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Role Playing (Games) Games

Square Enix Attempting Final Fantasy XIV Damage Control 215

basscomm writes "Just the other day, it was discussed here on Slashdot that Final Fantasy XIV was released into the world as a buggy, incomplete mess. Now, it's been announced that due to 'generous amounts of player feedback' that lots of changes are coming (honest!). And, as a result, anyone who registers their game before October 25th will have their 30-day trial upgraded to a 60-day trial. But will it be enough to keep the game from hemorrhaging players once the free trials end?"
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Square Enix Attempting Final Fantasy XIV Damage Control

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  • by DWMorse ( 1816016 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:37AM (#33917448) Homepage
    Not to be pessimistic, but I don't think it's possible to completely rewrite the game in just a few weeks.
  • Must be an MMO (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:40AM (#33917464)

    Those are never finished when they release them.

  • by neumayr ( 819083 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:50AM (#33917532)
    I assume you're talking about the offline Final Fantasy games.. Those tend to have a nice, somewhat deep storyline that western games often lack.
  • by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:53AM (#33917546) Homepage
    They're fun (Generally, maybe not this one)

    Now someone explain to me the appeal of poems. As far as I can tell they're nothing but crazy poetic crap.
    That can't just be because they're not to my taste or I haven't put the time into appreciating them, they're just crap.
  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:57AM (#33917586)
    Unfortunately, that's not that much worse than the status quo. Subscription based services rarely if ever give you money back for unused time if you cancel early. Carbonite kind of pissed me off in that the service seemed fine through the trial, but later on when it was trying to cope with more data I started to see problems which you wouldn't see during the trial.

    But outright disabling the account before the paid time is up is dickish.
  • Glad they heard... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:07AM (#33917662)

    The problem is the same with all big game corps. $$ drives the project timelines. Namely now $$ as apposed to future $$. It should have cooked for another month. There is really no excuse for a game to be released with out a proper market (which the last patch just tried to fix) Over all though, I like the game. The very crafting dependant economy really interests me, and I've found a great guild (Linkshell) which has really provided me with a warm community of adult players that also have day jobs (yes this is a shameless plug for LS Event Horizon, on the Saronia NA server).

    I'm looking forward to what it will become not what it is today. If you want to try it wait a month what you see then will likely be much better that what I found a few days after release.

    What I'm really hoping for is that this combined with EA louse's dirty laundry will start to convince game corps that they can't just release unfinished games and then try to make it up to the customers. At least not in the MMO space.

  • by OnlyJedi ( 709288 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:31AM (#33917796) Homepage

    During the mid- to late- 90's I'd heartily agree; Square's RPGS were great in those days, and I still pick up Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI from time to time. These days, their popularity is more due to leftover nostalgia and riding on the coattails of their classics. Which, if response the the latest two games is an indicator, may soon be running dry.

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:34AM (#33917818)

    The underlying problem is, Final Fantasy doesn't belong in an MMO. And after the way FF13 ("world's most advanced corridor simulator, fuck even the illusion that you have sidequests") turned out, Square had better turn things around in a big way or 15 will be the final nail in the franchise.

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:46AM (#33917898) Homepage

    Square is a highly insular company. They seem to think that they still know what they're doing and that the market hasn't moved on from 2003. There's no excuse for a UI this terrible in 2010 when you can do better simply by ripping off what everyone else is doing.

    FF 11's UI was bad for its time. For a modern game it's a disgrace.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:56AM (#33917970) Journal

    Indeed. They've got some very, very serious rethinking to do just to get the game to a state where playing it doesn't cause actual pain. I'd say that the top priorities would need to be:

    - A complete overhaul of the user-interface, rewriting it from the ground up. There is basically nothing in the current UI that strikes me as salvagable.
    - Implementation of an auction house or equivalent feature to allow for an actually-workable player-based economy.
    - Performance tuning so that the thing actually runs in a sensible way on even high end PCs. There's a huge mismatch at the moment between the quality of the visuals and the level of performance that a high end gaming PC can achieve.
    - Servers spread around the world, so that the game doesn't feel worse and worse the further you are from Japan.
    - Various other major bugfixes, particularly a fix to the "can't alt-tab out of full-screen mode" bug, which was present in FFXI as well.

