Abyssea is almost over, but what comes next eh?
Add-ons are a hit, let's face it. I've not seen a single complaint about the format of the Abyssea battle areas. They were genious.
And I'm sure the dev team are probably thinking "Well how the hell do we top Abyssea..."
Suggestion time! I'm gonna shoot off some ideas, obviously feel free to add what you might like.
Abyssea has already touched on this, the add-ons are, essentially, one giant add-on. We're happy with this! We don't think of it as a cash grab, because the scale of the content is amazing! But use this to your advantage.
You can easily forge a long story throughout the course of 9 months. And remember, skys the limit right!? Abyssea was a success even with the Wings of the Goddess requirement. What's to say you can't make a new Appocolypse Nigh story, only on a much larger scale!
Yeah, remember that first set of Add-ons, they were cool, but eh, not so popular. Don't be skimpy with the story, make it long, interesting, and give it that trademark appeal that FFXI's Main missions were so appealing for.Pointless timesinks should not be a part of this. Forcing us to camp mobs that have a 10% droperate is lame. You never did this type of thing so reliantly in the main mission storylines, why'd you decide to do it now? (See "Striking the balance between easymode and timesink" for more on this)
Remember when people would yearn just to be able to access Sky or Sea, remember how enigmatic and cool those zones were. So how about at the end of each chapter you add a new zone, kind of like a cliffhanger, you can explore the zone, gain stuff but until next update the next area will be locked.
Striking the balance between easymode and timesink
It's hard for me to say, I have little interest in being the best of the best. I play for my own definition of fun. However I'm not ignorant, and I don't deny people do enjoy playing to be the best which is fine! Abyssea was great though, it let people like me go in for a few hours and cap their levels, and for me that's all I did. But for the more hardcore the zone was full of tons of things to do, over the course of a very long time. And I think that's the key, an add-on with depth. Let's look at the story add-ons, it was go do these 12 missions, then your done, never go back. What it could have been was, go do these 12 missions, or if you want to get different items are maybe a better item of this variety go off and do this side-quest and kill this huge NM. But it should really all be optional, forced playstyle has never proven popular.
Less Grind, More fun
I've ALWAYS wanted a zone like this in game, an arcade style zone. The game has tons of minigames tucked away, and some are really fun. Events like the shooting game, chocobo dodging and spot the difference from the sunbreeze fest are just a few. If not, at least add more fun games to the mission sets. I remember one Wings of the Goddess update, was just a series of mini-games with Cait Sith which was a really refreshing change.
That's all really, obviously any of the ideas would work just as well alone as they would combined with others.
I've personally vowed to stay loyal to FFXI so long as there is a story provided. With Wings of the Goddess coming to a wrap, all I can say is, now would be a good opertunity to prove that the game still has potential, and has the ability to be reborn with new success.
I have every faith that the level 99 cap is just the beggining of a new era for Final Fantasy XI.