless of any conditions, you will provide an extra time sink in the game. And since it is completely optional, and also provides the ability to 'train' in a safer setting, people not interested will continue doing what they are now, and those that feel they need extra training can come here. With any luck, it may even begin to solve the problem of 'horrible' parties that has often led to people not playing for periods of time.
It also creates another gil sink in the game. With real money trade becoming more and more of an issue, as shown by the inflation on various servers (over 400% on some items, depending on server), this will provide another way for money to disappear from the economy. However, with the gambling component, it will also provide a way for people to gain money without having to 'farm', which is another reason people leave the game. This would still be open to abuse by teams taking a dive in order to win money, and a solution would need to be found for this (suggestions are welcome.)
Please, feel free to comment on this and offer any suggestions for improving it.
I was just perusing through the main boards and someone was pointing out the lack of any real type of gambling in Vana'diel, and suggested chocobo racing as a form of gambling. Since the type of gambling suggested earlier is open to abuse, then why not gamble on chocobo races?
Much like the system in Final Fantasy 7, where you can see all the various statistics on the chocobos that are racing, you can bet on the chocobos, and then watch them race around the arena. Since the chocobos would not be player controls, the system is not open to anywhere near as much abuse.
Other forms of gambling and entertainment
Whilst on the topic of chocobo races, and the resignation to the fact betting on fights with players is flawed, other forms of gambling could be made available, much like Final Fantasy 7. Instead of just fighting, the arena could become much like the Golden Saucer, providing all kinds of entertainment and ways for players to whittle away their time whilst not being overly dependant on a player attaining a certain level.
Rewards for HNM 'practice' fights
People often complain that the Japanese have an unfair advantage over the rest of the world when it comes to camping HNMs. Personally I haven't experienced this first hand, however I've read through many of the solutions that people have proposed to it, ranging from making any drops Rare/Ex to forced spawns.
Whilst I'm not sure why SE have not implemented the forced spawn idea (most likely through a lengthy quest to obtain the item needed to still create the time sink with less frustration), if these monsters could be fought in the arena, you could have the option of paying a much larger fee for the fight, but still be able to get the drops. The fee could be variable based on the recent auction prices of the items the HNM could drop, or it could be a fixed price (although this would likely have to be in the millions, however split across multiple people, it would be easily achieveable).
Keep in mind tactics used in fights such as swapping groups of mages in and out so they can regain their MP would not be valid in the arena since only the alliance participating in the fight would be able to enter. So it may even be a more difficult fight than usual.
Another alternative would be to still only host one of these fights every 24 hours or whatever the typical spawn time happens to be, but instead of having to 'claim' the HNM, a tournament would be held beforehand, with the winning team being given the right to fight. This would still leave the system much like it is now, except that instead of it being a battle of who has the fastest fingers or the quickest voke macro, the team who can successfully defeat the other would be given the right to fight the HNM, eliminating the bickering between HNMLSs and people quitting due to the endgame being 'biased' towards people in Japan. (Once again, this observation is just that, an observation, I haven't tried to claim a HNM myself before.)
Match Style - Gauntlet
Borrowing from the arena in the Golden Saucer in Final Fantasy 7, a gauntlet match would pit either an individual or a group against increasingly difficult enemies (or groups of enemies). A level cap would be placed on participants based on the difficulty of the fight.
The objective would be to get through as many battles as possible without having everyone in the party die. A dead player would not be able to be resurrected in the gauntlet, meaning gradually players will fall until none are left.
At the end of each fight, prizes will be awarded and added to a pool. You will be given the option after each fight to take the prize pool, or continue fighting. By continuing to fight, you risk losing the entire contents of the prize pool, however the prize amounts increase as you fight.
Edited, Thu Jun 16 12:45:01 2005 by Drusenija