    Those strike me as an extremely fundamental set of changes, some of which would involve substantial rewrites of the game engine. Moreover, doing all of that would not guarantee the game's success. It would just pull it up to the kind of level where it doesn't feel actively broken. Even after doing all of that, the game still wouldn't even have begun to compete with the likes of WoW, Eve Online or LotR:O.

    Given that Square-Enix never really made any fundamental changes to the FFXI formula over the years (beyond belatedly adding a windowed-mode option), I can't honestly see they'll even be able to get over the first hurdle. This game looks doomed to me.

  • by Torvac ( 691504 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @12:26PM (#33918202)
    for ffxi maybe, but for ffxiv its lame excuses, nothing more. i play windowed and my client crashes when i minimize/maximize the game.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @01:16PM (#33918518)

    Back in the Verant days, yes, MMOs were dicks to their players and that was ok (well ok in that people would put up with it). You canceled your account, they deleted your character and other silly punitive measures like that. However WoW showed everyone that isn't how you do things. You be nice to players. Cancel your account in a rage? No problem you can keep playing for all your paid time. You wanna come back later, even years later? No problem, all your characters are just as you left them, database space is cheap. Get really mad and delete your characters? No problem, they can be recovered from backup. Someone steal your account and sell all your hard earned shit? No problem, they can trace that and recover to an earlier state.

    That is how things should be done and, no surprise, what gamers want now. Once Blizzard started doing that, other companies learned. SOE went and screamed at EQ's developers and producers and they went and recovered all the deleted characters and sent out a "Please come back and play we've restored your shit," e-mail and EQ and EQ2 now operate similar to WoW.

    Square sounds like they are still in the old "Us vs them," mentality. The users are the enemy, and if they do something you don't like, such as cancel their account, they need to be punished. No, sorry guys. As a subscription service with lots of competitors, you are in the customer service business. That means making your customers happy PARTICULARLY your angry ones. If someone leaves in a huff, you want to be nice to them. Tell them "We're sorry to see you go, feel free to play out the remaining time, and come back any time you like." Maybe then later they change their mind. If you are a dick about it, more likely they do write you off forever.

    Also I could potentially see this opening them up for a lawsuit. If the agreement is X dollars buys you Y days of access, and there are no refunds for partial time, then I can't see how it is ok to refuse to provide the complete paid time. If I call and cancel my cable, they'll shut it off immediately. However they will also refund all unused time. If I call and cancel my AC service contract, they won't refund my money, but it'll continue for the rest of the time I've paid.

  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @01:21PM (#33918554) Journal

    But are they spending time fixing the game, or their reputation? Politicians are famous for the latter (and Apple, as of late). The former requires a bit more thought and time.

  • Re:PC engine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @02:10PM (#33918878) Homepage Journal

    FFXIV isn't being released on the Xbox 360. It's a PS3/PC "exclusive."

    So, yeah - given how horrible the Windows version is, that might explain why there's no Xbox 360 version. They simply have no one who knows how to write code for the Xbox 360 or Windows.

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @02:31PM (#33919054) Homepage

    It does. Being able to alt+tab without crashing is a fairly basic requirement. See: []

    "Games must not attempt to disable standard task switching. Games must not disable the ALT+TAB keyboard shortcut. Games are allowed to disable accessibility keyboard shortcuts, as described in Disabling Shortcut Keys in Games. "

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @03:17PM (#33919262) Homepage

    Yeah, because you might not need to go start up Ventrilo, or look something up, or wait while flying somewhere, or wait for a party, or take a break during a raid...

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson